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Colorado Family Travel: Recreational Fun, Festivals, New Lodging & Special Events

This summer, Colorado will be buzzing with new activities, recreational pursuits, events, attractions and more. Throughout the state, visitors and locals alike are invited to experience what’s new. From major anniversaries including the famed Broadmoor Resort’s centennial and new attractions such as Snowmass’ new Lost Forest, to major events including the return of Slow Food Nations, new chef-driven restaurants and hands-on culinary experiences, and the opening of numerous unique lodging offerings such as the highly anticipated Source and Ramble hotels in Denver, Colorado is laying the stage for a blockbuster summer travel season.

Following is a sampling of what’s new this summer in Colorado, visit www.COLORADO.com.

Exciting New Events, Festivals & Anniversaries:

The Dead Sea Scrolls on Exhibit at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science, March 16 – September 3, 2018: The regional premiere of the exhibition that has captivated millions around the world is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see authentic Dead Sea Scrolls, ancient manuscripts that include the oldest known Biblical documents dating back over 2,000 years. In addition, the largest collection of artifacts from the Holy Land ever assembled for display will allow guests to explore the traditions, beliefs and iconic objects of ancient Israel that continue to impact world cultures today.
 
Splash-In Sea Planes Event, July 14, 2018: Bring the family to experience this new and highly unique event as seaplanes land on Kenney Reservoir in Rangely, Colorado. The Seaplane Pilots Association is taking advantage of one the two private lakes where the aircrafts can land in Colorado. Kenney Reservoir is owned by the Rio Blanco Water Conservancy District.
 
Slow Food Nations Returns to Denver July 13-15, 2018: Following a successful inaugural year in 2017, Slow Food Nations will return to Denver, gathering leaders, eaters, farmers, chefs, educators and families for a weekend of tastings, tours and talks. Modeled after the renowned Terra Madre – the original Slow Food event in Turin, Italy – Slow Food Nations in Denver has become the center of the North American food world.
 
Velorama and Colorado Classic Return to Denver, August 16-19, 2018: Professional bicycle racing returned to Colorado in 2017 with the Colorado Classic, a series of men’s and women’s races in three Colorado cities. World-class pro teams compete in circuit races throughout the state – 2018 cities are TBA – ending in Denver on the final stages. Following the race, there will be a three-day music, crafts, beer and food festival in the River North (RiNo) Art District for spectators and athletes.
 
Kokopelli 140 Mountain Bike and Trail Running Race Debuts, September 7-8, 2018: For decades the Kokopelli Trail has served as the benchmark of mountain bike and ultra-trail running excellence. Stretching 144 miles from Fruita, Colorado to Moab, Utah, this iconic and historic trail where dinosaurs once roamed offers some of the most beautiful, technical and challenging terrain in the country. This year, bikers and runners will be able to experience all 144 miles of the Kokopelli fully supported during the mother of all mountain bike races.
Durango Cowboy Poetry Gathering Celebrates its 30th Anniversary, October 4-7, 2018: The Durango Cowboy Gathering works to preserve and perpetuate the traditions of working ranch people in the American West. The event celebrates the lifeways of rural people by creating the “campfire” around which anyone with an interest can come to share in the appreciation of the culture and traditions unique to the West.

Enticing New Attractions, Activities & Adventures: 

City on the Side Offers Motorcycle Sidecar Tour Experiences: City on the Side provides an exceptional, personal and private sightseeing journey through Colorado allowing passengers to experience the world from a completely unique perspective on a classic Russian Ural cT sidecar motorcycle. City on the Side is offering four planned Sidecar Motorcycle Tours in 2018 including: Essential Denver City Tour, South Mountain Exploration, North Mountain Exploration and Peak to Peak/Estes Park.
 
New Colorado Creative Corridor: Colorado’s rural communities are elevating their arts and cultural offerings and strengthening their communities, supported through the Colorado Creative Industries’ statewide program to grow creative rural economies, Colorado Creative Districts. For 2018, The Colorado Creative Corridor will offer visitors to the State an invitation to pair destinations with unique arts and cultural experiences. The “Corridor” is a route that will take visitors some 331 miles to five Creative District destinations. The arts communities of Carbondale, Salida, Crested Butte, Delta County/ North Fork and Ridgway all offer unique event programming and experiences, alongside mountain town eclecticism, outdoor recreation, authentic Colorado heritage, arts, agritourism and culinary offerings. The Colorado Creative Corridor visitor program officially launched May 2018.
 
Colorado Historic Hot Springs Loop Launches New Passport Promotion: The Passport to the Colorado Historic Hot Springs Loop is a collaborative effort between the western Colorado hot springs destinations, including Chaffee County, Pagosa Springs, Ouray County, Glenwood Springs and Steamboat Springs. Participants simply obtain the official stamp from each visitor center and mail it in to redeem a waterproof pouch. The passport promotion launches in January 2018, encouraging visitors to complete the 720-mile loop, which showcases some of the most popular hot springs attractions in the country.
 
New Tech Toolkits from Colorado Parks & Wildlife: Colorado Parks & Wildlife has launched a fishing App for smart phones that enables anglers to check out mapping information for over 2,000 locations in the state, along with the most up-to-date regulations, details on fish species, seasonal flies, weather and more. A new State Park Pass Online Purchasing System allows travelers to purchase state park passes, make state park camping reservations and buy wildlife licenses online and with their mobile devices.
 
Colorado Riverfront Trail Expands: Serving the entire Grand Valley, the nearly 30-mile long Colorado Riverfront Trail (CRT) is a regional trail system extending from Palisade through Grand Junction, to Fruita in the west. Debuting spring 2018, the new Kokopelli segment of the CRT extended the trail from Fruita to the Kokopelli Trails area in the McInnis Canyons National Conservation Area. The Kokopelli Trails area is a destination for mountain bikers, hikers, equestrian users, and trail runners, and it connects to Moab, Utah via the Kokopelli Trail.
 
New Colorado Spirits Trail: The Colorado Distillers Guild is launching a Spirits Trail in 2018 inviting visitors to discover the spirits of the West. The trail highlights more than 50 participating distilleries from every corner of the state, and offers a map and interactive website to folks interested in tasting the amazing and creative spirits being produced across Colorado.  Individuals can pick up a map at participating distilleries, Denver International Airport and tourist information offices throughout the state.  The first 24 individuals to visit all participating distilleries represented on the 2018 paper map, and collect a stamp from each one, will be presented with a signed bottle from each participating distillery.
 
Eagle River Launches Whitewater Park: The Eagle River Park opened summer 2018, unveiling a world-class white water park featuring an in-stream design optimizing the river’s natural morphology, and will offer riverside recreation areas, where there will be riparian plantings and restoration. The Eagle River Park, with its layers of recreation opportunities and proximity to I-70, is destined to attract visitors, athletes and events from around the region.
 
Earth Treks to Build Nation’s Largest Climbing Gym in Englewood: Earth Treks Climbing and Fitness, a long-time leader in providing superior indoor climbing experiences, will debut its newest gym in Englewood this summer, which will span more than 52,000-square-feet making it the largest climbing gym in the US. In addition to world class roped climbing and bouldering terrain, guests will find their favorite amenities including a yoga studio, functional fitness and cardio zones, training areas, climbing classes, and more.
 
Glenwood Springs Adds New Single Track Trail: Glenwood Springs newest mountain biking trail, The Grandstaff Trail, has riders amped with its valley-wide, professionally bermed turns and the opportunity to catch air. Trail highlights include views of the Roaring Fork River Valley from Glenwood Springs and Mt. Sopris to the Elk Range, riding beneath the lift tower remnants of the Red Mountain Ski Area that operated from 1938 to 1966, and the undulating terrain that rivals a roller coaster ride. The Grandstaff Trail connects with other trails including the Olsen trail and the Wulfsohn trail system.
 
San Juan Hut System Launches New Gravel Grinder Route: New for 2018, the San Juan Huts will offer a hut-to-hut gravel ride from Grand Junction, Colorado to Moab, Utah through some of the most scenic and remote stretches of pavement in the west. Riders will pass through many historic sites as they roll through the Unaweep Canyon, Gateway, and Paradox winding their way along the Dolores River and will stay in the fully stocked huts that are part of the San Juan Huts system on this three day/two night tour.
 
The Sebastian Vail Expands its Artists, Authors & Athletes Program: This summer, The Sebastian is expanding its popular Artists, Authors & Athletes speakers series that launched in winter 2018 and connects guests, owners and the local community with experts in their chosen field. Artists, Authors & Athletes will take place the first Thursday of every month June through September 2018 and includes a complimentary “Sparkle & Pop” reception with prosecco and truffle popcorn. Past speakers have included a New York Times best-selling author, a popular TEDx speaker, mountaineer, yogi and artist. Speakers for summer 2018 to be announced soon.
 
Snowmass Expands Summer Operations with Development of the Lost Forest: New for summer 2018, Aspen Snowmass announces an immense list of activities at the new Lost Forest located on Snowmass Mountain. These enhancements include an alpine coaster, canopy tour, challenge course, climbing wall, expanded hiking and biking trails and more. These additions will provide guests an opportunity to be completely immersed in nature while enjoying an array of activities. The Lost Forest is designed to be intertwined with nature, not detached from it. The Lost Forest has something to offer no matter what age or activity level desired.
 
Snow Mountain Ranch Offers New Family Attractions:  Summer is the perfect time for families and groups to explore Snow Mountain Ranch, located just outside of Winter Park, Colorado. Brand new to the property for summer 2018 and located right next to the summer tubing hill is the Spruce Saddle Adventure Zone playground with fun mountain features including a pendulum swing, small zip line, twisted log ladder, climbing moose and stump hoppers.
 
Timber to Table Guide Service Offers New Program for Hunters: The new Western Slope based guiding service, Timber to Table, isn’t your typical hunting outfitter. As their name implies, the company is focused on helping hunters put wild, healthy and delicious meat on their tables. Hunts are geared toward first-time hunters, and a five-day cow or bull elk experience includes a private guide who leads the hunt and will also teach participants how to process the animal, identify various cuts and custom wrap their meat. Timber to Table also offers hunting programs geared specifically toward women.
 
New TPC Colorado Golf Course Opens in Berthoud: Summer 2018 welcomes major golf news including the opening of the new TPC Colorado, the state’s first ground-up golf course development in nearly 10 years. Slated to open to the public in July 2018 in Berthoud, Colorado, the new course is situated along the banks of Lonetree, McNeil and Welch Reservoirs and features majestic views of the Rocky Mountains. The 800-acre golf community will encompass an 18-hole championship golf course and clubhouse, as well as a master-planned residential neighborhood.
 
YMCA of the Rockies Opens the Boone Family Mountain Center: New For 2018, the Boone Family Mountain Center at the YMCA of the Rockies in Estes Park, Colorado will provide a base camp for nature, environmental and high-adventure activities. In addition to housing a hands-on education nature center and two-story climbing wall, the Mountain Center will also serve as the staging and information area for fishing, mountain biking, archery and the zipline.

New and Unique Summer Lodging Packages & Experiences:

Golf with a Legend at The Broadmoor: In celebration of the legendary Broadmoor Resort’s 100th anniversary in 2018, the property is offering a special “Golf with A Legend” package allowing guests to tee it up on the fabled East Course with Hale Irwin. The package is a three-night golf extravaganza for groups of 12-24 players and includes a practice round on the East Course, a round on the West Course plus a clinic from The Broadmoor teaching staff, a fly fishing lesson, dinner at the hotel’s Fish House, a round of golf with Hale Irwin on the East Course and dinner at 1858 located at the base of The Broadmoor’s Seven Falls.  
 
New Mountain Cures at the Four Seasons Resort Vail: New for 2018, the Four Seasons Resort Vail’s Forbes Five Star Spa has created Colorado and mountain-inspired treatments, certain to aid in sleep, altitude adjustment and boosting energy while in Vail, including a Sweet Dreams Sleep Cure, the Altitude Adjustment Cure or an Energy Cure. Each cure includes massage therapy along with other wellness offerings including breath work, aromatherapy and more.
 
Gateway Canyons Resort & Spa Adds New Summer 2018 Palisade Ranch Packages: Gateway Canyons Resort & Spa, a luxurious world-class destination in the heart of the American West, offers four new experiential packages in summer 2018 – Palisade Ranch Adventure, Red Rock Romance, For Foodies, and Curiosity – for its on-site Palisade Ranch that will allow guests to choose customized experiences based on their ideal vacation.  These packages include three nights of luxurious accommodations, gourmet meals, one daily activity per person, local craft beer, wine, and spirits, and more.  The packages are available to book now for travelers visiting from May 1 to October 31, 2018.
 
The Maven Offers Decadent Denver Culinary Experience: Colorado is taking the culinary center stage in 2018 as the state plays host to season 15 of Bravo’s award-winning reality competition, Top Chef.  To celebrate, the Maven Hotel in Denver is offering an over-the-top foodie weekend including the chance for guests to craft their own lavish dinner party.  This package includes a gourmet cooking class led by a professional Denver chef followed by a decadent 5-course dinner paired with fine wine, 10 personalized chef jackets, luxury transportation to/from the dinner party, accommodations for five couples in five urban suites for two nights, and valet parking at The Maven.
 
Hotel Telluride Offers Ropes & Rungs Package: The Hotel Telluride is offering a new Ropes & Rungs summer alpine adventure package. This 3-night package invites guests to experience the beauty of Telluride’s vertical realm with a guided Via Ferrata climb on an exposed ladder and cable system (the only Via Ferrata in Colorado) and explore the vertical territory of Ophir Valley with a full day of guided rock-climbing, both led by San Juan Outdoor Adventures. This package is designed for all abilities and includes accommodations, daily breakfast for two, a full-day guided Via Ferrata climb and a full-day rock climbing adventure. Both days are complete with a packed picnic lunch. 
 
Hotel Telluride Offers ‘Best in Show’ Dog Package: Few places are as dog-friendly as Telluride with nearly as many canine residents as human ones. The Hotel Telluride’s exclusive new ‘Best in Show’ package offers the ultimate experience for its furry guests including: A two-night stay at The Hotel Telluride; a personalized pet welcome at the front desk’s doggie chalkboard; a welcome amenity of homemade dog treats; a plush dog bed with in-room Hotel Telluride custom placemat and food and water bowls; canine amenities including: one tennis or bouncy ball (dog’s choice), one Kong Wild Knots chew toy, one Night Ize flashlight collar clip, eco-friendly pet disposal bags and a list of nearby dog friendly activities.

New Lodging Properties and Renovations:

Eleven Experience Introduces the Lofts at Public House in Crested Butte: Opened in early 2018, the Eleven Experience’s Lofts at Public House, offer guests a new way to enjoy America’s last great ski town. Located on Elk Avenue, the three spacious suites are ideally situated in the heart of the action, overlooking the peak of Mount Crested Butte and the charming Victorian storefronts and lively cafes lining the street below. The Lofts feature the same design and five-star amenities consistent with the Eleven Experience portfolio and guests also have access to the same authentic adventures offered by Eleven Experience guides with a selection of year-round, a la carte pursuits.
 
Elizabeth Hotel Opens in Fort Collins: The new 164-room Elizabeth Hotel in Fort Collins opened to the public this past December and pays tribute to FoCo’s deep-rooted music scene. With record players in the guest rooms, inspired artwork and a piano in the Sunset Lounge, a musical theme permeates this modern luxury hotel. The Emporium Kitchen & Wine Market, located inside the hotel, offers everything from gourmet sandwiches and grilled pizzas to charcuterie platters and signature dishes.
 
Embassy Suites and Hilton Garden Inn Opens in Boulder: Opened in late 2017, these new dual-branded properties feature a combined 375 rooms, 9,500 square feet, including a 6,600-square-foot ballroom at the Embassy Suites, free underground self-parking and complimentary access to a rooftop pool at Embassy Suites. The properties offer two price points at a single site, as well as the largest hotel-ballroom in Boulder.
 
The Jacquard Opens in Denver’s Cherry Creek North Neighborhood: Slated to open in 2018, The Jacquard Hotel & Rooftop is owned and managed by Stonebridge Companies and will be one of Autograph Collection Hotels newest, luxury hotels. The hotel will be one of only three Autograph Collection Hotels in the state of Colorado and will provide guests with a true, independent, Cherry Creek luxury experience including stunning art collections, tasteful design and sophisticated dining.
 
Mount Princeton Hot Springs Expands: Mount Princeton Hot Springs Resort will debut 25 new Creekside units in June 2018. Taking advantage of the serene beauty offered by Chalk Creek, the 25 units are situated East of the Main Lodge and Spa. These new guest rooms will feature modern finishes and balconies directly on Chalk Creek.
 
The Ramble Hotel Opens in Denver: The Ramble Hotel, an independently owned, three-story hotel opened in May 2018 in Denver’s RiNo (River North) district with 50 guest rooms; an intimate theatre and bar; an independently owned restaurant; and a marquee lobby bar, Death & Co Denver. The bar marks the first outpost outside of its original location in New York’s East Village.
 
New Lodging and Tours at The Redstone Castle: The historic Redstone Castle, located outside of Carbondale, Colorado in the Crystal Valley, will open doors spring 2018 after an extensive renovation program, to offer boutique lodging and tours of the famed castle. This turn of the century jewel was completed in 1902 for industrialist and coal magnate, John Cleveland Osgood who once ranked the sixth wealthiest people in the United States. Placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1971, the castle provides a unique glimpse into the personal styles and social culture of America’s elite at the turn of the 20th Century.
 
Royal Gorge Cabins Adds Additional Glamping Tents: Royal Gorge Cabins is adding four new glamping tents to its existing four tents and nine luxury cabins in time for the summer 2018 travel season. The resort offers a variety of whitewater rafting adventures on the Arkansas River, full-service restaurant and bar, event space and campsites in addition to the cabins and tents. The resort is located within minutes of the Arkansas River and the Royal Gorge Bridge & Park and other attractions such as the Royal Gorge Route Railroad and historic Canon City as well as adventures such as fly fishing and backcountry Jeep tours.
 
The Source Hotel Opens in Denver’s River North: This 100-room hotel will be located next to the popular Source culinary marketplace and will be the first hotel in Denver’s hip RiNo (River North) district. Celebrating the utilitarian and industrial history of the RiNo district, The Source Hotel vendors are 100 percent independent, featuring the most unconventional and creative craft production in Denver. With the goal of connecting people, products, design and place, The Source Hotel is proud to showcase exceptional independent artisans, including a florist, tattoo shop, and small-scale craft retail counters operated by local designers and artists. The property will also feature a new New Belgium brewing concept to highlighting sour beers. The Source Hotel is expected to open in spring 2018.
 
Hotel Talisa Opens in Vail: Opened in late-2017 and nestled at the base of Vail Mountain along the Gore Creek, Hotel Talisa is Vail’s preeminent offering in luxury accommodations and experience. The 285-room hotel features exclusive amenities including one-of-a-kind spa treatments, three dining venues, curated alpine experiences and a 58,000-square-foot athletic club.
 
 Warwick Denver Unveils Full Renovation: The Warwick Denver has finalized a comprehensive renovation of all 216 guestrooms and suites within the acclaimed hotel that offers an urban retreat in the Mile High City. The oversized rooms and suites, averaging more than 425 sq.ft., have been refurbished in an elegant and modern style, decidedly welcoming and residential in feel while reflecting the rustic characteristics of the Rocky Mountains and the beautiful state of Colorado.

Food and Beverage Offerings Debut:

Angry James Brewery Opens in Silverthorne: Opening in Q1 2018, Angry James Brewery is a small, community-oriented brewery and tap room featuring a seven barrel system and showcasing a variety of American and international-style beers. The neighborhood brewery will feature four main brews along with four to five seasonal brews that challenge the status quo and cannot be widely found in other Summit County breweries.  Angry James will offer limited snacks with plans to expand food offerings in the future.
 
Crafted Beverages of Southwest Colorado Adds Tasting Passport: Now in its second year, Crafted Beverages of Southwest Colorado (CBSW), aims to raise awareness of the region’s agritourism and “drink local” movement. It spotlights the growing number of small batch, independent producers of crafted beverages, including beer, wine, spirits, cider, non-alcoholic gourmet sodas, and — new for 2018 — coffee and tea roasters.  Also new for 2018, is the addition of a “Tasting Passport”. Participants are encouraged to visit local producers and get their passports stamped at each location, with incentives including a grand prize trip to explore the region. Coffee roasters and specialty teas will also be on the menu in 2018, tapping trends including Nitro cold press coffee and serving Kombucha on tap.
 
Dairy Block Micro-District Opens in Denver: Slated to open in summer 2018, and anchored by The Maven Hotel, The Dairy Block in Denver’s newest micro-district.  A historically significant area originally the location of the Windsor Daily, the Dairy Block will be home to some of the area’s most creative makers and businesses, including the much anticipated Milk Market food hall from acclaimed chef, Frank Bonanno. With exciting restaurants, innovative retailers, cocktail bars, and more, the Dairy Block celebrates the city’s history while crafting its future.
 
Denver’s Famed Cherry Cricket Opens Second Location: One of Denver’s most popular burger joints, the Cherry Cricket, will open its second outpost in the city’s Ballpark neighborhood in summer 2018.  The new restaurant will offer many of its most popular items with some new twists.
 
Fall Line Kitchen & Cocktails Opens in Vail: New for 2018, Fall Line restaurant celebrates the active and adventurous lifestyle of Vail with casual comfort food and inventive cocktails in a bright, modern space flanked with large 60’s era ski photos lining the walls. Executive Chef Jake Burkhardt has developed a creative menu that features sandwiches, salads, flatbreads and sharable plates.
 
Goat Patch Brewing Opens in Colorado Springs: Goat Patch Brewing offers a variety of handcrafted beers along with a fundamental goal of supporting the local Colorado Springs community. Flavors range from a mocha latte stout to a fruit goat patch punch. 
 
New Hands-On Culinary Experiences at Larkspur Vail: This summer, guests are invited to join the Larkspur culinary team for a hands-on culinary experience. Groups will be broken up in teams and paired with one of the restaurant’s professional chefs with each team preparing one composition of their pre-selected dinner menu. Each chef will give a presentation of the evaluation and nuances of the planned menu, and teams will work together to prepare and create their meals. The experience includes preparation in the kitchen, cocktail reception with passed hors d’oeuvres and a three-course meal.
 
New Butchery Program at Leonora at The Sebastian in Vail: Under the leadership of new Food and Beverage Director Chris Okamura and Executive Chef Tyson Peterson, The Sebastian-Vail is completely refreshing its food and beverage program for summer 2018 with a new menu and concept at Leonora featuring a whole animal butchery as well as game and prime beef selections.
 
The Nice Guy Opens in Aspen: LA Hotspot, The Nice Guy, has plans to expand their second restaurant in Aspen. Operated by John Terzian and Brain Toll, and slated to open in 2018, The Nice Guy will feature Italian staples such as chicken marsala and pasta primavera along with an Aspen fan-favorite, truffle fries.
 
Oskar Blues Opens in Downtown Colorado Springs: The newest addition to the area’s culinary family is in the heart of downtown Colorado Springs. The new eatery takes up two levels in one of the area’s historic buildings. Enjoy underground bocce courts and outdoor patio. Grab a pint from one of the 48 taps and munch on locally sourced meats that round out the menu.
 
Pikes Peak Market Opens in Colorado Springs: Opened in late 2017, Pikes Peak Market is an indoor market and non-profit focused on building the local food ecosystem, supporting local vendors, and building community.  It features nine vendors with fare ranging from tamales and natural meats to crepes and coffee. In the future, the site looks to have a craft beer setup and featured Colorado spirits.
 
Jennifer Jasinski’s Ultreia Opens in Denver’s Union Station: James Beard Best Chef Southwest Jennifer Jasinski, along with partners Beth Gruitch and Jorel Pierce opened Jasinski’s second restaurant in Denver’s Historic Union Station, Ultreia this past winter. The restaurant opened in the building’s Great Hall and offers shared plate pinxtos and tapas from the countries of Spain and Portugal.
 
Zeppelin Station Opens in Denver: Opening in Q1 2018, the 100,000-square-foot Zeppelin Station will boast a ground level market hall featuring retail tenants focused in design goods, various street food vendors from around the country, multiple bars and a full-service anchor restaurant. Currently on the roster for the food hall are Denver’s Vinh Xuong Bakery, Boulder’s Fior Gelato, and Chicago’s Aloha Poke Co, with several announcements coming soon. Additionally, the RiNo Arts District will house their headquarters at Zeppelin Station alongside a dynamic retail space showcasing local artisans.

New Rural Colorado Cuisine Offerings:

 Top-tier chefs are moving into rural areas—especially west of Denver—and raising the bar on the dining scene with small focused dinner events and intimate dining rooms offering fast-evolving menus that reflect seasonality and locality of ingredients. Guest and dude ranches are moving from the cliché of serving pork and beans for dinner, to offer 20-course fine tasting menus and molecular dining. Cloverdale Farm and Restaurant opened doors mid/late 2017 in Steamboat Springs offering an intimate, fine dining experience using locally grown and sourced ingredients alongside a curated old world wine list. Traditional hunting lodge, High Lonesome Ranch in Debeque launches its second season of high-end dinners, serving a 20-course tasting menu overseen by Matt Chasseur and Patrick Ayers. Latigo Ranch in Kremmling will also offer a second season of fine dining, with a molecular dinner club.

Major News on the Horizon for Winter 2018/2019:

Dior: From Paris to the World Debuts at The Denver Art Museum, November 18, 2018 – March 3, 2019: The Denver Art Museum will host the U.S. debut of the renowned exhibition, Dior: From Paris to the World, this fall. Surveying more than 70 years of the House of Dior’s legacy and influence, the exhibit features a selection of 150 haute couture dresses, accessories, photos, original sketches, and archival material. Curated by Denver Art Museum’s Florence Müller, it will trace the history of the iconic haute couture fashion house, its founder, Christian Dior, and the subsequent artistic directors who carried Dior’s vision into the 21st century.
 
Limelight Hotel Snowmass to Open: Slated to open in November 2018 the Limelight Hotel Snowmass will offer fun, unfussy luxury with an energetic vibe and will feature an indoor/outdoor lounge area, a five-story climbing wall open to the public, a fitness center and spa pools.
 
W Aspen and The Sky Residences at W Aspen to Open: Slated to open for the 2018/2019 winter ski season, the new hotel and residences are being designed by Nemaworkshop in partnership with local firm Rowland + Broughton Architecture and W’s in-house design team, offering 88 guestrooms and 11 W-branded fractional residences. Conveniently located at the base of Aspen Mountain, the development will also feature a 12,000-square-foot rooftop bar and pool with expansive views of Aspen Mountain.

Deals: Cow Appreciation Day, Araphoe County Fair & More!

I sort of wish I was on a beach right now. So, this month my kids and I are taking a mental vacation to a beach by watching a movie outside every night (we bought a cheap-ish projector from Amazon). We are picking movies that are about a beach, on a beach, or filmed in a tropical vacation. Doesn’t matter if the film is old or new. Here are some of our picks:  Moana, Lilo & Stitch, Teen Beach Movie, Rip Tide, Blue Crush, Captain Ron, Pirates (all of them), Fool’s Gold, 50 First Dates, Dolphin Tale, Flipper, Aqua Marien, Overboard, Blue Lagoon, Zeus & Roxanne, Surf’s Up, The Way Way Back, and a few that are rated R (but my kids are old enough to see those).

 Cow Appreciation is Coming!  Mark your calendars: Chick-fil-A is celebrating its 14th annual Cow Appreciation Day on Tuesday, July 10, 2018. When you dress like a cow you can score a free entrée (Chick-fil-A entrée, such as an Original Chicken Sandwich, Grilled Nuggets or breakfast favorite, the Chick-fil-A Chicken Biscuit) Children will receive a free Kid’s Meal for dressing in a cow costume. Chick-fil-A’s largest single-day customer appreciation event, Cow Appreciation Day, celebrates the company’s iconic “Eat Mor Chikin®” Cows. Visit www.CowAppreciationDay.com for more information. The Cow Appreciation Day celebration will last from restaurant opening through 7 p.m. local time (check local individual restaurant listings for hours).

Noodles & Company Mac and Cheese Day. Can you guess which menu item flies out of the kitchen fastest at Noodles & Company restaurants in Denver? I’ll give you a hint: It’s rich, creamy, and leaves the boxed variety in its orange-dyed dust. Since ​Mile High Mamas​ readers know a thing or two about elbow noodles smothered in cheddar cheese sauce, any member of the NoodlesREWARDS program can snag a free small bowl of Wisconsin Mac & Cheese with the purchase of a regular entrée on Saturday, July 14 (National Mac & Cheese Day!). Fans just need to sign up at Noodles.com/Rewards by Friday, July 13

Bad Daddy’s Burger Bar. Bad Daddy’s Burger Bar in Arvada (7450 B West 52nd Ave) is teaming up with Arvada Marketplace-Connection to host a huge Anniversary Summer Bash on Tuesday, July 10 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. ! There will be live music, food and drink specials, prize giveaways, a bounce house, a Kids Strider Bike Race and more!

 PurLuxe Beauty Bar.  PūrLuxe Beauty Bar is celebrating their Cherry Creek location’s Grand Opening on July 14th. The sleek, modern beauty bar will use non-toxic and organic products for all the services offered and the latest technology in skincare such as: LED light therapy, microcurrents, and oxygen blasts.

 Teen Titans Movie. You and your family are invited to the free advance screening of TEEN TITANS GO! TO THE MOVIES on Saturday, July 21st in Denver. Visit www.wbtickets.com/TTGMHM for a chance to download your complimentary passes. (Passes admit up to 4, while supplies last. Passes do not guarantee admission as theater is overbooked. ARRIVE EARLY!) #TeenTitansGOMovie in theaters July 27.

Water World. A great way to cool off on a hot summer day is Water World. There are a couple ways to get deals: Buy tickets at King Soopers for $5 off gate price or get a Family 4-Pack which includes 4 admissions, one 16” pizza and 4 drinks for only $149.96; Bring a specially marked Mountain Dew Can for $8 off; Stoby by local Denver Subway stores to get an $8 off coupon.

 Arapahoe County Fair. Find Fair Fun for Everyone at the Arapahoe County Fair, July 26-29. Get online DISCOUNT tickets now for only $10. It is fun the whole herd with UNLIMITED carnival rides, two nights of fireworks, two rodeos, concerts, barnyard friends, truck and tractor pulls, high-flying dog shows, heritage activities and more. $10 discount tickets are available online NOW through July 26. Join the fun. BUY your tickets today at arapahoecountyfair.com

 Rino Art Scavenger Hunt. Finding something for a teenager to do with you that would make them happy too is sometimes like well….a bit of a scavenger hunt. Spend an afternoon in one of Denver’s trendiest neighborhoods, discovering new art while bringing awareness to the struggles Coloradoans are facing. Volunteers of America Colorado and Denver Graffiti Tour are hosting a FREE scavenger hunt on July 21 starting at 10 a.m. Find the colorful masterpieces hidden throughout the streets and alleyways of the River North Art District (RiNo). Plus, there are prizes up for grabs! Sign up here.

Slow Food Nations. Food is culture. Do you remember when grandma made her home-made [insert food here – for us it was sauerkraut]? Slow food Nations wants to prevent the disappearance of loal food culture and tradition – and combat our fast-moving, “scarf it down” culture. July 13 – 15 Slow Food Nations festival of flavor, culture and exploration will take over Larimer Square in downtown. Festival is free and open to the public (some workshops, talks and tastings are ticketed).

Amazon Prime Day. Some day that Prime Day has deals like Black Friday with the amazing deals. If you are a Prime member (you can sign up now – the first 30 days are free – and cancel after). Prime days are July 16 and 17.

Alamo Draft House. Looking for something fun and cheap to do with the kids INSIDE (aka in air conditioning)? Choose your own ticket price ($1, $3, or $5) movies. Buy tickets online to reserve seats. 100% of the sales are donated to local nonprofits! Most screenings are for kids 3 and up. https://drafthouse.com/denver  

 Summer Concerts and Movies outside. We pulled together a list of some of the best of free concerts and outdoor movie showings. There is something for everyone – all across town.

 Glenwood Caverns. Get a 50% OFF Tram Ride Admission to experience America’s only mountain-top theme park…Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park in Glenwood Springs.  It’s a full day of family fun and adventure for everyone, with great kid-friendly rides and attractions along with awesome thrill rides and amazine cave tours. Go to glenwoodcaverns.com for hours and info. Buy online and enter promo code MHMAMA for discount.

 

School’s out. Is it ok for my kid to stay home alone?

Childcare is an issue in the state of Colorado. It can be stressful and difficult to find quality, affordable child care. It is no wonder that many parents look forward to the day when you don’t have to pay for child care. But, how do you know when the time is right to let your child or teenager stay home alone? When is it ok to let your older child watch a younger sibling? These are questions parents frequently ask themselves as school lets out, especially when money is tight. They are also questions that the Colorado Child Abuse and Neglect Public Awareness Campaign receives at least once a month, either because a parent wants to know the law or a neighbor is concerned about a child in the neighborhood.  

To help parents make the decision about whether or not to let their child stay home alone and help community members know when to call the Colorado Child Abuse and Neglect Hotline 1-844-CO-4-KIDS (1‑844‑264‑5437), here are some things to consider. 

There is no specific age in Colorado when a child can legally stay home alone. It is your decision. 

The laws of Colorado do not set a specific age after which a child legally can stay home alone. When thinking about leaving children alone, it is important for parents to consider the potential risk involved or themselves and for their children since parents are legally responsible for their children’s welfare until they reach adulthood. Under some circumstances, a parent can be charged with neglect for leaving children unattended. In general, Colorado has accepted the ages of 10 to be alone and 12 to babysit as a guideline for when it might be appropriate for a child to be left alone for short periods of time. This standard is based upon the Colorado Child Labor Law, which deems 12 years as the minimum age for employment, for example, as a babysitter. 

Things to think about when deciding if your child is ready to be more independent:

  • Is your child capable of taking care of and protecting themselves?
  • Is your child mentally capable of recognizing and avoiding danger and making sound decisions?
  • Is your child emotionally ready to be alone? Will they feel confident and secure or feel afraid, lonely or bored?
  • Does your child know what to do and who to call if a problem or emergency arises?
  • Does your child have any special physical, emotional or behavioral problems that make it unwise to leave them alone?

If, upon answering these questions, you feel confident about letting your child stay home alone, the Colorado Department of Human Services highly recommends having your child take the Red Cross – Be a Safe and Successful Babysitter‎ course, offered online and via classroom options for all ages.

Is this an independent kid or child neglect?

As a neighbor or community member, it can be hard to know if a child staying at home alone is independent, or if it is a case of child neglect. In a recent survey of Coloradans, 65 percent said they were hesitant to make the call because they “don’t know enough about the situation and worried that they might be wrong.” But, it is important to remember, families are often like icebergs. Seeing a child staying home alone may just be what you can see above the surface. Your call could help prevent something tragic from occurring in the future. By making the call any time, and every time, you are concerned about the well-being of a child or a teenager you are playing an important role in the prevention of child abuse and neglect. Community members are encouraged to dial the Colorado Child Abuse and Neglect Hotline 1-844-CO-4-KIDS (1‑844‑264‑5437) and let the professionals determine whether or not a child is being neglected. Even if a child hasn’t experienced abuse or neglect, your call could lead to getting a family a better support network.

Everyone plays a role in strengthening families.  

If you are considering making a call concerning a child staying home alone, you may also want to consider offering to help with child care. Few parents would turn down a free babysitter if they need child care. You may learn that your neighbor has decided that their child is ready to be more independent and that is ok. There are laws in place in Colorado to guide the child welfare professionals’ response and help strengthen families. The issue is not black or white, for good reason. Just last month, Utah became the first state to create a “free-range” parenting law to change the state’s definition of neglect to allow children of “sufficient age and maturity” to engage in independent activities like walking to and from school or staying home alone. Colorado’s laws already allow parents space and flexibility to parent their own children.

Really, no parenting decision is easy. 

Parents need to think carefully about many things before leaving their children alone. And this is important even if you only leave your child alone occasionally. Putting children in situations they can handle can help teach them independence and responsibility. But asking too much too soon can be a frightening and potentially dangerous situation – for both the child and the parent.

Find other FAQ’s about child abuse and neglect in Colorado, learn more about what professionals consider when determining whether a parent or legal guardian is neglecting a child by not providing adequate supervision and the signs of child neglect on the www.CO4Kids.org website. The Colorado Department of Human Services reminds the public to trust your instincts and call the Colorado Child Abuse and Neglect Hotline 1-844-CO-4-KIDS (1‑844‑264‑5437), available 24 hours a day, every day, to report any concerns about the well-being of a child. Anyone witnessing a child in a life-threatening situation should call 911 immediately. 

Laura Solomon is a social worker and intake administrator at the Colorado Department of Human Services Division of Child Welfare.

 

Viral video Dad gets real about wife’s suicidal thoughts

Most often, La Guardia Cross makes people laugh — posting funny “New Father Chronicles” videos about parenting his daughters, Amalah, 3, and Nayely, 1, on YouTube and on the TODAY Parenting Team. But in his most recent video, the Florida dad shares the story of his wife Leah’s depression and the suicidal thoughts that recently led to her treatment at a mental health facility.

“I’ve been trying to record this a few times,” Cross says in the video. “Basically, I really came close to losing my wife last week.”

If you or someone you know is at risk of suicide please call the U.S. National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255, text TALK to 741741 or go to SpeakingOfSuicide.com/resources.

Mindbender Mansion at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science

Love brainteasers? Enter “Mindbender Mansion,” a quirky place full of puzzles, brainteasers and interactive challenges that put minds of all ages to the test. This unique, high-energy experience opens at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science on July 20.

“Mindbender Mansion” is a series of thematic “rooms” filled with dozens of puzzle stations and challenges that get your whole body — and brain — moving. The activities combine the best of childhood playfulness, mental acuity and teamwork in a lively atmosphere. The exhibition is free with general admission.

The slightly mysterious and distinctly wacky “Mr. E,” a member of the “Mindbender Society,” greets you in a video introduction and guides you through the mansion. You will be encouraged to gather clues at puzzle stations and secret vaults in the rooms. Once you have gathered enough clues, you will earn a place in the Mindbender Society. Everyone has the chance to document their visit to the mansion with a fun photo opp.

The experience is especially enjoyed by families, groups of friends and school and youth groups as they put their heads together to solve the challenges. Individuals also enjoy personalizing the challenges, such as trying to beat their previous time for putting a puzzle together. All participants are encouraged to think outside the box, identify patterns, use logical reasoning and solve problems from various perspectives.

“Mindbender Mansion” features

Spelling Fever

  • Spelling Fever: Tackle trivia questions by spelling out answers as you jump across an illuminated floor.
  • Feeding Frenzy: Fit food shapes into trays on a gradually accelerating conveyor belt.
  • Amazing Maze: Join with others to move a marble through a giant tilting maze.
  • Flying Machine: You and others move a “flying machine” around a game board, hitting sequenced targets within a set time.
  • Dozens of table-top puzzlers: Solve brainteasers using geometric shapes, numbers, rings, and ropes.
  • Wacky photo opp: Document your puzzle mastery and earn a place in the Mindbender Society.
  • Play area: Puzzles and activities for the youngest guests.
  • Exhibition shop: Selection of games and puzzles to continue the fun at home. 

“Mindbender Mansion” was produced and toured by the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry, Portland, Oregon.

The exhibition will be open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. through Jan. 6, except for Dec. 25. For more information, visit dmns.org/mindbender.

Toilet Training Tips for Proactive Parents

Let’s begin by challenging what we think we know about potty training…          

Disposable diapers are perhaps one of the most essential inventions to appear in the last century. They are more comfortable, they are aesthetic, and they save us the inconceivable burden of hand-washing dirty cloth diapers, just as our ancestors used to do.

Having said all that, disposable diapers are also linked to the fact that today, more than ever before, we are facing tremendous struggles and difficulties when it comes to potty training.

According to recent statistics, the average age for potty trained children is  around 2.5-3 years. Some studies (sponsored by big diaper companies) claim that babies and toddlers do not have the developmental skill that allows to control their bodily secretions. That is, of course, not at all true.

Today it is considered normal to wait for our children to be “ready.” Parents now postpone the potty training process until they feel the child is willing to participate. This very common approach, however, does not take into consideration the fact that babies actually do have the physical ability to control their own sphincters almost since the day they are born. By diapering them during these first few days, and by keeping them in diapers for the first years of their lives, we are essentially putting that mechanism to “sleep.” Statements such as “potty-train readiness” are completely invalid then, since all babies are essentially born ready.

People mistakenly think of potty training as a developmental process, when in fact it is an educational one. Crawling, sitting and talking are developmental; the need for diapers is plainly cultural. Cultures in which the infants are raised diaperless have always existed throughout human history. In today’s Western culture, there are also some who stand by this diaperless approach as well. Of course, I am aware of how unrealistic this approach can seem to most parents, especially in this day and age.

My recommendation for parents is to not wait beyond the age of 24 months, as I try to aim for potty training around the age of 18 months. That is because after that we begin to see the “terrible two’s” stage, in which the toddlers tend to become opinionated, rebellious and independent, and so our willingness to potty train them could potentially only upset them even more. They do not necessarily want us to change their now well established habits. This, of course, could and will lead to difficulties. Unfortunately delaying the potty training process is the source for all different kinds of problems.

Yet there is another factor that is as important, and perhaps even more so: The educational approach in which parents tend to “flow with the child.” In its core, it is a misguided approach, especially when it comes to potty training. The role of the parent is not to flow with the child, but instead to be proactive and to lead the child: The parents are the responsible adults, they are the ones who are in charge of setting the educational goals for their children, and they are the only ones who are able to lead their children towards achieving these educational goals.

Ultimately, it is only you, the parents, that can and should be proactive in the potty training process. It is your responsibility, exactly like every other educational process is your responsibility. You should not expect full cooperation from the child (even though cooperation is welcome.) Parents who are loving, warm, respectful and sensitive can and need to be, at the same time, the ones who are in charge, set rules and keep things in order. If, in that sense, the parents are the ones that have the hand on the wheel, it is completely possible to potty train at 18 month old in the course of a week. The truth is that the ones who need to be “ready” for the process, are the parents themselves. Parents who are willing and ready for potty training, will be able to see this process through, and will not back down when their child shows a slight resistance.

The more you delay the potty training process, the more difficulties you could potentially face. That is since by the time we start training, the child will become more hesitant, as well as more suspicious of this new and unfamiliar process. The act of pooping will not be of any interest for a 12-18 months old as it will a 3 year old child, who is much more aware of his or her own body.

These two things – postponing the potty training process, and an unauthoritative parental approach – are main factors behind many of the problems parents face: toilet anxiety, constipation, stool refusal, encopresis and more. By knowing how to potty train correctly, and by doing it on time, you are reducing the chance for these types of difficulties to occur. That is why in order to succeed in the potty training process, you must not wait for the child to be ready, but instead take on a more assertive and proactive approach, that will lead your child towards a diaper-free life.

Success in potty training could lead the child to much more than just bodily control. It could teach the child the concept of delayed gratification, self-restraint, as well as empowering the child’s independence and his or hers self-image. If all those things are not enough, early potty training is also more hygenic, more economical and more ecological.

6 Tips For A Calm (Yet Proactive) Potty Training:

The “PROACTIVE PARENTING for POTTY TRAINING” approach is both based on academic research, as well as years worth of clinical practice. Here are my tips for parents who are about to start the potty training process:

  1. Be confident and decisive.  Remember not to expect your child to necessarily  help you in the process. You took this task upon yourself, and so it is you who will spend the energy and the time to make sure it is done right.
  2. Remove the child’s diaper during waking hours. This means a complete withdrawal from diapers, even if you go to the zoo, or to visit grandma. When the child is awake, he or she are always dressed in underpants (nighttime withdrawal will come later on.)
  3. Take into account that accidents will occur. It could take a day or two until those go away,  or a week or two, but it could also last a month or two. And when those mishaps happen (and they will) you must be able to clearly express to the child that this behaviour is unwelcome. However, do so without expressing any anger: don’t say “oh no, look what you did!,” yet also avoid saying things like “don’t worry, everything is fine.” What you could say is: “Look at that, you peed your pants. It’s wet. it doesn’t feel good. Next time when you want to pee, you will do it in the potty.” After making that point come across, you should go ahead and change the child’s underpants and pants.
  4. Follow your children, learn to ‘read’ them and learn to predict their urinating and pooping times. Every child has his or her habits. Try to notice their facial expressions, their body language. Don’t assume they would come to you and tell you “I need to pee.” Learn your child’s schedule, and if you noticed he/her hasn’t peed in a while, take him/her to the potty, no questions ask.
  5. As I mentioned before, it is very important to know how to be sensitive, yet authoritative, at the same time. Do not let your child’s fears (or caprices) and wants shape the dynamics of this process. If the child refuses to go in the potty, under no circumstance bring back the diaper. Do not give up on potty training your child even if the child shows signs of restraint.
  6. There is no need for lengthy explanations or exhausting persuasions: potty training is based on core principles of behavioural-cognitive psychology, and its success is determined by the proactivity and willpower of the parents themselves.
Daphna Tayar is a developmental and therapeutic educational consultant who consults and guide parents. Her renown results from this book and her regular column on YNET, the largest web site in Israel, branding her as a unique, fresh, and more reliable voice on the subject of toilet training. Daphna is a mother of four who now has the pleasure of seeing her grandchildren toilet training according to her method. If you are in the throes of potty training, her “PROACTIVE PARENTING for POTTY TRAINING” book is just for you!

Deals: 4th of July, Colorado Renaissance Festival & More!

Fourth of July is one of my favorite holidays. We get to hang out with friends and family, eat a lot, hang out in the summer sunshine and all of us partake in FREE entertainment. At least the fireworks shows I seem to enjoy are free. (You can also go to sporting events or other paid entertainment – but the fireworks for the most part can be seen/enjoyed for free). We have pulled together a list of a ton of cool things to do.  

ARC Sale. The 4th of July is a day to celebrate all that is great about America…and a day to SAVE BIG at all 27 ARC Thrift Stores across the Front Range. On Wednesday, July 4th, just about everything in the stores – summer dresses, shorts, t-shirts, bathing suits, vacation must-haves, pool toys, housewares, barbecue supplies, home décor, and more – is 50 PERCENT OFF!! 

Quizno’s.  Just in time for the Fourth of July, Quiznos will offer a limited time offer of BOGO BBQ Pulled Pork subs from July 1 – 8. Members of Quiznos’ Toasty Points loyalty program can order either of the two BBQ pulled pork recipes (Southern Style or Spicy Chipotle) and can get a second pulled pork sub free at participating U.S. locations. If you’re not are already a loyalty member, you can still enjoy a free sub. Just download the Toasty Points app to redeem the BOGO offer.

 Noodles & Company Mac and Cheese Day. Can you guess which menu item flies out of the kitchen fastest at Noodles & Company restaurants in Denver? I’ll give you a hint: It’s rich, creamy, and leaves the boxed variety in its orange-dyed dust. Since ​Mile High Mamas​  readers know a thing or two about elbow noodles smothered in cheddar cheese sauce, any member of the NoodlesREWARDS program can snag a free small bowl of Wisconsin Mac & Cheese with the purchase of a regular entrée on Saturday, July 14 (National Mac & Cheese Day!). Fans just need to sign up at Noodles.com/Rewards by Friday, July 13

Colorado Renaissance Festival. The age old (see what I did there?) festival celebrating the fun, frivolity and food (Hello Turkey Legs!) of the Renaissance is now open in Larkspur. Get your Buy One Adult Get One Child (or you can use it for $3 off an adult ticket) coupon at participating Subway stores.  

Water World. A great way to cool off on a hot summer day is Water World. There are a couple ways to get deals: Buy tickets at King Soopers for $5 off gate price or get a Family 4-Pack which includes 4 admissions, one 16” pizza and 4 drinks for only $149.96; Bring a specially marked Mountain Dew Can for $8 off; Stoby by local Denver Subway stores to get an $8 off coupon.

 Arapahoe County Fair. Brief description Find Fair Fun for Everyone at the Arapahoe County Fair, July 26-29. Get online DISCOUNT tickets now for only $10. It is fun the whole herd with UNLIMITED carnival rides, two nights of fireworks, two rodeos, concerts, barnyard friends, truck and tractor pulls, high-flying dog shows, heritage activities and more. $10 discount tickets are available online NOW through July 26. Join the fun. BUY your tickets today at arapahoecountyfair.com

 Rino Art Scavenger Hunt. Finding something for a teenager to do with you that would make them happy too is sometimes like well….a bit of a scavenger hunt. Spend an afternoon in one of Denver’s trendiest neighborhoods, discovering new art while bringing awareness to the struggles Coloradoans are facing. Volunteers of America Colorado and Denver Graffiti Tour are hosting a FREE scavenger hunt on July 21 starting at 10 a.m. Find the colorful masterpieces hidden throughout the streets and alleyways of the River North Art District (RiNo). Plus, there are prizes up for grabs! Sign up here.

Buy a Coke, Share a Coke Happy Hour. Every Wednesday – Friday, 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Buy one Coca-Cola 20 oz drink get one free to share at Walgreens. Yes, I’ll meet you with a free coke on the corner of happy and healthy. 

Cherry Creek Arts FestivalJuly 6-8 the streets of Cherry Creek North will be turned into one of the country’s biggest and most respected juried arts festival. From visual arts to performing arts and culinary arts there is something to see on nearly every street corner. Kids festivities include hands-on art projects that will have your budding artists doing all kinds of artivities.

Cow Appreciation is Coming!  Mark your calendars: Chick-fil-A is celebrating its 14th annual Cow Appreciation Day on Tuesday, July 10, 2018. When you dress like a cow you can score a free entrée (Chick-fil-A entrée, such as an Original Chicken Sandwich, Grilled Nuggets or breakfast favorite, the Chick-fil-A Chicken Biscuit) Children will receive a free Kid’s Meal for dressing in a cow costume . Chick-fil-A’s largest single-day customer appreciation event, Cow Appreciation Day, celebrates the company’s iconic “Eat Mor Chikin®” Cows. Visit www.CowAppreciationDay.com for more information. The Cow Appreciation Day celebration will last from restaurant opening through 7 p.m. local time (check local individual restaurant listings for hours).

Summer Concerts and Movies outside. We pulled together a list of some of the best of free concerts and outdoor movie showings. There is something for everyone – all across town.

Glenwood Caverns. Get a 50% OFF Tram Ride Admission to experience America’s only mountain-top theme park…Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park in Glenwood Springs.  It’s a full day of family fun and adventure for everyone, with great kid-friendly rides and attractions along with awesome thrill rides and amazine cave tours. Go to glenwoodcaverns.com for hours and info. Buy online and enter promo code MHMAMA for discount.

15 Ways to Cool Down with Splash-Worthy H2O Fun in Colorado

 Though Colorado may be a landlocked state, it offers an abundance of lakes, rivers and reservoirs for residents and visitors to explore. From repelling down waterfalls in Ouray to casting a line during a women’s fly fishing clinic in Breckenridge, Colorado does not fall short on activities for one to cool off and enjoy the water this summer. For more information, visit Colorado.com!

Also, don’t miss our Guide to Denver’s Splash Pads and Spray Fountains!

ATV and Rafting Blast with Mile Hi Rafting (Dumont): Clear Creek is the steepest rafted river in Colorado and conveniently located just 30 miles west of Denver. Mile Hi Rafting is offering a scenic one-hour ATV tour with lunch riverside, followed by a ‘Blast’ intermediate whitewater raft trip on Clear Creek. Starting mid-May through August, guests can enjoy this multi-activity offering for $149.   
 
Canyoning with Canyoning Colorado (Ouray): Ouray, Colorado is known for its ice climbing in the winter, but in the summer months, the same waterfalls can be explored through canyoning. Canyoning entails repelling down waterfalls and exploring river canyons, and Canyoning Colorado is offering new half day and full day tours and trainings for all abilities this summer.
 
Fishing at Badger Creek Ranch (Cañon City): For those who love to fish and appreciate the comfort of a warm bed and good food, Badger Creek Ranch is just the place. The ranch is nestled in the high country of Colorado’s central Rocky Mountains.  By the nature of the landscape, many fishing opportunities are available within easy reach of the ranch including fly fishing on area rivers and streams as well as fishing in high mountain lakes and reservoirs.
 
Jet-Boating with Jet Boat Colorado (Grand Junction): Visitors can satisfy their need for speed on a jet-boating excursion with Jet Boat Colorado, the first company in the state to offer jet-propelled boating experiences of this magnitude. Launched in summer 2017, the company’s Wild Mustang jet boat — also equipped with a 420-horsepower, fuel-injected engine — takes passengers on exhilarating Colorado River adventures featuring fishtails, speed runs and “cowboy spins.”
 
Water Adventures at John Martin Reservoir State Park (Las Animas): Called the sapphire on the plains, the John Martin Reservoir is one for people and wildlife to enjoy with its peaceful surroundings. The reservoir provides visitors with uncrowded boating, fishing, wind water sports and amazing conditions for a wide variety of wind water sports.
 
New Whitewater Park on the Eagle River (Eagle): The town of Eagle has announced The Eagle River Park will open summer 2018. The world-class whitewater park will feature an in-stream design optimizing the river’s natural morphology, which will also offer riverside recreation areas. Welcoming all athletes and visitors, its proximity to I-70 will make it an easy trip for people to visit.
 
Playing on the Beach at Medano Creek (Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve): Medano Creek in Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve is something of a mystery. Each spring it emerges from the mountains behind the sand dunes to form a wide, shallow and gently flowing stream. Visitors wade into it to cool hot feet after tromping around the dunes, build sandcastles, boogie board and splash around in its rhythmic waves before it retreats back into the mountains just as quickly. The peak of the creek’s annual flow is late May.
 
Scenic Tour with Twin Lakes & Interlaken Boat Tours (Twin Lakes): Twin Lakes and Interlaken Boat Tours provides narrated boat tours of Twin Lakes, located among the highest peaks in Colorado. The tours include both the upper and lower glacially formed lakes and the historic Interlaken resort, established in the late 1800’s as a getaway for wealthy mining tycoons. Tours run daily from May through September. Tickets start at $20 for adults, $10 for children.
 
Soaking in Hot Springs at Iron Mountain Hot Springs (Glenwood Springs): The Iron Mountain Hot Springs caters to all who appreciate relaxing with a warm soak surrounded by mountain views. Glenwood Springs’ newest hot spot offers 16 natural mineral hot springs soaking pools and a freshwater family pool with a jetted spa. All are located alongside the Colorado River with Rocky Mountain views that soothe and inspire.
 
Stand-Up Paddleboarding and Kayaking Adventures with Limelight Hotel Aspen (Aspen): Guests of the modern luxury Limelight Hotel will get the chance to go on a guided lesson with Charlie MacArthur, founder of Aspen Kayak Academy. This three-hour lesson is accompanied with a picturesque tour of the Nature Preserve located on the east side of Aspen. The paddle boarding and kayaking package will be offered every other Wednesday in May through September.
 
Stand-Up Paddleboard Rentals and Lessons with Rocky Mountain Paddleboard (Denver, Boulder and Longmont): Rocky Mountain Paddleboard is offering stand-up paddleboard rentals, adventure trips, full-moon paddles, and paddleboard rentals starting at $20 for one hour and $30 for two hours. Beginner lessons are also offered.
 
Water Activities in Grand Lake (Grand Lake): Colorado’s deepest and largest natural lake, Grand Lake lies just one mile from the western entrance to Rocky Mountain National Park. From swimming at the beach, fishing or sightseeing at Cascade Falls, activities in Grand Lake won’t fall short on the list of water activities this summer. Nearby Lake Granby also offers delightfully cool water and boating opportunities.
 
Waterfalls at Rifle Falls State Park (Rifle): On a hot summer day, the mist that drifts from the exhilarating gush of water over 70-foot-high limestone cliffs and the dark caves below them in Rifle Falls State Park are a sublime natural air conditioner. These geologic attractions near Rifle draw photographers, spelunkers, fishers and campers to this singular state park.
 
Women’s Fly Fishing Clinic with Breckenridge Outfitters (Breckenridge): Breckenridge Outfitters, a local fly fishing adventure shop, is offering clinics this summer that are focused on getting women anglers out in the white waters with tight lines. The 2018 Women’s Fly Fishing Clinic class schedule has four scheduled clinics that will take place from May through August. Rates start at $129 per angler.