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Halloween is not the devil’s birthday

Several years ago, a woman at our church told our oldest son, Ryley, that it was bad to celebrate Halloween because it is the devil’s birthday.

Quickly:

1. It is not the devil’s birthday.
2. It is not the devil’s birthday.
3. It is not the devil’s birthday.

We strongly assured him our family wouldn’t celebrate such a thing, and Halloween was not an evil day. I was furious that an adult would tell a lie like that to a little boy, especially at church. I really don’t care if she doesn’t observe Halloween, but she had no right to stomp all over one of our wholesome family traditions.

It is true that in recent years, Halloween has been highjacked by adults as an excuse to dress like prostitutes and party like it’s A.D. 59 in Rome. Images of death and horror are replacing good clean apple-bobbing fun. Why?

Because we are letting it happen. 

I think when families give up on Halloween, we shouldn’t be surprised to see something ugly fill the void. When most of us were kids, we still roamed our neighborhoods on October 31st. Huge packs of flashlight-waving kids went door-to-door together. Neighbors actually saw each other, thanked each other, and marveled at all the Bionic Women and Six Million Dollar Men there were that year. We returned home exhausted. After dumping our sugary loot on the dining room table, we got to pick one piece to eat before bed. What a night!

Now? Not.

It’s malls, church basements, school gyms. It’s still community, but the adventure, the darkness, the walking in the snap of October night, the thrill, the approach to the house, the ringing of the bell, the anticipation, the opening, the neighbor smiling, the bowl, the unison of Trick-or-Treat, the little ones following with small shouts a second or two behind, the laughter, the thank you, the walking back down the steps, the admiration of the jack-o-lanterns, the comparisons, the decisions regarding left or right, north or south, the tired walk back home, the inspection, the trades, the falling into bed, the costumes in a heap on the floor, the talk of next year, I’m gonna be a cowboy.

All that? Gone, in the name of being safe from a threat which really isn’t there. Unless you let it move in.

Not on our street. We are taking Halloween back.

 

 

How Much Time on a Device Should Your Kid Have? Part II

Medical and academic professionals agree that excessive screen time for children is unhealthy, for several reasons. In recent studies, psychologists have observed that too much screen time, in fact, is dangerous for kids. Excessive screen time has led to unhealthy attachments to technology. The overuse of devices and technology have been linked to impairing the growth of a child’s brain, which happens to very impressionable during development.

Development Disabilities:

  • The ability to focus
  • The ability to concentrate
  • Being attentive in general situations/classrooms
  • The ability to sense other people’s attitudes
  • Communication styles/techniques
  • Building vocabulary

Between birth to three-years old the developing brain is highly sensitive to surrounding environments. Unfortunately, a child has their brain consistently locked on a device, it’s difficult for them to engage and process their environments.

Picture this, your kids’ eyes locked in place (the screen of the device) while the brain is sending signal after signal. At that moment dopamine (which is the feel-good chemical made by the brain) is being manufactured, sending the “I’m happy” signal, ultimately pushing your kid to go further into the technology in front of them.

The intense visualization floods the brain’s activity causing it to become more engaged. Eventually, adapting the brain to heightened stimuli. Over time, just like any other substance, the high or feel good feeling can cause a media dependency.     

 Negative Impacts of Excessive Screen Time

  • Mental Health Problems
  • Physical Health Issues
  • Vision Problems
  • Poor Relationships, communication problems, and social disconnection
  • Cognitive Skill Development
  • Academic Problems and Learning Challenges
  • EMF Exposure (Exposure to the devices themselves)

These developmental components are far too important to the long-term success of a child, just to ignore. Some kids are more sensitive to developing an unhealthy dependency towards electronics and media than others. That’s why they encourage screen time limits.

How Much Time on a Device Should Your Kid Have

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recently published new media recommendations for each age group in children. The AAP stated, “Problems begin when the use of technology displaces physical activity, hands on exploration and face to face social interaction in the real world, which is critical to learning.” It’s also been seen to cause problems in their sleep patterns.

AAP Recommends:

  • Kids under 18 months: avoid screen time
  • 18-24 months: introduced with a parent and of high-quality programming. Watch it with them to help them have better processing of the content
  • 2-5 years: limit screen time to 1 hour a day of high-quality programming, parents should co-view the media to explain the programming to their kids and explain how to apply the content to the world around them
  • 6 and older: place consistent limits on screen time/media use, and make sure it does not replace adequate sleep, physical activity, and other behaviors essential to development and health

It may be helpful to determine what is healthy for your family as whole. Identify how much device time is acceptable for everyone in the house. Modeling strong healthy habits to our kids is providing them with the tools they’ll need to be the best versions of themselves in the future.

Check-out Part 1 of this 3-part series for additional information on “The Effects of Technology on Children” and stay tuned for Part 3 next week!

Nicole is a thirty-something mother to four amazing children. They are third generation Colorado Natives, and proud of it. Her life revolves around raising strong, self-confident children. Their family is deep in Colorado adventures and they love sharing their experiences with anyone who will listen. She authors a parenting lifestyle blog at Keepcalmitslife.org, where she focuses on empowering mothers to not be perfect, but simply parent through learning and love.

Deals: Halloween night, free days and more

Oh, Halloween. As much fun as it is to dress up in costumes, it can be a really expensive holiday. I spent $40 on candy (I live in a particularly kid-friendly neighborhood). That doesn’t count the decorations and/or any of our costumes. But there are also some great ways to enjoy the night and get great deals too. See our list below.
 
Halloween Night Deals.
·          Wicked Wednesday at Outlets at Castle Rock. From 5 p.m .to 7 p.m. on Halloween night join the outlets for a kid friendly night of face painting, magic show, costume contest, trick-or-treating and more.
·          IHOP Scary Face Pancake. Kids 12 and under can get a free pancake decorated as a scary face at IHOP.
·          Baskin Robbins. Because Halloween is on the 31st the year-long promotion of a scoop of Baskin Robbins ice cream for just $1.50 is available.
·          BJ’s Restaurant. I don’t love deals on just desserts (because really, most people won’t go to a restaurant for just a dessert or it requires some other larger purchase like an entrée). But BJ’s is offering their Pizookie for just $3 through Halloween.
·          Chipotle. Grab a boo-rito (includes burrito, bowl, salad or order of tacos) for just $4 from 3 p.m. to closing when you wear  your costume.
·          Krispy Kreme. Get a free donut when you wear your costume into Krispy Kreme.
·          Free Ride (literally). If you are out trick-or-drinking don’t add driving to the mix. Get a free ride (cab, uber, or lyft) thanks to Sawaya Law Firm. (details here on how to be reimbursed).
·          Not FREE but FUN – both Papa John’s and Papa Murphy’s have Jack O’ Lantern pizzas through Halloween.
 
 
Mauzie’s Jewelry. Mauzie’s Fine Jewelry of Centennial, your one-stop local jewelry shop, and they’re having their annual open house on Nov. 3 from 10 .m.-7 p.m. They offer custom designs, jewelry from major brands, and high-quality repair. Enjoy 20% everything in store along with giveaways, libations and fine jewelry. Feel free to bring your gang…the more the merrier.
Free Tacos. Taco Bell loves their baseball promotions and so do we. Even though we are sad that our Rockies were not in the World Series – there is something else we CAN celebrate. Yes. Free Doritos Loco Taco on November 1 from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m.  at Taco Bell. Thank you Mookie Betts, for stealing a base during the “Steal a Base, Steal a Taco” promotion.
 
Denver Arts WeekPlan ahead for Denver Arts Week on November 2-10 (yep, we know that’s really more than a week). The nine-day event celebrates all things art with over 300 events at art galleries, museums, theaters, and concert halls. For more details on all the events visit https://www.denver.org/denver-arts-week/.
 
National Sandwich Day. National Sandwich Day is Friday, Nov 3. Quiznos will be celebrating with an 8-in sub for just $5 with valid coupon. Coupon will be provided to all Toasty Points mobile loyalty app members. Download the app early to get the deal! When you download the app you will receive a free four-inch sub with any purchase. Available on iOS and Android devices at quiznos.com/toastypoints.
 
Shred415. Shred415 is coming to Denver (6305 East Hampden Ave). Get an exclusive first look at the studio and a free workout. The programs are based on four 15-minute intervals. The fun getst started on Nov 2 at 10 a.m. with a free community workout. Plus, while you’re thre – join the party including snacks, drinks, 30% off retail, giveaways, goodie bags and of course a kick-butt workout.
 
Breckenridge Brewery. The most wonderful time of the year is right around the corner, and Breckenridge Brewery is here to help you get into the holiday spirit! Join us on Saturday, November 3 for a family-friendly afternoon featuring the season’s first batch of Christmas Ale, Breck’s beloved holiday beer combining rich chocolate and caramel flavors with the spicy edge of Mt. Hood and Chinook hops. Highlights of the event will include: Unlimited hot cocoa and cider; Live music by Mark Hudson; Carolers; Holiday card photo booth; Crafts for the kids; Ice carving demonstration. In addition to the festive activities, the first 30 guests to purchase a 12-pack and mini keg of the Christmas Ale can select a special gift from under the Breck Brew Christmas tree!
 
Free Days. We are super lucky that we get to see our fine institutions for free (with a few tax pennies). This week there are a bunch of freebies you can take advantage of with your family.
·          Friday, Nov. 2 (5 p.m. to 9 p.m.) – Museo de las Americas – Free Admission
·          Premiere Night of Dia de los Muertos Festival at the Art District on Santa Fe include free screening of Coco on Thursday, Nov. 1 at 6:30 p.m., art exhibits, face painting, and a procession honoring loved ones will be held on Friday, Nov. 2.
·          Friday, Nov. 2 (5 p.m. to 8 p.m.) – Clyfford Still Museum Free Friday Night
·          Saturday, Nov. 3 –  Denver Art Museum Free Day
·          Saturday, Nov. 3 – Denver Botanic Gardens Free Day
·          Saturday, Nov. 3 – Counterterrorism Education Learning Lab (CELL) Free Day
·          Tuesday, Nov. 6 – Chatfield Farms Free Day
·          Tuesday, Nov. 6 (4 p.m .to 8 p.m.) – Children’s Museum of Denver Free Evening

Colorado Family Ski Guide 2018/19

Mile High Mamas is a top resource for planning Colorado family ski/ride vacations. A few years ago, we launched the Colorado Family Ski Guide that focuses exclusively on families–from daily lift ticket prices to the cost of childcare to where to get the best deals. But we’ve taken it one step further! Click the hyperlink for each resort name below for more in-depth details including additional deals, at what ages kids ski free, lessons, family-friendly activities, area attractions for playtime off the slopes and more.

This is just the basic information you’ll need to get started. To give you a true taste of Colorado’s winter, follow our adventures as we visit area resorts this season in our ski section and look for the momreview button below for our fun insider tips and informative narratives.

Colorado Family Ski Directory 2018/19

Resort Adult Kids Childcare Ski/Ride School Deals
Arapahoe Basin Ski Area $105 $85 (ages 15-18) $49 (ages 6-14); Kids 5 and under ski free every day. No. Kids class lessons start at $140 for half-day, $165 for full-day. Available for kids of all ability levels, age 3 and up. Arapahoebasin.com. Check out their Snowsports and hot deals pages.
Aspen Highlands $159 $106; kids 6 and under ski free No on-site childcare  Ski and ride school for children ages 5-6 and 7-12. Rates start at $230. aspensnowmass.com; Kids Ski Free program for kids ages 7-12. Details:  (800) 290-1326

 

Aspen Mountain $159 $106; kids 6 and under ski free No on-site childcare Private children’s ski and snowboard lessons offered on Aspen Mountain. Rates start at $615 for a half-day. aspensnowmass.com;

Kids Ski Free program for kids ages 7-12. Details:  (800) 290-1326

Beaver Creek Resort

momreview

$161*  $111*  Half-day $125; full-day $163 (2018 prices; 2019 not yet released) Starts at $229+ beavercreek.com
Breckenridge Ski Area

momreview

$147*  $96 On-site childcare starts at $128.  (2018 prices; 2019 not yet released)  Starting at $199.* breckenridge.com
Buttermilk

momreview

$159* $106; kids 6 and under ski free No on-site childcare  Starting at $230 aspensnowmass.com; Kids Ski Free program for kids ages 7-12. Details:  (800) 290-1326
Crested Butte Mountain Resort

momreview

$102 Kids 6 and under ski free, Child (7-12): $59  There is a nursery for 2 months to 3 years old. Full-day starts at $135. Group lesson with lunch starts at $170.  skicb.com deals. Kids ski free Nov. 22-Dec. 13
Cooper | Chicago Ridge

 

 $58  $35; kids 5 and under ski free  Childcare $15/hr; $49 for half-day;  $89 for full-day  Child (5-12) all-day Panda Patrol group lessons start at $129   Deals offered at local rental shops, lodges, and grocery stores. Best deals are at skicooper.com.
Copper Mountain Resort $107* Starting at $82. Children 5 and under ski/ride for free. Belly Button Babies & Bakery for daily childcare. Kid’s Night Out is a FREE 3-hour childcare on the condition parents spend at least $30 at the resort. Starting at $239. Pre-purchase most lessons online and save 20%! Purchase your tickets at CopperColorado.com and save up to 53% on window prices. You’ll also find lodging steals and vacation packages. 
Eldora Mountain Resort

momreview

TBD TBD No on-site child care Group lesson starts at TBD   Eldora.com 
Keystone Resort

 

 $121* Starting around $70.*  Starts at $125 for full day  Pricing starts at $189  Keystoneresort.com
Loveland Ski Area

momreview

$65 $31 – peak child (6-14) rate. Children 5 & under are free Full day with lunch and two snacks is $80. Half day (morning only) with one snack is $65. Hourly rate is $20/hour. Full day lesson with lunch and lift ticket is $129.  skiloveland.com;
lovelandreservations.co
m; liftopia.com. Any child (4-14) that completes three full lesson packages is eligible for a FREE season pass. 
Monarch Mountain

momreview

$89 Teen (13-15) $59, Junior (7-12) $43, Children under 6, Free The Children’s Center Rates: $50 half-day; $90 all-day Group ski lessons: $149 Monarch ski packages with lodging participants. skimonarch.com

 

Powderhorn Mountain Resort $71 Youth (13-17) $60; Junior (7-12) $35; Child (6 & Under) $18

(prices not yet updated for 2018/19)

No on-site childcare Children’s Learning Center starts at age 3.

Group lessons start at ages 5-7, with prices starting at $78 for a half-day lesson.

powderhorn.com
Purgatory Resort $89 Teen (13-17) $70; Child (6-12) $60; Children 7 & under FREE Cost: Half-day $70; full-day $93 Half-day lessons $49 (lesson only)
Full Day Packages 6-12 year olds $89 (lesson, lift ticket, rentals (including helmet) & lunch)  
Purgatory Resort’s website features deals on lodging packages that include discounts on lift tickets. PurgatoryResort.com
Ski Granby Ranch $78 $44. Kids 5 and under ski free No on-site childcare. Starting at $189. GranbyRanch.com
Snowmass

momreview

$159 $106 The Treehouse Kids Adventure Center. Rates start at $174. Offered for kids ages 2-4, 5-6 and 7-12. Rates start at $230 for full day. aspensnowmass.com; Kids Ski Free program for kids ages 7-12. Details:  (800) 290-1326
Steamboat Ski Area

momreview

$149* Child (ages 5-12): $99*.  Kids’ Vacation Center full-day $145. Kids’ Vacation Center lessons start at age 3. Prices start at $179 with advanced online purchase. www.steamboat.com or call 800-922-2722
Sunlight Mountain Resort

 

momreview

$65 $45; 5 and under ski free Childcare is $100 full day; $55 half-day; $25/hourly. Regular ski school: 2 hour lesson, lift, rentals is $105.  Kids 12 and under ski free. Affordable Ski, Swim Stay Packages with Glenwood Hot Springs.

SunlightMTN.com

Telluride Ski Resort $139* $83* (ages 6-12); Kids 5 and under ski free  For infants and toddlers, half day is $110 and a full day is $150. Ski/Ride school starts at $215 for a lesson, lift ticket and lunch for ages 3 to 14.  tellurideskiresort.com
Vail  $161 $111. Kids ages 4 and under ski free.  Small World Nursery offers daycare for children 2 months-6 years starting at $158. The Vail Ski & Snowboard School lessons start at $232. Visit Vail.com and purchase tickets 7 days in advance for best prices.
Winter Park Resort

momreview

$134 Approx. $94. Kids 4 and under ski free. Childcare for kids 2 months to 6 years. Full-day: $134 when you pre-book. Full day lessons for kids (ages 3-14), including lunch, are $179. Call Winter Park Central Reservations for latest deals and special promos.  800-729-7907. winterparkresort.com
Wolf Creek Ski Area  $72 $37. Kids 5 and under $6 No Starting at $85 for full day (4 hours) Visit wolfcreekski.com.

*Note: Information and prices are subject to change and most resorts offer discounted rates if you purchase online seven days in advance. Many resorts do not publish a set lift ticket price. When compiling our list, we used the date January 12, 2019 as our base to compare prices.

Featured image: Loveland Ski Area, Dustin Schaefer

What women and men need to know about breast cancer

Breast cancer affects a lot of woman and their families. 9NEWS medical expert Dr. Comilla Sasson talks about the disease and ways to detect and treat it.

Holiday volunteer events for the whole family

Volunteers of America is holiday central with lots of ways to give back! Here are a few volunteer opportunities for the whole family:

Rake Up Colorado
The Safety of Seniors Handyman Program invites Volunteers to join us for Rake Up Colorado!    In total, volunteers will rake at least 250 yards for seniors residing in Adams, Arapahoe, Denver, Douglas and Jefferson counties. Come join us for an unbeLEAFable event! Sign up here.
When: Saturday, November 10th 
Where: At a seniors home in your area!
 
Deliver Holiday Meals on Wheels
Meals on Wheels delivers holiday meals on Thanksgiving and Christmas Day. Volunteers are needed to help deliver holiday meals and meals on the days around the holidays. Contact Michelle at mtrejo@voacolorado.org or 303-297-0408.
 
Thanksgiving Dinner Baskets
Volunteers needed to help hand out Turkey Dinner Baskets to families on the Monday before Thanksgiving. This event is suitable for all ages. Some positions are outside or near open doors. Most positions require standing and lifting. Click here to RSVP.
When: Monday, November, 19th (shifts available all day)
Where: VOA Mission, 2877 Lawrence St. in Denver
 
Christmas Dinner Baskets and Santa Shop
Volunteers need to help hand out Christmas Dinner Baskets and presents to families on the Monday before Christmas. This event is suitable for all ages. Some positions are outside or near open doors. Most positions require standing and lifting.
The following Tuesday we will be distributing gifts to families in need and will also need volunteers for that. 
When: Monday, December 17th and Tuesday, December 18th (shifts available all day)
Where: VOA Mission, 2877 Lawrence St. in Denver
 
Become a Snow Buddy
Keep a limited income senior safe by shoveling his or her sidewalks throughout the snowy seasons. We make a match between a client and a volunteer who live within two miles of each other. Then, when there is a snowfall of 2 or more inches, we ask the volunteers to shovel the sidewalk and walkway for their assigned senior within 24 hours. Find out more details.
 
Be Santa for a Family in Need!

 You can help a family in need for the holidays through our Adopt-a-Family program! You will be able to select the family size you want to adopt, be given their wishlist and then can go buy items for the whole family. This is a great program for families, corporations, groups and indivduals to give back. Sign up by clicking the button below or email Nichole Rogers at nrogers@voacolorado.org.

9 Easy and Scary Halloween Party Food Ideas

Halloween is an amazing time to have fun with family and friends with decorations and food. To save you the time and hassle, don’t miss these fun and easy Halloween food ideas to get your spook on.

1. Halloween Party Food-Ghastly Candy Bark

Just in case you don’t get enough chocolate in your Halloween haul, this Ghost in your Candy bar is going to be a center of attraction whenever you make them.

Halloween party Food

2. Halloween Spooky Spider Deviled Eggs

With just some boiled eggs and black olives, you can have these beautiful and scary spider eggs. Don’t tell anyone they’re healthy!

Halloween party Food

3. Frightful Halloween fruit kebabs recipe

Another fun and healthy recipe, these fruit kabobs are perfect for class parties!

Halloween party Food

4. Halloween Party Food-Brownie Bites

What would Halloween be without a pumping graveyard? Darling and super easy idea.

Halloween party Food

5. Pretzel Witch Wart Fingers

The warts are really wait make these fun pretzels over the top!

halloween party food

6. Halloween Party Food-Witch’s Broom Sticks

This is one of the cutest witch’s broom. Make sure you make lots of these because they will disappear very quickly. Pretzel and cheese, what a combo!

Halloween party Food

 

7. Monster Eye Balls Crispiness Bites

Is there any easier treat to make than Rice Krispie treats?

Halloween party Food

8. Skeleton Brain Dip

It’s almost too cute to eat, right? But just remind everyone they’re devouring brains and it will fit right in with your Halloween party!

Halloween party Food

9.Jack Skellington Oreo Pops

Never thought that cute little Oreos can be transformed into such a scary pop.

Halloween Party Food

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How to Spark Creativity at a Young Age

Children need to express themselves through creative outlets like drawing, singing and playing pretend to stimulate brain development. We’re not talking baby modern art prodigies here — simple games and activities can inspire curiosity in young minds. Being creative encourages kids to take risks and cultivate their personality which helps them feel more confident as they grow. Set them on the path for success young with these tips to spark creativity.

From birth to twelve months, your child will be creating millions of neural connections each day and you can promote this growth by engaging in fun activities.

  1. Encourage your child to explore your face. Name the different parts of your face as he touches them to help him learn.
  2. When you’re child encounters a toy or object, does she touch it? Shake it? Bang it? Taste it? Talk to her about what she is doing, “You shook the rattle and made a sound.”
  3. Your child may not be walking or talking yet, but with your help, they can definitely boogie so turn on some music.

Between 12 months and three years old, children start use tools around them to engage with their world.

  1. Writing starts with scribbling! Encourage your child to draw with crayons or even with sticks in the sand. Check out this video to learn why it’s important.
  2. Collect a variety of lids, plates, or boxes of different shapes. Sit at the table with your child on your lap, and show him how to trace one of the objects with his finger. Then, give him a crayon or pencil to trace around the object onto a piece of paper.
  3. Playing dress up lets your child make decisions and have fun. This activity will build your child’s self-esteem as you accept and encourage her choices.
  4. Teach your child the names of body parts in both Spanish and English with this fun song.
  5. Children learn about themselves and the world through open-ended play – play that doesn’t have rules or adult reasons. One way to support this is to have a box of random objects available for your child to use. You can make a trip to the thrift store, trade materials with another family, save wrapping paper and bows, collect rocks and leaves from the outdoors – the options are endless.
  6. Tape a large piece of paper to the table and let your child draw with a crayon while you talk to him about what he creates. Even imitate what he draws–if he draws a red curving line, do the same.

Imagination and creativity are a huge part of your child’s preschool years.

  1. Expect your child to tell stories and sing songs as a means to communicate and navigate the world. This video clues you in on all the exciting milestones they’ll be reaching.
  2. Help your child develop creative fluency and flexible thinking. One fun way to do that is to take an ordinary household object, like an empty paper towel roll or wooden spoon, and have your child think of all the possible things that could be made out of that item. For example, an empty paper towel roll could become
  • A telescope
  • A magic wand
  • A tunnel for toy cars to drive through
  • What else?
  1. You can do many things to encourage a child’s natural creative spirit. Support their curiosity: if a child asks a question and you don’t know the answer (or even if you do), ask the child what they think the answer might be and why; then find out together.
  2. Help frame “mistakes” as “opportunities to learn.” A child will have much more resilience in school if they know that they will sometimes make mistakes along the way as part of learning.

Get more parenting tips, games, and other resources, based on the age of your child, sent right to your cell phone 2-5 times a week for FREE with Bright by Text. Text BRIGHT to 274448 to sign up!

*Message and data rates may apply. Text STOP to 274448 to stop. Text HELP to 274448 for help.

31 fun events in Denver for Halloween week

Halloween fun is in full swing! Don’t miss the  Great Pumpkin Haul, Trick or Treat at the Firehouse, Munchkin Masquerade and Family Fall Festival. See our event calendar for full listings.

5th Annual Kids Halloween Parade & Party at Denver Union Station
Oct 25, 5:00 – 8:00 pm
Head to Denver Union Station this October for two favorite downtown Halloween events: the 5th annual Kids Halloween Parade & Party on Thursday, Oct. 25th and the Terminal Bar Spooky Speakeasy on Friday, Oct. 26th.
 All of Denver’s little superheroes & princesses are invited to take part in the BOOnion Station Kids Halloween Parade & Party on Thursday, Oct. 25th from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.  This FREE community celebration will feature trick-or-treating in the merchant shops, mini-train rides, balloon artists, face painting and more.

Trick or Treat Street at Children’s Museum of Denver at Marsico Campus
Oct 26 – 28
For three days, the Children’s Museum will host a spooktacular wonderland of fun, full of straw bales, pumpkins and delicious fall treats. Families can march from one Treat House to the next and collect goodies, create Halloween crafts, meet special characters, play carnival games and much more! Learn more.

Piff the Magic Dragon at Comedy Works
Oct 26 – 28
Think Larry David in a dragon suit performing jaw-dropping magic tricks, with the World’s First Magic Performing Chihuahua (Mr Piffles), that’s Piff the Magic Dragon! With over 40 million YouTube hits to his name, Piff has performed to fans all over the world. He stole the show on Penn & Teller: Fool Us and became the breakout star of season 10 of NBC’s America’s Got Talent. *All Ages Family Shows on Saturday & Sunday 3:00pm.

Free night at Clyfford Still Museum
Oct 26, 5:00 pm – 8:00 pm
In appreciation of the citizens who support the Scientific and Cultural Facilities District (SCFD), and in the spirit of community engagement, the Clyfford Still Museum offers free admission on select days throughout the year.

Enchanted Hollows
Oct 26 – 27
An eerie nighttime experience designed for families with children 8 and over that brings Halloween story and lore to life. Enchanted Hollows features Woodland Hollow, an immersive night walk, Jack-o-lantern sculptures and spooky décor; seasonal foods, beer, wine and cocktails; animal meet-and greets and demonstrations; and trick or treat candy stations.

Boo at the Zoo at Denver Zoo
Oct 27 – 28
The 34rd annual Boo At The Zoo, presented by Your Hometown Toyota Stores, offers creepy crawly animal demonstrations, trick-or-treat stations and exciting, family-friendly entertainment under the canopy of the beautiful fall foliage of Denver Zoo. Boo at the Zoo is included in the price of regular Zoo admission, or covered under membership, as applicable.

Caffeine and Chrome
Oct 27, 9:00 am – 12:00 pm
Cruise in to Gateway Classic Cars every last Saturday of the month for Cars & Coffee.

LEGO Building Workshop at History Colorado Center
Oct 27, 9:00 am – 10:00 pm
Build (and keep!) your own Colorado-style LEGO® set, then take a special guided museum tour based on your creation. On October 27th, we’ll build the LEGO Creator Vampire and Bat Kit. The kit features a Vampire with plus a small pet bat with movable wings. The set will take about 30 minutes to build and is best for ages 7-12.

The Great Pumpkin Haul
Oct 27, 9:30 am – 2:00 pm
The Great Pumpkin Haul is about a 2-mile jaunt through woods and open fields, over creeks and hay bales, all throughout the scenic Denver Botanic Gardens at Chatfield. There is a catch though: you will be covering those two miles carrying your very own personal pumpkin! That’s right. Before the “Haul” you will have a chance to go pick out your very own pumpkin from the Garden’s Pumpkin patch (the pumpkin is included with event entry, up to a basketball size). We will weigh it and mark it and you will be ready to go!

Broncos Trick-or-treat at Sports Authority Field at Mile High
Oct 27, 10:00 am – 12:00 pm
Stop by the Broncos Stadium at Mile High for a day of Trick-or-Treat fun! 3 SESSIONS: Session 1: 10:00 AM – 11:30 PM Session 2: 11:45 AM – 1:00 PM Session 3: 1:15 PM – 3:00 PM Participants will have an opportunity to trick-or-treat throughout the rooms of the stadium. Photograph opportunities with Miles the Mascot and Denver Broncos Cheerleaders.

Trick or Treat Train at the Colorado Railroad Museum
Oct 27 – 28
It’s full steam ahead for tricks, treats and trains at the Colorado Railroad Museum! The Railroad Halloween Town is a safe place to enjoy Trick or Treating. Catch a ride behind a historic Denver & Rio Grande Steam Locomotive in vintage passenger cars hosted by conductors and engineers in full costume.

Hauntings at the Hangar at Wings Over the Rockies Air & Space Museum
Oct 27, 12:00 pm – 6:00 pm
This Halloween, Wings Over the Rockies Air & Space Museum will be transformed into a fun, spooky hangar filled with games, costumes, sci-fi characters, and more!

Historical Craft Society: Pumpkin Carving at History Colorado Center
Oct 27, 1:30 pm – 3:30 pm
Be ready to light up your jack-o-lantern on Halloween with master pumpkin carver John Bardeen! John is a passionate crafter who’s been carving for 65 years. You’ll learn the carving technique invented by his family as you use tools created for their Denver-based company, Grampa Bardeen’s. You bring the pumpkin and the desire to learn from a master carver, and we provide the rest.

Trick or Treat at the Firehouse at Denver Firefighters Museum
Oct 27, 5:00 – 8:00 pm
Kid-friendly activities throughout the Denver Firefighters Museum, including trick or treat stations, Halloween-themed crafts, and a fun, engaging scavenger hunt. Also, meet author Cindy Brick and check out her new book “Ghosts and Legends of Colorado’s Front Range.” She will be doing readings throughout the night and signing her book. It will be for sale in the gift shop.

Colorado Rapids vs FC Dallas at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park
Oct 28, 2:30 pm – 4:30 pm
The Colorado Rapids take on FC Dallas. Come and be a part of the action!

Halloween Spooktacular! at Boettcher Concert Hall in the Denver Performing Arts Complex
Oct 28, 2:30 pm – 4:00 pm
It’s a spooktacular event for all boys and ghouls! This family-favorite concert features music from Harry Potter™ films and more! Costumes are encouraged — the best of the bunch will be invited to show off their creations on stage for the whole crowd! It’s a goulish-good time for every little monster and their mummy.

A Night at the Theatre: An American Teen Story
Oct 28, 5:00 – 8:00 pm
The Urban Leadership Foundation of Colorado in conjunction with S.T.R.I.V.E. brings light to local teen’s stories with: A Night at the Theater – The Story of an American Teen. On October 28th 2018, at the historic Cleo Parker Robinson Theater, the curtain will rise and light will be shed on the challenges real teens face in a play written by, produced by, and starring teens. In addition, our young actors and actresses will share the stage with a special celebrity guest!

Inside the Orchestra’s Tiny Tots Performances
Oct 29, 9:30 am – 1:30 pm
Tiny Tots gets children truly inside the orchestra by seating the audience on the floor and surrounding them with a 30+ piece orchestra and performers. Designed for children six and under, this 45-minute program gives young ones the chance to interact with the music and learn about the instruments in the process. Tiny Tots audiences receive an up-close-and-personal performance in a casual, fun environment.

Wonderful RiNo at History Colorado Center
Oct 29, 10:00 am – 3:00 pm
It’s natural for neighborhoods to change over time. Once-prosperous areas fall on hard times, perhaps to be discovered and reimagined anew. Few of Denver’s neighborhoods epitomize this phenomenon as well as River North, known today as “RiNo.” Once residential, then industrial, then peopled by artists and empty spaces, today this trendy spot close to downtown has energy bursting from its seams, with epic changes still in store. Join us as we explore RiNo by foot and by bus, learning what was, what’s been lost, and what’s coming up for the rhinoceros next door.

Denver Nuggets vs. New Orleans Pelicans at Pepsi Center
Oct 29, 7:00 – 9:30 pm
The Denver Nuggets face off against the New Orleans Pelicans!

Munchkin Masquerade at Pearl Street Mall
Oct 31, 3:00 – 6:00 pm
Each Halloween Downtown Boulder is invaded by tiny ghosts & goblins, dinosaurs & dragons, fairies & princes, super heroes & animals of every size for trick-or-treating at local businesses along Pearl Street and throughout Downtown Boulder.

Family Fall Festival at Calvary Chapel Cherry Creek
Oct 31, 5:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Join us at Calvary Chapel Cherry Creek for our annual Family Fall Festival!  You will enjoy tons of carnival-style games and bounce houses, face painting and other entertainment, food, Legends Coffee, Leon’s Popcorn, and of COURSE enough candy to fill a horse trough (seriously — you will want to bring a bucket or a bag to fill!), all in a safe, family-friendly environment.

Last Stop at the Highlands Ranch Mansion
Oct 31, 7:00– 10:00 pm
End your Halloween night at the Highlands Ranch Mansion and Historic Park. Free outdoor-only event for all ages. Enjoy music on the veranda, a trick-or-treat stop for kids, adult beverages at the cash bar, and the unique ambiance of Historic Park. This is a free, rain-or-shine outdoor event, and no reservations are required. If you’d prefer to see the inside of the Mansion, check out our website calendar and visit during one of our many open hours days in October.

Ongoing Events and Exhibits

Haunted Field of Screams
Sept 21 – Oct 31
 On Friday, September 21, the Haunted Field of Screams (HFOS) opens as an all-new scream park for the 2018 season. Built into a 40-acre corn field, HFOS will deliver a daunting indoor/outdoor haunt experience only 15 minutes from downtown Denver at 10451 McKay Road, Thornton, CO.  Backing the famously haunted Riverdale Road, the scream park offers four contrasting interactive haunt experiences that prey on individual’s innermost fears: Dead Man’s Maze, Zombie Paintball Massacre, CarnEvil and Condemned.

Corn Maze at Botanic Gardens Chatfield
Sept 21 – Oct 28
Wind your way through seven acres of corn. The maze can be viewed from two 15-foot tall illuminated bridges. Visitors under the age of 10 can explore the corn mini-maze.
In an effort to reduce waste, printed maps will not be available at the mazes.

Maize in the City
Sept 28– Oct 31
Maize in the City is Colorado’s favorite rural fall event featuring convenient, fun attractions for the whole family to enjoy. Get lost in your own backyard as you navigate your way through the 20-acre corn maze or mini maze. Find your perfect pumpkin in our easy-pick field. Locally grown by the Maize in the City farmer, choose from 15 variety of pumpkins and gourds. Launch ears of corn 50+ feet across the field with our all-new corn launchers; have your little ones ride through the field on the barrel train; take a turn on our obstacle bouncer. All new this year, bounce above the corn stalks on our pumpkin bounce pillow – the largest in the state! Visit and feed animals in our petting zoo. Swim through our free corn kernel box as the all-new corn kernel waterfall pours over or have your kiddos take a turn conquering the free playground area. Experience hours of family fun just 15 minutes outside of downtown Denver.

Fright Fest at Elitch Gardens Theme & Water Park
Sept 28 – Oct 28
In October, Elitch Gardens transforms into Family By Day and Fright By Night, plus all your favorite Theme Park rides. Don’t miss out on five weekends of scary fun at Colorado’s largest Halloween event!

BUGTOBER at the Butterfly Pavilion
October 1-31
Overwhelming pain, paralysis and death in a matter of minutes – real peril lurks with the fangs, barbs and stingers of the spineless. Move over sharks – these animals and plants give danger a whole new meaning! Safely see these toxic terrors at Colorado’s Butterfly Pavilion during BUGTOBER, a Halloween-themed event where their most intimidating invertebrates take center stage.

Mindbender Mansion
July 20 – January 6, 2019
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 opened at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science on July 20.

Denver Art Museum
There are several family-friendly exhibits at the DAM including Stampede: Animals in Art on view at the museum through May 19, 2019.  A Walk in the Woods is still on view, which coincides with Stampede, and includes animal-themed artmaking activities and after their summer break, Foxy & Shmoxy: Art Detectives, are back.  Children have been really loving the gallery games and book in the exhibition Ganesha: The Playful Protector. Their Learning & Engagment department created a children’s book specially to be used while visiting this exhibition with children, and don’t miss Past the Tangled Present. Go to   https://denverartmuseum.org/ for more information.

Zoom In: The Centennial State in 100 Objects
Nov. 21, 2017–Dec. 31, 2018
History Colorado created a brand-new space, the Tim Schultz Gallery, to house this 3,700-square-foot exhibit of 100 objects, each of which had a role in shaping history.

Does Your Child Care Provider Practice Safe Sleep? Tips That Could Save Your Child’s Life

Tragically, approximately 50 infants in Colorado die unexpectedly each year while they sleep. Most of these sleep-related infant deaths are preventable. The good news is there are simple steps you can take to protect your baby.

October is Infant Safe Sleep Awareness Month. As a mom, an a family in-home child care provider and an instructor for other early childhood care providers, I want to share with you some tips for talking with your child care providers about safe sleep for babies.

The State of Colorado has requirements for infant sleep in licensed child care facilities. And, of course, most child care providers know the latest safe sleep guidelines and practice them diligently. Still, it’s always good to have a conversation with your caregiver about safe sleep practices.

It’s important for everyone who cares for your child to be on the same page in relation to safe sleep because if practices vary from home to child care, the risk to your baby is multiplied – not only due to potentially unsafe sleep environments, but also due to possible disruptions in your infant’s sleep habits.

What is Safe Sleep?

First, let’s review some safe sleep guidelines so that we all understand what safe sleep looks like:

  • Practice the ABC’s of safe sleep for infants: Infants should be Alone on their Backs and in a C
  • The only things that should be present in a crib are a firm mattress, a fitted sheet and a sleeping baby.
  • Just say no to the cute décor items you might find in a baby store – no crib bumpers, pillows, blankets or stuffed animals.
  • Put your baby in a sleep sack instead of using a blanket, and make sure there are no pacifier clips or bibs attached to your child.

You can find a complete list of safe sleep guidelines on the Colorado Shines website.

Talking About Safe Sleep with Child Care Providers 

Now that you’re up to speed on the ins and outs of safe sleep, let’s make a plan to discuss safe sleep with your child care provider. 

Find a couple minutes to chat with your child care provider when you’re picking up or dropping off your baby. If you’re searching for child care, make sure this is part of the interview process. Tell them that you’ve been reading up on safe sleep and want to better understand their training and policies on safe sleep for babies – and ask to see their sleep policy. Print this brochure about sleep safety at child care and give it to them.

If you are unsure exactly where your baby sleeps while in child care, ask to see it. If the child care provider does not stay in the same room with your baby while he is sleeping, do they have a monitor to regularly check in on him? Inquire about how your baby is positioned when laid down for a nap. Ask what they do to keep your baby warm when the room is cold – make sure they use a sleep sack or adjust the room temperature instead of using blankets. When your baby is having tummy time, is someone always there to make sure she hasn’t nodded off to sleep?

For more information on talking with your child care provider about safe sleep, visit the Colorado Shines website and select Tips to Talk to Your Child Care Provider or Trusted Caregiver. I highly recommend that you review the inspection reports of your licensed child care provider, too. If your provider has a previous sleep-related violation, it is critical that you ask them what steps they have taken to correct the problem. 

If you’re feeling inspired, check out this safe sleep photo contest. The winner will choose a nonprofit to receive a $1,000 grant to help support families and prevent child maltreatment.

 

Katherine Apjoke is a Broomfield-based, licensed family in-home child care provider with a Level 5 rating (the highest possible) from Colorado Shines. She is also an Expanding Quality in Infant and Toddler Care (EQIT) instructor and coach, and the EQIT Coordinator for the Broomfield Early Childhood Council. Katherine has been working in Early Childhood Education for almost 20 years. She is happily married to her high school sweetheart and best friend. They have two grown boys, a daughter-in-law and two beautiful granddaughters. Early Childhood Education is her passion.