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When is Hanukkah 2018 and what does it celebrate?

Hanukkah is an eight-day Jewish holiday that celebrates religious freedom. This year Hanukah begins on the evening of Sunday, December 2, 2018 and ends on the evening of Monday, December 10. Hanukkah is celebrated in the wintertime, near or around Christmas. Though the proximate occurrence of the two holidays is coincidental, it is interesting in that the story of Hanukkah raises questions about how a religious or ethnic community maintains its identity in relation to a broader culture. Check-out these Menorah lightngs and other Hanukkah events.

The story

In 168 B.C.E., the Jewish holy temple in Jerusalem was seized by Syrian-Greek soldiers and dedicated to the worship of Zeus. Then, the Syrian-Greek emperor Antiochus made the observance of Judaism an offense that was punishable by death. He banned circumcision and Sabbath observance and he also ordered all the Jews to worship Greek gods. A group of Jewish rebels called the Maccabees revolted against Antiochus and regained control of the Temple. In order to rededicate it to the singular God of Judaism, they had to light the temple’s Menorah or seven-branched sacred candelabra. To their dismay, the Maccabee soldiers only found one day’s worth of oil remaining in the Temple. Nonetheless, they lit the menorah, and a miracle happened. The small portion of oil burned for the full eight days. Hanukkah celebrates this miracle and is thus also called The Festival of Lights.

Traditions

Lighting the Menorah

jewishA menorah has nine candleholders, eight for the eight nights of Hanukkah plus one for the shamash or helper candle. On the first night of Chanukah, use the shamash to light one candle. One the second night, light two candles, and continue for eight nights, adding another candle each night.

After lighting the candles say the following blessings:

1. Blessed are You, Lord our G-d, King of the universe, who has sanctified us with His commandments, and commanded us to kindle the Chanukah light.
2. Blessed are You, Lord our G-d, King of the universe, who performed miracles for our forefathers in those days, at this time.
3. (First night only) Blessed are You, Lord our G-d, King of the universe, who has granted us life, sustained us, and enabled us to reach this occasion.

Spinning the dreidel

jewish1A dreidel is a four-sided spinning top. Each side of the dreidel bears a letter of the Hebrew alphabet: Nun, Gimel, Heh and Shin. Together, these letters form the acronym for Nes Gadol Hayah Sham, “a great miracle happened there.”

Rules of the game: Each player begins with an equal number of game pieces (usually 10–15). The game pieces can be any small object, such as chocolate kisses or pennies. Each player spins the dreidel once during his/her turn. Depending on which side is facing up when the dreidel stops spinning, the player gives or takes game pieces from the pot:

-Nun = Do nothing.
-Gimel = Take everything.
-Hay = Take half.
-Shin = Put a game piece in the pot.

Eating Fried Foods

It is customary to eat foods that are fried in oil on Chanukah to recall the miracle of the Temple oil that lasted for eight days. Donuts are a popular Hanukkah treat, as is the commonly known and loved potato latke.

An easy latke recipe:

Ingredients:
salt
2 large eggs
2 lbs (1 kg) potatoes
oil for frying

Directions:

Peel and grate the potatoes. Put them straight into cold water, then drain and squeeze them as dry as you can by pressing them with your hands in a colander. This is to remove the starchy liquid, which could make the latkes soggy.
Beat the eggs lightly with salt, add to the potatoes, and stir well. Fill the bottom of a frying pan with oil and heat. Take a large spoonful of the mixture and drop into the hot oil. Flatten a little, and lower the heat so that the latkes cook through evenly. When one side is brown, turn over and brown the other.
Lift out and serve very hot, with applesauce or sugar.

Happy Hanukkah!

Evelyn Becker is a writer, activist and mother who is currently working on her first book, “Three Sabbaths: a memoir of rebellion, repair & love.” “Three Sabbaths” is the story of the spiritual journey that took Evelyn from a frustrated and lonely adolescence in Silver Spring, Maryland’s insular Orthodox Jewish enclave to the healing strengths of nature and a meaningful Jewish family life in the Rocky Mountains. Evelyn lives with her husband and two young children in Denver, Colorado.

What You Need to Know About Invisalign Teen

Finding out you need braces can be upsetting, especially for a teenager. After all, having to live with bulky metal braces can mean being uncomfortable and having self-confidence issues. Not many teens look forward to getting braces and some even protest getting treatment to correct their issues. But there’s good news for teens who need treatment but don’t want braces. Invisalign now offers Invisalign Teen, and it’s revolutionizing the way teenagers correct their smiles. Here’s what you need to know about Invisalign Teen.

What Is Invisalign Teen?

Like Invisalign for adults, Invisalign Teen consists of clear plastic aligners that move teeth into their desired positions. Although removable, patients need to adhere to their orthodontist’s instructions for use. The aligners must be worn 20-22 hours every day for maximum success. For teens, the top three worries about having braces are getting food stuck in their teeth, being in pain, and having their mouth cut by braces. Invisalign Teen alleviates all of these concerns, making it a top choice for parents and their teens.

How Invisalign Teen Differs from Invisalign

Invisalign Teen makes it easy for busy teenagers to keep up with their treatment plan and achieve the best results possible. Color indicators on each aligner make wearing the aligners for the proper amount of time easier. Teens are busy and can tend to forget to put their aligners back in after eating, vastly affecting the outcome of their treatment. The blue dots on every aligner fade with use, so both teens and their orthodontists know if the aligners are being worn often enough to be effective.

Another perk of Invisalign Teen is up to six free replacement trays are included. Often times, teens take their aligners out to eat and end up throwing them away with their lunch trash. Or they lose them at sports practice. Or the dog eats them. Free replacement trays make it less costly to keep up with treatment. Invisalign Teen also provides room to grow, in case all of their molars have not come in before they start treatment.

Why Teens Prefer Invisalign Teen

Invisalign Teen gives teens the chance to improve their smile and without lowering their self-confidence. In a recent survey about wearing metal braces, 84% of participants felt as though they didn’t fit in, while 33% felt awkward. As far as self-esteem, 28% didn’t like how they looked, 18% had lower self-esteem and 17% were teased.

Teens (especially males) who are hesitant to wear braces are able to achieve the same results, as long as the aligners are worn properly, without everyone knowing. Lifestyle advantages of Invisalign Teen include:

  • No food restrictions
  • Brushing and flossing remain the same
  • No rough edges to make cheeks or tongue sore
  • No bulky brackets or wires
  • Involvement in sports/theater/band is easier

Why Invisalign Teen?

The benefits of this product designed specifically for teens are many, which makes it a top choice when it comes to orthodontic treatment. Teens can now correct their teeth and have the confidence they need to take on the day with a smile.

Milnor Orthodontics’s experts are here to help you achieve a priceless smile. They can be reached at (970) 230-3187 or visit www.milnororthodontics.com. They’re located at 1103 S. Shields St. in Fort Collins, Colorado. In partnership with Mile High Mamas.

50+ Holiday Events for the Whole Family This Week

Holiday fun is in full swing! The Holiday Flea kicks off at Denver Union Station, 9News Parade of Lights, Golden’s Annual Candlelight Walk and much more. See our event calendar for more information.

The Nutcracker Ballet (Ballet Melange)
Nov 28– 29
Ballet Melange presents The Nutcracker Ballet, a holiday classic, in collaboration with Classical Ballet Academy. The Nutcracker Ballet transports us to a land of magic and dreams that come true.

Colorado Avalanche vs. Pittsburgh Penguins at the Pepsi Center
Nov 28, 7:30 pm – 10:00 pm
Colorado Avalanche vs. Pittsburgh Penguins at Pepsi Center.

Holiday Flea at Denver Union Station
Nov 29 – Dec 2
Gather your family and friends for the Union Station Holiday Market by Denver Flea, four weekends of shopping, festivities and winter fun, all at the historic Denver Union Station! Hundreds of Colorado’s best makers and artisan brands will pack the Plaza of Union Station each weekend, starting Friday, Nov. 23, for a holiday shopping wonderland in the heart of the Mile High, paired with music, eats, drinks and more.

Stapleton Holiday BAZAAR
Nov 29, 4:00 – 6:30 pm
Shop, Sip, and Mingle with Colorado’s finest craft, fashion, and art makers at Stapleton Holiday BAZAAR. The Stapleton Holiday BAZAAR is popping up for one night only on Thursday, November 29th, indoors at The Shops at Northfield, featuring over 45 innovative craft vendors sharing their creations just in time for the holiday shopping season.

A Christmas Carol – The Radio Show
Nov 30 – Dec 23
It’s Christmas Eve, and with the actors snowed in and unable to make it to the studios of WXMS for the live radio performance of A Christmas Carol, the sound effects person decides to take the audience through the classic tale himself.

Free night at Clyfford Still Museum
Nov 30, 5:00 – 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.

Lakewood Lights
Nov 30 – Dec 1
Lakewood Heritage Center will be lit up in a display of holiday cheer. All of our buildings will be open and decorated for the occasion. Warm up with a holiday favorite snack of hot cocoa and cookies. Get your family photo taken for free with Santa! Listen to timeless holiday tunes and enjoy a hay wagon pulled by our 1940 McCormick Farmall “H” tractor.

9News Parade of Lights
Nov 30 – Dec 1
The Downtown Denver Partnership is pleased to produce the 44th Annual 9NEWS Parade of Lights. The two-mile parade route in Downtown Denver is the stage for Colorado’s brightest holiday tradition. The FREE holiday spectacular features marching bands, ornate floats, and, of course, a special appearance by Major Waddles the Penguin and Santa! Grab your hot chocolate and ear-muffs, this year is going to be better than ever.

Golden’s Annual Candlelight Walk
Nov 30, 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Experience the beauty of the holiday season while walking down Washington Avenue, candle in hand, singing holiday carols during Golden’s hometown Candlelight Walk, which offers an authentic way to open the season of lights.

Colorado Avalanche vs. St. Louis Blues at Pepsi Center
Nov 30, 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Colorado Avalanche vs. St. Louis Blues at Pepsi Center!

A Winter’s Night
Nov 30, 7:30 – 10:00 pm
Kantorei once again is pleased to join the Meistersingers of Cherry Creek High School for our annual joint concert. We are always pleased to join this excellent group of young singers, encouraging them to pursue the gift of singing beyond their high school experience.

The Nutcracker International Ballet School
Nov 30 – Dec 1
The International Youth Ballet presents a magical production with award winning young dancers, beautiful sets and costumes in a family friendly atmosphere at the elegant Gates Concert Hall of tThe Robert and Judi Newman Center for the Performing Arts.

CU Wizards “There’s Something in the Air!” at  University of Colorado
Dec 1, 9:30 – 11:30 am
CU Professor Steven Brown travels the world to study the amazing, invisible, ethereal stuff that blankets our amazing planet and makes life on Earth possible… Join us for an educational morning in early December to learn about air! Have you wondered…Why is the Sky Blue!? Why are sunrises orange? What is air made of exactly? Did you know the Earth wears sunglasses!? And what’s the story about the greenhouse gases that are slowly but steadily warming the Earth?

Free day at the Denver Art Museum
Dec 1, 10:00 am – 4:00 pm
General admission is free on the first Saturday of the month thanks to Your 6 Hometown Toyota Stores and the citizens who support the Scientific and Cultural Facilities District (SCFD). Explore fun things for families (including bilingual programs for the whole family), visit exhibitions throughout the museum, hear storytelling, and more!

Holiday Mountain Market
Dec 1 – 2
Sixty Artisans/Crafters display handmade unique items. Activities include a huge Silent Auction with hundreds of items benefits nonprofit Nederland Area Seniors, Live Music, Choral, Dance Performances all day, both days, photos and Stories with Santa, festive hot foods and more.

Pikemasters Model Railroad Club Open House
Dec 1 – 2
The Pikemasters Model Railroad club is happy to present our annual December Open house. We’ve been working hard to finish up our layout rebuild and have made many changes to the layout. If you haven’t seen us in some time, you’ll be in for a treat.

Holiday Tea with Santa at Ritz Carlton Denver
Dec 1, 1:00 pm – 2:30 pm
The second annual Holiday Tea with Santa returns December 1, 2018, taking place on the luxury hotel’s re-imagined Plaza Level. Inspired by traditional afternoon tea, guests of all ages may enjoy tea sandwiches, petite pastries and cozy teas. Ritz Kids will enjoy a cookie decorating station for Santa, a card making activity to send to the North Pole plus printed photos with Santa to take home!

Holiday Celebration
Dec 1, 3:00 – 6:30 pm
Join Localworks in collaboration with the City of Wheat Ridge for the official holiday tree lighting. This event features Santa, crafts for the kids, free hot cocoa and cookies, free horse drawn carriage rides, live reindeer, food vendors, live holiday performances, carolers and more.

1940’s White Christmas Ball at the Hyatt Regency Denver at Colorado Convention Center
Dec 1, 4:00 – 11:45 pm
Now in its ninth year, the 1940’s White Christmas Ball returns to the heart of the city for one of the Denver area’s most festive and glamorous events! Step back in time this holiday season for an unforgettably magical 40’s and 50’s holiday party that will bring back all the warmth and nostalgia of a simpler era. Set in a beautiful ballroom in downtown Denver, guests will have the opportunity to mix and mingle and dance among vintage vehicles, movie set lights and props, re-enactors, sleighs, Christmas trees, and a canopy of glistening lights.

Boulder Ballet’s Nutcracker Ballet
Dec 1 – 2
This December, the curtain rises for America’s favorite ballet, brought to life by the Boulder Ballet and the Longmont Symphony. Make your plans now for this thrilling and heart-warming spectacle, all performed to Tchaikovsky’s masterful score.

Lights of December Parade at Downtown Boulder Partnership
Dec 1, 6:00 – 7:30 pm
Spectators are invited to join us in celebrating the 30th anniversary of the parade and enjoy floats created and decorated by local businesses, churches, schools, and civic groups. Includes marching bands, lit fire engines, holiday carolers, and much more. The grand finale includes an appearance by the jolly old man himself – Santa Claus!

Colorado Mammoth vs. Calgary Roughnecks at the Pepsi Center
Dec 1, 7:00 – 10:00 pm
Colorado Mammoth takes on the Calgary Roughnecks

Family Discovery Series: Parker Symphony Orchestra – Sounds of the Season
Dec 1, 7:00 – 8:30 pm
Introduce your kids to the symphony with the PSO’s family-friendly, shortened version of their holiday program. Sing along to seasonal songs you all know and love. Proceeds benefit the Parker Task Force.

Handel’s Messiah at Mountain View United Methodist Church
Dec 1 – Dec 2
Pro Musica Colorado is teaming up with the Boulder Chamber Chorale and four, local favorite soloists for Handel’s Messiah on Saturday, December 1 (7:30 pm) and Sunday, December 2 (3 pm), both performances at Mountain View United Methodist Church in Boulder.

Santa Cares for Kids with Special Needs at Outlets at Castle Rock
Dec 2, 10:00 – 11:00 am
 On Sundays, Dec. 2 and 9 from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m., Outlets at Castle Rock will host two “Santa Cares” events, providing children with special needs a warm, quiet environment and sensory activities to help reduce behavioral triggers associated with this bustling time of year for a perfect picture with Santa.

Doll’s Tea Party at The Oxford Hotel
Dec 2, 10:45 am – 2:00 pm
 Experience one of Denver’s favorite family traditions this holiday season with The Oxford Hotel’s Doll’s Tea Party on Sunday, Dec. 2nd.  Held for more than 50 years at LoDo’s most historic boutique hotel, The Oxford Doll’s Tea is a classic tea party featuring tea, tea sandwiches, hot cocoa and treats. Children are encouraged to bring their favorite doll along to enjoy the festivities.

Jefferson Symphony Holiday Concerts
Dec 2, 3:00 – 7:00 pm
Cinderella Overture by Gioachino Rossini.  Selections from Peer Gynt Suites No. 1 and 2 by Edvard Grieg. Holiday classics featuring our special guests, vocalists La Tanya Hall and Steven Taylor

Jeff and Paige Chanukah Concert
Dec 2, 4:00 pm – 6:30 pm
Please join us for an interactive musical celebration to kick off the 1st night of Chanukah with Jeff and Paige. Costumes, songs, and storytelling will be incorporated to explore Chanukah and celebrate its many traditions. This is a family friendly event, all ages are welcome.

Santa Paws at Cherry Creek Shopping Center
Dec 2, 6:00 – 8:00 pm
Bring your fur babies to pose for a special photo with Santa!  Dogs and cats large and small are invited to get their photo take with Santa in Grand Court.

The Doo Wop Project Christmas at Lone Tree Arts Center
Dec 2, 7:00 pm – 9:30 pm
Three parts Jersey Boys, two parts Motown: The Musical and “not your grandma’s doo wop,” these five charismatic, handsome, triple threat Broadway stars—with their hot five-piece band—tear it up, with musicality, dancing, and showmanship not found with any other group in the world!

Ongoing Holiday Events and Exhibits

Denver Union Station Holiday Fun
Denver Union Station will officially launch the holiday season on Friday, Nov. 23rd with Denver’s grandest Grand Illumination celebration yet. Held from 4 p.m. – 8 p.m., this festive annual Grand Illumination event will feature a performance of classic holiday hits by the Denver Dolls, a visit from Santa & Mrs. Claus, Christmas carolers and the lighting of the landmark train station’s NEW outdoor Christmas tree, a 40 foot tall tree that will feature more than 7,000 holiday lights. Other festive events this holiday season include the Union Station Holiday Market by Denver Flea (Nov. 25, Dec. 2, 9 and 16), free visits with Santa & Mrs. Claus (Nov. 25th, Dec. 2nd, Dec. 9th, Dec. 16th and Dec. 23rd) and Sundaes with Santa on Sunday afternoons (2-4 p.m.) features a make-your-own-Sundae Bar featuring including a variety of sauces & toppings for $5 per person.www.unionstationindenver.com

Winter Wonderlights
November 16-January 1
This walkable lighting attraction situated in the award-winning Chapungu Sculpture Park at Centerra will mesmerize guests as they stroll through the sculpture park, which has been transformed for this joyful time of year. Each night, visitors will revel in more than 60,000 holiday string lights, twinkling bulbs, LED mappable snowflakes, illuminated African stone sculptures, a 20’ LED mappable Christmas tree and a six-song music and light show each evening starting at 5 p.m. In addition to nightly lighting attractions, special weekend programming will run Friday and Saturday evenings from Nov. 16 – Dec. 15 featuring Colorado’s largest inflatable igloo, weekend food and retail vendors, prize giveaways and exceptional performances from dance and musical acts from across northern Colorado. winterwonderlightsloveland.com

Christkindl Market
Nov 16, 2018 – Dec 23, 2018
This annual event brings authentic German and European holiday traditions to Denver. This market opens every year on the Friday before Thanksgiving, and lasts through the 23rd of December. Guests can find delicious cuisine, festive German drinks, handmade jewelry, toys, clothing, gifts and much more. Live entertainment is featured inside the festival tent every evening, and dancing is highly encouraged! https://www.christkindlmarketdenver.com/

A Hudson Christmas
November 23 – December 31
A Hudson Christmas is an extravaganza of outdoor Christmas lights that will keep the holiday spirit burning bright. Don your warm apparel and get ready to create lifelong memories while you explore this unique display of holiday light artistry. Walk arm-in-arm with loved ones and old friends. See how this woodsy terrain transforms into a winter wonderland where brightly-lit trees weave neon colors into the night sky, reflect off bodies of water, and illuminate happy faces. Share your holiday wishes with Santa Claus, take a family photo on Santa’s sleigh, warm up in the yuletide yurts, sip a steaming cup of hot chocolate, and stop for priceless photo opportunities along the way.  hudsongardens.org/concerts-events/a-hudson-christmas

Blossoms of Light
Nov 23, 2018 – Jan 1, 2019
This annual holiday lights extravaganza transforms our York Street location into a twinkling winter wonderland. Don’t miss: The interactive light display, featuring a large field of sound-reactive, animated LED lights. Seasonal entertainment available on select evenings.
https://www.botanicgardens.org/events/special-events/blossoms-light

Denver Zoo Lights
November 30 – January 6, 2019
Always a memory-making sell-out, be sure to get your Zoo Lights tickets early. Zoo Lights, now in its 28th year and presented by your Hometown Toyota Stores, is Denver’s premier light show spread across 60 acres with over a million bright lights, animated animal sculptures, Santa and Mrs. Claus visits, animal encounters, exciting entertainment, and treats for kids of all ages. https://www.denverzoo.org/events

Holiday Flea at Denver Union Station
November 23 – December 16, 2018
Gather your family and friends for the Union Station Holiday Market by Denver Flea, four weekends of shopping, festivities and winter fun, all at the historic Denver Union Station! Hundreds of Colorado’s best makers and artisan brands will pack the Plaza of Union Station each weekend, starting Friday, Nov. 23, for a holiday shopping wonderland in the heart of the Mile High, paired with music, eats, drinks and more. Tickets are $5 per person, and are good for entry/re-entry for the specific weekend for which they are purchased. Children 12 and under are free. http://www.denverflea.com/

Christmas in Color at Water World
November 23 – December 31
Load up your friends and family into the van (or car, or truck) and experience Christmas like never before. Drive through acres of more than 1.5 million lights perfectly synchronized to holiday music you’ll hear right through your radio. You’ll drive by giant candy canes, snowmen, arched pathways and more. It’s like being immersed in another world. In fact, we won’t judge you if you join the kids with your face pressed against the window. https://christmasincolor.net/

Santa’s Flight Academy at Cherry Creek
Nov 10, 2018 – Dec 24, 2018
Santa is looking for cadets to help him prepare his sleigh for the big day! Create memorable moments with a magical snow and light show inside Santa’s sleigh, the Flight Suit Visualizer, and of course, a visit with Santa Claus. Don’t miss this one-of-kind interactive experience! www.shopcherrycreek.com

Santa’s Village at Chatfield Farms
Nov 23, 2018 – Dec 23, 2018
Santa and his friends move to Chatfield Farms in November! Chatfield Farms is transformed into a magical village. Join us for an exciting holiday experience for all ages. Hop on the hayride to catch a short movie at Santa’s cinema and find unique holiday gifts in his workshop. Admission includes:  Santa’s live reindeer, kids get pictures with Santa, Snow Man and the reindeer, craft with Mrs. Claus, holiday lights, hayrides, Santa’s Cinema on Elf Boulevard, and Santa’s Workshop will include craft vendors.
https://www.botanicgardens.org/events/special-events/santas-village-chatfield-farms

St. Nick on the Bricks at Pearl Street Mall
November 23-24; December 1, 8, 15, 22
Kids of all ages can visit with Santa at the Downtown Boulder Visitor Information Center for free. Bring your list and a camera to capture priceless holiday memories.
https://www.boulderdowntown.com/light-up-the-holidays/events/st-nick-on-the-bricks

Olde Golden Christmas
Dec 1, 2018 – Dec 31, 2018
At the closing of each year, Golden celebrates tradition back to a simpler time of strong family traditions and small-town holiday celebrations. The authentic and historic main street of Golden becomes the central festive location for Olde Golden Christmas, a city-wide, December-long celebration, including a traditional candlelight walk, Victorian carolers, holiday art market, live theater, a dazzling light display along Clear Creek, Santa encounters, free Newfoundland dog pulled cart rides, shopping, dining, three parades down Washington Avenue, and so much more! http://goldenchamber.org/olde-golden-christmas/

The Polar Express
November 10- December 23, 2018
2018 Polar Express Train Ride performances run select dates November through December. Show Times: 5:00PM, 6:30PM & 8:00PM. Each performance will last approximately 75 minutes. coloradorailroadmuseum.org   

Ice Skating Rink at Denver International Airport
November 23, 2018 – January 6, 2019
Returning in 2018 for it’s 3rd year, the FREE Ice skating on the DEN Plaza. There truly is Snow Place Like DEN for the Holidays!

2018 Holiday Preview Exhibition
Nov 1 -30, 2018
Before you know it, the winter holidays will be upon us and the festivities will begin. Be prepared this season, if you aren’t already, and finish your gift shopping now to avoid that last-minute hectic rush. Artists on Santa Fe Gallery + Studios has a huge variety of specialty items that will be perfect for your family and friends – paintings, ceramics, photography, jewelry, sculpture and more! Stop in and have a leisurely look at our fantastic array of functional and decorative art. artistsonsantafe.com

Free Skating at Skyline Park
November 20-February 3
Now in its 9th season, the Downtown Denver Rink offers free ice skating seven days a week. Plus, check out the amazing programming–from Snoga to Broomball. Entry is free but skate rentals are $6 for kids 12 & under and $8 for adults 13 & older. downtowndenver.com

Colorado Ballet’s The Nutcracker
November 24-December 23
Just in time for the holidays, Colorado Ballet’s acclaimed production of The Nutcracker returns for its 58th year. In addition to being the largest production of The Nutcracker in the state, Colorado Ballet’s 2016 production was named the best-loved Nutcracker in the U.S. in the 10th Annual Goldstar National Nutcracker Award Contest. Live music will be performed by the Colorado Ballet Orchestra. Last season’s performance of The Nutcracker sold out, so be sure to get your tickets early! https://www.coloradoballet.org

Seussical at the Arvada Center
Oct 10 – Dec 29, 2018
Enter the fantastic world of Dr. Seuss in the musical, Seussical! Music and dance bring characters like Horton, the Cat in the Hat, and Gertrude McFuzz together on stage. Don’t miss out on all the fun and all the “thinks you can think.” arvadacenter.org/seussical-2

Holiday Carousel
December 15 – January 2
Conveniently located at Denver Pavilions (500 16th Street), the Holiday Carousel returns to Downtown Denver to enhance your holiday experience and create memories for years to come. Free rides will be given from Denver Pavilions restaurants, retailers and entertainment venues with purchase, and from select Downtown hotel partners. Partial proceeds will benefit Food Bank of the Rockies. denverpavilions.com

A Christmas Carol
November 21 – December 24, 2018
Essential to the holiday season in Denver, A Christmas Carol is a joyous and opulent musical adaptation that traces money-hoarding skinflint Ebenezer Scrooge’s triumphant overnight journey to redemption. denvercenter.org

Electric Safari at Cheyenne Mountain Zoo
December 7, 2018 – January 1, 2019
Electric Safari at Cheyenne Mountain Zoo is the only one place in Colorado Springs where you can see over 85 one-of-a-kind light sculptures and enjoy a full Zoo experience! For all the details, visit: http://www.cmzoo.org/electricsafari

Santa on the Square
November 23 -December 24, 2018
Kicking off the day after Thanksgiving and continuing throughout the weekends in December with extended hours, Santa and Mrs. Claus will be visiting Larimer Square. Photos with Santa and Mrs. Claus are free but please bring your own camera.  https://www.larimersquare.com/event/santa-on-the-square-3/

Ongoing General Events

Play Ball!at the History Colorado Center
Apr 7, 2018 – Jan 6, 2019
Treasured memorabilia and iconic photographs bring the past to life through stories that begin on the ball field and echo through American history. Size up your hand against Babe Ruth’s. Find the nails Ty Cobb used to hold his favorite bat together, and admire the glove flashed by Willie Mays to make some of the game’s most memorable catches. See the uniform Joe DiMaggio wore in his final World Series and a receipt for roses he sent to Marilyn Monroe. And much, much more—these are just a few of the one-of-a-kind items on view in Play Ball!
historycolorado.org/exhibit/play-ball

TreeHouses: Look Who’s Living in the Trees! Hands-on exhibit
Jun 2, 2018 – Jan 6, 2019
Explore the forest canopy – indoors! In the Longmont Museum’s newest hands-on exhibition, visitors roam from tree to tree as they discover the many habitats that trees provide for animals large and small, and people too. Climb through large treehouses, become an animal tracker, get face-to-face with wildlife of all sizes, move your feet on the forest-sound dance floor, and more. This exhibition makes learning fun, as visitors explore responsible forestation, wildlife ecology, and local epidemics such as the ash borer beetle. longmontmuseum.org

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 the fun new interactive installation by local artist Nicole Banowetz, The Incubation Effect. Go to   https://denverartmuseum.org/ for more information.

New statewide trails app showcases 39,000+ miles of trails!

If you’re hoping to explore Colorado, Gov. John Hickenlooper just made it that much easier.

The governor announced the launch of a new state app with guidance to more than 39,000 miles of trails as nearly 550 tourism industry stakeholders gathered last week in Vail for the annual Colorado Governor’s Tourism Conference.
 
The Colorado Trail Explorer (COTREX) app puts data for 39,158 miles of trail and 1,431 trailheads in the hands of users across the state and is now available for free download in the Apple and Google Play stores. A facet of the Colorado the Beautiful initiative, the COTREX app makes it easier than ever for Coloradans and visitors alike to access the state’s trailheads and open space.  Trails are searchable by horses, bikes, motorcycles, dogs, hiking, ATVS and OHVs, family-friendly, length, level of difficulty and much more.
 
Check-out these examples:

Crater Lakes via Moffat Tunnel East Portal

 Route on Moffat Tunnel and South Boulder Creek in Roosevelt National Forest, CO

  • Total Length 5.9mi
  • Ascent 2,184ft
  • Difficulty Moderate

A highly trafficked out and back trail to the Crater Lakes and the alpine lake above them. The two lakes are extremely picturesque with easily traversable flat terrain around them. The first 2 miles of this trail climbs very gradually and only contains about 1/2 mile of steady steeper climbing at the end to reach the two lakes. The optional climb to the alpine lake is quite steep but very short and offers a fantastic view of the two Crater Lakes and valley below.

Challenges

Explore and share Colorado’s beautiful outdoors by recording Field Notes to complete challenges and earn badges.  Fun challenges include:

Animal Signs Challenge

Litter Cleanup Challenge

Drinking Water Challenge

Butterfly Challenge

1st Nature Scavenger Hunt

 

 

Family-friendly Trails

Simply enter in your desired area of exploration, length and tag family-friendly and choices abound!

COTREX is your gateway into Colorado’s magnificent outdoors. View trails by allowed uses on the map, browse featured routes, download offline maps, record trips and notes in the field, complete challenges to earn badges, and share your experiences with the community.

 

Why I Agreed to Reduce My Daughter’s Child Support

Child support, the bane of some non-custodial parents’ existence, is ordered for children to equalize the standard of living if there is a great financial divide between households. For the father of my child, it was a tool for harassment, a bullying card if you will, until I agreed to impute my own income. He threatened to take me to court because I wanted to use the calculation worksheet using actual income figures. I am in a fortunate situation where I can still provide the necessities and more for my child at this point. So even though his income is four times greater than mine, I agreed to a reduced amount — to avoid court and the stress that brings and to take away the power play he has wielded for the past 11 years.

Child support is for the child’s expenses and considered the right of the child. He preferred to pay a lawyer thousands of dollars to find unscrupulous ways to reduce it. It always baffles me when fathers would rather pay to support their lawyer’s children than their own. I liken it stealing from his own flesh and blood.

His lawyer told me he wanted to deduct from her child support the gas money it cost him to drive the 15 miles to start his parenting time. He took it off the table when I told him it was ridiculous and I agreed to impute my income. I have no clue from what depths a person’s mind must sink to come up with that kind of deduction. I am not a psychologist and make no claims to be able to evaluate someone’s mental health, but when I read an article about covert narcissists, I thought of him.

We started the parenting journey together in an unconventional way — I posted an ad on Craigslist looking for a sperm donor and was open to co-parenting. Before my daughter was born, we spent about a year getting to know each other to make sure we could get along, had similar values and ideas about how to raise a child and quite frankly figure out if the other was crazy. You never know on Craigslist. There are plenty of horror stories and no one wants a horror story to also be a lifelong commitment.

When we first met, he told me he was 45 but I soon learned he was over 50. He apologized and although my intuition screamed RED FLAG, I forgave him. That was a “fool me once” I should have taken more seriously.

When my daughter was around six months old, I decided to go back to work part-time. I then received this email from him:

“You are being paid a substantial amount of money above the Support Guidelines to be her full time care giver. Until our permanent orders are approved or there is a change in our temporary orders, you must continue to provide her full time care during your parenting hours.”

They may just be words but within them contain the essence of how he viewed me — as a vessel to house a fetus and then as a paid caregiver once she was born. If she had been born around the time The Handmaid’s Tale came out I’m sure he would have given me a red dress and white bonnet.

Yes, he supported my daughter with child support he had willingly agreed upon before I gave birth, but it was not enough to cover everything — rent, utilities, food, her expenses and my personal expenses. It was time to go back to work at least part-time to help make ends meet. But in his mind, the child support — money used to equalize the standard of living in households (he made over $100k per year) — was a salary he paid me as if I were his employee.

Our initial arrangement was for me to live in his house for a year so I could be a stay at home mom and then move out and go back to work. We thought this was in the best interest of our child and I was grateful for this arrangement. Unfortunately it lasted only six weeks. Living with him was unbearable — without an income, he gave me money for necessities but he required an itemized list of expenses. When my mom came to visit for the birth and stayed with us, he chastised me for allowing her to sleep in the room with me. When he was home one day I asked if he could “watch” our baby so I could spend some time out with a friend (I was with her all week) and he not only screamed at me but the next morning before leaving for work slammed all the doors in the house to wake up me (and the baby). The list goes on and so I found an apartment not too far away and in a sense, escaped.

Because I moved out of the city he lived in (about 11 miles away), parenting became “inconvenient” for him. Although he worked out of state all week, he wanted both her daycare and pediatrician to be within his city limits. In court, the judge asked him if he was willing to pick up our child from daycare on Fridays after he returned home from work to start his parenting time. He replied, “No”. The judge told him, “Then I guess you won’t see your child” and he was forced to concede her daycare and pediatrician would be close to where I live as the custodial parent.

To punish me for his “inconvenience,” he threatened to reduce child support every few years. When he found out I paid a babysitter to go out once a week, he bullied. When I refused to pick her up on Sundays at 3 pm instead of the court ordered 6 pm (he only took her 1 night per week), he bullied. He didn’t only bully with money. When she was about two months old, he smugly told me he was going to have her baptized (he told me he had no interest in religion before she was born) even though we previously agreed she would be raised Jewish and I was planning her Jewish baby naming ceremony.

Being a single mother to a baby or toddler is chaotic on its own. He added to the chaos by agreeing to something and then changing his mind just before the twelfth hour. I often felt like I was drowning in an ocean with my baby in one hand and my other holding onto a raft for dear life while he was standing on the raft squishing my fingers so they would release. I didn’t know if he would let us both drown or try to save her as I sunk to the bottom.

When we had joint decision making on her daycare in our temporary order and I was going back to work, he would agree to a provider and then rescind. A couple of times when I knew he’d be in town instead of working out of state, I offered him to take her an extra night. Each time he would email me how he works hard all week and I lack understanding for his need to relax. Instead of viewing an extra night with his child as a gift, he saw it as a potential favor to me.

His game of retaliation usually began with chaos, followed by a threat involving money. My income, never again at the level I made in New Jersey where I’m originally from, was too low to compensate for the rising housing and food costs in my area. Unfortunately, until recently, I was dependent on some extra support.

I take responsibility for posting the ad on Craigslist and can only caution other women from agreeing to a co-parenting arrangement with a sperm donor. Parenting is hard enough with two adults in a relationship who love each other. We walked into a minefield, both of us naïve to the realities of who the other person is. I honestly have no idea the breadth of his need for control, but I know he used his money and our daughter to push it to the limit.

For some, an alternative arrangement like ours might work out fine. However, I advocate the traditional way — go to a sperm bank and use an anonymous donor. You don’t know the complexity of someone’s psychology if they only show what is on the surface. What triggers them, how they respond, any longstanding psychological or personality disorders they have — you’ll never see until a child enters the picture. If you plan on becoming a single mother by choice, do it with the one person you know the best — yourself.

-Denver Single Mama

Deals: Bonus gift cards, Paw Patrol Live & more!

I do some things year after year in the name of tradition. But then I end up loving it for just what it is (and in my case it is typically something like FREE entertainment). What we do for a holiday tradition is to go downtown and line the parade route for the Parade of Lights. When I was a child we watched it. When I was in High School I marched in it. When I was in college – I brought my friends to it. When I had babies I’d wrap them warm and we’d go watch it. Now, I make my teenagers endure it – the hot chocolate in our HydroFlask helps (Pssst, the HydroFlask site has everything 25% off if you buy now). The Parade is both Friday, Nov. 30 at 8 p.m.  and Saturday, Dec. 1 at 6 p.m. 
 
Paw Patrol Live. All paws on deck! Nickelodeon and VStar Entertainment Group present PAW Patrol Live! “The Great Pirate Adventure,” an action-packed, music-filled production, presented by Pedigree. The heroic pups from the top-rated animated preschool series PAW Patrol, produced by Spin Master Entertainment, embark on a pirate-themed adventure to uncover hidden treasure during the hit live stage show, playing at the Bellco Theatre Dec. 28 & 29, 2018. Tickets for all four performances are currently on sale and can be purchased at www.AXS.com. Save 25% off using code: ALLIED *Some restrictions apply.
 
Risas Dental and Braces Risas Dental and Braces will open its sixth Denver-area location in Commerce City (6091 Dexter St., Commerce City, CO 80022) To celebrate the expansion, the doctors and staff will provide free dental care to its first 100 patients at the grand opening. On Saturday, Dec. 15, from 8 a.m. – 12 p.m., patients can select from one of four free services, including: Basic Teeth Cleaning; Cavity Filling; Simple Tooth Extraction; or Complete Exam with X-Rays.  The grand opening will kick off with music provided by local radio stations, fun activities for kids, and complimentary breakfast for attendees waiting in line. Free treatment is limited to the first 100 patients in line and no appointments are accepted. In addition to offering free dental services, Risas’ staff will provide braces consultations and schedule follow-up services as needed.
 
Olde Golden Christmas Candlelight Walk. If you have not spent any time in Golden now is the time. The traditional candle walk will take place on Friday, November 30. All of the stores and the street lights are turned off along Washington Avenue. As hundreds of carolers make their way down the street, as each block joining in – lighting each other’s candles and signing along. It is a beautiful start to the holidays. culminating in the Mr. & Mrs. Claus’ appearance, fireworks and tree lighting in Golden’s Parfet Park.  
 
Great Clips. Our family almost always gets our hair cut at Great Clips. They are running a great deal right now – pre-paid haircuts for just$10.99 each (they are normally $17/haircut). You can buy as many as you want in increments of $10.99. Plus, they never expire.
 
Bonus Card Deals. Through the holidays we will continue to update our list. But here are some of the bonus gift card with gift card purchases that we know about so far.  
·         Noodles & Co. – Purchase a gift card for $25 get a bonus $5 card.
·         Smashburger – for just $50 grab a Holiday Smash Pass. Passholders will get a coupon each day between Dec 17 and Jan 16 for a FREE entrée.
·         Burger King – While you’re out shopping get one of their great deals like three pancakes for just 89 cents, or 10-piece nuggets for just $1.
·         Garbanzo Mediterranean Fresh – Get a free entrée with the gift card purchase of $30 or more. 
·         AMF Bowling. Purchase a gift card for $50 get a bonus card valued at $10.
·         Applebee’s. Bonus $10 gift card with purchase of $50 gift card.
·         California Pizza Kitchen. Get a $20 bonus card when you purchase $100 gift card.
·         Outback Steakhouse. Buy a gift card for $50 get a bonus $10 card.
·         Firehouse Subs. Get a free medium sandwich when you purchase a $25 gift card.
·         DSW Shoe Warehouse. Get a $5 bonus when you purchase a $50 gift card; $20 bonus when you purchase a $100 gift card and $30 bonus when you purchase a $150 gift card. (P.S. I have some shoes I have my eyes on…anyone…anyone…)
·         Aspen Grove ShoppingSpend $200 or more at Aspen Grove stores, restaurants and our theater and receive a FREE GIFT! Choose from tickets for A Hudson Christmas, one pound of See’s Candies or tickets to Alamo Drafthouse Cinema (Plus, if you buy an Alamo Draft House gift card valued at $25 you get a bonus $5 Snack Pass)! Collect your receipts from Black Friday through Christmas Eve and redeem them on weekends between noon and 4p.m. at the Aspen Grove Management Office.
·         Ace Hardware. When you purchase a $30 gift card at Ace Hardware, you get two free tickets to Zoo Lights!

22 Winter Adventures in Colorado for Families (Grandparents, too!)

 There’s snow, and then there’s Colorado Snow. Fresh powder is blanketing Colorado’s ski slopes, charming towns and vibrant cities, creating a wonderland full of winter adventures that bring everyone together for family bonding and memory making. More families than ever are discovering the joy of traveling with multiple generations, including grandparents, cousins and maybe even great aunts and uncles. From ski adventures to dude ranch experiences, and sleigh rides to snowcats, Colorado offers something for every member of the family this winter.  For more great multigenerational travel ideas, visit www.colorado.com/winter#2.  

Off-The-Slopes Activities For Everyone:
 
Snow Tube at Beaver Meadows Resort Ranch: Beaver Meadows Resort Ranch, located near Red Feather Lakes, is home to the oldest and longest running snow tube park in Colorado. There are 12 snow tube runs that range from gentle to extreme, and on any given day visitors can expect to get in 5-10 runs per hour. Kids under 36-inches can enjoy the free kiddie hill (must bring your own sled), and everyone can enjoy the warming shed with a fireplace at the bottom of the lift.
 
Explore Cave of the Winds Mountain Park in Colorado Springs: Some of the oldest show caves in the country offer a variety of ways families can play all year long. Little ones can enjoy gold and gemstone panning and the Stalactykes Adventure slide. Preteens can try the Caving 101 tour and the Cliffhanger Climbing Wall. Adventure-seeking teens can whisk across William’s Canyon on the Bat-a-Pult or launch nearly 100 mph on the TERROR-Dactyl. The entire family can also enjoy total cave darkness on the Discovery Tour or try the brand new Via Ferrata course.
 
Experience A Winter Dude Ranch Adventure at C Lazy U Ranch: Located in the mountains of Grand County, C Lazy U features a collection of 40 unique and elegant cabin accommodations and provides visitors with 8,500 acres of limitless authentic winter activities, including horseback riding, snow tubing, ice hockey and skating on a Zamboni-groomed pond, snowmobiling, snowshoeing, trap shooting, cross-country skiing and more.
 
Discover Something New At The Denver Museum of Nature and Science: For more than 100 years, the Denver Museum of Nature & Science has been at the heart of cultural experience in Denver. Explore the cosmos, uncover dazzling gems and minerals, visit IMAX and the planetarium, and get as close to a T-Rex as you dare. The four-story West Atrium features the best view in Denver — especially sunset from the Sky Terrace.
 
Explore The Ice Castles In Dillon: Back for its second season, the impressive Ice Castle in Dillon is perfect for all ages. The castle features tall walls and turrets, slides, interactive features, colorful lighting and live entertainment. The Castles are set to open in December.
 
Go Ice Fishing in Rio Blanco County: Anglers who can’t get enough fishing in the summer months will love the multitude of ice fishing opportunities available in Rio Blanco County. Visit Lake Avery, Kenney Reservoir or Rio Blanco Lake throughout the winter and catch a variety of trout, crappie and bluegill.
 
Try Winter Jeeping with Rockin’ K Jeep Rentals in Ouray: Ouray County and the San Juan Mountains are well-known for their summer Jeeping opportunities, but four-wheeling can be a year-round recreational activity. Starting this winter, Rockin’ K Jeep Rentals will provide a new winter Jeeping experience utilizing brand new Jeep Rubicons with 35-inch tires, perfect for exploring the area’s many maintained winter roads and trails.
 
Enjoy A Guided Gourmet Snowshoe Tour in Steamboat: Join a Steamboat ambassador for an informative and fun tour followed by a gourmet lunch. Offered daily throughout the season, snowshoe tours follow the mile-long Vista Nature Trail and finish at Thunderhead with a delectable gourmet lunch and refreshing glass of wine at Hazie’s.
 
Check Out The “Cats of Colorado Snowshoe” with Walking Mountains Science Center in Vail: New this winter, Park Hyatt Beaver Creek has partnered with Walking Mountains Science Center to offer a brand new Cats of Colorado Snowshoe Package. Certified Interpretive Guides will escort guests on a 4-hour snowshoe tour on US Forest Service trails around Vail looking for scats, tracks and furs from local cats including the mysterious Lynx, one of the most elusive wild cats in North America. Guests could also see moose, fox, elk, deer and more.
 
Watch for Eagles at Barr Lake State Park: Winter is an excellent time for bald eagle viewing at Barr Lake State Park, including nesting pairs and many other wintering eagles. Eagles begin their courtship behavior in January, including tumbling in mid-air, nest building, and staying close together. In mid-February, and often coinciding with Valentine’s Day, bald eagles lay one to three eggs. Celebrate this unique time at Barr Lake by attending the Bald Eagle Festival on February 3, 2019 at the nature center.
 
Family Fun On-The-Slopes:
 
Ride Amtrak’s Winter Park Express Ski Train: Amtrak’s Winter Park Express Train runs right from the historic Denver Union Station to the base of the ski hill at Winter Park. And, this year, the ski train has added the most roundtrip dates it has had since it re-launched in 2017. The 2019 season features a continuation of fares starting at $29 each way and three additional Friday round-trips.
 
Experience Vail’s Legendary Back Bowls with The Four Seasons Vail: Vail’s famed back bowls span 3,000 acres and provide advanced skiers some of the most breathtaking views around. Families can enjoy an exclusive tour of these bowls with a local celebrity, while enjoying stories about the founding days of Vail. To complement this full-day experience, guests can enjoy a chef-curated picnic lunch at Blue Sky Basin.
 
Try Cat Skiing or Enjoy A Scenic Tour at Ski Cooper: Located near Leadville along the Continental Divide, Ski Cooper offers scenic snowcat rides and snowcat skiing through powder bowls and glades from the top of 12,600’ Chicago Ridge.  From tame to high-octane, there’s something for everyone in the family.
 
Check Out The New Snowmass Mountain Club: Perfect for families, the cozy-chic Snowmass Mountain Club, nestled at the base of Snowmass Village, offers exclusive access on and off Snowmass Mountain. The on-mountain experiences include activities like first tracks and moonlight cross-country skiing, as well as access to an on-site concierge. The facilities are equipped with ski valet, family locker rooms and après-ski in the club lounge.
 
Take An Intro to Backcountry Skiing Course at Snow Mountain Ranch: For families interested in learning how to backcountry ski, but don’t know where to start, a new ski program now being offered at Snow Mountain Ranch near Winter Park provides the perfect opportunity for folks to learn how to have a great day in the backcountry. Using modern Alpine/Touring (A/T) equipment, the course touches upon the basic principles of avalanche safety, terrain management, backcountry travel & preparedness, and how to use an avalanche beacon, shovel and probe.
 
Apres Adventure and Winter Warm Ups:
 
Enjoy at Exclusive Dining Experience at Anderson’s Cabin in Beaver Creek: Experience the history and magic of Bachelor Gulch by reserving an exclusive, private dining experience at Anderson’s Cabin, tucked into the woods and once the home of John Anderson, one of the seven bachelors of Bachelor’s Gulch that first settled in the area.
 
Take a Soak In The Iron Mountain Hot Springs:  Relax in the pure hot mineral water in the 16 soaking pools at Iron Mountain Hot Springs in Glenwood Springs – the perfect way to wrap up a day of winter fun. Temperatures range from 98° to 108°, providing families lots of options. All ages are welcome in the freshwater family pool and jetted spa, which are kept at about 93° and 103°, respectively. The onsite Sopris Café offers snacks, meals, hot and cold drinks, plus beer, wine and canned cocktails for adults.
 
Catch a Cozy Night Sleep in A Never Summer Nordic Yurt: For a unique twist on Colorado’s iconic hut trips, take the whole family on a yurt trip with Never Summer Nordic. Several of the yurts offer two-wheel “drive-ups” and wheelchair access — a unique option in the backcountry and one that makes a true multigenerational trip a possibility. All of the Never Summer Nordic yurts offer a seemingly endless system of old roads and trails for skiing and snowshoeing. Telemark the bowls, snowboard the mountain passes and snowshoe the trails.
 
Feast On A Gourmet Yurt Dinner at Tennessee Pass Cookhouse: Visitors to the Tennessee Pass Cookhouse & Sleep Yurts can enjoy a one-mile hike to a candlelit yurt and a gourmet dinner. After a unique, relaxing evening, they can hike back to their cars under a starlit sky—or retire to a luxury yurt for the evening.
 
Experience Uley’s Sleigh Ride Dinner at Crested Butte Mountain Resort: For a fine dining experience with a mountain adventure as the first course, all ages are encouraged to journey to Uley’s Cabin. Ride a snow-cat driven sleigh to the cabin where a multi-course feast awaits. This evening allows for family members of all ages to experience the thrills of the slopes and the majesty of the mountain.
 
Ski With The Family and Save:
 
Snag A Colorado Gems Card: Appropriately named, the Gems ski areas are among Colorado’s best hidden treasures. With affordable prices, and world-class terrain, the Colorado Gems ski areas offer an authentic Colorado skiing and snowboarding experience. For just $25, the Colorado Gems Card provides either two 2-for-1 adult lift tickets or two 30 percent off adult lift tickets at each of the eleven Colorado Gems Resorts, providing up to 22 days of discounted skiing or riding at Colorado’s hidden gems.
 
Get A Powder Kids Season Pass at Purgatory Mountain Resort: New this year, Purgatory Mountain Resort is giving all kids 10 years old and younger a FREE Power Kids Season Pass – no purchase required, no strings attached.  The free pass makes skiing more affordable for families and is valid at Purgatory Resort and Hesperus Ski Area in Durango.  
 
Save With “Mission: Affordable” at Powderhorn Mountain Resort: Located on Colorado’s Grand Mesa outside of Grand Junction, Powderhorn Mountain Resort offers “Mission: Affordable” season passes including an adult pass for $399, children’s passes starting at $49 for 5 and under, junior passes for age 6 to 12, and a 10 percent discount extended to families purchasing passes together. Powderhorn is also introducing the “Mission: Affordable Learn to Ski FREE” program, which includes three sessions for beginner skiers and riders ages 5 and older, plus a free EZ Rider lift ticket and rental equipment.

Learn more about prenatal, infant and toddler policy solutions in 2019

Do you want to become more involved in Colorado’s policy solutions for children in 2019?

Across Colorado, family child care homes provide an essential source of care for children and families. The public policies that affect these homes are an area of robust discussion throughout the state, and Colorado Children’s Campaign wants to hear the voices of stakeholders on several topics.

Please join the Prenatal, Infant, Toddler Coalition, Clayton Early Learning, the Colorado Children’s Campaign, the Colorado Association of Family Child Care, and MyVillageto share your perspective and experiences and help them better understand the unique challenges and opportunities for family child care in Colorado.

The policy discussion will be held on Saturday, Dec. 8 from 10 a.m. to noon at the Hadley Branch Library, 1890 S. Grove St, Denver or via Zoom (login information provided upon request.)

Refreshments will be provided and child care is available upon request. RSVP to Zarah levy atzlevy@claytonearlylearning.org or 303-393-5619.

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Since convening earlier this year, the Prenatal, Infant, Toddler Coalition has been hard at work growing our membership and developing a policy agenda to support expecting families, pregnant people, infants and toddlers so they may thrive. At the Colorado Children Campaign’s Dec. 14 meeting, they will share their policy agenda and communications plans, as well as opportunities to engage for a successful 2019 legislative session.

As always, coalition membership is open so feel welcome to attend whether you’ve been engaged before or not! 

The meeting will be held from 1:00 to 4:00 pm at The Embassy Suites Denver Stapleton, 4444 Havana St, Denver, CO 80239 and via Zoom. If you have questions or would like additional information, contact Jacy Montoya Price at jacy@coloradokids.org or 303-620-4547.  

A glimpse at Santa HQ at Flatiron Crossing’s magic

Each year when November rolls around the magic of the upcoming Holidays begins to stir up joy. Joy in the hearts of children as they prepare their lists for Santa, and joy in the hearts of parents as they watch their kids light up with excitement.

Flatirons Crossing invited my family and I to visit the enchanted passage of the mall that they’ve transitioned into Santa’s HQ’s. Located at the base of the Grand staircase, where through December 24th Santa and his helper Elves will be there to greet you and your families. For some families, this event is one of many traditions throughout the Holiday season. Our family doesn’t get to go every year, so this was a wonderful way to start the season.

Getting Started

Upon entering the workshop, Santa has brought along his Naughty O’ Nice Meter, which helps Santa to know which list you’re on this year. Once, your magical fate has been decided, you enter the virtual enchantment of the workshop. When you walk in, the small room appears to be nothing more than a colorfully decorated room; but take a closer look. Through the lens of any smart device or tablet provided by the elves, you unlock the secret of Santa’s Observatory and ELF-RAY Vision. On each screen when pointed in different directions, the working wheels of the gears and gadgets of toys being made, and elves moving around among you, come to life. Only then can you truly experience the inside of Santa’s magical kingdom.

Santa Awaits

Moving along through the doors to the other side, Santa is waiting. Climb up on Santa’s oversized chair, tell him what you want this year for Christmas, and take that lifelong memorable photo.   

This year’s Santa is truly believable, he’s warm, inviting and his beard doesn’t come off. He’s the real deal.

To enter the event it’s free, the only cost is if you want to take home that keepsake photo.

Note to Parents:

We visited during the seasons opening, but the closer you get to Christmas the lines become excessively long. Waiting with small children in a long lengthy line can be a nightmare. So, they’ve set up online Reservations to eliminate some of that wait time.  

Hours of Operation  

November 10 through December 9
Mon – Sat 10 am – 8 pm
Sun 11 am – 6 pm
November 22 (Thanksgiving) Closed
December 10 – December 23
Mon – Sun 9 am – 9 pm
December 24 (Christmas Eve) 8 am – 6 pm

They’re also offering a day to bring in your pets and take pictures with Santa. Along with several other special events throughout the season. See the website for more details.

 It truly was a special time with the family, making memories and capturing them. Smaller children have the imagination capacity to truly take in the enchantment, and parents get to re-live passed down traditions through their eyes.

Happy Holiday’s #SantaHQ

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. 

 

 

Happy Thanksgiving, Love The Mile High Mamas!

“Gratitude is the truest approach to life. We did not create or fashion ourselves. We did not birth ourselves. Life is about giving, receiving, and repaying. We are receptive beings, dependent on the help of others, on their gifts and their kindness.” –The Atlantic

Have the happiest of Thanksgivings!

P.S. If you’re looking for events to kick-off this glorious holiday season, be sure to check out our event calendar.