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Celebrate Valentine’s Day at the Loveland Sweetheart Festival

The nation’s Sweetheart City, Loveland, Colorado just got sweeter for Valentine’s Day with the launch of the inaugural Loveland Sweetheart Festival – Love, Locks and Light on February 8 and 9 in downtown Loveland. 
 
For more than 70 years, Loveland has embraced sweethearts near and far and invites families and lovers across the world to gather in downtown Loveland to celebrate valentine season with love, lights and free fun for the entire family. Activities (purchase of love locks, luminarias, Snowzilla slide, beer, etc) will be additional cost and some purchases will be cash only.

EVENT HIGHLIGHTS

  • Lock your Love with the largest love lock sculpture in the U.S., sitting at over 30 feet. Attendees can purchase and lock their own Sweetheart Festival lock, expressing their love in the Sweetheart City.
  • Art show at the 4th Street Gallery “Love in a Steam Punk World” organized by the Artist Collective
  • Visitors Center with merchandise, love locks, and luminarias inside the 4th Street Gallery
  • Art gallery walk for attendees to experience all of the art installations around downtown
  • Palace of Sweets
  • Beer and wine garden
  • Sweetheart Classic 4 Miler ending at the festival
  • Mapping projection laser shows each night
  • Lost Love luminarias
  • Art installations/interactive art displays
  • Bands & other musical performances (see schedule below)
  • Snowzilla Jr., the only one of it’s kind in the U.S. and Canada – for adults and children
  • Photo booth with digital gif videos emailed to you
  • Photo booth with Princesses
  • Face painting
  • Little Miss Valentine and Little Mr. Cupid contest (children up to age 4)
  • Fire hula-hooper
Times are February 8 from 5 – 10 PM and February 9 from 2 – 10 PM. Go to lovelandsweetheartfestival.com for additional information.

Parenting through poor report cards

January is the start of a new semester at school for most kids and therefore a good time to consider a new way to approach school performance and grades with your child. Many kids come to school struggling with anxiety about their grades. And unfortunately, as The Associated Press recently reported, reports of abuse increase when children get their report cards.

At Denver’s Tennyson Center for Children, which helps abused and neglected children, we work with families in their homes and on campus to navigate these stressors and highlight a child’s positive progress in school so that they look forward to school and perform better. We see many children fall into a rejection cycle with grades that starts simply with a parent negatively responding to grades, which can lead to feelings of rejection and anxiety in the child. This anxiety can cause a child to lie, hide their grades, act overly silly or energetic, or even become aggressive. A child may then become distracted at school, worry about punishment from their parents, and perform poorly on tests in the future, forming a recurring negative cycle.  Below are several tips on how parents can work with their kids to end the rejection cycle and reduce your family’s anxiety about grades and report cards:

  • Ask questions. When you’re both calm and ready to talk, ask questions about your child’s grades and focus on what could be impacting their school performance. For example, ask about their friends, peer pressure, bullying, how difficult the work is, and what they like and dislike about school. You may find your child struggles with her work ethic, motivation, ability to manage stress, or even more interestingly, your expectations or how you manage stress. It’s amazing what kids will share when asked the right questions, at the right time, and in the right way. Then you can both develop a plan of action together to deal with school-related issues. 
  • Develop a daily routine. If a child knows what to expect when discussing grades, they can manage anxiety without resorting to unhealthy behaviors. Create a daily check-in time with your child after school that is structured the same way each day. During this time, ask three to five questions, such as: What was the best part of your day? What was the part you liked the least? How do you feel right now? What’s one thing you would like to change about today? What would you like to take responsibility for today, positive or negative? You will likely see your child communicate more with the routine. When report cards come out, follow through with the same structure check-in. This will give both of you predictability and more comfort with these discussions.
  • Come up with a plan for yourself on how to deal with grades that are below what you expect (e.g., plan a date night to get out of the house, call a friend or family member for support or go for a walk to let off steam). Try not to react in the moment, and give yourself some time to respond in a helpful way.
  • Manage your expectations. As parents, we often develop an image of what we want our children to become. Our expectations can cause us to react strongly when our children do not perform in ways we expect. One way we can counteract the anxiety around grades is to manage our expectations of our children based on who they want to become. Help your child see how doing well in school is connected to the image of a future self they have created.  

By Rebecca Durbahn and Dustan Dilorio, Clinicians at the Tennyson Center for Children

 

Loveland’s Valentine ReMailing Program: What you need to know!

Loveland is perhaps best known worldwide as the home of the “Valentine ReMailing Program.”  Every year, more than a hundred thousand Valentines are packaged inside larger envelopes and sent to Loveland, where volunteers hand-stamp them with a Valentine’s verse and send them on to the intended recipients.

The Background

Each year a contest is held by the Chamber of Commerce and promoted through through the local newspaper, the Reporter Herald, for residents to submit their designs and verses. A winning verse and design are chosen from all the competition entries and the two are combined to form the ‘Official Chamber of Commerce Loveland Valentine.’ Leading up to Valentine’s Day, the city authorizes the placement of red hearts with sponsored personal messages on light poles and other fixtures of the downtown streets.

The Loveland Chamber of Commerce and Loveland Post Office sponsor the Loveland Valentine Remailing Program. Approximately 60 volunteers gather to stamp a special message from the Sweetheart City on valentine cards sent to Loveland from all 50 states and more than 120 countries in recent years. During the remailing program, the Chamber & Visitors Center becomes an official US Postal Service Sub-Station known as ““The Valentine Station” with a Postmaster in residence for the duration of the remailing program.

How to Remail From Loveland – the ‘traditional’ way:

If you would like to have your valentine card stamped with the official Loveland Colorado cachet and stamp, please mail your pre-stamped, pre-addressed envelopes (envelopes should each have 49-cent postage; postcards should have appropriate postage), add extra stamps/postage for heavier/odd shaped valentines, mail in a large stamped envelope to the Loveland Remailing program at this address:

Postmaster
Attn: Valentine Re-mailing
446 E. 29th St.
Loveland, CO 80538-9998

Deadlines for delivery by Valentines Day, Feb. 14:

For international destinations, your cards should be in Loveland by Feb. 1st. 2019.
For within U.S. and outside of Colorado, cards should be in Loveland by Feb. 7th. 2019.
For within the state of Colorado (and now Wyoming), cards should be in Loveland by Feb. 9th. 2019.

You may also drop off your stamped envelope at one of the remailing boxes in any local grocery stores, where provided – these should be in-store until the 1st of Feb. King Soopers & City Markets stores have done this yearly. There is a remailing box at the Post Office on 29th St. in Loveland, and in the lobby of the Chamber of Commerce / Loveland Visitor’s Center also.

If you have any questions about sending your own Valentine’s Day cards to Loveland to have it postmarked from Loveland Colorado, please contact the Loveland Chamber of Commerce at (970) 667-6311 or see withlovefromloveland.com.

Deals: Avalanche Family Night, Elitch Gardens & More

Do you frequent stores that believe in the same thing you do? Do you use Apps that have a similar outlook on the world? I can’t say that I think about it much (although I wish I did). But, I do love Ibotta, the app that helps you save money. They are hosting a party to celebrate saving their customers $500 million!
 
Ibotta Party. Ibotta is celebrating saving more than $500 millions in savings since the launch. To commemorate they will host an event at Union Station on Thursday, January 31 from 12 noon to 1 p.m. The party will include 500+ balloons each filled with money ($1-$100), cookies, swag, and a photo booth. If you can’t attend the party. There are in-app rewards, chance to be one of five $500 winers, or chances to win  by using #Ibotta500Giveaway on Twitter, Instagram or public Facebook account.
 
Avalanche Family Night. For just $140, your family of four can enjoy the Colorado Avalanche v the Vancouver Canucks, four Pepsi’s and four chicken tenders meals on February 2.  
 
Curtis Hotel and Wizard of Oz. There’s no place like home! Dorothy, Toto and all of their fabulous friends are heading to The  Curtis – a DoubleTree by Hilton on Friday, Feb. 1st and Friday, Feb. 8th to celebrate the Colorado Ballet’s The Wizard of Oz with a special Follow the Yellow Brick Road Lemonade Stand.  Get your complimentary Yellow Brick Road lemonade from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. and a photo with Dorothy (a cardboard cut out of her).
 
Arc Thrift. Arc Thrift stores is having a 99 cent sweater sale on February 8 & 9. I have heard from a few people that the advent of the Tidying Up show on Netflix is giving the thrift stores some of the best stuff in quite some time.
 
IHOPIHOP all you can eat pancakes are back! For just $4.99 you can have as many pancakes as your stomach can take. Breakfast for Dinner for the win!
 
National Frozen Yogurt Day. Did you know that Wednesday, February 6 is national Frozen yogurt day? What that means is free frozen yogurt – in that case, I’ll celebrate! TCBY is offering the first 6 oz for free (you can get more if you wish – you just pay the additional); Yogurtland is offering a buy-one-get-one free from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m.; and Menchie’s is offering a buy-on-get-one all day!
 
Motomaki. If you bought a ski/snowboard pass – show it at Motomaki fast casual sushi and Japanese, for a 25% discount (through April 30). Also, if you are attending a CU Basketball game, show your ticket at Motomaki the day of the game, and get a free MISO soup.
 
Lunar New Year at Outlets at Castle Rock. To celebrate the Year of the Pig, Outlets at Castle Rock will give away Chinese red envelopes (with $8 Outlets gift card inside) from Monday, January 28 – February 9. Children 12 and under can craft lanterns that represent prosperity at Customer Serivce then return decorated lantern to receive an envelope with a special surprise! There will also be performances on Feb 9 from 1 p.m .to 2 p.m. of Chinese dancers.
 
Snarfs. On Valentine’s Day, buy one Snarf’s sandwich and get one free for that lover, friend or family member. Heck, singles can devour both sandwiches – anyone can double down on Snarf’s Sandwiches on Valentine’s Day with their buy-one-get-one free offer. To enjoy the BOGO offer, customers go to their store of choice and show their sub love at the counter by liking Snarf’s Facebook or Instagram page. It will be love at first bite. Select any sandwich the heart desires from the menu including the ever-popular Italian, Artichoke and Feta, or Meatball Parmesan, and the “not-on-the-menu” menu items like the Chicken Cordon Bleu, the Reuben or the Farmer. 
 
Mountaineering Weekend at YMCA of the Rockies. Mountaineering Weekend February 15-19, 2019  at YMCA of the Rockies features guided snowshoe hikes & winter ecology explorations in Rocky Mountain National Park, backcountry ski meet-ups, ice climbing lessons, winter survival and avalanche awareness presentations, and demos by popular mountaineering equipment brands. Whether it’s your first time out or your family has camped many times, this special weekend has activities and excursions for every level and all ages. Children will enjoy story times, kid-lead hikes and fun snow activities, in addition to ongoing YMCA of the Rockies activities such as roller-skating, ice skating, arts & crafts, etc. Book your President’s Day weekend adventure now! https://ymcarockies.org/mountaineeringweekend/
 
Elitch Gardens. Parents with little ones (children three to five years of age), you have until May 19 to register your child online for the Pre-K Pass. Adult guests can purchase their 2019 Season Pass for just $69.99 which includes unlimited visits, free parking, free tickets for friends, free concerts and more. Available at ElitchGardens.com or at King Soopers.
 
Keystone Kidtopia. Keystone Resort gets a bit sweeter with the second annual Kidtopia Culinary Festival, Feb. 8-15, 2019. Hands-on events like family cooking classes and food challenges means that playing with your food will be encouraged. Celebrity chef host a savory lineup tailored to the youngest of foodies.This weekend, imagination and family fun are the main ingredients. A full lineup of events and where you can reserve a room if you want to stay up overnight. can be found at KeystoneResort.com.
 
Keystone Girls in STEM: Snow Science and Snow Safety. Keystone Science School’s next Girls in STEM program is focused on Snow Science and Snow Safety. Girls will learn about snow science and a wide variety of careers within snow safety and snow science. The program is February 8-10 and cost just $175 (including food, equipment, lodging and instruction). There are scholarships available. To register or for more information call (970) 468-2098 or email [email protected]KeystoneScienceSchool.org.
 
Subaru Winterfest at Copper Mountain. This one of a kind concert and mountain lifestyle tour puts skiers, snowboarders, friends and families together to celebrate all things winter. It is February 15 – 17th at Copper Mountain. It includes music by national artists, giveaways, and a chance to test the latest gear. Plus, if you drive a Subaru…parking is VIP and you get a special gift (while supplies last). See you there!
 
 

Mountaineering Weekend at YMCA of the Rockies Brings Front Range Families Together for Fun, Educational Activities

YMCA of the Rockies will hold its 4th Annual Mountaineering Weekend from February 15-18, 2019. Whether it’s your first time out, or your family has camped in national parks many times, this special event has activities and excursions for every level.

Located just 10-minutes outside of Estes Park, on 800+ acres bordering Rocky Mountain National Park, YMCA of the Rockies offers families an easy mountain getaway without the ski crowds of I-70. During Mountaineering Weekend, guests will enjoy family snowshoe hikes in the park, winter orienteering lessons, meet and learn about search and rescue dogs, family-friendly yoga classes, ice anchor demonstrations, and the chance to explore a snow cave. ​

Regular YMCA of the Rockies programs will be running throughout the weekend, providing a great opportunity to check out the Craft and Design Center, rent some ice skates, or try out the new 25-foot indoor rock climbing wall.

Lodging includes lodge rooms and cabin options varying in size from 2-, 3-, or 4- bedroom vacation homes starting at $159/night. (There’s a reason Budget Travel Magazine named YMCA of the Rockies “Best Value Resort in America” last year.) Most rooms and cabins are TV-free too, providing an unplugged experience for your family, and no meal planning for mom and dad with access to the buffet-style dining hall for breakfast, lunch and dinner (for purchase).

All Mountaineering Weekend activities are free for guests staying in lodge rooms or cabins. Day passes are also available for $25/person ages 13 and up. Make your reservations today online or by calling 888-613-9622. 

Mighty Mom Won Ultramarathon While Breastfeeding

Jasmin Paris won Britain’s most brutal running race this week — a 268-mile winter mountain ultramarathon — all while the breastfeeding mom was expressing milk along the route! And, not only did the 35-year old small animal vet beat the entire field, she set a new Montane Spine course record by 12 hours, completing the race in 83 hours and 12 minutes. During the race, which covers 43,000 feet of climbing, Jasmin had to carry all of the supplies she needed, and navigate using a map, compass, and headlamp to follow the route that runs along the rugged Pennine Way from Edale in Derbyshire to the Scottish Borders. Jasmin says that her baby daughter, Rowan, helped inspire her to keep going when times got tough. “I did something crazy and entered a race I had vowed I would never, ever run,” she says. “Once I get to the finish, I’ll have my little girl there.”

Jasmin has set records as a runner before — in 2016 she broke two women’s records as she completed three of Britain’s most revered mountain running courses — but after she had Rowan, she found it hard to push herself to return to top running form. “Maybe as a consequence of contentment, my motivation to train took a definite nose-dive,” she wrote in a blog post. “I found it harder and harder to leave my bed for the cold darkness outside, and realised that I needed a new focus.” The Spine certainly provided her with a new challenge: in addition to the sheer length of the course, runners face 45 mile per hour winds and -4 degree Fahrenheit temperatures, as well as the pressure of knowing that there are no set rest breaks: if you stop to sleep, your competitors could still be running. In the four days that she ran, Jasmin only rested for seven hours — including time to eat, sleep, and pump.

Jasmin did many early-morning runs so that she could prepare for the race while still spending time with her family, but she also says that Rowan played a special role in some of her training: “We’re kind of an outdoorsy family,” she says. “Things like lots of long hikes with the baby and the rucksack are a good way of weight training.” The mental obstacles were harder than the physical conditioning: by the end of the race, Jasmin says she was hallucinating “animals appearing out of every rock.” She also remembers “I kept forgetting what I was doing and every so often I’d come to with a start and think ‘what am I doing here?’ and then I’d remember I’m walking the Pennine Way. I say walking, because by yesterday afternoon, there wasn’t much running going on any more.” Despite it all, though, she’s thrilled by her win — and she’s not ruling out doing it again. “Last night it was very much a no,” she admits. “Right now, it’s more of a maybe.”

Congratulations to Jasmin on her record-setting run!

For an inspiring book about 22 pioneering women runners, we highly recommend “First Ladies of Running: 22 Inspiring Profiles of the Rebels, Rule Breakers, and Visionaries Who Changed the Sport Forever,” at https://www.amightygirl.com/first-ladies-of-running

For several Mighty Girl stories that celebrate the joy of running, we recommend “The Quickest Kid in Clarksville” for ages 4 to 8 (https://www.amightygirl.com/the-quickest-kid-in-clarksville), “We Are Girls Who Love to Run / Somos Chicas Y a Nosostras Nos Encanta Correr” for ages 4 to 8 (https://www.amightygirl.com/we-are-girls-who-love-to-run) and “The Running Dream” for ages 12 and up (https://www.amightygirl.com/the-running-dream)

For books about girls and women who, like Jasmin Paris, demonstrate incredible determination to reach their goals, visit our “Perseverance” section at http://amgrl.co/2Anw5IT

Vaping declared an epidemic among youth: How to talk to your kids

Small kids, small problems. My husband and I regularly reminded ourselves of this during the exhausting baby and toddler years. “There’s nothing they can do right now to permanently mess up their lives,” Jamie would joke.

News flash: The teen years are no joke.  Last month In December 2018, U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams issued an advisory about the the dangers of electronic cigarette use among U.S. teenagers.

“I am officially declaring e-cigarette use among youth an epidemic in the United States,” Adams said at a news conference. “Now is the time to take action. We need to protect our young people from all tobacco products, including e-cigarettes.”

The surgeon general’s advisory called on parents and teachers to educate themselves about the variety of e-cigarettes and to talk with children about their dangers so I sat down with mine. I began our conversation with an open-ended question: Tell me about vaping?

While traditional cigarettes have a negative stigma, vaping is seen as cool. My middle schooler shared that his peers are doing it everywhere–in the band room, bathrooms and even in the lunchroom and during class. Because the scent is not as potent as regular cigarettes, it is easier to hide, plus they are regularly talking about the great flavors. My high-school-aged daughter frequently has boys who instant-message her on Instagram with videos of them vaping…and teens are frequently posting Instagram stories and pictures of them in what looks like an “ethereal” cloud. “I think it’s pretty gross but some of their vaping pictures are really cool,” my daughter admitted.

There is nothing cool about this statistic: Colorado youth are vaping nicotine at twice the national average and at the highest rate of 37 states surveyed, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Here are some helpful tips for talking to your kids.

Educate yourself before you have a chat.

My teens thought most kids who vape are just using harmless water vapor. Fact: Most vapes contain nicotine. Many even say “nicotine free” on the label. Some more facts:       

    • Nicotine has a negative effect on adolescent brain development, causing lasting cognitive and behavioral impairments, including effects on working memory and attention.
    • Most teens start out thinking they can stop whenever they want and won’t ever become addicted. And lots more start smoking cigarettes, a product that kills half its users. In fact, a teen who vapes is four times more likely to start smoking.
    • About half of Colorado high school students have tried vaping nicotine.
    • Only 7 percent of high school students currently smoke cigarettes, yet 27 percent said they vape nicotine.
    • The statewide school survey shows 87 percent of Colorado high school students think cigarette smoking is risky, but only 50 percent think those risks apply to vaping nicotine.
    • Nicotine has a negative effect on adolescent brain development, causing lasting cognitive and behavioral impairments, including effects on working memory and attention.
    • Most teens start out thinking they can stop whenever they want and won’t ever become addicted. And lots more start smoking cigarettes, a product that kills half its users. In fact, a teen who vapes is four times more likely to start smoking.

When you’re ready to talk, make sure you start by listening.

Tobacco Free Colorado shares some helpful advice on how to make kids feel heard. The most important thing is that your child feels safe talking openly. Consider their opinions and keep the conversation going. Even if you’ve talked about this topic before, their thoughts can change. Plus, as youth get older, they can feel more pressure from friends and classmates.

How can I tell if my child is vaping?

That’s part of the problem – it can be very hard to tell if a teen is vaping. Not only do manufacturers make discreet devices that resemble flash drives, highlighters and more, but they also do not have the same strong odor like cigarettes that is often a giveaway for parents and teachers. Vaping is so discreet, in fact, that students have been known to vape during class. Read this fact sheet for helpful tips on how to really talk, listen and be patient.

If you don’t think they’re vaping, now is the time to start the conversation (before there’s a problem).

Use Teachable Moments

When you see someone vaping on TV, or if it comes up in conversation, or even if a friend or family member vapes, it can make starting the conversation easier. Ask them how they feel about it and let them guide your discussion.

The first time my daughter saw vaping in public was when we were on a zipline tour and one of the 20-something participants would vape every time there was a wait. I took it as a learning opportunity as we later discussed about how his addiction level had to be pretty high if he couldn’t go a couple of hours in the gorgeous, clean air without vaping. Plus, it put a damper on our outdoor experience.

Set Clear Rules

Make family, school and sports team rules clear and stick to them. Let them know what will happen if they don’t follow them.

Focus on Positive Messages

Encourage them to make choices that help them achieve their goals.

Remind Them What Can Happen For Breaking the Rules

Teens that break school or school activity rules can be suspended or kicked off a team.

Remind Them They’re Role Models to Other Youth

Let them know that younger students and siblings look up to them as examples. How would they feel if a younger sibling got addicted to vaping?

Not Everyone Is Doing It

It is easier for youth to say “no” to peer pressure if they know not everyone is doing it. Let them know that more than half of high school and middle school students have never vaped, so they’re in good company.

Here is my biggest takeaway from talking to my kids: Don’t assume they think vaping is bad. I was surprised by just how misinformed my kids were about the facts. But then I realized their main information source was their peers at school, and  it instilled within me a sense of urgency to educate myself first, and then them. Their lives may depend upon it.

=======

Get the facts, start the conversation:

1.      Vape: Myths vs. Facts

2.      FAQs for Parents and Adults Who Work with Youth

3.      Tip Sheet: Talking to Youth

4.      Vaping 101: What You Need to Know

5.     “What should I do if I find out my child is vaping?”

This post is in partnership with Colorado Department of Health and Environment, but opinions are my own.

18 family-friendly events in Denver this week

It’s the final weekend of the National Western Stock Show. Also, don’t miss these fun events for teens, as well as the opening day of Once Upon a Playground. See our event calendar for additional information.

National Western Stock Show & Rodeo at the National Western Complex
Jan 12 – Jan 27
Bulls and broncs, cowboys and cowgirls – rodeo’s biggest superstars perform amazing feats of athleticism during each performance of this professional rodeo. Showcasing the elegance and athleticism of the world’s top reining horses, the hard-hitting competition of Denver Professional Bull Riders Chute-Out and the Mexican Rodeo Extravaganza, this event has something for everyone.

Denver Nuggets vs. Phoenix Suns at the Pepsi Center
Jan 25, 7:00 – 10:00 pm
The Denver Nuggets face off against the Phoenix Suns.

Teen Lounge: Things That Glow at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science
Jan 25, 7:00 – 10:00 pm
Teens take over the Museum at this totally free, uniquely teen night. This month, have an illuminating evening with minerals that glow, glowing art walls, creepy glowing slime, and more! Rock out with our DJ, win door prizes, and enjoy free snacks after hours. Check out dmns.org for details.

21 Below at the Museum of Contemporary Art Denver
Jan 26, 6:00 – 8:30 pm
Calling all teens: Get ready for one glittering night of glam jams, Lisa Frank, an 80s party to dance, vogue and serve looks. A blast from the past that will make your parents jealous. Totally radical. Teens get in FREE.

Denver Nuggets vs. Philadelphia 76ers at the Pepsi Center
Jan 26, 7:00 pm – 10:00 pm
The Denver Nuggets face off against the Philadelphia 76ers.

Free Day at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science
Jan 27, 9:00 am – 5:00 pm
Museum Admission is free on the dates listed below. To add a temporary exhibit, IMAX or Planetarium show, purchase tickets at the Museum on the Free Day; upgrade rates apply. Reservations and amenities (lunchroom, coat and lunch storage, bus drop off, etc.) for school groups are not available on SCFD Community Free Days.

Opening Day: Once Upon a Playground at the Fort Collins Museum of Discovery
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Jan 29, 10:00 am – 5:00 pm
In Fort Collins Museum of Discovery’s special traveling exhibition, Once Upon a Playground, take an interactive journey from the past to the present… and beyond. Share in the nostalgia for playgrounds form decades past with dozens of historic images while you celebrate playgrounds of Fort Collins present and future. We invite you to touch, to see, to smell, to listen, to climb, to build – and to experience this interactive exhibition that is sure to enliven all of your senses.

Save-the-Date (and book now!)

Mountaineering Weekend at YMCA of the Rockies Estes Park
February 15-19, 2019 
Mountaineering Weekend at YMCA of the Rockies features guided snowshoe hikes & winter ecology explorations in Rocky Mountain National Park, backcountry ski meet-ups, ice climbing lessons, winter survival and avalanche awareness presentations, and demos by popular mountaineering equipment brands. Whether it’s your first time out or your family has camped many times, this special weekend has activities and excursions for every level and all ages. Children will enjoy story times, kid-lead hikes and fun snow activities, in addition to ongoing YMCA of the Rockies activities such as roller-skating, ice skating, arts & crafts, etc. https://ymcarockies.org/mountaineeringweekend/

Ongoing General Events

Ice Castles in Dillon, Colorado
December 21, 2018 – February 2, 2019  
Each year, Ice Castles brings fairy tales to life for hundreds of thousands of families across North America. Since 2011, Ice Castles has been dedicated to creating an experience that will live on long after the ice melts. https://icecastles.com/dillon/

The Crystal Ice Festival at the Museum of Outdoor Arts
Dec. 15, 2018 – March 15, 2019
Deep in the winter covered forest atop a high mountain is the magical Crystal Ice Castle. Where winter wishes are sent to be considered by the Frost Queen Andorra. Your wish may be granted by the Frost Queen, but those that are not are buried deep within the ice of the castle for future consideration. A found object installation of old glass, cut crystal and acrylic. Including objects such as vases, candlesticks, goblets, bowls and more. Embellished with crystals, beads, rhinestones and silver filigree. http://moaonline.org/winter2018diorama/

Once Upon a Playground at Fort Collins Museum of Discovery
January 29 – May 26
In Fort Collins Museum of Discovery’s special traveling exhibition, Once Upon a Playground, take an interactive journey from the past to the present… and beyond. Share in the nostalgia for playgrounds form decades past with dozens of historic images while you celebrate playgrounds of Fort Collins present and future. We invite you to touch, to see, to smell, to listen, to climb, to build – and to experience this interactive exhibition that is sure to enliven all of your senses.

Wonderspace Exhibition
Nov. 2, 2018 – Jan. 31, 2019
This free exhibition by architects, designers and engineers on places and spaces, ideas and notions that have inspired wonder in their work. https://www.denver.org/event/wonderspace-exhibition/62473/

Above and Beyond at Wings Over the Rockies Air & Space Museum
Sept. 29 – Jan 13, 2019
ABOVE AND BEYOND celebrates the power of innovation to make dreams take flight. This traveling aerospace exhibition features: immersive simulations, interactive design challenges, iconic historical touchstones, visionary concepts for the future, and inspiring stories from game-changing innovators, past and present. https://wingsmuseum.org/portfolio/beyond/

Big Bird’s Adventure + Black Holes: The Other Side of Infinity at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science
Nov. 9, 2018 – Dec. 12, 2019
In this Museum-produced show, zip through other-worldly wormholes, experience the creation of the Milky Way Galaxy, and witness the violent death of a star and subsequent birth of a black hole. Mathematical equations, cutting-edge science, and Einstein’s theories fill in holes along the way, providing the most complete picture yet on this mysterious phenomenon. Also, One World, One Sky is a brilliant spectacle of light and color that follows Sesame Street’s Big Bird and Elmo as they explore the night sky with Hu Hu Zhu, a new friend from China.  http://www.dmns.org

Downtown Denver Rink at Skyline Park
Nov. 20, 2018 – Feb. 2, 2019
The Downtown Denver Rink at Skyline Park is the place for fun this holiday season. The Downtown Denver Partnership invites you and your family to join us for a winter full of skating at Skyline Park, located at 16th & Arapahoe in Downtown Denver. https://www.downtowndenver.com/experience-downtown/downtown-denver-ice-rink/

Hidden Universe 3D at CU South Denver
Oct. 27, 2018 – Jan. 25, 2019
Hidden Universe 3D takes audiences on a breathtaking tour of deep space in the cinematic medium that does it best. Our universe is brought to life on the Giant Screen with unprecedented clarity through mesmerizing, real images captured by Hubble and the world’s most powerful telescopes. In an age where space tourism has become reality, the film offers an inspiring story of human endeavor from a prime seat with a magnificent point-of-view. https://southdenver.cu.edu/visit-us/3d-movies/

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.

Images from the Tracks at the Colorado Railroad Museum
January 28, 2019 – January 5, 2020
One of the foremost photographers to photograph the great American West, William Henry Jackson’s images had an immense influence on the public’s perception of the American West. A portion of those images were captured here in Colorado as Jackson traveled throughout the west by rail. This exhibit not only showcases the Museum’s collection of Jackson photographs but provides visitors with the opportunity to visit the rail car he traveled and lived in – the Denver & Rio Grande Western business car – the Rico.

Denver Public School teachers vote to strike

Denver Public Schools teachers voted to strike on Tuesday after a weeks-long stalemate with the district stemming mostly from a simmering disagreement about salary. 

At least two-thirds of the members of the Denver Classroom Teachers Association had to approve of a strike. Rob Gould, the spokesperson for the DCTA, said 93 percent of teachers voted to strike. This is the first time Denver teachers are slated to walk off the job since 1994. 


Krystyna Biassou, Janet Oravetz

36 outdoor ice rinks in Colorado

There’s no better way to celebrate the winter season than by soaking in the atmosphere at an outdoor ice rink in Colorado.

Whether you’re with your family, friends, kids or alone on your lunch break, take a moment to visit an ice rink near you and become a kid again for a half hour or more.

Here’s a map and list of some of the festive outdoor ice skating rinks in Colorado this year. Go to 9News for the full listings.

-Alexander Kirk