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We Wrote The Book On Music Lessons … And We’d Love To Give You A Free Copy

I’m not a Mama… but I’m a parent of two.  You might say I’m a “Mile High Dada.”  And in my business, I work with parents and families every day as we all continue our community quest to raise the next generation of inspired, confident people.

That quest is my central mission – and I’m passionate about it!

That’s why I started the school more than a dozen years ago… why I wake up excited every morning… and why my friend Marty Fort and I wrote the book on Music Lessons in Littleton, CO.

As we detail in our book, I Fell in Love with Music: Why I started Littleton School of Music, music lessons aren’t really about music.

Not entirely.

No, giving your child the gift of music love – from playing music at home to enrolling them in a safe, professional “musical family” like ours – is really about developing the kind of confidence, persistence, and positivity we all want our future adults to enjoy.

Of course, among the many “outside activities” you and your child could choose – from athletics to hobbies – music school is just one option.  As a parent, you’ll want to evaluate every “fit,” from what seems right for your individual kiddo, to how an activity will work within a limited family budget.

We’re all looking for the best for our children – and that means, among other things, the best “bang for our buck!”

So I’d like to offer you a free copy of I Fell in Love with Music.  I think you’ll find it helps you make a truly informed choice, not just about Littleton Music Lessons, but about how to evaluate all the options for your child.

Here are some of the things you’ll learn from the book:

  • My personal story – how music actually saved my life
  • How to tell if your child’s ready for music lessons – not every child is
  • What you can do at home to help your child love music
  • How music lessons help in ways far beyond music itself (academics, for instance)
  • The best ways to measure your kid’s progress
  • Details about the most popular lesson types (guitar, keyboard, percussion, and voice)
  • Common myths about Piano Lessons, Voice Lessons, and more

… and more.

Clearly, I’m a big believer in music lessons for children.  I know first-hand how powerful music can be in positioning a youngster for lifelong success

Now that school’s in session, and children (older and younger) start looking for other things to do, it’s a great time to learn more about wholesome, safe, productive activities.

As hundreds of our school’s families have discovered, music might be just the ticket.

So let me share with you a copy of my book. As a parent, an informed choice is always a good choice.

Stephan Hume, founder of Littleton School of Music, appeared on the hit MTV show “Made,” and created the school in 2006.  His music degree is from the University of Colorado (Denver), and he lives in Littleton with his wife, Lauren, and his young son and daughter.

 For your free copy of the book, call (303) 972-7625 or email info@littletonmusiclessons.com.  Supplies are limited. 

 By Stephan Hume, Littleton School of Music

 

 

Harvest Fun: Colorado’s best pumpkin patches, farm stands and U Pick Tours

When harvest season nears, Colorado’s farms swing open their gates for fall fun in the fields. Load up the whole family for wallet-friendly learnin’, pickin’ and eatin’ — all the while supporting local growers and businesses.

Below are a few examples of things to see and do on Colorado’s most fertile lands. For information on other options around the state, check out Colorado’s best fall colors, festivals and corn mazesColorado Rootsfall-color drives on scenic byways and farm and ranch activities.

U PICK/FARM TOURS

Create your own farm-to-table menu with a visit to the many farms that are eager to teach people about agriculture this fall. You can choose (and taste!) your produce right from the source for a farm-fresh meal.

  • Aloha Organic FruitPalisade: Learn the differences between conventional and organic farming as you stroll Aloha’s peach orchards, see how water is brought to the trees from the Colorado River and shop the farm store.
  • Jumpin’ Good Goat DairyBuena Vista: Walk through the dairy’s facilities, spend some time with their happy goats, taste all sorts of cheese, watch the busy cheese-making staff at work and even try your hand at milking.
  • Two working farm museums take you back in time for a peek into Colorado’s farming history: Bee Family Centennial Farm Museum in Fort Collins and the Littleton Museum in Littleton.
  • Berry Patch FarmsBrighton: Fall crops like apples, beets, carrots, garlic, onions, squash, pumpkins and peppers are ripe and ready. Meet the farm’s chickens, ducks and two cute pigs named Bacon Bits and Pancetta.
  • Take in the splendor of southwest Colorado’s high-desert topography while you see how farmers live and taste the area’s flavors on a Mesa Verde Farm and Ranch Tour hosted by the Cortez Cultural Center. Excursions include transportation to multiple sites, a guided tour, lunch and a tasting of craft beverages from local breweries and wineries.

Find other farm & ranch activities >>

CORN MAZES & PUMPKIN PATCHES

The harvest season beings plenty of opportunities for farm fun. Pumpkin picking, hayrides, mazes and other activities make for the perfect fall day.

  • Harvest Farm Fall Festival, Wellington: What if you could get all the enchantment of the fall while helping to change lives? At this festival, that is exactly what attendees do as proceeds go directly to Denver Rescue Mission with a 10-acre corn maze, pig races, pumpkin picking station, corn cannons, petting zoo, wagon rides and much, much more.
  • Cottonwood FarmBoulder: Tackle straw-bale and corn mazes, take a wagon ride, decorate a gourd and pick a perfect pumpkin.
  • Denver Botanic Gardens at Chatfield FarmsLittleton: The gardens’ massive corn maze twists and turns across eight acres, with a mini-maze for smaller kids and great bird watching opportunities.
  • Fritzler’s Corn Maize, near Greeley: More than just a maze, Fritzler’s delights with a mini-rollercoaster ride, pillow jump, duck races, pumpkin canons, go-carts and a haunted maze at night.
  • Miller FarmsPlatteville: Harvest potatoes, carrots and other vegetables, take a hayride through 180 acres of field, have a picnic and taste some delicious snacks.
  • Anderson FarmsErie: One of Colorado’s longest running corn mazes and U-pick pumpkin patches also features a zombie paintball hunt, gourd launching and much more.
  • Colon Orchards and Diana’s Pumpkin Patch Corn Maze, both in Cañon City: Two corn mazes, hayrides and pumpkin picking in the heart of the Arkansas River Valley at Colon Orchards; a maze, s’mores and hot cider on Friday and Saturday evenings and paint balloon wars at Diana’s.
  • Studts Pumpkin PatchGrand Junction: Day and night mazes, pumpkin jumps, haunted house and many other family activities. 
  • Weathers Family Farms: Weekends in October, this farm in Yuma has a corn maze with a different theme and layout each year. There are also photo opportunities, a pumpkin patch and plenty of cattle wandering around.

 Find other fall events >>

FARMERS’ MARKETS

Farmers’ markets offer the chance to feast on Colorado’s seasonal fruits and vegetables, and many of the larger ones also have chef demonstrations, live entertainment and kids activities. Sort our list of farmers’ markets by city and region here. A few of the most popular include:

-Colorado.com

Beyond the Baby Blues: 6 Things You Can Do to Help Your Friend Through Postpartum Depression

 
For those who have never had a baby, it’s difficult to imagine the emotional (and physical) rollercoaster associated with growing a person, giving birth to them, and caring for them as a helpless infant. Yes, people do it every day, (and have for some time), but many underestimate the difficulties and unexpected side effects that can occur from having a child. One of the most invisible, yet devastating side effects is  postpartum depression, and as a new mom’s friend or loved one, there’s a lot you can do to help.
 
What is Postpartum Depression?
 
While “Baby Blues” are universally common for a short time after giving birth, Postpartum Depression is something more severe and typically more lasting, often requiring treatment. One in seven people who give birth experience postpartum depression.
 
Postpartum Depression Symptoms Include:
 
– Depressed mood or severe mood swings
 
– Difficulty bonding with your baby
 
– Loss of appetite or eating much more than usual
 
– Intense irritability and anger
 
– Diminished ability to think clearly, concentrate or make decisions
 
– Withdrawing from family and friends
 
– Feelings of worthlessness, shame, guilt or inadequacy
 
– Hopelessness
 
– Severe anxiety and panic attacks
 
– Thoughts of harming yourself or your baby
 
– Recurrent thoughts of death or suicide
 
Symptoms can also include:
 
– Excessive crying
 
– Inability to sleep (insomnia) or sleeping too much
 
– Overwhelming fatigue or loss of energy
 
– Reduced interest and pleasure in activities you used to enjoy
 
– Fear that you’re not a good mother
 
– Restlessness
 
If you think your friend, family member, or loved one is experiencing postpartum depression, here are some ways you can support them.
 

How To Support Yourself or Someone with Postpartum Depression

1. Help her coordinate her community
While everyone offers “to help” after a new baby is born, it is often overwhelming to ask after a few sleepless nights, when life becomes a blur of caring for the baby and dealing with postpartum depression. Visit with your friend and help her set up a system of care through a service like Give InKind so she can schedule and ask for the exact kind of help she needs.
 
2. Announce you’re going on a “store run” 
Tell her you’re going to the store this afternoon, or tomorrow morning, and ask her what kinds of diapers she wants you to pick up (as well as any formula, wipes, clothing, etc). Have her be specific, and make a list.
 
3. Plan a weekly “helping hands” visit
If your friend is open to weekly help, let your friend know that you’ll be there to help clean, talk, cook, etc. every Wednesday at noon (or pick a day that works for both of you), for the next 8 weeks (or however long you can). During this time, do whatever it is that she needs help with; laundry, dishes, changing the baby, babysitting while she gets out of the house for an hour. Whatever it is, be consistent, and supportive. If you live in another state, consider purchasing a gift card for a house cleaning service to visit weekly.
 
4. Help her find a babysitter
Mama needs a break now and then, and not everyone has someone else at home to watch the baby if she needs a night off. Help your friend get some time to herself now and then by helping her find a qualified local babysitter.
 
5. Help her find a support network
Talking with other parents who have just gone through birth and are in the pangs of late-night feedings and 24/7 baby care can be helpful and therapeutic.
 
6. Offer to help your friend find a therapist in her network
Taking some of the research off of your friend’s plate can be helpful if your friend is open to therapy. Resources like Psychology Today have contact information of therapists in every state, and let you sort by therapist specialty, insurance provider, etc.

Should They See a Doctor?

Postpartum Depression (and Postpartum Psychosis) are very real and should be monitored and taken seriously for the health of parents and babies and other family members. There is no shame in getting help if you need it.
 
If a parent’s symptoms are getting worse, or if the symptoms don’t go away after two weeks, an appointment should be made with their doctor. If the parent finds it hard to complete everyday tasks, or care for their baby, or themselves, they should see their doctor. If they are having thoughts of harming themselves or the baby, get help right away.
 
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is available for those who need it, at 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255).
 
Support Your Friend
 
Your friend may be reclusive and withdrawn at this time, but check in on them, and help them get the support, love, and care they need as they work through postpartum depression and, hopefully, into a better mental state.
 
Give InKind is an intelligent social support platform that helps friends and family coordinate tangible, financial, and emotional support for those who need it. Everyone goes through major life events, and everyone needs a little help sometimes. From the birth of a baby, to loss of a family member, to medical crisis and disasters, people need more than just money, lasagna, or “thoughts and prayers.” Every individual or family in need is different. Give InKind helps people coordinate help with things like dinner dropoffs, walking the dog, picking kids up from school, buying groceries, and watering plants. Give InKind lets givers provide or send specific services or assistance that helps those they care about focus on what matters. For more information visit www.giveinkind.com
 

24 family-friendly events this weekend

It’s the Energy Day Festival, the 16th Street Fair and much more. See our event calendar for full listings. Also, don’t miss Colorado’s best fall colors, festivals and corn mazes. 

Energy Day Colorado at East High School in Denver 
Sept 28, 11:00 am – 4:00 pm
Join us for fun, games and prizes at Energy Day Colorado! This FREE family festival showcases exhibits focused on science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM), where students take part in hands-on experiments and interactive exhibits to learn about the different types of energy, how it is processed and how we use it to fuel our lives.

Wild Kratts Live! at Bellco Theatre 
Sept 26, 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm
This all-new theatrical stage show is based on the hit animated television series Wild Kratts. Martin and Chris Kratt, stars of the Emmy-nominated Wild Kratts, step out live onstage to engage the audience in a classic Wild Kratts story.Starting off in their headquarters, the “Tortuga,” the Kratts receive a message about an animal in trouble. Always ready to help animals in need, they pull on their “Creature Power” vests and gloves and are off. 

Corn Maze at Botanic Gardens at Chatfield 
Sept 27 – 29 
Wind your way through seven acres of corn. The maze can be viewed from two 15-foot tall illuminated bridges. Visitors under the age of 10 can explore the corn mini-maze. Get lost in our 7-acre Corn Maze at Chatfield Farms (there is no Corn Maze at York Street). Also enjoy our After Dark Corn Maze and Dead Zone Scream Park. Masks and costumes are not permitted on the premises.

16th Street Fair
Sept 27 – Sep 28 
The 11th annual 16th Street Fair is an annual celebration of fine art, handcrafted goods, and the 16th Street Mall in Downtown Denver. Take a stroll along the 16th Street Mall to enjoy a showcase of emerging artists and designers, producing original and unique handmade goods, in a wide array of media. This is Downtown Denver’s premier art and craft festival located in the city center along the busiest pedestrian street in the State.

Family Pride Night at WOW! Children’s Museum 
Sept 27, 5:30 – 7:30 pm
In honor of Boulder Pridefest, WOW! is proud to host Family Pride Night, an event for all families to celebrate kindness and acceptance! The night’s festivities include Drag Queen Story Hour at 6:30pm, DIY face painting station, selfie silhouette craft, chain of kindness project, and of course, playtime in the Museum.

Colorado Mountain Fest at American Mountaineering Museum 
Sept 28 – 29 
The Colorado Mountain Fest is a free celebration of Colorado’s outdoor community, through demos from top brands, clinics and workshops led by well-known outdoor athletes, and a party featuring local food, entertainment, a beer garden sponsored by Odell Brewing, and giveaways all weekend!

Free Entrance Day at National Parks 
Sept 28, 8:00 am – 8:00 pm
Come experience the national parks! On five days in 2019, all National Park Service sites that charge an entrance fee will offer free admission to everyone. Mark your calendars.

Maize in the City  
Sept 28– Oct 31 
Maize in the City is Colorado’s favorite rural fall event featuring convenient, fun attractions for the whole family to enjoy. Get lost in your own backyard as you navigate your way through the 20-acre corn maze or mini maze. Find your perfect pumpkin in our easy-pick field. Locally grown by the Maize in the City farmer, choose from 15 variety of pumpkins and gourds.

CU Wizards! “Batteries@ Redox, Reuse, Recharge!” 
Sept 28, 9:30 am – 10:30 am
Batteries are just about everywhere these days but do you know how they work? Did you know you can run a clock with orange juice? Or make a calculator battery from pennies, nails and fruit? Come see the World’s Smallest Electric Train and many more amazing demonstrations of fun things you can do with batteries! Dr. Susan Henrickson explains the chemistry involved in making a battery in this energetic, fun show.

Fetch Fall Market at EXDO Event Center 
Sept 28– 29 
The Fetch Fall Market returns on September 28-29, 2019 to the EXDO Events Center in RiNo! We’ll be bringing all of those Fall Fetch Feels for a festivity-filled weekend to kick off the season. Grab your scarf and pumpkin spice latte – and join us to shop with your fave Colorado makers, sip on craft cocktails and local brews, nosh on food truck eats, and a whole lot more.

Golden Sidewalk Sale at Downtown Golden 
Sept 28, 10:00 am – 5:00 pm
Head to Golden for deep discounts at the Golden Sidewalk Sale. Golden’s mostly locally-owned stores are going all out for this event with great prices on everything from outdoor gear and jewelry to clothing and artisan crafts. Get to Golden early for the best selection. The sale is citywide and most Downtown Golden merchants are participating.

Steadman Hawkins Clinic Denver Community Open House 
Sept 28, 11:00 am – 2:00 pm
In celebration of the new, state-of-the-art Steadman Hawkins Clinic for sports medicine, UCHealth is hosting a free open house for the community. Bring family and friends and explore the new facility! In addition to self guided tours, there will be demonstrations of the advanced orthopedic training and recovery equipment. Enjoy healthy refreshments, along with a number of surprise sports activities along the way. 

University of Denver vs. Eastern Illinois – Men’s Soccer at University of Denver/Ritchie Center-Magness Arena 
Sept 28, 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm
Join the University of Denver’s pioneers against Eastern Illinois for an afternoon of soccer!

Cosmico Americas at Civic Center Park 
Sept 28, 4:00 – 10:00 pm
The Biennial of the Americas Festival culminates on Saturday, Sept. 28 with Cósmico Americas, a free, family-friendly celebration of arts and culture of the Americas at Civic Center Park in Downtown Denver. Cósmico will feature Jaguara, a spectacular light and sound show and the artistic centerpiece of the Festival. Jaguara is the artistic vision of Sonic Design Studio, a digital design company based out of Bogotá, Colombia.

Dairy Presents the Boulder Magic Showcase at Dairy Arts Center 
Sept 28, 8:30 – 9:45 pm
Following several sold out shows, Braden Carlisle and friends will once again amaze and amuse the Boulder crowd. This show will feature close-up magic, made visible live on the screen. With styles ranging from mentalism to comedy, the captivating comedy magician will leave you laughing harder than you thought possible at a magic show!

Susan G. Komen Colorado – More Than Pink Walk at Auraria Campus 
Sept 29, 6:00 am – 11:00 am
We are premiering the Susan G. Komen Colorado MORE THAN PINK Walk™. Along with a new name, the walk will include a fresh new look and experience focused on energizing the community around the lifesaving work Komen Colorado supporters make possible. The MORE THAN PINK Walk will begin with a new, inspirational opening ceremony that will celebrate anyone who has ever faced a breast cancer diagnosis. 

Free Day at Denver Museum of Nature & Science 
Sept 29 at 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.

Denver Broncos vs. Jacksonville Jaguars at Empower Field at Mile High 
Sept 29, 2:30 pm – 4:00 pm
Denver Broncos vs. Jacksonville Jaguars at Broncos Stadium at Mile High.

Colorado Rapids vs. FC Dallas at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park
Sept 29, 5:30  – 7:30 pm
Come see the Colorado Rapids as they square off against FC Dallas.

Free Tuesday Night at Children’s Museum of Denver at Marsico Campus 
Oct 1, 4:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Families can play for FREE the first Tuesday of every month from 4 – 8 pm. Create in The Art Studio, power a hot air balloon or make giant bubbles. There is always something new to explore!

ONGOING EVENTS

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.

Marine Biologist for a Day at the Downtown Aquarium
Jan 1- Dec 31, 2019
See if you have what it takes to become a Marine Biologist! Spend a day behind the scenes where all the scientific action happens. Experience close encounters with exotic species from the deep sea to shallow reef and everywhere in between. You’ll even get to dissect a squid! Program includes guided tour, biologist dive show, squid dissection, animal feedings and much more! T-shirts & lunch included.

Friday Night Bazaar
June 7- September 27
Celebrate the return of Friday Night Bazaar as they open on June 7th and pop-up weekly in RiNo, River North Art District all summer long from 5-10 p.m. for your shopping & sipping needs! Weekly features include 25+ Local Makers, Food & Fashion Trucks, live DJ and more.  denverbazaar/fridaynightbazaar

First Light Family Space at the Denver Art Museum
June 1-Dec. 31, 2019
Step into the shining world of the new First Light Family Space and try hands-on activities inspired by the exhibition, The Light Show. Trace a shadow, make a mirror, play with patterns and create a colorful city. The museum of free for kids under 18 for kids. Have fun learning about artwork with gallery games similar to I spy, bingo, and memory matching with Gallery Games. Create Playdate’s artmaking with little ones is on the second Wednesday of the month from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. DenverArtMuseum.org.

How Parenting Affects a Child’s Development

From reading to infants to helping with schoolwork to enunciating values as the child grows, parents exert enormous influence over their children’s development, success, and overall happiness. They are, however, not the only influences—especially after children enter school and begin interacting with the world at large.

It’s especially important that parents work to give children the best start possible, but it’s also important for parents to recognize that kids come into the world with their own temperaments, personalities, and goals. Ultimately, while parents may want to push their child down a certain path, a parents’ job is to provide an interface with the world that eventually prepares a child for complete independence and the ability to pursue whatever path they choose.

In a rapidly changing world—especially one where children’s milestones and accomplishments are often shared on social media—parenting seems subject to fads and changing styles, and parenting in some ways has become a competitive sport. But the needs of child development as delineated by science remain relatively stable: safety, structure, support, and love. CLICK TO KEEP READING

Contest: Harvest Farm Fall Festival Family Fun and Helping Those In Need

Leaves are falling, autumns calling and everything pumpkin spice is here. In the most magical and colorful way the world is turning into autumn all around us. With pumpkin patches, fall festivals and corn mazes galore, it’s hard to pick the exact activity that will spark that perfect fall feeling as the seasons change. 

But, what if you could have the best of both worlds? What if you could get all the enchantment of the fall while helping to change lives?

At Harvest Farm Fall Festival that is exactly what attendees do. Proceeds from the Festival directly support the New Life Program (NLP) at Harvest Farm. An outreach of Denver Rescue Mission, Harvest Farm is a 100-acre working farm located in Wellington, CO. The Farm accommodates up to 72 men recovering from chronic homelessness and addiction and helps return them to society as productive, self-sufficient citizens.

For the past 17 years, families from near and wide come to our Festival to have a true fall farm experience and support the men in our NLP. With the help of Fall Festival attendees and donors over the years we’ve been able to help 450 men in our program graduate.

When you arrive at the Farm you’ll be greeted by all things fall. Scattered throughout the acres of farm land is a 10-acre corn maze, pig races, pumpkin picking station, corn cannons, petting zoo, wagon rides and much, much more. To top it off, the Farm makes some of the best kettle corn in all of Northern Colorado (some would even say it puts the pumpkin spice latte to shame with it’s out of this world flavors.)

Throughout the month of October there are also featured attractions that add even more sparkle and pizazz to the Festival. For the first time ever we are having a puppy yoga class in our barn opening weekend. Who doesn’t want to do some yoga with 8 to 12 month old puppies? Alongside puppy yoga, we also have Colorado Weekend. Everyone who wears Colorado gear will get $2 off one admission.

Any Broncos fans out there? Our second weekend open we will have Miles, the Denver Broncos mascot, as our featured guest at the Farm! Whether you’re a Broncos fan, Colorado fan, or just a fan of fall time, there’s something for everyone and every age at the Harvest Farm Fall Festival.

What are you waiting for? Dive into fall with us at Harvest Farm and help support a life-changing program!

For exact times, locations, attractions and more please visit… https://www.harvestfarm.org

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Deals: Energy Day, Fall Break, Broncos Win Deals & more

I will be joining the drive up the mountains this weekend to see the leaves in the high country. I was lucky enough to spend the last couple weeks in the Northeast United States seeing leaves of bright reds and awesome fall colors – but there is something about my home state, that we even named Colorado (which has the world color in it) – which means we, too, are one of the best places to see fall. Fall also means great deals, thinking about ski season, a pumpkin festival or two. See our guide to Colorado’s best fall colors, festivals and corn mazes
 
Energy DayEnergy Day is a free, family-focused event that attracts students, educators, and families, showcasing real-world examples and interactive exhibits to highlight the fun students can have in their future careers if they used their classroom skills to pursue STEM education and fill Colorado’s workforce-ready pipeline.  This year’s Energy Day Festival is Saturday, Sept. 28, at East High School, 1600 City Park Esplanade, where you can learn, listen to music, eat great food from area food trucks and enjoy time with your family and friends.
 
Glenwood Caverns Adventure’s Octoberfest on the Mountain.  This roadtrip will be like no other with Oktoberfest, which will be held two weekends, on Saturday, Oct. 12 and Saturday, Oct. 19, when there are events for youngsters as well as the 21 and over crowd. Families can enjoy hayrides, pumpkin decorating, face painting and kid’s games with prizes from noon to 5 pm. Alpine Echo, the Roaring Fork Valley’s legendary German band will entertain audiences from noon to 4 p.m. with traditional polkas, waltzes, bierstube songs, and of course everyone’s favorite the chicken dance!All month long the Adventure Park celebrates with autumn-themed activities, and for two weekends in October it goes full-on Bavarian with German music, contests, food and more!
 
Pumpkin Festival at Jared’s: Our own Amber Johnson’s husband, Jamie is a pumpkin grower! Rarely do I get super ALL the giant pumpkins, you can visit Jared’s Nursery Pumpkin Festival  on Saturday, September 28 to witness the famous half-ton pumpkin weigh-off, straw maze, face painting, food trucks and bounce castles.

ThriftCon with Thriftopia Shopping. How awesome a name is that? Seriously excited about Thritopia markets, with is a collection of vintage clothing and collectible vendors all at the Dairy Block on three successive Fridays – starting this Friday, September 27 from 5 p.m to 10 p.m.

Denver Art Museum Fall Break. During fall break, October 18-22 the Denver Art Museum will have several interactive exhibits, hands-on art and all for FREE.

Broncos Deals: All summer long I took advantage of the Rockies deal at Taco Bell. There are several deals you can take advantage of this fall in relations to the Broncos.

·         If the Broncos score two touchdowns you can score an original Roast Beef sandwich at Arby’s the next day for just $1! Even though they’re losing you’re winning.

·         When the broncos win you can get half off a Papa John’s pizza with code: Broncos.

·         King Soopers will give you a free raised or cake donut when they win.

·         Get a free coffee at Conoco between 6 a.m. an d10 a.m. the day after a win.

·         At Buffalo Wild Wings you can get a free appetizer with the purchase of $5 or more (dine in only) after a Broncos win.

Boyer’s Coffee Party: I love learning that a brand or an item is from right here in our back yard. Boyer’s Coffee (at 7295 N. Washington St.) is having a coffee party on Friday, September 27 and Saturday, September 28. Free drip coffee both days, 50% off beverages, 25% off bags of Luna Brands (Boyer’s, Boca Java, Boulder Organic and Luna Roasters) and 15% off coffee accessories. There will also be some awesome giveaways on Friday including drink vouchers, bagged coffee, lunch at food trucks and more!

IHOP. IHOP is already in the Halloween spirit. The new Addams Family Menu is here and right now, IHOP is offering a free Kooky Kids Combo with any adult entrée purchase from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. through November 3.

Botanic Gardens Fall Sale: Now is the time to plant bulbs and fall plants. (You can be like me and I’m surprised when it comes up in the spring because I can’t remember what I planted in fall). Shop the Denver Botanic Garden’s Fall Plant and Blub sale on Friday, September 27 and Saturday, September 28. Plus, even better, the staff is on hand to give you free expert advice! AT the Botanic Gardens located at 1007 York St.

Abominable Movie Screening. You can make magic anywhere. #AbominableMovie is in theaters September 27. For your chance to see the film at the advance screening in Denver on Saturday, September 21 enter through https://forms.gle/YAR6GpVNhAUq8fmR7 to receive an admit-four pass, while supplies last. Arrive early because seating is not guaranteed.

Ski Deals. Labor Day weekend also ushers in thoughts of the ski season. Now is the time to get your season passes! No matter where you choose to ski/snowboard.

·       Vail returns with Epic School Kids FREE pass for Kindergarten through 5th graders. It includes four days of skiing and riding at each: Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Crested Butte and Keystone. Plus, if you go today or tomorrow you can score a coupon for $15 off the already totally affordable Junior Trade Program. (you have to go to an Epic Mountain Gear store to get the pass).

·       5th and 6th Grade Passport. Colorado Ski Country (including most of the other Colorado Ski Areas – Arapahoe Basin, Copper, Cooper, Granby, Sunlight, Steamboat, Winter Park, Aspen, Snowmass, Monarch, Telluride, Eldora) is available for 5th graders who get three days of skiing at each of the resorts, free beginner lesson, and equipment on the day of that lesson for FREE. Sixth-Graders can take advantage of FOUR days at each of the resorts and lesson for just $110.

 

You’ve heard of ‘STEM’ but what is ‘STEAM?’ Don’t miss the Energy Day Festival this week!

You’ve likely seen or hear educators, parents and community leaders use the acronym STEM, but lately, people have been using the acronym STEAM – so what’s the added “A”?

Let’s start with the basics for those of us who aren’t familiar with STEM either: STEM is an acronym for “Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics,” and is frequently used when referencing these academic disciplines. STEAM, however, adds an “A” for “Arts.” STEAM was championed by John Maeda, former President of Rhode Island School of Design, whose argument for the importance of the arts in education points to the need for students to be creative thinkers, innovative and use design-thinking.

During young developmental years, data suggests that exposure to the arts can increase a child’s aptitude for grasping concepts like science, engineering, reading, and math. But STEAM isn’t just a bunch of subject areas thrown together, and it’s a 21st-century approach to learning. You probably had science and math in school as well, but STEAM focuses on infusing hands-on learning opportunities into schools, where students must work together in teams to find solutions for problems that involve science, technology, art, math, engineering, and computer science.

Why do we need STEAM in primary schools?

Bringing STEAM to students at an early age isn’t just about putting a computer in front of them or asking them to read e-books in place of hardcovers. Helping students to pursue STEAM educational tracks is about using creative lesson plans that allow for different learning methodologies that can be utilized while exploring augmented and virtual reality, the cloud and its capabilities, computer programming and more to help students develop vital skillsets for the future workforce.

Instead of opening up a textbook and explaining how circuits work to young 5th-grade students, a STEAM centered curriculum would instead suggest buying a pack of lemons, some alligator clips, a few small bulbs, and some zinc and copper nails and have students work together to build a circuit. During this hands-on approach, they will learn what a closed-circuit looks like, how positive and negative charges work, and about wiring and acidity. Don’t take my word for it, Microsoft Education has launched an entire line of these types of low-cost, hands-on STEM lessons for all grade levels and areas.

Studies suggest that as a society we cannot even imagine some of the careers that the students in 9th grade, 7th grade, and even 1st and 2nd grade will hold when they are our age because those job opportunities do not even exist yet. This is why it is imperative that we not only increase the opportunities to infuse current curriculum with innovative technology but that through those creative lesson plans we are teaching students critical thinking skills, problem-solving capabilities, communication, creativity, the ability to fail and to adapt to change. Moreover, STEM-related jobs are projected to grow 2x as fast every year compared to non-STEM jobs.

We should be introducing STEAM during early learning years through post-high school education to ensure future generations will have the tools to be successful in an increasingly global economy where nearly every career will require working with technology.

How Important is STEAM?

In the 2011 State of the Union Address, President Obama outlined the need for teaching 21st-century skills to students to become more competitive with other nations in the fields of STEM. During his time as President, he led a movement towards 100,000 new STEM teachers and project-based learning.

In 2017, President Trump launched an initiative to increase access to high-quality science, technology, engineering, and mathematics education and put $200 million in grant funds a year to ensure students are receiving this high-quality instruction.

Since then, many states have followed suit, creating entire computer science curricula, implementing state-wide learning standards, pouring millions into the professional development of teachers to train them on best practices in teaching computer science in their classrooms, and working with business and industry to identify and build programs that fill the gaps in our workforce.

To learn more about STEM and get your student involved in subjects that could lead to amazing career paths, or even if you want a fun, educational day out of the house – come down to Denver’s Energy Day Festival!

 Energy Day is a free, family-focused event that attracts students, educators, and families, showcasing real-world examples and interactive exhibits to highlight the fun students can have in their future careers if they used their classroom skills to pursue STEM education and fill Colorado’s workforce-ready pipeline.

 This year’s Energy Day Festival is Saturday, Sept. 28, at East High School, 1600 City Park Esplanade, where you can learn, listen to music, eat great food from area food trucks and enjoy time with your family and friends.

 Come out and celebrate this great day of energy education with Consumer Energy Education Foundation (CEEF) and Consumer Energy Alliance (CEA). For more information, visit EnergyDayFestival.org/Colorado.

This state park is making the outdoors accessible with their Track-Chair Program

Colorado Parks and Wildlife values the right of every visitor to experience our state’s natural beauty. To provide this opportunity to the disabled community, Staunton State Park offers Action Trackchairs®, which allow visitors with limited mobility to explore designated trails in the park. 

The chair allows access to three trails, each featuring gorgeous park feature including high grassy meadows, a wide variety of wildlife, geological and water​​​ features. The trails offer spectacular views of Pikes Peak, Lions Head & Mount Rosalie.​​

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It was a beautiful, bluebird day when I drove up to Staunton State Park on August 27th. The air was crisp and cool, atypical given the hot summer weeks we had been experiencing this year. Distinctive, too, were the reasons for my park visit. I was there to discover an inspiring program, the first of its kind in Colorado when it was founded in 2017. Colorado Parks and Wildlife’s Track-Chair Program, run by more than 80 dedicated volunteers and completely funded by donations raised by the Friends of Staunton State Park, provides opportunities for people with disabilities to live life outside and to share outdoor experiences with friends and family.

The day before, Craig Hospital had brought two of its outpatients, Chris Luna and Nash Murath, to camp overnight at Staunton for the first time. Now, the morning after, they had several other exciting activities lined up: hitting the Davis Ponds Trail, fishing at Davis Pond, discovering the historical buildings and artifacts on the Staunton Ranch Trail, and archery after lunch. CLICK TO KEEP READING

​For more details on preparing for a Track-Chair experience at Staunton State Park, please view the Track-Chair Information page or download the Track-Chair ​Program​ brochure​.​

How A 6-Year-Old Girl’s Letter Launched ‘Plastic Army Women’

This summer, a young girl from Arkansas wrote a Northeastern Pennsylvania toy company out of frustration.

“My name is Vivian. I am six years old. Why do you not make girl army men?” wrote Vivian Lord to BMC Toys.

To Jeff Imel, the president of BMC Toys, which makes the iconic Green Army Men figurines, it was a worthy question and one he had mulled over for years.

“It was a heartfelt letter,” Imel told NPR. “And it reminded me of being a kid and always wanting that toy that you couldn’t get in the gumball machine,” he said. “So I really looked into it.”

After conducting research into what kind of demand there might be for the little Green Army Women, he decided recently to answer Vivian Lord’s question with an announcement: “It’s happening.”

Click to keep reading at NPR about how one little girl made a difference! 

Photo: BMC Toys