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The 2019 New York Times/New York Public Library Best Illustrated Children’s Books

Christmas is right around the corner and there’s no better gift than a beautiful children’s book!

Since 1952, the New York Times convened a rotating annual panel of three expert judges, who consider every illustrated children’s book published that year in the United States. In 2017, they began partnering with the New York Public Library to administer the honor now called The New York Times/New York Public Library Best Illustrated Children’s Books Award.

The judges select the winners purely on the basis of artistic merit. On the 2019 panel were Bruce Handy, a journalist and critic and the author of “Wild Things: The Joy of Reading Children’s Literature as an Adult”; Jessica Cline, supervising librarian in the Picture Collection of the New York Public Library; and Jillian Tamaki, the Book Review’s By the Book illustrator and a past winner of the award. She is the author and illustrator of several graphic novels and the picture book “They Say Blue.”

Here you’ll find images from each winning book.

Colorado’s Top Holiday Markets

All the delights of the winter season can be experienced at Colorado’s specialty markets, where Santa makes regular appearances, handcrafted gifts overshadow items bought at the mall and sweet treats abound. We have several versions of the holiday bazaar, including ones modeled after old-fashioned markets in Europe and others that offer modern twists on the tradition. 

EUROPEAN-STYLE MARKETS

Enter a wonderland where vendors sell gifts in rustic wooden stalls, choirs croon joyful tunes and be-scarfed patrons sip mulled cider.

Denver Christkindl Market, Nov. 22–Dec. 23, 2019

Skyline Park is transformed into a miniature German village during this favorite Denver event, where Bavarian musicians play classic carols and dance-worthy melodies, and vendors dish up specialties served at traditional German Christmas markets, including baked apples, gingerbread biscuits, charcoal-grilled sausages and, of course, spicy mulled wine (gluehwein).

Pick up cuckoo clocks, beer steins and other imported gifts for your loved ones, and sip gluehwein (something that might result in you picking up even more clocks and steins than you originally planned) as you get lost in the twinkling landscape. For more festive fun, stroll to Skyline Park’s Southwest Rink for some ice skating.

Georgetown Christmas Market, Dec. 7–8 and 15–16, 2019

Historic Georgetown’s old-school charm is enhanced at one of the state’s most cherished wintertime traditions. At the market, horse-drawn wagon rides take patrons through snow-blanketed streets past decorated storefronts; a Victorian-robed St. Nicholas greets rosy-cheeked tots who never whine or cry, and stalls feature handicrafts by local artisans.

A giant lit-up tree, the harmonic voices of choirs and views of the snow-dusted mountains above add to the dreamy scene. For the ultimate experience, take a Christmas museum tour of the Hamill House or Hotel de Paris, or book a special holiday-themed ride on the Georgetown Loop Railroad.

OTHER HOLIDAY-SHOPPING EVENTS IN COLORADO

From winter produce to works by respected Colorado artists, these less-traditional markets boast local treasures and merry entertainment. 

Colorado Springs Sugar Plum Food & Gift Mart, Oct. 19–20, 2019

At the largest gift show of its kind in Colorado Springs, adults can peruse booths selling gourmet food, artwork, jewelry, seasonal décor and more, while little ones visit with Mr. and Mrs. Claus and walk through a “Winter Wonderland” display.

Winter Market & Holiday Fair in Eagle, Nov. 16, 2019

You’ll find everything from handmade crafts to culinary delights and beauty products at this Eagle gift fair. Bring your kids (and your dogs) to pose for Santa photos. Face-painting and adult beverages make this event fun for all. 

Holiday Art Market at Olde Golden Christmas, Nov. 18–Dec. 29, 2019

More than 100 Colorado artists show off their prized works at Golden’s Foothills Art Center, where you can browse for jewelry, ceramics, glass, photography, paintings and more. Other notable festivities include a parade with Newfoundland dog-cart rides for kids (as if they were the only ones to appreciate a dog parade!), candlelight walk and more.

Denver Botanic Gardens Winter Gift Market, Nov. 21–23, 2019

Wander Denver Botanic Gardens‘ peaceful grounds before browsing speciality vendors at this holiday extravaganza. Shop for frangrant herbal vinegars and seasonings (made from hand-picked herbs grown right at the Gardens), specialty foods, bath and body products, as well as antiques. 

Grand Junction Holiday Art and Craft Fair, Nov. 22–24, 2019

Head to Grand Junction for holiday goodies at The Art Center‘s annual fundraiser. Stock up on delicious jams and jellies, hand-knit socks, paitings and ornaments for under the tree. Then amble through The Art Center’s exhibits gallery for more Western Colorado artists.

Telluride Arts Holiday Bazaar, Nov. 29–Dec. 1, 2019

Join this lively holiday tradition at Telluride‘s Elk’s Lodge, with three days of celebratory cheer, fine crafts, artisan jewelry, gourmet food, clothing, ceramics and more. All gifts are handmade. Always happening the first weekend in December, the bazaar kicks off Telluride’s rambunctious holiday season for visitors and locals alike. 

Fetch Holiday Market, Nov. 30–Dec. 1, Dec. 6–8 and Dec. 13–15, 2019

Walk through Denver’s historic Sports Castle while sampling crafts from hundreds of Colorado’s best makers and artisans this holiday season. With four weekends of fun, the Fetch Holiday Market has something for everyone on your list. Enjoy live music and plenty of eats and drinks at this shopping wonderland hosted by the oh-so-hip Fetch

Boulder County Farmers Markets Winter Market, Dec. 7–8, 2019

Some of the best farmers and artisans on the Front Range bring their coolest goods to this bustling market at Longmont’s Boulder County Fairgrounds. Nibble on freshly baked cookies and other treats while you visit booths featuring works by more than 50 artists and tons of vendors selling organic veggies, honey, wine, coffee and more. Enjoy free giftwrapping, live music and kids’ activities. 

Holiday Market at Durango Farmers Market, Dec. 14, 2019

Groove to live music at La Plata County Fairgrounds as you shop for locally farmed meats, produce and cheeses to spice up your upcoming holiday gorging. Then, grab some coffee and have your photo taken with performers in Victorian-era garb.

Christmas Craft Fair at Cripple Creek’s Gold Camp Christmas, Dec. 13–14, 2019

Craft-rusty individuals seeking handmade gifts will hit the jackpot at this unique Cripple Creek celebration, where shopping opportunities include the bazaar, Sugar Plum Gift Shop and Elf Emporium. Don’t miss the Gold Camp Holiday Headframe Lighting, when the headframes (towers above underground mine shafts) at area mines are illuminated.

Minturn Winter Market, Dec. 7 and 14, 2019

Crackling bonfires, s’mores and carolers add pizzazz to the Minturn Market, a summer farmers’ market that becomes a winter delight for two Saturdays in December. From woodwork to homemade fudge, shoppers won’t be disappointed with the vendors, most of which are dedicated to using local ingredients and materials. 

Want More?

Read more about cold-weather celebrations in Colorado, including winter festivals, carnivals and competitions and holiday-lighting fun for additional ways to herald the season.

Colorado.com. Photo Credit: Denver Christkindl Market 

A Thanksgiving Wish

Can you see holiness in those things you take for granted–

A paved road or a washing machine?

If you concentrate on what is good in every situation,

You will discover that your life will suddenly be filled with gratitude,

A feeling that nurtures the soul.

-Harold S. Kushner

Happy Thanksgiving! 

Love, The Mamas

How to ruin Thanksgiving in four words

On Facebook, we asked the question “Ruin Thanksgiving in four words” and you answered. Oh, did you answer! 

According to Denver moms, here’s how to ruin Thanksgiving 2020:

  1. The potatoes are instant. 
  2. Nathan is coming over!
  3. I’m on a diet
  4. We weren’t expecting you!
  5. My mother-in-law is coming.
  6. I licked it all.
  7. Mom, my flights canceled
  8. Strep, Coxsackie, Norovirus, Flu
  9. We’re getting a divorce
  10. No Turkey or Mac-&-Cheese
  11. The turkey is frozen
  12. I am not cooking
  13. The oven won’t heat.
  14. I’m probably not contagious
  15. Taken out too soon
  16. Hand Foot Mouth Disease
  17. That is not gravy
  18. Where’s my pet turkey?
  19. No booze this Thanksgiving
  20. Dog tastes great, eh?

And the #1 way to ruin Thanksgiving:

Any thoughts on impeachment?

55 family-friendly events in Denver this week

The holidays are in full swing with Dr. Seuss’ How The Grinch Stole Christmas! The Musical, the Grand Illumination, Zoo Lights and more. See our event calendar for more information. Don’t miss our Denver Guide to the Holidays and 40+ Holiday Vacation Ideas in Colorado

Colorado Avalanche vs. Edmonton Oilers at the Pepsi Center 
Nov 27, 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm
Colorado Avalanche vs. Edmonton Oilers live at the Pepsi Center!

Arvada Fair for the Band at the Arvada High School 
Nov 29 – 30 
Join us for the 3rd Annual Arvada Fair for the Band, handmade arts and craft fair at Arvada High School. Fine art, quality crafts, seasonal gifts, food, student musical performances, children’s’ craft area, and much more.

Jefferson Park Farm & Flea at Jefferson Park Neighborhood 
Nov 29
The Jefferson Park Farm & Flea is an urban marketplace dedicated to bringing the community the best food, handmade items, vintage finds, quality produce and urban homesteading goods and information. See website for times.

Clyfford Still Museum Family Tour at Clyfford Still Museum 
Nov 29, 10:30 – 11:30 am
Play, create, and explore on these interactive tours with trained Clyfford Still Museum gallery teachers. During the Still: Elemental, exhibition, Family Tours explore four of the five elements (earth, air, water, and fire) using all our senses. Bring the whole family and join us for these special art adventures.

Stapleton Holiday Bazaar at Northfield Stapleton 
Nov 29 – Dec 1 
Get your Holiday Shopping lists ready because the Stapleton Holiday BAZAAR is returning to The Shops at Northfield Stapleton for a full weekend this year!

The Nutcracker with Boulder Ballet at Macky Auditorium 
Nov 29  – Dec 1 
Boulder Philharmonic Orchestra, Gary Lewis, conductor. A Boulder tradition for 30 years. A feast for the senses with professional dancers, beautiful sets, and your Boulder Philharmonic Orchestra.

Santa’s Village at Chatfield Farms at Denver Botanic Gardens Chatfield Farms 
Nov 29  – Dec 15
Santa and his friends transform Chatfield Farms into a magical village! Hop on the hayride to catch a short movie at Santa’s Cinema or walk under the magical light displays. Stop at Elf Boulevard to drop off your letters to Santa. Let the kids play in a real elf house and see the elves hard at work. Enter a life-size snow globe.

A Hudson Christmas 
Nov 29 kick-off 5:00 – 8:00 pm
Light up the holidays at A Hudson Christmas—an extravaganza of dazzling, colorful Christmas lights. A Hudson Christmas has become a holiday tradition for thousands of families and friends from across the Denver area! Walk arm-in-arm with loved ones at this winter wonderland decorated with thousands of outdoor lights. Explore the trails where bursts of light and color wrap around trees, shimmer on bodies of water, illuminate happy faces, and bring a twinkle to your eye. Share your holiday wish list with Santa Claus, watch Christmas trees dance to holiday music, sip a steaming cup of hot chocolate, and stop for photo opportunities along the way.

Blossoms of Light at Denver Botanic Gardens 
Nov 29  – Jan 3 
The Gardens’ signature event for over three decades, this annual holiday lights extravaganza transforms our York Street location into a twinkling winter wonderland. With fresh and exciting new features, along with some fan favorites, this year’s display is brighter and more expansive than ever before. Join us for this family-friendly event that has become a holiday tradition for thousands of Front Range families.

Brewery Lights at Anheuser-Busch Biergarten and Tour Center 
Nov 29  – Dec 1 
The holiday lights are lit, the cocoa is hot, and the 30-foot inflatable snowman is back – it’s beginning to look a lot like Brewery Lights at the Anheuser-Busch Biergarten and Tour Center in Fort Collins! The fifth annual Brewery Lights celebration begins Nov. 15, with guests of all ages invited to spread holiday cheer at a variety of festive activities during the wonderful holiday experience.

The Grand Illumination at Denver Union Station 
Nov 29, 5:00 pm – 8:00 pm
An iconic holiday tradition returns! Join Denver Union Station for the ceremonious lighting of the building and our 40 foot-tall Plaza Christmas tree on Friday, November 29. Featuring a vintage holiday performance by the Denver Dolls, holiday jingles by the Denver Bronze, and an appearance by Santa and Mrs. Clause! Entertainment will take place from 5 pm – 8 pm. The lighting will take place at approximately 6:15 pm. This event is FREE and open to the public!

Zoo Lights at Denver Zoo 
Nov 29  – Dec 30
Zoo Lights celebrates its 29th year as one of Denver’s most beloved and popular holiday traditions. To protect the magic of the season tickets are limited by date and issued for a one-hour entry time window. Most evenings sell out in advance and tickets will not be available at the door for evenings that sell out.

Colorado Mammoth vs. Saskatchewan Rush at Pepsi Center 
Nov 29, 7:30 pm – 10:00 pm
The 2019-20 Colorado Mammoth season is going to kick off the NLL season on Faceoff Weekend 2019 with the third annual Teddy Bear Toss! Over the last two seasons, the Mammoth have collected and donated thousands of teddy bears that were donated to kids who may otherwise go without a gift during the holiday season. After the Mammoth’s first goal in the second quarter, fans will throw teddy bears onto the turf. Bears thrown will be gathered and donated to A Precious Child, just in time for the holidays. New this season, fans can bring their own new teddy bears into the arena to throw for the toss.

Home Alone in Concert at Boettcher Concert Hall in the Denver Performing Arts Complex 
Nov 29, 7:30 pm – 9:00 pm
Celebrate modern holiday classic, Home Alone, with your Colorado Symphony! The event features renowned composer John Williams’ charming and delightful score performed live as the film is screened for your enjoyment! Macaulay Culkin stars as Kevin McCallister, an eight-year-old boy who’s accidentally left behind when his family leaves for Christmas vacation, and who must defend his home against two bungling thieves (Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern). Hilarious and heartwarming, Home Alone is holiday fun for the entire family.

Santa Breakfast at Evergreen Lake House 
Nov 30, 9:00 am – 12:00 pm
On the Saturday after Thanksgiving, the Evergreen Chamber will once again host the Breakfast with Santa event at the Evergreen Lake House. The morning brings visitors and residents to town for a signature holiday occasion and local holiday shopping for Small Business Saturday. Four seatings of a fabulous pancake breakfast with live Chamber Music await families that would like to meet with Santa and Mrs. Claus in an intimate setting, letting them know their wish list desires. The draw is that the Claus couple strolls among the guests, pose for multiple pictures and speak to children individually. Tickets are sold online and at Seasonally Yours in downtown Evergreen. This event always sells out. 

The Rocky Mountain Train Show at The Ranch Complex 
Nov 30, 9:00 am – 5:00 pm
All Aboard! The Rocky Mountain Train Show will be steaming into Loveland on Saturday, November 30th and Dec 1st ,2019. For the hobbyist, it is an all scales show. There will be more than 50 vendors including Choo Choo are US and Rock House Toy Train Station. They will be selling trains in scales ranging from N to G. For the family, it is fun for everyone. The show is appropriate for all ages. There will be Story Time, Trains that kids can run, *Face Painting, and more than 12 operating layouts.

Fetch Holiday Markets at Denver Sports Castle 
Nov 30  – Dec 15 
‘Tis the Season to be Shopping…at the Fetch Holiday Markets! Remember The Denver Flea? What about last year’s Union Station Holiday Market? Both us! We’re still here — just rebranded and ready for another unforgettable holiday season at The Denver Sports Castle.

Pup Pix with Santa at GoodTurn Cycles at Aspen Grove 
Nov 30, 10:00 am – 12:00 pm
Bring your furry friend for a visit with Santa at Good Turn Cycles at Aspen Grove. Photos available with donation to Humane Society of the South Platte Valley or feel free to bring your own camera. Pets must be sociable with other animals and on a leash, please

Shop Small and Local: Small Business Saturday on the Square at Larimer Square 
Nov 30 @ 10:00 am – 5:00 pm
While every day on the square provides an opportunity to shop local, Small Business Saturday marks the official kick-off of the 2019 holiday season on the block, with Larimer Square, serving as a Neighborhood Champion and retailers and restaurants participating in the annual event.

StoryTime with Mrs. Claus at Panera Bread at Aspen Grove 
Nov 30, 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm
Kick-off the season with a holiday story from Mrs. Claus, cocoa and cookies at Panera Bread at Aspen Grove. Share a story with someone in need by bringing a book to donate to Reach Out and Read Colorado. The event is open to kids 10 and under.

Break the Ice-Holiday Kick-off Event at The Shops at Northfield Stapleton 
Nov 30, 4:30 pm – 6:30 pm
Come celebrate the holiday season with a street party, aerial performances, character meet & greets, ice skating performances and ice skating with Santa.

Mile High Tree at Sculpture Park Denver Performing Arts Complex
Nov 30, 5:30 pm – 10:30 pm
Denver’s holiday season just got bigger and brighter with the spectacular new Mile High Tree! Experience the Mile High Tree by stepping inside this brilliantly lit, 110-foot tall immersive holiday tree, opening November 30 in Sculpture Park at Denver Performing Arts Complex – free every evening for the whole family! Amazing lights and music shows take place every 30 minutes along with holiday treats, drinks and photo ops.

Bunk with the Beasts: Wild Lights, Wild Winter at Denver Zoo 
Nov 30  – Dec 1 
Kick-off the holiday season with a special Zoo Lights “Bunk with the Beasts” overnight! Together, you and your family will enjoy dinner, hot cocoa and crafts and a variety of activities that explore how animals survive even the coldest of winters. Stroll through our lights display and wake up to a warm breakfast and a before-hours private tour of the Zoo.

The Nutcracker at Ellie Caulkins Opera House 
Nov 30  – Dec 29 
Audiences simply can’t get enough of Colorado Ballet’s acclaimed production of The Nutcracker. Returning for its 59th season, this beloved holiday favorite sells out every year. Experience this whimsical trip to the sugar plum kingdom where magical dances come alive. Secure your seats early for this holiday tradition as most performances fill up prior to opening night.

Colorado Avalanche vs. Chicago Blackhawks at Pepsi Center 
Nov 3 7:00, 7 pm – 9:00 pm
Colorado Avalanche vs. Chicago Blackhawks live at the Pepsi Center!

Sensory-friendly Playtime at WOW! Children’s Museum 
Dec 1, 8:00 – 10:00 am
For some children with autism spectrum or sensory processing disorders, a visit to a museum-like WOW! is difficult or overstimulating. In 2015, we launched Sensory Friendly Playtime, a low sensory event where children with autism spectrum or sensory processing disorders can explore the Museum without the noise, crowds, and stimulation of a typical day. We limit the number of families who can attend, turn down sounds and lights, and provide adaptive equipment such as noise-reducing headphones and weighted vests.

Denver Broncos vs. Los Angeles Chargers at Broncos Stadium at Mile High 
Dec 1, 2:30 pm – 4:00 pm
Denver Broncos vs. Los Angeles Chargers at Broncos Stadium at Mile High.

Scotty Wiese Mile High Magic at Bovine Metropolis Theater
Dec 1, 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm
Mile High Magic is an unforgettable theater experience presented by world-renowned magician Scotty Wiese. What makes Mile High Magic so unique is the tremendous way Scotty blends magic and his life experiences to tell stories, form a community, and motivate others to chase their own dreams. Prepare to witness astonishing, hilarious, and surprising moments inches from your face

Dr. Seuss’ How The Grinch Stole Christmas! The Musical at The Buell Theatre 
Dec 3  –  7

Dr. Seuss’ How The Grinch Stole Christmas! The Musical returns to Denver to steal Christmas after a blockbuster debut in 2014. More than 2.5 million theatre-goers across America have been delighted by this heart-warming holiday musical, featuring the hit songs “You’re A Mean One Mr. Grinch” and “Welcome Christmas” from the original animated TV special. Max the Dog narrates as the mean and scheming Grinch, whose heart is “two sizes too small,” decides to steal Christmas away from the holiday loving Whos.

Free First Tuesday Nights at Children’s Museum of Denver at Marsico Campus 
Dec 3, 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!

Denver Nuggets vs. Los Angeles Lakers at Pepsi Center 
Dec 3,  7:00 pm – 8:30 pm
Denver Nuggets vs. Los Angeles Lakers at Pepsi Center.

ONGOING EVENTS

Blossoms of Light at Denver Botanic Gardens
Nov. 29, 2019 – Jan. 3, 2020
IThe Gardens’ signature event for over three decades, this annual holiday lights extravaganza transforms our York Street location into a twinkling winter wonderland. With fresh and exciting new features, along with some fan favorites, this year’s display is brighter and more expansive than ever before. Join us for this family-friendly event that has become a holiday tradition for thousands of Front Range families. botanicgardens.org

Santa’s Village at Chatfield Farms
Nov. 29 – Dec. 15
Santa and his friends transform Chatfield Farms into a magical village! Hop on the hayride to catch a short movie at Santa’s Cinema or walk under the magical light displays. Stop at Elf Boulevard to drop off your letters to Santa. Let the kids play in a real elf house and see the elves hard at work. Enter a life-size snow globe.www.botanicgardens.org

Fetch Holiday Markets at Denver Sports Castle
Nov. 30 – Dec. 15
For three weekends this winter, that gigantic, historic building on Broadway will be your home for all things holly-jolly. This is so much more than shopping, though. We’re filling it with festive drinks, activities, and gifts for everyone on your list! It’s going to be the kind of Christmas party you wish your company could throw — with hundreds of makers, artists, creators and YOU. thisisfetch.com/holiday-markets

A Christmas Carol at Simpich Showcase
Nov. 8 – Dec. 4
A CHRISTMAS CAROL’s timeless narrative is brought to life with sparkling vitality on the Simpich stage with over twenty handmade marionette actors animated by Dickens himself. In this original adaptation by puppeteer David Simpich, Ebenezer Scrooge is launched into and transformed by a night of delightful and poignant Christmas remembrances and foreboding forecasts. The outcome is both a continuing inspiration and celebration of the Promise of the Season. tickets.vendini.com

Camp Christmas at the Hangar at Stanley Marketplace
Nov. 21, 2019 – Jan 5, 2020
Not for the faint of festivity, this over-the-top indoor immersive installation turns the holiday spirit all the way up with mesmerizing displays of decorations that shift time and reality. Camp Christmas is Denver’s newest holiday experience, where yuletide traditions of the past and present get merrily mashed together in a massive 10,000-square-foot wonderland. It’s not just pretty lights and mistletoe. denvercenter.org

A Christmas Carol – The Musical  at Arvada Center for the Arts & Humanities
Nov. 22, 2019 – Dec 22, 2019
Bring the whole family to enjoy this holiday classic,  Charles Dickens’ classic tale takes us on a journey to the past, present and future this holiday season! With music by Alan Menken ( Beauty and the Beast, The Little Mermaid ) and lyrics by Lynn Ahrens (Ragtime, Seussical ), this musical version of curmudgeonly Ebenezer Scrooge’s life and ultimate redemption is the perfect holiday tradition for the entire family. christkindlmarketdenver.com

A Hudson Christmas
Nov. 29 – Dec. 31
A Hudson Christmas has become a holiday tradition for thousands of families and friends from across the Denver area! Walk arm-in-arm with loved ones at this winter wonderland decorated with thousands of outdoor lights. Explore the trails where bursts of light and color wrap around trees, shimmer on bodies of water, illuminate happy faces, and bring a twinkle to your eye. Share your holiday wish list with Santa Claus, watch Christmas trees dance to holiday music, sip a steaming cup of hot chocolate, and stop for photo opportunities along the way. www.altitudetickets.com

The Nutcracker at Ellie Caulkins Opera House
Nov. 30 -Dec. 29
Audiences simply can’t get enough of Colorado Ballet’s acclaimed production of The Nutcracker. Returning for its 59th season, this beloved holiday favorite sells out every year. Experience this whimsical trip to the sugar plum kingdom where magical dances come alive. Secure your seats early for this holiday tradition as most performances fill up prior to opening night. tickets.coloradoballet.org

Christkindl Market at Skyline Park
Nov 22, 2019 – Dec 23, 2019
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!

Ella Enchanted at the Arvada Center
October 11-December 29, 2019
Join Ella as we journey to the fairytale land of Frell on a path to self-discovery! The stage musical of Ella Enchanted has recently been adapted from the beloved Newbery Honor book by Gail Carson Levine. Ella must navigate her world with the “gift” of complete obedience given by her misguided fairy godmother. Adventures will ensue with ogres, giants, elves, wicked stepsisters, and true friends that help Ella find her voice! These whimsical characters make this a captivating tale for children and adults of all ages. arvadacenter.org/ella-enchanted

Christmas in Color at Water World
Nov. 22 – Jan. 4
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. www.showclix.com

Night Light Denver at the Daniels & Fisher Tower
Nov. 7 – Jan. 31, 2020
The Denver Theatre District’s ongoing, year-round projection mapping installation will be projected on the Arapahoe Street side of the Daniels & Fisher Tower every Thursday through Saturday evening. Night Lights Denver will include rotating content, designed by artists and the community, featuring a wide range of art. nightlightsdenver.com

Mile High Tree
Nov. 30 – Jan. 31
Denver’s holiday season just got bigger and brighter with the spectacular new Mile High Tree! Experience the Mile High Tree by stepping inside this brilliantly lit, 110-foot tall immersive holiday tree, opening November 30 in Sculpture Park at Denver Performing Arts Complex – free every evening for the whole family! Amazing lights and music shows take place every 30 minutes along with holiday treats, drinks and photo ops. www.denver.org/milehighholidays/tree

Downtown Denver Rink at Skyline Park
Nov. 26, 2019 – Feb 16, 2020
The Downtown Denver Partnership proudly invites you and your family to join us at the Downtown Denver Rink at Skyline Park – Downtown’s destination for fun this winter. Winter of 2019 celebrates one decade of the Downtown Denver Rink which offers free ice skating seven days a week from November to February.  Entry is free! Skate rentals are $7 for kids 12 & under and $9 for adults 13 & older. Purchase your season pass at the Rink for $35 for kids 12 and under and $50 for adults. Skaters are welcome to bring their own skates.

Goodnight Moon at the DPAC/The Randy Weeks Conservatory Theatre
October 4, 2019 – February 16, 2020
A musical twist on the beloved bedtime story. For the past 72 years, families around the world have made Goodnight Moon a part of their bedtime ritual. Now, the beloved children’s book comes to life on stage for a musical adventure! As the clock strikes seven o’clock, it’s time for Bunny to go to sleep. Say goodnight with magical moments filled with songs, kittens and mittens, bears and chairs, a red balloon, a quiet old lady, and – of course – the moon in this delightful tale. denvercenter.org

Zoo Lights: Illuminated with Life
Nov. 29 – Dec 30
Zoo Lights celebrates its 29th year as one of Denver’s most beloved and popular holiday traditions. To protect the magic of the season tickets are limited by date and issued for a one-hour entry time window. Most evenings sell out in advance and tickets will not be available at the door for evenings that sell out. www.denverzoo.org/events/zoolights/

Denver Pavilions’ Holiday Carousel at 16th Street Mall and Glenarm Place
Dec. 20 – Jan. 2
The Denver Pavilions’ Holiday Carousel returns to Downtown Denver. This year the Blue Knights Brass Ensemble will kick off the season with a free performance in front of the carousel at 2 pm on Sat. December 21. Rides will be offered for a nominal fee of $3 or free with a voucher from any Denver Pavilions’ merchant or community partner. Food Bank of the Rockies has once again been chosen as Denver Pavilions’ designated charity partner for the attraction. Partial proceeds from rides will be donated to this vital charity within the community that helps fight food insecurity in the area. denverpavilions.com

Olde Golden Christmas
Nov. 30 – Dec. 31
Each year during the holiday season, Golden takes a step back in time. Back to a simpler time of strong family traditions and small-town holiday celebrations. The authentic and historic main street of Golden will be the central festive location for Olde Golden Christmas, a city-wide, month-long celebration from November 30th to December 31st including a candlelight walk, holiday art market, live theater, a dazzling light display along Clear Creek, Santa encounters, shopping, dining, and so much more. visitgolden.com/olde-golden-christmas/

A Very Vintage Holiday Show at The Galleria at the Arts Complex
Dec. 5-21
This delightful show is a tribute to Bing Crosby and The Andrews Sisters, during the nostalgic White Christmas era. A Very Vintage Holiday blends upbeat vocal harmonies and engaging showmanship with a little bit of comedy and plenty of nostalgic holiday tunes to provide festive entertainment for all ages. Featuring The Denver Dolls and special guests, this show will warm any Colorado heart on even the coldest winter day!  These are FREE events presented by The Next Stage NOW. www.artscomplex.com

  Extreme Sports: Beyond Human Limits at Denver Museum of Nature and Science
September 13, 2019 – April 12, 2020
“Extreme Sports: Beyond Human Limits” takes guests inside the minds and bodies of extreme athletes to explore the psychology, physiology and physicality of some of the most extreme activities in the world. In this high-energy exhibition, guests experience the thrill of extreme sports in exciting, interactive exhibits and immersive environments. Meet passionate athletes, hear their incredible stories and take in the artistry, motivation and thoughtfulness that goes into everything they do. dmns.org
 
Tiger Encounter at the Denver Zoo
Nov. 8 – Dec. 31, 2019
Experience The EDGE through the eyes of a tiger! This tour will take you behind the scenes at The Edge, Denver Zoo’s Amur tiger exhibit. You will get an up close view of a training session with one of The Edge’s resident tigers and learn from animal care experts about what they do every day to ensure that these cats receive the best care. You’ll be in awe of the amazing relationship animal care staff have with these 400-pound furry felines! Please note that because of safety regulations, guests will not receive direct contact with the tigers, but rather will get a closer look than public perspective allows with exclusive access and interactions. denverzoo.org
 
Christmas at Gaylord Rockies
Nov 22, 2019 – Jan 5, 2020
The season-long experience will include ICE! featuring Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, a larger-than-life ice sculpture adventure; exclusive Cirque Dreams Holidaze theatrical performances; ice skating, tubing and bumper cars; a Naughty or Nice Escape Room; character breakfast; family-friendly activities; and themed décor with an impressive holiday light display. marriott.com
 
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.

First Light Family Space at the Denver Art Museum
Through May 31, 2020
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 offers free general admission to kids 18 and younger.  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.

Denver Black Friday Deals!

The Big Mama of shopping days is upon us, Black Friday! Many of your favorite stores will have amazing doorbuster deals (meaning you can only get those items/prices if you show up in person) and many will have deals online. It is not just a Cyber Monday thing anymore. Most of your favorite stores (Target, Walmart, Best Buy, etc) have posted their Black Friday sales online. And before we dig-in to some of the best deals, I caution you to remember your budget. Plan what you are going to spend for the season and for each person on your list.
 
Not a shopper? Opt outside for Fresh Air Friday. All of Colorado’s state parks are free on Black Friday. 
 
It appears that Disney has another hit on their hands already with Frozen II movie. Nearly every store has featured these products as the item of choice for this Christmas. For the littlest kids – the Baby Shark dancing toy appears to be the “it” item. Blume dolls are reminiscent of Hatchimals. And of course, Legos remain popular.

Televisions. Experts say that the best deals are actually found on the week before Super Bowl (Feb. 2), but if you are looking for a TV this holiday season there are plenty of deals to be found including Onn 50-inch 4K Ultra HD Roku TV: $148 at Walmart. Samsung 65” at Target for just $479 (55” is $329).  

Computers. MacBook Air is just $999 at Best Buy ($200 off). HP Pavillion Gaming Laptop at Walmart for just $499.

Phones and accessories. Airpods seem to be the big accessory this year – they are on sale in many places including Walmart, Target and Best Buy. Each has them on sale around $129 (Walmart)-$149 (Target).

Games. Xbox One with Star Wars Fallen Jedi bundle for just $199 (normally $299) at Walmart. Select Video games are on sale for just $29.99 at Target (normally $59.99). Games and puzzles are ½ off at Target as a doorbuster special (including favorites like Watch Your Mouth and Frozen 2).

Clothing. Sleepwear sets are just $5 at Walmart. Sweaters for the family are as low as $10 at Target. Puffer coats for the family are just $15 (kids) and $20 (adults) at Target.

Other Categories. Disney + is just $70 for an annual subscription (not a deal but new). Amazon Echo Dot $35 off on Amazon.com on Thanksgiving Day. DVD Movies available at Walmart for under $10 (hundreds of titles – including Lion King and Toy Story 4), Squishmallow jumbo pillows are on sale at Target for just $25.  Walmart claims to have an exclusive Frozen II shop although it appears that Target has several items too.  

 Amazon will kick off its Black Friday sale this week as it offers deals on electronics, TVs, toys, clothing, Amazon devices and more. Deals will run through Nov. 29. One-time deals will launch on Thanksgiving (Nov. 28), Black Friday (Nov. 29) and Cyber Monday (Dec. 2). Be sure to login through https://smile.amazon.com/ that automatically gives 0.5% of your purchase to the charity of your choice. 

No matter if you buy something and get a great deal – or just like the festivity of starting shopping at the wee hours of the morning with your friends or family, Black Friday is certain to be worth it. 

Colorado Family Ski Guide 2019/20

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

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

Also, don’t miss Kids Ski Free + What’s New at Colorado’s Ski Areas

Colorado Family Ski Directory 2019/20

Resort Adult Kids Childcare Ski/Ride School Deals
Arapahoe Basin Ski Area $130 $85 (ages 15-18) $49 (ages 6-14); Kids 5 and under ski free every day. No. Kids class lessons start at $145 for half-day, $175 for full-day. Available for kids of all ability levels, age 3 and up. Arapahoebasin.com. Check out their Snowsports and hot deals pages.
Aspen Highlands $174 $116; kids 6 and under ski free No on-site childcare  Ski and ride school for children ages 5-6 and 7-12. Rates start at $230. aspensnowmass.com; Kids Ski Free program for kids ages 7-12. Details:  (800) 290-1326

 

Aspen Mountain $174 $116; kids 6 and under ski free No on-site childcare Private children’s ski and snowboard lessons offered on Aspen Mountain. Rates start at $615 for a half-day. aspensnowmass.com;

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

Beaver Creek Resort

momreview

$169*  $117*  Half-day $179; full-day $144(2019 prices; 2020 not yet released) Starts at $235+ beavercreek.com
Breckenridge Ski Area

momreview

$157*  $102 On-site childcare starts at $140.   Starting at $191.* breckenridge.com
Buttermilk

momreview

$174* $116; kids 6 and under ski free No on-site childcare  Starting at $230 aspensnowmass.com; Kids Ski Free program for kids ages 7-12. Details:  (800) 290-1326
Crested Butte Mountain Resort

momreview

$109 Kids 4 and under ski free, Child (7-12): $63  There is a nursery for 2 months to 3 years old. Full-day starts at $139. Group lesson with lunch starts at $155.  skicb.com deals. Kids ski free Nov. 22-Dec. 13
Cooper | Chicago Ridge

 

 $62  $39; kids 5 and under ski free  Childcare $15/hr; $49 for half-day;  $89 for full-day  Child (5-12) all-day Panda Patrol group lessons start at $129   Deals offered at local rental shops, lodges, and grocery stores. Best deals are at skicooper.com.
Copper Mountain Resort $109* Starting at $82. Children 5 and under ski/ride for free. Full-day childcare is $159. Kid’s Night Out is a FREE 3-hour childcare on the condition parents spend at least $30 at the resort. Starting at $143.10. Pre-purchase most lessons online and save 20%! Purchase your tickets at CopperColorado.com and save up to 53% on window prices. You’ll also find lodging steals and vacation packages. 
Eldora Mountain Resort

momreview

$129 $79 (ages 5-15). Kids 4 & under ski free No on-site childcare Group lesson starts at $199.  Eldora.com 
Keystone Resort

 

 $128* Starting around $74*  Starts at $134 for full-day  Pricing starts at $189  Keystoneresort.com
Loveland Ski Area

momreview

$89 $35 – peak child (6-14) rate. Children 5 & under are free Full day with lunch and two snacks is $85. Half day (morning only) with one snack is $70. Hourly rate is $20/hour. Full-day lesson with lunch and lift ticket is $149. 

skiloveland.com for discount lift tickets.
lovelandreservations.co
m for Ski & Stay.

https://skiloveland.com/child-3-class-pass/ Any child (4-14) that completes three full lesson packages is eligible for a FREE season pass. 

Monarch Mountain

momreview

$79 Teen (13-15) $52, Junior (7-12) $37, Children under 6, Free The Children’s Center Rates: $50 half-day; $90 all-day Full day $119; half-day $89 Monarch ski packages with lodging participants. skimonarch.com

 

Powderhorn Mountain Resort $79 Youth (13-17) $69; Junior (7-12) $39; Child ( & Under) $19 No on-site childcare Group lessons start at age 8. A 4-hour lesson is $119. powderhorn.com
Purgatory Resort $99 Teen (11-17) $75;  Children 10 & under FREE The Den offers childcare for children 8 weeks to 5 years old. Rates from $70.  A variety of programs are available for kids ages 4+; rates from $70   Purgatory Resort’s website features deals on lodging packages that include discounts on lift tickets. PurgatoryResort.com
Ski Granby Ranch $89 $54. Kids 5 and under ski free No on-site childcare. Starting at $189. GranbyRanch.com
Snowmass

momreview

$174 $116 The Treehouse Kids Adventure Center. Rates start at $174. Offered for kids ages 2-4, 5-6 and 7-12. Rates start at $230 for full day. aspensnowmass.com; Kids Ski Free program for kids ages 7-12. Details:  (800) 290-1326
Steamboat Ski Area

momreview

$155* Child (ages 5-12): $89*.  Kids’ Vacation Center for ages 1-6: full-day $149. Kids’ Vacation Center lessons start at age 3. Prices start at $179 with advanced online purchase. www.steamboat.com or call 800-922-2722
Sunlight Mountain Resort

 

momreview

$68 $45; 5 and under ski free No. Half-day group lesson $125; full-day with lunch $180. Includes equipment, lift ticket and lesson.  Kids 12 and under ski free. Affordable Ski, Swim Stay Packages with Glenwood Hot Springs.

SunlightMTN.com

Telluride Ski Resort $149* $85* (ages 6-12); Kids 5 and under ski free  For infants and toddlers, half-day is $110 and a full-day is $150. Ski/Ride school starts at $220 for a lesson, lift ticket and lunch for ages 3 to 14.  tellurideskiresort.com
Vail  $169 $117. Kids ages 4 and under ski free.  Small World Nursery offers daycare for children 2 months-6 years starting at $173. The Vail Ski & Snowboard School lessons start at $259. Visit Vail.com and purchase tickets 7 days in advance for best prices.
Winter Park Resort

momreview

$144 $99. Kids 4 and under ski free. Childcare for kids 2 months to 6 years. Full-day: $152 when you pre-book. Full-day lessons for kids (ages 3-14), including lunch, are $197. Call Winter Park Central Reservations for latest deals and special promos.  800-729-7907. winterparkresort.com
Wolf Creek Ski Area  $76 $39. Kids 5 and under $6 No Starting at $85 for full day (4 hours) Visit wolfcreekski.com.

*Note: Information and prices are subject to change and most resorts offer discounted rates if you purchase online seven days in advance. Many resorts do not publish a set lift ticket price. When compiling our list, we used the date January 12, 2020 as our base to compare prices.

 

Kids Ski Free + What’s New at Colorado’s Ski Resorts for the 2019/20 Winter Season

 Colorado’s ski areas were busy last spring, summer and early fall working across the state on significant capital infrastructure improvements, new lodging options, dining experiences and more. In addition to improvements that seasoned skiers and riders will enjoy, they are offering a wide variety of guest enhancements and learning options that brand-new skiers and riders or those returning the sport after some time away will be excited about this winter.

Don’t miss our guide to what’s new this season + find out at what ages kids ski free at most of Colorado’s ski resorts. Also, compare prices of childcare, ski and ride school and where to find the best deals at our Colorado Family Ski Guide 2019/20. 

Passport Programs

(Photo: Vail Resorts)

Epic SchoolKids

For the best deal in town, sign up for Vail Resorts’ EpicSchoolkids (deadline was Oct. 13). The Epic SchoolKids Colorado Pack is a free program for Kindergarten through 5th graders that provides four days of skiing and riding at each of the state’s top-ranked resorts: Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, and Keystone. New for the 2019/2020 season, now includes 4 days at Crested Butte! Visit www.epicpass.com

5th and 6th Grade Passport Program

Colorado Ski Country USA offers any fifth grader the chance to ski or ride three days at 22 participating member resorts across the state for free. That’s up to 66 free days on the slopes. Fifth graders who have never skied or snowboarded are eligible for the First-Class program which provides “never-ever” skiers and riders one free full-day beginner lesson and equipment rental at the resort of their choice. All Passport holders also receive one complimentary junior rental from Christy Sports. The corresponding Sixth Grade Passport Program offers four days of skiing at the same 22 resorts for only $110, with prices subject to change. To register for the Passport Program, visit www.coloradoski.com/passport.

Arapahoe Basin Ski Area

After completing a 468-acre terrain expansion into the Beavers and the Steep Gullies last season, including the new four-person Beavers chairlift, A-Basin is continuing to upgrade its facilities. 2019-20 will be the first full season of Il Rifugo, the highest lift-served restaurant in North America at just over 12,500 feet serving charcuterie boards, wine, espresso and stunning views of the Continental Divide. A-Basin will also have newly remodeled bathrooms in the basement of the main lodge.

 For the 2019-20 season, A-Basin has changed its pass partnerships for the upcoming season in an effort to reduce ski and snowboard visits on weekends and holidays and to improve the quality of the guest experience. A-Basin can now be accessed on a limited basis on the Ikon Pass, Ikon Base Pass and Mountain Collective Pass. The only way to ski A-Basin more than 7 days without blackout dates is to purchase an A-Basin season pass for the 2019-20 season. For more information, visit www.arapahoebasin.com.

Ski Free

Arapahoe Basin introduces children to skiing and snowboarding with the Kids Free 2 Ski Pass. Absolutely free for kids between the ages of six and 14, the Kids Free 2 Ski Pass offers two free days of skiing or riding at Arapahoe Basin during the 2019-20 season. Guests can register online or at the mountain by December 17, 2019. All first-time skiers and snowboarders between the ages of six and 14 registered for Kids Free 2 Ski can also receive 50 percent off one full-day, first-timer lesson to help get them started. Children under the age of five ski free every day at Arapahoe Basin. Guests can obtain a “5 and under” lift ticket by bringing the child to the ticket window. 

Aspen Snowmass

Guests at Snowmass can enjoy a new Italian restaurant located at 10,620 ft. at the top of Sam’s Knob. The new Sam’s, a $2.5 million remodel, will feature a modern Italian concept that will offer diners sweeping views of the Elk Mountains and a sophisticated and lively food experience. All Aspen Snowmass food and beverage outlets will be straw-free in 2019-20.

 Visitors to Aspen Mountain will find a new 730-square foot Four Mountain Sports rental shop located in the new W Hotel at the base of Aspen Mountain. The Aspen Snowmass App will also feature increased rewards including a $15 food & beverage credit valid at on-mountain restaurants, $10 credit at Four Mountain Sports, $25 off Ski and Snowboard School lessons as well as exclusive access to all things Aspen Snowmass. Guests may also encounter employees on electric snowmobiles as Aspen Snowmass will introduce Taiga Motor electric snowmobiles into its fleet as part of ongoing sustainability efforts. For more information, visit www.aspensnowmass.com.

Ski Free

To encourage a new generation of winter enthusiasts, Aspen Snowmass offers free lift tickets with an equipment rental from Four Mountain Sports for children between the ages of seven and 12. The package must be booked with lodging through Stay Aspen Snowmass and is valid January 1 – April 21, 2020. Kids aged six and under always ski free at Aspen Snowmass.

(Beaver Creek)

Beaver Creek

With the expansion of Beaver Creek’s snowmaking system at Red Buffalo Park, a newly renovated Children’s Ski School, and a remodeled Village, family experiences will start on Opening Day at Beaver Creek Resort. Beaver Creek Resort is enhancing its early-season terrain offerings through the snowmaking expansion in Red Buffalo Park. The additional snowmaking capabilities at Red Buffalo Park will ensure more reliable early-season terrain in a key dedicated learning area of the upper mountain, with the goal of providing more than 3,300 vertical feet of top-to-bottom skiing and riding on opening day each year. An interior renovation of Beaver Creek’s Children Ski School facilities will improve the guest experience for the entire family, from sales and registration to rental equipment fitting. Additionally, a newly remodeled Village will welcome families for one-of-a-kind events and experiences throughout the season. From the top of the mountain to the heart of the Village, seamless family experiences start on Opening Day at Beaver Creek. www.beavercreek.com/

Ski Free

Children 4 and under ski for free. Please visit any ticket window to collect a $0 lift ticket to access the mountains or visit the Season Pass Office to obtain a pass valid all season.

Breckenridge Ski Resort

The heart of Breckenridge Ski Resort gets a new beat this season with the transformation of the Peak 8 Base Area, elevating the overall guest experience at the primary portal to the mountain. This winter guests will be greeted with a whole new look and feel as they arrive at Peak 8, welcomed by new escalators to help guests move between street-level and plaza-level; brand new skier services headquarters including new locations for resort ticket and season pass sales, the Breck Ski & Snowboard School, and Breck Sports retail and rental store; as well as other guest amenities including an outdoor ice skating rink, coffee shop, new public restroom facilities and new town transit stop for easy and convenient access into town. Over the past several years the Peak 8 Base Area has seen major improvements, with One Ski Hill Place paving the way in 2011 as a new ski-in, ski-out luxury lodging experience. In Dec. 2016, Breck Grand Vacations opened the first phase of the Grand Colorado on Peak 8, with an expansion underway and set to open this winter. Additionally, more exciting developments are on the horizon with the recent approval of a proposed four-star hotel.

Gravity Haus Breckenridge is the adventure destination and social haus for the modern adventurer. Replacing the former Village Hotel at the base of Breckenridge Ski Resort’s Peak 9, the renovated and tech-forward ski-in/ ski-out boutique property will debut in December 2019, featuring 60 distinctly-curated rooms. Featuring a modern alpine design, accommodations include private queen and king suites and ‘all-in-one’ combination suites featuring both bunks and private sleeping areas for families and groups. Designed to activate a community of like-minded outdoor enthusiasts year-round, Gravity Haus offers ongoing insider experiences ranging from athlete-led mountain expeditions to backcountry hut trips. Onsite amenities at Gravity Haus include Dryland fitness and sports recovery center; Backcountry discovery center; a super trampoline; StarterHaus, a new co-working space by Jim Deters; farm-to-cup Unravel coffee; locally-inspired food and drink at Cabin Juice; Japanese-inspired onsen and more.  www.breckenridge.com/

Ski Free

Children 4 and under ski for free. Please visit any ticket window to collect a $0 lift ticket to access the mountains or visit the Season Pass Office to obtain a pass valid all season.

Cooper

Cooper will welcome a lift and terrain expansion for the 2019-20 season featuring a new surface lift and 70 acres of new intermediate and advanced skiing terrain. This will be the first truly expert terrain in Cooper’s history. Cooper will also welcome RFID technology this winter helping guests enjoy a seamless experience. Cooper will have a variety of products for guests of all backgrounds including its First-Timer program, $30 Thursdays and a number of other discounted products. For more information, visit www.skicooper.com.

Ski Free

At Cooper, children five and under ski free every day or can receive a season pass for $10 which covers the processing fee. Children between the ages of six and 14 receive discounted lift tickets and season passes, plus deals on children’s group lessons as low as $69.

Copper Mountain

Opening for the 2019-20 season, Copper Mountain visitors can explore 273 acres of expert terrain on Tucker Mountain with the new Three Bears chairlift. This three-person fixed grip lift, topping out at 12,421 ft, will access terrain that was previously accessible via snowcat or hiking only and provide stunning views of the surrounding area. Guests can enjoy a warming hut at the top of the lift and bathrooms at the bottom.

 Copper Mountain has also begun construction on a new 127-room, four-story hotel with anticipated completion as early as 2020. Located in a portion of the Chapel parking lot, the Creekside Hotel will feature an outdoor patio nestled along West Ten Mile Creek complete with fire pits and hot tubs, giving guests a chance to unwind and soak in the views after a day on the slopes. For more information, visit www.coppercolorado.com.

Ski Free

Copper Mountain offers the One, Two, Free! package for children ages 12 and younger, which provides free skiing with the purchase of a two-day adult lift ticket. Children ages four and under always ski and ride free at Copper. Copper also offers free lift tickets to try the Easy Rider magic carpet in Center Village. Lift tickets are complimentary and must be picked up at the ticket window

(Crested Butte)

Crested Butte

After a brief hiatus, the new Teocalli Lift, a fixed-grip quad, replaces a fixed-grip double chair. The new Teocalli Lift was installed in the summer of 2019 and will increase uphill capacity by more than 50 percent, providing an enhanced level of convenience for guests looking to access the front side of the mountain or lap some of Crested Butte’s sweetest trees. A slight realignment of the lift line moves the top terminal closer to the top of the existing Red Lady Express Lift, improving egress to the can’t-miss, Uley’s Cabin as well as the base area. Increasing convenience and likes on your Instagram account, the new alignment happens to provide a perfect window into the grandeur of the lift’s namesake peak just across the valley.  www.skicb.com/

 Echo Mountain Resort

After opening its tubing hill in the 2018-19 season, Echo is adding a new food truck, Two Mile Pie, near the tubing hill serving pizza, drinks and snacks throughout the winter. Access to the tubing hill will also be more convenient with a new staircase and a new deck outside the rental shop.  In addition to enjoying Echo’s emphasis on a non-judgmental atmosphere, guests can also purchase new pass products like the Night Season Pass or Midweek Season Pass for under $100. For more information, visit www.echomountainresort.com.

Ski Free

At Echo Mountain, kids under the age of six can receive a season pass for free with the purchase of an adult season pass. Echo also offers discounts on season passes for those aged 6-12.

 Eldora

Eldora will roll out new buses in its parking lots this upcoming season to create an improved experience for guests moving between their cars and the slopes. Eldora is also finalizing a rideshare app that will help connect guests in order to facilitate carpooling and reduce traffic ahead of the season.

 Terrain park enthusiasts will be excited about Eldora’s new Zaugg terrain-shaping machine, which will allow the park crew to create consistent and innovative park features all winter long. The rental shop will also feature a new tuning machine helping guests to quickly receive ski and snowboard care and get back on the slopes. For more information, visit www.eldora.com.

Ski Deal

At Eldora, kids ages five and under can purchase an alpine season pass for only $29.

Granby Ranch

Granby Ranch is replacing 5,000 feet of snowmaking pipe for the upcoming season. This will allow Granby Ranch to open all blue runs on opening day of the season, currently scheduled for December 13, 2019. Granby Ranch’s new food and beverage team will be offering specific themed dinner options for guests on Wednesday nights throughout the season. For the second season running, Granby Ranch will also offer groups the opportunity to rent the East Mountain for the evening including night skiing. For more information, visit www.granbyranch.com.

Ski Free

Granby Ranch offers free skiing and riding every day for children ages five and under. Granby Ranch also partners with Grand County Schools to offer free skiing on Fridays with a student ID.

Hesperus

Hesperus will offer College Friday’s this season, giving college students in Colorado and New Mexico schools discounted tickets on Friday evenings to enjoy 100 percent of the mountain. Hesperus also offers first-timers over the age of seven up to three free lessons with the purchase of one full-day, full-price lift ticket. For more information, visitwww.ski-hesperus.com.

Ski Free

Hesperus participates in the Power Kids program, which grants a free season pass valid at Hesperus and Purgatory Resort, to children ages 10 and younger.

Howelsen Hill Ski Area

Ski Free

At Howelsen Hill, children ages five and under pay only $10 for a daily lift ticket, while children between the ages of six and 18 pay only $20 for a full day of skiing or riding. Howelsen will also partner with the Steamboat Springs School District to offer free lift tickets to second graders in the community. Throughout the season Howelsen Hill will also offer Ski Free Sundays. For more information, visit www.steamboatsprings.net/131/Howelsen-Hill-Ski-Area.

Kendall Mountain Ski Area

Ski Free

Children ages five and under ski and ride free every day at Kendall Mountain. Kendall Mountain also offers special lift ticket and season pass pricing for children ages 6-18. For more information, visit www.kendallmountain.com.

Keystone Resort

New for the 2019-20 season are the Keystone Plus Pass and the new Keystone Crested Butte 4-Pack. For $369, the Keystone Plus Pass, with certain holiday restrictions, provides unlimited access to Keystone, unlimited late spring skiing at Breckenridge starting April 1, 2020, and five days at Crested Butte. The Keystone Crested Butte 4-Pack offers any four total days between Keystone and Crested Butte, with holiday restrictions, for only $249.

(Keystone’s Daily Cookie Time)

For the first time ever, this year guests can enjoy one of the longest ski seasons in the country at Keystone and Breck, with skiing and riding operations planned to kick off at Keystone in October and run through Memorial Day at Breck, as weather and conditions permit. This summer Keystone Resort has been hard at work upgrading snowmaking on its opening terrain to a state-of-the-art, automated, energy-efficient system that will assist the resort to operate more productively in narrow early-season snowmaking windows. This investment in snowmaking will also help to position Keystone to be one of the first resorts to open in Colorado and the U.S. each season. With Keystone getting the season started, Breck will close it out with late spring skiing and riding. Following Breck’s announcement last season to run winter operations through Memorial Day moving forward, skiers and riders can celebrate the end of the winter season at Breck’s Spring Finale with access to signature High Alpine terrain offerings throughout May. Thanks to Breck’s elevation, High Alpine terrain and propensity for snow, the resort typically offers exceptional spring conditions for skiing and riding. www.keystoneresort.com

Ski Free

Kids 12 and under ski free every day, all season long with two or more nights of lodging booked direct with Keystone Resort. No blackout dates, no restrictions. Children 4 and under ski for free. Please visit any ticket window to collect a $0 lift ticket to access the mountains or visit the Season Pass Office to obtain a pass valid all season.

Loveland Ski Area

A year after debuting the new Chet’s Dream chairlift, Loveland is partnering with the Colorado Department of Transportation’s Snowstang for the upcoming season. A roundtrip ticket on the new direct bus service will cost $25 with discounts for seniors, children and disabled passengers. Guests can be picked up at Union Station in Denver and the Denver Federal Center. Snowstang will run on weekends starting December 12 and will run through mid-April, 2020 with some holidays.

 Families visiting Loveland for the first time can take advantage of the Family Private Lesson to learn together in a relaxed, non-competitive environment as a family. For more information, visit www.skiloveland.com.

Ski Free

At Loveland, children ages five and under can ski and snowboard for free. For children between the ages of six and 14, Loveland offers a free season pass with the completion of the 3-Class Pass. Children’s full day lesson packages include a lesson, lift access, ski and snowboard equipment rentals, helmet and lunch.

Monarch Mountain

Monarch will celebrate its 80th Anniversary with a new retail location next to the rental shop that will specialize in rental clothes and cold weather essentials for guests that need them. Ongoing tree thinning will allow Monarch to open a new gladed tree run as well as a children’s interpretive run. For more information, visit www.skimonarch.com.

Ski Free

Children under six always ski and ride free at Monarch Mountain. For families who don’t want to visit the lift ticket window for a complimentary child’s pass each day, Monarch also offers children’s season passes for those ages six and under with a processing fee of $20. Monarch also offers discounted lift ticket or season passes for those aged 7 to 17.

Powderhorn Resort

Powderhorn will welcome a new food and beverage location in its base area, an Umbrella Bar for visitors to sit back and enjoy. Guests will also have the option of staying slope-side in the new tiny home village year-round. Powderhorn will also be launching a new app and website in the fall of 2019 to improve the guest experience. For more information, visit www.powderhorn.com.

Ski Deal

At Powderhorn, children ages five and under can purchase a daily lift ticket for $19 or a season pass for $29. Through the Learn to Ski Free program, participants can enjoy free ski or snowboard lessons, with free rentals and a free Easy Rider lift ticket during the time of the lesson.

(Pur

Purgatory Resort

Purgatory will offer free ski and snowboard lessons to all first-time skiers and riders of all ages. Children 10 and younger are eligible for a free season pass through the Power Kids program. Young adults up to 36 will also receive discounted season passes. For more information, visit www.skipurg.com.  

Ski Deal

Purgatory Resort participates in the Power Kids program, which grants a free season pass valid at Purgatory Resort and Hesperus Ski Area, to children ages 10 and younger. Purgatory also offers free lessons to those who have never skied or snowboarded before.

Silverton Mountain

Silverton Mountain will expand its unguided season for the upcoming winter, now beginning March 18, 2020 and running five days a weekWednesday-Sunday through April 19, 2020. This is over a 50 percent increase in available ski days during the unguided season. For more information, visit www.silvertonmountain.com.

Steamboat

Guests visiting Steamboat this winter will enjoy the new gondola, which will expand uphill capacity from the base area by nearly 40 percent. The new gondola will also provide a more seamless experience with gondola cabins flush to the ground allowing riders to walk straight on as opposed to stepping up to get into the cabin. Ride time will be reduced from 12 minutes to under 10 minutes. Also new this upcoming season, Ikon pass holders will have access to night skiing Thursday- Monday from December through March.

 Guests in need of rental equipment can experience the newly refurbished and expanded Steamboat Sports in the base area with an improved rental process and more retail offerings. Visitors can also look forward to a full season of the Taco Beast, Steamboat’s roaming snowcat turned food truck. For more information, visit www.steamboat.com.

Ski Free

Steamboat’s Kids Ski Free and Grandkids Ski Free programs give children 12 years old or younger free lift tickets and free rentals for the same number of days as their parent, grandparent or legal guardian when the parent, grandparent, or legal guardian has purchased a 5-or-more day adult lift ticket and a 5-or-more day rental package.

Sunlight Mountain Resort

A three-phase, $4 million expansion has begun at Sunlight with phase one underway this summer. This will expand gladed tree skiing, add five new hike back runs and an additional 500 vertical feet of skiing in the expert only area of the mountain for winter 2019-20. When completed, the entire project will feature a new lift and 100 acres of new terrain. For more information, visit www.sunlightmtn.com.

Ski Free

Children ages five and younger can receive a free Carefree Skier season pass to Sunlight Mountain Resort. Children five and younger can also ski free every day by visiting the ticket window for a complimentary daily lift ticket. With the award-winning Ski, Swim and Stay Package, kids 12 and younger can ski and ride free.

Telluride Ski Resort

Guests to Telluride can experience 40 new acres of north-facing gladed terrain around Lift 9 this upcoming winter. This new tree skiing will be for advanced and expert skiers and will also include new natural features like steep chutes and rock drops.

 Guests can also download Telluride’s new app that includes up-to-the-minute lift status information, snow reporting, trail status, an interactive trail map, push notifications and more. For more information, visit www.tellurideskiresort.com.

Ski Free

Telluride offers free daily lift tickets at the lift ticket window for children ages five and younger. Telluride also offers season passes to those 5 and under for $25. Discounts are available for those aged 6-24 on daily lift tickets and season passes

Vail Mountain

Vail has just kicked off the first phase of an ambitious snowmaking expansion project– the largest in Vail Mountain’s history– that will enhance the skiing experience beginning with the 2019-2020 winter season by allowing for more diverse terrain to be open earlier, creating more reliable early and late-season conditions with high-quality snow, and improving existing snowmaking technology to be more energy and water-efficient. Vail’s extensive snowmaking upgrades and expansion taking place this summer will help to ensure a pre-Thanksgiving opening day each year. Nearly 200 acres of new and enhanced snowmaking terrain this season (in addition to our current 431 acres of snowmaking terrain) will provide guests with earlier access to higher elevation terrain, a broader variety of trails, access from two base areas, and improved early season ski school terrain.  www.vail.com

Ski Free

Children 4 and under ski for free. Please visit any ticket window to collect a $0 lift ticket to access the mountains or visit the Season Pass Office to obtain a pass valid all season.

Winter Park Resort

A new 6-person Sunnyside chair will be installed for the 2019-20 season, replacing the old 3-person fixed-grip chair in one of the most popular areas of the resort. The $6 million upgrade will reduce ride time from eight minutes to under four minutes and reduce lift lines at the bottom of Parsenn Bowl. For the first time, Winter Park will also offer guests guided off-mountain adventures like nighttime experiences or backcountry skiing or riding. For more information, visit www.winterparkresort.com.

Ski Free

Winter Park’s Kids Ski Free program offers free skiing and riding for children ages 12 and younger with the purchase of Winter Park lodging and a 3-day adult lift ticket. Blackout dates apply.

Wolf Creek Ski Area

Wolf Creek will celebrate its 80th birthday this winter. A new run, Orion’s Beltway, will offer beginners and intermediates a new option when exploring the mountain. The new Powderroom will offer seasonal pass holders the option of renting a locker for the season. The Raven’s Nest, a modern two-story restaurant located at the top of the Raven Lift, will be upgraded with a new sunroom in the lower level. The remodel will open space and create a more vibrant area for the new Raven’s Grill Café including a new menu. For more information, visit www.wolfcreekski.com.

Ski Free

Each season, Wolf Creek hosts a “Know the Code” safety poster contest. The annual safety poster contest invites elementary, junior and high school students to illustrate one or more aspects of the Responsibility Code. Wolf Creek staff and guests vote on the posters, and first through third place winners in each division are awarded a free ski day with immediate family members

Christmas Tree Cutting Experience + Free Trees for Fourth Graders

As you may have heard, there’s a shortage of Christmas trees in the metro area. Here are two memorable ways to cut down your Christmas tree this winter.

Christmas Tree Cutting Experience

Over the river and through the woods, to Snow Mountain Ranch we go! This year, make new holiday memories with us as they debut their Christmas Tree Cutting Experience. Why wait to celebrate the holidays when you can spread Christmas cheer all December long? Help them sustainably manage our forests while also making lasting memories!

Snow Mountain Ranch near Granby will be hosting holiday-themed events throughout the month of December, starting with the Christmas Tree Cutting Experience on Nov. 30 – Dec. 1, then the following weekends of Dec. 7 – 8, and Dec. 14 – 15. Tree Cutting hours will be from 2-4 p.m. on Saturdays and 9:30 a.m. to noon on Sundays.

Start your day with a festive cookie decorating, ornament decorating, or Christmas Card craft class to get you in the Christmas spirit. After you’ve gotten the holiday creativity flowing, gather your loved ones and set off on an adventure through the Snow Mountain Ranch forest to find the perfect Christmas tree. Snow Mountain Ranch will provide hand saws and twine so you can cut down your tree, then strap it to your car. You’re welcome to bring your own tools, however, chainsaws and other electric tools are prohibited.

It’s not too late to plan your holiday getaway! Stay with them and cut your tree for free! Or, make it a day trip. Day visitors can purchase a day pass with a $25 tree-cutting add-on. Day passes include access to the craft shop so you can create holiday cards, ornaments, or Christmas cookies, depending on each day’s activity schedule.

Free Tree With Every Kid in a Park

As we’ve shared a number of times, the Every Kid in a Park program is where all 4th graders can get FREE admission to National Parks, public lands and waters, including admission with their family. Well, it turns out that in addition to that awesome benefit, 4th grade students can also get a FREE permit to cut down a Christmas tree in select National forests.

These free Holiday Tree permits are only available at U.S. Forest Service District offices.  

The fourth-grader and pass must be present to purchase Tree Cutting permit. Go to  Every Kid Outdoors for more info!

Photo: Every Kid in a Park

​​​Celebrate Fresh Air Friday on Black Friday with FREE Colorado State Parks Pass

Colorado Parks & Wildlife encourages you to take some time this Thanksgiving weekend to explore the outdoors and make new memories with the people you love. Turn Black Friday into a blue skies Friday, a green trees Friday, a white snow Friday… a Fresh Air Friday!

Colorado Parks and Wildlife is pleased to partner again this year with Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO) to offer free access to all 41 Colorado state parks on Fresh Air Friday. Throughout the year, CPW offers family-friendly activities, fun-filled adventures and opportunities to learn and try new things at all of our state parks. 

 Every outdoor activity is the right way to celebrate Fresh Air Friday, whether exploring a state park, skiing in the high country, or playing a game of freeze tag in the backyard. Studies show that spending time outdoors – no matter the activity – can improve one’s ability to focus, decrease fatigue and even help improve short-term memory! So whatever activity you choose, get out and give thanks.​​​

Events

Fresh Air Friday at Ridgway State Park
Friday, November 29

Two hikes will be offered to get outside for Fresh Air Friday at Ridgway State Park: Dallas Creek Nature Trail at 11 am- Meet at Confluence Parking Lot in Dallas Creek for a 1-mile hike in a great riparian ecosystem. Enchanted Mesa Hike at 1 pm- meet at Enchanted Mesa Trail Head in Pa Co Chu Puk. It will be a 2-mile hike, but you are free to go further on your own. There are great views in all directions from the top of Enchanted Mesa.

After Gobble Wobble on Fresh Air Friday at Chatfield State Park
Friday, November 29

Avoid the hazardous shopping centers after Thanksgiving and instead enjoy the fresh morning air at Chatfield State Park! Entrance into all Colorado State Parks is FREE on Fresh Air Friday! It’s time to walk off all that turkey you ate! Join a Ranger on a leisurely 2-mile walk through the Plum Creek Nature Area. Look for wildlife while breathing in the fresh, crisp morning air.

Fresh Air Friday Hike – Little Rainbow at AHRA State Park
Friday, November 29

Join us for Fresh Air Friday as we take a walk on the Little Rainbow Trail. Walk off that Thanksgiving dinner and enjoy a free day at State Parks!

Hike Outlook Ridge Loop at Mueller State Park
Friday, November 29

Want to avoid shopping centers today? Join us for Fresh Air Friday! Visit an overlook to view the valleys in the foreground and the Continental Divide in the distance, led by Naturalist Cindi. Loop back by Lost and Geer Ponds for a 3.5-mile moderate hike including a few steep hills. Dress in layers and bring lots of water.

The Great Waddle Walk-off at Barr Lake State Park
Friday, November 29

Thinking you might over-do-it at Thanksgiving? It’s all about family, friends and delicious food, but wouldn’t it be nice to add an adventure in the great outdoors, where you can stretch your legs and fill your lungs with wonderful fresh air?

 

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