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How Colorado school districts are preparing for the coronavirus threat

Colorado school districts have pledged to work closely with local public health authorities to keep students safe as federal health officials expressed mounting concern about the spread of coronavirus cases.

In general, districts plan to keep schools open unless public health authorities tell them to close. Some districts said they’re working on ways to continue instruction if schools close, but it’s not clear yet what that would look like — or if it will ever be necessary.

Centers for Disease Control officials said in a news briefing Tuesday that spread of the virus in the United States is inevitable and urged agencies, including school districts, to prepare plans to help slow the spread. Those could include dividing classes into smaller groups or closing school altogether. Those steps are not necessary yet, but school districts should be prepared to put such measures in place, officials said.

 

 

 

-Chalkbeat Colorado, Yesenia Robles 

Why Unpaid Leave Means ‘No Leave’ For Many New Parents In Colorado

The last weeks of Jenna Riley’s pregnancy were painful — extremely painful. 

She felt it every time she struggled up the stairs of her second-floor condo in Aurora and all through the hours she worked on her feet each day. She was carrying twins and suffering from preeclampsia, a potentially dangerous pregnancy condition.

But she didn’t want to give birth a day before it was necessary.

“As physically exhausted and miserable as I was, I needed the pregnancy to last longer,” explained Riley, a 38-year-old who manages programs for adults with disabilities.

She wasn’t just worried about complications from a preterm delivery, which is common for twins. She simply couldn’t afford it. Her job didn’t offer paid maternity leave and she needed to work as long as possible to build up a cushion for a few weeks off.

“I worked really hard to save money while I was pregnant, and I worked two jobs all through my pregnancy as well,” said Riley, who makes just less than $50,000 a year. Her boyfriend is a therapist for Medicaid clients. Together, they hoped to cover her missed paychecks for a month, giving her time to bond with the twins.

But things didn’t work out as the couple planned.

 

 

 

-CPR, Andrew Kenney

 

Denver Zoo Welcomes First-Ever Greater One-Horned Rhino Calf

A rhino-sized effort led to a rhino-sized reward when Denver Zoo’s resident female greater one-horned rhino, Tensing, 13, welcomed her first calf on Saturday morning. Initial reports from the Zoo’s Animal Care team indicate that both Tensing and her calf are doing very well, and Tensing immediately started showing appropriate maternal behaviors, including nursing and grooming. The calf, whose name has not yet been determined, will remain behind the scenes in Toyota Elephant Passage for at least six to eight weeks to give her ample time to bond with Tensing under the watchful eye of their care team.

“The birth of this calf is the result of a truly heroic effort by our animal care, health and science teams and partners from other zoos to support the species,” said Brian Aucone, Senior Vice President for Animal Sciences. “It’s a significant event for several reasons, including the fact that this is the first greater one-horned rhino born at Denver Zoo, and because it was another very important step in reproductive science for animals in the wild and human care.”

Tensing became pregnant in December 2018 after 11 unsuccessful artificial insemination procedures, according to the zoo. The baby rhino’s father is a 10-year-old named Jontu from the Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha.

18 family events in Denver this week

Fun events in Denver this week include Buffalo Bill Birthday Celebration, Denver Restaurant Week, THe Rocky Mountain Horse Expo and more. See our event calendar for full listings and be sure to check-out Spring Break in Denver: Over 50 activities listed

Denver Restaurant Week at Denver Metro 
Feb 21  –  29 
The 16th annual Denver Restaurant Week takes place Feb. 21 – March 1, 2020. Hundreds of Denver’s top restaurants will offer multi-course dinners for three tasty prices: $25, $35 or $45.

Colorado Garden & Home Show at Colorado Convention Center 
Feb 22  – March 1
Discover the Rocky Mountain region’s oldest, largest and most prestigious garden and home show – a nine-day spectacular event – where you can find inspiration from the latest ideas and trends in landscaping, gardening and home improvement. Enjoy the multitude of fragrances as you stroll through more than an acre of professionally landscaped gardens – 11 in all. Talk to representatives from more than 650 companies from 25 states and Canada. Visit with the region’s gardening gurus and home improvement experts about the best ways to move your home and garden projects forward.

Rocky Mountain Horse Expo at National Western Complex 
Feb 28 – March 1 
For 27 years, the Rocky Mountain Horse Expo has entertained and educated horse lovers of all breeds and disciplines. The 2019 Rocky Mountain Horse Expo takes place from February 28-29 and March 1, 2020.

LEGO Building Workshop at History Colorado Center 
Feb 29, 9:00 – 10:00 am
LEGO City Police Patrol Car Kit. Build (and keep!) your own Colorado-style LEGO set, then take a special guided museum tour based on your creation. For this workshop visitors will build the LEGO City Police Patrol Car Kit, and have a special guided tour of our Denver A to Z exhibit.

8th Annual 285 Winterfest at Conifer Area Chamber of Commerce 
Feb 29, 9:30 am – 4:00 pm
The 2020 285 Winterfest is presented by The Thompson Group and kicks off at 9:30 am on the Meyer Ranch Sledding Hill for the Mount Lugo Luge Snow Tubing Competition. Teams of four compete by tubing down the hill both individually and as a team with awards for the fastest and best aerial dismount

Insider the Orchestra’s Tiny Tots Concerts at The Falls Event Center 
Feb 29, 9:30 am – 12:45 pm
Tiny Tots gets children truly inside the orchestra by seating the audience on the floor and surrounding them with a 30+ piece orchestra. Designed for children six and under, this 45-minute program gives young ones the chance to interact with the music and learn about the instruments in the process.

Harlem Globetrotters at Pepsi Center 
Feb 29, 1:00 pm – 2:30 pm
Harlem Globetrotters live at Pepsi Center!

Paw Patrol Live: Race to the Rescue at Bellco Theatre 
Feb 29  – March 1 
It’s the day of the Great Adventure Bay Race between Adventure Bay’s Mayor Goodway and Foggy Bottom’s Mayor Humdinger, but Mayor Goodway is nowhere to be found. PAW Patrol Race to the Rescue! Ryder summons Marshall, Chase, Skye, Rubble, Rocky, Zuma and Everest to rescue Mayor Goodway and to run the race in her place.

Colorado Mammoth vs. Philadelphia Wings at Pepsi Center 
Feb 29, 7:30 – 9:00 pm
The Mammoth are proud to be part of Kroenke Sports and Entertainment’s annual Military Appreciation series, which will honor all those who serve, who have served, or are committing to enlist in the military. Every branch of the armed forces will be represented as the team celebrates those who have served in the past and those who are nobly swearing-in to help protect our freedoms.

Harlem Globetrotters at 1STBANK Center 
Feb 29, 7:30 pm – 9:00 pm
The Original Harlem Globetrotters are preparing for their action-packed World Tour! A star-studded roster will have fans on the edge of their seats to witness the ball handling wizardry, basketball artistry and one-of-a-kind family entertainment that thrills fans of all ages. New this season, the Globetrotters will debut basketball’s first 4-point line. The 4-point line will be located 30 feet from the basket – 6 feet, 3 inches beyond the top of the NBA’s current 3-point line. You won’t want your family to miss it – buy your tickets today!

Buffalo Bill Birthday Celebration at Buffalo Bill Museum & Grave 
March 1, 10:00 am – 5:00 pm
Celebrate the birthday of one of America’s greatest legends, William “Buffalo Bill” Cody. In the grand tradition of parties, the Buffalo Bill Museum and Grave will host the annual Buffalo Bill Birthday Bash on Sunday, March 1 with special activities from noon to 4 p.m. Sing Happy Birthday, eat cake, make crafts and maybe even learn a thing or two on this very festive FREE day.
Noon: Sing Happy Birthday and enjoy free cake and ice cream (while supplies last) at the Pahaska Tepee Gift Shop and Cafe.

Denver Nuggets vs. Toronto Raptors at Pepsi Center 
March 1, 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm
Toronto Raptors vs Denver Nuggets at Pepsi Center.  Family Night w/ Purchase of Promotional Offer

ONGOING EVENTS

Hansel and Gretel at the Miners Alley Playhouse
Feb. 1 – 29
Oooey gooey gumdrops! Join us for a modern spin on this deliciously classic tale: two siblings wind up lost in the woods, leading to unexpected adventures, mysterious creatures, and a witch’s candy house. Children of all ages will appreciate this lively story about gratitude, love, art, the power of family…. and, of course, CANDY! minersalley.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
 
Terry Maker: Because the World is Round Exhibit at Visit Longmont
Jan. 24 – May 17, 2020
Terry has created a unique exhibit especially for the Longmont Museum: Because the World is Round. Terry mines commonplace materials, cutting and re-combining them into dense and tactile wall reliefs and large-scale freestanding sculptures. For this show, she is focusing on a recurring theme in her work—the circle. Circles have a host of symbolic meanings, and Terry wants to invoke them all—cosmic, cyclical, universal, sacred… Her transformation in the gallery is awe-inspiring.  visitlongmont.org

The Science Behind Pixar at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science
Oct. 11 – April 5, 2020
Enjoy a unique look into the Pixar process, and explore the science and technology behind some of the most beloved animated films and their characters with The Science Behind Pixar. This interactive exhibition showcases the science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) concepts used by the artists and computer scientists who help bring Pixar’s award-winning films to the big screen. dmns.org

VR Arcade
Oct. 26 – March 8, 2020
Come on in, jump on board, and have some fun in VR Arcade. The pop-up experience uses virtual reality technology that lets you explore wherever your curiosity leads. VR Arcade features a four-person Virtual Reality Transporter ride, an individual Birdly flight, and six bays for individual VR opportunities.

The Velveteen Rabbit at the Arvada Center for the Arts & Humanities
Jan. 30 – May 20, 2020
When a rocking horse tells an old-fashioned velveteen rabbit that toys become real when they are truly loved, the stuffed animal jumps at the opportunity to be the favorite playmate of a young boy. But when the boy gets sick, their friendship is tested and both learn a lesson in loyalty and what being “real” truly means. This musical adaptation of Margery Williams’ 1922 classic The Velveteen Rabbit presents an updated version of one of the most celebrated children’s tales of our time. Filled with longing and the companionship that fulfills it, the story presents an appreciation for a childhood that is sincere and filled with fun and magic. This timeless tale shows the transformative power of love, and will touch anyone who has ever had a beloved childhood toy.

Night Lights Denver at Daniels & Fisher Tower
Now through Dec. 21, 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

NICU Moms: It is OK to Grieve

NICU moms are strong. They are warriors. They hold it together and fight for their baby, keeping watch over them as often as possible. 

But NICU moms are in pain. The pain comes not just from delivery, both vaginal and C-section. The pain comes not just from swollen ankles and swollen, well, other bits.  The pain comes not just from the headache you get from Pre-eclampsia or Magnesium infusions and the pain of an empty heart because your baby is not in the same room as you. The pain comes, in part, from grief.

Being pregnant and having a baby is a miraculous process. I never knew how much I could love someone I had never met until I had a miscarriage. We had been trying to get pregnant for about a year and I remember crying tears of joy when I saw the positive pregnancy test. I fell in love with that baby, the idea of that baby, the dream of bringing that baby home, the dream of holidays and traditions with our baby – I fell in love with motherhood the minute the pregnancy test was positive.  I spent 4 weeks imagining the life I would have after I brought my baby home. And then my world was turned upside down when I lost my baby at 10 weeks. 

When a mother finds out that her pregnancy is derailed, regardless of the reason (miscarriage, prematurity, congenital anomalies, traumatic delivery),  it is OK for her to grieve. It is necessary to grieve. It is important to grieve. 

I intentionally titled this post Its OK…”  The worst phrase someone can hear when grieving begins with Its OK”. 

 “Its OK – you can get pregnant again.”

”Its OK – your baby is going to be fine.”

”Its OK – I know you are a fighter and so is your baby.”

Well, quite frankly, no. It is not OK. We dont all know we can get pregnant again. We dont know that everything will be fine when our baby is critically ill. Stop telling us Its going to be fine” and Its going to be ok”. Because you dont know that. And I dont know that. And it is scary. It is ok to feel bad; to feel overwhelmed and scared to breathe. Be sad. Be mad. Be angry. And grieve. Grieve the loss of the normal” pregnancy you wanted. Grieve the loss of having a healthy baby that stays in the room with you and goes home with you. Grieve the ideal breastfeeding journey you were striving for. Grieve the loss of the dreams you had for this baby at this time.  In order to create new dreams for your growing family, you need space to grieve what you anticipated. 

Going through medical school, Id learned there were 5 stages of grief, but it wasnt until I lost my pregnancy that I lived through them.

1. Denial. The first phase is Denial – it helps us survive the grief.  When you start to cramp and bleed at week nine but convince yourself you are just tired or dehydrated. Those first hours after being admitted to Labor and Delivery at 24 weeks with pre-eclampsia, when the doctor tells you that you are going to have a premature baby, and you just know you are going to stay pregnant for another 10 weeks. Those days after you rupture your bag of water at 7 months but try to convince yourself that you just peed. That is denial. Denial lets you control the pace at which your grieve. You get small hints of grief, small moments of panic and then stuff it away with denial.

2. Anger comes next. It is a necessary stage of healing. We direct our anger in different directions – sometimes it is directed at spouses and family, sometimes at the doctors and nurses caring for the baby. Parents can feel anger towards God and even towards their baby.  That anger is ok. You are ok. It is ok to be angry. Anger shows how intensely you love your baby. Often with grief, it is as if you are completely disconnected from the world and the people around you, giving you a sense that you are floating, lost in space. Anger gives you a sense of connection – when you are angry, you are connected. 

3. Bargaining. As the anger fades, and the feelings of grief begin to settle in, the third phase rolls in – bargaining. Bargaining and guilt go hand-in-hand. If only” and I promise” statements fill our brain. If only I hadnt worked out so hard once I found out I was pregnant, I wouldnt have lost my baby. If only I hadnt gone on vacation I wouldnt have delivered early. If only I hadnt gotten so stressed out at work I would have stayed pregnant longer. I promise if you fix everything and make life normal,” I will… Bargaining and guilt hold us in the past preventing us from moving forward. 

4. Depression comes next, moving our brains out of the past and into the present. We have to face the reality of our loss. The loss of the dream. The loss of a healthy child. The realization that life will not be the same. Depression is a natural part of grief, not something we just push through”. We need to feel and acknowledge what we wanted in order to accept where we are. 

5. Acceptance. And that brings us to the final phase of grief – acceptance. Acceptance is not about saying we are ok” or fine”. It is not pretending that everything is as it should be. Acceptance is about living and moving forward with your new reality: Finding routines for splitting your time between the NICU and at home with other children. Finding routines for being with your baby and working so you can save your maternity leave for when your baby comes home. Creating new dreams that are built upon your new reality. 

For me, grief was not linear. I tried to stay in denial until it was ripped away from my grasp.  I would bounce between anger and depression – and then depression settled on me and held on for a long time. Just as I thought I was moving into acceptance, anger would pull me right back and I would be grappling with anger and bargaining all over again.  But my friends and family stuck by me and supported me and eventually, I found my way out of grief, into acceptance, and able to move forward with trying to have the family I wanted. I wont lie – it was hard, really hard. I was scared. What if I lost another baby? (Which I did.) What if Im not strong enough to do this?  But I was strong enough. I braved the next steps, and now I have three healthy children! I am so glad I didnt quit on my dream to have a family. 

Grief is like the ocean; it comes on waves ebbing and flowing. Sometimes the water is calm, and sometimes it is overwhelming. All we can do is learn to swim.”

— VICKI HARRISON

Both Christie and Katie had babies in the NICU in the last 5 years. They shared their stories with me.

When I heard from the doctors that my baby might not make it to delivery, my way of dealing with it was to pretend that wasnt true. I kept taking bump pictures as if we were going to make it to term. That was my grieving process at the time, complete denial. This is my last bump picture before delivery – you can see my swollen eyes from crying. – Christie, a NICU mom 

Katie writes a lovely recounting of her experience in the NICU, holding her son for the first time, that illustrates the denial and fear that often start the grief process in the NICU: 

Chris and I didnt realize how serious this second surgery was, giving truth to the saying ignorance is bliss.” It was unthinkable that our son was already going to have his second surgery and he was only one week old. The gravitas of the situation became real to us because we were allowed a significant moment before the surgery: we were allowed to hold Tim. I had never cradled my week-old son in my arms. The gesture took me by surprise for a number of reasons. Its an instinct to hold ones baby, yet I was terrified to hold my fragile son and had to be reassured by our primary nurse, Jill, that I could do it. But deeper down, I was afraid it would be my first and last time to hold my son.

Jill moved all the tubes and wires and gently positioned Tim in my arms. It was the first time I felt connected to him outside of my tummy. I was overwhelmed by our embrace and didnt want to let go of him. I was crying so hard my tears were falling on his face. I never felt so alive to the impossible preciousness of each second I had with him. And finally, finally, I felt that bond that mothers feel, that I had been missing. Its hard for many mothers to understand, but NICU moms can relate; I was scared to get attached to him.

For moms in the NICU, moving through grief allows you to accept the reality of holding your baby once a day while they are still less than 2 pounds. It is accepting the little victories of getting central lines and breathing tubes out. It is accepting that you will be an advocate for your childs health.  Moving through grief and processing your grief allows you to enjoy the little moments of joy and big milestones with your #MightyLittle.

Anna Zimmermann is a pediatrician and neonatologist working in Denver, Colorado taking care of sick infants in the Newborn Intensive Care Unit (NICU). She has started writing about parenting in her new blog MightyLittles. While writing about all of parenting, one focus is honoring the memories and bringing light to the feelings mom’s have while going through their NICU journey.  You can connect with her at www.mightylittles.com

 

This Teen Has Been Through Hell. Now She’s Helping Her Peers

Eighteen-year-old Alex flips through journal entries in her mom’s living room in Denver. They trace a three-year period in her life, beginning in one of her blackest periods. In ink that switches from blue to green to red to pink, she documented her struggles with mental health.

“I’ll look back at journal entries from a year ago and I can’t even recognize the person who was writing that and I was just in such a dark place,” she says. 

As a child, Alex loved her life. She, her mom and her dad were super close, the kind of family other kids liked being around. Her dad was her best friend. But by her teen years, when her dad’s business began to spiral downward, so did he, drinking heavily. He became physically and verbally abusive. Alex got so frustrated with her dad’s drinking that one day in her sophomore year in 2017, she collected all the wine bottles she found around the house.

“I collected them from every spot I could. I took all of them and I put them on his bed so that when he got home he would have a visual of what he had become,” she says.

He came home that night, drunk, and it didn’t go well. She and her mom moved out. The summer was turbulent, with her dad, inebriated, leaving her ugly phone messages. His health suffered. He fell, cracked his jaw, broke his fingers and had multiple concussions. She and her mom would take him to and from the hospital.

It was traumatizing.

 

 

 

-Jenny Brundin, CPR

Deals: Leap Year, Free Days & More

Last week I was invited to a media event that included a couple of brands that are based right here in Colorado. Although, not necessarily cheap, Krimson Klover had some great clothes (I may have fallen in love with a swimsuit that I think I NEED). But, if you sign up for their email, you can get a 20% discount. I also learned about these totally cute EcoVessel kids waterbottles. I’m talking super cute, way better for the environment and keeps hot things hot, cold things cold! (moms they also have triple-insulated wine tumblers – keep that chardonnay cold). The straws have silicone so it is easy to drink but not need to get your teeth cold with metal straws!

YMCA of the Rockies. Celebrate Leap year and Spring Break at YMCA of the Rockies with Frozen Worlds Weekends March 13-April 2 including fun events like snow fort building, snowflake crafts, education polar bear & deer talks, penguin egg races, winter experiments or more. Book three full-prices nights in a lodge room get additional nights for just $29 (full priced rooms start at only $89/night)! Reservations are available online at http://www.ymcarockies.org with code LEAP29 or by calling 888-613-962

 Paw Patrol. Do your kids love the PAW Patrol? Cheer on everyone’s favorite heroic pups as they race to the rescue on the day of the Great Adventure Bay Race!  When Mayor Goodway goes missing, Chase, Marshall, Skye and the rest of the PAW Patrol will need to team up with Ryder to save Adventure Bay’s mayor and stop Foggy Bottom’s Mayor Humdinger from winning the race. See the whole thing live at the Bellco Theater, February 29 and March 1. Tickets are just $19! Tickets on sale now at pawpatrollive.com.

 Hallmark Free Card Friday. I love getting mail – it’s even better when it is a magazine or card. I love sending cards to my son too! He (apparently) loves them. Free Card Fridays are back. Visit your Gold Crown Hallmark store every Friday through June 26 to get one free card from the Just Because card collection. This is a Crown Rewards member exclusive [membership is free]. In-store only. 

Best Buy Outlet. Did you know that Denver is one of the few cities that has a Best Buy Outlet? You can grab tons of deals at the outlet – these are items that have refurbished, open box or have been returned for some reason. 

DGMG Jewelry, Gem & Mineral ShowKids will learn and have fun with activities like crystal digging, Mineral Magic Show, Mineral identification activities, Bat Cave (with rocks that glow in the dark), demonstrations, wire wrapping, geode cracking, and awesome displays of minerals from across the state and around the world.  Jumpstart your collection with 10 minerals plus a chance to win special prizes – in the $1 Grab Bag.  Free parking and Free admission at the Jefferson County Fairgrounds, Golden Colorado, February 28 – March 1, 2020 

 Free Magazines. I may have mentioned this before. I am a total magazine junkie. I love getting magazines in the mail. I have since I was a kid (maybe I should have worked at the Postal Service for as much as I love getting mail). But I rarely ever PAY for them. I do a quick survey and get points. You can do it too! RewardSurvey.com.

 HollisterHollister is having an awesome sale! Buy 2, Get 1 FREE on all clearance items;  New Club Cali members (free to join) get a coupon for $10 off a $40 purchase; Club Cali members get an additional 20% off all purchases. Even better – you can pair all these deals together!

 Free Days. There are several free days all year long. Make sure you bookmark our round-up page. Here is what is happening nest week: Free day at Denver Botanic Gardens at Chatfield and Museo de las Americas. 

Colorado Garden and Home Show. When I’m stuck in my house, thanks to snow, I think of all the house projects I want to do – and my Pinterest boards fill up. But there is another way (besides wandering the aisles at Home Depot and Lowe’s) the Colorado Garden and Home Show marches into town February 22-March 1. Tickets are on sale now. Kids 12 and under are free. Regular adult admission is $12 ($10 for seniors). Here’s some ticket deals: receive $2 off your ticket when you bring a non-perishable food item or go Monday, February 24 – Thursday, February 27 (admission is two for one).

 Hyatt Place on Pena Staycation to Celebrate Leap Day Birthday. Celebrate your Leap Day birthday with a free night stay at Hyatt Place Pena Station. If you were born on February 29, enjoy complimentary overnight accommodations at Hyatt Place Pena Station on your birthday. Call the hotel directly at 720.405.4321 to book. Mention this special offer. Promotion cannot be combined with additional offers. Must be 21+ to book and present a photo ID and valid credit card at the time of arrival. 

Nordstrom Rack. Nordstrom Rack Clear the Rack sale is happening now. I love getting a great deal especially if it is on something that was originally a LOT of money! Sale items are an additional 25% off. I got my daughter a pair of booties for just $15!

Totes Umbrellas. There was a saying when I was little about “April Showers Bring May Flowers.” Prepare your family for those April showers with 30% off and Free Shipping at Totes. These are great Mother’s Day gifts or Easter Basket fillers. Use promo code CELEBRATE.

JC Penney Liter Sale. If your family uses Matrix shampoo or conditioner (my sister discovered it as a teen). Then head over to JC Penny and use promo code NEWLOOK6 to get the listers at half off!

Spring Break in Denver 2020: Over 50 activities listed!

The countdown is on for Spring Break 2020! If you’re staying in Denver, no need to dismay as we have updated last year’s popular Spring Break guide. Whether you want to hunker down indoors, get outside or explore something new, we have you covered with these fabulous Spring Break offerings, categorized by geographic area.  

Don’t miss:

Family Vacation: Your Guide to Spring Break in Colorado 2020

30+ Spring Break Getaways in Colorado.

15 Affordable Family Spring Break Adventures in Colorado

20 Best Places to Go Sledding in Colorado

Ultimate Guide to Outdoor Skating in Colorado

CENTRAL DENVER

  • Denver Museum of Nature & Science— Delve into the world of living things that blink, glow, flash, and flicker, from tiny fireflies to strange creatures in the ocean depths. Don’t miss exhibitions the Science Behind Pixar and Extreme Sports: Beyond Human Limits.
  • Denver Zoo–The Denver Zoo is 80 acres of fun in City Park. Don’t miss their demonstrations in the Toyota Elephant Passage.
  • Mizel Museum

    Mizel Museum

    Botanic Gardens  – These top-ranked U.S. botanical gardens offers spectacular garden displays, outdoor art exhibits, gardening classes, spring break camps and workshops at two great locations–Chatfield and Denver.

  • Children’s Museum of Denver at Marsico Campus. Discover the natural wonders of Colorado as you scale a towering three-story mountain to the summit for the premiere lookout over Denver and the Rockies. (Featured photo.)
  • The Denver Firefighters Museum (downtown) – The Museum offers not only outstanding exhibits on the history of fire fighting in Denver focusing on the Denver Fire Department but innovative and exciting hands-on activities that allow visitors to interact with the traditional exhibits
  • History Colorado Center–This $110 million experiential museum makes Colorado history fun and has exciting new workshops, exhibits, programs, and performances that spark curiosity and ignite the imagination.
  • United States Mint Tour (downtown) – Discover how our currency is made and take home a souvenir – FREE. Reservations are required for the 45-minute tours that are run every 90 minutes.
  • Molly Brown House Museum (downtown) – Learn about the life and times of “Unsinkable” Molly Brown in her restored Victorian home in Denver, Colorado. This is one of the most visited historic sites in the state of Colorado, and one of only a handful of sites nationally dedicated to the interpretation of a woman’s story. Admission to the Molly Brown House Museum is by guided tour only.
  • Denver Museum of Miniatures, Dolls and Toys. Where beloved childhood toys are elevated to art, and workshops are inexpensive.
  • Denver Art Museum (downtown) – Each spring break they have activities that allow the whole gang to make art in the galleries and work alongside artists. Check out the Paint Studio, Create-n-Takes and gallery games. Kids 18 and younger receive free general admission.
  • Downtown Aquarium. This features over 500 species of marine life and mammals in the million-gallon Aquarium Adventure Exhibit.
  • Mizel Museum. Rooted in Jewish values that have universal relevance, the Mizel Museum is a gem tucked away in a residential area in Denver’s Hilltop neighborhood. Kids will love their interactive road map as they journey along the 4,000 Year Road Trip: Gathering Sparks. They’ll learn about art, artifacts and digital media that narrates and illuminates Jewish history and culture.

NORTH

  • APEX Movement. Do you want to be the next American Ninja Warrior? Many of the TV’s program’s best athletes train at APEX Movement in Boulder. Classes, birthday parties and open gym are available so your kids can challenge themselves the Ninja Warrior way.

    (Apex Movement)

    (Apex Movement)

  • Hammonds Candy Factory Tour (Denver) – Hammond’s complimentary candy factory tours are fun and educational for candy lovers of all ages. Hundreds of thousands of people from across the globe have seen how their famous, handcrafted candy canes, ribbon candy, and lollipops are pulled, twisted, and shaped by hand. No reservations are required for small groups.
  • WOW Children’s Museum (Lafeyette)–This interactive museum educates children in the areas of arts, sciences and life. At the new and improved Bank of WOW! Exhibit, children and families can practice money recognition, counting and basic math skills, and learn about saving and spending
  • Butterfly Pavilion (Westminster) – Home to over 5,000 animals including Rosie the tarantula and a tropical forest where 1,600 butterflies rule the sky. They offer a daily spring break camp.
  • Gateway Park Fun Center. Boulder’s only indoor and outdoor family fun center with batting cages, go-carts, mini golf, an arcade, driving range, inline hockey and more.
  • Go hiking. There are so many beautiful hikes in the Boulder area and my favorites are at Chautauqua Open Space Park. Be sure to stop in the Ranger’s Cottage for interactive fun or eat at the historic Dining Hall. For here for more Boulder hiking ideas.
  • Louisville Community Park is a park that has it all. There is a grassy area for the kids to run free in, spray grounds to cool off in the summer, a large sandbox, playground and even a dog park with swim beach to watch the pooches play.
  • Boondocks Fun Center (Northglenn)–This 8-acre indoor/outdoor amusement center offers everything from bumper boats to laser tag to a Kiddie Cove to batting cages.
  • Colorado Model Railroad Museum: The most scenic, one of a kind model railroad of its kind will leave you inspired. Walk through a real caboose, stroll along the mountain vistas and peek into a miniature world of wonder.
  • Adventure Golf and Raceway (Westminster). This is a great place for mini golf and go karts in the Denver area. 
  • Rocky Mountain Arsenal Wildlife Refuge (Commerce City)–Located 10 minutes from downtown Denver, this 17,000-acre refuge is one of the largest urban wildlife refuges in the United States. It consists of open lakes, wetlands, prairie grasslands, and woodlands and an excellent hands-on visitor’s center.
  • Celestial Seasonings. Visit the Celestial Seasonings headquarters in Boulder, Colorado and unlock the mysteries of tea with a free guided tea tour.

SOUTH

  • Hudson Gardens (Littleton) – The Hudson Gardens’ 30 acres non-profit botanical gardens are located along the bank of the South Platte River. Admission is free every day.
  • Westlands Park (Greenwood Village) – The Westlands playground includes three play areas sized for toddlers to teens. There are two large climbing structures which satisfy both the technical climber as well as the inexperienced child. In addition to the main play area, there are three multi-use playing fields, an in-line hockey rink, a natural water sculpture, a pond and a hike / bike trail.
  • Jumpstreet Indoor Trampoline Park (Lakewood, Greenwood Village) – Wall-to-wall trampolines provide fun, indoor exercise and a perfect outlet for inclement weather days.
  • Carson Nature Center

    Carson Nature Center

    Jungle Quest (Littleton). Exciting Indoor Ziplines, Huge Safari Swing, 20-foot High Rock Climbing Wall, Swinging Cargo Net, Burma Bridges, Treehouse and Slides and Jungle Caves –for Kids 5 and up.

  • Carson Nature Center (Littleton)–South Platte Park has over 880 acres of open space along the South Platte River with five lakes open to fishing, 2.5 miles of the South Platte River and the Mary Carter Greenway for walking and biking, nearly 4 miles of natural surface trails, and the Carson Nature Center and classroom.
  • Lollipop Park (Centennial)–This indoor children’s amusement park is located inside the Family Sports Center and offers a carousel, bounce castles, train ride, small Ferris wheel, teacup ride and more.
  • Great Play (Cherry Creek and Parker)–This unique gym for kids 6 months-10 years old makes it fun while developing motor skills, sport skills, fitness and coordination in their patented Interactive Arena.
  • Gameworks (Stapleton)–This 36,000-square-foot pubby amusement center and sports bar features hundreds of electronic games, a laser tag arena, big-screen TVs and comfort food.
  • Robert F. Clement Park (Littleton)–Clement Park is set on a 60-acre lake with a 1.4-mile walking path around it, tennis course, baseball fields, batting cages, multi-purpose fields, horseshoe pits and three separate playgrounds.
  • Littleton Museum. Located on 39 acres, this free museum consists of two living history farms (one from the 1860s and one from the 1890s), a small lake, a collections center, and a main exhibition and administration building.
  • iFLY Denver Indoor Sky Diving (Lone Tree). Fun,  safe indoor skydiving adventure Safe for ages 3 and up.

EAST

  • Wings Over the Rockies Air and Space Museum (Denver) –An extensive collection of aircraft and related aviation and military exhibits preserving the history of the service men and women who served at Lowry Airforce Base. There are more than three dozen aircrafts on display in this 44,000-square foot space.
  • Dart Warz (Centennial)–Want an ultra cool alternative to paintball or airsoft? Look no further than Dart Warz.
  • Centennial Center Park–This 11-acre city park has a killer playground, nature areas, amphitheater and a water area in the summer. Located on the north side of Arapahoe Rd., between S. Revere Pkwy. and S. Vaughn St., adjacent to the Centennial Civic Center.
  • Monkey Bizness (Centennial, Westminster, Parker) -You’ll find interactive inflatables, play structures, climbing walls, and games of all shapes and sizes. There is a separate section just for toddlers with their own play equipment.
  • Morrison Nature Center at Star K Ranch (Aurora). Star K Ranch “regulars” include mule deer, painted turtles, snapping turtles, red-tailed hawks, American kestrels, western meadowlarks, great horned owls, and blue jays. Costumes, blocks, puppets, kids’ books, and live animal exhibits make Morrison Nature Center a great place for kids.
  • Plains Conservation Center (Aurora)–The Plains Conservation Center is an outdoor education facility and state-designated natural area that educates children about Colorado’s eco-history, and nurture conservation efforts.
  • Unser Cart Racing – Kids… go carts. Can’t lose right? 

 WEST

  • Dinosaur Ridge (Morrison) – Part of the Morrison Fossil Area National Natural Landmark, Dinosaur Ridge area is one of the world’s most famous dinosaur fossil localities. Enjoy exhibits, a shuttle tour, and real dinosaur tracks. 
  • Majestic View Nature Center (Arvada)–Majestic View Nature Center and Community Park has more than majestic views–The 3,000- square foot Nature Center features hands-on nature and environmental displays, wildlife exhibits, a kid’s area, classrooms and meeting space.

    Apex Center

    Apex Center

    Earth Treks Climbing Center (Golden)–Earth Treks Golden features more than 28,500 sq ft of climbing with walls up to 48 ft high, including tons of bouldering and roped climbing for all ages and abilities.

  • Majestic View Nature Center (Arvada)–Majestic View Nature Center and Community Park has more than majestic views–The 3,000- square foot Nature Center features hands-on nature and environmental displays, wildlife exhibits, a kid’s area, classrooms and meeting space.
  • Apex Center (Arvada)–Perfect for an inclement weather day, this recreation and entertainment center houses two ice rinks, an awesome indoor aquatic play area, climbing wall, gyms, indoor track, themed indoor playground and more.
  • Colorado Railroad Museum (Golden)–Lose track of time year-round at this 15-acre railyard featuring over 100 engines, cabooses and coaches, a garden railway, renowned library and roundhouse restoration facility with working turntable.
  • Buffalo Bill Museum and Grave (Golden) – The Buffalo Bill Museum’s exhibits include memorabilia from Buffalo Bill’s life and Wild West shows, Indian artifacts, antique firearms and more. The spectacular views overlooking Denver are a bonus!
  • Casa Bonita (Lakewood) – It’s about the atmosphere and entertainment, kids love it, menu is limited.  Euphoric memories from your childhood?  Visit again–it hasn’t changed.
  • Lookout Mountain Nature Center (Golden)–Lookout Mountain Nature Center invites kids to connect with the natural world through interactive exhibits about the flora and fauna of the foothills ecosystem. Kids enjoy a hands-on play room and observation room.
  • Hiking. The western slope is home to some of Denver’s best hiking trails. Our favorites including Red Rocks, Matthews/Winters, Evergreen, Deer Creek and much more. Go here for maps, directions and regulations: http://jeffco.us/parks/open-space/.

Family Vacation: Your Guide to Spring Break in Colorado 2020

Believe it or not, Spring is right around the corner! While springtime in the Rockies brings plenty of snow, temperatures across the state begin to warm, and unique experiences beckon travelers to break away from the ordinary. Don’t miss:

Spring break in Denver 2020: Over 50 activities listed!

30+ Spring Break Getaways in Colorado

15 Affordable Family Spring Break Adventures in Colorado

20 Best Places to Go Sledding in Colorado

Ultimate Guide to Outdoor Skating in Colorado

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Colorado.com has also compiled an awesome list of lodging packages, seasonal events and springtime experiences that families will love!

Spring Lodging Deals and Packages

Frozen Worlds Weekends at YMCA of the Rockies, Estes Park: YMCA of the Rockies is offering specially-themed Frozen Worlds weekends from March 13 through April 2 with counselor-led activities for all ages including snow fort building, snowflake crafts, educational polar bear and deer talks, penguin egg races, winter science experiments and more. Frozen Worlds activities are free for overnight guests or day passes are available for $25 per person. Cabins ranging from 2-4 bedrooms start at $109 per night, and lodge rooms are available starting at $89 per night.

Snow Mountain Ranch is conveniently located between the alpine ski resorts of Winter Park/Mary Jane and Ski Granby Ranch and unique on-site Spring Break activities include dog sledding, fat snow bikes, Nordic skiing, tubing/sledding, ice skating, snowshoeing, indoor archery, indoor climbing wall, swimming pool with water slides and climbing wall, craft shop, ping-pong, basketball, roller-skating, plus creative weekly programming such as Human Hungry Hungry Hippos game and snow games. The Spring Festival at the Snow Mountain Ranch Nordic Center is set for the weekend of March 21-22, 2020 with free events and activities featuring snowshoeing, fat biking, backcountry skis and Nordic skiing for the whole family.

Double Down on Lodging at Winter Park: Guests visiting Winter Park who book a two-night stay receive 50 percent off the second night of the stay and 25 percent off additional nights when booking before March 2. This deal applies to stays before April 30. Additionally, guests can enjoy the Winter Park Triple Play deal and ski any three days from April 1 through the end of the season for less than $50 a day.

Glenwood Hot Springs Resort & Sunlight Mountain Resort Offer Soak & Slope Combos: Travelers to Glenwood Springs can hit the slopes at Sunlight Mountain Resort for the day and then soak tired muscles and stay overnight in a comfy bed at Glenwood Hot Springs Resort (GHSR) through the Ski Swim Stay Package. All adults registered at GHSR through Ski Swim Stay receive Sunlight Mountain Resort lift tickets and free transportation to and from the mountain. The package also includes a full hot breakfast poolside at the Grill and unlimited access to Glenwood Hot Springs Pool. Additionally, one child (age 12 and under) per paying adult receives a free lift ticket. This package is available through April 5, 2020. Contact GHSR for up-to-date rates.

Ski & CBD Spring Break Getaway at Vail Mountain Lodge: Located creekside in the heart of the Vail Village, this boutique luxury hotel is just a short walk from Vail’s Gondola One for easy access to the slopes as well as Vail’s famous Bridge Street for shopping and nightlife. The Vail Mountain Lodge Ski & CBD package includes ten percent off of three nights’ lodging, two 50-minute CBD massages including gratuity. For up-to-date rates, contact Vail Mountain Lodge. 

Ski Extravaganza Package at The Windsor Hotel, Del Norte: The Windsor, located just 45 minutes from Wolf Creek Ski Area, is offering its Ski Extravaganza package now until the end of the ski season. Guests who show valid lift tickets for that day to Wolf Creek will receive a nightly room rate of $100 or if two nights are booked, they receive the 3rd night for free.

Spring Break at C Lazy U Ranch, Granby: This spring break, guests can enjoy western hospitality at C Lazy U Ranch. Packed with activities for the entire family, guests can indulge at the top-rated spa, embark on a horseback ride or take in the majestic views of the Rocky Mountain on a cross-country skiing adventure – all while the ranch’s chef prepares gourmet meals daily. Spring Break activities include horseback riding, snowmobiling, cross-country skiing, sleigh rides, snow tubing and more. The Spring Break dates are March 2 through April 5, 2020. Rates (per person per night): adults double occupancy: $440; adults single occupancy: $490; and children: $250.

Spring Events

Ski Joring & Crystal Carnival, Leadville- March 6–8, 2020: A fearless skier navigates an obstacle course connected by towrope to a horse and rider galloping at top speed, and it all takes place in the middle of town, in addition to a winter carnival with other snowy activities.

Frozen Dead Guy Days, Nederland – March 13-15, 2020: Celebrating its 19th year in 2020, Frozen Dead Guy Days continues to be a world-renowned spectacle. This homegrown festival pays homage to Bredo Morstol (aka Grandpa), who is frozen in a state of suspended animation and housed in a Tuff Shed on dry ice high above Nederland. Highlights include coffin racing, costumed polar plunging, frozen t-shirt contests, icy turkey bowling, human foosball and more.

5th Annual Frisco BrewSk– March 14, 2020: The fifth annual beer festival invites guests to dress up in their favorite costumes and ski between local Colorado brewery tents at the Frisco Nordic Center. The day concludes with an after-party with even more beer tastings, music and prizes awarded for best costume, best team costume and toughest costume to ski in. This event is also family-friendly, so the littles can dust off those Halloween costumes and sip on kid-friendly beverages along the trail.   

Natural Forces: Winslow Homer and Frederic Remington, Denver Art Museum – March 15-June 7, 2020: Featuring 60 artworks, this exhibition will reveal connections between artistic themes and techniques used by the two acclaimed American artists. Born a generation apart, both artists succeeded in capturing the quintessential American spirit through works of art at the turn of the late-19th and early-20th centuries, an era of growing industrialization and notions of the closing of the American western frontier.

Snowcat Dining Excursion at Purgatory, Durango – March 21, 2020: Guests looking to enjoy an on-mountain dinner experience can book the snowcat dining excursion at Purgatory. The enclosed snowcat departs the base area around 5 p.m., and guests are taken to Powderhouse Restaurant to enjoy a uniquely-themed meal while enjoying incredible views of the Needles Mountains.

(Steamboat’s Springalicious)

Steamboat Springalicious Festival, Steamboat Springs – April 1-12, 2020: This annual festival celebrates springtime and the close of the ski season at Steamboat Springs. This two-week event includes live music, the 40th annual Cardboard Classic, pond skimming and more. (Featured image: sleigh rides at the Haymaker)

25th Annual Fruita Fat Tire Festival, Fruita – May 1-3, 2020: Celebrate hundreds of miles of world-class trails, test out the latest bikes at the demo at the 18 Road trailhead, try out new equipment at the product expo in downtown Fruita and more.

Great American Horsedrive, Northwestern Colorado – May 5-11, 2020: Guests can join the family and riders from around the world in this unique experience pushing one of the largest saddle horse herds in the nation. Covering approximately sixty miles of open range, highways and back-roads, this six-day adventure is an authentic Western experience that includes cowboy entertainment, a guest-favorite cookout, many hours in the saddle and memories to last a lifetime.

CSK PaddleFest, Buena Vista – May 22–25, 2020: Considered the kickoff to the always-anticipated Colorado rafting season, Buena Vista Paddlefest invites lovers of rapids to the banks of the Arkansas River, one of the nation’s most popular whitewater destinations. Festivalgoers can check out clinics, gear swaps, concerts and a disc-golf tournament. All of the activities center around the fest’s main event — the Buena Vista Whitewater Pro Rodeo. This freestyle competition among the world’s top playboat athletes will take place at the Buena Vista Whitewater Park.

Springtime Experiences

Explore a Colorado Creative District, Statewide: The Centennial State boasts 26 designated creative districts, communities brimming with galleries, artists in residence and special arts events. First Friday gallery art walks take place in several districts while others are known for outstanding performance art. New this year, the Colorado Symphony launched the Beethoven 2020 Statewide Celebration tour, which will stop in multiple creative districts, including Steamboat Springs, Salida, Crested Butte, Pueblo, Trinidad, Mancos and Grand Junction. 

Follow the Colorado Gold Trail, Statewide: Colorado mines tell the stories of early explorers, fur trappers and prospectors who came to the state in search of treasure. The Colorado Gold Trail is a scenic tour of gold rush towns and mines that flourished in the boom of the late 1850s. Towns on the trail include Boulder, Black Hawk, Central City, Idaho Springs, Breckenridge, Fairplay, Alma, Como and Leadville. Many of these communities still host mine tours—some with live reenactments sure to entertain young history buffs.

Visit the Denver Botanic Gardens, Denver and Littleton: The Denver Botanic Gardens offers a range of programming in March and April. The Orangery’s spring theme is Scents of Spring and will feature well-known blooming plants of the season like sweet peas and primulas. Visitors can get ready for gardening season with gardening workshops on perennials, herbs and a new-gardener boot camp series. Family programming includes the Science Studio and Bumblebee Jamboree. At the Chatfield Farms location, adults can enjoy a guided forest bathing walk.

Take a Farm Tour, Statewide: What’s cuter than baby animals? Visit a Colorado farm this season and you may get the chance to see one. Springtime is the perfect time of year to take a farm tour and meet farmers preparing for planting season and learn about where the state’s food is grown. The Living Farm in Paonia hosts tours and offers meals at its onsite farm-to-table restaurant. The Art of Cheese in Longmont hosts weekly cheese-making classes for all levels and also includes farm tours in the price of the class. Mesa Winds Farm and Winery in Hotchkiss offers not only tours but wine tastings and is known for its peach wine. 

Ski and Bike in One Day, Mountains and Mesas: Colorado’s wide range of elevations gives outdoor enthusiasts even more ways to catch thrills in the springtime—even several in one day. Pack two helmets and experience Powderhorn Ski Resort in the morning, located alongside Grand Mesa, the world’s largest flattop mountain. Then, in the afternoon, put on a bike helmet and take a road bike ride at Colorado National Monument, one of the region’s most breathtaking cycling spots or head to nearby Fruita for some of the state’s best mountain biking. If cycling isn’t your speed, check out one of the many scenic golf courses near Grand Junction. 

Spot Migratory Birds on the Eastern Plains: Springtime brings delight to birdwatchers as winged migrators make their way north for the season. The eastern part of the state is home to a variety of favored habitats including plains, semidesert shrubland, riparian, pinyon juniper woodland and canyons. Migratory birds that can be spotted as they pass through include snow geese, sandhill cranes, hummingbirds, plovers, meadowlarks and more.

 

When Teachers Are Stressed, Students Are Stressed. This Program Is Trying To Help Teachers Cope

So you’ve got 30 seventh graders in front of you. But something’s off today. One announces that today’s lesson “sucks.” Two shut their hoodies so tight only their noses show. One kid has her head on the desk. Another two are playing Fortnite on the sly. One just gets up and walks out of the room. 

Here’s a little known secret: There are times when teachers are so angry or frustrated or bewildered by their hormonally-charged students, the only thing they want to do is act the age of their students. Maybe roll their eyes, raise their voice, say something sarcastic. And when a teacher loses it, the stress in the whole classroom goes up.

Chronically stressed teachers mean stressed kids — classrooms full of kids with higher levels of the stress hormone cortisol, according to one studySignificant numbers of teachers also experience secondary traumatic stress.

The job of a teacher is unrelenting. Most teachers work between 60 and 80 hours a week. But here’s the problem: Not a lot of teachers feel they can ask for help.

 

 

 

-Jenny Brundin, CPR