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Colorado’s Hottest Family Vacation Trends: Bikerafting, Tiny Homes and More!

In this installment of epic Colorado offerings, we have rounded up what we believe to be the hottest in vacation trends for during the COVID-19 pandemic and the future of family vacationing. Sure, we’ve given you llama trekking with Paragon Guides in Minturn, each year since inception we have gloated about the yurt village at the YMCA Snow Mountain Ranch and the safari tents at Piney Lake Reservoir should always be a bucket-list item. So what’s on tap and trend for 2020? Here we go, mamas! As always, happy, healthy and safe travels.

BIKERAFTING, MANCOS

Everyone wants to hit the waterways and escape the heat of the city and summer! Raft, SUP, kayak, innertube—you’ve seen it all. But, there is something brand new to Colorado, the multisport raft and bike package. Throw in some overnight glamping, riverside cuisine, and fly-fishing and you’ve got one heck of an adventure package.

Four Corners Guides are the first outfitters in the nation to offer this human-powered sport. “Bikerafting is a newer form of multi-sport adventure travel, with roots in the ’80s. It combines bicycles and packrafts, such that you put your boat on your bike when you are riding trails and then your bike on your boat when you are paddling a body of water that you need to cross to access another trail to pedal. Bikerafters use bikes and boats to cross contiguous landscapes they would otherwise not be able to access without those tools (whether a city landscape or a wild, backcountry area),” explains Lizzy Scully, CEO, Four Corners Guides.

“Our multi-day tours are designed for a niche audience that seeks to expand their existing skillset by adding a packraft or a bike to their backcountry adventures. We teach people the skills they need to be able to do bigger and more exciting exploratory missions on their own. We don’t cater to people as other raft or bike companies do, such as following our cyclists around with SAG wagons or carrying coolers full of beer on our raft trips. Our guests carry all the gear they will need to survive on our multi-day trips, from dehydrated food to their bikes and boats,” explains Scully.

“On our day bikerafting and packrafting trips, we teach the basics of packrafting to beginner packrafters and advanced whitewater and self-rescue skills to more experience packrafters. However, our guests must know how to ride a bicycle to do our bikepacking and bikerafting tours. For those tours, we will teach people what they need to know to take their bike on a multi-day adventure, from how to pack gear on a bike, what gear to use, how to handle a bike with a lot of gear, etc.”

Four Corners Guides offers three different bikerafting packages: for beginners to advanced: Glen Canyon National Rec Area Bikerafting, Intro to Bikerafting – McPhee Reservoir & The Animas River, and Three-Day Intro to Bikerafting on McPhee Reservoir.

For those who are ready for a more intense experience, the outfitters has three-to-five-day “Doom” tours for intermediate to advanced adventurers. This package allows for personalized treks and destinations and includes nights at the Ranch where fully-catered, grilled-over-the-fire gourmet dinners are available and sleeping accommodations include glamping tests. Tours are limited to six people, unless it is a single-family.

PS: A shout-out to my Utah-loving editor! Holiday River Expeditions offers three different multi-sport adventure trips through White Rim Trail/Cataract Canyon and Moab/Westwater Canyon. The raft portion envelopes families into the immense red rock towers and canyons carved by the water and the biking adventures provides single-track trails through iconic Moab and surrounding La Sal Mountains. (bikeraft.com/multi-sport-combination)

TINY HOME VILLAGE, TRAIL AND HITCH, MEEKER

Located in northwest Colorado, five minutes from downtown Meeker, is a new outdoor recreation development and vacation Mecca for all seasons. Trail and Hitch is an RV and tiny home village with available campsites and is quickly expanding to become one of the hottest vacation trends and remote destinations during the COVID-19 era.

Situated in a circle facing one another on the 20-acre property are the newest and sleekest in design of the tiny homes. A handful of the tiny homes were originally built for HGTV shows and then purchased, and, relocated to the property in 2019 and 2020. Others feature local Colorado craftsman and artisans.

The eight tiny homes are all unique in design, sleeping anywhere from four to six guests per home in different sleeping arrangements from queen-sized loft beds to full-sized pull-out futons to darling twin-sized sleeping nooks. All tiny homes feature a flat-screen television on the main levels and Wifi throughout the resort.

Each tiny home contains a fully-equipped kitchen with dishes, glasses, silverware, pots, pans and baking sheets and utensils. Some kitchens have stoves and / or ovens, others contain hot plates for quick meals. All units have a refrigerator, freezer, Kerig coffee maker with all the accouterments including French vanilla creamer! There is an outdoor propane grill on each patio for use year-round. There is also an air condition unit for each tiny home and plenty of windows to take advantage of the incredible mountain and valley breezes.

The bathrooms in each tiny home are different, one even features a full-size tub or a washer/dryer combo or luxurious stand-up shower. There is a spacious toilet in each home, equipped with toilet paper, soap, shampoo, and lotion. The common space in each home has a flat-screen TV, books for reading levels of all ages, board games, comfortable throws, and a table for eating that can seat two to four people.

The community space in the middle of the tiny home village includes a large picnic area with protective covering for shade and precipitation. There is also a faux grass area for children and dogs to romp about. Giant-size Jenga, Connect Four and other games are always available for guests.

Here is why you want to go to Trail and Hitch now. You can choose a home and completely isolate from all other guests and families. Or, at the extremely economical price point, this might be the ideal family reunion vacation. People can cook in their own units, use their own bathrooms, enjoy the fresh mountain air and safely socially distance in complete ease.

What are you going to do once you reach Shangri-La? This remote part of northwest Colorado is an outdoor Mecca for ATV and snowmobiles and ranch activity including horseback riding, carriage rides, majestic hikes surrounding incredible acreage of grazing herds. In season there are numerous options for whitewater rafting, kayaking, SUPping, canoeing and additional water activity.

During weather-appropriate months, a popular hike about 45 minutes from Trail and Hitch is Rifle Falls. Click here for full write-up about the RV Resort and Tiny Home Village. Coloradotrailandhitch.com

NATIVE CAMPER VAN, ANYWHERE!

We know there are many mamas who love the wilderness or camping, but the thought of sacrificing a good night’s sleep for an adventure can be daunting. We also know that many mamas are still a bit hesitant to stay in a hotel or resort. And, we know many families dream of an RV trip, but the thought of cleaning out another bathroom while on the road is disgusting. Problem solved! Native Campervans just launched their Colorado location in Denver and also have pick up and/or drop off locations in Salt Lake City, Utah and Las Vegas, Nevada.

The company offers three different sizes of vans that are easy to drive and fully stocked which allows limitless travel.  Complete with kitchens and sleeping quarters, the campervans offer comfort and functionality without the headache and expense of driving an RV.  These vehicles are nimble and fun to drive, you can save money on fuel, park more easily, and access areas a traditional RV simply can’t go. 

Every van is stocked with camping chairs and table, fresh, clean bedding, propane and kitchen equipment. There is also a range of add-ons for the trip including dual hitch bike rack, single roof bike rack, two-person tent, inflatable SUP, propane heater, hammock, GPS, roof box and sleeping bags. There is a security deposit required of $300 and varying mileage packages to purchase. Nativecampercans.com

 

MINTURN ANGLERS, HORSEBACK RIDE AND FLY FISH, MINTURN

We’ve fished with these folks for years, and it’s never been anything but amazing days on the river. Well, we thought we knew them well, until they unleased a whole new slew of adventure activity for family. Sure, you’re going to need the rod and dry flies, but this time, you might need some cowboy boots as well.

Their horseback fly-fishing trips are true wilderness adventure featuring beautiful scenery and incredible fishing; located only 75 min from Vail Village and Beaver Creek in the heart of the Flat Top Mountains. The land they ride and water they fish covers thousands of acres and has multiple ponds, lakes and streams with all sizes and species of trout including opportunities to target Colorado Cutthroat.

The Horseback trip is perfect for those that want the ideal Western experience and want to stay off the busy rivers and fish in solitude. All equipment and food is included in the trip price as well as both a fly fishing guide and a horse wrangler. All trips offer a great setting for families. Trips are typically offered from Late May – Early Aug. Please allow at least 48 hours notice for scheduling 1-Day trips and 7-day notice for all overnight options. minturnanglers.com

Other Great Resources:

Ultimate Colorado Family Vacation Guide: 100+ Activities (COVID-approved)

2020 Denver Summer Activity Guide: 150+ Ideas

Family Travel: Best Activities in Colorado’s Mountain towns this summer!

Denver’s best new playgrounds for 2019

Family travel: Top 8 Family Vacations

Guide to Denver’s Splash Parks and Spray Fountains

Best Hikes for Kids in the Denver area

Where to pull of I-70 when you’re stuck in traffic (fun activities and restaurants)

10 Beautiful Places in Colorado You Didn’t Know About

Borrow a Colorado State Parks Pass from Your Library

Yurt Village at Snow Mountain Ranch is Star-lit Fun

Cool Off This Summer at Colorado’s Best Beaches

A Local’s Guide to Gunnison’s Magical Summers

Best Denver-area Parks for Beginner Trail Runners (and hikers)

10 of Colorado’s most scenic waterfall hikes

 

Here’s What Your Kids Would Rather Do This Summer: Music Lessons!

Music Lessons at Littleton School of Music are the Perfect Antidote To “Gadget Fatigue”

Ask your kids what they want to do “today,” and they might look up from their tablet or phone long enough to say “Uh, I dunno.”

After all, kids say that a lot.

Left to their own “devices,” kids might spend all day and night on their electronic devices!

But they will likely be more bored with that than they’ll realize… and more fatigued with it than they’d ever tell you.  And when they look back on this summer, well…

… They might not remember a thing about it.

So since “I dunno” is likely to be the standard answer you get from your kids, you might want to come up with your own answer for what they’ll likely look back on most fondly.

Maybe this is the summer your kid starts on the road to vocal stardom… piano virtuosity… or even rock ‘n’ roll legend!

Fun, Safe Music Lessons… Online, Or In Person

What might create the most memorable summer imaginable for your kids… even in the wake of the unfortunate events of this “interesting” year?

Piano lessons?  Voice lessons?  Maybe learning to play the guitar like a-ringin’ a bell?

I know: It might be hard to imagine how kids could embark on life-changing, inspiring music lessons and stay safe in the current environment.

That’s a challenge we’ve been working on for weeks here at Littleton School of Music… and I’m proud of the way we’ve handled it.

For starters, we moved into a beautiful new space at the beginning of this year, with a lot of brand-new furnishings and facilities.

Our school is clean, well-lit, and just about the safest place you can bring your family for music lessons.

Once the pandemic became a reality in our lives, we engaged the services of the most heavy-duty disinfecting service available anywhere.  Our surfaces and environments are treated regularly with the most powerful germ-killing stuff on the market.

The “bugs” just can’t survive here!

But students, their families, and our cherished employee staff are as well-protected as anyone could be when they’re here at Littleton School of Music.

And we offer online lessons, too, if that’s what families prefer.

Our Inspiring “Musical Ladder” System

Another reason your kids will remember Summer 2020 – fondly! – is that they’ll have the opportunity to create real achievements for themselves as their music lessons progress.

And they’ll be recognized for those achievements!

Our “Musical Ladder” system rewards students of all ages as they make progress with the instrument of their choice.  Your young virtuoso will likely be bringing home trophies, wristbands, and certificates of accomplishment as they progress through their personal musical journey.

All while enjoying lessons with top-flight instructors who make learning both productive and fun.

Give us a call today, and I’ll be happy to send you a FREE copy of my book, I Fell In Love With Music, to help you learn more about this great answer to the “summertime blues” – for the whole family!

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

 

 

30+ Tasty Independence Day Recipes!

There’s nothing quite like celebrating the Fourth of July as we honor this beautiful country. Don’t miss these delicious and easy recipes for your festivities.  Also, don’t miss Colorado’s top events for 4th of July weekend!

Berry Trifle at skinnytaste.com
 

Patriotic Funffetti Angel Food Cake at Life With The Crust Cut Off

Fourth of July Desserts. These red, white, and blue festive Patriotic Recipes are perfect to celebrate Independence Day.

Fourth of July Bark at Life With The Crust Cut Off

Fourth of July Desserts. These red, white, and blue festive Patriotic Recipes are perfect to celebrate Independence Day.

Blue Moon Ice Cream at Your Homebased Mom

Fourth of July Recipes and Festive Decor...Over 25 yummy ideas at the36thavenue.com

Red, White and Blue Strawberry Cupcakes by Bird On A Cake

 

 Sandwich Pops at  Living Locurto.

 Easy Patriotic Ice Cream Sandwich Pops by Amy Locurto @ LivingLocurto.com

Red, White and Blue Blondie by Your Homebased Mom

M & M Blondies

Patriotic Ice Cream cones at Noble Pig

 

 Here are 20 other fabulous finds!

1. Wave the flag cupcakes by the Blueberry Council

2. Candy bar flags by Oh Nuts

3. Flag shortbread cookies by Sugary Winzy

4. Mini patriotic parfaits by Bubbly Nature Creations

5. Patriotic peppermint patties by Mom on Timeout

6. Star cookies by Gold Medal Flour

7. Patriotic party dip by Hungry Happenings30

8. Stained glass Jello stars by Brown Eyed Baker

9. American flag cheesecake bars by My Recipes

10. Patriotic white chocolate popcorn by A Pumpkin and a Princess

11. Star brownie sandwich cookies by This Silly Girl’s Life

12. Firecracker cupcakes by Oh Nuts

13. 4th of July Rice Krispie treats by Two Sisters Crafting

14. Patriotic cake pops by Party City

15. Red, white and blue berry trifle by Martha Stewart

16. Red, white and blueberry ice cream pie by Yummy Mummy Kitchen

17. Pretzel flag by Country Kitchen Sweetart

18. Patriotic berry kebabs by Marzetti Kitchens

19. Fondant-topped Rice Krispie treats by Bakingdom

20. Patriotic pudding pops by Meg’s Everyday Indulgence

 

Elitch Gardens COVID-19 Update

So, when is Elitch Gardens finally opening? Spoiler alert: nobody knows. Here is a letter that was recently released by Elitch Gardens’ General Manager.

Dear Valued Elitch Guest,

We can’t thank you enough for your patience as our team at Elitch Gardens continues to work hard toward an opening this season.   Since the COVID-19 pandemic hit in March, we have worked with theme and water park industry experts across the country to develop an elevated operational plan that would allow us to open safely for guests and team members in this new environment. 

Our plan, a comprehensive and detailed 56-page COVID-19 operating strategy, includes guest and employee health screenings, greatly enhanced cleaning protocols, regular sanitization of all high touch surfaces, free and readily available hand sanitizer throughout the park, broad social distancing measures, proper use of personal protective equipment, a reduced hourly flow of guests into the park to eliminate congestion at our front gate and reduced in-park capacity to encourage easy social distancing and reduce guest density.  We even directly engaged one of the country’s top epidemiologists to review and advise us on our plan prior to submitting it to local and state authorities. 

To date, over 75% of the top U.S. attractions including brands like Disney, Universal Studios and numerous Six Flags parks, have either re-opened or have been able to publish an opening date.  In our community, the Denver Zoo, Botanic Gardens and Museum of Nature and Science and Downtown Aquarium have all been allowed to re-open, as have gyms, shopping malls, casinos, churches, restaurants and bars.  We are confident in our plan to open safely and expect to be treated fairly as we anxiously await approval from our local and state authorities.

However, despite our efforts and considerable investment already made to enact our new safety protocols, I cannot yet give you an opening date for Elitch Gardens. I realize how incredibly frustrating this is for our all our guests.  For our current 2020 season pass holders, we will extend their season pass into our 2021 season for as many days as the park is closed this season. This extension applies to any 2020 dining plan already purchased, too. Click here to see details!  This extension offer will be valid on any season passes and dining plans sold until we announce our 2020 opening day. 

I am not giving up hope that we will soon have an opening date for 2020 and ask for your continued patience and support.  As soon as I have new information, I will share that with you.  We stand ready to welcome you back and celebrate the 130th Anniversary of Elitch Gardens!  It seems that now more than ever, our world needs a place like Elitch Gardens where friends and families can go to make memories together that will last a lifetime.

Sincerely,

David Dorman
General Manager

“The Art of the Brick” Clicks with LEGO Lovers at the DMNS

The next time you howl into the night because you stepped on a LEGO brick in your child’s bedroom, consider this: That small plastic cube that tried to murder your foot is like a sculptor’s clay or a painter’s oils, in the right hands. 

Nathan Sawaya is one of the world’s best-known artists employing the medium of LEGO. Mile High Mamas met Mr. Sawaya at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science. Their newest exhibit exclusively features dozens of Sawaya’s pieces. “The Art of the Brick” is a colorfully compelling and broadly appealing collection of artistry and yes, science. Since age five, when many of our own kids discover the joy of clicking those colorful pieces together, Sawaya was obsessed. Who needs marble when you have an artist who once built a full-sized dog as a child because his family didn’t have a dog?

As we snaked our way around the gallery, Sawaya shared his story. He never abandoned playing with LEGO. Laughing, he noted that he didn’t know he could go to art school, so instead, he became a lawyer, landing in New York City. From the outside, people might think he was living a dream life, but Sawaya’s craving for a creative outlet was more alive than ever. LEGO filled his apartment as he built interpretations of famous works of art and his own deeply personal pieces that reflected his desire to leave law to pursue LEGO art full time. 

We are thankful he did just that. It wasn’t easy. He didn’t have a lot of support, but he persisted. Years ago, during one of his early gallery exhibitions, a woman had a very emotional reaction to one of his pieces. Sawaya said that moment has stayed with him because it showed him that what he was doing with LEGO was art. When you take in “The Art of the Brick” many of the pieces will stir not only your sense of whimsy but your heart and soul, too. Sawaya isn’t afraid to explore challenging subjects like depression, fear, and anxiety. The use of LEGO to express these hard subjects is an interesting juxtaposition between what is traditionally a child’s toy and grown-up battles.

“The Art of the Brick” also includes odes and interpretations of famous works of art that you and your kids probably know (I spotted a few they’ve seen in Animal Crossing for sure). “The Mona Lisa”, “Starry Night” and a dozen other works are rendered with bricks, creating a pixelated look from up close but a more seamless look from afar. “David” and “The Venus di Milo” are 3D sculptures using tens of thousands of bricks. Sawaya carefully studied every angle of these pieces to get their scale just right. The most eye-popping in the famous-works section are the 3D explorations of paintings. Gustaf Klimt’s “The Kiss” and Grant Wood’s “American Gothic” pop right out into the gallery space in a way you’ve never seen them before. Every work is accompanied by information about the art and the number of LEGO bricks Sawaya used to complete the piece. They’ll make your jaw drop. The 2947 pieces on your child’s floor are nothing compared to some of his work. 

Other surprises and a compelling collaboration with photographer Dean West round out the exhibit, propelling LEGO into a new league where mediums mix. Make sure to check out the winners of the youth contest held this past spring. They are so well done and will make you smile. 

“The Art of the Brick” has traveled around the world, seen in 22 countries in over 100 exhibitions. Now that it has finally landed in Denver, you might wonder if there is anything special in store that nobody else has experienced? Sawaya’s piece “Big Blue (Swimmer)” makes its debut right here in Denver. It’s his largest work to date, using precisely 110,730 LEGO. Denver also holds another special connection for Sawaya. The first time he visited a museum as a child was when he visited the Colorado Museum of Natural History with his grandparents. Today, you know it as the beloved DMNS. (Sawaya also did a fun bonus piece as an exclusive ode to one of the museum’s fixtures on the first floor. Hint: RawRRwwr!) 

How is the DMNS handling visits to the museum and special exhibits during this time of Covid-19? Before you go for any visit to the museum, you must purchase or use your membership for timed and dated tickets. To see “The Art of the Brick” specifically, you do not need to purchase an additional ticket. It is free through Labor Day 2020, but you do need an additional timed ticket to get into the gallery. That way, they can control the crowd size to maintain social distancing. The third-floor gallery is expansive, so with crowd limitations, it’s great to know you will be able to spread out and soak in the experience without being near others. 

You can do culture in the time of COVID. It involves a little planning, masking up, and spacing ourselves out, but it is worth the effort to see and experience “The Art of the Brick”. 

For more information about the DMNS, planning your visit, and “The Art of the Brick” click here

 

Spending Too Much Time Online? Scheduled Summer Screen Time Helps

If your family is anything like mine, there is one thing you have done exceedingly well during quarantine: defaulted to your screens whenever you’re bored.  I’ve tried not to stress too much about it…after all, we’re in the middle of a global pandemic and so many of us are just trying to get by. But on a beautiful summer day when we were all choosing our screens instead of spending time outside,  I realized I needed some help with keeping us all more accountable (and I’m sure I’m not alone!?)

Since we’re not doing a great job self-monitoring our screentime, I was excited to learn about Comcast’s Xfinity Internet and xFi parental control features. Xfinity xFi lets you manage your home WiFi network, know who’s online, troubleshoot issues and [drumroll] manage family members’ online experiences with features like Pause and Parental Controls with the Xfintiy xFi app.  

According to Comcast, there has been a staggering spike in online usage since the start of the pandemic: a 57 percent increase in people are logging onto their digital dashboard xFiI daily. With xFi, you have visibility and control over one of the most important technologies in your life – your home WiFi. Here are some cool features they offer: 

Press Pause

Pausing WiFi is the most popular feature on xFi. It is a great way to get family members to put down their devices and focus on each other. There has been a 75 percent increase in the number of times parents are hitting pause on their WiFi network using xFi since the COVID pandemic. With everyone at home at all hours, the pause button has been a great feature to help parents enforce screen time rules throughout the day.

Age-appropriate Filters

The more time kids spend online, the better the chances they have of running into inappropriate material. The good news is xFi has a setting that filters web content while browsing and searching on devices. There has been a 43 percent increase in parents activating this setting on xFi for their kiddos which means parents are doing something right!

Increasing or Decreasing Time Spent Online

Do you want to set a limit on your child’s device that they can spend two hours online? You can make adjustments to screen time via the xFi Active Time Alert feature. The median active time alert set on weekdays has gone up from 3 hours to 4 hours a day during the COVID pandemic. 

Some Interesting Facts!

  • The average household is putting in an extra workday’s worth of viewing each week – watching 8+ hours more per week than they were in early March, going from approximately 57 hours a week per household to 66 hours.
  • COVID-19 is blurring weekday and weekend viewing levels and habits; Monday is a more popular viewing day than Saturday.
  • Comcast has also seen a 35% increase in streaming and web video consumption, across our entire broadband network, in addition to traditional TV viewership increases.

While families continue to work, play and learn from home, Comcast wants to help their customers transform their “screen time rules” especially as kids are out of school over the summertime. For additional information about how to keep your kids on a schedule using the tools the Xfinity xFi provides, be sure to check-out Five Tips for Maximizing Your Home Network at Home.

In partnership with Mile High Mamas.

Solve Summer Boredom at Epic Escape Game

As Colorado opens more businesses, you might find yourself longing to escape your home in search of entertainment that doesn’t include streaming things or bringing in the packages of your online orders. You’ve done one hundred puzzles over the past three months. How about one more? This time, it’s not going to be of kittens and balls of yarn. It’s going to be a race against time to escape a curated, clean room in under sixty minutes as you solve themed puzzles. 

Epic Escape Games Denver and Greenwood Village are open for in-person adventures. Your family can band together in a new way that includes choosing one of eleven different escape experiences. Six themed rooms are located near downtown Denver and five are in Greenwood Village. Once you choose your room, based on interest in the storyline and confidence in your solving ability, the fun really begins!

For the uninitiated, escape room adventures are usually one hour. During that hour, you are locked in a room filled with creative clues that lead you to more creative clues, several surprises, and eventually freedom. The goal is to solve your chosen mystery before time runs out. A game master watches over your progress and is there to offer gentle hints if needed. 

Our family chose a game called “It’s a Holodeck, Sherlock”. We were aboard the Starship Epic playing a simulation of a Victorian murder mystery when things go awry. We had one hour before doom hit our ship. It was a fun mash-up of Sherlock and space, which spoke to our nerdy little hearts. Bonus: We escaped with three minutes to spare! 

Additionally, the beautiful historical-landmark Denver location includes game themes involving a wizard school, conspiracy theories, zombies, Camelot, and saving Christmas. What game matches your interests? 

In these COVID-19 times, your main concern is probably how they handle sanitizing and cleanliness. First, they maintain distance by requiring groups to stay apart as they are checked in one at a time. Secondly, all people entering Epic Escape Games must wear a mask in the public areas of the building. They also provide hand sanitizer and/or handwashing right away, so everyone goes into the room with clean hands. After each game, they thoroughly sanitize the props and clues in the rooms so they are ready to roll when your game begins. You do not need to wear a mask while you are locked in the room with your family. 

What if you aren’t comfortable with an in-person game? Epic Escape Games Denver offers Fantasy escape games that are video chat-based and guided by a game master. Your group can be far-flung around the world. Breathe new life into your video chats by introducing an adventurous element as you work together to solve one of three mysteries. You don’t have to be located in Denver or even Colorado to take advantage of this option. If you live in a place that doesn’t have physical escape rooms, this is a great way to get in on the fun.  

For more information on the games offered, hours, pricing, and policies, visit Epic Escape Game Denver.  Maybe you will find yourself in the Winner’s Gallery? 

Fourth of July Events Still Happening in Denver

With COVID-19 wreaking havoc on nearly every summer tradition so far, Fourth of July fireworks are proving to be no exception. But there is hope! For Independence Day 2020, many cities and suburbs in the Denver metro area already have canceled their annual fireworks displays, encouraging residents to celebrate from home, and some are trying to offer events at a distance.

But some are moving forward with their plans. Be sure to double-check schedules and at the bottom, we have listed all the canceled events for your reference.

Beaver Creek – Beaver Creek recently announced they are no longer shooting fireworks but the resort is planning a 4th of July celebration including Stars, Stripes And Slides at the base of Chair 6, a Kids’ Zone at Village Plaza and concerts at Centennial Park. 

Berthoud – Berthoud wants to celebrate the strength and resilience of our country and on July 3rd, they will launch its fireworks higher into the sky to make them visible from greater distances. The fireworks will be launched from Waggener Farm at approximately 9:15 p.m. so grab your lawn chair to enjoy the lights show; no groups will be allowed on or near that property.

Brighton –The City of Brighton is set to host the Fourth of July Fireworks: 2020 Home Edition on July 4 at dusk. Due to COVID-19-related health and safety concerns surrounding large gatherings, the event will only consist of the fireworks display and will not include the live concert and community gathering at Carmichael Park.

Castle Rock –The fireworks shall go on!  On July 4th, turn your attention to Santa Fe Quarry Mesa for the Town’s annual fireworks display. Similar to years past, fireworks will shoot off at sundown (around 9:30 p.m.) from the butte located just south of The Meadows, above Red Hawk Ridge Golf Course. In the event of rain or severe weather, fireworks will be postponed to July 5. 

Colorado Springs – Colorado Springs wants you to celebrate Independence Day with a Symphony in the Park On Your Porch. Tune to a number of radio stations to hear the Colorado Springs Philharmonic and then you’ll be able to look in a number directions to see the fireworks including over the Broadmoor, Fort Carson and Garden of the Gods (see maps in the link).  The broadcasts start at 9 p.m. with fireworks scheduled for about 9:20 p.m.

Durango – Durango is going all out for its fireworks display this year and hired the First Family of Fireworks, Zambelli Fireworks.  The city has canceled all its festivities because of COVID-19 but be sure to watch (socially distant) as the fireworks are launched from Greenmount Cemetery start at 9:15 p.m. 

Erie’s Parks and Recreation Department canceled their fireworks in the interest in public health but they are offering “Porch Party kits” with crafts, decorations and games to celebrate the Fourth of JulyBe sure to reserve your kit now.

Greeley – One of the missions of the Greeley Stampede is to celebrate our independence and this year’s fireworks show will be one of the largest in Northern Colorado. The 99th Greeley Stampede is postponed, nor will there be organized activities or amenities in Island Grove Park. The fireworks should start at about 9:30 p.m. and please practice social distancing. 

Firestone –Firestone is still planning their 4th of July part and are moving fireworks to Saddleback Golf Course. The parade and other festivities have been canceled but food Trucks will be available starting at 6:30 p.m. in the Town Hall parking lot. and fireworks begin at 9:30 p.m. 

Larimer County Drive-in Fireworks Show – Loveland is moving its fireworks display from North Lake Park to the Ranch Events Complex. The show is a partnership between Loveland, Fort Collins, Larimer County, the Larimer County Sheriff’s Office and the Larimer County Ranch Events Complex.  Only 1,000 vehicles will be allowed in for or what’s being called “drive-in” fireworks. The show will start at 9:15 p.m. on the 4th. 

Bandimere Speedway: Jet Car Nationals & Family Festival — This family festival has it all: drag racing, live music, troop salute, jet cars and more at the Speedway. It’s an all-day event as elimination rounds start at 12:30 p.m., the pre-race ceremony at 6 p.m. the show starts at 7 p.m. and fireworks at about 9:45 p.m. Tickets run $18 to $30 in advance, $21 to $33 at the gate. Parking is $15. Discount coupons are available at participating Brakes Plus & Chick-fil-a locations.

Superior 4th of July Virtual Extravangza is going virtual where you can Run, Decorate and Tun-in. Their Superior Virtual Mile allows you to choose your own starting line and route and then run or walk it. There will also be a Yard Decoration Contest to celebrate this year’s theme “America Answering the Call: Celebrating Hands That Serve.”

Vail America Days –Vail is excited to feature some incredible patriotic exhibits, on-the-move musicians and other surprises from Vail Village to Lionshead on July 4. While visiting Vail’s shops and restaurants, take time to stroll through town and enjoy the curated displays embracing this year’s theme: Stronger Together. The night skies in Vail will light up with an amazing abbreviated firework display, conditions permitting, with plenty of viewing options throughout town.

Windsor – The Town of Windsor may be canceling its 4th of July concert but not the celebration and fireworks display at Boardwalk Park with a dog-friendly race, snack food vendors and fireworks. This year’s fireworks display will be launched from a location situated between the Poudre River Trail to the north and New Liberty Road to the south and between 7th Street to the east and Colorado Boulevard to the west. This location is considered to be the highest point in town.

Canceled Fireworks:

This list of canceled celebrations is long and kinda depressing. If you’re still reeling from COVID cancelations, skip this section altogether. 

July 2

July 3

July 4

Go to our event calendar for the latest updates. 

Family Travel: Best Activities in Colorado’s Mountain towns this summer!

ASPEN / SNOWMASS MOUNTAIN RESORT

Aspen Snowmass reopened summer operations on June 12 on Aspen Mountain and June 21 at Snowmass. The resort will modify its offerings and operational procedures to address all guidelines and health protocols as directed by state and local health authorities. Activities currently planned to be offered include scenic gondola/chairlift rides, downhill mountain biking, hiking access, the alpine coaster, the challenge course, climbing wall, and Camp Aspen Snowmass programming. There are plans to offer on-mountain dining and other activities within any existing limitations and upon county approval.

Make sure to check out the IMBA Gold-Level Ride Center. Snowmass really is at the heart of the Gold ride due to the various options for every single type, and level of rider. The Snowmass Bike Park and many of the most popular trails for biking open June 24 and last through September, so good for the entire summer! And, Snowmass Mountain has a Disc Golf course at the Lost Forest area. It is free to use if you have your own discs.

BRECKENRIDGE

NEW Walkable Main Street – Historic Main Street was transformed into a pedestrian-friendly walking mall. Breckenridge places the highest value on safety and health, and opening the street to pedestrian traffic, allows for appropriate physical distancing while experiencing the same downtown charm. 

Lodging – All transient lodging facilities (hotels, motels etc.) including timeshare style properties and short-term vacation-style rentals hotels are able to accept reservations as of June 1 (pending official notice from Summit County and the State of Colorado). While some amenities like pools, hot tubs and common areas will remain closed for now, lodging properties are closely following guidelines to ensure guests’ well-being. Breckenridge Grand Vacations, which manages more than 800 units across four resort properties in Breckenridge has partnered with PURO™ Lighting to deploy groundbreaking UV disinfection technology.

Dining – Many of Breckenridge’s restaurants are offering dining-to-go. In-person sit-down dining is currently operating at 50 percent capacity. Guests can also expect an increase in outdoor dining opportunities on walkable Main Street. Bars that do not have food service are closed at this time. Reservations are highly recommended.

Attractions – Many activities like rafting, zip-lining, and guided fly-fishing are limited to groups that are members of the same household. Guests should inquire directly with the activity provider well in advance before making plans. Breckenridge Ski Resort hopes to have lifts spinning by late June/early July.

Parking – The Town of Breckenridge and Breckenridge Ski Resort have partnered to construct a parking garage on the South Gondola Lot. During construction starting late-May, additional free parking will be available in the Airport Lot. Closer in paid parking resumes June 12. 

Transportation – Breckenridge Free Ride community transportation will resume service on June 1 with appropriate facial coverings required, new practices and procedures, reduced occupancies and enhanced cleaning standards. 

Breckenridge’s NEW Gravity Haus has a focus on stewardship: No single-use plastic on site. Eccentric about recycling, trash and composting diverting as much waste as possible. Partnership with the National Forest Foundation and Protect Our Winters. Unravel Coffee co-produces and imports straight from farms in Ethiopia and roasts on-site with a Bellwether zero-emissions roaster.

Breckenridge Golf Course opened 18-holes on its Jack Nicklaus designed course on Friday, May 29. Under safer guidelines, limited amenities will be offered. More information at www.TownofBreckenridge.com 

Hiking and Mountain Biking Trails to Yourself (History Lesson Included): With hundreds of miles of area trails, it is easy to have a trail all to yourself.

Find Serenity at an Alpine Lake: Explore the beauty of the Crystal Lakes. Beginning on an 1880’s wagon road, climb to treeline through a spruce forest and into a vast alpine meadow to the Lower Crystal Lake surrounded by towering, craggy peaks. For those looking for more adventure, hike to the Upper Crystal Lake at 12,900 feet.

Fly Fish On Secluded Mountain Streams: Fly fishing has always been about peace and solitude, and Breckenridge is home to some of the best fly fishing waters in the state of Colorado. With numerous rivers, streams, alpine lakes and reservoirs carrying fresh snowmelt all within an hour of downtown, there’s a destination to match nearly all interests and skill levels

Go to GoBreck.com for local insight and travel inspiration. Stay connected all year long at @GoBreck on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

CRESTED BUTTE

Opening day will be June 26 at Crested Butte Mountain Resort (CBMR). While additional activities may open as summer progresses and restrictions ease, here’s what is currently planned for activities and offerings at the resort:

Scenic chairlift rides on the Silver Queen Express Lift. Dogs and children in carrier packs are not permitted on the chairlift. 

Hiking (including the Peak trail). With a little help from the Silver Queen Lift, hikers are offered a unique opportunity to summit iconic, 12,162-foot Mt. Crested Butte in just two hours. From the summit, you’ll be rewarded with some of the best views in the area. You can also hike or run from the base area for a much longer and more challenging experience.  For easily accessible views of Mt. Crested Butte, hike Snodgrass Mountain just north of CBMR. The trail ascends through thick aspen groves and lush wildflower meadows, making clear why in 1990 the state legislature officially designed Crested Butte as the “Wildflower Capital of Colorado.” 

Butte 66 BBQ Roadhouse will offer grab ‘n go food and drink at the base of the mountain. 

Scenic Byways and Biking. Crested Butte is home to Colorado Scenic Byways including the West Elk Loop and the Silver Thread Scenic Byway which weaves through historic districts like Lake City and Clear Creek Falls. For one of the most beautiful drives in Colorado, head out of town on Country Road 317 toward Gothic. If you’re ambitious, Trail 401 is an intermediate/difficult section of singletrack that is quintessential Crested Butte mountain biking, with breathtaking views of the Elk Mountains while winding through fields of wildflowers and shoulder-tall skunk cabbage.

(Hiking Snodgrass Mountain)

ESTES PARK

Lodging, restaurants and shops in Estes Park are now open and ready to welcome visitors, however, the Ariel Tramway and Rocky Mountain Conservancy Field Institute Programs will unfortunately not operate this year. Of course, safety precautions are in place, and visitors are encouraged to wear a mask (also to note, Larimer County requires visitors and residents to wear a face-covering while in shops). The trails in and around Estes Park are also open. Rocky Mountain National Park entered “Phase Two” of its reopening on June 4 with a temporary timed entry system. Visitors can reserve a timed entry permit, available through July 31, online: https://www.nps.gov/romo/planyourvisit/fees.htm

GLENWOOD SPRINGS

The mountain town’s major attractions including Glenwood Hot Springs Resort, Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park and Iron Mountain Hot Springs have made significant alterations to reduce capacity, facilitate social distancing, enhance hygiene and limit the number of touchpoints throughout the visitor experience. Like many aspects of life in a COVID-19 environment, visitors can expect some changes. “Every business that is open has had their reopening plan approved, but each one is unique, especially Glenwood Springs attractions and activities,” said Lisa Langer, Director of Tourism Promotion for Glenwood Springs. “The best way to make plans to visit the hot springs, adventure park or go rafting is to check their websites first. In addition to wearing a mask, you may have to purchase your admission online and arrive within a predetermined time frame.”

Glenwood Springs attraction websites are up to date with all the details that visitors will need to know before arriving. For Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park and Iron Mountain Hot Springs plan to purchase tickets online and sign digital waivers. For Glenwood Hot Springs Pool, tickets will be available to purchase at the property on a first come first serve basis.

In addition to major attraction openings, Glenwood Springs activities including guided trips such as rafting, fishing, paragliding and horseback riding are open and providing visitors with the chance to get outside and have some out-of-the-ordinary experiences. Because of the reduced capacity and trips now organized according to social group size, visitors should plan to make reservations for guide-led excursions in advance.

For history buffs, the Frontier Museum will open on June 14. See how Glenwood’s earliest residents lived, worked and played. Also learn about the town’s connection with gambler-gunslinger Doc Holliday who is buried in Linwood Cemetery, a pioneer graveyard located on a scenic hillside above Glenwood Springs.

Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park is a mountain-top theme park in Glenwood Springs, Colorado. Guests travel to the top of the mountain via gondola where they can enjoy cave tours, thrill rides, family-friendly rides and adventures, dining and shopping. www.glenwoodcaverns.com

While awaiting word on when they can reopen, the park has submitted reopening plans with state and county health officials. This plan includes limiting capacity; requiring online ticket purchases with assigned entry times to control the flow of people into the park; allowing guests to ride in gondola cabins in social groups or to ride alone; frequent disinfecting of gondola cabins and common touchpoints throughout the park; reducing the number of guests per cave tour; social distancing in all queues; reducing capacity in the restaurant and increased outdoor seating spread throughout the park; increasing the number of hand-sanitizing stations; touchless transactions whenever possible; sneeze guards at cash registers; face coverings and health screenings for employees; and encouraging frequent hand washing for guests and employees.

SILVERTHORNE

Here’s a bucket list of “must-dos” in Silverthorne.

  1. Bike or walk the 3.5-mile Blue River Trail through Silverthorne
  2. Cast a line on the Gold Medal rated Blue River
  3. Ascend the aquatic climbing wall at the Silverthorne Recreation Center
  4. Enjoy one of Baker’s Brewery’s 23 locally-inspired craft beers on tap
  5. Pick up authentic Mexican cuisine from Fritangas or La Escondida Bakery
  6. Take in a show by the Lake Dillon Theatre Company in the Silverthorne Performing Arts Center’s black box theater
  7. Celebrate Silverthorne like a local at a monthly First Friday event
  8. Hike to Lily Pad Lake with the family
  9. Bathe in wildflowers on a hike up Ptarmigan Peak
  10. For a trail less traveled, hike up to Mahan Lake
  11. Paddleboard at North Pond Park
  12. Play disc-golf at Maryland Creek Park
  13. Take in the sunset over Buffalo Mountain from Rainbow ParkHa
  14. Have a picnic at Willow Grove
  15. Play a round of golf at The Raven by summer; try cross-country skiing or snowshoeing by winter
  16. Sip coffee and read the paper with a view of the Blue on the back patio of Red Buffalo Café
  17. Mountain bike from town to the Salt Lick Trails
  18. Sleep under the stars on an overnight backpacking trip along the Gore Range Trail
  19. Take your pick of white- or flat- water for a raft trip on the Blue River
  20. Shop til you drop through the three villages at The Outlets at Silverthorne
  21. Grill your own steak to perfection at The Mint
  22. Put the happy in “angry hour” at Angry James Brewing
  23. Sip a Treeline Bloody Mary at Timberline Craft Kitchen & Cocktails
  24. Take in the alpenglow along the Continental Divide and Gore Range Mountains after a long day of adventure

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS

Please visit steamboatchamber.com for the most up-to-date information on events, as well as the status of popular local attractions, including Strawberry Park Hot Springs, Old Town Hot Springs, Yampa River Botanic Park, Tread of Pioneers Museum, Fish Creek Falls and Yampa River Core Trail.

While some events will look different — some are virtual and the farmers market includes food vendors to start — they will still retain the hospitable Western spirit you love. There is an abundance of wide-open spaces and outdoor activities ready to satiate your yearning to get out. Here in Steamboat, adventure awaits—vast trail networks are perfect for hiking and biking, while gorgeous lakes and refreshing rivers are ready for your tube, boat, SUP, or even just a dip of your toes.

VAIL

Several of Vail’s more than 35 hotel and condominium properties are taking reservations including well-known options like The Sonnenalp, The Sebastian-Vail and Manor Vail Lodge with more set to open throughout the month of June. Some properties are developing special rates to encourage extended visits, such as Antler’s at Vail’s special “Your Vail Home for the Summer” package, which starts at $3,500 for a studio suite for 30 nights of tax-free lodging June through October. At this stage in re-opening, lodging properties are operating at a maximum of 50 percent of occupancy and follow heightened health and safety guidelines. Pool and hot tub facilities also are open with occupancy limits, and fitness centers and gyms operating at limited capacity. Saunas, spas and steam rooms remain closed for the time being.

Vail restaurants and bars such as Sweet Basil, Mountain Standard, La Tour, Root & Flower and Terra Bistro also are welcoming guests back for dine-in service with indoor seating limited to 50 percent capacity and tables spaced for appropriate social distancing. Heightened health and safety protocols for restaurants include required facemasks for servers, table service at all bars and a ban on counter seating.

Vail is a natural playground for outdoor pursuits. Hundreds of miles of river and recreational trails wind from one end of the valley to the other, allowing guests to get away from it all and explore. The valley’s expansive trail system offers nearly 300 miles of hiking trails that range from paved walking paths to backcountry trails that lead to mountain peaks, waterfalls, hidden lakes and more. Walking Mountain Science Center offers various themed backcountry hikes throughout the summer and fall showcasing Vail’s beauty. For a unique hiking experience, Paragon Guides offers a “Take a Llama to Lunch” program that entertains and guides hikers through the backcountry.

For those who opt to explore on two wheels, there are more than 340 miles of mountain biking trails and nearly 300 miles of road biking options in the area. Venture Sports is one of several local guides that take road bikers up to Vail Pass for a guided downhill experience on the paved trail into town. Vail Mountain is great for lift-served mountain biking, while West Vail offers classic aspen and alpine single-track trails.

Water sports abound in the area with more than 80 miles of river with whitewater ranging from Class I to Class V rapids that keep rafters and kayakers thrilled from start to finish. Sage Outdoor Adventures and other local guide companies can show off the best whitewater rafting or kayaking spots. Anglers will enjoy several blue ribbon and gold medal fly fishing streams. Gore Creek Fly Fisherman and Sage Outdoor Adventures can take beginners and experts on guided trips to the various streams and rivers in the area including the Gore Creek, Eagle River, Colorado River as well as lesser-known backcountry locations.

Vail also offers motorized ways to experience the region with options for ATV and Jeep 4×4 tours through locally owned and operated Nova Guides that provides guests with access to the beauty of the backcountry while learning about the history of the region. The area’s heritage also is found through the many guest ranch experiences open to visitors this summer for horseback riding with Vail Stables, archery, campfire cookouts and even glamping at Piney River Ranch.

Area outfitters will operate this summer to help guests experience countless adventures. Many of these options include natural social distancing and operators have enacted additional protocols to enhance safety such as offering more private tours and limiting the number of participants for activities. Guests are encouraged to contact individual outfitters to understand specific protocols for various guided outdoor pursuits.

Vail Golf Club is open and operating, providing golfers with manicured greens and stunning views of the Gore Range. When staying at select Vail hotels, guests also have access to down valley resort courses including Red Sky Golf Club and Sonnenalp Club. Guidelines this summer include single rider carts unless of the same group or household. Amenities such as scorecards, pencils, towels and tees currently are not available in carts. Flagsticks should not be touched or removed from holes.

Drop-in spots for kids such as skateparks and playgrounds also have reopened with social distancing rules. Museums and public facilities such as Betty Ford Alpine Gardens and the Colorado Snowsports Museum also are open with limited capacity. The Snowsports Museum is currently offering weekly reservation-required walking tours highlighting the history of the area and the Vail Art in Public Places program will resume weekly art walks beginning July 1. Both tours will operate at limited capacity with social distancing protocols.

Vail Resorts has expressed its intent to open Vail Mountain for gondola rides and activities this summer, however, a final decision and announcement are not expected until June. For additional information on summer activities and adventures in Vail, please visit the destination’s new website at DiscoverVail.com. The site provides detailed information on summer adventures, events, lodging and more. 

In our next installment, we are covering hotel and resort deals, even MORE towns including Fort Collins, Telluride, and we have two local authors who published Colorado camping and hiking books this year who are giving us some of their insider secrets to the most glorious outdoor adventures. Be safe, stay healthy and find the smiles.

Other Great Resources:

Ultimate Colorado Family Vacation Guide: 100+ Activities (COVID-approved)

2020 Denver Summer Activity Guide: 150+ Ideas

Denver’s best new playgrounds for 2019

Family travel: Top 8 Family Vacations

Guide to Denver’s Splash Parks and Spray Fountains

Best Hikes for Kids in the Denver area

Where to pull of I-70 when you’re stuck in traffic (fun activities and restaurants)

10 Beautiful Places in Colorado You Didn’t Know About

Borrow a Colorado State Parks Pass from Your Library

Yurt Village at Snow Mountain Ranch is Star-lit Fun

Cool Off This Summer at Colorado’s Best Beaches

A Local’s Guide to Gunnison’s Magical Summers

Best Denver-area Parks for Beginner Trail Runners (and hikers)

Globo Surf is a fantastic resource for snow, land and water sports reviews

10 of Colorado’s most scenic waterfall hikes

 

Deals: Independence Day events, summer activities and more

Fourth of July. Believe it or not, several cities are still holding Independence Day Celebrations and fireworks. Check out our guide to 4th of July in Colorado that also details all of the city events that were canceled. 

Denver Summer Activity Guide. Amber published our annual 2020 Denver Summer Activity Guide with 150+ activities! Many indoor facilities will be opening in the coming weeks so be sure to bookmark this awesome resource. And, of course, she also listed lots of free, outdoor fun for the whole family. Be sure to also check out the Ultimate Family Vacation Guide in Colorado, all COVID-approved! 

 Five Below Opens in Denver. When my daughter and I went to New York, we liked shopping at Five Below (think Dollar Store with everything being $5 or under). There will be six Colorado locations – all appear to be opening on June 26.

 Denver Premium Outlets. Every 2nd and 4th Saturday from 12 noon to 7 p.m. through September you can shop the outlets and try great food with the Food Truck Series. Food Trucks will be safely distanced around the property and live music.

 McDonald’s Fries. Get free fries on Fridays at McDonald’s with the purchase of a dollar or more. To get the deal you need to order on the app to redeem the deal. Deal is good for one more week. Get one order per Friday through the end of June.

 Free Card Friday. You have only one more week to get a free Hallmark card on Friday. Stop by your neighborhood Hallmark store on Friday to get a free card. Send someone a little perk! But Stacy’s Hallmark on S. Colorado Blvd looks to be closing so you can score more than one free card there – up to 75% off!

Honey. I’ve written about this awesome little plug-in called Honey before but I think it warrants another mention, especially as we are ordering more and more online (or maybe it is just my street that has seen a lot more of the Amazon, UPS and FedEx trucks). This handy little plug in will scan all the available promo codes for you and save you tons of money! It will even tell you if you have the best deal already.

Camp DreamWorks. Summer camp is so much fun this year with Camp DreamWorks (and parents, a heck of a lot cheaper). DreamWorks themed activities go through each week for the duration of the virtual Camp DreamWorks (through August).  All the fun of all your favorite DreamWorks characters. Make sure to check each week for more fun like draw-alongs, dance parties, obstacle courses and more! Visit the website or facebook for more http://camp.dreamworks.com

 Fit+Rock at Dairy Block. The Dairy Block Fit + Rock outdoor group exercise classes are returning in June for FREE.  June 23 and 30 will be The Barre Code (combination of barre and isometric movement with high-energy playlist). Plus, The Maven is offering 50% off to all military veterans, active-duty military and frontline healthcare workers now – Labor Day.  To register, please visit https://dairyblock.com/events

Target School Supplies. It’s no wonder my sister went into education, we had to stop our annual summer road-trip to get school supplies (who knew where you’d get the coolest folders?). Target https://www.target.com/p/1st-2nd-grade-classroom-school-supplies/-/A-52754421?preselect=52754421 already has their Crayola 24-count crayons box for just 50 cents! Glue is also just 50 cents – so if you are still into making slime, you can get some of the ingredients for cheap!

The Children’s Place Girls LeggingsChildren’s Place was always one of my favorite places to shop for my kids clothes when they were little. There were always deals and cute stuff. Girls leggings are as low as $1.99 right now (normally $12.95).

Bath and Body Works. I think this is really my happy place. I can spend hours in Bath and Body Works just smelling everything…and maybe dreaming that I really am in Waikiki (there is a scent called Waikiki). They are having their semi-annual sale. Stock up on some of your favorites now for as much as 50% off! Buy Two, Get one Free; Buy 3, Get 2 Free; Single wick candles just 2 for $20 and more!