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Gretchen’s Grabs: Smoke & fire peanut butter, Bob Ross, digital game table and more

 I love finding and trying new things. No matter if it is an awesome podcast, product or show. I make lists upon lists – what book should I read next? What is my next Neflix binge? Are there enough shows on Apple+ that I want to watch to justify the purchase? Do you have an awesome go-to recipe that you just can’t wait to share? I also love to share my finds with you. And to be honest I find it a little flattering that you would try something I suggest – or rather, you suggest just the right thing for me. What is on your awesome finds list this year?

Fix & Fogg Peanut Butters. Nothing quite satisfies like a peanut butter and jelly. But WOAH did you know that you can totally kick up that sandwich (and make it healthy to boot)? Fix and Fogg sent me several peanut butters to try from their vast array of flavors. Nut butters from peanut, cashew, almond and more. Some of the favorites in my house were the Chocolate, Cashew, and the Smoke & Fire. But we also liked to try the unique ones like the Maple & Coffee!

Impart Books. I love to get people things they will remember long after the gift-giving is done. I used to make my kids what I called personal yearbooks. Which were digitally printed photo books. When I stumbled upon Give Impart Books! This was the perfect gift for my nephew who recently left for boot camp in the Navy. My sister and I emailed family and friends to give a bit of advice – then the advice was compiled and printed into a hardbound, hard covered book! This gift would be perfect for a new mom, graduation or wedding present.  

CES Finds. I love hearing about the cool new products that are coming out. And really – these are not just made up things. They are REAL! While I have not personally tried any of these products but they all sound like must-haves.

·         ColdSnap – Keurig of ice cream! Yum! You can make individual ice cream from a pod. For those of you who followed my Denver Area ice cream tour a couple of summers ago – you may know that ice cream is my happy place…yes, any place (including my kitchen) that has ice cream makes me smile. The idea of making an individual self-serve Ice Cream really floats my boat (or my root beer). The price is not set, but may be anywhere between $500 and $1,000 with the pods for each ice cream around $3 each.

·         Infinity Game Table – I love playing board games, but I hate when a vital piece goes missing or when the kids don’t put them away. I love the idea that we can have all the board games in one spot. This digital table has all your favorite classic games like Monopoly, Chutes and Ladders, Scrabble, CandyLand, Yahtzee and more! There will be different sizes available – so the prices vary from $500 to over $1000.  

·         BotHandy – Wouldn’t the kids love it if they didn’t have to put away dishes and just had a bot for that? That was the kind of forward-thinking of “The Jetson’s” cartoon (Hello Rosie!). But this is a real thing and coming soon with Samsung’s Bot Handy! A Bot that can do many household chores – and apparently has a bit of a personality.

Bob Ross. Maybe you have seen him on PBS painting happy little trees. But his popularity is gaining again. My kids and I giggled our way through a painting sesh with him. We went to Michael’s to get a canvas – and then did a paint along. It was a bit like an at-home paint and sip party (even if for the underaged there was sparkling cider). You can stream the shows on Amazon Prime.

*I was given Fix & Fogg product to try – but my opinions are my own. I was given a link to a free GiveImpart Book to test how the product is made and see a final version – but my opinions are my own. I have not been given nor tested any of the CES products (they just look cool). 

 
 

Top Ten Family-friendly Activities in Golden in February

There are so many fun ways to get out and about in Golden in February. Only 20 minutes from downtown Denver, Golden feels a world away with its small-town charm, hiking trails and creekside paths. February offers lots of opportunities for family fun in Golden, including:

  1. Hunt for a Golden Glass Orb – Throughout February, a one-of-a-kind glass orb will be hidden daily somewhere in Golden by Foothills Art Center. On weekdays, one glass orb will be hidden and on Saturdays and Sundays, there will be two orbs hidden. “Finders are keepers” of these beautiful orbs handcrafted by Colorado artists. More info on the Golden Glass Orb Hunt here: Visitgolden.com.
  1. Take Your Golden to Golden – February 3rd is International Golden Retriever Day and while there is not an official Goldens in Golden gathering, you can still celebrate the city’s connection to this beloved dog breed. Goldens and their humans are invited all month long to enjoy Golden on their own with a selfie-station for photos, hotel packages and various dog-friendly merchant deals, including free “pup cups” and patio dining deals at select. Walk your Golden in Golden all month long and follow @VisitGoldenCO on Instagram and Facebook to participate in the online fun and giveaways from KONG. More details at VisitGolden.com
  1. Family Strolls under Golden’s Holiday Lights – The city’s celebrated holiday lights display remains illuminated through mid-February, making it a great destination for creekside walks and downtown strolls. Afterward, pick up a to-go pizza kit from family favorite Woody’s Wood Fired Pizza.
  1. Colorado Environmental Film Festival – The show must go on – especially when you’re in the urgent business of alerting the public to important environmental issues facing our world! This year’s CEFF will be virtual from February 12 – 21. Check out the extensive CEFF 4 Kids options, resources for kids interested in the environment including a free Filmmaking 101 for aspiring young filmmakers. More info here: Ceff.net/
  1. Spot a Dinosaur & then Walk in their Tracks – Golden is where the dinosaurs once roamed and it’s now home to a colorful new art installation of bright, colorful Triceratops sculptures standing on private property at the corner of HWY 93 and West 56th. Spot them as you drive by and then experience 150 million year of history at Dinosaur Ridge, one of the most important dinosaur track sites in the country. Don’t forget to hike the Triceratops Trail! More info: VisitGolden.com
  1. Savor Something Sweet on Valentine’s Day – Treat yourself to something sweet in Golden on Valentine’s Day! Golden SweetsGoozell YogurtGold Mine Cupcakes or Amore Gelato and Kona Bowls in Tributary Food Hall. The new Golden Poultry & Meats also sells $1 a scoop of Little Man Ice Cream. Or take advantage of the many Golden restaurants that are offering special deals for dine-in and take-out too.
  1. Walkthrough Golden History – Getting outside in winter can be challenging but you can make it fun and educational with the Golden History Walking Tour. Created by the Golden History Museum, the tour is a free, downloadable tour that directs you to 16 historic spots in Golden as it winds one-and-a-half miles past beautiful homes, stone buildings, gardens, a re-created historic farm and school yard, and – most popular with kids – a historic chicken coop filled with heritage chickens you can feed for a quarter. More info here: Goldenhistory.org/learn-do/walkingtour/
  1. Take a Self-Guided Public Art Tour –– The Self-Guided Public Art Tour guides you along the Clear Creek Trail and up and down Washington Ave. to more than two dozen public art works, beautiful statues and murals that capture the spirit of the West. Link to the free Golden Public Art Walking Tour Brochure and set out for an artful adventure.
  1. All Aboard at the Colorado Railroad Museum –Located on 15 beautiful acres at the base of North Table Mountain, the Colorado Railroad Museum is home to more than 100 locomotives, diesel engines, passenger cars and freight cars. Kids can climb up stairways, walk through the cars, pose in front of the massive snowplow, ring a locomotive bell, see the roundtable, visit the roundhouse, ride an actual train, hear steam whistles, run a model railroad with a full circus, peer in the windows of hundreds of miniature buildings, build Thomas the Tank Engine layouts, and more. You can even check out a Family Backpack filled with fun activities that will help make your visit special or request an “I Spy” or “Where in the World is Spike” handout to make a game of searching the railyard.
  1. Buffalo Bill’s Grave & Museum: Located high above Golden, on top of Lookout Mountain with spectacular views in all directions is the final resting spot for the Old West’s most famous scout and showman, William F. “Buffalo Bill” Cody. Your family is sure to have a fun time learning viewing exhibits about Buffalo Bill’s life and the Wild West shows, Native American objects, and more. See Sitting Bull’s bow and arrows, Buffalo Bill’s show outfits, Frederick Remington’s “Portrait of a Ranch Hand,” and many other objects from the Old West in the Buffalo Bill Museum and Grave.

For more ideas on what to do in Golden, head to www.visitgolden.com.

How this student is raising awareness about mental health during the pandemic

The coronavirus pandemic didn’t stop the clock when it sent us home, especially not for teens. Young Coloradans are missing dances, internships and so much more. 

Before the pandemic, 16-year-old Jak Rogoff regularly led homeroom activities at his high school in Lakewood. As a peer leader for the suicide prevention program, Sources of Strength, he guided activities to raise awareness about mental health resources and help students’ strengthen their support networks.

He continues to lead activities in virtual classrooms, but “it’s a lot harder.”

“There’s people who have their cameras off, and they don’t want to listen, so they just zone you out,” he explained.

Still, Rogoff’s motivation for being a peer leader is the same whether he’s in-person or online.

“I just try to be a person that other people can talk to,” he said. “I’ve had times in my life where I felt like I didn’t have anybody to talk to, and my biggest goal is to make sure that nobody else gets to that place where they feel helpless.”

Rogoff was bullied in elementary and middle school, and those experiences inspired him to become a Sources of Strength leader his freshman year.

CLICK TO KEEP READING

This profile is based on a panelist interview for “Call to Mind Presents: Life’s Not On Hold – Teens Navigate Missed Milestones.” On Jan. 28, 2021, Colorado Public Radio’s Avery Lill will lead a discussion with and for teens to share their experiences, along with licensed therapist and school social worker Feliz Fraser, and Rosalind Wiseman, teen mental health advocate and author of “Queen Bees and Wannabes.” The discussion will explore the losses teens have faced during the pandemic and solutions for navigating this turbulent time in their lives.

Manage Toddler Meltdowns with These 6 Steps

Especially for toddlers, emotional meltdowns are inevitable. So, rather than trying to prevent them, it’s best to focus on some practical ways to manage tantrums, as they can be helpful to children learning to express their feelings and how to handle big emotions. Here are six tips for managing toddler meltdowns.

  1. Understand the Why Behind the Meltdown

Processing the reason behind your child’s tantrum is key to managing your way through it with him or her. As a child’s social and emotional skills are in the early stages of development at this age, he or she won’t often know the words needed to express such big emotions. Whether they are merely hungry, tired, upset because they are not being rewarded with something they desire, or even unsure of the current environment, they are ultimately just reacting in the emotional capacity for which they know or understand at this stage of development.

  1. Check Your Own Emotions

Toddler meltdowns will test your patience. You’ll experience your own waves of emotions, which will determine your reaction, so it’s very important that you remain calm and parent on. While it may be a gut reaction to respond in anger, frustration, or discipline, a helpful tactic can be to take a breath and approach the situation with a calm and level head.

  1. Observe Environmental Triggers

Noticing meltdowns happening in specific places or settings? A helpful way to manage a potential meltdown is to prepare ahead for the environment. A helpful tip for trigger environments is to plan a strategy for distracting your child from the temptation for desiring things that you might not want them to have.

  1. Meet Them on Their Level

In the midst of a meltdown, one of the best ways to encourage a child is by meeting them on their level with a calm assurance that you understand their emotions and that you’re aware of his or her feelings. As they begin to calm down, it’s always helpful to talk with them about what’s going on, why they are upset, and how they could have acted differently.

  1. Take Control When Needed

We get it—talking through a child’s feelings with them or ignoring a tantrum altogether won’t always work. There will be times when you have to make a decision to take charge when a meltdown gets out of control—especially in a public setting. All in all, use your best judgment and stand firm.

  1. Have a Consistent Strategy

Like anything, consistency is key when it comes to managing toddler tantrums. If you surrender by just giving the child what they want in order to appease the meltdown, the problem could continue. However, staying consistent in your approach and focusing on a calm approach will go a long way in helping your child learn how to behave and to respect parental authority.

Partnering with Parents to Promote Healthy Behavior

At The Gardner School of DTC, our programs are carefully designed to encourage each child’s growing need for independence and an emerging sense of self, while nurturing intellectual growth, exploration, and socialization in a safe, supportive environment. Contact us today to learn more or to schedule a virtual tour.

In partnership with Mile High Mamas. 

Deals: Cheap Travel, Burger Deals & More

I dream about planning my next trip nearly every day. I’m also on a quest to see every state (my rule is to sleep or eat in a sit-down non-chain restaurant). But honestly, I love Colorado best. That is part of the reason I love National Plan for Vacation Day on Tuesday, January 26.

 National Plan Your Vacation Day Colorado Deals. The Colorado Tourism Office and Colorado Hotel and Lodging Association have some Awesome summertime deals if your planning takes you to all parts of the state. $200 Resort Credit at Garden of the Gods Resort; Mountain Bike Like a Girl Experience at The Gant in Aspen (20% off lodging, biking and special offers of female entrepreneurs in the area); 30% off Beave Run Resort; 20% off a two-night stay + $50 resort credit at Park Hyatt Beaver Creek – which is one of my favorite places; or The FoCO Beer Experience with the Elizabeth Hotel! So many things, I can’t list them all! For more amazing deals visit www.Colorado.com/National-Plan-Vacation-Day

 February in Golden. The Golden Glass Orb hunt is back. Through the month of February find a hidden one-of-a-kind glass orb from the Foothills Art Center. Celebrate Goldens [Golden Retrievers]  in Golden on your own this year with dog-friendly treats, giveaways, selfie stations and more. Or just meander the streets and creek walk and still take in the awesome holiday lights. For details visit  visitgolden.com.

McDonald’s. On Thursdays, through February 18, Mcdonald’s has some of their most popular items for CHEAP! January 28 grab a small shake for 25 cents; February 4 an apple pie is 20 cents; February 11 an order of large fries will be 35 cents, and on February 18 a cheeseburger for 25 cents. To get these prices you will need to have the app and purchase any additional item for $1 or more.

Wendy’s Double Burger DealWendy’s has partnered with the Denver Nuggets. When a Nuggets player gets a double-double at home this season, you can get a free double stack burger with any purchase at Wendy’s.

Einstein Bros. Bagels. I’m not sure if I love a bagel or if I love the cream cheese more. Either way, Einstein Bros. Bagels wants to help start your week off well – with a whole dozen for just $7 every Monday. They are also offering a Free Egg Sandwich (with purchase) when you order ahead.

Safeway Extreme Deal. Safeway has been doing this for a couple of months now, but they offer a package deal that is an extremely good deal – Extreme Value Deal. It is usually 4 items that have to be purchased together. This week get Mission Tortillas, Lucerne Cheese, Jennie O ground turkey and guacamole all for just $5! You do need to download the coupon to your Safeway account.

Proozy. I recently discovered this website, proozy. It has all the great brands that you know (Under Armour, Nike etc). But all of these items are on SALE! If you are looking for more comfy clothes on sale this is the place to go. Right now, they also have some awesome coats on sale.

Honey. I’ve written about this one before – but it is a simple plugin. You add it to your browser. Then whenever you are shopping online – it will test all the available coupon codes for you and make sure you are getting the best deal. If you’ve not downloaded Honey – do it now.

IHOP IHOPPY Hour. Enjoy the IHoppy Hour $6 menu at IHOP from 2 p.m to 10 p.m. every day dine-in or to-go or when you are there the all you can eat pancakes stacks are back! 

Free WiFi. Comcast equipped more than 20 different locations in the Denver Metro Area with free WiFi-connected “Lift Zones.” Working with its network of nonprofit partners, Comcast is providing robust WiFi coverage at safe spaces like parks and recreation centers, Boys & Girls Clubs, Girls Inc. and other non-profit and community centers that are expected to help thousands of low-income students get online, participate in distance learning and do their homework in a socially distanced manner. These Lift Zone sites have been strategically installed in communities throughout the Front Range, as well as statewide. Learn more

 
 

Why re-opening schools and childcare facilities should be a priority

A new study from Germany offers yet more data to show that childcare facilities and elementary schools should remain open or re-open to full-time, in-person learning as quickly as possible, according to an accompanying editorial by Children’s Hospital Colorado Infectious Disease Specialist Sean T. O’Leary, MD, MPH. The study findings and editorial were published in the Jan. 22 edition of JAMA Pediatrics, a highly respected publication from the American Medical Association focused on child and adolescent health.

 In the article, Dr. O’Leary notes that COVID-19 is “a milder disease in children compared with adults, particularly older adults.” Additionally, researchers in Germany found that children aged 1 to 10 years were less likely to both acquire and spread COVID-19 than would be expected, which indicates that children play less of a role than adults in spreading the virus. O’Leary also noted that research has shown that hospitalization and death rates for children from COVID-19 are far lower than adults.

Despite these research findings, schools across the state and country have largely been closed to in-person learning since the pandemic reached critical mass in the U.S. in March 2020. As a result, “we have already seen short-term consequences of these closures, and the potential longer-term consequences of a missed year (or more) of learning are dire,” cautioned Dr. O’Leary, who is also a professor of Pediatrics – Infectious Diseases at the University of Colorado School of Medicine.

Heidi Baskfield, vice president of Population Health and Advocacy at Children’s Colorado, said that research and public health evidence in 2020 has shown an increase in depression, isolation, hunger, child abuse and suicidal ideation among children and teens due in part to COVID-19, and a decrease in academic progress, physical activity and socialization. She added that balancing the education, mental health and physical safety of children is critical during the pandemic.

“We know that closing schools has a profoundly negative effect on students, impacting everything from brain development to mental health and wellness to food security,” Baskfield said. “Evaluating the scientific research against the impact of closures is important to ensure that the most rational decisions are being made, which will help mitigate long-term harm to our children.”

Children’s Colorado recognizes the very real and legitimate concerns that administrators and educators have related to the COVID-19 pandemic and their safety. As a result, the hospital system and its medical experts have advocated to make school personnel eligible for priority COVID-19 vaccinations as part of a formal process to re-open schools.

Children’s Colorado also has worked closely with pediatric community providers and school districts across Colorado to help school administrators and board members determine how they can most safely re-open their schools for in-person learning in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“While we’re still learning more about this new more contagious variant (B.1.1.7), current evidence suggests that the mitigation measures in place in schools, especially among elementary students, should also work against this variant (wearing face masks, physical distancing, hand hygiene, cohorting, etc.),” O’Leary said. “As with everything with this pandemic, though, we must constantly re-evaluate the scientific evidence as it emerges, and we will be watching the spread of this variant and any potential impact on schools closely.”

For more information, tune in to hear Dr. O’Leary discuss the importance of returning to school on a Jan. 21 Children’s Hospital Colorado Charting Pediatrics podcast hosted by David Brumbaugh, MD, chief medical officer. “Why It’s Time to Return to School with Sean O’Leary, MD (S4:E17)”

Free National Parks for Fourth AND Fifth Graders in 2021

The pandemic wreaked havoc on so much for one good thing to come out of is that last year’s fourth-graders may have been unable to make full use of their Every Kid Outdoors Annual Fourth Grade Pass. Translation: 4th- and 5th-grade students can have free access to our National Parks now through August 31, 2021.

In case you need a refresher, Every Kid Outdoors is an initiative that allows fourth graders and their families to have free admission to National Parks, national forests, national wildlife refuges and waters for a full year in the 2020-2021 school year.

Signing up for a pass is as easy as 1, 2, 3.

  1. Go to the kid-friendly website Every Kid Outdoors and follow the instructions. For fifth-graders go to Access for 5th Graders
  2. Print an Every Kid Outdoors paper voucher. Vouchers for both 4th and 5th graders are good until Aug. 31. 2021.

Kids obviously don’t have to go alone: they can take their brothers and sisters and up to three adults. Kids can also tell their teacher to help their entire class get a voucher and plan a class trip outdoors. When you get your voucher, find activities and locations by using their online visitor map. Also, check out how to become a Junior Forest Ranger and Junior Snow Ranger.

How refugee women are helping with Colorado’s shortage of early childhood educators

When Khan Mwezi landed in Colorado eight years ago from a refugee camp in Uganda, she arrived with a high-risk pregnancy.

Her daughter, Martinode Hill Gift, was born prematurely and stayed in the neonatal intensive care unit for four months. During that time, Mwezi spent a lot of time with infants. As her husband scraped together a living for them, Mwezi attended to all her daughter’s special needs.

“Life was very, very difficult,” said Mwezi, who had no family support because most of her family was killed in wars and ethnic strife in the Congo.

Little did Mwezi know that seven years later she’d be back caring for infants, and filling a critical workforce need in Colorado. She’d landed a part-time job at an early child care center. The state’s early childhood worker shortage is most acute in infant and toddler care, with about half as many workers currently employed as are needed.

As an assistant teacher, Mwezi makes $14.77 an hour but she’s not stopping there. After she comes home from work and checks in on her eldest daughter and Martinode, now a healthy six-year-old, Mwezi hits the books in the family’s Aurora apartment. She is studying brain development, behavior management and cognitive development in children.

She’s enrolled in the Pamoja Early Childhood Education Workforce Program, a pilot program to increase the number of early childhood educators who are fluent in multiple languages and who can meet Colorado’s growing need for diverse educators serving young children living in poverty, dual-language learners and children with special needs.

CLICK TO KEEP READING ABOUT HOW SOME VIEWS THIS AS THEIR CALLING

-Jenny Brundin, CPR; Photo Kevin Mohat

When the unexpected happens: How 2-1-1 can help

New to my role and the community I was working in, I was unfamiliar with what nonprofits and services were available for my clients where we lived. I was my clients’ first line of defense in what often felt like a very steep climb to stability.
 
I needed a place I could turn to give my clients the resources they needed. The 2-1-1 Help Center was that place.
 
When my clients’ minimum wage jobs couldn’t fill their pantries, or their kids’ bellies, I called 2-1-1 to help find a food pantry that was open when they got off work. When my clients’ past traumas were affecting their daily lives, and one setback felt like an insurmountable mountain, I called 2-1-1 to see what free or low-cost counseling services were available. When my clients finally landed that new job, but couldn’t afford their new work uniforms, I called 2-1-1 to see if any clothing banks could help us out.

Eventually, my own circumstances brought me to Denver. Not long after moving, I began working in Mile High United Way’s 2-1-1 Help Center. Once the caseworker calling in to 2-1-1, I was now the person finding solutions for people who needed help.
 

When the Unexpected Happens

 In 2017, I had been working in 2-1-1 for almost two years. In that time, nearly 160,000 people had reached out to Mile High United Way for assistance paying their rent, filing their taxes, getting back-to-school supplies for their kids, and more. My favorite days were problem-solving with my team to find unique solutions that could help someone through a difficult problem. 

The most memorable person I was able to help in 2-1-1 was my dad.

My dad attended college in Colorado, and always planned on returning in retirement to ski, bike, and golf at elevation. He worked from a young age to put himself through high school and college. He was successful and adventurous in his career, finally landing in the financial sector, where his specialty was retirement plan administration.
 
My dad always stressed the importance of planning for retirement from a young age. While I was working in 2-1-1, my dad was able to realize his dream, and retire in Colorado at the base of the Rockies.
 
A few months after he retired, my dad fell off a curb and cracked his hip. This is how doctors found his cancer. He was diagnosed with Stage IV Lymphoma cancer. While my family was reeling from this diagnosis, my dad became increasingly worried over the cost of treatment. He had carefully planned for many things in his retirement, but nobody plans for cancer.
 
My dad worked for a while after joining Medicare, so he had not yet enrolled in a Medicare supplement program. Typically, Medicare requires the enrollee to pay about 20% of all medical costs out-of-pocket, after meeting their yearly deductible.* While 20% is manageable for an annual checkup or minor procedures, it can be crushing on top of a cancer diagnosis.
 
In fact, a recent study released by the American Cancer Society stated that over half of all cancer survivors face financial hardships that affect them materially, psychologically, or behaviorally. These hardships even cause some patients to forgo their lifesaving treatments.**
 
The feeling of not being able to help my dad when he needed it the most was devastating. I was so focused on what I couldn’t do to help, that I nearly forgot my 2-1-1 training. Out of the thousands of resources available to 2-1-1 clients, maybe one could help my dad. 

How 2-1-1 Helped My Family

 I dove into 2-1-1’s database. Out of nearly 7,500 services, I found one for the State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP) in my dad’s county. SHIP provides Medicare counseling, so I sent their number to my dad. He called and they said that unfortunately, with a pre-existing condition like cancer, he would not be able to enroll in a Medicare supplement program until the next enrollment period – over seven months away. By the time my dad would be able to enroll, he would be seven months into expensive treatments, procedures, and hospital stays.
 
Then, a few minutes later, SHIP called him back. They said there was a program available, one that could enroll him right away and reduce his out-of-pocket expenses to a manageable amount. And, this program accepted his “pre-existing condition.”
 
One more search had led to a solution. I’ll never forget my dad saying that he felt saved.
 
The truth is that was still the beginning of my dad’s journey. There were many more months of waiting for doctor’s calls, lost sleep, caregivers doing the best they could, and long hospital stays. It was painful. It was scary. But, just as my family had wished, my dad was able to focus on getting better and not draining his retirement fund to pay for cancer treatments.
 
Today, my dad is cancer-free. After getting the all-clear from his doctors, he joined a LIVESTRONG fitness program, through his local YMCA, for cancer survivors. That program was his final referral from 2-1-1.
 
Of his experience, my dad said, “While SHIP eased my concerns about my cancer treatments, the LIVESTRONG program was essential to my recovery. It was run by caring, thoughtful people who helped me regain my strength after months of tough treatments. I wouldn’t have found either of these programs if not for 2-1-1.”
 
Today my dad is hiking, biking, and golfing. He is enjoying retirement. And he is healthy. 

About the 2-1-1 Help Center

 Mile High United Way’s 2-1-1 Help Center is a statewide community resource that connects individuals and families to critical resources including food, shelter, rental assistance, childcare, healthcare, and so much more. 2-1-1 Community Resource Navigators help callers by assessing their needs and then matching them with the best and closest resources in their community.

-Marisa Way

Denver Free Days for 2021

I’m so excited to say that Free Days are back at several of our great museums thanks to SCFD funding and corporate sponsorships. This year, due to Covid, you will need to get a ticket or sign up before you go – but still, it is FREE!

Children’s Museum

There are no free days scheduled at this time but, families who receive Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) can visit the Museum any time throughout the year and pay just $1 per person (up to 10 family members) when they show their EBT card. Admission cannot be paid with the card.

Clyfford Still Art Museum

  • Thursday, January 21
  • Tuesday, February 16
  • Saturday, March 20
  • Sunday, April 25
  • Wednesday, May 19
  • Saturday, June 19
  • Sunday, July 25 (in honor of the ADA Anniversary on Monday, July 26)
  • Friday, August 13
  • Friday, September 10
  • Tuesday, October 12
  • Thursday, November 18 (CSM’s 10th anniversary)
  • Wednesday, December 8

Colorado Railroad Museum

There are additional free days for Boulder County residents through the year.

  • March 18
  • May 13
  • October 7

Denver Art Museum

Children 18 years and younger are free EVERY day of the year – currently suspended due to Covid-19.

Denver Botanic Gardens

There are no free days scheduled at this time but, families who receive the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) can visit the Museum any time throughout the year and pay just $1 per person (up to 10 family members) when they show their EBT card. Admission cannot be paid with the card.

Denver Botanic Gardens at Chatfield

There are no free days scheduled at this time but, families who receive Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) can visit the Museum any time throughout the year and pay just $1 per person (up to 10 family members) when they show their EBT card. Admission cannot be paid with the card.

Denver Museum of Nature & Science

Families who receive Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) can visit the Museum any time throughout the year and pay just $1 per person (up to 10 family members) when they show their EBT card. Admission cannot be paid with the card.

  • Monday, January 4
  • Sunday, January 24
  • Monday, February 8
  • Sunday, February 28
  • Sunday, April 25 – Dia Del Nino
  • Sunday, May 23 – Space Day
  • Wednesday, June 30 – Free Night
  • Wednesday, August 11 – Free Night
  • Wednesday, September 1 – Free Night
  • Monday, September 20
  • Monday, October 4 – Out at the Museum: LGBTQ Community Day
  • Saturday, November 6 – Night at the Museums
  • Monday, December 6

Denver Zoo

On Share the Love Days, the zoo is giving love back to the community with 125 FREE TICKET VOUCHERS for every 15-minute admission window. See how to win free tickets here.

  • February 7 – the lottery is January 28-30
  • Watch the website for future dates.

Families who receive Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) can visit the Museum any time throughout the year and pay just $1 per person (up to 10 family members) when they show their EBT card. Admission cannot be paid with the card.

Four Mile Historic Park

  • January 8th
  • February 12th
  • March 12th
  • April 9th
  • May 14th
  • June 11th
  • July 9th
  • August 13th
  • September 10th
  • October 8th
  • November 12th
  • December 10th

History Colorado Center

Families who receive Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) can visit the Museum any time throughout the year and pay just $1 per person (up to 10 family members) when they show their EBT card. Admission cannot be paid with the card.

  • April 25
  • August 1
  • November 6 (from 5-10 pm)

There are a few venues that are always free: Aurora History MuseumHudson Gardens, and Museum of Outdoor Arts.

You can also request culture packs/free passes from your library all year long.

National Parks Free Days

The National Parks have announced their free days this year. They include:

  • Martin Luther King Day (January 18)
  • First Day of National Park Day (April 17)
  • Anniversary of the Signing of the Great American Outdoors Act (August 4)
  • National Park Service’s Birthday (August 25)
  • National Public Lands Day (September 25)
  • Veterans Day (November 11) 

National Parks Free for 4th- and 5th-grade students. The pandemic wreaked havoc on so much for one good thing to come out of is that last year’s fourth-graders may have been unable to make full use of their Every Kid Outdoors Annual Fourth Grade Pass. Translation: 4th- and 5th-grade students can have free access to our National Parks now through August 31, 2021. Go to the kid-friendly website Every Kid Outdoors and follow the instructions. For fifth-graders go to Access for 5th Graders

* NOTE: We strongly recommend that you check with the venue before heading out to the venue – because of the always-changing details and guidelines during the pandemic.