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Depression hurts: Quick tips and helps for when you’re feeling depressed

Denver moms: Are you or someone you love suffering from depression? My friend has long struggled with depression and in addition to regular therapy and an ever-changing cocktail of anti-depressants, she recently shared this post that is circulating about how to navigate depression. Sometimes even the most basic tasks seem overwhelming but baby steps can help, even if you only do one of these per day. 

Self-care if you’re struggling with depression

  • Shower. Not a bath, a shower. Use water as hot or cold as you like. You don’t even need to wash. Just get in under the water and let it run over you for a while. Sit on the floor if you gotta.
  • Moisturize everything. Use whatever lotion you like. Unscented? Dollar store lotion? Fancy 48-hour lotion that makes you smell like a field of wildflowers? Use whatever you want, and use it all over your entire dermis.
  • Put on clean, comfortable clothes.
  • Put on your favorite underwear. Cute black lacy panties? Those ridiculous boxers you bought last Christmas with candy cane hearts on the butt? Put them on.
  • Drink cold water. Use ice. If you want, add some mint or lemon for an extra boost.
  • Clean something. Doesn’t have to be anything big. Organize one drawer of a desk. Wash five dirty dishes. Do a load of laundry. Scrub the bathroom sink.
  • Blast music. Listen to something upbeat and dancey and loud, something that’s got lots of energy. Sing to it, dance to it, even if you suck at both.
  • Make food. Don’t just grab a granola bar to munch. Take the time and make food. Even if it’s ramen. Add something special to it, like a soft boiled egg or some veggies. Prepare food, it tastes way better, and you’ll feel like you accomplished something.
  • Make something. Write a short story or a poem, draw a picture, color a picture, fold origami, crochet or knit, sculpt something out of clay, anything artistic. Even if you don’t think you’re good at it. Create.
  • Go outside. Take a walk. Sit in the grass. Look at the clouds. Smell flowers. Put your hands in the dirt and feel the soil against your skin.
  • Call someone. Call a loved one, a friend, a family member, call a chat service if you have no one else to call. Talk to a stranger on the street. Have a conversation and listen to someone’s voice. If you can’t bring yourself to call, text or email or whatever, just have some social interaction with another person. Even if you don’t say much, listen to them. It helps.
  • Cuddle your pets if you have them/can cuddle them. Take pictures of them. Talk to them. Tell them how you feel, about your favorite movie, a new game coming out, anything.

These may seem small or silly to some, but this list keeps people alive. At your absolute best you won’t be good enough for the wrong people. But at your worst, you’ll still be worth it to the right ones. Remember that. 

Powerful Books if you or someone you love is depressed

F*ck Feelings by Michael Bennet. One shrink (and his comedy writer daughter)’s practical advice for managing all life’s impossible problems. 

Reasons to Stay Alive by Matt Haig. This New York Times bestselling author shares this life-affirming memoir of his struggle with depression and how his triumph over the illness taught him to live. 

Lost Connections: Why You’re Depressed and How to Find Hope by Johann Hari. An adult, Hari went on a journey across the world to interview the leading experts about what causes depression and anxiety, and what solves them. He learned there is scientific evidence for nine different causes of depression and anxiety-and that this knowledge leads to a very different set of solutions: ones that offer real hope.

Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy by David D. Burns, M.D. When people talk about books providing effective and evidence-based help for depression, the conversation should always begin with the book

Keep holding on. People don’t fake depression, they fake being OK. Stop asking people who are struggling to reach out if they need help; more people need to reach in. 

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
Hours: Available 24 hours. Languages: English, Spanish.
800-273-8255

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. While clicking these links won’t cost you extra money, they help us keep this site up and running. See our disclosure policy. 

4 Tips to Help Denver Children Cope with the Pandemic

The prolonged nature of the pandemic has brought chronic levels of stress and anxiety to many families. Though there appears to be an end in sight, we have a long way to go before things are back to normal. In these confusing times, we must be cognizant of how heightened stress and loss can impact the children in our lives. As the Program Director for the Kempe Center’s Trauma-Responsive Implementation and Practice, I have spent much of my career helping children, families and childcare professionals respond to these sorts of high-stress, traumatic situations. 

Helping Kids Cope with the Pandemic

If your child is impacted by this adversity, here are some tips on how you should support and respond to your child’s needs in these difficult times: 

  1. Be calm and speak calmly. When faced with a stressor, take a moment to breathe and respond calmly. Children take their cues from adults. Most adults are also experiencing our own impacts from the pandemic. When children see caregivers cope well, they learn some of those positive coping skills. When they see adults struggle, some children can have their emotional security further threatened. We all have our moments, and it’s helpful to talk to children in age-appropriate ways about your own reactions when you are calm. Modeling this behavior will teach children to do the same.
  2. Put yourself in their shoes. Ask them to help you understand how they feel. Consider the cascade of changes that the pandemic has brought about in children’s lives. Even for children whose families were not directly affected by illness or job loss, there are many other impacts that could be potentially traumatic for children. It’s difficult to imagine how children are coping with such uncertainty, so it’s crucial to meet them where they’re at by starting a conversation with them about their feelings.
  3. Listen for and ask what they need. Focus on helping them feel safe and understood. Safety is a key concern for children experiencing chronic stress and trauma. Caregivers need to keep children’s perceptions of safety in mind and talk with them regularly about how to judge potential dangers accurately. Ask them, ‘how do you think I can help you?’ and work together to come up with solutions. This will build collaboration and trust.
  4. Initiate fun activities and praise positive behavior. Find positive activities to enhance your family’s well-being. Even though many of our old activities are not currently available or need to be modified, families can still make new happy memories. Dance classes on hold? Hold impromptu dance parties at home. Outside of these activities, be sure to praise children when they are behaving positively. Highlight when they are helping around the house or being kind to siblings. Find delight in the things that they do!

The current COVID-19 pandemic situation can be overwhelming. In order to look out for the children in your life, it is important to make sure you are taking care of yourself. If you need assistance call the Colorado Crisis Services 844-493-TALK(8255) or text TALK to 38255.

Evelin Gomez, PhD – Department of Pediatrics, The Kempe Center. Learn more about Kempe’s Trauma-Responsive Implementation and Practice Program

Gretchen’s Grabs: Best picks for April in Colorado

I love April in Colorado. It feels like all the seasons in one day. One day we will have snow (and some ski areas are still going through mid-month). The sun returns in force and makes us dream about what our summer might bring.

Table Mountain Farms Easter.  If Covid taught us one thing, it was to help support local businesses. I tried the Goat’s Milk Caramels from Table Mountain Farms. They come in four flavors: Vanilla Bean, Cinnamon Vanilla, Whiskey and Salted Dark Chocolate. They each had a distinct (but not overpowering flavor) and the tang of goat’s milk instead of cow’s milk.

Lowe’s Weekly Spring Celebration. Lowe’s is celebrating spring all April long with weekly giveaways and fun. Week One – The Garden-to-Go kit includes a Bonnie Foodie fresh plant, Miracle-Gro Potting Mix, Miracle-Gro All-purpose water-soluble plant food, globes and recipes; Week Two –  Mystery Garden Pinata! Includes biodegradable flower pinata, mystery seed bombs and mystery growfetti; Week Three- Tree Saplings in honor of Earth Day; and Week Four – Lowe’s CAMP Butterfly Quest which includes wooden pieces to assemble and decorate and seeds to help create a butterfly garden.

Garbo and the Case of the Wet Footprints. We love local authors and Fort Collins-based Gretchen Cleveland recently released her new children’s mystery, Garbo and the Case of the Wet Footprints. This adorable story encourages young readers to use their brains and their instincts to solve the riddle at the heart of the book alongside colorful characters like sleuth-y Garbo and hesitant boy Jonah in this warm weather adventure for families.

Fast Food Clothing.  Fast food companies are jumping on the clothing bandwagon. Try the onesie from Dunkin’ Donuts, which my teenage daughter is in love with. Part of the proceeds go to the Dunkin’ Joy in Childhood Foundation. Or what about the Chipotle line, Chipotle Goods. Do you know always order the same thing in your big burrito? What about printing it on your shirt?  The line is dyed with upcycled avocado pits form the restaurants (and through their partner, Textile Exchange, helps in reducing the textile industry’s impact on the environment).

Elizabeth and Margaret: The Intimate World of the Windsor Sisters. I am a sucker for all the things Royal. I love reading all about it. I am excited to read the new book by Andrew Morton, Elizabeth and Margaret: The Intimate World of the Windsor Sisters. It is the biography of the sisters and how the twist of fate, their uncle abdicating the throne, made one sister destined to become queen. This dramatically changed their relationship forever.  

Van Gogh Virtual. Just short of traveling to Amsterdam to see the Van Gogh Museum this may be even better! Van Gogh Alive is a large-scale multi-sensory experience that will engage the whole family! The experience will have light, color, sound and fragrance helping bring Van Gogh’s masterpieces to life.  Held at the Hangar at Aurora’s Stanley Marketplace July 9- September 26. Tickets go on sale on April 20. Experience art and venture in to Van Gogh’s world.

Satellite Sisters Podcast.  I am probably really late to this party. But I recently started listening to the Satellite Sisters podcast (apparently they have been around for something like 20 years). But their fun laugh-along podcast makes my week! It is sort of like sitting down for a little chat with some great friends.  

What are your new finds? What shows, music, things are you loving right now?  

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. While clicking these links won’t cost you extra money, they help us keep this site up and running. See our disclosure policy. 

A Denver Sports Camp for Everyone– Skyhawks and SuperTots Sports

Are you looking for a Denver summer sports camp for your kids?

Skyhawks Sports Colorado offers ten different sports for kids ages 4-14. Programs are designed for the beginner/intermediate athlete. Kids will learn skills taught at a level they can understand, do drills, and play fun games to practice, but the focus is never on winning or losing. The goal is for every kid to walk away with a smile on their face, wanting to learn more.  What sets Skyhawks aside from their competition is a major focus on Teaching Life Skills:  Respect, Responsibility, Teamwork, Sportsmanship, and Leadership.

 SuperTots Sports Colorado programming is designed to develop motor skills, promote physical fitness, create self-confidence, and promote fun above all else. The goal is to help our littlest athletes learn to listen, follow directions, wait their turn – those all-important preschool skills. SuperTots offers five sports to ages 2-5. Even little ones have BIG goals!

Tori and Karl Makela purchased SkyhawksSuperTots franchise in Colorado in 2017. They were parents first, however, with both daughters attending SkyhawksSuperTots programs at ages 2 and 4. They wanted a short commitment with a fun environment to try different sports until they determined their favorites. Their oldest daughter just started her first league. After the first game, she said “I had so much fun even though we lost, but it doesn’t matter who won, just that we tried our best and had fun.” Proud parent and owner moment to know that the Life Skills taught in Skyhawks programs are being heard and lived by the kids who attend their programs.

Tori and Karl also get to work with an amazing team of coaches, high school and college-aged students, also teachers and parents who want to be part of the fun. Tori reminds the team often “this IS a job but go out and be a kid”. If the coaches are having fun, the kids are having fun!!

Every coach completes 10 hours of training, are background-checked annually and certified in CPR/First Aid. They also receive Double Goal Coach Certification from Positive Coaching Alliance.

Here’s what parents are saying:

“We loved that this camp was so close to home, making it super convenient and helpful with schedules. Zach had an amazing first experience learning basketball and didn’t want the week to end! Thank you for making it so much fun for the kids while keeping them safe. . . this was such the highlight of the summer! The coaches made the camp run flawlessly!”

“I’m encouraged at this day and age that your sports program values & teaches the importance of going beyond the individual player. Also, I’m always so impressed by the caliber of young people you find to lead these programs. I don’t find them on their phones, they look me in the eye, & their manners are superb. I’m so grateful I found your organization.”

With programs from Fort Collins to Parker and Vail, along with 10 different sports, there’s an opportunity for everyone. Visit skyhawks.com/colorado or supertotsports.com/colorado to find a program near you.

Denver Deals: Denver Restaurant Week, 50% off Swim Lessons and More!

A couple of years ago my daughter and I went to the Outlets of Castle Rock for their fun Mother’s Day event. They are at it again this year – with fun Moms and Mimosas. How early do you plan your Mother’s Day? Do you have your mom to your house? Do you go to hers? Do you go out to eat? Bunch? Do you spend the day shopping? How do you celebrate your mom?

 Denver Restaurant Week. Experience cuisine from the best chefs in town during Denver Restaurant Week, April 23–May 2. Top restaurants offer multi-course meals for one of three tasty prices — $25, $35 or $45 per person — at eateries throughout the city, many with expanded patios. I do suggest you go peruse some of the menus, but I warn you not to do it when you’re hungry!

Target Car seat Trade-In Event. Kids growing out of their car seats? Now through April 17, Target is hosting their trade-in event. Bring your old car seat or booster and get a 20% off coupon to use on new baby gear or stroller. Drop your car seat off near Guest Services, then scan the 20% off coupon that we be loaded to your free Circle Account (in the Target App). 

Denver Botanic Gardens Plant Sale. This year’s sale will be online April 26-29. Then you will pick up your plants via curbside pick up May 6-9. The Garden in a Bag offering has expanded this year (thanks to popularity last year), the curated mix takes the guesswork out of garden planning (and they help with care instructions too)!

Big Blue Swim School. Get 50% off of Swim Lessons! Big Blue Swim School opens its first Denver-area pool in Centennial in May. Located at the Smoky Hill Town Center, Big Blue offers year-round swim lessons to children ages six months to 12 years of age through a proprietary distance-based curriculum.  From now until opening day in May, families receive 50% off the first four lessons, and then a discounted rate on weekly lessons for six months after that. Go here for details. 

 Outlets at Castle Rock Moms and Mimosas. On May 1, 2, 7 and 8, shoppers can treat moms to a well-deserved day of fun and relaxation at Outlets at Castle Rock’s returning “Moms and Mimosas.” With the purchase of a $15 ticket, attendees will receive a $10 gift card to shop, a mimosa or bar beverage (must be 21 and older; additional beverages included for a charitable donation), access to a private lounge, a goodie bag, exclusive shopping coupons, giveaway entries and more. Up to $15 will also benefit the day’s selected non-profit organization, such as Healing Warriors Program, Special Olympics Colorado and 4 Paws 4 Life. Space is limited and registration for 30-minute check-in time slots is open at www.outletsatcastlerock.com/events.

 Elitch Gardens Will Open! Exciting news for thrill-seekers – Elitch Gardens has gotten approval to open this summer. The capacity will be limited to 3200 per day (about 18% capacity) and some covid protocols (yes, that means face-masks). The park will open to pass holders on April 24 so hurry – now passes are WAY on sale for a limited time (normally $179.99 now only $69.99) Kids 2 and under are free.

 Subway Buy One Footlong Get One-Half Off. Subway is offering a Buy One Get One Half Off promotion through April 14. When you order your sub online or using the app. Use code BOGO50. We love to grab a sandwich on a fun Spring Break road-trip up to the mountains. 

 Krispy Kreme offers Free Donuts to Vaccinated. Any day through the rest of the year, show your vaccination card for Covid 19 and get a FREE Original Glazed Doughnut. They have a few other offers going on – Be Sweet Weekends offers a Dozen donuts for just $1 when you purchase any full-priced dozen. And Every Monday through May 24 start your week with a free donut and medium coffee.

Annie’s Young Woodworkers Kit. This fun kit aimed at kids aged 7-12 is sent to your house with all the directions and details you need for your little builder to accomplish a real-world building fun! And it is on sale for 50% off the first one (use code JOIN50)!

Staples & Office Depot Laminate Vaccine Card for Free. I plan to travel later this summer. I’m not sure if I will need my covid vaccine card (assuming I can get vaccinated before I go). Office Depot and Staples will laminate your card for you for FREE. At Office Depot you will need coupon code: 52516714 or Staples coupon code: 81450. Just make sure you do it after you have both vaccines.

Taco Bell Rockies Deal. The deal is back on at Taco Bell. Whenever the Rockies Baseball team scores 7 or more runs in a game, the following day between 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. you can get four tacos for just $2. It is an awesome deal. You don’t have to buy anything else when you are there! 

Free Lego Life Magazine Subscription. If your kiddos love all things Legos and enjoy seeing all things Lego – this is a great grab for FREE. https://www.lego.com/en-us/life/subscription  

 Consignment Sales. Seasonal consignment sales are back! Just in time for spring, you can get some awesome deals. Check out our full list and then mark your calendars! 

 Free Days. Free days are back at some of the best museums in town. Check our list and mark your calendar.

Family Travel: 15 Fun and Quirky Roadside Attractions in Colorado

COVID-19 has changed how and where we travel and Coloradoans are blessed with world-class destinations right in backyard! 

Luckily, you can add some classic Americana to your next trip through Colorado by visiting the numerous unique — and sometimes kooky — sights across the state. These 15 quirky roadside attractions in Colorado are perfect for your Instagram photo ops and unique bucket lists.

UFO WATCHTOWER, HOOPER

On a trip to Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve, take a detour on State Highway 17 — also called the Cosmic Highway by extraterrestrial buffs — for a chance to spot a UFO. In actuality the watchtower is a 10-foot-tall viewing platform that takes advantage of the remote area’s high elevation. Pass the time with your eyes on the sky, checking out the Healing Garden or even camping on site.

ANTIQUE WASHING MACHINE MUSEUM, EATON

Not too far from Fort Collins, avid collector Lee Maxwell has gathered more than 1,000 vintage washing machines, many of which he’s restored to working condition. Dozens of brands and types are represented, along with other old-school household appliances like dishwashers, refrigerators and vacuum cleaners. To see the museum, though, you’ll have to arrange for a tour by phone or email.

TINY TOWN & RAILROADMORRISON

Head out to the foothills of Denver for a kid-size experience at a century-old attraction. Explore the miniature buildings built at 1/16 scale to resemble an Old West town, ride the trains (two real steam engines and one diesel replica), enjoy a picnic and have fun on the playground.

THE SASQUATCH OUTPOSTBAILEY

Bigfoot, Yeti, Sasquatch — call the hairy cryptids what you want, there’s no denying their place in folklore. Co-owners Jim and Daphne Myers have dedicated their store in Bailey to all things Bigfoot, selling not only camping, hiking and fishing supplies (handy for those plotting a stakeout in the forest), but also squatchy swag like T-shirts, signs and mugs. Plus, they’ve opened the on-site Sasquatch Encounter Discovery Museum, where you can learn about sightings. After you’ve snapped a photo with the lifesize Sasquatch replica, head down the road to the Coney Island Boardwalk, an iconic roadside hot-dog stand that makes an ideal pitstop.

LARGEST FORK IN THE U.S., CREEDE

Tucked into southwest Colorado’s San Juan Mountains is the small town of Creede, where you’ll find a giant fork propped up against the side of a building. Forty feet long and weighing more than 600 pounds, the aluminum fork is an art display that was specifically built by the owners of a restaurant and rental cabins to beat out the size of another fork in Springfield, Missouri.

MUSEUM OF COLORADO PRISONSCAÑON CITY

Take a look back on the history of the state’s prison facilities and corrections within a historical cell house. Originally the Women’s Correctional Facility that was built in 1935, nowadays you can take an audio tour through 32 cells. Peek in on exhibits and artifacts ranging from infamous inmates to a former gas chamber.

PETRIFIED WOOD GAS STATION, LAMAR

The name of this building (501 N. Main St.) refers to its original purpose, but presently it functions as an office for a used-car dealership. The history dates to 1932, when a lumber dealer built the walls and floor out of petrified wood, estimated to be more than 175 million years old.

COLORADO GATORS REPTILE PARKMOSCA

What started as a tilapia fish farm north of Alamosa has grown into a sanctuary for alligators, snakes, lizards and tortoises. In addition to education about the animals and a focus on maintaining an ecosystem, there are also classes on reptile handling and gator wrestling, documented by a photographer.

CANO’S CASTLE, ANTONITO

If you’ve ever wanted to see a castle built with beer cans and other scrap metal, here is your opportunity. Located a few miles north of the New Mexico border, Cano’s Castle is actually several structures that have been under construction since the 1980s and expanded upward over time.

BISHOP CASTLERYE

Who knew Colorado could lay claim to more than one castle? Southwest of Pueblo, Jim Bishop has been building a stone-and-iron fortress for more than 40 years. Though there has recently been a dispute over the ownership and name, the three stories of interior rooms, grand ballroom, towers, bridges and even a fire-breathing dragon feature all still await visitors.

JUNKRASSIC PARK, CHERAW

Bent’s Old Fort National Historic Site may draw visitors to the La Junta area, but not too far away is a bonus attraction in Junkrassic Park. Peruse the 80 or so sculptures made out of recycled farm implement metal, ranging from animals to punny notable figures (think: John L. Weigh) and even an oil tower “Awful Tier,” spoofing the famous Parisian landmark.

KEY COLLECTION AT THE BALDPATE INNESTES PARK

Perched above Estes Park and next to Rocky Mountain National Park, the Baldpate Inn boasts more than idyllic views and cozy accommodations — you’ll also find the largest public key collection in the world. In the early days of the inn the owners gave a key to each visitor, but the tradition evolved into guests donating interesting keys back to the inn, becoming a competition of sorts. Over the years, the Baldpate has amassed 30,000 or so keys (and counting) from all over the world, including Mozart’s wine cellar, Westminster Abbey and the Pentagon.

HERKIMER THE WORLD’S LARGEST BEETLE, COLORADO SPRINGS

If you’re heading south out of Colorado Springs along Highway 115, pay attention to the right side of the road past Cheyenne Mountain State Park to catch a glimpse of this big bug. Originally built in the 1950s, Herkimer is a monster-size West Indian Hercules beetle. Though a fence prevents getting up close and personal, its location makes for easy roadside photo snapping.

PUNNY SIGN, INDIAN HILLS

Just south of Morrison‘s Parmelee Gulch Road, what began as an April Fool’s prank has become a local landmark. When Vince Rozmiarek posted “Indian Hills annexed by Morrison slow down” on the Indian Hills Community Center sign, people began calling the police to confirm that the sign was true. All the attention inspired him to post a punny message every few days. Recent displays have included: “You can’t plant flowers if you haven’t botany, ” “Eyes on the road and head out of…your apps” and “Relish today…ketchup tomorrow.” Make sure to grab a photo of the latest phrase on your drive.

Source: Colorado.com.

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)

10 of Colorado’s most scenic waterfall hikes

 

 

Denver Restaurant Week 2021: What you need to know

After a loooong year, we’re thrilled that Denver’s popular Denver Restaurant Week is back April 23-May 2, 201. This 10-day celebration of the local dining scene highlights hundreds of top restaurants with multi-course meals at three tasty prices. 

Multi-course dinners will be made for delicious prices of $25, $35 or $5 per person.

If you’re still not comfortable eating indoors? Patio, to-go and delivery options will be available.

View Menus!

Search Participating Restaurants!

And make your reservation today. 

Blue Mountain Youth Ranch: This Colorado camp attracts campers from around the world

The Allen Family of Blue Mountain Ranch is doing now what they’ve done for the last 75 years – preparing for another fun-filled summer at their exceptional camp located just west of Pikes Peak. 

An anomaly in today’s world, BMR remains a small, private coeducational summer camp attracting some of the finest families in America and throughout the world.  Though some aspects of camp life remain much as they were years ago, exciting innovations have brought the program into the future.  A re-worked ropes course, technical climbing, a gymnasium, and special events each summer combine with horseback riding and hiking in the Pike National Forest, swimming, and sports to make this one of the most comprehensive programs in camping.  Coach Bill Allen and his wife Dorothy wanted to create a summer fun camp free of competitiveness – their daughter and son-in-law, as well as their sons, continue in this fine family tradition. 

Located just 35 miles south and west of Colorado Spring, Colorado, Blue Mountain Ranch is situated in an ideal setting for kids ages 7-16 for summer camping.  Nestled in the foothills of Pikes Peak, surrounded by Pike National Forest, the camp is in a beautiful valley with a mountain stream that leads to a fishing and canoeing lake. Large open areas are used for sports fields, tennis courts, outdoor volleyball, and other activities.  Staff members are carefully chosen for their enthusiasm, ability to work with children and their leadership abilities.  Those who work with horses, swimming, canoeing and ropes and rappelling either have special training when they arrive or are trained by our staff during orientation.

A summer at Blue Mountain Ranch takes you back to an easier time; a time when kids could be kids doing what they do best – being active all day and then playing outdoors until dusk.  On the first day of camp, each camper chooses 5 activities to participate in for the first week.  There are five activity periods a day.  At the end of that week, they may remain in those classes or switch to something else.  They can even make a change in the middle of the week if necessary.  There are also fun evening and weekend activities, including a Fourth of July Parade. The campers are busy doing what THEY enjoy doing – and most kids really like that!

Quieter activities include arts and crafts, nature crafts and drama during which the campers write and produce their own play for Parents’ Day.  Rainy day activities include bingo or charades in the dining hall, dodge ball or floor hockey in the rec hall or basketball or karaoke in the gym.  

Come share with us the warmth and spirit of a summer at Blue Mountain Ranch where children of all ages participate in new and traditional activities and where they are led by a family and staff who have their best interest at heart.  BMR is a fun safe place for kids to be kids by disconnecting with technology and reconnecting with childhood in the great Colorado outdoors! 

Do different parenting styles cause problems? What you can do to help your relationship

 
Disagreements and parenting – two things that seem to hit just about every parent. The question is does it have to cripple your relationship? Does believing in time-out vs. sticker chore chart really need to be something that after years of not being resolved causes divorce? 
 

Nope. It doesn’t.

Let’s talk about why disagreements in parenting style happen in the first place. As parents from totally separate families, the first thing that happens is we get raised by our parent’s values, their discipline styles, and their temperaments which then in turn shape us. If it worked for us….we tend to duplicate it. If it didn’t we tend to avoid it. 

 
Another thing that impacts our parenting styles is our own temperament. Can you listen to your toddler scream for 10 minutes before you blow vs your partner who blows in 0.2 seconds? It might not be that your partner disagrees with the discipline style but more of WHEN the line has been crossed because your partner has a different tolerance than you. 
 
The last thing that we find with most of our couples is that there has been a lack of communication around parenting styles PRIOR to having kids. Many couples discuss when they want to start a family and maybe even how many kids they want to have, but how many of you talked about the KIND of parents you want to be or the VALUES you have in parenting before your kid is laying down on the kitchen floor red-faced screaming because you gave her the blue bowl and not the red one?
 
So, what can you do the next time you and your parenthood partner in crime put on the gloves to battle it out over how much screen time is okay?
  1. Talk it out. Ideally, BEFORE the situation arises you two have a plan. You both should be on the same page with some behaviors you agree are OK and NOT OK, and you both should know where the line is and what the action will be when the line is crossed. The key to this is to listen to each other. If one of you says, “I want to spank” and the other says “absolutely NOT!” the missing question is – WHY? Listen to understand why certain ways of parenting are important to your partner. 
  2. If you find yourselves in the heat of the moment in front of your kids ready to snap on each other over parenting issues here are some things to do:
    • Whatever you do, DON’T discuss the issue in front of your kids. Pause the conversation, and find time alone with zero distractions to discuss. Our biggest trick: have a piece of paper (we call it The Issues) where we write down things in the moment that happen but is not the perfect time to discuss. We then meet weekly to talk about whats on that paper. 
    • Resolve your differences. Remember you are on the SAME TEAM! You both want the best for your children and invested in the type of people they become. It’s easy in the heat of the moment to see your partner as the enemy but they are not. If your parenting styles are in complete disagreement, you’ll need to compromise our biggest trick to this: brainstorm 5 ways to fix the behavior then agree on ONE to try. (The rest are not off the table, they are just there if the first one doesn’t work.)
    • Be UNITED. The security that being on the same team provides to your kids is more important than which discipline strategy you use. If your kids ask you to do something – when possible- don’t give an answer until you have talked with each other first. This will send the message that you two are united and working together. 
    • Revisit your plan weekly! Behaviors come and go. We have sat down one week discussing how to get our daughter to stop throwing her bowl of food on the ground and then the next week it’s hitting. When you sit down, discuss if what you wanted to try is working. If not, this is your chance to say- okay scratch that…on to the next idea!
    • Ask for help. Parenting is NOT something anyone should be expected to do on their own. It truly does take a village. If you have done the things above and feel like you and your partner have hit a brick wall- well that’s where WE come in! An outside pair of eyes, some extra brains thinking, and just knowing you are not alone can be a lifesaver for a relationship. Side note, you don’t have to be drowning before you get help either – you can simply get help because you want it. 
Chris + Sarah Helms are certified Relationship Coaches who specialize in Parenthood. Their workshops and private coaching help parents from expecting to older kids heading off to college find (and KEEP) the joy in their relationship while growing a family. Connect with them on IG: @thisisparenthood_ or via their website thisisparenthood.co.

Top 40: Denver’s Best Museum Exhibits in 2021

Denver’s cultural scene is ready to thrive again, as are we all! Denver is hosting some fabulous museum exhibits–some in-person, some virtual and some are family-friendly. Check out this list below and be sure to check with the venue prior to visiting in case reservations are required. 

Don’t miss Denver’s best museums for kids (and how to visit for free)

SUE: THE T. REX EXPERIENCE 

Thru Apr. 25, 2021
Step into the world of SUE: The T. rex Experience at Denver Museum of Nature & Science to uncover the mysteries about the life of this fearsome fossil and her nemesis, Triceratops. Experience a unique multimedia show transporting you to the Cretaceous forest. Learn how the fossil was unearthed, and how scientists continue to make discoveries about SUE, the most complete Tyrannosaurus rex specimen ever discovered.

PARIS TO HOLLYWOOD: THE FASHION AND INFLUENCE OF VÉRONIQUE AND GREGORY PECK 

Thru July 18, 2021
A selection of haute couture, fashion sketches, photographs, film clips, family snapshots, and documents will be exhibited publicly for the first time, providing a unique look into the style of one of Hollywood’s most beloved couples. Through more than four decades of material from the 1950s to the 1990s, the presentation provides an overview of how fashion changed as the roles of women in society evolved in the 20th century. In conjunction with the exhibition, Véronique and Gregory’s daughter, Cecilia Peck Voll, has gifted the Denver Art Museum 20 of her mother’s iconic looks for the museum’s collection.

SALVADOR DALÍ: GARDENS OF THE MIND 

Apr. 10–Aug. 22, 2021 
Salvador Dalí: Gardens of the Mind features two rarely seen series of fanciful color lithographs of flowers and fruits on loan from The Dalí Museum in St. Petersburg, Florida. Mixing flora with the artist’s signature motifs, these works underscore Dalí’s ongoing infatuation with his native landscape of Catalonia and the intriguing images of his Surrealist works. See it at Denver Botanic Gardens.

STONEHENGE: ANCIENT MYSTERIES AND MODERN DISCOVERIES  

Thru Sept. 6, 2021
After centuries of speculation, experts are finally starting to understand the mysteries of Stonehenge, thanks to archaeological excavations and advances in scientific techniques. Explore where, when, why, and perhaps most intriguing, how Stonehenge was built. See it at Denver Museum of Nature & Science.

SNAPPED VIRTUAL REALITY ART SHOW! 

Thru Apr. 2, 2021
Spectra Art Space presents an interactive VR art gallery that you can experience from the comfort of home — no VR goggles required! View and explore on your phone or computer and click on the artist plaques next to each art installation to learn more about the artists.

TRANSITIONAL EVIDENCE BY DONA LAURITA 

Thru Apr. 4, 2021
Colorado-based photographer Dona Laurita presents a series of ethereal images exploring “the thin veil” between reality and spirit and the emotions that can follow a shattering event. Using unique substrates, her images weave together text, lighting and moving visuals to create an unforgettable experience. See it at Valkarie Gallery & Studio in Lakewood

HISTORDOMEST-ICITY: MELISSA FURNESS & RIAN KERRANE 

Thru Apr. 9, 2021
This collaborative show is the brainchild of artists and professors at the University of Colorado Denver, Rian Kerrane and Melissa Furness.
We invite you to re-visualize everyday and historical objects and discover interrelated personal and public narratives within their multi-dimensional art installation. Experience it at Center of the Arts Evergreen.

FROM HOME 

Thru Apr. 10, 2021
This exhibition features recent works by Karin Kempe and Chad Henry, made during a year of lockdown and isolation. Creativity can be a lifeline in tough times, when we fall back into intimacy with ourselves as a refuge and true home. See it at SYNC Gallery.

WOMEN BEHAVING BADLY 

Thru Apr. 11, 2021
In works combining watercolor with historical photography, news clippings and text, Denver-based artist Adri Norris highlights women who’ve made history. See it at History Colorado Center.

SENGA NENGUDI: TOPOLOGIES 

Thru Apr. 11, 2021
This collection, on view at the Denver Art Museum, is composed of more than 70 abstract and conceptual artworks by the internationally recognized artist, a prominent figure of the 1970s Black American avant-garde and Black Arts Movement.

ARCHITECTURE OF FORM II 

Thru Apr. 11, 2021
Conceived and curated by Jude Barton, this exhibition honors the self-referential vocabulary of geometry. Barton believes geometry is the purest form of egalitarian expression, making it accessible to all. See it at Core New Art Space.

THE MODERN NUDE: CONTEMPORARY ART OF THE HUMAN FORM 

Thru Apr. 17, 2021
The Modern Nude exhibits the complementary and contrasting styles of a cadre of artists focused on one of art’s oldest and most timeless themes: the nude human form. See it at Artemesia Galerie.

JEFF AELING: NEW PAINTINGS 

Thru Apr. 17, 2021
Jeff Aeling’s painting travels take him all over the southwest. He finds himself returning to particular areas that allow clear observations of the weather, atmosphere and the unobstructed lay of the land. See his newest works at the William Havu Gallery.

REFLECTING VOICES 

Thru Apr. 17, 2021
Reflecting Voices at Colorado Photographic Arts Center is a collection of photographs from bodies of work by Alanna Airitam, Narkita Gold and Rashod Taylor. In photography, light that reflects off a subject is most often what the camera records to produce a photograph. Here the subject is diverse expressions of black identity.

BENEATH THE SURFACE: A STUDY OF SELF BY SARAH DARLENE PALMERI 

Thru Apr. 24, 2021
Beneath the Surface is Palmeri’s expressive exercise in self-awareness through abstract painting, animation and sound. Viewers are invited to practice mindfulness through an immersive presentation to better visualize a space where one’s self ends and the world begins. Experience it at S*Park Pop Up.

ORPHEUS – SCOTT MCCORMICK 

Thru Apr. 24, 2021
In this exhibition, artist Scott McCormick mines the subject matter, compositional geometry and visual aesthetic of 19th-century French academic painters like Bouguereau, Cabanel and Tissot. Utilizing both digital compositing and film photo techniques combined with his own large, custom-built sets, expansive props and headdresses, each image is a complex orchestration of divergent elements and techniques. See it at the Leon Gallery.

VIKTOR FREŠO | BIRTH OF SELF AND THE COMPLEXITY OF EGO 

Thru Apr. 24, 2021
Born in Bratislava, Czechoslovakia, Frešo creates sophisticated concepts and projects, presenting them as seemingly simple “pieces of art.” Much of his work reflects some version of a self-portrait, focused on the authentic self and challenging the usual ways of presenting self-portraiture in art. His work also raises debates about stereotypes of perception of art and values of artistic operation. See it at K Contemporary.

THREE ACTS: A SURVEY OF SHAME, EMOTION, AND OBLIVION 

Thru Apr. 24, 2021
In collaboration with Todd Edward Herman, Denver College Club, Alto Gallery and the Unperson Project, Three Acts braids three unique collaborations into one exhibit at RedLine Contemporary Art Center.

BLACK & WHITE IN THE 21ST CENTURY 

Thru Apr. 24, 2021
Black & white photography is thought by some to be only a relic of the past. To the contrary, some 21st-century photographic artists still prefer to express their art through this medium. This exhibition explores the work of seven contemporary B&W photographers and provides insight into their philosophies of subject selection and their reasons for choosing a B&W presentation for them. See it at the Curtis Center for the Arts in Greenwood Village

MUSEUM FOR BLACK GIRLS 

Thru Apr. 30, 2021
“Black Girl Magic” is more than a buzzword or trend. It’s the essence of Black women. The Museum for Black Girls is a space to celebrate this essence, as well as educate about the journey to our present state and liberation. Finally and most importantly, our museum serves as a love letter to Black women and our experience. This interactive pop-up gallery features multiple, vibrant exhibits. Visit at 1421 26th Street in Denver

TRANSLUCENT REALITY  

Thru May 8, 2021
The artists in this exhibition are striving for a sense of enlightenment by shining through the veil of translucent reality — where reality and fantasy overlap — to express their truths and mysteries. The featured artists in this exhibition utilize traditional and alternative photographic methods, in conjunction with Denver’s famous Month of Photography. See it at Walker Fine Art.

DREAMS IN BLOOM: PHOTOS BY FARES MICUE 

Thru May 16, 2021
Photographer Fares Micue creates dreamlike self-portraits that integrate natural and surprising objects in vibrant hues at Denver Botanic Gardens . Set against a dark, mysterious ground, her images document the hope and positivity of the human spirit. Micue’s first solo exhibition, Dreams in Bloom celebrates the individual beauty of the human form and the universal creative optimism within.

GREGG DEAL 

Thru May 27, 2021
Gregg Deal (Pyramid Lake Paiute) is a provocative contemporary artist who challenges Western perceptions of Indigenous people, touching on issues of race, history, cultural erasure and stereotypes. Through his work — paintings, murals work, performance art, filmmaking and spoken word — Deal critically examines issues and tells stories of decolonization and appropriation that affect Indian Country. See it at east window in Boulder.

APRON CHRONICLES 

Thru May 31, 2021
Apron Chronicles features photography, personal narratives and one-of-a-kind aprons. While the storytellers’ recollections were each prompted by an apron, they’re not about fabric. Sharing a depth of emotion and social complexity both intimately personal and universally relatable, the exhibit reminds us that we’re all in this together and even lets visitors add their own stories to the experience. See it at History Colorado Center

SHANTELL MARTIN: WORDS AND LINES 

Thru May 31, 2021
London-born, New York-based contemporary artist Shantell Martin has collaborated with iconic brands and artists from Puma and Nike to Max Mara and Kendrick Lamar. This interactive multimedia installation at Denver Art Museum features Martin’s signature black and white drawings that explore intersectionality, identity and play.

RADIANT SEASON: PAINTINGS BY KEVIN SLOAN  

Thru July 11, 2021
Sloan’s paintings elevate the often-overlooked plants, animals and discarded objects inhabiting the edges of the urban landscape: thistles, traffic cones, sparrows and the like. See it at Denver Botanic Gardens

ENDURING IMPRESSIONS: DEGAS, MONET, PISSARRO, AND THEIR PRINTMAKER GEORGE WILLIAM THORNLEY  

Thru July 18, 2021
Impressionism is one of the most well-known movements in the history of art. This unique exhibit at Longmont Museum features original paintings, charcoal illustrations and prints by iconic impressionists like Claude Monet, Edgar Dega, and Camille Pissarro. All three painters produced copious amounts of stunning lithographs in collaboration with printmaker George William Thornley. This exhibition is among the first to examine these remarkable relationships and to showcase the works that emerged from this influential moment in time.

GREGG DEAL: PYRAMID LAKE PAIUTE 

Thru July 31, 2021
What does America mean to a person whose ancestors were insulted in its founding document? Gregg Deal of the Pyramid Lake Paiute leads an Indigenous exploration of what democracy means in Indian Country through his unique, dynamic works at History Colorado Center

EARTH ILLUMINATED 

Thru July 31, 2021
Earth Illuminated is an immersive experience where the natural world and digital media merge to take you on an ethereal journey. Wander through a 13,000-square-foot space showcasing our planet’s beauty from air, land and sea. Explore a series of immersive environments and large-scale interactive art installations that change the way you experience art and nature at Denver Pavilions

COLORADO IN THE PRESENT TENSE: NARKITA GOLD, RICK GRIFFITH, NATHAN HALL, AND MAIA RUTH LEE 

Thru Aug. 22, 2021
This exhibition of site-specific responses, large-scale projects, photography, sculpture, sonic movements and works that may live beyond the four walls of a museum centers on how artists in Colorado are absorbing, responding to, grappling with and reimagining the upended world in which we presently find ourselves, from COVID-19 to Black Lives Matter, climate change and beyond. See it at MCA DENVER — Museum of Contemporary Art Denver.

JAIME CARREJO: WAITING 

Thru Aug. 22, 2021
This new installation by the Denver-based artist explores the relationship between confinement and duration. Through a layering of Southwestern symbolism, mid-century desig, and objects from his own domestic space, Carrejo offers an environment reminiscent of an interior waiting room and exterior courtyard. These settings intend to prompt reflection on various physical and psychological barriers experienced during the pandemic as well as also pose the question of what will come after this extended period of waiting. See it at MCA DENVER — Museum of Contemporary Art Denver.

KEITH HARING: GRACE HOUSE MURAL 

Thru Aug. 22, 2021
Recently excavated from its original site, this site-specific mural that Haring executed in 1983/84 for those living at Grace House, a Catholic youth center in Manhattan, now exists as a series of 13 panels and additional ephemera, including the original plaque, mailbox and two doors that Haring integrated into his design. See it at MCA DENVER — Museum of Contemporary Art Denver.

BINH DAHN: C.A.R.S ONLINE 

Thru Aug. 25, 2021
The artist-curated C.A.R.S. Online series features past participants in the long-running Critic & Artist Residency Series at Colorado State University. In this virtual exhibition, Binh Danh investigates his Vietnamese heritage and our collective memory of war. His technique incorporates his invention of the chlorophyll printing process, in which photographic images appear embedded in leaves through the action of photosynthesis. 

ALL THE COSMOS A CANVAS 

Thru Sept. 15, 2021
Drift deep into space and experience the majesty and wonder of our universe purely through images in this contemplative, aesthetic and introspective exhibition at Wings Over the Rockies Air & Space Museum

LOOKING FORWARD/LOOKING BACK 

Thru Sept. 19, 2021
Celebrate Historic Denver’s 50th anniversary! Looking Forward/Looking Back relives the early days as Historic Denver began restoring the home of the “Unsinkable” Molly Brown and the beginnings of the Molly Brown House Museum, which for the first time allowed the public to enter Brown’s Denver residence and learn about the mark she left on the world. 

JESS T. DUGAN: C.A.R.S ONLINE 

Thru Sept. 30, 2021
The artist-curated C.A.R.S. Online series features past participants in the long-running Critic & Artist Residency Series at Colorado State University. In this virtual exhibition, Jess T. Dugan explores issues of identity through photographic portraiture. 

STORIES WE TELL: THE COLLECTION TWO WAYS 

Thru Oct. 10, 2021
This exhibition digs deep into the Clyfford Still Museum’s vaults to present the collection in two complementary but alternate ways as a means to understand how artworks and their meaning can change based upon curatorial strategy. It begins with a new chronological presentation in the first five galleries. In the remaining four rooms, the artworks are grouped into specific thematic categories regardless of their chronology. 

THE CIVIL WAR MONUMENT “ON GUARD” 

Thru Oct. 15, 2021
This monument stood in front of Colorado’s State Capitol until it was toppled in June 2020 during protests for Black lives. Installed in 1909 to memorialize Colorado’s role in the Civil War, the monument holds multiple meanings for viewers today: a tribute to those who’ve served and sacrificed in the nation’s armed forces, a reminder of atrocities committed against Indigenous peoples, a symbol of white supremacy and injustice, a casualty of destructive lawlessness, and more. Lonnie Bunch, the first African American and first historian to serve as Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, said, “what you really want to do is use the statues as teachable moments. Some of these need to go. But others need to be taken into a park, into a museum, into a warehouse, and interpreted for people, because they’re part of our history.” See it at History Colorado Center.

FORTY YEARS ON THE ’FAX 

Thru Dec. 31, 2021
Take a nostalgic ride down Colfax, with stops at the quirky and memorable places that gave the street its worldwide reputation. See it at History Colorado Center.

BLACK IN DENVER   

Thru Mar. 5, 2022
Narkita Gold is a Denver-based artist who’s been honing her skills in digital photography since 2009. Her exhibition Black in Denver is a portrait and interview series that takes delves into Black life in Denver. See it at History Colorado Center.

NIGHT LIGHTS DENVER 

Night Lights Denver features rotating content designed by local artists and the community and projected on the Arapahoe Street side of the Daniels & Fisher Tower every Thursday through Saturday evening.

Source: Denver.org.