background img

The best potty training tips and how to know when your child is ready

Potty training can be stressful, overwhelming, and messy for parents.  To add to it parents can also face pressure from other parents to potty train children at an early age.

What is the right age for potty training and how do you know when your child is ready for potty training? According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, a child starts to be able to control his/her bladder between 24-36 months.

What are common potty training mistakes to avoid?

How to potty train my todlerI’ve been potty training children since 2001 and one of the most common mistakes I see is that parents try to potty train their children too young.  Trying to potty train a child before 30 months old can lead to more frustration because a child may not have fully developed the muscles to hold his/her bladder and the body isn’t ready. It would be similar to a parent being frustrated that a 9-month-old child isn’t walking. The child’s muscles simply aren’t ready yet and this is okay! Trying to potty train too soon can lead to a child having more accidents because their body isn’t ready.

I’ve worked with dozens of families where they tried to potty train when the child was 18 months old and the experience lead to an aversion of the restroom and potty training in general. This can cause a child to be anxious or scared of the restroom and toilet and can take weeks or months to make a child feel comfortable sitting on the toilet. I know there are children that can be potty trained early and do very well. I am not debating that.  However, when looking at children overall and making a general statement to how old a child should be before potty training, I recommend sticking with what the American Academy of Pediatrics states and that’s waiting till a child’s bladder muscles are formed when the child is closer to 30-36 months old.

How do I know when my child is ready to potty train?

    According to Toilet Training Guidelines: Parents−−The Role of the Parents in Toilet Training. here are some skills and behaviors children should have prior to potty training that will help make potty training faster and more successful:

  • Child can sit on the toilet for several minutes
  • Child can wear underwear for several minutes
  • Child is aware when they have peed/pooped
  • Child can express wants and needs through communication
  • Child can follow 1 step instructions such as sit down and stand up
  • Child can do some skills independently such as using a spoon/fork, pulling pants up and down, and washing hands
  • Child understands and can label things that are “wet” and “dry”
  • Child can imitate motor movements from others such as waving or clapping hands
  • Family is not experiencing any life changes such as moving, changes in child care, divorce, or birth of a sibling

If your child does not have the skills listed above, I encourage families to practice these skills especially sitting on the toilet and wearing underwear prior to the first day of potty training. Have the child be as involved in the process as possible by helping to pick out his/her underwear, the potty seat for the toilet, and reading children’s books about potty training.

Megan Dare is the owner of Guiding Growth, a parent coaching company that helps families work on areas such as tantrums, potty training, sharing with siblings, independence in the home, increasing social-emotional skills and coping strategies, and increasing language and communication. She has a Master’s in Education and has been a Board Certified Behavior Analyst since 2010. Get a free consultation at [email protected] and learn more at www.meganadarellc.com.

Deals: Labor Day events in Denver, peach recipes, Broncos deals and more

It is peach time. I recently bought a box of peaches from my neighbor Boy Scout (there are also area cheer teams that do this as a fundraiser as well). I am always so excited to receive my box. But I seem to always forget just how many peaches are in one box. I have eaten them plain, made smoothies, sandwiches, salads, cobbler, and pie (don’t miss our Grandma’s fresh peach pie recipe!) But what shall I keep doing with them now? Suggestions welcomed.

Labor Day weekend is upon us. Don’t miss our guide to Labor Day weekend in Denver and see these events below.

A Taste of Colorado. A Taste of Colorado returns to Civic Center Park September 4-6. The event features food, music (stages), market and more. The event is free to attend.

Cherry Creek Arts Festival. The Cherry Creek Arts Festival moved from it’s usual date of Fourth of July weekend to Labor Day this weekend! September 4-6 the streets of Cherry Creek become alive with artists, music, kid’s discovery zone and more. The event is free to attend.

Denver Chalk Art Festival. It is amazing to see the creations the artists can make with just a medium like chalk. The streets at Larimer Square feature over 100 chalk artists. September 5 and 6. The event is free to attend.

Boulder Creek Hometown Festival. Arts, Crafts, music, food – everything you could want in a great festival is featured at Boulder’s Hometown Festival down Pearl Street and the Boulder Bandstand September 4-6. The event is free to attend.

Broncos Deals. I cheer for the Broncos like any well-bred Coloradoan does – but it is even better when you can get a deal with it! The day after a win you can get a free donut at King Soopers, the day after any game (regular season) you can get a free 12 oz coffee at Conoco, the day after a game where the Broncos score at least one touchdown you can get a buy one get one free Arby’s Classic Sandwich or a Classic Beef n’ Cheddar.

Dog Days of Summer. I’m not sure of that saying I think it is when summer is coming to an end – but WaterWorld is celebrating the dogs with Bow Wow Beach Doggie Day, for just $9.99 pass (their humans are free) the dogs can have best day of their summer on September 11 splashing in the pools Cowabunga Beach and Thunder Bay.

YMCA of The Rockies. Did Labor Day weekend sneak up on you like it did to me? I didn’t plan anything yet for a little getaway on a long weekend. YMCA of the Rockies to the rescue. They have a great lodging deal at just $159/night at their amazing lodge which includes two free breakfasts per lodge room along with fun for the whole family like hiking, amazing views, wildlife, meet a Park Ranger program, an Escape Room, indoor roller rink and the new Outdoor Classroom (with fort building, water table and musical instruments). Reservations available at https://ymcarockies.org/Lodging.

Ski Season. Labor Day weekend is the traditional start of the ski season pass sales. Now is the time to look for great deals for the upcoming ski season. Vail Resorts is bringing back the Epic School Kids Pass. This allows kids K-5th grade four days at EACH of their Colorado Resorts (Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Keystone and Crested Butte). Plus, a beginner ski lesson and rental equipment on that day! Details can be found here.

Free Night. The Denver Museum of Nature and Science will host a free night on September 1 and a free day on September 20.

Consignment Sales. The fall season of consignment sales has already begun. We have a full list. The next great sale will be September 16-19. Mark your calendars now!  

Vail Resorts opening dates (plus, lock in your lowest pass prices before Labor Day)

After a smoky and hot summer, who else is thrilled for the prospect of a snowy bluebird winter?!

Vail Resorts today announced the opening dates of its 34 North American resorts, offering guests one of the longest ski seasons in the country with a focus on safety and the guest experience. The action kicks off at Keystone this October (fingers crossed), with the resort set to open as early as possible thanks to recent investments in a state-of-the-art, energy-efficient snowmaking system. And with enterprise-wide investments in snowmaking technology in recent years, 15 of the company’s North American resorts – including Breckenridge, Vail, Whistler Blackcomb and Okemo – are set to open for skiing and riding in November.

Rockies & West planned opening dates, which are subject to change:

  • October: Keystone (CO) – as early as possible, as weather and conditions permit
  • Nov. 12: Breckenridge (CO), Vail (CO)
  • Nov. 19: Heavenly (CA), Northstar (CA), Park City (UT)
  • Nov. 24: Beaver Creek (CO), Crested Butte (CO)
  • Nov. 25: Whistler Blackcomb (Canada)
  • Dec. 3: Kirkwood (CA), Stevens Pass (WA)

    (Click to Enlarge)

Vail Resorts prioritizes the health and safety of its guests, employees and communities and will continue to monitor public health guidance surrounding COVID-19. Details of any necessary safety protocols will be communicated ahead of the season as the situation continues to evolve. At this time, Vail Resorts does not plan to have a mountain access reservation system.

Deal

As the winter season draws near, so does the last chance for skiers and riders to get the lowest price on the entire suite of 2021/22 Epic Pass products, which saw a major price reduction of 20 percent this year. Labor Day is the last day to get an Epic Pass, Epic Day Pass or any pass option at the lowest price this year – unlocking access to resorts across the Northeast, Rocky Mountains and Pacific Northwest, including Whistler Blackcomb, which is now open to fully vaccinated Americans.

Colorado family travel: Breckenridge’s best kid-friendly resort

Breckenridge. Land of Colorado’s 14,000-foot rooftop, world-class skiing and its authentic Victorian storefronts that dot Main Street, a nod to its gold mining camp days. This bustling Colorado mountain town has long been a family favorite and we have stayed in a variety of properties that included a beautiful mountain home, B&Bs and condos. However, it wasn’t until I walked on the property of the Grand Colorado on Peak 8  that I felt like I had finally arrived. “Why have we never stayed here before?” I lamented.

We planned our back-to-school Breckenridge staycation to showcase the best of Colorado to our Swiss exchange student, Maelle and The Grand delivered. This Breckenridge property is one of the most family-friendly in all of Colorado (a bold claim, indeed) with pools, a fun center, an escape room and even movie theaters. Housed at the base of Peak 8  where, literally outside of your doorstep is Epic Discovery, a bevy of Breckenridge Mountain Resort’s activities that include the Gold Runner Coaster, Alpine Slide, an interpretive hiking loop and so much more.  Scroll down for all the fun!The Grand Colorado Breckenridge

The Grand Colorado on Peak 8

 If I’m being honest, we spent a few hours on Breckenridge’s lively Main Street and then did not leave our resort again. And why would we? The Grand Colorado on Peak 8 is the ultimate family-friendly resort in Breckenridge! Not only is The Grand’s location at the base of Peak 8 ideal, but kids love the Family Fun Center and arcade, 5 private movie theaters, 2 aquatics areas including 2 indoor/outdoor pools, 7 indoor/outdoor hot tubs and 2 kids pool/play features, the gold-mine-themed Gr8 Escape Room, summer Sport Court with life-size checkers and chess, cornhole, and other fun games and outdoor grilling spaces to hang out with family and grill up some dinner.Shuffleboard Colorado

We stayed in a gorgeous lock-off residence that gave all five of us our own space to decompress (except my husband; he was stuck with me but unsurprisingly didn’t launch any complaints in our glorious master suite). Lodging choices range from suites that sleep 4 to four-bedroom residences that sleep 16. All residences are lock-offs, so they are perfect for big or multi-generational families. Their four bedrooms have a huge living room, dining seating for 16, and 3 suite lock-offs giving everyone a private space. Parent privacy + staying connected are a win-win at Grand Colorado. 

When we visited Main Street, we simply jumped on the free shuttle at The Grand that took us anywhere in Breckenridge. Another option would have been the BreckConnect gondola which runs free of charge from the center of town to the base of Peak 8 in summer and winter.  We have visited many resorts over the years and there have been a variety of ways to access the activities but we had a first at The Grand: innovative watch-like wristbands that gave my teens free access to roam the property at their leisure! And roam they did. My son Bode dominated in cornhole, foosball and the life-sized chess and checkers while Maelle won at shuffleboard (the rest of the losers are still plotting our revenge; spoiler alert it happened sooner than later). 

Normally, we would have reserved one of the five FREE private movie theaters, each equipped with state-of-the-art video technology for up to 15 guests with over 150 movie options for all ages. And though those upscale recliners and oversized beanbags were tempting, we knew our language barrier with Maelle would be an issue. Note to self: See if they have silent movies during our next visit. 

One afternoon, we had an impromptu pool party on the deck at Building 3 (considerably less chaotic than the more family-friendly children’s pools with play features and a small water slide in Building 1). We grilled brisket on the BBQ grills. Lounged by the pool soaking in the mountain views. Introduced Maelle to iconic games like “What Time is it, Mr. Shark.” Had underwater swimming competitions when Bode ran headfirst into the wall (one word: payback). Sometimes our best memories are those that just unfold naturally and, in our family, sometimes involve blood.The Grand Colorado Patio

Epic Discovery at Breckenridge Mountain Resort

Gemstone Panning BreckenridgePeak 8, just steps outside of The Grand, is the launching pad for some of Breckenridge’s most epic adventures at Epic Discovery. Mountain Biking. Bungee Trampolines. Gold Summit Climbing Wall. Mini Golf. Gemstone Panning. Alpineer Challenge Course & Alpine Camp. And for the little littles: The Lil’ Climber Ropes Course, Lil’ Flyer Zipline and Lil’ Nugget Tubing.

Someone recommended we start with the Alpine Slide early in the day before it got too busy (sound advice). We had a blast cruising down the mountain in our summer toboggan but if you prefer speed without the fear of crashing, the Gold Runner Coaster is for you. Our gravity-propelled sleds were sloooowly transported to the top of the track and the downhill is adrenaline-fueled! Each sled is individually controlled so riders can ideally control the speed at which they zoom. However, if you are timid or have a timid child, be considerate of the rider behind you and implore the staffers to leave a little bit of extra space so they can have a full-throttle experience. Be sure to secure any loose items because, according to the tally at the bottom, the staff has found everything from hats to cell phones to an air-fryer. Sounds legit.

We made a brief stop at the Gemstone Panning activity where the water runs through a series of troughs called a sluice. We received a bag of mining rough, dumped it into a screen tray, lowered it into the trough and sifted away. Thirty seconds later, we had a treasure trove of quartz, pyrite, onyx and garnet. We boasted to Maelle THAT is how gem-panning is done in the USA. She later went on to get a hole-in-one at mini-golf, showing us how it’s done in Switzerland. 

We then soared up the Colorado Super Chair for a bird’s eye view of three of Colorado’s famous 14ers. Destination: The Alpineer Challenge Course. Unlike many ropes courses where you are forced in a singular line through the course, this one is in a choose-your-own-adventure format with 15 fun features that include a log walk, rope swings or the Challenge of Death (thus nicknamed by my husband). When we received our security briefing (participants must be between 72-220 pounds and of sound mind), my husband proved to be quite the opposite. As the staffer told us about the one incredibly difficult challenge that stumped most people, Jamie channeled his inner American Ninja Warrior, [barely] fought his way through it and his upper body was sore afterward.  The Challenge of Death is not recommended for middle-aged men trying to relive their glory days. Breckenridge Ropes Course

Breckenridge Activities for Families

  We started with a short walk to Isak Heartstone, a 15-foot tall wooden troll tucked away in the forest near the Stephen C. West Ice Arena. Some other family-favorite hikes in Breckenridge are the Burro Trail, Sawmill Creek or Carter Park, all just a stone’s throw away from Main Street. Breckenridge Troll

We headed down to Main Street and indulged in Sancho Tacos’ unique Southern fried chicken tacos with honey chipotle mayo as well as many classics like barbacoa and pork carnitas. Another family favorite is building our own sweet or savory crêpes at Crêpes à la Cart, a cozy outdoor creperie/food truck that requires huddling around the small firepit in the winter for survival (it’s worth it).

As my children have grown, so have their interests but I still took them to some of their childhood favorites. We shopped Main Street (Magical Scraps Boutique & Studio, a vibrant shop with darling local finds) and for old time’s sake, I dragged them into their second childhood home Peak-A-Boo Toys…and couldn’t drag them out. Some things never change.

One of my favorite Breckenridge traditions is hanging out at Blue River Plaza where lazy summer days found us playing at the mini playground and sandbox. We’d cross the bridge to throw frisbees on Riverwalk Lawn, play in the Blue River while listening to the live music at the Riverwalk Center and leisurely stroll the bike path. I couldn’t convince them to do any of these things but as we passed the plaza, our interest was piqued by a colorful street magician. We lined up front and center for his delightful trickeries with ropes, balls, nails in his nose, card tricks and someone’s $20 that somehow ended up in a kiwi. 

I watched my teens, delighted and awed, and realized that while our traditions may be changing, Breckenridge has so many opportunities to build new memories. 

Five ways you can help Afghan women and children

A bipartisan group of 46 senators has called on the Biden Administration to take immediate action to protect Afghan women leaders who are at “unparalleled danger following the Taliban’s violent sweep across Afghanistan and seizure of Kabul.” In a sign-on letter, the senators wrote: “We and our staff are receiving regular reports regarding the targeting, threatening, kidnapping, torturing, and assassinations of women for their work defending and promoting democracy, equality, higher education, and human rights.” They added that many of these high-profile Afghan women are now being “hunted by Taliban fighters who are going house-to-house with their names.”

To help prevent these highly vulnerable women from falling “through the cracks” of the government’s response, the senators are calling on the Administration to immediately create a humanitarian parole category specifically for women leaders, activists, human rights defenders, parliamentarians, journalists, and members of the Female Tactical Platoon of the Afghan Special Security Forces, and to expedite their relocation to the United States. 

For those heartsick and angered by the devastating news out of Afghanistan, another important way to help is by supporting the critical work of non-profit organizations working on behalf of Afghan girls and women. Mighty Girl shares these organizations that include:

  • Women for Afghan Women: WAW has been fighting for the rights of Afghan women for 20 years. Today, they are trying to help the women’s rights activists they work with throughout the country who are in extreme danger from the Taliban. 
  • Razia’s Ray of Hope Foundation: The Foundation has been educating girls and women in Afghanistan for 13 years. Their founder Razia Jan is seeking support to help the school accommodate the many new girls who have been displaced to their region in recent weeks and to support the staff and students through the current instability. 
  • CARE: One of the world’s largest humanitarian aid organizations, CARE has a long history of helping people in Afghanistan. In recent weeks, there has been a huge increase in the demand for emergency aid as many families have fled the Taliban.

Housing

Afghan families are arriving in Colorado. The International Rescue Committee said that they will partner with Airbnb to provide short term, temporary housing through their Open Homes program. 

  • To learn more about volunteering with Lutheran Family Services, click here. 
  • To learn more about volunteering with the African Community Center, click here. 
  • To learn more about volunteering with the International Rescue Committee, click here.

To understand why Afghan women are so horrified at the return of the Taliban to power, it’s also important to remember the harsh reality of what life was like for girls and women during the last period of Taliban rule from 1996 to 2001 and the widespread progress that has been made on girls’ education and women’s rights over the past twenty years. In a new blog post, Mighty Girl has featured a selection of books, both fiction and biographical, for children and adults about the lives of girls and women both during the period of Taliban oppression and the years of rebuilding after. Their protagonists are girls and women who dream of a future where they can raise their voices and pursue their dreams, without fear of reprisal. These titles remind us that we cannot abandon our Afghan sisters: we must continue to support their fight for freedom.

Frisco, Colorado: The ultimate summer playground for families

As we strolled down the Frisco Pedestrian Promenade, I paused to take it all in: Exuberant flowers in a riot of colors spilled out of planters, globe lights twinkled against the alpenglow evening as live music crooned down the street against a backdrop of enthusiastic chatter from the al-fresco diners.

Once an afterthought to its more famous mountain town counterparts, Frisco boasts a laid-back mountain vibe coupled with a vibrant Main Street and world-class outdoor recreation. The glorious Tenmile Range. The Frisco Bay Marina, one of the world’s highest deep-water marinas. The foodie finds (scroll down for my recommendations). The Frisco Adventure Park with frisbee golf and a full bike park in the summer and epic snowshoeing and sledding in the winter.

Frisco is at the heart of many of our favorite Johnson Family Memories. The Frisco BBQ Challenge over Father’s Day weekend. Taking bite-sized chunks out of the 55 miles of recreational paths that wind through Summit County. Frisco to Breckenridge. And to Copper Mountain. Oh, and don’t forget that time we biked around Dillon Reservoir across the Dillon Dam, past Silverthorne to the Dillon Farmer’s Market and kept going all the way up to Keystone. 

Frisco is ripe for exploration–while still remaining calmer and more affordable than its resort counterparts–and that is why this Colorado mountain town just 70 miles from Denver is one of our favorite family staycations. Frisco Main Street Mural

Frisco Pedestrian Promenade

There were many COVID casualties in Colorado but the Frisco Pedestrian Promenade is one of my favorite success stories. In order to facilitate social distancing, the Town of Frisco turned three blocks of Frisco Main Street from 2nd Avenue to 5th Avenue into a pedestrian and bike-only area for open-air dining and shopping. They also introduced parklets, which allow businesses to spread their operations onto parking spaces that provide comfortable spaces off of the pavement for Main Street guests during warm-weather months.

Main Street is the heartbeat of the town so we returned several times to stroll the Promenade and explore the collection of restaurants, tourist shops and clothing boutiques. Parking was plentiful and free on the side streets (a welcome relief after paying $35 at a nearby resort’s village parking). By day, we posed for pictures on the mural at 3rd and Main Street (where the street is literally your canvas), indulged in I Scream Gelato’s panna cotta gelato served in bubble waffles, shot a few basketball hoops and took a few swings on the [extra] miniature golf range. When we returned for dinner at Uptown on Main, we chatted it up on the locals while indulging in a locally sourced seasonal menu, followed by a leisurely stroll down the promenade at dusk, the barrel lighting illuminating our path.Frisco Main Street Night

Frisco is the Recreational Biking Capital of Colorado

There are hundreds of miles of backcountry mountain biking routes in Summit County but when my family comes to Frisco, we prefer to explore the Summit County Recreational Pathway. 

We rented hybrid bikes from Rebel Sports at 3rd and Main Street with easy access to the area’s extensive trail system. The outfitter has been a family-owned business in Summit County for over 25 years with a great variety of rental options for road biking, mountain biking and fat-tire winter biking (and, of course, ski rentals in winter). I highly recommend Rebel Sports for ease of rental.

I would not, however, recommend my husband for ease of navigation. What we should have done: cruised down Main Street and easily connected with the recreational trail system across the street at the Frisco Marina. What we did: Followed him on a wild goose-chase through a potholed alleyway. Prior to setting out, we reminisced when young Hadley slammed on the brakes near the Marina, sending my husband Jamie flying over the handlebars in an attempt to avoid her. This time, it was my son Bode who crashed when his tire met a pothole it didn’t like.

Once he recovered from his back-alley bashing, we connected to the Frisco Peninsula Trail, winding 12 miles along gleaming Dillon Reservoir toward Old Dillon Road, passing through wetlands and intimate aspen groves. If you’re looking for the perfect family-friendly biking adventure, Frisco’s trail system is the place. Frisco Peninsula Trail

Where to Access Frisco’s Recreational Bike Path:

The Town shares these tips for where to park your car to access the trail system:

  • Dillon Dam Road has a number of parking areas for day use close to the Recreation Path.
  • The Towns of Frisco and Dillon have parking close to the Recreation Path but both the Frisco Bay Marina and Dillon Marina have parking areas that tend to fill very quickly so please avoid the Marina lots.
  • The Towns of Breckenridge and Silverthorne also have parking close to the Recreation Path.
  • There is trailhead parking at the Dillon Nature PreserveSapphire Point on Swan Mountain Road, intersection of Highway 9 and Swan Mountain Road, and intersection at Highway 6 and Swan Mountain Road.Frisco Colorado bike path

Pedalboard at Dillon Reservoir

There are few Colorado mountain towns that boast a reservoir as expansive (3,233 surface acres) as Dillon Reservoir. Sadly, we’ve only ever biked around the freshwater reservoir and have never enjoyed its recreational opportunities. The Frisco Bay Marina rents a variety of watercraft including pontoon boats, fishing boats, kayaks, Catalina sailboats and paddleboards, as well as offers sailing and rowing lessons, boat tours and lakeside dining at the Island Grill. No swimming is allowed.

Fun fact: The reservoir is Denver Water’s largest storage facility and construction of the Dam was completed in 1963.

Most of our crew rented Stand-up Paddleboards (SUP), a great option for all ages to stand, sit or kneel.  Pedalboards are also new to their repertoire. Not familiar with these Hobie Boards? Following the basic size and design of the traditional SUP, they are like an elliptical on a board with a height-adjustable handlebar, a rudder, pedals for acceleration and a lot more stability than a SUP. Want to turn? What would normally be brakes on the handlebars are actually triggers that control the rudders. 

We were excited but unsure of how much physical exertion was involved with the pedalboards so we did what we always do: volunteered Bode to be our test dummy (he was, after all, mostly recovered from his crash the previous day). He seamlessly made the transition to learning how to balance and maneuver the board with just his legs and before long, we were all clamoring to try it. There are several islands to explore on Lake Dillon so armed with a map and smooth waters and those speedy Hobies, we explored the perimeter of this big-blue reservoir hemmed in by the Gore Mountains. Pedalboard Colorado

Other Family Favorites in Frisco, Colorado

Frisco Adventure Park for kidsFrisco Adventure Park: Frisco Adventure Park is full of activities for everyone. In the summer, the park includes biking, disc golf, ball fields, a dual slalam course wagon rides and a day lodge. Explore the newly renovated Frisco Skate Park, which includes 28,000 square-feet of jumps, bumps, bowl pockets, transition areas and more.

Hike to Rainbow Lake: Short and sweet (1.5 miles round-trip), this locals’ favorite trail eventually leads to the Peaks Trail (which goes all the way to Breckenridge if so motivated.) Venture through a wetland on a boardwalk, through aspen trees and lodgepole pines until you arrive at a beaver pond called Rainbow Lake. Go to www.townoffrisco.com/play/hiking/best-scenic-hikes/ for more hiking recommendations. Ever wanted to see an abandoned mining camp? Masontown is most easily accessed from the Rainbow Lake trailhead where you’ll find remnants of structures, mineshaft tailings, red brick foundations, and the occasional artifacts.

Willow Preserve: The preserve is on the northeastern edge of the town’s major commercial area along Tenmile Drive (which parallels CO-9/Summit Boulevard). It is a leisurely stroll with a boardwalk and interpretive signs and staggering views of 14ers Grays and Torrey’s Peaks and north Buffalo Peak. The area is home to a variety of wildlife, including American beavers, red foxes, brown and rainbow trout and western chorus frogs.

Get Cultured. Spend some time meeting some of the town’s most important figures and personalities; the Frisco Historic Park & Museum offers a free and self-guided tour of the town’s storied past as a silver mining town. The entire family will enjoy perusing the detailed exhibits showcasing restored log cabins furnished with antique clothing, furniture and more, while the kids stamp their historic passports in each building. Be sure to venture over to the Gatherhouse, a glass-blowing studio and gallery that offers lessons in transforming 2,000-degree molten glass into beautiful pieces of art. More than a few folks have departed with their own piece of glass art (following some serious cooling). Demonstrations are by appointment. 

Foodie Finds in Frisco

best food in friscoLunch and Dinner

The Uptown on Main. This family-owned and operated 22-year-old restaurant features two incredible patio spaces, Frisco’s only rooftop bar, and a family-friendly menu that includes American cuisine, Mediterranean, Southwestern, Pacific Rim and Traditional offerings like pizza, truffle fries, steak sliders, falafels, southwest chicken egg rolls, oysters on the half shell and more. There is a nationwide staffing shortage in the restaurant industry and during our week-night visit, they were operating with minimal kitchen staff and a condensed menu. Despite these challenges, they still went above-and-beyond to accommodate us which automatically made us frequent diners for life. www.uptownfrisco.com

5th Avenue Grille. We lunched at this neighborhood eatery with fusion cuisine and plenty of vegan and gluten-free options. Do yourself a favor and start with the Bison Empanadas with curried Yukon potatoes, puff pastry and a Chipotle agaze drizzle. While the boys opted for the delicious burgers and wraps, the girls opted for their delicious Udon and shrimp (featured image) and southwest chicken and rice bowls. Whatever your preference, you can’t go wrong at this casual and fun restaurant on Main Street. www.5thavegrille.com

Sweet Treats

About I Scream Gelato. Two words: Bubble waffles. A passion project inspired by its owners’ childhood nostalgia, I Scream Gelato offers gourmet, handcrafted desserts made with fresh ingredients sourced directly from Italy. Trained by a distinguished Italian gelato artisan, chefs at each location create a variety of flavors from scratch daily, including a rotating selection of unique gelatos from seasonal, alcohol-infused and even vegan flavors (seriously, try the pana cotta).  In addition to its gelato selection, the Instagrammable menu also features elaborate milkshakes, smoothies, gelato brioche sandwiches, bubble waffle cones, pancakes and more, including an assortment of espresso beverages and Italian affogatos. The best news? If you can visit their Frisco or Breckenridge locations, they’re now open in Denver’s Lowry neighborhood! iscream-gelato.comBest Colorado Bubble Waffle

Foote’s Rest Sweet Shoppe. Enjoy a sweet treat at Foote’s Rest Sweet Shoppe. The nostalgic sweet shop features old-fashioned candy in addition to house-made donuts, ice cream and fudge.

Breakfast

Butterhorn Bakery & Café The Butterhorn Bakery has been a Frisco favorite for breakfast, lunch and dessert for the past 40 years. Everything is baked fresh daily in the bakery. The café offers both full table service and quick counter service.  

 Bread + Salt: Bread + Salt’s menu features fresh, classic breakfast dishes prepared with a twist; you’ll leave satisfied but not weighed down. Try the butternut squash scramble and vegetable hash with beets and goat cheese. Open until 2 p.m.

Stop by Rocky Mountain Coffee Roasters for your coffee fix, and sink into one of their leather loveseats as you watch the eccentric local clientele caffeinate. The establishment has been roasting their own beans for more than 16 years, and at an elevation of more than 9,000 ft., they’re one of the highest altitude small-batch roasters around.

 Where to Stay in Frisco

Looking for family-friendly lodging in Frisco, Colorado? Start and end with Summit Mountain Rentals. This locally-owned and operated full-service vacation rental property management company has everything a family needs for their stay. We loved that choices ranged from small to luxury homes that accommodate 20+ people at all different price points. They have kid-friendly properties, dog-friendy and you can even book activities through them so Summit Mountain Rentals is a one-stop-shop. Dillon Reservoir Sunrise

We stayed in a generously-sized condo with penthouse views of Dillon Reservoir. On our final morning, I left my slumbering teens to explore the adjacent rec path. Shortly after I began my explorations, I ditched the paved trail and followed a hiking trail that skirted along the water’s edge past Giberson Bay Fishing Point and Heaton Bay Campground. Frisco was still asleep as I wound through the forested shoreline, the smoke in Colorado’s air turning the sky mystifying pink. Then orange.

I sat mesmerized at this laid-back town that, with its mountains, lake, and family fun, showcases the best that Colorado has to offer. 

Local Mom Learns the Importance of Early Intervention for Speech Delays

The prevalence of a speech and language developmental delay in children is between 2%-19%  

When seven-year-old Bennett Cooper was two years old, his mother, Lainie, realized that while she could understand what he was saying, most people could not. Deeply concerned, she immediately scheduled an appointment with Bennett’s pediatrician.

First Visit to Pediatrician

Bennett’s pediatrician didn’t express much concern during the initial visit, opting for the “wait and see” approach. He conveyed to her that Bennett is still growing and his speech would soon follow. Lainie still felt unsure about the diagnosis, but she trusted Bennett’s pediatrician. 

“I left the pediatrician’s office thinking Bennett’s speech would clear up on his own as he got older. He did become easier to understand as he got older, but it was clear that there were speech issues. He would often substitute the first letter of a word for something else and all of his ‘S’ sounds were pronounced with a lisp.”

​The possibility of a child showing signs of a delay can be stressful for any parent. Research from the National Institute of Child Health and Development indicates that when intervention is delayed, it takes four times as long to intervene in fourth grade as it does in late kindergarten due to brain development and an increase in content for students to learn as they grow. 

Denver Pediatric In-home Therapy

After conferring with her husband and trusting her instincts, Lainie decided to self-refer Bennett to Solace Pediatric Home Healthcare. After an evaluation with a licensed pediatric therapist, Bennett was soon scheduled for speech-language therapy sessions.     

Bennett’s first speech therapy session with Kim Vestal, a speech-language pathologist at Solace Pediatric Home Healthcare, was very successful. They worked on the letter ‘S’ and he graduated speech in less than a year. 

“Kim was amazing. Bennett loved working with her, and she made it easy for me by conducting the speech sessions with him at daycare. To this day, his ‘S’ sound is perfect,” adds Lainie.Speech delay Denver

Early Intervention for Speech Delays

Early intervention is crucial in ensuring that a child stays on track with developmental milestones. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, the prevalence of any developmental delay is estimated at 15 percent in U.S. children three to 17 years of age. The prevalence of a speech and language developmental delay in children is between 2%-19%. 

Only three percent of all children receive the needed public early intervention services by three years of age. The percentage of school-aged children receiving public intervention services reaches a peak of 12.5 percent between the ages of nine and 12 years. The gap that exists for children needing moderate therapy to increased levels of therapy, including additional behavior therapy can be addressed by intervening early, identifying with a comprehensive evidence-based medical evaluation and one-to-one individualized therapy by a specialized pediatric clinician. 

Bennett has been working with Kim for nearly two years, and he is very close to graduating.

“Kim has really empowered me with the knowledge to help and coach Bennett on a daily basis. I was a little worried when Bennett’s therapy was switched to a virtual session. but Kim has him engaged and excited during every single session. We have continued to reach goals exactly as with in-person sessions.”

“The most important thing I’ve learned about early intervention in relation to speech therapy is to act when you have concerns. My husband and I first had concerns when Bennett was two-and-a-half, and had we moved forward with the evaluation at that point, we’d just be that much further along in this process,” adds Lainie.

In case you missed it: Pediatric in-home therapy provides comfort and convenience to Denver families. 

In partnership with Mile High Mamas. 

Cherry Creek Arts Festival: 8 activities Denver kids will love

It’s one of Denver’s most beloved Labor Day traditions!

The 2021 Cherry Creek Arts Festival takes place Sept. 4 (10 a.m. to 8 p.m.), Sept. 5 (10 a.m. to 8 p.m.) and Sept. 6 (10 a.m. to 6 p.m.), creekside at CCSC, featuring 220 national and international artists, 16 performing artists, Creation Station with children’s activities, food and interactive experiences.

The event begins on Sept. 2 with a ticketed 30th Anniversary Kickoff event featuring a pop-up preview of select artists from the juried festival, live entertainment, passed hors d’oeuvres and drinks in a relaxed outdoor setting. Festival Nights take place Sept. 4 and 5 at the CherryArts stage in the Beer Garden from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Here is the family fun you can expect to see at the Cherry Creek art festival.

  • Chalkart. CherryArts and the Denver Chalk Art Festival will collaborate at the 2021 Cherry Creek Arts Festival, where more than 100 artists will create temporary chalk artworks on Sunday, Sept. 5 and Monday, Sept. 6 at the Cherry Creek Shopping Center (CCSC) in the northwest parking lot near University Boulevard and 1st Avenue.
  • Imagination Mural, Presented by UC Health. Visit Creation Station to add your artistic touch to the large imagination collaboration mural all weekend.
  • Ojo de Dios, Presented by Museo de las Americas. Saturday, Sept. 4 and Sunday, Sept. 5. Participants will be invited to use yarn and craft sticks to create Ojo de Dios, a traditional votive made and seen in many Mexican and Mexican American communities. Museo de las Americas is the premier Latin American art museum located in the Rocky Mountain West. They are dedicated to educating our community through collecting, preserving, interpreting and exhibiting the diverse arts and cultures of Latin America, from ancient to contemporary, through innovative exhibitions and programs. Cherry Creek Arts Festival
  • Watercolor Coffee Filter Flowers, Presented by Denver Preschool Program. Saturday, Sept. 4 and Sunday, Sept. 5. Participants will create colorful flowers that will always be in bloom with a watercolor coffee filter flower with the Denver Preschool Program (DPP). In addition to serving as a liaison between parents and preschools, DPP works to improve preschool quality, studies how preschool affects kindergarten readiness, and is a national advocate for excellence in early childhood education. 
  • Create-Your-Own-Opera-Aria, Presented by Central City Opera. Sunday, Sept. 5. Participants will choose 3 to 5 cards with emotions and musical terms and put them together in an order of their choosing. The cards can be layered (for example, a sad fast song) or consecutive. Then, the participant will create a topic from a predetermined list, choosing a noun, a verb, and a place. The Central City Opera singer will then improvise and sing an opera aria using the chosen cards. The participant can choose to improvise the music and/or have the CCO singer sing.  
  • Create Your Own Charity Box, Presented by Chabad Cherry Creek.  Sunday, Sept. Participants will create their own charity box and think about how their money can affect change in their community. Chabad Cherry Creek is a nonprofit organization focused on improving the lives of all Jewish people in the Denver area through synagogue services, educational programs and community outreach. 
  • Art Activities. Visit Creation Station and set your imagination free. Create your own trapeze artist, jester hat, lion mask, chalk art or explore the open art studio table. 
  • Creation Station Art Kit. Want to create artwork at home instead? Grab a Creation Station Art Kit to go and get creative at home. The Art Kits include several art project ideas and materials to foster creativity at home. Each project contains a printed and online “At Home With Art” tutorial option to keep kids engaged. Explore all of CherryArts At Home art tutorials https://cherryarts.org/athome.

Denver Children’s Consignment Sale Schedule: Fall 2021

Denver Children’s Consignment Sale Fall 2021 schedule is here!

Twice a year, Mile High Mamas does a round-up detailing Colorado’s popular children’s consignment sales. Thousands of shoppers find bargains on kids’ clothing for newborn-preteen, toys, strollers, furniture, baby equipment, books, shoes, maternity items and more…all at 50-90% below retail.

Be sure to check out the following fabulous sales. Always double-check the website for times and details and any changes due to COVID-19.

Denver Children’s Consignment Sales

August 19-22
Just Between Friends of Aurora
Thursday 9 a.m.-7 p.m. $2 admission; Friday: 9 a.m.-5 p.m.; Saturday: 9 a.m.-4 p.m. (25% off sale); Sunday 9 a.m.-3 p.m. (50% off)
Where: Arapahoe County Fairgrounds, 25690 East Quincy Avenue, Aurora, CO 80016 
aurora.jbfsale.com

Aug. 26-29
Just Between Friends of Longmont
Times: Thurs.-Sat. 9 a.m.-7 p.m. (Sat. 50% off); Sun. 9 a.m.-2 p.m. (75% off)
Where: Boulder County Fairgrounds, 9595 Nelson Road, Longmont
longmont.jbfsale.com

August 26-29
Just Between Friends of Denver
Thursday 9 a.m.-7 p.m., ($4 admission) Friday 9 a.m.-5 p.m. ($2 admission); Saturday: 9 a.m.-3 p.m.; Sunday 9 a.m.-3 p.m. (half-price sale)
Where: Shop at Northfield, 7950 Northfield Boulevard, Denver
denver.jbfsale.com

August 28
Mothers of Multiples Society Sale
Saturday 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
Where: Douglas County Fairgrounds, 500 Fairgrounds Road, Castle Rock
mothersofmultiples.com

September 16-19
Just Between Friends of Douglas County
Thursday and Friday 9 a.m.-7 p.m.($2 admission) ; Saturday 9 a.m.-3 p.m. ($1 admission) ; Sunday 9 a.m.-3 p.m. (half-price sale; $2 admission)
Where: Douglas County Fairgrounds, 500 Fairgrounds Drive, Castle Rock, CO 80104
douglascounty.jbfsale.com

September 25
Boulder County Kids Sale
10 a.m.-1 p.m.
Where: Boulder Valley Christian Church, 7100 S Boulder Road, Boulder
 www.facebook.com/pg/BoulderCountyKidsSale/

September 29 – October 3
Just Between Friends of Arvada
Thursday 9 a.m.-7 p.m.; Friday 9 am -6 p.m.; Saturday 9 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sunday 9 a.m.-5 p.m. (50% off)
Where: Flatiron Marketplace, 170 E Flatiron Crossing, Broomfield
arvada.jbfsale.com/homeView.jsp

October 7-10
Just Between Friends of Loveland
Times: Thurs. 9 a.m.-7 p.m.; Friday-Sunday 9 a.m.-7 p.m.; Monday 9 a.m.-2 p.m. (50% off) 
Where: The Outlets at Loveland – I-25 & Hwy 34
http://loveland.jbfsale.com/homeView.jsp

Oct. 7-10
Just Between Friends of Broomfield/Brighton
Thursday (9 a.m.- 7 p.m.); Friday (9 a.m.-5 p.m.); Saturday 9 a.m.-4 p.m.; Sunday 9 a.m.-3 p.m. (50% off)
Where: Adams County Fairgrounds, 9755 Henderson Road, Brighton
broomfield.jbfsale.com 

 Have we missed your favorite sale? Be sure to leave the information in the comments below.

=====

Consignment sales no longer in operation:

St. Philip Early Learning Center’s 29th Annual Consignment Sale (postponed until spring)
Supertwins of Colorado: Discontinued
Haute Tots: Pending
Bear Valley MOPS: Discontinued
New to You Sale: Temporarily Discontinued
Rhea Lana’s: Discontinued

Girl Scout’s new cookie is the chocolate caramel dose of hope we all need

It’s the hope we need during this pandemic! The Girl Scouts are to the rescue with their new Adventurefuls indulgent brownie-inspired cookie with caramel-flavored crème and a hint of sea salt.

Adventurefuls cookie will join the nationwide lineup for the 2022 Girl Scout Cookie season. Girl Scouts in Colorado and across the United States will offer the Adventurefuls cookie next season alongside favorites like Thin Mints® and Samoas®/Caramel deLites.

Every purchase of Adventurefuls, and the whole portfolio of iconic cookies, during cookie season, fuels local Girl Scouts’ adventures throughout the year: exploring what interests them, discovering their passions, and taking action on issues they care about. Whether they’re using their STEM skills to solve a problem, changing a law to help their community, having a courageous outdoor experience, or starting an innovative nonprofit, Girl Scouts build a better future for themselves and the world. Through the Girl Scout Cookie Program, not only do girls become entrepreneurs as they gain hands-on experience running their own small business, but they also earn money to fuel their Girl Scout adventures, which catapult them where they want to go.Girl Scout New Cookie

Also new this year, GSUSA recently announced new Cookie Business badges that help girls think like entrepreneurs as they run their own cookie businesses and incorporate online sales via the Digital Cookie® OR Smart Cookies platform. The badges progress from goal setting and effective sales-pitching in person and online to using market research, creating business plans, and implementing digital marketing campaigns.

Visit www.girlscoutcookies.org to sign up to be notified as soon as Adventurefuls and other Girl Scout Cookies are on sale.