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Colorado’s best farm tours and U-pick farms

Who else loves fresh fruits and veggies on their dinner table? Colorado is thriving with the farm-to-table trend and 

Create your own farm-to-table menu with a visit to the many farms that are eager to teach people about agriculture this fall. You can choose (and taste!) your produce right from the source for a farm-fresh meal.

Aloha Organic Fruit, Palisade

Learn the differences between conventional and organic farming as you stroll Aloha’s peach orchards, see how water is brought to the trees from the Colorado River and shop the farm store.

Jumpin’ Good Goat Dairy, Buena Vista

Walkthrough the dairy’s facilities, spend some time with their happy goats, taste all sorts of cheese, watch the busy cheese-making staff at work and even try your hand at milking.

 Bee Family Centennial Farm Museum in Fort Collins 

Two working farm museums take you back in time for a peek into Colorado’s farming history: Bee Family Centennial Farm Museum in Fort Collins and the Littleton Museum in Littleton.Bee Family

Berry Patch Farms, Brighton

Fall crops like apples, beets, carrots, garlic, onions, squash, pumpkins and peppers are ripe and ready. Meet the farm’s chickens, ducks and two cute pigs named Bacon Bits and Pancetta.

Cortez Cultural Center, Cortez

Take in the splendor of southwest Colorado’s high-desert topography while you see how farmers live and taste the area’s flavors on a Mesa Verde Farm and Ranch Tour hosted by the Cortez Cultural Center. Excursions include transportation to multiple sites, a guided tour, lunch and a tasting of craft beverages from local breweries and wineries.

Looking for some fall fun in Denver? Don’t miss our guide to Colorado’s top pumpkin patches and corn mazes

New African Penguin Habitat opens at the Denver Zoo

Who else has been obsessed with penguins since the popular documentary, March of the Penguins?

New Penguin Habitat at Denver Zoo

Beginning September 30, 2021, the Denver Zoo’s African penguins have a safe place to call home.  Endangered in their native range on the southwestern coast of Africa due to pollution, overfishing and other threats, the zoo’s 18 African penguins can be seen in their new habitat, Pinnacol African Penguin Point. Here’s what you’ll find at this new exhibit just inside the main entrance of the Zoo:

  • It’s more than three times larger than their former home in the now-closed Bird World and offers design elements that encourage the birds to display their natural charismatic behaviors and improve their wellbeing.
  • There is a 10,000-gallon pool for swimming, multiple burrows and nest boxes, and a variety of hardscape and natural substrates that mimic their Cape of Good Hope origins.
  • Guests, meanwhile, benefit from an entirely new and improved experience thanks to underwater viewing areas and ample space to take in soon-to-come daily keeper talks and feedings.


Many of the African penguins were born at Denver Zoo and cared for by expert bird keepers with more than 65 years of cumulative experience, including many who have spent time rescuing and rehabilitating African penguins in the wild. Members of the Zoo’s animal care team first traveled to South African more than 20 years ago to help save thousands of oil-covered birds after an oil spill threatened their colony. They have continued our work with the threatened species as part of SANCCOB, saving and rehabilitating penguin chicks, over the past 15 years.

Go to https://tickets.denverzoo.org/Default.aspx?tagid=4 for member reservations and to purchase tickets.

 

Your Guide to Denver’s Best Street Art for Families

Do you remember back in the good ‘ol days when graffiti was considered destructive? Well, like many of us, graffiti has evolved and has become a genre accepted by the masses, worth being explored and Instagrammed. Denver’s thought-provoking street art scene also serves an educational purpose and is a fantastic way to explore the Mile High City with your kids. 

Visit Denver has shared many examples and there are far more than we could possibly cover here — so be prepared to stumble across surprises along the way and in other neighborhoods throughout the city.

RINO

One of Denver’s creative hubs, River North Art District (RiNo) leans heavily on its industrial past, preferring to revitalize historic warehouses and factories rather than tearing things down. In that same spirit, it’s fitting that the district’s creative expression extends well beyond its galleries’ walls, with colorful and innovative street art around nearly every corner and an influential annual mural event called the Colorado Crush Street Art Festival in September.

Three to See:

“Reverberations” – Trippy, concentric circles comprised of geometric patterns overtake an otherworldly landscape in this pulsating piece by Damon Soule and Justin Lovato. Find it on the east side of Larimer, between 25th and 26th streets.
“Larimer Boy and Girl” – Artist Jeremy Burns’ clever use of a building’s extruding fins means you can only observe the complete image by walking toward it from a distance. Go one way and you’ll see a boy with a surprised expression; go the other to see a melancholy girl. It’s located at 27th and Larimer.
2668 Walnut St. – Vyal One tackled a massive project when he adorned the entire building at 27th and Walnut in hallucinogenic orbs and eyeballs. The result is electric. Denver rino art district

EAST COLFAX

Like one of its iconic neon marquees, East Colfax is abuzz with energy 24/7. Some of Denver’s best live music venues are here, and its solidly urban, slightly gritty nature is both a draw and incubator for artistic expression. With a grant program in the works, expect to see even more street art coming to East Colfax soon. (featured image)

Three to See:

“George Floyd” – In 2020, muralists Detour and Hiero completed a portrait of George Floyd on the Ready Temporary Services building located on Colfax Avenue at High Street. It was part of a campaign of murals that call attention to African Americans who’ve been killed at the hands of police officers.

“Walmart Girl” – Smiley faces replace the heads on a row of nude, arms-bearing women in this bold statement by Ark Artiste. It, too, is part of the 30-artist installation at Williams and Colfax.

ABend Gallery Mural – The gallery, commissioned Anthony Garcia and Caleb Hahne, features a transfixing image of blindfolded and closed-eye faces fragmented by lines and bursts of color. See it at York and Colfax.

THE ART DISTRICT ON SANTA FE

The Art District on Santa Fe is a designated Colorado Creative District, with the largest concentration of art galleries in Colorado — more than 30 of them. The neighborhood is splashed in brilliant color and covered in artwork from head to toe, inside its galleries and outside on it doors, alleys, hallways, sidewalks, walls, mailboxes, windows…you get the picture.

Three to See: 

“Love This City” – Artist Pat Milbery had long been envisioning a mural that would express his love for Denver, while VISIT DENVER happened to be looking for a special way to celebrate the 10th anniversary of Denver Arts Week. The two came together to make “Love This City,” a project that expanded into three murals in collaboration with three neighborhoods: Art District on Santa Fe (at 7th and Santa Fe), Golden Triangle Creative District (at 12th and Bannock) and River North Art District (at Broadway and Arapahoe). Stop by the Art District on Santa Fe and River North Art District to admire the vibrant colors and heart, bird and music motifs unique to each of the remaining murals.

“Smiling Boy” – The alley between Santa Fe Drive and Inca Street is one long chain of wonderful murals, including this touching depiction of a jubilant boy with outstretched arms, painted by an artist who goes by the street name B.L.V.D.

“The Mermaid” – Women bearing sensual expressions and flowing hair wrap around the corner at 9th and Santa Fe Drive. in bold turquoise, tangerine, lime and electric blue. It was painted by Josiah Lee Lopez, in conjunction with artist Ratha Sok and students of VSA Colorado, a program that connects people with disabilities to artistic opportunities. 

CONFLUENCE PARK

A hip enclave within the Highlands neighborhood, Confluence Park is nestled just east of I-25 where the South Platte River and Cherry Creek converge. The area enjoys acres of riverside parkland and a trendy collection of eateries, boutiques and condominiums — plus a significant number of colorful paintings adorning bars, breweries and building walls.

Three to See:

Peyton Manning – Well known by locals for his vivid murals all over the city, Gamma Acosta further endeared himself to Denverites by rendering a tribute to former Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning on the side of the Monkey Barrel Bar (Platte Street beside the Highland Bridge). The glowing Vince Lombardi Trophy was added promptly after Manning’s Super Bowl 50 win.

“Greetings from Denver” – Artist Victor Ving travels the country creating vintage postcard-style tributes to cities. Denver’s is a standout, complete with skier, craft beer, iconic Union Station, Red Rocks Amphitheatre and other sources of local pride. See it on the side of Denver Beer Co. at 1695 Platte St.

“Denver 1859” – While we were researching this article, we came upon Delton Demarest and Harrison Nealey, who were unloading a rainbow of aerosol cans, erecting ladders and beginning work to reproduce a historic scene of Denver in 1859, a year after the city’s founding when gold seekers were pouring into town. See the completed work in the alley a half block north of 15th Street on Platte.

SOUTH BROADWAY

As South Broadway undergoes a major renaissance — with theaters, music venues, bars, restaurants, galleries and shops flourishing like mad — the district’s open-air art tradition continues to thrive as well. Much of it is more of the “renegrade” strain of street art, with nearly every alleyway and side street on the west side of South Broadway sporting some kind of expression — from graffiti tags to elaborate masterpieces.

Three to See:

GB Fish and Chips –GB’s has given Delton Demarest free hand at covering the patio area and alleyway behind the restaurant with murals — from a playful sea-life soccer game to a tribute to the Rolling Stones and Led Zeppelin splashed across the Union Jack, this is a spot with plenty to take in.

Bushwackers Saloon – The murals on Bushwackers practically jump off the wall. Be creeped out by the green girl with ants crawling over her, admire the detail of the dinosaurs chasing cars, or imagine being swallowed by a giant tiger mid-roar.

1866 South Broadway – On a wall outside the brick Regal Vintage (a used clothing and jewelry store) is a portrait of a biblical Eve-like woman but with modern style, punctuated by a rather colorful serpent. It was created by Victoriano Rivera, a young artist with a growing reputation.

 

National Coffee Day deals in Denver, win Addams Family 2 tix and more

How early do you start shopping for Christmas? I don’t usually start this early – but according to a report on NBC News, the supply chain is delayed (thanks to a combination of Covid and lack of workers to unload the boats), that one store says it will “hoard” items and not put them all out now – because when Christmas time comes along – the store will not easily replace the [toy] item.

 Fall Fun in Denver. Don’t miss our guide to Colorado’s top pumpkin patches and corn mazes this fall. Also, where to find Colorado’s Best Fall Colors: Best drives, hikes, ghost towns and farms.

Addams Family 2 Movie. Everyone’s favorite spooky family is back! Enter to win ticket’s for four (4) to see THE ADDAMS FAMILY 2 in theaters! Email [email protected]com with subject line “Spooky Mama” for your chance to win! Winners will be notified via email by 9/30. One entry per person, multiple entries will be disqualified. THE ADDAMS FAMILY 2 in theaters and PVOD October 1st. For more information on the movie visit www.unitedartistsreleasing.com/the-addams-family-2/

 National Coffee Day. Does your day not begin until you’ve had your coffee? Maybe the best place to meet friends is the local coffee shop? Or winding down after a great meal and want to get a coffee? Any way you drink coffee it is very much a part of Americana – and National Coffee Day on Wednesday, September 29 celebrates it.

·         Starbucks. Starbucks rarely gives out freebies – but this Wednesday if you bring a clean, empty, reusable cup (up to 20 oz) you will receive a free cup of Pike Place Roast brewed coffee.

·         Dunkin’ Donuts. While donuts is in the name they are as well known for their coffee as their donuts so in celebration of National Coffee Day, Wednesday, September 29 DD Perks members (it’s free to join) can get a free medium hot or iced coffee with any purchase. (And maybe grab a donut while you’re there).

·         McDonalds. Download the app for a 99-cent hot or iced coffee (through the end of the year – can be used once a day). Or when you use the MyMcDonalds Rewards, you earn a freebie after you make a first purchase.

·         7-Eleven. Members of their loyalty club will get a free coffee with the purchase of a baked good this Wednesday.

·         Krispy Kreme. This Wednesday, get a free brewed coffee and donut, no purchase necessary. (You can also get a free glazed donut for showing a valid Covid-19 vaccination card).

·         Sonic. Get the new Mocha Crunch Blast for half off in the app!

·         Einstein Bros Bagels. Coffee is free every day when you order ahead it the app!

·         Boyer’s Coffee. Score awesome deals for deals on coffee to brew at home! Get an 11 or 12 oz coffee for just $6.50 (saving just over 30%) or $16.50 for the Coffee Lovers’ size (2.25 lbs)

 Nurture’s Fall Open House. Nurture (2949 Federal Blvd) is celebrating with an open house Tuesday, September 28 from 5:30 to 8p.m. The whole community is invited to attend the free open house event with festivities like Fitness demos; 50% off services from Hydrate IV Bar’; activities and offers from Nurture’s Wellness providers; and pop-ups including Ignite Your Aura, the Conscious Merchant, Tarot Card Reading by Tean and Tombstones, local artists and more!

 Dairy Block Oktoberfest. Enjoy the fresh fall air while shopping, drinking & dining at the Oktoberfest Fall Market curated by American Field held in the Dairy Block Alley this September & October. There will be awesome merchants, entertainment as well as deals on food and drinks. The Oktoberfest Fall Market at Dairy Block will be held from 1 p.m. – 7 p.m. on Friday & Saturday and noon – 5 p.m. on Sunday over two more weekends: Oct 1 – 3; & Oct 8 – 10

 Hispanic Heritage Month at First Bank. Fiesta Friday starts at 1st Bank! Celebrating the contributions and history of Hispanic and Latino Americans FirstBank is offering FREE Hispanic-inspired food, treats and entertainment. For locations/times visit their website: https://efirstbankblog.com/fiestafriday/

 Jack O’Lantern Visit Hudson Gardens. Ever wonder what 5,000 magical magnificent hand-carrved pumpkins look like? (or what it would be like to light all those)? Hudson’s Garden is the place to check out a nautical sea-scape, dinosaurs, dragons or nearly any other theme-carved pumpkin. It is fun for the whole family open October 1-31. Tickets are $14.99/adult; $10,99/child.  

 GoodBuy Gear. I love it when a simple purchase on my side also helps my community. When you purchase GoodBuy Gear’s Diapering Collection during Diaper Need Awareness Week (Sept 27-Oct 3); 10% of the proceeds will be donated to the National Diaper Bank Network or you can help directly by shopping WeeCycle’s Amazon Baby Registry

 Ski Season. Looking for great deals for the upcoming ski season? Get your season passes sooner rather than later! Most of the passes will continue to go up in price through their final sell date – which is usually right around Thanksgiving but you can usually save up to $50 by getting it earlier in the sales cycle. Plus now is the time to get the Vail Resorts 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 or the Colorado Ski Country’s Passport which allows 4th, 5th and 6th graders to get 4 days of skiing at each of the 21 member ski areas for just $59. Details can be found here.

 Consignment Sales. Just two more sales this consignment season! 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). At The Outlets at Loveland – I-25 & Hwy 34. http://loveland.jbfsale.com/homeView.jsp
  • 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). At Adams County Fairgrounds, 9755 Henderson Road, Brighton. Broomfield.jbfsale.com 

 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.

Fun new play fort in Littleton + ways to get Denver kids outside

What would spending Just 20 Minutes Outside every day do for our kids’ physical and mental health?

Generation Wild, a movement created by Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO), has set up a fort in Littleton for children to play in as part of their “Just 20 Minutes Outside” campaign. Stern Park Fort

The free-standing fort is 22′ long, 13′ wide and over 18′ tall. The Generation Wild Fort inspires kids to spend time outside by traveling to different parks in the state of Colorado – and Littleton is the second stop on the tour! Kids can use their imagination with the fort playing games and playing with the ribbons. 

 Generation Wild’s campaign is geared towards improving children’s mental health. This downloadable, printable and trackable list provides parents with 20 ideas to spark creativity outside without driving far or spending money. 

Sterne Park is located at 5800 S Spotswood Street, Littleton and the fort will be set up for enjoying through October.

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Ways for Colorado Kids to Get Outdoors

Denver’s Bet Pumpkin Patches & Corn Mazes

Colorado’s Best Fall Colors: Best drives, hikes, ghost towns and farms

Denver’s Best Hikes for Families

South Platte River Trail’s 25+ best parks, trails, restaurants and museums

Field of Dreams: How this Colorado town’s football field brought a nation together

Until recently, the Branson, Colorado Bearcats football team had largely gone unnoticed by most of the world. That was until a group of opposing coaches refused to play in Branson anymore— because of their field.

The coaches were worried that their players would get hurt on what’s been described as the worst football field in America with gopher holes and snake holes. You see, Branson is a stone’s throw away from New Mexico in the high-low plains that gets very little precipitation so maintaining a grass field is just not possible. 

So, the team needed a new turf field. Problem is, they didn’t have a few hundred thousand dollars laying around to pay for it. The Branson School District is one of the poorest in the state, with more than half of its students qualifying for free or reduced-price lunches.

So, Coach Brad Doherty reached out to some local TV stations to try to drum up support for a campaign to raise money for a new field. Some national outlets picked up on the worst football field in America and the rest they say, is history as they raised more than half a million dollars and have the best field in the league.

‘Boo at the Zoo’ is out, ‘Wild Fall’ is in at the Denver Zoo!

There won’t be any trick-or-treating at the Denver Zoo this fall but their new fall celebration, Wild Fall, offers all the family-focused fun of Boo at the Zoo, but with some enhancements and twists aimed at connecting guests to the natural—and supernatural—world. Wild Fall runs throughout the month of October with multiple moments of mystical surprises and more than 3,000 wild animals to discover. As guests explore the Zoo’s 84-acre campus, they’ll find the following:

  • Convincing evidence that cryptids—mythical beasts that are believed, but not yet proven, to exist—walk among us.
  •  Costumes and characters, creature-carved pumpkins, festive food and drink, and special animal demonstrations that link these supernatural beings—like Bigfoot and the Kraken—to wildlife around the world.  
  • The Zoo will NOT be offering trick-or-treating and candy during Wild Fall, however, guests are welcome to bring their own Halloween candy—and other snacks and drinks—to enjoy throughout the day.  
  • Guests are strongly encouraged to wear costumes—especially animal costumes—but are asked to refrain from wearing masks that cover eyes or outfits that are scary or gory. 

 

 All Wild Fall activities are part of regular daytime admission and take place throughout normal daytime hours starting at 8:30 a.m. for members and 10 a.m. for the general public. 

Members and guests are encouraged to reserve/purchase tickets in advance due to the popularity of the event and the likelihood that many days and timeslots will sell out. For more information about Wild Fall and to purchase tickets, visit DenverZoo.org/Events/WildFall

Fall Family Fun in Denver

Colorado’s best fall colors, drives, hikes, ghost towns and farms

Top 20 places to see fall foliage in Colorado (divided up by time of year and elevation!)

Guide to Colorado’s Best Fall Drives, Hikes and Leaf Peeping

Colorado travel: 5 scenic byways for fall colors

Fall Colors: Five Colorado towns that glow gold

 

The Gender Gap in STEM, and How to Help Your Daughters Beat It!

What is the STEM Gender Gap?

The gender gap within science, technology, engineering and math refers to the lack of women within STEM career fields after college. Studies show that although women make up about half of the U.S. college-educated workforce, only 27% of them work within STEM-related fields post-graduation. The stereotype of STEM being a male-oriented career path is perceived to develop at kindergarten age, but the association of STEM being a male-dominated field is still strong throughout a child’s junior high and high school careers.

One of the ways that parents can overcome their children’s own bias to this gender gap is by bringing them to a neutral and fun experience like Energy Day Colorado on Saturday, September 25! Find out more about the event at the end of this article.

What is the reason behind the STEM Gender Gap?

The gender gap within STEM fields has not necessarily evolved from males outperforming females academically, but because most boys choose to further their education in those fields. In fact, males outweigh females in the workplace with a 4-1 male to female ratio.

In a recent study, NYU researchers found that males are more likely to pursue STEM-related careers compared to women even if the males are lower performing. Girl’s self-confidence is a necessity in being able to perform at a high level in STEM classes, and most girls lack this characteristic. This in turn directly affects young girl’s motivation and overall enjoyment in STEM-related activities and classes. Not to mention the underrepresentation of women in this field also diminishes the amount of role models for young girls to model themselves after.

The more girls that pursue a career in STEM, the more female role models there will be for future generations. Furthermore, most girls lack the knowledge of what STEM is, the opportunities that STEM careers can give them, and how to pursue a career in those fields. Most girls seem to identify with pursuing a creative career path, but not many make the connection that creativity and STEM go hand in hand. Only 37% of girls think certain STEM jobs can involve being creative.STEM Festival Denver

How do we close the STEM Gap?

Gender bias begins at an early age, and it is difficult to extinguish it completely. So what can you do to encourage your sons and more importantly, your daughters, to pursue a STEM career? Having encouraging teachers is vital to a child’s interest in STEM, but having encouraging parents too makes a world of difference. Girls who are encouraged by their parents are twice as likely to retain an interest in STEM and pursue their desired career interests.

After-school clubs and activities that are STEM-oriented also help to reinforce the idea that kids are capable of any career in STEM-related fields. In fact, 77% of junior high and high school girls felt more powerful in the pursuit of their STEM career path by joining an after-school club. As the interest in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics sinks lower and lower, more employers are searching to hire bright students as new technologies emerge every day. It’s time to encourage our children’s interest in science, technology, math, and science for years to come. So there’s no better time than now to get them interested in STEM than at Energy Day – a free family festival, Saturday, September 25th from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. where you can do just that! See you there!

To learn more about Denver’s Energy Day Festival, click here!

In partnership with Mile High Mamas. 

 

Spooked! These 5 haunted Denver hotels will give you a scare

Want to get spooked? These Denver haunted hotels boast spooky histories and if you’re lucky, ghostly apparitions, faucets turning off and on, flickering lights, and eerie sounds for your stay. Visit Denver shares Denver’s best-haunted hotels. 

THE STANLEY HOTEL

Well known as the inspiration for Stephen King’s classic horror novel “The Shining,” this Estes Park hotel is regularly featured as one of America’s most haunted hotels. In 1911, chief housekeeper Elizabeth Wilson was involved in an explosion that blasted her through the floor into a room one story below. The location of the explosion was repaired and converted into Room 217, the same room King visited when writing “The Shining.” Guests staying in Room 217 often report unwanted housekeeping services, including having items put away or unpacked despite no housekeepers having been by. No living housekeepers, anyway!

But it isn’t just room 217. Most of the rooms in the hotel have had haunted experiences, including items that seem to move by themselves and lights that turn on and off. In fact, the entire fourth floor of The Stanley Hotel (formerly the servant quarters) is quite active. Often, the sound of children playing in the halls of The Stanley can be heard — even when no children are present. 

THE LUMBER BARON INN & GARDENS

Shortly after the current owner of the Lumber Baron purchased the rundown mansion, he described it as a “haunted house on a movie set.” Known around the neighborhood as the “haunted castle,” the Queen Anne-style mansion was the site of a 1970 murder of two young women. Paranormal activity is a weekly occurrence at the Lumber Baron, with reports of strange voices, furniture moved in rooms, windows closing and cold spots throughout the property. Visions have been reported of a woman in a flapper-style dress holding champagne, followed by a rush of cold air. The pyramid-shaped roof atop the third floor was supposedly built as a portal to another dimension. Guests can tap into the great beyond during the inn’s Magical Tea, a traditional high tea that also includes Victorian card reading, divination, spell candles and crystal prescriptions.

THE OXFORD HOTEL

Denver’s oldest boutique hotel, The Oxford, is located in the trendy LoDo neighborhood and offers top-notch amenities and a luxurious spa. This 123-year-old hotel is also known for its haunted past, from tales of locked bathroom stalls to sinks that turn on and off during the night. But the real mystery lies behind the door of Room 320. In 1898, a woman named Florence Montague shot and killed her lover before taking her own life in that room. Since then, single male guests who stay in Room 320 have reported sheets being ripped off the bed and their arms being pulled by an unseen force. But the unexplained terror doesn’t end there.

The hotel’s Cruise Room bar is known for its martinis, its iconic Art Deco style — and a mysterious postal worker. Bartenders routinely report a man walking into the bar wearing an old post office uniform. He always orders a beer before muttering “the children, I have to get the gifts to the children.” Then he appears to drink the beer and leave. However, when the bartender picks up his bottle, it’s always full. Research has revealed a story of a postal worker from the 1930s who was on his way to deliver Christmas presents to nearby Central City, but the gifts were never delivered. That spring, his decomposed body was found on the way to Central City with all of the Christmas gifts still with him. That single beer at the Cruise Room may have been his last, and it may explain why he keeps coming back for one last sip. 

THE BROWN PALACE HOTEL & SPA 

Downtown Denver’s Brown Palace opened its doors on August 12, 1892. For more than a century, the luxurious hotel and spa has stood as an anchor to the city’s bustling financial and cultural district, playing host to presidents, prime ministers and celebrities.

The Brown Palace Club, a triangular space that once served as campaign headquarters for Dwight D. Eisenhower and as a private gentlemen’s club, is the source of more spooky stories than any other part of the building. Examples include reports of lights that turn on and off by themselves and of carpet that crawls underfoot like something alive. Often spotted in the Club entryway or just outside of it is a man in a dark suit or uniform and a cap. Witnesses have described him as looking like an old-fashioned railroad conductor. When approached by the living, this specter silently retreats to the ground floor and into the corner wall of the hotel. When the hotel first opened, the ground floor was encircled by retail shops and businesses, including the Rock Island Railroad ticket office in that same corner.

PATTERSON INN

“The Castle Project” is a documentary about the haunted history of the Patterson Inn in Capitol Hill, formerly known as the Croke Patterson Mansion. Filmmaker Brian Higgins documents workers as they transform the 124-year-old mansion into a modern bed and breakfast. Most of the workers are initially skeptical of ghosts, but after encountering apparitions, whispering voices and peculiar odors, they quickly realize they may not be alone in the house.

Built in 1890 by Thomas B. Croke, the red sandstone mansion is 14,000 square feet of elegant beauty. It is also said to be one of the most haunted buildings in Denver. Croke only owned the mansion for two years, after which he sold it to Thomas M. Patterson. Despite the mansion’s long history, it wasn’t until the 1970s that people began to experience strange occurrences. During renovations to the property, construction crews began to notice the work they had done the day prior was always in disarray when they returned. Thinking this the work of vandals, they left a pair of guard dogs to monitor the property overnight. When the workers returned the following day, both dogs were found dead on the sidewalk, having jumped from the third-floor window.

Today, the mansion has been transformed into an exquisite bed and breakfast with modern luxuries and amenities. But the presence of paranormal activity may still remain within the walls of the old mansion, and guests may want to think twice before taking a tour of the cellar, as some say that the spirit that haunts the old mansion is that of a little girl who is buried deep in the basement floor. Sleep tight!

Gretchen’s Grabs: The best new shows, plus this delicious new popcorn

With all the feels of fall – let the season of school, football, cooler temps and pumpkin spice begin! There are a few holdouts of summer that occupy the early September thoughts – and then towards the end of the month thoughts transition to all things fall.

Opopop. I am a sucker for popcorn. It is a healthy and delicious crunchy treat – and it is even better when it is flavored. Introducing Opopop – it is like flavored popcorn but easy to make in the microwave. The starter kit comes with a silicone bowl and several packets of coated popcorns in flavors like Maui Heat (my favorite) and Vanilla Cake Pop (my daughter’s favorite), in addition to more “traditional” ones like butter. It is delicious and EASY to make – pour pouch into bowl, pop in microwave for about 2 minutes then eat. Plus, it is a Colorado company!  

Palisade Peaches. We are so lucky to live here where we have some of the BEST peaches in the country. Now is peach time. Get your hands on some now while they are in season. I like to eat mine plain, mixed in a smoothie, on a sandwich (I like ham, brie, peaches and balsamic glaze), or make the easiest cobbler (cut peaches, ¼ cup sugar on top, on top of that a dry white cake mix, on top of that 1 stick of butter cut in cubes baked for 30 mins at 350). Amber’s Grandma’s fresh peach pie is a huge winner as well. Any way you eat or slice it they are GREAT to get them before the month is out!

Mint & Lily. I clearly have spent far too much time in the throws of all things TicTok when the things I’m suggesting in Gretchen’s Grabs are largely from ads served up to me from the app. But, I did purchase the cutest little ring with both my kids’ names on it. They are now, literally, wrapped around my little finger. If you start your holiday shopping already – this may be a great deal for a new mom (or dad, or grandparent). Plus, on the first purchase, there was a great coupon making my ring only $35 (Code: MINT20) but then they sent me another THANK YOU code to use for my next order with 50% off (so I bought someone a gift…which I can’t give away because she might read this)! 

Spice Rack. My daughter is an organizing and cleaning freak (great to have one in the house since I’m not that). At her insistence that my spice cabinet was difficult to say the least – I got a new spice rack at Costco. My previous cabinet was several different spices all in different sized bottles and jars, they were put in the cabinet in no real order and to be honest – sometimes hard to find.  I didn’t know how right she was and how much better I would feel with the matching spice jars! It was only $25 and there are FREE refills for five years! Just in time for fall cooking where I actually turn the oven on once again.  I did see a similar rack at Amazon for close to the same price point with a 5-year spice jar resend service if a spice jar gets broken, 80 labels, a funnel, a white pen, and a 20 empty jar spice rack organizer. 

September TV. We love to have something to watch when the weather turns, in our house we are excited about Doogie Kameoloha, M.D. on Disney+ and the new concert experience, with Billie Eilish, Happier Than Ever: A Love Letter to Los Angeles. Which is supposed to be part show part concert. Also, how would you adjust to learning how to farm a 100-acre plot? Clarkson’s Farm on Amazon Prime is a hilarious look into farming for those of us who have no idea how to do it.

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

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