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What Denver kids can do with their leftover Halloween candy

Hey, your kids worked (kinda) hard to accrue alll this great Halloween candy but there comes a time when all good things must come to an end. So, if you’re wondering what to do with all your leftover Halloween candy, here are some ideas about how to donate, bake, sell it and experiment with it! 

1. Donate It. There are so many great programs out there to help your candy go to a great place. Donate it to Treats for Troops which allows you to send sweets to soldiers (kids can earn buyback prices as well).  First responders and deployed troops are grateful recipients if you donate to Operation Troops (last year, they had a record-breaking 533,891 pounds of candy). Ronald McDonald House Charity also grateful appreciates all donations because their sick kids can’t join in the trick-or-treating fun. 

2. Experiment (literally). Put that candy to good use by doing fun science experiments. What kid wouldn’t want to use their candy as subjects? The Candy Experiments website has plenty of ideas. 

3.  Sell It – Until I started researching, I would have thought this sounded strange. Apparently, though, there are programs out there where the candy sold is donated to charitable organizations. One such program is the Halloween Candy Buy Back operated by dentists and benefiting the military. Coupons are used to “buy” the candy with donated items available in exchange for the coupons. The candy is then passed along to military support groups such as Operation Gratitude. Everyone wins!
 
4. Bake With It – You’ve gathered by now that I have a sweet spot for sweets. Well, I find gingerbread houses to be awe-inspiring. If only I could stumble upon a house constructed with cake and confectionary (no witch though) or dive into a river of chocolate fudge (free of suction pipes)…a dream come true. With the wit of Hansel and Gretel and the grace to escape the fate of poor Augustus Gloop, I could make it out to tell the tale. Until then, I’ll just continue to play with miniatures. Incorporate a Halloween gingerbread house into your traditions and save extra candies in the freezer for your masterpiece in December. Oh, you can add bits here and there to your cakes and cookies too. 
 
5. Candy Tribuloumines – my favorite candy science experiment. It’s the science behind the wintergreen mint spark in the dark. The illumination is caused by the same principles that make lightning streak through a dark sky. Turn off the lights, find a mirror and crunch away.
 
6. DIY Advent Calendar for Thanksgiving and Christmas – Alpha Mom has a great idea to make an adventure calendar to countdown Thanksgiving or Christmas. To make a calendar like this, buy yourself some small paper cups and fill them up!
 
7. Play With It – Have a PJ party and set aside some of the Halloween stash for a fun evening in with the family. Get out the board games but instead of using the usual game pieces, substitute them for small candies. It will put a sweet twist to a memorable evening, and winner will reap the rewards like never before!
 
8. Love Notes – share the love by attaching a little sweet to a kind note in a lunch box. Get creative and staple it, tape it or write on it to let someone know you care. It may not sound like much, but your message will be received with a bonus of a yummy treat.
 
9. Wear It – candies with holes in them make great candy necklaces and young children can practice fine motor skills by stringing the candy onto a piece of yarn. If you don’t have enough candy to fill a necklace, add in some Cheerios for a gorgeous piece of jewelry.
 
10. Share It – this is a favorite of mine, and no, I’m not going to give out my mailing address (as much as I’d like to.) Think offices with heavy traffic, schools, friends or neighbors. My sister – lacking the sweet tooth gene – for years, would give me a bag of her collected candies…it was very much appreciated! There are also several non-profits that would benefit from such a donation. Shelters, food banks and halfway houses are a thought. Check out places that might be near your neighborhood, ask to see what their needs are and make suggestions to friends on where to take their leftover candy this year!
 
11. The Candy Fairy or Switch Witch – I selfishly love this idea, ha. Some parents (haven’t tried it yet) let children leave candies out for the Candy Fairy or Switch Witch. She flies in at night, completely unnoticed, leaves a small gift in exchange for the candy and everyone is happy. No cavities or sugar rushes – for the kids anyway!switchwitch
 
Oh, and there is always my favorite: #12 is eat ’til you drop!

What Every Parent Can Do Now To Form Better Connections With Their Teens

For my family, COVID-19 has been a mixed bag of blessings and trials with our teens. We were spared the physical fatigue that so many parents with young kids felt but our tradeoff was navigating mental health landmines and screen time battles. My teens are now in their sophomore and senior years of high school and I am grateful that we were able to spend a lot more quality time together during lockdown but I wish I had more resources for navigating this difficult time because it isn’t over yet.

Enter: Forward Together, a Colorado-based campaign, with fantastic resources to help youth feel more connected – to their peers, their parents, and other trusted adults in their lives — and to help parents connect with teens. 

I have always had a sweet, tender “mama’s boy” relationship with my 15-year-old son. The pandemic just happened to hit at the exact same time he was naturally pulling away to focus on other interests while I inwardly mourned what felt like a growing divide between us. 

I needed tools for navigating this confusing time and Forward Together delivered. Follow our journey and learn how to deepen your relationship with your teens.

What is Connectedness?

So, what does it mean to be connected to our teens? Connectedness is when a person feels a sense of belonging to their parents, family, friends, school, or community because they have strong relationships in those settings. These relationships are healthy when both parties feel heard, valued and loved.  

How I Am Connecting With My Son

I have always had a sweet, tender “mama’s boy” relationship with my 15-year-old son. The pandemic just happened to hit at the exact same time he was naturally pulling away to focus on the other interests in his life while I was inwardly mourning what felt like a growing divide between us. 

There are several elements that make relationships powerful in young people’s lives, according to research

  • Express Care. Show me that I matter to you. 
  • Challenge Growth. Push me to keep getting better.
  • Provide Support. Help me complete tasks and achieve goals.
  • Share Power. Treat me with respect and give me a say.
  • Expand possibilities. Connect me with people and places that broaden my world. 

For my son, we have been focusing on Expanding Possibilities because if you know teenage boys, most are content to just sit on their devices most of the day. A few things that we have done this year that have made a huge difference:

Inspire. My husband and I are trying to inspire him to see possibilities for his future. He excels in math and science. We frequently talk about a possible career in finance or business while helping him identify other passions he has not yet developed. We encourage him to do his best in all his classes but to pay particular attention to the ones that bring him the most joy and showcase his talents.

Broaden horizon. We have tried to expose our son to new ideas, experiences and places. He recently quit soccer and found a new passion to replace it: the high school mountain bike team which has brought new friendships, along with new skill sets.

 Connect. We have introduced him to people who have helped him grow. Almost a year ago, I saw a posting on a community forum about a small hobby ranch that was looking for a teenager to take care of their animals a couple of times per week. My son dove head-first and, when I am available, I try to help him but make sure to emphasize that he is in charge. He loves managing the ranch (and his mom) and working side-by-side has brought us closer together.

 Though I mourn the parent-child relationship of his childhood, what we are building together is so much more mature and I’m learning it has so many wonderful rewards. Connecting with teens

Do you need additional help? Here are some great resources that Forward Together recommends.  

Here’s What to Ask Your Kids to Get Them Talking | En Espanol 

20 Small Steps to Get Big Gains With Your Teen | En Espanol 

Struggling to Connect? Start Here | En Espano

 Stay tuned for Part II as my husband and I work with our extremely talented and spirited daughter as she navigates her senior year and life post-graduation. Spoiler alert: We need direction and we’re glad Parents Forward Together is providing it. 

 In partnership with Mile High Mamas. 

 

Huge savings on Elitch Gardens, Denver restaurant deals on Halloween!

Thinking about Black Friday. Have you already thought about what you might be looking for this Black Friday? Walmart had a “big leak” of their deals. This year it will be three weeks of great deals – like they did last year. Hot ticket items still remain electronics (TVs, computers, Apple air pods ad watches) and toys. I am hearing lots of buzz that people should plan to shop early this year because of supply chain issues. If your kids are already talking about something – get it at soon as you can.  

 Black Friday Sale on GetOutPass! NOW is the time to secure your GetOutPass so you can enjoy Denver’s best attractions like Elitch Gardens, Fat Cats, and Bandimere Speedway all year long for $85 off. The GetOutPass is a 12-month membership to Denver’s best attractions that can be paid for in a few ways, making it affordable for everyone. Use code MILEHIGHMAMAS at checkout.  Deal last from October 15-November 26, 2021.

Magic of The Jack O’Lanterns at Hudson Gardens. I was so blown away about how cool the Magic of the Jack O’Lanterns at Hudson Gardens is! It is over 5,000 magical magnificent hand-carved pumpkins in scenes from individual pumpkins to famous artworks, nautical sea-scape, dinosaurs, dragons or nearly any other theme-carved pumpkins. It is fun for the whole family open through October 31. Tickets are $14.99/adult; $10,99/child.   

Halloween Eats. We know that Halloween means candy – but most of us parents want to send our kids out with full bellies – so they don’t just eat candy. These deals are all good only on October 31 unless otherwise specified.

·         Applebees – Kids eat free with the purchase of an adult entrée.

·         IHOP-  October 29 from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. kids can get a scary face pancake for free.

·         Krispy Kreme – Come in costume get a free donut.

·         Lamar’s Donuts – Come in costume get a free donut.

·         McDonalds – Treat packs are just $1 and good for free items. (even if you don’t buy to give to trick or treaters, treat yourself!)

·         Papa John’s – Get the Jack o’Lantern shaped pepperoni pizza for just $1. (now through Halloween).

·         Qdoba – Buy one get one free entrees are available for rewards members – membership is free.

·         Snarfs – dress up as one of their logo’s characters to get a free 7” sub.

·         Wendy’s – Boo books are just $1 and offer 5 coupons each good for a small frosty.

 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.

 Mile High Farms Discount. The Corn Maze and Pumpkin Patch Fall Festival have a dedicated promo code to offer a $2 discount off tickets for your readers.  If you are interested in offering it to your readers, the promo code is MHMAMAS that can be used for ticket purchases online at milehighfarms.com/tickets. The code is entered at checkout when submitting payment. The festival is from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. every Saturday and Sunday in October.  

 Elitch Gardens’ Fright Fest. Elitch has very special Family days every Saturday and Sunday from 12 noon to 5:00 p.m. through October 31, where kiddos can show off their costumes in the daily contests and they will find free candy on the Trick or Treat Trail in KiddieLand!

Dairy Queen Treat Day. Every year, on Dairy Queen Treat Day, a $1 or more of each blizzard is donated to charity. This Thursday, October 28, $1 of each Blizzard will be donated to Children’s Miracle Network hospitals.

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.

 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 SchoolKids 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

 

This Denver accountant mom wrote the most darling children’s book on National Parks

How does an accountant for over 30 years decide to write a book?  Sometimes change can come more suddenly than you think…

On an extended road trip in 2015, my family traveled to Glacier National Park.  We love to visit the Parks, and feel fortunate living in Denver that we are within a 20-hour drive of over half the National Parks in the US!  Stopping at the visitor center, I fell in love with a stuffed mountain goat – I had always been a sucker for stuffed animals.  My kids were 18 and 16 at the time, so I bought him for myself and called him Jemaine.  For the rest of our trip to Seattle, Vancouver, and back to Denver, Jemaine entertained us and kept us company.

A few years later and the company I was working for was sold – it was a great time to leave Accounting and try something new.  I landed a job as a librarian in an elementary school, and loved reconnecting with all the old classics I voraciously read as a kid, as well as discovering new works to recommend.  I realized that kids love both a good story (fiction) and learning new things (non-fiction), and that gave me an idea – why not write a children’s picture book that is a combination of both; a cute story filled with facts as well?  I immediately thought of my travels with Jemaine, and realized that a book featuring a mountain goat who travels with his family would be a great way to teach kids about the National Parks, as well as to introduce them to adoption, friendship, family, love, etc. 

Jemaine the traveling goat

As it turns out, many authors write about their own experiences – and our family vacation to Glacier was the spark.  Now I have the concept, but I know nothing about writing or publishing a book – and I am no artist.  To make a long story short, I met my illustrator somewhat by chance, who happened to also be a self-published author, had a marketing background, and had contacts in China to actually print the book and/or any other items I might think of to accompany it!

There is a big decision that an author must make when they are thinking about publishing and selling a book – do they go the conventional route, where you send a manuscript into a publisher, they may edit/revise it, they decide on the illustrator, and if they can sell your book, you get a small royalty.  Or, you can decide to publish it yourself – and there are many ways to do this.  But of course, you are floating all the costs of producing your book, paying for illustrations if you need them, and ultimately marketing and selling your book all on your own.

Although this is a major decision that should require patience, time, and research – I immediately decided to self-publish, and here I am today – with not one, but 2 books!  The second book, Jemaine Makes a Friend, focuses on our own Rocky Mountain National Park.

Now, how about something for free?  Click on the link for a park map poster, and check out the other (free) fun stuff for your kids on my website. 

https://jemainethegoat.com/family-trips-poster-promo/

Never doubt how wonderful you truly are! 

Jemaine had been waiting for what seemed like a lifetime for his big chance.  Then one day, the Jones family walked into the gift shop at Glacier National Park and adopted Jemaine as a fur-fledged member of their family.  Things would never be the same for any of them.  Join Jemaine and his new family as they explore Glacier National Park, while learning fun facts about the park and its inhabitants.

Tarantula Encounter: Enjoy Butterfly Pavilion’s free virtual class!

It’s the spookiest time of the year, and the Butterfly Pavilion is celebrating by learning about one of nature’s most daunting creatures — the tarantula! But does this incredible arachnid deserve its fearsome reputation? Butterfly Pavilion will help us find out as we explore different tarantula species and their fascinating adaptations in this hair-raising class on Wednesday, October 27 at 4 p.m. We’ll even meet a live tarantula!

Fact Facts About Tarantulas

  • Female tarantulas only mate once a year.
  • Females can live up to 30 years, while males typically only live around 7 years.
  • They also have four pairs of legs with seven segments each.
  • There are some 900 species of tarantulas.
  • Tarantulas range from the size of a fingernail to the size of a dinner plate.
  • The Goliath bird-eating tarantula is the largest spider on Earth.
  • Some people in South America roast tarantulas and eat them.

About Tarantula Encounter’s Instructor

Calais Thomas has been educating herself and others about animals for the past eight years. She has worked with animals ranging from elephants to snails and anything in between! At Butterfly Pavilion, her work in developing and leading programs onsite and virtually connects all ages to invertebrate animals. Event is in partnership with Varsity Tutors; register on their website. 

Spooky neighborhoods: Where to find Denver’s best Halloween decorations

Move over Christmas, Denver’s Halloween decorations are making spooky waves this year! From creepy dolls to pumpkins to the Nightmare Before Christmas, these Denver neighborhoods know how to do Halloween right!

The Denverite has some fun insider tips for checking out some of Denver’s coolest and scariest neighborhoods. 

“I like to push the envelope and catch people off guard,” said Jessica Halpine, who lives with her boyfriend Jim Norris and their children.

“Halloween is supposed to be terrifying,” she adds. “I don’t want to just do cute witches and pumpkins. I like to be startled and startle other people.”

Every inch of Halpine and Norris’ S. Lincoln Street yard is covered with the strange and unusual. The walkway is lined with resuscitation baby dolls-turned scary decoration, eyeless with gaping mouths, heads pointed toward the sky as if in mid-song. And yes, the longer you stare, the more it feels like they’re staring back. Click the link above to witness the insanity for yourself! 

In Case You Missed It

Denver’s best haunted houses, creepy mazes and hair-raising theme parks

Guide to Halloween: Where Denver kids can trick-or-treat all month long
 
Denver’s best pumpkin patches and corn mazes
 
Colorado’s Best Fall Colors: Best drives, hikes, ghost towns and farms

Denver Film Festival: See the full line-up

The Denver Film Festival is back and though it may look a bit different with a hybrid approach (including both screenings and in-person events at the Sie FilmCenter), the show must go on!

Over 230 titles, including 140 feature-length films, shorts, music videos and episodic content will screen at local venues or through the festival’s virtual platform. Fifty of those titles will be available to virtual audiences throughout the festival’s run from November 3-14. The 44th edition of the Denver Film Festival will also mark the reopening of the newly remodeled Sie FilmCenter. Denver Film will require all festival attendees to show proof of full vaccination when attending in-person events and screenings.

Some of the categories for the Denver Film Festival include: 

  • Animation Feature
  • Women + Film
  • Documentary Features
  • Colorado Spotlight
  • Student Shorts

Go to denverfilmfestival.eventive.org/films for the full line-up!

Denver’s Christmas gifts shows, Hasbro games on sale and great deals for Halloween!

I love the craft shows that pop up this time of year. As kids, we would attend the shows for my mom to get ideas of what to make and what to copy. This year, my college-age daughter was lamenting that she wouldn’t have money to get people Christmas gifts – I suggested she make some things – and said we would go to the shows (and she bought something there).  There are a few more left this year including the big Colorado Country Christmas Gift Show (Nov 5-7); Holiday Food & Gift Festival (Nov 19) and Applewood Arts Festivals (multiple dates and locations). 

Jack O’Lantern Visit Hudson Gardens. Ever wonder what 5,000 magical magnificent hand-carved 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.  

 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, as well as Guide to Halloween: Denver’s best festivals and where to trick-or-treat.

 Mile High Farms Discount. The Corn Maze and Pumpkin Patch Fall Festival have a dedicated promo code to offer a $2 discount off tickets for your readers.  If you are interested in offering it to your readers, the promo code is MHMAMAS that can be used for ticket purchases online at milehighfarms.com/tickets. The code is entered at checkout when submitting payment. The festival is from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. every Saturday and Sunday in October.  

 Orchard Town Center Halloween Movie Nights. Celebrate the season of haunting with family-friendly Halloween movie, Hocus Pocus on Friday night, October 22 at the Town Center Drive at The Orchard Town Center. Bring your own chairs and dress warm for the movies. They start at 6:30 p.m.

 Elitch Gardens’ Fright Fest. Elitch has very special Family days every Saturday and Sunday from 12 noon to 5:00 p.m. where kiddos can show off their costumes in the daily contests and they will find free candy on the Trick or Treat Trail in KiddieLand!

Rileys ARK BOOtique. Friday, October 22 through Sunday, October 24 Riley’s ARK BOOtique pop-up shop at the Outlets of Castle Rock (Near Vans) will offer pay what you feel for Halloween costumes – kids through adult sizes!

 Outlets of Castle Rock Shopping Extravaganza. I love when I can shop and do good for my community at the same time! When you buy a ticket for the Shopping Extravaganza at The Outlets Of Castle Rock on Saturday, October 23. Your ticket entitles you to discounts through the center, one scratch off ticket (good for additional prizes), two Grand Prize entry tickets, private catered lunch and wine tasting!

Games on Sale. I always bring the game for Thanksgiving dinner with the family. This year, I will send the same game to my nephew who is in the Navy so he can play along via facetime. Or have a game to play with the other soldiers around him. I was excited to see that Hasbro board games are 30% off at Amazon. Some of my favorites include Trouble, Connect 4, Sorry and Perfection.

Warmies. Are your toes always cold this time of year like mine? I heard about these and hope someone puts the Jane Warmies slippers that I can warm up in the microwave on their Christmas list to give me – but in the meantime, I intend to buy them for someone who always talks about her cold toes. Just $24.99. Amazon also sells similar Gray Warmies Cozy Plush Body Slippers.

Starbucks Stars Days. If you are feeling the Pumpkin Spice Latte – this is the week to go get it. Deals every day for more stars. Tuesday get 50 bonus stars when you load a gift card with $10 or more; Wednesday is buy one get one free day; Thursday is triple stars day; Friday is Fri-YAY when you spend $10 or more you get 50 bonus stars!

Old Navy.  Old Navy has their women’s compression leggings on sale for just $9.97 (Girls sizes are just $8)! (Normally $30). Stylish AND comfortable? I’m in!

 Bath and Body Works. I love that my daughter works at Bath and Body Works and I feel like I have an insider’s knowledge of when things are going on sale. Today, October 19 only, hand soaps and wallflowers refills are just $2.99 each! Run out and make your house smell like fall.

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. 

 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.

Free Days. The Denver Zoo will have a free day on October 21. You will need to sign up for the free lottery system to receive one of the timed tickets for the zoo. The PACE Center in Parker will celebrate their 10th birthday with the Artival [Arts Festival]. October 24 visit the Denver Art Museum (and the newly-opened Martin Building) for free. *Tickets are necessary for most events – but tickets are free. Register at each site. See Denver free days for full listings. 

Disclosure: We have an affiliate relationship with Amazon and as an Amazon Associate, we may earn money from qualifying purchases.

Denver’s best haunted houses, creepy mazes and hair-raising theme parks

Are you in the mood for a good scare? Here are Denver’s most scary haunted houses, hair-raising theme parks and creepy mazes. If you dare, check out these Halloween attractions for lots of terrifying thrills.

13th Floor Haunted House

Scare-lovers can get into the spirit of the season with three new attractions inside this popular haunt. Begin with Frostbite in a Cryogenics lab that is reanimating the dead, then stroll through the abandoned house of a deceased Doll Maker whose collection of Victorian dolls still fill every inch of every room. Finish with Bad Blood where the ancient feud between Vampires and Werewolves rages within the shadows of today’s city streets. This year haunt-goers can check out new Thirteenth Floor Entertainment attractions on-site including Blitz Bowl, an outdoor activity that combines football, bowling, and a dash of corn hole, Class Axe Throwing, and Shriekeasy Bar (21+). Additional add-on options include Mini Escape Rooms and Sensory Overload. 3400 E 52nd Ave, Denver, CO. 13thfloorhauntedhouse.com

Denver haunted house

The Frightmare Compound

Unimaginable horrors await in The Frightmare Compound. As one of the oldest horror houses for the Denver community (founded in 1983), the terror may follow you home. Founder Brad Holder painstakingly crafted the compound for 16 years before falling ill. They say his body is buried deep within the haunted house, making this one of the most authentic. You’ll also find a Monster Museum and Mini Escape Rooms. 10789 Yukon Street, Westminster thefrightmarecompound.comFrightmare Compound

Haunted Field of Screams

Haunted Field of Screams is Colorado’s largest scream park with four terrifying interactive haunts, with two tours, one maze, and a paintball shootout. All children under 13 must be chaperoned by an adult. Riverdale Road is known as the most haunted road in Colorado. With stories of hangings, burnings and roadside accidents, lost souls roam the 11-mile stretch aching for help from those passing by. Witness the walking dead and strange, violent mysteries unravel around you. A hayride will transport you to where a woman in white awaits her revenge on her husband who burned down her house…or anybody else passing by. 10451 McKay Road, Thornton, Colorado. hauntedfieldofscreams.com

Haunted Field of Screams

Reaper’s Hollow at Fright Acres

Fright Acres Outdoor Haunted Attraction featuring Reapers Hollow Cemetery consists of four completely different areas all linked together for one very long trek through different themes and dimensions. There have been many gruesome tales about the undead, witches and ghosts in Reapers Hollow Cemetery! Home of Fright Acres, it’s the largest outdoor haunted attraction venue in Colorado. 11321 Dransfeldt Rd, Parker, CO. frightacres.comFright Acres

Horror Theater Haunted House

This immersive and free haunted house, located just south of Denver, is packed with the lingering souls of its tortured victims. Filled with Hollywood quality sets and props, the house is sure to conjure more than a few screams from anyone who dares enter.
Free Admission, donations are encouraged but not expected. 4504 S. Independence Street, Denver. horrortheaterdenver.com

Horror Theater Haunted House Denver

Fright Fest at Elitch Gardens

Family by day where little ghosts and goblins can enjoy free candy on the Trick-or-Treat Trail and Fright by Night when Fright Fest comes alive and creatures lurk around every thrilling corner. Get terrorized with three haunted attractions- No Vacancy, Big Top Freaks and Séance. These multi-sensory experiences thrust guests into the action as they make their way through dark pathways, explore the site of a nightmarish inn, navigate a carnival graveyard overrun by flesh-hungry clowns, and take part in bone-chilling live performances bringing stories of the undead back to life! All this, plus all your favorite theme park rides. 2000 Elitch Circle, Denver elitchgardens.com/fright-fest

Fright Fest at Elitch Gardens

World’s Scariest Haunted House

Get terrified at one of the highest-rated haunted houses in the Denver metro area. Located at Jared’s Garden and Nursery, this terrifically horrifying haunt will satisfy all your deepest and darkest fantasies and fears. Decades of Scares, Screams,Yells and full-throttle chainsaws have them confident that you will not leave disappointed. 10500 West Bowles Avenue,  Littleton. worldsscariesthauntedhouse.com

World's Scariest Haunted House

Reinke Bros Haunted Mansion 

This year-round costume, props, magic and Halloween superstore is great for those who don’t want to be utterly traumatized. The Haunted Mansion offers a children’s day “Lights on Tour” for kids that aren’t ready for the super scary stuff. The nighttime haunted mansion is a 50+-year-old family tradition with plenty of chills and thrills for the whole family. 5663 S Prince St, Littleton, CO www.reinkebrothers.com

Reinke Brothers, Inc. Haunted Mansion

Returning in 2022

City of the Dead & Asylum Haunted House
Dead Zone Scream Park at Denver Botanic Gardens Chatfield Farms
 

Other Halloween Fun in Denver

Guide to Halloween: Where Denver kids can trick-or-treat all month long
 
Denver’s best pumpkin patches and corn mazes
 
Colorado’s Best Fall Colors: Best drives, hikes, ghost towns and farms

Increase Your Child’s Confidence – With Music Lessons in Denver!

These days, it seems harder and harder for parents to find ways to increase their children’s confidence.  Kids nowadays tend to come across many more challenges to growing up confident and secure than they find reasons to grow in confidence.

But confidence is one of the most important attributes we parents can help our kids develop.

The successful leaders in our society are people who developed self-assurance, and/or found ways to overcome obstacles and beat their early lack of confidence.

What doesn’t seem to work is the recent trend toward “praise for participation.”  Don’t get me wrong: Praising your kids is always important.  But for the praise to build your child’s confidence, it needs to come on the heels of achievement, not just participation.

More and more parents are learning this valuable lesson, and I think that’s why our enrollment at Littleton School of Music has just-about doubled in the last year-and-a-half (during a time when threats to a kid’s confidence have been, many would say, at an all-time high).

Increasingly, parents are learning that they can give their kids a significant boost in confidence and self-assurance through providing those kids with music lessons.

Music Lessons Aren’t Really (Or Only) About Music

Here’s a quote from my book, Fall In Love With Music:

Music lessons provide a platform for children, teens, and adults to set goals and watch them unfurl in front of their eyes.  The skills learned in a music lesson or during a recital are applicable outside of the realm of just music…. attention span… practice habits… music lessons teach students the value of completing a task once it is started… a valuable skill that helps mold a student into a successful and motivated person later in life.

For these reasons, we’re seeing higher test scores and grades at school, better self-direction, much better-developed problem-solving skills, and in general, higher confidence in the kids whose parents provide them with professional music lessons.

(I’d be happy to send you a free copy of my book, simply for the asking.)

It’s About Achievement

At Littleton School of Music, students learn music and work toward mastering their instrument, whether that’s a keyboard, a trumpet, or simply their singing voice.  But they also learn so much more.

The value of practice, work, and effort… the energy and focus required to improve skill… the exhilaration of accomplishing something they couldn’t accomplish before.  But perhaps more than anything else, our students learn something valuable about themselves.

They learn that, if they put their mind and effort to it, they can achieve great things.

We reinforce these learnings, of course, and one of the best tools we use to bolster our students’ confidence is our “Musical Ladder System.”  Our top-notch instructors test students periodically, and when students progress to higher levels of proficiency, they earn wristbands, certificates, and trophies.

The keyword is earn.  These students are given nothing.  What they take home from our school, they’ve earned.  And they know it.  That’s where true confidence comes from, and how music lessons can help develop it in your kids.

Those trophies and certificates occupy special places on bookcases, mantles, walls, and desks all over Littleton (and beyond).  They sit where no “participation ribbon” would be allowed to sit!

If nothing else, the fact that Littleton School of Music helps a student maximize their chances of being “a successful and motivated person later in life” makes our efforts worthwhile.

We’re going to need confident folks running the world when we’re old!

In partnership with Mile High Mamas.