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Lessons from Sad Camp: A Mom’s Reflections on Trauma, Healing and Asking for Help

Casey from Moosh in Indy has bravely documented her struggles with mental illness, bipolar disorder and a suicide attempt in A Pregnant Mom’s Overdose. Scroll down for extra resources.

My first week at sad camp we were blindfolded and taken into a warehouse with a rope maze. We were to keep our hand on the rope at all times until we found the end.

When you thought you had found the end, you were to raise your hand.

A staff member would ask “What do you need?”
“Is this the end?”
And you’d continue on.
It started to feel like a trick until a voice said “One of your sisters has made it out, so can you.”

I doubled down.

I was smart and collected, I could find my way out.

Something about the cryptic way they kept saying ‘need’ stood out but I continued to stubbornly putter around the maze.

Out of frustration, I raised my hand again. When asked “What do you need?” I took a chance and said “Help.”

They took my hand, and led me to a circle of women who reminded me of the bravery required to ask for help, and the certainty that help would always be out there in some form if I only asked.

I took off my blindfold and saw there was no exit to the maze, the only way out was to ask for help – or give up.

I watched the women who were left in the maze, the strongest-willed stragglers.

I couldn’t help them, no one could until THEY asked for help. Once they did, they were swept away in support.

The maze was our addictions, our thought patterns. Stubbornness masquerades as strength and stubbornness will keep many in the maze forever.

The anchors on the wall that felt like the end were simply our unhealthy coping mechanisms – and until we asked for, and accepted, help we would endlessly ping-pong between them.

No one ever asked “What can I do for you?” at sad camp. No one interjected in anyone else’s business, and if you did you would receive a stern lecture.

It was only “What do YOU need?” and if you didn’t know you were expected to figure it out (with 20+ various therapy sessions a week figuring this out was still a terrible process, but efficient.)

“What do you need?” can sound cold, but when asked and answered in earnest, can change old patterns and spark new confidence in navigating life.

Help is ALWAYS out there if you need it, but sometimes it can take a maze to find it.

Read more from Casey on Instagram @MooshinIndy.

Other Resources on Depression

If you’re in distress, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. 1-800-273-8255.

Depression in Women: 5 Things You Should Know from the National Institute of Mental Health

 Good Moms Have Scary Thoughts: A Healing Guide to the Secret Fears of New Mothers.  

Stop Overthinking: 23 Techniques to Relieve Stress, Stop Negative Spirals, Declutter Your Mind and Focus on the Present

Pregnancy-related anxiety and depression: keeping up my happy mama facade

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

Goatflix & Chill: Fun Goat Events at Four Mile Historic Park!

The goats are taking over Four Mile Historic Park in the most memorable way!

To kick off the new series in partnership with Rocky Mountain Goat Yoga, Four Mile welcomes guests of all ages to flex and flow with a herd of baby Nigerian goats on Sunday, Jan. 30 at 11 a.m. to noon. The 60-minute goat yoga class proceeds with the assistance of RMGY’s trained farmhands – with entertainment in the form of tricks and stunts from the goat yogis. Tickets are $30.

The goat yoga lineup continues in February with fun themes, such as:

  • Blacklight Goat Yoga (Friday, Feb. 4, at 5-6 p.m.): Attendees are invited to wear fluorescent colors and bring glow sticks for blacklight yoga with goats dressed in festive costumes. Tickets are $30.
  • Cupid’s Baby Goat Yoga (Sunday, Feb. 13, at 11 a.m. to 12 p.m.): Attendees are invited to come solo or bring someone special for an early celebration of the day of love with a Valentine’s Day goat yoga flow. Tickets are $30.
  • Goatflix & Chill: On Sundays from 6-8 p.m., Four Mile hosts Goatflix & Chill, a series of outdoor movie screenings ($15 per event) for all ages in the company of the baby goat herd, including:
    • Nacho Libre, Feb. 6
    • The Neverending Story, Feb. 13
    • Tommy Boy, Feb. 20
    • And Dumb and Dumber, Feb. 27
  • Regular baby goat yoga classes ($30) continue on the weekends (February 6, 12, 26 & 27). 

Go here to learn more and register for events.

Dance Mom Fails and Dreaming the Impossible Dream

One of the most rewarding parts of parenthood is seeing your children wade through the wall of clutter to discover their talents and passions. We tried it all–soccer, gymnastics, swim team and upside-down basket weaving. She had marginal successes but there was one activity that was a complete flop: dancing. You see, my daughter Hadley has inherited my lack of rhythm. Instead, she has a raw, aggressive athleticism that makes her adept at climbing mountains, careening down a ski slope, scaling large buildings and reducing her competition to tears at any sign of weakness.

When she was three years old, she had her first – and last – dance recital. We invited the entire family out for the occasion, an event we knew would go down as yet one more painful chapter in the Johnson Family History of Dysfunction.

I hoped an early intervention would counteract her lack of groove but I was wrong. Early on, it became painfully clear that she is not made for the dance floor. Her only redeeming quality is she loves an audience, as was evidenced by her performance at the recital.

While most of the little girls timidly and gracefully danced, Hadley did her toe-heel kicks like she was crushing a philandering ex-boyfriend. She spun like a rabid Tasmanian devil.

Tips For Parents To Keep Your Garage Safe For Kids

Even while garage doors are generally out of view and out of focus, it nonetheless poses a major threat to youngsters. Climbing on items and messing with devices that should not be toyed with are common childhood pastimes for children. 

It’s critical to avoid such high-risk activity when it pertains to the garage door. Fortunately, you can keep your children safe by teaching them about garage door regulations. You can read here some garage door safety tips for you to practice.

You can lessen the danger of garage door injuries to your children by teaching them on garage doors as well as how to deal with them. To further remove safety issues, try childproofing your garage. Always consider your local garage door company in Lakewood Colorado if you are looking for advice to safety proof it. Learn how to teach children about garage door safety right now!

Lessons For Children About Garage Door

It’s essential that your children understand garage door safety once they’re older enough to even be out without close supervision. Discuss these easy tricks and instructions with your children to keep them safe when enjoying in or around the garage:

  • Whenever you shut the garage door, ensure no persons or pets are positioned in the garage door’s way.
  • Avoid keeping objects in the way of the garage door.
  • Just use a garage door opener just in an emergency, such as when you’ve misplaced your house keys. The remote control must not be pressed for the sake of amusement.
  • When your garage door has a code, do not even inform anyone, including your neighbors, what it is.
  • Whenever the garage door is raising, never hold onto anything and try to ride it up. Even though the garage door is locked or not rolling, don’t hop on it.
  • It may be appealing to hold the garage door while it is moving, but small hands can quickly get torn by the door.
  • Playing immediately underneath the garage door’s opening is not a good idea. It’s advised not to take any risks and avoid the area where the door opens.
  • The photo-eye detectors at the base of the rails should not be moved. The safety systems of a garage door may be thrown off as a result of this.

Garage door safety is necessary in the lives of people who have garages. Garage door repair maintenance might be essential to ensure garage door safety. Your family can avoid major injury and also destruction to the mechanics by following these basic garage door regulations. Discuss these teachings with your children to avoid potentially dangerous situations in your garage. Protect your entire family securely by emphasizing to your kids that garage doors and operators are not toys. 

Educate Your Children About the Danger Zones in Garage Doors

Take this a step further and evaluate your entire garage door mechanism with your children, in addition to teaching them some fundamental safety guidelines. Most kids are incredibly curious, and they could appreciate learning how well the gate functions. Show your kids the many mechanisms, put an end to any trouble induced by their curiosity, and arm them with awareness of the garage door’s main danger zones.

In partnership with Mile High Mamas. 


Family-friendly films at the Denver Jewish Film Festival counter division and hate

 The 26th Annual JCC Mizel Arts and Culture Center’s Denver Jewish Film Festival powered by The Chotin Foundation will be held virtually and in-person from February 14 to 22 and will be followed by an entirely virtual festival from February 23 through March 1, 2022. The festival includes 34 films and shorts showcasing cinema from 14 countries. Films cover a variety of diverse topics, many showcasing stories of perseverance through different lenses. Tickets and festival passes go on sale on January 19 at 10 a.m.

Family-friendly films that would be of interest to Denver families:

  • The Crossing. Following the arrest, they discover two Jewish children, Sarah and Daniel, hidden in a secret cupboard in their basement at home.
  • When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit. When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit is the first book in the trilogy and a well-known novel for children.
  • Together, We Remember: Four Short Films. These films apply the lessons of the past to the present to counter division, disinformation, and hate in our schools, communities, and on social media.
  • The Lesson. At the age of 14, every school child in Germany is taught about the atrocities that occurred under Nazi rule. Filmmaker Elena Horn returns to her small hometown in rural Germany to follow four children as they first learn about the Holocaust.     

The festival includes 34 films and shorts showcasing cinema from 14 countries. Films cover a variety of diverse topics, many showcasing stories of perseverance through different lenses.

  • Virtual films cost $20 per household per film.
  • Individual tickets to in-person events cost $15 per person for adults, $13 for students and seniors.
  • All-Access Festival Pass for 16 admissions and 26 virtual unlocks (All films also available on-demand for seven days after in-person screening)  – $499 ($760 value)
  • In-Person Only Pass for 16 admissions (All films also available on-demand for seven days after in-person screening) – $189 ($240 value)
  • On-Demand Only Festival Pass for 26 virtual unlocks – $349 ($520 value)

Tickets go on sale on January 19 at 10 a.m.  To learn more about each of these films visit,, and scroll down to the Family section.  


Deals: Chinese New Year in Denver, what products to buy now before prices increase

Stock up (but don’t hoard) now! If you have been watching the news at all lately they have been talking much about price increases. And it’s not just our imagination. Consumer goods giant Proctor & Gamble confirmed they would raise prices on items like Tide, Gain, Downey, and Pampers diapers will be going up again in February. While in April we can expect increases in personal care products like Crest toothpaste. If you can find these items in your store grab them now before prices rise by 8%!

Chinese New Year. Celebrate the Year of the Tiger at the shops on Federal and Alameda on February 5 & 6. There will be lion dances and performances – and certainly, you can shop for fun gifts and candies. Make sure to get some red envelopes to give your kids for good luck! You can start shopping as early as January 24 for special flowers, fruits and candies.

Starbucks Meatless Monday. Starbucks is offering $2 off their Impossible Breakfast Sandwich every Monday through January. The sandwich is made with plant-based Impossible Sausage, fried cage-free egg. Cheddar cheese on a ciabatta roll.

Donate Blood Get Krispy Kreme. Donate blood through January 31 – and when you do, you get a dozen Krispy Kreme original donuts! Just show your donation sticker at Krispy Kreme to get your donuts.

Gymboree Semi-Annual Sale. When my kids were that size, Gymboree was one of our favorites. They are having their semi-annual sale where you can score items for up to 70% off. Now is the time to buy a size up for next winter! (or switch up the fun for the remainder of this winter). Coats, gloves/hats and boots on sale.

Beauty Brands Liter Sale. All the top-brand hair care in Liter size is on sale at Beauty Brands. Biolage, Joico, Redkin, Paul Mitchell and more on sale. Under $20 per liter. Plus, you can find some deals on other non-hair-related items like OPI Nail polishes for just $5.25 (normally $10.50).

 Home Depot Craft Kit. Home Depot used to host First Saturday art projects – but now, kids can take them home and enjoy the craft with their family at home. In February, Home Depot will offer a Photo Box Activity. Just stop by your nearest Home Depot’s Customer Service and ask for the Kid’s Craft on February 5.

 Avalanche Tickets. The Avs Family Pack is back – you get a ticket, meal and Pepsi for one package price. You can customize the pack to the size of your family. The upcoming promotional game is vs Buffalo Sabres on January 30.

 Nuggets Family Pack. The Nuggets celebrate families each Sunday night home game. You score a great deal with a meal loaded onto each ticket. Upcoming games vs Brooklyn Nets on February 6.

 Free Days. Make sure you bookmark our free Days post. This week’s featured day: Denver Museum of Nature & Science free night from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. on January 29. Also, register 10 days in avance for the next free day at the Denver Zoo – February 6.  See Denver Free Days for 2022 here

Spring Break in Denver: 50+ Activities for Families in 2022

Spring Break is almost here and it’s a tricky one to plan if you’re staying in Colorado! Will there be snow? Will it be a balmy 70 degrees? Fortunately, we have you coffered with our guide to Spring Break in Denver 2022 with indoor and outdoor activities, categorized by geographic area.

And, of course, COVID restrictions are in place so always check the venue prior to visiting! 

Don’t miss:

Family Vacation: Your Guide to Spring Break in Colorado 

15 Affordable Family Spring Break Adventures in Colorado

Denver Free Days 2022

Colorado Family Outdoor Adventure: An All-Ages Guide to Hiking, Camping, and Getting Outside

20 Best Places to Go Sledding in Colorado

Ultimate Guide to Outdoor Skating in Colorado



  • Bad Axe Throwing. (downtown and Central Washington locations). They claim to be the world’s largest urban axe throwing company.  Both locations allow kids to participate provided they can throw the axe in a safe manner and their guardian or parent is present.
  • Children’s Museum of Denver at Marsico Campus.  The 46,902 square foot building is located on a 9-acre campus and has 20 hands-on, interactive and totally one-of-a-kind exhibits geared to newborn through 8 years old but kids of all ages have fun.
  • Denver Art Museum (downtown) –Children will get a chance to engage with art and explore their creativity through DAM’s onsite and online programs for all ages. As a reminder, kids 18 and younger receive free general admission.
  • Denver Botanic Gardens  – These top-ranked U.S. botanical gardens offer spectacular garden displays, outdoor art exhibits, gardening classes, spring break camps and workshops at two great locations–Chatfield and Denver.
  • Denver Firefighters Museum (downtown) – The Museum offers not only outstanding exhibits on the history of fire fighting in Denver focusing on the Denver Fire Department but innovative and exciting hands-on activities that allow visitors to interact with the traditional exhibits
  • Denver Museum of Miniatures, Dolls and Toys. Where beloved childhood toys are elevated to art, and workshops are inexpensive.
  • Denver Museum of Nature & Science— The premium natural history and science museum in the western United States offers exhibitions, IMAX, a planetarium and lectures. Don’t miss the exhibition Guitar: The Instrument that Rocked the World
  • Denver Zoo–The Denver Zoo is 80 acres of fun in City Park. Don’t miss their Up-Close Looks where you can buy out a session for up to four people and enjoy an intimate encounter with animals including a sloth, camel, porcupine and more.
  • Downtown Aquarium. This features over 500 species of marine life and mammals in the million-gallon Aquarium Adventure Exhibit. Don’t miss their 4-D theatre and Shark Cage Experience.
  • Four Mile Historic Park – Step back in time and rediscover a 12-acre historic oasis in the heart of the city with a tour of the beautiful Four Mile House Museum, Denver’s oldest standing structure with farm animals and guided tours. 
  • History Colorado Center–This $110 million experiential museum makes Colorado history fun and has exciting new workshops, exhibits, programs, and performances that spark curiosity and ignite the imagination.
  • Mizel Museum. Rooted in Jewish values that have universal relevance, the Mizel Museum is a gem tucked away in a residential area in Denver’s Hilltop neighborhood. Kids will learn about art, artifacts and digital media that narrates and illuminates Jewish history and culture.
  • Molly Brown House Museum (downtown) – Learn about the life and times of “Unsinkable” Molly Brown in her restored Victorian home in Denver, Colorado. This is one of the most visited historic sites in the state of Colorado, and one of only a handful of sites nationally dedicated to the interpretation of a woman’s story. Admission to the Molly Brown House Museum is by guided tour only.
  • United States Mint Tour (downtown) – Discover how our currency is made and take home a souvenir – FREE. Reservations are required for the 45-minute tours that are run every 90 minutes. Temporarily closed for COVID. 


  • Adventure Golf and Raceway (Westminster). This is a great place for mini golf and go-karts in the Denver area. 
  • APEX Movement. Do you want to be the next American Ninja Warrior? Many of the TV’s program’s best athletes train at APEX Movement in Boulder. Classes, birthday parties and open gym are available so your kids can challenge themselves the Ninja Warrior way.
  • Boondocks Fun Center (Northglenn and Parker)–This 8-acre indoor/outdoor amusement center offers everything from bumper boats to laser tag to a Kiddie Cove to batting cages.
  • Butterfly Pavilion (Westminster) – Home to over 5,000 animals including Rosie the tarantula and a tropical forest where 1,600 butterflies rule the sky. They offer a daily spring break camp.
  • Celestial Seasonings. Visit the Celestial Seasonings headquarters in Boulder, Colorado and unlock the mysteries of tea with a free guided tea tour. Temporarily closed due to COVID. 
  • Colorado Model Railroad Museum: The most scenic, one-of-a-kind model railroad of its kind will leave you inspired. Walk through a real caboose, stroll along the mountain vistas and peek into a miniature world of wonder.
  • Gateway Park Fun Center. Boulder’s only indoor and outdoor family fun center with batting cages, go-carts, mini-golf, an arcade, driving range, inline hockey and more.
  • Hammonds Candy Factory Tour (Denver) – Hammond’s complimentary candy factory tours are fun and educational for candy lovers of all ages. Hundreds of thousands of people from across the globe have seen how their famous, handcrafted candy canes, ribbon candy, and lollipops are pulled, twisted, and shaped by hand. Reservations required.
  • Hiking. There are so many beautiful hikes in the Boulder area and my favorites are at Chautauqua Open Space Park. Be sure to stop in the Ranger’s Cottage for interactive fun (temporarily closed due to COVID) or eat at the historic Dining Hall. Don’t miss Boulder’s best field trips for remote learning and play including Murals Around Town.
  • Louisville Community Park is a park that has it all. There is a grassy area for the kids to run free in, spray grounds to cool off in the summer, a large sandbox, playground and even a dog park with swim beach to watch the pooches play.
  • Lovin Arms Animal Sanctuary (Erie). A tour of Luvin Arms sanctuary is much more than a fun day spent getting to know our amazing family of rescued animals. 
  • Rocky Mountain Arsenal Wildlife Refuge (Commerce City)–Located 10 minutes from downtown Denver, this 17,000-acre refuge is one of the largest urban wildlife refuges in the United States. It consists of open lakes, wetlands, prairie grasslands, and woodlands and an excellent hands-on visitor’s center.
  • WOW Children’s Museum (Lafeyette)–This interactive museum educates children in the areas of arts, sciences and life. Featured exhibit: Forest of Light: A Sensory Experience for All. 


  • Carson Nature Center (Littleton)–South Platte Park has over 880 acres of open space along the South Platte River with five lakes open to fishing, 2.5 miles of the South Platte River and the Mary Carter Greenway for walking and biking, nearly 4 miles of natural surface trails, and the Carson Nature Center and classroom.
  • Cherry Creek Reservoir. Anchored around an 880-surface acre reservoir, the park offers a natural prairie environment of gentle, rolling hills, bike paths, water sports and more. 
  • Gameworks (Stapleton)–This 36,000-square-foot pubby amusement center and sports bar feature hundreds of electronic games, a laser tag arena, big-screen TVs and comfort food. (Temporarily closed; check frequently for re-opening).
  • Hudson Gardens (Littleton) – The Hudson Gardens’ 30 acres non-profit botanical gardens are located along the bank of the South Platte River. Admission is free every day.
  • iFLY Denver Indoor Sky Diving (Lone Tree). Fun,  safe indoor skydiving adventure Safe for ages 3 and up.
  • Jumpstreet Indoor Trampoline Park (Lakewood, Greenwood Village) – Wall-to-wall trampolines provide fun indoor exercise and a perfect outlet for inclement weather days.
  • Littleton Museum. Located on 39 acres, this free museum consists of two living history farms (one from the 1860s and one from the 1890s), a small lake, a collections center, and the main exhibition and administration building.
  • Robert F. Clement Park (Littleton)–Clement Park is set on a 60-acre lake with a 1.4-mile walking path around it, tennis course, baseball fields, batting cages, multi-purpose fields, horseshoe pits and three separate playgrounds.
  • Waterton Canyon. This wide, hard-packed dirt road is closed to cars and follows the South Platte River as it winds through a steep rock canyon. This is an area of outstanding natural beauty and one of the few places along the Front Range that allow only pedestrian/bike access into a canyon.  
  • Westlands Park (Greenwood Village) – The Westlands playground includes three play areas sized for toddlers to teens. There are two large climbing structures that satisfy both the technical climber as well as the inexperienced child. In addition to the main play area, there are three multi-use playing fields, an in-line hockey rink, a natural water sculpture, a pond and a hike/bike trail.
    Airhouse Denver

    (Airhouse Adventure Park)


  • Airhouse Adventure Park. Aurora’s newest and greatest indoor play space features a high ropes course, 4-person gyro sphere, zipline roller coaster, interactive trampoline attractions, arcade and extreme dodge ball court.
  • Aurora History Museum – A local and regional history, arts and cultural center with exhibits for all ages featuring nearly 100 historic photos, artifacts from Aurora’s military history & a one-of-a-kind fully-restored 1913 trolley that used to run along Colfax Ave.
  • Centennial Center Park–This 11-acre city park has a killer playground, nature areas, amphitheater and a water area in the summer. Located on the north side of Arapahoe Rd., between S. Revere Pkwy. and S. Vaughn St., adjacent to the Centennial Civic Center.
  • Family Sports Center (Centennial) – Enjoy ice skating, miniature golf, laser tag, a climbing wall, bumper cars, arcade games, Eurobungy, a sports dome and so much more. 
  • Jumpoline Park (Aurora) – This Family Fun Center features innovative trampolines and open for everyone regardless of age or gender.
  • Lava Island – This children’s amusement park offers a trampoline park, indoor playground, toddler area, mazes and more. 
  • Monkey Bizness (Westminster, Parker, Colorado Springs) -You’ll find interactive inflatables, play structures, climbing walls, and games of all shapes and sizes. There is a separate section just for toddlers with their own play equipment.
  • Morrison Nature Center at Star K Ranch (Aurora). Star K Ranch “regulars” include mule deer, painted turtles, snapping turtles, red-tailed hawks, American kestrels, western meadowlarks, great horned owls, and blue jays. Costumes, blocks, puppets, kids’ books, and live animal exhibits make Morrison Nature Center a great place for kids.
  • Plains Conservation Center (Aurora)–The Plains Conservation Center is an outdoor education facility and state-designated natural area that educates children about Colorado’s eco-history, and nurture conservation efforts.
  • Unser Cart Racing – Kids… go carts…axe throwing. Can’t lose right? 
  • Wings Over the Rockies Air and Space Museum (Denver) –An extensive collection of aircraft and related aviation and military exhibits preserving the history of the servicemen and women who served at Lowry Airforce Base. There are more than three dozen aircraft on display in this 44,000-square foot space.


  • Apex Center (Arvada)–Perfect for an inclement weather day, this recreation and entertainment center houses two ice rinks, an awesome indoor aquatic play area, climbing wall, gyms, indoor track, themed indoor playground and more.
  • Arvada Center – This nonprofit multi-use cultural facility offers virtual theater, classes, camps, workshops and Squiggles, a 343-foot long serpent in front of the builing. 
  • Buffalo Bill Museum and Grave (Golden) – The Buffalo Bill Museum’s exhibits include memorabilia from Buffalo Bill’s life and Wild West shows, Indian artifacts, antique firearms and more. The spectacular views overlooking Denver are a bonus!
  • Casa Bonita (Lakewood) – It’s about the atmosphere and entertainment, kids love it, menu is limited.  Euphoric memories from your childhood?  Visit again–it hasn’t changed. (Temporarily closed but will be reopening under new ownership).
  • Colorado Railroad Museum (Golden)–Lose track of time year-round at this 15-acre railyard featuring over 100 engines, cabooses and coaches, a garden railway, renowned library and roundhouse restoration facility with working turntable.
  • Dinosaur Ridge (Morrison) – Part of the Morrison Fossil Area National Natural Landmark, Dinosaur Ridge area is one of the world’s most famous dinosaur fossil localities. Enjoy exhibits, a shuttle tour, and real dinosaur tracks. 
  • Earth Treks Climbing Center (Golden, Denver, Boulder, Englewood, RiNo)–Earth Treks features more than 28,500 sq ft of climbing with walls up to 48 ft high, including tons of bouldering and roped climbing for all ages and abilities.
  • Hiking. The western slope is home to some of Denver’s best hiking trails. Our favorites include Red Rocks,  Lair ‘o the Bear, Matthews/Winters, Evergreen, Deer Creek and much more. Don’t miss Denver’s bike hikes for families, The Best Urban Hikes in Denver, and Where and how to go trail running in Colorado with kids.
  • Lookout Mountain Nature Center (Golden)–Lookout Mountain Nature Center invites kids to connect with the natural world through interactive exhibits about the flora and fauna of the foothills ecosystem. Kids enjoy a hands-on playroom and observation room. (Temporarily closed)
  • Majestic View Nature Center (Arvada)–This 80-acre park holds Oberon Lake, a wildlife resting area, along with several other protected areas for local and migratory wildlife marked by signage. The 3,000- square foot Nature Center features hands-on nature and environmental displays, wildlife exhibits, a kid’s area, classrooms and meeting space.
  • Red Rocks Park and Amphitheater. This historic concern venue, park and amphitheater is one of Colorado’s most iconic places. Do a workout on the famous stairs or hike the park’s 1.4-mile Trading Post loop. 

More Colorado Spring Break Fun

Colorado’s most comprehensive family ski guide

Harriman Lake Park Trail: A stroller-friendly adventure in winter or summer

Guide to the best snowshoeing and cross-country skiing trails for families in Colorado

Denver Best New Playgrounds for 2021 and this comprehensive guide to Denver Playgrounds & Parks

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


Valentine’s Day in Denver 2022: Romantic Dining, Gifts & Activities

Sure, you may be wishing you’re in romantic cities like Paris or New York City for Valentine’s Day but Denver has so much to offer for the holiday of love. Check out our tips for celebrating Valentine’s Day in Denver with your loved ones–from where to eat, buy flowers, and play together in collaboration with Visit Denver. Scroll down to the bottom for our guide to creating your own fondue and Valentine’s Day charcuterie boards as well as family-friendly activity ideas. 

Valentine’s Day in Denver 2022


Denver has plenty of  Valentine’s Day gift options. Sound of the Rockies Chorus will deliver a Singing Valentine to serenade your love by quartets formed from an award-winning chorus in the Denver area. Explore The Mile High City’s vibrant art districts, which are filled with galleries, boutiques and craft stores. For stylish boutiques, head to Larimer Square in Lower Downtown or to the nearby Denver Pavilions on the 16th Street Mall.  In February, Dairy Block will Celebrate Lovin’ on the Block with a heart installation for those selfies, flower pop-ups, live music and decadent dinners.  Cherry Creek North is Denver’s premier shopping and dining neighborhood, boasting hundreds of independently owned shops, boutiques, galleries, restaurants and spas. Add to that the upscale Cherry Creek Shopping Center, with an additional 160 brand-name stores, and together they create the largest, most diverse shopping district between Chicago and San Francisco.

Phunkshun wear

(Phunkshun wear)

Still looking for ideas? Our popular  75 Best Gifts for the Holidays and Holiday Gift Guide has 50+ ideas that also work fabulously for Valentine’s Day (yes, Colorado-based Enstrom Milk Chocolate Almond Toffee, we’re talking about you). Other local favorites include Colorado Crafted’s custom gift boxes and Phunkshun wear, a Colorado-based company that is committed to sustainably developing lightweight balaclavas and protective neck tubes that are all made entirely from recycled bottles that deliver uncompromising performance and protection for adults and kids.

Amazon has some great ideas if you prefer to shop online like a Homesick Scented Candle (with varieties in a number of cities you may long for from across the nation), a silicon pancake mold flipper to make heart-shaped pancakes, eggs, hashbrowns and even omelets, socks customized with something they love (like kids or your pet) and, on my wish list, a charcuterie board to make a beautiful Valentine’s Day spread (see our instructions below). 


Valentine’s Day is a perfect excuse for an intimate, candlelit dinner. Almost every type of cuisine is available in the city; choose from traditional steak houses, tres chic French bistros, adventurous fusion menus and much, much more. Lower Downtown (LoDo)  boasts countless great restaurants, but you might also want to check out the offerings in some of Denver’s other neighborhoods, including the buzzing Highlands and the cozy Washington Park district. Here are a few of our favorite picks.


WHEN: February 9-12
WHERE: Cook Street School of Culinary Arts 

Join the chefs at Cook Street in-person or online for a Valentine’s celebration that’s guaranteed to stir up more than just delicious dishes. This deluxe class sumptuous dishes guaranteed to spoil your palate and an optional wine tasting


WHEN: February 11-14
WHERE: Downtown Aquarium

Looking for a unique dining experience this Valentine’s Day? Take your sweetheart to the Downtown Aquarium for a decadent four-course meal, complete with two glasses of champagne and two Aquarium Adventure Passes.


WHEN: February 14, 2-10 p.m.
WHERE: Table Mountain Grill & Cantina, Golden

Bring your hot tamale to Table Mountain Grill & Cantina for a weekend full of tamales that will fill your heart and stomach! Dine in with reservations or pre-order your takeout feast by February 11th for pick-up on February 12 to 14. 


WHEN: February 11-14
WHERE: Kachina Cantina at Dairy Block

Kachina Cantina will be serving up delicious Valentine’s Weekend Dinner Specials from Friday, Feb. 11th – Monday, Feb. 14th, including a Butter Aged Ribeye Steak with mole negro, fire-roasted corn salsa and horseradish whipped potatoes for $31 and a Seared Duck Breast with brussels sprouts, yam hash and a cranberry glaze for $29.


WHEN: February 11-14, 5 p.m.-close
WHERE: Humboldt Kitchen + Bar

Celebrate an evening of romance with a chef-prepared three-course Valentine’s menu. The full food and drink menu will also be available. 


WHEN: February 11 and 12
WHERE: Bruto

BRUTØ at Dairy Block will be serving a special Valentine’s Weekend Dinner created by Chef Michael Diaz de Leon. Enjoy 7-courses for $125 per person on Friday, Feb. 11th & Saturday, Feb. 12th.


WHEN: February 11-14
WHERE: For[a]ged at Dairy Block

For[a]ged by Chef Duy Pham will be serving Valentine’s Weekend specials from Friday, Feb. 11th – Monday, Feb. 14th, including a Shrimp & Crab Roulade with tobikio, shisha remolata, preserved lemon and fine herbs and a Tomahawk for Two with confit potatoes, roasted brussels sprouts and kosho herb butter. Reservations required.


WHEN: February 14, 5-10 p.m.
WHERE: Hotel Boulderado

Spruce Farm & Fish at Hotel Boulderado will have delectable specials available on Valentine’s Day, including Monkfish Cacio E Pepe, Surf & Turf, Double Bone Frenched Pork Chop, and Roasted Tomato & Fall Vegetable Risotto, and for dessert, a Toffee Coffee Crème Brulee.


WHEN: February 12, 2022
WHERE: Ironton Distillery & Crafthouse

Enjoy a special evening that’s Cupid approved. Ironton’s special paired and plated, three-course dinner returns! Your ticket includes live music, four full-sized cocktails, and three paired plates. Add an optional bouquet of fresh roses from local florist Daisy’s Front Porch and they’ll be on the table when you arrive.


WHEN: February 14, 2022
WHERE: The Source in RiNo (3350 Brighton Blvd.) and at the Shops at Foothills in Fort Collins

 Here, you can fill the tables with meats smoked on-site plus enough sides to satisfy any cravings. From brisket to pulled pork and jalapeño cheddar sausage to salmon, there are nine smoked meats ready for sharing. Save room for the side dishes because the white cheddar and black pepper mac & cheese, ginger coleslaw, smoked chile and queso fresco creamed corn and picked jalapeño deviled eggs are not to be missed. 

Other Denver Valentine’s Day Events


WHEN: February 14, 2022
WHERE: Chapungu Sculpture Park

Loveland — it’s right there in the name! The group wedding will include a romantic ceremony, keepsake photos, a lock couples can use to “Lock their love” on the famous LOVE sculpture or HEART sculpture in Loveland, gift bags, signature wedding cupcakes and a chance to win a huge gift basket.Loveland vow renewal


WHEN: February 11-13
WHERE: Denver Botanic Gardens

Flowers and plants are used year-round to send messages of love, happiness and joy. Explore the different shapes, textures and colors of dried flowers, leaves and seeds and use them to decorate a Valentine’s Day display to share with loved ones.


WHEN: February 2022
WHERE: Dillon Town Park

This award-winning frozen attraction is built using hundreds of thousands of icicles hand-placed by professional ice artists. The castles include breathtaking LED-lit sculptures, ice-carved tunnels, frozen thrones, slides, fountains and more. 


WHEN: February 1-14
WHERE: Larimer Square

Celebrate this series of ongoing February activations designed to celebrate romance, friendship and community in downtown Denver with a scavenger hunt, mural, mega sale, dinners, Girl Scout cookie dessert and more.


Unwind together! The Ritz-Carlton‘s Couples Spa Escape offers two hours of relaxation with your partner, including side-by-side massages and full, private access to all spa facilities.


Celebrate Valentine’s Day with Partner Paintings. You’ll laugh at your artistic abilities (or lack thereof), loosen your conversation with wine and come away with two memorable pieces of art after a paint-and-sip evening at Sipping n’ Painting Hampden (6300 E. Hampden Ave.).Brown Palace Afternoon Tea



Experience a touch of elegant, Old World charm at the historic Brown Palace Hotel & Spa. The Traditional Afternoon Tea takes place between noon and 4 p.m. in the hotel’s gorgeous atrium lobby and includes freshly made scones, pastries, sandwiches and a wide variety of teas.


Steal away to a speakeasy in Denver’s posh Larimer Square. Hidden behind the “front” of a pie shop, Green Russell offers handcrafted, artisanal cocktails in an intimate, 1920s-inspired space.


Located on the 27th floor of the Hyatt Regency Denver, the Peaks Lounge offers swoon-inducing views of the Rocky Mountains and downtown, along with 40 wines by the glass and a menu of appetizers and desserts.


Starting at $779/night, this package includes overnight accommodations, rose petals on the bed, $250 credit for dinner at Urban Farmer, a luxurious gift basket from The Oxford Spa and more. 


Available to book during the entire month of February, this Valentine’s Day-themed room includes over-the-top love-filled decorations and champagne, or adventure into the “love closet,” filled with a variety of 21+ sensual games, toys and more.


The Rally Hotel on McGregor Square is offering the perfect package to stay cozy this Valentine’s Day. Teaming up with local Denver bookstore Tattered Cover, The Rally has curated a book lover’s dream night in – custom cocktails included! 


The Crawford Hotel’s luxurious overnight accommodations include a $250 credit for dinner for two at Ultreia, a beautiful in-room floral arrangement by Pickletown Flower Co. to keep, $500 gift card to Denver’s A-Line Boutique for a personal styling and shopping experience and more. Prices start at $1,159 per night. 


The Maven Hotel at Dairy Block starts with wine & charcuterie at Blanchard Family Wines followed by a five-course dinner at For[a]ged and dessert & cocktails at Deviation Distilling, ending with a relaxing stay in a modern Maven guestroom.  All overnight guests also have the option to add on a special amenity of chocolates & flowers or rose petals & prosecco.


Does your sweetie have a sweet tooth? The upscale D Bar Denver, owned by Keegan Gerhard, one of the nation’s top pastry chefs, is just the ticket, with a menu filled with sinful treats like Cake and Shake (three-layer chocolate cake, manjari frosting, and a vanilla or chocolate milkshake or malt) or a Chocolate & Hazelnut Sitting in a Tree (chocolate soufflé, chocolate sauce, Nutella beignets and praline ice cream). Need we say more?


The resort’s Love You More overnight package features a wide array of pampering including breakfast for two at Vista Montagne, a lovely sparkling wine and dessert amenity, a relaxing 50-minute soothing Couples Massage, as well as resort fee and self-parking.  The Love You More room package starts at $679 per night.


It’s not 20,000 leagues under the sea, but it’ll do. An upscale getaway in a truly unique setting, the Dive Lounge is located on the first floor of Denver’s Downtown Aquarium, offering the chance to sip cocktails with your sweetheart while surrounded by beautiful marine life.


Valentine's Day charcuterie board

Celebrate Valentine’s Day with the Family

5 Darling Charcuterie Board Ideas for Valentine’s Day–sweet, salty or healthy. 

 Valentine’s Day fondue with tips and delicious cheese and meat recipes

Valentine’s Day photo booth props and ideas

Send a valentine from Loveland with their remailing program  

10 deliciously easy Valentine’s Day treats

14 fun and easy homemade Valentine’s Day card ideas

20 inexpensive Valentine’s Day ideas

A (funny) Valentine’s Day to forget

Best raclette grillRaclette Table Grill Fun

I received this Swissmar Raclette Table Grill for my birthday last year and it is such a fun way to connect with my family! We’re planning to add it to our Valentine’s Day festivities and our Swiss exchange student has loved sharing her culture with us. Basically, this grill involves an electric table-top grill with small pans (coupelles) where you melt slices of raclette cheese (or the cheese of your choice). The grill on top is a hot plate where you can cook meats and veggies. Two other great options include the CUSIMAX Raclette Grill or the AONI Electric Raclette Grill.

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

5 Darling Charcuterie Board Ideas for Valentine’s Day

Did you know: The word charcuterie originated in France, and it translates to “pork-butcher shop?” Charcuterie Boards are all the rage so why not shower those you love with a gorgeous spread of fun Valentine’s Day food. We have the sweet, the salty and even the healthy for you to enjoy with your loved ones this Valentine’s Day.

Need a charcuterie board? This Charcuterie Board Set offers a unique bamboo cheese board, Charcuterie platter and serving tray. A marble slab is another great option because it won’t absorb smells like wood.  If you’d like to add an event bigger spread, don’t miss our guide to Valentine’s Day fondue with tips and delicious cheese and meat recipes, as well as Valentine’s Day in Denver 2022: Romantic Dining, Gifts and Activities

Best Charcuterie Board Ideas for Valentine’s Day

Fruit and Treats

This playful Valentine’s Day charcuterie board from Taste of Home is full of red, pink and heart-shaped treats it is the perfect way to celebrate. Skip the cured meats and cheese and have a shopping spree on the candy aisle with your favorite white, pink and red heart-shaped treats or tasty fruit dip and treats.

Valentine's Day charcuterie board

Sweet and Salty

Love a mix of sweet and salty? Pizzazzerie has a darling mix of cheese, nuts, pink treats and heart-shaped foods with a miniature heart-shaped cookie cutter. Add a few mini pink carnations with spray roses (small, tiny rosebuds) for a cute addition.

charcuterie board valentine's day

Chocolate Charcuterie Board

Calling all chocolate lovers! This decadent chocolate board from Modern Honey has an assortment of chocolate truffles, milk chocolate, dark chocolate hearts, chocolate–covered pretzels, strawberries and more.

Chocolate charcuterie

Paleo/Whole 30 Charcuterie Board

Are you eating healthy? This simple Whole30 charcuterie board is the answer to all your Whole30 prayers. No cooking, no cleaning dishes. Meats, fresh and dried fruit, pickled vegetables, olives, nuts and seeds, smoked fish, tapenade or dips make up this delicious and healthy board.

Paleo charcuterie board

Other Valentine’s Day in Denver Ideas

Valentine’s Day Fondue: Tips and delicious cheese and meat recipes

Valentine’s Day photo booth props and ideas

Send a valentine from Loveland with their remailing program  

10 deliciously easy Valentine’s Day treats

14 fun and easy homemade Valentine’s Day card ideas

20 inexpensive Valentine’s Day ideas

A (funny) Valentine’s Day to forget

Best raclette grillRaclette Table Grill Fun

I received this Swissmar Raclette Table Grill for my birthday last year and it is such a fun way to connect with my family! We’re planning to add it to our Valentine’s Day festivities and our Swiss exchange student has loved sharing her culture with us. Basically, this grill involves an electric table-top grill with small pans (coupelles) where you melt slices of raclette cheese (or the cheese of your choice). The grill on top is a hot plate where you can cook meats and veggies. Two other great options include the CUSIMAX Raclette Grill or the AONI Electric Raclette Grill.

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

Five Great Math Tutoring Companies in Denver

Even at the best of times, getting kids to stay engaged during school has always been a challenge. But what happens when the classroom is a computer screen, and there are all the distractions of home? The need for quality one-on-one help has never been greater!

Of course, finding the right help is easier said than done. So many companies and independent tutors, some in-person, some remote, some who specialize in one subject, some in another…how in the world does one find the right match? Well, look no further! We’ve gathered a list of what we believe to be the best tutoring companies in the Denver area, complete with information about what makes each one different. One quick read and your kid will be on their way in no time.

1. Math Tutor Denver

At Math Tutor Denver we believe in the power of active learning and personalized one-on-one math tutoring. We know how to awaken the mathematician within. Central to our philosophy is our belief that the way math is usually taught in middle & high school has some serious issues, and, of course, having to learn online just makes everything more challenging. We believe that conceptual learning and verbally thinking through a problem, rather than long lectures and monotonous practice, is the way to go! Our tutors will work to establish a mentor-like relationship with your child, and always maintain a positive, kind, encouraging environment. With this approach, anyone can develop a lifelong love of learning. We offer flexible monthly memberships that are easily paused or switched around at any time (and, of course, your tutoring hours never expire and are always refundable).

2. Universal Achievement

Are you looking not just for an academic tutor, but for a mentor for your child’s holistic development? Founded by aerospace engineer and former college athlete Jake Gamsky, UA believes in helping students to become all they can be, both inside and outside the classroom (Achieve Universally). Their unique approach incorporates exercise, nutrition, and positive psychology training into in-person tutoring sessions. Tutors will not only coach in academic subjects (including math, science, business, social studies, Spanish, and English), but also in goal-setting, time, management, fitness, and wellness. Research shows that exercise, nutrition, and positive psychology have a significantly positive impact on how the brain develops, functions, and processes information.

3. eXL Learning Center

The folks at eXL meet your child at their unique starting point, and enrich the learning experience to ensure the innovative thinkers and creative problem-solvers of tomorrow start off on the best possible foot. You can be sure your child will always have a strong desire to learn. If you homeschool your child, they have a specialized method for supplementing your child’s education.

4. Thrive Tutoring

The folks at Thrive have made it their mission to help students who have lost their confidence. They believe in coaching the entire child, to build up their self-image and confidence in tandem with their grades. Tutors are highly educated and energetic, with the heart of teachers for whom letting children fall through the gaps is simply not an option. Tutors work one-on-one with students, to identify their unique, legitimate reasons for why they are academically struggling, and help them overcome them.

5. Wash Park Tutoring

With nearly 10 years in business, Wash Park Tutoring knows the ins and outs of helping K-8 students become all they can be. With a tailored and multi-sensory approach, they will help your child overcome any academic challenge. With tutors specializing in mathematics, reading, writing, music, and social studies, among others, you can be sure your child will get the specific help they need.

Eric M Earle has been involved with mathematics tutoring for over a decade. He is the co-founder of Math Tutor Denver, Math Tutor Austin, & Math Tutor Boston. In partnership with Mile High Mamas.