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New exhibit highlights young minds at Clyfford Still, Art

This one’s for the kids!

Let’s face it: unless you’re at a children’s museum, most art is not created with kids in mind. Well, this new upcoming exhibit hopes to change that. 

Co-curated with children from six months old to age eight from across the Front Range, the upcoming exhibition Clyfford Still, Art, and the Young Mind, reveals how children think about art. Designed to engage both children and adults, the exhibition will be on view from March 11 to August 7 at the Clyfford Still Museum (CSM).

What is Young Mind?

The Museum’s first four galleries chart the artistic journey of Clyfford Still in a chronological narrative, and includes artworks selected with families and children in mind and hung lower on the walls to account for the height of young visitors. The remaining galleries feature Clyfford Still, Art, and the Young Mind, the first show CSM curated in collaboration with the community.

Using existing research about what kinds of art children like at different points in their development, co-curators Bailey H. Placzek and Nicole Cromartie organized the exhibition into five gallery themes: high contrast, scale, pattern, the world around us, and color. Then, they asked local children to select and arrange their favorite artworks, share their perspectives for the gallery and audio content, and help to design interactive activities. The Young Mind exhibition includes various interactive and interpretive elements, including

  • A behind-the-scenes video with clips of the infant co-curators selecting paintings for the exhibition by staring, pointing, vocalizing, and grabbing reproductions of their favorite Still paintings.
  • Pre-kindergarten students helped create anone of the galleries and inspired an installation of prisms on one of the outdoor terraces.
  • Young co-curators also assisted in developing audio and video experiences in English, Spanish, and American Sign Language.
  • Second-grade students from two schools selected and arranged archival images of automobiles and airplanes from the Clyfford Still Archives for “The World Around Us” gallery.

While many examples of museums creating exhibitions for children exist, Cromartie and Placzek had a challenging time finding any examples of museums working with very young children and pre-verbal children to develop exhibitions. “This show is groundbreaking in our field,” said Placzek. “We realized that including children in all aspects of exhibition development including design, interpretation, programming, marketing, and evaluation, would make for a richer exhibition and learning experience for everyone involved in the project.”

“If the Museum is a welcoming environment for children and their grown-ups, it will be a more welcoming place for everyone,” said Placzek. “When we first started talking about this exhibition, we were very aware of the fact that this couldn’t just be an exhibition for very young kids. So many of the exhibition’s foundational themes are multi-disciplinary and will interest people of all ages.”

Cromartie and Placzek said that the exhibition’s nearly three-year development process during pandemic times renewed their appreciation for the joy that the simple act of looking at art instills in their everyday lives. They hope visitors will feel the same way.

Visit for more information. The Museum will offer a variety of programs and events during the run of the exhibition that are free or free with admission.

How to help Ukraine now in the fight for freedom

Feeling helpless in Putin’s attack on Ukraine? Here are some things you can do NOW to help.
Like many, I have ties to the country. My dad’s family is from Ukraine. They immigrated to Canada and my dad didn’t learn English until his first day of school. He wanted to visit last summer but delayed his trip due to COVID. We have great hope he will be able to return.
On the flipside, Putin’s war is not indicative of Russian hearts. One of my husband’s employees is Russian and has been keeping him updated. Most of the country is horrified at this development and see through the Russian propaganda. Many have family and friends in Ukraine. But how do you stand up to a dictator and his army? Many are trying with their heroic protests. 
Ukraine President Zelenskyy made an impassioned plea to Russians that is a must-watch for all as he shares his love for the places and people he loves in Russia. They are not enemies. 

How to Help Ukraine Now

Yale historian and author Timothy Snyder shares that Ukraine is not a rich country. The average household makes less than $7,000 a year. A little money, sent in the right direction, can make a meaningful difference. And it might give you a sense that you have done the right thing, at least in a small way, at the right moment.
Russia and Ukraine are different in many ways. Russia is a militarized country that spends its hydrocarbon earnings on weapons and intervenes beyond its borders on a regular basis. Ukraine has small armed forces with much less impressive weaponry. In Russia, everything is centralized by the state and controlled by one person (we see the result); in Ukraine, decentralization and informality are the rule.
Ukraine’s army is partly crowdfunded.
Everyone has different values, and so here is a range. Please do something. Snyder advises us to help in the following ways. 
NGO that arranges life-saving equipment for Ukrainian soldiers:
Ukrainian Women’s Veteran Movement:
NGO that assists internal refugees:
NGO that assistants internal refugees, especially from Crimea:
NGO that aids traumatized children:
Foundation that assists healthcare and education in eastern Ukraine:
Also, the Denver Zoo is raising funds for an emergency wildlife fund to support the organizations and personnel working in Ukraine and bordering nations that are providing food, transportation, veterinary care and evacuation for the animals, and support for the zookeepers and other staff
USA Today has also shared these links:
The International Committee of the Red Cross and Ukrainian Red Cross Society support food-producing initiatives and infrastructure repair. Money can be sent as a one-time donation or monthly contribution to the cause.
To help children affected by war, Voices of Children is a charitable foundation that provides psychological and psychosocial support to children,
Army SOS uses donated funds to support Ukrainian soldiers in various ways. 
PayPal link is available from the official United Help Ukraine website and its Facebook page.
And pray. 
-Amber JohnsonAlso, the Denver Zoo has 

Contest: Family Fun at ‘Egypt: The Time of Pharaohs’ at Denver Museum of Nature and Science

The Egyptians have invaded Colorado at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science! Here’s your first glimpse and scroll down to enter to win tickets.

And if this exhibit ignites your child’s inner pharaoh? Check out National Geographic Kids Everything Ancient Egypt: Dig Into a Treasure Trove of Facts, Photos, and Fun!

Family Fun at Egypt: The Time of Pharaohs

The exhibition “Egypt: The Time of Pharaohs,” opens Friday, Feb. 25, at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science, and transports you to the distant past to explore ancient Egyptian culture and the land of pharaohs.

Over 5,000 years ago, Egypt became a state that unified many cities and towns along the Nile River. Since then, ancient Egypt’s powerful pharaohs, phenomenal pyramids and extraordinary art have captivated peoples’ imaginations all over the world.

Experience everyday life in one of the most storied cultures in human history—the private, public and secret spaces—through hundreds of artifacts, stunning artwork and engaging interactives for insights into ancient Egyptian people and their impact on our own culture.

Fun Facts for Kids

  • Women took the throne of the Pharaoh.
  • One of the most famous female Pharaoh was Hatshepsut, who ruled Egypt for 20 years.
  •  The Pharaoh was not only the political and religious leader but was also representative of the gods on earth.
  • Egyptians worshipped more than 2,000 different gods.
  • Women and men of equivalent social status were treated as equals in front of the law.
  • Egyptians depended on the natural rhythm of the Nile as a source of water, fertile soil for agriculture, and a means of transport.
  • The development of hieroglyphic writing led to the growth and prosperity of Egypt.Egypt in Denver

Egypt: The Time of Pharaohs Highlights

In the exhibition, you will experience ancient Egyptian culture and see how it flourished along the banks of the Nile through themes, including:

  • Landscape and Climate: Explore how the Nile Valley’s reliable seasons and fertile landscape played into the rapid success and long-term prosperity of the Egyptian empire through time-lapse videos, hands-on displays and a film about the region’s animals and plant life.
  • Religion and Gods: Discover the role religion plays in everyday life, the power of the gods and their relationships to each other and the people.
  • Script and the Emergence of State: Learn how the written word, in this case the invention of hieroglyphic writing, made mass communication, record keeping and the organization of a state possible.
  • The Pharaohs: Traverse through ancient Egypt’s history to examine the power and responsibilities of the pharaohs.
  • Sacred Spaces: Enter into the earthly houses of the gods – temples that resembled villages and bustled with activity to sustain gods with wine, bread, prayer and sacrifices, with everything from priest training and administrative offices to bakeries and vineyards.
  • Private Spaces: Step into the living quarters of ancient Egyptians from different social strata and get a sense for how people of different ranks lived and worked together.
  • Personal Adornment: Examine makeup vessels, jewelry and fine textiles to get a sense for how much ancient Egyptians value and appreciate beauty and the ways in which grooming, clothing and accessories signal one’s station and role in society.
  • Secret Spaces: Explore the secret spaces of ancient Egypt through ancient texts, elaborately decorated coffins and tombs, and embalming practices and mummification rituals.

Plus, Museum volunteers will help you explore the mummification process, decipher hieroglyphics, guide you through a bird’s-eye tour of Aten Temple model and help answer questions the experience brings to the surface.

Adult tickets are $9.50, youth $7 (ages 3-18) and seniors $7.  To learn more about the exhibition and purchase tickets, visit


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. 

Deals: Denver Restaurant Week, Colorado Spring Skiing & More

Have you done your taxes yet? Some years I do it just at the deadline and sometimes I like to get it done early (and get paid sooner). Did you know that the most common plan with a tax refund is to pay down debt or jump start savings? This makes smart financial sense.

Two’s Day (again) at Village Inn. Some celebrated February 2, 2022 as two’s day. And some are celebrating on February 22. At Village Inn you can celebrate with getting a 2-2-2 breakfast for only $2.22 on the celebrated day! The 2-2-2 Breakfast (served all day) is two eggs, two pancakes, and two strips of bacon or two sausage links. Text TWO to 88222 to get the deal.

 McDonalds. While not a deal per se, but the Shamrock Shake is back!

 Dairy Block Mardi Gras. The next best thing to being in New Orleans for Mardi Gras is participating in the parade – of shoeboxes – at the Dairy Block downtown. Enter your float for free – it just has to start with a shoebox (it can’t be larger than 2’ x 2’ x 3’). On Sunday, March 6 from noon to 3 p.m. the 4th annual Dairy Block Petite Parade, entertainment, and more will have you saying “laissez les bons temps rouler.”

 Denver Restaurant Week. Do you have a restaurant that you have heard of but always thought was too expensive to try? Now might be the time! Over 200 restaurants participate in the annual Denver Restaurant Week, Friday, March 11 through Sunday, March 20 with special menus and deals. Reservations fill up quickly – so try to make yours now.

 Spring Skiing. Colorado Ski Country’s Passport program is coming to a seasonal close. Make sure that if you have a 4th, 5th or 6th grader you sign up. The kids get free days of skiing at each of the 21 member resorts and a free first timer lesson. The pass also allows you to get 2 free daily rentals of gear for Christy Sports. So, you don’t even have to pay for the equipment to expose your kiddos to the sport! Parents can grab the Gem’s card good for amazing buy one get one deals. This deal ends February 28 – so hurry!

 Amazon Prime Raising Rates.  Amazon Prime is increasing its rate by $20 starting February 18. It will jump from $119 annually to $139. However, if you purchase a gift membership (given as a gift card) and stop your auto-renew; you can use the gift card purchased at today’s rate to save that $20.

Uncorked Kitchen. Uncorked Kitchen is already planning Kids Summer Camps! Use promo code UKSUMMER to get 15% off!

Harlem Globetrotters. The spectacle that is the basketball wizards – the Harlem Globetrotters is back in town. They will more than certainly have a game near you – Ball Arena on March 12; Broadmoor World Arena on March 11; First Bank Center on March 12; and Budweiser Event Center on March 13. You can score 20% off tickets when you use the promo code USFAM

 Hamilton Tickets. If you have not been able to afford tickets to see Hamilton as it comes back to the Denver Center – try their lottery. You have a chance to win the opportunity to buy two tickets at just $10 each. Each Friday register for the following week’s performances. Register at

Free Days. Make sure you bookmark our free Days post. This week’s featured days: Monday, February 21 you can get free access to all the National Parks in celebration of President’s Day! See Denver Free Days for 2022 here


Learn to ice fish for free in Colorado!

Do you want to learn to ice fish in Colorado?

This FREE event on Saturday, February 26 from 8 a.m.-1 p.m. at Eleven Mile State Park Marina is for anglers of all ages who have very little to no ice fishing experience. It is limited to 20 participants. Topics to be covered include ice safety, ice fishing equipment, and ice fishing techniques. All fishing equipment will be provided, but please be sure to bring a chair, sunglasses, sunscreen, water, snacks, and a cooler with ice if you wish to take fish home. Be sure to dress in layers to stay warm out on the ice.

Participants MUST fill out and sign the waiver prior to participating. Please print this out and complete and have ready upon check-in. Check the “angling outreach” box at the top.

Link to waiver:

NOTE: All participants 16 years or older MUST have a valid Colorado fishing license to participate. Also, if you have ice cleats, YakTrax or other ice traction devices for your footwear, please bring them. We will have a few sets available for the day but not enough for everyone. 

Does your child have learning differences? How to parent your visual-spatial child!

If there is anything I’ve learned over the years, it’s that our children all learn differently. This is particularly challenging when the public educational system is setup for linear learners like my son who thrives in front of a computer with succinct deadlines and expectations. Pandemic schooling at home was a nightmare for my daughter who thrives outside of the classroom. 

Learning Looks Different for Kids

She will graduate this year and it has been a journey. When she was in second grade, I saw early signs that my bright, creative, adventurous and fun girl was struggling in a traditional classroom.  The following year, a friend told me about a Waldorf-inspired charter school that had opened in our area so we made a switch to their arts-based education. For the next two years, her art flourished, she learned handworks like knitting and weaving, she camped with her class multiple times, played the violin, spoke Spanish and made dear friends.

Through it all, she still struggled in her main academics so we hired a wonderful yet pricey tutor to supplement her education. We learned very quickly that we could do math flashcards until we were blue in the face because she simply could not learn that way. We needed someone who could teach her out-of-the-box because she was easily distracted and lacked focus. ADD, Auditory Processing and even Sensory Processing Disorder were discussed. I  repeatedly asked the school to observe her but I was constantly shut down and told I was overreacting. She wasn’t far enough behind to qualify for Special Education yet wasn’t at grade level. She was one of many kids falling between the cracks.

What is a Visual-Spatial Learner/ Topsy-Turvey Child?

Next, I met with the interventionist/Special Ed teacher and we scheduled a time to have my daughter tested and she then offered to tutor her–for free–this summer. But then came another game-changer:

“I’ve been thinking about everything you’ve told me about your daughter. I very strongly feel like she is a Visual-Spatial Child a.k.a. a Topsy-Turvy Kid.”

I’d heard of Auditory, Kinesthetic and Visual learners but not Visual-Spatial and there’s a reason. After some extensive Internet searches, there isn’t a lot of information about it.

Visual-spatial learners (VSLs) are often artists, inventors, builders, creators, musicians, computer gurus, visionaries and healers. These children have powerful right hemispheres and learn in multi-dimensional images, while most schools, most teachers and most curricula are a haven for left-hemispheric thinking (or auditory-sequential learners) for  children who think and learn in words, rather than images, and in a step-by-step fashion. Though visual-spatial students are often very bright, they don’t always find success in academic environments. They have the most incredible moments of discovery, invention and problem solving but the skills of managing a time schedule, organization or showing their work may elude them. They march to their own drummer and nothing you do will convince them to change..and why should you want to? If there were not visual-spatial learners among us we’d be without art and dance, without science and invention, without drama and choreography, without most of the things that make life beautiful.

She sent me home with “Raising Topsy-Turvy Kids: Successfully Parenting Your Visual-Spatial Child” and it was like reading my daughter’s Book of Life. We’ve had years without answers and finally, windows, doors and the entire universe have been opened to us. We’ve known she was a right-brained kid living in a left-brained world. Unfortunately, we moved out of the area soon thereafter and she returned to a traditional educational model. In seventh grade, we finally got her tested by a neuropsychologist who confirmed our suspicions that she had ADD and processing challenges. 

What We Did Right with Parenting our Visual-Spatial Child

It’s easy to feel like we came up short with our daughter and school. There were many years of math meltdowns and stubborn homework refusals and Raising Topsy-Turvey Kids has SOOOO many practical tips for parenting your child but here’s what we did right:

    • We didn’t focus on grades. We knew her capabilities were different than her brothers and others. Being a regimented “Straight As or nothing” parents would have destroyed her–and our relationship with her.
    • Get creative. She learns best through arts-based experiences. The school didn’t always offer that so we had to dig deep.
    • We let her fail in middle school. OK, she didn’t actually fail but we started giving real-world consequences if she didn’t turn assignments in vs. helicopter parenting her every assignment. Sometimes it worked, sometimes it didn’t but we did this during middle school when grades didn’t count against her. 
    • We held her accountable. Every single semester in high school, she came to the end of the term and she had Ds in most of her core classes (math, sciences) and we would work with her to get her grades up. She did it every single time and is graduating with a solid GPA and scholarship offers at several smaller universities.  She may go that route but she is also looking at trade school/licensing options which we fully support. 
    • We got her help. Tutors, school counselors, therapists, you name it. We talk openly about mental health and the importance of seeking help when you need it.

Remember: You’re not alone and neither are they!

Other Resources for Different Learners

Visual-Spatial Learners: Understanding the Learning Style Preference of Bright but Disengaged Students.  This book addresses strategies for preparing students to succeed on timed tests; easing the pain of handwriting; teaching spelling using imagery; incorporating mnemonics, rhyme, and other tricks that engage the right hemisphere of the brain

Different Learners: Identity, Preventing and Treating Yoru Child’s Learning Problems. This comprehensive, practical guide to children’s learning problems should be the first resource parents and teachers reach for when a child shows signs of difficulty in academic, social, or behavioral learning. By Dr. Jane Healy. 

Engaging Learners Through Artmaking: Choice-Based Education in the Classroom. This book introduces artistic behaviors that sustain engagement, such as problem finding, innovation, play, representation, collaboration, and more.

All Feelings Are Okay: A Kid’s Book About Different Moods and Emotions; Helps Kids Identify and Accept Feelings. This is a great book for younger kids that focuses on social-emotional learning for kids with autism, ADHD, ADD, and SPD. 

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. 

Black History Month: 13 Events in Denver

The contributions of African Americans to our country are great and each February, Black History Month honors their achievements. Visit Denver shares how you can celebrate throughout the Denver metro area with lectures, dramatic performances and music.

Black Heritage Month Virtual Read Aloud: The Comedies of Terence

WHEN: Feb. 12 and 26, 2022
WHERE: Virtual/Online

Meet Terence: Brought to Rome from Africa as a slave in ~146BC, Terence was later freed and authored multiple popular adaptations of Greek plays. His works were a key text for students learning Latin during the Middle Ages and Renaissance and served as an inspiration for many playwrights to come, including Shakespeare. He is considered one of the first great poets of the African diaspora. Join Denver Public Library to experience Terence’s works as they were originally meant — read aloud! Moderators will assign roles and the reading will begin at 3:15 p.m., no acting experience required.

Wake Up Mr. Flowers

WHEN: Thru Feb. 18, 2022
WHERE: Art Gym Gallery

Lio Bumbakini is a self-taught artist who paints the modern experience in swaths of folkloric imagery inspired by his African descent (Congo-Zaire) and Euro-Centric (Belgian) upbringing. His works consist of large-scale murals, canvas paintings, drawings, mixed media work and performative installations. Bumbakini’s work speaks to cultural and individual identity, as well the impacts of globalization, environmental degradation and capitalism. His experience as a man of color in America, his Euro-centric upbringing, in triage with his strong African roots are facets of his life that greatly influence his work.

Demystifying the Black Panther Party and Black Lives Matter Organizations

WHEN: Feb. 19, 2022
WHERE: Blair Caldwell African American Research Library

Join Senior Librarian of the Blair-Caldwell African American Research Library, Jameka Lewis, as she unpacks the historical and contemporary social climates that birthed the existence of these very unique, largely demonized and often misunderstood organizations. Learn more about the mission and activists that transformed grassroots concepts that inspired global change agencies.

Jack Hadley ‘Daybreak in Alabama: The Langston Hughes Project’

WHEN: Feb. 19, 2022
WHERE: Dazzle @ Baur’s

The band will perform original music written by Jack Hadley from his latest release “Daybreak In Alabama – The Langston Hughes Project” and “The St. Louis Sessions.” Langston Hughes was one of the leaders of the Harlem Renaissance, the African American cultural movement of the early 20th century. Originally from Joplin, Missouri, he was a poet, novelist and social activist.

Purnell Steen & the Five Points Ambassadors

WHEN: Feb. 24, 2022
WHERE: Dazzle

Purnell Steen and The Five Points Ambassadors (also known as LeJazz Machine) is a band dedicated to playing and preserving the music of Denver’s legendary Five Points neighborhood. For their annual show in celebration of Black History Month, they will definitely swing and sway the Five Points Way, and, ever the storyteller, Purnell will share the histories of Black artists who have worked and played in Five Points.

Passages: Bound and Free

WHEN: Thru Feb. 25, 2022
WHERE: Blair Caldwell African American Research Library

This exhibition portrays artist Verline “Mijiza” Geaither’s personal interpretation of the experiences of many Black men, women and children who live and have lived in the United States of America. As you experience this artwork, consider what it might invoke inside of you about your personal journey. What have been the passages in your life, what do you anticipate in the future? We all come and go. What do you see? How do you feel? What do you know? And, ultimately, who is in control?

Commemorative Air Force’s Rise Above Exhibit

WHEN: Feb. 23–26, 2022
WHERE: Wings Over the Rockies Air & Space Museum

In celebration of Black History Month, join Wings Over the Rockies and the Commemorative Air Force to experience the history and legacy of the Tuskegee Airmen and Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP) in this limited-time traveling exhibit. The exhibit is an immersive experience housed in a 53-foot semi-trailer. Because of its dynamic 160-degree panoramic screen, it creates the feeling of being in the cockpit soaring above the clouds. See two compelling original short films that tell the stories of how the Tuskegee Airmen and WASP members overcame obstacles to serve their country during World War II. Access to the exhibit is included with museum admission.

Buffalo Soldiers: The Forgotten Black Army in the West

WHEN: Feb. 26, 2022
WHERE: Blair Caldwell African American Research Library

Learn more about the largely unknown history of African American army regiments, nicknamed the Buffalo Soldiers. Members of the Buffalo Soldiers of the American West organization will bring these individuals to life with stories, historically accurate costumes and artifacts. The presentation will include a special dedication to Cathay Williams, the only woman to serve in the US Army as a Buffalo Soldier. Ideal for all ages.

Black Voices of Dance

WHEN: Feb. 24–27, 2022
WHERE: 2590 Walnut St., Boulder

Boulder Ballet Presents Black Voices of Dance, an evening of dance highlighting the nation’s most vibrant Black voices in the field. Three world premieres celebrate the work of some of today’s prestigious Black choreographers, including Gregory Dawson, Sidra Bell, Amy Hall Garner and Boulder Ballet’s own Lance Hardin in an evening of original works sure to transcend.

The Culture Museum

WHEN: Thru Feb. 27, 2022; Fri.–Sun.
WHERE: 1439 26th St

Historic Five Points is home to a new immersive pop-up art museum and selfie exhibition celebrating Black girl magic! The new experience is curated by Museum for Black Girls founder Charlie Billingsley.

Black in Denver

WHEN: Thru Mar. 5, 2022
WHERE: History Colorado Center

Narkita Gold is a Denver-based artist who’s been honing her skills in digital photography since 2009. Her exhibition, Black in Denver, is a portrait and interview series that takes delves into Black life in Denver. 

‘In the Upper Room’

WHEN: Feb. 11–March 13, 2022
WHERE: Denver Center for the Performing Arts (DCPA)

Loyalty, spirituality and colorism are all at play in this dramatic dark comedy based on the real family history of playwright and novelist Beaufield Berry. The Berrys are a multi-generational Black family living under one roof in the 1970s. Their lives orbit around Rose, a strong-willed matriarch whose superstitions and secrets drive her relatives nuts. Fed up, the aunties, in-laws and granddaughters of the household make their own plans to break away so they can finally live in peace. But by standing their ground, they may lose what has held them together all along.

Organic Tarot: Works by Tya Alisa Anthony

WHEN: Thru April 3, 2022
WHERE: Denver Botanic Gardens

Interdisciplinary artist and curator Tya Alisa Anthony combines archival photos with botanical imagery to illuminate and reframe the personal stories of Depression-era Black sharecroppers and reimagine them as icons of divine and mystical power. Organic Tarot explores the often-hidden stories of people of color depicted in historic photographs.

Note: The Black American West Museum & Heritage Center  (former home of Denver’s first African American female physician, Justina Ford) is currently undergoing major renovations. However, the museum celebrates Black History year-round! Check their website at for both virtual and in-person events as they are announced. 

Happy Valentine’s Day in Denver!

It is Valentine’s Day in the Mile High City! If you have procrastinated your Valentine’s Day plans we have you covered with these quick tips:

Valentine’s Day gifts, events, romantic dining and hotels in Denver

Valentine’s Day Deals (including heart-shaped pizza)

Check out our event calendarcharcuterie board valentine's day

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

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

Happy Valentine’s Day!


Olympic Games: My tales as a luger, bobsledder and traffic reporter

I love doing The Sports, just not watching them. However, the Olympic Games are my exception. I grew up in Calgary where we hosted the 1988 Winter Games and our P.E. curriculum encompassed many Olympic sports that year. I learned to curl and luge. Charlie Beren’s luge attempt brought me back to that cold, icy and fast track. #NeverAgain

Fast-forward to 2002 I lived in Salt Lake City in 2002 and attended many Olympic events and I was thrilled when I was hired as a freelance radio reporter to cover the Games (nevermind it was the Olympic traffic beat; a minor detail).

And then several years later, I was Microsoft’s official blogger at the 2010 Vancouver Games where (cue the music) I had the time of my life! 

The Bobsled Run of Death at Utah Olympic Park

And then my ultimate (painful)Olympic experience about 10 years ago, I volunteered to ride the fourth position on the bobsled at Utah Olympic Park.

I’ve done some crazy things in my life.

I won’t expound upon them because my mother sometimes reads my blog.

Riding in the 4-man bobsled at Utah Olympic Park was the craziest thing I have ever done.

We all know bobsledders go fast—upwards of 90 mph. I was equipped to deal with speed. What I was not prepared for was the excruciating 5 Gs of force weighing down upon me.

To put this into perspective: astronauts only feel 3 Gs during maximum launch and reentry in the Space Shuttle.

It was the first time even my Afro could not defy the forces of gravity.

Some background: I was in Park City that weekend. I was a part of Park City Mountain Resort’s cutting-edge social media site Snowmamas and my fellow Snowmamas and I congregated for a glorious weekend of skiing, tubing, eating and brainstorming.

Fellow family travel writers Kara, Jennifer and Beth were also in town. On Saturday afternoon, we toured Utah Olympic Park, which consists of the interactive Alf Engen Ski Museum, the inspiring 2002 Eccles Olympic Winter Games Museum, and a fascinating bus tour of the aerials, ski jump and the combined track venues.

I have done all this before. What motivated me to act as a fourth wheel was the opportunity to do the bobsled at no charge (a $175 cost).

I figured it would be a roller-coaster on steroids. I did not anticipate it would be like gold medalist Steve Holcomb described as a “minute-long car accident” on one of the fastest tracks in the world.

Jen, Kara and I were assigned to Sled No. 9 and underwent a 30-minute orientation. The room was predominantly filled with chest-thumping, testosterone-zing men.

And then there was us. But how serendipitous was it that my helmet and sled totally matched my outfit?

In a 4-man bobsled, there is a pilot (driver), positions 2 and 3, and the brakeman in the back. Our instructor Jon described that fourth position as the most aggressive and the one that bears the brunt of the force. For the public ride, the pilot would serve as both driver and brakeman.

You know. Because the person in Position 4 is consumed with a minor thing like not dying.

And who would be insane enough to volunteer for said Position of Death (POD)? Me, of course. Kara and Jennifer gushed gratitude and vowed they would owe me for life. After what I endured on the Comet bobsled, a proper display of indebtedness would be naming their next child after me. Or, in the very least, their favorite goldfish.

The sled follows 15 curves at speeds only 10 seconds less than the professionals. We were the final competitors. In the public rides, no one does a running start so Jen leisurely entered through the back of the sled, followed by Kara and then me in the POD.

After straddling the person in front of you, the strategy is to shrug your shoulders the entire ride to prevent your head from bobbling around. We used the handles to hold ourselves upright and hang on for dear life.

We were gently pushed off the starting line and that was the final placid moment of our ride. I’m still at a loss for how to describe the sensation of having 5 Gs of force crushing down upon you. It was painful. It was fascinating. It was thrilling. But mostly it was just excruciating.

When I watched bobsledders on TV, I always assumed their head bobbing was due to the velocity but it is more attributed to defying the forces exerted by gravity.

Upon finally coming to a stop, my first thought was, “That was the most unbelievable experience of my life,” which was followed by “WHY THE CRAP DO BOBSLEDDERS SUBMIT THEMSELVES TO THAT INSANITY DAY IN AND DAY OUT?”

And then all thoughts were overcome by severe throbbing. Dazed, we posed with our cutie pie pilot Jake.

See my smile? I did not mean it.

When I woke up the next morning, I had a severe case of whiplash and could not move my neck and shoulders. The blood vessel in my right eye had burst and I looked like I got my butt kicked by the neighborhood bully.

Which, in reality, I kind of did.

His name is Bob.

Deals: Spring Skiing in Colorado, Colorado Garden and Home Show

Do you have certain things you start thinking about at certain times of the year? I do! I start thinking about what kind of little upgrade I might do/afford to my home this time of year – and apparently, I’m not the only one. The Colorado Garden and Home Show is my proof! But also, in the cycle of sales, President’s Day weekend is the best time to score deals on furniture and beds. So, if you are looking for a refresh that way – now is the time.

Colorado Garden and Home Show. The 63rd Annual Garden and Home show will be at the Convention Center through February 20. Adult admission is only $12 and kids 12 and under are free. But there are also ways you can get in cheaper: Go during the weekdays (Monday to Thursday) get a buy one, get one free admission or buy your ticket online via AXS.  

Dunkin Donuts. Wednesday, February 16, get a FREE medium hot or iced coffee if you are a DD perks member (membership is free).

 Spring Skiing. Colorado Ski Country’s Passport program is coming to a seasonal close. Make sure that if you have a 4th, 5th or 6th grader you sign up. The kids get free days of skiing at each of the 21 member resorts and a free first-timer lesson. The pass also allows you to get 2 free daily rentals of gear for Christy Sports. So, you don’t even have to pay for the equipment to expose your kiddos to the sport! Parents can grab the Gem’s card good for amazing buy one get one deals. This deal ends February 28 – so hurry!

 Amazon Prime Raising Rates.  Amazon Prime is increasing its rate by $20 starting February 18. It will jump from $119 annually to $139. However, if you purchase a gift membership (given as a gift card) and stop your auto-renew; you can use the gift card purchased at today’s rate to save that $20.

Harlem Globetrotters. The spectacle that is the basketball wizards – the Harlem Globetrotters is back in town. They will more than certainly have a game near you – Ball Arena on March 12; Broadmoor World Arena on March 11; First Bank Center on March 12; and Budweiser Event Center on March 13. You can score 20% off tickets when you use the promo code USFAM

 Hamilton Tickets. If you have not been able to afford tickets to see Hamilton as it comes back to the Denver Center – try their lottery. You have a chance to win the opportunity to buy two tickets at just $10 each. Each Friday register for the following week’s performances. Register at

30% off YMCA of the Rockies and Snow Mountain Ranch in February! To celebrate winter travel in the Rocky Mountains this month, YMCA of the Rockies is offering 30% off lodge room stays of 3 nights or longer during the month of February at Snow Mountain Ranch or Estes Park Center. Reservations must be made by Feb. 15 for stays beginning in February. Blackout dates: Feb. 18, 19 and 20. Book online at using code LOVEYMCA or call 888.613.9622

Free Days. Make sure you bookmark our free Days post. This week’s featured days: Monday, February 21 you can get free access to all the National Parks in celebration of President’s Day! See Denver Free Days for 2022 here