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Denver’s best family-friendly summer festivals 2022

Summer in Denver is in full swing and so are the many family-friendly festivals in the Mile High City including a Unicorn Festival, taco tasting for taco lovers, the Colorado Renaissance Festival and more! Don’t miss these fantastic events that include arts, entertainment, food and more. 

Also, don’t miss our Summer Activity Guide with 250+ ideas, Denver Free Days to our area museums and Denver Playgrounds & Parks: A guide to the best play areas in metro Denver. 

Colorado Shakespeare Festival

WHEN: Thru Aug. 7, 2022
WHERE: University of Colorado, Boulder

For more than 60 seasons, the Colorado Shakespeare Festival has delighted audiences with classic theatre under the stars. This year’s season includes “Two Gentlemen of Verona,” “All’s Well That Ends Well,” “The Book of Will,” “Coriolanus” and “The Alchemist.”

Colorado Renaissance Festival

WHEN: June 18–Aug. 7, 2022
WHERE: Larkspur

This season we will take you on a magical tour through time and legend. As you wander down the village streets and pathways of the Colorado Renaissance Festival, experience a 16th-century Renaissance amusement park! Ready thyself to revel with master revelers, watch artisans create original works of their ancient craft and be taken in by the tantalizing aromas of roast turkey legs, steak on a stake, fresh baked goods and much more. Featuring a cast of hundreds of authentically costumed merrymakers living and working throughout the village and performing, continuously, upon the Festival’s stages.

Top Taco

WHEN: June 23, 2022
WHERE: Fiddler’s Green Amphitheatre, Greenwood Village

Festival-goers sample unlimited taco tastes from more than 60 restaurants and signature tequila cocktails from some of the best bartenders in Denver. Vote for your favorites to crown four categories of awards: Top Creative Taco, Top Traditional Taco, Top Vegetarian Taco and Top Cocktail. With five stages of amazing music, creative tequila lounge areas, an entire tent dedicated to mezcal tasting and some of the best chefs and mixologists in the city, Top Taco has become the can’t-miss summer event in Denver!

Denver Fringe Festival

WHEN: June 23–26, 2022
WHERE: River North Art District – RiNo

The Denver Fringe Festival is an annual performing arts festival featuring original theatre, comedy, improv, cabaret, magic, dance, aerial, circus and more at venues throughout Five Points and the RiNo Art District.

Highlands Street Fair

WHEN: June 25, 2022
WHERE: Highland Square

Head to the free Highlands Street Fair to enjoy live music, food from local restaurants, great shopping and more! Support local business and the local Denver community to start your summer on a high note.

Cherry Blossom Festival

WHEN: June 25–26, 2022
WHERE: Sakura Square

Fans of taiko drumming, teriyaki chicken, sake and Japanese artwork and wares won’t want to miss this year’s Cherry Blossom Festival – “Sakura Matsuri” in Japanese. The annual event celebrates the Japanese heritage and culture through live entertainment, food and drink, a marketplace and informative exhibits and demonstrations.

Colorado Tiny House Festival

WHEN: June 25–26, 2022
WHERE: Riverdale Regional Park, Brighton

Tour tiny house models, container homes, bus and van conversions, yurts, tents, tipis, teardrops, overland and expedition trailers, custom campers, RVs and more! You’ll learn from industry experts during incredible speaking presentations and meet professional builders and people who have DIY-built their own tiny home who can answer your questions.

Unicorn Festival

WHEN: June 25–26, 2022
WHERE: Clement Park, Littleton

Spend a beautiful weekend in a magical world! Ongoing entertainment and activities include multiple unicorn corrals and photo ops, sing-alongs and stories, princess meet and greets, a castle maze and dragon slide obstacle course, fairyland face painters, food trucks and more!

JULY

Cherry Creek Arts Festival

WHEN: July 1–3, 2022
WHERE: Cherry Creek North

The Cherry Creek Arts Festival is an innovative outdoor fine art event featuring 220 juried artist exhibitors selling original artworks, family-friendly art activities for people of all ages, live music, immersive art experiences and amazing food and drink. The three-day event gives patrons the rare and special opportunity to meet and purchase art from artists from around the country.

Fan Expo

WHEN: July 1–3, 2022
WHERE: Colorado Convention Center

Experience the ultimate playground for comics, sci-fi, horror, anime and gaming. Three days of citywide events, family-friendly attractions and world-renowned celebrities await you at Fan Expo!

Central City Opera’s 2022 Festival

WHEN: July 2–31, 2022
WHERE: Central City Opera House, Central City

Central City Opera’s summer festival is a four-week extravaganza of storytelling and powerful voices, featuring classical music’s biggest talents. Central City Opera’s 90th season will include mainstage productions of the classic operetta “Die Fledermaus” and the modern musical, “The Light in the Piazza.” The moving Holocaust remembrance opera “Two Remain” rounds out the 90th Anniversary season.

Colorado Black Arts Festival

WHEN: July 8–10, 2022
WHERE: City Park

The Colorado Black Arts Festival proudly presents its 36th annual celebration of African American art and culture, a Colorado experience like no other!

Blues and BBQ

WHEN: July 16, 2022
WHERE: Citizens Park, Edgewater

Carve out a spot in your calendar for a full day of blues music and delicious, juicy BBQ.

Mile High Global Bazaar

WHEN: July 16–17, 2022
WHERE: Skyline Park

The Mile High Global Bazaar is a three-day, annual celebration of international cultures, arts, crafts, merchandise, food and music. The event will consist of exhibitors from around the globe representing a vast array of cultures and goods. Denver is home to more than two million people representing a vast array of cultures and countries from around the world. 

RiNo Showcase

WHEN: July 17, 2022
WHERE: Number Thirty Eight

RiNo Showcase is an annual series of festival-link events where locals creatives can share and sell their work. Artists and vendors always keep 100% of their profits.

Cheeseman Park Art Festival

WHEN: July 23–24, 2022
WHERE: Cheesman Park

This show was just nationally ranked as one of the Top 100 Shows of the Decade by Sunshine Artist Magazine! A charming event with an outstanding lineup of artists and craftsmen, the Cheesman Park Art Fest has you culturally covered from live music beneath the trees to Denver’s best food trucks! All of the booths showcase handmade juried works of art and craft. From jewelry and pottery, to oil paintings and woodwork, there’s something for everyone!

Colorado Dragon Boat Festival

WHEN: July 23–24, 2022
WHERE: Cheesman Park

Join Colorado’s annual celebration of Asian and Asian American heritage with the biggest dragon boat festival in the U.S.! 

The Big Eat

WHEN: July 28, 2022
WHERE: DPAC/Denver Performing Arts Complex

The Big Eat, hosted inside The Galleria at the Denver Performing Arts Complex, is a one-night showcase of the Denver area’s vibrant and dynamic independent dining scene. Featuring small bites and sips from more than 60 independent food and beverage providers, guests experience the city’s diverse array of local and international cuisines, all while supporting Colorado’s food community.

16th Street Fair

WHEN: July 30–31, 2022
WHERE: 16th Street Mall – Pedestrian Mall

The annual 16th Street Fair is a celebration of fine art, handcrafted goods and the 16th Street Mall in Downtown Denver. Take a stroll along the 16th Street Mall to enjoy a showcase of emerging artists and designers producing original and unique handmade goods in a wide array of media. This is Downtown Denver’s premier art and craft festival located in the city center along the busiest pedestrian street in the state!

AUGUST

Rist Canyon Volunteer Fire Department and Annual Mountain Festival

WHEN: Aug. 1–Sept. 10, 2022
WHERE: 10830 Rist Canyon Rd., Bellvue

Benefitting the Rist Canyon Volunteer Fire Department, events include a full day’s lineup of performers, demonstrations, booths and activities for the entire family. Other festival favorites include a used book sale, silent auction, bake and plant sales, craft and art vendors, food trucks, educational booths and demonstrations. Admission, parking, a hayride shuttle to/from the parking area, live musical entertainment and ice cream all are free of charge.

Colorado State Fair

WHEN: Aug. 26–Sept. 5, 2022
WHERE: Colorado State Fairgrounds, Pueblo

The annual Colorado State Fair creates an entertaining, inspiring and educational inter-generational experience highlighting the preservation, promotion and exposition of our State’s vibrant and diverse agriculture, industry and culture.

RiNo Showcase

WHEN: Aug. 27, 2022
WHERE: Number Thirty Eight

RiNo Showcase is an annual series of festival-link events where local creatives can share and sell their work. Artists and vendors always keep 100 percent of their profits.

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Deals: Free Stanley Cup Watch Party, National Smoothie Day & More!

I recently discovered new undergarments/loungewear company that I have literally fallen in love with – Boody (Get $15 off your first purchase using this link)! I have tried their underwear and bra. The comfort is AWESOME. I can’t wait to get some of the loungewear (Happy Birthday to myself). The fabric is so soft – it’s made of bamboo! Plus, it is good for the environment and it is a B Corp certified company. (B Corp is a really hard designation to get – but it basically says that you are excellent in workers’ rights, community, environment and customers with ethical and sustainable practices). They have women’s, men’s, maternity and baby products.

 Free Stanley Cup Watch Party. Even though the Avalanche are at two away games – you can still feel the excitement of being among other fans watching the game at the giant watch parties at Tivoli Quad (on the Metro Campus). The event is free – which sure beats the cost of a ticket to the game. It is standing room only (SRO) and we recommend you get there early.

 Nintendo Switch Road Trip. Nintendo Switch is taking a road trip that lands in Denver at the Park Meadows Mall on June 23-25. Play the new Nintendo Switch OLED model with hands-on family playtime. The event is free but you do have to nintendo.com/events/road-trip.

 Chipotle. Every Monday in June, get a free queso Blanco small side or topping for free with the purchase of an entrée.

 Michael’s Camp Creatology. From June 20 to July 15 explore classes for kids in-stores or live online every Monday, Wednesday and Friday!

 National Smoothie Day. June 21 is not just the first actual day of summer or the longest day of the year – but it is also National Smoothie Day!

  • Join Jamba Juice’s Jamba Rewards for 50% off any smoothie – or if you are already a member get a $4 medium smoothie on June 21.
  • Enter to win $621 from Naked Juice (because it is on June (6)/21) by tweeting your best blender breakup line  @NakedJuice with #BlenderBreakout and #Sweepstakes to enter
  • When you get a 20 oz or larger, you can get a 20 oz Lunar Lemonade for just $1 donation to Alex’s Lemonade Stand charity.
  • At Smoothie King, buy one get one free 20 oz smoothie when you are a member of their rewards and order through the app.
  • Tropical Smoothie Café Trop Rewards members get a free 24 oz smoothie with any food purchase on June 21.

 Amazon Prime Day. With everyone shopping online these days – will Amazon Prime Day be as big as Cyber Monday? Maybe – but we know for certain, that you can score some great deals through their two-day sale. The sale will run from 12 a.m. PT on Tuesday, July 12 to 11:59 p.m. PT on Wednesday, July 13. If you are not already an Amazon Prime member you can sign up for a free 30-day trial before the sale begins!

 Bath and Body Works. Bath and Body works is having its semi-annual sale. Items are marked down by 75% off! Plus, score an extra 20% off sale items when you use the promo code SALEAWAY (in-store you will need to find an email with the offer).

 Tiny House Festival. Colorado Tiny House Festival, the region’s largest alternative and tiny home living event returning for its fifth year on June 25 & 26. Use this link to access tickets for $5 off until June 24. It is so amazing to see how much they really can compact into such small spaces!

 Copper Mountain Summer. If you think the mountains are only for winter and skiing you’d be wrong! Copper Mountain announced their summer which includes awesome concerts (AJR will finish out the summer) at the Sept 9-11 Union Peak Festival and a great deal all summer long with the Summer Activity Passes (just $79) which includes chairlift rides, climbing wall ascents, two runs through Woodward Wreck Tangle, a ride on the Rocky Mountain Coaster, and access too activities on West Lake – Family pass is just $249).

 Shutterfly Freebies. Last summer for my cousin’s wedding I gave them photo gifts of a set of mugs with their photo on it – it was FREE (except shipping) at Shutterfly. Shutterfly is doing the same promotion again this summer. Just use the promo code SUMMER when you check out and get up to 5 free personalized photo items!

 Free Concerts. Have you checked out our list of concerts for this summer? It is chock-full of events in nearly every corner of the city on almost any night of the summer, you can find free music to enjoy outside! 

Free Movies. If you are looking for something fun to do this summer that doesn’t cost, go to one of the many outdoor movies. We have compiled a whole list of them that we’ll publish this week!

 

First glimpse at Tom Hanks in Disney’s newest live-action remake!

One of the many great things to come out of Disney+ is the many reimagined classics we’ve all grown to love. 

Now, Disney’s live-action reimagining of “Pinocchio” is headed our way this fall, and we finally have a glimpse of what’s to come from the magical tale. On May 31, Disney debuted the first teaser for the forthcoming film (not to be confused with Guillermo del Toro’s stop-motion adaptation set to hit the streamer in December) with Tom Hanks completely transformed into the infamous Pinocchio woodcarver Geppetto.

The short clip showcases many of our iconic favorites including “Star light, star bright, first star I see tonight” from the original 1940 movie (yes, it’s that old!) The trailer also teases animated appearances from the famous Jiminy Cricket character and Cynthia Erivo as the enchanting Blue Fairy. The star-studded cast of “Pinocchio” also includes Benjamin Evan Ainsworth, Keegan-Michael Key, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Luke Evans, and Lorraine Bracco. 

 

Even if Pinocchio may not be one of your favorites, Disney always has a way of capturing the magic. 

4th of July in Denver: Guide to Independence Day for Families

Happy 4th of July in Denver! The Mile High City is a fabulous place for your Independence Day celbrations. We’ve rounded up Denver’s best parades, fireworks, festivals, outdoor fun and so much more. 

4th of July Fireworks Displays, Parade and Festivals in Denver

ARVADA

Arvada Fireworks Display — Since 1979, the City of Arvada has celebrated Independence Day on July 4th with a spectacular fireworks display at the Stenger Sports Complex. Gates at the Stengler Sports Complex open to vehicles at 7 p.m. Fireworks start at 9 p.m. No personal fireworks, alcohol, drones or pets allowed. The park is at 58th and Oak Street. arvadafestivals.com/independence-day

AURORA

Aurora 4th of July Spectacular — On July 4th, the 4th of July Spectacular will, indeed, be spectacular!  This event will have food trucks, a variety of musical performances and a large fireworks show! Fireworks will be launched from Bicentennial Park at approximately 9:30 p.m. and will last 30 minutes.. auroragov.org

BERTHOD

Berthoud Fireworks Celebration — On July 3rd, the fireworks display will take place and will be viewable at 9 p.m. from your front porch. Free admission into Bein Baseball Complex and the kid’s zone which includes Inflatable Slides, Noco Mobile Gaming, Face Painting, Balloon Artist, and Laser Tag. 5 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. includes food trucks and kids zone. berthoud.org/departments/recreation/july-3rd-fireworks-event

BRIGHTON

Brighton Fourth of July — On July 4th, Carmichael Park comes to life from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. There will be activities for the whole family, music and food vendors. Bring blankets, lawn chairs, bug spray, sunscreen and water. The Park is just behind City Hall at 500 S. 4th Ave. https://www.brightonco.gov/

BROOMFIELD

The Great American Picnic — On July 4th, starting at 5 p.m. at Broomfield County Commons Park, there will be fun for the whole family, with inflatables, concessions and food vendors and a beer garden for those 21+. Add a creative spin to your holiday in the one-of-a-kind Bike Parade, then enjoy the show with music and giveaways starting at 6 p.m. The evening ends with a bang with fireworks set off at 9:30 p.m. https://broomfield.org/GreatAmericanPicnic

BRUSH

Brush 4th of July —Don’t miss the annual 4th of July Parade from 11 a.m.-2 p.m.  This year’s theme is Freedom to Ride. https://www.brushchamberofcommerce.org/

CASTLE ROCK

Fourth of July Fireworks — On July 4th, turn your attention to Santa Fe Quarry Mesa for the Town’s annual 15-minute fireworks display. Similar to years past, fireworks will shoot off at sundown (around 9:30 p.m.) from the butte located just south of The Meadows, above Red Hawk Ridge Golf Course. crgov.com/2658/Fireworks-in-Castle-Rock

COMMERCE CITY

Commerce City 4thFest — The annual 4thFest is the largest public fireworks show in Colorado and takes place on July 4th around 9:30 p.m. at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park. Colorado Rapids vs. Austin FC at 7 p.m. and parking lots open at 4 p.m. Route 62 bus stop is at the stadium’s front door. www.coloradorapids.com

DENVER

Central Park Pancake Breakfast & Parade — On July 4th, the  Annual Pancake Breakfast begins at 9 am at the South Green (29th & Roslyn). Stick around until 10:30 a.m. for the old-fashioned parade with decorated wagons, bikes, trikes and scooters. https://www.mca80238.com/programs/signature-events/4th-of-july-pancake-breakfast-parade

Colorado Rockies Post-Game Fireworks — On July 2nd, the Rockies play the Arizona D-Backs at Coors Field at 6:10 p.m. and 7:10 p.m. respectively, followed by a huge fireworks display. Ticket prices vary based on seat location. mlb.com/rockies/tickets/promotions

Cranmer Park Community Picnic — On July 1st at 6 p.m., the 4th Annual Community Picnic at Cranmer Park will feature a concert of patriotic and popular music performed byThe Denver Municipal Band. denverhilltop.com/events/4th-annual-community-picnic-at-cranmer-park

Elitch Gardens — On July 3rd, don’t miss as Elitch lights up the Downtown Denver skyline with their annual fireworks extravaganza! Shows start at park closing time. Show is free with a daily ticket or season pass. https://www.elitchgardens.com/

Four Mile Historic Park’s Independence Day Celebration – On July 2nd, bring your family and experience the holiday in the spirit of the West with live music, fun activities and prairie games starting at noon. Watch the fireworks show at sunset. Purchase tickets on the website. 715 S. Forest St., Denver; 720-865-0800. fourmilepark.org/independence-celebration

Park Hill 4th of July Parade —The Park Hill Parade is on for 2022! Please join this community in northeast Denver at 1:30 p.m. on  July 4 for a celebration of community and equality with 50+ floats, costumes, classic cars and marching bands. The parade ends about 3 p.m. at the Kearney Street Fair on the 2200 block of Kearney with live music, tasty food kids’ activities and more. parkhillparade.org/

ENGLEWOOD

Englewood 4th of July Independence Day Celebration — On July 4th, celebrate our National Holiday with friends and family at Belleview Park and Cornerstone Park starting at 5 p.m. Enjoy local business vendors and food trucks. Bring a picnic dinner and blankets to watch the fireworks! The fireworks will start at 9:15 p.m. englewoodco.gov/our-city/events/upcoming/4th-of-july-fireworks

ERIE

Erie Fireworks Show — New this year, Erie is excited to host the 2021 celebration at the Erie Community Park (450 Powers Street) on July 3 with the fireworks launched at 9:30 p.m. from the rooftop of the Erie Community Center. erieco.gov/1560/Fireworks-Show

ESTES PARK

Estes Park 4th of July Celebration — On July 4th, spend the afternoon enjoying hiking, bike riding, paddle boating, miniature golf or check out the Coolest Car Show. More than 100 vehicles, from “Steam-to-Electric” will be displayed at the Estes Park Events Complex, located at the Fairgrounds at Stanley Park. At 7 p.m., the Estes Village Band tunes up for its annual patriotic concert and a view of the fireworks along with music, food, local craft beer and wine at the Estes Park Fairgrounds in the Grandstands. visitestespark.com/events-calendar/summer-events/4th-of-july/

EVERGREEN

On July 4th, head up to Evergreen for the family-friendly 40th annual Freedom Run 5K to benefit Mount Evans Home Health Care & Hospice. Tune into the Chamber to find out if the Evergreen Music Festival is happening this year.  https://members.evergreenchamber.org/

FIRESTONE

4th at Firestone — On July 4th, start the day with a slice of Americana at Firestone’s parade with classic cars and marching bands, which weaves its way through Historic Firestone. Come back to Miners Park (170 Grant Ave.) from 5:30-10 p.m. for their evening event which will include a Maker’s Mart area, featuring handcrafted goods from local artisans. Fireworks start at 9:30 p.m. firestoneco.gov/133/4th-at-Firestone

FORT COLLINS

Fort Collins July 4 Celebration — On July 2nd, Fort Collins is going all out with a full day of festivities that include Stars & Stripes Golf Tournament, Firecracker 5K, parade, baseball games, live music and  fireworks show at 9:15 p.m. Entry to the fireworks viewing at The Ranch is free and gates at the south entrance will open for vehicle entry at 6 p.m. https://www.fcgov.com/july4th/

FORT LUPTON

Fort Lupton Independence Day Celebration — Food, fireworks, and fun…for real! Celebrating our freedom is pretty awesome in Fort Lupton on July 4th with the regions only Ninja Warrior Course (cash prizes offered!); water slides, bounce house obstacle course, bouncy boxing arena, tractor people mover, face painting, food trucks, humongous shaved ice cones, and a live concert to top off the night. Stay for the brilliant fireworks show courtesy of the Fort Lupton Fire Protection District at dark. 203 S. Harrison Ave.  fortlupton.org/independenceday

GLENDALE

Glendale Fireworks Show – On Friday, July 2nd, the Glenwood Fireworks Show is one of the largest and oldest in Denver. The event starts at the Community Park and activities include a ropes course for all ages, the fire department’s famous waterslide, Kids Fun Zone and fireworks at dusk (about 9 p.m.) glendale.co.us/

GOLDEN

Golden 4th of July Festival — Join the Golden Lions Club for the 4th of July community celebration in Lions Park on 10th Street. The annual festival will take place from noon-9:30 p.m. with food and beer concessions. Fireworks will be at 9:30 p.m. 1300 10th Street. visitgolden.com

GRAND LAKE

Independence Day Fireworks — Join the Town of Grand Lake for their famous 4th of July Celebration! There is a multitude of activities around town, like live music throughout the restaurants, and the day culminates with a dazzling fireworks display around 10 p.m. over Colorado’s largest natural lake. gograndlake.com/4th-of-july-fireworks/

Highlands Ranch 4th of July ParadeHIGHLANDS RANCH

Highlands Ranch July 4th Fireworks — On July 4th between 9-10:30 a.m., join the Family Pet & Bike Parade (.2 miles) followed by the 1.02 mile Community Parade. That evening around 9:30 p.m., a spectacular display of fireworks will be at Highland Heritage Regional Park. hrcaonline.org

IDAHO SPRINGS

Idaho Springs 4th of July — On July 4th, stroll through unique shops, art galleries, pan for gold and then enjoy an afternoon of live music and dancing in downtown Citizens Park with a delicious barbecue, followed by fireworks around 9:15 p.m. over the Charlie Taylor Water Wheel. visitclearcreek.com/

LAFAYETTE

 Lafayette 4th of July at Waneka Lake —On July 2nd, enjoy an old-fashioned Independence Day from 4-8:30 p.m. with food, beer/wine gardens, kids activities, live music and fireworks at dusk. https://business.lafayettecolorado.com

LITTLETON

Red, White and You in Clement Park — On July 1st, celebrate our National Holiday with friends and family. The celebration will include Community & Sponsor Booths, Kids Zone Area, Beer & Wine Gardens, and Food Vendors, a free concert and fireworks. ifoothills.org/events/red-white-and-you/

LOUISVILLE

Louisville Fourth of July Celebration — Join the community for free hot dogs and sausages beginning at 6 p.m. (available while supplies last), bounce houses, face painting, and patriotic music from the Boulder Concert Band. The fireworks show will start around 9:45 p.m. louisvilleco.gov

LOVELAND

Drive-in Fireworks Show at The Ranch — On July 4th, the city of Loveland’s events include a Kid’s Zone Play Area, bike parade, live music, cornhole tournament, beer gardens and fireworks start around 9:15 p.m. There will be patriotic music and onsite snack trucks. https://www.visitlovelandco.org/event/july-4-festival-and-fireworks/

NIWOT

Niwot’s July 4th Celebration — On July 4th, enjoy the Fun & Festive Fourth of July Parade & Pancake Breakfast. The breakfast will be from 7:30-10:30 a.m. in front of Niwot Market, followed by a parade through Old Town. niwot.com

NORTHGLENN

Northglenn 4th of July Celebration —July 4th will be celebrated in smaller events in 4 parks throughout the day and will include fireworks. At noon, enjoy the July 4th Car Show at E.B. Rains Park. THen, enjoy a full day of concerts, DUck Derby, pedal boat and fireworks at 9 p.m. 
northglenn.org

PARKER

Parker July 4 Celebration – Fireworks on the Fourth — July 4th will be shorter, but the night will be relaxing and fun! Attendees will have three options to choose from for their fireworks viewing experience: Drive-in only in the north Salisbury parking lot, tailgating in the main polo field parking lot, or viewing from the multi-purpose field. Gates open between 7:30 and 8:30 p.m., depending on the experience you choose, and the fireworks show begins at 9:30 p.m. Entry prices will vary based on the lot chosen. http://www.parkeronline.org/82/Community-Events

SUPERIOR

Superior 4th of July Celebration — Race * Parade * Festival. On Sunday, July 4th, the city of Superior will celebrate from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. The Downhill Mile Race starts at 8 a.m., followed by a community parade at 9:30 p.m. There will be a fun party at the Superior Community Park from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. with vendor booths, a kid’s zone, games, food trucks and more.  superiorcolorado.gov

THORNTON

4th of July in Thornton — This party gets started on July 4th at 4 p.m. at Carpenter Park Fields with food vendors, parachutists, a beer garden and more.  The Thornton Community Band will start at 5:15 p.m. and the Kory Brunson Band at 7:30 p.m. Fireworks show will be at 9:30 p.m. 11000 Colorado Blvd. (108th Ave., & Colorado Blvd.) thorntonco.gov/festivals-events/Pages/july-fourth.aspx

WESTMINSTER

Westminster 4th of July Celebration — Due to uncertain regulations during the planning phase, there will be no pre-show entertainment or vendors this year. Fireworks will begin on July 4th at approximately 9:15 p.m. at Westminster City Park. cityofwestminster.us/specialevents

WINTER PARK

CANCELED for 2022

 Boulder: Ralphie’s Independence Day Blast

 Green Valley Ranch Concert & Fireworks

Lakewood Big Boom Bash

 

Denver’s best Father’s Day deals

Happy Father’s Day. We will be heading up to the mountains to celebrate dad this year. If we weren’t heading to the mountains – I would take him right back to the Denver BBQ Festival where we were last year! (the event is in the parking lot of Mile High Stadium). He is the reason I do and loves so many things including a weekend in the mountains but also a great DEAL. He [and my mom] are fantastic bargain hunters and careful with staying on budget.

Don’t miss Father’s Day in Denver with 30+ activities

Father’s Day Deals.

·       Smashburger. To celebrate another Grand Opening (5302 DTC Blvd), get four Classic Smash® Burgers for $20 from June 17 – 19,  just in time for Father’s Day.

·       Hamburger Stand. Get a Free Old Fashioned Sunday on Sunday.

·       MOD Pizza. Dads can get a MOD0size pizza on Father’s Day for just $3.33

·       TCBY. My dad’s favorite is ice cream and frozen yogurt – so he will love that we can get his first 6 oz of yogurt and toppings for free on Father’s Day.

·       Bonus Gift Cards. There are several locations that offer an additional $$ bonus gift card when you buy a gift card for dad (or grad, or other birthday) these include: Applebee’s, Benihana, BJ’s, Chili’s, Cold Stone Creamery, Del Taco, Hooters, IHOP, Maggiano’s, On The Border, Red Lobster, Cheesecake Factory, and Village Inn

 Cabelas. Shop their three days of deals for dads – the sale includes outdoor chairs, tables and pillows for up to 40% off , men’s shoes and boots up to 33% off and up to 50% off some of the favorite brands clothing (Columbia, Under Armor, Huk, Simms and more)!

 Tropical Smoothie Café. Bust out your flip-flops on Friday, June 17 – and head into Tropical Smoothie Café between 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. for a free 12 oz Sunrise Sunset Smoothie during National Flip Flop Day.

 Popeye’s. Through June 19, get two pieces of bone-in chicken for just 59 cents (with a minimum purchase of $5) in celebration of their 50th Birthday! Plus, every Friday through August 26, get a free chicken sandwich combo plus $0 delivery fee when you spend $20 or more ordering with GrubHub.

 Chipotle. Every Monday in June, get a free queso Blanco small side or topping for free with the purchase of an entrée.

 Michael’s Camp Creatology. From June 20 to July 15 explore classes for kids in-stores or live online every Monday, Wednesday and Friday!

Recycle Electronics. In the summer I spend more time in my garage than I do at other times of the year. I have realized that there is a corner where I put my old electronics, knowing that I can’t just throw them away. There are a couple of places where you can take these items to dispose of them. Douglas Cony residents can take their stuff to Techno Rescue (3251 Lewiston in Aurora) any day all year long. You can also take up to three items to Best Buy (they charge for TVs).

 Regal Cinema. Want to see that new Top Gun Movie but it hits a bit too much in your wallet. Go on Tuesday! Depending on the location, tickets are either $5 or $5.95. But there are also deals on popcorn at half off! Enjoy.

 Amazon Book Deal. Buy two, get one free book sale at Amazon is happening now. No coupon code is needed, just add three of the over 1000 titles to your cart and the promo will apply automatically.

 99 Days Outdoors. Generation Wild, a movement created by Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO) to reconnect kids with nature by increasing the amount of time they spend outside in unstructured play, launches 99 Days Outdoors on June 20 when 32 golden water bottles are hidden in a scavenger hunt across Colorado. Follow @GenerationWildColorado on social media for clues. Prizes include stickers, pencils, CPW park passes, zoo tickets and more.

 Tiny House Festival. Colorado Tiny House Festival, the region’s largest alternative and tiny home living event returning for its fifth year on June 25 & 26. Use this link to access tickets for $5 off until June 24. It is so amazing to see how much they really can compact into such small spaces!

Copper Mountain Summer. If you think the mountains are only for winter and skiing you’d be wrong! Copper Mountain announced their summer which includes awesome concerts (AJR will finish out the summer) at the Sept 9-11 Union Peak Festival and a great deal all summer long with the Summer Activity Passes (just $79) which includes chairlift rides, climbing wall ascents, two runs through Woodward Wreck Tangle, a ride on the Rocky Mountain Coaster, and access too activities on West Lake – Family pass is just $249).

 Free Concerts. Have you checked out our list of concerts for this summer? It is chock-full of events in nearly every corner of the city on almost any night of the summer, you can find free music to enjoy outside!

Every body is a beach body: Teach your daughter body positivity!

Stop dreading swimsuit season and teach your daughters to embrace their body in all of its forms. Because Every Body is a Beach Body!
 
As parents, we know that nurturing a positive body image is crucial to helping our daughters become healthy, well-rounded adults. But our society seems to be fixated, more than ever, on youth and beauty. And beauty is, more than ever, defined as small. Or, to be more precise, small-plus-hot — so that even someone who’s stunningly thin can feel insecure if she’s not also well endowed where it counts.
 
With a multinational study finding that 85 percent of women and 79 percent of girls have opted out of activities due to a lack of body confidence, cultivating a positive body image in girls is more important than ever. To make it easier for parents to help their daughters develop a positive self-image, we’ve compiled empowering books on body image for all ages, from very young children through teenagers.

It’s OK to be Different (ages 1-6)

Told with Todd Parr’s signature wit and wisdom, It’s Okay to Be Different cleverly delivers the important messages of acceptance, understanding, and confidence in an accessible, child-friendly format.
It's OK to be different
 

I Like Myself! (ages 3-8)

High on energy and imagination, this ode to self-esteem encourages kids to appreciate everything about themselves—inside and out. Messy hair? Beaver breath? So what! This book by Karen Beaumont is  Teacher’s Pick on Amazon. I like myself book
 

Stand Tall, Molly Lou Melon (ages 4-8)

This book by author Patty Lovell was a favorite for my daughter.  Molly Lou Melon is short and clumsy, has buck teeth, and has a voice that sounds like a bullfrog being squeezed by a boa constrictor. She doesn’t mind. Her grandmother has always told her to walk proud, smile big, and sing loud, and she takes that advice to heart.
Molly Lou Melon

Love Your Body: Your Body Can Do Amazing Things (ages 8-12)

What if every young girl loved her body? Love Your Body encourages you to admire and celebrate your body for all the amazing things it can do (like laugh, cry, hug, and feel) and to help you see that you are so much more than your body. * 2021 Notable Social Studies Trade Books*
Love Your Body

 

The Body Image Book for Girls: Love Yourself and Grow Up Fearless (ages 10 and older)

Through this easy-to-read and beautifully illustrated guide, body image expert and psychology professor Dr. Markey teaches girls how to nurture both mental and physical health to improve their own body image. It shows the positive impact they can have on others, and enables them to go out into the world feeling fearless.Body image for girls
 
Raising a girl with a healthy body image is complicated but so worth it. If she can be free of limiting, external expectations about her body, then she can be free to truly be herself and unleash her limitless potential.

Best Denver Fun for Families

The Ultimate Denver Summer Activity Guide (250+ Ideas)

Guide to Denver’s Splash Parks and Spray Fountains

Cool Off This Summer at Colorado’s Best Beaches

25 great fishing ponds in Denver

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

Guide to Denver’s Splash Pads and Spray Fountains

 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 Reasons Why Gardening Can Help Children Feel Happier and Calmer

As we enter the summer season, many parents are wondering how to keep their kids busy without always being glued to screens indoors. One way to get them outside is to start a family garden. Growing fruits and vegetables together as a family can be a fun, engaging, and calming activity. In addition to the general physical and mental health benefits of being outside in nature, gardening offers a healthy distraction, provides a chance for some light exercise, encourages children to eat healthier, and builds community. There are also some incredible new discoveries about how soil can help improve mood.

“Spending time in nature doing activities like gardening helps reduce stress and allows us to recover from tense situations more quickly,” explains Sandi Schwartz, author of Finding Ecohappiness: Fun Nature Activities to Help Your Kids Feel Happier and Calmer. She adds, “It is special when we can pick fruits and vegetables grown in our own backyard and savor them at our dinner table. We have dabbled in growing our own tomatoes and peppers, which the children absolutely love doing. It’s a wonderful experience for them to pick the produce and play a role in creating a healthy meal for our family that incorporates the food we grew ourselves.”

Schwartz’s book highlights five reasons why gardening can help children feel happier and calmer:

  • Healthy Distraction. Engaging with a garden helps children feel more mindful and get lost in the moment, distracting them from their worries. One study showed that after 30 minutes of gardening, participants’ stress hormone levels dropped, and they felt happier after the activity. 
  • Exercise. Gardening also provides some light exercise from digging, lifting, carrying, and bending up and down. Exercise helps kids feel better as a result of their body producing endorphins, chemicals in the brain that act as natural painkillers. Exercise also reduces the level of stress hormones in the body like adrenaline and cortisol, helping kids feel calmer.Gardening for Kids
  • Eat Healthier. Gardening can motivate kids to eat healthier foods that make them feel better. When kids are invested in growing their own fruits and vegetables, they feel more connected and want to enjoy the “fruit of their labor.” By encouraging them to eat healthier through gardening, they will hopefully choose foods that nourish them instead of junk foods filled with sugar. It’s important for children to eat less sugar for numerous health reasons, but also for their mental health. Sugary foods can increase anxiety and even cause kids to feel gloomy. 
  • Builds Community. Whether it is family bonding in the garden, sharing produce and gardening stories with friends and neighbors, or volunteering in a community garden, that social interaction also plays a major role in boosting kids’ well-being. Experts explain that the most important way to feel happier is through positive relationships, so gardening can provide a vehicle for children to connect with others over a healthy hobby.
  • Soil. Recent research has found that the simple act of touching soil can reduce stress and improve mood. This is because a bacteria in soil called mycobacterium vaccae has been shown to stimulate areas of the brain that produce serotonin, a hormone that makes us feel better. It thrives in soil that is enriched with organic matter like fruits and vegetables. Researchers have found that eating trace amounts of soil on garden vegetables helps people manage stress and enhance brain function.

Sandi recommends the following steps to add gardening to your children’s lives:

  • Start a family garden in your backyard.
  • If you do not have the space for a garden, consider starting slow by growing a few herbs on your windowsill or one vegetable at a time in a large flowerpot.
  • Engage your children by buying them their own gardening tools, asking them to pick out the types of produce they want to grow, and using the produce you grow to cook meals together. 
  • Look for opportunities to volunteer in a local community garden.
  • Register your children for a gardening club or start your own in your community.

Finding Ecohappiness: Fun Nature Activities to Help Your Kids Feel Happier and Calmer is available on Amazon or wherever books are sold. For more information, please visit www.ecohappinessproject.com or contact Sandi Schwartz at [email protected]

Outdoor Fun in Denver

Best Denver Fun for Families

The Ultimate Denver Summer Activity Guide (250+ Ideas)

Guide to Denver’s Splash Parks and Spray Fountains

Cool Off This Summer at Colorado’s Best Beaches

25 great fishing ponds in Denver

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

Borrow a Colorado State Parks Pass from Your Library

Best Family-friendly Hikes in Denver

Denver Mountain Parks: Family Fun for Denver Families

Best Hikes for Kids in the Denver area

Best Denver-area Parks for Beginner Trail Runners (and hikers)

Hiking with Kids Colorado

10 of Colorado’s most scenic waterfall hikes

Denver’s Best Biking Trails for Kids

Denver’s best biking trails for kids

Colorado’s Best Bike Paths and Trails

Fantastic Mountain Biking in the North Fruita Desert

Interested In Biking with Your Family, But Scared By Busy Streets? There’s A New Kind Of Map For You

Best Camping in Colorado for Families

10 Best Places to Camp in Colorado

Kids Guide to Camping in Colorado’s Mountain Towns

(Crested Butte)

 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: Walk with a Doc, Meow Wolf & More!

It’s finally the season when we see festivals outside again and Farmer’s Markets opening once again. Concerts will be starting again soon (look for our post soon) and so will loads of outdoor festivals. This weekend you can enjoy the Historic Westminster Spring Festival on Saturday at the Westminster Arts District or if you are in Castle Rock, head to Festival Park for the Spring Kickoff Concert.

 Walk with a Doc. Take steps toward better health when you walk with a doc. The event is on May 14 and again on June 4. For more information and locations visit Denver.walkwithadoc.org.

Firehouse Subs Name of the Day. Firehouse subs is offering a free Sub if your name is the name of the day (visit FirehouseSubs.com/NameoftheDay). This is their way of “thanking their customers by name.” And even better, some days they just list the first two letters like last week there was TH and MA as different days!

Meow Wolf. My daughter has been to Meow Wolf three times already. I’ve not gone once. But the four-story experiential museum They do offer a discount for Colorado residents. Regular General Admission is $49 ($44 for kids 5-13) but it is only $35 ($30 for kids 5-13) if you are a Colorado resident.

 Shred a Thon. On Saturday, May 14 from 7 am. To 12:00 noon Denver Crime Stoppers, Channel 2, Fox 31 and Iron Mountain will shred your personal documents for free. There will be three locations where you can drop off up to three boxes – Arapahoe County Sheriff’s Office HQ, Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office and Westminster Police Department.

 Bike Maintenance & Safety in Aurora. On May 14Tallyn’s Reach Branch of Aurora Public Library along will be the place to learn about bike maintenance and safety from the Aurora Police Department for free. Registration for one of four sessions is required.

Sonic. Get half price shakes at Sonic through May 29. Download or open the Sonic app for the reward.

 Mini Photo Shoot.  Book a free 30-minute outdoor session with Shoott and capture gorgeous memories without breaking the bank! Shoott offers multiple locations in and around Denver including Centennial, Cheesman Park, Chautauqua, Golden, Union Station + lots of other locations available throughout the area! Check out Shoott’s full schedule HERE and grab a slot — use code MILEHIGH at booking or checkout to receive 15% off 5+ photos.

 Summer Camp Discount. Still looking for a summer camp? KidzToPros provides a variety of STEM, arts and sports summer camps for kids ages 3-14 with 13 locations across the Denver area! From Wonder Robotics to sports to improv comedy to graphic design to tennis. Get $50 off with our exclusive code MILEHM-50!https://www.milehighmamas.com/blog/2022/04/07/here-comes-the-sun-with-kidztopros-summer-camps/

 

If it ‘takes a village’ to raise a child, why do we shame each other when we get help?

If it takes a village to raise a child, why do we shame each other when we get help?

I have been mulling over this question for a while. In the age of social media, Colorado moms are expected to project a perfect facade or being able to do it all and these expectations leave many of us feeling guilty and overwhelmed.

These sentiments from Jen Hatmaker nail it:

Here is part of the problem, girls: we’ve been sold a bill of goods. Back in the day, women didn’t run themselves ragged trying to achieve some impressively developed life in eight different categories. No one constructed fairytale childhoods for their spawn, developed an innate set of personal talents, fostered a stimulating and world-changing career, created stunning homes and yardscapes, provided homemade food for every meal (locally sourced, of course), kept all marriage fires burning, sustained meaningful relationships in various environments, carved out plenty of time for “self-care,” served neighbors/church/world, and maintained a fulfilling, active relationship with Jesus our Lord and Savior. You can’t balance that job description. Listen to me: No one can pull this off. No one is pulling this off. The women who seem to ride this unicorn only display the best parts of their stories. Trust me. No one can fragment her time and attention into this many segments.

Can I get a hallelujah and amen?  I was recently listening to a podcast that referenced The Postnatal Depletion Cure: A Complete Guide to Rebuilding Your Health and Reclaiming Your Energy for Mothers of Newborns, Toddlers and Young Children. If a new mom isn’t allowed to fully recover from the demanding requirements of pregnancy and birth, the after-effects can last for years. Western society is the only civilization that leaves Mom to heal and do it all on her own; entire villages and civilizations are built around helping each other heal and how to support Mom and child. Guaranteed, “It takes a village” is not referring to the current structure to raise a child.

If it takes a village to raise a child, why do we shame each other when we get help?

Outsource the Unimportant

Confession time: I’ve done it. During my kids’ early years, I was drowning in diapers, sleep deprivation and trying to run a business with a messy house. I had a stay-at-home mom acquaintance who hired a nanny and housekeeper, and I remember jealously thinking, “Why bother even being a mom if she’s not going to do any of the work?”

I didn’t know anything about her situation, her mental health or what kind of a mother she was. I based my assumptions that being a good mother means sacrificing myself and doing it all. Years later, I was talking to a friend who was an accomplished musician and a wonderful mother and I asked how she juggled everything. “I don’t, I outsource the unimportant,” she replied. “I had so many balls in the air that I felt like I was dropping everything. I had to set priorities and my children, husband and practice time were more important. I kicked the guilt aside, hired a housekeeper and feel like a weight has been lifted. I can focus on what matters.”

 A lot of us don’t have the resources to hire help but all of us do have the ability to ask for help and get creative in the process.

My colicky daughter did not sleep the first year of her life and subsequently, neither did I (I’m convinced that sleep deprivation would be the worst torture technique at Guantanamo Bay). After months of this (and a near nervous breakdown), we devised a schedule where my husband would stay with her from 8 p.m-midnight so I could get a four-hour block of sleep. Doesn’t sound like much? After sleeping in 15-minute increments, it was a lifesaver and now that she’s a teenager, I can’t get her to wake up.  My mother-in-law pitched in to help every Wednesday and for years, I regularly did babysitting co-ops where I could swap hours with other moms so I could work, nap, exercise or run errands. 

Don’t Covet the Wig

Shonda Rhimes shares a story about herself in high school when all she wanted was for her hair to look like Whitney Houston’s. She cried, struggled, and could never get it to look exactly right. Giving up hours upon hours of her life to a curling iron, hairspray, and burnt fingertips she constantly felt defeated. Years later while sitting in a hair salon, her stylist laughed and said, you know that was just a wig, right?”

She sat shaken as she thought of all the wasted time, gallons of wasted hairspray, and feelings of failure and insecurity she experienced every morning.

If she had known, if she had just been told. She just didn’t have the wig!

“Successful and powerful mothers who keep silent about how they take care of their homes and families, pretending they have clones of themselves are making all the other moms ‘get out their curling irons.'”

Don’t have the wig? Me neither and that’s OK to embrace life in all its messiness. If you have the wig, don’t be ashamed to talk about it. Let other moms know there is no shame in getting help. We would never want other moms puling out their curling irons to think we’re doing it all on our own.

Let’s be the village to support and love one another on this journey. 

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. 

“Among Us” is the newest video game obsession: expert advice on monitoring your kids

There is lots and lots of video gaming these days. Parents tell me how they feel torn because their child does not have any after school sports or activities where they see friends, so video gaming is where they connect with their friends. Yet, they worry about the sheer amount of hours — 3, 4, 5 hours.

Parents tell me about the “decision fatigue” they are seeing with their kids now during Covid. Their children say how they are worn down and giving up on trying to find alternative things to do besides video gaming (or shows, social media, etc.). 

Parents feel worn down as well. And the truth is, of course, options are limited right now. I feel it these days now that the cold and rain has arrived in Seattle, and there are so few places to go to do something inside given Covid. 

The newest game on the block is Among Us. If you haven’t seen or played it, the graphics remind me a little of Pac-Man. It is multiplayer, and in the game, one player is an imposter and out to kill the others, and it is up to the rest of the group to work together to determine the imposter. 

The game is free and can be played on any device. The other day, my kids were laughing on the couch for hours while playing it. I joined in for a while — I was not very good at it.

Today I share advice gleaned from experts, parents, youth, research, and my experiences on how now during COVID, to effectively work with your kids to monitor video gaming and ensure they have other social time activities along with video games.

 

 

 

ONLINE EVENTS 

Screenagers NEXT CHAPTER is so helpful for everyone during these stressful times. It is all about teaching kids, teens, and parents skills for managing stress, anxiety, and depression. For schools looking for social-emotional engagement tools, Screenagers NEXT CHAPTER is a terrific tool and we have a detailed guide to help lead discussions. Screenagers now has a way for people to host ONLINE events. Click here if you are interested in hosting an ONLINE screening for your community.

-Delaney Ruston