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Why Kids Lie and How to Handle It

We’ve all experienced it. That moment when our innocent and obedient child looks us square in the eye and lies to us for the first time. I remember it well. I was snuggled next to my twelve-year-old daughter, Jordan, watching Frozen for the fifty-seventh time. Suddenly, right as Prince Hans was about to reveal that he was not a handsome Prince at all, but a psychopath with sideburns, Jordan yawned and excused herself, saying she was “really tired.” I didn’t think anything of it and continued to watch with rapt attention, when my husband who has Spidey senses came over to me and whispered, “She took her phone up to her room.” We checked the charging station to find that the phone was gone, we discussed our plan of action, then went up to her room to confront her.

As I peeked into her room, she jumped as she sensed my presence. “Do you have your phone, Jordan?” I inquired. To my complete surprise, and disappointment she didn’t look the least bit guilty as she denied having it. According to Dr. Dona Matthews PhD, by the time children are eight years old, children are pros at lying.

“It’s not in the charging station and we are pretty sure we saw you take it upstairs,” I continued. Once again, the oh-so-convincing, lying ensued. We proceeded to make her come downstairs and sit on the couch, where once again my husband’s eagle eyes saw her doing some sleight of hand, which caused the phone in question to slip between the cushions of the couch. We had to catch her red-handed before she fessed up and then of course, she was grounded from her phone.

 Kids lie to get out of hot water

It’s very disturbing when a child lies, but understandable, since one of the most common lies kids tell is to get themselves out of trouble. I don’t believe my daughter intentionally set out to lie that night. She had an impulse that caused her to misbehave, and the lie was a knee-jerk reaction for getting out of hot water.

When kids lie to get out of trouble, they aren’t trying to hurt us, but are demonstrating a lack of problem-solving skills. It’s also possible that they could be demonstrating behavior they have seen from us. Maybe they have seen you solve a problem by telling your mom you loved her new haircut when really you disliked it, or asking your thirteen-year-old to say they were twelve so they could order the kid’s meal. Instead of shaming or lecturing, make sure your child knows where you stand when it comes to lying and that you are there to help them solve problems. If you are trying to teach your child the difference between a white lie that is told to avoid hurting someone’s feelings versus a lie that is told to deceive someone, it is best to wait until your child is at least seven years old, according to  Dr. Matthews.

Conflict avoidance

As a temperament specialist, I know that certain personalities hate conflict and will do all they can to avoid it. Some personalities avoid it because they are peacemakers who would rather lie than have someone they care about be upset. Some lie because they want to be perfect and not fall from their parent’s good graces. Others feel extremely vulnerable when strong emotions are being displayed, so lying feels like the best way to keep everything calm and the status quo. Catching your child in a lie gives you the opportunity to calmly teach them better ways of handling a similar situation in the future. The foundation for honesty is a desire to maintain trusting relationships.

Vivid Imaginations or seeking attention

Certain personality types are highly intuitive, causing them to have very realistic fantasies, believing that their stuffed animals are real or that their bedroom is an alternate universe. Some types of imaginary play are a sign of giftedness and that your child may view the world differently than most people. It’s okay to let your child play in their imaginary worlds alone and parents should never accuse a young intuitive child of lying. Before the age of five, the pre-frontal cortex of all children isn’t fully developed, causing fantasy to meld with reality, but highly imaginative or intuitive children may continue to have vivid fantasies even after the age of five. It’s also common for children to embellish the truth to get attention from adults or peers, or to bolster their own self-image.

Rules could be too strict

If your tween or teen is lying on a regular basis, you may want to examine what could be underneath the lie. Is the lie a cry for attention, imaginary enthusiasm, conflict avoidance or maybe your child is trying to gain their independence by rebelling against house rules that are too strict. If your teenage daughter isn’t allowed to wear makeup and all her friends are, she may wear it outside the house, then repeatedly lie about it. Parents should not reward this type of behavior, but should definitely examine the situation and try to understand their daughter’s point of view.

How to confront

  1. Try not to confront your child at the moment, but instead, send your child to their room and plan how you are going to handle the situation.
  2. Be specific and talk about the obvious facts involved, rather than lecture. State what you believe based on the facts that you have. You can listen to what your child has to say but stay firm and calm without getting sucked into an argument.
  3. Focus on the behavior and calmly state the consequence. “If you continue to lie about your homework…”
  4. In the case of the imaginative child, you can say, “That’s a great story! We should make that into a book”, or “are just pretending or is this for real?” You might ask yourself if your child needs more attention from you or if you are modeling less than honest behavior yourself.
  5. Express your disappointment but make it safe for your child to tell the truth. Praise them for their courage or consider lessening the punishment.

According to Janet Lehman MSW, there is a very small percentage of kids who lie chronically. If your child does develop a habit of lying, it may be time to seek a professional’s help to dig deeper and uncover what could be causing your child to be dishonest.

Wendy Gossett, MA,  is a parenting and relationship coach with an extensive background in child temperament. wendygossett.com

 

 

Homemade snow cone recipe with real snow!

Now that winter has made its return, most kids are happily playing in the snow. But here’s one way to get rid of the snow – eat it! Try my recipe for homemade “snow” cones. It’s made with real outdoor snow and homemade syrup that takes just minutes to make. Your kids are going to love being in the snow and eating it with this yummy recipe!

Any old cup will do to hold your snowcones but if you want to make it extra fun, check out these white paper snowcone cups or these reusable flower snowcone cups

And be sure to check out our guide to Denver snow days with 80+ activities! 

Momma Chef’s Homemade “Snow” Cones

2 c. of snow per each snow cone

1 c. water

1 c. sugar

Kool-Aid liquid (I like cherry and grape)

**see “tips” below

In a saucepan, mix the water and sugar and bring to a boil. Stir occasionally for about 2 minutes until the sugar is dissolved.

 Remove from the stove and divide the liquid into two bowls. In one bowl, squirt about 8 drops of Kool-Aid Liquid cherry. In the other bowl, do the same with the grape until desired color.

 Put the bowls in the refrigerator until the liquid is cold. When it’s ready, take your kids outside and have them scoop about 10 cups of fresh snow into a large container (this will make about 5 snow cones). Make sure it’s clean snow!

 Back inside, put the snow into a 1-cup measuring cup and press down until the snow is compact. Keep filling until the cup is full. Turn the cup over, shape it into a ball and put the snow ball into a bowl or snow cone cup. Spoon flavoring over the snow and enjoy!

 Tips:

  • My kids like to use a spoon and straw to eat their homemade snow cones.
  • Remember snow melts fast, so enjoy these treats right away!
  • The syrup is good for 10 or more snow cones. When finished, store any leftover syrup in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to two months.

-Momma Chef

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.

Free Colorado State Parks Pass: Check out a backpack from the library!

Did you know you can check out a FREE Colorado State Parks Pass from your Colorado library? Not only that, but you also receive a loaner backpack that has lots of fun activities for Denver kids.

Be sure to also check out Colorado State Parks Bucket List Adventure Guide before you begin your adventures! 

Free Colorado State Park Pass Backpack

Library Backpack

  1. Check out a state park pass and backpack from your local library.
  2. Use the pass to get into a state park for FREE
  3. Use the backpack to explore a nearby state park and see what you can learn. The backpack includes binoculars, a wildlife viewing guide, a Colorado bird guide, a tree and wildflower identification guide, a star guide, a park brochure, a suggested activities list and the Leave No Trace outdoor ethics principles.
  4. Share a photo with #CheckOutColorado on Twitter or Instagram.

Hike or bike the multi-use trails, find wildlife in their natural surroundings, visit a nature center or bring a picnic. With a license or camping reservation, you can try fishing or camp out overnight.

The park pass is good for entry into any Colorado State Park for up to seven days but does not give any discounts for camping, programs, licenses, etc. Place it as a hang tag on your rear view mirror so that it is visible in your car. Visit your local library or check the Participating Libraries List to find a library near you.  

More Free Fun at Denver Libraries

We recently shared that Denver’s only toy library–where you can check out a whole array of items including educational toys, games, puzzles and costume–has reopened.

But did you know you can check out so much more from the Denver Public Library, including Chrome Books, a sewing machine  Go-Pro and more. The Denver Public Library has partnered with nearby cultural institutions to offer museum admission and theatre tickets for DPL cardholders. Learn more here

ideaLABs

ideaLAB’s MakerCamp are a free opportunity for youth to do a deeper dive to explore specific projects and learn new skills, tools, or technology at various public library locations. ideaLABs are makerspaces: free community spaces to make things. Do you need to produce videos, create games, make music, or learn about electronics?  They aim to provide the tools and resources you need to make your projects happen. Learn more here

Colorado winter family vacation guide: 50+ activities kids will love

Colorado is experiencing a beautiful, snowy winter and we’re here to share the fun the whole family will enjoy, indoors and outdoors! Keep your Denver kids busy with our Colorado winter family vacation guide with 50+ activities: everything from zoo camps to hands-on science to outdoor eco-adventures to snowshoeing to a cookhouse on a mountain. 

HOT TIP! Be sure to keep your family bundled up for their outdoor adventures.  Obermeyer’s I-Grow Ski Jackets and Pants provide a simple way to lengthen the sleeves and cuffs of your child’s jackets and pants (our quickly-growing kids could wear them 2-3 seasons!) Columbia has a similar line of expandable winter jackets for kids. 

Colorado Outdoor Fun for Kids

Ice Skating. Colorado’s outdoor ice-skating rinks are open.  Some rinks are cozy and family-oriented, like Lakewood’s Rink at Belmar or go to larger rinks, like Evergreen or Keystone’s frozen lake where you’ll find enough room to play hockey or twirl like a Disney on Ice star. 

Skiing. It’s never too late to start skiing and Colorado resorts make it easy and fun for your family to hit the slopes. Don’t miss our Ultimate Colorado Family Ski Vacation Guide which gives you the inside scoop on the most family-friendly resorts, as well as compares pricing for lift tickets and lessons. 

Eco-Adventures. Telluride Ski Resort has a variety of Eco Adventures for kids ages 5–12. The Kids Snow Camp offers an alternative to ski school, with both indoor and outdoor activities that include trekking and geocaching. Or sign them up for snowbiking lessons (no age limit), where they’ll find a cool new way to whoosh down the slopes.

Sledding. There are a myriad of sledding hills–some public, some secret. Here are a bunch of our favorite spots in Best Places to Sled in Colorado

Snowshoeing and Cross-country skiing. Many of Colorado’s backcountry and State and National Parks offer groomed trails and exciting terrain for snow sports, so pack your gear and use our guide to the best snowshoeing and cross-country skiing trails for families in Colorado.  Tip: At Ski Cooper near Leadville, your crew can snowshoe or cross-country ski from the Nordic center to Tennessee Pass Cookhouse for lunch and almost-too-perfect views. 

Animal Academy. Animal lovers will want to attend the Animal Academy at the Denver Zoo.  In Animal Academy programs, concepts such as adaptations, ecosystems and life cycles come alive as recruits utilize the Zoo’s animal ambassadors to investigate these science topics.

Library Backpack 

Stop into a Colorado state park visitor center to check out an Adventure Backpack stuffed with fun finds like bug boxes, binoculars and guide books with suggested activities to enhance your visit. Keep your eyes on the skies to see wintering bald eagles at North Sterling State Park in Sterling, or glide along snow-shrouded Nordic skiing trails at Navajo State Park near Arboles. Or head over to your local library and check out a state park pass for free.

Sports Fun for Colorado Families

Kids can burn off some energy indoors at CityROCK Climbing Center in Colorado Springs. During the Winter Caving Camp (for ages 8–16), junior scientists get geology lessons and practice rescues in an artificial cave featuring stalactites and cave paintings. Little ones age 4 and older can join the Winter Climbing Camp, catering to both newcomers and experienced rock climbers.

Your kid can make like a swashbuckler during the Winter Fencing Camp offered by the Cheyenne Fencing Society & Modern Pentathlon Center of Denver. A typical day includes two fencing practice sessions focusing on skills like bladework and footwork, along with skill-building games and activities.

During January and February, day camps at Woodward Copper at Copper Mountain Resort, aspiring half-pipe stars ages 6–14 can practice their boarding and biking skills or bounce on Olympic-grade trampolines inside the massive action-sports facility.

Perfect your downward-facing dog as a fam during a yoga session at Eldorado Mountain Yoga in Boulder or Family Balance Yoga in Fort Collins. At Eldorado, the Sunday morning family program is filled with yoga, music, art and meditation in a breathtaking mountain setting. And everyone is welcome to strike a pose during kids yoga at Family Balance, with weekly classes available.

Bring your future aerialists and jugglers to Fort Collins Circus to learn the arts of fabrics, slacklining, trapeze and so much more. In addition to full-day workshops, you’ll also find special Kids’ Nights Out that span 2.5 hours and include fun circus activities, videos and even pizza. 

Source: MileHighMamas.com and Colorado.com. 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. 

Free all-sports clinics for Denver K-8 girls

The Regis University Department of Athletics is excited to announce its continued participation in the 37th annual National Girls & Women in Sports Day, celebrated every first week of February to acknowledge the accomplishments of female athletes, recognize the influence of sports participation for women and girls, and honor the progress and continuing struggle for equality for women in sports.

To celebrate NGWSD, Regis Athletics is inviting female youth athletes (eighth-grade and younger) to free clinics held inside the Berce Athletic Center from 12 p.m. through 2:45 p.m. on Saturday, January 28th. The event is free to attend, but participants must register online through their HomeTown Ticketing webpage.

The free clinic will offer young female athletes the chance to meet some Ranger student-athletes and participate in any of the seven featured sports including basketball, golf, lacrosse, soccer, softball, cross country and volleyball. The purpose of this event is to help girls recognize and learn more about the importance of women in sports.

Check-in and welcome will be from 12 p.m. to 12:30 p.m. in the Berce Athletic Center. Following that, the clinics will open at 12:30 p.m. and run until 2:45 p.m.

Additionally, a reception with refreshments and food will follow the clinics. Regis Athletics would also like to invite participants to stick around to watch the Regis basketball teams host New Mexico Highlands (3/5 p.m.) inside the Regis Fieldhouse directly following the clinics. All registered participants, along with one parent, will have free admittance to that evening’s basketball games.

Celebrate Valentine’s Day in Denver 2023: Romantic Dining, Family Fun & Gift Ideas

Valentine’s Day in Denver 2023 has it all: romantic and delicious restaurants, family fun, Colorado-crafted gifts, indoor and outdoor entertainment with enough choices for everyone.  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 2023

GIFTS

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, 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.

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). 

DINNER FOR TWO

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.

Romantic Events & Activities

Valentine’s Day Rose Cordials and Halva 

WHEN: Feb. 7, 2023
WHERE: Denver Botanic Gardens

Come and enjoy some heart-themed herbal brandy cordials and treats. In this class, you’ll create a rose cordial and a rose halva. A cordial is a drink made from a brandy tincture infused with herbs. Halva is a buttery treat made with spices. Get a hands-on experience making these treats and the recipes to take home, along with time to sample and enjoy together in class. You’ll also discuss the herbal significance of rose as it is traditionally used in Ayurveda, an Indian form of Indigenous medicine. botanicgardens.org

Heartthrob 5k 

WHEN: Feb. 11, 2023
WHERE: Johnny Roberts Memorial Park, Arvada

Grab your running buddy and come on out to Johnny Roberts Memorial Park on the Saturday before Valentine’s Day! Celebrate the ability to get your heart pumping by cruising through this flat and fast 5k run (or walk) runsignup.com

Downtown Denver Rink 

WHEN: Thru Feb. 14, 2023
WHERE: Skyline Park

Enjoy some romance on the rink! The Downtown Denver Partnership invites you and your loved one for a spin around the Downtown Denver Rink presented by Southwest Airlines. winterindenver.com/rink

Loveland’s Annual Valentine’s Day Group Wedding 

WHEN: Feb. 14, 2023
WHERE: The Budweiser Event Center, Loveland

2023 brings a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to get married on the ice at The Budweiser Event Center prior to an Eagles hockey game! Experience a romantic ceremony with music you vote on, a customized ceremony, keepsake photos, a lock couples can use to “Lock their love” on the famous LOVE or HEART sculptures in Loveland, gift bags, signature wedding cupcakes, and a chance to win a huge gift basket. What an original way to celebrate your love on Valentine’s Day!

Loveland vow renewal

Love Bites: A Valentine’s Haunted House 

WHEN: Feb. 17–19, 2023
WHERE: 3400 E. 52nd Ave.

13th Floor Denver is getting a Valentine’s makeover! Horrific vampires stalk you in the dark. Terrifying monsters lurk around every corner. Love Bites is the perfect experience to spice up this Valentine’s weekend. Whether you want to ditch the same old dinner and a movie date, observe Singles Awareness Day, or celebrate with your Galentines, 13th Floor Denver is sure to get your heart pumping. All blood types are welcome. 13thfloorhauntedhouse.com/lovebites/

Orchid Showcase 

WHEN: Thru Feb. 20, 2023
WHERE: Denver Botanic Gardens

See hundreds of exotic blooms, including rare orchids from the Gardens’ collection. The Showcase is a great idea for a Valentine’s Day activity and is included with admission to the Gardens. botanicgardens.org/

Couples Spa Escape

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.

PAINT AND SIP

Celebrate Valentine’s Day with Partner Paintings ‘Hearts on Fire.’ 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 (6461 E. Hampden Avel, Denver). 

Valentine’s Activities for Kids

Prairie Pup Adventures: Prairie Valentines 

WHEN: Feb. 7, 2023
WHERE: Plains Conservation Center, Aurora

Come create loving Valentine’s Day gifts using natural materials like mud paint and plant flowers! Prairie Pup Adventures offers a hands-on, fun way for preschool-aged children to learn about the animals, plants and people who call the prairie home. https://www.botanicgardens.org/programs/prairie-pup-adventures-plains-conservation-center

Be Mine! – Clay Valentine Family Class

WHEN: Feb. 5, 11:30 a.m.
WHERE: Boulder Pottery Lab

The instructor will lead students in a fun Valentine’s Day-themed clay project. Learn new clay skills and decorate together with your family. Pieces can be decorated with textures, designs, and painted with underglaze. studioartsboulder.org/

Paint Your Pet for Valentine’s Day

WHEN: Feb. 12, 2 p.m.
WHERE: Painting with a Twist

Email them a picture of your pet, and their artist will pre-sketch the canvas. Please send a high-resolution photo – the better the quality of your photo, the better the sketching will be! paintingwithatwist.com/studio/denver-lakewood/event/3259297/

Family Make and Take: Garden Valentines 

WHEN: Feb. 28, 2023
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 ornament. Family Make and Take programs offer a space for children and their grownups to connect with natural materials and create together. These self-guided and self-paced programs are designed to provide a creative environment that sparks imagination. https://www.botanicgardens.org/programs/family-make-and-take-garden-valentines

Brown Palace Afternoon Tea

ROMANTIC HOTELS IN DENVER

TRADITIONAL TEA AT THE BROWN PALACE HOTEL & SPA 

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.

DIVE LOUNGE AT THE DOWNTOWN AQUARIUM 

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.

GAYLORD ROCKIES RESORT ‘LOVE YOU MORE’ PACKAGE

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.

THE CRAWFORD HOTEL LUXURIOUS VALENTINE’S GETAWAY

Enjoy a luxurious Valentine’s weekend stay like no other at one of Denver’s most romantic hotels. The package includes a floral arrangement from Picletown Flower Co., champagne, dinner at Ultreia or Stoic & Genuine, shopping at A Line Boutique with a personal stylist and more.  They are also offering a Galentine’s Day with wine, blowouts and quality time together. 

THE OXFORD HOTEL

Originally opened in 1891, The Oxford Hotel features 80 luxurious guest rooms, along with the Urban Farmer steakhouse and the Cruise Room, Denver’s quintessential Art Deco martini bar. Their Romantic Escape includes overnight accommodations, credits for The Cruise Room and Urban Farmer, an in-room floral arrangement and more. 

PEAKS LOUNGE AT HYATT REGENCY 

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.

D BAR DENVER 

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?

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. Source: Visit Denver.

Denver snow day! 80+ activities for playing inside and outside

It’s a snow day in Denver and we have rounded up some activities for playing in the snow or cozying up indoors.

Fun Activities for My Denver Snow Day

Want to go sledding? Don’t miss our Ultimate Guide to Outdoor Skating in Colorado.

Is skating more your speed? You’ll love our Ultimate Guide to Outdoor Skating in Colorado.

Nothing beats a ski day in fresh powder. Don’t miss our 2023 Family Ski Guide for Colorado

Make an abominable snowman. It’s like a regular snowman, but less friendly to passers-by.

Watch the movie Snow Day with that gloriously psychotic snowplow driver. 

Practice multiplication and script with your kids. That’ll put them in a REALLY good mood. For older kids, break out the practice tests.

Delete all of the expletive-laden “music” from your teenager’s Spotify playlist on the family computer, while she’s not looking.

Make snow ice cream in a YayLabs Softshell ice cream ball. Twenty minutes of play and voila, you have ice cream! (See adjacent photo).

Trudge around town for a store that hasn’t sold out on sleds.

Wash the floors by hand. Or use a toothbrush.

Do that mending and ironing you’ve been putting off since 2004.

Groom the dog. Then suck all the fur off your couch.

Make freeze-ahead dinners. The ones you wish you had right now.

Go rooftop luging. What’s the worst that could happen?

Fill plastic squeeze bottles with water and food coloring and make art on the snow. Let your dog help out.

Shovel through piles of climate change theories.

Shred your pile of old documents. Better yet, multitask. Use them to light up the fireplace.

Change the batteries in the smoke detectors, since you forgot during Fall Back.

Find all the lids to the Tupperware and finally buy an expandable food storage container lid organizer you so desperately need. 

If you hate snow and cold, hunker down and play Monopoly with the rules that make the game go slower.

Stop procrastinating. Register your cherubs for summer camp (see our featured summer camps here). 

Go through your junk drawer. Do not be afraid.

Clean your silverware and jewelry. Alternatively, pine for silverware and jewelry worth cleaning.

Sort mementos into keep and toss piles. Spend time poring over the keepers—after all, that’s why you’re keeping them.

Make a master calendar for gift-giving dates. Shop ahead online. Or for yourself. Pretend there are sales.

Invite over neighbors and children you have barely seen during the pandemic for a snowball fight. Wanna up your game like Buddy thge Elf? The Hoopla Toys Snowball Thrower may change your life. 

While you’re at it (OK, do it after), read kids Jimmy Fallon’s high-action, high-comedy children’s book, Snowball Fight

Make a list of all the things you love about your significant other for a card or scrapbook. Make stuff up if you have to.

Actually use those cross-country skis, or skates or showshoes you were always planning to try out after a big snow. C’mon, you can do it!

Follow our best tips for Colorado’s best snowshoeing and cross-country skiing trails. Kids don’t have snowshoes? Yukon Snow-Bash makes a great kids snowshoe and these affordable SNO Stompers make darling bear and dinosaur tracks in the snow. 

Put on your fanciest evening dress and jewelry, grab your cocktail and pretend you’re in an old movie. That sounds a lot better than, “Sit around your house and be bored.”

Scan old photos and make a photo book. Then force the kids to look at pictures of their parents when they were little.

Do your taxes! April 15 only feels far off.

Chug a shot idand break open your financial portfolio.

Order seeds and plants for your spring garden. Check out the ideas in Gardening for Kids: Learn, Grow and Get Messy with Fun STEAM Projects. Yes, spring will come eventually.

Update your resume. Hey, it’s better than doing it at work and leaving it in the copy machine.

Go through clothes (for you and your children) in drawers and closet. Try on and toss.

Make adorable snow molds with these Snowball Maker Toys that also work in the sand.  Or make a huge snow fort using these cheap Snow Block Brick Molds

Upload your CDs, finally. Now, this may be difficult: Toss the CDs and the CD player.

Take out all the beach chairs, umbrellas and boogie boards and make a beach day in the snow.

Google yourself.

Collect all the pennies from the corners of the house, coat pockets, sofa cushions, jeans in the laundry. Maybe you’ll have enough for a cup of coffee at Starbucks. Then again, maybe not.

Write a letter. You know the kind, with pen and paper.

Polar Bear Club! Head down to the Platte River or your local reservoir and take a skinny…errr… chilly dip! 

Make snowflakes out of paper. Tape them to your windows to block out the white piles outside.

Take your chainsaw out of your garage and teach yourself how to make snow sculptures. Too complicated? Reenact Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Just for fun, of course. 

Teach haiku—five, seven, five—and make a book of illustrated snow haiku.

Create airfare alerts for deals to your dream destinations.

Play this fun game with your kids: Let’s Clean the Bathroom!

Forget sledding, Kids love the LED Ski Skooter, Fold-up Snowboard Kick-Scooter that you can use on snow, grass and even sand dunes. 

You know that neighbor who won’t stop blasting music? That’s where your shoveled snow goes.

Play family-friendly spin the bottle with your chore list. Hope it doesn’t point to you when it’s time to clean the toilets.

Mani-pedi, scrub or mask, deep condition. You choose the body parts.

Bubble bath. Turn down the lights, light a candle and pretend you’re in a spa. Doesn’t do it for you? It’s not completely impossible that a real one is open.

Experiment all day on devising the ultimate chocolate chip cookie. Tasting mandatory. Our favorite is Martha Stewart’s classic chocolate chip recipes. You won’t regret it. 

Begin your memoirs. Go to Heritage.com, upload an awkward photo and watch their new Deep Nostalgia come to ife, which animates family photos. 

Take pictures of all your belongings to inventory for insurance. Now do a written inventory.

Sleep. Glorious sleep.

Does your child have an obsession with heavy machinery? They’ll love the Albott Ride On Bulldozer Metal Excavator Toy that can be used in the snow, dirt and sand. 

Send hate mail to your friends and relatives in warm-weather places. Or block them on Facebook.

Look at Hawaii real estate online, so you never have to read this again.

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Loveland’s Valentine Re-Mailing Program & Sweetheart Festival

The season of love is right around the corner and no city loves love more than Loveland, the nation’s Sweetheart City

The Loveland Chamber of Commerce, Visit Loveland and partners unveiled details and plans for the 77th annual Valentine season including the Valentine Re-Mailing Program, Sweetheart Festival, exclusive Valentine wine and coffee, the Loveland Sweetheart Classic 4-mile race, and the Valentine Group Wedding being held on the ice (NEW) at the Budweiser Event Center prior to the Feb. 14 Sweetheart Game featuring AHL hockey’s Colorado Eagles vs. Bakersfield Condors. The event, including the Valentine-themed game takeover, is part of the Colorado Eagles’ 20th-anniversary celebration. All Valentine season activities and events take place during the first two weeks of February. 

Loveland’s Valentine Re-Mailing Program

The 2023 official Loveland Valentine card, collector’s stamp (also known as a cachet) and postmark have been announced. The collector’s stamp and postmark will be stamped on every piece of mail that comes through the program. Loveland receives around 100,000 Valentines annually from all 50 states and 110 countries across the world through its Valentine Re-mailing Program, the largest program of its kind. Sponsors and volunteers handstamp the collector’s stamp and postmark onto each individual Valentine that comes through the city’s post office. 

To get this special 2023 collector’s envelope artwork and postmark, package pre-addressed, pre-stamped Valentines in a larger First Class envelope. Send the envelope to:

Postmaster – Attention Valentines

446 E. 29th St.

Loveland, CO 80538

Once received, Valentines will be removed from the larger envelope and hand-stamped before being re-mailed to intended recipients. 

All international-destined mail must be received in Loveland by Feb. 2. All U.S.-destined mail to states outside of Colorado must be received by Feb. 7, and all Colorado-destined mail must be received by Feb. 9 to ensure delivery by Valentine’s Day. Northern Colorado residents can drop off their Valentines now through Feb. 9 at the following Loveland locations during normal business hours: 

  • Our official Valentine drop location sponsors include Independent Financial and Elevations Credit Union. Drop off self-addressed, stamped Valentine envelopes at any of these locations, as well as the Chamber of Commerce, Visitor’s Center  and the Post Office.

  • Participants are encouraged to send their Valentines to Loveland as soon as possible. 

Valentine Season Events & Experiences 

The Loveland Sweetheart Festival

Feb. 10 -11, 2023

Celebrate all things LOVE in the Sweetheart City at the annual Loveland Sweetheart Festival, returning February 10-11, 2023. During this free celebration in Downtown Loveland, enjoy live music, art installations, local beer, and interactive activities at four venues in the center of town. As you stroll between venues, explore the Valentine Flea Art Market and the community plaza with local performances, food trucks and kids’ activities, and experience the Arts Alive block featuring interactive raku firing and ice carving demonstrations, or paint a tile for the Loveland community mural. Don’t miss the 3rd Annual Little Miss Valentine and Mr. Cupid contests and be sure to catch the Projection Mapping light show on the Historic Feed and Grain Building. Enjoy live music at the Rialto Theater with 14-time Grammy Award-winning musician Dan Tyminski, featuring Gavin Largent, on Feb. 11. Stay tuned for an announcement about the Feb. 10 headliner.

Loveland Lights at Chapungu

Feb. 1-14, 2023

Chapungu Sculpture Park in Centerra will be adorned in red and pink lights and sweetheart-themed decor. Similar to Loveland Winter Wonderlights, the lighting displays will be free and open to the public from 5-9 p.m. every evening.

Colorado Eagles Hockey Sweetheart Game

The Colorado Eagles and Visit Loveland are excited to team up for the Sweetheart Game on Tuesday, Feb. 14. For the first time in seven seasons the Eagles will host a game on Valentine’s Day featuring fun for all at the Budweiser Events Center in Loveland. Festivities include:

  • Enter to win one of 150 “Sweetheart Packs” via Eagles social media beginning the last week in January, including two (2) tickets to the game and a gift bag from Visit Loveland. 

  • Pregame group wedding on the Ice.

  • The first 2,000 attendees receive red and pink light-up foam batons provided by the City of Loveland at the entrance of the game.

  • Pick up an “I Love ______” sign at the Visit Loveland booth and fill in the blank to show your LOVE.

  • Take part in Northern Colorado’s Biggest Valentines Kiss on the Kiss Cam during a stoppage in play.

  • Many other special surprises.

Go to visitlovelandco.org for more information. 

Win tickets to Paw Patrol at the Bellco Theater

Nickelodeon and VStar Entertainment Group present PAW Patrol Live! “The Great Pirate Adventure”  Feb. 4-5 at the Bellco Theater and we’re giving away four tickets to the performance on Sunday, February 5th at 3 p.m. 

When: 
Feb 4, 10 am
Feb 4, 2 pm
Feb 5, 11 am
Feb 5, 3 pm
 
Where: Bellco Theater, 1700 14th Street, Denver
Tickets: https://www.pawpatrollive.com/tickets/colorado/denver

The PAW Patrol is back and on a roll in person and LIVE on stage! Ryder and your favorite pups have been working hard to get back on the road and they are ready to roll to Denver, CO. In this production, the heroic pups from the top-rated animated preschool series PAW Patrol, produced by Spin Master Entertainment and airing on Nickelodeon, embark on a pirate-themed adventure to uncover hidden treasure. Do not miss this PAWsome opportunity to see the whole pack in this live touring stage performance. 

In PAW Patrol Live! “The Great Pirate Adventure,” Mayor Goodway is getting everything shipshape for a big Pirate Day celebration in Adventure Bay. When Cap’n Turbot falls into a dark and mysterious cavern, it’s PAW Patrol to the rescue! Chase, Marshall, Rubble, Skye, Rocky and Zuma save Cap’n Turbot and discover a secret pirate treasure map that leads them on an epic adventure. Things get ruff when Mayor Humdinger wants to find the treasure first for Foggy Bottom. The pups need all paws on deck for this pirate adventure, including help from the newest pup who’s all ears…Tracker! Using their heroic rescue skills, problem-solving and teamwork, the pups set sail to save the day. No job is too big, no pirate pup is too small!

 PAW Patrol Live! “The Great Pirate Adventure is the perfect way for families to create lifelong memories and provides kids the opportunity to experience in-person theater.  Since its debut in the Fall of 2016, PAW Patrol Live! has been seen by over 4.3 million people, providing fans in over 40 countries with an unforgettable Broadway-style production. The performance is an interactive live stage show, encouraging audiences to learn pirate catchphrases, dance the pirate boogie and help the pups follow the treasure map and solve picture puzzles throughout their mission!

CONTEST

 

Family-friendly Denver events for Martin Luther King Jr. Day

Martin Luther King Jr. Day is Monday, January 16, 2023, and here are some wonderful ways to celebrate with your family.

Martin Luther King Marade (March and Parade)

Jan. 16, 2023
This annual event is the only one of its kind in the nation.

City Park
9:30 a.m. – Program commences
10:30 a.m. – Laying of the wreath
10:45 a.m. – Step off to downtown

Civic Center Park
Noon to 1 p.m. – Entertainment, awards and celebration
1 p.m. – Help clean up at the park or head out to other Dr. King service projects

MLK Day of Service Food Drive

Saturday, January 14, noon-2 p.m., Town Center of Aurora. 

The Town Center will be collecting canned and non-perishable food donations and at the end of the event taking them to community food bank partner SECOR.

African American Culture

Denver has a rich African American heritage, fro the jazz greats who played here to extensive libraries to modern dance performances and music festivals. Learn more. 

Multicultural Denver Attractions

Denver is a city of many colors and cultures with a long ethnic history. This diversity is celebrated in a number of museums, attractions and events. Learn more. 

Crafts and Activities

If you want to stay closer to home, I have compiled a list of easy activities, books and crafts you can do with your children.

*The Story of Martin Luther King Jr.: A Biography Book for New Readers by Christine Platt

I Have a Dream by Martin Luther Dr. King Jr. and illustrated by Kadir Nelson

*TFK Library: Martin Luther King Jr. Martin Luther King Jr. is considered one of history’s greatest activists. His leadership helped end segregation during the civil rights movement.

*Remembering the March TFK looks back at the 1963 March on Washington and Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech.

*Dream Big Readers share the issues and causes that they believe in.

martinlutherkingjr

*These Martin Luther King Jr. Day crafts can be used to teach children about other colors and cultures, and discuss the principals that Dr Martin Luther King Jr stood for.

*This peace dove painting was made using a hand print! Check out Handprint and Footprint Art for the how-to.

*How much do you know about the young Martin Luther King Jr.? Test your knowledge with this informative quiz.

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