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Elitch Gardens unveils $2.5M Water Park Addition SlideZilla

What is blue and purple and spits out yellow clovers?  Elitch Gardens Theme and Water Park’s SlideZilla, a $2.5 million attraction that has finally opened thanks to a break in the weather! 

Named Best Water Attraction in 2014 by IAAPA, SlideZilla is the first hybrid slide in Colorado and consists of two thrilling custom features – the BehemothBowl and TornadoWAVE. The six-story water hydro-beast accelerates two or four riders through an enclosed tube and into the swirling 24 foot bowl, before unexpectedly plunging 57 feet and cresting the fierce four-story high tornado wave water wall. The ride culminates in an exhilarating splashdown with anyone 48 inches and taller.  

SlideZilla joins twelve other aquatic attractions in the Island Kingdom Water Park. Castaway Creek Lazy River provides relaxation for guests seeking mild water fun, while the speed slides and award-winning Tube Top are frequented by thrill-seekers of all ages. Hook’s Lagoon is perfect for the little ones to splash and play and everyone loves the crash of the surf in the Commotion Ocean Wave Pool. Also new in the Water Park this year is an expanded seating area for guests to relax in the sun or take a break from the rides. This new 6,000 square foot expansion is part of the latest upgrades designed to improve guest comfort and experience.

 Summer gets even hotter in the Water Park throughout the summer with five Dive-In Movies kicking off on June 26th and continuing every Friday night throughout July, including The Lego Movie, Maleficent, Academy Award winning Big Hero 6, Elf, and Monsters University.

5 Amazing Denver Playgrounds You Didn’t Know About

frontcover med 110dpiThe Denver metro area is blessed with over 600 public playgrounds, big and small, old and new, exciting and mundane. Finding the true gems required visiting each one of them, a project I completed in early 2015. Here are five of my favorite underused, largely unknown play areas. Chances are you have never heard of these parks, but they are all well worth a visit even if you live miles away.

If you’re curious to discover more of the metro area’s play areas, get a copy of “Denver Playgrounds & Parks,” available as a guide book or iPhone app. For details, please visit my website at www.playgroundsdenver.com.

Happy exploring!

1. Carpenter Park

This superb playground was constructed in 2013 and truly offers something for everyone. In addition to the 10 swings, 8 slides, and 6 spinners, the play area includes a merry-go-round, a rocking boat, and sliding bars. The sprayground features spouts and fountains and lights up at night. On summer weekends, there are pedal boat rentals on the adjacent lake, as well as a full-sized carousel. Come play! (Featured image.)

Location: Madison St & 112th Ave, Thornton

 2. Ralston-Central Park

Built in 2014, this playground resembles a deep forest. Logs, trees, mushrooms, and boulders are everywhere, and the color dark green dominates. The huge colorful sprayground makes summer days so much more fun; the park also offers an adjacent creek, a memorial garden, and a spacious picnic area.

Location: Garrison St & Ralston Rd, Arvada

Ralston-Central

Ralston-Central

 

 3. Arvada Volunteer Fire Fighters Park

Fire engine red is the only color at this 2012 playground, from slides and swings to picnic benches and trash cans. A super-tall tube slide, spinners, a play fire truck, and lots of climbing ladders round out the fireman theme here. Come and have a firefighting experience!

 Location: 8990 W 84th Ave, Arvada

Arvada Volunteer Fire Fighters Park

Arvada Volunteer Fire Fighters Park

 4. Westlands Park

 Westlands has undergone several rounds of updates, most recently in 2000. Its three spacious play areas feature a village of play houses, unique sculptures, a hanging seesaw, and a slide built into the hillside. There is a tall observation tower, a nearby pond and splash area, and a flower garden. This is a great example of an older yet top-notch playground in a beautiful park.

 Location: 5701 S Quebec St, Greenwood Village

Westlands Park

Westlands Park

 5. Westminster Center Park

Built in 2010, this park surprises with a London theme, complete with the River Thames, Tower Bridge, and Big Ben. Artificial trees, boulders, and log tunnels add climbing challenges, and the many water features in this park are great for cooling down in the summer.

 Location: W 93rd Ave & Xavier St, Westminster

Westminster Center

 

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Other Denver Fun:

Guest blogger Chris Sekirnjak was born in Vienna, Austria, and his parents still live there. He has lived in the Denver area since 2004. Outdoor fun has been his main form of entertainment ever since he was a little boy. His interests include hiking, running, biking, camping, backpacking, skiing, snowshoeing, swimming, and diving. He earned a PhD in Neuroscience at UC San Diego. Currently, he lives in Applewood (Wheat Ridge), with his wife Debbie and two children Kenny and Elena. His first book, Run, Stroll, Hike – A guide to family-friendly trails (2014) profiles and rates 38 hiking/running trails in the greater Denver area. It has sold several hundred copies and is available at local stores and on Amazon.  

Avid4 Adventure: A Mom and Son’s (Humorous) Commentary

There’s no better way to set the tone for your entire summer than with an adventure. Avid4 Adventure, to be exact.  This was our fourth summer with this camp that teaches children lifetimes of empowering outdoor adventure. I was a bit worried my kids would take a been-there, done-that attitude but their experience could not have been farther from the truth.  Avid4 Adventure does a fantastic job expanding upon past years of kayaking, canoeing, rock climbing, biking and hiking. 

Here’s a glimpse at my kids’ week with Avid4 Adventure. How do I know? Not only did we receive a “report card” at the end with all the things they learned or are still working on, the counselors took pictures every day so parents could follow vicariously at home. As it turns out, my commentary is a wee bit different of what my son Bode had to say about it.

Day 1–Kayaking at Big Soda Lake

Bode: “This was a really fun day. I liked how I learned to navigate through the water with my own kayak.  I enjoyed playing the game Stinky Fish where we’d  try to throw a wet sponge into another person’s kayak. If you get the sponge into a person’s kayak, you get a point. The goal is to get the most points!”

Me: Kayaking Big Soda Lake at Bear Creek Lake Park…or sleeping on the job?

kayak1

Fortunately, he figured it out.

kayak

It was a total coincidence I happened to be mountain biking nearby and took this picture as they were receiving instruction.

kayak2

My daughter accused me of being a stalker. I prefer “supportive parent.”

Day 2–Rock Climbing in Morrison

Bode: “Rock climbing was really fun. We got to climb up different rock walls and each path was hard in a different way.  I made it up most of the climbs but I was really challenged on the hardest rock wall–I was pretty frustrated when I didn’t make it but only one person did. We had lunch on a rock and I got to sit very high up with beautiful views of Morrison. My older sister didn’t do as well as I did rappelling down.  I did pretty good rappelling down a very steep slope. 
climb

 

climbkids

 

Scenic lunch

Scenic lunch

Me: Clinging to a rock face hanging on for dear life never looked so cute. I know I certainly wouldn’t.

climbcutiesm

Day 3–Mountain Biking Bear Creek Lake Park

Bode: “On this day, we got to mountain bike a lot and we went on many adventures. We had a slow race, which is a test to see who can go the slowest and not touch the ground. The last person who could make it across the finish line and hadn’t touched the ground or fallen over wins. I came in fourth! On the very steep hill, our instructors told us to use both of our brakes so we could get down slowly but one of the girls (not my sister this time) was going too fast down the hill and landed in the grass and peeled off some skin. We were all grossed out but she was OK. No one else had a big fall.”

mountainbike1

 Me: Both kids had a blast mountain biking. They were lucky to get sunny conditions because another group went the next day when it rained and they were covered head-to-toe in mud (and looked pretty darn happy about it; my laundry wouldn’t have been so pleased. 🙂 

Now, let’s observe how my son does stream crossings:mtnbike1

I’m sensing a pattern. Last summer, we visited Avid4 Adventure’s bike playground for National Get Outdoors Day at City Park.sidesaddle

Perhaps mountain biking side saddle is a new thing?

Day 4–Canoeing Big Soda Lake

Bode: “In the morning, I learned how to  use a paddle and canoe before 12 p.m. because my mom was coming to see what we learned.  The three points of contact when getting into a canoe are that you have to have two hands and one foot touching something solid. Canoeing was really fun when my mom came because we got to canoe together. Oh, by the way, we tried showing our mom a dead white fish that was bitten into but it sank. My mom said that she almost died because we were shaking the boat a lot. I had a blast when I  went canoeinnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggg.”

Me: I’ve been in my share of canoes, most of which have capsized at some point. So, I was leery when I found out that parent’s day would be on the water. I just hoped I would not end up in the water.  My kids took me out in a canoe, along with a darling girl and they informed me they had a surprise for me as they furiously paddled west. “What kind of surprise.” The girl confessed, “Well, it’s not a very pleasant surprise.” Yes, it was that dead, bloated fish but fortunately for me, my “surprise” sank before we could find it.

My kids loved paddling, playing Stinky Fish with other boats and jumping into the water. I did NOT like the latter because it would rock the boat (literally).  My daughter was particularly comfortable in the water. Here she is having a canoe race standing up.

 

canoe1

 

Both kids took delight in my paranoia. 

“So help me if you tip this canoe, I’ll abandon ship and swim to shore.”

“You can’t swim in this portion of the lake, Mom.”

“I’ll take my chances. 

canoe

 I proved I am not a water person one threat at a time.

Day 5–Hiking Corwina Park

Bode: “On this day, we played many games when we went hiking. We played Camouflage, which is like hide-and-go-seek, but the person who is ‘it’ has to stay in one place and tries to see people and call them out. We hiked to the top of the mountain and we ate our lunch where we saw a chipmunk. I enjoyed this hike (and that I stopped for bathroom breaks) very much.”    

Me: Corwina Park. I hesitate to even mention this hike because it has been my best-kept secret hike in Denver’s Front Range. So, whatever you do, don’t look at those views of Kittredge and Mount Evans. They’re ugly.
hikingkids

camoflauge

 That final picture is a game of Camouflage in progress. Here’s for hoping it’s also not a picture of Bode ducking behind a tree enjoying his many bathroom breaks.

About Avid4 Adventure 

Avid4 Adventure day camps are offered in Boulder, Golden, Highlands Ranch, Washington Park and Stapleton.  They also have Colorado Mountain Camp, a sleep away camp located at Windy Peak, a beautiful location near Bailey, Colorado. For campers who has just finished camp, be sure to check-out Avid4 Adventure’s “Continue the Adventure” campaign, which has awesome information on their blog to get the whole family outside using new skills and local resources learned at camp. In partnership with Mile High Mamas.

Children’s Museum of Denver’s Joy Park!

The Children’s Museum of Denver is all about kid-powered learning! Through expertly designed hands-on exhibits and interactive programming, the Museum encourages Colorado’s curious young minds to express what they know and to discover, create and explore more – on their own terms.

What’s fun, new or fabulous at the Children’s Museum of Denver this summer?

Joy Park, a 30,000 sq ft outdoor experience that opened June 13! The space is filled to the brim with outdoor activities designed to captivate children’s imaginations, including zip-lining, climbing, spelunking, splashing, digging and messy all-in-play. Catch a glimpse of it here.

What are your summer hours?

Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday: 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.; Wednesday: 9 a.m. – 7:30 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

childrensTicket prices?

Beginning in June, our prices increased by $1. Museum expansions including Joy Park are included with admission. 

Current prices:
Under age 1: $7 (increasing to $8)
Ages 2-59: $9 (increasing to $10)

Seniors (60+): $7 (increasing to $8)

Address/website

2121 Children’s Museum Drive, Denver, CO 80211

mychildsmuseum.org

Contest

Enter to win a family four-pack of tickets to the Children’s Museum of Denver. You may enter as many as five times.

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Cirque du Soleil’s KURIOS is a Can’t-Miss Summer Spectacle

Here in Colorado, we are used to seeing peaks surrounding us. Most are rocky and snow-capped. Our major airport reflects this in it’s iconic white-tent roof. The newest and most colorful is located in the heart of Denver meaning one wonderful thing: Cirque du Soleil has returned to the city with yet another whimsical, jaw-dropping show. KURIOS-Cabinet of Curiosities is tumbling, flying, and bending in steampunk style until July 26, 2015.

If you’ve seen a Cirque du Soleil show, you might think you know what to expect. Cirque experiences are always packed with humor, oddities, fearless feats, joyful music, and eye-candy costumes. KURIOS delivers all these treasured elements. I’ve seen other Cirque shows and was continually surprised by creative innovations in this new-to-Denver touring show. How can they top themselves over and over? I had a big dumb grin on my face from start to finish. I clapped like a seal and oohed and ahhed like it was the Fourth of July.

If you’ve never seen a Cirque du Soleil show, now is an excellent opportunity to make the plunge into its fantasy oddball world of character, color, and the best circus acts in the world. Maybe you’re picturing old-school trapeze and tight rope? Maybe you think there couldn’t possibly be anything fresh or fun about bendy people performing in a tent?

Imagine flying bicycles, fish soaring to the blue and yellow peaked roof, living dolls, an airplane landing on stage, tumblers defying gravity and good sense, and laugh-out-loud comedy bits. Now, pair that with lights, live music, special effects, and a trampoline that makes your backyard model look like a kitchen sponge and you begin to get the idea: Cirque du Soleil’s KURIOS is special. They are richly blessed to showcase some of the most talented performers from around the world, hailing from 15 countries.

cirquedusoleilkuriosdenver_2We visited backstage and met some of the people behind this enormous spectacle. They live and breathe their art, whether its performing, costuming, music, or production. You can see how much love and dedication they have and that translates into a wonderful experience for everyone who gets the privilege to watch Cirque du Soleil in action.

KURIOS-Cabinet of Curiosities is located in Denver’s Pepsi Center parking lot. You can’t miss the arena-sized blue and yellow tent. It’s quite a sight, built to withstand all weather conditions. You might be worried about our rainy weather pattern and how it might effect the experience. We saw KURIOS on one of the most rainy nights in recent memory and stayed safely warm and dry.

Hurry and get your tickets to see KURIOS! It will only be here until July 26th, and then it heads to Chicago. Don’t let it escape your summer-in-Colorado experience. Your kids will write the most stellar “what I did this summer” essays for their new teachers. It’s appropriate for all ages. Concessions are available in the lobby and they have an intermission to stretch your non-bendy legs.

For more information, visit Cirque du Soleil. You can buy tickets and learn more about the story of KURIOS-Cabinet of Curiosities.

Top 11 Father’s Day Events in Denver!

This week at Mile High Mamas, we’re honoring the dads in our lives so be sure to tune in all week long for humorous and touching blog posts. Also learn about a Denver dad who has taken fun to a new level: he has written a book about Denver’s top playgrounds (and yes, he’ll be sharing his favorites). Here are five events Dad will love for Father’s Day:

falconFather’s Day Falconfest. June 21, 9-11 a.m. Treat your dad, pop, father, or papa to a one-of-a-kind experience the whole family will enjoy. Enjoy a savory breakfast burrito provided by Mi Cocina Mexican Restaurant and delicious bagels by Einstein Bros. Bagels. Get up close and personal with live raptors presented by Hawkquest at our outdoor Audubon Nature Center amphitheater. Enter to win prizes from Lone Tree Brewing Company and Cabela’s, as well as unique raptor merchandise. Raptor hikes will leave from the amphitheater at the conclusion of the raptor program or event attendees will be able to view the “Colorado Wild” art show happening in the Audubon Nature Center. Registration Required by calling the Audubon Society of Greater Denver at 303-973-9530 or emailing info@denveraudubon.org. 

Father’s Day Toy Takeover. June 21, 11:30 a.m.-noon. Join the History Colorado Center for a special Father’s Day Toys Take Over. They’ll set up wooden train sets on the map of Colorado in the atrium and cover the state in their creations. Then, give Dad a blast from his past with the museum’s new exhibit: Toys of the ’50s, ’60’s and ’70s.  Gumby. Barbie. Slinky. Mr. Potato Head. Wham-O. Spirograph. Hot Wheels. The names of these popular toys capture the craziness, the joy, the sheer fun of being a kid. But beneath those nutty names are rich veins of nostalgia, memory and history. The stories of the kids who played with these toys, the adults who bought them, the child-rearing experts who judged them and the people who invented them reflect the rhythms of American life.

greekGreek Festival. June 19-21. OPA! Eat, drink and dance like a Greek at the 2015 Greek festival on the grounds of the Assumption Greek Orthodox Cathedral (the big gold dome). Whether you are nine or 99, there is something fun to do at the Greek festival. For the younger kids, there are fair rides, games and toys. In the past festivals, younger children have also enjoyed dancing on the stage with the live musicians. For the adults, there is shopping to be done, food to be sampled and traditional music and dancing to enjoy. 

Dinosaur Train. June 19-21. All Aboard! Families and children are sure to enjoy an adventure-filled trolley ride, music, games, stories, and the Nature Trackers Club activities area at Dinosaur Ridge. Plus, an opportunity to meet their favorite T. rex, Buddy. Tickets are $26/person 2 and older. Discounts available for members.

Colorado BBQ Challenge. June 18-20. Does Dad love BBQ? Then Frisco, Colo. is the place to be! The event kicks off on Thursday, June 18, with an evening of live music.  Approximately 70 BBQers will compete for a variety of awards in a wide variety of categories including pork, ribs, chicken, brisket, anything goes, barbecue sauce, side dish, salsa and dessert. Guaranteed, you won’t go away hungry and there’s plenty of family-friendly entertainment including pig races, live music and more!

Father’s Day 5K and Car Show. June 21, 8 a.m.-3 p.m. Arvada’s Apex Center hosts this family event that includes music, family activities and refreshments. Register for the 5K at 3wraces.com and for the car show at foundation.apexprd.org. 

Outhouse Races. Celebrate Breckenridge’s Kingdom Days (June 19-21) in the most original way possible:  Outhouse Races celebrate Breckenridge’s mining history during Kingdom Days. With names such as Potty Mouth and Jamaican Me Poop, costumed teams of five (one person must ride in the outhouse) pull decorated outhouses through the streets of historic. It’s a nod to the community’s mining past and part of Kingdom Days, the annual heritage celebration. Also that weekend, modern-day miners show their skills for cash and bragging rights during the Colorado Gold Panning Championships. 

Juneteeth Music Festival.  June 19-20. Commemorated in cities across the nation and around the world, Juneteenth is a cultural event celebrated by diverse people of all colors, backgrounds, and nationalities…joining hands to mark the ending of slavery and the beginning of African American independence in the United States. Denver’s Juneteenth Music Festival is one of the nation’s largest celebrations, drawing in record numbers of festival-goers and participation. The two-day event features live performances, art and cultural exhibitions, and food and commercial vendors; with partners and sponsors ranging from community support networks and organizations, to local and international companies.

Bear Grylls Survival Academy

Bear Grylls Survival Academy

Colorado Rockies Game to Benefit the United Way. Make a double play this Father’s Day! Watch the Colorado Rockies take on the Milwaukee Brewers on Father’s Day weekend – and help support United Way. This annual event brings together family, friends and supporters of the entire Colorado United Way network to sit together in the LIVE UNITED section while cheering on the home team. Everyone is welcome, so put on a baseball hat and bring Dad, the family and friends down to enjoy some fun entertainment and a beautiful day at the ballpark.

Bear Grylls Survival Academy. June 17-18. Is Dad a survivor? Find out at Snow Mountain Ranch’s Bear Grylls Survival Academy and offer 24 hour survival courses for adults and families. With ‘The Island’ TV show currently airing, Bear Grylls sets the trends for the ultimate in outdoor survival.  Snow Mountain Ranch is the only Colorado location hosting courses this summer and fall.  The 24 hour family courses are for kids 10-17.

VegFest Colorado.  June 20-21. Is Dad a health nut? This family-friendly event offers two days of activities including speakers, cooking demonstrations by nationally acclaimed chefs and cookbook authors, food sampling, exhibitors, food trucks, movies, activities for children and more. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

10 ways to make the most of your library’s summer reading program

Remember summer reading when you were little? The handouts to track your progress, the treasures you coveted, the lazy afternoons spent nose in a book? Guess what … now your children can record their own reading, earn their own prizes and combat the “summer slide” at the library. Here are 10 ways to make the most of your library’s summer reading program:

  1. Sign-up and win prizes

Each library’s program works a little differently, but reading has its rewards. Feel free to shop around. You don’t have to use your closest library, and you can sign-up at multiple library systems.

  1. Don’t forget the little guy — or the big guy

Summer reading is for kids ages 0 to 18. Many libraries have separate activities and programs for the different age groups, and some even have programs for adults. Get the whole family involved!

  1. Go to storytime

Most libraries have storytimes for children from birth to 5 year olds. Some even have it for a little bit older kids. Those 30 minutes are an engaging way to “read” with friends.

  1. Take advantage of the library’s special programs

Most libraries have weekly, if not daily, special activities and programs for kids. Just make sure and see if you need to sign up before you show up.

  1. Take time to read AND play

Don’t just check out books and leave. Most libraries have play areas for kids to enjoy with their caregivers. They also can spend time on the computer or doing other learning activities. 

  1. Reading is reading

Encourage your children to read whatever interests them. It could be chapter books or  picture books, audio books or graphic novels. It all counts! So let them scour the stacks for whatever catches their eyes.

  1. Find a new genre, author or series

Ask the librarians for advice on what to read next. 

  1. “Read” audio books in the car

Turn your commute into a personal story time. Let your child check out an audio book at the library.

  1. Download to ease your load

Are you going on vacation and don’t want to pack pounds of books?  Download them (again, from the library!) for you and your kids on whatever device you have. You get to read without the weight and risk of losing a library book.

10. The best things in summer are free

From programing to prizes, books to cartoons, nearly everything at the library is free. Save your money for the ice cream man!

Check out what these metro libraries have to offer:

Denver Public Library

Arapahoe Libraries

Anythink Libraries

Douglas County Libraries

Jefferson County Public Library

Aurora Public Library

 lisa====

Lisa is an Early Literacy Librarian with more than 20 years experience working with young children in many different educational capacities. She currently trains library staff to deliver high-quality storytimes and provides parent trainings on simple things they can do get their children ready for kindergarten. She also is co-owner of Packtivities, which creates fun, creative and educational activity packs for preschoolers. She currently lives in south Denver with her husband and infant daughter.

Bird Golf Academy Retreats for Mom!

You know life is busy when you can’t remember the last time you saw your best gal pals. And when you’ve got a lot of catching up to do, a mid-week lunch date just won’t cut it. So ditch the husbands, kids, and office. It’s time to hit the greens on a girls-only golf holiday. 

Spend the morning working on your back swings then unwind with a hot-stone massage before heading out on a wine tasting tour. Whether you’re a beginning golfer or a professional shopaholic, a vacation through Bird Golf Academy combines first-class fun for golfers—and shoppers—at any level.    

As one of the nation’s top golf schools, Bird Golf Academy has partnered with the most luxe resorts and elite facilities all across the country.  But if you’re planning a quick weekend getaway or a once-in-a-lifetime bucket list adventure, you don’t have to look any further than in your own backyard.

Pelican Lakes

Pelican Lakes

Just a short drive from Denver lies the pristine greens of Pelican Lakes Golf and Country Club. Rated a prestigious 4 stars by Golf Digest, Pelican Lakes offers stunning panoramic views and thrilling challenges. Pelican Lakes also boasts the most shoreline of any golf course in the United States. Play 27 holes of championship golf as you wind your way along the Cache la Poudre River.

For even more breathtaking scenery and outstanding golf, visit The Club at Crested Butte.  Mountain Golf Magazine names Crested Butte as “one of the finest golf courses in the mountains, if not the entire country.” Train in Crested Butte’s private practice facilities surrounded by aspen forests and dramatic peaks of the Elk Mountains.

Aside from the two magnificent Colorado schools, Bird Golf Academy has locations in nearly a dozen other states, including:

  • Arizona
  • California
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Minnesota
  • Nevada
  • New Jersey
  • North Carolina
  • South Carolina
  • Tennessee

From Wine Country to The Garden State, receive 3, 4, or 5 days of personalized instruction and expert advice from PGA and LPGA professionals. Savor your time out on the greens as you and your girlfriends are granted unlimited access to all resort golf facilities. In addition to top-rated courses, enjoy fine dining, luxurious accommodations, and premium amenities boasted by all Bird Golf Academy locations.   

Relax in a spacious five-star villa overlooking Wachesaw Plantation East golf course in Myrtle Beach. Rejuvenate with a signature spa treatment from The Club at Boca Pointe’s Spa Palazzo in Florida. Indulge in locally-caught seafood from Pala Mesa’s Aqua Terra restaurant in San Diego. And of course, enjoy hundreds of other sightseeing activities and entertainment offered at all Bird Golf Academy destinations. 

So, for ladies who love the links as well as shopping, dining, and spa treatments, start planning your girl’s golf trip today. With a variety of locales and customizable packages, Bird Golf Academy delivers the ultimate girls’ vacation and golf learning experience.  Visit birdgolf.com to learn more.   In partnership with Mile High Mamas.

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See also: Your guide to family golf courses in Denver.

 

Your guide to family golf courses in Denver

Do you have a child who wants to learn to golf but  you have no idea where to start? In partnership with the PGA of America, the U.S. Kids Golf Family Course setup helps young golfers and beginners play from appropriate yardages. The benefits include:

  • Kids and all members of the family play faster and not feel rushed
  • Lower scores and more fun
  • Cost effective way for pros to update their golf course and encourage members of families to play from appropriate tee locations

According to U.S. Kids Golf, the philosophy of the Family Course is to add two levels of tees to each hole well in front of the existing tees. Teeing grounds are marked by placing a Family Course tee plate on level locations in the fairway. In addition, a smaller locator tee is placed near the cart path to indicate where to find the Family Course tee marker in the fairway. The forwardmost tees on most golf courses are approximately 2,500 yards for nine holes, which is too long for young players and adult beginners. By adding two sets of tee locations (Level 1 – 1,500 yards for nine holes, Level 2 – 2,000 yards for nine holes) all family members are able to enjoy their round.

Colorado Family Courses:  

Evergreen Golf Course

Evergreen Golf Course

Willis Case Golf Course, Denver, CO
The Courses At Hyland Hills, Westminster, CO
City Park Golf Course,  Denver, CO
Legacy Ridge Golf Course, Westminster, CO
Overland Golf Course, Denver, CO
Wellshire Golf Course, Denver, CO
Emerald Greens Golf Club Denver, CO
Littleton Golf and Tennis Club Littleton, CO
John F. Kennedy Golf Course Aurora, CO
Riverdale Golf Club Brighton, CO
Colorado National Golf Club Erie, CO
Buffalo Run Golf Course Commerce City, CO
Flatirons Golf Course Boulder, CO
Evergreen Golf Course Evergreen, CO
Green Valley Ranch Golf Club Denver, CO
Murphy Creek Golf Course Aurora, CO
Saddleback Golf Club Firestone, CO
Grand Elk Golf Club Granby, CO
Breckenridge Golf Club Breckenridge, CO
City Park Nine Golf Course Fort Collins, CO
Antler Creek Golf Course Peyton, CO
Silver Spruce Golf Course Colorado Springs, CO

Deals:

At the Heritage Gold Course in Westmoor, kids golf free every day after 3 p.m.

Juniors play free at Legacy Ridge in Westminster after 1 p.m. with a paying adult. 

Kids golf free on the par 3 at the CommonGround Golf Course at Lowry.

Kids play free with a paying adult every day at the Kennedy Par Three Course.  

If you just want to play a few holes, Fitzsimons in Aurora is offering a 3 hole ($5) or 6 hole ($8) alternative. 

Pelican Lakes

Pelican Lakes

Mom: 

It’s time to ditch the husbands, kids, and office and hit the greens on a girls-only golf holiday. As one of the nation’s top golf schools, Bird Golf Academy has partnered with the most luxe resorts and elite facilities all across the country.  But if you’re planning a quick weekend getaway or a once-in-a-lifetime bucket list adventure, you don’t have to look any further than in your own backyard. Just a short drive from Denver lies the pristine greens of Pelican Lakes Golf and Country Club. Rated a prestigious 4 stars by Golf Digest, Pelican Lakes offers stunning panoramic views along the Cache la Poudre River and thrilling challenges. For even more breathtaking scenery and outstanding golf, visit The Club at Crested Butte. Mountain Golf Magazine names Crested Butte as “one of the finest golf courses in the mountains, if not the entire country.” Spend the morning working on your back swings then unwind with a hot-stone massage before heading out on a wine tasting tour. Whether you’re a beginning golfer or a professional shopaholic, a vacation through Bird Golf Academy combines first-class fun for golfers—and shoppers—at any level.

Beat Summer Boredom with These Adventures Including Joy Park and Spikeball!

Mile High Mamas appeared on 9News talking about our top four adventure picks and toys for keeping your kids from vegging out with their video games all summer long!
 

Joy Park at the Children’s Museum of Denver

For those who want to stay close to home, adventure is right in your backyard. On June 13 (Saturday!), 30,000-square-foot Joy Park will debut at the Children’s Museum of Denver with caves and canyons, hills and valleys, ruins and forts, and bridges and streams. damMy kids had the chance to preview the fun and their favorites were racing on the mini zip line, building a dam in the stream, digging a volcano in the sand dune and filling it with water (whilst getting gloriously dirty and wet in the process; see picture above). Additionally, your little ones will love rolling down hills, cartwheeling through a meadow and spelunking through a tunnel. Kudos to the museum for acknowledging the importance of kids adventuring outside while learning about the environment through year-round unstructured outdoor play.  Joy Park is the first of six new Playscapes opening in conjunction with the Museum’s expansion project to double its size. The entire project will be completed in late 2015. My kids’ inaugural run on the zipline:

 

The Broadmoor’s Eco-Soaring Experience

You don’t need to stay at AAA Five-Diamond luxury resort The Broadmoor to live the high life (though why would you not?) Now, your family can experience their new Eco-Soaring Experience at Seven Falls that will open to the public August 11. This new attraction in Colorado Springs boasts a number of improvements and upgrades since Seven Falls’ 2013 closure due to devastating floods. The enhancements allow guests to safely explore the area from high above on an adrenaline-pumping series of zip lines and suspension bridges. You may choose the “full” tour (approximately five hours) or experience one of two distinct sections. According to The Broadmoor Magazine, “The Woods Course cruises over pines, creeks, valleys, a natural arch, Midnight Falls and the trails leading to the falls. The second section, The Fins Course, soars above steep drops, unique rock formations and jagged cliffs and across Cheyenne Cañon. Each course includes between six and 11 zip-lines that get progressively longer, giving guests time to ease into the experience, as well as several custom-built suspension bridges and an auto-rappel descent at the end”. If you’d like to stay more grounded, Seven Falls’ seven distinct cascades are a delight in themselves and leave little wonder as to why they are Colorado’s only entry on the National Geographic list of international waterfalls. Take the kids for a stroll up the canyon along the creek with a naturalist who will discuss local flora, fauna geology. Bring your own picnic or enjoy casual refreshments–including pulled pork and hot dogs–from a food truck at a rest area about half-way up the canyon. 

Broadmoor's Eco-Adventure

Broadmoor’s Eco-Soaring Experience

kidsKids Adventure Games

Do you want your kids to have a reason to stay active this summer? Have them train for Kids Adventure Games, where kiddos ages 6 through 14 have the opportunity to experience the thrill of adventure racing. This event for all ability levels on August 5-9 in Vail, Colo. emphasizes problem solving and fun as teams of two tackle a  variety of challenges that include a zipline, mountain biking, wall climb, tubing, a mud pit, slip ‘n slide and much more. There are beginner, intermediate and expert heats. Parents are also permitted to follow along the race course but are asked not to step in and help  kids; volunteers are available to assist when necessary. There are optional clinics August 5 and 6 to help kids hone the adventure-racing skills, with official race dates on August 7-9, depending upon the level and age of your child (see the schedule of events here).

Contest and Deal: Mile High Mamas is giving away a free team entry here. RockResorts’ Vail properties The Arrabelle at Vail Square and The Lodge at Vail are offering a 20% discount on lodging for you to make a weekend of it!

 Spikeball

I first heard about Spikeball from a friend who posted about it on Twitter and since appearing on Shark Tank last month, it is THE activity to play this summer.  This fast and furious game is a cross between volleyball and Four Square. You can play singles or doubles but it’s most popularly played as a 2 vs. 2 game that requires a small trampoline to bounce a small ball to the adversary. Believe me, this is the most fun you’ll ever have playing with a ball and a small trampoline!  

spikeballHow it’s played: Opposing teams line up across from each other with the Spikeball net in the center. The ball is put in play with a serve—a hit by the server from behind the service boundary into the net to an opposing player. Once the ball is served players can move anywhere they want. The object of the game is to hit the ball into the net so that the opposing team cannot return it.  A team is allowed up to three touches to return the ball. The rally continues until the ball is not returned properly. Games are played to 21 and you must win by 2. My kiddos are Spikeball Aficionados in Training so instead of spiking the ball, they catch and bounce it off the trampoline but they claim they’re going pro by summer’s end. They’ll be in good company; there are Spikeball leagues all over the nation. The Spikeball set starts at $53.

Spikeball. How To. from Spikeball on Vimeo.