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Our Senses: Creating Your Reality at the DMNS

When it comes to our senses, hasn’t the number five had enough time in the spotlight? Now other sensory heroes get some overdue attention in Our Senses: Creating Your Reality, a new exhibition at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science for the whole family where you play with color, patterns, sounds, scents, and textures to discover there’s so much more to human senses than just the famous five.

When: Friday, April 12–Sunday, August 4, 2019

Tickets: Our Senses: Creating Your Reality is free with general admission

Hours: Open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. 

Your senses are one of those things you don’t think much about, yet they are constantly at work shaping your perception of the world. Now they get the scientific spotlight in Our Senses: Creating Your Reality, an exhibition for the whole family that playfully reveals how and why what we perceive is not all, or exactly, what’s actually going on around us. In a series of interactive galleries, you will enjoy some “sensory overload” as you play with color, patterns, sound, scents, and touch and discover how there’s so much more to our senses than just the usual five. 

  • Watch walls lit with alternating colored lights that reveal just how much a world bathed in white light can differ from one illuminated in blue, green, or red.
  • Explore a garden through the eyes of a bee or a butterfly, encountering larger-than-life models.
  • Hunt like a snake and find prey using an infrared viewer.
  • Dial into a variety of animal sounds normally outside the range of our hearing.
  • Test your skill using an audio collage to track individual sounds, such as a certain creature in a natural setting or an individual instrument in an orchestra.
  • Find out what happens when your senses disagree, as your feet feel a flat floor beneath you but your eyes see walls and a floor that appear to curve and ripple.
  • Look through a pair of goggles that upends the information your brain receives from your eyes.
  • Explore 3D models of specialized touch receptors that demonstrate our complicated touch system.
  • Take a smell test to single out the fragrance notes in a complex scent, since what we perceive as a particular odor is actually a symphony of smells.

For information, visit dmns.org/senses.

Your Guide to Spring Break in Denver 2019

Spring Break is finally upon us! 

Denver Fun

If you’re staying in Denver, no need to dismay as we have updated last year’s popular Spring Break guide. Whether you want to hunker down indoors, get outside or explore something new, we have you covered with these fabulous Spring Break offerings, categorized by geographic area.  Spring Break in Denver 2019: Over 50 activities listed!

Colorado Fun

Do you want to travel? Don’t miss 30+ Spring Break Getaways in Colorado.

Did you know Beaver Creek Resort is the number one luxury family resort in the world? From a new mountaintop family adventure area to the long-standing tradition of warm chocolate chip cookies served at 3 p.m., Beaver Creek is built around a European-style village with an outdoor ice-skating rink, the pedestrian village is bustling with boutique shops, gourmet restaurants and fine galleries. And because Beaver Creek is all about luxury, the village is linked by heated walkways and escalators to keep your little ones warm.

Here are 10 reasons to spend your Spring Break in Beaver Creek.

P.S. Don’t miss our 15% off discount for the Westin Riverfront Resort & Spa. 

Spring Break at the Denver Art Museum: 10 Family Fun Activities

During Spring Break, March 16-31, 2019, at the Denver Art Museum (DAM), kids can enjoy a special presentation of a family-friendly play, and make art in the galleries and in the Print Studio, all for free. In-gallery Create-n-Takes will be available every day from 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., for visiting families to get creative and discover art at the DAM in new ways. 

Visitor favorite and original family-friendly play Art Emergency: Sculpture Edition, will be presented daily March 25–29, at 11 a.m. All teachers who present valid teacher identification on-site will receive free general admission on March 22 and 29. Colorado teachers who sign up for any DAM membership level on-site March 16–31 will receive two additional complimentary months of membership, 14 months of membership for the price of 12 months. Teachers can redeem this offer, valid on-site only, when teacher identification is presented.

 All exhibitions on view at the DAM throughout Spring Break are included in general admission; including but not limited to the following exhibitions; Treasures of British Art: The Berger CollectionJordan Casteel: Returning the GazeStampede: Animals in Art, and The Incubation Effect: Nicole Banowetz

In-gallery interactive elements and games for families are available in Treasures of British Art and StampedeDior: From Paris to the World, which closes March 17, is not included in general admission.

 Spring Break activities are included in general admission, which is free for kids 18 and under and DAM members every day. All Spring Break activities are presented in English and Spanish, with the exception of the Art Emergency play. 

For more information on Spring Break at the DAM, visit denverartmuseum.org/calendar/spring-break-2019.

 

Contest: Win tickets to Disney on Ice ‘Worlds of Enchantment’

Enter the dazzling world of Disney magic, live on ice! 

Rev up for non-stop fun April 4-7 at the Denver Coliseum with four of your favorite Disney stories at Disney On Ice presents Worlds of Enchantment. Thrill to high-speed stunts as Lightning McQueen, Mater and the crew of Disney•Pixar’s Cars race across the ice like you’ve never seen before!  Dive into adventure with Ariel and The Little Mermaid’s undersea kingdom.  The toys are back in town with heroic action when Buzz Lightyear, Woody, Jessie and the Toy Story gang escape from the rambunctious tots of Sunnyside Daycare and race for home, in their most daring adventure ever!  

Plus, enter the wintery world of Arendelle with sisters Anna and Elsa and pals Olaf and Kristoff from Disney’s Frozen, as they learn that true love comes from within.  From wheels to waves, icy wonderlands to infinity and beyond, your family’s favorite Disney moments come to life at Disney On Ice presents Worlds of Enchantment.

Go to disneyonice.com for more information on tickets and pricing. 

CONTEST

Mile High Mamas is giving away two family four-packs of tickets for opening night on Thursday, April 4 at 7 p.m. You may enter as many as five times below. 

Six More Weeks of Winter: Six Awesome Frozen Adventures

The Groundhog had some misinformed sources, seems to be six more weeks of winter for Coloradans! The snow keeps blanketing the mountain slopes and Front Range, and temperatures are certainly polar-esque. Embrace the abundance of Colorado winter activity with the family; here’s a bucket list to do before the white stuff melts.

Estes Park: Snowcat

Estes Park Outfitters

Winter is the perfect opportunity to explore Rocky Mountain National Park. Estes Park crowds die down come winter and new activity abounds, such as snowcat with the family! Tim Resch has a brand new snowcat for 2019, and this is the only operation in all the area. The ride will climb several thousand feet of elevation and through miles of remote mountain trails with views of incredible mountain vistas, Denver and Estes Park Valley. Then arrive at a remote luxury off the grid mountain lodge located at 9200 feet elevation and sit by the fire and relax, taking in the sweeping vistas of Twin Sisters mountains, enjoy your favorite food and drinks or cross country ski or snowshoe over 7 miles of groomed mountain trails from 9000 to 10,000 feet elevation.

Each snowcat can fit up to 8 people and the rides go out from 10:30 am to 1:30 pm and 2 pm to 5 pm daily. It’s $550/ a tour no matter how many people you book. Runs December 1-March 31, weather dependent. estesparkoutfitters.com

Vail Valley: Snowmobile

Sage Outdoor Adventures

If there’s ever a winter to try that bucket list snow sport, it’s 2019! The powder provides for some of the best in snow sport and Vail Valley has a cache of national forest and snowmobiles! Sage Outdoor Adventures has miles and miles of outdoor trails and a variety of different packages, only 30 minutes from Vail and Beaver Creek. There are many tour options, so it really depends on the age of your crew. Bring warm-weather clothes for under snowsuits that they provide. Feel free to bring your own snow pants or boots, or bring your own. Remember, the wind will be blowing, so be prepared. Goggles and helmets are provided, but not gloves. Tours are usually two hours in length with short breaks for scenic overlooks, practice or wildlife spotting.  sageoutdooradventures.com/snowmobiling

P,S…. Where to stay? The Antler’s “Chill Out” deal, April 1-21, subject to availability and restrictions, and requires a four-night minimum stay is one of the best values for learn to ski at Vail. Kids stay free in an additional bunkroom and receive free gear rentals for skis or snowboards with every paid adult rental. Families also receive a free home cooked meal prepared by Antlers Chef Barry Robinson, which can be enjoyed in the condominium suites, which feature full kitchens, dining and living areas. And, the kids get a special seasonal toy to play with in the Antlers outdoor year-round pool. antlersvail.com

P.P.S. . . Where to après ski? Just steps away from the base of Riva Bahn Express Lift at Golden Peak, Larkspur is an easy stop off the slopes at the beginning or middle of the ski day. Lunch and après- ski menus offer a wide range of dishes for kids and adults. From the grilled cheese sandwich with tomato soup to the famous lobster club, there is something for every member of the family. Lunch: Open daily from 12pm – 2:30pm. Apres: Open daily from 2:30pm – 4:30pm.

Frisco: Sleigh Rides

2 Below Zero

We did this when my youngest was not even three months old, what a blast! My older children still beg each winter to return; well, if ever there was a winter with great snow, it’s 2019! Your evening at 2 Below Zero begins with a quiet sleigh ride amidst snow-capped mountain views and starry night skies. The drivers welcome you and fellow guests aboard draft mule-team-driven sleighs and provide heavy blankets to warm you for the 20-minute ride. Upon arrival at the back country camp, fun continues inside a cozy lantern-lit, heated tent with a hearty three-course, home-cooked meal with show featuring musical entertainment from David Peel.

For a memorable end to the evening, you’ll enjoy a return sleigh ride to the Frisco Nordic Center. For prices, times, dates, group discounts, etc. visit dinnersleighrides.com.

Denver: Dior—From Paris to the World

Denver Art Museum

Yes, we know this is not an outdoor activity, however there is urgency for this activity as this is certainly one of the most incredible and child-engaging exhibitions to land at the DAM. Dior is only at the Denver Art Museum until March 17th and it’s certainly worth the visit.

Here’s what you need to know. Curated by Florence Müller, the DAM’s Avenir Foundation Curator of Textile Art and Fashion, this was designed with children and multiple-generations at the forefront for ultimate engagement. Dior: From Paris to the World surveys 70 years of the house of Dior’s enduring legacy and its global influence. A selection of more than 200 couture dresses, as well as accessories, costume jewelry, photographs, drawings, runway videos, and other archival material made up the exhibition.

Kids and families are invited! There’s a free, special audio guide (in Spanish as well) for families and a fun activity for youngsters. The “fun activity” is a free takeaway for kids (or adults, if they want one) after they have gone through the exhibition—a paper fold-up bag with a paper jacket puzzle. Children 5 and under receive free admission, and those age 6 to 18 see the exhibition for $5. (Youth tickets are free with Family level membership and above.) DAM wil be busy with this exhibition, so they highly recommend people buy their tickets online in advance.

DAM is open 7 days a week, and is free for kids 18 and under every day. In addition to Dior, a fun activity for families and kids would be a visit to the free Print Studio on level 1

YMCA of the Rockies Snow Mountain Ranch

Try a go at Nordic skiing if the downhill slopes get too crowded with the epic snow. YMCA of the Rockies Snow Mountain Ranch (SMR) has a package that includes classic equipment rental, trail pass and a one-hour group lesson for $50 for adult and $40 for child. Single-Day Cross-Country Skiing Trail Passes are complimentary to YMCA of the Rockies members and SMR overnight guests. Don’t forget snowshoe is an option with both adult and child rentals. Or try a ride on a Fat Bike across any of the 10 km of groomed trails reserved exclusively for this new obsession sweeping the outdoor world and winter sports nation. The bikes come in 3 different adult sizes and are available for rent at the Nordic Center. Rental includes helmets.

Located next to the Nordic Center, the family friendly ice-skating rink and tubing hill are open every day—now with a snow-making machine, just in case the white stuff lets up. Both activities are included at no additional cost for overnight guests and day pass holders. Strap on some skates and visit SMR’s very own ice skating pavilion. Skate under a covered pavilion with the continental divide as your backdrop. Ice skates are available at the ice skating pavilion. snowmountainranch.org

Boulder: Winter Hikes

Boulder County

From our dear friends at the Boulder CVB, here are some suggestions on winter hikes that avoid the crowds and maximize the solitude and peacefulness of snow in one of the Front Ranges’ most popular spots. The white stuffs keep the masses at home, get out and enjoy some easy, family-friendly hikes.  bouldercoloradousa.com/

Canyon Loop at Betasso Preserve

Difficulty: Moderate/Difficult
Distance: 3.3-mile loop
Dogs allowed: Yes, leashed

A diverse, 3.3-mile loop has mountain views, sprawling meadows, tightly forested areas, panoramic overlooks and a fair amount of wildlife spotting. It’s a popular mountain biking destination, so going in wintertime means you are less likely to have to step aside for bikers. And if you want to avoid that altogether, plan your hike for a Wednesday or Saturday, when the trail is closed to bikes. The trail is a long, meandering loop that only gets really challenging in the last mile (or first mile, depending on which direction you start).

Teller Lake

Difficulty: Easy
Distance: 2.1 miles, one-way

Dogs allowed: Yes, except at Teller Lake No. 5 (closer to the North trailhead)
If the mountains are socked in (pretty rare!) or you want a more expansive view, head for the plains. Start at the South Teller Lake Trailhead and take the East Boulder Trail, which ambles north past Teller Lake No. 1 and past an active farm, with cattle and horses (and bee keeping in warmer months). You’ll finish at Teller Lake No. 5, a peaceful spot for bird watching. If you prefer to start at the north trailhead, just be aware that dogs are not allowed around Teller Lake No. 5.

First and Second Flatiron

Difficulty: Moderate
Distance: 1.3 miles, one way
Dogs allowed: Yes, but see regulations

Boulder’s most recognizable Flatirons — the large, slanting, rock formations that are visible from much of town — bring a steady stream of visitors in the summer. You’ll see plenty of other hikers in winter, too, especially on warm days, but it’s a good time to get out on these popular trails while there are fewer crowds. Plus there’s nothing prettier than the Flatirons with a dusting of snow on their ridges. The First and Second Flatiron Trail takes you right up to the two most prominent Flatirons. Start out on the Chautauqua Trail and then follow signs for “1st/2ndFlatiron.” You’ll end at the saddle between the First Flatiron and Sunset Rock.

Don’t miss:

30+ Spring Break Getaways in Colorado 

Spring Break in Denver 2019: Over 50 activities listed!

10 Reasons to Spend Your Spring Break in Beaver Creek

Spring Break in Denver 2019: Over 50 activities listed!

The countdown is on for Spring Break 2019! If you’re staying in Denver, no need to dismay as we have updated last year’s popular Spring Break guide. Whether you want to hunker down indoors, get outside or explore something new, we have you covered with these fabulous Spring Break offerings, categorized by geographic area.  

Do you want to travel? Don’t miss 30+ Spring Break Getaways in Colorado.

CENTRAL DENVER

  • Denver Museum of Nature & Science— Delve into the world of living things that blink, glow, flash, and flicker, from tiny fireflies to strange creatures in the ocean depths. The new exhibition Leonardo da Vinci: 500 Years of Genius is the most comprehensive exhibition about Leonardo ever presented. 
  • Denver Zoo–The Denver Zoo is 80 acres of fun in City Park. Don’t miss the new baby sloth or live demonstrations in the Toyota Elephant Passage.
  • Mizel Museum

    Mizel Museum

    Botanic Gardens  – These top-ranked U.S. botanical gardens offers spectacular garden displays, outdoor art exhibits, gardening classes, spring break camps and workshops at two great locations–Chatfield and Denver.

  • Children’s Museum of Denver at Marsico Campus. Discover the natural wonders of Colorado as you scale a towering three-story mountain to the summit for the premiere lookout over Denver and the Rockies.
  • The Denver Firefighters Museum (downtown) – The Museum offers not only outstanding exhibits on the history of fire fighting in Denver focusing on the Denver Fire Department, but innovative and exciting hands-on activities that allow visitors to interact with the traditional exhibits
  • History Colorado Center–This $110 million experiential museum makes Colorado history fun and has exciting new workshops, exhibits, programs, and performances that spark curiosity and ignite the imagination.
  • United States Mint Tour (downtown) – Discover how our currency is made and take home a souvenir – FREE. Reservations are required for the 45-minute tours that are run every 90 minutes.
  • Molly Brown House Museum (downtown) – Learn about the life and times of “Unsinkable” Molly Brown in her restored Victorian home in Denver, Colorado. This is one of the most visited historic sites in the state of Colorado, and one of only a handful of sites nationally dedicated to the interpretation of a woman’s story. Admission to the Molly Brown House Museum is by guided tour only.
  • Denver Museum of Miniatures, Dolls and Toys. Where beloved childhood toys are elevated to art, and workshops are inexpensive.
  • Denver Art Museum (downtown) – Each spring break they have a themed break that allows the whole gang to make art in the galleries, work alongside artists, and check out Family Backpacks from the Family Activity Cart. Kids 18 and younger receive free general admission.
  • Downtown Aquarium. This features over 500 species of marine life and mammals in the million-gallon Aquarium Adventure Exhibit.
  • Mizel Museum. Rooted in Jewish values that have universal relevance, the Mizel Museum is a gem tucked away in a residential area in Denver’s Hilltop neighborhood. Kids will love their interactive road map as they journey along the 4,000 Year Road Trip: Gathering Sparks. They’ll learn about art, artifacts and digital media that narrates and illuminates Jewish history and culture.

NORTH

  • APEX Movement. Do you want to be the next American Ninja Warrior? Many of the TV’s program’s best athletes train at APEX Movement in Boulder. Classes, birthday parties and open gym are available so your kids can challenge themselves the Ninja Warrior way.
    (Apex Movement)

    (Apex Movement)

  • Mid-air Adventures. Mid-Air Adventures offers a safe, active and unique experience for guests of all ages. Their 12,000 sq. ft. facility offers giant swings, zip lines, 20’ climbing wall, rope bridges, slides and a toddler area.
  • Hammonds Candy Factory Tour (Denver) – Hammond’s complimentary candy factory tours are fun and educational for candy lovers of all ages. Hundreds of thousands of people from across the globe have seen how their famous, handcrafted candy canes, ribbon candy, and lollipops are pulled, twisted, and shaped by hand. No reservations are required for small groups.
  • WOW Children’s Museum (Lafeyette)–This interactive museum educates children in the areas of arts, sciences and life. At the new and improved Bank of WOW! Exhibit, children and families can practice money recognition, counting and basic math skills, and learn about saving and spending
  • Butterfly Pavilion (Westminster) – Home to over 5,000 animals including Rosie the tarantula and a tropical forest where 1,600 butterflies rule the sky. They offer a daily spring break camp.
  • Gateway Park Fun Center. Boulder’s only indoor and outdoor family fun center with batting cages, go-carts, mini golf, an arcade, driving range, inline hockey and more.
  • Go hiking. There are so many beautiful hikes in the Boulder area and my favorites are at Chautauqua Open Space Park. Be sure to stop in the Ranger’s Cottage for interactive fun or eat at the historic Dining Hall. For here for more Boulder hiking ideas.
  • Louisville Community Park is a park that has it all. There is a grassy area for the kids to run free in, spray grounds to cool off in the summer, a large sandbox, playground and even a dog park with swim beach to watch the pooches play.
  • Boondocks Fun Center (Northglenn)–This 8-acre indoor/outdoor amusement center offers everything from bumper boats to laser tag to a Kiddie Cove to batting cages.
  • Colorado Model Railroad Museum: The most scenic, one of a kind model railroad of its kind will leave you inspired. Walk through a real caboose, stroll along the mountain vistas and peek into a miniature world of wonder.
  • Adventure Golf and Raceway (Westminster). This is a great place for mini golf and go karts in the Denver area. 
  • Rocky Mountain Arsenal Wildlife Refuge (Commerce City)–Located 10 minutes from downtown Denver, this 17,000-acre refuge is one of the largest urban wildlife refuges in the United States. It consists of open lakes, wetlands, prairie grasslands, and woodlands and an excellent hands-on visitor’s center.
  • Celestial Seasonings. Visit the Celestial Seasonings headquarters in Boulder, Colorado and unlock the mysteries of tea with a free guided tea tour.

SOUTH

  • Hudson Gardens (Littleton) – The Hudson Gardens’ 30 acres non-profit botanical gardens are located along the bank of the South Platte River. Admission is free every day.
  • Westlands Park (Greenwood Village) – The Westlands playground includes three play areas sized for toddlers to teens. There are two large climbing structures which satisfy both the technical climber as well as the inexperienced child. In addition to the main play area, there are three multi-use playing fields, an in-line hockey rink, a natural water sculpture, a pond and a hike / bike trail.
  • Jumpstreet Indoor Trampoline Park (Littleton, Lakewood, Greenwood Village) – Wall-to-wall trampolines provide fun, indoor exercise and a perfect outlet for inclement weather days.
  • Carson Nature Center

    Carson Nature Center

    Jungle Quest (Littleton). Exciting Indoor Ziplines, Huge Safari Swing, 20-foot High Rock Climbing Wall, Swinging Cargo Net, Burma Bridges, Treehouse and Slides and Jungle Caves –for Kids 5 and up.

  • Carson Nature Center (Littleton)–South Platte Park has over 880 acres of open space along the South Platte River with five lakes open to fishing, 2.5 miles of the South Platte River and the Mary Carter Greenway for walking and biking, nearly 4 miles of natural surface trails, and the Carson Nature Center and classroom.
  • Lollipop Park (Centennial)–This indoor children’s amusement park is located inside the Family Sports Center and offers a carousel, bounce castles, train ride, small Ferris wheel, teacup ride and more.
  • Great Play (Highlands Ranch)–This unique gym for kids 6 months-10 years old makes it fun while developing motor skills, sport skills, fitness and coordination in their patented Interactive Arena.
  • Gameworks (Stapleton)–This 36,000-square-foot pubby amusement center and sports bar features hundreds of electronic games, a laser tag arena, big-screen TVs and comfort food.
  • Robert F. Clement Park (Littleton)–Clement Park is set on a 60-acre lake with a 1.4-mile walking path around it, tennis course, baseball fields, batting cages, multi-purpose fields, horseshoe pits and three separate playgrounds.
  • Littleton Museum. Located on 39 acres, this free museum consists of two living history farms (one from the 1860’s and one from the 1890’s), a small lake, a collections center, and a main exhibition and administration building.
  • iFLY Denver Indoor Sky Diving (Lone Tree). Fun,  safe indoor skydiving adventure Safe for ages 3 and up.

EAST

  • Wings Over the Rockies Air and Space Museum (Denver) –An extensive collection of aircraft and related aviation and military exhibits preserving the history of the service men and women who served at Lowry Airforce Base. There are more than three dozen aircrafts on display in this 44,000-square foot space.
  • Dart Warz (Centennial)–Want an ultra cool alternative to paintball or airsoft? Look no further than Dart Warz.
  • Centennial Center Park–This 11-acre city park has a killer playground, nature areas, amphitheater and a water area in the summer. Located on the north side of Arapahoe Rd., between S. Revere Pkwy. and S. Vaughn St., adjacent to the Centennial Civic Center.
  • Monkey Bizness (Centennial, Denver, Lone Tree) -You’ll find interactive inflatables, play structures, climbing walls, and games of all shapes and sizes. There is a separate section just for toddlers with their own play equipment.
  • Morrison Nature Center at Star K Ranch (Aurora). Star K Ranch “regulars” include mule deer, painted turtles, snapping turtles, red-tailed hawks, American kestrels, western meadowlarks, great horned owls, and blue jays. Costumes, blocks, puppets, kids’ books, and live animal exhibits make Morrison Nature Center a great place for kids.
  • Plains Conservation Center (Aurora)–The Plains Conservation Center is an outdoor education facility and state-designated natural area that educates children about Colorado’s eco-history, and nurture conservation efforts.
  • Unser Cart Racing – Kids… go carts. Can’t lose right? 

 WEST

  • Dinosaur Ridge (Morrison) – Part of the Morrison Fossil Area National Natural Landmark, Dinosaur Ridge area is one of the world’s most famous dinosaur fossil localities. Enjoy exhibits, a shuttle tour, and real dinosaur tracks. 
  • Majestic View Nature Center (Arvada)–Majestic View Nature Center and Community Park has more than majestic views–The 3,000- square foot Nature Center features hands-on nature and environmental displays, wildlife exhibits, a kid’s area, classrooms and meeting space.
    Apex Center

    Apex Center

    Earth Treks Climbing Center (Golden)–Earth Treks Golden features more than 28,500 sq ft of climbing with walls up to 48 ft high, including tons of bouldering and roped climbing for all ages and abilities.

  • Majestic View Nature Center (Arvada)–Majestic View Nature Center and Community Park has more than majestic views–The 3,000- square foot Nature Center features hands-on nature and environmental displays, wildlife exhibits, a kid’s area, classrooms and meeting space.
  • Apex Center (Arvada)–Perfect for an inclement weather day, this recreation and entertainment center houses two ice rinks, an awesome indoor aquatic play area, climbing wall, gyms, indoor track, themed indoor playground and more.
  • Colorado Railroad Museum (Golden)–Lose track of time year-round at this 15-acre railyard featuring over 100 engines, cabooses and coaches, a garden railway, renowned library and roundhouse restoration facility with working turntable.
  • Buffalo Bill Museum and Grave (Golden) – The Buffalo Bill Museum’s exhibits include memorabilia from Buffalo Bill’s life and Wild West shows, Indian artifacts, antique firearms and more. The spectacular views overlooking Denver are a bonus!
  • Casa Bonita (Lakewood) – It’s about the atmosphere and entertainment, kids love it, menu is limited.  Euphoric memories from your childhood?  Visit again–it hasn’t changed.
  • Lookout Mountain Nature Center (Golden)–Lookout Mountain Nature Center invites kids to connect with the natural world through interactive exhibits about the flora and fauna of the foothills ecosystem. Kids enjoy a hands-on play room and observation room.
  • Hiking. The western slope is home to some of Denver’s best hiking trails. Our favorites including Red Rocks, Matthews/Winters, Evergreen, Deer Creek and much more. Go here for maps, directions and regulations: http://jeffco.us/parks/open-space/.

Family Travel: 30+ Spring Break Getaways and Activities in Colorado

 Longer days, bluebird skies and warming weather – what’s not to love about springtime? A spring break getaway in Colorado offers something for everyone with snowy or sunny adventures and travel packages to meet any budget. Whether one prefers spring ski turns, apres craft beverages, western ranch fun, live music, arts and film festivals or wildlife viewing, activities abound for individual travelers and vacation-seeking families alike.

Are you staying in the Denver area? Plan the ultimate staycation with Spring Break in Denver 2019: Over 50 activities listed!

Spring Break Packages:

(Westin Riverfront)

The Westin Riverfront Resort –Avon, Vail Valley
Calling all Colorado skiers & snowboarders: The Westin Riverfront Resort  is offering 15% off for all residents of the Centennial state. Spring rates start at $339 per night for a spacious Studio Suite, each featuring a fireplace, a custom kitchen and a luxurious five-piece bathroom. Larger 1-3 bedroom condominiums are also available. The award-winning Westin Riverfront offers direct access to Beaver Creek Mountain via the Riverfront Express Gondola, along with on-site rentals, Ski Valet service and complimentary ski shuttle service to Vail and Beaver Creek. Amenities include a stunning outdoor pool with three infinity hot tubs overlooking the Eagle River, Maya by Chef Richard Sandoval and Spa Anjali. To book, please visit www.westinriverfront.com or call 970-790-6000 and ask for rate plan L9Z. Guests must show valid Colorado resident ID upon arrival. (Featured image)

Snow Mountain Ranch – YMCA of the Rockies, Winter Park

Snow Mountain Ranch brings groups and families together to relax and enjoy the outdoors this spring with a range of activities offered to overnight guests at no cost. Unique, on-site spring break activities include dogsledding, fat biking, Nordic skiing, tubing/sledding, snowshoeing, ice-skating and more. Plus, Snow Mountain Ranch is located between the alpine ski resorts of Winter Park/Mary Jane and Ski Granby Ranch and offers an alpine ski/snowboard rental shop on-site.

(YMCA of the Rockies)

 
Fly Me To The Moon – Viceroy Snowmass
This spring, guests of Viceroy Snowmass can touch the sky with the new Fly Me to the Moon luxury experience. This exclusive offering includes a full-moon flight across the Rockies in a Piper Aircraft. Additionally, guests who book this experience will begin the evening with a dinner at TORO to kickstart the evening, followed by private transportation to the airport for the full-moon flight, and return to a curated flight amenity in-room upon arrival back to the hotel.
 
Perfect Storm Package – Aspen Snowmass
This package offers a free day of adult lift tickets at Aspen Snowmass throughout most of the ski season—including spring break—when visitors purchase a minimum of four days of skiing with five nights of lodging. The Perfect Storm Package also includes discounts on select Ski & Snowboard School offerings as well as a resort card with deep discounts on everything from dining to shopping to equipment rentals. Those planning a March vacation should book by February 15 and mention the “Perfect Storm Package” when making a reservation.
 
Play and Stay Ski Specials – Ski Cooper, Leadville
Ski Cooper teams up with the Silver King Inn and Suites with its Play and Stay Ski Specials. Guests who purchase one-to-two lift tickets receive five percent off of the room rate while guests who purchase three lift tickets or more receive ten percent off of the room rate. Additionally, Ski Cooper offers $30 lift tickets on Thursdays throughout the month of March and $25 tickets during Easter Week, April 1-7.
 
Spring Break Getaway – The Broadmoor, Colorado Springs
The Spring Break Getaway package at the historic Broadmoor Resort and Spa includes 25 percent off of published suite rates, a discount on golf green fees (excluding cart rental), a discount on the adult ticket price at Cheyenne Mountain Zoo and free meals for children under the age of 10 at the resort. Package prices start at $260 per night based on double occupancy and run from March 15-May 13.
 
Spring Break Adventure – C Lazy U Ranch, Granby
Celebrating its 100th anniversary in 2019, break out of the ordinary this spring break and enjoy the C Lazy U Five-Spur ranch lifestyle. Packed with activities for the entire family, guests can choose to spoil themselves at the ranch’s top-rated spa, embark on a fun-filled horseback ride, or take in the majestic views of the Rocky Mountains on a cross-country skiing adventure – all while the ranch’s chef designs the perfect daily gourmet meals. Other ranch activities include snowmobiling, ice skating, sleigh rides, snow tubing and more. Package valid March 4 – April 7, 2019.
 
Urban Glamping Experience – Maven Hotel, Denver
The Maven’s Urban Glamping getaway features an in-room tent for the kiddos to play in while relaxing in their modern guest room, along with complimentary hot cocoa and a customized Maven flannel picnic blanket to keep. A variety of board games are available at The Maven Front Desk for the entire family to play, while the parents enjoy two specialty cocktails from Dairy Block’s Poka Lola Social Club.
 
Vista Verde Guest Ranch – Steamboat Springs
At Vista Verde guests enjoy the ease of planning that comes with an all-inclusive vacation. Families relax in private cabins and savor meals prepared by talented chefs. Activities include horseback riding, tubing, sleigh rides, fat biking, ice fishing, wine tasting, leather working, cooking classes, horsemanship clinics, backcountry skiing and snowshoeing, and an engaging kids program for children ages 6-17. Spring break packages are available all through the month of March and start at $1,725/adult or teen and $1,425/child 6-13 years for a three-night stay.

On-Mountain Spring Events:

Kidtopia Music Experience – Keystone Resort, March 1-10

The Kidtopia Music Experience kicks-off the spring skiing and snowboarding season at Keystone Resort with music-themed fun. This experience includes a Beats and Treats Bounce Party and the Snow Pants Dance Party, featuring live, outdoor music performances from Koo Koo Kanga Roo and 6 Million Dollar Band. Other activations include a mountaintop snow fort, village parade, fireworks and more.
 
Ten Peaks Sunset Soirees – Crested Butte, March 12 & 19
Enjoy longer days and the beautiful views from the Umbrella Bar at Ten Peaks during the Ten Peaks Sunset Soirees. Guests are invited to enjoy a snowcat-drawn sleigh ride from the base of Crested Butte Mountain Resort to the mid-mountain Umbrella Bar at Ten Peaks for a memorable dinner with breathtaking sunset views.
 
Apres Ski Cocktail Classic –  Aspen, March 14-17
The Après Ski Cocktail Experience is a slopeside celebration featuring the Après Tasting Experience, artisanal craft cocktails, seminars by award-winning mixologists and brand ambassadors, snow parties, pop-up bars, demonstrations, fireside chats, special on-mountain events and The Great Après Ski Pub Crawl.
 
Yard Sale! Spring Music Series – Sunlight Mountain Resort, March 17 – April 7
This music series pairs live music with a blowout late-season sale on gear and apparel at the slope-side spot, Yard Sale!. Music rocks on Saturday and Sunday from March 17 through closing weekend on April 7.
 
Kayaks on Snow – Monarch, April 6
Join in Monarch Mountain’s signature event as contestants race head-to-head down a specially designed course that features multiple barriers and finishes in an icy pond. Spectators and participants are encouraged to dress creatively.
 
Spring Fever – Breckenridge, March 17 – April 22
Spring Fever is back with a full month of exciting events and incredible skiing conditions to close out the season with a bang. This month-long festival features thrilling competitions, a beer festival with 50 craft breweries and a chili cook-off with Breck’s best chefs. Springtime also holds some of the best snow of the year.
 
Steamboat Springalicious Festival 2019 – Steamboat Springs, April 1-14
The Steamboat Ski Area celebrates the close of the 2018/19 winter season with a multi-week festival including a boatload of Springalicious® festivities, fun events such as the Cardboard Classic, and several free music concerts.
 
Taste of Vail – Vail, April 3-6
Taste of Vail is the perfect spring event for this mountain town. Taste of Vail is consistently rated among the nation’s best food and wine festivals by media outlets like Forbes, USA Today and The Travel Channel. This annual event offers tastings, experiences with top chefs and sommeliers, après ski activities and more.
 
Sunsation and Red Bull SlopeSoakers – Copper Mountain, April 20-21
Close out the ski season at Copper with Red Bull SlopeSoakers and great music, it’s the celebration of springtime in the Rockies at its finest. A twist on the traditional pond-skim, the 8th annual SlopeSoakers contest gives competitors the chance to strut their stuff across floating rails.

Off the Slopes Springtime Events:

At this annual event in the high country town of Leadville, visitors can see the unique sport of ski joring and join mountain bike and Nordic ski races, the Backcountry Film Festival, a paintball biathlon and various other kinds of winter fun. Ski joring is an action-packed sport where a horse and rider race down snow-packed Harrison Avenue in Leadville’s downtown, pulling a skier who’s holding onto a rope. As the horse gallops, the skier flies over jumps and spears rings set up along certain parts of the course.
 
Whiskey Warm Up Weekend – Estes Park, March 2
Dress warmly to sip on selections of Colorado whiskeys from a variety of local distilleries next to the heat of one of the fire pits in the beautiful outdoor George Hix Riverside Plaza. Guests can browse local cigar shops, retail vendors, and enjoy live entertainment. Connoisseurs looking to learn more about the styles, tastes and smells of whiskey can stop by the Elkin’s Distilling booth and meet the local distillery’s knowledgeable educators.
 
36th Annual Monte Vista Crane Festival – Monte Vista, March 8-10
Every spring, tens of thousands of Sandhill Cranes migrate north to the Monte Vista National Wildlife Refuge from their southern nesting grounds. This festival celebrates this annual migration with three days of guided naturalist tours, expert-led lectures and films focusing on conservation and the geology of the region. The programs are accompanied by a craft and nature fair that displays local artisans alongside informative wildlife booths.  
 
Frozen Dead Guy Days – Nederland, March 8-10
Known as one of the most unique and quirky festivals in the country, Frozen Dead Guy Days offers three days of frosty merriment featuring 30 live bands in heated super tents and outrageous events like coffin racing, costumed polar plunging, frozen t-shirt contests and much more. The home-grown frosty fest pays homage to Bredo Morstol, who is frozen in a state of suspended animation and housed in a Tuff Shed on dry ice high above Nederland.
 
Collaboration Fest – Denver, March 16
Collaboration Fest is the original collaboration beer festival in which breweries join forces to create one-of-a-kind beers to showcase the collaborative nature of the craft beer industry. This one-of-a-kind beer festival produces Great American Beer Fest award-winning beers and new core brands. From the unique beer names to creative graphic design to progressive styles, Collaboration Fest allows breweries to step outside their comfort zone and push the boundaries of conventional beers. Brewery collaborations for the festival showcase each brewer’s distinct brewing methods while highlighting the cooperative nature of the Colorado craft beer scene.
 
The Denver Art Museum is one of the largest art museums from Chicago to the West Coast and offers an array of family-friendly activities over spring break included with the price of general admission – free for kids 18 years of age and younger. Activities include gallery games, daily performances of the play, Art Emergency and programming at The Print Studio and Create-n-Takes.
 
Greater Prairie-Chicken Viewing – Wray, March 22 – April 6
Each year, visitors gather in Wray, Colorado to watch prairie-chicken males—who once faced certain extinction–dance a courtship dance and listen to their ‘booming’ courtship calls. Since greater prairie-chicken leks in northeastern Colorado are located on private property, guided tours are made possible through a partnership between Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW), the Wray Chamber of Commerce, the East Yuma County Historical Society, the Wray Museum, and local landowners. Each tour includes a ranch-style breakfast and educational programming at the Wray Museum.
 
Spring Equinox Half Marathon & 4 Mile – Fort Collins, March 24
Spring breakers looking to get their heart rates up can experience a half marathon or a four-mile race in Fort Collins in celebration of the Spring Equinox. Both races start and finish at the Anheuser-Busch Brewery and set on a 50/50 mix of paved and dirt country roads. The race features live music, free food and beer and a post-race party at the brewery’s Biergarten.
 
Boulder Arts Week, Boulder, March 29 – April 6
Boulder Arts Week showcases the town’s vibrant makers and cultural creators with exhibitions, dance, music and performances, art walks, workshops, lectures and more. This walkable fest takes place downtown with easy access to nearby restaurants and shops.
 
25th Annual Durango Bluegrass Meltdown – Durango, April 12-14
The Annual Durango Bluegrass Meltdown celebrates its 25th year April 12-14, 2019 in beautiful Downtown Durango. This year’s lineup includes Junior Sisk and Friends, The Larry Keel Experience, Songs from the Road Band, John Reischman and the Jaybirds, Richie and Rosie, Jeff Scroggins and Colorado, FY5, Steam Machine, Masontown and many more. Tickets are now on sale and entry is free for kids 12 years of age or younger.
 
UNC/Greeley Jazz Festival – Greeley, April 25-27
The largest event of its kind in the nation, the UNC/Greeley Jazz Festival brings together internationally recognized artists, jazz lovers, award-winning clinicians, and over 250 college, high school, and middle school big bands, combos, and jazz vocal groups from across the country. Each year, over 7,500 participants enjoy main stage concerts, after-hours sessions, non-competitive daytime performances, and educational workshops.
 
5point Adventure Film Festival – Carbondale, April 25-28
Founded in 2007, the 5point Adventure Film Festival showcases curated, soulful outdoor films, art, and performances-all shown in one common space. Everyone watches together, bonded in a shared emotional experience and returns home feeling full of motivation, creativity and perspective.

Pueblo to Pueblo Run and Bike Event – Cortez, April 27   

The Pueblo to Pueblo Run & Bike is the first major race event of the year in the Four Corners with three courses: a 5K Fun Run, a Half Marathon, and a 29-Mile Bike Ride. Hand silk-screened t-shirts and swag will be handed out to all pre-registrants with scenic race routes.
 
-Colorado.com

Use Your Resources: Games and Activities That Spark Learning Using Household Objects

Games and activities are essential for fueling your child’s enthusiasm to learn And guess what, the greatest ones don’t require expensive toys or complicated supplies. Check out these tips for fun games and activities using household items, and save yourself some money!

Here are a couple games to try with your newborn baby.

  1. The Dropping Game

Babies begin to build their hand skills very early, and being able to grasp an object is the foundation for lifelong skills such as buttoning a shirt or writing with a pencil. Put a capped marker or plastic spoon in your child’s hand, then wait for him to drop it! Make sure to praise him when he drops it, then try it again! Take a look at this video to get started.

  1. The Reaching Game

Dangle a scarf, sock or colorful piece of cloth in front of your baby. Help him touch the fabric or shake it to get his attention. Encourage any movements toward the fabric by smiling and complimenting his efforts. Your positive comments encourage him to practice this skill, even though he will only kick and swat randomly at first. Make sure to keep an eye on him during this activity because scarves can present a hazard to babies.

At six months, your sitting up-baby can partake in more complex fun.

  1. Where’s the Object?

Sit at a table with your baby in your lap facing away from you. Show her an interesting object like a piece of fruit or a board book and talk about it to stimulate her interest. Place the fruit on the table and turn your baby so that she faces away from the object. Praise your baby’s efforts if she tries to turn to locate it. If she makes an effort to find the fruit, give it to her and give her a hug.

  1. Acting it Out

Play a game using rhyming words and actions to help your baby learn to predict the future. Hold your baby on your lap while you sing a song, such as “This is the Way the Farmer Rides,” or say a rhyme, such as: Ride the horsey, ride to town. Ride the horsey, don’t fall down. Bounce your baby to the rhythm of the song or rhyme and have him follow the actions indicated in the lyrics. For example, for “Ride the Horsey”, bounce your baby and then have him “fall down” through your legs while holding on to his chest, under his arms. Repeat the rhyme and movements several times. Then, pause before having your baby “fall down”. If he smiles, kicks his feet or tries to move his body down, your baby is learning to predict the future! Check out this video to watch how.

For children that are on their way to toddling, here are more activities.

  1. Scribble, Scribble

Your child will enjoy making marks on paper with crayons or in sand with a stick. Allowing him to practice will help him become aware of out how it feels to draw while using his hands and arms. By offering positive feedback when he makes different types of lines, he will notice how it feels to make a variety of designs. Check out this video to watch how.

  1. Roll the Ball

Help your child learn to share. Rolling a ball back and forth teaches cooperation, which will prepare your child for more advanced kinds of play with other children. Sit a few feet away from each other and get rolling.

  1. Splish, Splash!

Playing with water is fun! Talk to your child about his actions bathing in the tub or splashing in puddles. Some things you could say are: “Wow, you are splashing a lot. The soap is really slippery! You are pouring your pail of water. Playing in the water makes you laugh and be happy!”

Your preschooler learns so much with games and activities. Try these ideas to stimulate her creativity.

  1. Learn to Trace

Collect a variety of lids, plates and boxes that have different shapes. Sit at the table with your child on your lap, and show him how to trace one of the objects with his finger. Then, give him a crayon or pencil to trace around the object onto a piece of paper. Show him the shape that you created. Invite him to trace the line with his finger, and talk about the shape. Discuss how it matches the object that he traced.

  1. Let’s Make Decorations

To do this activity, use string or yarn and objects with large holes. This could be shower curtain rings, bracelets, toilet paper rolls or cookie cutters. Be sure to pick items that will be safe for your child to play with, and stay close by. To start, tie one of the objects at the end of the string, and invite him to string the other objects through in whatever order he wants! Help your child hang it in his room when you’re done. Supervise this game because strings can be potentially dangerous for kids to play with. Follow along with this video to help you get started.

  1. Spatial Relationships

For this activity, you will need a cardboard box large enough for your child to fit in, but small enough to move around easily. Let her play with the box. Talk to her about where she is relative to the box. “Wow, you are in the box! Now you’re behind the box!” Try lifting the box over her head. “Now you are under the box!” You can do this with more than just a box. When you are getting ready or making a meal, talk about what you need. “The fork is in the drawer. The bowl is on the counter. See if you can find your shoes under your bed.”

Get more parenting tips, games, and other resources, based on the age of your child, sent right to your cell phone 2-5 times a week for FREE with Bright by Text. Text BRIGHT to 274448 or click here to sign up!

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Mountaineering Weekend at YMCA of the Rockies Brings Front Range Families Together for Fun, Educational Activities

YMCA of the Rockies will hold its 4th Annual Mountaineering Weekend from February 15-18, 2019. Whether it’s your first time out, or your family has camped in national parks many times, this special event has activities and excursions for every level.

Located just 10-minutes outside of Estes Park, on 800+ acres bordering Rocky Mountain National Park, YMCA of the Rockies offers families an easy mountain getaway without the ski crowds of I-70. During Mountaineering Weekend, guests will enjoy family snowshoe hikes in the park, winter orienteering lessons, meet and learn about search and rescue dogs, family-friendly yoga classes, ice anchor demonstrations, and the chance to explore a snow cave. ​

Regular YMCA of the Rockies programs will be running throughout the weekend, providing a great opportunity to check out the Craft and Design Center, rent some ice skates, or try out the new 25-foot indoor rock climbing wall.

Lodging includes lodge rooms and cabin options varying in size from 2-, 3-, or 4- bedroom vacation homes starting at $159/night. (There’s a reason Budget Travel Magazine named YMCA of the Rockies “Best Value Resort in America” last year.) Most rooms and cabins are TV-free too, providing an unplugged experience for your family, and no meal planning for mom and dad with access to the buffet-style dining hall for breakfast, lunch and dinner (for purchase).

All Mountaineering Weekend activities are free for guests staying in lodge rooms or cabins. Day passes are also available for $25/person ages 13 and up. Make your reservations today online or by calling 888-613-9622. 

36 outdoor ice rinks in Colorado

There’s no better way to celebrate the winter season than by soaking in the atmosphere at an outdoor ice rink in Colorado.

Whether you’re with your family, friends, kids or alone on your lunch break, take a moment to visit an ice rink near you and become a kid again for a half hour or more.

Here’s a map and list of some of the festive outdoor ice skating rinks in Colorado this year. Go to 9News for the full listings.

-Alexander Kirk