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Midterm elections are less than a month away…are you ready?

Advocacy is a core part of our mission here at Children’s Hospital Colorado. Whether we’re ensuring kids receive the best patient care or speaking up at the state Capitol to influence public policy, we advocate for kids in many ways.

One of those ways includes making sure that kids are a priority in local, state and national elections. Since kids can’t vote, it is important that adults give a voice for not only our patients, but for kids across Colorado and the country. At Children’s Colorado, we want to ensure the candidates understand kids’ health policy issues and we want kids to be included in ballot issues.

This year is a big year for Colorado’s midterm elections, as we’ll be selecting our state’s next governor and attorney general, in addition to congressional representatives and state lawmakers. Election Day is Tuesday, November 6, and we want to make sure you’re prepared.

When we think about some of the top challenges impacting a child’s health-mental health, access to healthy food, housing and access to care- its apparent that kids will be impacted by this election. The officials we vote into office this November will have a significant influence in determining how the most pressing issues for kids in Colorado will be addressed over the next few years.

Here are a few things you can do right now to make sure you’re ready for the election:

  • Make sure you’re registered: Be sure you are registered and your information, like your mailing address, is up to date. Simply text “CO” to 2Vote (28683) or visit www.GoVoteColorado.com to get started. You can register up to and on Election Day itself, but you’ll need to vote in person if you don’t register by October 29.
  • Watch for your ballot in the mail: Election Day is November 6. County clerks will start mailing ballots the week of October 15th. All voters registered by October 29 will receive a ballot in the mail.
  • Do your research: Find out which candidates are running for office in your area at votesmart.org and check out Colorado’s “Blue Book,” an impartial and non-partisan summary of the proposed statewide ballot measures, at Colorado.gov/bluebook.
  • Share our Voter Guide: All of this information can be found in our nonpartisan Voter Guide. Please share this information with your friends and family at www.childrenscolorado.org/election

Children are counting on all of us to speak up for them in this year’s election. Together, we can ensure our elected officials are doing everything they can to make Colorado the best place to be a kid!

 

30 fun things to do in Denver this weekend

October is one of Denver’s most glorious times of the year! Don’t miss Enchanted Hollows, Nitro Circus: You Got This, pumpkin patches and more. See our event calendar for full listings.

Go, Dog. Go!at the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center
Sept 15– Oct 13
P.D. Eastman’s classic children’s book comes to life on stage in an exploration of movement, color, and space. The dogs delve into life with gusto, creating a visual spectacle for the audience to feast upon. They snorkel. They howl at the moon. They ride a Ferris wheel. They sing and dance and climb trees. This is a rollicking free-for-all of chicanine-ery. A big and little musical world of doggy fun. Like a pop-up book that comes to life – and never stops.

Just Between Friends of Broomfield/Brighton at Adams County Fairgrounds
Oct 11 –14
Thousands of shoppers find bargains on kids’ clothing for newborn-preteen, toys, strollers, furniture, baby equipment, books, shoes, maternity items and more…all at 50-90% below retail.

Film: Coco
Oct 11, 7:15 – 9:30 pm
Enjoy a film in the Longmont Museum’s state-of-the art, 250-seat Stewart Auditorium this fall. The Museum is also open with extended evening hours (5 – 9 pm) to stroll through the galleries. Popcorn, concessions, beer, wine, and signature drinks available for purchase.

Pumpkin Festival at Botanic Gardens Chatfield
Oct 12 – 14
Ticket price includes access to the 10-acre pumpkin patch and family and children’s activities. Pumpkin prices vary by size; the average price is $8. The Festival includes live music, local craft and artisan booths, food trucks, beer and wine vendors, antique tractor exhibit by Front Range Antique Power Association, tractor-pulled parking shuttles, pony rides, horse-drawn hayrides, photo booths, five carnival game tickets per child’s paid admission, mini-maze for kids 10 and under, jumping pillow, obstacle course, express face painting, kids crafts and corn hole. Additional costs include Corn Maze, pumpkin golf cart shuttles directly to your car, Xtreme Obstacle Course, hamster balls, stunt jump and additional carnival game tickets.

Thorne Fall Fest
Oct 12, 11:00 am – 12:00 pm
Free, outdoor celebration of the season at Thorne Nature Experience Headquarters.  Pre-concert nature activities from 10-11am (free as well!) Rain or shine J&P show 11am-12pm. *Registration required

Enchanted Hollows at Denver Zoo
Oct 12 – 13
An eerie nighttime experience designed for families with children 8 and over that brings Halloween story and lore to life. Enchanted Hollows features Woodland Hollow, an immersive night walk, Jack-o-lantern sculptures and spooky décor; seasonal foods, beer, wine and cocktails; animal meet-and greets and demonstrations; and trick or treat candy stations (Oct. 26 and 27 only).

Dinosaur Discovery Days at Friends of Dinosaur Ridge
Oct 13, 9:00 am – 3:00 pm
Dinosaur Discovery Days are free outdoor events hosted by Dinosaur Ridge at the Main Visitor Center Complex and along the Ridge Trail on the second Saturday of the month between May and October. Volunteers are stationed along the Dinosaur Ridge Trail at significant interpretive sites, while many others staff booths and activities at the Main Visitor Center Complex for kids of all ages. Visitors can hike at their own pace or take the shuttle bus at $4 per person on these special days (ages three and under ride free).

Harvest Festival at Colorado Parks and Wildlife
Oct 13, 9:00 am – 1:00 pm
Come out to the Barr Lake State Park’s 6th Annual Fall Harvest Festival. Great carnival games for kids, petting zoo, face-painting, hay rides, train rides, kids crafts and more. Come get a Barr Lake State Park pumpkin grown at the park. The Friends of Barr Lake will be providing food and beverages for a donation.

Free Day – Fire Prevention Week at Denver Firefighters Museum
Oct 13, 10:00 am – 4:00 pm
Join us as we celebrate fire prevention week! Free admission for all, from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm. Special activities, including crafts and a family-friendly scavenger hunt throughout the museum. Be sure to snag a ride on E04, our historic 1953 fire engine, too. (Weather permitting)

Longmont Museum at Longmont Museum
Oct 13, 10:00 am – 5:00 pm
The Longmont Museum, housed in a distinctive contemporary building, features changing exhibits in history, art, and science, as well as the award-winning Front Range Rising, a long-term exhibit on the history and culture of this region. The Museum recently opened an expansion, featuring the 250-seat Stewart Auditorium and Cone-Shortall stage, the Swan Atrium, and the Kaiser Permanente Education Center.

Creepy Clay Crawlers at Children’s Museum of Denver at Marsico Campus
Oct 13, 11:00 am – 12:30 pm
Use your imagination to make original creepy crawlers out of clay! Come back the following week to glaze your creation.

Hands on History Family Fun Days at the History Colorado Center
Oct 13, 11:00 am – 3:00 pm
Join us for our Hands on History Family Fun Days! On the second Saturday of each month, families have the opportunity to explore and create their own history, art, and culture through hands-on, immersive activities like adobe brick making, building log cabins, live performances, and role playing in our exhibits.

Maker Faire Denver at the National Western Complex
Oct 13 –14
Maker Faire is a gathering of fascinating, curious people who enjoy learning and who love sharing what they can do. From engineers to artists to scientists to crafters, Maker Faire is a venue for these “makers” to show hobbies, experiments, projects. We call it the Greatest Show (& Tell) on Earth – a family-friendly showcase of invention, creativity, and resourcefulness.

Candy Crawl at Shops at Northfield Stapleton
Oct 13, 3:00 – 5:00 pm
Join us October 13th for our Candy Crawl event with Trick-or-Treating, Hay Rides, Contests, Entertainment and More.

Colorado Avalanche vs. Calgary Flames at Pepsi Center
Oct 13 – Nov 2
Colorado Avalanche vs. Calgary Flames at Pepsi Center!

5th Annual Brunch 5K + 10K
Oct 14, 8:00 am – 12:00 pm
Join us for the 5th annual bRUNch Run 5k + 10k on Sunday, October 14th in Stapleton Central Park helping benefit: Metro Caring + the fight against hunger. That’s right! We are back at it for a 5th year and we’ve got an amazing morning planned for all of our bRUNchers.

Low Sensory Morning at Downtown Aquarium
Oct 14, 8:30 – 9:45 am
For our guests that prefer a calmer and more sensory-friendly environment join us for a special morning. We will open early at 8:30am, turn up the lights and turn down the ambient sounds in the exhibits. Stay as long as you would like.

Free Day at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science
Oct 14, 9:00 am – 5:00 pm
Museum Admission is free on the dates listed below. To add a temporary exhibit, IMAX or Planetarium show, purchase tickets at the Museum on the Free Day; upgrade rates apply.

Whole Child Approach to Autism Workshop at Green Spaces
Oct 14, 10:00 am – 12:00 pm
Autism specialist and Author, Tali Berman, will host a 2-hour workshop sharing an innovative and integrative approach to autism, taking place on Sunday, October 14thth in Denver, Colorado.

Ballet Melange presents Melange D’Amour at Cleo Parker Robinson Dance
Oct 14, 4:00 – 6:00 pm
Mélange D’Amour – Classic excerpts from well-known ballet love stories interspersed with the energy and excitement of contemporary works.

Nitro Circus: You Got This at the Pepsi Center
Oct 16, 7:00 pm – 10:00 pm
Nitro Circus: You Got This is coming to Denver for an October 16 Pepsi Center show. Nitro Circus: You Got This will feature Travis Pastrana along with Nitro Circus’ best athletes in FMX, BMX, Scooter and Inline, including multiple X Games medalists and several Nitro World Games champions. Pastrana will lead this all-star roster as they attempt both never before seen tricks and completely ill-advised stunts. This tour will debut an audacious production complete with new huge ramps and crazy contraptions. Expect some sketchy challenges to be thrown down. Who will take them up? With this crew, you never know what will happen, but without a doubt You Got This will be totally wide open, with more thrills, more excitement and more irreverence than ever before.

Ongoing Events and Exhibits

Haunted Field of Screams
Sept 21 – Oct 31
 On Friday, September 21, the Haunted Field of Screams (HFOS) opens as an all-new scream park for the 2018 season. Built into a 40-acre corn field, HFOS will deliver a daunting indoor/outdoor haunt experience only 15 minutes from downtown Denver at 10451 McKay Road, Thornton, CO.  Backing the famously haunted Riverdale Road, the scream park offers four contrasting interactive haunt experiences that prey on individual’s innermost fears: Dead Man’s Maze, Zombie Paintball Massacre, CarnEvil and Condemned.

Corn Maze at Botanic Gardens Chatfield
Sept 21 – Oct 28
Wind your way through seven acres of corn. The maze can be viewed from two 15-foot tall illuminated bridges. Visitors under the age of 10 can explore the corn mini-maze.
In an effort to reduce waste, printed maps will not be available at the mazes.

Maize in the City
Sept 28– Oct 31
Maize in the City is Colorado’s favorite rural fall event featuring convenient, fun attractions for the whole family to enjoy. Get lost in your own backyard as you navigate your way through the 20-acre corn maze or mini maze. Find your perfect pumpkin in our easy-pick field. Locally grown by the Maize in the City farmer, choose from 15 variety of pumpkins and gourds. Launch ears of corn 50+ feet across the field with our all-new corn launchers; have your little ones ride through the field on the barrel train; take a turn on our obstacle bouncer. All new this year, bounce above the corn stalks on our pumpkin bounce pillow – the largest in the state! Visit and feed animals in our petting zoo. Swim through our free corn kernel box as the all-new corn kernel waterfall pours over or have your kiddos take a turn conquering the free playground area. Experience hours of family fun just 15 minutes outside of downtown Denver.

Fright Fest at Elitch Gardens Theme & Water Park
Sept 28 – Oct 28
In October, Elitch Gardens transforms into Family By Day and Fright By Night, plus all your favorite Theme Park rides. Don’t miss out on five weekends of scary fun at Colorado’s largest Halloween event!

BUGTOBER at the Butterfly Pavilion
October 1-31
Overwhelming pain, paralysis and death in a matter of minutes – real peril lurks with the fangs, barbs and stingers of the spineless. Move over sharks – these animals and plants give danger a whole new meaning! Safely see these toxic terrors at Colorado’s Butterfly Pavilion during BUGTOBER, a Halloween-themed event where their most intimidating invertebrates take center stage.

Mindbender Mansion
July 20 – January 6, 2019
Love brainteasers? Enter “Mindbender Mansion,” a quirky place full of puzzles, brainteasers and interactive challenges that put minds of all ages to the test. This unique, high-energy experience opened at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science on July 20.

Denver Art Museum
There are several family-friendly exhibits at the DAM including Stampede: Animals in Art on view at the museum through May 19, 2019.  A Walk in the Woods is still on view, which coincides with Stampede, and includes animal-themed artmaking activities and after their summer break, Foxy & Shmoxy: Art Detectives, are back.  Children have been really loving the gallery games and book in the exhibition Ganesha: The Playful Protector. Their Learning & Engagment department created a children’s book specially to be used while visiting this exhibition with children, and don’t miss Past the Tangled Present. Go to   https://denverartmuseum.org/ for more information.

AI Weiwei: Circle of Animals/Zodiac Heads
Oct. 18, 2017–Oct. 17, 2018
The 12 bronze heads of Ai Weiwei’s Circle of Animals represent the 12 animals of the traditional Chinese zodiac. See it for free at Civic Center Park! https://www.denver.org

Zoom In: The Centennial State in 100 Objects
Nov. 21, 2017–Dec. 31, 2018
History Colorado created a brand-new space, the Tim Schultz Gallery, to house this 3,700-square-foot exhibit of 100 objects, each of which had a role in shaping history.

Colorado’s child poverty rate reaches lowest level since 2002, progress on health coverage stalls

Data released last week from the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey show that Colorado’s child poverty rate fell to 12 percent in 2017, down from 13 percent in 2016 and the lowest level in more than a decade. Approximately 149,000 Colorado children experienced poverty in 2017, down from a high of 224,000 children in 2012 when our state’s child poverty rate peaked in the midst of a slow economic recovery. The child poverty rate fell nationally as well, dropping to 18.4 percent in 2017 from 19.5 percent in 2016.

Asian children and African-American children in Colorado saw the largest declines in child poverty rates between 2016 and 2017, and poverty rates declined for Hispanic children as well. Despite these declines, children of color in Colorado and across the U.S. continue to be more likely to experience poverty than their white peers due to historical and current-day policies and practices that have created barriers to economic opportunity for people of color. Click to keep reading at Colorado Children’s Campaign.

-Sarah Hughes

Guide to Colorado’s Best Fall Drives, Hikes and Leaf Peeping

Autumn offers a colorful time for adventures through the backroads of rural Colorado. Mother Nature’s masterpiece of fall foliage becomes the backdrop for memorable hikes and drives; farmers who are gathering delicious crops and produce from the land open their doors for harvest events and dinners. Outdoor recreation drops to a more relaxing pace with easier access to best-loved rivers and trails. Guest ranches and rural lodging offer enticing seasonal packages and lower rates, making fall an optimal time to explore the lesser-known corners of Colorado. Here are a few of our fall favorites:
Also, don’t miss this great picks from Colorado.com!
  1. FALL FESTIVALS. Colorado knows how to celebrate the change of season and there’s no end of festivals or seasonal culture. Beer, brats, local musicians and some of the most kaleidoscopic foliage on the Front Range make adding Estes Park’s  Autumn Gold Festival (Sept. 22–23, 2018) to an autumn itinerary a no-brainer. Scarf down comfort fare like funnel cake and corn on the cob and listen to the sounds of bugling bull elk, who gather in the area annually during the start of the rutting (breeding) season to show off for their entourages. The intoxicating sights, smells and flavors of autumn shine at Crested Butte’s Chili & Beer Festival (Sept. 8, 2018) when locals celebrate the arrival of fall with steaming pots of chili and Colorado beer (Is there any better way?). The price of admission includes unlimited tastings of hearty stews made by local chili experts like Coal Creek Grill’s buffalo and chocolate stout chili and drafts from breweries. The Durango Autumn Arts Festival (Sept. 15-16, 2018) invites visitors to admire the works of local and national artists as well as nature’s canvas, when gold and red trees illuminate the San Juan Mountains. At the fest, hands-on creative activities keep tots occupied, while a sampling of craft beers and locally made goodies ensure visitors are well fed. Trinidad’s delightfully quirky ArtoCade (Sept. 7–8, 2018) will roll through historic downtown in a parade of “artfully enhanced” cars, motorcycles, bikes, trikes, scooters, tractors and golf carts. There’s a lot packed into the festival’s two days, including an ArtoKids booth for hands-on kiddie fun, a circus-like dance party called Cardango and meet-and-greets with the event’s “cartists.”Breckenridge Craft Spirits Festival (Oct. 19–21, 2018) celebrates the time when spicy spirits become the perfect answer to chillier temps. Sip the best offerings from small-batch, artisan distillers and learn more about the distilling process in Breckenridge, a town with its own pioneering distillery. La Veta Oktoberfest (Oct. 6, 2018) is a more than 30-year-old tradition in the town featuring a German Biergarten and dancing in the streets.
  2. VISIT THE FARM. Many Colorado farms offer opportunities in the fall to “U-pick” cherries, strawberries, carrots, tomatoes, melons, beets, squash, cucumbers and more. Miller Farms in Platteville is the perfect stop to pick up harvest potatoes, carrots, and other vegetables, or take a hayride through 180 acres of field, have a picnic and taste some delicious snacks. The Tom Bay Farm Stand provides an outlet for family farms to sell their locally raised, processed, or handcrafted fresh produce, frozen meats and shelf-stable farm products directly to the consumer. South of I-70 (exit 299), the Farm Stand is only 20 miles east of DIA. Visitors can take in the splendor of southwest Colorado’s high-desert topography while seeing how farmers live and taste the area’s flavors on a Mesa Verde Farm and Ranch Tour hosted by the Cortez Cultural Center. Excursions include transportation to multiple sites, a guided tour, lunch and a tasting of craft beverages from local breweries and wineries. Peach lovers can learn the differences between conventional and organic farming with a stroll through Aloha Organic Fruit in Palisade, learning how water is brought to the trees from the Colorado River for the region’s most iconic fruit. The Bromley Hishinuma historic farm site near Brighton will host a fall festival in 2018 with u-pick pumpkins, corn maze, and farming activities. The farm also hosts field trips, tours, farm classes, and farm to table dinners. Fortified Collaborations coordinates farm-to-table events in and around Fort Collins throughout the fall, including harvest moon dinners, bounty and brews beer dinners, and a harvest brunch.
  3. FALL TRAILS FOR HIKING & BIKING. Pella Crossing Loop Trail is a 1.4 mile lightly trafficked loop trail located just west of Longmont, near Hygiene. The area offers fishing and walking trails and beautiful views of Longs Peak and is a wetlands habitat, nestled within the surrounding Great Plains. The trail is good for all skill levels and offers several activity options. Dogs are welcome on this trail but must be kept on a leash. When fall colors are at their peak and snow kisses the Twin Peaks, Pella Crossing is the ideal location to view nature’s glory. The Open Space supports aquatic plant and animal life and serves to lure in large numbers of migrating birds. With grasses, wildflowers, and trees surrounding the wetlands, these areas are biologically diverse, both in and out of the water.  The Bachelor Loop, north of Creede, starts in the iconic cliffs at the end of Creede’s classic western Main St and circles through some amazing mining ruins. It was where a lot of the last Lone Ranger film was shot. The whole loop is very beautiful throughout the self-guided driving tour (maps at the Visitors Center/Chamber building) and the site of the old town of Bachelor is a big meadow lined with lots of fall foliage, plus there are lots of aspens along the way. Cumbres La Manga Pass and the Conejos Canyon, Hwy 17 going into New Mexico (one end of the Los Caminos Antiguos Scenic Byway) and Forest Rd 250 up to the mining town of Platoro has incredible views with lots and lots of aspens. Very few have discovered it from the Colorado side except for people in the San Luis Valley. Opal Lake trail, near Pagosa Springs, is a moderately easy 1.2 miles and takes about 45 minutes to complete. The trailhead traverses across an open meadow, with gorgeous high country autumn sights. Hikers can see several beaver dams, a mountain face, and the mineral deposits which give Opal Lake its milky color. The most impressive during the autumn season, however, is the wooded hillside, complete with a color-changing aspen grove, which surrounds visitors with beauty through one of the world’s largest connected living organisms. Anderson Trail is about 9 miles in length from the trailhead to its junction with the Fourmile Trail. It crosses easily through steep terrain and goes across the eastern shoulder of Pagosa Peak. There’s a 2,349-foot elevation gain, which gives hikers a mountainous view of transforming colors from above. There are rock formations, aspen trees, and expansive fall views; the trail is open to hiking and horseback riding, and primitive camping spots are available throughout.
  4. FALL FOLIAGE DRIVES: Rio Blanco County has spectacular, lesser-known scenic drives, including the Buford-New Castle Road, a gravel road connecting the two towns in 42 Miles. With camping spots along the way and amazing aspen trees in the fall, with interesting history and an old western tradition that provide visitors with a unique look into the lifestyle of the old west, this is a great drive to check out at peak season. Highway of Legends Scenic and Historic Byway: This route wraps around two of Colorado’s burliest mountains, West and East Spanish Peak. Along the way, the highway passes beneath ancient volcanic walls that rise over tracts of pine, scrub oak and aspen. Nearly the entire route from La Veta to Trinidad on Colorado 12 begs to be photographed. Guanella Pass Scenic and Historic Byway: Take this rambling route south out of the historic town of Georgetown to find pockets of blazing aspen. Once reaching the town of Grant, turn right on US 285 and take the highway for 15 minutes to the top of Kenosha Pass, where the aspen thrive on the rim of the gentle slopes that encircle South Park. Colorado 17 from Antonito to the New Mexico borderheading up the serene Conejos River Valley, stands of pinyon give way to the white trunks of aspen. Some of the oldest and tallest aspens in the state can be seen, photographed and enjoyed near La Manga Pass. For an even more unique experience, ride the Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad for views not seen on any highway. Dallas Divide and Lizard Head Pass: The journey begins in the town of Ridgway, heading west on Colorado 62 over Dallas Divide. Lining the route are unimpeded views of the Sneffels Range, an apron of aspen trees at its feet. At Placerville, head southeast toward Telluride on Colorado 145. All the way to Lizard Head Pass drivers will be in awe at the dense groves of white-barked aspens with panoramas of Wilson Peak.
  5. RURAL ADVENTURE: FALL HUNTING, FISHING & BIRDING. Fall brings an entirely new experience for hunting, offering world-class elk, deer, antelope and moose hunting in many regions of the state. For those new to the sport, Colorado Parks & Wildlife (CPW) has several programs to encourage new outdoors enthusiasts learn the ropes, focusing on the heritage and tradition of hunting, through clinics, mentored hunts, and seminars. Women Afield provides opportunities for women to learn about hunting big game, waterfowl and upland birds from experienced volunteers and DOW staff. Summer and fall workshops focus on both shooting and fishing. The clinics and seminars feature basic instruction in the fundamentals, from shotgun shooting to fly-fishing. Ballyneal, in Northeastern Colorado, is set amid thousands of acres of native grasses as well as fields of corn, millet, and sorghum that provide a perfect nesting environment for dozens of varieties of wild birds including the trophy Chinese ring-necked pheasant. Ballyneal offers exclusive access to this hunting land plus knowledgeable, professional guides and gun dogs that will make a hunt a world-class experience unlike any other, October through April. Fall is considered one of the greatest times to be out on the river fly-fishing, and any angler’s fall bucket list should include the Rocky Mountain National Park, offering some of the serene high-alpine lakes in the state and packed with cutthroat trout. Another scenic spot is the Upper Colorado River, between Kremmling and Dotsero, where brown and rainbow trout are accessible at multiple put-in and wade-in spots. Those seeking larger fish like wild browns should try Cebolla Creek and Henson Creek, near Lake City, where changing fall foliage gives waters a golden glow and streams are low and clear. Angler’s Covey offers camps, classes and guided trips on the South Platte River throughout the fall season. Fall is an important bird migration season and there are a couple of key locations for viewing. In September, the Swainson’s hawk migrates south again along the Colorado Rocky Mountain Front. As many as 1,300 can be seen in 3 hours. In fall, Sandhill cranes can be found near Hayden and Craig, Colorado. Hundreds of birds that bred in Colorado and areas further north stay in the Yampa Valley from mid-September to mid-November.  From there they migrate south to the San Luis Valley or directly to Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge, New Mexico. Among the earliest returning fall migrants in North America, the Rufous hummingbird is abundant at the Nature Conservancy’s Carpenter and Zapata Ranches between mid-June and September. These small, pugnacious birds travel to and through Colorado toward their wintering grounds, finding comfort in flower gardens, hummingbird feeders and wildflower meadows throughout the state’s mountain ranges. 
  6. GET SPOOKY. Farms across the state invite visitors to stroll rows of pumpkins searching for the perfect jack-o-lantern candidate. Many of them also offer corn mazes, hayrides, petting zoos, bobbing for apples and other hallmark activities of the season. See the Colorado Department of Agriculture’s list of pumpkin patches and corn mazes across the state. There’s plenty of tours and events to get in the mood for Halloween including the Telluride Horror Show: (Oct. 12–14, 2018). Already famous for film, Telluride is embracing the spooky fun of October with this eighth-annual horror, fantasy and sci-fi film fest in the town’s historic Sheridan Opera House. Dress in costume, participate in spooky activities, and do some trick or treating to get in the spirit of Halloween at the YMCA of the Rockies’ Halloween Spooktacular, (Oct. 28, 2018). Head over to the skating rink for a Monster Mash in costume, Trick or Treat around the property, enjoy the Haunted House or a family film. Take a tour with Blue Moon Haunted History Tours through the scarier sides of Victor and Manitou Springs. Take an evening stroll through the heart of Trinidad, where murders, shakedowns and Old West characters have left their mark. While wandering the cemetery after dark is considered trespassing, the Gilpin County Historical Society leads Creepy Crawls around the city’s ghostliest sites each October.
  7. FALL FLINGS ON THE RANCH. Fall season at many Colorado guest and dude ranches brings surprising opportunities for shorter stays, special rates, and specialty experiences. Many Colorado guest and dude ranches offer Adult Only weeks and weekend specials during the month of September. Guests can saddle up for an unforgettable ride through the changing Aspens or try their hand at rounding up the cattle. Whether a fall break provides a ‘deep breath’ after a busy summer, a chance for solo travel, or even a getaway with friends, it’s an ideal time to fall in love with Autumn in the Colorado Rockies. Fall specialty weekends include culinary weeks, yoga retreats, cowgirl round-ups, painting and photography workshops, hunting and birding trips, and fall yoga retreats. 
  8. FIND FALL HIDDEN GEMS WITH THE COLORADO FIELD GUIDE. For inspiration and road trip ideas, visitors can use the Colorado Field Guide online trip-building tool to source local insider tips for veering off the well-trodden path. Some hidden gems to check out during fall-season include Fish or Hike Colorado’s Second Largest Natural Lake: Trapper Lake sits surrounded by The Flattops Mountains and is widely considered the birthplace of the U.S. Wilderness Area system. It’s also a local’s favorite for Cutthroat and Brook trout fly-fishing, and a great place to hike away from the crowds closer to Glenwood Springs. As featured in Falling for Glenwood Springs Field Guide. Luxurious Cabins, Glamping at The Royal Gorge: The Royal Gorge is a hub for adrenaline seekers, but there are plenty of ways to relax in style and enjoy a slower pace. The Royal Gorge Cabins are a destination and a scenic and comfortable base for Fall sight-seeing and mellow outdoor recreation. As featured in Relaxation in Canon City Field Guide. The Mint: One of Colorado’s oldest saloons is a great place to enjoy a libation while planning a weekend of outdoor recreation in Summit County’s gateway town of Silverthorne. Though established in 1862, the original building of the Mint has been taken apart and moved three times. As featured in Sunny Days, Cool Nights: Autumn in Silverthorne Field Guide.   Boreas Pass: This is a lesser-known scenic drive is a fun detour for Front-rangers heading from HWY 285 to get to Breckenridge via Fairplay, taking visitors through the former railroad town of Como (now a Historic District) for plenty of Fall leaf-peeping before indulging in a weekend of dining, shopping, and recreation in Breckenridge. As featured in Perfect Fall Itinerary in Breckenridge Field Guide.

Stinky the Corpse Flower is Back for Possible Bloom #2

Stinky, the Botanic Gardens’ beloved corpse flower (Amorphophallus titanum), may give Denver a second, smelly bloom! While there is always the possibility the bloom will not be successful, horticulturists predict the event will occur in early to mid-September. The approximately 18-year-old plant can be viewed in the Orangery greenhouse, adjacent to Marnie’s Pavilion. Stinky first bloomed in August 2015, marking the Gardens’ first corpse flower bloom in its history. A different plant, Little Stinker, bloomed in 2016. 

Horticulturists are measuring the plant daily. It is currently just over 2 feet tall and will grow to be more than 5 feet tall. The corm (part in the photograph) is larger than in 2015, causing horticulturists to believe the plant will be taller and the bloom larger. 

The Gardens will maintain regular hours during the bloom, 9 a.m. – 8 p.m. On the bloom day, Gardens members can enter an hour early at 8 a.m.

Regular updates will be shared on the Gardens’ Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and website. The public can sign up for the Gardens email newsletter to receive a “Bloom Alert.” An alert will also be sent to the press. 

The corpse flower bloom, native to rainforests of western Sumatra (an Indonesian island), has a foul odor that resembles decaying flesh. The potency of the aroma increases from late evening until the middle of the night and tapers off as morning arrives. It will not smell until it blooms. The smell is produced to attract flies and carrion beetles for pollination. The first bloom usually occurs at age 7-15 years old. Subsequent blooms follow approximately every 3-8 years.  

Is your child in the right car seat? Tips for knowing when it’s time for the next seat

A car seat is one of the most important items you will ever buy for your child, but it can also be the most overwhelming. Many parents and caregivers spend a lot of time and money selecting the perfect car seat. But none of that matters if you’re not using it correctly. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 75 percent of children are not properly restrained in their car seat – and most parents don’t even know their child is among them.

Ensuring the correct fit
So how do you know what type of car seat is right for your child? Car seats, booster seats and seat belts are designed to protect children based on many factors – including their size, age and developmental maturity. Car seat manufacturer limits for height and weight and vehicle type play a big role as well. It’s important to take all of these things into account to make an informed decision on behalf of your child. As a starting point, you can view the NHTSA’s recommendations on the Car Seats Colorado website. Generally speaking, you want to wait until your child has reached the car seat’s manufacturer limits for height and weight before transitioning them to the next seat, booster or seat belt.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children remain in a rear-facing car seat until a minimum age of 2 or until they exceed the height and weight limits of their car seat for the rear-facing position. That’s because the safest position for a child to be in the event of a crash is rear facing, so it’s important to keep them there as long as possible. After that, kids should be in a forward-facing convertible car seat.

Once they’ve outgrown the height and weight limits on a forward-facing seat, they can transition to a booster seat. Kids should be in a booster seat until a seat belt fits them properly – meaning the shoulder belt fits snugly across the shoulder, the lap belt lays flay across the upper thighs, and their knees are bent comfortably at the edge of the seat with their back against the seat. This is usually when they’re about 57 inches tall. For many kids, that’s around age 8, but this can vary based on their development and maturity level.

Help is available
Car Seats Colorado has more than 140 car seat inspection stations throughout Colorado where you can have your car seat checked for free. A certified Child Passenger Safety technician will examine the car seat installation, check to see if there have been any recalls on the seat, check the expiration date and make sure your child is in the right seat for their size, weight, age and maturity level. Technicians also educate parents on things like how tight the harness straps should be, where on the body the safety straps should be positioned and more. To find a car seat inspection station near you, visit the Car Seats Colorado website or find them on Facebook to see upcoming pop-up seat check events around town.

By Colorado State Patrol Trooper Tim Sutherland, Program Coordinator for Car Seats Colorado

 

Late-summer and fall music, arts and cultural fun in Colorado

Few destinations can upstage the variety of Colorado’s arts and cultural experiences. In fact, Colorado ranks number one in the nation for the percentage of adults engaged in creative pursuits — a whopping 68 percent. Colorado hosts 22 Certified Creative Districts, is home to more than 300 music festivals each year including this September’s inaugural Grandoozy from the creators of Bonnaroo, and presents world-class art and cultural exhibits across the state including this November’s U.S. debut of the renowned exhibition, Dior: From Paris to the World. Here are a handful of Colorado favorites.

Music Festivals and Events

Music on the Mountain – August-September (Glenwood Springs) 
Music on the Mountain, held at Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park, is a benefit concert series with shows from mid-August through late-September. Guests can ride the tram and enjoy the concerts for free with the donation of at least one can of food for the local food pantries. Local and regional bands play under the stars, where guests can take in beautiful views and experience the Local’s Choice for best place to view the sunset.
 
Farm to Fiddle Summer Festival – August 10-11 (Hotchkiss) 
Visit the Farm to Fiddle Summer Festival in Hotchkiss for two days of live music and entertainment, local food and vendors, crafts and more. The Delta County Fair complements this family-friendly festival.
 
Colorado Classic and Velorama – August 16-19 (Vail and Denver)
Vail and Denver host the four stages of the second-annual Colorado Classic men’s and women’s pro-cycling race. In Denver, the race pairs up with a three-day music and cycling fan fest known as Velorama in the RiNo Art District. This year’s musical line-up includes Modest Mouse, Cold War Kids, Matt and Kim and more.
 
28th Annual Rocky Mountain Folks Fest – August 17-19 (Lyons) 
Alongside the St. Vrain River, the Folks Fest invites music lovers to celebrate songs and stories in the Rocky Mountains. The easy-going festival invites attendees to bring a picnic or enjoy a wide variety of local food vendors on site. This year’s headliners include Indigo Girls, Los Lobos, Jeff Tweedy and Regina Spektor.  
 
Grandoozy – September 14-16 (Denver) 
Superfly Productions, the creators of popular festivals Bonnaroo and Outside Lands, launches its latest music festival in Denver’s Overland Park this fall. This three-day weekend festival features big-name headliners Kendrick Lamar, Florence and the Machine and Stevie Wonder, as well as homegrown, local up-and-comers like Gasoline Lollipops and Dragondeer.
 
Spanish Peaks International Celtic Music Festival – September 20-23 (La Veta)
Founded by Jack and Barbara Yule, who retired and moved to Huerfano County from Scotland in 2000, the festival offers more than 60 different events and features top Celtic musicians like Ed Miller, Moya Brennan and Cormac de Barra, and festival favorite, Tanya Kay Perkins. Plus, festival attendees can get in on the action with dancing, vocal, guitar, harp, violin workshops and more throughout the weekend.

Unique Performance Venues

 Creede Repertory Theatre (Creede) 
Toasted as “One of 10 great places to see the lights off Broadway” by USA Today, the Creede Repertory Theatre has been entertaining theatre-goers for more than 50 years at 9,000 feet above sea level. The Theatre is a cultural home for artists, residents, and visitors of the West and creates a diverse repertory season of plays, new works and dynamic education programs each year.
 
Mishawaka Amphitheatre (Bellvue)
The Mish — as it’s known locally — is a beloved live music venue northwest of Fort Collins in Bellvue. Set on the wooded banks of the Poudre River, the lineup of jam bands draws big crowds to the endearingly rustic lodgepole-pine stage. Acts like Leftover Salmon, Toad The Wet Sprocket and The Wailers keep the Colorado-cool vibe here alive.
 
Red Rocks Amphitheatre (Morrison) 
The naturally occurring, acoustically perfect, jaw-droppingly scenic Red Rocks Amphitheatre in Morrison is the mother of all outdoor music venues, and it’s been captivating audiences and musicians alike for more than 100 years now. The Beatles, Jimi Hendrix, U2 and The Grateful Dead are just a few big names among the countless legendary acts that have rocked this world-famous stage. 
 
Sangre de Cristo Arts Center (Pueblo)
The cultural hub of Southern Colorado, the Sangre de Cristo Arts Center gives visitors the tools to think and act creatively through a three-building complex including seven galleries offering the best in historic and contemporary art by artists of local, regional and national renown. The Arts Center offers the Buell Children’s Museum, recognized as the second-best museum for art in the nation by Child magazine and a 500-seat theater featuring a variety of performing arts programs.  
 
Tabor Opera House (Leadville)
Simply touring Leadville’s historic Tabor Opera House is a cultural treat. This majestic opera house, once billed as the finest theatre between St. Louis and San Francisco, was built by silver baron Horace Tabor in 1879 in just 100 days. John Philip Sousa, Oscar Wilde, and Anna Held have performed here, and circus tigers have roamed its stage. Visitors can take in a performance while sitting in one of the grand theater’s original red velvet chairs.  
 
The TANK Center for Sonic Arts (Rangley)
The TANK is a water tower that was converted into a nationally acclaimed performance and recording space for sound artists and musicians. The TANK hosts reserved visits, recording sessions, artist residencies, performances and Open Saturdays. The venue got its start with the support of an eclectic group of artists, sonic explorers, and practical minds, bound together by the experience of The TANK, who joined in the effort to save and develop a magnificent acoustic resource. 

Art Exhibitions and Creative District Happenings

 Colorado Creative Corridor 

Just this year, the Colorado Tourism Office teamed up with five state-certified creative districts to launch the Colorado Creative Corridor. The Colorado Creative Corridor is a 331-mile trail linking the mountain towns of Carbondale, Paonia, Crested Butte, Ridgway, and Salida. These five communities combine to offer a collective experience of unique event programming and activities alongside authentic Colorado mountain culture.

 Final Friday Frolics – May-October (Paonia) 

The North Fork Valley Creative Coalition hosts an art walk on the last Friday of the month from May to October. Join local businesses and artists and sample local food and wine while taking in the creative art that this agricultural region has to offer. Stop by Paonia’s Pickin’ in the Park every Thursday, featuring national and local music acts.

 Breckenridge International Festival of Arts (BIFA) – August 10-19 (Breckenridge) 

Inspired by themes of environment and mountain culture, the 10-day festival brings together a variety of performances, exhibitions, screenings, workshops, talks and surprise collaborations, with an eclectic mix of music, dance, film, visual arts and family entertainment.

 Ridgway Rendezvous Art and Crafts Festival – August 11-12 (Ridgway) 

Weehawken Creative Arts presents the 34th Annual Ridgway Rendezvous Art and Crafts Festival. This juried arts festival gets better every year with more than 140 artisans and craftsman, live music, and theatre shows. Kids can enjoy a magic show, free activities, mini-train rides and face painting while adults can swing by the libations tent just steps away from the entertainment stage.  

Art on the Streets Guided Walking Tour – September 1 (Colorado Springs) 

This year’s 20th anniversary of the Art on the Streets program in downtown Colorado Springs features 18 unique pieces including 12 from Colorado artists. One-hour guided walking tours provide insight into this year’s exhibit.

CRUSH WALLS – September 3-8 (Denver) 

This urban art festival in Denver’s hip RiNo Arts District features 77 art happenings in seven days across the district. This celebration of graffiti and street art takes over the neighborhood with artists hailing from all corners of the globe. The unique festival empowers artists to bring art out of the galleries and into the streets.

Durango Autumn Arts Festival – September 15-16 (Durango) 

Durango hosts the 24th Annual Autumn Arts Festival in its beautiful and historic downtown district. This family-friendly festival hosts nearly 100 booths with woodworking, ceramics, jewelry, glass and more. Kids can stop by the Creation Station for enjoyable activities suited for youngsters, and the main stage hosts live entertainment.

Iron Pour – Thursday, October 4 (Crested Butte)

The one-of-a-kind Iron Pour in Crested Butte is truly part art and part performance. Glowing, molten iron is poured into premade sand blocks and hardened to create one-of-a-kind sculptures. The Center for the Arts in Crested Butte offers carving events where artists and guests alike can design a sand block to be filled with molten iron on Pour Day.

Dior: From Paris to the World  – November 19, 2018 – March 3, 2019 (Denver) 

Dior: From Paris to the World surveys 70 years of the House of Dior’s enduring legacy and global influence. A selection of 150 couture dresses, as well as accessories, costume jewelry, photographs, drawings, runway videos, and other archival material, will trace the history of the iconic haute couture fashion house, its founder, Christian Dior, and the subsequent artistic directors who carried Dior’s vision into the 21st century.

For more information, visit: https://www.colorado.com/arts-culture

 

School’s out. Is it ok for my kid to stay home alone?

Childcare is an issue in the state of Colorado. It can be stressful and difficult to find quality, affordable child care. It is no wonder that many parents look forward to the day when you don’t have to pay for child care. But, how do you know when the time is right to let your child or teenager stay home alone? When is it ok to let your older child watch a younger sibling? These are questions parents frequently ask themselves as school lets out, especially when money is tight. They are also questions that the Colorado Child Abuse and Neglect Public Awareness Campaign receives at least once a month, either because a parent wants to know the law or a neighbor is concerned about a child in the neighborhood.  

To help parents make the decision about whether or not to let their child stay home alone and help community members know when to call the Colorado Child Abuse and Neglect Hotline 1-844-CO-4-KIDS (1‑844‑264‑5437), here are some things to consider. 

There is no specific age in Colorado when a child can legally stay home alone. It is your decision. 

The laws of Colorado do not set a specific age after which a child legally can stay home alone. When thinking about leaving children alone, it is important for parents to consider the potential risk involved or themselves and for their children since parents are legally responsible for their children’s welfare until they reach adulthood. Under some circumstances, a parent can be charged with neglect for leaving children unattended. In general, Colorado has accepted the ages of 10 to be alone and 12 to babysit as a guideline for when it might be appropriate for a child to be left alone for short periods of time. This standard is based upon the Colorado Child Labor Law, which deems 12 years as the minimum age for employment, for example, as a babysitter. 

Things to think about when deciding if your child is ready to be more independent:

  • Is your child capable of taking care of and protecting themselves?
  • Is your child mentally capable of recognizing and avoiding danger and making sound decisions?
  • Is your child emotionally ready to be alone? Will they feel confident and secure or feel afraid, lonely or bored?
  • Does your child know what to do and who to call if a problem or emergency arises?
  • Does your child have any special physical, emotional or behavioral problems that make it unwise to leave them alone?

If, upon answering these questions, you feel confident about letting your child stay home alone, the Colorado Department of Human Services highly recommends having your child take the Red Cross – Be a Safe and Successful Babysitter‎ course, offered online and via classroom options for all ages.

Is this an independent kid or child neglect?

As a neighbor or community member, it can be hard to know if a child staying at home alone is independent, or if it is a case of child neglect. In a recent survey of Coloradans, 65 percent said they were hesitant to make the call because they “don’t know enough about the situation and worried that they might be wrong.” But, it is important to remember, families are often like icebergs. Seeing a child staying home alone may just be what you can see above the surface. Your call could help prevent something tragic from occurring in the future. By making the call any time, and every time, you are concerned about the well-being of a child or a teenager you are playing an important role in the prevention of child abuse and neglect. Community members are encouraged to dial the Colorado Child Abuse and Neglect Hotline 1-844-CO-4-KIDS (1‑844‑264‑5437) and let the professionals determine whether or not a child is being neglected. Even if a child hasn’t experienced abuse or neglect, your call could lead to getting a family a better support network.

Everyone plays a role in strengthening families.  

If you are considering making a call concerning a child staying home alone, you may also want to consider offering to help with child care. Few parents would turn down a free babysitter if they need child care. You may learn that your neighbor has decided that their child is ready to be more independent and that is ok. There are laws in place in Colorado to guide the child welfare professionals’ response and help strengthen families. The issue is not black or white, for good reason. Just last month, Utah became the first state to create a “free-range” parenting law to change the state’s definition of neglect to allow children of “sufficient age and maturity” to engage in independent activities like walking to and from school or staying home alone. Colorado’s laws already allow parents space and flexibility to parent their own children.

Really, no parenting decision is easy. 

Parents need to think carefully about many things before leaving their children alone. And this is important even if you only leave your child alone occasionally. Putting children in situations they can handle can help teach them independence and responsibility. But asking too much too soon can be a frightening and potentially dangerous situation – for both the child and the parent.

Find other FAQ’s about child abuse and neglect in Colorado, learn more about what professionals consider when determining whether a parent or legal guardian is neglecting a child by not providing adequate supervision and the signs of child neglect on the www.CO4Kids.org website. The Colorado Department of Human Services reminds the public to trust your instincts and call the Colorado Child Abuse and Neglect Hotline 1-844-CO-4-KIDS (1‑844‑264‑5437), available 24 hours a day, every day, to report any concerns about the well-being of a child. Anyone witnessing a child in a life-threatening situation should call 911 immediately. 

Laura Solomon is a social worker and intake administrator at the Colorado Department of Human Services Division of Child Welfare.

 

15 Ways to Cool Down with Splash-Worthy H2O Fun in Colorado

 Though Colorado may be a landlocked state, it offers an abundance of lakes, rivers and reservoirs for residents and visitors to explore. From repelling down waterfalls in Ouray to casting a line during a women’s fly fishing clinic in Breckenridge, Colorado does not fall short on activities for one to cool off and enjoy the water this summer. For more information, visit Colorado.com!

Also, don’t miss our Guide to Denver’s Splash Pads and Spray Fountains!

ATV and Rafting Blast with Mile Hi Rafting (Dumont): Clear Creek is the steepest rafted river in Colorado and conveniently located just 30 miles west of Denver. Mile Hi Rafting is offering a scenic one-hour ATV tour with lunch riverside, followed by a ‘Blast’ intermediate whitewater raft trip on Clear Creek. Starting mid-May through August, guests can enjoy this multi-activity offering for $149.   
 
Canyoning with Canyoning Colorado (Ouray): Ouray, Colorado is known for its ice climbing in the winter, but in the summer months, the same waterfalls can be explored through canyoning. Canyoning entails repelling down waterfalls and exploring river canyons, and Canyoning Colorado is offering new half day and full day tours and trainings for all abilities this summer.
 
Fishing at Badger Creek Ranch (Cañon City): For those who love to fish and appreciate the comfort of a warm bed and good food, Badger Creek Ranch is just the place. The ranch is nestled in the high country of Colorado’s central Rocky Mountains.  By the nature of the landscape, many fishing opportunities are available within easy reach of the ranch including fly fishing on area rivers and streams as well as fishing in high mountain lakes and reservoirs.
 
Jet-Boating with Jet Boat Colorado (Grand Junction): Visitors can satisfy their need for speed on a jet-boating excursion with Jet Boat Colorado, the first company in the state to offer jet-propelled boating experiences of this magnitude. Launched in summer 2017, the company’s Wild Mustang jet boat — also equipped with a 420-horsepower, fuel-injected engine — takes passengers on exhilarating Colorado River adventures featuring fishtails, speed runs and “cowboy spins.”
 
Water Adventures at John Martin Reservoir State Park (Las Animas): Called the sapphire on the plains, the John Martin Reservoir is one for people and wildlife to enjoy with its peaceful surroundings. The reservoir provides visitors with uncrowded boating, fishing, wind water sports and amazing conditions for a wide variety of wind water sports.
 
New Whitewater Park on the Eagle River (Eagle): The town of Eagle has announced The Eagle River Park will open summer 2018. The world-class whitewater park will feature an in-stream design optimizing the river’s natural morphology, which will also offer riverside recreation areas. Welcoming all athletes and visitors, its proximity to I-70 will make it an easy trip for people to visit.
 
Playing on the Beach at Medano Creek (Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve): Medano Creek in Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve is something of a mystery. Each spring it emerges from the mountains behind the sand dunes to form a wide, shallow and gently flowing stream. Visitors wade into it to cool hot feet after tromping around the dunes, build sandcastles, boogie board and splash around in its rhythmic waves before it retreats back into the mountains just as quickly. The peak of the creek’s annual flow is late May.
 
Scenic Tour with Twin Lakes & Interlaken Boat Tours (Twin Lakes): Twin Lakes and Interlaken Boat Tours provides narrated boat tours of Twin Lakes, located among the highest peaks in Colorado. The tours include both the upper and lower glacially formed lakes and the historic Interlaken resort, established in the late 1800’s as a getaway for wealthy mining tycoons. Tours run daily from May through September. Tickets start at $20 for adults, $10 for children.
 
Soaking in Hot Springs at Iron Mountain Hot Springs (Glenwood Springs): The Iron Mountain Hot Springs caters to all who appreciate relaxing with a warm soak surrounded by mountain views. Glenwood Springs’ newest hot spot offers 16 natural mineral hot springs soaking pools and a freshwater family pool with a jetted spa. All are located alongside the Colorado River with Rocky Mountain views that soothe and inspire.
 
Stand-Up Paddleboarding and Kayaking Adventures with Limelight Hotel Aspen (Aspen): Guests of the modern luxury Limelight Hotel will get the chance to go on a guided lesson with Charlie MacArthur, founder of Aspen Kayak Academy. This three-hour lesson is accompanied with a picturesque tour of the Nature Preserve located on the east side of Aspen. The paddle boarding and kayaking package will be offered every other Wednesday in May through September.
 
Stand-Up Paddleboard Rentals and Lessons with Rocky Mountain Paddleboard (Denver, Boulder and Longmont): Rocky Mountain Paddleboard is offering stand-up paddleboard rentals, adventure trips, full-moon paddles, and paddleboard rentals starting at $20 for one hour and $30 for two hours. Beginner lessons are also offered.
 
Water Activities in Grand Lake (Grand Lake): Colorado’s deepest and largest natural lake, Grand Lake lies just one mile from the western entrance to Rocky Mountain National Park. From swimming at the beach, fishing or sightseeing at Cascade Falls, activities in Grand Lake won’t fall short on the list of water activities this summer. Nearby Lake Granby also offers delightfully cool water and boating opportunities.
 
Waterfalls at Rifle Falls State Park (Rifle): On a hot summer day, the mist that drifts from the exhilarating gush of water over 70-foot-high limestone cliffs and the dark caves below them in Rifle Falls State Park are a sublime natural air conditioner. These geologic attractions near Rifle draw photographers, spelunkers, fishers and campers to this singular state park.
 
Women’s Fly Fishing Clinic with Breckenridge Outfitters (Breckenridge): Breckenridge Outfitters, a local fly fishing adventure shop, is offering clinics this summer that are focused on getting women anglers out in the white waters with tight lines. The 2018 Women’s Fly Fishing Clinic class schedule has four scheduled clinics that will take place from May through August. Rates start at $129 per angler.
 

Contest and Deal: Subaru Kids Obstacle Challenge for Kids and Parents

Let’s be real…muddy memories are more fun than clean memories! Subaru Kids Obstacle Challenge is the ultimate family adventure and the only obstacle course designed for kids ages 5-16, where both kids and parents get to run together! If you are looking for a family-friendly kids event in the Denver area – look no further! With a competitive wave in the morning and family fun waves throughout the day, this adventure course is 1.5-2 miles long with mud, water, and 13-15 fun and challenging obstacles. Register your child and you – parents/legal guardians – participate for FREE! It’s like getting 3 for the price of 1!

Parents, get off the sidelines and get active with your kids. Subaru Kids Obstacle Challenge is the most fun parents will have at a kids event because you get to run, complete challenging obstacles, and get muddy too. Become a hero instantly! Parents are always free in family waves. And kids who register for the competitive wave can participate with their parents in a family wave afterward for free!

The mission of Kids Obstacle Challenge is to inspire and challenge kids, and forge family bonds, through adventure and obstacles. They proclaim, “Brave Your Adventure!” to encourage kids to courageously face the obstacles they will encounter on the adventure course and carry that courageousness over to obstacles they will encounter in life.

The Denver Subaru Kids Obstacle Challenge on Saturday, July 7th and Sunday, July 8th will be held at Philip S. Miller Park in Castle Rock, CO. Participants can traverse rock walls, army crawl through mud pits, rope swing over water, scale up rugged cargo nets, dodge floating cannonballs, and more. Give your kids the chance to release their inner beast and push themselves, all while getting covered in mud together as a family! Prepare to Brave Your Adventure and have some family fun!

Contest and Deal

Now is your chance to Brave Your Adventure with your family for FREE in Denver on July 7-8! Mile High Mamas is excited to partner with Kids Obstacle Challenge to offer free tickets to Mile High Mamas followers. The first 25 people to use promo code MILEHIGHMAMAS25 will receive a free ticket! Once all the free tickets are claimed, enjoy 25% off with code SAVE25.