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Denver’s Epic Escape Game is a Rush of Frantic, Creative Family Fun

When my 14-year-old son unlocked the door allowing us to escape with a mere 12 seconds left, it was such an incredible rush I half-expected someone to present a cardboard check to us for one million dollars. It’s okay that didn’t happen. The rush of beating a room at Denver’s Epic Escape Game was reward in itself. We had just spent the past hour working together solving multiple puzzles to unravel a mystery and it was a total blast.

Escape game houses and rooms are opening up around the nation, first springing up on the coasts. Now, Denver has several options for families to explore. The idea behind the craze is simple: Families, coworkers, friends, and even strangers must work together as a team to escape a themed room within a certain time limit. The rooms are packed with puzzles and challenges that require quick-thinking, wit, trivia knowledge, skill, and maybe a bit of daring. As you gather clues, you come closer to escaping the locked room as a timer ticks.

epicescapegamedenver_1But don’t worry! If you don’t escape, you won’t find yourself in suspended animation. You’ll be let out. There is no penalty for not escaping other than holding up silly signs for photos when you’re through. If you do escape, not only will you find your team dancing and screaming, you’ll earn the right to brag, hold triumphant signs for photo ops, and strut through the rest of your day high-fiving each other.

Epic Escape Game Denver is very family friendly. It’s situated in a historic brick Victorian near downtown Denver. The atmosphere naturally lends itself to mystery. The house has five themed rooms of varying difficulty. The owners, Ron Subaba and Michelle Fleming, created, built, and assembled every puzzle and clue. It’s a true labor of love. You can tell they not only love this form of gaming, they deeply respect the art and science of solving puzzles and problems. They are very nice, friendly, and tons of fun.

For our Epic Escape Game experience, we chose the “The Grand Theater presenting: The Mustache Thief” room, which was rated moderately difficult. I cannot (and will not!) give away spoilers regarding the room or the clues we gathered, but it was thoughtfully done with the perfect mix of challenges for families with older kids. The owners of Epic Escape Games recommend ages 12 and up for most of the rooms. Players should possess the ability to deduce, think, remember, search, and work together. The beauty of our hour looking for the Mustache Thief’s prized tool of the trade was that everyone possesses different problem solving strengths.

The easiest room at Epic Escape Game is “Toys in the Attic” which is fittingly located on the top floor of the Victorian house. It is geared toward families with younger children. The puzzles and games naturally require teamwork. Imagine how fun and cool it would be watching your elementary school kids solve their way out with your helpful encouragement.

The “Pikes Peak or Bust: Colorado’s Gold Rush” is themed as a mountain cabin. It’s the most difficult room at Epic Escape Game, incorporating local history in a nod to Colorado’s storied pioneer past. As of now, it only has a 17% escape rate. Even if you don’t escape, imagine how much bigger your brain will be when you’re done.

“Dorm of the Dead” brings together zombies and college. Can you make it from the chemistry lab to your dorm room using your mad skills in this moderate to difficult room? Or will you be Zombie Chow? (actual zombies present only in your imagination)

Finally, “The Other Side” is the spookiest escape room and also in the running for most challenging with a 10% escape rate. But don’t look at those numbers as reason to not try. You can do it! Look at them as something to rock with your loved ones, friends, or coworkers.

One of the nicest features at Epic Escape Games is that if you are truly stuck, help is near. Every team can request up to two clues over a walkie-talkie linked with a control room. Additionally, simple hints and suggestions are given on the countdown screen. These don’t wreck the game or lessen the challenge. In our room, they served as reminders.

I highly recommend Epic Escape Games as a unique, fast-paced, exhilarating family outing. Teamwork is not only encouraged, it is necessary. We would have never escaped if we didn’t work together and delegate as well. I suppose you can teach teamwork by having everyone clean out a garage together, but I promise this is much more fun!

Rooms can accommodate up to eight people. It would be a fun mom’s night out, a couples date night, a work outing, or even a birthday party. They have space for parties, including a kitchen where you can stash food while you play.

To book your room or for more information regarding pricing, hours, FAQs, and location, visit Epic Escape Game. The prices are comparable to a night out at the movies with popcorn and drinks for everyone with rates fluctuating depending on when you visit.

(Epic Escape Game hosted my family and friends to try to beat a room for purposes of review. The opinions are solely mine and my fellow teammates’.)

Kids & Cars: 20+ Boredom Busters for your Holiday Road Trips

Family getaways into the mountains can be amazing and relaxing, at least once you arrive! Kids and car rides can lead to chaos or make wonderful family memories. The challenge of spending time in an enclosed car space with little physical movement can be difficult for even short rides. Any parent can have a panic attack if facing hours in a car with kids. Sure you could just pop in a DVD, but why not establish car time as a unique time to bond, learn to use car time creatively and quietly, or actually learn something.

Most importantly, remember to have fun!

Quiet Activities

Mythbusters: The Explosive Exhibition Rockets into Denver

Picture this: It’s a major holiday. You have all your best china and crystal laid out on a beautifully set table. Candles flicker. Everyone smiles in anticipation as you place a golden turkey in the center. The dog in the corner is drooling. Then, without warning, you grab the tablecloth and yank. Will the big day be ruined or will you be the best holiday hostess ever with your cool trick?

Thanks to the Denver Museum of Nature and Science, you can practice this skill and learn the science behind it. From now through January 5th, 2014, the DMNS is hosting Mythbusters: The Explosive Exhibition. The wildly popular Discovery Channel show is now a hands-on, crazily fun experience for the entire family.

In the Blueprint Room, fans of the show will recognize 60 actual props, machines, and contraptions used in the long-running hit. Some of the most legendary items Adam, Jamie, and the gang built are on display, whimsically arranged. Flip through the iconic blueprints used to construct memorable machines. Relive some of the most popular shows. Adam’s jet pack, the buried-alive coffin, the duct tape canoe, and the paint bomb are just a few of the artifacts you might recognize.

Events: History Colorado Center’s FREE celebration, kids learn to golf and more

History Colorado Center. Celebrate Colorado’s 137th birthday on Aug. 1 at the History Colorado Center with free admission to exhibits, including live performances, make-and-take crafts, library “pop in” sessions, $1 hot dogs and more. See special temporary exhibits like Gold!, All Aboard Colorado, and The American Soldier. Visit their website for complete Aug. 1 – Colorado Day information and schedule. Colorado Day celebration includes FREE admission to History Colorado Center and statewide History Colorado museums; starting Aug. 2, children 12 and under receive FREE admission to the History Colorado Center through Sept. 30! Offer includes two children per each paid accompanying adult; adults must register in History Colorado’s free History Buff program to redeem offer. For complete offer terms, visit HistoryColoradoCenter.org

Kids for Charity Ronald McDonald House Golf Event.  On Friday, August 2, join Ronald McDonald for a fun-filled day of Kids helping Kids! Besides learning to play golf, kids will learn the value of giving back. The day is open to all kids ages 6-16. No golf experience is required, but each child must be accompanied by one grown-up caddy. The day begins with a clinic designed JUST FOR KIDS! After that, the par-3 course will be open for anyone who wants to play. 8:30 a.m.: Registration; 9 a.m.: Breakfast and Program 9:30 a.m.: Kid-Friendly Instructional Clinic; 10:30 a.m.; Shotgun start on the par-3. Common Ground Golf Course, 10300 E. Golfers Way, Aurora, Colo. Players are strongly encouraged to bring their own clubs. If that’s not possible, please contact Jonna Busack at 303-832-6641 to arrange to borrow a set. ronaldhouse.org.

Cirque du Soleil. After its last visit over three years ago with KOOZA, Cirque du Soleil returns to Denver July 18-Aug. 25 with its signature blue-and-yellow Big Top! The company’s latest big top production, Amaluna will be at the Pepsi Center Grounds. Amaluna is a fusion of the words ama, which refers to “mother” in many languages, and luna, which means “moon,” a symbol of femininity that evokes both the mother-daughter relationship and the idea of goddess and protector of the planet. Amaluna is also the name of the mysterious island where the story unfolds. For more information about Cirque du Soleil, visit cirquedusoleil.com.

Free Days:

Friday, August 2 – Denver Botanic Gardens at Chatfield

Friday, August 2 – Four Mile Historic Park

Friday, August 2 – Museo de las Americas

Friday, August 2 – Arts Street Movie

Saturday, August 3 – Denver Art Museum

Saturday, August 3 – Denver Firefighter’s Museum

Sunday, August 4 – Denver Museum of Miniatures, Dolls & Toys

Monday, August 5 – Colorado State Parks (Celebrating Colorado Day)

Golden’s First Friday Street Fair on Aug. 2. Year round, Golden’s downtown merchants offer extended hours and special deals and events on the first Friday of each month, but during the months of June through October (Aug. 2, Sept. 6 and Oct. 4), First Fridays include a lively Street Fair from 5-8 p.m. on Washington Avenue.  There will be entertainment, music, specialty foods from Golden restaurants, and more.  A Golden favorite, free horse-drawn carriage rides, are available. Pick up your ride on 12th Street between Washington and Arapahoe.  visitgolden.com.

Family fun in Pagosa Springs. The Archuleta County Fair takes place Friday-Aug. 4 in Pagosa Springs. This family-friendly weekend includes a craft show, kids activities, a tractor show, a beer garden, a rodeo and more. archuletacountyfair.com

Leadville Boom Days and burro race. Leadville’s Boom Days and International Pack Burro Race takes place Friday-Aug. 4. The weekend celebrates the area’s mining heritage with mining competitions, a craft fair, an auto show, a parade, kids activities, live entertainment and a 21-mile pack burro race. visitleadvilleco.com

Crestone Music fest. The Crestone Music Festival is Friday-Aug. 4 at the Crestone Challenger Golf Course, with two live music stages, food and drink vendors, contests and family acitivities. crest-fest.org

Arts and crafts in Beaver Creek. The 26th annual Beaver Creek Art Festival takes place Saturday-Aug. 4. Hundreds of artists and crafters will showcase sculptures, paintings, jewelry, photography, ceramics and more. artfestival.com – Compiled by Francie Swidler

Jefferson County Fair. August 9-11, the Jefferson County Fair includes carnival rides and attractions, Mutton Bustin’, the Jefferson County Rodeo, Draft Horse Show, Evening of Horses, stage entertainment, Stick Horse Rodeo and more. Admission is free at the Jefferson Count Fairgrounds 15200 West 6th Avenue, Golden, Friday 5 p.m.-10 p.m.; Saturday 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Be sure to check the website for specific event times. http://www.jeffcofairinc.org/

Heroes Against Hunger Summer Block Party. Help fight child hunger On Saturday, August 17th from noon-5 p.m. at the University of Denver Campus Green. Admission is FREE and kids can enjoy carnival games, a bounce castle, and great food, which will cost less than $4. Currently, one in five kids in Colorado struggles with hunger. Chefs Daniel Asher of Linger, Brandon Foster of Vesta Dipping Grill, Jeff Osaka of Twelve, Matt Selby of Corner House and Tyler Wiard of Elway’s will join Cummings to create and serve their favorite dishes. Local farmers, Denver Urban Gardens, MM Local, Source Local Foods, and Whole Foods will set up a farmers market to show off local produce. Community organizations like Cooking Matters Colorado, Produce for Pantries, and Slow Food will give cooking demonstrations. http://www.heroesblockparty.com/

Cultivate Festival. On Saturday, Aug. 17, the Cultivate Festival will return to Denver’s City Park, bringing together food, farmers, chefs (local and nationally renowned), brewers, wine makers, artisans and musicians to get people thinking and talking about food and food-related issues. The festival is FREE and brought to Coloradans by locally-grown Chipotle Mexican Grill. The event will feature a Kids Zone, filled with fun, educational activities to help families learn about where their food comes from and why it’s important. Free activities and events include         Plant the Seed: Get kids gardening by decorating biodegradable pots and planting seeds to start their very own salsa garden at home,        Applegate Art Yard, and the Kitchen Community: See how a Learning Garden helps to connect your kids to nutritious food by creating an outdoor classroom and experiential play space with edible vegetables.

Don’t worry about the sunscreen at “Toddler Beach” — the newest exhibit at WOW! Children’s Museum is indoors, water-free and hosting its grand opening Saturday. Aimed at the youngest museumgoers, “Toddler Beach” lets 1- to 5-year-olds play, climb and explore the cute seaside theme. Regular hours: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays-Fridays; 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturdays. WOW! Children’s Museum, 110 N. Harrison Ave., Lafayette; 303-604-2424. Admission is $8 per child; adults are admitted free. wowchildrensmuseum.org.

Through Aug. 21. Beat the heat and give your brain a boost: “Just Add Water” is back at the Children’s Museum of Denver. The outdoor exhibit is all about H2O and the many ways it moves and travels: splashing, sprinkling, shooting and swirling. It’s a hands-on experience, so prepare the kids to get a little wet along the way — and it couldn’t hurt to have a towel handy. 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday through Friday (open until 7:30 p.m. Wednesdays), 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Children’s Museum of Denver, 2121 Children’s Museum Drive; 303-433-7444. $9 for guests ages 2-59, $7 for seniors and 1-year-olds. mychildsmuseum.org.

Arvada’s 2nd Saturday Street Festival. Summer evenings in Olde Town Arvada will again come to life at the upcoming 2nd Saturday Street Festivals, presented by Historic Olde Town Arvada.  The music of top-notch local favorites Chris Daniels and the Kings, The Wendy Woo Band, and The Indulgers will echo down Grandview Avenue on August 10 from 4:30 p.m.-10 p.m. The best way to enjoy live music in a charming historic shopping district is with a plate of tasty street food and an ice cold beer (be sure to try some ice cream and candy from Scrumptious, authentic Belgian fries from Manneken Frites,  or any number of dining choices such as Udi’s Pizza Cafe Bar, Archive Room, Fuzzy’s Taco Shop or  live music and eats at the D Note).  Visitors will find plenty of food choices, beer and wine, and shopping options from vendor booths lining the street.  A wide array of kids’ activities will create a fun, safe, and welcoming environment for guests of all ages. www.oldetownarvada.org

The Heritage Square Music Hall Children’s Theatre presents “The Emperor’s New Clothes.” Emperor Mullinium is the original “Fashionista” and thinks more of his clothes than his own people!  Is that any way for an Emperor to behave?  We think not!  It’s up to the audience to help him get his priorities straight.  “The Emperor’s New Clothes” runs through August 31, 2013 with performances every Saturday at 1:30 PM. Tickets: $8 for children and adults, $7 for seniors (62 and up). Special rates for groups of ten or more children apply. Weekday performances are available, but vary, so call for information. For reservations, call 303-279-7800. Heritage Square Music Hall Children’s Theatre is located at 18301 W. Colfax D-103, Golden, CO 80401. More information at www.hsmusichall.com

Denver’s Annual Rocky Mountain PBS KIDS Fun Fest. On Sept. 7, Rocky Mountain PBS is hosting a fantastic FREE party for families. Ideal for kids preschool age through sixth grade, the event will host PBS characters such as Curious George, Clifford the Big Red Dog, Word Girl and Sid the Science Kid. Entertainment from the stage includes performances by outstanding local talent guaranteed to get everyone moving. Healthy refreshments will be offered and kids will enjoy moving around to different activity areas featuring Discovery Street, PBS Healthy Kids Go, PBS Science KIDS, PBS KIDS Create and PBS ABCs & 123s KIDS. The event will be held at Rocky Mountain PBS, 1089 Bannock Street, Denver from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. http://www.rmpbs.org/funfest

Nick Cave: Soundsuits at the Denver Art Museum. Through September 22, renowned contemporary artist Nick Cave will debut a new body of work at the Denver Art Museum in the summer of 2013. The exhibition features a combination of multimedia elements and performances along with a selection of figurative sculptures the artist dubbed “Soundsuits.”
More Info: www.denverartmuseum.org 

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Nature Programs

Also, don’t miss this event from Jeffco parks. LMNC programs are FREE and registration is required unless otherwise noted. Register online or by calling 720-497-7600. Looking for a program for your class, scout troop, or other group? Visit their website or call to learn about group programs.

Preschool Nature Nuts: Beetle Brigade

10:15 or 11:15 a.m. Thursday, August 1 (Lookout Mountain Nature Center)

Most bugs are beetles. So what are beetles? Learn what they are, hear a beetle story, and do a craft about the largest insect group in the world. (Ages 3-5, with an adult.)

GO Club – Earth Stewards

6:30 p.m. Friday, August 2 (Crown Hill Park)

Pack your picnic supper and join a naturalist for an evening of outdoor adventure.  Being an earth steward is easy.  Kids & grown-ups will learn simple ways to connect with the natural world to promote stewardship of our home…EARTH! (All ages.)

Preschool Nature Nuts: Beetle Brigade

10:15 or 11:15 a.m. Saturday, August 3 (Lookout Mountain Nature Center)

Most bugs are beetles. So what are beetles? Learn what they are, hear a beetle story, and do a craft about the largest insect group in the world. (Ages 3-5, with an adult.)

Movie in the Grove: Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory

8:30 p.m. Saturday, August 3 (Hiwan Homestead Museum)

Children of all ages will enjoy this classic 1973 version of the Roald Dahl book, starring Gene Wilder. Free event.

 Jefferson County Fair and Rodeo

Friday through Sunday, August 9-11 (Fairgrounds)

 Star Party at William F. Hayden Park

8:30 p.m. Thursday, August 8 (William F. Hayden Park on Green Mountain)

Astronomy Team members join Bear Creek Lake Park naturalists for a star party on William Frederick Hayden Park. Learn stargazing tips, view through telescopes and much more. Call 303-697-6159 for more information. (Ages 10+.)

 The Magic of Night Flight – Colorado’s Bats

7:15 p.m. Friday, August 9 (Lair o’ the Bear Park)

Come learn about the incredible bats of Colorado and how they enhance our lives. Following a discussion, we’ll take a short hike ending at a place where we’ll, hopefully, see bats at work. (Ages 10+.)

Beginning Fly Fishing

9 a.m. Saturday, August 10 (Pine Valley Ranch Park)

Beginning Fly Fishing is a class designed to introduce the neophyte to the science, art, and sport of fly fishing. It’s a full day of activities, including an afternoon of tutored fishing. Participants over the age of 16 must have a fishing license. (Ages 13+.)

 Dinosaur Ridge Discovery Day: Reptiles and Amphibians

10 a.m. – 2 p.m. Saturday, August 10 (Dinosaur Ridge)

Nature Center naturalists will be at one of the stops on this walking tour of Dinosaur Ridge. Bring family, friends and plenty of water for the hike and spend the day exploring. Drop by anytime between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Visit dinoridge.org for more information. (All ages.)

 Summer Wildflowers

9 a.m. Sunday, August 11 (Flying J Ranch Park)

Walk with a Native Plant Master and discover the importance of our native plants to wildlife and humans. (Ages 10+.)

 Nature… Stranger than Fiction

2 p.m. Sunday, August 11 (Lookout Mountain Nature Center)

Plants and animals found in nature have developed strange and unique ways to adapt to our outdoor environment. Come and discover how nature can truly be stranger than fiction! (All ages.)

 Summer Wildflowers

9 a.m. Sunday, August 11 (Flying J Ranch Park)

Walk with a Native Plant Master and discover the importance of our native plants to wildlife and humans.

(Ages 10+.)

7:30 p.m. Wednesday, August 14 (Lair o’ the Bear Park)

View beaver activity along the creek then head to the education shelter to learn more about these amazing creatures through campfire activities and stories. Enjoy roasting marshmallows afterward. (All ages.)

 Lair o’ the Bear Campfire: Beaver Tales

7:30 p.m. Thursday, August 15 (Lair o’ the Bear Park)

View beaver activity along the creek then head to the education shelter to learn more about these amazing creatures through campfire activities and stories. Enjoy roasting marshmallows afterward. (All ages.)

 Toddler Nature Nuts: Beetle Brigade

10:15 or 11:15 a.m. Thursday, August 15 (Lookout Mountain Nature Center)

Most bugs are beetles. So what are beetles? Learn what they are, hear a beetle story, and do a craft about the largest insect group in the world. (2-year-olds, with an adult.)

 Jr. Naturalists: Animals Underfoot

10 a.m. – 12 p.m. Friday, August 16 (Hildebrand Ranch Park)

Unearth some of the amazing stories about the wildlife under our feet. What fast-flying bird of prey nests exclusively underground? Who are the tunnel makers? There is more life under the soil than above it.

40th Anniversary Exhibit   
March 19 to November 17 (Hiwan Homestead Museum)
Come celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Jefferson County Historical Society and Jefferson County Open Space, which was voted into existence in 1972 and began receiving funds in 1973. Displays will center on important points in history, interesting facts about the development of Open Space and a variety of memorabilia.
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Ongoing Fun for the Whole Family

Everything from roller coasters to rhinos.

Daily. After a popular run in 2012, the Children’s Museum of Denver relaunches its “3, 2, 1 … Blast Off!” exhibit. Created in conjunction with United Launch Alliance, “Blast Off!” teaches kids about the basics of rocket science by letting them build and launch their own rockets. The new version of “Blast Off!” includes two giant-size models of real-life rockets, plus a vaulted ceiling for vertical rocket launches — the previous space allowed only for horizontal flights. Museum members are invited to arrive at 9 a.m. Saturday for a special members-only hour before the museum opens. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday. Children’s Museum of Denver, 2121 Children’s Museum Drive; 303-433-7444. $9 for guests ages 2 to 59; $7 for 1-year-olds and seniors age 60 and older. mychildsmuseum.org.

NEW! Flight of the Butterflies 3D at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science. A scientific adventure. A compelling detective story. A stunning sight to see. Flight of the Butterflies 3D is all this and more. Dr. Fred Urquhart spent nearly 40 years working to discover the monarch butterflies’ secret hideaway and solve the mystery of their unique migration path. In this dazzling 3D film, you will experience the inspiring story of this scientist’s passion and see up close the lifecycle of these beautiful creatures. Get a butterfly’s-view of the world as you fly over North America and into the isolated mountaintops in Mexico where you will encounter hundreds of millions of fluttering monarchs. www.dmns.org

Elitch Gardens Theme & Water Park

May – October

The nation’s ONLY downtown theme and water park opens for the season on May 4. With more than 45 thrilling rides, plus a splash-filled, 10-acre Water Park, musical stages, stunt shows, arcades and the StarToon Studios (a kiddie area with pint-sized fun), there’s something at Elitch Gardens Theme and Water Park for just about everyone. New additions this year include a new family-friendly rollercoaster Blazin’ Buckaroo and seven new shows including the must-see Cirque Conjure in the Trocadero Theater, a sophisticated combination of illusions, music, dance and comedy parents and kids will enjoy.   elitchgardens.com

Spun: Adventures in Textiles
Through September 22, Denver Art Museum
The Denver Art Museum (DAM) takes a wide-ranging look at textiles from pre-Columbian weavings to modern fiber art, Navajo blankets to an examination of clothing in art and photography.
More Info: www.denverartmuseum.org

Catalyst: Colorado Sculpture
Through January 12, 2014, Denver Botanic Gardens
Denver Botanic Gardens celebrates the achievements and vision of Colorado sculptors in this astonishing outdoor group exhibition. Twelve artists view the garden spaces differently, altering the landscape with amazing 3-D work.
More Info: www.botanicgardens.org

Denver B-cycle

Through November

Explore the city on two wheels! Denver B-cycle is an automated bike sharing system designed for short trips around The Mile High City. It’s easy and fun. You can check out one of more than 500 bikes from any one of 50-plus stations (conveniently located near major attractions and neighborhoods) and return it to any other station. denver.bcycle.com

Colorado Rockies

April 5-September 25

Major league baseball returns to downtown Denver’s Coors Field on April 5, as the Rockies square off against the San Diego Padres. The fun continues all spring and summer long. For an affordable option, buy tickets in the Rockpile, where seats are just $4 for adults and $1 for kids under 12. coloradorockies.com

Toyota Elephant Passage

Year-round

Say hello to Denver’s new, five-ton locals. At 10 acres, this landmark $50 million exhibit at Denver Zoo is North America’s largest bull elephant habitat. You’ll see majestic Asian elephants cooling off in a shallow stream, Malaysian tapirs care for their young, acrobatic gibbons swinging overhead from tree to tree, fishing cats diving for their next meal and the piercing stare of a black leopard, all from the center of an Asian village. denverzoo.org

GPS Adventures at the Wildlife Museum. The Wildlife Experience recently opened its newest exhibit, which sets you on a course for hidden treasure… all you need is a GPS unit and a sense of adventure. This life-sized maze exhibition introduces visitors to cutting-edge Global Positioning Systems (GPS) through Geocaching – a family friendly treasure hunting game.  More than four million people around the world are on the hunt for over a million hidden treasures.  In addition to hidden booty, these geocachers are finding the real treasure: reconnecting with family, community and nature in a meaningful way.

– See more at: http://www.milehighmamas.com/blog/2013/07/21/dragon-boat-festival-denver-events-family/#sthash.R8iSCjO5.dpuf

Want to Swim in Winter? Here’s Where!

When the pools around town close for the summer, and the lifeguard whistles stop tweeting across the warm air, most of us in Colorado put thoughts of swimming to rest. Our eyes and hearts shift quickly from the pool to the slow build-up of snow on the mountains to our west. We hit the ski sales and re-outfit our growing kids in new gear, while bathing suits sink forgotten to the bottom of dresser drawers.

I am a summer girl, however, who counts the days until Memorial Day as soon as the sun sets on Labor Day. And I have a child who loves being in the water. It’s not necessarily about swimming for him. It’s just the calm, the ease of movement. So this winter, for the first time, I looked to our local indoor pools and was more than pleasantly surprised about the options.

An entire family can spend the day swimming while watching the snow fall outside from steamy floor-to-ceiling windows. And it costs as little as $20 for a family of four. Here are a few we have enjoyed from north of the city to south of it:

Summer 2011: Fun Things to Do in Denver

Warmer weather is here! As the sun lingers in the sky longer before settling behind the mountains, how should we fill the time? What activities are sure to be a hit?

Well, with the help of our readers (yes, that’s you!) Mile High Mamas has compiled a list of fun activities in the Denver area this summer.  All of these places and activities in one handy list!?  Awesome!

Need an idea for an inside activity? It’s here!
Need a new outside activity to try? It’s here!

See something that isn’t on the list? Let us know, and we’ll add it! Be sure to bookmark this page and check back often! It’s your Summer 2011 Guide to Fun in Denver!

So, get out there! Try something new! Explore your own backyard and beyond.

Indoor Activities:

Get in out of the sun (or rain) and have an indoor adventure!

  • American Paintball Coliseum – The coliseum is comprised of indoor and outdoor paintball fields. The indoor fields are split into two arenas, one with giant inflatable obstacles, the other with heaps of corrugated plastic tubing. The paint is water-soluble, and remnants of matches make floors sticky.
  • The Apex Center Treehouse Play Area – The kids love crawling through the tubes and sliding down the slides. This indoor play area is free and provides hours of fun, rain or shine!
  • Baby Boogie at the D-Note – Baby Boogie at the D-Note in Olde Town Arvada runs every Sunday from 3-6 pm. They clear their stage and put up kids’ instruments. The kids rule the restaurant and mom and dad can relax while the kiddos boogie.
  • Boondocks Fun Center – Boondocks Fun Center in Northglenn is an 8-acre indoor-outdoor fun facility. Indoors you’ll find a futuristic laser-tag arena, a dual-seat Max Flight Simulator and a broad sweep of arcade games that run from Dance Dance Revolution (hilarious to watch) to a Panzer tank simulator. From tiny tots to older teens, there’s a game appropriate for every player.