Family Travel

Keep the Summer Fun Going: 10 Hidden Gem Day Trips Near Denver

It ain’t over ’til it’s over. Summer may be winding down but to help you power through your final moments of entertaining, camping and exploring, we’ve partnered with Energizer® to bring you 10 Hidden Gem Day Trips Near Denver.  Whether you’re using Energizer’s LED headlight for nighttime explorations, or you’re throwing a simple barbecue and lighting the night with Energizer Fusion All-in-One Lights, we’ve got summer fun covered and here’s why: ·         The 3-in-1 flashlight is portable and powerful, making it the perfect accessory for your trips near and far. ·         With the headlamp, you can keep ...

Westin Family Weekends: Our Fun Denver Staycation

One of the many little slivers of wisdom I share with my kids is how lucky they are to grow up close to a major city. There are countless ways to explore cultural offerings and we are a family that loves to take advantage of all Denver has to offer. But there’s a downside. We never get the chance to play tourist in our own city. Recently, we had the opportunity to see Denver through a fresh lens. When kids enter a hotel room, the best thing to do is stand back and watch their reactions. It’s a BED! And another?! It’s a window! Look at these little SOAPS! They like to christen the bathroom, try on the robes, stake a claim on a bed, and determine what to order from the room service menu, if presented with such a magical opportunity. I still feel this way when I travel, sometimes. There is so...

Summer Family Fun in Colorado Springs

There’s so much to love about Colorado Springs, so much to do and see, that my family has vacationed there year after year. We never tire of the stunning views, the countless family-friendly activities for kiddos of all ages, and the range of experiences to be had that included the Pikes Peak Cog Railway, Echo Canyon River Expeditions and The Winery at Holy Cross Abbey.  Related: 8 Ways Colorado Springs and the Royal Gorge Rock Garden of the Gods Club and Resort A fantastic family vacation starts with a fantastic home base. For our 2016 summer trip, we were guests at the Garden of the Gods Club and Resort. Every single one of its rooms has a view like this from the balcony, which includes the Garden of the Gods in the midground and Pikes Peak in the background: In fact, nea...

Eldora Mountain Resort: Braving the Elements

Not all ski days are created equally and sometimes–no matter how great the resort–the weather just doesn’t cooperate. Thus describes last Saturday on the mountain. My husband was on a winter campout with the Scouts while my kids and I opted for the more sane option: skiing Eldora Mountain Resort.  Or so we thought.  Eldora is a true local’s mountain. You won’t see fur collars or high-speed lifts here. Eldora is for the purists, where brown-bag lunches reign and the RTD “N”  route conveniently delivers oodles of skiers from downtown Boulder 21 miles up the canyon to the base, avoiding the I-70 gridlock. With just 680 skiable acres, this resort is about quality, not quantity as upslope snow storms provide sensational snow, backed ...

Family fall adventures: Bouldering at Alderfer/Three Sisters Park

Saturday was like a breath of fresh air. After our month-long road-trip to Canada in July, I needed a break from traveling and we have become relative homebodies as we’ve fallen into our back-to-school routine juggling homework, soccer, volleyball, school and church activities and work. Even though we had a busy morning with games, the fall weather was 70-degree perfection and I bribed the kids that they could skip chores if they came to play with me in the mountains that afternoon. This is also known as being a bigger kid than your kids. So, while my husband Jamie watched a football game and worked, we headed to the hills. One of our favorite areas to explore is Alderfer/Three Sisters Park in Evergreen, Colo. The park was once a working ranch for cattle, horses and foxes and now off...

Family travel: Autumn in New York City?

Our family recently returned from a whirlwind tour of the Northeastern United States. I can only imagine how gorgeous Central Park will be as the leaves begin to turn this autumn! Maybe New York has never crossed your mind as a destination with kids, but let me assure you that you can make it a great trip for the whole family with a bit of planning and making the right reservations. However, I would recommend this trip for families with kids who are 1) beyond needing a daily nap and 2) able to walk a distance without complaint. (What did she say? Walking without complaining?? I might as well wait until my kids are in college! Touché. ) First, where to stay? We lucked out and had friends that were gracious hosts. If you have this option, by all means take it! You can always return the favor...

National Get Outdoors Day & Fun Fall Adventures

Where can you fish, camp, mountain bike, play basketball, canoe, kayak, win a fishing rod, climb, meet Dinosaur Train’s star Dr. Scott, hula hoop, obstacle race, hang out with Broncos cheerleaders, celebrate Smokey Bear’s 70th birthday party and test drive a Trikke (a three-wheeled carving vehicle) in one day? National Get Outdoors Day in Denver! Mile High Mamas was thrilled to partner with OFF!® as  they sponsored Get Outdoors Day, which encourages Americans (especially our youth) to get outdoors.  Haven’t had your fill this summer?  Don’t miss our guides to getting outdoors: 10 of the best places to camp with kids in Colorado. 11 scenic drives in Colorado this fall. The best places to fish as a family in Colorado. Get kids outdoors at Denver’s...

Colorado’s First Summer Tubing Hill Opens at Snow Mountain Ranch

The YMCA of the Rockies at Snow Mountain Ranch launches (literally!) an impressive new outside feature, and it’s already drawing the generations. On Monday, July 27, 2014, The YMCA of the Rockies at Snow Mountain Ranch, in Granby, was host to quite a new celebrity in the outdoor family mecca of the United States—Colorado’s first summer tubing hill. It’s almost alarming that we didn’t have one of these before, as we are toted as the extreme, family fun headquarters in America. This has to be one of the most accessible, non-queasy, pure 20-second joys for children ages 2 – 100. That’s what makes this summer tubing hill so brilliant—not only is it bright white against the lush green backdrop—it’s the most fun risk I know moms, little children and even my own mother would take, I assume. My mo...

10 (funny) tips to make travel bearable fun with a toddler!

For the purposes of this post, I am going to consider myself an expert at traveling with a toddler. I am, at least, an expert at the pain and suffering associated with traveling with my toddler. In an effort to warn inform other parents, I have compiled a list of ways to possibly delay the hell small children impose on travel enjoy your trip with your little one! 1) Don’t go. Seriously. We just attempted lunch out with Toddler only to be vividly reminded as to why they invented take-out. Just borrow some nice travel DVD’s from the library. Easier on everyone. Checkout my 10 Steps to a Fun Family Outing to see why…. 2) Okay, fine. If you’ve made it past #1, you are actually planning on going, blatantly ignoring my sage advice. Fine. 2) (For reals) Scale down your exp...

Family travel: Colorado camping expert offers tips for taking the kids

The title of expert on camping with kids should probably go to Boulder mom Helen Olsson, who authored the aptly titled “Down and Dirty Guide to Camping with Kids” (Roost Books) in 2012. Olsson, an adventurous outdoor enthusiast, spent her childhood camping in upstate New York, and she now spends her summers hitting campsites around Colorado with her brood, ages 8, 10 and 13. The subtitle of Olsson’s book is “How to plan memorable family adventures and connect kids to nature.” It’s also an apt description of this guide that is one part camping primer — filled with tips, packing lists, arts-and-crafts activities, outdoor games and recipes — and one part encouragement and motivation. Here, to inspire your next camping trip is some insight from Olsson, who b...

The real[ist] family travel writer is born: Road trip mishaps!

I have always loved to travel. The problem is, travel has not always loved me. I once journeyed to France for a wedding, only to get lost and miss the entire celebration. I built a career as a travel writer by writing a humor column about my mishaps. During a meeting with my editor, I made reference to one of my misfortunes on the trail and he professed, “You mean this stuff really happens? I thought you were making it up because there is no way all that could happen to one person!” Welcome to my life. When I had a family, there were understandably even more challenges. While so many writers expound upon their tried and true tips for “The Perfect Family Vacation,” I keep it real. Family travel is about survival. The only two things that keep me sane are my sense of ...

Day Trip: Nederland Fun and the Carousel of Happiness

“I’m going to ride the zebra!” yells one daughter from the back seat as we buckle in for our 30-minute drive to the Carousel of Happiness, just up the canyon in Nederland. “I want the mermaid!” cries a smaller voice. “No, the gorilla!” Such is the anticipation as we twist our way toward one of Colorado’s most whimsical, fantastical and affordable attractions. The backstory of the Carousel of Happiness, which opened in 2010, is pretty well known by now — Scott Harrison, a Vietnam veteran from Nederland, obtained a classic carousel frame and motor, then spent 26 years carving 50 animals. The people of Nederland chipped in, raising $700,000 and creating a nonprofit volunteer organization to house and run the Carousel. Four years later, the Carou...