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Rome Comes to Denver at Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel: The Exhibition

Do you love Italian art and culture and want to expose your kids?

Get up close and personal with 34 stunning reproductions of Michelangelo’s famous ceiling frescoes at the internationally acclaimed Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel: The Exhibition that runs through January 15 at Cherry Creek Mall in Denver.

About Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel: The Exhibition

Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel: The Exhibition is a collection of the artist’s renowned ceiling frescoes from the Vatican’s Sistine Chapel, reproduced in a format that allows viewers to get face-to-face with the masterpieces. Through 34 artfully displayed reproductions, this innovative presentation includes world-renowned pieces like The Creation of Adam and The Last Judgement, bringing them just a few
feet away from the audience.Sistine Chapel Denver

Presented by the SEETM Global Entertainment family and FEVER, the exhibition is a presentation of museum-quality, near-life-size reproductions of one of the world’s greatest artistic achievements. “This exhibition gives visitors a chance to engage with Rome’s most iconic treasures in ways that were never before possible,” said Martin Biallas, CEO of Los Angeles-based SEETM Global Entertainment, producer of the exhibit.

“This exhibition is like a sanctuary, you’re transported into a completely different world,” said Biallas. “When I visited the Sistine Chapel in Rome, there were long lines, and we were rushed through. This exhibit in Denver will allow everyone an opportunity to see the amazing art at their pace and up-close, at an affordable price, and enjoy an inspiring and unforgettable experience.”

Guests will enhance their experience with the audio guide tour, which provides the “why” behind each fresco – all through their own mobile device. This narrative accompaniment is available in English, French, and Spanish and is free-of-charge.

The exhibit has had sold-out openings in Austin, Cleveland, Portland, Philadelphia, Washington D.C., and Dallas.

Tickets for Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel: The Exhibition will be sold Tuesdays – Sundays 10 a.m.- 6 p.m. Tickets start at $22.50 for adults, $18.30 for youth. Discounts are available for seniors, students, the military and groups of over 10 people. Tickets are on sale now at https://chapelsistine.com/exhibits/pittsburgh. Address: Cherry Creek Shopping Center, 2500 East First Ave, CO, Denver.

Denver Deals: Denver Holiday Events, Giving Tuesday and More!

Did you score some great deals this past weekend? Unlike most years, I actually didn’t spend all that much time at the malls. On Saturday, I did football and facials with a friend and tried out the new Skin Spirit. It is a new med-spa located just off Bellview. It was a great way to refresh and my skin looks shiny new even days later. I tried the Diamond Glow facial – which sucks off all the old dead skin and refreshes. The spa was beautiful, clean and sparkly new! If you are looking to treat yourself this holiday take some time to do this!

Also, don’t miss our Guide to the Holidays in Denver,  Colorado Holiday Gift Guide with 50+ ideasDenver’s best holiday markets and craft fairs and the 7 Best Christmas tree farms in Denver.

Larimer Square Heart of the Holidays. There is a lot going on downtown during the holidays, but it would be a big miss to not go to Larimer Square. Lights on Larimer is Friday, Dec. 2 with music, tree lighting, merchants, drinks and food. Visit Santa on the Square Saturday, Dec. 3 from noon to 4 p.m. while enjoying Dickens Carolers, a holiday vinyl DJ set, pop-up merchants, and more. https://www.milehighmamas.com/blog/2022/11/25/larimer-square-holidays/

 Giving Tuesday. There is a giving Tuesday and then there is Colorado Giving Tuesday. If you make are going to make a donation to a charitable organization this year consider making your donations at ColoradoGives.Org Community First Foundation, First Ban, and other community partners match your donation with their incentive fund! Giving feels twice as good!

 ConceiveAbilities Surrogacy and Egg Donor Agency is offering any lactating woman who donates to a milk bank a one-time $250 gift card to help with pumping expenses (or whatever she needs). Their #MilkBankChallenge will help them achieve their 2022 goal of 500,000 ounces to help families feed their infants. https://www.conceiveabilities.com/about/blog/baby-formula-shortage-and-how-to-help

Outlets at Castle Rock. The Outlets continue to have some awesome deals and they are doing a giveaway – just check their Instagram daily for the cool prizes.

Culinary Dropout. Is your family really into the World Cup? I have to say that I’m personally interested to see what will happen in England v Wales…and hello TEAM USA! If you are looking for a fun place to watch head to Culinary Drop out at 9+Co. Try their pretzel bites (among other things) and you could be the one winner to get a $100 gift card!

Immersive Nutcracker. I am excited to try the Immersive Nutcracker that goes through the season and tickets are still available the week most kids are out of school. Nutcracker comes to life around you as you wander your way through the most beloved holiday tale. Photos, special effects, and even a life-sized Nutcracker are all part of the fun.

Fantatics NFL Hoodies. Do you have an NFL fan that you gift (even if the Broncos aren’t winning we can still cheer them on, right)? Zulily is having a sale on NFL Hoodies – most things are 50% off!

Ulta Stocking Stuffers. I am always caught last minute with things to put in stockings. I often end up with a bit of a formula…(drink, candy, socks, gift card). But this year my daughter may get something different because Ulta is offering stocking stuffers for just 68 cents each! Lotions, lip balms, makeup, nail care and more. Items are 99c but you can also use a coupons for $5 off $15 purchase.

Dress for Success Sale. Friday, Dec. 2 and Saturday, Dec. 3, Dress for Success will have a sale at their location 2425 S Colorado Blvd #200 as they get ready to move. You can score deals of up to 75% off top quality designer named business fashions. (get items from $1 to $20). Proceeds still benefit Dress for Success.

Kohl’s. Kohl’s still has some killer deals including sweaters for women as low as $7.99; Kohl’s Shackets for $27; The Big One Throw Blankets for $7.99; Holiday Graphic Tees for $6.39; and Ninja Cream Ice Cream Maker $99 (if anyone is taking notes, I want this!) plus you get Kohl’s Cash back.

Vail Kris Kringle Market. The Vail Kris Kringle Market is festive and magical holiday fun on the streets of Vail with unique holiday-made items. The event will take place December 8-11 in Vail Village. Hand-made toys, ornaments, cookies, treats and more.

 

Resources for helping a grieving child over the holidays

It can be the most wonderful time of the year but for many grieving families, the holidays signal a time of stress, loneliness and sadness.

Denver metro nonprofit, Judi’s House, has an upcoming FREE webinar on “Caring for Grieving Kids” which will provide resources and tips for grieving families as they navigate the holiday season. Virtual workshops are offered monthly and are limited in size to ensure participants can ask questions.

Another helpful resource: Creative Interventions for Bereaved Children. Are you struggling with grief? Don’t miss Catherine’s Dealing with Holiday Grief: How One Widow Learned to Appreciate Christmas

Children’s Grief Awareness Month

The Colorado-based JAG Institute is sharing data and new findings for November’s observance of Children’s Grief Awareness Month showing that 1 in 13 U.S. children will experience the death of a parent or sibling by the age of 18, an increase compared to previous years. Produced in partnership with the New York Life Foundation, the Childhood Bereavement Estimation Model (CBEM) approximates rates of U.S. children and youth who will experience the death of a parent or sibling by the time they reach adulthood.

Newly released CBEM data highlight rates of U.S. childhood bereavement by cause of death of a parent or sibling. The analyses focused on death caused by drug overdose, homicide, and COVID-19. Full research results can be found in the reports attached for your review. Some of the major findings concluded:

  • A total of 4,782,000 children will experience the death of a parent before 18 years of age

  • For children who experienced a parent death in 2020, 1 in 5 grieve an accidental overdose death.

  • While relatively rare, in 2020 gun-related homicide and COVID-19 accounted for 4% and 5% of children bereaved by a parent’s death.

  • 2020 brought a sharp 25% rise in childhood bereavement due to parent death–65,300 more children than in the previous four years.

You are not alone! Go to Judi’s House for more information. Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. While clicking these links won’t cost you extra money, they help us keep this site up and running. See our disclosure policy. 

7 Holiday Happenings at Larimer Square (including a way to give back)

 Celebrate the Heart of the Holidays on Denver’s historic Larimer Square this December with a festive lineup of FREE activations, including live music, visits with Santa, kids crafts and a way to give back.

Also, don’t miss our Guide to the Holidays in Denver,  Colorado Holiday Gift Guide with 50+ ideasDenver’s best holiday markets and craft fairs and the 7 Best Christmas tree farms in Denver.

Giving Machines on Larimer Square

The holiday season is about giving back. During your visit to Larimer Square, stop by the Giving Machines, a vending machine where 100% of the profits go to the local or global charity of your choice. Habitat for Humanity. Water for People. Metro Caring to end hunger. See the full list of charities. Giving Machines will be open 24/7 through New Year’s Day, 2023 at Writer Square; Larimer and 15th Street.

Giving Machines Denver

Larimer Square’s Heart of the Holidays

  • Lights on Larimer – Friday, Dec. 2nd from 6 p.m. – 8 p.m.
    •  Welcome the holiday season with live music by the Beverly Belles, tree lighting ceremony, pop-up merchants selling local goods, crêpes from Captain Crêpe and seasonal drinks from participating Larimer Square bars & restaurants
  • Santa on the Square – Saturday, Dec. 3rd from noon – 4 p.m. 
    • Visit with Santa while enjoying live music by the Dickens Carolers, a holiday vinyl DJ set from Something Vinyl Club, pop-up merchants selling local goods, seasonal drinks from participating Larimer Square bars + restaurants, crêpes from Captain Crêpe and the Denver Public Library BookMobile.
      • FREE! Register in advance. 
  • He(ART) of the Holidays Market – Saturday, Dec. 10 from noon – 4 p.m.
    • Pop-up market featuring more than a dozen local vendors, including locally made ornaments, crêpes from Captain Crêpe, plus live music by the Beverly Belles from noon – 2 p.m. and a Holiday Comedy Set from 2 p.m. – 4 p.m. 
    • Enjoy a FREE Cotopaxi Llamaste on the Square yoga class with Urban Sanctuary and Women’s Wilderness at 2 p.m. in the gallery space followed by mocktails in the Cotopaxi store with Guaykaí Yerba Mate!
  • Santa on the Square – Saturday, Dec. 17th from noon – 4 p.m. 
    • Visit with Santa while enjoying live music by the Dickens Carolers, a holiday vinyl DJ set from Something Vinyl Club, seasonal drinks from participating Larimer Square bars + restaurants, crêpes from Captain Crêpe and family crafts by the Crafty Chassis
      • FREE! Register in advance.
  • Songs & Sights Holiday Experience – Dec. 20th & 23rd from 6 p.m. – 8 p.m.
    • Featuring live music by the Dickens Carolers & projection mapping across Larimer Square

For more information on all of the festive holiday activations happening around Larimer Square, please visit www.larimersquare.com/events.

Ice Rink at Denver International Airport (DIA) now open!

Is your flight delayed or do you have a long layover at DIA? No problem! The Denver International Airport’s Ice Skating Rink will return this year on the outdoor Plaza, located between the Jeppesen Terminal and the Westin Hotel.

The rink will open Friday, Nov. 18, 2022 and run through Sunday, Jan. 1, 2023. Skate daily for FREE from 11 a.m. – 7 p.m. Grab a pair of skates at the skate shop which will be located inside the Westin on the west side near Tivoli restaurant and brewery. Refreshments and holiday treats are available for purchase. 

The ice rink has returned to DIA after a two-year hiatus. 

MORE FUN IDEAS! If you’re lucky, we’ll have a white Christmas so don’t miss our Ultimate guide to outdoor skating in Colorado and 30 places to go sledding in Colorado. If you’re in Denver for the holidays, don’t miss our Ultimate Holiday Guide to Family Fun and if you need some inspiration with your shopping, check out our Colorado Holiday Gift Guide with 50+ ideasDenver’s best holiday markets and craft fairs and the 7 Best Christmas tree farms in Denver. Be sure to give back with these 15 holiday toy drives in Denver. 

Photo: Denver International Airport.

Canstruction: A Denver holiday display built of cans

There are so many opportunities to serve this holiday season. Don’t miss these 15 Holiday Toy Drives in Denver.

Also, here is a FUNtastic holiday display to check out! 

What: Canstruction® Colorado is a city-wide competition in which architects and designers build life-size structures entirely out of canned food, which will be donated to We Don’t Waste and distributed to local communities at the end of the exhibit.

holiday canned goods

When & Where: Canstruction® will be on display for roughly four weeks (through mid-December) at Stanley Marketplace. Guests CAN stroll the hallways, enjoy the creative sculptures depicting holiday scenes and vote for their favorites.

How: Head to Stanley Marketplace to take in the CAN-tastic sculptures with the whole family. 

Why: While you take in the displays at Canstruction, enjoy knowing that all of the food you’re seeing will help Coloradans in need. Every can will be donated to We Don’t Waste, the Denver-based nonprofit that recovers quality, unused food and provides it to communities in need.​​

Guide to the Holidays

Holidays in Denver 2002: Your guide to holiday fun

 Ultimate guide to outdoor skating in Colorado

 30 places to go sledding in Colorado.

Colorado Holiday Gift Guide with 50+ ideas

 Denver’s best holiday markets and craft fairs

 7 Best Christmas tree farms in Denver

 Places to see Santa in Denver

What do you wish people knew about your mental illness?

A few weeks ago, we interviewed Heidi Bartle, a Colorado mom with depression about her bipolar disorder, about her beautiful children’s book “When Mommy is Sad.” 

And then on social media, we recently saw the question “What do you wish people knew about your mental illness?”

The responses have a common theme: that no two people’s story is the same. Here is a sampling:

  • That depression is real, and it’s not a choice to not be happy. Some just have unrealistic expectations for what we can do or want to do and it’s impossible alone to do it all.
  • That sometimes you can’t just “choose” to be happy.
  • That no matter how much work we put into it, it doesn’t go away.
  • Therapy can’t erase trauma. Just because I’m getting help or taking medication doesn’t mean that I’m cured.
  • That we just cant turn it off like a light… we have to mental build a wall back up.
  • That it is an illness. A chronic illness. People who suffer from mental health conditions. Can’t become well by just “thinking positive.”
  • No more than someone with diabetes can just make their pancreas work correctly and make insulin! It is a serious medical condition that affects our brain. And the symptoms can sometimes be debilitating and extremely hard to cope with.
  • That you can’t just snap out of it. And that saying just get over it or stop thinking about it makes it so much worse.
  • I wish I always had the mental state of mind to keep my home neat and tidy, but it is a symptom of my depression.
  • That im not being lazy.
  • Telling people they have “no reason to be depressed” doesn’t make the depression go away or better.
  • That sometimes we really are ok. Like really ok. And then other times we are really really not ok. And that can all be within the same few hours of each other. And nothing has to of happened to make the switch flip. And we can’t just go back to being ok just because we were mere hours/moments ago. Oh and asking what’s wrong 50 gazillion times is definitely not helpful.
  • It isn’t something that can just be fixed if you really wanted to.
  • That suicide isn’t a selfish act.
  • You can lead a productive life and do everything or a lot of things and still be suffering.
  • That it’s not weakness to ask for help or take medication.
  • That it has nothing to do with “having too much time to think about things.”
  • That’s in not all in my head. Mental health issues affect the body as well and it’s hard to explain that physical pain can be related to mental health and vice versa.
  • It is not someone just being dramatic! They are valid, serious, often debilitating episodes.
  • That yes, overcoming mental illness requires a certain amount of self-motivation and kicking your own ass, but there are some days where getting normal things done might be impossible, and that is just part of the process.
  • Just because we “seem fine”, doesn’t mean we are fine… and I shouldn’t have to justify my mental health by how others perceive me. Women are excellent maskers because we are taught to hide it for everyone else. I could be dying inside but others (outside my immediate family and family of choice) will never know.
  • It’s not just having a bad day or just feeling sad. Yes, people who are depressed can feel happy, but it is a cloud that never really goes away.
  • That it happens in children and we need to be more empathetic to that and not assume the child is just “sensitive.”
  • I wish they understood that each day looks different. Sometimes each minute looks different. Sometimes you can have good weeks or months, and then you feel suffocated again.
  • That suggesting I calm down doesn’t cure anxiety, and that if I could calm down I probably would.
  • That it’s exhausting. Faking happiness every day or on those hard days is exhausting. We become good at masking and it takes everything out of us.
That even in darkness, there is always hope. 

Don’t miss our interview with Heidi “When Mommy is Sad”: A Colorado Mom’s Journey Through Depression

 Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. While clicking these links won’t cost you extra money, they help us keep this site up and running. See our disclosure policy.

 

15 Holiday Toy Drives in Denver: How to Help Colorado Kids

The holidays in Denver can be downright magical and we recently published our Holiday Guide to Fun in Denver with many free activities and light displays.

But with the rising costs in Colorado, many of our friends and neighbors are struggling to make ends make. Please join us if you are able in helping make these Colorado kids’ Christmas wishes come true with these Christmas Toy Drives in Denver. Not in the financial position to donate? Many of these wonderful companies are looking for holiday volunteers so be sure to reach out to them.

Also, do you want to give back to your favorite non-profit? Consider making your Amazon purchases on AmazonSmile.com, where they will donate 0.5% of your eligible purchases to the charity or school of your choice. Simply go to Your Account, Select AmazonSmile and add your charity. 

Holiday Toy Drives in Denver

Angel Trees from Salvatation Armies

Most people know The Salvation Army for their Red Kettles, their Angel Trees, and their strong presence during the holiday season. In a typical year, they put new clothes and toys under the tree for one million children who usually must go without Christmas gifts. Anonymous donors adopt these little “angels” in an expanding Christmas tradition that makes the season more rewarding for the gift giver and happier for the receiver. This year, please consider taking a few more angels off the tree or donating gifts in bulk. The donations they collect during the holiday season not only help us provide gifts to children who would otherwise go without, but they also help provide food, shelter, and utility assistance to those who need it most every day of the year. salvationarmyusa.org/usn/brighten-the-holidays/

Arvada Wheat Ridge Santa House

Now in its 14th year, AWRSAY and the Arvada Jefferson Kiwanis Foundation’s Santa House has provided gifts to over 12,000 families. They have a new location at Storyline Church, 14605 W 63th Avenue, Arvada. Please drop unwrapped new toys and/or gently used or new books for infants through age 12  now through Dec. 2 from 10 a.m.-1 p. at any Apex Facility, Red Rocks Community College or Arvada Chamber of Commerce. Monetary donations are also gratefully accepted. Inquires may be directed Paula Emerson at [email protected]

#BeAGiver Holiday Gift Drive

The city of Denver’s annual #BeAGiver Holiday Gift Drive is underway! They are collecting holiday gifts for people served by Denver Human Services (DHS). These are children, families, older adults, and adults with disabilities in need. Many of them are facing financial or family situations. Sponsor a family, child or an older adult who is supported by DHS. Registration will be open until Nov. 21, 2022 or until all gift rdenvergov.org

Colorado Toys for Tots Holiday Drive

Les Schwab is honored to partner with the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve on the Toys for Tots holiday toy drive, to make sure Colorado families that need a little help with gifts for their kids can make dreams come true. Bring new, unwrapped toys to a participating Colorado Les Schwab by December 10 and they’ll make sure they get to needy families. Join thousands of Colorado donors in participating. Drop your contributions of toys at any participating Colorado Les Schwab Monday through Saturday during our regular business hours. lesschwab.com/article/denver-toys-for-tots.html

Denver Santa Claus Shop 

Larry H. Miller Dealerships is hosting its 8th annual Holiday Toy Drive in support of the Denver Santa Claus Shop from Nov. 11 – Dec. 3, 2022. The yearly initiative helps ensure that there is “a toy for every girl and boy” in Metro Denver during the holiday season. The drive will culminate in a toy distribution conducted by the Denver Santa Claus Shop for nearly 15,000 children and families.During the drive, new and “gently-loved” toys are being collected for children ages newborn through 11 years old, including dolls, books, balls, board games, building blocks, and toy cars. Members of the public may drop off donations at several of their dealerships. Monetary contributions can be made online at denversantaclausshop.org/donate.

Denver Vibe Toy Drive

Contribute to this toy donation benefiting the Denver Children’s Advocacy Center.  Please keep teenagers in mind, as often times they are scarce on gift donations for this age group. Stop by for a complimentary coffee or hot hot chocolate in exchange for your generous donations. Queen’s Eleven, 3603 Walnut STree, Denver on Friday, Dec. 2 between 9 a.m.-11 a.m. denvervibe.com/event/denver-vibe-toy-drive/

Dolls for Daughters and Toys for Boys Toy Shop Annual Toy Drive in Denver

At their 16th Annual Toy Drive in Denver, they will provide assistance to 3,500 children ages birth to 18. We plan to provide each child with a big toy, a small toy, and a wooden toy car. Registration will be required to attend the event and guarantee toys for your child(ren). December 3, 2022, 8:45 am – 4 pm at National Western Complex. More information: kenziscauses.org/toy-shop-denver/.

Hope and Home Toy Drive for Kids in Foster Care

It’s never been easier to help make sure that kids in foster care have gifts to open at Christmastime! Simply click on the link below for the region you’d like to shop for, browse the Amazon wish list, make a purchase, and your gift will be shipped directly to the Hope & Home office you’ve selected. From there, our staff will make sure that your gift is placed into the Christmas store to be given to children in foster care.  In-person and virtual toy drives are available hopeandhome.org/toydrive/.

Holiday Toy Drive Aprahoe County Sheriff

The Arapahoe County Sheif’s Office,, along with the Fraternal Order of Police Arapahoe Lodge 31, participate in their own toy drive to provide children and seniors with a happier holiday than they might have otherwise.  Many items are in need, including toys, clothes, small gift cards, and cash/checks (monetary donations to the FOP are tax-deductible). Items can be brought to the ACSO headquarters at 13101 E. Broncos Parkway in Centennial, prior to Dec. 14. There is a donation box in the lobby. For monetary donations to the FOP (which will be used toward the toy drive), visit their direct donation link.

Holiday Toy Drive Southwest Denver Coalition

They’re organizing assistance for families in the community to help make their holiday a lot more special. To make this a success, we are asking for your help and invite you to get involved by donating a new unwrapped toy. Suggested Gifts for Children (0-17): Arts and crafts, Toys: soccer, basket and footballs, skateboards, dolls, stuffed animals, Legos, blocks, action figures, Barbie’s, baby dolls, cars, etc., Games, puzzles, books,  Gift cards for older children (ages 13-17) – Walmart, Target, Old Navy, movies, game stores, fast food, etc., gift sets for older children (ages 13-17) – makeup, lotions, cologne, headphones, etc. Donations can be dropped off at these Denver Community Credit Union locations 3299 W. Alameda Ave. Denver, CO or 1075 Acoma St. Denver, CO 80204. Or make a financial donation. swdenvercoalition.org/events/holiday-toy-drive/

SMDRA 2022 Holiday Brunch & Toy Drive 

SMDRA is joining forces with the Boys & Girls Clubs of Denver to deliver gifts to children in our community, to brighten their holiday! Bring your holiday cheer and join them for Breakfast, Santa, Mimosas and more! ON Dec. 2, 2022, from 9-11:30 a.m., bring an unwrapped toy or gift. Gifts should be for children ages 6 to 18. Location: South Metro Denver REALTOR® Association Lobby and Event Center
PURPOSE: Holiday Toy Drive Fundraiser for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Denver. smdra.com/holiday-brunch-and-toy-drive/

Together 4 Colorado Toy Drive

Each year, Boys & Girls Clubs partners with CBS4, King Soopers and 97.3 KBCO to collect new and unwrapped toys during their annual Together 4 Colorado Toy Drive. The 2022 Together 4 Colorado Toy Drive runs from the last week of November 25 to December 23. New and unwrapped toys that will appeal to kids ranging from the ages of 5 to 18. Please consider donating gifts that our teenage members will enjoy – like art supplies, sports equipment, gift cards, or electronics. On Thursday, December 15, they’ll be collecting toys all day long at two King Soopers locations, while broadcasting LIVE holiday cheer on CBS4! Come see us at Store #72 – 2750 S. Colorado Blvd. Denver, CO; Store #139 – 3050 South Peoria Street Aurora, CO 80014. www.bgcmd.org/donate/toy-drive/

Santa’s Elves Denver

The Denver DreamCenter is collecting unwrapped toy donations at the Denver Dream Center 2839 W 44th Avenue, Denver. Hours vary so schedule a dropoff time (2022 information not yet posted). If you are dropping off gifts for a family you’ve adopted, please clearly label each of the gifts with the name of the child AND the family number. santaselvesdenver.org/toy-drive/

United Way Children’s Holiday Party

Mile High United Way’s Children’s Holiday Party is our largest community outreach event of the year. This year, we are inviting 400 families to celebrate the holidays with craft-making, games, and photos with Santa. Learn how you can get involved! Bring the spirit of the holidays to our community by purchasing toys and gift cards for their families! Help them reach their goal of providing 1,000 children with holiday gifts. Drives will be running from now until December 5. unitedwaydenver.org/children-holiday-party-toy-drive/

Volunteers of America’s Adopt-a-Family

You can help a family in need for the holidays through our Adopt-a-Family program! If you are interested in assisting Volunteers of America collect these items, please click on the signup button below and feel free to reach out to the Holiday Coordinator at [email protected] voacolorado.org/news_and_events/adoptafamily.

Denver Outdoorsy Fun for the Holidays

 If you’re lucky, we’ll have a white Christmas so don’t miss our Ultimate guide to outdoor skating in Colorado and 30 places to go sledding in Colorado

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. While clicking these links won’t cost you extra money, they help us keep this site up and running. See our disclosure policy. 

Urgent need: Denver nonprofit is collecting gently used baby gear

Do you have baby gear you are no longer using?
 
 Local nonprofit, WeeCycle, which collects and provides Colorado families in need with gently used baby gear, formula and diapers, is asking for the community’s help in “gearing up” following a significant increase in demand for its services. On average over the last three months, WeeCycle has seen a 161% increase in the need for cribs, bassinets, pack-and-plays and toddler beds, and a 283% increase in requests for car seats since last year.
 
To meet the increased demand for these items and others, WeeCycle is asking the community for donations of gently used baby gear and new diapers and formula. Items can be dropped off at any of WeeCycle’s donation locations between Nov. 12-20. Please no toys or baby clothing, as WeeCycle has plenty of these items already.

Highest need items: 
• Cribs/Toddler Beds
• Humidifiers
• Thermometers
• Bassinets
• Strollers
• Baby Monitors
• Winter clothing and coats in sizes 2T, 3T and 4T
• Enfamil Yellow and Purple Baby Formula
• Winter shoes sizes 7 and up
• Car Seats — infant, convertible, and booster. You MUST complete this form to donate a car seat. If you do not include this form, the car seat can’t be used and will be recycled.  
*Please note — WeeCycle is not accepting smaller clothing or shoes and toys at these collection events due to limited space and capacity.

WeeCycle typically accepts baby gear donations during specific collection hours at its warehouse but is opening additional opportunities for the public to donate at numerous locations across the metro area and suburbs from Nov. 12-20. Following is a list of participating donation locations and collection events:

donate baby items Denver
Donations can also be dropped off at WeeCycle’s warehouse during collection hours, which are Tuesdays from 9-11 a.m. and Thursdays from 12-2 p.m. WeeCycle will also be having a collection event at the warehouse on Saturday, Nov. 19 from 9:30-11:30 a.m. The warehouse is located at 20 S. Havana St., Suite 210, Aurora, CO 80012.
WeeCycle is proud to walk alongside caregivers, case workers and families to restore dignity for those struggling to provide for their families by connecting them to essential supplies such as formula, a safe place for their baby to sleep, a stroller so they can access public transportation and so much more.

After Nov. 20, all baby gear donations will need to be brought to the WeeCycle warehouse during regular collection hours. Please be sure to check the website for holiday scheduling.

WeeCycle also has numerous volunteer shifts available for community members that would like to help process and/or distribute donations. Sign up at weecycle.org/volunteer.

Denver Deals: Thanksgiving Deals and tickets to Disney’s Strange World

I love a good Ugly Sweater party or just to feel a bit more festive. I was so excited when I was sent a Holiday Camo skirt from Shinesty! It is so cute, I have a couple of different things I plan to wear it to already – but I may just wear to work one day,  just because. They have holiday-themed suits, dresses, and pajamas and they even have underwear so if you want to keep your holiday festivity a bit more…private.  

Strange World Movie. Explore the adventures beyond our world in Disney’s #StrangeWorld, only in theaters on November 23. Mile High Mamas wants to send you and your family to an advance screening on Monday, November 21, at 7 p.m. in #Denver to see it before anyone else! Just click the link to enter to win: https://forms.gle/zLmcrxATgYQ1z27p6 Be sure to list “Mile High Mamas”when asked where you heard about the contest. Winners will be notified via email by 11/18.

Thanksgiving in Denver. Thanksgiving is upon us so don’t miss our guide to where to eat your Thanksgiving dinner in Denver 2022. Also, if you have not used the Ibotta App, you can get your Thanksgiving Dinner completely free. Download these offers to your Ibotta account and then pick them up at Walmart or Target – Butterball 3 lb Turkey, Bob Evans Original Mashed Potatoes 24 oz, Jiffy Corn Muffin Mix 8.5 oz, McCormick Gravy Mix 0.87 oz, Kuner’s Green Beans OR Ocean Spray Cranberry Sauce. This is a rebate.

Thanksgiving to Go. We almost always have Thanksgiving at my sister’s house. She knows not to have it at mine. And she’s so suspect of my cooking skills I often get asked to bring ice or salad. But I do love leftovers. Instead of cooking on my own I might just to a Thanksgiving to go this year. You do have to order ahead. Here are some of the best ones:

·         Boston Market – turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, stuffing, rolls, apple pie or pumpkin pie for $139.99. This serves up to 12 people.

·         Cracker Barrel – two turkey breasts, cornbread dressing, gravy, cranberry relish, choice of two ‘sides’, sweet rolls, pumpkin pie and pecan pie for up to ten people cost $154.99

·         Sprouts – turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, kale and spinach, gravy, sauce, brioche rolls for up to eight people. Cost is $85.99

·         King Soopers – turkey, green bean casserole, sweet potato souffle, mashed potatoes, dressing, gravy, roles and pumpkin pie to serve eight people. Cost $80.

·         Safeway – turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy, cranberry sauce and rolls. Serves eight people. Cost $80. (a turkey breast dinner for two people is just $40).

·         Whole Foods – turkey, green beans with shallots, mashed potatoes, stuffing, gravy and cranberry orange sauce for four people is $109.99

Holiday Fun in Denver. We just posted two lists as long as Clark Grizwold’s string of lights, of all the fantastic ways you can meet Santa and experience holiday lights throughout Denver. Also, don’t miss the  Ultimate Guide to the Holiday in Denver Denver’s Best Holiday Markets and Craft Fairs, our Colorado Holiday Gift Guide with 50+ ideas and Denver’s 7 Best Christmas Tree Farms. Don’t forget to give back this holiday season; check out these 15 holiday toy drives in Denver

Dominos Half Price. In our house, we always have such a hard time deciding what to make on the days leading up to Thanksgiving. We have ordered Chinese food or gotten hamburgers – because they were easy and someone else was doing the cooking. But we might reconsider this year and get a Domino’s pizza. The week of November 14-20, they are offering pizza at 50% off (offer available online or on app).

Black Friday. We are already gathering some of the best deals for Black Friday. Some stores are offering early Black Friday pricing (hello Target and JC Penney with some deals now and Walmart saying started already). If you know what you want to get someone, buy it now. While we may not have the same supply chain issues that we did in the heat of the pandemic, it still may become an issue this year.

Ski Season. Typically, Thanksgiving weekend is the last time to buy season tickets for the ski season. Several areas have opened already so you can buy your pass and use it right away!  Keystone has planned the family-friendly Winter Carnival and the Lighting of River run on Saturday, November 26. The event features free live holiday music, face painting, a photo booth and enjoy free cookies, cocoa and a visit with Santa. The Magic culminates in the lighting of the tree in the heart of River Run Village.