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Fall in love with Denver again…with a little help from your local guidebook author

Mindy Sink is the author of the guidebook Moon Denver, a co-author of Colorado Organic: Cooking Seasonally, Eating Locally and has written extensively for The New York Times. Learn more about Mindy at

What to do when family and friends with kids visit our dear Mile High City?  It’s a question so many of us moms ask–whether it’s just to make fun for our own family or entertain the guests.

As the author of Moon Denver, a Moon Handbooks guidebook, I should be totally prepared for this. And I am, as long as I keep my guidebook nearby with pages earmarked for the many possibilities.

My brother-in-law and his family will be joining us for Spring Break this year and this means I’m planning now so that we can keep our 4-year old happy along with her 11, 10 and 6-year old cousins who have never been to Colorado before.

So here’s a look at what I have in mind and a peek at just how handy my guidebook can be to other families.

The “Excursions” chapter of my Denver guidebook was the place to start since we needed to plan in advance. Since this family of five is driving out from Wisconsin to spend a week with us, we want to keep the driving to a minimum during their stay. “Excursions” lists a handful of wonderful places to visit less than a two-hour drive from Denver. We may do a daytrip to Boulder and Eldora for skiing, then we are reningt a cabin up in Estes Park for a few days. This gives the kids a mountain experience without the highway driving and lots of hiking and wildlife viewing opportunities.