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Events: Jefferson County Fair, Back-to-School Fest and More

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/
Denver County Fair. This annual event Aug. 9-11 celebrates the creativity and personality of Denver, with events, exhibitors, blue ribbon competitions and more. This year they have 14 interlocking indoor pavilions, each with its own exhibitors, vendors, stage demonstrations, entertainment and open competitions. The super-popular Kids Pavilion will expand to include the 4-H Pavilion, and also look for their bigger indoor playground area – wwth more bounce houses and inflatables. Be sure to go to denvercountyfair.org for pricing and hours.
Pepsi Back-to-School Fest. Aquafina, Sam’s Club, Walmart, and the City of Denver want to help your kid(s) be ready to go back to school!  Join the KS107.5 street team at the Denver Coliseum on Saturday, Aug. 10, from 9 a.m. to noon for the third annual Back to School. In the first two years of this event, over 20,000 children received school supplies in a fun environment. www.redrocksonline.com
Arvada’s 2nd Saturday Street Festival. Summer evenings in Olde Town Arvada will again come to life at the 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
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.

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.

Air Force Football’s Kid’s Day. The Air Force football team will host its annual Kid’s Day on Saturday, Aug. 17, beginning at 10 a.m. in Falcon Stadium. The day begins with a live practice at 10 a.m. followed by the performance from the Air Force cheerleaders/dance team. The autograph/photo session begins approximately at 11:45 a.m. and goes until 1 p.m. Fans can sign up for Kid Force and will have an opportunity to wear and be photographed in an Air Force uniform and helmet between 10 a.m. and the start of the autograph session. In addition to the on-field activities, the Air Force athletic department will also be offering an exclusive, one day only pre-sale of Notre Dame game tickets for those in attendance at Kid’s Day. www.goairforcefalcons.com

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.

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

Taste of Colorado. A Labor Day tradition in Denver, Taste of Colorado not only has more than 50 of Colorado’s favorite food establishments and 280 Marketplace booths but loads of family-friend events. Featured acts, including Wayne and Wingnut’s “Red Hot Chili Puppets” Comedy Ventriloquist, Bekah Smith’s One-Woman Circus Adventure, and Mr. Kneeel’s Hip Hop for Families, are set to appear on the Comfort Dental KidzStage. Children and adults can stay busy for hours with carnival rides, games, educational exhibits, and more. The four-day, free admission, food, music, and entertainment Festival will take place Labor Day weekend, Aug. 30  through Sept. 2, in Downtown Denver’s Civic Center Park. www.atasteofcolorado.com

The KidZone presented by MIX 100 is a family-friendly area offering play equipment and table tennis. There will also be a great variety of free, hands-on craft activities for children of all ages, presented by 101.9 WAY-FM. KidZone hours are 11:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Fri., Aug. 30; and 10:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sat., Aug. 31 through Mon., Sept. 2.

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.

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/2013/07/30/events-9/#sthash.1IMLN7LG.dpuf