Colorado Parent April 2021

Page 1

April 2021

Special Needs Resources Inside!

Growing Great Families Since 1986

Our Pet Rescue Story

Colorado Families Honor Their Furry Companions 24 Nontoxic Products for Your Family and Home Help Your Child With Autism Get Comfortable With Change Make this Sweet Spring Wreath

91 Ideas for Family Fun



We believe education IS ABOUT MORE THAN


Now Enrolling Pre-K to 9th Grade We know that assessment is a valuable way to determine what students have mastered and where they need extra support, but we are intent on freeing our students from the stress of high-pressure testing. Through individualized instruction, our teachers continually assess each student’s progress and address individual needs throughout the year – keeping high-stakes standardized testing to a minimum. When children learn for learning’s sake, in safe environments catered to their continued success, they never lose their love for discovery. Schedule a tour to learn more. Mayfair - Park Hill - Central Park



Aren’t Enough PA R E N T L I K E A P R O Search for easy at home craft ideas! Plus, online learning resources for every age, new ways to use imagination, creative ways to get your kiddo up and moving—and a whole lot more! DON’T MISS THIS! YOU CAN NOW READ THE FULL ISSUE OF COLORADO PARENT ONLINE.

  



CONTENTS April 2021 advertising



Ways to help your child with autism become more comfortable with change.

How Colorado families and rescue animals enrich each others' lives.


















Animal Encounters at Denver Zoo




Lessons Learned

Dollars and (Good) Sense

Books about Pet Care and Training

on the cover


Can Pets and Allergies Coexist?

Make Your Own Spring Wreath

Clean Home, Safe Home

Father To Father: When Your Son Has Special Needs


Hucking Discs Across Colorado

18 Make this Sweet Spring Wreath | 20 Nontoxic Products for Your Family 28 Help Your Child With Autism Get Comfortable With Change 32 Our Pet Rescue Story | 37 91 Ideas for Family Fun

Colorado Parent | April 2021

Camp Showcase



The latest tips and news on




CALENDAR OF EVENTS Our monthly roundup of local events, featuring virtual and in-person activities around town.

Cover: Getty Images.

Illustration: Getty Images. Calendar: Arapahoe Libraries.


On the Web

Colorado Parent Online

Allergy testing and treatment may be the key to helping your family thrive this spring.

8 Ways To Celebrate Easter at Home Being homebound doesn’t have to make your holiday any less special.

5 Finds for Your Furry Friend Spoil your family pet with these cool products.

Don’t Forget to Spring Clean These Spots Make home your happy place by tidying up these unexpected places.




Colorado Parent | April 2021



Sign up for our E-NEWSLETTER at

Allergies, Easter, cleaning: Getty Images.

The Battle With Seasonal Allergies

April 2021 |


From the Editors

What We Learned…




Who rescued whom? It’s a question so many Colorado families ponder when it comes to their pets. During the pandemic they were at our sides with love and companionship, or they came into our lives for the first time. This month we are honoring our beloved buddies. Read the adoption, foster, and rescue stories we gathered on page 32.

EDITORIAL Editor Deborah Mock Senior Associate Editor Kara Thompson Editorial Assistant Anna Sutterer Copy Editor Lydia Rueger ADVERTISING SALES Advertising Director Brigette Swartz Account Manager Hilary Angel

Leftover egg cartons? The kids can turn them into a colorful spring wreath. Page 18

PRODUCTION Art Director Heather Gott




Disc Golf This laid-back sport gets the family outside and doesn’t cost a lot. Denver also happens to be one of the top 5 U.S. cities for disc golfing. Find out where to play on page 46.

Say goodbye to chemical-laden household products. Discover cleaner, safer alternatives for your family on page 20.

CREATIVE SERVICES Creative Services Director Carly Lambert Print Production Manager Megan Skolak Lead Graphic Designer Chelsea Conrad Digital Advertising Manager Shundra Jackson Graphic Designer Caitlin Brooks Production Coordinator D'mitrius Brewer MARKETING Director of Marketing Piniel Simegn ADMINISTRATION Billing and Collections Manager Jessica McHeard DISTRIBUTION & CIRCULATION Audience Development Manager Caitlin Kittrell Printed by Publication Printers Please recycle this magazine.

CAN’T WAIT The Denver Zoo is relaunching their Animal Encounters experiences. We can’t wait to meet-and-greet some of our favorite zoo residents. Page 14


YOU SAID IT By far, being my son's dad has been one of the most extraordinary experiences of my life. —-Kevin Moore, father to a son with multiple disabilities. Read his story on page 24.

Share your feedback and ideas! Email us at


5280 PUBLISHING, INC. 1675 Larimer Street Suite 675, Denver, CO 80202 P (303) 832-5280 | F (303) 832-0470 Visit us online at

Colorado Parent | April 2021

Colorado Parent is published monthly by 5280 Publishing, Inc. Please note that the advertisements in this magazine are paid for by the advertisers, which allows this magazine to be free to the consumer. Limit of one free copy per reader. Additional copies can be purchased for $5.00 per issue. Call (303) 320-1000 to request additional copies. Unless specifically noted, no advertisers, products, or services are endorsed by the Publisher. Editorial submissions are welcome. Colorado Parent (ISSN 1937-1020) ©2020 5280 Publishing, Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or part without written permission is prohibited.

Disc golf: Getty Images.

Things that inspired this issue, and what our editors discovered along the way.

Rocky Mountain Theatre for

2021 Summer Camps In Denver & Boulder

Outdoor & Indoor Camps


ages 5-9

• Winnie the Pooh • Charlotte's Web • Alice in Wonderland • Wizard of Oz & more!

CCD’s Studio Company presents


Streaming on Saturday, May 15 at 2pm MST, or watch On-Demand through Tuesday, May 18 Dancers have continued to thrive during this historic time because they know how to PIVOT – quickly, fiercely, and with creative power. Cozy up on your most favorite seat and join us for an afternoon of world premiere dance films featuring the work of four incredible choreographers: Tilman O’Donnell Caili Quan Cameron Terry Dominic Walsh

Learn more at or 303.466.5685

ages 8-18

• Les Miserables • Addams Family • Descendants • She Kills Monsters

& more!

"Youth Theatre At Its Best!" 8:1 student staff ratio, full production elements, professional venues, & summer camp fun.

Save $50-$100 by April 30!

303.245.8150 April 2021 |



Discover the world of plants through art, science and education. Access to the new galleries in the Freyer – Newman Center included with admission. Get tickets today at

Ricks Center Located on the University of Denver campus, Ricks Center is a school dedicated to gifted children. »

Preschool to eighth grade


Curriculum designed around the whole child


Flexible, differentiated curriculum


Active, engaged, hands on learning


Designated time to pursue questions and interests


Low student to teacher ratio


Teachers who know, understand, and care deeply about gifted education and each individual student

A HOMESCHOOL PROGRAM Suited for Your Child TWO ROADS CHARTER SCHOOL partners with K-12 homeschool families offering a supplement to the education their child is receiving at home. We offer both core and elective courses with small class sizes led by highlyqualified, caring teachers. As a 21st Century School, our teachers work to provide engaging lessons that emphasize critical thinking, collaboration, creativity, and communication. Littleton Campus: 720-425-6163

Arvada Campus: 303-423-3377

April 2 April 23, 24 & 25

May 2

TICKETS $20 – $25

For more information BALLET

Email or Call 303.871.3715 to learn more!


Colorado Parent | April 2021 303-945-4388


Photo Getty Images.

Dollars and (Good) Sense Along with the annual tax filing deadline, April is National Financial Literacy Month, making it an ideal time to talk to kids about money skills. It’s an important conversation; according to a survey from the National Financial Educators Council, financial illiteracy cost Americans more than $415 billion in 2020. One handy tool to teach kids about money is the BusyKid app,, which combines the age-old notion of household chores with a modern-day twist. The app allows parents to allot and pay for age-appropriate chores and allowances. Kids can then spend, donate, save and invest their money, including donating to charities and investing in real-world stocks.

Certified financial planner and BusyKid creator Gregg Murset offers tips on what parents can teach kids about personal finance, especially during the COVID era. BE BALANCED Each time your child earns an allowance or receives money as a gift, try targeting 50 percent for spending, 30 percent for saving, 10 percent for investing, and 10 percent for charitable donations. MONEY IS DIRTY COVID-19 helped us realize the germs that are spread through actual dollars and cents. Money can carry viruses and bacteria, so spend some time moving your child toward

technology, which provides touchless paying, online shopping, and secure debit/credit cards. SAVE FOR EMERGENCIES; INVEST FOR THE FUTURE One study from the Federal Reserve shows that many Americans have less than $400 in savings, clearly not enough to cover an emergency like what happened when the world shut down a year ago. Show your kids how to open a savings account, and make a plan to add to it. This will serve as a “rainy day fund” to provide peace of mind as well as a reminder of how they can invest to grow financially. —Kelly Smith

April 2021 |


Good to Know

Organizing: Host Homes. Koda portrait: West & Willow. Koda: Kara Thompson. TACT: Danny Combs.

Local Nonprofit Featured on Mike Rowe’s Returning the Favor Facebook show Denver-based organization TACT (Teaching the Autism Community Trades) proves just how right things can go for a young person who’s been diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD); the key is playing to one’s strengths. That’s how founder Danny Combs built the organization, which teaches young people with ASD technical trades. Combs watched his son, Dylan, excel in conceptualization and building 3D objects. Knowing others in the Autism community have similar gifts, Combs started TACT as a way to guide his son and others into the workforce. The resulting community and positive change in many people’s lives got the organization and Combs recognition from Mike Rowe’s Returning the Favor Facebook show. “The idea of putting together a nonprofit inspired by your son isn’t probably the path that a lot of people would take,” said Combs on the episode. “But I want [Dylan] to see that it was all for him and all for our community and it’s because it's because we love him and value him. All of this is worth it for the kids in our community, that we’re giving them something they’ve deserved for a long time.” TACT has workshops and a career track in auto mechanics, through which Combs says students learn a variety of mechanical skills. They’ve been working on old and vintage cars and selling them to support future student efforts. Returning the Favor offered to help by donating two vintage cars to work on, plus $10,000. Combs was genuinely surprised to be honored by Rowe, whose S.W.E.A.T. Pledge (Skill and Work Ethic Aren’t Taboo) hangs in the TACT lobby. Watch the heartwarming episode at —Anna Sutterer


Colorado Parent | April 2021

3 Spots To Declutter This Spring The pros at Host Homes, a new Colorado-based organizing and styling company, share their best tips for decluttering spaces in your home that are often forgotten. THE FRIDGE Finding snacks and reaching for ingredients is a lot easier when your fridge is in order. “Our go-to fridge organizers are the clear storage bins from The Container Store since you can see exactly what you’re working with in your fridge at all times,” says Kelsey Thompson, co-founder of Host Homes. She also says it’s smart to place easy-to-reach snack bins filled with things like yogurt, string cheese, and juice boxes on a low shelf for kids. “This way they can easily grab a healthy treat!” UNDER THE KITCHEN SINK Home clean-up will be quick, efficient, and less frustrating if you know what’s under your sink.

Honor Your Furry, Feathered, Finned, or Scaly Family Member Saying goodbye to a pet is never easy, but you can honor them by creating a West & Willow Pet Portrait. The process is seamless—just upload your favorite picture of your pet and West & Willow creates, frames, and ships a print you’ll want to hang front and center in your home. $60 and up,

“We love creating designated zones for cleaning products so you can clearly see your inventory and know when you need a refill,” says Aubrey Troeger, co-founder of Host Homes. Another way to control the clutter is to buy multi-purpose products rather than separate cleaners for different finishes. BOOKSHELVES To deter your kids from stuffing toys in bookshelves, Troeger recommends decluttering and getting rid of unused items. Then include your kids in the sorting process, which will help them feel more in control and will teach them where everything is supposed to go. One fun (and aesthetically pleasing) way to sort things: Color code them. “We love sorting things by category and color. In this case, making a rainbow of books could be a motivator for kids to put them back where they belong,” says Thompson.




ANYONE WHO IS UP FOR AN ADVENTURE, should have the chance to pursue it. In Clear Creek County, exploring at elevation is part of the Colorado way. From heading out on a historic wagon trail to exploring a gold mine, Clear Creek County is an adventure-filled stop that encourages people with disabilities to seek out the classic high country experience. We found five high altitude ways to explore—and a few spots to recharge—in Clear Creek County, Colorado that make mountain adventures inclusive to all abilities. 1 HIT THE TRAIL: Exit I-70 to the Town of Empire where you’ll find the original wagon route that’s begging to be explored. The PAW (Partners for Access to the Woods) Trail takes off for a 481-foot natural surface hike which includes a few steep grades and interpretive features including kiosk maps with mini versions of the elevation changes for visitors to explore with their hands. Whether you are hiking or rolling, this wheelchair-accessible trail also includes special textured sections that allow hikers with visual impairments to gauge the distance and enjoy the trail. 2 SUMMER CAMP VIBES: Cabins, crafts, swimming... the full summer camp experience is available for children (and adults) with disabilities at Rocky Mountain Village Camp, an Easterseals Colorado camp. This 220-acre overnight camp is located in Empire and is fully accessible. It was developed to not just accommodate campers with a diverse spectrum of disabilities—but to cater to them. Good news: Summer 2021 programming is on! 3 A SPOT AT THE LOCAL FISHING HOLE(S): Clear Creek ripples through the County and is home to rainbow trout, brown trout, and brook trout. Drop a line in the water from bankside wheelchair-accessible fishing piers along Clear Creek at Philadelphia Mill Site Park or the Courtney Ryley Cooper Park. Settle in lakeside beside Grandma & Grandpa’s Fishing Pond at Mt. Evans Trout Fishing to try to nab a rainbow trout on your hook. The pond is stocked, and you can reserve a grill to cook up your fresh catch for lunch. Don’t be surprised if you catch a glimpse of reindeer when you’re trying to catch a fish. There’s a few roaming the property and might stop by your picnic!

4 DISCOVER THE GOLD RUSH: Clear Creek County’s adventures are rooted deep in history. It’s home to the start of the mid-1800s Colorado Gold Rush. Journey back in time with a tour of the Phoenix Gold Mine which opened in 1875. Before you head underground for a mine tour or try your hand at gold panning, let a team member know if your family needs any special accommodations. If you’d rather take in the days gone by from above ground—and with a stunning mountain view—it’s “all aboard” the Georgetown Loop Railroad at Georgetown, Colorado’s Historic Mining & Railroad Park. With wheelchair-accessible coach and parlor cars, this train ride is an adventure for all ages and abilities. 5 ASK FOR A BIG ADVENTURE: If you or your child has an adventure on their to-do list, don’t be afraid to ask the outfitters in Clear Creek County. Whether it’s taking a 4-wheelin’ UTV up above treeline, flying through the trees on a zipline, or taking on the rapids of Clear Creek, local adventure businesses want to make it work for visitors with all abilities. So, if you want to know what’s possible for your unique abilities, please ask. * REFUEL & RECHARGE: Whether it’s for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, the local Clear Creek County restaurants, breweries, and cafés have the menus to satisfy every hungry adventurer. Colorado foodie favorites like Beau Jo’s Pizza in Idaho Springs and Guanella Pass Brewery in Georgetown provide the eats explorers need and have wheelchair access. If an overnight stay is in the plans, but you’d rather not stay in the Great Outdoors, opt to rest for the evening at the wheelchair-accessible Aspen Cabin in Lawson Adventure Park & Resort or one of the five ADA-accessible rooms at the new Microtel in Georgetown, which opened in January 2021.

HOPE TO SEE YOU ALL SOON: Needless to say, one visit won’t be enough to experience everything Clear Creek County has offer. Be sure to keep your eye on the Mighty Argo Mill & Tunnel that is planning to debut a 1.2-mile cable car line that will hoist visitors of all abilities up more than 1,300 feet to breathtaking views of the Rocky Mountains.

If you would like to learn more about what Clear Creek has to offer, please visit VISITCLEARCREEK.COM/ADVENTURE4ALL

Good to Know | Let’s Go

Giraffe feeding: Jamie Siebrase. Sloth: Denver Zoo. Boots: Peter Dazeley /Getty Images.


Animal Encounters at Denver Zoo By Jamie Siebrase VIBE: Wildly educational DRIVE TIME: Located in downtown Denver, on the outskirts of City Park TIP: The 30-minute encounter ranges in price from $150 to $200 per group (not including zoo admission). While most encounters are open to adults and kids age six and up, participants must be at least 12 to meet a camel. Spring has sprung just in time for the relaunch of Denver Zoo’s “Animal Encounters” experience, an immersive meet-and-greet with the site’s most social boarders. FEED THE GIRAFFES My family’s behind-thescenes animal encounter started below a large feeding platform, with educational facts about the world’s tallest living land animal—giraffes. We learned how giraffe feedings work, then a trainer led us up a staircase while three giraffes sauntered toward their feeding platform. Dobby, Kipele, and Heshimu seemed almost as excited as my boys, and after snapping way too many photos, even I couldn’t resist the opportunity to feed Dobby a few carrots. GET CLOSE UP WITH YOUR FAVORITE ANIMAL There are plenty of additional animals to engage with, including reptiles, camel, llamas, porcupine, sloths, birds of prey, parrots, and okapi (a striped mammal commonly known as the “zebra giraffe”). Adventurous families can even meet a few of the zoo’s more social carnivores: spotted hyena, African wild dogs, and lions. No, you can’t feed the predators, but you’ll get to watch a training demonstration. There are eleven encounters to choose from, listed on the Zoo’s website.

Wear closed-toe ed shoes—they’re requir rs. nte cou En al for Anim

Giraffes in the Denver Zoo Animal Encounter could lick visitors with their 18-inch-long tongues, but humans are asked not to touch the giraffes.

CAN’T DECIDE? If you can’t decide which animals you’d like to meet, you can let Denver Zoo’s facilitators choose your adventure. During this indoor experience, families get three encounters for the price of one when they meet a bird, reptile, and mammal. Facilitators determine, day of, which of their Animal Ambassadors are feeling most social. PANDEMIC-PROOF OPERATION PLAN During the pandemic, Denver Zoo requires guests to “buy out” their encounter, meaning you’ll pay for all six of the available spots in a session. Then up to six people in your family or “quaranteam” can participate. Don’t forget to wear a mask and give the zookeepers space for social distancing.


Colorado Parent | April 2021

al Ambassadors available for a The sloth is among the many Anim

Zoo. meet-and-greet at the Denver

Chickenology: Princeton Architectural Press. Tomie dePaola’s Cats and Kittens : Holiday House. Stormy, If I Were a Dog, Walk Your Dog: Penguin Random House. Not Norman: Candlewick.

Good to Know | Read to Me


by Guojing (Schwartz & Wade, 2019)

Boulder Library Patron Services Manager Tim McClelland recommends this wordless picture book about a woman developing trust with a stray dog. Day after day, the woman tries to befriend the dog, but the dog runs away. A storm finally forces the two together, and a trusting bond of friendship forms.


Books about Pet Care and Training By Lydia Rueger

Not Norman

by Kelly Bennett; illustrated by Noah Z. Jones (Candlewick Press, 2005)


by Barbara Sandri, Francesco Giubbilini, and Camilla Pintonato (Princeton Architectural Press, 2021)

Learn everything you need to know about the fast-growing hobby of backyard-chicken ownership with this fun and informative encyclopedia. You’ll learn about chicken origins, breeds, and anatomy, as well as the basics of chicken care through colorful illustrations.

With all the changes in the past year, pets remain a stable force of unconditional love for many families. (“What pandemic? And who cares, anyway?” all the pets would say.) After your pets get all the walks, snuggles, and ball tosses they need, read these books with your kids at the end of the day.

When a little boy gets Norman the goldfish as a pet, it’s not what he had in mind. He sets out to trade Norman for a “better” pet—one that can run and catch. The boy cleans Norman’s bowl and takes him to school, music practice, and the pet store with the intent of trading him. Along the way, the boy discovers that Norman, just by behaving like only a fish can, is a pretty great pet after all.

Walk Your Dog

by Elizabeth Stevens Omlor; illustrated by Neesha Hudson (G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 2018)

Simple, sparse text walks readers through a day of a girl caring for her dog. Some ways she cares for the dog are necessary and some are fun. The illustrations show that pet care and training is hard work and often doesn’t go as planned, but at the end of the day, she simply loves her dog.

Tomie dePaola’s Cats and Kittens by Tomie dePaola (Holiday House, 2019)

If I Were a Dog

by Joanna Cotler (Philomel, April 27, 2021)

A girl imagines what it would be like if she were a dog, and realizes that many of her human emotions are also what dogs feel: I might look big, but I’d feel small. It’s sure to help your kids understand one another’s differences and emotions, and remember that they are loved no matter what, while learning to understand the family dog, too.

A multi-award-winning author and illustrator of more than 270 books before his death in 2020, dePaola gives cat-loving kids a wide range of resources for pet ownership. Find care and feeding information, trivia, and instructions to make cat toys, alongside dePaola’s signature illustration style.

Find more books about pet care at

April 2021 |


Good to Know | Solutions

Can Pets and Allergies Coexist? A parent, an allergist, and a pet adoption service weigh in on the best way to choose—and live with—a pet when a family member is allergic. By Courtney Drake-McDonough

Children, highlight, dog: Getty Images.

THE ANIMAL ADOPTION SERVICE SAYS… “Talk to your physician [before you begin your pet search] to know what to avoid. Then contact your local animal shelter and work with them to help find a pet that might be a good fit for your family. The Dumb Friends League recommends bringing in everyone in the household who will come in contact with the animal. If you adopt a pet and it doesn’t end up working out, it’s OK to bring them back to the shelter. Another great option to consider is fostering a pet to see what types of animals might work best for your family.” Joan Thielen, Public Relations Manager, Dumb Friends League

THE ALLERGY DOCTOR SAYS… “Reactions can sometimes be quick and patients will know right away if they’re going to have symptoms around an animal. Other times, it can take weeks to months. There are very few patients with animal allergies who cannot own a pet — we just need to identify the allergen and proceed with the appropriate therapy, whether that’s medication, allergen immunotherapy, or a combination of both. Allergen immunotherapy, also known as “allergy shots,” is a process where the patient is injected with allergens and, over time, their allergic response decreases and their symptoms improve. For most patients, their allergic reactions can be eliminated entirely and the effect can be long-lasting. Some breeds of animals are labeled as “hypoallergenic” due to the fact that they shed less. This may or may not make a difference and patients can still have allergic reactions to hypoallergenic animals.” Dr. Ryan D. Buckley, Colorado Allergy and Asthma Centers


Colorado Parent | April 2021

THE PARENT WHOSE FAMILY HAS ALLERGIES SAYS… “After two failed attempts at finding the right dog for our family, we didn’t think it was going to be possible. We had been around goldendoodles, but had some reactions to them like itching/burning skin and eyes. It was just luck that we learned more about different generations of doodles and what would work well for our family. We decided we needed to get an “F2b” as we still had some issues around our friends’ dogs that were “F1” and “F1b” [nomenclature that distinguishes hybrid breeds of animals]. We worked with a breeder to find the best fit for us.” Elizabeth Bell, Denver mother of two girls and two boys, ages eight to 14


Camp Guide

SHOWCASE AF Sports Camps

Camp Invention

Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs - With 20+ sports to choose from, AF Sports Camps is the ultimate sports camp experience! Register at

Energize your child’s creativity with the all-new Camp Invention®️ program, Recharge! This nationally acclaimed K-6 program offers all-new hands-on STEM challenges. Secure your spot and save today at!

In-person and at-home programs available! 800-968-4332 |

2169 Field House Dr USAFA, CO 80840 719-333-2116

Camp Greenwood

5801 S. Quebec St., Greenwood Village 720-838-2496 |

Camp Greenwood offers youth, ages five to 12, a way to be active and have fun. Our summer camps encourage a healthy lifestyle by providing a safe, fun, and creative environment. Their full-day includes swimming, games, sports, crafts and fun Fridays.

Colorado Conservatory of Dance

303-466-5685 |

Whether new to dance, or have danced for several years, CCD offers fun and creative summer programs for both girls and boys in a caring environment. We offer diverse programs for those ages three to 22. Hybrid, in-person and Zoom classes available.

Flour Power Kids Cooking Studios

2030 E. County Line Rd., Highlands Ranch 720-656-9405 |

Stir up a ton of fun with us during our full-day cooking camps, where campers (ages five to 12) will prepare their own snacks and lunch, conduct kitchen science experiments, and create fun themed arts and crafts. All supplies are included.

GOALS Youth River Expeditions

Gold Crown Foundation STEAM Camps

Gold Crown Foundation Sports Camps

GOALS uses a unique combination of growthfocused curriculum, inspiring mentors, and inspirational settings to help kids from grades four to 12 explore places physically and mentally that make a profound impact, but are not readily available.

Discover new interests at Summer STEAM Camp. Multiple camps are offered for youth (10–18), including animation, printmaking, robotics and more! We focus on the social and emotional development of teens through the use of creative technologies.

The Denver Nuggets Hanzlik Hoop Camp and Summer Volleyball Camp focus on sports skills development and are offered to incoming 2nd10th graders. They will also help your child build confidence, gain social skills and have fun, on and off the court.

Evergreen, CO 720-560-8056 |

Growing Gardens


Spend a week gardening, cooking, and creating on our one-of-a-kind urban farm! Learn about sustainable agriculture and ecosystems through hands-on learning. We’ll engage our senses through farm-totable cooking, art and science projects, and games.

303-233-6776 |

303-233-6776 |

Highlands Ranch Community Association

Renaissance Adventures

HRCA offers a wide variety of camps to keep kids in the South metro Denver area active and entertained all summer long! Enjoy full and half day camps with activities including outdoor adventure, sports, STEM, cooking, pottery, art, and more!

Ages six to 17 role-play heroes in award winning mythic adventures in small groups in-person & online. Campers explore compelling tales, solve mysteries and co-create adventures with unique characters, plots and diverse challenges!

303-791-2500 |

Denver, Boulder, Online | 303-786-9216

April 2021 | Camp Guide Showcase | 17

Fun & Activities


2. Use a pair of scissors to cut the individual cups and pointy centers out of the egg carton.

3. Make each pointy triangle piece into a flower by cutting a slit at each corner and then bending the “petals” outward. Round the edges of each petal with scissors. 4. Make each cup into a flower by cutting four or five slits around the edges and bending “petals” outward. You can make smaller or fringe petals by cutting more slits. Round off the edges of the petals if desired. 5. Paint the base ring green (or the color of your choice). Let dry.

Make Your Own Spring Wreath Turn an egg carton into colorful spring decor with paint, glue, and pom-poms. Created by Haeley Giambalvo for Kid Made Modern

6. Paint the flowers a variety of colors. Let dry.


• One large piece of cardboard (at least 12" x 12”) • Pencil • One large dinner plate • One small dessert plate • Scissors • Two paper egg cartons • Washable paint • Hot glue or craft glue • Pom-poms • Assorted decorative paper


Colorado Parent | April 2021

7. Glue the flowers onto the cardboard ring using either hot glue (on the low setting) or craft glue. Mix up the colors and types of flowers as you go. 8. Create colorful centers for the flowers by gluing a pom-pom in the middle of each. 9. Freehand-cut leaves from decorative paper. 10. Arrange the leaves under the flowers and glue them to the base.

Easter wreath: Haeley Giambalvo for Kid Made Modern.

1. Use the piece of cardboard to create a base for your wreath: Trace around a large dinner plate for the outside of the base, and cut out. Center the smaller dessert plate inside the base, and trace. Cut out the center to form a ring.


Camp Guide

SHOWCASE YMCA Camp Santa Maria

Sunshine House Early Learning Academy

51321 US Highway 285 Grant, CO 303-443-4474 |

Schools in Loveland, Fort Collins & Greeley

YMCA Camp Santa Maria offers a classic overnight camp experience with a focus on inclusion and community. Campers, ages 6 to 17, can kayak, paddleboard, swim, enjoy crafts, learn archery, hike and explore, build gnome homes and learn outdoor skills.

From producing a podcast to building the first space habitat, Summer Remix Adventure Camp is about living your dreams. Included are 2 academic programs designed to prepare your child for a new school year -- BOOST Math & Science and Think Stretch.

YMCA of Northern Colorado Summer Camps

YMCA of the Rockies Camp Chief Ouray

Young Americans Center for Financial Education

From nature, sports and outdoors camps to fine arts camp to traditional camps, a YMCA day camp experience offers kids the chance to become a valued part of a community, to connect and to get silly.

Nestled in the heart of the Rocky Mountains, Camp Chief Ouray has been the adventurous playground and traditional overnight camp for kids ages seven to 17. CCO provides the opportunity for independent development in a breathtaking outdoor setting.

Summer camps are a great way for young people to experience FUNancial education through awardwinning programs! Young Americans Center for Financial Education offers camps for youth who will enter 3rd to 8th grade in the 2021-2022 school year.

Camps in Boulder, Weld and Larimer Counties 303-443-4474 |

1101 County Road 53, Granby 970-887-2648 |

3550 E. First Ave. Denver 303-321-2265 |

Learn from the best. Ages 7-18. Our virtual tech camps are now available! With the hottest STEM course lineup, small class sizes, and live iD Tech-Certified rockstar instructors, your child will sharpen their tech skills and have a blast learning with new friends!


Get started at: Courses are selling out fast! Sign up today.

use code COFAM60 (Virtual Tech Camps & Academies only)

April 2021 |


Health & Wellness

Clean Home,

Safe Home By Kara Thompson


t’s not news that harmful toxins are hidden in many of our skincare products, cleaning supplies, and other household items, but it’s easier now than ever to avoid these controversial ingredients. With a higher demand for safer ingredients, cleaner product choices for you and your family are plentiful—it just takes time to learn what to look for. To help you clean up the items coming into your home, Karalynne Call, a nutritionist with a passion for better health and a mom of six, identified the four most harmful ingredients you should avoid. As far as getting started goes, she says, “I recommend working on one ingredient at a time. When you run out of a product that has one of these harmful ingredients, choose to buy a replacement next time.”

Opener: Heather Gott.


Colorado Parent | April 2021

Health & Wellness

WHAT TO AVOID NOW These ingredients—all of which health studies have linked to increased risk for early puberty, breast and testicular cancer, attention deficit hyperactive disorder (ADHD), and allergic asthma—should be avoided whenever possible. Read on to find our tried-and-true product picks, which are all free of these four questionable ingredients. Phthalates Bisphenol A (BPA)

Parabens Artificial dyes

Household + Cleaning Prep your meals with safe cookware, store them with confidence, and take care of messes with the knowledge that your product picks are safe. Free of lead and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS)—toxic fluorinated chemicals present in many pots and pans—the GreenPan 5-Piece Set was created to ensure that toxic fumes are never released during the cooking process—even if the cookware is overheated. $300,

Your current laundry detergent scent may be nostalgic, but most of the options on the market are loaded with synthetic fragrances. Enter the Branch Basics Laundry Kit, a trio including soap, a bleach-free stain remover, and a reusable laundry bottle, that leaves dirty clothes, towels, and bedding ultra fresh. $59,

Illustration: Hendry Wijayanto/Getty Images.

The EZPZ Mini Mat suctions to flat surfaces and doubles up as a bowl and placemat for little ones. The mat is made with 100 percent silicone and is dishwasher, microwave, and oven safe up to 350 degrees. Ah, mealtimes made easy. $20,

Wipe up spilled milk, sticky countertops, and messy highchair trays with the Branch Basics Concentrate. Simply dilute a small amount of the liquid with water and create your own all-purpose, glass, and bathroom cleaners. $49,

Squeak In the CLEAR glass cleaner easily removes fingerprints and makeup smudges from dirty windows and mirrors. White distilled vinegar tackles the mess while a variety of essential oils leave behind a fresh (yet safe) scent. $10,

Pair a microfiber mop with just a squirt of Squeak FLOOR ME Cleaner and your floors will start sparkling. The cleaner can be used on any type of hard surface (counters, tables, and sinks) and leaves behind a subtle pine aroma. $14,

The main ingredient in Cleancult Liquid Dish Soap? Coconut oil, which cuts through even the toughest grease on pans and dirty dinner plates. The soap is mailed in a recyclable milk carton, but you can transfer the liquid to one of the brand’s glass refillable dish soap dispensers. $10,

April 2021 |


Group of baby products: Heather Gott.

Baby + Toddler Care You want what’s best for your little cutie—these choices help make that happen. A baby bottle made from plants? Yep, you read that right. Although the actual Green Sprouts Sprout Ware Bottle is made with glass, the protective cover and travel cap are made from plant-based plastic—minus the BPA. $20,

Puree then freeze baby food in 15, 1-ounce portions by using the Green Sprouts Fresh Baby Food Freezer Tray. The flexible, food-safe silicone design allows frozen portions to release easily. Plus, the tray comes in three different colors so you can sort and organize different meals. $12,

Keep your baby’s post-bath ritual simple with the unscented Earth Mama Simply Non-Scents Baby Lotion. While the lotion is lightweight, it’s also deeply moisturizing and easy to slather on your little one from head to toe. $18,

The plant-powered Puracy Bubble Bath contains aloe and avocado extracts that are gentle on sensitive skin. French lavender blossoms are muddled with vanilla beans to give the product its fresh, floral scent. Most importantly, it creates big bubbles when held under running water. $11,


Colorado Parent | April 2021

The multi-use Primally Pure Baby Balm works wonders on diaper rashes, cracked and chapped nipples, cradle cap, and dry skin. Formulated with anti-inflammatory emu oil, the velvety balm penetrates deep into the skin to soothe and heal. It can even be used as a nourishing belly balm during pregnancy. $18,

Look after your baby’s delicate skin with the Earth Mama Baby Mineral Sunscreen. Organic red raspberry seed oil, which has the highest naturally occurring SPF value in the plant world, and organic pomegranate seed oil offer up a healthy dose of UV protection. $15,

Say goodbye to artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives. The RiseWell Natural Kids Toothpaste features a kid-pleasing “cake batter” flavor that’s made with pure vanilla extract and stevia, while minerals strengthen teeth. $12,

Free of hidden chemicals and parabens, the Honest Co. Baby Wipes will help you with all of your diaper-duty needs. The durable yet super soft wipes have a convenient pop-up dispenser that makes diapering on the go (somewhat of) a breeze. $5,

Beauty + Hygiene

The harsh Colorado sun requires year-round SPF, and it’s good to pick a sunscreen that offers protection from blue light as well (limiting exposure to blue light can help with sleep issues). The Cocokind Daily SPF offers coverage against UVA and UVB rays, pollution damage, and yes, blue light. $24,

What you put on your skin, in your hair, and near your eyes matters. When it comes to ingredients and performance, these beauty and hygiene finds are gentle on your skin and the environment. Just a dab of the vegan NakedPoppy Nourish Cream Cleanser is all you need to remove grime, sweat, and makeup from your skin. The cleanser feels buttery soft when gently rubbed in and leaves your complexion hydrated and smooth. $28,

Made with plant extracts that fade dark circles and puffiness, the Cocokind Revitalizing Eye Cream is the ideal choice for giving tired eyes some TLC. Another perk: the metal applicator soothes and cools your skin. $18,

A dry climate makes for flaky, dry lips. Sugar crystals in the Three Ships Vanilla Lip Exfoliator work to lightly scrub off dead skin while shea butter and oils drench irritated skin with some much-needed moisture. $14,

Short on sleep and trying not to look like it? The Lily Lolo Natural Vegan Mascara, which is made with sunflower wax and fruit oil, will help you look more awake. We tried it and were impressed with how well it enhanced our natural lashes. $22,

The use of carrot pigment in the Ere Perez Carrot Colour Pot makes for a natural pop of cheek color. Available in five different shades, the creamy blush can also be applied to lips and the bridge of your nose. $20,

The hypoallergenic Attitude Nourishing and Strengthening Shampoo & Conditioner is made with a powerful blend of olive leaves and grape seed oil. The duo works together to heal and hydrate even the most dull, dry strands. $10 each,

While you wouldn’t want to eat it, the luxurious Primally Pure Almond + Vanilla Body Butter was created with ingredients that are safe enough to eat. The whipped consistency feels amazing to smooth over your legs, arms, and stomach post-shower. $28,

Our expert, Karalynne Call, created her own line of safer-choice products for her clients and followers. One of our favorites? The Just Ingredients Eucalyptus Mint Magnesium Deodorant. The magnesium works to neutralize odors while vanilla and coconut oil promote a healthy pH balance. $13,

April 2021 |


Your Turn

Father and child: Getty Images.

Father To Father: When Your Son Has Special Needs The beauty of parenthood is always there—try not to miss it. By Kevin Moore


t’s said that it’s easier to talk to a stranger than it is to someone you know. Perhaps that’s why a man I met briefly at a work appointment opened up to me about his son. He had just found out his six-year-old boy had autism. The news was devastating to him, and it hit him like it would most parents. No matter how optimistic or organized you are, no one is prepared to raise a child with a disability. As parents, we have wonderful plans and expectations for our kids; they are shiny dreams filled with hope and possibilities. Any disability is hard to digest, and the larger


Colorado Parent | April 2021

and more complicated the disability—the more unknown it is—the scarier it can be. For a family, this type of diagnosis is a game changer. The man spoke at length regarding his son, about how he and his wife had suspected that something was wrong for quite some time. After all, his son was six and wasn’t talking, wasn’t potty-trained, and wasn’t playing with his toys appropriately. Still, hearing the actual diagnosis hit him like a sledgehammer. “I sat down right there and cried—and I’m not the sort of man that cries,” he explained. The

life he imagined for his young son and his family disappeared in an instant. It was replaced with the cold hard fact that his child could be with him and his wife as a dependent for life. At the very least, they would be managing and directing his life for years to come. He told me how confusing it was to figure out the next steps, and how stressed he was about finding the best services available to them. The daycare his son was in was owned by friends of the family, and they told them they would need (Continued on page 26)

Sensory Health Transforms Lives

Summer Camps

Have fun while building self-esteem, social confidence, and communication skills!

Making sense of sensation is what makes us successful!

At STAR we offer a variety of summer camps, both online and in-person, that support your child and family with daily activities that focus on the skills they need to succeed.

STAR Institute is the leading international clinic for the treatment of children, adolescents, and adults with differences in sensory processing and other conditions in which sensory challenges are common, e.g., attention deficit disorders, autism and social emotional differences.

Our programs involve movement, language development, sensory and social skills for ages 3-17. School Readiness Superhero In Training Critical Core Mighty Masterminds Bike Camp The Rebounders Teen Club Imagine Adventure Club

Our dedicated, multi-disciplinary team addresses regulation and relationships, community engagement, mental health, feeding and eating, academic/vocational success, communication and language development, through the lifespan.


Schedule your no-cost, phone consultation with a STAR Institute therapist TODAY!

Funding available through Developmental Pathways and Rocky Mountain Human Services. Call STAR for additional information. or call us at 303-221-7827

EDUCATE MOTIVATE EMPOWER Behavioral Learning Center (BLC) was created in 2007 out of a desire to help individuals with special needs become the best version of themselves. • Applied Behavior Analysis • Adaptive Skills

Dedicated to supporting children and families in Colorado since 2015

• Parent Education • Social Skills

We are a vendor of Health First Colorado and accept all major insurances. We are now accepting new clients in The Greater Denver Area. NO WAIT LIST

Visit us at Office: 720.330.2827 Fax: 303.399.6480


for individuals of all ability levels

Hopkins coaches are intricately involved with communicating with my daughter’s teachers. I am glad to have them as a part of my child’s education team. - Middle School Parent



April 2021 |


Your Turn

Father and child: Getty Images.

Introducing Summer Camp at The Behavior Exchange. Where children bloom! Summer Camp at The Behavior Exchange is the fun, safe destination for children with autism and other developmental concerns. All of our expert ABA therapy services are available, especially our popular early start program B.E.E.S. It’s designed like a kindergarten, complete with engaging group activities, music, games, and arts and crafts to help children learn important skills they’ll need in school. Our fun and effective approach to ABA therapy has proven successful for more than 20 years. See the difference we can make in your child’s life this summer.

To learn more, visit us online or just call. We can help!

720.647.8541 Boulder, CO | Plano & Frisco, TX

8197_TBE_CoParent_AD_APR21.indd 1


Feel the Beat


Feel the Beat brings the expressive world of music and dance to those who are Deaf, Hard of Hearing, with Special Needs, or for any child that would enjoy a non-competitive dancing environment.



worK shops

auto | welding | stem | electronics 26

Colorado Parent | April 2021

to find somewhere else for their son to go. (Being in the midst of a pandemic, I thought about how this makes their start even more troublesome.) Of course having just met me, he 9:45 AM had no idea that I was the father of a multi-disabled son who was turning 31. I knew his story all too well, and could relate deeply to his feelings and fears. Although every child and family is unique, I decided to reveal my son’s disabilities and offer what I had learned as a parent. “You are now his advocate,” I said. “Make friends with your Community Centered Board (CCB) representative and make them an ally. Contact the school he will be starting and ask the CCB to join you at the IEP (Individual Education Program) meetings. Find out what programs are available and confide in families who have a child with similar disabilities. Don’t be afraid to ask for help.” I dumped all of this advice on him and then realized that I was only telling him about the “business” of being a parent of a child with special needs. I could see he was really overwhelmed. I thought of my son Matt and how he loves his afternoon Dragon Fruit Iced Tea from Starbucks. The joy he gets from swimming lessons

and horse therapy. Matt and I love the Jurassic Park movies; we bonded over dinosaurs. He was young and dove in my lap the first time they appeared on screen. Matt still loves them; he has charts and dinosaur models all over his room. Although the business part—the advocate side of being a parent—is necessary, it is not where you need to live. “But the most important thing,” I quickly added, “is that I learned to never forget the great adventure it is, and will be, being his father. By far, being my son’s dad has been one of the most extraordinary experiences of my life.” I also remembered what someone who had a much older disabled child when my son was very young told me. “What I thought was my biggest tragedy turned into one of my greatest loves.” That is where you want to live, that is the place you want to make your home. Kevin Moore is the author of Christmas Stories: 7 Original Short Stories, and a children’s book, Me and My Shadow, which will be released in 2021. He is a yoga teacher, real estate appraiser, and an advanced reiki practitioner. Most importantly, he is the father of Matthew, a young man with special needs.

Give your child the skills to conquer the world. Personalized and center-based ABA therapy for children with autism under 10 years of age. • • • •

No Wait List. Start your process right away! BACB® Certified Behavior Analysts (BCBAs®) & Therapists (RBTs®) Accepts most commercial insurance plans, Tricare and Medicaid. Now Enrolling at all 8 centers in the Denver-Boulder metro

Find out if ABA therapy with Behavioral Innovations is the right step for your child and family.

720.815.3970 •

REVEL Join REVEL’s Gear Up Program this summer! Experiential learning taught in small groups that teach social relationships, employment, exploration of new interests, health and wellness, and daily living skills. Teens and Adults 14+

Contact us today at | April 2021 |


l F e x g i n b i i d l l i it y u B 5 Ways to help your child with autism become more comfortable with change

By Sarah Nannery

Opener: Getty Images.


Colorado Parent | April 2021


Mother in car: Getty Images.

s an autistic mom with an autistic child, I can tell you that things get pretty rigid in my house. If we can’t find my five-year-old’s brush for his hair one night, we are nearing meltdown territory. If my work-athome space is disturbed by too many people moving too many things around without my knowledge, I cannot concentrate. Rigidity is good for some things. Certain rules should definitely be rigid, like no hitting. Some values are set in stone, such as respect for one another. But all things in life cannot be static. Most of life requires flexibility, adaptability, and not only a willingness to change, but also the skill to make those changes work for the best. As the parent of someone who has autism, it can be daunting to think about how my child is going to interact with a world that changes all the time, as he grows more independent. What we as parents have to keep in mind, though, is that our autistic children are already much more adaptable than we realize. By the time I, or my son, get out of bed in the morning, for instance, we have already consciously adapted to at least five unwelcome changes: 1) Shifting from asleep to awake; 2) The painful change from darkness to light; 3) Accepting that it is time to get out of bed, as much as we’d rather not; 4) Shifting from a horizontal orientation to vertical; and 5) The full-body temperature change of throwing off the covers. It’s like stepping into a torture chamber every morning. Take those few moments of waking up and multiply that by the hundreds of interactions and transitions throughout any given day, and now you are beginning to get a sense of how adaptable I, and my son, have to be. Before you worry about helping your child become more flexible, understand that they are probably already more flexible than you are. You may not realize it, because you may not experience the world the same way they do. That means you can give yourself grace—and give your child grace—and know that they are trying as hard as they can, even when it may seem to you like they’re not trying at all. With that in mind, here are some of the things that have helped me and my son the most in learning to increase our flexibility: TALK IT THROUGH (EVEN IF THEY DON’T TALK BACK) This may seem like a simple start, but it is essential. Even if your child with autism is nonverbal, that doesn’t mean they don’t understand you when you speak. Tell your child what is happening. Tell them what is changing and why. Tell them anything you can about the change, even if you think they won’t understand. Whether they participate in the talk or not, the fact that you are taking a moment to explain it to them will go a long way.

For example, I picked up my son from school one day. Our normal routine was that we would walk home together, stopping at the corner deli for a snack. But on this day, I needed to pick him up in the car and take him to the grocery store with me. That’s a big change. So, when I met him at school, I got down to his level and talked him through what was about to happen, knowing that his initial reaction was going to be negative. I told him we had to have a change for getting home that day, and I watched him immediately begin to stim (self-stimulate) by rubbing the side-tag on his shirt, like he always does when trying to self-regulate. He was clearly nervous about the change, starting to stomp and say “no,” until I kept us slowly moving through the next few steps. KEEP A CONSISTENT FRAMEWORK Knowing how many things my child experiences that I don’t even notice (he can tell when a puzzle piece is stuck under his rug), means that when a specific need for adjustment arises, I try to keep as much of everything else the same as possible for him. Of course, he is still young, so I still control many

of the factors that surround his life. One day he will need to learn how to manage lots of changes at once on his own. But for now, I think of it like I’m running a practice arena for him, and I try to balance things out so that he can first learn to deal with one change at a time. Using the school pickup example, I tried to keep the other major elements of our routine in place. Because we would normally have some time to ourselves talking as we walked, I made sure to spend several one-on-one minutes before we left the school, just talking to him about his day. Because we would normally get a snack from the deli, I made sure to have one of his favorite snacks in my bag that he could eat in the car. These may seem like small details, but it’s these little things that help sustain forward momentum through a larger change. OFFER REASONABLE REWARDS Dealing with a big (or sometimes even a small) change takes a lot of energy. It takes more energy for me or my son to get through a typical day than it does for people who don’t experience the world the way we do. The world

April 2021 |


Mother and child: Getty Images.

hurts. It’s also amazing and beautiful—if it was just all hurt all the time, I would never get out of bed. I need the amazing stuff to help me keep going, to give me something positive to look forward to. For your child who is struggling with a change, you can help them learn to reward themselves for getting through it as smoothly as possible. A reward need not be extravagant. These can be small rewards like five extra minutes of play time before bed. In the case of the after-school grocery errand, I might have in my back pocket the option of offering him a fun snack from the store, instead of the one I brought. Something like: “How about this: Because we have to do this special thing today, how about you can pick out your own special snack when we get to the store?” Then, of course, set whatever parameters you need to in advance to make sure the special snack is one you will approve. GIVE THEM A REASON - THE REAL ONE, IF YOU CAN Many people with autism operate from a base of logic. Of course, the world is far from logical. Even so, there’s often a logical reason why a change must occur; even if that reason is simply that “change happens” and we have to learn how to deal with it when it does. A child with autism might appreciate having a clear reason for the change. If I don’t know why someone is telling me to do something, sometimes I don’t even hear them telling me to do it. The reason


Colorado Parent | April 2021

is what compels me to spend my precious energy on one thing rather than another. Give me the real reason, and it will be worth my energy. So, for our grocery run, I explained to my son why it was important that we go to the store now. I told him we were out of milk and that I’d been working all day, so this was the only time that we could go to the store before tomorrow, when we would need the milk for breakfast. I made sure to throw in other logical reasons like the fact that we also needed steak for dinner tonight, lest he suggest that we still just walk home and pick up milk from the deli instead. BE AN EXPLICIT ROLE MODEL Your kids are watching what you do. All the time! Many autistic children, in fact, make an explicit study of their peers and caregivers, trying to learn and imitate what is considered desirable behavior. If your child sees you getting bent out of shape about a change, it may fan the flame of rigidity. If, however, they see you employ some of the same techniques you are trying to teach them, it helps drive the behavior home. You can even be overt about it—tell your child how you are feeling and what you are going to do to help get yourself through the change. You can say things like, “Oh no, that’s not what I expected. All right, let me stay calm and think about this.” Or: “Well, I really had to be flexible there and I think I did a good job. I’m going to have a nice cup of tea to help me feel better.”

Sarah Nannery and her neurotypical husband Larry co-authored What To Say Next: Successful Communication in Work, Life, and Love—with Autism Spectrum Disorder (Tiller Press, 2021) which offers advice, empathy, and straightforward strategies from their own toolkit. Calling out when you demonstrate being flexible helps your child see concrete examples. Be sure to give them credit when you notice them following suit. Sarah Nannery is Director of Development for Autism Initiatives at Drexel University. She holds a master’s degree in conflict transformation, and was recently diagnosed with autism.







April 2021 |


My Pet Rescue Story How Colorado families and rescue animals enrich each others’ lives

By Anna Sutterer


Colorado Parent | April 2021

Illustrations: Getty Images.


amilies in Colorado are stepping up to provide homes for cats and dogs through fostering and adopting. In fact, Animal Rescue of the Rockies reports a 37 percent increase in adoptions from 2019 to 2020. Yet, the stories below are not just about rescuing animals and giving them second chances, the humans often needed a little rescuing, too.

The Johns Family

HUMANS: Amanda, Brian, Hannah (13), and Dylan (11) ANIMAL: April (cat, 1) HOME: Aguilar

Once there was a cat named Angel who loved her humans, especially Hannah, very much. Wherever Hannah went, Angel followed. When the Johns family moved to Colorado from Pennsylvania, they stayed in a hotel while searching for an apartment. The night before Easter of 2020, Angel got out—she’d wandered before, but always come back. This time was different. Amanda, Hannah’s mom, called the Pueblo Humane Society and made a post on Facebook, to no avail. About a week later Pueblo’s Humane Society website showed a picture of a cat that looked so similar, the family thought it must have been Angel. When the Johnses visited, they couldn’t touch the cat because of COVID-19 restrictions. Still, they filled out the paperwork and picked her up the next day. Hannah held the cat and knew then it wasn’t her beloved pet. She cried, but Brian reassured her that April, their new feline friend, would become just as much part of the family as Angel had been. It’s true. “They have been best friends ever since,” says Amanda. KID’S BEST FRIEND: “Her nickname is Kitty Kitty. April should be her nickname because she answers more to Kitty Kitty.” –Hannah

Ready to Add to your Family? Check Here: Rescue organizations including Moms And Mutts, Rocky Mountain Puppy Rescue, MaxFund, Colorado Reptile Humane Society, Animal Rescue of the Rockies. Looking for a specific breed? Search “(breed name) rescue Colorado” to find breed-specific groups such as Golden Retriever Rescue of the Rockies and Colorado Corgis and Friends. Facebook groups such as Denver Pet Adoptions and Rescue Foster Adopt Repeat Colorado are abuzz with news about animals needing a good home. Specialty programs such as the Animal Assisted Therapy Programs Colorado provides animal assisted therapy to folks of all ages and income levels, and rehomes loving rescues. Two other good resources to find pets to adopt: and

The O’Neill Family

HUMANS: Heidi, George, Elena (6), and Bryn (4) ANIMALS: Hope (dog, 5), Mayhem (dog, 4), Kodiak (dog, 2); foster cats, dogs, and a rabbit HOME: Colorado Springs Love and loss is all part of life; this lesson is what Bryn and Elena learn through fostering animals. Heidi, the girls’ mom, has volunteered with the Douglas County Canine Rescue and Humane Society of the Pikes Peak Region walking dogs, taking care of cats, and working in the surgery center. She began fostering in April 2020 as a way to involve her young daughters and teach them about treating animals with kindness and compassion. The girls have seen sick and injured animals move on to loving homes, and cared for some until they had to be put down. Whatever the situation, saying goodbye has been tough. Ultimately, though, the journeys with each foster dog, cat, and the one rabbit, have been rewarding. “I continue taking in fosters because I want my girls to respect animals and learn the responsibilities involved in owning pets,” says Heidi. “I also want them to see

Before picking up a pal, make sure everyone in your house is ready for the commitment, and knows what resources are available for support. Animal Rescue of the Rockies maintains a list of behavioral training, pet food, and medical care assistance organizations. resources-for-pet-owners

the realities of the pet overpopulation problem. I want them to know that not every dog is friendly, but with time and effort, even those that may seem helpless can be taught to trust and find loving homes.” KID’S BEST FRIEND: We can’t get puppies, they are too much work.” –Bryn

April 2021 |


An Unbreakable Bond

When I was seven years old, my parents took me to an animal shelter to pick out my first dog. I got a new best friend that day, one I’d be lucky enough to have for the next 18 years. I think we all get that one dog in life that’s just extra special—meant for us. Koda was that dog for me. Through all the changes in my life—my first heartbreak, starting college, moving across the country—Koda was a constant. I’d ask my parents to show him to me on Facetime when I lived in other states, and aside from seeing my family, he was the best part about coming back home. We had several scares of losing him as he was nearing his 23rd year of life (we adopted him when he was four). As desperately as we wanted to hold on, I felt like he told me it was time. In January 2021, my family and I said goodbye to our boy as he rested on his bed in the back of my Dad’s truck that took him for the rides he loved. It was an excruciating loss. But what I’ve learned about loving and losing Koda is that the people who have the biggest impact on us are sometimes not people at all. My first great love was my dog. He was the best companion, the highlight of all my days, the purest example of love. I’m so grateful that I got to experience this bond so early on in my life. If you’re considering adoption, take the leap. Your kids will always remember their first dog, and the bond they create together will last long after their pet is gone. –Kara Thompson


Colorado Parent | April 2021

The Hemphill Family HUMANS: Emily, Robert, Ainsley (3) ANIMALS: Zoe (cat, 8 months, current), foster cats HOME: Bennett

At just three years old, Ainsley has earned the title “mini foster mama.” She helps with feeding, caring for, and playing with all the cats and kittens that come to the Hemphill’s 49 acres. Many of the cats have special needs and a few have been feral (the Hemphills find safe barn or shop homes for these). Emily, Ainsley’s mom and a foster provider through Animal Rescue of the Rockies, says her daughter is especially helpful with kitties who are scared; they almost always gravitate to her. Robert, who says he’s “not a cat person,” helps out and snuggles everyone. A few cherished felines they’ve helped include Baloo, who came from the streets of New Mexico and was FIV (Feline immunodeficiency virus) positive; Leah, who was an anxious wreck but loved children; Zeke, who came with a broken leg; and Junior, who often refused to eat except when Ainsley encouraged him. The lessons Ainsley has learned about loving someone in need is worth the tears that come with “goodbye,” says Emily. “She always cries when they leave but tells them they have a new mama and she loves them. It’s heartbreakingly beautiful every time and makes me so proud that she’s mine.” The Hemphill’s current charge, Zoe, an eightmonth-old Manx kitten who is incontinent, will most likely never leave the family. Ainsley calls her “sister.” KID’S BEST FRIEND: “She’s stinky.” –Ainsley. That’s why she gets a lot of baths. No matter the odor, Ainsley loves to snuggle Zoe.

HOME: Firestone

kids had been working through post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) from domestic violence in a past relationship and struggling financially during the pandemic. Roman gave up in school and suffered nightmares; Jordyn hardly slept. With a new baby in the family, bringing in a dog seemed like it would be too much, until Jordyn saw Marley. The beautiful male corgi graced the page of a Facebook group and caught her attention. He might help her keep peace over the children, Jordyn thought. When Marley came home with Jordyn in September 2020, he showed signs of abuse and lack of training. But he showed so much love—hopping between the kids’ beds at night—that the Cedillos made him their official Emotional Support Animal. He is no longer scared and knows many commands, including: “Go check the kids,” and, “Nap with baby.” Adam tells Marley he's not adopted, he's just a little more cuddly then the hairless ones before him. “I wish he had thumbs to help more around the house but he does so much for our hearts,” says Jordyn.

Dogs come therapist-recommended, at least in the experience of the Cedillo family. Jordyn and her

KID’S BEST FRIEND: The kids love to see Marley in the snow; it's his favorite and he runs fast. "Him’s a low boy but not a slow boy." –Roman

The Cedillo Family HUMANS: Jordyn, Adam, Roman (9), Selah (4), Alyssa (1) ANIMALS: Marley (dog, 1)

The Knight Family HUMANS: Michele, Jacob (12), Ethan (10) ANIMALS: Phoebe (dog, 10), Ella (dog, 3), Littles (dog, 1), foster dogs HOME: Frisco It started with one dog adoption through Animal Rescue of the Rockies. Then, when Ethan showed signs of depression at the young age of six, his mom, Michele, had the idea to foster. She took her experience volunteering—knowing how it helped her get out of her head—and applied it to the process of helping foster dogs find great homes. Now, more than 30 dogs have passed through the Knight home, and a current resident, Gya, recently populated the place with a dozen more puppies. Fostering pregnant dogs and helping with their birth is now a passion for the family. None of this happens without a few “foster failures” along the way, says Michele, who’s adopted two dogs she fostered. “But the greatest reward of all was during the birth of the [12] pups, four came out unresponsive and my son was the one who jumped in and performed CPR!” Ethan was able to save three puppies. KID’S BEST FRIEND: “Moms can be very protective, so I’ve learned to be cautious and quiet to help keep their puppies safe. The moms are like tiger moms…you mess with their babies, they’ll eat you! But Gya knows I helped save her babies, and I’m the only kid she doesn’t mind around them. The puppies love it when I lay on the floor and let them ‘puppy pile’ on me! They can be annoying little alarm clocks and I hate the smell of poop, but it’s worth it to save lives.” –Ethan

What to Expect in Adoption and Rehoming When adopting from a rescue organization, one can expect a thorough application process including questions about lifestyle and living conditions, landlord contacts if applicable, pet ownership history, and references. Many require a meet-and-greet or home visit to ensure the placement is the right fit. Finally, expect an adoption fee of up to around $500 for dogs and $300 for cats, which covers the cost of services such

as spay/neuter, veterinary exams, vaccinations, microchipping, and foster care. Oly Alexeyeva, moderator of the Rescue Foster Adopt Repeat Colorado Facebook group, reminds folks that rehoming fees of several hundred are reasonable because the animal may have been transported to the rescue center from a different state, or needed treatment for medical issues such as distemper, heartworm, and even broken bones.

April 2021 |


Global VillaGe academy Learning Through Language and Culture

NǏ HǍO! Bonjour! ¡HOLA! Privet! From Grace’s Family: We enrolled our daughter at GVA to open doors for her and to expand her mind and way of thinking that only a bilingual and multi-cultural education can. At first, it was intimidating for my wife and me as we are not bilingual, but GVA Douglas County warmly welcomed our kindergartener and us. We love the intimate feeling of the school and staff. My daughter is excited to go to school and eager to learn a language that her mom and dad don’t know. It’s been an enjoyable experience thus far!”

Our Students Learn Another Language and So Can Yours! K-8th Grade, Tuition-free, Public Charter Schools GVA Douglas County is K-5th grade.

Now Enrolling for the 2021-22 School Year Global Village Academy students become fluent and literate in English and a second world language, excel academically in core content subjects and develop 21st-century skills, including cross-cultural understanding.

Learn More About Our Schools Here!


Colorado Parent | March 2021


Calendar APRIL

Calendar | April

Our Picks For Little Ones

Opener: Arapahoe Libraries. Little Ones: Getty Images. Kiddos: The Greenway Foundation. Tweens: Janae Burris.


For Kiddos

BEAVER BONANZA April 10 See page 39

For Tweens QUEENS GIRL IN THE WORLD April 16-May 9 See page 39


15 & 20

For Teens

Imaginations take flight during Blown Away by Poetry, a virtual play and puppet show. VIRTUAL

Blown Away by Poetry

April 15, 4pm; April 20, 4:30pm. Tune in to this musical story and puppet show about Wendy Windstorm who blows away all the poems in Poetsville. After the show, Wendy will lead a short poetry workshop where you can write your own poem or share one of your favorites. Ages 5-12. Register online.


April 2021 | Colorado Parent


Calendar | April

Just Between Friends Sale: Douglas County April 1 (presale),

Calendar What’s Inside ON STAGE







HEADS UP! All events were correct as of press time, however, with rapidly changing restrictions, please phone ahead to confirm event details.

9am-8pm; April 2, 9am-4pm; April 3, 9am-5pm. Save your budget while clothing growing kids. Head to the JBF Douglas County sale to find clothing, toys, furniture, highchairs, strollers, books, games, puzzles, and more. See online for tickets, sale times, and public health and safety guidelines. Free admission, $5 community presale admission. Douglas County Fairgrounds Event Center, Castle Rock.


Just Between Friends Sale: Douglas County See April 1.


Just Between Friends Sale: Douglas County See April 1. Easter Eggstravaganza 11am. Hop over to Citizen’s Park for a free egg hunt by My Make Studio and Tilford’s Pizza; get there early and follow safety protocols and capacity limits. Spots are guaranteed for those who purchase the "Easter Bunny Special,” which includes a “Bunny Pizza” from Tilford’s and a “Bunny Cupcake” to decorate at My Make Studio. Don’t forget a basket to gather your goodies. Free entry, $20 "Easter Bunny Special.” Citizen’s Park, Edgewater.


VIRTUAL Small Steps, Giant Leap: Seasons 9-10am. Join a STEM

adventure with the Space Foundation

Discovery Center. Dress like an alien for a visit to Earth, and enjoy an activity that covers the science of seasons. Find a list of supplies needed and registration online. VIRTUAL Meet a Mini Horse

1-2pm. Visit with miniature horses Chaos and Echo, and learn more about miniature horses, their care, and what they can do. Bring your questions for a Q&A. All ages. Register online.


Just Between Friends Sale: Colorado Springs April 6, 5:30pm, April 7, 1-7pm; April 8-11, 9am-7pm. Bring your big shopping bags and head to the JBF Colorado Springs sale to find gently used clothing, toys, furniture, highchairs, strollers, books, games, puzzles, and more. See online for tickets and public health and safety guidelines. Free admission and special shopping times for teachers, first-time parents, expecting parents, grandparents, foster parents, and military. $15 presale admission April 6, $3 admission April 7, free April 8-11. Colorado Springs.

Just Between Friends Denver Children’s and Maternity Consignment Sale April 6, 3-8pm (ticketed presale); April 7, 9am-7pm (community presale); April 8, 9am-7pm; April 9, 9am-3pm; April 10, 9am-6pm; April 11, 9am-noon. Shop for gently used and new clothes and supplies at 50-90 percent off retail. Free-$20 April 6 presale, $5 April 7

Get listed!

presale, free April 8-11. Shops at Northfield, Denver. VIRTUAL Diversión en español: Centro de Artes Escénicas de Denver (DCPA) presenta Clic, Clac, Muu

3:30-4pm. Enjoy a play adapted from the book Click Clack Moo: Writing Cows by Doreen Cronin. Use your body, voice, and imagination to bring this popular tale to life. Age 5 and under. Disfruta una obra de teatro adaptada del libro Clic Clac Muu: Vacas Escritoras de Doreen Cronin como obra de teatro. Use su cuerpo, voz e imaginación para darle vida a este cuento popular. Por años 0-5. VIRTUAL Picture Book Party: International Children’s Book Day 4pm. Celebrate International

Children’s Book Day and discover great picture books to share with the young children in your life. Join Arapahoe Libraries for a survey of books by international authors and illustrators with titles set in countries around the world. For adults, parents, and caregivers of children age 8 and under. Register online. VIRTUAL Book Queeries: Tell Me How You Really Feel

4:30-5:30pm. Explore queer representation in teen fiction. Teens across the gender and sexuality spectrum are welcome to engage in fun, respectful dialogue and activities. Allies welcome. This month’s book is Tell Me How You Really Feel by Aminah Mae Safi. No pressure to read the book, just attend and hang out. Grades 6-12. Register online.


Items to be considered for the monthly printed calendar must be received at least six weeks before the month of publication. Email event information to Information cannot be accepted by phone. See our calendar online at

Just Between Friends Sale: Colorado Springs See April 6. Just Between Friends Denver Children’s and Maternity Consignment Sale See April 6.


Just Between Friends Sale: Colorado Springs See April 6.

Roll into the Just Between Friends sales across the metro area and find clothes, accessories, sporting goods, and more for growing families. April 1-11 at various locations.


Colorado Parent | April 2021

Just Between Friends Denver Children’s and Maternity Consignment Sale See April 6.

Just Between Friends: DawnEscarcega.


Calendar | April

Prarie: Scott Dressel-Martin.

song and dance. Register online.


Just Between Friends Denver Children’s and Maternity Consignment Sale See April 6. Musical Perspectives (A Music in the Galleries Experience)

Learn about the prairie and the people, plants, and animals that live or have lived on the prairie. April 10. VIRTUAL Virtual Little University: Inside the Car Mechanic 3:30-4pm. Catch a tour

inside real race cars, learn about motors, build your own car, and sing some working songs along the way with this program featuring Import Mechanics, a local car shop. Age 5 and under.


Just Between Friends Denver Children’s and Maternity Consignment Sale See April 6. Four Mile Free Day 9am-5pm. Travel back to 1859 for free. Enjoy historic demonstrations, a tour of the Four Mile House Museum, and meet many farm animals. House Museum Tours can accommodate up to 10 guests and are offered on a first-come, first-served basis. Four Mile Historic Park, Denver. VIRTUAL Mimouna 7:30-9:30pm. Mimouna is a traditional North African Jewish celebration which marks the end of Passover. This year’s Mimouna will be dedicated to Mizrachi, Sephardic, and Yemenite cultures within the Jewish heritage. Join in experiential breakout workshops focused on the theme of “A Celebration of Jews of Color.” Register online. $36.


Just Between Friends Denver Children’s and Maternity Consignment Sale See April 6.

Beaver Bonanza 10am-noon. Celebrate National Beaver Day with SPREE’s Beaver Bonanza curbside event. Families will get packaged materials and activities to do on their own. These will encourage kids to spend some time outside, but can be done inside, too. Geared toward elementary-aged kids, but can be done by all ages. Register online. Garfield Lake Park. Denver.

Family Workshop at Plains Conservation Center 11am and 2pm start times. Learn about the prairie and the people, plants, and animals that live or have lived on the prairie. Workshops include a guided exploration of the topics and a project for adults and children to create together. Designed for families with youth ages 4-10. Register online. $12 per person. Plains Conservation Center, Aurora.

Ocean Critters 1-3pm. Paul Combs from the Lake George Gem and Mineral Club offers a special exhibit of more than 60 species of sea creatures that lived in the area during the Pennsylvanian age. Look, touch, and learn. Included with museum admissions: $11.50 adult, $7.50 youth ages 5-12, free age 4 and under. Dinosaur Resource Center, Woodland Park. VIRTUAL Zumba for

Families April 10, 2pm; April 19, 4pm. Move and groove in this high energy class inspired by Latin American

April 11 and 13; 10am-5pm. Enhance your viewing experience at the Clyfford Still Museum during their new exhibition “Stories We Tell: The Collection Two Ways.” Play musical pairings by ensembles from Friends of Chamber Music on your smart device. Links will be provided when you check in. Find timed tickets online. $10 adult, $6 student and teacher, $8 seniors, $5 member guests, free members and age 17 and under. Clyfford Still Museum, Denver.


VIRTUAL Sing-Along Songs April 12, 10am; April 17,

4pm. Join Arapahoe librarians Betsy and Mary for a 30-minute sing along of your favorite children’s tunes. Dancing is encouraged. For young children and their parents or caregivers. Register online.

Family Star Party: Mars & Orion 8-8:30pm. Head to the Space Foundation Discovery Center’s outdoor telescope and get a detailed look at Mars and the Orion constellation during the new moon phase. Space Foundation Discovery Center, Colorado Springs.



Perspectives (A Music in the Galleries Experience) See April 11. VIRTUAL Diversión en español: Visita al Museo de Aviones Wings Over the Rockies 3:30-4pm. Embark on a

virtual adventure with friends at the Wings over the Rockies museum and learn about different types of airplanes. Don’t forget to bring your adventurous spirit and desire to move. Age 5 and

On Queens Girl in the Stage World April 16-May 9, ThuSat, 7:30pm; Sun, 2pm. Come along on the misadventures of bright-eyed, brown-skinned Jacqueline Marie Butler. Enjoy the conscious comedy of Butler’s journey about being uprooted from her middle-class lifestyle in 1950’s Queens, New York to her adventures in a progressive, predominantly Jewish private school in Greenwich Village. It’s all set to the soundtrack of Motown and the backdrop of the budding Civil Rights era. Find tickets online. The Aurora Fox Theatre, Aurora. Ballet Ariel’s Cinderella April 2, 2pm and 7pm, PACE Center; April 24-25, 1pm and 4pm, Lakewood Cultural Center; May 2, 3pm; D.L. Parsons Theatre. Enjoy a shortened, one act version of Cinderella, filled with the magic and romance of the original. All ages. Find tickets online. PACE Center, Parker. You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown Through April 18. Wed-Sun, evening performances at 7:30pm and matinees at 2pm. Return to the historic theater on Main Street in Littleton for a performance of this Peanuts comic-inspired musical. Find safety protocols and tickets online. Several online streaming performances available April 9-11 and 16-18. $45-$50, plus $2 ticket fee. Littleton Town Hall Arts Center, Littleton. VIRTUAL The Great Gatsby: A Radio Play April 15-May 15, Streaming online. Set against the glamour and excess of the Jazz Age, F. Scott Fitzgerald's tale of triumph and tragedy captures the disillusionment of a society obsessed with wealth and status. Listen to the radio play adaptation with original music and sound design by Zachary Andrews, performed by Andrews and Sydnee Fullmer. Tickets start at $15.

April 2021 | Colorado Parent


Calendar | April

VIRTUAL Anime Club

4:30-6pm. Invite friends, attend with siblings, and enjoy making new, likeminded friends in this group of anime enthusiasts. Play trivia, then watch a show together online. Grades 6-12.


VIRTUAL Space Foundation Discovery Center Home Study Program: Earth Day

9:30-11am. Use dirt and rocks to explore global-level concepts about volcanoes and plate tectonics. All ages. Register online. $6.

Nature At Night: Evening Nature Hike 7-8pm. Enjoy the sounds, sights, and smells of an evening walk at Aurora Reservoir. All ages. Registration required. $2, free age 2 and under. Senac Creek Nature Center at Aurora Reservoir, Aurora.


Just Between Friends Loveland/Fort Collins April 1617, 9am-7pm; April 18, 9am-2pm Shop from this large consignment sale include clothing, toys, furniture, highchairs, strollers, books, games, puzzles, and more. Take your reusable bags and wear a mask. Find a COVID19 sale guide and tickets online. Free admission passes online, $2 at the door April 15. Outlets at Loveland, Loveland.

HOT TIP Ramadan through a Child’s Eyes April 12 marks the beginning of a month-long holy celebration in Islam. During Ramadan, families pray, fast, and gather with loved ones for feasts. This year, like last, might look different. Learn more about the holy time and how to celebrate at home with the guide from Colorín Colorado. celebrating-ramadan-and-eid


Colorado Parent | April 2021


Musician: Arapahoe Libraries.

under. Embárcate en una aventura virtual con amigos en el museo Wings over the Rockies y aprende sobre los diferentes tipos de aviones. No olvide traer su espíritu aventurero y ganas de moverse. Por años 0-5.

VIRTUAL Sing-Along Songs

See April 12.

Schweiger Ranch Open Day 1-5pm. Visit the historic property and explore the ranch with a self-guided tour. Face masks are required and the house is closed to the public. Schweiger Ranch, Lone Tree. VIRTUAL Corey the Dribbler: Former Harlem Globetrotter April 17, 2pm; April 29,

4pm. Corey the Dribbler (Corey Rich) will wow you with his basketball handling and inspire you with his story. He encourages kids to excel in school while bringing a positive attitude with them every day. Ages 5-12. Register online.


VIRTUAL Zumba for Families See April 10. VIRTUAL Amplify: Artist as Imagineer: The Creation and Performance of Un-othering

7pm. By working with renowned artists from the community, Arvada Center will amplify voices that imagine radically different futures. A limited number of in-person tickets are available for this event which will also be livestreamed. Free online, $5 in person.


VIRTUAL Diversión en

español: Hábitats con el Zoológico de Denver: El bosque lluvioso 3:30-4pm. The Denver Zoo will present live animals and their interesting rainforest habitats. Age 5 and under. El zoológico de Denver presentará animales vivos y sus interesantes hábitats de selva tropical. Por años 0-5. VIRTUAL Parenting

Strategies: Parenting on the Same Page 4pm. Family therapists from AllHealth Network offer guidance on why it is important for the parents/caregivers of children to work as a team and how to align or balance your parenting styles. Ideas for parenting as a team with a nanny or grandparents will be included. For

Learn a little Spanish and have a lot of fun with musician Natahlia. April 22. parents and caregivers of children age 8 and under. Register online. VIRTUAL LEGO BuildAlong with Play-Well TEKnologies: Jedi Engineering

4:30-5:15pm. Bring Star Wars to life from the comfort of your own home with the guidance of an experienced LEGO PlayWell instructor. Take simple pieces from your own brick collection and learn new techniques and engineering principles that will help you craft your favorite elements from Star Wars. Ages 6-11. VIRTUAL Family Star Party: 3rd Quarter Moon

8-8:30pm. Tune into the Space Foundation Discovery Center Facebook page for a close look at the 3rd quarter moon in all its detail, followed by a lesson on lunar geography. All ages.

help. Enjoy local artists’ works and a viewing of the new REVEL facility. Bid on artwork, secure a raffle ticket, and schedule a time to come in to see the artwork in person. $50 per person.


Spring Consignment Sale April 23, 9:30am-8pm; April 24, 8am-1pm. Shop for new and gentlyused children’s clothing for all seasons, plus maternity clothing and other equipment, toys, and books. Proceeds benefit St. Philip Lutheran Church's Family Promise Ministry and Habitat for Humanity. Cash, checks, credit and debit cards accepted. $1 entry, prices vary. St. Phillip Early Learning Center, Littleton.


Spring Consignment Sale See April 23.


VIRTUAL Bilingual

Concert with Natahlia April 22, 4pm; April 26, 4pm. Sing, dance, and learn a little Spanish in this multicultural experience with entertainer Nathalia. Ages 5-12. Register online.

VIRTUAL Out of the Darkness Colorado Chapter Virtual Campus Walk 11am. Show

VIRTUAL REVEL in Art Fundraiser 6-7:30pm. Support

your support for suicide prevention by joining a walk organized by the Colorado chapter of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. Find corresponding activities and registration/fundraising online. Free registration, donations and fundraising encouraged.

REVEL’s work to strengthen teens and adults with autism through mentorship, social skill building, and learning

VIRTUAL Middle School Acting on Camera Workshop 1:30-3pm.

Calendar | April

Does your kid have a burning desire to work in film and television, but they’re intimidated by being in front of the camera? This workshop will teach them to apply basic acting techniques to on-camera skills and build confidence in front of the camera. $40. VIRTUAL High School Voice Over Workshop: Character Voices (Video Games & Animation) 1:30-3pm. The voice

holds the potential for an array of characters. Discover tools to activate character voices for video games and animation. Learn the tricks of the trade from a professional voice-over artist. $40.


Denver Art Museum Free Day 9am-5pm. Visit the Denver Art Museum and enjoy free general admission. A ticket reservation is required. Denver Art Museum. See Where the Kids Are, page 42. VIRTUAL Día del Niño

10am-5pm. Celebrate children around the world during Día del Niño (Day of the Child), in partnership with the cultural organizations in the Denver Metro Area. Participate in free, virtual, art-making activities and more. Día del Niño is also an SCFD Free Day at the Clyfford Still Museum. Tickets will be available for online reservation one week prior.


VIRTUAL Drop-In Writing Online 1-3pm. Explore

your word mastery through this informal writing session with Lighthouse Writers Workshop. Open to all levels.


VIRTUAL Space Foundation Discovery Center Home Study Program See April 14.


VIRTUAL Corey the Dribbler: Former Harlem Globetrotter See April 17.

Special Families

BOEC Adventure Days: Cross Country Adventure April 7, 3:30-5pm. Join Breckenridge Outdoor Education Center staff and learn how to cross country ski. All levels are welcome. BOEC will provide trail passes and rental gear. Ages 12-20. Register and find a waiver plus supplies list online. Breckenridge Nordic Center, Breckenridge.

Autism Community Store Outdoor Movie Night: Avatar April 2, 6:30pm. Bring your blankets, lawn chairs, and snacks and enjoy the film screened outdoors. Weather permitting. Autism Community Store, Aurora. Special Needs Hip-Hop Dance Class April 6-27. Tue, 5:45-6:45pm. The focus of this class is a fun, constructive, and energetic dance environment. Join this group of friends and get moving. Age 5 and up. Register online. $80, $70 HRCA member. Eastridge Recreation Center, Highlands Ranch. STAR Denver Botanic Gardens April 3, 1-4pm. Enjoy blooming flowers, the colors, and the tranquility of the gardens. Age 13 and up. Register online. $48, $42 South Suburban Resident. Buck Recreation Center, Littleton.

Learn on. Connecting Letters To Life Children relate to language based on the shapes they see and the sounds they hear. Kiddie Academy® helps your child turn those sights and sounds into something memorable and meaningful. We nurture a love of language wherever your child’s imagination goes. We JUST OPENED our brand new facility for children 6 weeks to Pre-K! Tuition includes developmentally appropriate curriculum, camera access, diapers, wipes, sunscreen, lunch, and 2 snacks! Call us for a tour!

Mention this ad to get $100 off your first month’s tuition! 720.826.8268 |

Kiddie Academy of Columbine 6650 W Ken Caryl Ave., Littleton, CO 80128


VIRTUAL STAR Virtual Fitness April 1-29, Thu, 9:25-9:55am. Wake up and get moving with a cardio, strength, and stretching routine you can do at home. Age 13 and up. Register online. $18, $15 South Suburban Resident. VIRTUAL Grupo de Apoyo Second Sat, Segundo sábado, 12:30pm (Aurora); Third Wed, tercer miércoles, 5:30pm (Broomfield). The Life Group is a support group for parents with children, youth, and adults with different abilities or special needs. El Grupo de Vida es un grupo de apoyo para padres con niños, jóvenes, y adultos con habilidades diferentes o necesidades especiales.

Is your child interested in swimming, gymnastics, and dance? Artistic swimming might be your ticket! Tr y an Olympic sport with us! Day camps and clinics run in July and August for students of all ages.


April 2021 |


Calendar | April

Where the Kids Are

The following locations are referred to frequently in the calendar. Discounted annual passes are available at many venues. Note: Check websites for the latest health and safety information.

Aurora History Museum Tue-Fri, 9am-4pm; Sat, 11am-4pm. Free. No more than 10 visitors will be allowed inside the museum at any one time. Reserve tickets for a 1 hour and 20 minute visit. 15051 E. Alameda Pkwy., Aurora. 303-739-6660. museum

Butterfly Pavilion Daily, 9am-4pm. $13 adult, $11 seniors, $9 ages 2-12, free under age 2 and members. Timed-tickets reserved online are required in addition to face coverings. 6252 W. 104th Ave., Westminster. 303-469-5441.

Children’s Museum of Denver at Marsico Campus Wed-Sat, 8:30am-4pm. Four 90-minute play sessions each day. The Art Studio, Bubbles, Joy Park, Kinetics, Ready Vet Go, 3 2 1 Blast Off, Fire Station No. 1, Teaching Kitchen, and Water exhibits are open. Reservations and face coverings required. $14 ages 2-59, $12 ages 1 and 60+, $1 Explorer Pass, free under age 1 and members. 2121 Children's Museum Dr., Denver. 303433-7444.

Denver Art Museum Daily, 10am-5pm; $10$13 adult, $8-$10 seniors, military, and college student, free age 18 and under. Timed tickets reserved online are required along with face coverings, social distancing and hand washing. The cafe and coat check are currently closed. 100 W. 14th Ave. Pkwy., Denver. 720-913-0130.

to walk the gallery; wear a mask and follow social distance guidelines. 830 Kipling St., Lakewood. 303322-1053.

Denver Museum of Nature & Science Daily, 9am-5pm, open until 9 p.m. on Fridays. $18.95$19.95 adult, $15.95-$16.95 seniors, $13.95-$14.95 ages 3-18, free age 2 and under and members. Purchase timed tickets online. Face masks required. The TRex Cafe will operate at limited capacity. Bring water bottles as the fountains are turned off for safety. 2001 Colorado Blvd., Denver. 303-370-6000.

Denver Zoo Daily; 9am-5pm. $20 adult, seniors; $14 child ages 3-11; free age 2 and under and members. Reserve timed tickets online. All purchases on the campus are cashless, and pathways are one-way. 2300 Steele St., Denver. 720-337-1400.

Downtown Aquarium Sun-Thurs, 8am-8pm; Fri-Sat, 8am-9pm. $23.50 ages 12-64, $22.50 seniors, $17.50 ages 3-11, free age 2 and under. The 4D theater and carousel are unavailable. 700 Water St., Denver. 303-561-4450.

Four Mile Historic Park Fri-Sun, 10am-4pm. $5 adult; $4 seniors, military; $3 ages 7-17, free age 6 and under and members. Small groups with timed tickets. The Four Mile House and group tours are unavailable at this time. 715 S. Forest St. Denver. 720-865-0800.

History Colorado Center Daily, 10am-5pm.

Daily, 9am-5pm. $15 adult, $11.50 seniors and military, $11 ages 3-15 and student, free age 2 and under. Reserve tickets online, wear masks, maintain social distance. Limited access to buildings. Mordecai Children’s Garden is closed. 1007 York St., Denver. 720-865-3500.

$14 adult, $12 seniors, $10 ages 16-22 with student ID, $8 ages 5-15, free age 4 and under and members. Timed tickets for purchase online. Face coverings required. 1200 Broadway, Denver. 303-447-8679.

Denver Botanic Gardens Chatfield Farms Daily, 9am-5pm. $7 adults; $5 seniors, military, students, and ages 3-12; free age 2 and under and members. Limited access to buildings. The Children’s Play Area is closed. 8500 W. Deer Creek Canyon Rd., Littleton. 8500 W. Deer Creek Canyon Rd., Littleton. 720-865-3500.

Walkways will be open and the farm’s livestock will be available for viewing, but the historic buildings will not be open and no interpretive programming will be presented. Museum building is open with limited capacity. Call to make a reservation. 6028 S. Gallup St., Littleton. 303-795-3950.

Denver Firefighters Museum Tue-

Longmont Museum Tue-Sat, 9am-3pm. $8

Sat, 10am-4pm. $9 adult; $8 seniors, military, and student; $7 ages 3-12 and firefighters; free age 2 and under and members. Masks are required. Hands-on activities are temporarily stored. 1326 Tremont Pl., Denver. 303-892-1436.

adults; $5 students, seniors; free age 3 and under and members. Hands-on areas of the Museum, including the third floor Longs Peak Room treehouse, will remain closed at this time. 400 Quail Rd., Longmont. 303-651-8374. departments/departments-e-m/museum

Denver Museum of Miniatures, Dolls and Toys Fri-Sat, 10am-4pm; Sun, 1-4pm. $5

Lookout Mountain Preserve and Nature Center (closed)

adult, $4 child (4-16) and seniors, free age 3 and under and members. Purchase advance tickets


Colorado Parent | April 2021

Littleton Museum Tues-Sat, 9am-3pm.

Majestic View Nature Center Closed for walk-in visitors. Find tickets online for limited in-person programs and more virtual programs. 7030 Garrison St., Arvada. 720-898-7405.

Museum of Boulder Sun-Mon, Thu-Sat, 9am-5pm; Wed, 9am-8pm. $10 adult; $8 seniors, youth, students; free age 2 and members. Masks required, and finger cots available for hands-on activities. Find admission tickets online. 2205 Broadway, Boulder. 303-449-3464.

Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge Grounds open daily sunrise to sunset. The Visitor Center is closed. 6550 Gateway Rd., Commerce City. 303-289-0930. mountain_arsenal

University of Colorado Museum of Natural History (closed) Wings Over the Rockies Air & Space Museum Mon-Sat, 10am-4pm; Sun, noon-4pm. $16.95 ages 17-64; $12.95 seniors, military; $9.95 ages 4-16, free age 3 and under and members. Two-hour time limits and guest capacity. Face coverings required. The Kid Zone is temporarily closed. 7711 E. Academy Blvd., Denver. 303-360-5360.

WOW! Children’s Museum Wed-Sat; 10am-noon. $5 adult, $10 child, free under age 1 and members. Reserve a timed ticket online, admission is capped at 50 total. Each family will use an individual WOW! Pack of items. Costumes and some fabric exhibit pieces have been removed. Bring a water bottle, and leave food and snacks in the car or at home. 110 N. Harrison Ave., Lafayette. 303-604-2424.

Denver Museum of Minatures and Dolls, and Toys: Heather Gott.

Denver Botanic Gardens York Street

The great details of life are shrunk down to observable size at the Denver Museum of Miniatures, Dolls and Toys.

Calendar | April

Dancer: Mark Hutchens.


Fun Farm Mondays at Growing Gardens Mon, 12:30-3:30pm. Get outside and muck around on the farm. Learn a different new skill each week, from how to care for goats and watching milking demos to going on an adventurous scavenger hunt. Ages 5-11. Register online. $30 per day. Growing Gardens, Boulder. CLASSES, CLUBS, AND PROGRAMS VIRTUAL 2021 Polar Plunge

April 10, Boulder Plunge & 5K Run; April 17, Aurora Plunge and 5K Run; April 24, Colorado Springs Plunge and 5K Run. Take a plunge outside, or dump a bucket of ice water over your head at home, in support of Special Olympics Colorado. Register online or in-person for virtual participation and fundraising information. All funds raised benefit more than 15,000 athletes (children and adults with intellectual disabilities). See online for in-person dates and locations. $75. VIRTUAL Academic

Writing Help Sessions Wed, 3:30-5pm. Need help with a school assignment or a particular type of writing? Drop in to an academic writing help sessions on Wednesday afternoons to get help from a Lighthouse Writers Workshop instructor. Ages 8-18.

VIRTUAL Colorado Ballet Academy Children’s Division Classes April 26-May 22; Days and

times vary. Leap in to a new season of Colorado Ballet Academy classes including Parent Tot, Creative Dance (levels one and two), and Pre-Ballet (levels one and two), now offered in four-week sessions with the seasonal theme: "A Trip to Italy." Ages 1.5-7. Register online. $50 Parent Tot; $65 Creative Dance, Pre-Ballet. VIRTUAL Creative Workshops & STEAM Workshops Ongoing.

Flexible 30-90 minute classes. Bring the joy of Latino art and culture to your school, library, and cultural organization. Museo de las Americas offers workshops in English and Spanish with hands-on activities tailored to age groups and audiences. Email the education team at $75 flat fee for groups of 15 or less, $5 each additional student.

Teens will create landscape paintings in acrylics. The artists will follow easy steps and learn composition, perspective, and key elements of what makes landscape artwork “work.” Ages 11-16. Register online. $75. Curtis Center for the Arts, Greenwood Village.

Face Off Art Workshop April 829. Thu, 4:30-6pm. Students will learn and practice the proportions of the face while working with various mediums that will include pencil, pen and ink, watercolor, acrylic paints, and Sculpey clay. Ages 9-14. Register online. $75. Curtis Center for the Arts, Greenwood Village. VIRTUAL Family Fridays

Ongoing. Join the CU Museum online every week for new adventures in the natural world. Find fun facts and fresh ideas to keep your kids curious. Head to the museum’s Facebook page for new postings.

VIRTUAL Dome to Home: Our Planet From Space Wed,

Family Make and Take: Spring Seeds April 2, 17, 18;

3pm. Tune in to weekly episodes about Earth as it appears from space and how knowledge gathered from satellites and other space ventures has helped support people on the planet. Find corresponding activities online. Geared toward grades 4-8.

10:45am, 1pm, and 2:30pm sessions. Celebrate the spring season by learning about cool season veggie seeds and planting some to take home. Use seeds to also create a mosaic work of art. For families with children age 5 and up. $15 per project fee nonmembers; $12 per project fee members. Denver Botanic Gardens York Street. See Where the Kids Are, page 42.

Exploring Landscapes for Teens April 5-26. Mon, 4:30-6pm.

a book and discuss with other lit-lovers. Pick up a book club kit from the Park Hill Branch Library in advance; a kit is not required to attend. See upcoming books scheduled for discussion online. Ages 6-9. Register for the Zoom link. VIRTUAL Little Bear’s Storytime & STEAM April 7-21.

Thu, 9:30-10:30am. Join a free and engaging story time where children participate in STEAM challenges based on beloved stories. Parents and children are welcome to attend one or multiple sessions. Class size is limited. Ages 3-5. Register online. VIRTUAL Mama Circle: Support for New Moms Thu.

10-11am. Huddle up with other moms up to two years in their postpartum period. This group meets every Thursday online, and offers a chance to connect, troubleshoot parenthood challenges, and build confidence. LGBTQIA+friendly. Trauma-informed. Breastfeeding and bottle-feeding friendly. Babies welcome up to one year old. Facilitated by Jefferson Center, Maternal & Perinatal Mental Health clinicians. To join, email or VIRTUAL Music Together Demo Class Ongoing classes offered year-

round. Plant the seeds for musical growth through singing, movement, and instrument play. Mixed age classes; sibling welcome. For infants-age 8. Outdoor and online classes available. Reservations required. Free for first class.


Help Tue; 4-5pm. Youth who either live in Aurora or attend an Aurora school can find academic assistance every Tuesday through Aurora Youth Options. Grades 6-12. Reach out to to connect with a volunteer who will support you on your specified subject matter.

VIRTUAL Music for Sanity’s Sake Through June 25. Fri, 4-5pm.

Connect with other creatives in a safe space where you can talk about music that helps you make sense of the world, try out free tools to build your artistry, and practice stress management. Join Youth On Record’s Bianca Mikahn in this workshop for youth ages 14-20. Register online.


Philharmonic Discovery Concert Streaming through April 23. Learn how composers use techniques such as dynamics, instrumentation, and key signatures to create music that evokes emotion. Following a curriculum packet and interactive recorded performances, parents, teachers, and students can connect with orchestral music. Grades 3-6.

VIRTUAL Kids Virtual Book Club Second Wed, 4-5pm. Read

Point your toes and flex your dance skills with the Colorado Ballet Children’s Division.

VIRTUAL Pee Wee Art TakeHome Kits Wed, 9am-4pm. Parents,

introduce your preschooler(s) to

April 2021 | Colorado Parent


Calendar | April

the arts and assist with their creative process. Pick up kits through the 2021 Spring season. Find supplies to explore art mediums like drawing, painting, and sculpture, plus instructions and inspiration to create watercolor snowflakes, love bugs, button chicks, and a Monet Magical Garden. Register online. $25 each kit. Curtis Center for the Arts, Greenwood Village. VIRTUAL Sankofa Storytime: Resilience Stream

pre-recorded videos online. Join a virtual storytime with the Black Child Development Institute of Denver. Follow along with a monthly book and activity mailed to your door. Ages 3-8. VIRTUAL Sleep Squad On-demand. Travel through dreamland with The Story Pirates in an interactive storytelling experience. Create a new bedtime ritual for kids along the way. Enjoy a "Dreamtime Travel Kit" shipped to your door, complete with a dream journal, sleep mask, and star machine. Ages 4-12. Sleep Squad: $34 includes ticket and kit. VIRTUAL Virtual Discovery Days

Wed-Fri, 10-10:30am or 11-11:30am; Learn together through monthly, live, online Virtual Crafting and Storytime Sessions. Register online for the craft kits, and receive an invitation to drop-in to the virtual events. Scholarships are available. Ages 2-6 and caregivers. $45 for monthly kit, $40 for Museum members. VIRTUAL Virtual Youth Open Mic Last Fri of each month,

4:30-5:30pm. Share your words with other young writers. Ages 8-18. VIRTUAL Well Read Black Girl Book Club Second Mon, 6:30pm.

The goal of the Well-Read Black Girl Book Club is to "support diverse voices and emerging writers of color." Local chapters, like the one at Second Star to the Right Bookstore, connect indie booksellers, readers, and authors in a unique community of their own. This group meets second Mondays online, and includes Black women, non-black allies, adults, and tweens/teens. Most books


Colorado Parent | April 2021

Writing: Amanda Tipton.

Ongoing Events read/discussed are adult-level but there are a few young adult titles mixed in. VIRTUAL Wild, Weird, and Supernatural: Sci-Fi and Fantasy Writing Club April 5-26.

Mon, 5-6:30pm. Interested in science fiction, fantasy, supernatural, horror, dystopian fiction, and surrealism? Learn craft elements like building magic and technology systems, writing superhuman and non-human characters, and constructing compelling themes. Study stories from master writers and apply their ideas to your own writing. Age 10 and up. Register online. $80, financial assistance available. VIRTUAL Writing for

Happiness and Stress Relief Most Saturdays, see online for dates; 3:30pm. Get to know your inner creative writer and discover how the practice can reduce anxiety and increase happiness and resilience. Make gratitude lists, take mindfulness journaling walks, share challenges and success stories, set goals, and more. Sessions for youth ages 12-14 and 15-18 alternate most Sundays; 3:30pm. Register online. VIRTUAL Writing for Social Justice April 3-May 1. Sat, 2-3pm; no

class April 24. Use words as tools for change. Examine the ways writers and writing can impact communities, and the role that writers and literature play in effecting social change and justice. By the end of the session, you’ll have several brand new pieces of writing that reflect the change you want in your community and world. Age 10 and up. Register online. $80, financial assistance available. VIRTUAL Writing in Color for Teens Every other Sat, 2-3:30pm.

Connect with literature and the spoken word, along with peers and a writing community. Led by local writers of color, this workshop encourages curious teens to explore their ideas and share writing while celebrating successes and processing challenges. This is a safe space that welcomes the experiences of teen writers of color.

Relax and let your creative mind and typing fingers take over in writing exercises. VIRTUAL Youth On Record FEMpowered Wed,

Birdly Virtual Reality Experience Ongoing; Daily, 9am-5pm;

4-5pm. Shape and pursue your own artistic vision alongside encouraging peers and music industry professionals. Join weekly virtual gatherings for creative femme-identifying folks. Enjoy periodic networking opportunities and workshops. Ages 14-20. Register online.

Fri, 9am-9pm. Hop on the Birdly simulation flyer with head-mounted VR display to get a pterodactyl's-eye view of a prehistoric landscape. Riders will experience multi-sensory elements such as headwind simulation, 3D audio, and visual impact. Guests must have a 48-inch wingspan to fly, face coverings must be worn, and guests using wheelchairs must transfer to ride. $9 adult, $8 youth and senior. Denver Museum of Nature and Science. See Where the Kids Are, page 42.

VIRTUAL Youth On Record Open Lab Thu, 4-5:30pm. Interested

in creating music, learning about the business/marketing side, hearing from guest speakers, and being part of a community of like-minded individuals? Participate in music seminars and workshops for youth, led by local professionals. Ages 14-20. Register online.

VIRTUAL Bug Bites April 7-28. Wed, 11am. Take a bite into the nutritional benefits of bugs. Join the Butterfly Pavilion online and learn how common bug-eating is around the world. Grades 3-8. Register online. $3 suggested donation.


After the Asteroid: Earth’s Comeback Story Ongoing; Daily, 9am-5pm; Fri, 9am-9pm. Check out newly discovered fossils found at Corral Bluffs near Colorado Springs. These artifacts help scientists understand how Earth recovered after the asteroid impact 66 million years ago that wiped out the dinosaurs. Handle real concretions and replicas, enjoy multimedia storytelling, recreate the ancient environment in a drawing-and-sticker program, and more. Denver Museum of Nature and Science. See Where the Kids Are, page 42.

Colorado in the Present Tense Through Aug. 22. Tue-Fri, noon-7pm; Sat-Sun, 10am-5pm. Artists of Colorado are absorbing, responding to, and reimagining an upended world with the pressing issues of COVID-19, Black Lives Matter, climate change, and more. This exhibition presents commissioned work and reframes existing projects from four Colorado-based artists Narkita Gold, Rick Griffith, Nathan Hall, and Maia Ruth Lee. $10 adult, $7 college student/senior/ teacher/military, free age 13 and under and members. Museum of Contemporary Art Denver, Denver.

Mother and child: Getty Images.

Calendar | April

Drawing Parallels: Community Art & Artifacts from 2020 Through Aug. 1. Explore the relationships between simultaneous events—from world wars, to movements for civil rights, to pandemics—in Boulder’s past and present. The exhibit includes art gathered from the community that encapsulates and evokes the events of 2020. Museum of Boulder. See Where the Kids Are, page 42.

La Nueva Cara Through April 17. Tue-Fri, noon-6pm; Sat, noon-5pm. Pause and reflect on the times we live in through a photography exhibit that captures the human emotion of 2020. La Nueva Cara / The New Face combines iconic images from some of the world’s most famous photographers including Hal Gould, Imogen Cunningham and Sebastião Salgado, with over fifty juried selections from local and emerging photographers. Enjoy a First Friday: Month of Photography & Opening Reception on Friday April 2 with free entry from noon-9pm. $8; $5 student, artist, veteran, seniors; free age 13 and under. Museo de las Americas, Denver.

Senga Nengudi: Topologies Through April 11. 10am-5pm. Witness a 40-year span of work by Segna Nengudi, a prominent figure of the 1970s Black American avantgarde and Black Arts Movement,

featuring her responses to being Black, and being a woman, mother, and caregiver. Enjoy performance art, sculpture, photography, and mixed media at this showing. Denver Art Museum. See Where the Kids Are, page 42.

Situation Report Thu-Fri, noon-5pm (by appointment only); Sat-Sun, noon-5pm (open to walk in guests with a six-person capacity). Experience a capsule of artists’ responses to three concerns: the state of the environment and our relationship to it, represented through land studies, images of the CalWood fire; documentation of protests for social justice in Denver; and COVID-19, represented through case counts and a sculptural treatment of maskmaking remnants. Firehouse Art Center, Longmont. Stonehenge Through Sept. 6. Explore Stonehenge’s story, its change and evolution, through hundreds of artifacts and modern science. Learn where, when, why, and how Stonehenge was built 4,500-5,000 years ago. Admission plus special ticket cost. Denver Museum of Nature and Science. See Where the Kids Are, page 42.

SUE: The T. rex Experience Through April 25. Daily 9am-5pm; Fri, 9am-9pm. Get to know two titans of the prehistoric age, the T. rex and

triceratops. Learn how SUE the fossil was unearthed, and what the dino’s life would have been like through this multimedia, immersive experience. Feel the texture of dinosaur skin, hear the rumble of a T. rex walk, and see the plants that flourished in the Late Cretaceous period. $9 adult, $7 youth, free age 3 and under; plus admission. Denver Museum of Nature and Science. See Where the Kids Are, page 42.

VIRTUAL Virtual Experience in Paleontology Hall Ongoing. Experience one of the

CU Museum of Natural History’s most popular galleries from the comfort of your couch. Journey back in time and “walk” through the 3D version of the Fossils: Clues to the Past exhibit, complete with short, educational videos and Spanish translations.

LET’S GET YOU INTO A HOME YOU LOVE. Meet the Realtor® Hi, I’m Janet! As a previous labor & delivery nurse, a mother of three, and Littleton native, I know what a hassle the home selling and buying process can be. As a Colorado parent, I strive to understand the needs and issues of each individual circumstance when it comes to finding you the perfect home. I would love to have you as a client and make your home buying or selling experience a pleasurable and fun one. Call or email today at 303-798-5251 or and begin your journey home. | 303-798-5251 April 2021 | Colorado Parent



FRONT RANGE COURSES TO TRY Expo Park Aurora 18 holes, drop-in, free Enjoy the park’s scenery, but also beware of throwing near the many bodies of water.

Disc golf: Anna Sutterer.

Zion Summers kneels, tosses, and scores at the Edora Park disc golf course in Fort Collins.

Beaver Ranch Conifer Two courses, 63 baskets in total, dropin, $12, $10 Jefferson County resident, free age 10 and under Try a wooded course with gorgeous views; choose from the Premiere course that takes two to three hours, or the Putt & Approach, which takes 45 minutes. There is a fully-stocked pro shop on-site. Bird's Nest Arvada 24-holes, drop-in, free Take the whole family, including the dog, to this spacious and rolling pasture complete with holes that range from 170 to over 700 feet in length, good for players of all ages and skill levels.

Hucking Discs Across Colorado Try your hand, wrist, and elbow at the game of disc golf By Anna Sutterer


enver ranks number five in the “Best Cities for Disc Golf in the USA,” according to UDisc, an app for disc golfers. Although disc golf may not come to mind first when mulling over all the great outdoor sports one can enjoy in Colorado, opportunities here to drive and putt are numerous. Avid player Zion Summers, 11, and his mom, Samadhi (Sam) of Fort Collins can attest to the excitement and addictive nature of the sport. “As long as it’s above 32 degrees, we’re out throwing discs!” says Sam. The Summers family was introduced to the game through the memory of a beloved “Pamp” (grandpa), whose discs were found


Colorado Parent | March 2021

in a garage cleaning effort. Months passed before they finally got onto the courses. Zion immediately picked up skill. Since starting in the fall of 2019, then ramping up play during the pandemic, Zion has collected about 50 discs and keeps a wish list of new ones running in his head. He’s also studied countless YouTube tutorials and is known at the courses he frequents throughout Fort Collins. It’s tough to miss him in that bright scarlet hat stitched with the logo for Paul McBeth, a five-time Professional Disc Golf Association (PDGA) winner. Before you learn the infinite grips, approaches, disc types, and other lingo, start by understanding

that the game is played similar to a round of golf with pars for each hole and the goal to keep one’s throw number low. Also, heed this warning on the course: fore! “If somebody says, ‘fore,’ duck and look around you,” says Zion. Sam learned this the hard way once, and ended up playing the rest of a round with a broken toe. One more thing before winding up: Put your name and number on your discs—losing them is common, and, more often than not, people who find discs will return them. That’s huge, because the one that gets away might be your favorite, and the one you can ace with.

Edora Park Fort Collins 18-holes, drop-in, free Wind your way along Spring Creek, through a park that’s dotted with community amenities, including tennis courts, an ice center, and skate park. This course has a few moderate hills and nice trees lining the holes. West Fork Highlands Ranch 18-holes, drop-in, free Take advantage of the existing trails at West Fork Open Space and enjoy a full course featuring holes that are all par 3. Keep dogs on a leash.

Grab some gear at one of these local specialized disc golf retailers: • 9908 Disc Golf Sports Center, Arvada • Fly Green Disc Golf, Centennial • Bad Habit Disc Golf, Denver • Blue Sky Disc Golf, Lakewood • CTP Disc, Wheat Ridge

Summer Camp ROUNDUP WHEN IT COMES TO SUMMER PLANS, C O L O R A D O PA R E N T H A S Y O U C O V E R E D . Discover the best summer camps and experiences all in one place— ONLINE NOW AT C O L O R A D O PA R E N T. C O M .

Enter for a chance to win great prizes from our partners!

We help kids get back to being kids. For children with asthma, allergies, respiratory and pulmonary illness, and those suffering from persistent symptoms of COVID-19, hope is right here in Denver. At National Jewish Health, the nation’s leading respiratory hospital, our pediatric specialists incorporate the latest research and treatments to help kids of any age get back to being kids. We breathe science, so you can breathe life. To book an appointment for your child, call 800.621.0505 or visit