Colorado Parent February 2021

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February 2021

Growing Great Families Since 1986

Crush Worthy VALENTINE’S DAY CRAFTS AND RECIPES Get Your Groove On! 8 Dance Workouts for Families Nurture Your Child’s Body Positivity Spend a Week on an Organic Colorado Farm

114 Ideas for Family Fun



Winter fun continues at Gaylord Rockies! Visit our family-friendly winter getaway complete with both outdoor events, including ice skating, ice tubing, and the snow merry-go-round, and indoor activities, with scavenger hunts, wild animal encounters, and much more — all designed for social distancing. Rooms and packages available to complete your perfect winter getaway.

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CONTENTS February 2021 features 26


Nurture rich relationships with food, exercise, and self for you and your kids.

Make February extra sweet by planning an at-home celebration.









A New Beat: Diverse Kids' Musicians








The latest tips and news on


What We Learned




Keeping the Flame Alive


Books About Chores and Family Responsibilities

on the cover




Indulge in Some Self-Care

Squeeze in Those Hugs

If Our Young Could See, Read, and Love Their Uniqueness

Experience Life on the Farm


Feel-Good Dance Workouts

22 Spend a Week on an Organic Farm | 26 Nurture Your Child’s Body Positivity 30 Crush-Worthy Valentine’s Day Crafts and Recipes | 37 114 Ideas for Family Fun 46 8 Dance Workouts for Families

Colorado Parent | February 2021


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

Cover: Pixel-Shot/Adobe Stock.

ValentineL Kara Thompson. Dinosaur: Lucy Hewett.


Global VillaGe academy Learning Through Language and Culture

NǏ HǍO! Bonjour! Privet! ¡HOLA! From Caleb and Samuel’s Family:

We come from a Hispanic family who speaks Spanish. We love that our kids learn proper Spanish and love and embrace the language of their grandparents. I love that GVA strives to give each student what they need. We love GVA and know that our kids love it too!”

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

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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.

Aurora • Northglenn • Parker •

On the Web

Colorado Parent Online Baking: Weelicious. Valentine's date: Peter Muller/Getty Images. Valentine's crafts: Thomas Barwick/Getty Images. Bird: Craig Goettsch / 500px/Getty Images.

8 Sweet Treats to Bake With Your Kids Whip up these delicious desserts with help from your little sous chef.

Festive Valentine's Day Activities Looking for ways to celebrate? Here are nine ideas.

DIY Bird Feeder Crafts Share the love by inviting new friends into your yard.

10 Adorable Valentine’s Day Crafts Get into the loving spirit by making projects from the heart.





Colorado Parent | February 2021


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Our students SHINE with strength, humility, integrity, nobility and empathy in an environment that both challenges and supports students in their growth as learners, performers and leaders. | 720-709-7400 | 15035 Compark Boulevard, Parker, CO 80134 PARKER PERFORMING ARTS SCHOOL is a K-8 charter school in the Douglas County School District. The school is unlike any other school in DCSD, Colorado, and the Mountain Region providing a unique mix of academic rigor along with daily training in the performing arts. An exciting one-to-one iPad environment, differentiated digital curriculum, and daily performing arts instruction at PPA will inspire student passion and engagement, and help foster valuable 21st Century Skills such as creativity, critical thinking, communication, and collaboration. In addition to classes in language arts and math, elementary students rotate between different “specials� that we call Encores to enhance their academic and performing arts studies. These classes include: science,



GRADES: Kindergarten through 8th Grade ENROLLMENT: 735 AVERAGE CLASS SIZE: 26

social studies, theater, dance, music, visual art and tumbling. Our middle school students study core academics of literature, math, science and history with 3 elective classes. Electives choices include dance, vocal music, theater, musical theater and instrumental music. Students also have the opportunity to select electives in technology, consumer and family sciences, debate, multi-media productions, yearbook, and Shakespeare. Our students SHINE with strength, humility, integrity, nobility and empathy in an environment that both challenges and supports students in their growth as learners, performers and leaders.

From the Editors

What We Learned… EDITORIAL Editor Deborah Mock Senior Associate Editor Kara Thompson Editorial Assistant Anna Sutterer Copy Editor Lydia Rueger



With the stressful and strange year we’ve had, many of our health habits and exercise routines have changed. Teaching your kids the importance of loving and taking care of their bodies is no easy feat, especially when narrow beauty ideals and dieting messages slip into everyday life. Learn how to set a strong example by following the body-positive tips on page 26.


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

ADVERTISING SALES Advertising Director Brigette Swartz Account Manager Hilary Angel Client Services Coordinator Shundra Jackson

We all deserve a little extra love right now. Go big this Valentine’s Day with a DIY at-home celebration. Page 30

PRODUCTION Art Director Heather Gott





Self-care finds for your entire family. Unwind and indulge in some “me time” with these soothing products. Page 16.

Get up from that couch. Find 8 feel-good dance workouts you can do at home, on page 46.

MARKETING Director of Marketing Piniel Simegn ADMINISTRATION Billing and Collections Manager Jessica McHeard DISTRIBUTION & CIRCULATION Audience Development Coordinator Caitlin Kittrell Printed by Publication Printers


Please recycle this magazine. explore Colorado some more! Check out the kid-approved farm vacations on page 22 or a tour of U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Museum on page 14. If you’d rather stay in the comfort of your own home, head to page 15 to find our favorite books about chores, or find a list of diverse children’s tracks on page 11.

5280 PUBLISHING, INC. 1675 Larimer Street Suite 675, Denver, CO 80202 P (303) 832-5280 | F (303) 832-0470 Visit us online at CEO & EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Daniel Brogan VICE PRESIDENT, STRATEGY Andrea Bott VICE PRESIDENT, REVENUE Zach Wolfel

YOU SAID IT When children’s self-worth comes from within, comments from other people are less harmful. —Dr. Lynn Stiff, a family doctor in northern Colorado. Read more of our interview on page 26.

Share your feedback and ideas! Email us at


CREATIVE SERVICES Creative Services Director Carly Lambert Print Production Manager Megan Skolak Digital Advertising Manager Nick Stonecipher Lead Graphic Designer Chelsea Conrad Graphic Designer Caitlin Brooks Production Coordinator D'mitrius Brewer

Colorado Parent | February 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.




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February 2021 |


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 . Coming March 2021, you'll be able to discover the best summer camps

and experiences all in one place—online at C O L O R A D O PA R E N T. C O M .




A New Beat Expand your family playlist with these diverse children’s musicians. Exciting beats and rhythms, plus impactful lyrics that nurture the body, mind, and spirit make kids’ music educational and entertaining. Artists of color and women are achieving this; however, they are not always recognized —that’s the conversation surrounding the 63rd Grammy nominees for Best Children’s Album. We’ve listed a few folks who are beyond worthy of fans. Take a listen, and check out Family Music Forward on Facebook for more on the conversation about representation in children’s music. D.A.D Pierce Freelon Turn up these tracks: “Daddy Daughter Day,” “My Body,” “Gather Your Clothes” Afrofuturist beats from Freelon, a politician, musician, and professor, tell the story of growing up from child and parent perspectives. “Daddy Daughter Day” is a joyful adventure, “My Body” teaches kids about consent, and “Gather Your Clothes” expresses frustration over messy rooms.

Background: Getty Images.

Unhurried Journey Elena Moon Park Turn up these tracks: “Flower Dance,” “Ito Maki” In collaboration with artist Kristiana Pärn, Park crafted

this album of reimagined folk and children’s songs from east and southeast Asia. "Flower Dance" illustrates a Cambodian tradition, and "Ito Maki" is a Japanese song about sewing outfits for animals. Find captivating paintings and extra learning resources for each song online. Don't Gotta Be Cool Mista Cookie Jar Turn up these tracks: “Seratonin,” “All I Need Is You,” “Chillin’” This funky arrangement of sounds from hip hop, folk, reggae, and jazz features multiple artists in the children’s music circle such as Little Miss Ann and Father Goose. Mista Cookie Jar names the feel-good sensations in a kid-friendly way in “Seratonin,” taps into positive family relationships in “All I Need Is You,” and basks in the glory of backyard parties in “Chillin’.” ¡Muévete! Songs for a Healthy Mind in a Healthy Body José-Luis Orozco

er album with Spanish songs first (los primeros números son en Español) followed by English versions. “Arriba, Abajo” has a folclórico feel with a cantering beat, engaging kids in a full-body stretch, and “El Baile de los Colores” names colors in a repeat-after-me pattern. Great Indoors Genevieve Goings Turn up these tracks: “Shadow Puppets,” “Grateful” Goings, of Disney's Choo Choo Soul, puts the challenging reality of quarantine to a bumping pop beat through her solo album. “Shadow Puppets” brings an age-old pastime to modern imagination, and “Grateful” adds a dash of disco and delight to the phone and video calls many of us made last year. —Anna Sutterer

Turn up these tracks: “Arriba, Abajo” (Up High Down Low), “El Baile de los Colores” (The Dance of All the Colors) With 50 years of bilingual children’s music production under his belt, Orozco presents anoth-

February 2021 |


Good to Know

Bird: Getty Images. Shirt: Photos by Julian Donaldson, co-founder of BAGP..

“Young Trailblazers” Honored in My Black Colorado Around 75 youth leaders—ages nine to 24—in education, arts, sports, entrepreneurship, activism, and more will grace the pages of the February issue of My Black Colorado, a magazine and network for Colorado Black-owned businesses. Community members nominated kids who they felt represent themselves and the community well. “These youth deserve to be celebrated and need to know that we are supporting them,” says My Black Colorado co-founder Bradon Bornes. “I asked dozens of youth across the state what advice they think adults need to hear. Their overwhelming response can be summed up in one word: ‘listen!’ They want to be heard, they want to make an impact, they want to be encouraged, understood and respected.” Find this issue, and the special Black History Edition called “Legacy,” at —Anna Sutterer

Positive Vibes Kids are leading the way, and the Denver brand Be a Good Person gives young change-makers a chance to wear—and spread—a hopeful message. Created with a goal to “remind us all to approach our days with an optimistic, positive,

For the Love of Birds Pandemic life inspired renewed interest in all sorts of pastimes: baking, puzzles, model building, and even bird-watching. This month brings a chance for Colorado kids to become citizen scientists while watching and learning about the winged inhabitants of the skies. During the Great Backyard Bird Count, February 12-15, observe and count the birds in your family’s favorite outdoor spaces, then share your findings to help scientists better understand the global bird population. Tools and apps on the event website help families identify species, track findings, and share photos and experiences with other bird watchers around the world.


Colorado Parent | February 2021

Add This To Your Child's Library National Youth Poet Laureate and activist Amanda Gorman inspired people around the world with her inauguration day poem, "The Hill We Climb." Families can preorder Gorman's debut picture book, Change Sings, which is scheduled for release on September 21, 2021. The story, with pictures by #1 New York Times bestselling illustrator Loren Long, shows kids that they have the power to make change in themselves and the world around them. $19,

and refreshed outlook,” the brand designs youth T-shirts and baby onesies featuring the Be a Good Person logo. A full line of adult shirts, joggers and leggings, hats, and accessories gets parents in on the movement, too.

The Denver Preschool Program offers tools to help you find a preschool that best meets your needs. We also provide tuition support to help lower your monthly costs at more than 250 quality programs.

DPS School Choice is open now through February 16!

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Expert ABA therapy. From our heart. To yours. Colorful, bright learning environments. Super fun and effective programs. Highly individualized care. Expert ABA therapists who lead from the heart. We offer everything you could want for your child and more. For 20 years, we’ve been on mission to bring hope and meaningful to change into the lives of children with autism and other developmental concerns. We can make a difference.


Plano | Frisco | Boulder February 2021 |


Good to Know | Let’s Go

Atrium, exterior: Jason O’Rear. Visitors at touchscreen: Nic Lehoux.Running prostheses: Michael Svoboda /Getty Images.


Keeping the Flame Alive

U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Museum inspires athletics fans. By Anna Sutterer VIBE: Energetic, inspiring, and heartwarming, like the Olympic torch’s eternal flame DRIVE TIME: About 1.5 hours from downtown Denver, a few blocks from downtown Colorado Springs businesses TIP: Only Visa cards are accepted at the museum, due to the longstanding partnership between the games and the company. Bring cash for the reverse cash ATM on site in order to obtain a prepaid Visa card. Set in the foreground of Pikes Peak, the sleek and stately U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Museum invites families to follow the centuries-old epic of elite athletes and discover the details of Olympic competition. INTERACT WITH EXHIBITS Upon entering, guests receive a coded badge to customize with sporting event preferences, and a stylus to use with touch screens. Badges unlock a personalized experience throughout the museum, including deep dives into Olympic event history and interactive training modules.

Screens stretch floor-to-ceiling or are mounted at wheelchair/kid height; they include audio-described video, text-to-speech readers, and larger font sizes.

HISTORIC MOMENTS The exhibits begin with the foot race won by a cook in 776 B.C. Greece, the game said to have started it all. Peer at some of the Olympic torches carried hundreds of thousands of miles. Meet folks who made history in the games, including U.S. wheelchair basketball coach Junius Kellogg; Muslim American sabre fencing medalist Ibtihaj Muhammad; and track star Jim Thorpe, first Native American to win U.S. Olympic gold.

The museum was built with guidance from Paralympic athl etes.

TRAINING AND TECH Guests find a strip of track for racing, bows and arrows to test sharp-shooting skills, and ski jump simulations; and gather tips for technique while learning what it takes to compete. Tech-brains and designers will savor the collection of sports equipment innovations, including specialized chairs for wheelchair basketball, and 1996 sprinting legend Michael Johnson’s golden track spikes. HEART OF THE GAMES Kids can ask athletes questions (virtually with prerecorded answers) about their personal journeys, and build knowledge of world events during the Olympic competition years. Finish the visit in the art gallery filled with paintings by LeRoy Neiman, and watch a short film that drives home the passion and camaraderie of the games.


Colorado Parent | February 2021

A running prosthesis like this blade and socket design helped Paralympian Scout Basset gain confidence and a competitive spirit.

section, interactive training itors might find the lming. he erw ov Sensory-sensitive vis film rt sho video display, and opening ceremony low-sensory options. m team member for seu mu a th wi Connect

Home in the Woods: Penguin Random House. Grandpa Cacao: Elizabeth Zunon. Mother of Many: Mascot Books. The Runaway Shirt: Familius. Little Rabbit and the Meanest Mother on Earth: HMH Books. What Will These Hands Make?: Abrams.

Good to Know | Read to Me

Home in the Woods

by Eliza Wheeler (Nancy Paulsen Books, 2019)

Based on true experiences from the author’s grandmother’s Great Depression-era childhood, this is the story of a single mother and her eight children who, after the death of the father, move into an abandoned tar-paper shack in the woods. The family gets by season after season in the northern Wisconsin woods by working together and dividing up the household responsibilities necessary for survival.

What Will These Hands Make?

by Nikki McClure (Abrams Books for Young Readers, 2020)

Using paper-cut illustrations, the author/ illustrator walks readers through one family’s day, showing all the things that a diverse range of hands can make. It shows a busy town of people using their hands for different jobs, both at home and at their workplaces. In the end, the author asks readers: What will your hands make? Recommended by Gigi Pagliarulo, children’s librarian at the Denver Public Library.


Books About Chores and Family Responsibilities By Lydia Rueger In the month dedicated to hearts and love and sweet treats, doing chores is usually not kids’ favorite way to spend their time. But it’s a great way to show love to Mom and Dad! Use these stories to teach kids how home responsibilities vary from family to family, and that there can always be love alongside hard work.

Grandpa Cacao

by Elizabeth Zunon (Bloomsbury Children’s Books, 2019)

While baking a chocolate birthday cake together in their kitchen, a dad tells his daughter that chocolate is a gift from her Grandpa Cacao, who lives in West Africa, and farms cacao beans. The dad tells the daughter all about the process of grandpa’s work, and how everyone in his village, including the children, worked together to farm, harvest, and sell cacao beans.

Little Rabbit and the Meanest Mother on Earth by Kate Klise and M. Sarah Klise (HMH Books for Young Readers, 2010)

Little Rabbit hears the circus outside, but his mother says he needs to clean his playroom before he goes. He decides to sneak out and join the circus instead, and has an idea for his act: to display the meanest mother on Earth. Mother Rabbit is smart, though, and plays along with the act, while concocting an idea to get the playroom clean at the same time.

Find more books about chores at

Mother of Many

by Pamela M. Tuck; illustrated by Tiffani J. Smith (Mascot Books, 2019)

The Runaway Shirt

by Eliza Wheeler (Nancy Paulsen Books, 2019)

A mother folds laundry, but one particular shirt (with a child inside it) proves to be difficult to fold and put away. The mother keeps trying, but the “shirt” keeps moving, showing a silly way a parent and young child can laugh and imagine together while chores get completed.

Inspired by the nursery rhyme, “There was an Old Woman Who Lived in a Shoe,” the author, a mother of 11 children herself, tells the story of how a large family really works together to maintain a household. It’s not easy and there is chaos along the way, but her advice to the old woman in the shoe? Give all your children a chore list to do. Then you’ll have time to make them some bread, and you’ll all be happy when it’s time for bed.

February 2021 |


Good to Know | Good Stuff

Indulge in Some Self-Care Cozy and soothing finds for your whole crew. By Kara Thompson

Slowly spread this thick Primally Pure Body Butter on your arms, legs, and chest to deeply moisturize your skin. Formulated with organic mango butter, coconut oil, and almond extract, the decadent lotion provides an extra boost of nourishment—without any harsh ingredients. $28,

The Mindful Me book is packed full of step-by-step instructions for kid-appropriate breathing and relaxation exercises. Through guided meditation series and thoughtful writing prompts, your child can learn how to de-stress and process their emotions in a healthy way. $16,

Wrap your little one in this powder blue Petite Plume Gingham Robe for some major post-bath coziness. The soft cotton fabric is warm yet breathable, offering the perfect in-between from tub to pajamas. Plus, you can add a personal touch by having their initials monogrammed on the front. $58,

Not comfortable going to the spa? Start a new, luxe ritual at home with this Dr. Dennis Gross Facial Steamer. The mini steamer opens up your pores to clarify and detox your skin while offering an extra dose of hydration. The result: A healthy, glowing complexion. $149,


Colorado Parent | February 2021

Background: Getty Images.

Strike a match and light this Old Pine Candle to kick off a relaxing evening routine. All Old Pine candles are made in Evergreen, and are hand-poured with 100 percent American-grown soy wax. We love the Sundays scent, which has notes of lavender and vetiver. $22,

Specifically made for men, but nice for anyone, Harry’s Body Wash lathers up easily and leaves rough, dry skin feeling soft and fresh. Choose from four invigorating scents that last long after your shower is over. $7,

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February 2021 |


Learn & Grow

Mother and child: MoMo Productions /Getty Images.

Squeeze in Those Hugs How a parent’s affection shapes a child’s happiness for life By Sandi Schwartz


ow often do you hug your child? We all live busy, stressful lives and have endless concerns as parents, but it is clear that one of the most important things we need to do is to stop and give our kids a big loving squeeze. Research over the past decade highlights the link between affection in childhood and health and happiness in the future. According to Child Trends—the leading nonprofit research organization in the United States focused on improving the lives and prospects of children, youth, and their families—science supports the idea that warmth and affection expressed by parents to their children results in life-long positive outcomes for those children.


Colorado Parent | February 2021

Higher self-esteem, improved academic performance, better parent-child communication, and fewer psychological and behavior problems have been linked to this type of affection. On the other hand, children who do not have affectionate parents tend to have lower self-esteem and feel more alienated, hostile, aggressive, and anti-social. WHAT THE SCIENCE SAYS There have been a number of recent studies that highlight the relationship between parental affection and a child’s happiness and success. In 2010, researchers at Duke University Medical School found that babies with very affectionate and attentive mothers grow up

to be happier, more resilient, and less anxious adults. Five hundred people were followed from the time they were infants until they were in their 30s. When the babies were eight months old, psychologists observed their mothers’ interactions with them as they took several developmental tests. Then 30 years later, those same individuals were interviewed about their emotional health. The adults whose mothers showed “extravagant” or “caressing” affection were much less likely than the others to feel stressed and anxious. They were also less likely to report hostility, distressing social interactions, and psychosomatic symptoms. Researchers concluded that the hormone oxytocin may be responsible for this effect, as it is released

Father and child: Getty Images.

Learn & Grow

Follow us for tips and tricks on all things parenting! @ColoradoParent when a person feels emotions related to love and connection. Next, a 2013 study from UCLA found that unconditional love and affection from a parent can make a child emotionally happier and less anxious. This happens because the child’s brain actually changes as a result of the affection. On the other hand, the negative impact of childhood abuse and lack of affection impacts children both mentally and physically. This can lead to all kinds of health and emotional problems throughout their lives. Scientists think parental affection can actually protect individuals against the harmful effects of childhood stress. In 2015, a study out of the University of Notre Dame showed that children who receive affection from their parents were happier as adults. More than 600 adults were surveyed about how they were raised, including how much physical affection they had. The adults who reported receiving more affection in childhood displayed less depression and anxiety and were more compassionate overall. Those who reported less affection struggled with mental health, tended to be more upset in social situations, and were less able to relate to other people’s perspectives. Researchers have also studied the benefits of skin-to-skin contact for infants. This special interaction between mother and baby, in particular, helps calm babies so they cry less and sleep more. It has also been shown to boost brain development. According to an article in Scientific American, children who lived in a deprived environment like an orphanage had higher levels of the stress hormone cortisol than those who lived with their parents. Scientists believe that the lack of physical contact in the orphanages is a major factor in these physical changes. Finally, numerous studies on the effects of massage show the positive benefits it offers to reduce anxiety in children. Massage is also a good way for parents to connect to their children,

both physically and emotionally. Starting in infancy, a parent can begin to massage their child, which can create a strong bond. Studies have shown children and adults who receive massage experience less anxiety during academic stress, hospital stays, and other stressful events. SO, HOW CAN YOU BRING MORE HUGS INTO YOUR FAMILY’S DAY? From the moment you bring your baby home from the hospital, be sure to hold, touch, and rock them in your arms. Spend precious moments caressing your baby so that their skin can touch your skin. As they get older, be playful by doing fun activities like dancing together or creating silly games like pretending to be a hugging or kissing monster. Set a reminder to make sure hugging is part of your daily routine. In the adorable Trolls movie, the Trolls wore watches with alarm clocks that would go off every hour for hug time. If that’s what it takes, then set yourself an alarm. Or make sure to give your kids a hug during certain times of the day, such as before they leave for school, when they get home from school, and before bedtime. Another idea is to use affection while disciplining your child. As you talk to them about what they did wrong, put your hand on their shoulder and give them a hug at the end of the conversation to reassure them that, even if you are not pleased with their behavior, you still love them. If your child hits a sibling, hug them and explain how hugging feels better than hitting. Finally, be careful not to go overboard and smother your kids. Respect their individual comfort level and be aware that this will change as they go through different stages. Sandi Schwartz is a mother, freelance writer, blogger, and editor specializing in parenting, wellness, environmental issues, and human behavior.

February 2021 |


Family Next Door

Montgomery Jones: Melissa Moon.

If Our Young Could See, Read, and Love Their Uniqueness A conversation with children’s literature activist Montgomery Jones By Anna Sutterer


s a young child with Lupus and arthritis, Montgomery Jones of Denver discovered the power of books. Within their pages she could find an escape, a lesson, and a new character to try on. Now, she feels indebted to books and dedicates her time to studying them, then spreading their good word. Jones served as a literacy coordinator for City Year Denver, an AmeriCorps program, and has brought Project Lit Book Club, a grassroots organization increasing access to culturally relevant books, to Compass Academy and Denver Discovery School. She heads up a Well-Read Black Girl Club at Denver’s Second Star to the Right Bookstore.


Colorado Parent | February 2021

“I think it’s just as important for kids with marginalized identities to see themselves [in books] as it is for kids that are white, cisgender, heterosexual, Christian—those kids that often see themselves in books—to read about different identities and understand that everyone is different, and learn about the beauties in the differences we all have,” says Jones. Jones spoke to Colorado Parent about the club, the importance of books, and ways for families to share a love of reading. Tell us about the book club. [Well-Read Black Girl Club] is intended for adults, but since it’s [hosted by] a children’s book-

store, we sometimes read young adult books. We have had a 12-year-old girl attend with her mom, all the way up to women in the 60s and 70s. At least half of the people that have come have been parents themselves, and many of them have discussed how a story relates back to their identity as a parent and raising a child in this current climate. Non-black allies are more than welcome to come. I think Well-Read Black Girl holds the publishing industry to accountability. We need these books. We need them published, and we will celebrate them. I just hope that any adults in a book club then spread the joy of reading about marginalized identities to children.

Family Next Door

What are some other ways families can join in? Try [volunteering with] Reading Partners Colorado, I love them and what they are doing for the community. I also run the @BookFairiesColorado Instagram page. We book fairies hide books in our communities for other people to find. If there are any potential new fairies or mini-fairies who would like to hide books for fellow Coloradans, you can reach out and I will feature your book drops. What’s next for you? I would love to work as a school librarian; that would be long-term. I’ve noticed in the schools I’ve worked at in the last five, six years that the position has been diluted because in education a lot of things are being cut back. I would love to be the librarian I had as a child where they know me, they know what I’m trying to do for school, and they can pick out the perfect book for me. Doing that, I’d also have in my personal repertoire of books about different kinds of children—every spectrum from kids of varying sexualities, races, nationalities, religions. It’s important to stress the importance of reading, especially for children, because it creates well-rounded and empathetic adults later on. That’s one part. The other part is you have to be willing to educate yourself and find those books to give your children, that’s a big part of being a well-rounded and caring soul throughout your whole life, childhood into adulthood.

MUST-READ BOOKS FOR WISE, YOUNG MINDS Check out a few of Montgomery Jones’ favorite book recommendations for children, tweens, and teens. Front Desk by Kelly Yang Maybe He Just Likes You by Barbara Dee Dear Martin by Nic Stone George by Alex Gino The Witch Boy by Molly Knox Ostertag Pet by Akwaeke Emezi

Antiracist Baby by Ibram X. Kendi; illustrated by Ashley Lukashevsky Ghost Boys by Jewell Parker Rhodes New Kid by Jerry Craft The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo Stand Up, Yumi Chung! by Jessica Kim Song for a Whale by Lynne Kelly We Are Not from Here by Jenny Torres Sanchez The First Rule of Punk by Celia C. Pérez

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 February 2021 |


Field Trip

By Jamie Siebrase


Colorado Parent | February 2021

Opener: Ben Siebrase.

Cultivate a memorable, educational vacation with a week volunteering on one of Colorado’s organic farms.

I have a brown thumb.

Brown, in case you don’t have an art-loving preschooler at home, is the opposite of green on the color wheel, and it’s also the product of pouring a bunch of paint onto the kitchen floor then swirling it together when your mom is putting lasagna in the oven. Dumping a bunch of seeds into a planter then crossing myself was my main gardening strategy. I’m so bad at keeping houseplants alive that I’m not even supposed to breathe near my husband’s vast assortment of philodendron, cacti, spider, and snake plants. So when I told Ben that our next family vacation was to Mancos, to live and work on an organic market farm in southwest Colorado, he was flabbergasted. No-no, I explained. That’s the whole point. I’m supposed to be terrible at gardening. The WWOOF program was built for people like me.

Photos:: Ben Siebrase. Leaves: Getty Images.

Planting the Seed

When Worldwide Opportunities on Organic Farms (WWOOF) was founded in the United Kingdom in 1971, it was a modest operation linking “anybody, regardless of age or experience, with organic farmers,” explained Tori Fetrow, WWOOFUSA’s outreach manager. Sue Coppard was a London secretary looking for an affordable, meaningful way to spend weekends in the English countryside with other like-minded Brits. As agritourism emerged across the globe, Coppard began organizing small-group trips to organic farms. Visitors got a weekend away from the city, in nature, in return for their labor, and word of Coppard’s grassroots farming program spread like edible weeds, completely organically by word of mouth. Today, urbanites can “WWOOF” on tens of thousands of farms in 130 countries. “Countries operate their own programs, but we all collaborate through an overarching network sharing a mission,” says Fetrow. That mission is to build a global community dedicated to sustainable agriculture. Eco-friendly travel and unforgettable experiences are bonuses that grew out of the model.

Select a Variety

Families interested in volunteering first need to create a WWOOF-USA account. There is a small annual membership fee of $40 for an individual or $65 for a couple, two friends, or a family. After updating a profile, search through the organization’s network of 1,708 organic farms, ranches, gardens, and homesteads. Reading about the sites—“…acres of land with abundant oak and redwood forest, maritime chaparral, and wild huckleberry!”—it’s easy to get caught up dreaming about all the places you and your family could land. Colorado currently has around 52 hosts, 17 of which are family-friendly. “Some people assume it’s impossible to WWOOF with young children, but that’s not the case,” Fetrow says. Filters will narrow even more options. After selecting “Colorado” and “WWOOFing with Children,” families can get more specific, searching by dietary restrictions, preferred accommodations, et cetera. A handful of Colorado hosts welcome weekend visitors—a great option for families and first-timers. “We’ve recently added search filters to ensure mentoring opportunities for people of color, women, LBGTQ, and veteran WWOOFers in the U.S.,” adds Fetrow. There’s been a huge uptick in interest in the program since the emergence of the pandemic last March. “In the past, WWOOFing was an affordable way to travel to a new area,” Fetrow says. “This year, though, more people than ever are WWOOFing closer to home, trying shorter experiences, all to gain knowledge about organic homesteading.” WWOOF-USA has been a pandemic-proof option for college students earning off-campus credit, as well as high-school graduates taking a gap year. “We also have parents who want to get their kids off screens and onto the farm,” says Fetrow.

From field to farmers’ market, WWOOFing families experience daily life on an organic farm.

February 2021 |


The author’s sons take on farm tasks, enthusiastic to experience a different way of life. Every WWOOF-USA arrangement is unique since participants and their hosts coordinate trip details on a case-by-case basis. People spend anywhere from a weekend up to several weeks or a growing season living on a host farm, working about four hours a day in exchange for room, board, and the host’s know-how. After settling on Green Table Farm, I emailed the host, Tyler Hoyt, and we set up a preliminary phone call.

Digging In

Like my 10-year-old, I’m a leap-before-looker. So during the call, I didn’t think twice when Tyler described the living arrangements as a converted Volkswagen van and composting toilet shared with Tyler’s brother and a college student from Boulder. My second thoughts surfaced a few weeks later, around 10 p.m., after a daylong car ride from Denver to Mancos that ended with me staring at a cramped converted van a few feet from a drop toilet and rigged solar shower. The place would have been fun a decade ago, when Ben and I were newlyweds, but it seemed impossible with three children, including a baby, and the looming threat of a pandemic. With two grad school friends living in Mancos, just a few miles south of Green Table


Colorado Parent | February 2021

Farm, we didn’t have any trouble finding last-minute lodging for our weeklong adventure. “We highly encourage clear communication between farmers and WWOOFers,” Fetrow says. “Ask what the accommodations look like. Ask for photos; try a video call.” Many hosts have RV hookups available. An RV is an easy, self-contained option for families. Weekend WWOOFing is also a rewarding opportunity for families. Typically, overnight accommodations aren’t offered for weekenders. “You’re going to farm for a morning, maybe sharing lunch with the host, taking home some of the harvest as a reward,” Fetrow says.“These day trips are much easier to line up.” We spent our mornings working on the farm, from about 8 a.m. until noon, and spent the afternoons as tourists, exploring the tiny, artsy community of Mancos, visiting Mancos State Park and Mesa Verde National Park. On a WWOOF farm, parents work alongside their children. It’s a bonding experience, and pretty good exercise, too. At Green Table Farm we weeded vegetable patches (cathartic), cleaned a barn filled with hay and chicken poop (yowza), and harvested and processed a sizable amount of red and white onions to sell at the Mancos Farmers Market on Thursday afternoon, the culmination of our work.

Cultivating the Experience

Several people have asked me what I did to prepare my kids for the experience. “Did they know in advance that they’d have to work?” While some aspects of farming definitely felt like work to me, for my kids the experience was pure fun. Kids are built to be active, and mine didn’t complain once. Mostly they were fascinated by the opportunity to experience, firsthand, an unfamiliar way of life. It helped that our host, Tyler, has a family of his own. His wife owns and operates a local food truck, and they have a very friendly preschooler. Whenever my boys grew bored with weeding or harvesting, they’d take breaks to play with our host’s son or explore Green Table Farm or collect eggs. (Tyler keeps hundreds of free-range chickens, as well as pigs and goats.) My boys didn’t realize it, but they got quite a few hands-on lessons in ecology and economics, and Tyler was a patient teacher to all of us. When our 12-month-old wasn’t sleeping on my back, she practiced walking in the rows of vegetables while Ben and I weeded and harvested. We brought our own energy bars, baby food, and reusable water bottles to refill on the farm. Hosts will usually provide food, but if kids have specific snacks they enjoy, bring those. Packing for our WWOOF trip was similar to packing for a camp-

ing trip, and when we ran out of energy bars, we restocked at a natural foods store in Mancos. While we worked, Tyler rattled off all sorts of useful tidbits about crop rotation, harvest techniques, and beneficial insects. But the best advice was this: “You don’t have to go home and launch your own market farm,” he said. “Start with one or two vegetables you know you’ll eat, and just see what happens.” The majority of WWOOF members are people who want to learn how to grow their own food or live sustainably. “A lot of WWOOFers go home and plant their own kitchen gardens,” Fetrow says. That’s exactly what we did. I’m still not allowed to breathe on Ben’s philodendron and most of my family’s food still comes from the store, but since August I’ve grown and harvested Lacinato kale and microgreens. Over the holidays, we began experimenting with a wheatgrass hydroponics garden, inspired by our memories on the farm. Our experience will definitely not be the end of WWOOFing for my family. This summer, I plan to return to the fields and learn even more. Then maybe, someday, a dream WWOOF in Hawaii. Jamie Siebrase is a Denver-based mother of three, author of Hiking with Kids Colorado: 52 Great Hikes for Families, and an emerging green thumb.

The author’s family helped harvest onions for their WWOOF host to sell at the Thursday farmers’ market.


Space is Limited in Our Best Summer Ever Ages 3 to 15 Boulder and Lafayette - registration opens Jan. 15



Weekly Sessions May 24 - Aug 9 Mon-Fri 9am-3:30pm For ages 7 & up

Each child is assigned a horse to take care of for the week. They learn horse care, including grooming & saddling. One to two hour long rides twice daily, except Monday mornings.

PONY PALS Ages 8 years+

Off-Track Sessions Available Trail & Pony Rides • Lessons & Hayrides • Boarding • Trail Rides for the Whole Family.

Pony Pals is a riding club for kids that just want to ride and have fun! Kids get to explore the trails in Chatfield State Park! Can be combined with Horse Camps.

For more information visit our website: 11500 N. Roxborough Park Rd., Littleton, CO 80125 | 303-933-3636

February 2021 |


Building Body Positivity How to nurture rich relationships with food, exercise, and self for you and your kids. By Anna Sutterer

Teen dancing, illustrations: Getty Images.


Colorado Parent | February 2021


iss Piggy,” kids called her, says Denver mom Mary-Katherine Fleming, remembering a piece of her early childhood. Fleming recalls reaching out to teachers, but their responses showed that they didn’t disagree with the characterization. “That was the first time I became aware that that was how the world would look at me,” she says. Decades later, Fleming’s daughter stopped eating lunch because fellow kindergartners made body-shaming comments. “These messages about eat less, workout more, be smaller, they start so young,” she says. “[Parents] aren’t necessarily aware of the ways that we are modeling it, either.” Encouraging produce-packed plates and plenty of active play is part of many parents’ efforts for healthy lifestyle education; however, what if kids are still learning the makings for disordered eating and exercise? “Diet culture—and, particularly relevant for Colorado families, ‘health culture’—can play a powerful role in the development of disordered eating,” says Dr. Jennifer Gaudiani, a certified eating disorder specialist (CEDS) who runs an eating disorder treatment clinic in Denver. Changing this culture is complicated and challenging, but body-positive experts from family medicine to sports training say it starts with examining your own relationships to food and exercise. Then, you can involve your kids in practices that promote health and celebration for all bodies. Recognizing health motives Exclusive body ideals show up in broad social contexts as well as intimate family interactions. Fleming, now a running coach and founder of The Fitness Protection Program, created a six-episode roundtable called Lighten Up! in her Running Life podcast, joining therapist Jummy Olawale and dietician Dalia Kinsey to address specific parent habits such as hiding sweets, using exercise as a punishment for eating “bad” foods, or praising friends and family for losing weight. One of the ways parents can unlearn shame, restrictions, obsessions, and fears when it comes to health, according to the Lighten Up! hosts, is to expose diet and beauty culture’s roots in elitism, classism, and racism. Take a look, says Gaudiani, at characteristics deemed healthy and successful: thin, muscular, Studies show that implicit weight bias is common in kids as young as three to nine years old. When the formula thin equals good and fat equals bad runs through a child’s mind, it can manifest in self-harming behavior such as skipping meals, counting oneself out, or peer-to-peer bullying and exclusion.

A study in the Pediatrics journal found that 84 percent of the top-grossing kids' movies released between 2012 and 2015 promote weight stigma. When you notice these patterns ask your child questions like: Do you see characters in your shows or books with different body types? How do you feel when they all have the same body shape? Do you feel like you have to look like them? When you hear people talking about largeness or fatness, how do you feel? What does it mean? Is it okay to comment on someone’s body? Why or why not?

young, able, cisgender, and lighter-skinned. When these are upheld systemically in limited clothing options, accessibility in buildings, or stereotyping in media, body positivity goes far beyond insecurities. Parents can examine their relationships to body ideals and privileges and consider the effects on themselves. What time and space in their lives is being taken up to live up to or maintain those standards? “The one-size-fits-all approach [to health] takes a moralist view that your size is a result of the work you have or have not done,” says Fleming. “Educating yourself really is the first step in making sure that you have a broader system of language for yourself to use to describe the difference between healthy and unhealthy.” Reframing food language and rules When discussing health with children, to help avoid weight-related issues including obesity and eating disorders, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) advises medical providers: “Do not encourage body dissatisfaction or focus on body dissatisfaction as a reason for dieting.” Rather than talk about weight, the AAP suggests covering ways to facilitate healthy eating and activity at home. “The more rules you have around food, the more of a danger zone you’re creating for your kids, and confusion as they grow when it comes to nutrition and health,” says Fleming. “Once you realize how you’re making decisions about how to set up the food environment in your house around

Controversial food tracking resources such as the Kurbo app by Weight Watchers are available to children as young as eight. It’s been criticized by parents, individuals who’ve struggled with eating disorders, and some health experts such as “anti-diet dietitian” Christy Harrison due to its “traffic light system”, which teaches kids to track everything they eat, and the marketing focus on weight loss.

the fears you have, maybe the environment isn’t as safe as you think it is.” Well-meaning parents might characterize food as “healthy” or “junk,” or turn to “eat your vegetables first” while keeping strict rules around sweets. This may backfire, however, and teach kids that vegetables are something to be endured and make sugar a “forbidden fruit” to overindulge in while at school or a friend’s house. Instead, says Dr. Lynn Stiff, a family doctor in northern Colorado who also has a nutrition education business, “I try to talk about the nutrients or the nourishment of foods, because all foods can fit into a healthy diet.” Nutritionist, family therapist, and author, Ellyn Satter’s work is often referred to for guidance on how to approach feeding children at different stages. In her model, the parent’s job is to decide when the family will eat, what will be available, and where dining will take place. The child decides if they’re going to eat and how much, thus building their own competency around food choices.This intuitive eating approach encourages individuals to respond to internal cues of hunger and fullness rather than external cues of specific meal times, events, or social influence. Teaching kids a more sophisticated relationship with their hunger starts with dialogue. You might allow your child to pick what they want

February 2021 |


Mother and child Getty Images.

THE KITCHEN: A PLACE FOR INVESTIGATION When Trent Claypool, Colorado Springs dad and sports/eating disorder psychologist, eats something with his five-year-old, they talk about colors, textures, tastes, and what they notice about the food. When it’s something nutrient-dense, they talk about the benefits they get as well. However, Claypool cautions against going too indepth with nutritional facts if a child is very young or prone to latching onto health information and becoming obsessive. ENGAGE KIDS IN FOOD CELEBRATION • Pick up curious-looking fruits and veggies to bring home and experiment with. • Cut open produce; have kids taste and feel. • Visit a farm or community garden. Talk about how food forms and gets ready to fuel the belly. • Cook together. Give kids power to choose the menu once in a while. • Eat all together at the table. Model the family’s food culture and the positives of collective eating, talking, laughing, and sharing thoughts and details of the day.

for a snack, then ask follow-up questions about why they chose that snack and how they feel. At dinner, you might say, “I’m going to eat vegetables because they make me feel good. If you want some, I can give you some.” When you first transition to this kind of approach, says Stiff, it’s not uncommon for a child to eat in a way you do not approve of. The idea is that over time, they’ll know how they feel after eating and start answering their body’s call for different foods and the amount that will satiate them. Dr. Reginald Washington, chief medical officer of the Rocky Mountain Hospital for Children, suggests that parents talk about “healthy” versus “unhealthy” foods, and says that kids are generally able to regulate their needs. “If a child has several healthy food choices, I’m a believer in letting the children choose the kind of variety they want to eat,” says Washington. “It’s been shown that they will eat a lot of fruit a couple of days, and then they will eat vegetables for a couple of days, and then they may eat protein for a couple of days. So over


Colorado Parent | February 2021

a span of a month or so, they have a balanced diet, but every individual day it may not be so balanced.” Parental guidance may vary depending on family culture, child development, and specific biological needs. There are a million ways to do this, says Gaudiani, so long as there is no body or food shaming and children are generally trusted to have good intuitions about what they need. Moving for overall health When children eat satisfying, nourishing food that meets their energy needs, and they move according to their ability and interest, says Gaudiani, their size and shape will settle where it should. Jaime Fraipont-Daszkiewicz, founder of HER Grace and Grit training and life coaching, sees this in her youth fitness and nutrition practice. Clients set goals to experience joy, manage stress, and move in ways that feel good to them; some don’t lose weight but improve in biomarkers such as blood pressure, resting heart rate, cardiovascular endurance, regular bowel movements, and better sleep.


Licensed clinical psychologist and sport and performance psychologist Trent Claypool, who specializes in the treatment of athletes, eating disorders, and trauma at NeuroAthlete, tells parents to never make comments about their child’s body type, no matter how constructive they might think it is in enhancing sport performance. “Your body will look like what it’s going to look like as a byproduct of what you’re asking it to do,” Claypool says. “Whatever that looks like, we need to be accepting of.” Body-positive reasoning cautions against forcing movement, whether it’s a certain intensity or type of exercise or sport. One doesn’t have to be HIIT circuiting all the time or bracing themselves for a session at a gym called Obsession. Founder of More to Love yoga Rachel Estapa says wellness is supposed to be about fulfilling what you need rather than comparing it against a checklist. Parents participating in a sport or activity that they love doing is also a good model. Stiff couldn’t imagine running not being in her life, and she is glad her kids see this as something she enjoys while benefiting from the mental and physical health aspects. A totally different dynamic develops when kids hear parents complain about going to the gym or choosing exercise out of guilt or to reach a certain weight or size goal. If a child never sees their parent being physically active, they’re also likely to pick up on that habit. Plans and accessibility It’s easy to tell a family to have three servings of fruits and vegetables every day and to exercise an hour a day, says Washington, but living in a food desert or unsafe area means limited access to those things. Location, education, job possibilities, public policies, and more drive poverty and affect health. Changing policies and public opinion is one important part of the fight; another is a personal decision to take small steps for health. “The big thing we have to work towards is having the parents believe they’re worthy of being healthy and they can be healthy,” says Stiff. “Focus on one thing you can truly do and that is important to you.…You can literally just take your family to the park every Saturday and walk paths for an hour. That’s showing and living a healthier lifestyle, and Whatever you and your family decide is appropriate, make clear the kinds of messages that will and won’t be tolerated in the house and why. Communicate your wellness approach to childcare providers so they can help you manage food and activities with some consistency.

Body diversity and intuitive health advocates flip the script on beauty and wellness ideas.

showing your children that that’s important and you can all participate.” Stiff recommends for recipes and tips to eat well on a budget; Fraipont-Daszkiewicz suggests prepping nutrient-rich foods so they are ready to go and easy to grab, on days where there’s little time to sit down. Body diversity advocates also point to weight stigma in the doctor’s office as leading to patients avoiding or not receiving needed care. One study on children and adolescent experiences recommends pediatricians improve practices for unbiased behaviors and language in their clinics while also advocating for education about weight stigma in medical schools. Stiff says weight focus was ingrained in her medical education. Her current practice, however, focuses on lifestyle components and links to a variety of health biometrics. Washington says pediatricians should not use height/weight charts to cause unnecessary anxiety. They are to be used in the context of the individual patient (rather than in comparison with others), and with their own history of growth—only spikes in each category would be cause for concern/investigation. Finding worth within Perhaps the most enduring way to prepare children for a world with diet culture and bullying is to instill a sense of internal validation. Stiff encourages parents to lift their kids up in a way that helps them determine their own worth. For example, instead of telling a child they look good or asking if their friends liked their talent performance, see how they felt wearing that outfit or sharing their gift. “When children’s self-worth comes from within, comments from other people are less harmful,” Stiff says. “But if their self-worth is based on what others say about them or validation from others, then they're more likely to be affected by those comments.” Through it all, Fleming reminds parents to “grab yourself a little bit of grace. You are not the problem, it’s the messaging that’s been embedded in everything that you touch since the day you were born. If you’re having this dialogue with yourself, congratulations. That is amazing.”

“Next time someone asks you if you should be eating that, ask them what they have done to dismantle white supremacist heteropatriarchy lately. Cuz that’s what’s hurting people (not cookies).” — Virgie Tovar, author of You Have the Right to Remain Fat and The Self-Love Revolution

“I think it’s lazy for me to just say I’m body positive at this point. It’s easy. I would like to be body-normative. I want to normalize my body. And not just be like, ‘Ooh, look at this cool movement. Being fat is body positive.’ No, being fat is normal. I think now, I owe it to the people who started this to not just stop here. We have to make people uncomfortable again, so that we can continue to change. Change is always uncomfortable, right?” — Lizzo, music artist

“When you grow up in a culture that keeps trying to have some new study and some new expert is going to tell you, ‘Eat these things and you're going to feel amazing, and this is going to change your body this way,’ what we end up doing is we abdicate our own relationship with our body over and over and over again." — Kathryn Hack, “Beloved Bodies” artist/teacher/advocate

“The word fat is not inherently bad. … The only negativity that this word carries is that which has been socially constructed around it; our aversion is completely learned.” — Jes Baker, author of Things No One Will Tell Fat Girls

“Fat people don’t have to be clear of all health issues to be deemed worthy enough to love ourselves.⁣ … So enough with the ‘but your health’ already.⁣ Because if it really was about my health, these same people would let me take a break from fighting for my rights for once and start doing some advocating for fat people as well.⁣⁣” —Meg Boggs, athlete and author of Fitness for Every Body

February 2021 |


A Crush-Worthy Valentine’s Day Make February extra sweet by planning an at-home celebration. Words and photos by Kara Thompson


alentine’s Day shouldn’t be limited to just romantic candlelight dinners—it’s also the perfect time to show your kids how much you adore them. Whip up some treats together, create festive Valentine’s Day goodie bags to share with family and friends, then host a small soiree in the comfort of your own home. We've dreamed up four crafty ways you can scatter the fun throughout the month. Super-parent status here you come!


Colorado Parent | February 2021

Cupid’s Countdown

Build anticipation for the big day by making your own countdown board with small brown bags, clothespins, wooden numbers, string, and construction paper. We also used flattened cupcake wrappers and heart-shaped doilies to add different shapes and colors to the mix. Once you and your little ones have finished crafting, fill each bag with small candies or notes that reveal what you love most about them. Leave the biggest surprise—like a voucher for a date night with mom or dad, a small toy, or a cute piece of jewelry—for them to find on Valentine’s Day.

February 2021 |


Hugs and Kisses Tic-Tac-Toe

Challenge your kids to a Valentine’s tournament. Purchase an unfinished tic-tac-toe board (ours is from Hobby Lobby), then spray paint the X’s and O’s in two different shades of pink. You can also craft your own out of paper or cardboard.

Dainty Desserts

Surprise your kids by serving up some sweets for them to snack on as you work on valentines for friends. Dip wafer cookies or marshmallow crispy treats in pink candy melts, use a mold to make chocolate lips, and spill conversation hearts and other candies on top of a serving tray.


Colorado Parent | February 2021

Silly Sweetheart Valentine Collectors

These kooky love bug, bird, and monster bags are easy to assemble and customize. Ask kids to draw out their vision for each bag, then help them glue or tape googly eyes, paper, and pipe cleaner (or whatever they please) to each. Then, bag up some treats and make your own Valentine’s Day cards before placing them inside each goodie bag. When you’re all done, drop them off on your friends’ front porches.

3 Clever Valentine’s Day Drawings + Notes

DRAW: A robot WRITE: I’m nuts and bolts for you! DRAW: A fortune cookie WRITE: I’m so fortunate that you’re my friend! DRAW: A fish WRITE: You’re fin-tastic!

February 2021 |


Cake Crush

Score some one-on-one time with your kids by baking a four-layer cake full of heart. If you don’t have time to make your own, order one unfrosted from a local bakery, then whip up colorful frosting and decorate with the candy of your choice (we used heart-shaped gummies). On the night of Valentine’s Day, serve your decadent dessert after you’ve shared a special dinner with your whole family.

CANDY SWAPS Not a fan of gummies? Add these tasty additions to your cake instead. • Strawberries • Conversation hearts • Chocolates • Sprinkles • Jelly beans • Piped frosting


Colorado Parent | February 2021

Make Your Own Toppers

Cut X and O shapes from decorative paper and tape them to colorful straws. Stick them into the center of your cake. Voilà!

CREATING A COMMUNITY UNITED TAKES ALL OF US. Mile High United Way believes all children, individuals and families should have the opportunity to succeed. Learn more and join us at

vote for


Each year, we honor the best family-friendly businesses, services, and attractions. Be sure your voice is heard—pick your favorites in 50 different categories.




Our Picks For Little Ones


Opener: Katherine Dines. Little Ones: Corey Gilstrap. Teens: Arapahoe Libraries.

For Kiddos

BFF THEATREDAZE Feb. 27 See page 42

For Tweens




Uncover the life of this fearsome fossil in SUE: The T. rex Experience, opening at DMNS, Feb. 12.

For Teens

SUE: The T. rex Experience

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 in 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 under age three; plus admission. Denver Museum of Nature & Science. See Where the Kids Are, page 42.


February 2021 |


Calendar | February

VIRTUAL Teens in Conversation About the State of the Education System 5pm. Tune


in to this intergenerational conversation hosted by MCA Denver’s Teens. Discuss how the pandemic has highlighted concerns many students, parents, teachers, and administrators have had about the education system for decades, and engage in some critical thinking in community. Register online.





VIRTUAL LGBT+ Book Club and Social 7-8:30pm. Looking to share





Explore the wonders of story and African oral tradition with renowned artist Queen Nur on Feb. 4 and 20.

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


VIRTUAL Accidental

Acrobats Feb. 1, 4-4:30pm; Feb. 27, 2-2:30pm. Prepare to be amazed, and tickled, by an acrobatic comedy duo. Ages 5-12. Register online. VIRTUAL Parents’ Happy Hour at Home 5:45pm. Meet other moms

and dads online and enjoy some laughs plus real conversations about parenthood. Bring your drink and a donation if possible. Register online. Donation based.

Get listed! 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


VIRTUAL Diversión en español: Arte con La Piñata de Aprendizaje 3:30-4pm. Enjoy

an afternoon of arts and crafts with the Learning Piñata. Ages 0-5. All in Spanish. Disfruta de una tarde de arte y manualidades con La Piñata de Aprendizaje. Por años 0-5. Todo en Español. VIRTUAL Picture Book

Party 4-4:30pm. In this virtual book talk, Arapahoe Libraries staff will share favorite new picture books for children ages 0-5 years old. Register online. VIRTUAL Bullet Journaling

Workshop Feb. 2, 17; 4-5pm. Learn the


Colorado Parent | February 2021

basics of the Bullet Journaling method, a systematic way of organizing personal goals and aspirations in a creative way. Get tips and ideas from presenter Kim Alvarez of Tiny Ray of Sunshine. Age 12 and up. Register online. VIRTUAL Book Queeries

4:30-5:30pm. Celebrate queer representation in teen fiction. Engage in fun, respectful dialogue and activities. Allies are welcome. This month’s book is You Should See Me in a Crown by Leah Johnson. Register online. Grades 6-12. VIRTUAL Make It Move! Family Creative Learning Workshop Feb. 2 (English), Feb. 11

(Español); 6-7pm. Tell a story by bringing everyday objects to life using stop motion animation. No prior experience is necessary. Register online. Cuente una historia usando objetos de casa con Stop Motion, una técnica de animación. No se necesita experiencia previa. Inscribirse en línea.


VIRTUAL Caricature Drawing Feb. 3, 16; 4-5pm. Enter the

exaggerated, cartoony world of caricature.

your interest in LGBT+ media with others? Join this group and share the latest book, movie, or artist that you enjoyed. All gender identities and sexual orientations welcome. Age 12 and up. Register online.


VIRTUAL Virtual Little University: Sense-a-tional Rocky! 3:30-4pm. Journey alongside

Kaylee & Casey Coyotes and Ranger Cinda as they explore their senses in Rocky Mountain National Park. They invite you to do the same in your own backyard. Bring a stuffed animal friend along for the fun. Grades pre-K-2. Register for the Zoom link. VIRTUAL Stories with Queen Nur Feb. 4, 4-5pm; Feb. 20, 11am-noon.

Enjoy a rich array of tales from the African and African American oral custom, presented by storyteller Karen AbdulMalik, known as Queen Nur. Age 5 and up. Register online.


VIRTUAL Matthew Dane & Christina Jennings: Music for Violas & Flute 2:30pm. Listen

in as violist Matthew Dane of Opera Colorado and Boulder Piano Quartet, and flutist Christina Jennings of CU Boulder, present a diverse program of solos and duos from Baroque to contemporary. Find the program streamed on the Longmont Museum Facebook Live.

Queen Nur: Arapahoe Libraries.

Join Denver artist Stan Yan who walks participants through shape identification, quick illustration, and drawing silly, but recognizable, faces. Ages 9-18. Register online.

Denver Jewish Film Festival: Blue Fox Entertainment.

Calendar | February


VIRTUAL Virtual Little

University: Kids Concert with Hunk-Ta-Bunk-Ta Music 10:30-11am. Dance and sing at this interactive musical performance with Grammy-nominated Katherine Dines. She’s earned 37 national awards as Hunk-Ta-Bunk-Ta Music and created 12 albums. Ages 0-5. Register for the Zoom link. VIRTUAL Carnival Parade

7pm. Take it to the virtual streets of New Orleans. Tune in for a night of music, fun, and special guests to celebrate Mardi Gras. Find the event on Mile High Freedom Bands’ YouTube.

VIRTUAL Children’s Chess Club 1-2pm. Join National Master

Todd Bardwick for a chess lesson and practice session online. All skill levels welcome. Ages 5-12. Register online.



Drawing Online 1-3pm. Find something that sparks your creativity, then capture that moment in a sketch, photo, or other expression using your choice of materials. Learn techniques with instructor Anna Kaye. VIRTUAL Diversión en


Family Make and Take: Garden Valentines Feb 7, 13, and 14. Times vary. Decorate a Valentine's Day display using dried flowers, leaves, and seeds, and craft materials. For children age 5 and up, and their grownup. $15 per project, $12 per project members. Denver Botanic Gardens York Street. See Where the Kids Are, page 42.

Aircraft Carrier: Guardian of the Seas Through Feb. 17. Showings every hour on the half hour. Stop in the Wings Over the Rockies theater for a short documentary about the mission of naval aviation. Learn how the engineering behind the modern U.S. carrier and the personnel conducting flight operations are key to success in defending the world’s oceans. Wings Over the Rockies Air & Space Museum. See Where the Kids Are, page 42. VIRTUAL Colorado

Environmental Film Festival Feb. 12-Feb. 21. Watch international environmental films, interact with filmmakers and other attendees, enjoy family-friendly and student programs, and more with this virtual rendition of the annual CEFF. Prices start at $10 single tickets, $35 passes. VIRTUAL Denver Jewish Film Festival: Abe Feb 8-17, on demand. Follow the story of Abe, a 12-year-old boy with a passion for

español: Canta con Chufo 3:304pm. Spend an afternoon singing and dancing with Chufo and his instruments. All in Spanish. Ages 0-5. Pasa una tarde divertida cantando y bailando con Chufo y sus instrumentos. Todo en español. Por años 0-5 VIRTUAL Kids Who Cook: Homemade Pop Tarts 4-4:30pm.

Learn to make a favorite breakfast

treat. Join this interactive demonstration and make homemade Pop Tarts. Parent help recommended. Ages 5-12. See ingredients and registration online. VIRTUAL Punk Rope Fitness Class Feb. 9, 25; 4-5pm. Get your jump

on with Tim and Shana, the creators of the longest running punk rock fitness class in the world. Enjoy jump rope and calisthenics exercises for a total body workout. Bring a jump rope. Age 12 and up. Register online.

VIRTUAL Denver Jewish Film

Festival: Tree #3 Feb 8-17, on demand. Watch as a young Israeli immigrant boy who’s been cast as a background tree in his middle school play become a revolution leader on stage. Age 12 and up. Shown with Abe. VIRTUAL Flatirons Food Film Fest: Keepers of Black American Food Culture Available

(English), Feb. 18 (Español); 6-7pm. Learn how to tell a story using pictures, sounds, and animations in Scratch, a beginner-friendly, blockbased coding environment. No prior experience necessary. Register online. Familias aprenderán a contar una historia usando imágenes, sonidos y animaciones en Scratch, un programa de codificación basado en bloques. No se necesita experiencia previa. Registrarse en línea.

VIRTUAL Anime Club

4:30-6pm. Miss watching anime with your friends? Join a group online to play anime trivia and watch a show: Keep Your Hands Off Eizouken. Grades 6-12. calendar.


VIRTUAL reSOLVE for Families Feb. 9, 5-6pm; Feb. 24,

VIRTUAL Virtual Little University: Kids Yoga 3:30-

on-demand. Join mindSpark Learning in a series focused on helping Colorado families navigate virtual learning while supporting whole child development and social-emotional learning.

4pm. Move your body and center your mind in this active yoga class. Ages 0-5. Register for the Zoom link.

VIRTUAL Make It Move! Family Creative Learning Workshop See Feb. 2

Movie Moments

cooking and food blogging. When Abe needs to bring his family together, he turns to the power of flavors and food from his grandparents’ homeland. Film includes subtitles. Age 10 and up. $12 per household. VIRTUAL Denver Jewish Film Festival: The Tattooed Torah Feb 8-17, on demand. Based on the renowned children’s book that has been educating young children about the Holocaust for generations, this film follows a child’s perspective through the unfolding of the war. Age 12 and up due to sensitive content.

VIRTUAL Explore Scratch! Family Creative Learning Workshop Feb. 9

In Abe, a young cook meets Chico, an Afro-Brazilian chef from Bahia, whose fusion dishes inspire the boy to bring his family together through food. starting Feb. 1, 6:30pm with four days to start watching. Celebrate Black History Month with a series of short films from the Southern Foodways Alliance (SFA). Indulge your eyes on feasts and flavors of seven Black American culinary artists. After the films, Adrian Miller, subject of Table of Ideas, will discuss the collection with filmmaker Joe York, who directed many of the films. $12. Find tickets online.

VIRTUAL Flatirons Food Film Fest: Puppet-Making for Everyone Available starting Jan. 30, 10am. Begin streaming within six days. Join master puppet-maker Cory Gilstrap for a participatory creation class and short film screening of Thriller (Sock Puppet Parody) and Sock Puppet Film Noir. Bring a sock, scissors, glue, and everyday materials like buttons and ribbons to bring it to life. Age 4 and up. Find tickets online.

February 2021 | Colorado Parent


Calendar | February

VIRTUAL Kickboxing for Kids Feb. 11, 4-4:30pm; Feb. 22,

3:30-4pm. Join instructor Natalie Lucero for a fun, high energy kick boxing class. Ages 5-12. Register online.


Kids Only Valentine’s Day Starlight Safari Pizza Party & Tour Feb. 12, 13; 6-8:30pm. Enjoy a night off while your kids have fun at Cheyenne Mountain Zoo eating pizza, roasting s’mores, seeing animals, and making connections with nature. Age 5 and up. Registration ends February 7. $45.75, $40.75 members. Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, Colorado Springs.

Valentine’s Love is in the Air Date Night 6:30-9pm. Step out under the stars for an adults-only private evening tour of Cheyenne Mountain Zoo. Start the evening with an adult beverage, then stroll to see what the animals do at night. Your guide will focus on "Love is in the Air" themes from the animal kingdom. Age 21 and up. Registration ends February 7. $40.75 per person, $35.75 member per person. Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, Colorado Springs.


confidence, and explore the spontaneous world of improv. Develop skills through group activities, short-form games, and scene work. Register online. $40. VIRTUAL Testigos Art of Cultura: Printmaking

10-11:30am Join local artist and MSU Denver alumna, Dianna Miguez, for a hands-on, online workshop about printmaking. Learn about the craft and make your own prints. Activity kits will be available for pick up at Museo de las Americas. Register online by February 1. $25, $15 members. VIRTUAL Doggie Tales Online 10:15-11:30am; 15-minute

sessions. Practice reading to a therapy dog at home with support from Have Paws Will Travel, a guide dog puppy-raising club. Bring a favorite story to share or complete a form online to request a book be mailed to you. Ages 6-10. Register online. VIRTUAL Voices of Steamboat 5pm. Tune in to an

evening full of music performed by Steamboat vocalists. A panel of judges will select top singers to win prizes. Root on your favorite and support nonprofits by helping them raise funds. Find the competition streamed live on YouTube. Free, donations suggested.

Kids Only Valentine’s Day Starlight Safari Pizza Party & Tour See Feb. 12.


Family Make and Take: Garden Valentines See Feb 7.

Family Make and Take: Garden Valentines See Feb 7.


VIRTUAL Storytime Saturday 9:3010:30am. Join the DCPA in online pretend play that activates the imagination and emerging literacy skills. Enjoy a mix of story, craft, and whole-body learning. Grades pre-K-2. Register online. $20 each session.

español: Movimiento y baile con Jenn 3:30-4pm. Move and

VIRTUAL Middle & High School Improv Extravaganza

VIRTUAL Diversión en

dance in this energetic program. All in Spanish. Ages 0-5. Muevete y baila en este programa energético. Todo en Español. Por años 0-5. VIRTUAL Caricature

Drawing See Feb. 3.

10-11:30am. Make friends, build


Valentines Day: Cheyenne Mountain Zoo.

HOT TIP Check out the Center for Racial Justice in Education’s Black History Month resource guide for educators and families. Find 66 articles that cover the history behind the month, school curriculum, centering stories of Black women and LGBTQ+ folks, and more to help you extend the lessons beyond February.

Colorado Parent | February 2021

Party at the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo after hours at the Kids Only Valentine’s Day event. Feb. 12, 13 VIRTUAL Parenting Strategies: Mindful Parenting with Young Children 4-5pm. Gain simple

VIRTUAL Bullet Journaling Workshop

practices and activities that will help you mindfully handle stressful moments with your kids. Learn how to reflect calm to your child so they can regulate their nervous system. Join Elizabeth Perryman, founder of Upstream Mindfulness, for the presentation. For parents and caregivers of children ages 0-5. Register online.



VIRTUAL STEAM: Gross Snack Science 4-4:30pm. Learn

some of the more bizarre, gross, and weird sciences behind your favorite snacks. Fair warning: you’ll never look at some of your most-loved munchies the same way after this presentation. Ages 9-12. Register online.

See Feb. 2.

VIRTUAL Explore Scratch! Family Creative Learning Workshop See Feb. 9. VIRTUAL Virtual Little University: Camouflage & Coloration with Nature’s Educators 3:30-4pm. Meet animals

that have special blending capabilities through camouflage or unique colorations. Bring a stuffed animal friend to learn with. Ages 0-5. Register for the Zoom link. VIRTUAL High School Acting on Camera Workshop 3:30-

5pm. Learn basic acting techniques and on-camera skills, plus the skills to gain confidence to get out there, with this DCPA workshop. Register online. $40.

Tommy Terrific: Tommy Diaz. Theatredaze: DCPA Education.

Calendar | February

VIRTUAL Family Hack It/Make It: Coat Hangers

VIRTUAL Intro to Theater: Reader’s Theater

4-4:30pm. Figure out something useful to do with those random coat hangers you’ve got hanging around. All ages. Register online.

6:30-7:30pm. Join an online thespian crew in reading a play (or sitting back to watch). This month’s story is of St. Valentine. Enjoy the tale about love while learning a new aspect of theater. All skill levels welcome. Age 12 and up. Register online.


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

Tommy Terrific honors MLB pitcher Satchel Paige in a wacky magic show. Feb. 18, 24. VIRTUAL Magic Show

Honoring Satchel Paige

Feb. 18, 4-5pm; Feb. 24, 4:30-5:30pm. Watch as Tommy Terrific performs baseball themed magic in honor of Satchel Paige, a famous Major League Baseball pitcher. Ages 5-12. Register online. VIRTUAL Virtual Teen Gaming: Jackbox Games

4-5pm. Play Jackbox Games including favorites like Quiplash and Drawful with a bunch of online friends. Ages 12-18. Register online.

mastery through this informal writing session with Lighthouse Writers Workshop. Open to all levels. VIRTUAL High School Commercial Voice-Over Workshop 3:30-5pm. Unlock your

voice potential and learn the basics of radio and television voice-over work. Join the virtual class where you’ll analyze and activate commercial copy, learn to take direction, and increase your versatility. Register online. $40.


VIRTUAL reSOLVE for Families See Feb. 9. VIRTUAL Magic Show


VIRTUAL Stories with

Queen Nur See Feb. 4.

VIRTUAL CU Wizards: The Magic of Chemistry

9:30am. Enjoy a program all about the wonders of science, featuring professors at the university who guide interactive presentations once a month. This month is all about chemistry.

Honoring Satchel Paige See Feb. 18. VIRTUAL STEAM:

Winter Trivia 4-5pm. Test your knowledge of random, fun facts about snow, snowmen, snowflakes, snowboarding, and all other things frozen matter. Ages 5-8. Register online.

VIRTUAL National Geographic Live: Reimagining Dinosaurs

8pm. Learn about dinosaur discoveries like the Spinosaurus’ paddle-like tail that helped it pursue prey in the water, a first for dinosaurs, plus the new therapod found in Chile. Join leading paleontologists Nizar Ibrahim and Sebastián Rozadilla for stories and conversation about the evolving science of dinosaurs. $25 single stream, $40 household.


VIRTUAL Punk Rope Fitness Class See Feb. 9.


VIRTUAL Pet Show and Tell 10:30-11:30am. Get your

furry, scaly, shelled, or otherwisecovered friend ready for a special show. This session will begin with a story, have a special guest from the animal kingdom, and then a time to share pets. Register online.

VIRTUAL Virtual Little University: Pigment Creation with Chelsea Gilmore 10:30-

Principles of IDEA and IEP Feb. 11, 9am. Learn about helping a student with a disability by learning about educational surrogate parenting. This workshop is for guardian ad litems, special advocates, foster parents, teachers and administrators, community volunteers, and caring community members. Join PEAK Parent Center online. VIRTUAL Sibling Clubhouse, Feb. 6, 4-5pm.

Hang out with other kids who have siblings with autism and understand the dynamic. Autism Community Store creates space for this peer moderated group. Participants should be old enough to have a meaningful conversation about being a sibling of someone with Autism. Email Connect@ autismcommunitystore to get on the sibling clubhouse email list.

Signing Safari Feb. 27, 6-8pm. Explore the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo at night with other kids, families, and adults who are deaf or hard of hearing. Learn what the animals do at night and walk under the stars. The program will be in sign language from start to finish. Register online. $35.57, $30.75 members. Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, Colorado Springs.

Thrilling Thursdays Feb. 4Feb. 25, Thu, 12:30-3:30pm. Participate in a variety of activities that increase motor skills, balance, and social skills. Enjoy swimming, soccer, art, basketball, cooking, and fitness with a small group. Age 16 and up. Register online for the foursession course. $138, $120 HRCA member. Southridge Rec Center, Highlands Ranch.

11am. Join artist Chelsea Gilmore in a tutorial to make your own paint pigments. Use natural items found in and around your house. A full list of supplies and the Zoom link will be provided upon registration.


VIRTUAL Kickboxing for Kids See Feb. 11.


Special Families

Create and engage in dramatic play with a pal or sib during DCPA's BFF Theatredaze program. Feb. 27.

February 2021 | Colorado Parent


Calendar | February

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 (closed) Butterfly Pavilion Thu-Mon, 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 Thu-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, and Water exhibits are open. Reservations and face coverings required. $14 ages 2-59, $12 ages 1 and 60+, $1 Explorer Pass, Free members and under age 1. 2121 Children's Museum Dr., Denver. 303-433-7444.

Downtown Aquarium Mon-Thurs, 10am-8pm; Fri, 8:30am-8:30pm; Sat, 8am-8:30pm; Sun, 8am-8pm. $23.50 ages 12-64, $22.50 senior, $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 ages 18-64, $4 senior and military, $3 ages 7-17, free age 6 and under. Small groups with timed tickets. 715 S. Forest St. Denver. 720-865-0800.

History Colorado Center Daily, 10am-5pm. $14 adult, $12 senior, $10 ages 16-22 and student, $8 ages 5-15, free age 4 and under. Timed tickets for purchase online. Face coverings required. 1200 Broadway, Denver. 303-447-8679.

Denver Art Museum Daily, 10am-5pm; $10-$13 adult,

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

$8-$10 senior, 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.

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 closed. Call to make a reservation. Free. 6028 S. Gallup St., Littleton. 303-795-3950.

Denver Botanic Gardens York Street Daily,

Longmont Museum Tue-Sat, 9am-3pm. $8 adults, $5

9am-5pm. $15 adult, $11.50 senior 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.

students/seniors, free 3 and under and members. Handson 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 Botanic Gardens Chatfield Farms Daily,

Lookout Mountain Preserve and Nature Center (closed)

9am-5pm. $7 adults, $5 seniors and students, free members and children 12 and under. 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.

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

Denver Firefighters Museum Tue-Sun, 10am-4pm.

Museum of Boulder Sun-Mon, Thu-Sat, 9am-5pm;

$9 adult, $8 senior, military, and student, $7 ages 3-12 and firefighters, free age 2 and under. Reservations and masks are required. Hands-on activities are temporarily stored. 1326 Tremont Pl., Denver. 303-892-1436.

Wed, 9am-8pm. $10 adults; $8 seniors, youth, students; free children under 2 and members. Masks required, and finger cots available for hands-on activities. Find admission tickets online. 2205 Broadway, Boulder. 303-449-3464.

Denver Museum of Miniatures, Dolls and Toys Fri-Sat, 10am-4pm, Sun 1pm-4pm. $5 adult, $4 child (4-16) and senior, free age 3 and under. Purchase advance tickets to walk the gallery; wear a mask and follow social distance guidelines. 830 Kipling St., Lakewood. 303-322-1053.

Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge Grounds open daily sunrise-sunset. The Visitor

Denver Museum of Nature & Science Daily;

University of Colorado Museum of Natural History (closed)

9am-5pm, open until 9 pm on Fridays. $18.95 adult, $15.95 senior, $13.95 ages 3-18, free age 2 and under. 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; 10am-5pm. $15 adult, $15 senior, $10 child ages 3-11, free age 2 and under. Reserve timed tickets online. All purchases on the campus are cashless, and pathways are one-way. 2300 Steele St., Denver. 720-337-1400.


Colorado Parent | February 2021

Center is closed. 6550 Gateway Rd., Commerce City. 303-289-0930.

Wings Over the Rockies Air & Space Museum Mon-Sat, 10am-4pm; Sun, noon-4pm. $16.95 ages 17-64, $12.95 senior and military, $9.95 ages 4-16, free age 3 and under. 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 (closed)

VIRTUAL The Wonderful World of Coyotes 1-2pm. Run wild

(in your imagination) with the coyotes during this virtual program filled with cool facts about the animal’s hunting skills, creative camouflage, and social interactions. All ages. Register to receive the Zoom link. VIRTUAL Meet Young Adult Author Robin Farmer 5:30-

6:30pm. Join YA author Robin Farmer in a discussion about her debut historical fiction novel, Malcolm and Me. Farmer talks about how the novel’s setting reflects today’s world as it deals with racism, injustice, activism, and family. A Q&A session will follow. Age 12 and up. Register online. VIRTUAL Aurora Borealis: Baltic Music 7:30pm. Enjoy the musical

stylings of the St. Martin’s Chamber Choir as they sing a tour through Baltic states from Estonia, Latvia, Sweden, and Finland. Find tickets online. $25 general, $10 student.


VIRTUAL Accidental Acrobats See Feb. 1. VIRTUAL BFF Theatredaze 1-3pm. Grab your bestie (virtually) and join in a creative dramatic play session. Discover new ways of working together that celebrate friendship and community, and create great theater. Grades 2-5. Register online. Each registration is for two students. $50. VIRTUAL Guilty Pleasures

7pm. Tune in to Mile High Freedom Bands’ performance in celebration of songs that stick with us. Find the event streamed on YouTube.


VIRTUAL Book Talk with Luke Reynolds (Fantastic Failures)

2-3pm. Author and teacher Luke Reynolds saw the failure anxiety in his students and wrote Fantastic Failures to help kids learn how their mistakes can help them grow into their potential. He looks at examples including Albert Einstein, Rosa Parks, Sonia Sotomayor, Vincent Van Gogh, Julia Child, Steven Spielberg, and more. Find tickets online. $0-$20 pay what you can.

Bluff Lake: Carly Winner.

Calendar | February


Ice Castles Through Feb 28. MonThu, 4-9pm; Fri, noon-10:30pm; Sat, 11am-10:30pm; Sun, noon-8pm; Closed Tue-Wed unless a holiday or school break. Slide down slippery slopes, crawl through tight spots, and stare in awe of illuminated fountains at this elevated igloo attraction. Reduced capacity, one-way traffic, and mask wearing enforced. Mon and Thu: $18 age 12 and up, $13 child; Fri-Sun: $23 age 12 and up, $18 child; free age 3 and under. Dillon Town Park, Dillon.

Flags of Hope: Banderas de Esperanza Through Feb. 13. Flags of Hope Motorcade Feb. 13, 2pm. Drive, walk, or ride by messages of hope lining the Santa Fe Drive arts district. Enjoy the free outdoor installation cultivated by a coalition of cultural organizations including Museo de las Americas. Go online to submit your own message of hope and see what others are offering. Decorate your ride and join the Flags of Hope Motorcade on Feb. 13. Denver's Art District on Santa Fe, Denver.

Winterfest at Gaylord Rockies Through Feb. 28. Mon-Fri, 4-8pm; Sat-Sun, 10am-8pm; Extended hours Feb. 12, 15. Keep the light and merriment going after the holiday season with snow tubing, ice skating, ice bumper cars, and a snow merrygo-round. Open for guests of the Gaylord Rockies Resort. $5.99-$17.99. Gaylord Rockies Resort & Convention Center, Aurora.

nature through puppets, interactive activities, and virtual storytime. Ages 0-5. Register to receive the Zoom link. CLASSES, CLUBS, AND PROGRAMS 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 Annual African

American Youth Leadership Conference Sat, 9am and 10:30am sessions. Log on to a series of weekly virtual workshops that will help middle and high school students grow in their understandings of college/ workforce prep, STEM, Black History, and Financial Literacy. Register online. VIRTUAL Artivism Feb. 6, Ages 6-9; Feb. 13, Ages 9-12; Feb. 20, Ages 12-16; Feb. 27, Ages 16-18; 1-3pm. Explore art ideas that evoke emotion and reflect on human experience. Discover a passion and find your voice in society while learning about human, civil, animal, and environmental rights. This virtual course is offered in partnership with ArtivismCO, and includes live Zoom

sessions and live Zoom studio hours. Register online and see the supply kit pickup information. $65, $50 FAC member.

engage in the conversation. Register online.

Bluff Lake Nature Center After School Program Feb. 16-

Get your start in creative writing. Join Lighthouse Writers Workshop the first Saturday of each month to experiment with stories and words, try writing activities, and talk about your interests. Ages 8-12. Register online.

March 24. Tue or Wed, 3:30-4:40pm. Explore the natural world of winter. Join environmental educators on a six-week journey through topics such as animal tracks, winter habitats, migration, hibernation, and “overwintering” insects. Ages 5-12. Register online. $110 for six weeks. Bluff Lake Nature Center, Denver.

Bollywood Cardio Dance Through March 31. Wed, 7-8pm. Get moving and feel good with a class from Roshni, a Denverbased multicultural performing arts organization. Register and get further information by emailing VIRTUAL Civic Saturdays

Through May 29. Gather with fellow community members to reflect, connect and create civic traditions that are meaningful and communal. Through songs, readings, discussions, and local artist performances, community members and Anythink Library staff will participate in difficult—and important—conversations. Participating families will also be provided materials to encourage young children to

Naturalist Nature Walks: Choose Your Own Adventure Feb 6, 23, 27; 9-10am,

5pm. Grab your family and/or COVID buddies and stream this special performance together. Enjoy Shirley Delta Blow’s “Fact or Fiction?” show and contribute to the funds going directly to the Dorian De Long Arts and Music Scholarship, which is awarded to a graduating high school student who intends to pursue advanced education in the study of arts. Tickets are available online. $20 minimum. VIRTUAL Fresh Start Parent Support Group Tue, 11am-noon.

Tune in to a virtual support group over Zoom for parents of all ages. Discuss how to understand the role of family history in shaping discipline strategies and relationships with children. Call 720-523-3182 for a screening to see if the group is a good fit. $70 per family per group session. VIRTUAL High School Acting Technique Feb. 20-March 13,

VIRTUAL Improv to the C.O.R.E Feb. 20-March 13, Sat;

1-2pm. Set off on a family exploration unique to you and your interests. Pick a nature topic you’d like to learn more about, then call the Nature Center to schedule a session with the Naturalist team. First come, first serve. One family per time slot. Morrison Nature Center at Star K Ranch, Aurora.

9:30-10am. Discover Aurora's true

VIRTUAL Fifth Annual DDAM Drag Show Through Feb. 15,

Sat; 10-11:30am. Join the DCPA for four sessions that will help students develop an understanding of core acting theory including scene analysis, improvisation, and key theatre vocabulary. Register online. $120.


VIRTUAL Star K Kids Thu,

VIRTUAL Creative Writing 101 First Sat, 2-3:30pm.

11am-noon. Build your C.O.R.E. for doing improv: Character, Objective, Relationship, and Environment, with this foundations class. Grades 4-5. Register online. $80.

Study the winter world of animals and insects at Bluff Lake Nature Center. Feb. 16-Mar. 24.

VIRTUAL Middle School Acting Foundations Feb. 20-March 13,

Sat; 10-11:30am. Develop a toolbox of

February 2021 | Colorado Parent


Calendar | February

acting essentials while exploring scene analysis, improvisation, working with objectives, and learning key theater vocabulary. Register online for the four sessions. $120. VIRTUAL Middle School Improv

Feb. 20-March 13, Sat; Noon-1:30pm. Explore the spontaneous world of improv. Engage in short-form games, scene work, and group activities that will help you discover how to make strong character choices. Register online for the four sessions. $120.

Music Together Demo Class Through March 31. 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. VIRTUAL Parent and Tot Yoga

Feb. 21-March 28. 9-9:45am. Sun. Share in fun partner yoga poses, movement, play, and song. Ages 2-5 with caregiver. Register for this seven week class online. $47, $40 members

Pee Wee Art Take Home Kits Wed, 9am-4pm. Parents, introduce your preschooler(s) to the arts and assist with their creative process. Pick up kits through the 2021 Winter and 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. VIRTUAL Red Earth Yoga for BIPOC Through May 26. Wed,

6pm. Join Spirit of the Sun and Satya Yoga Cooperative for these community yoga sessions. BIPOC, allies, and accomplices welcome to a safe space of healing and mindful movement. Register online. Free, donations welcome.


Virtual Disocvery: Ann Macca. Solo Minded Dance: Laurel Ryan.

Ongoing Events Robots, Creatures, and Aliens Thu, 4:30-6pm. Learn the difference between collage and assemblage art by creating works of both types. Students are asked to bring magazines and “junk drawer items.” $50. Curtis Center for the Arts, Greenwood Village. greenwoodvillage. com VIRTUAL Snapology: Adventures with Jedi Masters

Feb. 9-March 2. Tue, 5pm. Participate in Star Wars® themed activities using LEGO® bricks and other interactive learning tools. Build scenes from the movies, plus all the iconic parts of the legend like ships and lightsabers. Ages 5-14. Register online for the four-week course. $39. VIRTUAL Snapology: Movie Favorites Feb.10-March 3. Wed,

2pm. Use LEGO® bricks to bring favorite animated movies to life. Toy Story, How to Train Your Dragon, Lion King, OnWard, Frozen, and Trolls will be recreated. Ages 5-14. Register online for the four-week session. $39. VIRTUAL Snapology: Mining & Building Feb.11-March 4. Thu, 5pm.

Bring your LEGO® bricks to the Nether with this workshop. Create your own Minecraft world including animals, creepers, and your own character. Ages 5-14. Register online for the four-week course. $39. VIRTUAL Snapology: Superheroes Feb. 8-March 1. Mon,

2pm. Design your own superhero using LEGO® bricks, then create your own adventure and comic strip. Invent superpowers to give the characters and use your materials to make the story come to life. Ages 5-14. Register online for the four-week course. $39. VIRTUAL Solo Minded Dance

Feb. 3-March 10. Thu, 6-7pm. Groove on your own at home with just a little space and some instruction from jazz dancer Laurel Ryan. All skill levels welcome. Register online. $10 per session, $50 all six classes.

Colorado Parent | February 2021

Get tiny hands creating with take-home kits and virtual Discovery Days lessons from the Longmont Museum. VIRTUAL Staging Stories: Fantastic Fairy Tales and Fables Feb. 20-March 13, Sat, 9:30-

10:30am. Through theatrical play, bring beloved fairy tales and fables alive from the page to the stage. Join DCPA for four sessions of online imagination and problem solving. Grades 2-3. Register online. $80. VIRTUAL Staging Stories:

Ages 2-6 and caregivers. $16-$40 members, $18-$45 nonmembers. VIRTUAL Virtual Youth Open Mic Last Fri of each month,

4:30-5:30pm. Share your words with other young writers. Ages 8-18.

Watercolor for Kids Tue, 4:30-

9:30-10:30am. Step into stories by igniting your imagination, problem solving, and character creation skills. Register for the four-session series, and receive a craft packet delivered to your door. Grades K-1. $90.

6pm. Explore watercolor through painting techniques such as color mixing, mixed media, and layering. Try creating with different subject matter including still life, landscape, and abstraction. Register online. $50. Curtis Center for the Arts, Greenwood Village.

VIRTUAL Virtual Discovery Days Wed-Fri, 10-10:30am or

VIRTUAL Wreck This Book Club! Wed, 4-5pm. Follow a

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.

prompt from Wreck this Journal, a book featuring opportunities to fill the pages with mistakes and messes. Use it for inspiration in your own journal, talk to other artists, ask questions, and show off your work. Ages 8-12.

Storybooks Feb. 20-March 13, Sat,

Mother and child: G&I Images/Getty images.

Calendar | February

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. MUSEUM MEANDERINGS

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.

Borderlands of Southern Colorado Ongoing. History Colorado's newest exhibit centers Chicano, Indigenous, and Mestizo perspectives on the shifting geopolitical history of southern Colorado. It’s rich in oral histories and first-person accounts, and will be a core, ongoing exhibition. History Colorado Center. See Where the Kids Are, page 42.

Birdly Virtual Reality Experience Ongoing; Daily, 9am-5pm; Fri, 9am-9pm. Hop on the Birdly simulation flyer with head-mounted VR display to get a pterodactyls-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, guests using wheelchairs must transfer to ride. Denver Museum of Nature and Science. See Where the Kids Are, page 42.

Breakfast Fly-In First Sat,

are a perfect combination for your time at Wings Over the Rockies. Enjoy Barrett and Pratt Provision food truck goodies, watch aircraft fly in, talk with pilots, and explore interactive exhibits and simulators. All ages. $10 adult, $8 senior and military, $4 ages 4-16, free members. Wings Over the Rockies Exploration of Flight, Englewood.

Citizenship: A Practice of Society Through Feb. 14. Head to the Museum of Contemporary Art for this politically-engaged display of works from more than 30 artists and organizations. The pieces date only so far back as 2016, and are responses to news events as well as art world trends. $10 adult, free age 18 and under. MCA Denver.

Drawing Parallels: Community Art & Artifacts from 2020 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.

Papel Chicano Dos: Works on Paper from the Collection of Cheech Marin Thu-Sat, 10am-4pm. Catch this traveling exhibition featuring 65 artworks by 24 established and emerging Chicano artists. The works demonstrate a diversity of imagery, content, and techniques used by Chicano artists for more than 30 years. Admission tickets online. $10 adults; $5 military and senior; free students, teachers, and FAC members. Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center, Colorado Springs.

Senga Nengudi: Topologies 10am-5pm. Witness a 40-year span of work by Segna Nengudi, a prominent figure of the 1970s Black American avant-garde and Black Arts Movement, featuring her responses to being Black, 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.

Testigos/Witnesses Tue-Fri noon-6pm, Sat noon-5pm. Museo’s latest exhibit features Gaal D. Cohen and Genaro Fuentes Trejo (of the indigenous Otomi community) in

partnered creations made from Amate paper, the original paper of Latin America that predates European contact. The work explores the Otomi people’s witness to millennia of conquest, enslavement, and hardship; and, their resilience. $8, $5 students/ military/artists/seniors, free age 12 and under and members. Museo De Las Americas, Denver.

The Light Show See the exhibit that focuses on the quest by humanity and artists to understand physical light in the natural world as well as metaphorical, spiritual, and divine representations of light. Included with admission. Denver Art Museum. See Where the Kids Are, page 42.

Women Behaving Badly Through Feb. 28. 10am-5pm. Step into the mezzanine of the History Colorado center to find watercolor, photography, news clippings, and text highlighting women who’ve made history. Denver artist Adri Norris, who created the exhibit, says she hopes people see themselves in the stories and consider how to think differently about women in general. History Colorado Center. See Where the Kids Are, page 42.

Enduring Impressions: Degas, Monet, Pissarro, and Their Printmaker George William Thornley Enjoy the allure of impressionist paintings, charcoal illustrations, and prints by the greats. Exhibit materials are on loan from the collection of Drs. Morton and Tobia Mower. All ages. $8 adults, $5 students/ seniors, free members and age 3 and younger. Longmont Museum. See Where the Kids Are, page 42. VIRTUAL Museum From Home Available every day. Visit the

CU Museum from home and find a range of exhibits and educational materials for families. Download bee identification guides, fact sheets, a nature bingo game, nature-themed crafts, and more. New content is added often. Many offerings are available with Spanish translation. All ages.

8-11am. Planes, pilots, and breakfast

February 2021 | Colorado Parent



Dancing kids: National Dance Institute

Feel-Good Grooves

Dancers across the country join the National Dance Institute in a big stretch during their ndiLIVE! class.

Online dance workouts to keep the family moving through the winter. By Anna Sutterer


it the floor and press play! All you need for these hype-filled routines is a body, some water, maybe a towel, and whatever sense of rhythm you can muster. Of course, you don’t have to get all the moves right, it’s all about getting active and having fun. KIDZ BOP DANCE ALONG FITNESS AND DANCE CLASS Get down to popular music with young song and dance ambassadors, the KIDZ BOP Kids. Head to KIDZ BOP’s YouTube channel and find their Dance Along Videos collection for more than 70 choreographed routines. Ages six to 12. Free. THE BALLET COACH Join Sarah Du-Feu, the Ballet Coach and former English National Ballet dancer, for fun and confidenceboosting exercises. Find imaginative ballet story videos for tots, all the way up to barre fitness class for teens and adults. Age two and up. Free classes on YouTube. $13-$20 monthly for a membership.


GONOODLE While dancing, stretching, running, jumping, deep breathing, and wiggling to the music, instructors also teach kids about a whole world of things from homophones (see the Blazer Fresh channel) to cleaning up messes (see the MooseTube channel). Ages five to 12. Free. ndiLIVE! National Dance Institute virtual classes cater to movers and shakers pre-K to sixth grade. Children can participate in brief warm up videos, movement with storytelling, and choreography. Closed captioning available. Open to all ability levels. Free.

Colorado Parent | February 2021

JUST DANCE Look up this popular interactive video game on YouTube and follow along with visually cued choreography. Learn routines to contemporary tunes and songs outside of your usual playlists. Age 10 and up. Free. justdance/videos ZUMBA Check out what the global network of Zumba instructors offer on their online portal. Use a searchable calendar to find classes from different countries and for different focuses such as Zumba Kids, Zumba For Every Body, and Zumba on Wheels. Age four and up. Drop-in rates from free to $15.

KUKUWA FITNESS The always sunny mother-daughter duo Kukuwa and Cass lead African Dance workouts filled with moves that are fast and full-bodied. The Mama and Baby Series (subscription required), led by master Kukuwa trainer Kree, shows parents how to move through exercises with a babe in the womb, strapped on back, or clutched to the hip. Free, shorter dance workouts are on YouTube. $15 monthly subscription for the whole collection. WHEELCHAIR DANCERS ORGANIZATION All ages, all ability levels, and all kinds of dance enthusiasts are welcome to join these inclusive workouts. Each class is taught by instructors with varying abilities who create a space for all to enjoy dances in hip hop, latin jazz, and bollywood. Some previouslyrecorded sessions are available on the group’s YouTube and a schedule of live streamed events is online. Free, donations accepted. wheelchairdancers. org/event/dance-events


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.

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