Colorado Parent January 2022

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Growing Great Families Since 1986

Get Organized! Family Planners for 2022 7 Tasks Every Parent Should Finish This Year RAISED IN THE SADDLE Colorado’s Young Riders



Digital Detox

Our Top Picks for Family Fun in January




good to know

Photo: Children’s Museum of Denver at Marsico Campus.

A Snow Day Every Day!

No matter what the weather brings, there will be a place for kids in Denver to play in snow this winter. Snow Days, the newest experience at the Children’s Museum of Denver at Marsico Campus, transforms the Joy Park plaza into a 20,000-square-foot winter adventure land. Kids can test their skills at curling or ice fishing, climb onto a toboggan, or glide on the skating rink wearing socks or shoe booties. To keep things frosty, fresh snow will be added to a sledding hill twice a week. Après play, warm up by the fire pit with a toasty drink from the hot cocoa bar stocked with fun flavors including Whoppers. Be sure to pop in the life-size snow globe to take the selfie of the season. Snow Days is open through February 27 and is included with general admission.



HOW TO PREVENT AND TREAT DRY WINTER SKIN Helpful tips for keeping your skin healthy during the cold and dry season.




WHEN YOUR CHILD’S FUTURE LOOKS DIFFERENT Review these financial considerations to protect your child with special needs.


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AFFORDABLE COOKING CLASSES Gain more confidence in the kitchen (and have some fun!) for $50 or less.


FAMILY GUIDE TO FOOD & DINING We know how meaningful it is to enjoy a good meal with your family. That’s why we’ve rounded up the best Denver area restaurants, recipes, and local resources for all things food.

EDITORIAL Editor Deborah Mock Senior Associate Editor Kara Thompson Editorial Assistant Anna Sutterer Copy Editor Lydia Rueger

ADVERTISING SALES Advertising Director Brigette Swartz Account Manager Hilary Angel Advertising and Marketing Coordinator Tamara Curry

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BRAND SERVICES Brand Services Director Carly Lambert Print Operations Director Megan Skolak


Creative Services Manager Chelsea Conrad Digital Advertising Manager Shundra Jackson Graphic Designer Caitlin Brooks Production Coordinator Alyssa Chutka Design Coordinator Mylie Hiraoka Creative Services Intern Dzifah Danso MARKETING Director of Marketing Piniel Simegn

ADMINISTRATION Billing and Collections Manager Jessica McHeard DISTRIBUTION & CIRCULATION 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, REVENUE Zach Wolfel

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Printed by Publication Printers 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) ©2022 5280 Publishing, Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or part without written permission is prohibited.

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Dining, pan, lotion, mother and child: Getty Images.


from our editors

from our editors

A New Chapter

Over the past several months, we’ve been working hard to revamp Colorado Parent with a clean, updated look. From the cover to the calendar, you’ll see a fresh design that will guide you through the parenting tips, articles, local events, recipes, and activities you’ve always loved. We’ve also divided the magazine into five new sections that represent the center of family life: Play, Wellness, Home, Explore, and Learn. These sections will rotate each month, featuring in-depth articles on a variety of parenting topics. You’ll still find informative and entertaining short reads in our award-winning Good To Know section (starting on page 3), along with products we think you’ll love and helpful solutions to parenting challenges. Don’t miss the new Happenings section (page 39), which boasts “Our Picks,” highlighting the events that we’re most excited about each month. To close out each issue, turn to our new “Fresh Mindset” column (page 46) where you’ll read an uplifting or thought-provoking quote from a local parent. In all we do, our goal is to help support and educate people raising kids in Colorado, in as many ways as we can. Here’s to a new chapter and a new year! —the editors at Colorado Parent

1986 Growing Great Families Since

Get Organized! Family Planners for 2022 7 Tasks Every Parent Should Finish This Year Raised in the Saddle Colorado’s Young Riders


Digital Detox

Our Top Picks for Family Fun in January JANUARY 2022 PART OF THE



Denver Preschool Program helps every Denver family access the power of preschool. Resources to help you find a preschool that best meets your family’s needs Tuition support to lower your monthly costs at more than 250 quality programs

Don’t Forget—Denver Public Schools School Choice is open Janurary 14 through February 15!

Learn more at




good to know


3 Enticing Mocktails To Try in the New Year


Satisfying drinks to sip any night of the week.




Pom Fizzie Still feeling festive despite the post-holiday season? This pomegranate-packed drink will satisfy your cravings. Add a handful of ice cubes to a glass, pour in a splash of pomegranate juice, add sparkling water, and finish with a squeeze of lime. Garnish with fresh rosemary and pomegranate arils for some added pep.


Winter Hug If you need a warming sip on a snowy night, this hot toddy mocktail will offer a steamy dose of winter comfort. Brew your favorite tea (we like green, black, or chamomile) and pour it into a mug. Squeeze in lemon juice, add a pinch of cinnamon and nutmeg, and about a tablespoon of honey. Top with a lemon or orange rind before enjoying.

Lemon Spritzer This refreshing spritzer is equally as appealing as a lemon drop martini—sans vodka. Muddle fresh mint in the bottom of a glass, add ice, and pour in your favorite club soda, like Betty Buzz Meyer Lemon Club Soda which has a smooth lemon flavor. If desired, squeeze in fresh lemon juice. Twist a few sprigs of thyme and add them to your glass for the finishing touch. —Kara Thompson


good to know

Snowy play and fresh ideas to start off 2022.


Good Neighbors Cultivating Healthy Homes and Families


Solutions How to Refuel Yourself (Almost) Guilt Free!


What We Love Inspiring finds to help kids dream big!


Profile Meet the 2022 Colorado Teacher of the Year

play 21

Raised in the Saddle Get to know Colorado’s young rodeo riders.



Digital Detox Set healthy boundaries for your family’s tech habits.




�e benefits of Montessori compound with every school year. Every day, our students engage in uninterrupted learning, as they take on and master new challenges. Every year, our teachers connect subjects into deeper themes and skillsets for more meaningful learning. And over the years, by guiding students with intention through developmental stages, we ensure every child reaches their full potential. Now enrolling Pre-K to 10th grade. Schedule a virtual tour to learn more.

Mayfair - Park Hill - Central Park


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Planning Ahead


We know how important it is for parents to stay organized. These planners will help you take control of your year.


The Day Designer for Blue Sky keeps your to-do’s streamlined. Pages with daily sections allow you to focus on one day at a time and the layout gives you plenty of space to jot down tasks and commitments. We love that each page has a section called “Today’s Top Three” so you can tackle the most important things first. $35, Made specifically with parents in mind, the Erin Condren Daily Parent Planner features three months’ worth of undated planning space. Each page has three columns that you can dedicate to yourself, your kids, or your spouse. There are also sections for school information and important contacts, as well as reading logs and chore charts. $28, Everyone has a different preference when it comes to organization and routine. That’s why Plum Paper created some of the most personalized planners around. Choose from hundreds of cover designs that can be customized with a photo, monogram, or phrase of your choice. Inside the planner, decide on monthly, daily, vertical, or horizontal layouts. You can even add pages to your planner like budget, meal planning, and cleaning spreadsheets. $32 and up, —Kara Thompson



Must-Do in 2022 Don’t put off these vital parenting tasks any longer.



Our Top Picks for Family Fun Snow Sculptures in Breckenridge to a zany Harry Potter stage production


To Do Today


Ongoing Events

fresh mindset


Denver mom and life coach Jacki Carr



Enrichment Showcase

on the cover

Paloma photographed by Fortuitous Photography. 8 21 29 35 39



Get Organized! Family Planners for 2022 Raised in the Saddle: Colorado’s Young Riders Your Family’s Digital Detox 7 Tasks Every Parent Should Finish This Year Our Top Picks for Family Fun in January

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good to know

Airport Snow and Tell

Denver International Airport needs a whole lot of snow-removal tools to clear out the roughly 80 inches of snow that fall on its runways, roads, and parking lots each year. Here are some machines to watch for the next time you and your truck-loving kiddos have a snow day at DIA—plus fun facts to share! —Courtney Holden

The Snow Melter

JOB: Snow blowers do just that: blow snow. DIA uses these mighty powder-flingers to remove snow from its runways so that planes can take off and land safely.

The Multifunction

FUN FACT: Snow blowers can throw snow more than 300 feet— that’s about 60 feet farther than the best NFL quarterbacks!

JOB: At an impressive 72 feet long with a 24-foot plow and 22-foot broom, this aptly named multifunctional machine can plow the runway while simultaneously sweeping any leftover powder off to the truck’s side. FUN FACT: Staggering several multifunctions behind each other in a diagonal line allows them to clear snow off of the nearly two million square feet of a runway in less than 15 minutes.

JOB: DIA’s diesel-powered snowplow clears off parking lots and roads around the airport, while also dropping magnesium chloride to minimize ice production.

FUN FACT: The snow melter can liquefy 600 tons of snow in an hour, which means it could make 1.2 million 16-ounce Slurpees in just 60 minutes!

FUN FACT: Though it can weigh up to 12,500 pounds—almost as much as an adult male elephant—when fully loaded with liquid deicer, the snowplow can hit a top speed of 85 miles per hour. Safety first, though, they only drive it 10 to 15 miles per hour in parking lots.

Nourishing Young Minds and Bodies

Beat Dry Winter Skin!

Winter brings joy in many forms—fresh snow, mountain getaways, and cozy nights in. The season also does a number on sensitive skin. Salty Britches Winter Skin Relief Ointment is a healing remedy that soothes dry skin from head to toe. Ingredients like vitamin A, E, and D work to provide relief and a longlasting barrier against skin irritation. It’s suitable for all ages and has a revitalizing, berry scent. Rub some on your child’s hands or lips before a day spent in the snow or apply it right before bedtime to allow it to seep in and work it’s magic. $13, —Kara Thompson


The Snowplow

JOB: After piles of powder are dumped into the snow melter, this machine uses its preburner (basically a standard turbine engine) to turn snow into water so it drains away from the runways.


Healthy Food for Denver’s Kids snack program at Denver Public Library branches serves food to Denver youth experiencing food insecurity—with no eligibility requirements or proof of residence required. The 11 sites operate Wednesday through Friday afternoons, and give out packs that may include items like fruit cups, crackers, cereal bars, carrots with ranch, string cheese, and yogurt. —Anna Sutterer

Trucks: Denver International Airport. Skin Cream: Salty Britches. Fruit: Getty Images.

The Snow Blower

Global VillaGe academy Learning Through Language and Culture


The reason we love Global Village Academy is the teachers! Teachers from all over the world educate my son. He has learned about different countries that I never imagined him knowing! He brings home different traditions, cultures, and languages! We absolutely love it!”

Our Students Learn Another Language and So Can Yours! K-8th Grade, Tuition-free, Public Charter Schools

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Illustration: Getty Images.

How to Bike to School Through the Winter

Experts suggest these tips for taking two wheels to school, even when the temperature dips. By Courtney Holden

Dress for success

Keeping little bodies cozy is the first step to a successful (and by that we mean whine-free) winter bike-to-school experience. Bundle riders in layers and winter wear. Remember that wind chill will be a factor—even if you’re not going very fast. “It might be 25 degrees and comfortable when you’re standing there in the sun, but as soon as you get riding, it’s significantly colder,” says Robert Pickels, advanced development project manager for Louisville-based cycling apparel brand, PEARL iZUMi. Also, don’t forget, helmets are still a must. Layering a cap underneath may compromise the fit and safety of the helmet. Instead look for helmet covers designed for winter riding.


Before setting out, make a couple of quick modifications to your kid’s standard bike setup. First, lower the seat by an inch or so to ensure their feet can reach the ground quickly if they encounter unexpectedly slippery conditions. Then, lower the tire pressure a bit. This will help tires conform to the ground, providing more traction.



Be visible

Some school commuters may need to leave before the sun is fully up. If that’s the case, make sure drivers can easily see you both. “I buy reflective tape and I let the kids go to town with it,” says parent and owner of SloHi Coffee + Bike, Adam Williams. “It’s a fun thing for them to do, and it’s dirt cheap.” Also be sure to attach lights to the front and rear of your rigs.


It’s likely you and your child will encounter a range of conditions on your way. If dry pavement is not an option, go for pavement that’s wet​​—just be careful if the temperature is near freezing. Packed snow is fine too, as long as it has a matte look to it. “If anything is shiny, it’s often slick, even if it’s packed snow,” warns Pickels. Avoid it entirely or get off your bike and walk carefully across.

Don’t try to push the limits

Remember that it’s OK to miss a few bike-toschool days. If it’s really cold, gusty, or just too snowy, it may be time to turn on the car. Look at it as a long-term investment and choose your battles. “The reality is, I want (my kids) to keep doing it more than I care about them doing it every day,” Williams says.


Here are three gear goodies to get you through frosty mornings and flurry-filled trips back home. Smartwool’s ​​Kids’ Merino 250 Base Layer Pattern Crew ($60) and corresponding bottoms ($60) regulate temperature and manage sweat, while also keeping little ones cozy.



The K Legend Insulated Jacket ($120) from Helly Hansen offers the protection of windproof, waterproof fabrics that still breathe.

Wish List Item: If you’re committed to pedaling all through winter, the fat-tired El Oso Nino 20 ($650) from Diamondback Bikes is a worthy investment.


good neighbors

Join Hands. good neighbors

Cultivating Healthy Homes and Families

Founded in 1864, St. Mary’s Academy is an independent, Catholic school that provides a rigorous education, empowers leaders, inspires service, and lives the Loretto School Values of community, faith, justice and respect in a supportive and inclusive environment.


By Anna Sutterer


ocelyn Miller founded the Robert A. Miller Education Center (RAMERC) in 2005 with the goal of continuing her parents’ legacy—they had worked for Black health and representation decades before. With her own background in early childhood education development, Miller builds programs in Denver’s Skyland neighborhood—near City Park—that motivate families to cultivate healthy homes. The programs, focused on mental and physical wellness, teach vital skills like parenting, communication, and healthy dietary choices, among other topics intended to raise up the community. Project H.O.M.E. (Healthier Outcomes Meaningful Environment) workshops are particularly popular, connecting participants with every aspect of the Center: one-on-one work, group discussions, physical wellness, and life skills taught in the RAMERC Community Garden on site. “I love the way RAMERC continues to assist the community,” Miller says. “From parents struggling with the basics to parents with teens who have to learn how to communicate with their young adults.” COMING UP: Watch for movement classes, including guided stretching, Zumba, and mother-infant mobility. Project H.O.M.E. workshops will be held biweekly to teach parents mental health strategies, plus ways to connect with kids.

HOW YOU CAN HELP: Volunteer opportunities for community events and gatherings are available periodically, call RAMERC at 303-321-3202 for updates. Monetary donations to keep programs running are always welcome.

1–9 WEEKS OF COVID-SAFE FUN! Traditional Day Camp with sports, arts/crafts, water play, and special events. Tripping Camp with hiking, ropes courses, and ice cream. We’ve got goats, chickens, gardens, multiple fields, gyms, cooking kitchens, climbing walls, and much more!



L’École de Denver is a French immersion language school that believes in affordable education for Pre-K and 5th-8th grades. L’Ecole provides the highest French language academic content in Denver.


Entry interviews will be required for upper grade students

2280 E. 16th Avenue, Denver, CO 80206 970.439.0130|




How To Refuel Yourself (Almost) Guilt-Free!

You’re so busy taking care of everybody and everything else that burnout and exhaustion may be on the horizon. A life coach and two really busy moms weigh in on how to (at least try to) make self-care a reality. Edited by Courtney Drake-McDonough

Highlight: women, man relaxing: Getty Images.

THE LIFE COACH SAYS… “Self-care is the key to refueling yourself, but the way you think about self-care might be making you more stressed. When you frame it as a “supposed to,” it can feel like just another item on your to-do list. Did you go to the gym? Drink your green smoothie? Meditate and journal? This is not self-care—it’s hustle in disguise. Pay attention to what gives you energy and what drains you. Minimize or eliminate the energy-drainers. Say “no,” change your negative self-talk, don’t try to do everything, and stop people-pleasing or aiming for perfection. Prioritize the energy-givers—especially when you’re under stress—we tend to give these up first, creating a vicious cycle. Rest; do things that give you pleasure, take breaks, or take naps. And do it for you, because you are worthy of care.” —Erica Hanlon, Denver, licensed professional counselor and coach, and mom of three kids.




THE MOM WHO SCHEDULES TIME TO REFUEL SAYS… “I notice I need “me time” or refueling when I feel exhausted, less patient, and very reactive to situations. I like to take a nap and completely shut off the emotions, mind, and body. Try to take a walk in nature or just get outside, get active (whatever that means for you), chat with a friend, watch a movie alone, practice gratitude, or journal. Rather than burning out and needing to constantly “top-up,” I plan ahead and schedule things weekly that allow me to live fulfilled and not pouring from an empty cup. It’s important to be intentional and work in these refueling times as a habit so that as we serve and love on so many people, we don’t face burnout. I definitely do not get it right all the time. It’s something I’m practicing, tweaking, and reworking often.” —Mandi Berghorst, Broomfield, mom of kids ages three and six, founder of Ask Mum.

“My husband and I have an understanding that if I’m feeling drained he’ll take our daughter and go do something fun so I can do something that refuels me. Communication between you and your partner is crucial. If you establish what you need before you’re exhausted, you and your partner will have a game plan for the times you need to refuel. If you try to problem-solve and figure it out in the moment, it can be even more draining and lead to arguing or overwhelm. Know ahead of time what activities refuel you so you can easily go to that thing when you need it. Listen to your body and do what it needs. Don’t try to work out if you hear your body saying it needs to relax. Your body knows best!” —Taylor Stauffer, Centennial, mom of a three-year-old and director of operations at The Village Workspace.


Registration Opens January 12th Spaces are Limited

Hands-on Fun in Nature Boulder & Lafayette Ages 3-15 For more information visit

Unplug + Connect YMCA of the Rockies— your basecamp for winter adventure! LODGING | ACTIVITIES | PET-FRIENDLY

JANUARY 2022 COLORADOPARENT.COM 2021-winter-SMR-CO-Parent-3.5 x 4.25.indd 2


12/10/21 4:33 PM

what we love



BIG Dream

The daily activities in this Big Life Journal will help your child focus on personal growth. Each page offers a lesson or exercise on topics ranging from why failure is important to habits that will help them achieve a new goal. $20,


Inspiring finds for the new year —because kids have goals too. 2

By Kara Thompson

Brave Irene by William Steig follows the story of a determined little girl who treks through a dangerous blizzard to deliver a special package from her mom to a duchess. Young readers will learn that perseverance and hard work can help them overcome even the toughest obstacles. $19,


Have your child start each day with a positive mindset by using these Bloom & Bliss Affirmation Cards. All 20 cards were designed to build strong self-esteem and promote confidence with phrases like “I am brave,” “I am smart,” and “I am talented.” $20,




Spell out a monthly intention, inspirational quote, or weekly goal on this Framed Felt Letter Board. The wooden board comes with 169 plastic letters and emojis and includes wall hanging hardware. $32,



Pin this preppy Felt Dream Pennant above your child’s bed, near their desk, or in their playroom to remind them to aim high. $28,



Little dreamers will love watching their wishes blossom with these Plantable Wish Cards. Write a wish on one of the cards, plant it, water it, and let it grow. Each card is handmade in Boulder and is loaded with colorful wildflower seeds. $10,



Teacher: Miranda Townsend Photography.

teacher of the year

THREE LESSONS FROM MS. RIVERA Acceptance Is Powerful “It’s so important that a student walks in and has a place—especially in middle school where you don’t feel like you belong even in your body—a safe space where they’ll be called the pronoun that they want to be called, the name they would like to go by, and they’ll be treated as a person.” Students Have the Ability to Make Change “Many times we tell our students, ‘When you get to high school,’ or, ‘Next week,’ or, ‘When you’re in college…’ I try to help my students understand that it’s happening right now and that they can make a change right now.” When Days Feel Tough, Take a Break “I think sometimes when it gets to be too much, I like to take a step back, and say, ‘We need to have fun today. For the next 20 minutes, let’s just have fun and laugh together.’”

Meet the 2022 Colorado Teacher of the Year

How Autumn Rivera infuses belonging and forward thinking into her science classroom. By Anna Sutterer


utumn Rivera, science teacher at Glenwood Springs Middle School, has deep roots in her community. She grew up not far from the school where she now works, and credits the small-town environment with teaching her to cultivate relationships with students and their families. In her 17 years of teaching, she’s taken on leadership roles and joined district, state, and national committees for science education; still, her focus never wavers from the students in front of her—she loves going to their sporting events and even checks in on past pupils once they’ve reached high school. We caught up with Rivera to learn more about her classroom.

Colorado Parent: Why do you teach middle school science? Autumn Rivera: “I’ve been a science nerd from birth—and my mom was a science teacher. They (middle schoolers) are becoming their own person for the first time. They are breaking away from their parents a little bit, but they still need an adult to check in and see how things are going. To be that person is such an honor, to get to hear what students are doing, what they’re thinking, and be that sounding board, it’s one of my favorite parts. Then helping them to see how science sort of ties into that by letting them take risks and trying something new, it allows them to carry over an adventurous spirit into the rest of their lives.”

CP: How do you teach science in a way that will make a difference in the world? AR: “This is one thing that I’m super passionate about: the belief that science and life is not happening for students in the future, but it’s happening right now. We were doing a unit on the Colorado River and its tributaries, and in the course of that, one of my students brought to my attention that there was a local lake up for sale. There was a land trust that was trying to purchase it and sell it to the U.S. Forest Service for preservation. I took it to the class and we researched pros and cons. The students wrote their own letters to the land trust. On their own, they organized a bake sale, sold ornaments, and made T-shirts; they were able to raise about $600. Governor Polis recently announced it as the first state park of its kind in Colorado that is going to be owned nationally. It was really cool to see that happen (partly) from a sixth grader that took an interest.” CP: How do you achieve equity and a sense of belonging in your classroom? AR: “(I’m) challenged as a teacher to look through something as simple as daily routines that I have, posters in the room, how I address my students, all the way up to bigger ideas like our dress code at our school. I have also worked at a state level with some district leaders to bring equity into our new state standards, and focus on ways we can make sure science is for all students and not just a select few. By getting to know students and their backgrounds, what interests them, you can tweak a lesson plan so it’s more exciting for them to learn.” JANUARY 2022 COLORADOPARENT.COM



ENRICHMENT SHOWCASE Colorado Conservatory of Dance

artSPARK Creative Studio

2630 W. Belleview Ave., Ste. 160, Littleton 303-795-7897 |

3001 Industrial Ln. #12, Broomfield 303-466-5685 |

A unique art making and sewing space for ages one to adult. artSPARK teaches you to think and work like artists through techiniques, processes, and play. Enroll in spring classes, camps, and workshops, or purchase themed play dough kits to take home.

Colorado Rapids Youth Soccer Club

111 Havana St Suite 120, Aurora, CO 80010 303-399-5858 | Colorado Rapids Youth Soccer Club is Colorado’s premier destination youth soccer experience serving 10,000 children across the Front Range seasonally. CRYSC offers opportunities for three-year-olds to professional, from beginner to elite and beyond, with year-round soccer programs for boys and girls.

Neighborhood Music & Theatre

From beginner to advanced training, private lessons to our group ensembles, travel programs to summer camps, there is always something exciting happening to challenge and inspire you at Neighborhood Music School.

At Colorado Conservatory of Dance, we unleash individual potential and invigorate community through dance.

Factory Fashion Academy Central Park/Formerly Stapleton

Factory is a full service fashion design and sewing school for ages 8-adult. Classes will allow the novice to make a solid start to sewing and design, as well as the experienced student to learn new techniques to advance their skills.

Neighborhood Theatre Factory Theatre

Central Park/formerly Stapleton 720-378-3668 |

Act, direct, write, or become a patron of our youth and adult community theatre productions.

Ocean First

Performing Arts Academy

Experience new depths with Ocean First, where swimming, adventure, education, and conservation form a community of marine enthusiasts. Learn a life skill with our swim school and explore our youth marine science programs for students of various ages.

Classes for ages 3 - adult in acting, dance, singing, musical theater and more! Affordable and approachable classes for students of all ability levels! PAA is creating community and building character through performing arts education in South Denver/ Highlands Ranch.

3015 Bluff Street, Boulder 303-444-7234 |

5690 County Line Pl. Highlands Ranch, CO 303-900-7041 |

Rocky Ridge Music

School of Rock Denver

Youth on Record

In Summer 2022 we offer Jumpstart: String Fundamentals for beginners aged 10-15. This 5-day camp at our mountain campus prepares string players for success in school programs with a rudimentary foundation. Music, friends, hiking, and fun! No prior experience required.

School of Rock Denver is proud to once again be a Colorado Parent Family Favorite for our summer camps and year-round programming! Join the band today and see how our revolutionary School of Rock Method curriculum builds proficiency while having a great time playing and performing together!

YOR provides FREE out-of-school programming for youth 14-20 at the Youth Media Studio. From special workshops, podcasting, audio engineering, production, a program for young women, and the annual block party. No experience is required. Our teachers can work with students on all levels.

465 Longs Peak Rd, Estes Park CO 80517 303-449-1106 |

18 | Enrichment Showcase | January 2022

560 S Holly St #15 Denver, CO 80246 720-221-6991 |

1301 W. 10th Ave., Denver | 303-993-5226

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Raised in the Saddle

Colorado’s rodeo kids pursue a unique passion, one that makes them strong.

Words and photos by Anna Sutterer




odeo is no ordinary sport. Riders mount a 1,100-pound animal and charge it to high speeds, weaving intricate patterns or barreling toward livestock on the loose. It requires full-body focus and a trusting relationship with one’s horse. From top-to-toe grooming and practices squeezed in fading after-school light, to full weekends spent on rodeo grounds; it’s a level of commitment and attention to detail that parents say helps their children mature quickly. These riders, though tenderfoot in the grand scheme of life, were raised in the saddle and display an ability beyond their years.

Twins Avery and Chisum Draper, 11, of Wetmore, Colorado live and practice riding on land that’s been part of their family for five generations. Born to Christy Draper, Miss Rodeo Colorado 2003, and Chad Draper, a former Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association team roper, their roots in the arena run deep. The two, who have been riding on their own since age four, were named the Colorado Junior Rodeo Association junior boy and girl Rookies of the Year 2020. They both compete in breakaway, goat tying, and team roping. Avery competes in pole bending and barrel racing, too.

I t’s going to be an exciting chapter in our lives to take care of this ranch and keep it going.” —Chisum Draper



“Competitions aren’t always about competing. You get to share your success and your downfalls with your friends and family,

and they always understand and they cheer you on.” —Avery Draper



Savannah Roberts, 14, is from Black Forest, where she lives with her family and their eight horses. Nicole Roberts, her mother, competed as a trick rider with the Westernaires; her dad, Warren Roberts, grew up with horses on a farm in Texas; and Aleeyah, her sister, made the Colorado Pro Rodeo Finals at age 13. Savannah’s competition events include barrel racing, breakaway, and pole bending. She is the reigning Bill Pickett Invitational Rodeo world champion and has qualified for the semi finals for the Junior American Rodeo.

“ My mom always says,

‘Put your horses first and your homework second,’

which sounds a lot more horrible than ​​ it actually means. I have high grades, I just have to equalize time between the both of them.” —Savannah Roberts



Tom Anselmi, 18, from Lakewood, is part of a Westernaires-devoted family. Each Anselmi child is signed up for their first year by age nine, because their parents believe in the riding organization’s training and character development methods. Tom competes in the Steppes acrobatic team and Varsity Red show team.

“The longer you’re on a team, the more you interact with boys who are older than you…

you get to see how much bet bet ter t er they work and how they all act around each other. It really helps from a leadership standpoint and discipline. It can help in school, and there are a lot of skills that I think will be helpful for the rest of my life.” —Tom Anselmi



Helen Erickson, 19, is from Conifer and is the first trained rider in her family. She currently lives and studies in Greeley at University of Northern Colorado, and travels more than an hour each way every Saturday to make it to Westernaires Varsity Red practices. The elite show team includes 30 or so riders, between the ages of nine and 19 years old, who’ve practiced and studied between six and 10 years in order to execute the group’s fast, intricate maneuvers.

“This is definitely a hardcore sport. You have to readjust your body to these different things because

when you ride a horse, you’re using every muscle in your body, even if it doesn’t feel like it, so you come out of those rides exhausted sometimes. ”



—Helen Erickson

Growing Together in Truth, Goodness, and Beauty



Fast-facts about horse-mounted rodeo events. BARREL RACING: A horse and rider make a series of sharp turns around three barrels in a cloverleaf pattern. Competitive Times for junior/high school riders: close to 15 seconds in smaller arenas, 17 to 18 seconds in larger arenas Penalties: knocking over a barrel (five seconds), running an incorrect pattern (no time), recrossing the starting line (no time)

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POLE BENDING: A horse and rider run a tight weaving path through six poles arranged in a line, each 21 feet apart. They go through twice and run up the side to finish. Competitive Times for junior/high school riders: 20 to 21 seconds Penalties: knocking over a pole (five seconds), running an incorrect pattern or missing a pole (no time) BREAKAWAY: A horse and rider wait in the box next to a chute which holds a calf. The calf is released with a head start, and the rider races after it and lassos its neck, then stops their horse so the line breaks away from the saddle. Competitive Times: two to three seconds for high school, three to five for junior high Penalties: a dropped or fallen rope that must be recoiled is considered a thrown rope, breaking the barrier (10 seconds), roping without releasing the loop from hand (no time), breaking the rope away from the saddle horn by hand (no time) TEAM ROPING: A head roper and heel roper on horses wait in the box next to a chute which holds a 600-pound steer. The steer is released with a head start, and both riders race after it. The head roper lassos the horns, head, or neck, then turns the steer while winding their rope around the saddlehorn. Then, the heel roper lassos the feet to stop the steer. Competitive Times: five to seven seconds for high school and seven to eight for junior high Penalties: roping just one hind foot (five seconds), roping heels before the steer changes direction (no time), dragging steer more than eight feet (no time), broken or dropped rope (no time), roping without releasing the loop from hand (no time)

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home Digital Detox

Photo: Heather Smith.

Use the fresh start of a new year to analyze your tech habits and implement healthy boundaries. By Kara Thompson



In the fall of 2021, Instagram and Facebook were down and unusable for six hours.



ideas for creating boundaries, or spark conversation on what is and isn’t appropriate, consider this your guide to getting started.

Set a Strong Example for Your Kids

One thing most parents will agree on: Kids watch and pick up on much of what you do. Setting a healthy example of tech use starts with you. Reflect on your own digital use by asking yourself these questions: What does the way you use social media and your free time tell your kids? And, what do your kids learn by watching your tech habits?

Questions To Ask Your Child About Tech Is your teen using social media? Ask them these questions—without judgement—to gauge their relationship with apps. · How do you feel after you look at your social media feeds? Happy, anxious, jealous? · Are you using social media to connect, create, or consume? · Why do you enjoy following x, y, and z accounts? · Are there any accounts that you feel you should unfollow? · How do you think the content you share on social media makes other people feel?

Illustrations: Getty Images.

The overarching reaction that I, along with many others witnessed, was a sense of relief. Being disconnected from those apps forced many parents and their kids to reevaluate how they spent their time—and that was just one day. This got me thinking about the complex relationship many of us have with technology and all the pros and cons that come with it. Add in the pressure of raising kind, smart, and happy kids, and the topic of digital use can feel overwhelming. Plus, tech use has become even more prevalent in the last year as many schools have shifted to utilizing it in classrooms. According to a study published in the Child Indicators Research journal, time spent on tech use rose 32 percent among two to five-year-olds and 23 percent among six to 11-year-olds between 1997 and 2016. Research published in the Youth and Society journal also suggests that even in 2014, kids spent 33 hours per week using digital technology outside of school. "There is a correlation between use of social media, the more hours online, and the more social

media accounts you have, and increased levels of anxiety; however, we don’t clearly understand the direction of the relationship,” says Dr. Jenna Glover, a clinical youth psychologist at Children’s Hospital Colorado. “Specifically, we don’t know if increased use of social media results in increased anxiety or if people with higher levels of anxiety are more likely to spend more time on social media and have more social media accounts." While technology and media use is unavoidable as a whole, there are still ways you can implement mindful practices in your home. Whether you and your family want to cut back on digital use, find

Andrea Davis, co-founder of Better Screen Time, a resource for parents who strive to achieve a healthy tech/life balance, developed an online course called, “Creating a Tech-Healthy Family.” The first portion of the course is focused on helping parents strengthen their own tech boundaries. Davis is a mom of five; her oldest child is 17 and her youngest is seven. “I noticed such a big shift (in tech use) even between my first kid and my last kid. I could very much see the difference between how much I was distracted as a parent,” she explains. For many parents, the lines between work and home have become increasingly blurred. Whether you work from home or commute to an office, it’s likely that you have emails, Slack notifications, and text messages rolling in well after business hours. With such easy access to these tools, it can be hard to truly shut things off and focus on spending time with your kids. Beyond work, Davis points out that there’s no real cutoff time with technology today. “When I was growing up in the '70s, '80s, and '90s, we had very clear cutoff times with technology. Pre-internet, you knew what time your favorite television show was on, you got ready for it, you watched it, and then it was done. You’d turn the TV off and then go outside, help make dinner, or do your chores,” she reminisces. Those natural boundaries aren’t there for us anymore, so we have to make them for our families. By showing your kids that you have set time limits and a dedication to screen-free activities, they’ll learn that balance is the key. They also might be more understanding of boundaries if you show them that the same rules apply to you. “If I’m expecting something from my kids, then I need to be willing to live by those same standards,” Davis says.

10 HABITS THAT CREATE HEALTHIER TECH USE 1. Create one central charging station in your home. This wrangles all devices into one spot at the end of screen time and (hopefully) limits temptations.

2. Enforce a “no tech in bedrooms or bathrooms” rule.

3. Purchase a Wi-Fi router that automatically shuts off at a set time each night. This will help your family disconnect from tech before going to bed.

Illustrations: Getty Images.

Remember That There’s More to Life Than Tech

One rule that Davis has implemented in her own home is no devices are allowed in bedrooms or bathrooms. “I have better conversations with my spouse at night because I’m not scrolling through Instagram or trying to get a work project done at midnight.” She says that the relationships in her family have become stronger because of simple rules like this. Davis’s two teenage daughters, who are 17 and 14, follow the same rule of having no tech in their rooms. “I’ll hear them at 11 o’clock at night just giggling and having their regular girl talk,” she says. “I think about what would have happened if I never set that boundary and they took their school iPad or any device into the bedroom. I don’t think those conversations would be happening and that relationship would look very different.” This is just one of the long-term implications of how we use screens—they can determine the relationships we have later in life. For both parents and kids, there can be a sense of missing out when you spend less time on social media. The same goes for TV—that new show everyone is bingeing might be on your must-watch list, but is that really the way you want to spend your time? After a long day of tantrums, homework help, and battles over dinner, that might be exactly what you need (and that’s OK!), but the truth is, there’s so much more happening outside of screens that you could be missing out on. “If I’m too attached to my phone, then I’m going to miss those moments with my kids,” Davis explains. One hack she recommends: Think about how you’re using tech rather than feeling like you can’t or shouldn’t use it at all. Become comfortable with saying “this work email can wait” or “I don’t need to see what my former high school soccer teammate is posting about,” and think hard about where you want to be spending most of your time. Get your kids involved by asking them to think about how they’re using technology as well. You can ask them if they’d like to go to the park, make a craft, or bake something instead of watching a show or playing video games.

4. Unfollow accounts that don’t bring you joy. If your kids are on social media, encourage them to do the same.

5. ENLIST DEDICATED READING, JOURNALING, OR STORYTELLING TIMES BEFORE BED. 6. Use an old school alarm clock rather than the clock on your phone. This way you aren’t looking at screens first thing in the morning.

7. Use a paper planner and calendar rather than digital.

8. Put your phone in a drawer or in another room when you’re trying to focus on a task or be more present with your kids. 9. Go on family walks and leave all of your devices at home. If safety is a concern, one parent can bring a cell phone and leave it on airplane mode.

10. Put all other devices (laptops, phones, tablets) away when you’re watching TV.



Get Back to the Power of Play

Tech Boundaries To Start With

Involving your kids in setting up the boundaries you want to follow will help them understand the “why.” Dedicate time each month to review the habits that are or aren’t serving your family, as well as how you’d like to spend your time differently. Here are some simple tech-conscious ideas to start with, but keep in mind that you should personalize these boundaries so they work for your family. Be the change you want to see. Glover believes that kids notice what parents do and parents need to be mindful of how often, when, and where they’re on their devices. “Even if a job requires being highly connected, parents can model taking time to disconnect and be present



Illustrations: Getty Images.

Tracy Foster, co-founder and executive director at START, a company dedicated to helping families develop strong digital health, encourages parents to rethink the power of play. Before launching START, Foster worked in strategy consulting for one of the biggest toy companies in the world. “The senior leadership team of the company that I was working for were all really old-guard people, and it was fascinating to hear about the intentionality that went into their product design process,” Foster says. She explains that there’s a reason why a doll might have some clothes that get fastened with a snap, some with buttons, and some with velcro. “I remember how hard it is to get some of those clothes on—it’s not to torment kids or parents, it’s actually because it’s really good for gross motor skills and fine motor skills.” Toys, historically, have been designed to help build various developmental needs—emotional, cognitive, and physical—of kids. An additional developmental benefit comes from a parent playing with their child. However, Foster shared that focus groups done within the toy company she worked for showed that today’s parents felt lost trying to play with their kids, as was the case with a red toy barn and farm animals. “Parents didn’t actually know how to play with those toys because they were so used to being on their own phone,” she says. The company started putting labels on the side of their products to give ideas on how to use them. Recognizing that you can’t give your child one-on-one, undivided attention all day, Foster says it’s still important to prioritize play and the connection that comes with it. “Devices can so easily creep in that, one moment you’re sitting there playing with Legos, and the next moment, you pick up your phone because you got some notification. A few minutes later, you’re now just scrolling and you forgot why you even picked up your phone, and you forgot you were even playing with Legos,” she says. Being present with your kids is an ongoing battle, but keep in mind that your kids will pick up on all the moments you’re focusing on them. Working on living more in the moment will also help you, as a parent, unwind and de-stress from other things.

such as not having technology present during meal times,” she recommends. Keep phones out of bedrooms and bathrooms. Echoing Davis’ rule of no devices in bedrooms or bathrooms, Glover says that having tech-free zones and times in your home is an effective way to help your kids disconnect. “Research indicates that teens consistently wake up at night to check their phones, which has a detrimental impact on their sleep and subsequently harms their physical and mental health.” Keeping phones out of bedrooms is one of the easiest and most effective ways to promote overall wellness in your family, she explains. Consider a technology detox whether it’s for one day or a week. “Giving space for a technology detox can help children and adults be more present, reduce anxiety, and open up time to engage in activities that build resilience, such as going outside or spending time connecting to others in real life,” Glover says. Additionally, she recommends creating family challenges where everyone goes on a digital diet and reduces their intake of screen time for one week. “Be competitive to see who can cut the most digital calories and then debrief as a family regarding what the experience was like. These activities can help parents and youth recalibrate their priorities and help clarify what healthy technology use looks like.” At the end of the day, it won’t be the Instagram stories or YouTube videos that you watched that will bring joy to your life, but rather the moments shared with the people you love most. You’ll always treasure that time you and your kids had a snowball fight or the night you and your spouse talked about your wildest dreams—even if you don’t have it on video.

What Screen Limits Should I Have in Place?

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends the following screen time limits for kids: · Children younger than two years old shouldn’t use screens unless it is related to video chatting with a loved one. · Children ages two to five should spend an hour or less on screen time per day. · Children age six and older do not have recommended time limits, but limits should be in place. If you don’t want to keep a daily log, Glover says a good rule of thumb is to ensure that screen time isn’t taking away from essential activities. “If kids are getting recommended hours of sleep, eating consistently, spending time with friends, engaging in physical activity, and completing homework, then screen time doesn't really matter,” she says. “If any of these areas are not consistently happening, then screen time should be evaluated and limited to ensure that these foundational daily activities are being met.”

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Screen Time

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learn Must-Do in 2022

This is the year to protect your children and your assets.

Photo: Getty Images

“Have you made that will?” “Do you know how to reach the kids in case of an emergency?” “Would your spouse be able to find the info about that IRA from your first job?” No one likes to think about the unthinkable. What would happen if…but once kids come into our lives, preparing for those “what ifs” and emergencies is a must.



“A lot of parents don’t know where to start,” says Pamela Maass, a Denver attorney also known as The Law Mother, and author of the upcoming book, Legally Ever After: The 6 Step Plan To Protect Your Children’s Future and Happiness. That, and limited access to legal assistance, are often the biggest hurdles when it comes to completing tasks that could ensure your family’s safety and security. For some of these tasks, an attorney specializing in estate planning will be the best starting point, but there are other tasks that you can complete, or at least begin, on your own. Here’s a checklist of the important documents and plans that every parent should have in place.

Inventory of Assets In Colorado alone, there is more than $54 million in unclaimed property. We’re not talking about grandma’s old furniture and Uncle Bob’s books, but rather, says Maass, money from unclaimed life insurance policies, retirement investments, bank accounts, and the like, that have been lost or forgotten. Ask yourself: If something were to happen to me, would my spouse (or trusted family or friend) be able to find all of my account information? To be sure your children will have access to those hard-earned funds, create an inventory of your valuable assets. Where To Start: An attorney isn’t necessary to create this list, although if you are working with one on an estate plan, they often have a checklist of items to include. Begin by making a list of any bank or retirement accounts, insurance policies, and investments you and your spouse hold. Then, record important information for each, including account numbers, where policy information is stored, and any passwords.

Short-term and Long-term Guardianship We often think about who will care for children for the rest of their lives, should a parent die. Long-term guardianship is a necessary legal document to have in place. Maass also recommends designating short-term guardians. “Sometimes long-term guardians are family members who live far away, maybe in another state. Short-term guardians are people close by, like a neighbor or friend, who could care for kids until your long-term guardians can get there,” she says. Maass also recommends creating and carrying a wallet card that lists your child’s legal guardians, and sharing that information with designated guardians, as well as babysitters. Where To Start: Guardianship designations need to be notarized legal documents. While downloadable DIY forms are available online, it is recommended that an attorney review them. Many issues can come up in completing this form that may not be obvious, says Maass. “An attorney will know the considerations and what-ifs.”

Beneficiary Designation Did you enroll in a retirement plan, life insurance policy, or investment account back in the days before you were married or had kids? If so, chances are your beneficiary—the person who receives any financial benefit in the event of your death—may still be your mom or dad. It’s time to make sure your beneficiary designations are up to date. Where To Start: Remember that inventory of assets you are making? Take a moment to review the beneficiary for each account. If you can’t find your original enrollment forms, it may just be a matter of logging into your account portal and seeking out a beneficiary tab. Updating beneficiaries doesn’t cost a thing, so be sure to make updates anytime you have a life event, such as the birth of a child, a divorce, or marriage.

Special Needs Trust Parents who have a child with a disability should also create a special needs trust; this document will ensure their child has the necessary financial resources and protection throughout their life. Where to Start: Seek out an attorney who has special needs legal experience. There could be a number of factors that make this a more complicated trust. For instance, if a child with a disability is receiving government benefits, a financial gain from an inheritance could potentially knock them out of eligibility for those benefits. An attorney with experience in the special needs community will be equipped to navigate these specific considerations.

Caregiver’s Guide This guide lists anything from your child’s allergies or disabilities to favorite stuffies and daily routines. It’s also a great reference for babysitters or visiting family. While it’s not a legal document, it is a step you don’t want to skip. Maass thinks of it this way: “If someone were to come in tonight to take care of your kids, are there things that someone needs to know?” Little ones who can’t communicate their own needs will especially benefit from the loving notes left by the person who knows and loves them best.



House: Getty Images.

Where To Start: Consider a day in the life of your child and begin there. Then add notes on their health, who is in their life—friends, teachers, coaches—and any of their favorite things. This is an entirely independent project—you are the only expert needed. It might also be helpful to set a reminder on your phone to update the guide as your child grows and changes.

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Will and/or Trust These legal documents outline your direct wishes for your assets and your family. Without this type of document, your estate—even if it’s modest— could be caught up in the legal system for years while courts determine what happens to your assets. Wills function differently than trusts, and there are different types of each, so this isn’t the time to do it alone.

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Where To Start: Work with a professional advisor, such as an attorney, to ensure that your wishes are outlined properly. Trying to create a will or trust on your own is like diagnosing yourself on WebMD, says Maass. Professional guidance gives you the reassurance that things are truly done the way you want.







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Family Emergency Communication Plan If there was a disaster or an emergency, would your kids know how to reach you? We’ve become dependent on technology to keep track of our important contact numbers and information, but what if communication networks were down or electricity was unreliable? A family emergency communication plan gathers important phone numbers, email addresses, and meeting places in a printed format, and outlines a course of action for the family to reunite.

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Where To Start: Visit and for helpful resources, WE INSPIRE WE TEACH including downloadable forms. No expert assistance is needed complete critical thinking courage,to kindness, and and creativity empathy through this task, in fact, kids can help out! with recommends putting printed Innovative Curricula Character Education versions of this plan in each child’s backpack, as well as sharing copies with close family members and a trusted friend.

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Woman: Getty Images.

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Innovative Curricula critical thinking One last thing Maass suggests parents put down on paper or video is what WE PROMOTE and creativity with empathy through WE INSTILL the Talent of Innovative Curricula Character Education she calls a legacy interview. As part of her estate WE planning DEVELOPprocess, Maass teamwork and initiative WE INSPIRE WE TEACH motivation and our Teachers critical thinking courage, kindness, and resilience through the breadth self-discipline through asks clients to write a letter to their children,leadership recordandtheir stories, leave their and creativity with empathy through through Experiential Ed and depth of our the Talent of Innovative Curricula Character Education WE PROMOTE children advice, or document words of love that will pass our Teachers and Outdoor Tripson to their children Arts and teamwork and initiative Enrollment 1,019 | Student/Faculty Ratio 9:1WE DEVELOP Athletics Programs in the event of the parent’s death. As your children learn more about the legal WE DEVELOP leadership and resilience through the breadth WE PROMOTE 10 Bus Routes serving 66+ zip codes through Experiential Ed and depth our leadership and resilience WE DEVELOP teamwork andofinitiative plans you made to protect them and their future, they will also have a personal Families from all backgrounds, cultures, faithsand andOutdoor Trips Arts and through Experiential Ed leadership and resilience through the breadth WE PROMOTE resources are welcome at CA Athletics Programs Visit to learn CA. Admission 25 and November 3. reminder of your love. After all, she says, “They’re not more goingabout to cuddle up Parent Preview October and Outdoor Trips Experiential Ed and depth of our WEthrough DEVELOP teamwork and initiative Over $4.3 million of financialleadership aid awarded each year and Outdoor Trips and resilience through the breadth Arts and with estate planning documents. These are the things that you really want to through Experiential Ed and depth ofAthletics Programs Visit to learn more about CA. Admission ParentourPreview October 25 and November 3. and Outdoor Trips Arts and pass along.” to learn more. Athletics Programs

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SUPPORTING EDUCATION AND ACADEMIC SUCCESS Building educational success through partnerships with schools, families, and communities.

CREATING ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITY FOR ALL Ensuring people can meet their basic needs and have opportunities to move toward economic success.

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happenings Our Picks

Snow: International Snow Sculpture Championships.



International Snow Sculpture Championships Watch teams from around the world carve 20-ton blocks of snow into enormous works of art, using only hand tools. Jan. 24-28, carving week; Jan. 28-Feb. 2, viewing week. Breckenridge Riverwalk Center.



happenings Our Picks



Snow Days

Slide down a snow hill, go sock skating, cozy up by fire pits with hot cocoa, and take a photo in a life-size snow globe, at this new winter adventure. Through Feb. 27. Children’s Museum of Denver at Marsico Campus, Denver.


The Super Bowl of livestock shows is back this year, featuring rodeos, kids activities, and the kick-off parade through downtown Denver. Jan 6-23. National Western Stock Show Event Center, Denver.

Schoolhouse Rock Live! Kids learn about math, grammar, civics, and science as the classic educational series is brought to stage by Childsplay Theater. Jan. 30-31. Lone Tree Arts Center, Lone Tree.

Disney’s The Lion King Watch the Serengeti come to life on a Denver stage, in this breathtaking performance for age 6 and up. Through Jan. 2. Buell Theatre, Denver.

HEADS UP! Events may change after publication deadline. Please phone ahead to confirm important information and check with locations about individual COVID rules.



Child and stick horse: National Western Stock Show. Snow Days: Children's Museum of Denver at Marsico Campus. Schoolhouse: Tim Trumble. Lion King: Matthew Murphy.


National Western Stock Show

Aerial: Frequent Flyers Aerial Dance. Winterskate: City Of Louisville. GUITAR: The National Guitar Museum.Beats: Youth on Record. Potted Potter: Potted Potter: The Unauthorized Harry Experience.

happenings Our Picks


Aerial Open House Check out the aerial studios at Frequent Flyers. Visitors age 5 and up have an opportunity to try out the apparatus starting every half hour. Jan. 9. Frequent Flyers Aerial Dance, Boulder.


Performers Scott Hoatson and James Edwards play the famed Boy Who Lived and sage Dumbledore, and many others in a rapid stage rendition of the Harry Potter series.


Glide across 5,000 square feet of ice in Historic Downtown Louisville and enjoy concessions to keep your family warm. Through Feb. 14. Steinbaugh Pavilion, Louisville.

10 8

Guitar: The Instrument That Rocked the World Explore the science, sound, history, and pop culture behind one of the world's most popular instruments. Through April 17. Denver Museum of Nature & Science, Denver.


Beats By Girlz

Community artists help empower the next generation of women and gender-expansive musicians, ages 14-20, by teaching production skills on Ableton Live software. Youth on Record, Denver.

Potted Potter: The Unauthorized Harry Experience

How do two actors portray 360 characters and cover material from all seven Harry Potter books in just 70 minutes? It appears “shambolic”—which is half the fun—according to co-creator Jeff Turner, but each moment is carefully arranged. Of course not every detail of the wizarding world made it in the script, but enough to keep a grasp of the original narrative while having a bit of creative fun. This stage performance shares one vital thing in common with the iconic series: it appeals to all ages. Kids with shorter attention spans will love the players’ physical comedy; plus they’ll be able to participate in a real Quidditch match from their seats (it’s huge fun and only three or four children have been lost to Dementors in the process so far, according to Turner). “We see audiences ranging from age six to 86 laughing away at our onstage nonsense,” Turner says. “There’s also loads of actual, real, wizardy magic in Potted Potter. Tons.”

Even muggles (who don’t know they’re muggles because they haven’t read the books or seen the films, for shame) will get a kick out of Potted Potter. Its successful world-wide career began more than a dozen years ago and continues to pack theaters, including Denver’s Newman Center in 2018. Turner remembers: “I was lucky enough to perform in Denver a few years ago, and the crowds were wild! You guys are massive laughers!” Need to Know: Potted Potter: The Unauthorized Harry Experience shows Jan. 4-9, at the Newman Center in Denver.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Get your family psyched for the Potted Potter show by tuning in to the Harry Potter 20th Anniversary: Return to Hogwarts on HBO Max; it’s a reunion of key actors from the film series featuring in-depth interviews and behind-the-scenes moments, dropping on January 1.



happenings January

13 Thursday

Parent University: New Year, New You 9:30-11am. This session with

Kristina Scala, head of school at Aspen Academy, covers an element of self-care many busy parents and professionals overlook: taking the time to establish their mission, vision, and values for the coming year. Register online. Virtual Event.

Waitress is the musical story of a small town and its people’s struggles and dreams. Jan. 6-8.

to do today FREE

2 Sunday

Avs Family Pack Jan. 2, 17, 30. Game

times vary. Take the family to an Avalanche hockey game (select dates) and get one meal and Pepsi per person with this family package. Ticket prices vary. Ball Arena, Denver.

4 Tuesday

Seedlings: Bug Safari with the Butterfly Pavilion 9:30am and 11am. Bring your child to spend the morning with an educator from the Butterfly Pavilion and meet invertebrates from environments around the globe. Learn facts about their lives and why they’re important. Age 3 and up. $3. Lone Tree Arts Center, Lone Tree.

5 Wednesday

Support Group for Caregivers and Parents of Transgender and Gender Expansive Youth. 5:30-6:30pm. Join



SPECIAL NEEDS staff from Youth Seen, an organization that helps empower the social and emotional well-being of LGBTQI youth and their families, for a monthly group that will share experiences, ask questions, and gather resources for parenting transgender and gender expansive kids. Register online. Virtual Event.

6 Thursday

Waitress Jan. 6-8, 7:30pm; Jan. 8, 2pm

additional show. Waitress tells the story of Jenna, an expert pie maker who dreams of a way out of her small town; it’s an uplifting celebration of friendship, motherhood, and the magic of a well-made pie. Recommended for age 13 and up. Find tickets online. $20 and up. The Lincoln Center, Fort Collins.

7 Friday

Hayden Childress 8pm. Hayden is a

modern magician and mentalist who has performed off-Broadway in New York City and is featured on the latest season of Penn & Teller: Fool Us. He uses ordinary props, magic, psychology, and audience participation to create a thought-provoking experience. Age 13 and up. Find tickets online. $35. Dairy Arts Center, Boulder.



8 Saturday

Colorado Children's Chorale Auditions Jan. 8 and 22, 9am-noon (in-person audition slots). Record your child singing one of the suggested songs (accompaniment is provided if needed) and have them introduce themselves with their name, grade, school and why they want to sing with the Colorado Children’s Chorale. Or, schedule an in-person audition online. Colorado Children's Chorale, Denver.

Fun with Snow! 10-11am. Kids will have fun exploring snow through games, crafts, and (weather permitting) actual snow. Ages 6-12. Register online. Majestic View Nature Center, Arvada. Sunset Nature Walk 3:30-5:30pm.

Join a naturalist for a leisurely walk during “golden hour” to explore nature and learn about Colorado's flora and fauna. All ages. Register online. Majestic View Nature Center, Arvada.

11 Tuesday

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Tribute 7:30pm. Celebrate one of

the most inspirational figures in history and reflect on his pursuit of equal rights during this evening

14 Friday

Dance Theatre of Harlem Jan. 14

and 15, 7:30pm. This multi-ethnic touring company performs a ballet that includes classic and contemporary works that celebrate African American culture. All ages. $30-$62. Newman Center for the Performing Arts, Denver.

15 Saturday

Junior Naturalists: Winter Wildlife

1-3pm. Kids will make snow, experiment with blubber, and explore how animals stay alive during Colorado’s coldest months. Ages 6-8. Register online. $2. Morrison Nature Center, Aurora.

Indoor Stargazing 7:30-8:30pm. From the comfort of a fireplace-warmed room, using a remote-controlled robotic telescope, take a good look at stars and galaxies lighting the night sky. All ages. Register online. Majestic View Nature Center, Arvada.

16 Sunday

Nuggets Family Night Jan. 16 and 23,

6pm. Take the family to a Nuggets home game on a Sunday and enjoy a meal of choice per ticket. Ticket prices vary. Ball Arena, Denver.

17 Monday

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Marade

Jan. 17, 9:30am. From City Park to Civic Center Park, those honoring Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. will march the streets in support of the leader’s vision for equality. All ages. City Park, Denver.

Waitress: Jeremy Daniel. Arrows: The Hungry Jpeg.

of stirring music. A special guest will perform, plus recipients of the 2022 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Humanitarian Awards will be honored. Find tickets online. Boettcher Concert Hall, Denver.

National Geographic: Wes Skiles. Dancers: Nathalie Sternalski.

happenings January

19 Wednesday

Meet Author Lauren Tarshis of the I Survived Series 4:30-5:30pm.

Attendees will learn how an author like Laurent Tarshis “goes back in time” by reading books, studying maps and paintings, watching videos, poring over diaries, and other primary sources. With lots of visuals and plenty of time for questions, find out how the popular nonfiction series goes from idea to book. Ages 8-12. Register online. Virtual Event.

Parenting Strategies: Money Matters 6:30-7:30pm. Wondering

how to help your young child learn the difference between “need” and “want”? This program includes simple ways to engage kids in money management practices. Presented by Jennifer Gravlee, a teacher and leadership coach at Aspen Academy. For parents and caregivers of children ages 0-8. Register online. Virtual Event.

20 Thursday

Paper Airplane Guy Jan. 20, 4-5pm;

Jan. 25, 5-6pm. John Collins, paper airplane expert and world record holder, will share his knowledge about aerodynamics and teach kids how to make paper airplanes. Come with a few sheets of printer paper. Ages 5-12. Register online. Virtual Event.

Night with a Naturalist: Beeswax Lanterns 6:30-7:30pm. Kids and adults will have fun making beeswax

lanterns to light up the cold winter nights. All ages. Register online. $5. Majestic View Nature Center, Arvada.

Cie Hervé Koubi combines martial arts, acrobatics, and dance. Jan. 27 and 29.

National Geographic Live: Extreme Cave Diving. 7:30pm. Join cave diver

and environmental anthropologist Dr. Kenny Broad for a voyage into beautiful and perilous realms—the “blue holes” of the Bahamas— a potential treasure trove of scientific knowledge, captured in incredible images and video. All ages. Find tickets online. $12 and up. The Lincoln Center, Fort Collins.

22 Saturday

New Year, New Books for All Ages

10am-noon. Jump start your family’s reading in the new year. Librarians will introduce you to the latest books hitting the shelves this season, and share favorites for picture books, kids, teens, and adults. Koelbel Library, Centennial.

26 Wednesday

Side by Side: Elgar's Enigma Variations 7pm. The Colorado

Symphony and Denver Young Artists Orchestra (DYAO) will perform together a series of short musical portraits inspired by composer Elgar Enigma’s friends and family. Find tickets online. Boettcher Concert Hall, Denver.

27 Thursday

Cie Hervé Koubi Jan. 27 (The Lincoln

Center), Jan. 29 (Newman Center for the

Performing Arts); 7:30pm. Enjoy Hervé Koubi’s Fort Collins debut, a show with a highly physical work from dancers of North Africa and the Mediterranean basin who perform capoeira, martial arts, acrobatics, riurban, and contemporary dance. All ages. Find tickets online. $15 and up. Fort Collins and Denver;,

28 Friday

Family Play Festival Jan. 28, 2-4pm (Meadows Branch), Jan. 29, 10amnoon (Main Branch), Jan. 30, 1-3pm (George Reynolds Branch). Drop-in to play, sing, read, write, and talk at activity stations in English and Spanish. Take home crafts and prizes plus new ideas for family fun. Ages 0-5 and caregivers. Various Boulder Library locations, Boulder. Untitled: Creative Fusions 6-10pm.

Join in a quarterly collaboration with local artists and creatives to create an evening full of events, performances, and experimentation. Artists showcase their work while providing hands-on opportunities. Pop-up installations are also displayed throughout the museum. Find thematic details online. Included in general admission: $10-$13 adult, $8-$10 seniors, military, and college student, free age 18 and under. Denver Art Museum, Denver.

Environmental anthropologist Kenny Broad shares incredible findings from his avocation as a cave diver. Jan. 20.

Creation Stations Valentine Workshop 10-11am. Drop off child

for a valentine-themed art-making workshop. Preschooler-first graders. Register online. $39. artSPARK Creative Studio, Littleton.

30 Sunday

Winter Heritage Day 1-3pm. Learn about typical winter chores and indoor games while exploring the Walker Ranch Homestead. See a working demonstration in the blacksmith shop and smell food being prepared on the wood-burning stove. Be prepared for cold, windy weather and to walk in snow. All ages. Walker Ranch Homestead, Boulder. Fusion 5280 2pm. Experience the

diverse sound waves of Colorado, including strains from Native Americans, immigrant miners, cowboys, adventurers, entrepreneurs, and artists in a melting pot of various musical genres (with a tribute to Denver’s Five Points jazz scene). Hors ‘d’oeuvres and beverages will be available prior to the concert. $19-$65. Seawell Ballroom, Denver.

#IMOMSOHARD: The Getaway Tour 7pm. Moms, best friends, and

co-creators of the comedy web-series #IMOMSOHARD, Kristin Hensley and Jen Smedley bring their wit and wildness to the stage to discuss the good, bad, and funny about motherhood. $50-$60. Paramount Theatre, Denver.

Twilight Nature Walk 4:45-5:45pm.

Experience nature in the magical time after sunset and before complete darkness. Look and listen carefully for wildlife along the trail. All ages. Register online. $2. Morrison Nature Center, Aurora.



happenings January

Creative Playgroup Adult + Toddler-K Through Jan. 31. Fri, 9:30-

10:30am and 11am-noon. Share some creative, messy time with your little one(s). No formal lesson will be given. Children can move freely between different art-making centers set up with drawing, painting, sculpture, collage, sensory, and play materials. $18, $30 two-pack. artSPARK Creative Studio Littleton.

GiGi’s Playhouse 1:1 Literacy Tutoring Enrollment Through Jan. 9.

Trained tutors work at the level of each child with Down syndrome, and family members who attend leave with practical activities to continue at home. Spring 2022 sessions begin the week of January 30 and end the week of May 14; each lesson lasts up to an hour. Age 3 and up. Enroll online. In-person or virtual sessions. GiGi’s Playhouse, Lakewood.

IdeaLAB Open Lab Through Feb. 26. Sat, noon-4:30pm. IdeaLAB is the Denver Public Library’s makerspace. Visitors can try out a variety of hardware and software to create music, sew, print 3D designs,

make art, and more. Age 5 and up. Rodolfo “Corky” Gonzales Branch Library, Denver.

Open Studio Second and fourth

Sat, first and third Sun; 10-11:30am. Experiment, play, tinker, invent, and create with or without the kids at artSPARK studio. All ages. Reservation required. $18, $30 two-pack. artSPARK Creative Studio, Littleton.

Kids Robotics Jan. 8-29. Sat, 2-3pm. Over four weeks, students will become engineers as they learn how to plan, build, and program their own robot. Ages 6-12. Space is limited, first come first serve. Ross-Broadway Branch Library, Denver. Voz y Corazón Tue, 5:30-7:30pm. LGBTQ+ teens can drop by this social group where they can learn from a professional artist and express themselves through art. Supplies and snacks provided. Ages 12-17. The Center on Colfax, Denver. Youth On Record Open Lab Fri, 3:30-5:30pm; Sat, 11:30am-2:30pm. Musicians and artists who write songs

or poetry, play instruments, produce, audio engineer, and record can practice their skills with quality equipment, under the guidance of local professionals. Ages 14-20. First come, first serve. Youth on Record.

land, people, and place by linking ancient and contemporary artworks that address political and social issues at the heart of the region’s cultural heritages. Included with admission: $10-$13 adult, free age 18 and under. Denver Art Museum, Denver.

B.E.A.T. | Boulder Experiments in Art and Technology Through Feb. 6.

Returning: Contemporary Works by Arapaho Artists Through Feb. 14.

Sun-Mon, Thu-Sat, 9am-5pm; Wed, 9am8pm. A gathering of artists, biologists, and technologists collaborated to create this exhibit showing the benefits and negative impacts of technology. Visitors will collaborate with each other and connect with person-made and natural tools. Included with admission: $10 adult, free children under 5 and members. Museum of Boulder, Boulder.

ReVisión: Art in the Americas

Through Jul. 17. Daily, 10am-5pm. The first exhibition to open in the revamped Martin Building, this selection of nearly 180 objects from the museum’s ancient American and Latin American art collections will tell a visual narrative about the formation of the Americas from 100 B.C. to today. Themes will explore

Sun-Mon, Thu-Sat, 9am-5pm; Wed, 9am-8pm. A group of Arapaho artists in the region created a pop-up exhibit exploring the notion of Indigenous artists coming back to their historical territory. Returning features the contemporary work of ten artists, with their individual perspectives, displaying exclusive visual stories told in their personal styles. Included with admission: $10 adult, $8 youth, free children under 5 and members. Museum of Boulder, Boulder.

Skyward: Breakthroughs in Flight

Through June 15. Mon-Sat, 10am–5pm; Sun, noon–5pm. Journey through extraordinary aerospace milestones by viewing artifacts and discovering the stories behind the people who made the momentous achievements happen. All ages. Included with admission: $16.95 adult, $9.95 age 4-16, free age 3 and under. Wings Over the Rockies Air & Space Museum, Denver.

Suited: Empowered Feminine Fashion Through March 6. Daily,

10am-5pm. Explore the evolution of the tailored suit for the female form over the course of the 20th century and beyond. This presentation highlights 70 looks from 1900 through the present day. Included with admission: $10-$13 adult, free age 18 and under. Denver Art Museum, Denver.

The Power of Horses Through May 8. The Museum of Boulder collaborated with a group of local Arapaho artists for their new exhibit, Returning.



Daily, 10am-5pm. This exhibition will reveal strength, majesty, and diversity in Colorado’s history with horses, from prehistoric animals and Ute tribal traditions to contemporary Black horsemanship and therapeutic

Returning: Robert Martinez.

ongoing events

happenings January


Students at Fashion Factory create their own looks, from concept to finished product, with the help of textile teachers.

Butterfly: Butterfly Pavilion. Child with fabric: From the Hip Photo.

The big, beautiful, birdwing butterfly graces the Butterfly Pavilion facilities this month.

rides. View artifacts, enjoy pop-culture references, and engage in activities including a ride on bouncing toys, braiding toy horsehair, and creating a leather craft. Included with admission: $14 adult, $10 ages 16-22 with student ID, $8 ages 5-15, free age 4 and under and members. History Colorado Center, Denver.

Audubon’s 121st Christmas Bird Count Days and times vary

according to compilers. Join fellow bird enthusiasts across the nation and contribute to a centuries’ worth of community science. Grab some binoculars and your sharp listening skills so you can tally each bird you see or hear all day. Find a count circle via a map online and contact the count compiler to join. Beginner birders welcome. Various locations.

Beauty of the Birdwings Jan. 3-31.

Daily, 9am-5pm. Connect with a beautiful, endangered species, the birdwing butterfly, which has large, bright wings. Learn about their vital role in sustaining ecosystems in the Southeast Asian and Northern Australian tropics and walk among them in the pavilion’s facility. $14.50 adult, $9.50 child; $50 four-pack; $30 two-pack. Butterfly Pavilion, Westminster.

Marine Biologist for a Day Jan. 8

(grades 1-4) and 22 (grades 5-8), 9am2pm. See if you have what it takes to be a Marine Biologist. Help prepare food, feed some exhibits, and learn how biologists take care of the animals. Registration is required two weeks in advance. $65. Downtown Aquarium, Denver.

Star K Kids Thu, 9:30-10:30am and 11am-noon. Discover Aurora’s nature through puppets, interactive activities, and discovery time on the trail. Age 5 and under. Limited capacity; register online. Morrison Nature Center, Aurora.

Dontrell, Who Kissed the Sea

Jan. 28-Feb. 20. Thu-Sat, 7:30pm; Sun, 2pm. Eighteen-year-old Dontrell Jones the Third feels called to venture into the Atlantic Ocean in search of an ancestor lost during the Middle Passage. Blending poetry, humor, wordplay, and ritual, this play is a present-day hero’s quest to right history’s wrongs. Age 12 and up. Find tickets online. $20-$40. The Aurora Fox Arts Center, Aurora.

Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella

Through Jan. 9. Wed, 7pm; Thu and Fri, 7:30pm; Sat, 2pm, 5pm, 7:30pm; Sun, 2pm. This contemporary take on the classic tale features Rodgers & Hammerstein’s most beloved songs, including “In My Own Little Corner,” “Impossible/It’s Possible’” and “Ten Minutes Ago.” Enjoy free museum admission included in the cost of your tickets. $20-$50. Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center, Colorado Springs.

The Wizard of Oz Jan. 14-Feb. 5. Fri, 7:30pm; Sat, 2pm and 7pm; Sun, 2pm. Jan. 23, 2pm (sensory-friendly). Follow the yellow brick road through this stage adaptation of L. Frank Baum’s beloved tale, featuring the iconic musical score from the 1939 film. A sensory-friendly performance is available. All ages. $29-$34. The PACE Center, Parker.

Factory Five Five Nurtures Young Artists Through Theatrical Programs An outgrowth of Neighborhood Music, Factory Five Five offers creatives of all ages an opportunity to explore their inner fashion designer, filmmaker, thespian, stage tech, and drag queen. Their recurring programs, which run out of a studio in Aurora’s Stanley Marketplace and an office/theater space nearby, start anew this month. Aspiring video creators ages eight to 17 can take a ten-week Intro to Short Film Making course to learn script writing, directing, camera angles and movements, lens choices, and lighting, culminating in a public debut of their pictures. Designers who love to make patterns and sew can join an 11-week workshop to prepare garments that will show at Denver Fashion Week in April. Young drag stars have an opportunity to learn how to complete elaborate looks

and performances during the Drag Tween-Teen “werkshops,” led by local queen Diamond and sewing instructors. Join one, two, or all three sessions in January for $50 each. Auditions for James and the Giant Peach Jr. (age 7 and up) and The Lightning Thief: The Percy Jackson Musical (tween/teen) begin early January. The continuous Storybook Theater program invites little ones (ages 5-6) to learn how to act out scenes from children’s books; spring 2022 sessions include Dory Fantasmagory and My Father’s Dragon. Factory Theatre community theatre actors also put on shows for kid and adult audiences, check online for schedules. Many performances in the Factory’s black box theater offer a full bar and concessions.



fresh mindset

Jacki and family: Tayler Carlisle Photography.

fresh mindset

I want my children to see me love myself when I succeed in my goals and when I fail in my goals because I am not superhuman, I am not perfect, I am whole and human and I want them to have permission to be exactly that—a whole human who fails and succeeds. This is how we learn, together.

—JACKI CARR is a Denver-based goal coach, writer, speaker, and mother of two girls, with another baby girl on the way. 46


Research-based programming delivered to your door each month.

To sponsor a box for a girl, enroll a classroom or your child, visit:

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

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