Colorado Parent February 2022

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Growing Great Families Since 1986



3 Creative Date Nights in Denver Helpful Tips for Safe Sledding Expert Advice on Tweens and Dating

62 Fun Family Events




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Now Enrolling Pre-K to 10th Grade Learning happens in different ways for every child. For more engaged and effective learning, our highly trained Montessori educators work one-on-one with students throughout the day, individualizing their approach for each. For over 100 years, this has been one of the central tenets of the Montessori method. Let Montessori nurture your own child's mind with an approach tailored to their needs. Book a virtual tour today. Mayfair - Park Hill - Central Park 303.322.8324 ࠮

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Hearts: Tammie Schumacher.

Heart Attack

Need a new family tradition for Valentine’s Day? On each of the thirteen days leading up to the special day, mom of four Alexis Sanchez posts a heart-shaped note on her kids’ doors each night after they go to bed. By February 14, their doors are covered. “Usually it’s just characteristics I see in them or ways that they’re kind to others. They really love this, and I even found my eight-year-old kept all his hearts from last year in a special drawer, so that’s pretty awesome,” Sanchez says, whose other children are 10, six, and one. —Christa Melnyk Hines



BOOKS TO HELP DEVELOP BODY POSITIVITY Interesting reads to help you and your kids learn how to eat, move, and live freely in your bodies.




VOTE FOR YOUR FAMILY FAVORITES! Cast your vote for your go-to local businesses, services, and attractions.


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HOW TO HELP COLORADO RESIDENTS AFFECTED BY THE BOULDER COUNTY FIRES Local donation sites to support victims of the Marshall and Middle Fork fires.


12 CRAFTS TO MAKE WITH YOUR LITTLE VALENTINE Break out the glue, googly eyes, and markers and get ready for hours of lovey-dovey, hands-on fun.

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

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valentines, like icon, donations: Getty Images. Book: Penguin Young Readers.


Global VillaGe academy

Our families love Global Village Academy because… Their children are learning their families’ heritage language. Their children are becoming global citizens, learning through language and culture. Their children are taught by teachers who come from all over the world.


The school embraces diversity & cultural awareness.

RSVP for a Kindergarten Parent Information Meeting & Learn More! Aurora Douglas County Northglenn SCAN THE QR CODE TO LEARN MORE

Every child learns in English plus Spanish, French, Mandarin or Russian. K-8th Grade, Tuition-free, Public Charter Schools GVA Douglas County is K-5 grade.

Open the World for Your Child & Enroll Them Today!!

Aurora • Douglas County • Northglenn •

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Anything-But-Ordinary Date Nights






Call the babysitter and try these ideas to keep the spark alive.


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A Valentine's Day tradition that your kids will love.


Q and A Meet Denver’s seven-year-old rap artist, London Monroe.


Solutions To date, or not to date? Advice from the experts.




The recently opened GC Lounge in Denver’s City Park West neighborhood is an interactive hub for sports-lovers and foodies alike. Trackman golf simulators offer up the chance to practice your swing and play famed courses (hello, Pebble Beach!) without leaving town. After your tee time, enjoy dinner and a cocktail together at the lounge’s restaurant.




If all you can squeeze in on date night is a quick drink, make it a memorable one. Sunday Vinyl, a wine bar and eatery located near Denver’s Union Station, hosts “Flight Night” every Wednesday. The series is centered around specific music artists that provide the soundtrack for each evening. Past artists featured have been Taylor Swift and the Rolling Stones. While you enjoy the music, order a wine flight, which comes with five varieties.



Good Neighbors This arts organization lifts up under-represented kids in Denver. TURN UP THE HEAT

Cooking together and creating something new can bring couples closer. Join other date nighters at one of Stir Cooking School’s classes. The school offers themed date night classes where you learn how to prepare mouth-watering dishes like spanakopita, fig and goat cheese tartlets, pork belly bao buns, and cornish game hen. —Kara Thompson


What We Love Fun finds for a date night at home.

play 17

Timeless Hobbies for Kids These activities are more than just a way to beat boredom.



Safe Sledding Guidelines for an injury-free day on the hills.

Date: M. Thurk Photography.




THE GARDNER SCHOOL IS HERE. We are an academic preschool for children ages 6 weeks to 5 years. When it’s the right time for you, we provide a caring environment for your child to safely learn and explore.

SCHEDULE A TOUR TODAY! The Gardner School of DTC | 720.672.9980 |

We're already thinking about summer fun for all ages...

are you ready?

Registration Open!



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Fill these festive balloons with conversation hearts or chocolates for your kids to give to loved ones on Valentine's Day. To make: Cut out six three-inch heart shapes from construction paper; fold them in half, then glue or tape them together backside-to-backside with all folds meeting in the middle. Use hot glue to adhere two four-inch lollipop sticks opposite each other to the inside of a sturdy baking cup (available online). Then add a dab of hot glue at the top of each lollipop stick, and adhere to the heart “balloon”. —Craft and photo by Antonella Grossi of



Steal Their Hearts Your little one will surely be lovestruck by these royal treats.



Our Top Picks for Family Fun From acrobatics and monster trucks to a classic Disney movie with live music.


To Do Today


Ongoing Events

fresh mindset


Relationship advice from Kevin Hales, Castle Rock marriage and family counselor

on the cover

Photo: Getty Images 6 Creative Date Nights in Denver 8 and 27 Valentine's Day Crafts and Treats 12 Expert Advice on Tweens and Dating 23 Tips for Safe Sledding 31 62 Fun Family Events



Hearts: Antonella Grossi.



summer camps @

house of




AGES 6-10

AGES 10-13

all camps include a performan ce

camps filling fast-register now! SWALLOWHILLMUSIC.ORG/CAMPS







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Grammy’s Top 5 Kid Albums

This year’s Grammy award nominees for Best Children’s Music Album put African, Latin American, and South Asian cultures in the spotlight. There can only be one winner (announced on April 3), but we think these artists all deserve a shout out.

All One Tribe, by 1 Tribe Collective celebrates the diversity of Black voices in the family music business. Feel-good lyrics—“I love my skin, gonna let the melanin,” “I am the future of Black history”—combine with uplifting hip-hop, soul, pop, and African percussion mixes.

Black To The Future, by Pierce Freelon is a multigenerational collaboration; the artist mined family archives to include clips from his grandmother, parents, and children. The soul, hip-hop, and jazz fusion music backdrops lyrics that promote values such as vulnerability, gratitude, and boundary-keeping.

A Colorful World, by Falu is an upbeat children’s album merging rock, pop, and South Asian musical traditions. Listeners will find wonder in the simple things like dreaming and using colorful crayons. They’ll also not be able to resist dancing as Falu encourages clapping, stomping, and finger wiggling.

Crayon Kids, by Lucky Diaz and the Family Jam Band combines lighthearted tunes with signs-of-thetimes songs. The first track, “Generation C” covers challenging experiences of young families during the pandemic, while the hit single “Sábado” takes a joyful spin through the days of the week.

For Your Bookshelf


Joyful Fridays Online

Join the Smithsonian Institute’s National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC) each Friday in February for an online program exploring a vibrant element of Black history. The interactive Zoom webinars, designed for kids age four and up and led by a NMAAHC Kids educator, will include a hands-on craft matched to each week’s theme. Kids will learn about contributions the Black Panther Party



made to the wellness of their communities (February 4); poet Maya Angelou (February 11); Granville T. Woods, the inventor behind today’s roller coaster (February 18); and abstract artists Alma Thomas and McArthur Binion (February 25). The Joyful Fridays programs are free, but registration is required. If you miss the programs on Fridays, recorded versions will be available on the NMAAHC UStream page.

—Anna Sutterer

It’s hard to always be the reassuring one; the queller of worries, the boo-boo kisser, the fear pacifier, especially when your grown-up brain is also spinning. It’s been a rough couple of years, so we all need something hopeful to read together. Everything Will Be OK (February 2022) is the book to add to your family library this year. Written by the late children’s author of the Llama, Llama books, Anna Dewdney, and illustrated by New York Times bestselling picture book author/ illustrator of the Skippyjon Jones books, Judy Schachner, Everything Will Be OK gives a big literary hug and reminds us that, even on bad days, things are going to be fine.

Everything Will Be OK: Penguin Random House. Mother and child: Getty Images.

Actívate by 123 Andrés invites families to get moving with a lineup of cumbia, salsa, and rock music featuring more than 40 artists. It’s mainly in Spanish— principalmente en Español—providing accessibility for fluent listeners and a learning opportunity for others.

London: Marcus Smith.


The Essential London Monroe Meet Denver’s seven-year-old rapper making moves in the kid music scene.


riple-threat singer, actress, and dancer, little miss London Monroe is creating a kid’s music movement. With the help of her parents, she’s laying tracks, shooting videos, and entertaining through her YouTube channel. It’s all for fun and making her fans happy. Here’s what you need to know about this Colorado artist: Age: 7 Songs: “Fleek,” “Chocolate and Lollipops,” “Earthquake” Why I make music: “I like challenging myself.” Who I listen to: Cardi B, Nicki Minaj, Drake My co-writer/producer/manager: Dad, aka Marcus Smith, aka M6 (rapper stage name) My costume designer: Mom, aka Adilene Gutierrez How I describe my style: Pop (colorful, loud) What my parents say about me: “She never ceases to amaze, that’s for sure.” —Dad “Once she opens up and you get to know her, she’s like really hard not to like. She’s so extra. She always does really good without trying too hard, I love to see that in her.” —Mom What I love most: Dancing in music videos with friends and cousins Music video TikTok likes: 1,000+ My favorite school subjects: Math and coloring How I spend my free time: “I like to go out with my friend to have a playdate. We play with Barbies.” My next challenge: Making YouTube videos and becoming an actor in films, shows, and commercials.

London’s dad, Marcus Smith, is also working on a children’s book about London and her mascot, Snowball Yo (above left), called Inside a Rainbow, for readers ages four to eight.

—Anna Sutterer




When you were your teenager’s age, you couldn’t wait to date. Your teen, however, might show no interest at all. Should you be concerned? A therapist specializing in teen mental health, a mom, and relationship counselors weigh in. Edited by Courtney Drake-McDonough

THE COUNSELORS FOCUSED ON BUILDING HEALTHY RELATIONSHIPS SAY… “Dating and not dating are both totally normal behaviors for teens. Maybe they’re perfectly happy being single, or a friend had a bad dating experience. Maybe between school, friends, and extracurricular activities they just don’t have the time. Being able to have a conversation about dating with your teen is more important than focusing on the reason why they aren’t interested. Dating is just one of the types of relationships we experience, including those with friends, family, teammates, coworkers, etc. If a teen doesn’t want to talk about dating relationships, try talking about overall relationship skills like assertive communication, boundarysetting, and building trust, which are as important in non-romantic relationships as romantic ones. Approach conversations willing to listen—resist the urge to lecture—to encourage teens to talk more openly.” —Nick Sabolik, intervention specialist, and Mollie Putnam, prevention manager at Project PAVE, an organization dedicated to helping youth build healthy relationships




THE THERAPIST FOR TEENS SAYS… “Teens are trying to figure out who they are, who they want to be, and who their community is —meaning people who understand and accept their different identities. When we date someone, we’re adding to, or taking away from, our community. Whether we’re going to engage in dating someone has a lot to do with that community piece. Studies show that youth who opted out of dating had less depression overall, and greater social skills. It seems counterintuitive because the narrative is that dating builds social skills, which can be true. But when you date, you focus your social skills on one type of person. When you don’t date, you focus on enhancing your social skills with whomever is around you.” —Lena McCain, founder and lead psychotherapist, Interfaith Bridge Counseling, PLLC

“Neither of our kids shows an interest in dating but they do hang out in friend groups. My son has some anxiety issues and is focused on school right now. My daughter says dating isn’t a big thing these days, plus, she wants to avoid relationship drama. Lots of kids are figuring out their sexuality and gender identity, so pushing too hard for them to date is not necessarily helpful. We just hope they find someone to make them happy eventually and that not “practicing” dating won’t impede them when the right person comes along. In some ways, I think the longer they wait, the more they’ll know themselves and know what they’re looking for. Once they’ve had the chance to live away from home and explore their environments on their own, they’re more likely to find a person who fits with their lifestyle.” —Melinda H., Denver mom of son, age 20, and daughter, age 18

Photos, highlight: Getty Images.

To Date, or Not To Date?

good neighbors


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

good neighbors

Lifting Up Denver’s Under-Represented Kids Through Performance


Preschool to eighth grade


Curriculum designed around the whole child


Flexible, differentiated curriculum


Active, engaged, hands on learning


Designated time to pursue questions and interests


Low student to teacher ratio


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

By Anna Sutterer


very child has the potential to become an artist, given the right support and access. Every adult can reach their higher potential given the right environment,” says Deepali Lindblom, founder and artistic director of Roshni, an Aurora-based organization that conducts community music, dance, and theater classes and performances. Roshni (which means “light”) aims to nurture youth, refugees, seniors, and people with disabilities. Having seen a common thread of trauma and isolation among people in these groups, and knowing the power of storytelling to heal, Lindblom created her organization as a platform. Through partnerships with local schools, free after-school offerings, and inclusive productions, Roshni encourages people to express themselves by co-creating plays and sharing their cultures in song and dance. Almost five years into operation, Roshni now directly serves 1,200 performers of all ages annually and reaches audiences of more than 4,000. COMING UP: This year’s youth programs include New American Stories (February-May and October-December), a 24-week afterschool group where kids create original plays. Dance of Empathy addresses issues related to mental health and cultural diversity. Summer camp at the Historic Centennial House will offer a month’s long version of New American Stories. Adults are welcome to join in Chance on Dance, a weekly program for all, including seniors and those with disabilities, and I ARISE (I AM Resilient, Informed, Steadfast, Empathetic), a women’s theater group. Roshni also hosts and participates in cultural events throughout the year such as World Refugee Day and Globalfest, plus the annual New American Arts Festival in September, which spreads across venues in Aurora and Denver to showcase more than 50 diverse performances.

HOW YOU CAN HELP: Volunteers aid in childcare for women involved in adult programs, event production, and fundraising. Register to volunteer on the Roshni website.

Email or Call 303.871.3715 to learn more!


At the Arvada Center, children explore all aspects of their creativity with camps in visual arts, performing arts, digital arts, dance, ceramics, and more. Register at or 720.898.7200

Expert ABA Therapy. From our heart to yours.

We offer everything you could want for your child and more: • Stimulating learning environments • Highly individualized care • Expert ABA therapists We can make a difference in the lives of children with autism and other developmental concerns.




what we love


After a day of keeping up with the kids, quality time with your spouse might simply look like a relaxing movie night. Cuddle up together in the Spell It Out Blanket, which can be customized with your last name or a meaningful word. $78 and up,




Fun finds and activities for a date night in.

2 By Kara Thompson

It’s easy to get so caught up in daily life that we forget to ask our loved ones deep questions, like what dreams they have or what has changed their worldview. Where Should We Begin? is a game that brings storytelling to date nights. Simply pull a card, ask the question listed, and learn more about your favorite companion. $40,


Unplug from distractions and reconnect with the Date Night In “Power Outage” box. Couples will deepen their relationship by putting aside tech and participating in activities that highlight the importance of vulnerability. The box comes with everything you need, including a treat and power-free recipe. $45,



Fancy a cocktail? Make your own with one of Cocktail Courier’s drink kits. Each kit is delivered to your door with all the ingredients needed to craft a refreshing beverage like a Midwinter Thaw Margarita or Spices To Savor Irish Coffee. Some of the recipes give you the option to forego the spirits if your bar cart is already stocked. $30 and up,


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Schedule a virtual wine tasting with Bonacquisti Wine Company, a winery that grows grapes in Palisades, Colorado. Winemaker and executive sommelier, Paul Bonacquisti, takes you through the process of crushing, fermenting, bottling, and of course, tasting, with three bottles of wine. Classes are available for up to six people if you want to make it a double or triple date. $225,


Get artsy with a live, 90-minute Romantic Date Night Painting Class where you’ll learn how to paint a scene of winding streets in Paris or Positano. Participants will be mailed two canvases, six paint brushes, acrylic paints, reference images, and an instruction sheet. Find February class dates online. $65,



Wine: Getty Images.






The Highlands Ranch Community Association has over 100 camps that offer something for everyone! From half-day to full-day camps, keep your kids busy and active when they are out of school.





Serving Highlands Ranch and the surrounding communities.

Camp Backcountry: Nature • Horses • Art • Expedition • Teen Leadership Art & Education: STEM • Drama • Snapology • Art • Pottery • Creative Kids • Multimedia • Cooking • Dance • Jewelry Camp HRCA: Swimming • Field Trips • Activities Sports: Tennis • Gymnastics • Basketball • Golf • Fencing • Racquetball • Dodgeball • Kickball • Volleyball • TaeKwonDo Therapeutic Recreation: Triathlon • Lego • Bike

Explore camp possibilities online at

The Year of Discovery Starts Now Now Enrolling! For nearly 40 years, Little People’s Landing has helped young learners thrive. Come join the fun in 2022. • Serving children from 6 weeks to 12 years • 8 locations in the greater Denver area Learn more: (303) 972-0787









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Join us to Paint Brighter Futures for kids with cancer Gerbera


artma is back! It’s the funky, fun and always colorful art auction that brings together art lovers of all kinds to help kids with cancer. Join us for food and drinks from Denver’s best restaurants and the chance to bid on hundreds of works of art donated by local and nationally known artists, sculptors, photographers, and more.

Saturday, April 30th from 6 –10pm Denver Design Center | always cares


Train: Colorado Model Railroad Museum.

5 Timeless Hobbies For Kids To Try See why these at-home activities are more than just a way to beat boredom. By Courtney Holden FEBRUARY 2022 COLORADOPARENT.COM




Train: Colorado Model Railroad Museum. Quilt, chess: Getty Images.


oo often, activities that can be classified as hobbies—collecting things, building models, getting out the craft box—are relegated to an occasional lazy weekend or unexpected day off from school: “It’s a snow day! Let’s learn how to knit!” Hobby experts, however, point out there are many reasons why these activities should be pursued more purposefully and on a regular basis. For starters, hobbies are a tangible way for kids to explore their interests, says Michelle Kempema, a hobby enthusiast and executive director of the Colorado Model Railroad Museum (CMRM). Kids go outside to look at the night sky, touch the stamps, and pick up the scissors, fabric, and glue. It’s a hands-on experience. Plus, many of these activities teach proficiency in science, technology, engineering, art, and math, what you’ve likely heard referred to as STEAM skills. Perhaps most importantly though, Kempema says, hobbies teach problem-solving. “Everybody needs that,” she adds. “No matter what you do in life, you need to learn how to look at something critically, see if it succeeded the way you wanted it to, and change whatever needs to be changed to make it successful.” Ready to explore options with the kids? Here are five great hobbies, and the surprising benefits they offer, as well as easy ways to get started.

Model Trains

Have you ever sighed at the sight of your formerly clutter-free living room being taken over by trains, tracks, and a handful of Lincoln Logs? Yep. Me too. But there are significant benefits to letting little engineers go to town creating a city all their own. The process could also provide a chance for budding architects to develop a city map. It allows young artists to create their own trees and animals. Future politician on your hands? Models necessitate problem-solving about the community’s needs like electricity and where there’s room for expansion. “You can start as small as, ‘I just want a train to run on a track,’” says Kempema, “But in the end, you’re actually building a miniature of an entire world.”

Get started: Visit a train museum like CMRM or an event like the Rocky Mountain Train Show—scheduled for April 2 and 3, 2022, at the National Western Complex—to see what type of trains your child is most interested in. Once you’re ready to make a purchase, you will have to invest in the train and track from a hobby store, each of which are likely to run upwards of $100. (Check toy stores to find smaller sets for younger kids.) After that initial investment though, there are ways to cut costs on the accoutrements. Have your child cover cereal boxes in construction paper to look like buildings, and then repurpose farm animals, Lego figures, and Matchbox vehicles from other play sets to build out the town.

Sewing, yarn, felting: Getty Images.


One of the beauties of needlecrafts like sewing, needle felting, and quilting is combining a functional skill with creative expression, points out Christina Patzman, president of Denver’s Fancy Tiger Crafts Co-Op. Kids who pick up this hobby will be able to repair a rip in their favorite pajamas and, if they stick with it, design a blanket, scarf, or skirt, all while developing fine motor skills. “Learning to make something with your hands is really empowering,” Patzman says, pointing out that choosing colors and patterns also teaches a child to reflect on their personal style. Needlecrafts have the additional benefit of immediate gratification—anyone can follow a simple cross-stitch pattern—and continued challenges when incorporating advanced techniques and patterns. Just be sure to give the child some space once they know the basics. “Sometimes I see parents just taking over, and I feel like that defeats the purpose,” Patzman says. “I always tell my students, ‘This needs to be yours.’” Get started: Look for an inexpensive kit or basic, beginner materials and tools. For tiny tots, try punching dime-sized holes in cardboard and tying a piece of yarn to one of the holes. Then let your child use their fingers (no needle necessary) to thread yarn through each opening. As your child’s interest increases, look into an in-person class where kids can get hands-on instruction on a borrowed sewing machine.

24 Fun Hobbies for Kids Photography Drawing Origami Gardening Collecting (coins, dolls, baseball cards, etc.) Painting Creative Writing Cooking/Baking

Woodworking/Whittling Knitting/Crochet Jigsaw Puzzles Pottery/Sculpture Paper crafts/Paper Making Birdwatching Jewelry Making Magic

Word Puzzles Music (singing, playing an instrument) Videography Theater Meteorology Puppets/Ventriloquism Model Building Duct Tape Crafts



Telescope, chess: Getty Image.


Too often kids are looking down at their phones. Teach them to look up with a visit to a Denver Astronomical Society (DAS) event, where they’ll be fascinated to see what the moon’s surface really looks like (spoiler alert: it’s not cheese) or see the soft coloration in Saturn’s rings. “It sparks their curiosity,” says Ron Hranac, a DAS lecturer who often gives kids a chance to hold 4.5 billion-yearold space rocks at his talks. “Stargazing, in a general sense, has helped me be a better observer, period.” Just learning easy-tospot star groupings like the Big Dipper and looking through a borrowed telescope are beneficial for budding scientists, he adds. “The astronomy part gives an opportunity to get some real hands-on, or eyeballs-on, experience at looking at and enjoying what’s in the sky.” Get started: Visits to many DAS events are free or low-cost, but families can also enjoy stargazing from the comfort of their backyard. Download a free star-finding app like SkyView Lite, spread out a blanket, lay back, and take in the amphitheater of celestial beauty before you. Grab binoculars if you have them lying around.


Listen to National Chess Master and founder of the Chess Academy of Denver Todd Bardwick describe his favorite pastime and it’s a wonder we don’t have all of our kids learning about pawn structure and king safety as soon as they can say “checkmate.” “[Chess] will help them greatly in school, sports, business, and life because it teaches them thinking processes that overlap all those things,” Bardwick says. The game imparts critical thinking skills since players need to contemplate decisions and their consequences, as well as patient analysis of various moves rather than impulsive action. It also teaches how to look at problems from

different angles. Best of all: “[Chess] gives them a variety of problems to solve, and it’s in the context of a game,” Bardwick says, “which makes it fun.” Get started: With plenty of chess boards costing around $10—some come with checkers, too—the game itself is relatively inexpensive. There are also numerous free apps, some designed specifically for kids; check out for good teaching videos. Once your child shows an affinity for chess, look into school clubs, or local camps and classes like those offered by Bardwick’s Chess Academy of Denver.

Where to Start Your Hobby Search CHESS ACADEMY OF DENVER provides camps, private instruction, school programs, and online classes in chess. COLORADO MODEL RAILROAD MUSEUM in Greeley features an impressive collection of model trains on display, a 5,500 square foot operating model railroad, and a full-size Colorado & Southern Railway caboose to walk through. DENVER ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY hosts a Junior Astronomers club and regular open house events at the Chamberlin Observatory near the University of Denver for anyone to view the night sky through telescopes.



FANCY TIGER CRAFTS offers fabric and needle craft classes, as well as project kits and supplies for beginner to advanced crafters. HOBBYTOWN stocks stores with everything you need to get started on a wide variety of hobbies. Multiple locations across metro Denver and the Front Range. ROCKY MOUNTAIN PHILATELIC LIBRARY hosts the Metro Denver Young Stamp Collector’s Club for kids ages eight to 16.

Stamp: Getty Image.

Stamp Collecting

Structure is so important for kids, and stamp collecting just might give them a little bit more of it. “Collecting is a way of sorting out and organizing things,” says Bill Blankemeier, a volunteer at the Rocky Mountain Philatelic Library (RMPL) who’s been an avid stamp collector for more than 30 years. With freedom to organize by the type of stamp, colors, age, region, and more, your young collector gets to “organize things the way they like.” Beyond that, stamp collecting dovetails well with children’s other interests. If your little one has a penchant for flowers, for example, their affection for stamp collecting may blossom if they search specifically for flower stamps. Kids who show interest in history may consider the stories behind who and what is chosen to grace the surface of a stamp, and how that provides a glimpse into society values. Get started: The least expensive way to start cultivating an interest in stamps: “See what kinds of stamps are on the mail at home,” Blankemeier says. “Most people throw that stuff away, but you can start a collection that’s very inexpensive because it comes to your house for free.” Grow the interest further with a visit to a philatelic library, where experienced stamp collectors can walk young ones through the many different aspects of the hobby and guide them toward stamps that suit the child’s specific interests. Budding collectors on the Front Range can join the Metro Denver Young Stamp Collector’s Club at RMPL. Encourage your kiddo to pick up a new hobby. Whether they pick up a needle and thread, catch the collecting bug, or seek out a totally different creative or scientific outlet (taxidermy perhaps?), hobbies offer kids a chance to have fun in the here and now while learning skills that will pay dividends in the future. Courtney Holden is a Boulder-based writer resigned to the fact that she will never be as proficient with Legos as her five-year-old son. She’s determined to keep trying though.

NOW ENROLLING FOR FALL Fully licensed nature-based preschool for ages 3-6. Boulder & Lafayette. Space is limited. Enquire now at:


is a magical, imaginative, and creative place for kids to thrive during the summer. Arts, crafts, water sports, karaoke, cool games, and field trips make learning a factory of fun! A perfect fit for 1st-5th graders (6-11 year olds). See where the fun begins at 2500 E. 4th Ave., Denver, CO 80206



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6th-8th Grade Learners Colorado SKIES Academy is an aerospace-focused middle school authorized by the Cherry Creek School District. At CSA, we inspire successful careers in the aerospace industry with an academically rigorous, project-based curriculum that prepares our students for advanced secondary and post-secondary education. 720-400-7612 13025 Wings Way Englewood, CO 80112

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SUMMER CAMP 2022 for more information, scan here!



wellness Sled Safely This Winter Review these guidelines before you head to the hills.

Children Sledding: Getty Images

By Katy M. Clark

There is no better way to spend a winter’s day than swooshing down a snowy hill with your family. While sledding may be a fun rite of winter, it does send thousands of children and teens to emergency rooms every year. Injuries range from the serious, like head injuries, to the more common cuts, bumps, and bruises. Check out the following tips to make your next sledding adventure as safe as it is fun.



Sledding: Getty Images.

LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION Choose a hill that does not end in a parking lot to avoid colliding with cars or light poles; or a pond, which may not be solidly frozen enough. Make sure the sledding hill is free of rocks, trees, or poles that could injure riders. Ride during daylight or choose a slope that is well-illuminated at night. Again, make sure any potential obstacles or dangers are visible.



Dress for the weather. If it is cold enough to sled, then it is cold enough for winter coats, snow pants, hats, boots, and gloves. Dressing in layers is advisable so they can be removed as the kids work up a sweat. Head protection is important, especially for children ages 12 and under. Wear a multi-sport helmet used for skiing, or even a bike helmet which will offer some protection. Avoid long scarves, if possible, since they can get caught or tangled and increase the chance of injury.

REMINDERS FOR THE ADULTS Always supervise your kids. In case someone does get injured, you will be there to give first aid or take the injured party to a doctor. Never pull a sled behind a motorized vehicle such as a car or ATV. Speed and being on a trail or roadway are dangerous combinations.



Finally, don’t forget to have fun. Sledding is a terrific way to celebrate winter and enjoy the outdoors as a family. Conclude the outing with hot chocolate—or bring it along—to make it extra special.

How To Sled Teach your kids to ride down the middle of the hill and return to the top by walking up the sides. This avoids collisions between those riding down the hill and those walking back up. Ride one at a time, unless your kids are younger than five years old or so. In that case, it is best for the littlest riders to be accompanied by a parent. Sit feet first and discourage any sledding while standing up or going face first. The latter method greatly increases the risk of head or neck injury. The safest type of sled can be steered by hand and includes brakes to come to a safe stop. Try to avoid substitute sleds such as sheets of plastic. Coach your kids on how to fall off the sled to avoid a crash. If the sled is going too fast or a collision seems imminent, roll off the sled and let it go. Katy M. Clark is a writer and mother of two who embraces her imperfections on her blog Experienced Bad Mom.

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home Steal Their

Hearts Valentine’s Day calls for something sweet, and your little one will surely be lovestruck by these royal treats. Bring a sense of whimsy to the special day by baking your favorite goodies and jazzing them up with creative touches.

Photo edit: Heather Gaumer.

Crafts by Cindy Thompson Photos by Kara Thompson



Queen of Hearts Cake

Delight your kids with a character from the classic story, Alice in Wonderland. To create this regal cake, bake (or purchase) a red velvet bundt cake. While the cake is in the oven, adhere a small paper-mache sphere to a wooden dowel (¼" diameter). Draw a sweet or mischievous face—any emotion you would like—on the front of the sphere with fine point markers. Wrap two pipe cleaners around the dowel to serve as arms. Add hair by pinning black pipe cleaners to the top of her head, and freehand cut the crown from sparkly gold craft paper. Next, use an assortment of craft paper and lace doilies to make clothes (a white cupcake wrapper makes for the perfect collar). Wrap cellophane around the base of the wooden dowel and insert into the center of the bundt cake to stabilize. TIP: Roll craft paper to cover her pipe cleaner arms and wooden dowel neck. This step isn’t necessary but adds fun detail.

Cards on the Table

The Queen of Hearts isn’t complete without her loyal card soldiers. Turn ordinary sugar cookies into her trustworthy companions by using a simple rectangular cookie cutter and shiny royal icing. Add the finishing touches with red and black decorating gel.

ENHANCE IT Use these ideas to kickstart a Queen of Hearts family game night. Prepare a special dinner complete with these desserts and a round of the card game, Hearts—or Slap Jack and Go Fish for little ones.



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happenings Our Picks


Dancers: Anthony Alvarez.


Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company: The 2022 Lunar New Year of the Water Tiger

Immerse your family in the sound of firecrackers, cymbals, and drums that accompany acrobatic lion dancers. Feb. 12 and 13. Lone Tree Arts Center, Lone Tree.



happenings Our Picks


Goldens in Golden

International Golden Retrievers Day is observed Feb. 3, and Golden, Colorado intends to celebrate by gathering furry friends in a parade. Feb. 5. Golden Visitors & Information Center, Golden.


Motorsports fans witness high-flying stunts and head-to-head battles performed with specially-engineered, 12,000-pound trucks. Feb. 11-13. Ball Arena, Denver.

Seedlings: Top Hogs Pigs will perform exciting tricks to music and the cues of renowned animal trainer and performer John Vincent. Feb. 1. Lone Tree Arts Center, Lone Tree.


Valentine’s Day Family Concert Join children’s musician Laurie Berkner for a live virtual family concert. Sing and dance to tunes of love, family, and friendship like “Blow A Kiss,” and “There’s A Little Wheel A-Turnin’ In My Heart.” Feb. 13. Virtual.

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



Monster Jam: Feld Entertainment. Dog: Holly Strebel Photography. Seedlings: Top Hogs. Valentine’s Concert: Jayme Thornton.


Monster Jam

happenings Our Picks

Little Show: Denver Museum of Miniatures, Dolls and Toys. Dog Show: Colorado Kennel Club. Musicians: Betty Allentown. Girl Scout: Girl Scouts Of Colorado.



the “little” show

Peer into dollhouses and dioramas featuring small crafted objects that look like the real-life things, then craft or buy a souvenir. Feb. 12. Belmar Church, Lakewood.

Colorado Symphony provides the soundtrack to a big-screen showing of the time-honored film, Fantasia, Feb. 4 and 5.

Colorado Kennel Club Dog Show

Cheer on a favorite pooch as competitors show their skills in obedience, agility, and dock diving. Bring your family’s prized pet for an AKC B match. Feb. 17-20. National Western Complex, Denver.

10 8 9

The Queen’s Cartoonists Enjoy a show that pairs unique musical performances synchronized to video of Golden Age and modern animations. Feb. 12. The Lincoln Center, Fort Collins.

Girl Scout Cookie Sales Find a cookie booth and satisfy your family’s sweet tooth. Don’t miss tasting the new Adventurefuls, brownie-inspired cookies topped with caramel flavored créme. Feb. 6-March 7. Locations around Denver and the Front Range.

Disney’s Fantasia in Concert

A magical concert returns to Denver’s symphony in the round, at the Boettcher Concert Hall. Marrying classic music and classic animation, the Disney’s Fantasia in Concert show includes a screening of the movie alongside live renditions of the score; “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice” and Beethoven’s “Fifth Symphony,” featured among others. “Fantasia is timeless. With so many lively and recognizable pieces of music, it’s been a great way to introduce children to symphonic music for decades and decades and we’re excited to bring it back to Boettcher Concert Hall this year,” Nick Dobreff, communications and creative director for the Colorado Symphony, says. The Hall is specially designed for maximum audio quality, and having four 20-by-12-foot screens arranged in the center means patrons can watch the film and orchestra with the flit of an eye, no head swiveling needed. To sweeten the deal, families can arrive early to pick up coloring sheets and take part in a craft. NEED TO KNOW: Disney’s Fantasia in Concert shows Feb. 4 and 5 at the Boettcher Concert Hall in the Denver Center for Performing Arts.



happenings February

Gifted jazz pianist Joey Alexander performs with joy, and brings his talent to Denver on Feb. 2.

1-2:30pm. Participate in a variety of heart-themed art making stations where kids can explore and create. Not into hearts? Neutral options are available as well. Grades 1-5. Register online. $49. artSPARK Creative Studio, Littleton.

Sibling Clubhouse 4-6pm. Hang out with other kids who have siblings with autism. This a is peer-moderated group; participants should be old enough to have a meaningful conversation about being a sibling of someone with autism. Email to get on the email list. Autism Community Store, Aurora.

6 Sunday

Nuggets Family Night Feb. 6, 1:30pm.

Take the family to cheer on the Nuggets as they play the Brooklyn Nets, and enjoy a meal of choice with each ticket purchased. $51-$149. Ball Arena, Denver.

to do today FREE

1 Tuesday

Storybook Tour Train Ride

10am. This tour takes you and your little one on a children’s literaturethemed trip throughout the Railroad Museum’s rail yard. The Little Engine That Could, the Little Red Caboose, and Donald Crews’ Freight Train provide the inspiration. $3 plus admission: $10 adult, $5 ages 2-17, free members and under age 2. Colorado Railroad Museum, Golden.

2 Wednesday

Joey Alexander 7:30pm. An

accomplished jazz pianist and composer, 18-year-old Joey Alexander has become the youngest musician ever nominated for a Grammy

SPECIAL NEEDS Award in a jazz category. His latest release, Warna, on Verve Records spotlights his original work along with personalized interpretations of great songs. All ages. $24 and up. The Robert and Judi Newman Center for the Performing Arts, Denver.

3 Thursday

Stephanie Dueger: Preparing for Parenthood 6:30pm. Stephanie

Dueger, PhD, LPC, will speak about and sign her new book, Preparing for Parenthood: 55 Essential Conversations for Couples Becoming Families, a work intended to help couples with essential discussions and action items to complete before becoming parents. $5. Boulder Bookstore, Boulder.

4 Friday

Stuff Art Kits for Denver Youth



5-7pm. Spend your happy hour giving back. Stop by Infinite Monkey Theorem to join Can’d Aid in assembling art kits for children in foster care, to be


SPANISH/ESPAÑOL distributed through Denver Human Services. Infinite Monkey Theorem, Denver.

5 Saturday

Downtown Winter Fest

11am-5pm. Join the fun and celebrate America’s Olympic and Paralympic athletes. Enjoy sport and cultural demonstrations, live music, and Beijing Winter Olympic competition on the jumbotron. This event kicks off the Beijing Winter Fest celebration at the museum, which includes meetand-greets, sport demos, and other activities through March 13. All ages. United States Olympic & Paralympic Museum, Colorado Springs.

Kids Wolf Tour Noon-1pm. This tour

is designed to engage children and help them learn about the importance of wolves in the world. Key concepts include adaptations, impacts of removing species from the ecosystem, identification, and traits. Ages 6-11. $15. Colorado Wolf and Wildlife Center, Divide.

7 Monday

Snowy Signs of Farm Surprises: School Day Off Class 8:30am-5pm.

Have your child spend the day learning about animal visitors, snow science, and winter traditions. They’ll create art and understand nature’s patterns through fractals and tracking. Crafts, games, and cozy drinks and snacks are included. Ages 5-11. Register online. $85, scholarships available. Growing Gardens, Boulder.

8 Tuesday

Delanie Holton-Fessler: Maker Camp 6-7pm. Join Delanie Holton-

Fessler, author of Maker Camp: Heritage Crafts & Skill-Building Projects for Kids, for an evening book talk followed by a mini-junk robots creation station. Boulder Bookstore, Boulder.

12 Saturday

Demonstrating Artist: R. Alan Brooks and Joylon Yates Feb. 12 and 13, noon-

3pm. Visit the Storytelling Studio on level 1 of the Hamilton Building for a behindthe-scenes look at R. Alan Brooks (comic creator) and Jolyon Yates’ (illustrator) creative process. Explore your own creativity through hands-on activities. Included with admission: $10-$13 adult, free age 18 and under. Denver Art Museum, Denver.

Joey Alexander: Meredith Truax.

HeARTs + Valentines Workshop

Building exterior: Denver Art Museum. Zoo: Nikki A. Rae Photography/Visit Denver. Group Wedding: K Jean Photography.

happenings February

weather safety. Dress warmly; Lookout Mountain is usually 10 degrees cooler than downtown Golden. Ages 6-10 and caregivers. Register online. Lookout Mountain Preserve and Nature Center, Golden.

Bring your sweetheart to Loveland’s celebration of love on Feb. 14.

Free Days

21 Monday

Family Make and Take: Build a Fairy Garden 10am and 1pm. Discover

which plants fairies like as you design, plant, and landscape a tiny fairy oasis. Age 5 and up. Register online. $15 per project, $12 member per project. Denver Botanic Gardens York Street, Denver.

23 Wednesday

Dinosaur World Live 7pm. Grab

13 Sunday

17 Thursday

or sensory processing disorders, and their families, can visit the museum in a safe and fun way. The museum will open early, dim the lights, and provide tools to aid the experience. The Martin Building will open at 10am at regular capacity and lighting/audio levels. Included with admission: $10-$13 adult, free age 18 and under. Denver Art Museum, Denver.

her trademark humor and wit, world champion paraclimber and 2019 National Geographic Adventurer of the Year Maureen Beck shares about her adventures as a one-handed athlete. All ages. $15. The Lincoln Center, Fort Collins.

Sensory-Friendly Morning at the DAM 9-11am. Kids with neurodiversity

Super Sunday Fun Run 5K 10am.

Bring the entire family to run or walk along the Mary Carter Greenway before the big Super Bowl game and enjoy a post-race party at Breckenridge Brewery Farmhouse. Show your team spirit and wear your favorite team jersey or attire. All ages. Register online. $30 adult, $15 age 14 and under. Reynolds Landing Park, Littleton.

14 Monday

Loveland Valentine’s Day Group Wedding 4pm. Bring your sweetheart

to a celebration of love complete with a wedding/vow renewal ceremony, photos, and signature cupcakes. Put a special lock on the LOVE or HEART sculpture and enter to win a gift basket. Reserve tickets online. $95 per couple. Loveland Visitor's Center​, Loveland.

National Geographic Live: Improbable Ascent 7:30pm. With

19 Saturday

your compass and join an explorer to discover a prehistoric world of life-like dinosaurs including a Tyrannosaurus rex, triceratops, and segnosaurus. Brave kids can meet and greet the dinos after the show. All ages. Find tickets online. $29. Parker Arts Center, Parker.

24 Thursday

Cleo Parker Robinson Dance: One People, Many Voices Feb. 24, 11am;

Feb. 1 Rocky Mountain Quilt Museum No reservation required. Feb. 2 Buffalo Bill Museum and Grave No reservation required. Feb. 6 Denver Zoo Enter a lottery (by Jan. 29) for the chance to win limited free ticket vouchers. Feb. 7 Denver Museum of Nature & Science No reservation required.

Feb. 25, 7:30pm. Honoring shared humanity, Cleo Parker Robinson Dance artists will perform works focusing on the power of dance to elevate a deeper understanding of issues of justice and equity. $18-$25. Northglenn Arts, Northglenn.

Bighorn Sheep Day Festival

10am-3pm. Peep some majestic sheep roaming through the grand landscape of Garden of the Gods. The visitor center will host educational presentations and interactive elements such as a bighorn survival game and live animal program. All ages. Garden of the Gods Visitor and Nature Center, Colorado Springs.

20 Sunday

Spanish Storytime 2pm. Settle in for a book reading at the Tattered Cover Kids location in Stanley Marketplace. Tattered Cover Kids, Aurora. Winter Jr. Rangers 11:30am-1:30pm. Parents and Jr. Rangers, bundle up and join in a wintry adventure. Sip on hot cocoa before heading on a 3/4mile hike into the forest to learn about animal tracking, ecology, and cold

25 Friday

Colorado Golf Expo Feb. 25,

10am-6pm; Feb. 26, 9am-5pm; Feb. 27, 10am-4pm. Spend time with your partner, golf group, or kids at this golf-centric experience complete with equipment deals, learning opportunities, and a Junior Golf Alliance of Colorado area featuring putting and other challenges for little ones. All ages. $15 adult, $5 ages 6-16. Colorado Convention Center, Denver.

27 Sunday

So Many Voices 3-4:15pm. The

Colorado Children’s Choir will unite the voices of their Tour Choir and Concert Choir in a celebration of diverse cultures, perspectives, and music. All ages. $19, $14 age 11 and under. Montview Presbyterian Church, Denver.

Feb. 8 Denver Art Museum Reserve online. Feb. 11 Four Mile Historic Park Reserve online. Feb. 17 Denver Botanic Gardens York Street, Chatfield Farms, Plains Conservation Center Reserve online.



happenings February

Around the World Storytime

Through May 17. Tue, 10:15-10:45am. Celebrate world cultures through books, music, and interactive play during this storytime for all ages. Held at Holiday Park behind the NoBo Boulder Public Library branch, weather permitting. Holiday Park, Boulder.

Discovery Days Through May 6.

Wed-Fri; 9-10:15am, 10:30-11:45am, 12:30-1:45pm. Learn together through monthly hands-on activities that build language development, fine motor skills, emotional regulation, and social abilities. Ages 2-6 and caregivers. $4.50 per child, $4 member child; scholarships available. Longmont Museum, Longmont.

Girls and Science Feb. 24-March 26.

Join CBS4 and Girls Inc of Metro Denver for the 8th Annual Girls & Science event, which includes stories with scientists presentations and downloadable activities to try out at home. Virtual.

Kids Art Nite Feb. 4 and 19, 6-8pm (grades 1-5); Feb. 12, 4-6pm (ages 3-6). Leave your kiddos at the studio for an art experience while you

enjoy a relaxing evening out. Grades pre-K-5. Reservation required. $35, $60 two-pack. artSPARK Creative Studio, Littleton.

Included with admission: $8 ages 18-64, $6 ages 7-17, free age 6 and under and members. Four Mile Historic Park, Denver.

Create an ornate greeting card at Four Mile Historic Park.

Language Music N’ Our Peeps

Ongoing. Every other Tue, 9-10am. Language Music N’ Our Peeps (LMNOP) is an interactive program designed by Down syndrome experts and GiGi’s Playhouse to guide parents and young children through learning basic sign language and other forms of communication. Recommended for age 36 months and under. Register online. GiGi’s Playhouse, Lakewood.

Kids Café Lunch/Almuerzo Para Niños Ongoing. Mon,

11:30am-12:30pm. Stop by for free food. Age 18 and under. No registration required. // Únase para comida gratis. Disponible para niños menores de 18 años. No se requiere registro. Anythink Library, Brighton.

Victorian Valentines Feb. 1-28;

Fri–Sun, 10am-4pm. Craft a curated love note to share with someone special and learn about the origins and development of the heart-filled holiday, for example, in 1840's England the mass-produced valentine was born.

Dome Show: Dream to Fly Sat,

11:15am-noon. Enjoy a poetic and touching story of aviation development through the ages, plus looks at human’s perceptions of flight like mythical tales of dragons and carpet rides. The 45-minute show is spread across a gigantic dome screen for maximum viewer immersion. Age 9 and up. Find tickets online. $2-$4. Fort Collins Museum of Discovery, Fort Collins.

Guitar: The Instrument That Rocked the World Through April 17. Daily,

9am-5pm, open until 9pm Fri. Explore the science, sound, history, and pop culture behind one of the world’s most popular instruments. This exhibition features more than 70 instruments, plus hands-on experiences, including the chance to strum the world’s largest playable guitar. All ages. Included with admission: $18.95-$19.95 adult, $15.95$16.95 seniors, $13.95-$14.95 ages 3-18, free age 2 and under and members. Denver Museum of Nature & Science, Denver.

Snow Days at Joy Park Through

Feb. 27. Wed-Sun, 9am-4pm. A new, multifaceted winter experience is taking over the Children’s Museum’s Joy Park. Take a slide down the Snow Hill, go ice skating, cozy up by fire pits with hot cocoa, take a photo in a giant snow globe, and try your hand at curling. Included with admission: $15 ages 2-59, $13 ages 1 and 60+, $1 Explorer Pass, free under age 1 and members. Children’s Museum of Denver at Marsico Campus, Denver.

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.

The Power of Horses Through May 8.

Classic winter fun awaits in the Snow Days experience at the Children's Museum of Denver, through Feb. 27.



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 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.

Child with stuffed dog: Children’s Museum of Denver at Marsico Campus.

ongoing events

CU Spur: CSU System. Romeo and Juliet: Rachel Neville.

happenings February

Colorado Environmental Film Festival Feb. 24-Mar. 6. Watch featurelength and short films by foreign, local, and young filmmakers. Special programming for children is available. Interact with filmmakers and other attendees, and enjoy family-friendly and student programs. Find tickets and virtual streaming options online. $12-$80. American Mountaineering Center, Golden.

Family Make and Take: Garden Valentines Feb. 11, 6:30pm;

Feb. 12 and 13, 10am and 1pm. Use the shapes, textures, and colors of dried flowers, leaves, and seeds to create a personalized Valentine’s Day ornament and share with loved ones. Age 5 and up. Register online. $15 per project, $10 member per project. Denver Botanic Gardens York Street, Denver.

Gallop in the Garden Ongoing. Thu, 3-5pm. Run, jog, and walk a 5K through the Garden of the Gods Park. Bring the whole family—kids are welcome and a designated stroller route is available. Sign in at the visitor center lobby then enjoy the natural beauty and company of other fitness-lovers in the great outdoors. Garden of the Gods Visitor and Nature Center, Colorado Springs. Seedlings: The Alphabet Garden

Feb. 23 (ages 3-6), Feb. 24 (ages 24-36 months), Feb. 25 (ages 18-24 months); 9:15 and 10:30am. Little ones will explore the alphabet while wandering through the world of plants and flowers before making a plant collage in the shape of the first letter of their names. Register online. $10;

$8 member, one adult free per child. Denver Botanic Gardens York Street, Denver.

Seedlings: Garden Hearts and Blooms Feb. 9 (ages 3-6), Feb. 10


(ages 24-36 months), Feb. 11 (ages 18-24 months); 9:15 or 10:30am, 1pm additional session Feb. 9. Explore the colors of flowers and the emotional messages they send. Create a flower craft to share with a loved one. Register online. $10, $8 member; one adult free per child. Denver Botanic Gardens York Street, Denver.

Aspiring veterinarians learn from experts and then test their knowledge at Vida.

Dontrell, Who Kissed the Sea Through

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. $20-$40. The Aurora Fox Arts Center, Aurora.

Romeo and Juliet Fri and Sat,

7:30pm; Sat and Sun, 2pm. Enjoy the classic, beautiful-yet-tragic love story by William Shakespeare, set to stage by choreographer Derek Deane and Colorado Ballet dancers. Run time is approximately two hours and 45 minutes with two 15-minute intermissions. $40-$160. Ellie Caulkins Opera House, Denver.

The Wizard of Oz Through Feb. 13.

Fri, 7:30pm; Sat, 2pm and 7pm; Sun, 2pm. 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. All ages. $29-$34. The PACE Center, Parker.

Exceptional ballet technique is on display with Colorado Ballet’s Romeo and Juliet.

CSU Spur Campus Opens With Vida, an Exhibit To Inspire Young Scientists Imagine a place that’s one part Denver Zoo, one part Denver Museum of Nature & Science, one part Denver Art Museum, and free to visit. Too good to be true? Wait until you check out Colorado State University’s new campus full of educational, family-friendly opportunities. CSU Spur is settling into Denver’s Globeville/ Elyria-Swansea neighborhoods with the goal of connecting the public to the university system’s achievements in health, agriculture, and water management. Spur’s first building (out of three), Vida, opened January 7, 2022. Here, visitors can observe horse-assisted physical and emotional therapies at the Temple Grandin Equine Center, watch horses walk on underwater treadmills at the equine rehabilitation area, and view pet exams and surgeries at the new Dumb Friends League Veterinary Hospital. Spur staff are on hand to facilitate live question-and-answer sessions with the experts performing each service.

“I’m excited to see our youngest people coming through the doors and getting inspired by animal sciences,” Kathryn Venzor, Spur’s director of education says. The center provides an outlet for newfound interests—kids can test their veterinarian skills by taking vitals, administering vaccinations, and bandaging limbs of stuffed animals in a mock clinic. Art installations and a nine-foot interactive kitten statue that purrs or hisses depending on how you approach it add to the beauty and fun infused in the space. “What we are showcasing is the animal and human connection: the bond that we build with animals, the health benefits that come from taking care of animals, and [the fact that] healthy animals usually leads to healthy humans and a healthy planet,” Venzor says. NEED TO KNOW: Spur’s Vida building is free to visit and open 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday.



fresh mindset

Kevin and Teri Hales: Nikki Krogh Photography.

fresh mindset

Your relationship needs to remain a priority leading up to, and during your parenting years. Your love for your children should not replace your love for your partner.

—KEVIN HALES is a licensed professional counselor who specializes in marriage counseling and parenting issues at Colorado Counseling Center. He lives with his wife Teri, and two kids in Castle Rock. 38


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