Colorado Parent April 2023

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Get Started with Rock Climbing APRIL 2023 COLORADOPARENT.COM Money Talks The Gut & Mental Health Connection Spring Decluttering
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Getting Started with Rock Climbing

Now that the snow is clearing and the sun is shining, it’s a great time to go outdoors and enjoy the beautiful Colorado weather. Rock climbing is a popular sport during the warmer months, but it’s imperative to know what you’re doing before tying in outside. Bernardo Beteta is a rock climbing guide at the Boulder Rock Club and Colorado Mountain School. He gives advice on how to start climbing with your family and what to look out for as a beginner.

Learn the Technical Aspects

Beteta suggests parents should learn the technical aspects before climbing with their children. It’s important for parents and children to become familiar with the process and comfortable before going outdoors. There are several climbing gyms where parents and children can learn the basics and become acquainted with the equipment in a safe environment.

“Learn the technical aspects in the gym, like hanging on the rope, putting on a harness that goes on top of the clothing you’re wearing, and then being in that vertical terrain and not afraid of being off the ground.”

Outdoor Climbing is Much Different

“If they [parents] are only used to climbing in the gym, they should definitely get some proper instruction to go outside with their kids before they do it,” Beteta says. “If you go outside and something doesn’t go according to plan, you need to know the technical aspects of how to solve that problem.”

If you’re new to outdoor climbing, consider hiring a guide to help you learn the techniques and what to look for, or bring a friend who has experience with this activity. A lot of vital gear is needed for outdoor climbing to ensure everyone is safe.

“It’s not something you can just look up on YouTube, buy the gear at REI, and then go and do it yourself,” Beteta says. “It’s not something you would want to start making mistakes while you’re learning and having other people be involved in those mistakes.”

Last Word

“People that are getting into the sport should definitely not take it lightly. With regard to the safety of climbing, there have been a lot of scenarios where people venture out into climbing areas without having the proper equipment or the proper instruction and knowledge. It ends up being a really bad experience, and potentially, somebody ends up getting injured.”

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4 Hoppin’ Bunny Sightings

With Easter just around the corner, this is a perfect time to take your kiddos to find the Easter Bunny. Here are various fun-filled events for children to see the hopping bunny and take adorable pictures!

Egg-Stravaganza

Lyons Park

Everything Easter is in Strasburg, and welcomes everyone to the egg hunt on Saturday, April 1. Each age group will have a separate egg hunt. Make sure to look for the Golden Egg because the winner will receive a grand prize! Keep a look out for the special guest hopping around, and enjoy the sack races and bounce house. strasburgparks.org

Easter Egg Hunt

Northridge Park

The Easter Egg Hunt on Saturday, April 8 is a free annual event, so hop over to Highlands Ranch and help find the eggs. Dress for pictures and bring the camera for the special appearance from the Easter Bunny. The event is outdoors, no matter the weather, so dress accordingly. hrcaonline.org

Hop and Shop

Outlets at Castle Rock

Take the whole family Saturday, April 8, to Hop and Shop. When the kids need a break from shopping, head to the fun, Easter-themed activities. Enjoy a delicious candy buffet, join the scavenger hunt, and take family photos. outletsatcastlerock.com

Photos with Bunny

Cherry Creek Shopping Center

From Saturday, April 1 to Sunday, April 16, take all your little bunnies for photos with the one and only Easter Bunny. Reservations are limited, but walk-ups are always welcome. There are three photo packages to choose from, starting at $34.99 for five printed photos. shopcherrycreek.com

contents happenings 27 Our Top Picks for April 30 To Do Today fresh mindset 34 Fresh Mindset Meet Mark Henry good to know 25 learn 23 7 Ways to Teach Kids About Money
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Get Your Hands Dirty: Denver Urban Gardens

The country's largest independent network of food-producing community gardens is serving over 40,000 Coloradoans through gardens and programs.

Denver Urban Gardens (DUG) provides access to homegrown food and educational programs. If you live in an apartment or townhome where you can’t garden or don’t know where to start with gardening, DUG can provide you with the resources to grow your own foods. Currently, DUG has 192 gardens across the metro area and over 70 school-based gardens.

One of DUG’s goals is to combat food insecurity. Sadly, food insecurity is still a nationwide problem, and people in our community are struggling to find their next meal. Through DUG’s initiatives, programs, and resources, they are taking steps to help this problem and provide opportunities for people who can’t afford to grow.

“People from all walks of life come to these community gardens to grow,” says Rob Payo, the Director of Youth Education for DUG. “We have people that are doing this as a hobby and

wanting to learn how to garden. Other people, this is the way they help support themselves in terms of providing healthy food access or to grow foods from their native countries.”

Payo mentions that people have lost connection to the food they eat, and DUG strives to bridge that gap by providing space and resources for the community.

By reconnecting people with the food they eat, it can be a potential gateway for people to become more aware of the problems and issues that gardening can help solve.

“We also have a master composter program where people can get a more in-depth understanding of composting…in terms of reducing food waste and extending the health of the soil,” Payo says.

There are several benefits to tending to a garden, from helping your mental health to having access to nutritious foods. Payo mentions a recent scientific study about the value of community gardens which finds that connecting with the community and growing

your food results in individuals making healthier meal choices and overall improving well-being.

There are also benefits for children to get their hands dirty in the garden. Children will begin to understand where food comes from and the work that goes into getting a fresh tomato or a piece of lettuce for a sandwich.

“We really encourage teachers to think in terms of it’s not so much about production and produce, it’s more about getting kids outside and getting their hands in the dirt,” Payo says.

“Some schools will actually harvest their food and then sell it to the cafeteria. They get a kickback of funds that will go back into the garden to support it.”

With several community gardens around the Denver metro area, take the step and grow your food with your family. If you already produce your own fruits and vegetables, consider joining a program to learn how to compost leftovers.

“You start to recognize that this is something you can do, not just as a hobby, but as a way of making life more sustainable,” shares Payo.

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Signs and Symptoms of Autism

characteristics such as delayed language, cognitive, and motor skills, intense (or, sometimes, too apathetic) emotional reactions, and hypersensitivities to sound and textures. Some with autism can have epilepsy, OCD, depression, and other mental disorders. Autism can be detected in children as early as 18 months old, with 2 years being the age at which a diagnosis can be most reliable; however, most people do not get diagnosed until much later. It’s important to keep track of your child’s developmental milestones so they can get any necessary treatment as early as possible.

How can autism be treated?

autism, and the Colorado community is full of sensory-friendly events for children who are sensitive to lights, noises, and textures. The WOW! Children’s Museum, Jumpstreet Indoor Trampoline Park, and Children’s Museum of Denver are some places that host sensoryfriendly events and spaces in their facility.

How can I support a child with autism?

According to Autism Speaks, 1 in every 59 children in the United States has some form of autism. The five major types of autism include: Asperger’s syndrome, Rett syndrome, Kanner’s syndrome, pervasive developmental disorder, and childhood disintegrative disorder. Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a developmental disability that can affect speech, movement, learning, and social interactions. Though it can impact significant aspects of a child’s life, most children with autism can live perfectly normal lives with the right treatment and accommodations.

What are the signs of autism?

Diagnosing autism can be tricky. “It’s not like taking a simple blood test,” says Donna Murray, vice president of Clinical Programs and the head of Autism Treatment Network of Autism Speaks. “It’s all clinical symptoms that can be somewhat different because it’s a spectrum.”

That being said, not every case of ASD is the same, and sometimes the symptoms are too mild to detect.

Signs and symptoms of autism include: delayed or lack of social communication and interaction skills, restricted or repetitive behaviors and/or interests, and other

“Primary care physicians, psychologists, and educators can help with early identification in a number of ways,” Murray answers. She oversees the Autism Speaks Treatment Network, a team of professionals who answer questions and provide resources such as tool kits for families of autistic children and information on where to get a diagnosis. You can get a diagnosis via developmental monitoring and screening in which you and your child’s pediatrician will track their development and keep note of their skills and abilities. A screening is more formal, as it can be a regular part of your child’s wellness visits even if there is no need for concern. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends children get screened at 9, 18, and 30 months. For autism screenings, children should be evaluated at 18 and 24 months. There is no fix-all treatment for autism spectrum disorder; rather, the symptoms are treated to improve your child’s day-to-day life. Treatment can be given at home, at school, at a doctor’s office, and in your community. There are behavioral (Applied Behavior Analysis), developmental therapies (speech, occupational, and physical), and educational therapies available for children who need them. Many schools provide accommodations for children with learning disabilities such as

Children with autism have very specific needs in order to function. If a person with ASD becomes overstimulated or frustrated, their brain may shut down and cause them to have a breakdown. It’s not because they are immature; rather, their brain is wired to process certain things differently, which means they may not be able to handle certain situations (loud noises, bright lights, physical touch) the way a neurotypical person would. They don’t always have the appropriate verbal or physical coping skills for the situation. So, if you know someone who is autistic, whether it’s your child or your child’s friend or classmate, it’s important to understand how that child prefers to communicate. For example, if they do not like physical touch, it’s best to not hug them or touch them in any other way. The child may also communicate with their hands or with sounds rather than their words. Be sure to learn this child’s nonverbal communication so they will feel comfortable and understood. People with autism usually have a special interest as well. Whether it’s insects, math, technology, or art, they possess a deep knowledge of a specific thing that brings them joy. Showing an interest in it will encourage them to be themselves, especially if their classmates are not so understanding of their disability. Providing them with the proper care and support will give them a safe space where they can communicate and play as they desire. Don’t wait for a diagnosis to seek help for your child. Start treatment as soon as you notice any signs they may have autism, as waiting for your child to “outgrow” the problems may lead to said problems worsening as they get older. As you seek professional help for your child, it’s important for you to educate yourself as well and become an expert on their behavior, as well as an advocate for them.

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8 Rainy Day Science Experiments

We all know the saying “April showers bring May flowers” to be true; however, weathering those April showers with kiddos stuck inside isn’t always sunshine and rainbows. They’re bored (even tired of their screens, too) and they’re rambunctious at times, leaving you with your own little thunderstorms inside. Next time the storms come rumbling in, try some of these kid-friendly science experiments to keep little hands busy and their minds off the weather outside.

Butter in a Jar

To make butter, all you need to do is agitate cream. Sounds easy enough, right? Well, it is, and you can show your children how to make their own right at home. All you will need is heavy cream and a mason jar with a lid. Fill the mason jar with the heavy cream and tightly close the lid of the jar. Then, take turns shaking the jar. Eventually, a butter ball will begin to form. Why? Because when cream is agitated (shaken), the fat molecules get shaken out and clump together. When the butter ball stops growing, you’re done! Take the butter out of the jar (the liquid left over is buttermilk) and it is ready to eat.

Cloud Dough

With 2 cups of flour, ¼ cup vegetable oil, and oil-based food coloring, you and your kiddos can create your own “clouds.” For this experiment, make sure you measure out your materials in order for everything to combine properly. First, mix together your food coloring and vegetable oil. Next, pour in your flour and mix until fully combined. Once combined, your dough will be ready for playtime!

DIY Bouncy Ball

Explore elasticity and bouncing by making your own bouncy balls at home. This experiment requires help from an adult as it contains Borax. Be sure to follow the safety guidelines and directions when using Borax. Here’s what you will need: ½ cup of water, 1 Tbsp of Borax, and 1-2 tsp of Clear Elmer’s Glue.

First, an adult should create a Borax solution combining the Borax and warm water. Make sure the Borax is completely dissolved before moving to step two. Let it cool before adding your glue into the mixture. The more glue you add, the bigger the ball will be. You can add colorful glitter glue to add some pizzazz to your bouncy ball. Experiment curated by Life’s Carousel.

Floating Shapes

Discuss how density works with your kiddos using only a dry erase marker, water, and a glass plate. Using the dry erase marker of your choice, draw shapes onto your glass plate. Next, slowly pour water over the shapes and watch as your drawings lift from the plate and float around. The magic of this experiment lies within the dry erase marker’s insoluble ink.

Fireworks in a Jar

While rain isn’t the most ideal weather for fireworks, these can be “popped” on any day! This science experiment explores what happens when oil meets water. All you will need is warm water, liquid food coloring, vegetable oil, and two glass jars.

Fill one jar with warm water. In your second jar, add your vegetable oil and food coloring and stir to combine. Then, carefully pour the colorful vegetable oil into the jar with the warm water for a firework display indoors.

Ice Cream in a Bag

Remember making your own ice cream in science class? Why not make your own at home? All you will need is 1 cup half and half, 2 Tbsp sugar, ½ tsp vanilla extract, ice, ⅓ cup rock salt, a sandwich bag, and a gallon bag.

In a container, mix together the half and half, sugar, and vanilla extract. Pour the mixture into the sandwich bag and seal. In your gallon bag, fill the bag with ice and the rock salt. Place the sandwich bag inside the gallon bag and seal the gallon bag.

Finally, take turns shaking the bag until your sweet treat is ready to eat. You’ll know it’s ready when

the liquid changes consistency to ice cream; it’s a perfect lesson on matter.

Self-Inflating Balloon

You’ll see a balloon inflate right before your eyes with this experiment that creates a gas-producing chemical reaction. You will need an empty plastic bottle, a balloon, 3 tsp baking soda, and ⅓ cup vinegar.

First, pour the vinegar into the plastic bottle and set aside. Next, have one person hold open the balloon while the other pours in the baking soda. Make sure the baking soda is as far in the balloon as you can get it. Then, stretch the neck of the balloon over the mouth of the bottle, careful to not let any of the baking soda get inside the bottle. Finally, have your kiddo shake the bottle until the baking soda empties from the balloon into the bottle. This experiment causes carbon dioxide gas to create, and since it doesn’t have anywhere to go, it pushes through the bottle and inflates the balloon.

Walking Water

A lesson in absorption and mixing colors is easy and a lot of fun with this water-ful experiment. For this experiment, you will need six small glass jars, paper towels, food coloring, and water. We recommend setting up your experiment on a tray so it’s easy to transport and easy to clean up. First, take three jars and fill them with water. Next, add drops of food coloring into each jar and stir to combine. You can choose one color or a variety of colors for a cooler look. Pattern your three colorful jars with your three empty jars in a circle (colorful jar, empty jar, colorful jar, etc.). Then, take your paper towels and fold them into strips. You will need six strips total. Place one end of each paper towel strip into a colorful jar and one in an empty jar. From there, you and kiddos can watch the water “walk” up the paper towel strip and move into the empty jar. Soon enough, there will be colorful water in all of the jars.

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Things We Love

Tired of having to break out a large pot or the pressure cooker to hardboil your eggs?

The Eggmazing Easter Egg Mini Decorator Kit comes with one battery-powered egg spinner and six colorful non-toxic markers, allowing you to color eggs however you would like without the mess and smell of traditional dyeing techniques. $24.99, amazon.com

The Dash Express Egg Cooker comes in a cheery yellow color to match the season and it allows you to cook seven eggs to your liking. $19.95, crateandbarrel.com

Stay comfy and cozy while keeping activities rolling this spring with a pair of Rabbit Ears Plush House Slippers. These slippers feature a nonslip flat sole, memory foam interior, and make minimal noise as you walk. $24.98, amazon.com

If you want to smell like delicious jelly beans for Easter, look no further than these adorable Pastel Bunny Glycerin Soaps. These handmade bunnyshaped soap bars make the perfect filler for Easter baskets as well. $14.99, amazon.com

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This Everybunny Prays Baby Gift Set makes the cutest addition to any christening gift or first Easter celebration. The set includes a book about prayer and a plush bunny that recites the prayer “Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep." $28.99, amazon.com

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Easter prep should be a breeze with these cutesy products to warm your feet, cuddle with, cook your eggs, and more.
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CAMP SHOWCASE

Spring Cleaning: Decluttering Your Home

Organizing and decluttering are one of those things people dread doing because, most of the time, it’s overwhelming. Whether it’s your bedroom closet, the kitchen pantry, or the entire house, decluttering is possible.

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“What I see my clients gain from it, and I have personally in the past, is peace of mind. It’s turning chaos into calm,” says Meghan Cocchiaro, the founder of Organized by Meg. “When you have a lot of clutter or things are out of place, you feel heavy. It weighs on you.”

Once done, this dreadful process has excellent benefits, from knowing what you have to buy at the store to feeling good walking into a room. Cocchiaro provides advice and steps on starting this process and how to do it efficiently.

Where to Start

“Generally, we will pick the priority area, the space causing them the most pain. The space that they use the most in their day, and what makes the most logistical sense. A lot of times, that’s the kitchen and pantry because, in most homes, that is the heart of the home,” says Cocchiaro.

If you can’t find the motivation to tackle the messy kitchen, start small with a closet or a single cabinet.

The REAL Process

Once you’ve found the troublesome area in your home that gives you the most grief, begin Cocchiaro’s REAL Process.

REMOVE: “Whether I come into your space or you’re doing it yourself, the step is to remove the contents from that area…You’re going to take every single thing out so that you’re starting with a clean slate. While you’re removing it, you’re sorting the items that you’re removing into categories,” says Cocchiaro.

For example, one pile is breakfast, another is snacks, a third pile is meals, etc. These piles can be as broad or as specific as you want. This is a great time to do a deep clean in the nowempty space.

EDIT: “This is one of the most important steps in any organizing project. You look at each pile and category because now it’s all together and in one spot,” explains Cocchiaro.

At this phase of the process, it’s time to throw out expired and unused items you have multiples of and things the family doesn’t eat.

“So you’re editing those piles to pick out what you’re going to keep and the stuff that you’re not going to keep. You can further categorize into donate, sell, consign, needs to be repaired, and belongs elsewhere in the house.”

ASSIGN: “‘A’ is all about space planning and assigning a home for all of your stuff,” she says. Now is when you can start putting things in a container or bin, but remember, only some things need to be in a container. For example, you don’t need to put appliances in a bin, but various smaller gadgets that tend not to be used very often can find a home in a container.

LABELING: “Labeling can be on the light side or the heavy side,” says Cocchiaro. “This is also helpful for kids as they get older and they do the dishes, or they’re assigned to empty the dishwasher. Everything has a place that it can go back to.”

Labeling helps maintain a system and will make it easier to keep the area organized. It’s also helpful when you’re about to go shopping because everything is in a specific spot, so you quickly know what you have.

Emotional Attachment and Obligation

Keeping items because of emotional attachment and obligation tends to be one of the things we all struggle with.

Cocchiaro suggests that if you’re keeping items out of obligation to someone else, ask yourself these questions: Does this person even know I have this? When they come over, do they expect to see it out?

“The second thing to think about: if it was a gift, it’s the act of the gift that is the gift. That person gives you a gift because it makes them feel good, and it makes you feel good to receive the gift. But at that point, there’s no obligation after that to keep it,” she says.

Don’t be afraid to say goodbye to something that’s been hard to get rid of. Even consider taking a photo, so you never forget it.

“If something is a memento where it’s definitely important to you, and you would like to keep it, it’s not out of guilt or obligation; how can you better lay that item so that it actually serves you better?”

If it’s a jersey or a shirt, DIY frame it or send it to a company to have it professionally framed. If you’re holding onto a jewelry set, get a pretty glass, acrylic display, or jewelry box where you can see the item.

“Turn it into something that you can display and actually see it more often so that it’s not buried away somewhere and you actually remember why it’s important to you.”

Stay Organized After Organizing

“To stay organized, you have to make a couple of shifts in your mindset. It’s really making decisions about what’s entering your home on a daily basis and making decisions about what stays in your home on a more periodic basis,” says Cocchiaro. When shopping after becoming organized, you need to ask yourself: Do I have space for this?

“All of those impulsive decisions over the years add up to a lot of clutter, especially with children because they have so many toys and items. Going through the toys periodically, especially when they’re young, is important. I recommend a minimum of twice a year. Say before a birthday and a major holiday.”

Cocchiaro also suggests monitoring what comes into the home during birthdays and holidays.

“You can tell people what you do and do not want your kids to have or receive.”

Grandparents might want to give your child a motorized Jeep. That’s when you should ask yourself, do I have room for this? The answer is probably not.

It’s not easy to declutter and organize a space or a home, but it changes multiple aspects of your life. Once you’ve done these steps, the most challenging part is over.

If you’re keeping something that is a memento, figure out a way to display that item.

7 Ways to Teach Kids About Money

Teaching your child how to be responsible with money can be challenging, especially when you feel like you don’t know what you’re doing. Vicky Aragon, the Vice President of Young Americans Bank, weighs in with some helpful advice about discussing money and money mindfulness with children of all ages.

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How do I teach my elementary or middle schoolers about money?

It can be extremely difficult to teach a very young child the value of money, especially with physical money becoming less and less prevalent with the rise of debit and credit cards, but luckily for us, it isn’t impossible.

Get a Piggy Bank

The classic piggy bank or a clear plastic jar serves as the perfect starting point for introducing saving and budgeting. If your child has been begging for a new gaming console or toy, this is the perfect avenue for teaching them the value of money.

Aragon suggests teaching them the value of coins and bills and how to count them, having the item they want be the goal for saving. Setting small weekly saving goals will help them understand how to properly save money and discourage impulse buying. Once they have enough money to reach their goal, they will have a new appreciation for spending and more respect for you and your money.

Visit Your Local Bank and Use Its Resources

When you visit your bank or ATM, allow your child to come with so he or she can have first-hand experience talking to a teller and getting their questions answered.

“I think it’s important to take them to the bank with you and talk to them about your transaction and why you are doing it,” advises Aragon. “Set up a savings account in their name to get started. Have them keep some of their money for everyday spending and put some aside in the account for building savings.”

Plenty of banks offer checking accounts to young children, with Young Americans bank allowing 10 year olds to have their own checking accounts. Once they’re old enough to move on from the piggy bank, this can be a great way to teach them about managing an account before they ever get their first wage.

“It is important to start early and teach them how to use a debit card and track their spending. When it’s their own, you can teach them to be responsible with their money at a young age,” says Aragon. “At account opening, we teach them about all aspects of their account, including debit card usage and tracking, online banking, reading a statement, the parts of a check, and red flags to look out for to ensure they do not fall victim to scams or fraud. We also offer free online resources

wellness

for kids of all ages including age-specific Money Matters classes.”

What about high school students?

As high schoolers begin working their first jobs, getting that first paycheck can be very exciting. Teaching your child about spending and saving wisely now will make all the difference.

Set up a Checking and Savings Account

If they don’t have checking and savings accounts now, this is the time to open them, as many first-time workers will be offered direct deposits, making seeing and spending their money much easier. With a savings account as well, your child can have a large chunk of change saved up for college or other big purchases if they play their cards right.

Aragon suggests having a portion of their paycheck deposited into checking for everyday expenses and another portion deposited into savings to help build it up. Having this system in place will help build good spending and savings habits to carry into adulthood.

Discourage Impulse Buys

In the age of social media where influencers push products and lavish lifestyles are on full display, your child can easily fall prey to predatory marketing and advertising which will quickly drain their funds.

With established checking and savings accounts, impulse buys will be a lot easier to cover. Helping your child come up with a budget will show them how much money they truly have to play with after paying for daily, weekly, and monthly expenses. Aragon recommends their budget last a full pay period so that if it is all spent, your child will learn first-hand by struggling until their next paycheck. This struggle will teach them how to plan ahead and really mind their money before reaching adulthood.

Additionally, having good money sense boils down to understanding the difference between wants and needs but also understanding that it’s okay to splurge occasionally if it won’t put them in the red financially.

And my young adult?

With going to college, young adults finally have complete control with their money, which can be both rewarding and dangerous. As parents, it’s our responsibility to set them up for success but

not coddle them too much. Unfortunately, there is a hazy line between these two because we love them and want to help them.

Discuss Student Loans and Plan Ahead

Paying tuition out of pocket can be risky to some students, and applying for student loans is dooming to some. However, there are plenty of ways to make smart decisions regarding payments and loans when caution is exercised.

“My advice around student loans is to immediately develop a plan for paying them back. Don’t wait until after the deferral period to make a plan. Set aside money every month, as if it is a payment, into an account that is specifically for the student loan,” says Aragon.

Cast a Credit Line

Of course, this is the time for your child to finally have their own credit card and the responsibilities that come with it. After helping them choose a good card and getting everything set up, make sure they understand that this is borrowing money.

First purchases shouldn’t be anything too expensive. Starting out using a credit card to pay for gas, coffee, or groceries is low-risk and easy to keep track of. Aragon notes that while a credit card can be dangerous, if it is used correctly, it can set them up for success in the future. She also recommends teaching your child the importance of making payments on time, if not early, and always paying more than the minimum due up to the total balance.

Be Kind, Open, and Talk to Them

Ultimately, being honest about your finances and your past struggles will teach your kids to both avoid mistakes and how to handle them when they happen. When they do make a mistake and need your help, it’s okay to help them out now and discuss the consequences later.

“Teaching your children about money and finances is one of the most important things that you can do to help them to be financially successful in the future,” states Aragon. “Talk with them about the mistakes that you made to help them avoid the pitfalls, and let them know what you did right to make life easier. Finances will be a part of everything that they do in life and establishing good habits early is the key to success.”

The Gut & Mental Health Connection

Did you know your gut health can be directly linked to the state of your mental health? Think about it: if eating your fruits and veggies makes you feel healthier, happier, and stronger, it only makes sense that constantly putting bad food into your body will have the opposite effect. This is because what you eat impacts how your digestive system functions, and, if your digestive system is unhappy, it signals to the brain that something is wrong. Dr. Sue Mitchell with Gutwell Medical provides more information on what we can do to help our guts.

Photo by Freepik.com
24 COLORADO PARENT APRIL 2023 APRIL 2023 COLORADOPARENT.COM 25

What is gut health?

“Gut health to me is ultimately focusing on creating an environment in which we have the greatest diversity of microorganisms, which in turn protect the human body,” Dr. Mitchell defines. A board-certified gastroenterologist, Dr. Mitchell has practiced since 1996, and for the past few years, her emphasis has been optimizing her patients’ gut microbiomes. “I address diet, nutrition, and lifestyle in terms of how they create harmony between our microbiome and our cells,” she adds.

The microbiome is a collection of microorganisms that can be bacteria, viruses, and fungi, all of which live together to keep your gut healthy. Dr. Mitchell describes the microbiome to her patients as the Amazon rainforest: you want as many species living together to make the rainforest healthy and resilient. “When we have a disease, I tell patients to think of it as the rainforest not being as lush or dense anymore; you don’t see as many species living there anymore,” she says.

Your microbiome begins to develop the minute you are born, and it continues to evolve until age four, which is when gastroenterologists believe you have your own genetic blueprint of your microbiome. You want to take care of your microbiome so your health develops longevity.

What are some signs of poor gut health?

“Things we know that can harm the microbiome include antibiotics, toxins, poor diet, high sugar and high carbohydrate intake, chemicals in food supply, along with stress, anxiety, and poor sleep,” says Dr. Mitchell. So, if you’re feeling particularly sluggish, it may be time to check what you’ve been putting into your body.

Physical symptoms of poor gut health include gas, bloating, diarrhea, heartburn, and abdominal pain, but lab work will help your doctor get a closer look at what may be wrong.

“In lab work, you can see nutrient deficiencies, like a lack of vitamin D or low iron levels. I like to measure a patient’s omega-3 index, B vitamins, and iron levels,”

Dr. Mitchell notes. “In traditional medicine, we draw labs looking for disease, so if a patient comes in not feeling well, I may do lab work to see if they are anemic or if their thyroid isn’t working. I want to identify any nutrient deficiencies before somebody develops a disease.”

How does poor gut health affect mental health?

“We know endorphins are made in the gastrointestinal tract; there’s a very extensive communication network between what’s going on in the gut and the brain,” Dr. Mitchell says. “They send messages to each other back and forth. For instance, if you’re having symptoms like gas and bloating, that can interfere with your quality of sleep. However, if your gastrointestinal tract is happy, it lets the brain know that everything is going well in the gut.”

In fact, your brain and your gut are connected by the vagus nerve, hence why there is a link between poor gut and mental health and nutrient deficiencies. The vagus nerve helps food move throughout the digestive tract, stimulates the release of digestive enzymes, and communicates fullness (or hunger) to the brain. Nutrient deficiencies can affect your sleep and cognition, for example, which ultimately adds unnecessary stress and anxiety to your life. Poor gut health also increases your risk of mood disorders, depression, and anxiety.

However, when you’re focused on fixing your gut, analyzing which foods to eat and which to not eat can be very stressful as well.

“I don’t believe any one diet works for one person,” says Dr. Mitchell. “There is a lot of conflicting information out there, so focus on symptoms. I try to identify which part of the gastrointestinal tract is maybe not working and take a detailed history to make sure what the symptom means for the patient. For example, does bloating mean you feel full after a meal, or your abdomen is distended, or you’re passing a lot of gas? From there I determine the appropriate testing to do next.”

What can I do to improve my gut health?

There are three types of nutrients that help bacteria grow and create an optimal environment for one’s microbiome: probiotics, prebiotics, and phytonutrients. Evidence shows that when you combine all three of these in a meal, you get a symbiotic effect in your gastrointestinal tract. While that may seem like a lot to keep track of, especially with your busy life as a parent, there is one easy thing to make that incorporates all those good nutrients in one meal.

“One of my recommendations for my patients is creating a smoothie in the morning that combines those three elements,” says Dr. Mitchell. “Smoothies don’t require the stomach to work hard to digest food. When somebody is struggling with their gut health I suggest smoothies because know that liquid will leave the stomach in a form that can begin nourishing the small intestinal microbiome.”

Otherwise, make sure you are consuming colorful, diverse foods to produce happy bacteria and mood-boosting hormones. Sleep and exercise are important factors in gut and mental health as well.

Photo by Freepik.com
happenings
Enjoy the best craft beer and more at the Mile High Beer Festival. Tickets start at $59.99 and include samples, so no additional purchases are necessary. April 1. Stockyards Event Center, Denver. milehighbeerfest.com Mile High Beer Festival 1 26 COLORADO PARENT APRIL 2023 APRIL 2023 COLORADOPARENT.COM 27
Our Picks APRIL

Family Egg Hunt

Unique egg hunt in Denver, and keep an eye out for the golden eggs that are filled with special prizes. Enjoy music, a puppet show, and contests. April 8. Four Mile Park, Denver. fourmilepark.org

4

Paper Fashion Show

This fashion show is a fundraiser where all the designs are made of paper. Judges are top Colorado designers and celebrities. April 13. Downtown Aurora Visual Arts. paperfashionshow.com

2 Taste of Vail

Enjoy

at the Taste of Vail. Ticket prices depend on which events you attend. April 5-8. Vail. tasteofvail.com

6

All About Goats!

Sign up for the Family Class: All About Goats, a hands-on educational experience where guests will learn about goats and their job on the farm. Tickets are $45 and $20 for kids. April 15. Hawthorn Avenue, growinggardens.org

7 Furry Tails

Bluebird Music Festival 10

The 5th Annual Bluebird Music Festival is back for yet another year of fantastic music with artists like Ben Harper and Watch House. The festival begins Saturday, April 29, and ends Sunday, so snag a ticket online. The schedule is broken up into main evening events and family-friendly afternoons. Drinks and snacks are also available to purchase during the concerts.

Parent-Child Cooking: Mexican

Sign you and your child up for this cooking class, where you’ll make Chicken Fajitas, Homemade Tortillas, Churro Cake, and more! Tickets are $64. April 15. The Cooking Studio, Fort Collins. the-cooking-studio.com

Women + Film Festival

April 13-16. Sie FilmCenter, Denver. denverfilm.org

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

Tiny Tots: Orchestra Adventure 9

Explore the sounds of music and learn what sound each instrument makes with your child. Tickets are $12.50 each, and multiple locations offer this program. April 16. McNichols Building, Denver. insidetheorchestra.org

The Future Arts Foundation (FAF) hosts the Bluebird Music Festival, and its mission is to improve communities through art, music, and environmental programs. The proceeds of events like the Bluebird Music Festival goes to Colorado schools to supply students and teachers with instruments. The proceeds also allow FAF to host free youth arts workshops for children of Colorado teachers and first responders.

FAF has recently helped victims of the Marshall Fire that destroyed over 1,000 homes in Boulder County. The nonprofit organization provided over 500 musical instruments to survivors of the Marshall Fire who lost not only their instruments but also their homes.

Going to a festival is always a blast, but attending a festival that continues to supply children and schools with instruments and workshops makes it even better. Make sure to hop on the Bluebird Music Festival website to see the schedule and artists, along with parking and venue information. Plan your visit and consider spending a few days in Boulder, which has amazing mountain views and delicious restaurants, bars, and fun activities throughout the city.

Mack Auditorium Concert Hall, Boulder. bluebirdmusicalfestival.org

3
8
5
a glass of chilled wine, indulge in delicious plates, and experience the Vail lifestyle
This festival will showcase and celebrate films about and by women, which includes documentaries, narratives, and short films.
OurPicks happenings
The Furry Tails Cat Show gathers purebred and household cats that the whole family will love. See exotic breeds and beautiful non-pedigreed pets. April 14-16. Jefferson County Fairgrounds, Golden. gardenofthecats.com
happenings OurPicks 28 COLORADO PARENT APRIL 2023 APRIL 2023 COLORADOPARENT.COM 29

where preteens and teens will join together and explore a different world. Registration is required. Longmont Library. longmontcolorado.gov

Taco Tuesday

3-10pm

Enjoy delicious tacos every Tuesday at Kachina Cantina for only $3. Choose from Cauliflower, Carnitas, and Chicken corn tortilla tacos. Kachina Cantina, Denver. kachinadenver.com

5 Wednesday

Fondue Date Nights

5:30pm

Reserve a spot today for the romantic Fondue Date Night that’s $75 a couple. The delicious cheese fondue platter will be paired with various red, white, or sparkling wines. Küper Wine Bar, Longmont. kuperwinebar.com

Kids Cafe

1:30-3:30pm

Swing by for a free, nutritious snack sponsored by the Food Bank of the Rockies. Available for children ages 18 and under, until supplies run out. Anythink Huron Street, Thornton. anythinklibraries.org

to do today

April

1 Saturday

Disney Pride in Concert

7:30pm

The final performance for Disney Pride in Concert is April 1, brought to you by the Denver Gay Men’s Chorus. Prepare for your favorite Disney songs to be performed live from films like The Little Mermaid, The Lion King, Wreck-It Ralph, and more! Ellie Caulkins Opera House, Denver. artscomplex.com

In the Heights

Through April 2

In The Heights tells the universal story of a vibrant community in New York’s Washington Heights neighborhood–a place where the coffee from the corner bodega is light and sweet, the windows

are always open, and the breeze carries the rhythm of three generations of music. Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center at Colorado College, Colorado Springs. fac.coloradocollege.edu

Ninja Kids

8:45am-12:15pm

Sign your kiddos up for Kids Fundamental Skills, where they will learn how to mountain bike. This is for ages 8 through 11, and the half-day class is for beginners and experts (the child must know how to ride a twowheel bike). Tickets are $259 for each child. Highline Lake State Park, Fruita. ridelikeaninja.com

2 Sunday Carnival of the Animals

The Denver Zoo and the Colorado Symphony collaborate again to bring the performance Carnival of the Animals. The music will be accompanied by Denver Zoo animals that will join the musicians onstage for a fantastic, family-friendly experience. Adult tickets are $27, and child tickets are $10. Boettcher Concert Hall, Denver. coloradosymphony.org

Chuck E. Cheese Sensory Sensitive Sundays

9-11am

The first Sunday of every month, Chuck

E. Cheese offers a sensory-friendly experience with dim lighting, fewer people, quieter shows and music, and there is no admission fee. This is offered only at one location in Colorado Springs. Chuck E. Cheese, Colorado Springs. chuckecheese.com

3 Monday Baby Time

10:30-11am

Bring babies 12 months and younger to a baby playtime they will love! Enjoy songs and read a book together. Older children can join, but they should bring their favorite toy. Pikes Peak Library, Colorado Springs. ppld.org

Uncorked! Monthly Wine Class

5:30-7pm

Explore the World of Wine every month, so next time you order a glass at a restaurant, you’ll know exactly what you want. In each class, guests will taste six wines and learn the best way to pair a glass with a meal. Center for the Arts Crested Butte. crestedbuttearts.org

4 Tuesday Dungeons & Dragons

6-7:30pm

Calling all 6th to 12th grades for a Dungeon and Dragons campaign. This is a teen-powered program

old) to AirCity 360 for a baby-friendly jump experience. AirCity has a Toddler 180 Park, a soft play area, trampolines, and giant inflatables. Tickets are $15, and this includes one parent accompanying the child. Siblings under 10 years old are welcome for an additional cost. AirCity 360 Adventure Park, Colorado Springs. aircity360.com

8 Saturday

Easter Family Day

11am-2:30pm

Celebrate Easter at the Silverthorne Outlets, which will have several fun Easter-related activities like meeting the Easter Bunny, watching the movie Hop, and making crafts. Outlets at Silverthorne. outletsatsilverthorne.com

Family Egg Hunt

9am and 1:30pm

Check in with the animals before the egg scramble for more than 20,000 eggs! Four Mile HIstoric Park, Denver. fourmilepark.org

Firebird

2pm and 7pm

Successful Family Living

Noon-1pm

The free workshop Success Family Living - Creating Healthy Family Structures focuses on how to build rich experiences and the most important skills a child should know. Sign up online and join the group. A Caring Pregnancy Center, Pueblo. acpcpueblo.org

Teen Hangout

1:30-3:30pm

Enjoy video games, crafting, tabletop games, and a social space. Students in grades 6-12 welcome. Anythink Huron Street, Thornton. anythinklibraries.org

6 Thursday

Failure is an Option: Embroidered Temari Egg Workshop

5-6:30pm

Create thread-wrapped eggs with embroidered surfaces. Anythink Wright Farms, Thornton. anythinklibraries.org

Taste of Santa Fe

6:30-9:30pm

Sign up online to learn how to create a taste of Santa Fe! During the class, make Navajo Fry Tacos, Red Chile Pork and Hominy Soup, Green Chile Chicken Enchiladas, and more! Stir Cooking School, Denver. stirtolearn.com

7 Friday Toddler Time

10:30am-12:30pm

Bring your kiddos (up to seven years

9 Sunday Free Days at Denver Zoo

10am-4pm

During normal admission hours, head to the Denver Zoo for one of the free community days. Every family member will love to see and learn about the amazing attractions and animals. Denver Zoo. denverzoo.org

Unseen Oceans Exhibit

At the Nature and Science Museum, Sunday is the last day to explore the secrets of the ocean. The exhibit shows alien-like creatures, glow-in-the-dark fish, and multimedia ways of learning. The Unseen Oceans exhibit is included with general admission. Grab a ticket online and learn more about the ocean with your family. Denver Museum of Nature and Science. dmns.org

10 Monday Aspen Film Shortsfest

Noon-8pm

Performed to Stravinsky’s electrifying score, Firebird is the timeless tale of a Prince and his Princess and the beautiful firebird that rescues them from the torments of an evil magician and his nefarious goblins. The Elaine Wolf Theatre At the Jewish Community Center, Denver. balletariel.org/firebird

Sensory Storytime

10:30-11:15am

Join the sensory storytime, which has fun and interactive activities that are created for children on the autism spectrum or who have sensory integration challenges. Registration is required for this event, and it reoccurs every second Saturday of the month. Monument Library. ppld.org

Monday is the first day of the Aspen Film Shortsfest, where filmmakers, special guests, and film lovers join to participate in public screenings, panels, workshops, and other exciting activities. Learn more about the activities online and buy your ticket. AspenX. aspenfilm.org

Severe Weather Spotter Training

4:30-6:30pm

Get prepared for Colorado’s unpredictable spring and summer weather by becoming a Skywarn severe weather spotter. Anythink Brighton, Brighton. anythinklibraries.org

Yoga at the Museum

Every Monday morning, head to the Snowsports Museum for an hour of yoga. The all-level yoga class is $15 a person, and everyone should bring a yoga mat and a water bottle. Colorado Snowsports Museum, Vail.

snowsportsmuseum.org

11 Tuesday Book Buddies

4-5pm

For ages five to eight, join the Book Buddies club, where kiddos will meet friends, play book-related games, and find books they love. This month’s book is Magical Resue Vets by Melody Lockhart. Smoky Hill Library, Centennial. arapahoelibraries.com

Free Tuesdays at Denver Art Museum

The Denver Art Museum offers free admission on the second Tuesday of every month. The museum offers different forms of art, including Asian, European, Native, Textiles, fashion, and photography. This is an excellent activity for families or a perfect spot for date night. Denver Art Museum. denverartmuseum.org

12 Wednesday

Low-Sensory Evening

4:30-7:30pm

The Children’s Museum offers a lowsensory evening where children with disabilities can play, explore, and spend time with their families in an ambient setting. There will be limited attendance and less noise. Admission is free, so jump online and reserve a spot for your family. Children’s Museum, Denver. mychildsmuseum.org

The Denver Auto Show, Reimagined Noon-10pm

The Denver Auto Show features several new cars, trucks, scooters, and more that will be coming to the market soon. This is the perfect event for car fanatics and people who need a new car but don’t know what to buy. This event is from Wednesday to Sunday, April 16, and adult tickets start at $15. Colorado Convention Center, Denver. denverautoshow.com

13 Thursday

The Fort’s 60th Whisky Tasting in the West

5-9pm

Drink, learn, and explore new and old whiskies that will be paired with The Fort’s signature bites. Explore the history of whisky at Bent’s Fort from the 1830s and sample whiskies that were served at that time by historian Rex Rideout. The Fort, Morrison. thefort.com

14 Friday

Find Your Inner Peas Garden

10:30am-3:30pm

Enjoy a cup of tea and tour the historic home and gardens (weather permitting). Tours start at 10:30am or 1:30pm. There will be delicious food that is prepared off-site by a caterer. Buy a ticket online that starts at $30.

Center for Colorado Women’s History, Denver. historycolorado.org

Free Admission Day

10am-8pm

Friday is a free admission day to the Loveland Museum, where guests will see the opening of New York/New York in the main gallery. The collection has paintings, sculptures, and prints from other galleries and private collections. This is a perfect way to spend date night or explore art with the whole family. The Loveland Museum. thelovelandmuseum.org

Viva Theater: Peter Pan

Through April 23

In this two-act (non-musical) adaptation of the original novel by J.M. Barrie, written by Craig Sodaro, we revisit the neverending childhood of Peter Pan. Grace Gamm Theatre, Boulder. thedairy.org

15 Saturday Big Foot Days

Celebrate all things Big Foot at the free outdoor festival in Estes Park! There will be Bigfoot celebrities and experts, fun activities for the whole family, food vendors, contests, tours, live music, and so much more! Estes Park. visitestespark.com

Crafting with Kids

10:30am-11:30pm

This reoccurring event happens on the first and third Saturday of every month and includes crafts and playtime. An adult must accompany children, and registration is required. Sign up in advance to secure your family’s spot! Carbondale Branch Library. carbondalearts.com

16 Sunday

Annual Kite Festival

10am-3pm

Welcome spring with the Kite Festival, a day full of flying kites, shopping at local vendors, eating delicious food, and listening to music. Plan to bring chairs or blankets to sit on, but leave the fourlegged friends behind. Strenger Soccer Complex, Arvada. arvadafestivals.com

Low Sensory Mornings at Downtown Aquarium

8:30-10am

Learn, explore, and enjoy the unique underwater life. The aquarium turns down the ambient sounds and opens early so families can enjoy the exhibits in a calm and quiet environment. Downtown Aquarium, Denver. aquariumrestaurants.com

The Great ArtDoors with Kid Connects

10-11:15am

Children will develop and gather resources for coping with

See In the Heights through April 2. Photo by Jeff Kearney, TDC Photography VISIT OUR DIGITAL CALENDAR FOR MORE EVENTS AND ACTIVITIES Play games with friends on April 5.
happenings April happenings April 30 COLORADO PARENT APRIL 2023 APRIL 2023 COLORADOPARENT.COM 31

stress through art and their natural environment. Registration is not required for this event, and parents are welcome to attend. Louisville Public Library. louisvilleco.gov

18 Tuesday

Paws to Read

3:30pm

On the first and third Tuesday of each month, bring your kiddo to a supportive and fun environment where they can practice reading with a fourlegged friend. Registration is required for this event, so jump online and snag a spot today. Carbondale Branch Library. gcpld.org

Upcycled Bird Feeders

2-3:30pm

Turn your plastic bottles into a unique and cute bird feeder. Registration opens for the event on April 4 and ends on April 17. This is a perfect way to create something new from items that you don’t use. Pikes Peak Library, Colorado Springs. ppld.org

19 Wednesday

Teen Hangout

3:30-5pm

The Teen Hangout is a great place to do homework, play games, or make something with other teens. This is a weekly event, and activities vary each week along with the provided DIYS. Standley Lake Library, Arvada. jeffcolibrary.org

20 Thursday

Miranda Sings

The hilarious comedian and YouTuber Colleen Ballinger, also known as Miranda Sings, come to Colorado for a night to remember. Before attending

the show, jump on YouTube and get a taste of her humor, or watch her Netflix show Haters Back Off. Tickets start at $35. Paramount Theatre, Denver. mirandasings.com

21 Friday

Beethoven Violin Concerto

7:30pm

Join the Colorado Symphony, which will perform the beloved Beethoven Violin Concerto The conductor is Peter Oundijian, who will be accompanied by the acclaimed soloist James Ethnes.

Tickets start at $15, and the show lasts until Sunday, April 23. Boettcher Hall, Denver. coloradosymphoy.org

22 Saturday Earth Day Celebration

11am-6pm

Enjoy local beers, food, vendors, and music, all while celebrating our beautiful Earth on Earth Day. This event is perfect for the whole family because there will be exciting activities, including the Parade of Species. Wear a costume or make a unique animal mask while you enjoy Earth Day. Heritage Lakewood Belmar Park. lakewood.org

I Love the 90s Bar Crawl 3-10pm

The Bar Crawl will take you back to the ’90s, so grab your swag and reserve a ticket online starting at $12.

Tickets include great perks like a colorchanging stadium cup, slap bracelets, drink specials, and more! This is for ages 21 and up. Denver.

ilove90sbash.com

Red Bull Dance Your Style Regional Qualifiers

5pm

Held for the first time in Denver, enjoy

Marys. This is a great way to welcome spring time and enjoy a delicious brunch! The Irish Rover Pub, Denver. theirishroverpub.com

24 Monday

Children’s Magic Show

2:30-3:30pm

The Children’s Magic Show is geared towards ages 5-12, but everyone is welcome at the magical event. Children will not believe their own eyes when they see these amazing tricks! Arapahoe Libraries, Sheridan. arapahoelibraries.com

LEGO Build and Play

4-5pm

Bring your kiddo to the LEGO Build and Play, where the library will supply all the materials for your child to be creative. This event is perfect for tweens to meet and play with other kiddos their age. Golden Library. jeffcolibrary.org

25 Tuesday

Nature’s Spring Friends

9:30am

Choose 9:30am or 10:45am and register your child for the exciting Strolling Stories at Chatfield Farms: Nature’s Spring Friends. This event combines story time and nature hikes to make

for a perfect and adventurous morning with your child between the ages of three and six. Denver Botanic Gardens Chatfield Farms. botanicgardens.org

Sensory Friendly Symphony

10-11:30am

The Colorado Symphony is putting on a sensory-friendly show with Colorado Conservatory Dance. Tickets are $7.50 each, and you must submit a reservation beforehand. Pinnacle Performing Arts Complex, Denver. coloradosymphony.org

28 Friday

Children’s Fair: 21st Annual

11am-1pm

Bring the kiddos to the Children’s Fair, which has fun, educational activities for children and families. There will also be free dental, hearing, and eyesight screenings. Sun Outdoors, Granby. grandbehinnings.org

FoCoMX

3pm

All weekend long, enjoy live music by a DJ and a silent disco in downtown Fort Collins. Downtown FoCo has amazing local shops, bars, and restaurants that will make for a fun-packed day. Old Town Square, Fort Collins. downtownfortcollins.org

29 Saturday

Colorado Holistic Fair

10am-5pm

Learn different ways to care for your body, mind, spirit, and environment. Discover more about yourself through intuitive arts and development classes, and find crystals and gemstones at the fair. Bring friends or meet new ones as you explore holistic techniques. Exhibit Hall, Brighton. holistic-fairs.com

Firebird

7:30pm

Performed to Stravinsky’s electrifying score, Firebird is the timeless tale of a Prince and his Princess and the beautiful firebird that rescues them from the torments of an evil magician and his nefarious goblins. Lakewood Cultural Center, Lakewood. balletariel.org/firebird

Pueblo Spring Home Show

10am-5pm

Join the free admission Pueblo Spring Home Show, where you’ll have a chance to chat with experts about future home projects, along with meeting local and national vendors. This is a great way to explore new ideas and save money on all home improvements. Pueblo Convention

Center. pueblohomeshow.com

30 Sunday

Firebird

2pm

Performed to Stravinsky’s electrifying score, Firebird is the timeless tale of a Prince and his Princess and the beautiful firebird that rescues them from the torments of an evil magician and his nefarious goblins. Lakewood Cultural Center, Lakewood. balletariel.org/firebird

Free Admission to Denver Museum of Nature & Science Head to the Nature and Science Museum on the free admission day. The museum is constantly changing exhibits, including the Bugs exhibition. To view this exhibit on Sunday requires a timed ticket. Denver Museum of Nature & Science. dmns.org

Día Del Niño Celebration

10:30am-12:30pm

The Clyfford Still Museum brings a fantastic Día Del Niño Celebration. This outdoor event will have child-friendly dance performances for all the kiddos to enjoy. Registration is not required, and this is a free activity. Clyfford Still Museum, Denver. clyffordstillmuseum.org

an all-styles street dance competition. The regional qualifier highlights popular street dance styles and celebrates the unique flavor and energy within the local dance scene. Tickets are $10. Summit, Denver. concerts. livenation.com

Tulip Fairy & Elf Festival

1-5pm

Join the Boulder springtime tradition that children will love! There will be more than 15,000 tulips, a parade full of fairies and elves, along with live performances. Pearl Street Mall, Boulder. boulderdowntown.com

23 Sunday

Durango Bluegrass Meltdown

Sunday is the last day to kick off spring with the annual Durango Bluegrass Meltdown. Enjoy food, bands, and entertainment. Children will have a blast at the Old Time Barn Dance, kid workshops, and more! Downtown Durango. durango.com

Sunday Brunch

10am-2pm

Take Sunday brunch to the rooftop at The Irish Rover Pub, which offers $10 Bottomless Mimosas or $4 Bloody

Spotlight

Spring Bash + Splash

From a Beerfest and bluegrass to snowboard races and silent auctions, everyone can find a weekend that interests them.

The first weekend is the 5th Annual TheBigWonderful festival. Buy a ticket for the Beerfest and enjoy unlimited samples from over 20 local breweries. With your ticket, guests also receive a commemorative beer glass. General admission to the event is free, and guests can shop and listen to live music.

and numerous resources will be available.

Colorado is finally warming up, and the sun shining is bringing beautiful, vivid colors back to our state. Soak up the much-needed Vitamin D and start the season off right with the Spring Bash + Splash.

Winter Park Resort’s Spring Bash + Splash is four action-packed

Enjoyfour weekends of fun.

weekends that the entire family can enjoy. This event offers several activities for a weekend getaway or a mini family vacay, like free concerts, skiing, and special events. Check out the calendar of events and grab your ticket online before the events sell out.

One of the highlights from the second weekend is Great-Full Days, which is perfect for kids and includes free concerts, giveaways, free-toeveryone yoga sessions, and aerial performers in the village.

This weekend also focuses on celebrating mental health awareness,

Enjoy the 90s Retro Bash or the High Five Foundation Retro ShredA-Thon on the third weekend. All the funds raised go directly to the healing efforts of athletes who have suffered life-changing injuries. The final weekend offers the Spring Splash. A DJ will begin the morning at 10 a.m, and the first competitor will attempt the Colorado pond skim at noon. Costumes are encouraged! Jump online to buy tickets, register, or learn more. Activities run April 1-23. Check online to view the entire schedule because each weekend features different events and activities. Winter Park winterparkresort.com

Earth Day on April 22.
Celebrate
Seethefairiesand elvesonApril22.
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The Spring Bash + Splash is four weekends of family fun at Winter Park Resort.

fresh mindset

I think it’s important for our kids to see that they’re capable of pursuing their dreams and the things they’re passionate about, but also keep it in perspective of what’s important.

MARK HENRY is a father to four children and the owner and chef of Rooster’s House of Ramen. Before opening his restaurant, Mark served in the military in a high-speed unit that was constantly deployed overseas. He wants his children to always follow their dreams but never lose sight of important things like family.

fresh mindset
34 COLORADO PARENT APRIL 2023
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