Colorado Parent July 2022

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Best of Denver & Beyond for Families

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The Ultimate Guide To

Throwing a Kid's Birthday Party JULY 2022

OUR READERS' PICKS FOR CAMPS AND LESSONS

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PLUS!

A Spectacularly Simple 4th of July Treat

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Ideas for Summer Fun

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PUBLISHING FAMILY

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good to know

Downtown Denver Partnership.

Lace Up Your Skates! Denver’s newest summer place for families really gets your wheels in motion—the skating kind, that is. City Skate, at Skyline Park on the 16th Street Mall, is the first-ever Downtown Denver outdoor roller rink. Occupying the same space where families ice-skate in the winter, the rink is flanked by a free nine-hole miniature golf course, featuring state and local landmarks, and the Skyline Beer Garden.

Skating on the rink is free every day. If you don’t have your own skates, rentals are available for $7 (kids 12 and under) or $9 (individuals 13 and over). Seasonal specials give all Colorado fourth graders free skate rentals throughout the summer, and My Denver Card holders who show their card will get a free skate rental. City Skate is open Sunday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., and Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., through October 2. summerindenver.com

JULY 2022 COLORADOPARENT.COM

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FOURTH OF JULY FUN Fill your holiday with these star-spangled activities and treats.

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UP YOUR SAFETY GAME THIS SUMMER Practice these simple safeguards to prevent kids' injuries all summer long.

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10 WATER TOYS FOR BACKYARD FUN These toys and inflatables will keep your family cool on hot, sunny days.

EDITORIAL edit@coloradoparent.com Editor Deborah Mock Senior Associate Editor Kara Thompson Editorial Assistant Anna Sutterer Copy Editors Lydia Rueger, Shelley Wolson PRODUCTION Contributing Designers Heather Gaumer, Joey Haas, Tammie Schumacher

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TIPS TO TAME FIRST-BIRTHDAY PARTY TEARS Parties are overwhelming for little ones. Learn how to make their big day less stressful and more fun.

ADVERTISING SALES Advertising Director Brigette Swartz Account Manager Hilary Angel Advertising and Marketing Coordinator Tamara Curry BRAND SERVICES Brand Services Director Carly Lambert Print Operations Director Megan Skolak

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5280 PUBLISHING, INC. 1675 Larimer Street Suite 675, Denver, CO 80202 P (303) 832-5280 | F (303) 832-0470 Visit us online at ColoradoParent.com Printed by Publication Printers Colorado Parent is published monthly by 5280 Publishing, Inc. Please note that the advertisements in this magazine are paid for by the advertisers, which allows this magazine to be free to the consumer. Limit of one free copy per reader. Additional copies can be purchased for $5.00 per issue. Call (303) 320-1000 to request additional copies. Unless specifically noted, no advertisers, products, or services are endorsed by the Publisher. Editorial submissions are welcome. Colorado Parent (ISSN 1937-1020) ©2022 5280 Publishing, Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or part without written permission is prohibited.

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Fourth of July: Makayla Shartle.Swim, Lake, pool, and birthday: Getty Images.

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2021

Floating Along

Cool off this summer with a family tubing excursion. Looking for a way to laze away a summer day? Nothing beats a tubing trip down one of Colorado’s float-worthy waterways. Here are four great tubing destinations, along with local outfitters that offer tube and personal flotation device rentals (PFDs). Be sure to chat with their experienced staff about water conditions, recommendations for where to start and end (some shops even offer shuttle services), and the best local watering holes to refuel post-float.

LITTLETON

Bring the whole fam for a float down the South Platte River. Tubers meander down a mellow stretch of river (there’s one small-to-medium-size rapid, and it’s marked by two signal boulders on either side) and through the Carson Nature Center, where waterfowl, deer, and other wildlife are plentiful. Age three and up. Outfitter: Adventure West, adventurewestco.com/littleton

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS

A trip down the Yampa River takes tubers through the heart of Steamboat Springs, a bustling mountain community known as Ski Town USA. Though the surrounding mountains will be green and grass-covered in the summer months, tubers can still look up at the lifts serving the Steamboat ski area, as well as the ski jump at Howelsen Hill, the training ground for local winter Olympians. Age restrictions vary based on flow rate. Outfitter: Backdoor Sports, backdoorsports.com

LYONS

Situated in the foothills below Rocky Mountain National Park, Lyons is a funky, fun-loving mountain getaway situated along the St. Vrain River. Tubers age seven and up are treated to views of redstone cliffs rising high above the willows, cottonwoods, and other native plants growing on the riverbanks. Outfitter: Ray’s River Rentals, raysriverrentals.com

GLENWOOD SPRINGS

Start amid the towering walls of Glenwood Canyon, and float your way down the Colorado River to the town of Glenwood Springs. Along the way, keep your eyes peeled for bighorn sheep and bald eagles. If you’re lucky, you may even spot a bear lumbering along the water’s edge. Kids must be at least 30 pounds to float, in order to meet the PFD regulations for a commercial trip. Outfitter: Defiance Rafting Company, raftdefiance.com

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19 good to know 3

Take a spin on Denver's outdoor roller rink.

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Good Neighbors Pedal power

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Solutions Keep kids safe at concerts

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What We Love Keepsake birthday gifts

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Roundup Happy birthday to these books

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Ready, Set, Celebrate! Gear up to throw your kiddo the birthday bash of their dreams with these expert tips and local recommendations.

Tubing: Ray's River Rentals.

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good to know

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family favorites

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4 Ways to Battle End-of-Summer Boredom By Sarah Lyons

The Best of Denver and Beyond for , Families Discover our readers favorite places to play, eat, and shop, as well as their picks for camps, schools, lessons, and health care providers.

happenings

After the end-of-the-school year excitement fades and the thrill of a trip to the pool wears off, I begin to notice the first signs of summer doldrums settling in. The kids start to bicker, and they seem to be drawn more to electronics and less to fun outings. After checking the calendar and noting that the first day of school is still weeks away, something has to be done to battle the boredom.

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CHANGE THE SCENERY

To Do Today

When the kids seem antsy and bored, try a change of scenery for a quick mood adjustment. Go for a walk, play in the backyard, hop into the car and do some errands, or even play in an area of the house that you don’t commonly use for play. We all get stir-crazy if we stay in the same place too long.

TAKE A DAY TRIP

Speaking of changing the scenery, consider taking a day trip to break up the long summer days. Explore local attractions or travel a few hours to visit a nearby city. If a bigger day trip isn’t in the budget, pack a lunch and spend the day at a new park.

Our Top Picks for July Pack a picnic for these festive events and Fourth of July celebrations.

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Ongoing Events

fresh mindset

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This U.S. Air Force lieutenant colonel and mom shares how her career positively impacts her family.

PICK A PROJECT

If your house is anything like mine, there are always unfinished projects to work on. Clean the closets, sort the toys, or work in the yard. Teach your kids how to bake a cake or encourage them to help plan a menu or cook dinner. Give them chores they have never tried before so they have the benefit of learning something new and you gain the added bonus of a cleaner house.

PUT A CRAB IN WATER

An old friend once told me to “put a crab in water,” which is a solution for any age. A bath or shower can lighten anyone’s mood whether you are dealing with a fussy baby or an exhausted mom. Water play can also lighten the mood. Set up the sprinkler in the backyard, fill some water balloons, or visit the beach. A day playing in water can turn your kids from grumpy to happy in no time.

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Fourth of July Treat Ultimate Guide to Throwing a Kids' Party Best of Denver & Beyond For Families Favorite Kids Camps & Lessons 55 Ideas for Summer Family Fun

Slides: Getty Images.

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Global VillaGe academy

Our families love Global Village Academy because… Their children are learning their family’s heritage language or a new one. 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.

Watch a Video About Our Language Immersion Experience! 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!! gvaschools.org/learnmore

Aurora • Parker • Thornton • gvaschools.org


good to know Ice cream sandwiches: Heart Home Kids; Food cups: Tiny Organics.

BRIGHT IDEA

Serve a Fun Red, White, and Blue Treat Celebrate the Fourth of July with these cool, refreshing American flag ice cream sandwich treats—they’re easy enough for kids to make on their own. Here’s how: Drizzle rectangular ice cream sandwiches with melted red and white candy melts to look like stripes, then spoon melted blue candy melts onto one end. Sprinkle with white nonpareils and freeze. Tip: If you are expecting a group of hands-on kids, divide the melted red and white candy melts into a few plastic zipper bags and snip off a corner for less mess. —From The Recipe-a-Day Kids Cookbook by Maile Carpenter and the editors of Food Network Magazine (Heart Home Kids, $22)

Dial 988 for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline In service since 2005, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline has connected callers to trained counselors and volunteers through a network of over 200 crisis centers. The 24/7 hotline has been reachable through a 10-digit number—1-800-273-8255 (TALK)—and online chats. Recently, the federal government declared 988 as a new, more accessible way to dial or text for help, similar to 911 for medical and security emergencies. States are expected to transition their call center organization and funding strategies to support the move by this month. Colorado passed a 988 Suicide Prevention Lifeline Network law in the 2021 legislative session that appropriates money and imposes a charge (up to 30 cents per month on phone service users and up to 30 cents per retail transaction) in order to operate the 988 hotline under a nonprofit organization. The number is set to be effective nationwide by July 16, 2022. suicidepreventionlifeline.org –Anna Sutterer

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COLORADO PARENT JULY 2022

Got a Very Hungry Toddler? Tiny Organics meal service recently collaborated with the World of Eric Carle to create a themed lunch that will delight little fans of the The Very Hungry Caterpillar book. The 100% plant-based, ready-to-eat meal, for kids ages four months and up, includes tasty ingredients that represent the iconic caterpillar’s journey: red lentils, strawberries, carrots, and kale. The bowl is available as part of a meal plan subscription throughout summer 2022. tinyorganics.com —Kara Thompson


Bike Workshop: Bikes Together.

good neighbors

good neighbors

Bikes Together Gives Pedal Power to the People With free mechanics classes and affordable services, the shop is designed for equitable bicycle education and access.

By Anna Sutterer

H

aving spent over a decade in the bicycle industry, Caitie Miller, Bikes Together interim director, noticed many bicycle-related spaces felt intimidating and exclusive. In Miller’s experience, there’s a lot of jargon, men are dominant in representation, and information often isn’t readily passed along. “Not a lot of people feel welcome in bike shops,” Miller says, as a queer person assigned female at birth. “We’re trying to change that.” Bikes Together, located in the Lincoln Park neighborhood since 2016, is a full-service bicycle shop and community organization offering free maintenance education and bikes at reduced cost. They work to recycle and return bikes to the streets, all while empowering Denverites to renew instead of throwing away. The organization partners with public, private, and nonprofit agencies to grow programming, specifically by and for populations historically excluded from bike culture. This year, Bikes Together is linking up with Denver Housing Authority, Urban Peak, and the St. Francis Center to bring free mechanic education and bikes to families in need. Free 40-minute Learn + Repair classes (available by appointment) teach participants to make repairs at low or no cost. Although currently on hold, Gender Equality Mechanics Night, begun by Miller, invites women, girls, trans, and gender nonconforming individuals to free workshops for all abilities. Youth are welcome—with parent permission—to participate in everything, and they often do. bikestogether.org COMING UP: Bikes Together is hosting free tune-ups at Denver Public Library locations throughout the summer. They’ll be at the Central branch on July 24 and Ross-Barnum on August 6 from 2 to 4 p.m.

HOW YOU CAN HELP: Drop off a donation. Bicycles in any condition, parts and accessories, and gently used apparel are accepted. Get a repair or find a new (used) ride at the shop. They also offer recycled bikes (that will need more repair) for all ages from $10 to $250, and professionally refurbished options from $400 to $800. Become a volunteer and join a welcoming bike community where you can learn mechanics while supporting participants in workshops and helping with shop upkeep.

Celebrating 50 Years of Caring for Families Healthy babies and kids become healthy adults. We’ve been there every step of the way for 50 years offering: l

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Board-certified physicians and advanced practice providers Three Denver metro office locations Provider Meet & Greet for expectant parents After-hours nurse line for urgent illnesses or injuries Is Your Child Sick online guidance for illness related questions and routine health concerns Telehealth virtual visits for certain health concerns

Come grow with us for the next 50 years! Call us today.

303-699-6200 www.advancedpediatricassociates.com Centennial | Aurora | Parker

JULY 2022 COLORADOPARENT.COM

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solutions

It’s becoming more common to see children, even as young as babies, at concerts where the crowds are large and the sound is loud. So, how can you keep kids safe and create good memories while you’re there? Two parents and an ear/nose/throat doctor help you prepare. Edited by Courtney Drake-McDonough

THE MOM WHO TOOK HER KIDS TO A LOT OF CONCERTS SAYS... Assess the concert community ahead of time to know whether it’s family friendly or may include violent language, images, and drunken crowds. Keep kids with you the whole time. Use waterproof eyeliner to write your phone number on the child’s upper arm or chest (covered by clothing so strangers don’t see it), so security can call you if you get separated. Dress your kid in bright colors or a bright-colored hair style to make them easy to spot. Go over what they can do if you get separated. Point out the security people, the first aid station, and location of police officers. Plan a place to meet: “See that big flag by the green gate? Go there and we will find you.” Stay at the back of a crowd when possible to reduce sensory issues. Bring earplugs or headphones, keep kids fed, and bring a blanket to wrap them up in. The kid comes first, even if it’s a bucketlist band. –Amanda B., educator and mom of four, Raleigh, NC

THE EAR, NOSE, AND THROAT DOCTOR SAYS... Hearing damage at a concert can occur depending on where you sit and how close you are to the speakers. The louder the sound, and the longer you expose children to this sound level, the higher the probability is for damage to occur. Damage to the inner ear occurs before you can measure it, when there is no obvious change in hearing. Initial exposures may cause only only temporary ringing or hearing loss. Healing is possible because the body has a resiliency to mild damage. However, with repeated exposure, damage becomes permanent and the body cannot be restored to its original state. Permanent damage may not show up until a person is in their early 20s. It’s almost like cigarette smoke exposure, from which people don’t experience the effects until years later. Parents should think twice about exposing their children to loud concerts. There are parts of a concert venue that could be safe if ear protection is worn, if young children will keep them on. For teenagers, we suggest they get industrial-grade earplugs. –Dr. Kenny Chan, chairman, Department of Pediatric Otolaryngology at Children’s Hospital Colorado

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THE DAD WHO TOOK HIS CHILD TO HIS FIRST CONCERT SAYS... For my nine-year-old son’s first big concert experience at Ball Arena, we skipped the opening band so it wouldn’t be too long of a night for him. I recommend doing this, especially if it’s a band kids haven’t heard of. To keep my son engaged, I showed him setlist.fm (a free wiki-like service to share setlists) so he could see the songs that the band played. The whole thing was a good experience at his age: We chose a band with a good light show that really worked the crowd and had lots of recognizable radio songs. My biggest worry was smelling too much marijuana or being right next to people who were using it, but that didn’t happen. —Brett Dangerfield, Arvada, dad of two, ages eight and 10

Concert, Mother/daughter: Getty Images.

What to Consider Before Taking Kids to Concerts


Everyone 18 and under enjoys free general admission every day. Explore innovative creative spaces and art from around the world with the ones that inspire you. We are open for connection, wonder, and families 7 days a week. Photo by Raine Chism. The Free for Kids program at the Denver Art Museum is made possible by Scott Reiman and presented by Bellco Credit Union.

THE COURAGE TO BUILD A STRONG FUTURE. With an education-based curriculum, The Gardner School encourages students’ emerging sense of self and intellectual growth. Curious about enrollment?

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what we love

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A perfect first birthday gift, this Music Box has room for up to three lines of personalization. Add your child’s name, birthdate, or a meaningful phrase to the wooden sides. A twist to the winding key prompts the lullaby “Hush, Little Baby” to play. $78, treebykerrilee.com

Keepsake

BIRTHDAY GIFTS Meaningful presents that your child will treasure for a lifetime.

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Kids will be delighted by this Keepsake Treasure Chest from Mike’s Fine Designs, which can house their favorite goodies or be used for imaginative play. As they grow older, your child’s prized possessions can be safely stored inside, making the chest a meaningful time capsule. $89, etsy.com

By Kara Thompson

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Upload a photo of your little one, choose a frame color, and receive a beautiful Modern Silhouette Portrait. Add your own text to be written on the portrait or upload your child’s handwriting for an even more personal touch. $40 and up, vanachuppstudio.com

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Teach the value of a hard-earned dollar by gifting this Silver Piggy Bank, which makes for a sweet nursery accent. Add a monogram or go without one so your kid can pass it down to their own child one day. $59, markandgraham.com

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Treat your teen to a Birthstone Necklace to mark a milestone birthday. The necklace is available in sterling silver, 14-karat yellow gold, and gold-plated finishes. The brand also makes nameplate necklaces and a variety of customizable charms. $80, tinytags.com

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Market on Your Calendar!

E N V E R

FARMERS’ MARKETc 45Sundays

Saturdays

SOUTHWEST PLAZA Saturdays HIGHLANDS RANCH APRIL 30 - OCT 29 MAY 1 - OCT 30 Southeast Parking Lot Highlands Ranch LAKEWOOD Wadsworth & Bowles 8am-2pm or Sellout

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Town Center 9288 Dorchester St. 10am-2pm or Sellout

Wednesdays LITTLETON

Sundays

STEAD SCHOOL AT REUNION JUNE 12 - SEPT 25 18251 Homestead Trail 10am-2pm or Sellout

JUNE 15 - SEPT 28 Aspen Grove 7301 S. Santa Fe Dr. 10am-2pm or Sellout

Check out our great recipes online!

For more information call the Metro Denver Farmers’ Market Hotline

303-887-FARM

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Let Your Imagination Take Flight

Colorado’s Official Air & Space Museum

Enjoy more than fifty iconic aircraft and space vehicles, immersive exhibits and more all housed in side a World War II-era aircraft hangar.

WingsMuseum.org

7711 East Academy Boulevard, Denver

JULY 2022 COLORADOPARENT.COM

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roundup

Every once in a while, a children’s book comes along that sticks with readers a little more than the rest. Whether children love the characters or parents identify with the message, or both, these books stay in print, allowing new generations to love them, too. Here are a few of these books celebrating milestone anniversaries in 2022. By Lydia Rueger

DRAGONS LOVE TACOS by Adam Rubin; illustrated by Daniel Salmieri (Dial Books for Young Readers, 2012) In the decade since its publication, this New York Times best-selling tale of dragons, tacos, and spicy salsa has been loved by children everywhere. The book has spawned a stage show, a sequel, plush dragons, and many themed children’s birthday parties. Celebrities including George Clooney and America Ferrera—and their kids—are fans of the book, too. With 4.4 million copies in print, one thing is for sure: Kids still love dragons and tacos.

10 YEARS

25 YEARS

HARRY POTTER AND THE PHILOSOPHER’S STONE by J.K. Rowling (Bloomsbury, 1997) Following the original U.K. version, Scholastic published Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone in 1998, and the adventures of certain wizards and witches in training became known all over the world. “Twenty-five years ago was one of the pivotal moments for young readers,” says Paula Bisgard, bookseller at Tattered Cover Book Store. Bisgard remembers when new books in the series (seven in all) were released in stores at midnight. “It was an incredible book lovers’ moment to know how many young readers across the world were all reading the same book very late into the night,” Bisgard says. “Many of them [told their] bookseller at the checkout counter, ‘Don’t put it in a bag. I want to start reading it now!’ Now, the next generations are at the checkout counter. And they are eager to explore book series by other authors.”

THE SNOWY DAY by Ezra Jack Keats (Viking Press, 1962) At a time when racial diversity was rarely depicted in picture books, Keats featured a Black child as his main character; the book went on to win the Caldecott Medal in 1963. Keats received thousands of fan letters from kids, who, for the first time, saw themselves in a children’s book. It remains well loved for this reason, but for other reasons, too. “As an editor, I have come to use The Snowy Day in workshops, for the way Keats tells the story without telling us how Peter feels (with one crucial exception), and yet making the reader feel something with every turn of a page,” says Harold Underdown, executive editor at Kane Press.

60 YEARS

70 YEARS

CHARLOTTE’S WEB by E.B. White (Harper & Brothers, 1952) When a pig named Wilbur is in danger of being slaughtered by a farmer, Charlotte the spider weaves positive messages about Wilbur in her web to help save his life. “Charlotte’s Web is so enduring and endearing because it deals with big topics—death and loss and change and the unrelenting passage of time—in small ways,” says Brooke Jorden, editorial director for the children’s book publisher, Familius. “The big questions in Charlotte’s Web remain relevant today, even 70 years later, because the world around us will always be living and changing and dying, but people who leave a legacy of selflessness and love will live on in our memories.”

75 YEARS

THE VELVETEEN RABBIT by Margery Williams Bianco; illustrated by William Nicholson (George H. Doran and Company, 1922) “What is real?” the Velveteen Rabbit asks the Skin Horse. “Real isn’t how you are made,” says the Skin Horse. “It’s a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but really loves you, then you become real.” It’s a message that still resonates today, says Pam Martin, book specialist at Grandrabbit’s Toy Shoppe in Boulder. “In this age when kids feel pressure from influencers and social media to ‘measure up’ to false narratives of the perfect social life and body type, the message of authenticity that’s championed in The Velveteen Rabbit feels more relevant than ever,” she says.

GOODNIGHT MOON by Margaret Wise Brown; illustrated by Clement Hurd (Harper and Brothers, 1947) Generations of parents have quietly repeated the words, “goodnight stars, goodnight air, goodnight noises everywhere,” from this popular bedtime story, as their young children prepare to sleep. “Goodnight Moon epitomizes the nighttime ritual of reading before bed. Its pattern of identifying everyone and everything in the room and then saying good night to the people and things is repetitive and soothing,” says Kate Brasch, children’s buyer for Tattered Cover Book Store. “Many of us have read this gem over and over…Artistically and narrative-wise, there are so many reasons that this book has endured for 75 years, and it certainly looks like that trend will continue.”

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100 YEARS

Photos: Penguin Random House, Bloomsbury/J.K. Rowling, Penguin Random House, Harper Collins, Harper Collins, Simon & Schuster.

Children’s Books With Big Birthdays This Year


Montessori Academy of Colorado

~ A PRIVATE SCHOOL EST. 1963 ~

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Year round, play based programs focusing on social development and academic enrichment for toddlers through Private Kindergarten. Popular Summer Adventure Camps for post Kindergarteners-age 12. 4140 E. Iliff Ave., Denver, CO 80222 - (303) 757-3551 - iliffpreschool.com

Empowering Fearless, Forward Learners Serving students 8 weeks through 8th grade

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PRESENTS

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THANK YOU TO OUR SPONSORS


play

MAKE BIRTHDAY

magic

Gear up to throw your kiddo the birthday bash of their dreams with these expert tips and awesome local recommendations. By Liz Callahan Schnabolk Photos by Elizabeth Mayberry of Oak + Oats

JULY 2022 COLORADOPARENT.COM

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B I R T H D AY S A R E A B I G D E A L W H E N YO U ’ R E A L I T T L E K I D . A N D F O R G O O D R E A S O N : A PA R T Y G I V E S YO U R C H I L D A C H A N C E T O P L AY W I T H A L L T H E I R F R I E N D S , A N D H AV E C A K E A N D P R E S E N T S . ( W H AT ’ S B E T T E R T H A N T H AT, T B H ? ) H E R E ’ S YO U R G U I D E T O T H R O W I N G A N A M A Z I N G PA R T Y E V E R YO N E W I L L L O V E , W H I L E A L S O K E E P I N G YO U R S A N I T Y A N D B U D G E T I N C H E C K . S K I M P O R S P L U R G E : K I D S PA R T Y E D I T I O N When it comes to planning a kid’s party, there are some aspects that are worth spending extra time (and, yes, money) on and others that you can tone down. Here are the areas you should go all out on, versus where you can dial it back.

GO ALL OUT ON THE…

theme

It doesn’t have to be Paw Patrol or Harry Potter, but it’s nice to have at least a loose theme for the party (such as rainbows or farm animals). A theme makes it easier to choose decorations and activities, and also gives guests an idea of what to expect. The best way to choose one? Ask your kiddo. “Involving the birthday child in the planning always helps make a party a success,” says party planner Allison Welch of As You Wish Colorado. “Let them pick out colors, themes, and ultimately, have a say in helping you plan their special celebration.”

entertainment

If you have the budget for it, hiring birthday party entertainment can take a lot of pressure off of the hosts and be a big thrill for the kids. “We had the most amazing experience hiring a princess for one of my kid’s birthdays,” says Laura Funk, a Denver-area mom and blogger, of her experience with Princess Ever After, an entertainment company based in Denver. “They came right to our home and entertained the kids with songs, face painting, story time, and more. It was a massive hit and is one of my child’s favorite memories.” There are loads of unexpected entertainment options, depending on your child’s interests. (See some favorites in “Entertainment that Wows” on page 21.)

activities

If you’re not bringing in entertainment, then it’s important to have a few activities set up for guests. This could be a table with an art project, sidewalk chalk to draw with on a patio, or a bouncy house (ask in your local neighborhood group if someone has an at-home version you can rent). It’s nice to have activities like these ready for kids as they arrive. Then once most guests have shown up, you can start the more organized games (like an obstacle course race or piñata).

dessert

Especially for, say, a one-year-old’s party with a lot of adults, you may want to have something set up that feels Instagram-worthy. Elizabeth Mayberry, a Denver mom and photographer, suggests using a dessert table for this purpose. “You really only need one photo spot and that usually ends up being a dining room table. I take our theme and make a statement spot with the cake, snacks, and decor,” she explains. “The rest of the food, I set out unceremoniously on the kitchen counters and open up the rest of the house and our backyard for gathering spaces. My entire decor budget and photo op location goes to the cake table.”

FEEL FREE TO SKIMP ON...

invitations

Check Etsy for affordable downloadable invitation options for all types of themes. When you buy them, the designer will plug in your details and then send you a file that you can either print out at home or text to family and friends.

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decorations

Yes, you want the party to feel festive and fun, but it’s OK to stick to just a few easy decorations. “Children will always remember how much fun they had at a birthday party, not necessarily the little details, like the amount of balloon bouquets hanging around the room,” Welch says.

food

“One big way to save on parties is to have some snacks and drinks, but not serve a meal,” says Laura Falin, a Littleton mom and blogger behind Peace But Not Quiet. “Cake or cupcakes, fruit, some cheese and crackers, and that’s about all you need!” Just make sure your party doesn’t fall over lunch or dinner, and have something extra on hand for any kids with food allergies.

goodie bags

There’s a real divide when it comes to goodie bags: Kids love them, but parents tend to not be so fond. “As a parent, I don’t love the kids getting goodie bags with lots of plastic trinkets that clutter the house and make more waste,” admits Falin. The solution? Gift your guests one small item they can use up, like a box of crayons, bubbles, or a snack packet with a ribbon on it. Set them out on a table near your front door for easy, post-party pick up, and call it a day.

E N T E R TA I N M E N T T H AT W O W S Partying at home? These companies and entertainers bring the fun right to you, for a birthday your kiddo (and their friends) will never forget.

Mad Science of Colorado Science experiments, slime making, and rocket launches make this party option super fun, and even educational. colorado.madscience.org

Canyon Critters Brave kiddos can touch, hold, and learn about a variety of reptiles, arachnids, and amphibians. canyoncritters.com

Rocky Mountain Goat Yoga Turn the “Om’s” to “Aww’s” when your party guests realize they can strike a tree pose or relax in Savasana while baby goats scamper about. rockymountaingoatyoga.com

Ann Lincoln Entertainment Popular performer Ann Lincoln includes silly skits, magic tricks, and juggling in her act. Or, check out her foam parties, where kids get to play in huge mountains of bubbles. annlincoln.com

Denver Extreme Game Truck It’s not easy to impress a tween. But park a trailer in your driveway filled with screens and video games? That’ll do it. denverextremegametruck.com

Face Fiesta From a beautiful butterfly to a fire-breathing dragon to a favorite sports logo, the Face Fiesta artists create fun and fanciful facial designs no matter your party’s theme. facefiesta.com

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YO U R B U R N I N G B I R T H D AY PA R T Y QUESTIONS ANSWERED! Didi Lorillard, etiquette expert and founder of newportmanners.com, gives you the lowdown on how to handle sticky birthday party situations.

question

Do I need to invite my child’s entire class to the party?

question

I’d rather my child wait to open presents until after the party. Is that OK?

question

If a parent asks to bring a sibling to my child’s party, do I have to agree?

Didi Lorillard: Here’s the rule of thumb: Invite six kids or fewer, or invite the whole class. People understand if a party is small, but if it is a medium-size party and a couple of children are left out, there will be hurt feelings. On the flip side, teach your child that they may not be invited to every party, especially if they aren’t close friends with the birthday child.

DL: Yes. Personally, I think it’s more polite to do the gift opening after all the guests have gone home. There might be one guest who hasn’t brought a gift, or one or two presents that may be far more expensive than the others. Plus, if the child already has, say, a particular Lego set, this new Lego set can be regifted.

DL: If the party is in your home, depending upon the age of the sibling and your relationship with the family, you kind of have to say “of course.” If the party is at a venue where you are paying per child, you can always say that you’ve only reserved for 15 children—which in fact is probably true. You can even add something to the invitation like, “Please keep siblings at home; the venue has limits on the number of party guests.”

THE SWEET STUFF No matter what your child is craving for their b-day dessert, outsource the baking to one of these local experts. We promise you won’t be sorry you did!

for cake

Cake Fetish

This boutique Denver bakery makes trendy, custom cakes at affordable prices. Choose between more than a dozen cake flavors, fillings, and frostings. Recent designs include a hot-air balloon and mermaid cake. Find info on Instagram @cake__fetish

for cookies

Whipped Bakery

Need a flamingo or airplane or violin cookie? No problem at all. Located in Littleton, this bakery can make cookies to match just about any theme your child can come up with. whippedbakerycolorado.com

for doughnuts

Voodoo Doughnut

Doughnuts are just as much—if not more—fun than cake, especially when they’re topped with everything from crumbled cookies to Cap’n Crunch. Pile them on a cake stand and you can still use traditional birthday candles, too. voodoodoughnut.com

for cupcakes

The Treatery

Choose a variety of flavors in your order so the kiddos can taste-test options like cookies and cream, strawberry, and funfetti. Bonus: They also bake cookie sandwiches, mini pies, and brownies, and offer glutenand dairy-free options that are just as delish as the standard versions. treaterydenver.com

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RUN THE SHOW You may be hosting a bunch of six-year-olds—not wedding or gala guests—but throwing a successful kids party does take some planning. Here’s what you should keep in mind, according to party planner Allison Welch of As You Wish Colorado. Set up early. Enlist a family member or friend to help you set up ahead of time, so that you can enjoy the party instead of running around taking care of things. Keep it short and sweet. Two to three hours is plenty of time for a kid’s birthday party, and it’s totally OK to note an end time on your invitation. Make an itinerary. Jot down a plan for everything you want to do, and in what order. Set an alarm on your phone for when you want to round up everyone for cake, for example. Stock up. Keep extra supplies on hand, such as replacement parts for an activity if something breaks, cleaning supplies, and even a first-aid kit.

STEAL THIS ITINERARY Start with this basic timeline of a party, then make it your own.

3 p.m. Guests start to arrive. 3:15 p.m. Start the entertainment and/or group activities. 4 p.m. Serve the main food (if you’re having a meal), followed by cake. 4:30 p.m. Open presents, or let kids play on their own or revisit activities. 5 p.m. Hand out goodie bags and say goodbye!

PA R T Y G A M E S F O R EVERY AGE Easy to set up, budget-friendly, and oh-so-fun, old-school party games are a big win for any bash. Here are some of our faves based on the age of your guest of honor.

ages 1 to 2

- Make a DIY ball pit using a kiddie pool and a set of inexpensive plastic balls. - Turn on a bubble machine in the backyard, then have toddlers run and try to catch the bubbles. - Give each child an inflated balloon that they can bounce around the room.

ages 3 to 5

- Crank up some tunes and play freeze dance. - Check out a book related to your party’s theme from the library and have storytime. - Blindfold each child and let them pin the tail on a unicorn, Paw Patrol character, or whatever goes with your theme.

ages 6 to 8

- Gather all your spare pillowcases and have kids do a backyard sack race (you could use potato sacks, of course, but most people already have pillowcases). - Set up a limbo line with a broomstick or scarf and see how low guests can go. - Fill a piñata with trinkets and candy and let the kids take a whack.

ages 9 and up

- Set up a photo booth with a backdrop and props, snap pics with an iPad, and email them to your guests later. - Split guests into teams and send them on a scavenger hunt around the yard or neighborhood. - Hang doughnuts on long strings (one string and doughnut per child) and have kids try to eat the treat without using their hands.

5 D E C O R AT I O N H A C K S T O T R Y Fake a balloon arch. Blow up colorful helium balloons and tie them at different lengths along a railing or fence. Go big on candles. Give even the simplest of cakes an upgrade with tall, elegant birthday candles or whimsical animal-shaped ones. Merimeri.com, a party supply website, has lots of options. Raid the playroom. Grab all the toys you have that relate to the party’s theme. Use them on the tables, tie them to balloons, or hang them from the ceiling. Roll out super-affordable and trendy butcher paper. Use a big roll of brown paper as a tablecloth and put out crayons so kids can color on it. Commemorate their age. Grab the biggest shipping box you’ve got and cut out your child’s age, then paint or cover it in wrapping paper and use it as a decoration or photo prop.


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50+ Winners Revealed

Photo: YMCA of the Rockies.

COLORADO FAMILY GETAWAY WINNER: YMCA of the Rockies Estes Park Center Estes Park The more than 860 acres at this location of YMCA of the Rockies gives parents and kids a chance to truly unplug in a breathtaking mountain setting. A daily schedule offers a wide range of activities, including archery, miniature golf, horseback riding, crafts, and an escape room. Sign up for one of the center’s popular guided tours of the nearby Rocky Mountain National Park, then in the evening, unwind around a campfire. ymcarockies.org Others in Top 3: C Lazy U Ranch, Steamboat Springs Resort JULY 2022 COLORADOPARENT.COM

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FALL FAMILY EVENT WІNNER:

Pumpkin Harvest Festival at Four Mile Historic Park Glendale Each year, families celebrate the harvest of glowing orange pumpkins with old-fashioned family activities at this autumn festival favorite. The October event gives city families a chance to ride a tractor, build a scarecrow, and play prairie games. Best of all, the chill atmosphere filled with live music and the scents of fall treats is the perfect refresh before the busy holiday season begins. fourmilepark.org Others in Top 3: Anderson Farms Fall Festival, Corn Maze at Chatfield Farms

WINTER/HOLIDAY FAMILY EVENT WINNER: Zoo Lights at Denver Zoo City Park This classic family event illuminates winter nights at the Denver Zoo with millions of twinkling lights. Families bundle up for a crisp stroll around the Zoo’s 80 acres to visit their favorite cold-weather species after dark and view stunning light displays and glowing animal sculptures. denverzoo.org Others in Top 3: Blossoms of Light at Denver Botanic Gardens, Christmas at Gaylord Rockies

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WINNER: Boulder Creek Festival Boulder Held each Memorial Day weekend, festivalgoers can enjoy unstructured play with their kids along the Boulder Creek, as well as scheduled Creekside for Kids events such as concerts, dance parties, and face painting. Have fun on the climbing wall or in the bounce house, shop the artisan marketplace, and chow down on quality local eats. bouldercreekfest.com

MUSEUM FOR FAMILIES WINNER: Denver Museum of Nature & Science City Park On any given day at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science, eager kids and parents could wander through a prehistoric dinosaur habitat, step into a fantasy spaceship, or participate in small experiments to learn more about their bodies. This dynamic, all-senses-on experience is what brings families back day after day. Fresh temporary exhibits, immersive IMAX films, and sentimental favorites like the wildlife halls keep families coming back for generations. dmns.org Others in Top 3: Children’s Museum of Denver at Marsico Campus, History Colorado Center

Others in Top 3: Cherry Creek Arts Festival, Colorado Renaissance Festival

INDOOR ACTIVITY SPACE WINNER: Kids Wonder Centennial Offering colorful surroundings and adult life shrunk to kid size, this play space caters to a child’s physical, intellectual, social, and

emotional development. Kids enjoy becoming restaurateurs, firefighters, vets, and actors in Lil’ Town, while toddlers clamber over soft structures. kidswonder.net Others in Top 3: Carousel of Happiness, Urban Air Trampoline and Adventure Park

SMALL LOCAL MUSEUM WINNER: Littleton Museum Littleton This free museum is the ultimate excursion for curious, active kids. Spend a day on two 19th century farms, with a selection of homestead animals, a schoolhouse, blacksmith shop, orchard, and growing gardens, to feel what life was like in the early days of Littleton. Indoor exhibits, including a kids area, make great learning spots on a hot summer or cold winter afternoon. littletongov.org Others in Top 3: Golden History Park, Morrison Natural History Museum

Pumpkins: Lauren Bell; Carnival ride: BCEProductions; Blacksmith: Littleton Museum.

SPRING/SUMMER FAMILY FAIR OR FESTIVAL


YMCA of the Rockies Estes Park Center Snow Mountain Ranch

One Tank of Gas. Limitless Memories. Just a quick drive from Denver, both of our YMCA of the Rockies’ locations are perfect for a summer, mid-week getaway.

Lodging | Activities | Pet-friendly

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family fun Swimming: Pirates Cove Family Aquatic Center; Hiking Kids: WildBear Nature Center.

WATER PARK OR SWIM CENTER WINNER: Pirates Cove Family Aquatics Center Englewood It’s easy to test the waters in each attraction at this cool Englewood hotspot. There’s a leisure pool with a large play structure and zero-depth entry, a 35-foot slide tower with three slides snaking out from the top of it, and a relaxing lazy river for a break from all the thrills. Kids flock to the leisure pool play area just as an elevated bucket fills up, tips forward, and dumps 750 gallons of water on their sun-baked skin. englewoodco.gov Others in Top 3: Parker Recreation Center, Water World

FAMILY DAY TRIP

Others in Top 3: Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, Rocky Mountain National Park

ANIMAL ENCOUNTER WINNER: Denver Zoo City Park With more than 4,000 animals, this historic Denver favorite offers nonstop excitement. Kids learn about the species inhabiting the world’s biomes thanks to interactive activities, summer camps, education in conservation efforts, after-hours events, and top-notch exhibits. Daily demonstrations and live feedings give families insight and knowledge about animal residents from African penguins to Western lowlands gorillas. denverzoo.org Others in Top 3: Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, Downtown Aquarium

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WINNER: Ace Eat Serve North Capitol Hill When you get a night out without the kids, this 9,000-square-foot repurposed garage at 17th Avenue and Pennsylvania Street serves up a creative combo for a casual date night. Modern Asian cuisine from executive chef Thach Tran pairs well

with craft cocktails and table tennis. Even without its 11 ping-pong tables and stellar patio, the space would still wow guests with the live music on Saturday nights and recycled industrial decor. aceeatserve.com Others in Top 3: Blue Oyster Bar & Seafood, Nocturne Jazz & Supper Club

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WINNER: Estes Park Estes Park Whether you just need to get the kids out of the city or you have guests in from out of town, Estes Park, at the eastern entrance to Rocky Mountain National Park, provides a satisfying one-day glimpse of Rocky Mountain life. Get some active outdoor time or head into town for shopping and dining, and maybe glimpse an elk wandering down the street. visitestespark.com

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NATURE CENTER WINNER:

Wild Bear Nature Center Nederland In the mountain town of Nederland, this free nature center is just steps away from the historic Carousel of Happiness, as well as local restaurants, shops, and the Tungsten Trail along the creek. Inside, discover interactive animal exhibits, a maker space, sensory gallery, and a gift shop. Find opportunities for kids’ nature camps, workshops, and clubs galore. wildbear.org Others in Top 3: Butterfly Pavilion, Denver Botanic Gardens


Park slide: Denver Parks & Recreation; Art girl: artSpark Creative Studio.

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MOST UNIQUE PLAYGROUND

WINNER: Paco Sanchez Park

Denver Named after former state representative and radio station owner Paco Sanchez, this 30-acre park filled with multigenerational activities will entertain for hours. The many unique play opportunities include a 30-foot covered climbing tower, rubber hills, and a super-fast concrete slide. Don’t miss the hanging seesaw swing—it can catapult its occupants sky high if you get the timing right. There are also plenty of swings, spring toys, and spinners. denvergov.org

WINNERS:

Keystone Resort Just 90 minutes from Denver, this resort aims to bring out the playful nature of everyone in the family. In addition to the popular ski slopes and ski and ride school, Keystone is filled with winter activities like snow tubing, sleigh rides, and mountaintop tours in a snowcat. keystoneresort.com Winter Park Resort At this kid-friendly resort, families have their pick of seven territories spanning four mountains with award-winning terrain. There’s also tubing, snowshoeing, ice-skating, and scenic snowcat tours. After a day on the slopes, nosh on premium food in the village. winterparkresort.com

Others in Top 3: LuBird’s Light Playground, Philip S. Miller Park

Others in Top 3: Breckenridge Ski Resort, Eldora Mountain

camps & lessons DAY CAMP

WINNER: Dream Big Day Camp dreambigdaycamp.com Others in Top 3: Renaissance Adventures, Silicon STEM Academy

OVERNIGHT CAMP

WINNER: Camp Chief Ouray campchiefouray.org Others in Top 3: Camp IdRaHaJe, Sanborn Western Camps

STEM CLASS OR CAMP

WINNER: Silicon STEM Academy siliconstemacademy.com Others in Top 3: Mad Science of Colorado, MindCraft Makerspace

SPECIAL NEEDS CLASS OR CAMP

WINNER: Hopkins Education Services hopkinseducationservices.com Others in Top 3: Tie Adam’s Camp, Feel the Beat Dance, Parallel Play

DANCE LESSONS

MARTIAL ARTS INSTRUCTION

WINNER: Littleton Contemporary Dance Center littletondancecenter.com Others in Top 3: Dual Star Academy of Dance, Park Hill Dance Academy

WINNER: Okinawa Dojo by Karate Bros karatebros.com Others in Top 3: Colorado Budokan, Enshin Karate

ART/CRAFT STUDIO OR MAKER SPACE

WINNER: Winter Park Ski and Ride School winterparkresort.com Others in Top 3: Tie Copper Mountain Ski & Ride School, Eldora Mountain Ski & Ride School, Keystone Ski & Snowboard School

WINNER: artSpark Creative Studio artsparkcreative.com Others in Top 3: Craftsman & Apprentice, MindCraft Makerspace

SKI OR RIDE LESSONS

TUMBLING OR GYMNASTICS LESSONS

WINNER: Bounce Gymnastics bouncegymnasticsco.com Others in Top 3: Dardano’s School of Gymnastics, TaDa Gymnastics Studio

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WINNER: Tokyo Premium Bakery Platte Park Blink and you might miss the minimalist entry to this Japanesestyle bakery on South Pearl Street, but the delicious pastries and lattes are worth the search. The sugar twisted donut and fruit sandwich are sure bets for any kid, or let them sample global flavors like matcha cream and red bean paste in pastries. Order yourself a Houjicha latte (hot or iced), and opt for oat milk to perfectly pair with the toasted flavor. tokyopremiumbakery.com Others in Top 3: Devil’s Food Bakery, Moxie Bread Company

FAMILY-FRIENDLY RESTAURANT

WINNER: Steuben,s Uptown

North Capitol Hill Friendly service in a casual, welcoming atmosphere is just the beginning of what has made this Denver restaurant a favorite spot for a relaxed family meal for 16 years. The elevated diner-style menu brings together classics like pot roast and burgers with regional favorites from around the U.S. like lobster rolls. The kids menu is loaded with pleasing brunch

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Others in Top 3: Tie 5280 Burger Bar, Bob’s Atomic Burgers, Cherry Cricket

and dinner choices, accompanied by crunchy veggies, fresh fruit, a choice of side, and a dessert. steubens.com Others in Top 3: Bird, The Original

LOCAL ICE CREAM OR FROZEN YOGURT WINNER: Yogurt Brothers

Westminster This frozen yogurt shop offers 16 soft-serve varieties (cake batter and cookies and cream are customer favorites), as well as 64 toppings

from kiwi to cookie dough. Find lots of dietary-restricted options (all clearly labeled) in addition to frozen yogurt cookie sandwiches and dog yogurt. Eat outdoors or inside, where a digital display posts recent local high school sports scores. yogurtbros.com Others in Top 3: Glacier Homemade Ice Cream & Gelato, Sweet Cow

LOCAL PIZZA WINNER: Via Baci Modern Italian Kitchen & Bar Lone Tree

You could make an argument that there is a time and place for chain pizza delivery—kids parties, for example. But for a family night out when pizza is the main event, taste matters, and Via Baci really delivers. Tucked into a busy shopping area, it serves up wood-fired pizza, pasta, salads, beer, wine, and cocktails. A kids menu ($5 to $7) keeps things affordable. Grab a pizza kit to go and watch a video of Chef Mike to learn how to stretch pizza dough like a pro. viabaci.com Others in Top 3: Kaos Pizzeria, Virgilio’s Pizzeria & Wine Bar

MOST DELICIOUS LOCAL DOUGHNUT WINNER: Donutsville Bakery and Café Westminster ​​A small, quiet shopping plaza houses this sparkling clean donut shop with drive-through and dine-in options. Choose from 28 doughnut varieties, including the popular Double Decker—a glazed and chocolate combo, pressed together. Customers can also enjoy kolaches, bagels, sandwiches, boba, smoothies, and coffee. instagram.com/donutsvillebakery Others in Top 3: Berkeley Donuts, The Donut House

Burgers: Park Burger; Doughnuts: Lydia Rueger.

WINNER: Park Burger Highlands, Hilltop, Platte Park, RiNo This Denver favorite is the burger diner experience for everyone in the family. The menu honors the classic American trifecta of burger, fries, and a milkshake, but caters to more than the beef eater. Bison, veggie, and turkey options are available, as well as gluten-free and whole wheat buns. Fries come in potato, sweet potato, and truffle-Parmesan, or go with the house-made kettle chips with a side of blue cheese sauce. And all the ingredients are fresh, high-quality, and locally sourced when possible. parkburger.com

WINNER: Cake Crumbs Bakery & Café Park Hill No matter what theme your child dreams of for their birthday celebration (dogs in space?), Cake Crumbs Bakery & Café can turn it into a spectacular centerpiece cake or cupcakes. What’s on the inside will also delight, with a delicious selection of cake flavors including vanilla funfetti and vanilla/chocolate marble, and a wide selection of fillings and frosting flavors. cake-crumbs.com

LOCAL BAKERY

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LOCAL BURGER

KID,S BIRTHDAY CAKE AT A LOCAL BAKERY

Others in Top 3: Gateaux, Mermaids Bakery

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SPOT FOR A FAMILY PICNIC WINNER: Red Rocks Park and Amphitheatre Morrison The iconic concert amphitheater at Red Rocks Park is a destination for millions of music lovers from all over the world. But locals know that the natural wonders in this park make it a picturesque place for a quiet family picnic as well. On event days, opt for a late breakfast or lunch picnic before the park closes at 2 p.m. When there isn’t an event, add on a hike and enjoy an evening picnic as the sun sets behind the mountains. redrocksonline.com

WINNER: Stella,s Gourmet

Coffee & Such Platte Park There is no shortage of coffee shops around town, but this friendly neighborhood meetup spot has stood the test of time. Great coffee, tea, iced drinks, and bakery items are only part of the draw. Creative, friendly baristas welcome you like a regular. Grab a coffee to go or relax on the patio of the converted house that will give you all kinds of classic Denver-in-the-'90s vibes. stellascoffee.com Others in Top 3: Tie Dirt Coffee Bar, Logan House Coffee, Monk & Mongoose Coffee Co.

Others in Top 3: City Park, Washington Park

FOOD HALL FOR FAMILIES WINNER: Stanley Marketplace Aurora The food offerings and casual, family atmosphere at this food hall and shopping space make it easy to please grownups and kids alike. Comfort food spots like Rosenberg’s Bagels, Comida, and Denver Biscuit Co. comingle with a taste of something new at Maria Empanada, Churreria De Madrid, and Misaki at Stanley. It’s also a great stop for a snack at Sweet Cow Ice Cream or Sweet Gold Juice Co. stanleymarketplace.com Others in Top 3: Edgewater Public Market, Milepost Zero at McGregor Square

MEAL DELIVERY/MEAL PREP SERVICES WINNER: Supper Bell Metro Denver This hometown meal delivery service from award-winning Denver chef Frank Bonanno makes it easy to put a freshly made meal, created with many locally and organically sourced ingredients, on the table. The weekly menu offers entrees, full family meals, kids meals, desserts, and even breakfasts that just need to be reheated. supperbell.com Others in Top 3: Dream Dinners Parker, Prefare Gourmet Meal Kits

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education CHILDCARE

WINNER: Cadence Academy Preschool Broomfield cadence-education.com Others in Top 3: Hope Montessori Academy Thornton, Iliff Preschool

SPECIAL NEEDS RESOURCE OR ORGANIZATION

WINNER: Hopkins Education Services hopkinseducationservices.com Others in Top 3: GiGi’s Playhouse Denver, The Rise School of Denver

FOREIGN LANGUAGE SCHOOL

WINNER: Global Village Academy gvaschools.org Others in Top 3: Escuela de Guadalupe, French American School of Denver

PRIVATE SCHOOL

WINNER: Denver Christian School denverchristian.org Others in Top 3: Aspen Academy, Montessori Academy of Colorado

PRESCHOOL

WINNER: Denver Christian Preschool denverchristian.org Others in Top 3: Cadence Academy Broomfield, Iliff Preschool

Red Rocks Park and Amphitheatre: Sam Hille; Graduation: Denver Christian School.

LOCAL SHOP FOR A COFFEE RUN

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services & shopping WINNER: Timbuk Toys Littleton, Lowry, University Hills Since 1993, Denver-founded Timbuk Toys has supported the important (and fun!) job of stoking a child’s imagination and development. The broad selection of toys sold from the three store locations and online help kids grow in cognitive, sensory, and physical development. Even if there isn’t a toy on the shopping list, it’s worth a weekly stop for storytime, magic, puppetry, and balloon animals with Mr. Paul. timbuktoys.com Others in Top 3: Beyond the Blackboard, Grandrabbit’s Toy Shoppe

BIRTHDAY PARTY ENTERTAINMENT WINNER: Kids Wonder

Centennial Unlimited opportunities to climb, bounce, and imagine make this Centennial play center top kids’ lists for birthday parties. Easy party planning puts it at the top of mom’s list. Choose the Great Party option, which gives up to eight kids time for open play, celebration in a special party area, and cupcakes or donuts. Level up to the Super Party or Awesome Party for a bigger group or more food options. kidswonder.net

Store: Joslyn Griffin; Girl with cupcake: Kristi Swen.

LOCAL TOY STORE

Others in Top 3: Renaissance Adventures, Sticky Fingers Cooking School

RESALE SHOP FOR CHILDREN,S CLOTHES WINNER: Once Upon A Child Arvada, Aurora, Centennial, Littleton The Once Upon a Child stores around metro Denver are brimming with gently used kids clothes in a variety of sizes and styles. And at up to 70 percent off retail prices, it's easy to save on the clothes shopping budget. Bring in your child’s outgrown clothes (and shoes, toys, and baby gear) and you can get cash on the spot for more shopping. onceuponachild.com/home Others in Top 3: Just Between Friends local sales, Kid to Kid

LOCAL MATERNITY OR BABY BOUTIQUE WINNER: Broomtail Bonnie Brae Step into this three-year-old boutique that’s just a short jaunt from Old South Gaylord Street in Denver, and it’s a sure thing you will find a swoon-worthy baby outfit or shower gift. Select from a curated collection of items from boutique brands. Kids will love the chance to play in the fort at the back of the store or snuggle into one of the

worn leather chairs with a book. broomtailkids.com

Others in Top 3: St. Julien Hotel & Spa, The Woodhouse Day Spa

Others in Top 3: Mountain Cub Children’s Shop, Pitter Patter Children’s Boutique, Real Baby

ESTATE PLANNING/ FAMILY LAWYER

Tie

SPOT FOR MOM OR DAD TO TREAT THEMSELVES WINNER: TallGrass Aveda Spa & Salon Evergreen Evergreen Most busy parents dream of a quiet room or meditation space, even if only for an hour. This spa, set among the pines and meadows near Evergreen, is filled with serene spaces (including an actual “Quiet Room”) to indulge in treatments for weary bodies and minds. Drop the keys to mom’s taxi at the front desk and settle in for a body, face, nail, or hair treatment, or a full- or half-day spa package. tallgrassspa.com

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COLORADO PARENT JULY 2022

WINNER: Hardin Waldrip Law Greenwood Village As a parent, it’s vitally important to create a plan that ensures your children and all that you’ve worked for are protected in case the unthinkable happens. Helpful, knowledgeable attorneys are key to making the estate planning process efficient and pleasant. The attorneys at Hardin Waldrip Law have decades of experience in helping families with a variety of assets and needs. A collection of articles and FAQs on their website also helps decode some common legal terms and situations. hardinwaldriplaw.com Others in Top 3: Burnham Law, Pamela Maass The Law Mother


CASH CASH KIDS’ STUFF

KIDS’ STUFF

40% $10

MORE IN STORE CREDIT

OR

OFF YOUR $30 PURCHASE

*New customers only; must create a new account with Kid to Kid. “40% more in store credit” offer is 40% more than cash offer and cannot be combined with other offers. Cannot be combined with other offers or promotions. One redemption per family per day. See store for more details.

15035 E. MISSISSIPPI AVENUE, AURORA, CO 80012 | (303) 752-2757 8601 W CROSS DR, LITTLETON, CO 80123 | (303) 933-2213 7310 W 52ND AVE, ARVADA, CO 80002 | (303) 422-1000

Your Vote Makes Us SO Happy! For 14 Years!

Putting time back into the art of pediatric medicine. Supporting the family as a whole, while providing thorough, thoughtful and complete care of the child.

(720)-807-4304 2801 Youngfield St | Suite 120 | Golden, CO 80401 www.completecarepediatricsco.com JULY 2022 COLORADOPARENT.COM

35


services & shopping gifter (Trunk Nouveau, Poppy & Pine). Time at Tattered Cover Kids, MindCraft Makerspace, or one of the regular events hosted at the marketplace is a great way to reward little shoppers. stanleymarketplace.com

WINNER: The Wellness Center Glendale While an expectant mom is caring for the new little one growing inside, it’s important that she finds someone to support her well-being. The prenatal massage services offered at The Wellness Center aim not only to reduce pregnancy discomfort, but also to enhance the physiological and emotional wellbeing of mom and baby. After baby arrives, mom can continue self-care through massage, chiropractic, acupuncture, and naturopathic services from a team of highly-trained and experienced practitioners. wellnessdenver.com Others in Top 3: Belly Bliss, Mountain Mama Massage

FAMILY-FRIENDLY MALL OR SHOPPING AREA WINNER: Stanley Marketplace

Aurora Whether shopping for a gift, home

Others in Top 3: Tie Park Meadows Mall, South Pearl Street, Southlands Shopping Center

FARMERS MARKET FOR FAMILIES

decor, or a boutique outfit, Stanley Marketplace is a friendly place for parents to shop with kids in tow. The not-your-typical mall stores serve the Earth conscious (Zero Market), the fashion forward (Billy Goat & the Gosling, June Ruby, and Sterre), and the generous

WINNER: South Pearl Street Farmers Market The Platt Park neighborhood, south of Washington Park, boasts historic South Pearl Street, an area of boutiques, restaurants, and neighborhood events popular with families, including the Sunday farmers’ market. For decades the market has provided everything from local veggies and bread to sauces and wine, all with a backdrop of live music and the sizzle from food truck grills. southpearlstreet.com

Others in Top 3: Parker Farmers Market, Southlands Farmers Market

PLACE TO VOLUNTEER AS A FAMILY WINNER: Clothes to Kids of Denver Since 2008, Clothes To Kids has provided free school clothing to students from low-income or in-crisis families in a store-like setting. With an organized and informative list of volunteer projects on the website, it’s easy for families to find a way to lend a hand. When families come to shop, volunteers make shoppers feel welcome and safe. Teens in grades nine to 12 can volunteer by sorting clothing that comes in; grades five to eight are encouraged to help off-site by hosting clothing drives or bringing in donations. clothestokidsdenver.org Others in Top 3: A Precious Child, Project Angel Heart

health & wellness HOSPITAL OR HEALTH CLINIC

Hospital for Children

WINNER: Southeast Denver Pediatrics southeastdenverpediatrics.com Others in Top 3: Colorado Kids Pediatrics, Step By Step Pediatrics

DENTIST

WINNER: Kids Choice Vision/

WINNER: Rocky Mountain rockymountainhospitalforchildren.com Others in Top 3: Children’s Hospital Colorado, Rose Medical Center

WINNER: Kids Choice Dental/All About Kids Dental mykidschoicedental.com Others in Top 3: Highlands Pediatric Dentistry, Wash Park Pediatric Dentistry

ORTHODONTIST

WINNER: All About Braces/

Colorado Orthodontics aabraces.com Others in Top 3: Cronin & Czarnik Orthodontics, Reed Orthodontics

36

PEDIATRICIAN

COLORADO PARENT JULY 2022

OPTOMETRIST

Bright Eyes Vision brighteyesvisioninc.com Others in Top 3: Colorado Family Eye Centers/Children’s Eye Physicians, North Park Vision Center

URGENT CARE

WINNER: CareNow Urgent Care

carenow.com Others in Top 3: NextCare Urgent Care, PediaClinic Convenient Care Clinic

BIRTH CENTER

WINNER: Rose Medical Center

healthonecares.com/locations/rose/ Others in Top 3: Presbyterian St. Luke’s Medical Center, Sky Ridge Medical Center

MIDWIFE OR DOULA

WINNER:

Heather O'Meara Certified Nurse Midwife at UCHealth uchealth.org/provider/heather-omeara-cnm/ Others in Top 3: Terri Burleson at Colorado Caring Doulas; Lena Winkler at Guiding Doula

FAMILY THERAPY/ COUNSELING

WINNER: Tracey Andrews westsidebehavioralcare.com Others in Top 3: Birch Psychology, Thrive Couple & Family Counseling Services

PEDIATRIC CHIROPRACTOR

WINNER: RejuvInnate Family Chiropractic rejuvinnatechiropractic.com Others in Top 3: Atlas Chiropractic of Denver, Be Chiropractic

Market: Butter and Egg Road; Stethoscope: Getty Images.

PRE/POSTNATAL MASSAGE


2022

3

We provide quality pediatric dental care in Denver, Colorado, in a fun environment that leaves kids excited about their visits and looking forward to their next checkups! We aim to ensure that every child begins their young life with a positive outlook on dental care. Kids should enjoy their trips to the dentist!

Welcoming New Patients - Call or Email Today!

3141 Irving Street, Suite 200, Denver CO 80211 | 720-248-9770 info@highlandspediatricdentistry.com | www.highlandspediatricdentistry.com

swing into summer

mychildsmuseum.org JULY 2022 COLORADOPARENT.COM

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We gave readers a chance to tell us about any other favorites they loved. Here are a few of their suggestions.

FAMILY PHOTOGRAPHER WINNER: Brittani Chin

Photography brittanichinphotography.com

PEDIATRIC PHYSICAL THERAPY

MUSIC LESSONS

WINNER: School of Rock schoolofrock.com/location

TOT MUSIC CLASS

WINNER: Rocky Mountain

WINNER: Progress Through Play

ptpdenver.com

Aardvarks rockymtnaardvarks.com/about-us/ locations/

, CHILDREN S BOOKSTORE

BEST PLACE TO ICE SKATE

WINNER: Second Star to the Right secondstartotherightbooks.com

WINNER: Evergreen Lake evergreenrecreation.com/224/IceSkating-and-Hockey

Bookstore: Second Star to the Right.

more reader favorites


happenings Our Picks

Children's Museum of Denver at Marsico Campus.

july

1

Joy Park Free Night

The 60,000 square feet of outdoor interactive installations that make up Joy Park and Adventure Forest will stay open after hours with free admission. July 15. Reservations Required. Children's Museum of Denver at Marsico Campus, Denver. mychildsmuseum.org

JULY 2022 COLORADOPARENT.COM

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3

Colorado Dragon Boat Festival

Asian and Asian American heritage is front and center with this festival complete with performers and vendors , at a scenic park. July 23 and 24. Sloan s Lake Park, Denver. cdbf.org

4

Thousands of lavender plants plus live music, food, products from local growers and artisans, and plenty of space for kids to explore makes this a charming outdoor experience. July 16 and 17. Denver Botanic Gardens Chatfield Farms, Littleton. botanicgardens.org

Pop Culture Classroom at Fan Expo Denver Educational programs at Fan Expo Denver offer students, educators, families, and fans of all ages a deep exploration of comics, sci-fi, horror, anime, and gaming. July 1–3. Colorado Convention Center, Denver. popcultureclassroom.org

5

Cherry Pie Celebration

This annual celebration serves up slices of cherry pie, ice cream, coffee, and lemonade (for purchase). Enjoy live music, vendor booths, and children’s activities between treats. July 16. Peters Park, Loveland. thelovelandmuseum.org

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

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COLORADO PARENT JULY 2022

Lavender: Scott Dressel-Martin. Dragon Boat: Colorado Dragon Boat Festival. CosPlay family: Pop Culture Classroom. Cherry pie: Loveland Museum.

2

Lavender Festival

Fables: TDC Photography. Salida Circus: The Lincoln Center. Art in the Park: Curtis Center for the Arts. Tea: Paul Horton. Fourth of July: Getty Images.

happenings Our Picks


Fables: TDC Photography. Salida Circus: The Lincoln Center. Art in the Park: Curtis Center for the Arts. Tea: Paul Horton. Fourth of July: Getty Images.

happenings Our Picks

6

Front Range Fables This trio of fantastical tales, based on historic events from the Pikes Peak region, will entertain, educate, and foster empathy. Creative activities provided during breaks. July 2, 9, 16, 23. Locations in Colorado Springs. fac.coloradocollege.edu

10

Fourth of July Celebrations

It’s time to break out your stars and stripes! In addition to annual fireworks displays, these events light up the holiday weekend.

7

8

Salida Circus: The Lost Circus Acrobatics, juggling, and audience participation draws families into the magic of this interactive circus show. July 6. The Lincoln Center Lawn, Fort Collins. lctix.com

Art in the Park

Each program in this summer series introduces participants to a different art medium and technique through projects with themes such as Crazy Flamingo and To the Beach! Through Aug. 2. Silo Park, Greenwood Village. greenwoodvillage.com

9

Summer Tea Luncheon

Hot tea and cold lemonade, sandwiches, scones, and sweets are on the menu, followed by a tour of a historic country estate. Through July 29. Rock Ledge Ranch Historic Site, Colorado Springs. rockledgeranch.com

Celebrate with Arts in the Park, listening to symphonic classics including Jessie Montgomery’s Soul Force and music from Star Wars and Harry Potter performed by the Boulder Symphony. Food and beverages will be available for purchase. July 4, 7 p.m. $5–$10. Boulder Bandshell. thedairy.org The Arapahoe Philharmonic presents Stars and Stripes Forever, a performance of patriotic and movie favorites the whole family can enjoy. Food, drinks, music, and fireworks are part of the program. July 3, 8 p.m. $35 adult, $10 youth age 12 and under; $15 per household livestream. Breckenridge Brewery, Littleton. arapahoe-phil.org The spirit of friendly competition is on display at this 1800s Independence Day special. Watch an old-fashioned baseball game—played with wooden bats, no gloves, and slow pitches—between the Littleton Rough & Readies and Colorado Vintage Base Ball Association teams. Kid competitions include sack races and three-legged races. July 2, 10 a.m.–3 p.m. Free. Littleton Museum. littletongov.org Witness a re-enactment of a Revolutionary War encampment and hear the Declaration of Independence being read at this Family Fourth event. Honest Abe will read the Gettysburg Address. Enjoy carnival games, bring a picnic, or support a local food truck. July 4, 10 a.m.–5 p.m. $8 adult, $4 youth ages 6–17, free age 5 and under. Rock Ledge Ranch Historic Site, Colorado Springs. rockledgeranch.com Enjoy a fun-filled day of music, crafts, historical re-enactors, and live demonstrations at the Four Mile Independence Celebration. The Denver Concert Band will play, blacksmiths will forge works of art, chefs will share their secrets to wood-fired cooking, and plush pigs will be ready to race. July 2, 10 a.m.– 4 p.m. $10 adult, $8 youth, free age 6 and under and members. Four Mile Historic Park, Denver. fourmilepark.org Pack your blankets and lawn chairs, and set up for Parker Stars and Stripes Forever, featuring a concert and carnival. Low-cost activities include a tot train, face painting, and bungee jumping, plus food vendors. In lieu of fireworks, this year’s celebration will conclude with a 150-drone light show. July 4, 6–10 p.m. Free entry, $10 parking; $10 All American Pass (upgrade). Salisbury Park, Parker. parkeronline.org

JULY 2022 COLORADOPARENT.COM

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happenings July

1pm and 6pm; July 9, 2pm. Dress as your favorite storybook character and laugh along with this comedy in which famous characters come to life to save the owner of a bookshop. Actors are performers ages 9-18 in BackStory’s Youth Theatre company. All ages. $10 adult, $5 youth ages 3-17, free age 2 and under. Broomfield Auditorium, 3 Community Park Road, Broomfield, backstorytheatre.org

Celebrate the Platte River Waterway during the CrossCurrents River Festival, July 9.

9 Saturday

CrossCurrents River Festival

Noon-8:30pm. Live music, food, water sports, and a kids’ zone await at this celebration of Denver’s Platte River waterway. Confluence Park, Denver. thegreenwayfoundation.org

Double Feature: Kaluoka’hina & Laser Galactic Odyssey 1-2pm.

to do today FREE

1 Friday

Cultural First Friday: Frida Kahlo Celebration 5-9pm. Celebrate Frida

Kahlo, the famous Mexican artist and activist. Enjoy shopping amongst local artist vendors, try a food truck, and get inspired by the exhibition. Museo de las Americas, Denver. museo.org

2 Saturday

Bluff Lake Bird Walk 8-10am.

Join birding experts on a walk around Bluff Lake to learn about species that call the natural area home. All ages. Registration required. Bluff Lake Nature Center, Denver. blufflake.org

VISIT OUR DIGITAL CALENDAR FOR MORE EVENTS AND ACTIVITIES

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COLORADO PARENT JULY 2022

SPECIAL NEEDS

3 Sunday

Family Concert: Tubby the Tuba

11am. The vaudeville-inspired musical storyteller group Really Inventive Stuff uses comedy, props, and interaction to refresh beloved musical classics and enchant audiences of all ages. Their Tubby the Tuba concert follows the adventures of a red polka-dot yo-yo, a dapper bullfrog puppet, and a small piece of ribbon. $10. Chautauqua Auditorium, Boulder. coloradomusicfestival.org

4 Monday

Rock-It Run 6:30am. Start your

Fourth of July holiday with a familyfriendly run series, including a 5K, half marathon (with relay option), and 1K Little Rock-It Run. Enjoy a free post-race concert, one free food item, and one free beer for adults. 5K: $45 adult, $35 youth age 17 and under; half marathon: $60 adult, $50 youth age 17 and under; free 1K. Douglas County Fairgrounds, Castle Rock. runtochangelives.org

SPANISH/ESPAÑOL

6 Wednesday

Lost at the Farm Noon-2pm. Get lost at the farm as you enjoy a performance by Top Hogs, talented pigs that educate and entertain with their stunts and tricks. The farm adventure also includes a bounce house and twisty balloons. Ages 5-12. Registration required. Sheridan Library, Denver. arapahoelibraries.bibliocommons.com

Enjoy a full dome show, geared towards younger audiences, paired with a fun laser show. Kaluoka’hina: The Enchanted Reef follows young sawfish Jake and his paranoid pal Shorty in an adventure to restore the magic of the endangered Kaluoka’hina. Laser Galactic Odyssey includes popular music like the “Imperial March” from Star Wars, “Never Say Never” by Justin Bieber, and more. Age 4 and up. $12, $8 youth. Fiske Planetarium, Boulder. colorado.edu

Olde Town Arvada’s Second Saturdays 5-10pm. Listen and dance

to bands on two stages, enjoy food and drinks, and take the young ones to the kid’s zone to keep the whole family entertained. Age 3 and up. Free entry, vendor prices vary. Olde Town Arvada, Arvada. oldetownarvada.org

10 Sunday

Interactive Fairytale Theatre

8 Friday

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 in Concert July 8

and 9, 7:30pm; July 10, 1pm. In a battle between good and evil forces of the wizarding world, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 in Concert brings the series’ final chapter to the big screens at Boettcher Concert Hall. The Colorado Symphony plays the score by Alexandre Desplat live. $38$103. Boettcher Concert Hall, Denver. tickets.coloradosymphony.org

3-4pm. Adult performers from BackStory Theatre will improvise a variation of Jack and the Beanstalk with help from the audience. Stick around afterward for Summer Saturday festivities. Ideal for preschool and kindergarten ages, but fun for the whole family. Brunner Farmhouse, Broomfield. backstorytheatre.org

Friendship Circle Basketball Party 3-4:30pm. Join families in

the special needs community and volunteers with Friendship Circle for an active gathering complete

CrossCurrents: The Greenway Foundation.

The Enchanted Bookshop July 8,


Bird: Bluff Lake Nature Center. FoCo Flava: The Lincoln Center.

with sports and snacks. All ages. Friendship Circle, Greenwood Village. friendshipcirclecolorado.com

12 Tuesday

Destination Discovery: Super Heroes July 12, 2:30pm; July 16, noon.

Support the development of your child’s fine motor skills, gross motor skills, social skills, and language through purposeful play and peer interaction. This program also brings families together to share experiences and build relationships. All ages. Registration required. GiGi's Playhouse, Lakewood. gigisplayhouse.org

13 Wednesday

Foco Flava 10am. Watch, and groove along, as a collective of dancers of various styles and all ages celebrate Hip Hop culture. The Lincoln Center Lawn, Fort Collins. lctix.com

16 Saturday

Schweiger Ranch Nature Walk: Bison Before Settlers 8:30-10am.

Learn about bison that roamed the land before settlers arrived, and get a summer stroll in nature too. Age 8 and up. Registration required. Schweiger Ranch, Centennial. schweigerranch.org

Beginner Disc Golf Class 9am-5pm. Join Dave Warner, a local disc golf enthusiast, to learn the basics of the

game and play a nine-hole round on the course.Registration required. Free, state park pass required. The Meadows Disc Golf Area Cheyenne Mountain, Colorado Springs. cpw.state.co.us

Learn about the bird species who call Bluff Lake Nature Center home, July 2.

Latino Conservation Fiesta

10am-2:30pm. Environmental Learning for Kids, a leadership development and outdoor recreation program for underserved youth, is hosting Latino Conservation Week’s kick-off event, Fiesta en Denver. Celebrate community, nature, and connection while enjoying food, music, and outdoor activities for all ages. RSVP to Sam Gilmore at sgilmore@elkkids.org. Montbello Open Space Park, Denver. elkkids.org

4EverFit4KIDZ!™ Noon-1pm. This

program provides children playful ways to shake out their wiggles and move to create the foundation of their neurological systems. Ages 5-12. Schlessman Family Branch Library, Denver. denverlibrary.org

Campfire Series: El Vaquero, America’s First Cowboy 6-7:30pm.

This presentation shares the origins and development of cowboy culture in the American West, describing the roles of the Spanish and Mexican vaquero in the establishment of traditional cowboy and ranching practices; demonstrations of bullwhip cracking and rope tricks are included. Schweiger Ranch, Lone Tree. schweigerranch.org

20 Wednesday

Majestic View Nature Center. Arvada, majesticviewnaturecenter.arvada.org

Western Heritage Show

10am-2:30pm. Celebrate National Day of the Cowboy, with the Westernaires’ Red and White division horseback drill teams, exciting specialty acts, and interactive experiences for everyone. Bring a lunch to enjoy at the shaded picnic area and don’t miss the petting zoo and face painting. Registration required. Fort Westernaire, Golden. westernaires.org

23 Saturday

Navigation Skills for Families

9am-noon. Bring the family to learn navigation techniques, then practice your skills by hiding “treasures.” Trade maps with other participants to find the treasure they’ve hidden. Age 8 and up. Registration required. $20 per family, all supplies included.

24 Sunday

Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act Celebration 10:30am-12:30pm. This event will engage families with hands-on art making activities to celebrate the 32nd anniversary of the ADA. Includes free admission to the Museum. Clyfford Still Museum, Denver. clyffordstillmuseum.org

28 Thursday

Buffalo Bill Days Event schedules vary, see event website for details. This event dates back to the 1940’s and includes a parade, classic car show, muttin’ bustin’ for kids, and an arts and crafts festival. Parfet Park, Golden. goldenbuffalobilldays.com

30 Saturday

NoCo Urban Homestead Tour

8am-2pm. Peek into the backyards of inspiring Northern Colorado homesteads. Learn about self-sustaining lifestyles that include growing produce, raising bees and backyard animals, and re-purposing materials. Tour proceeds benefit the Gardens on Spring Creek and Loveland Youth Gardeners. Registration required. $20 age 12 and up, $5 youth ages 5-11, free age 4 and under. The Gardens on Spring Creek, Fort Collins. fcgov.com

Family Fun Day + Horse Show

Watch a dancers as they explore Hip Hop culture, on July 13.

10am-2pm. Bring your family and friends out to the ranch for a day of activities, food, and a horse show. Hayrides, ranch tours, games, and giveaways are included. Proceeds benefit the horse rescue mission and kids’ mental health programs. $5. Zuma’s Rescue Ranch, Littleton. zumasrescueranch.com

JULY 2022 COLORADOPARENT.COM

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happenings July

ongoing events

Cherry Creek Arts Festival July 1

and 2, 10am-8pm; July 3, 10am-6pm. Join thousands of community members in an interactive art walk and shopping experience on the streets of Cherry Creek North. A Creation Station offers family-fun activities, including crafts led by Museo de las Americas, Denver Preschool Program, and Children’s Art School, among others. Music, food, and drinks are on site. Free entry and activities, vendor prices vary. Cherry Creek North, Denver. cherrycreekartsfestival.org

Join the scavenger hunt at Bluff Lake Nature Center throughout the summer.

Colorado Black Arts Festival July 8-10. Turning up the volume on African American arts and culture, this fair welcomes folks to four stages to enjoy Brazilian and Caribbean drum and dance performances; to the Visual Arts Row where professional and budding artists showcase and sell their works; and to the Children’s Pavilion where the entire family can learn and create. The Boogaloo Celebration Parade puts drill teams, step teams, youth groups, and social groups at the center of it all in an exciting street celebration. Free entry, vendor prices vary. City Park West Denver, 21st and York Streets, Denver. colbaf.org Evergreen Summerfest 10am-5pm. Live music, a children’s craft area, fresh food, and a beer and cocktail garden round out an art and entertainment experience in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains. Summerfest is known for bringing together a dedicated art-buying crowd and artist vendors. Free entry, vendor prices vary. Buchanan Field, Evergreen. evergreenarts.org

Jump on board the electric Tebo Train for a weekday ride around the Pearl Street Mall in Boulder.

Rides on the Tebo Train MonFri, 9:30-11am. Chug along the outdoor Pearl Street Mall with your child age 10 and under in this 100 percent electric train. No registration required. Pearl Street Mall, Boulder. boulderdowntown.com Rooftop Rodeo 7pm nightly show. This weeklong event is packed full of professional riding and interactive events for the whole family. Pros compete, and visitors are invited to join the fun

through experiences such as Behind the Chutes, a tour of arena equipment. The parade on July 7 includes appearances from rodeo royalty, bands, floats, and trick riders making their way through downtown Estes Park. Free parade; $25 adult, $17 youth ages 3-12 general rodeo admission. Granny May Arena, Estes Park. rooftoprodeo.com

Bluff Lake Quest 3.0 Ongoing. Daily, sunrise to sunset. Get out there and enjoy 1.5 miles of trails while discovering new nature facts. Download a scavenger hunt guide online or pick one up at the nature center kiosk. As you solve each clue, you’ll collect different colored beads found in canisters along the trail. Bluff Lake Nature Center, Denver. blufflake.org Orvis 101 Demo Fly Fishing Class

July 2, 9, 16, 23, 30. 10-11:30am. Get a quick introduction to fly fishing with a qualified instructor. Learn how to set up a rod, basic fly casting, tying flies, and some basic terminal tackle. Children welcome to participate with an accompanying adult. Front Range Anglers, Denver. frontrangeanglers.com

Summer Low Sensory Mornings July 30, 8am. Experience

the Denver Botanic Gardens without the crowds. York Street gardens will open early for those who wish to connect with plants in a quiet, restful atmosphere. Explore on your own and

44

COLORADO PARENT JULY 2022

Children in fort: Bluff Lake Nature Center. Tebo Train: Downtown Boulder Partnership.

Arapahoe County Fair July 28, 4pm-midnight; July 29 and 30, noon-midnight; July 31, noon10:30pm. Find some good old fashioned family fun at the 116th annual Arapahoe County Fair. Enjoy unlimited carnival rides, fireworks, rodeos, main stage concerts, a petting farm, tractor pulls, public competitions, and 4-H exhibits. $20, free youth under 36 inches in height; free parking. Arapahoe County Fairgrounds and Event Center, Aurora. arapahoecountyfair.com


Dancers: Christopher Duggan. Outdoor movies: Northglenn Arts.

happenings July

learn more about other sensory based programming the Gardens offers like Sensory Processing and Autism Resource Kits. Registration required. Denver Botanic Gardens York Street, Denver. botanicgardens.org

CSU Spur Terra Through Dec. 31. Ongoing. Mon-Sat, 9am-5pm. The STEAM education complex for all ages, CSU Spur, opened its second public building, Terra. Check out earth-related interactive elements such as a K-12 Agriculture Discovery Center, food lab and teaching kitchen, and rooftop greenhouses. All ages. CSU Spur, Denver. csuspur.org

Aly & The Genie July 1, 2, 8, 9, 15, and 16; 7pm. July, 9, 10, 16, and 17; 2pm. July 7, 8, 14, and 15; noon. Based on the popular fable of Aladdin and Jinn, this dance-filled play takes place in a present-day world and is specially geared towards children and youth. It’s a magical tale where ambitions collide with empathy, and greed wages war with dreams. $15 adult, $10 youth. The Vintage Theatre, Aurora. vintagetheatre.org Fantastic Family Theatre July 1,

15, 22, 29. 6:30pm. Young actors in BackStory Theatre’s summer class programs present short shows every week (either two 15 minutes shows in a night, or a single 20-minute show) that introduce young audiences to theater. Enjoy snacks and get inspired to

The Vail Dance Festival, July 29-Aug 9, inspires creativity through all kinds of dance and movement.

make up your own stories. All ages. $5. Broomfield Auditorium, Broomfield. backstorytheatre.org

Vail Dance Festival July 29-Aug. 9. Event schedule varies; July 30, 10am Tiny Dancer Tea Party. Get inspired by artists who perform ballet, modern, African American, and Latin street styles of dance at a high level. This gathering celebrates creative choreography and the impact music and movement have on people. A Tiny Dancer Tea Party for kids ages 4 to 7 includes crown and tiara decorating, a dance session, meetand-greets with festival dancers, and snacks. $50 Tiny Dancer Tea Party (one adult and one child), $10-$135 most events. Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater and Avon Performance Pavilion, Vail. vaildance.org The Servant of Two Masters July 29

and 31, 2pm; July 29 and 30, 7pm. This modern adaptation of Goldoni’s classic comedy, played by actors ages 12 to 18, follows Clarice, whose dreams of marrying her love are shattered when the man she was originally promised to seemingly returns from the dead. Unbeknownst to anyone, the resurrected one is really his sister in disguise, determined to settle her brother’s debts and find her own love. Things go awry as more characters enter the tale with their own plans. All ages. $13-$15. Parsons Theatre, Northglenn. northglennarts.org

Spotlight Cozy up on your own patch of grass for a family-pleasing movie night under the summer stars.

Movies Under the Stars

Summer evenings are made sweeter by adding a little movie magic to the mix. Grab your blankets and lawn chairs and head out to these family films screened under the stars. Backcountry Outdoor Movie Series: Enjoy cinema favorites on the giant screen in a dark, open-air theater. Pack a picnic dinner and bring your favorite movie snacks. Proceeds benefit the Backcountry Conservation and Education Fund. Showing this month: UP, How to Train Your Dragon, Spider-Man: No Way Home, Jurassic Park, Shrek, and School of Rock. Showings on Fri. through Sept. 1; additional shows on July 16 and Sept. 1; 8:30 p.m. $25 per car (not a drive-in, bring a blanket or lawn chair). Backcountry Base Camp, Littleton. hrcaonline.org Northglenn Summer Movie Series: Gather on the grass area and grab a bite from food trucks before the flick begins. Showing this month: Ghostbusters: Afterlife, Sing 2, and Encanto. Free. Through July 27; Wednesdays, dusk. Northglenn Arts Festival Lawn, Northglenn. northglennarts.org Pictures on the Plains: Spend a family night enjoying free popcorn, glow sticks, lawn games, and movie-themed activities such as bounce houses, obstacle courses, and special treats. Showing this month: Frozen. July 7; 5:30 p.m. themed activities, 7:30 p.m. movie. $5, free age 2 and under. Arapahoe County Fairgrounds and Park, Aurora. arapahoecountyfair.com

Outdoor Summer Films: Bring your own blankets and lawn-chairs for pre-film entertainment and concession sales that benefit the historic Theatre. Showing this month: The Greatest Showman and Sing 2. July 8 and 22, additional dates Aug. 5 and 19; 7 to 11 p.m. Free, donations suggested. Historic Elitch Theatre, Denver. historicelitchtheatre.org Arvada’s Movies Around Town: Grab a blanket and some popcorn and join neighbors at a park to enjoy free movies on a giant inflatable movie screen. Showings: Soul. July 15, 7 p.m. Additional dates: Aug. 19 and Sept. 16. Free. Various locations in Arvada. arvadafestivals.com Movies & Music in the Park: The series will kick off with an evening celebrating Latino culture with a special performance by the Studio Colombia International Dance Group, music by Denver-based El Javi, and a screening of Disney’s Encanto this month. July 15, 7 p.m. music, 8:30pm movie. Additional dates: Aug. 12 and Sept. 9; Free. Parfet Park, Golden. cityofgolden.net Film on the Rocks: The classic summer series returns, featuring live musical performances followed by movies screened under the stars at the iconic event venue. Showing this month: The Sandlot and The Greatest Showman. July 18 and 25, 7 p.m. pre-show, 8:30 p.m. movie. Additional dates: Aug. 1 and 15; $16. Red Rocks Park and Amphitheatre, Morrison. redrocksonline.com

JULY 2022 COLORADOPARENT.COM

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fresh mindset

Nikki Krogh Photography

fresh mindset

Being in the Air Force is one of the best things I have done for myself and my daughter. Just as I have grown as a leader in the Air Force, I have also grown as a parent. I believe leadership and parenting have many similarities. Both are about creating an atmosphere that brings out the best in people.

LORI HODGE is a mother of an 11-year-old daughter and a lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Air Force. She comes from a family dedicated to military service and was recently assigned to the Space Training and Readiness Command in Colorado Springs. 46

COLORADO PARENT JULY 2022




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