Colorado Parent June 2022

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Growing Great Families Since 1986


Ideas for Family Fun


5 Fresh Animal Encounters Near Denver YAY FOR MESSY PLAY! 6 Epic Outdoor Activities Summer STEM

Try This Kid-Approved Lava Lamp Experiment JUNE 2022 PART OF THE



more delight

Drift through a 720-foot-long lazy river, be a swashbuckling pirate, or take the princess pledge during your summer getaway to Gaylord Rockies.

more thrills

good to know

Ready for a Fresh

Summer Treat?

Agua: Heather M. Smith.

Growing up, Nestor Amaya frequently visited his birthplace, Juarez, Mexico. Stops for street food—the smells of taco meat cooking and clink of ice in agua fresca glasses—are imprinted in his memory. Years later, he started his own agua fresca stand and catering business in Denver, called Aguas Colorado. The three main ingredients in an agua fresca are ripe fruit, sugarcane, and water all blended together. Amaya buys produce the day before he makes batches, for freshness, and focuses on quality ingredients. “We always try to make sure all our ingredients are natural, with no processed sugars, and distilled water.” As a father-to-be, he pays special attention to how kids experience his product: “It’s seeing those smiles. The kids always gravitate towards the bright colors.” Amaya also tops each cup with more chopped fruit and a drizzle of chamoy, a sweet/sour/ salty/spicy Mexican condiment. Follow Aguas Colorado on Instagram @aguas.colorado to see where Amaya’s stand will be popping up, and which cool flavors, such as cucumber lime and strawberries and cream, he’s serving this summer. — Anna Sutterer



THE BEST LOCAL ICE CREAM SPOTS Beat the heat with these sweet summer scoops.




6 GREAT FARMERS MARKETS IN THE DENVER METRO AREA Load up on local produce and support small businesses while enjoying some fresh air and sunshine.


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FAMILY-FRIENDLY PODCASTS FOR KIDS ON THE GO Heading out on a road trip? Tune in to one of these podcasts to help pass the time.

EDITORIAL Editor Deborah Mock Senior Associate Editor Kara Thompson Editorial Assistant Anna Sutterer Copy Editor Lydia Rueger PRODUCTION Art Director Heather Gaumer Contributing Designer Tammie Schumacher


CAMPING WITH LITTLE ONES Taking tykes out into nature doesn’t have to be stressful. Use these tips to maintain your sanity.

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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 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.

Please recycle this magazine.

Camping, headphones: Getty Images. Ice Cream: Heather Gaumer.






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Wednesdays LITTLETON

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Check out our great recipes online!

For more information call the Metro Denver Farmers’ Market Hotline




& Artisan’s Marketplace



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Illuminating Child Care Assists Parents Facing Life Challenges No parent should have to choose between personal development and caring for their child—but time, cost, and transportation barriers persist. That’s where Illuminate Colorado, an organization working to strengthen families and prevent child maltreatment in the state, comes in. In March 2020, they began building childcare facilities into RVs and sending them to partner locations, including behavioral health, employment, and substance misuse treatment centers, so parents seeking support can get free on-site, drop-in care for their infants and toddlers. The program, Illuminating Child Care, currently has three vehicles serving the Denver metro area, San Luis Valley, and Pueblo. Each is outfitted with a play space, books, and toys. Their teachers are trained in trauma-informed care and are comfortable working with children who have sensory intake issues, including those with fetal alcohol spectrum disorders. Jessica Courtney, chief clinical officer of Mile High Behavioral Healthcare, a Denver location that uses the mobile childcare services, says the partnership is helpful: “It is nice to have access to the (Illuminating Child Care) team looking out for missed developmental milestones. They have access to different resources than we do and even bring a pediatrician every now and then.” When a parent is trying to recover or do better, there’s a lot to unpack, according to Katie Facchinello, director of communications at Illuminate Colorado. “We’re trying to support that process.” The community is invited to donate items for the on-site childcare classrooms through a gift registry at —Anna Sutterer






17 good to know


Try this fresh summery drink.


Good Neighbors Out Boulder County expands LGBTQ-affirming programs.


Solutions Tips to overcome jealousy about an ex's indulgence with the kids.


What We Love Critter-themed goodies

play 17

Yay for Messy Play Out-of-the-sandbox summer activites, with easy cleanup.



What's in Your Water? Facts to know so your family can hydrate safely.

Childcare RV: Illuminate Colorado



Book your birthday at Mordecai Children’s Garden. 10th & York Street



good to know


THE WILD ANIMAL SANCTUARY View animals that were rescued from illegal or abusive situations that now live in natural habitats. This sanctuary is home to 650 animals including African lions, bears, camels, leopards, and tigers—many of the latter were rescued from Joe Exotic’s Greater Wynnewood Exotic Animal Park featured on the Netflix series, Tiger King. Keenesburg,


If you have little animal lovers at home, the occasional trip to the zoo isn’t always enough to satisfy their obsession for furry, scaled, and feathered creatures. Check out these spots for even more animal action.

COLORADO GATORS REPTILE PARK Kids receive a Certificate of Bravery after holding a small alligator at this park near Alamosa. Even if holding an alligator isn’t your child’s dream, there are plenty of opportunities to feed the alligators, tortoises, and fish; meet smaller snakes and lizards; and see hundreds of rescued reptiles. Mosca, BROKEN SHOVELS FARM SANCTUARY This sanctuary is home to more than 23 species of farm animals rescued from situations of neglect, abuse, or abandonment. Visitors can purchase event tickets online in advance for one of the select public days. Commerce City, COLORADO WOLF AND WILDLIFE CENTER Reserve a spot for the one-hour Kids Wolf Tour (ages six to 11), available once per month throughout the year. Kids will learn about wolf traits, adaptations, and the impact of removing a species from the ecosystem. Standard one-hour tours are available Tuesday through Sunday. Divide, SUNFLOWER FARM Interact with baby goats and a variety of other farm animals. Explore a merry-go-round, tire swings, sandboxes, bicycles, and more on the property. Online reservations are required for Farmfest public hours. Longmont, —Lydia Rueger



Go Fish! How to reel your child into a classic outdoor sport.



Our Top Picks Mile-high family fun, from a fire truck parade to Pride month events.


To Do Today


Ongoing Events

fresh mindset


Inspiration for family travel from father of two and adventure influencer, Alirio Silva.



Kids Love Museums

on the cover

Photo: Getty Images

Get up close to farm animals like goats, sheep, llamas, and horses, during one of the days when Broken Shovels Farm Sanctuary in Commerce City is open to the public.



8 10 17 33 39

5 Fresh Animal Encounters Summer STEM: Lava Lamp Experiment Yay for Messy Play Go Fish! 58 Ideas for Family Fun

Goats: Broken Shovels Farm Sanctuary.

5 Fresh Animals Encounters in Colorado


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Unlimited belief. Limitless futures.


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t E men e nric g a g hm n demic Learni a c E A + en l n a g ily n Too tE tio m o a l xp s m c u E a d t E i o , n +F e  al Co l a i u c nse o S l or    g D ed in n i ca n Pla

Denver Kids believes it takes a Holistic Approach of academic support, enrichment, social-emotional tools, and future planning to unlock full, lifelong success for every student. Simply offering ONE or SOME of these elements isn’t enough. Our program model allows us to provide holistic services to approximately 1,000 Denver Public Schools students and students in their first year of post-secondary transition.

“I first learned about empathy in elementary school, and Denver Kids has helped me to continue growing that skill.” — Leo, Denver Kids program student

For more than 75 years, Denver Kids has been supporting youth to achieve real-time success and fulfill their lifelong dreams. Consider the outcomes our youth experience:


Graduation rate. Nearly half are first-generation high school graduates.


of graduates, on average, are pursuing post-secondary education, the majority of whom are the first in their families to do so. /DenverKidsInc 501(c)(3) EIN #84-1244211




Visit to learn more!

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Lava lamp: Heather Gaumer. Playing kids: Getty Images.


Groovy DIY Lava Lamps

There’s something soothing and mesmerizing about lava lamps, the way color is animated seemingly by magic. Here’s how to make your own using simple materials.

Fill one-quarter of a one-liter clear bottle with water, then, using a funnel, add vegetable oil until it’s about an inch and a half from the top. Notice how the oil floats above the water. Wait a few minutes for the bubbles in the oil to dissipate. Then, squeeze five drops of food coloring into the bottle; they’ll sink to the bottom. Plop in two tablets of Alka Seltzer and watch as they dissolve, producing carbon dioxide that rises to the surface and brings water and food coloring with it. When the gas is released at the top, the water and food coloring sink back down. Put a lid on your bottle for use another day! —Anna Sutterer

More Independence for Kids This August, a new state law goes into effect that protects parents from being charged with neglect if they decide their children can participate in independent activities, such as playing alone in their neighborhoods or walking to school on their own. The Reasonable Independence for Children Act states that “a child is not neglected when allowed to participate in independent activities that a reasonable and prudent parent, guardian, or legal custodian would consider safe given the child’s maturity, condition, and abilities.” Of course, dangers do exist, but kidnappings by strangers in public spaces remain uncommon, according to Todd Clifford, a Lakewood police officer who retired last year. Reuters reported in 2019 that, on average, fewer than 350 people under the age of 21 had been abducted by strangers in the United States per year since 2010, according to the FBI. What’s more, in his 21 years on the police force, Clifford says he did not have to file actual neglect charges against a parent or guardian after receiving a call of suspected neglect, once he assessed the situation. “We have to look at the maturity of the child and look at what is reasonable,” says Clifford. What is reasonable for parents to do before allowing their kids some independence? Keep these guidelines, approved by Clifford, in mind: • Make sure your kids memorize their street address and one or both parents’ cell phone numbers. • Go over what your children should do if a car pulls up near them, or if an unfamiliar adult tries to talk to them. Even if the adult means well and is asking the child to help find a lost pet, tell your child to resist the urge to help. Adults should ask other adults—not children—for help. • Insist they wear closed-toe athletic shoes, to avoid an injury and be able to come home quickly. • If they have a phone, teach them to use it as a tool. Encourage them to take pictures or record videos of situations, people, or cars that make them feel uneasy. In his book, Free To Learn, psychologist Peter Gray, Ph.D., outlines why giving children reasonable independence will help them grow into healthier, wiser adults. “When the fear becomes so great that we don’t allow children to play and explore and take risks on their own, we prevent them from learning how to take care of themselves,” he writes. “That may be the greatest danger of all.” —Lydia Rueger



OBC Youth Space: Christopher Cleary/Out Boulder County

good neighbors

good neighbors

A Boulder County Resource for LGBTQ Families By Anna Sutterer


fter 25 years of serving the community, Out Boulder County (OBC), a direct service, empowerment, and advocacy group for LGBTQ families, opened the Equality Center of the Rocky Mountains in April 2022. The move to a three-story center meant a boom in programming, according to deputy director Bruce Parker, including casual social gatherings, such as ukulele lessons and morning yoga. OBC’s weekly youth groups provide a social and educational space for kids and allies ages 11 to 18 to connect over supportive discussions, games, movies, and art. The center also offers gender-affirming clothing and chest binders. LGBTQ parents gather in a monthly support/community group, which also often meets for family-friendly social activities. The SoFFA group (significant others, friends, families, and allies of trans people) is mainly attended by parents of transgender and gender expansive children. OBC has also recently added a group for Spanish speaking parents of LGBTQ kids, which is facilitated by licensed therapists from the Umbrella Collective. “Parents, in particular, have an ability to impact legislators and change minds,” Parker says. “Any movement toward justice and equality for LGBTQ people relies on families…to make sure that we as LGBTQ people are healthy enough to face a world that’s not always friendly or accepting.” COMING UP: For Pride Month, OBC is hosting a series of free events spanning Boulder County starting on June 6 and wrapping up with Boulder Pride on June 12. Youth are also invited to free annual community events including a pool party in July.

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HOW YOU CAN HELP: Volunteer for a desk shift, cleaning crew, and event or youth group assistance. New helpers are required to take a training session (Spanish translation provided) that covers the logistics of the center and a basic understanding of LGBTQ concepts and etiquette.




Your ex showers the kids with vacations, gifts, and opportunities you can’t provide—and you resent it. Two parents and a divorce attorney offer guidance on how to cope with your feelings. Edited by Courtney Drake-McDonough THE MOM WHO IS ALSO A STEPMOM SAYS… “As a stepparent and parent, I get it on both sides and completely empathize. We try to live simply when it comes to the things we have. But we know we’re in a better position to take the kids on vacations or little weekend adventures. When either of our daughters comes back to us and shares anything they’ve done with their other parent, my husband and I always share in the excitement and tell them how much fun that sounds. There is no competition when it comes to spending quality time with children! Once we all realized that there are not ‘good’ or ‘bad’ things to do with the kids during our allotted times with them, it became easy to appreciate and accept that they are allowed to (and should) enjoy themselves when they’re with the other parents.”

THE MOM WHO CHANGED HER FOCUS SAYS… “It took me years to become OK with the ‘Disneyland-style’ parenting my ex and his partner do, while I just try to keep a roof over our heads, afford our son’s sports, and work full time. Over the years, I’ve learned to trust that the bond I’m building with my son is real and comes from a place of grounded, unconditional love. I know he feels strength in our relationship. I still have some rough days where things don’t seem fair, but stripping away the comparison and jealousy, and staying rooted in love helps get me through.” —M.B., Denver, mother of a 14-year-old son

THE ATTORNEY AND PARENT SAYS… “First, give yourself grace…to be annoyed, to feel the inequity, and to feel torn between the financial benefit to the kids versus the unfairness. Second, when your kids come home from your ex’s, be positive and supportive. Do your best to control your nonverbal cues like body language and facial reaction to increase the kids’ willingness to share with you in the future. Shielding your children from adult frustrations of divorce and financial disparities is one of the most valuable gifts you can provide—even more than any extravagance your ex showers on them. Third, this may be an opportunity to revisit child-related expense sharing, such as sports uniforms, lessons, or camps that your ex can help with. In instances where income is grossly disparate, consult with a matrimonial or family law attorney about child support modification.” —Laura Ramsey, Denver, divorce/matrimonial attorney and mother of three



—Kate N., Aurora, mother to a five-yearold daughter and 11-month-old son, and stepmother to a four-year-old daughter

Highlight: family, mother and child: Getty Images.

Jealousy Over Ex’s Indulgence With the Kids

The World Happy, Healthy Horizons

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Join the Little People’s Landing family for proven experience, lifelong learning, and lasting friendships: Enroll today! (303) 972-0787

Our free, weekly newsletters are your guide to MILE HIGH FAMILY FUN!

For nine weeks, children of all ages and their families will “Dive into Reading” with Aurora Public Library’s Summer of Imagination. Participate in a summer of adventure through reading and theme related programs.

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Support Local. @AuroraGov




what we love



Nurture a

CRITTER LOVER Let your little one explore their world with these nature-inspired finds.


Toddlers will get a kick out of the way this Pull-Along Snail creeps across the floor. Designed for kids 12 months and older, the bright colors and funny movements the toy makes can spark imaginative play and promote gross motor skills. The snail slithers across hard surfaces differently depending on how fast your child pulls it. $25,


Little explorers can treat their backyard buddies to a sweet and summery stay in this Bug Tiki Retreat. The set comes with a magnifying glass and tweezers for scoping out and picking up critters. Plus, it creates a safe and contained space for the creepy crawlers your child might want to bring inside the house. $14,

By Kara Thompson



Got a kid who’s more into the cuddly kind of bugs? This cheerful Wriggidig Caterpillar might be more their style. It’s a perfect bedtime companion or adorable addition to a nursery or playroom shelf. $23.50,


The Big Book of Bugs by Yuval Zommer will answer all of your kiddo’s burning bug questions: How slow do snails move? Are bugs afraid of the dark? Why do ants march in a line? Each page is dedicated to a key group of insects ranging from beetles and moths to crickets and earthworms. $18,


The Nature Adventure Backpack is chock-full with everything a young biologist needs to learn more about bugs. Fourteen hands-on activities will teach them the anatomy of bees, the pollination process, tips for preserving flowers, and how to make their own bug habitat. $20,







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

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June 1 – July 31

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NEW IN 2022: Complete the challenge and choose from a pass for one free entry to a Parks & Recreation facility or a ticket to Gateway Park Fun Center. JUNE 2022 COLORADOPARENT.COM



JULY 21, 2022 • 6-9 PM SPORTS CASTLE, A NON PLUS ULTRA VENUE • 1000 N BROADWAY, DENVER Mouth-watering menu offerings f rom top restaurants, open bars, delicious cocktails, giveaways, photo booths, live music, and much more await you!




play YAY FOR

Messy Play

Photo, blotches: Getty Images.


Not only will these six epic activities blow your kids’ minds, they’re also sneakily educational. #Youarewelcome By Karen Cicero





a mess.

That’s for sure. But what’s also certain: Sensory play (aka messy play, like finger painting and digging in dirt) boosts your child’s creativity and brain power, says Elizabeth Williams, an early childhood quality coach at Denver’s Early Childhood Council. “Exposing kids to various textures helps develop their fine and gross motor skills,” says Williams. Plus, the tactile experience of feeling sticky paint or smooth mud activates their senses and revs up their neurons. On board? Give these six outdoor ideas a whirl, and, for cleanup, just hose down everything and everyone.


Use old or broken pieces of sidewalk chalk to make a fun, washable paint for hopscotch boards and other artsy creations.

HOW: Mix 2 tablespoons cornstarch and 2 to 3 tablespoons water in a cup. Place broken pieces of chalk in a sealed bag and roll them with a rolling pin to break them up. Add ½ tablespoon of the grated chalk to the water mixture and stir. Repeat all the steps with other


This chemistry lesson has major wow factor, according to Kate Biberdorf, Ph.D., author of Kate the Chemist: The Big Book of Experiments. Most kids can do it pretty much independently around age eight, she says—you’ll need to help younger ones. Don’t forget safety goggles.



WHY: Kids will discover that mixing colors together will create new hues. FOR FASTER CLEANUP: Keep paint neat by placing it in an old or inexpensive six-cup muffin tin.

and the paper tube. The candy will fall into the bottle causing an explosion that could be five feet high or more. WHY: It’s science in action. Before you put the Mentos in the soda, ask your kids to look closely at the surface of the candy and tell you what they see. The small holes are key. They attract carbon dioxide, a gas that makes soda have bubbles. The carbon dioxide molecules slam into each other, building up pressure and causing the explosion. FOR FASTER CLEANUP: Use diet soda rather than regular. Because it doesn’t contain sugar, it will be easier to rinse off. You can also dress your kids in raincoats or ponchos to protect them from the spray.

Child drawing, chalk drawing: Getty Images.

HOW: Fold a piece of printer paper in half horizontally. Roll it into a tube and tape it closed. Poke four holes about ½ inch above the bottom. The holes should be just big enough to thread two toothpicks that can be positioned to form a cross (lowercase “t”) shape. Place eight Mentos candies inside the tube. Gently place the tube inside the neck of an open and full two-liter soda bottle. (The toothpicks should rest on the top of the bottle.) When the kids are ready, have them remove one of the toothpicks

colors of chalk. Let kids paint with their fingers or a brush.


Combine the thrill of a treasure hunt with a safer alternative to real sand. If your toddler decides to put their hand in their mouth, it won’t be a big deal.

HOW: Working in batches, grind a large box of

cereal in the blender. Pour some in a clean bucket or sand table. Place your child’s mini dinosaurs or other figures on top and cover with more cereal-based sand. Give your child a small shovel or other kid-safe tools to find the treasure.

WHY: It’s good practice for fine motor skills, notes

Williams. For young toddlers, it reinforces object permanence—the concept that an item exists even if they can’t see it.

FOR FASTER CLEANUP: Put a blanket or mat

under where your child is playing. That way, you can easily pour extra “sand crumbs” back into the bucket or table.


It’s the kiddie version of a high-end spa treatment.

HOW: Scoop several shovels full of dirt into one side of a kiddie pool. Fill the pool with a few inches of water. Throw in a couple items like a paintbrush or a plastic bulldozer for inspo.

WHY: It’s the perfect environment for kids to

experiment through trial and error: How can they get the mud to stick better? What does adding more water do?

Muddy hands: Getty Images. Cereal: Heather Gaumer.

FOR FASTER CLEANUP: Dress the kids in old swimsuits so it’s easy for them to rinse off with a hose.




Level up this classic childhood game with a few simple twists. HOW: Buy Silly String and a squirt bottle. Fill the squirt bottle with water. The person holding the bottle and string is “it.” When players get sprayed with water or string, they’re tagged out. Take turns letting the kids be “it.” WHY: It’s a fun backdrop for critical thinking. For instance, ask kids to predict whether the string or water will squirt further. After everyone has a turn, have the kids reflect on whether their prediction was correct.



HOW: Pull out a box of leftover art supplies

and place it on a picnic table. Ask other families to bring their extras too. You might have paper towel tubes, ribbon, fabric, paints, markers, glue, poster board, construction paper, and pompoms. “Don’t worry about organizing the items,” says Joanna Cagan, executive director at WOW! Children’s Museum in Lafayette. “Sorting through lots of textures and shapes is part of the fun and

creativity.” Once everything is set out, announce that there are no rules. Tell kids to make whatever they want!

WHY: “This is early STEAM,” says Cagan. “It

encourages little ones to be engineers, designers, and artists.”

FOR FASTER CLEANUP: Cover your picnic

table with newspaper or an old tablecloth. Keep a few buckets of water outside for kids to rinse off paintbrushes and sticky hands.

Children painting, art, child with Silly String: Getty Images.

FOR FASTER CLEANUP: Have the kids wear cotton play clothes. Stay within the range of the hose to rinse off the area and dissolve the Silly String.


Invite neighbor kids for a fun outdoor crafternoon.

wellness Water?

Pipes: Paul Taylor /Getty Images.


You bathe, wash dishes and clothes, cook dinner, and fill water bottles from the tap. But what do you know about the water in your home? How is it treated? Is it free of contaminants? What can you do to help protect the water supply? We dug into Colorado’s public water to give you the facts you need to know. By Shannon M. Bauer




olorado is a headwaters state, meaning that most of its rivers start right here in the Rocky Mountains. And all that fresh water in Colorado’s rivers and streams, in addition to the snow falling in the mountains, supplies our state with its drinking water. The snow melts, then the water is brought to treatment facilities to be cleaned and delivered to your family’s home. There are many factors that influence the quality of this water—minerals and metals in the soil, bacteria from wildlife, pollution run-off, and industrial waste being major contributors to contamination, according to Jayla Poppleton, executive director at Water Education Colorado. “We’re fortunate here in the Denver metro area as our drinking water is 100% surface water that comes from rivers, streams, and reservoirs fed by high-quality mountain snow,” says Travis Thompson, communications manager at Denver Water. “Because of this, our water does not pass through a lot of development, agriculture or industry before entering our watersheds. This means the risk of substances in the water coming down our mountains before being treated at our plants is much lower than other areas in the U.S.” The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) oversees drinking water regulations with legal allowable limits for a list of more than 90 contaminants that all states must follow, with more added periodically. The EPA sets these levels based on the type of contaminant, their supposed adverse health effects, and chance of occurrence in public water supplies. They also have a list of health advisories—that are merely suggestions and not legally enforceable—for additional contaminants, such as manganese, which can be natural or due to industries like mining, and per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances known as PFAS, a group of manufactured chemicals.

According to Thompson, Denver Water regularly tests water at points along the way, from the mountains to spots around the city. In 2021 Denver Water collected more than 55,000 water samples and conducted more than 200,000 tests. “Denver Water has its own laboratory and team of scientists who work hard to ensure we know what’s in the water before it makes it to our treatment plants. These scientists also ensure that the water we are cleaning at these plants and distributing to customers goes above and beyond state and federal drinking water regulations.” says Thompson. Public water can have low or undetectable levels of elemental or chemical impurities like metals, pharmaceuticals, household products, disinfectant byproducts, PFAS, and hardness, says Katherine James, Ph.D., an associate professor at the Center for Health, Work, & Environment at the Colorado School of Public Health. “Because of the sanitation processes in place, it is very rare to see high levels of these contaminants in drinking water,” she says. It is important to note that if you have private well water, the homeowner is responsible for the testing and treatment of that water. If you look up your zip code on the Environmental Working Group (EWG) Tap Water Database ( tapwater) and see a list of contaminants your water contains, it may give you pause. These are either within the allowable limits by the EPA, or are not currently a known cause for concern. And before you permanently switch to bottled water, understand that most bottled water companies also use tap water as their source. Bottled water is monitored by the Food & Drug Administration—using EPA regulations—and is not required to disclose water quality information. “In general, water from public water supply is safe,” James says. In saying that, here’s what you can do to keep your family healthy, as well as sustainable ways to improve quality without resorting to disposable plastic.

The Effect on Child Development

Any contaminant—natural or man made—has the possibility of having harmful effects on kids. Children tend to take in more water relative to their body size than adults do, therefore could have higher exposure to drinking water contaminants, according to the EPA. “This is more concerning for those under the age of five, when rapid physical growth occurs, or ages nine to 13, when chemical changes occur during puberty,” James explains. “Some contaminants (heavy metals, pesticides, and PFAS) at elevated levels are associated with long term risk for adverse health outcomes; however, conclusions about the biological relevant dose or how the contaminants interact with each other in water is still unknown.” Water is an important part of a child’s diet, so rather than switch to juice or bottled water, use tap and mitigate your risks through filtering, says James.

Get the Lead Out



For every contaminant that crosses the placental barrier, there is a chance it could have immediate or long term impacts on the baby and mother. According to a 2019 Systematic Review of Environmental Contaminants Exposure and Preterm Birth published in the peer-reviewed journal Toxics, toxic metals are one of the biggest known sources of concern, with a correlation found between lead, mercury, cadmium, and arsenic and preterm delivery, placental hemorrhage, and stunted fetal growth and development. This review also found that disinfection byproducts and atrazine (a type of herbicide that ends up in the water from irrigation runoff) may have links to preterm birth, but the association is unclear. Before you worry, first understand that “these impacts are dependent on both dosage and the relevant window of exposure for fetal development,” says James. Research is still investigating the adverse effects of low-level contaminants from drinking water, however there is little conclusive evidence that drinking water supplied from public water sources is negatively linked to birth and pregnancy outcomes, James says. Plus, studies have already shown the significance of water consumption during pregnancy and postpartum for the health of the mother and child. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends eight to 12 cups of water per day.

Map: Colorado Parent.

Unlike other contaminants, lead has a maximum contaminant level goal of zero in drinking water. Lead can be passed from mom to baby and damage their nervous system, so it is especially dangerous during pregnancy. Exposure to lead via drinking water may be particularly high among babies who consume formula prepared with lead-contaminated water. The National Toxicology Program has concluded that childhood lead exposure is associated with reduced cognitive function, reduced academic achievement, and increased attention-related behavioral problems. Some water lines in Colorado are still lead-lined, which when corroded, leach traces of lead into already-treated public water, says Poppleton of Water Education Colorado. The service lines that bring water from the main line into the home are the responsibility of the homeowner and can cost anywhere from $5,000 to $10,000 to replace. To help with the cost, there is a Lead Service Line Replacement Project in Denver that aims to fix the affected homes by replacing lead lines with copper lines by 2035. Visit for more information on the process and to request a free lead testing kit.

Toxins & Pregnancy

The 411 on PFAS

The latest contaminant concerns are a group of manufactured chemicals, called per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances or PFAS, for short. There are thousands of PFAS, however a common characteristic is that they break down slowly and build-up over time in people, animals, and the environment. Current research suggests high exposure to PFAS leads to decreased fertility or increased high blood pressure in pregnant women, developmental effects or delays in children, including low birth weight, accelerated puberty, bone variations, or behavioral changes, and an increased risk of some cancers. More studies need to be conducted to better understand the effects and the impacts at lower levels of exposure. In Colorado, one of the biggest causes of PFAS ending up in the water is due to urban and wild fires, since the firefighting foam contains chemicals, says Poppleton. And when the foam is left on the ground, it can sink into the soil and groundwater or run-off into rivers and streams, Poppleton explains. The EPA released a health advisory for PFOA and PFOS at 70 parts per trillion. “If testing reveals elevated levels of PFAS in a utility’s water supply, the water provider may respond by making water stations available or diverting water from another source. A longer term solution is to improve treatment plants to remove the PFAS,” Poppleton says. If you are concerned about PFAS exposure, test your water with an at-home kit and consider installing a reverse osmosis filtration system.

Protect Your Water

Water is one of the most important resources to sustain life and is crucial to the landscape in Colorado. Here’s how you can do your part to keep it clean, drinkable, and available for future generations, according to Water Education Colorado.


The EPA sets limits for drinking water contaminants called a maximum contaminant level goal (MCLG). This limit is often set at parts per million (ppm), however states can set their own higher standards. These are just a few of the types of pollutants commonly removed from public water in Colorado.


Health effects: gastrointestinal illness. Children are particularly sensitive to disease-causing pathogens, such as Giardia, Cryptosporidium, and E. coli, because their immune systems are less developed than those of most adults. MCLG: 0 ppm


• Go to a car wash rather than washing at home. Car washes recycle their water to avoid soap run-off going into storm drains.

Health effects: Infants below the age of six months who drink water containing nitrates or nitrites in excess could become seriously ill and, if untreated, may die. Symptoms include shortness of breath and blue-baby syndrome. Although rare in industrialized countries, blue-baby syndrome is when babies turn blue due to low oxygen levels after consuming water with high levels of nitrate. MCLG: 10 ppm, 1 ppm, respectively

• Pick up after your pets to prevent the transmission of E.coli and other diseases through the waterway.


• Toss trash and sanitary products, don’t flush them. Every flush avoided saves about 1.5 gallons of water. • Take unused or expired medications to take-back locations, such as select Walgreen’s or local pharmacies, to avoid pharmaceuticals ending up in the water supply.

• Limit your use of pesticides and use phosphorus-free fertilizer. • Volunteer for a local stream clean-up or collect trash you see along your waterways.

Filter Options

• Remove more contaminants from the water you drink with one of these filters. • The freestanding Berkey Filters use coconut shell carbon to purify water by filtering out over 99% of viruses and bacteria, plus most heavy metals and pesticides. $362 and up, • A reverse osmosis system, such as APEC Water Systems Reverse Osmosis Drinking Water FilterSystem, is installed under your sink to purify water before it comes out of the tap. The system comes with a lead-free faucet and five stages of filtration that remove chlorine, fluoride, arsenic, lead, nitrates, and more. $260, • Not all water pitchers are created equal when it comes to filtering out contaminants. The Clearly Filtered Water Pitcher contains a dual system of processing to remove more than 350 impurities including lead and PFAS. $90, • For clean drinking water while on a family hike, LifeStraw Go Water Filter Bottle has a built-in microfilter that reduces bacteria and parasites, as well as an activated carbon straw, which also improves taste. $40,

Health effects: Skin damage, problems with circulatory systems, and increased risk of cancer. MCLG: 0

ATRAZINE (a common herbicide ingredient)

Health effects: Cardiovascular issues, reproductive problems MCLG: .003 ppm

GLYPHOSATE (an active ingredient in Roundup) Health effects: Kidney problems, reproductive difficulties MCLG: 0.7 ppm


Health effects: Liver problems, increased risk of cancer MCLG: 0

CHLORINE DIOXIDE (added to water as a

disinfectant, however the level does need to be monitored to not add too much) Health effects: Anemia in infants and young children, nervous system effects MCLG: .8 ppm (Maximum Residual Disinfectant Level Goal)



explore Go Fish! Discover the basics of the old sport that’s becoming more popular with kids and families. By Heather Mundt

Opener: Getty Images.


t’s no secret that more than two years of a pandemic has drawn families outdoors, away from the confines of our homes toward sunshine, fresh air, and socially distant recreation. And one of the popular outdoor activities that saw a steady stream of curious newbies was fishing. The 2020 Special Report on Fishing by the Outdoor Foundation and Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation indicates that 1.2 million children ages six to 12 tried fishing for the first time in 2019. According to the market-research company, The NPD Group, Inc., in the 12 months from September 2020 to September 2021, sales revenue of U.S. fishing-equipment (in-store and online) grew four percent to $3.9 billion, marking three consecutive years of growth in the industry. Not only is fishing a good activity for families, says Andre Egli, Colorado Parks & Wildlife (CPW) statewide angler education coordinator, but fishing has also been widely documented as a pastime that reduces stress. Plus, it teaches kids patience and an appreciation for the outdoors. “There are other things that can interest kids outside of just catching the fish,” Egli says. “They’re surrounded by nature, bugs to look at…birds flying overhead. You might see a deer or elk walking by. All that stuff is just great for families.” If you are ready to cast a line, we’ve compiled information for families to become “a-fish-ionados” in Colorado.




So, the kids are begging to cast a line? The Colorado Parks & Wildlife (CPW) website,, is the place to start for information on all things angling in Colorado. Here are some first-timers’ tips from Egli:

that will be automatically included in the price of an annual fishing license or third single day. Anglers ages 16 and 17 aren’t required to purchase the Habitat Stamp and will pay $10.23 for a fishing license.

GET OUT THE MAP Find a good fishing spot at CPW’s online Fishing Atlas, which features all the bodies of water throughout the state. Click on any one for specific fish species, or search by filters including “family-friendly.”

KNOW THE RULES LICENSED TO FISH? Parents helping their kids age 15 and younger won’t need a license. “As long as a kid is the primary person fishing, the parent doesn’t necessarily need a license,” Egli says. If you want to fish alongside your child, purchase a one day, additional day, or annual license through CPW, at any Colorado state park or at sporting goods stores. Annual licenses are valid March 1 through March 31 the following year (13 months). Individuals ages 18 through 64 must also purchase the Habitat Stamp, a $10.59 fee contributing to CPW’s conservation efforts,

GEAR TALK Fishing with kids for the first time? You don’t need much to get started. ROD AND REEL. Pick up inexpensive kids’ fishing rods and reels at Cabela’s, Bass Pro Shop, Walmart, Target, Sportsman’s Warehouse, or Big 5. Look for Shakespeare or Zebco brands, which Egli says make decent-quality equipment for kids. Select a push button reel over an open face reel. “It’s just easier for them (kids) to learn on, you can graduate them to open-faced reels as they progress on their fishing journey,” Egli says. There are also branded rods with the logos from kids shows and movies on them. “Although these rods won’t last as long, they’re great for getting your kid excited about trying fishing,” says Egli. “So you’re sacrificing longevity for initial excitement.”



PARTICIPATE IN A FREE EVENT Although CPW offers several free clinics and programs throughout the year, Free Fishing Weekend is one of the most popular. Taking place in numerous statewide locations annually on the first full weekend of June (June 4 and 5 in 2022), participants of all ages can fish without a license for two days (bag limits and all other regulations are still enforced). “It’s a great way to get out there and give it a shot, and there’s usually some pretty good programming that goes along with that,” Egli says.

3 PLACES TO FISH NEAR THE CITY No need to venture far to cast a line. There are numerous ponds and lakes in, or near, the metro area just perfect for a low-key day of fishing. Visit city or park and recreation websites to discover what’s close to your home. Here are a couple that are great for families.

BEAR CREEK LAKE, LAKEWOOD Fish for rainbow trout, saugeye, small-mouth bass, yellow perch, and the occasional tiger muskie or walleye from the shore of this stocked lake near U.S. Highway 285 and C-470.

MOUNT EVANS TROUT FISHING, IDAHO SPRINGS Fish for trout on this private pond, located on CO 103 which connects Idaho Springs to the Mount Evans Scenic Byway. No fishing license is required, but fees apply for caught fish and other amenities.

FERRIL LAKE, DENVER Fish for largemouth bass and channel catfish at Denver’s City Park, with a view of the city skyline and the sounds of Denver Zoo residents in the air.

Fish: Svitlana Ivanova/Getty Images. Child fishing: Getty Images.

BAIT. The kind of bait you select depends on what you want to catch. Egli suggests Colorado families start out trying to catch stocked trout or sunfish. Both are easy for beginners to catch and take similar baits. Select flavored or scented Powerbait, artificial salmon eggs, or “you can never go wrong with a good old-fashioned worm,” Egli says. “Catfish are heavily influenced by scent and taste, so baits for them include worms, stink-baits, chicken livers, and even hot dogs. Bass are aggressive predators so you want to use flashy moving lures for them. Jigs, spinners, crank baits, and soft plastic baits work good for bass.”

Grab a Colorado Parks & Wildlife 2022 Fishing Brochure, in English or Spanish, anywhere licenses are sold, or view one from CPW’s website. The brochure will tell you, for instance, which threatened, endangered, or nongame species must be returned to the water immediately if you catch them, including the Arkansas darter and bluehead sucker. It will also indicate bag limits—the maximum number of fish you can catch in a day. For instance, only one tiger muskie (at least 36 inches long) or 10 brook trout (eight inches long or less) are allowed per day.


The outdoor industry has long been criticized for its lack of diversity, and fishing is no exception. “The typical fisherman is a white male, 45 years old, (with a) household income of $70K, and that has held true for the past five years,” says Kelly Davis, research director for the Outdoor Industry Association. “If we fail to bring more diversity into the participant base, outdoor brands can expect declining sales, support to conserve public lands for outdoor recreation will diminish, and protections could weaken and break in favor of economic exploitation of natural resources.” Here are some organizations and individuals working to change that outcome. LINCOLN HILLS CARES Focusing on empowering youth who may not have outdoor recreation opportunities due to economic, social, or family circumstances, Lincoln Hills Cares (LHC) serves about 1,200 K-12 students annually through their outdoor and environmental education programs. Originally founded in 1922 as a resort catering to middle-class African Americans, the organization’s current focus is outdoor equity. “If you are a member of a marginalized community, it doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t be able to participate in something that you really enjoy or love, but there are barriers to involvement,” says Tim Flynn, director of programs and education. Whether families struggle with time, transportation, or experience to get a child outdoors, Flynn works to fill the gaps by partnering with numerous community organizations like the YMCA and Boys & Girls Clubs. In addition to a variety of outdoor activities, LHC offers about 35 clinics led by fly fishing instructors with loaner gear who teach the basics of fly fishing, entomology, fish biology, and water conservation.

Women and child: Colorado Parks and Wildlife. Father and children: Wayne Lewis.

COLORADO TROUT UNLIMITED The state’s chapter of this national nonprofit offers STREAM GIRLS (Science, Technology, Recreation, Engineering, Art, and Math) to budding fisherwomen. Intended for girls from fourth through eighth grade, the program implements STEAM education as students explore a local stream, collect flow data, sample macroinvertebrates (aka aquatic bugs), tie flies, and learn fly casting. Offered in several cities across the state through Girl Scouts of Colorado, participants do not need to be part of Girl Scouts to register.,

BROWN FOLKS FISHING Eeland Stribling grew up in Denver fishing and learning about the outdoors with his grandfather, a wildlife biologist. But by the time he was pursuing a degree in Conservation and Wildlife Biology from Colorado State University, he noticed there were few Black students in his classes. “When I came into the fly fishing world, it was challenging to learn about fishing from other people in the community. It was a struggle to learn about fisheries, species, and, most importantly, conservation,” Stribling says. Focusing on the philosophy, “You can’t be what you can’t see,” he set out to share his love of fly fishing with kids. As a teacher, he feels he can make the principles, ideas, and skills easier to access for upcoming anglers. In partnership with Brown Folks Fishing, a community-based organization by and for Black, Indigenous, and people of color anglers, he offers free casting and tying clinics in Denver metro area locations at least once per month starting in April (loaner gear included). Casting dates will be Saturdays or Sundays from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. (weather dependent); tying dates will be on a weekday from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. To sign up or get summer clinic dates, email flyfishingcasting@ SHE’S FLY Dylan Demery of Fort Collins started fly fishing shortly after the 2009 death of her husband, Tony, an avid fisherman. Demery fly-fished for years on a $40 rod, growing to love the sport as she grieved her loss. But when she finally decided to invest in gear, she was surprised at the difficulty of finding products made specifically for women, as well as the lack of female representation in the sport. She created She’s Fly, which offers gear and programming that gets more females out on the water. The beginner class ($50) is limited to four students age nine and up, who learn about the equipment, casting techniques, and knots.




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Orvis retail stores offer free Fly Fishing 101 (casting, knot tying, rigging your rod, choosing the right fly) and 201 classes. There may be a small fee for the advanced FF201 class. Check out these classes at locations near Denver:


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Located in Evergreen, free Orvis-affiliated clinics are offered every Saturday, June to September, 10 a.m. to noon. There are no age limits, but kids should be old enough to focus on instruction. No registration is needed; just show up. For children interested in learning more, the Kids Fly Fishing Class ($150 per child) is a four-hour clinic for four students at a time ages eight to 13, hosted every Thursday at a nearby pond from June through mid-August.

CHERRY CREEK ORVIS RETAIL STORE This location’s two-and-a-half-hour classes are slated for Saturdays; check with the store for the most current schedule. Kids age 10 and up are welcome; age 13 years and under must be accompanied by an adult.


BASS PRO SHOPS AND CABELA’S locations host free activities and special giveaways during their Gone Fishing events, providing free, family-friendly programming for anglers of all ages and skill levels. Watch for summer 2022 dates.



Fish: Svitlana Ivanova/Getty Images. Family fishing: Getty Images.

In general, free classes are held Saturdays and some Sundays (holidays excluded), from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Kids ages 10 and over are welcome; ages 16 years and under must be accompanied by an adult. Classes start outside in the parking lot, then move indoors for the second part of the class.

“Every day we do our best to know, love, serve, lead, and grow” If you are searching for a warm, loving environment for your preschooler, Christ the King Preschool welcomes your family to our community. We offer a fun, nurturing, structured program that focuses on religious, academic, social, and emotional development. Colorado Shines Rates Us 4 Stars! DPP (Denver Preschool Program) Partner Tuition credits and Gap scholarships available

• M-F 7:45 am - 3:00 pm • Weekly Spanish Classes • After care 3-5:30 pm • Off Site Field Trips • 3 Day or 5 Day schedules • Community Events • Half Day or Full Day available (Family picnics, fish fry, pancake breakfast, Trunk or Treat, Christmas Concert, etc.) • After school enrichment (Soccer Shots & TOTS)


Contact Suzan Sclove, Preschool Director at or 303-321-2123

For locals, by locals. The Local, the f ree daily newsletter by the award-winning editors of 5280 magazine, is your essential guide to life in Colorado.  FOOD


 C U LT U R E



 and MORE!






JUNE 11 Classic Car Show Cherry Hills Community Church | 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. The 22nd annual Highlands Ranch Cultural Affairs Association Classic Car Show is the perfect weekend activity that the whole family will enjoy. Get out of the house and see unique and classic cars, service vehicles, and trucks! Free to attend. Information and tickets at

JULY 3 Colorado Music Festival Family Concert: Tubby the Tuba Chautauqua Auditorium, Boulder | 11:00 a.m. The Colorado Music Festival’s family concert is an annual tradition! Tickets are just $10. In this imaginative concert, vaudeville-inspired musical storytellers Really Inventive Stuff use comedy, props, and interaction to bring the story of Tubby the Tuba to life. Information and tickets at


2022 3


Wild Nights

5280 Top of the Town Event

The Wild Animal Sanctuary | 9:00 a.m. to Sunset everyday

1000 North Broadway, Denver | 7:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.

30 miles northeast of Denver. See more than 650 lions, tigers, bears, and other animals rescued from illegal or abusive situations, roaming freely in large habitats on 789 acres of open grassland. Take advantage of the cooler temps and come visit during Wild Nights this Summer!

5280 Magazine has missed celebrating the best stuff in Denver with you! They are excited to bring back their annual Top of the Town extravaganza featuring mouthwatering menu offerings from the top restaurants, open bars, delicious cocktails, giveaways, photo booths, live music, and much more! Presented by Beef. It’s What’s For Dinner.

Information and tickets at

Information and tickets at

C O L O R A D O PA R E N T S C E N E . C O M

happenings Our Picks

Firehose: Roman Tafoya



36th Annual Fire Truck Parade & Muster Follow a fire truck parade to a gathering of antique and state-of-the-art fire/rescue apparatus. Junior firefighter games and rescue demonstrations included. June 18. Historic Downtown Littleton.



happenings Our Picks


Green Box Arts Festival

Learn from Indigenous artists who sell and demonstrate their work, grab grub from The Fort Restaurant and Tatanka food truck, and enjoy performances and hands-on activities. June 4 and 5. The Fort Restaurant, Morrison.


Explore a showcase of various arts throughout a scenic mountain town. This year’s art-palooza for all ages includes a new installation, the Skyspace, plus a block party, stunt dog show, and Ballet Hispánico performances. June 18 to July 4. Various locations around Green Mountain Falls.


Marmot Fest

Spend the day learning about marmots. Rock climb with expert instruction, play games, make puppets, hike, and go on a scavenger hunt. June 25 and 26. Staunton State Park, Pine.

Centennial Center Park’s 10th Anniversary Kick off the summer at this birthday party-themed event. Join the Arapahoe Libraries Summer Reading Program, splash in water features, listen to a DJ, and make crafts. June 3. Centennial Center Park.

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



Market: Tesoro Cultural Center. Marmot: Friends of Staunton State Park. Green Box Arts: Tom Kimmell Photography. Centennial Park: City of Centennial.


Annual Indian Market and Ceremonial Dance

Woman in costume: Legendary Ladies. Swimming: Pirates Cove Family Aquatic Center. Concert: Juneteenth Music Festival. Ferris wheel: Mile High Flea Market

happenings Our Picks


Free Ride Fridays at the Mile High Flea Market

Have fun on the 60-foot Heritage Big Wheel Ferris wheel, classic roller coaster, giant slide, toddler-friendly mini-mobiles, and pool of bumper boats for cooling off. June 10. Mile High Flea Market, Henderson.

Gather with LGBTQ community and allies at one of these events for a day of celebration.

7 8

Juneteenth Music Festival

Hang out in Denver’s historic Five Points neighborhood to celebrate African American independence with a parade, live music, dance, food, and vendors. June 18 and 19. Five Points Neighborhood, Denver.

Legendary Ladies Unconventional Women of the West

Travel back in time to hear the stories of women who made an impact on Colorado and the West; from a female miner and entrepreneur to a philanthropist and a movie star. June 18. Schweiger Ranch, Lone Tree.


World’s Largest Swimming Lesson at Pirates Cove Enjoy a group swimming lesson then take to the leisure pool, slides, lazy river, and concessions at Englewood’s only water park. June 23. Pirates Cove, Englewood.


Show Your Pride

In recognition of the anniversary of the Stonewall uprising, thousands of people gather to march, cheer on colorful floats, and engage in uplifting the LGBTQ+ community. WAYS TO CELEBRATE PRIDE MONTH: Pride Night at the Rockies: Kick off Pride month with LGBTQ+ community members and allies by cheering on the Rockies as they take on the Atlanta Braves at Coors Field. A ticket includes a limited-edition Rockies-themed Coors Light pride T-shirt and a donation to The Center on Colfax and One Colorado. June 3, 6:40 p.m. Denver Pride: Enjoy resource exhibitions, food and beverage vendors, and live performances all weekend long. The Parade encourages guests to walk with pride from Cheesman Park to Civic Center, where PrideFest is held. June 25 and 26. Boulder County Pride: Out Boulder County will host a series of events throughout the area, including parades, markets, and live performances. June 6 to 12. All Ages Pride Storytime: Denver Library staff at the new RiNo ArtPark location, named Bob Ragland Branch Library, will lead stories, songs, rhymes, and fun for children of all ages and their parents or caregivers. June 18, 11 to 11:30 a.m. Broomfield Pride Party in the Park: PFLAG Broomfield will be hosting a Pride Motorcade and invites community members to decorate their cars and drive in support of LGBTQ+ loved ones. A gathering at Midway Park including food trucks, face painting, resource booths, and drag queen storytime will follow. June 4, 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Queer-ilderness: A Mild-Wild Pride Event: Aspiring drag queens and kings (age 13 and up) can walk the runway at History Colorado Center in three categories: 90s Grunge, Queer in the Wilderness, and Your Favorite Historical Queer. Crafts and light snacks and non-alcoholic beverages will be available. June 25, 6 to 11 p.m.



happenings June

Five Points Jazz Festival

Noon-12am. Celebrate the history of Denver’s Five Points neighborhood by gathering along Welton Street for live music performed at 10 outdoor and indoor stages. Enjoy food from local vendors. Five Points neighborhood, Denver.

5 Sunday

Autism Resource Fair

Catch a glimpse of a cat during the Into the Wild Run at the Wild Animal Sanctuary, June 11.

to do today FREE

2 Thursday

Phamaly’s Big Night In the City

5:30pm. Phamaly Theater Company, whose mission is to be a creative home for theater artists with disabilities, is hosting an outdoor concert fundraiser, featuring the band Wheelchair Sports Camp, musician Jeffrey Marshall, and comedian Christie Buchele. $30 general admission. Greek Theater at Civic Center Park, Denver.

Lost in the Jungle June 2, 2-4pm

Castlewood Library; June 20, 5-7pm Southglenn Library. Get lost in the jungle and learn about radical reptiles and winged creatures with Nature’s Educators. Enjoy face painting and




SPECIAL NEEDS twisty balloons at this tropicalthemed adventure. Castlewood and Southglenn libraries, Centennial.

3 Friday

Family Flix: Encanto June 3 (Koelbel Library) and 4 (Smoky Hill Library), 10am-noon. Stay in your pajamas, load up on breakfast snacks, and gather in the Forum Theater for a family movie for all ages. Watch Encanto, the tale of an extraordinary family, the Madrigals, who live hidden in the mountains of Colombia. Koelbel and Smoky Hill libraries, Centennial Cultural First Friday 5-9pm. Enjoy free admission to the Museo and celebrate LGBTQ Pride. Shop from local artist vendors, enjoy a meal from a food truck, get inspired by the exhibition, and meet other art enthusiasts. Museo de las Americas, Denver.

SPANISH/ESPAÑOL Kids Zone Princess Ball 6-7:30pm.

Glitter, gold, and sparkling tiaras make this a memorable night for little ones. The ball will feature dancing, crafts, and refreshments, plus a visit from a princess or two. Ages 2-11 with an adult. Registration required. $26, $24 Parker resident. PACE Center, Parker.

4 Saturday

BioBlitz and Community Science Celebration 7am-4pm. Enjoy a day of exploration while counting different bird species, learning about the park’s biodiversity, and celebrating community science with a cookout lunch. Registration required. Free, $5 lunch. Barr Lake State Park, Brighton.

Cultural Day with The Latino Chamber of Commerce Noon-5pm.

Latino artists, organizations, and businesses will set up at the Museum of Boulder to connect with community

11am-3pm. Don’t miss the largest Autism resource fair in the state. Come together with families and individuals on the spectrum and gather resources while connecting with providers. Enjoy offerings from 80 exhibitors all in one place, plus burgers and kid activities. Autism Community Store, Aurora.

8 Wednesday

BeeChicas: Meet the Bees

4-5pm. Join the BeeChicas to meet honeybees and native bees in a nativeplant garden. Hold a gentle honeybee male, observe a frame of workers, and play games. Registration required. Boulder Main Library, Boulder.

Ready, Set, Kindergarten!

4-5:30pm. Gear up for kindergarten. Parents will work with their little ones, ages 3-5, on how to get along with others, as well as learn about language, literacy, science, and math. Wear clothes that can get messy; this is a hands-on experience. A light snack will be provided. Registration required. Koelbel Library, Centennial.

11 Saturday

Into the Wild Run 7-11am. Run, jog,

or walk through in the Sanctuary’s acres of open grassland home to rescue lions, bears, and wolves. Choose from three events: a Jaguar Jaunt family 5K, a competitive Limitless Lion 5K, and a competitive Tireless Tiger 10K. Participants receive a shirt and hat, medal, food and drink, entry to the sanctuary all day, and access to entertainment including music, face

Lion: Wild Animal Sanctuary.

and provide a fun day of cultural celebration. Enjoy live storytelling, dance performances, free children’s book giveaways, a craft station, and homemade tortillas. $10. Museum of Boulder at Tebo Center, Boulder.

Sidewalk: Clyfford Still Museum. BBoy breakdancer: Anna Sutterer

happenings June

painting, and a slippery kids’ obstacle course. $45, free Jaguar Jaunt for youth ages 3-12 (no swag included). The Wild Animal Sanctuary, Keenesburg.

Generations of breakdancers take to the street at the BBoy Factory Anniversary party on June 25.

ages 2-17. Colorado Railroad Museum, Golden.

Mokomba Ensemble Interactive Performance 4-5pm. Bring a

blanket or a picnic for an evening of drumming and dancing with the Mokomba Ensemble, a traditional and contemporary West African group based in Boulder. Bill Bower Park, Boulder.

Knit in Public Day 9am-noon.

Knitting enthusiasts, get together and enjoy each other’s company during World Wide Knit in Public Day. Drop in with your knitting, embroidery, sewing, crochet, felting, or other textile project. Limited folding chairs will be available, so bring your own if you can. Dress for sitting outdoors. All ages. Littleton Musuem, Littleton.

24 Friday

Create to Learn: Instrument Creation and Exploration 10:30-

Denver Museum of Miniatures Yard Sale 9am-1pm. Browse through tiny

replications of day-to-day life and bring home a small treasure or two. Shoppers are encouraged to bring cash. Free entry. Denver Museum of Miniatures, Dolls and Toys, Lakewood.

12 Sunday

Family Program at Clyfford Still

10:30am-12:30pm. Enjoy a handson ice chalk adventure for children and families in the Museum’s outdoor forecourt. All ages. Clyfford Still Museum, Denver.

Lost in a Fairy Tale Dance Party 10am-noon. Enjoy a fairy

tale-themed dance party with special appearances by storybook characters, plus magical treats. Ages 5-12. Smoky Hill Library, Centennial.

Sensory-Friendly Playtime

10am-noon. Children with autism spectrum or sensory-processing disorders are welcome to enjoy the museum at limited capacity, with the sounds and lights turned down and adaptive equipment available for play. Register online. $1. WOW! Children’s Museum, Lafayette.

Women’s Self-Defense Class for Breast Cancer Research June 12,

10:30am-12:15pm. Square up and learn self-defense techniques with Tiger Kim black belt instructors. Wear loose, athletic clothing. There will be free coffee from sponsors Hooked on Colfax. All proceeds are donated to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. Adults only. Registration required. $5. Tiger Kim’s Academy, Denver.

My Name is NOT Mom 4pm. Laugh

along this comedic journey through motherhood with internet sensations Tiffany Jenkins, Meredith Masony, and Dena Blizzard. The show features stand-up, stories, and more to create an up close and personal night out. $30 and up. Paramount Theatre, Denver.

14 Tuesday

History Adventure Day Camp

June 14, 9-3pm. Young explorers will learn from experts about life in Littleton in the 1800s, with hands-on experiences. Each day has a different theme such as discovering nature, art and history, and cow camp. Ages 7-13 depending on the day. Registration required. $50. Littleton Museum, Littleton.

Jurassic Adventure 6-8pm. Trek through a dinosaur-themed escape room, defend the infested library from velociraptors, voyage up a rock-climbing wall, and view onsite replicas of the original Jeeps from the Jurassic Adventure theme park. Age 12 and up. Koelbel Library, Centennial. Lawn Concert at Clyfford Still

5:30-7:30pm. Settle in to the Clyfford Still Museum’s outdoor forecourt for live music. Clyfford Still Museum, Denver.

25 Saturday

The BBoy Factory Anniversary Ball 11am-3pm, battles (The Spot

18 Saturday

giddy up to this themed race. There’s a 5K run/walk and a one-mile Fun Trek that includes a duck hunt for kids. All registrants get pancakes from Flippin’ Flapjacks and a souvenir bib number. $40 5K; $36 family of up to four Fun Trek, $9 additional person. Tallman Meadow Park, Parker.

2.0, Thornton); 7-11pm main event (35th Avenue and Federal Boulevard, Denver). Join BBoy Factory in celebrating their 10th anniversary. Watch youth b-boy and b-girl battles at The Spot 2.0 during the day, and the finals at the main event in the evening. Performances, DJs, artists, panels, and workshops round out the party. $20-$25. Locations in Thornton and Denver.

All Things Engine 10am-3pm. Check

A Night at the Movies 7:30-9pm.

Cattle Crossing 5K & Family Fun Trek 8am. Don a western costume and

Chill out and make art using colorful ice cubes to draw, at the Clyfford Still Museum on June 12.

11am. Check out all the musical instruments at the library, create and explore how music has an important role in brain development. Age 5 and under with an adult. Registration required. Rodolfo “Corky” Gonzales Branch Library, Denver.

out antique tractors, diesel motorcars, hit-and-miss engines, Model A and Model T automobiles, and a fire truck. There will be food, family-friendly activities, behind-the-scenes tours, and train rides every half-hour. $2 plus admission: $10 adult, $5 youth ages 2-17. Train rides: $4 adult, $2 youth

Gather family and friends for a summer evening under the stars. The Denver Brass band will perform popular music from movies including The Incredibles, Lord of the Rings, and Star Trek. $28$36 covered seating, $15 lawn. Arvada Center, Arvada.



happenings June

ongoing events Clement: Foothills Park & Recreation District.

Code Camp for Girls June 27July 1. 9am-3pm. Designed to promote STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) to girls, this camp invites students entering grades eight, nine, and 10 to try coding games and activities, get career mentorship, and make new friends. Fast Enterprises Headquarters, Centennial. Junior Firefighters Academy

June 7-10. Kids enrolled in this four-session experience will play on a small obstacle course, learn the basics of first aid and safe cooking, and visit with animal helpers and professionals from the workforce. Ages 5-7. Registration required. $55. Denver Firefighters Museum, Denver.

A series of outdoor concerts with a grand outdoor view comes to Clement Park this summer.

Life Skills Basketball Camp

June 13-24. 10am-3pm. The Simmons Foundation for Youth & Change will host their annual basketball camp, directed by East High School 2014 state champion, coach Rudy Carey. A Life Skills Workshop will be conducted by civil rights activist Alvertis Simmons. There will be two field trips: a visit to the prestigious Blair Caldwell Library and a day at Skate City. A free breakfast and lunch is served every day. Ages 7-18. Registration required. East High School, Denver.

STAR Turf Field Games Through

Aug. 31. Wed, 10am-noon. South Suburban Therapeutic Adaptive Recreation (STAR) participants will enjoy the new turf fields at the South Suburban Sports Complex by playing a variety of games: soccer, softball, and tag. Age 13 and up. Registration required. $32-$40 per month. South Suburban Parks and Recreation Sports Complex, Littleton.

Wee Wednesdays June 1-July 6.

Wed, 9am. This six-week series of playdate sessions teaches fire safety concepts through the themes: My friend the Firefighter, Crawl Low Under Smoke, Get Low and Go, “Stop! Drop! and Roll!,” Safe For Play! Keep Away!, and Meet a Real Firefighter. Ages 3-5.



Registration required. $7 per session. Denver Firefighters Museum, Denver.

Demonstrating Artist: Charlo Garcia Walterbach June 4, 5, 18, 19; noon3pm. Visit the Storytelling Studio on level 1 of the Hamilton Building for a behind-the-scenes look at Charlo Garcia Walterbach’s mural painting and illustrating processes. Connect with the local artist and get inspired to explore your own creativity through hands-on activities. Included with admission: $13 adult, free youth age 18 and under. Denver Art Museum, Denver.

Tipi to Tiny House: Hands-on Homebuilding June 11-Jan. 8, 2023

This exploration of culture documents years of human history in Longmont, and the people who helped to create the community. Catch the free opening day event to walk through tiny houses and a tipi village, and enjoy food carts and live music. Included with admission: $8 adult, $5 student, free age 3 and under; free opening day. Longmont Museum, Longmont.

Mosaic of Cultures: Aurora's Mexican Community June 10-April

2023. Tue-Fri, 9am-noon and 1-4pm; Sat and Sun, 11am-4pm. People of Mexican descent who call Aurora home share their individual stories of immigration and long family histories that predated Colorado statehood. The community perspective shaped this exhibit, which showcases music, art, dance, clothing, food, and religion of cultural and traditional significance to Aurora's Mexican Community. Aurora History Museum, Aurora.

Rainbows & Revolutions June 4-Jan.

2023. Daily, 10am-5pm. Learn about the story of LGBTQ+ Coloradans, from fighting for equal rights to celebrating community. For more than two years, museum curators have collected oral histories, photos, and historical artifacts from the community for this exhibit. Kids and families should come and see a large rainbow "LOVE" built out of Legos in the main atrium. Included with admission: $14 adult, $10 youth ages 16-22 with student ID, $8 youth ages 5-15, free youth age 4 and under and members. History Colorado Center, Denver.

Aurora Global Market June 4-Sept. 24. Sat, 9am-1pm. This event will highlight and celebrate cultural diversity through business. Find a mix of vendors from around the world with a variety of products including food, crafts, art, and jewelry. Free entry, vendor prices vary. Havana Exchange Shopping Center, Aurora.

Bands on the Bricks June 15Aug. 3. Wed, 5-9pm. Dance under the stars to a variety of musical performances from rock to reggae performed by local artists. 1300 Block of the Pearl Street Mall, Boulder. City Park Jazz June 5-Aug. 7. Sun, 6-8pm. Celebrate a community staple that began in 1986. Local musicians bring their talents to City Park, and thousands of neighbors gather to watch, dance, eat, and socialize. Enjoy a lineup of artists including Mariachi Sol de mi Tierra feat. Fiesta Colorado Dance Company, Hazel Miller & The Collective, and Badda Boom Brass Band. All ages. City Park Pavilion, Denver.

happenings June

Colorado Renaissance Festival

June 18-Aug. 7. Sat and Sun, 10am-6:30pm. Walk through pathways filled with artisans of ancient crafts and enjoy humorous and awe-inspiring shows. Try roast turkey legs, fresh baked goods, and other food and drink items. Check online for special themed weekends. $28 adult, $12 youth ages 5-12. Discounted tickets available at all King Soopers locations. Colorado Renaissance Festival, Larkspur.

Colorado Springs Juneteenth Festival June 17-19. Come together

at the park to celebrate Juneteenth. This party features a car show, fashion show, Zumba dancing, 5K run, and games and activities. America the Beautiful Park, Colorado Springs.

Concerts in Clement Park

June 9-Aug. 11. Thu, 7pm. Lay out a blanket or set up lawn chairs, and gather with family and friends to enjoy a series of outdoor concerts including the Hot Tomatoes swing jazz band and Miguel Espinoza Flamenco Fusion. Dogs are welcome on leashes. Grant Family Amphitheater at Clement Park, Littleton.

Denver Union Station Farmers Market June 4-Sept. 10. Sat,

Farmers Market: Denver Union Station.

9am-1pm. Find what’s fresh at the local farmers market; this gathering will feature more than 30 Front

Pick up some produce and other home goods outside Union Station at the farmers market.

Range vendors and include cooking demonstrations from downtown chefs and Union Station partners. Free entry. Denver Union Station, Denver.


Huerta Urbana Farmers Market

Books and games plus lots of full-body fun await at Tumble Haus.

June 10-Oct. 28. Fri, 2-6pm. Pay-whatyou-can at this market dedicated to increasing fresh food access in the Globeville, Elyria-Swansea (GES) neighborhoods and surrounding areas. The market collaborates with local vendors and community partners; money raised will go back to reimburse farmers and producers. Pay what you can, full price, or pay it forward. Focus Points Family Resource Center, Denver.

Rockin’ Summer: Kids Activities in the Park June 1-29. Wed,

11am-2pm. Boost your summer park outings with this lineup of activities including magic, storytime, chalk art, and dance lessons. Music and food will also be on site. Festival Park, Castle Rock.

Snowmass Rodeo June 22-Aug. 17.

Wed, 5-8:30pm. Watch as cowboys and cowgirls ride into the arena and compete in bareback horse riding, team steer roping, barrel racing, bull riding, and more. Get to the rodeo grounds early for a petting zoo, kid roping activities, a dinner, and mutton busting. $10-$25. Snowmass Rodeo, Snowmass Village.

Everyday Play at Tumble Haus

A Denver social club for families is helping parents answer the recurring question: “What should we do today?” Tumble Haus, opened in June 2021 by artists and parents Reiva Cruze and Yonatan Gonzalez, is loaded with play mats, balls, a trampoline, tiny tricycles, books, and other toys for developmental play. A coffee shop and lounge space provides parents a comfortable spot to work and watch their kids. Tumble Haus offers 90-minute open tumble sessions seven days a week for littles up to age five. They also host structured sessions two days a week that are guided by a teacher with preschool Montessori experience; these classes include basic stretching, tumble stations, and sensory activity. Birthday parties (currently booked out through September) accommodate up to 45 guests and include, depending on the package, a meal and custom cupcakes or cake, plus themed decorations set up by Gonzalez, who is an Emmy nominated designer. When weekends are mostly filled with private events, Tumble Haus adds an Early Bird open tum-

ble session from 7:30 to 9 a.m. to accommodate families who would like to come and play. They’ve also recently added a twice a month Saturday night happy hour—in addition to the Wednesday and Friday night options—at which parents can have a drink from the bar and connect. “Moms who met here for the first time now plan to meet each other’s families here every Friday and then they go out to dinner together,” Cruze says. “We always knew a place like this would create a better community and generate new friendships among local families, however watching it actually happen over the past year has been unbelievable.” NEED TO KNOW: Drop-ins are $25 for open tumble and $30 for a structured session. Punch passes are available. Memberships are $125 a month for one to three children in the same family. Don’t miss the Tumble Haus one-year anniversary party on June 2, 2022 starting at 3 p.m. with music, food and drink, a balloon artist, scavenger hunt, and giant community painting canvas.



fresh mindset

Every time we go on a road trip with our van or explore a local hiking trail, we try to see it as a learning opportunity. We are learning to overcome challenges,, work together, challenges support each other, and try to push our limits. This family bonding time is such an amazing way to disconnect from the daily grind.

ALIRIO SILVA is a father of two and the co-founder of @EndlessFamilyAdventure, an Instagram account that follows his family’s travels throughout Colorado. His family is dedicated to spending time outdoors, learning from nature, and experiencing all the beauty the world has to offer. 46


Alirio Silva and family: Radka Silva.

fresh mindset



“Being a working mom

comes with its challenges... And it is also a privilege. I recognize I’m blessed to be able to do what I love and be a mom to a sweet baby boy.” – Erika

Watch Erika Gonzalez and Jeremy Hubbard Weeknights at 5, 9, & 10P.

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