Finding Fitness – Balance Tips for Every Mom

I quit my career to stay home with my babies and left the things I knew to dedicate myself to my family and children. I decided that in “work-life balance,” my work and life would be the same . . . So, where would I find the balance part of the equation? I knew I’d have to find it because staying home is work too. Whether our career is in a place where we take a paycheck or a place where we’re full-time everything to our kids, how do we do all the things, keep our sanity, and love our kids well?

Finding Fitness - Tips for Every MomFor me, my balance is found in fitness. Exercise has been part of my life since I was active as a teen. In my late twenties, I found my passion for the adrenaline rush that running brought me. As a mom, I decided to share my balance and my passion with others and I became a certified group fitness instructor focusing on prenatal fitness, postnatal fitness, and senior fitness.

I know that exercise and taking care of our physical fitness is something a lot of moms let slide. Especially in the beginning, it’s hard to feel like hitting the gym. You’re recovering from childbirth and your body still doesn’t quite feel like your own, you’re physically and mentally exhausted, your boobs are cracked and your ankles are still a little foreign . . . the last thing you want to do is remember the Zumba combinations.

Guess what? That’s okay. There are so many fitness options available to moms.

Tips for finding fitness that works for you:

  1. Think about your fitness goals
  2. Consider the physical activities you like – high or low impact, competitive or relaxing,
  3. Decide where you want to work out – at home, in a gym, or outside
  4. Determine how flexible you are – do you need a fitness routine that is portable, or can you dedicate yourself to a specific location?
  5. Think about your body, right now, where you are today. What would help you feel the most connected, what would help you feel strong, what would help you achieve balance?

Denver Moms Fitness Guide

Local Gyms and Exercise Groups

Recently, Denver Moms published a fitness guide that features gyms across the metro area like Chuze Fitness that specifically cater to moms and offer childcare!

Are you looking for other moms to workout with? Consider Fit4Mom or Hot Mamas Exercise. Do you want a more custom-tailored experience? Consider Chuze Fitness or Life Time Fitness. What about something low-impact and great for prenatal and postnatal toning like Pure Barre or Bar Method? If you are cost-conscious, we recommend joining your local recreation center or basic gym like Prestige Fitness. And of course, our most important consideration is childcare. All of the facilities above have clean, wonderful environments for your kids.

Online and Mobile Application Fitness Options

This is great for the on-the-go or traveling moms, or those who would rather sweat in the privacy of their own homes. I have three fitness apps on my phone which allow me to work out when I travel or can’t get out of the house. The exercises are customized to my goals and help keep me accountable. Whether it’s Beach Body, Body by Simone or Fitbit Coach, I like having variety and options. This keeps the exercises fresh and helps push me to get into better shape.

Personal Training

If you can afford it, personal training is one-on-one customized exercises to meet your fitness goals. Finding a great personal trainer that you click with can be challenging. I found one at a dirty gym who combined Crossfit with HIIT and made exercising fun again. He was a blast and I miss working out with him regularly. There are now traveling gyms such as Gymguyz, where personal trainers can come to your house. You can also find trainers at Thumbtack.com. 

No matter what your fitness goals are, all it takes is 15-20 minutes to get back in shape after baby. Start small and find the best option or options for you and your family. Find the thing that brings you balance. And if you find yourself in Evergreen, CO, stop by the recreation center and join me for a class. I’d love to have you!

Denver Hanukkah Celebrations & Events in 2019

Hanukkah celebrations, Menorah lightings and celebrations in Denver and around Colorado

Hanukkah in Denver - Denver MomsThe eight-day Jewish celebration of Hanukkah Sunday, December 22nd and we’ve got a guide to celebrations around Denver and Colorado.

Shishi Israeli Hanukkah Celebration

December 13th | 5:30pm-8pm
Celebrate the Festival of Lights with an Israeli Hanukkah Celebration at the Denver JCC. The fun will include music, games, arts & crafts, donuts, dreidels, a special drum circle, and a Kosher-style dinner.


Dreidels & Donuts

December 15th | 9:30am-11:30am
Denver’s most beloved Chanukah spectacular will feature a student concert, a classroom art auction, brunch, and fun for the whole family! The event benefits the BMH-BJ preschool and


Jewish Explorers Latkes + Light – A Family Chanukah Celebration

December 15th | 10am-12pm
Celebrate the Festival of Lights with an Israeli Hanukkah Celebration at the Denver JCC. The fun will include music, games, arts & crafts, donuts, dreidels, a special drum circle, and a Kosher-style dinner.


LGBTQIA+ Rainbow Hanukkah at Dos Luces Brewery

December 15th | 5pm-7pm
We’ll play Hanukkah games, eat delicious food and share our favorite Hanukkah memories. Your tickets include food, 1 drink (they have Gluten Free beer!), and a whole lot of dreidel practice so that when the time comes, you’re ready to win big!


JWI Happy Hannukah Hour 

December 17th | 5:30pm-7:30pm
Get ready for a night of fun including Hannukah bingo, a friendly game of dreidel, and holiday wine charm crafting. This is a fantastic opportunity to get to mix and mingle with other amazing Jewish women!
Address provided upon registration. Appetizers and drinks will be provided. Please use this as an excuse to get fancy and dress up in your holiday best! $10 for members only. Not a member? Become one now!


Denver Jewish Day School Chanukah 

December 19th | 6pm


DJFF Presents: Dreaming of a Jewish Christmas 

December 19th | 7pm
Join the Denver Jewish Film Festival for a musical documentary about the amazing story of a group of Jewish songwriters who wrote the soundtrack to Christmas. The screening will be hosted at Sie FilmCenter and will include a Chinese Food Buffet (not certified Kosher) and, of course, Christmas music!


Mini Rockin’ Havdalah & Chanukah Crafts

December 21st | 6pm
To start the week of Chanukah off on a joyful note, Cantor Marty will be leading a Mini Rockin’ Havdalah for families with preschool and elementary school children. This upbeat participatory service will have children dancing and singing. Following the service, families are invited to stay for refreshments and a fun
Chanukah craft project to get ready for the Festival of Lights.


Menorah Making Hanukkah Party

December 22nd | 10am-12pm
Come get ready for the first night of Hanukkah by making your own Menorah. Enjoy a scavenger hunt around the JCC to collect all the materials to create a masterpiece for the Festival of Light! Don’t forget to play a few rounds of Dreidel to win some gelt!


Frozen Chanukah on Ice 

December 22nd | 3:30pm-5:30pm
Come to the Big Bear Ice Arena to chill and celebrate “FROZEN CHANUKAH”! What can be more delightful than a combination of sparkling Ice and dazzling Menorah! Music, skating, latkes and jelly donuts, gelt, a grand Menorah lighting, a jumping castle, face painting, and more!


Family Chanukah Celebration 

December 23rd | 5:30pm-7:30pm
Head to Spider Monkey for an awesome Chanukah celebration for the family! We will enjoy a pizza dinner and dessert and spend the night JUMPING for JOI!


Chanukah at the Capitol 

December 23rd | 5pm-6:30pm
Join State Government representatives & the wider Denver Community for the annual Chanukah Menorah lighting on the West Steps. Join us for an evening of community unity, pride and light with food and fun for all ages, including a giant Menorah, formal addresses from State Government officials, a live DJ, epic fire-show, Dinner BBQ, doughnuts with Dinger, chocolate gelt (coins), cotton candy, glow lights and more!


Chanukah Glow Party

December 23rd | 5:30pm-7:30pm
Epic Glow Party featuring a light dinner, latke bar, cookie decorating, music, dreidels, and glow in the dark fun!


Chabad Teen South Chanukah Limo Parade

December 24th | 5pm-7:30pm
Parade into Denver in a menorah topped stretch limo! With Chanukah games, Chinese food, an Instagram scavenger hunt and more! Leaving from and returning to Chabad South Metro Denver.
$20 per teen, limited seats available.


Hanukkah Hoopla at Temple Emanuel 

December 27th | 5:30pm-8pm

Join us for the most festive night of the year! There will be fun for all ages.
– Worship in the Sanctuary (BYO menorah + candles) – 5:30
– Dinner with latkes + activities for kids – 6:00
– Hanukkah concert featuring Steve Brodsky + Friends – 7:00

Holiday Shows & Concerts Around Denver

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 The holidays are upon us, and there’s so much to do in Denver! Once you’ve picked out the perfect Christmas tree, head out to See Santa and take in some of our Favorite Holiday Lights, or do some Christmas shopping. Then, for a special evening out with the family or a Holiday date with your love, we’ve got the list of the best Holiday Shows and Holiday Concerts around Denver

Holiday Shows and Concerts Around Denver | Denver Moms

Family-Friendly Holiday Shows and Concerts

Colorado Ballet – The Nutcracker | Denver

November 30 – December 29 | Various times

A Christmas Holiday tradition, Colorado Ballet is dazzling audiences for the 59th season of The Nutcracker. Tchaikovsky’s unforgettable score, performed by the Colorado Ballet Orchestra, lifts your heart while you’re dazzled by the twirling snowflakes, shimmering Sugarplum Fairy, and magic and beauty of the incredible production.
Pro Tip: The performance lasts two hours, which may be a little long for young children/ those known to be fidgety. There is an intermission, so that helps!



How the Grinch Stole Christmas – The Musical | Denver

December 3 – 8 | Various times

Dr. Seuss’ How The Grinch Stole Christmas! The Musical features the hit songs “You’re A Mean One Mr. Grinch” and “Welcome Christmas” (written by Albert Hague and Dr. Seuss) from the original animated series. Max the Dog narrates as the mean and scheming Grinch, whose heart is “two sizes too small,” decides to steal Christmas away from the Holiday loving Whos. Magnificent sets and costumes inspired by Dr. Seuss’ original illustrations help transport audiences to the whimsical world of Whoville, while the Music and Book of Mel Marvin and Timothy Mason breathe new life into this timeless story of the true meaning of Christmas.


Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: The Musical | Greeley

December 6th | 7:30pm

The beloved TV classic “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” soars off the screen and onto the stage this holiday season. See all of your favorite characters as they come to life in “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: The Musical.” It’s an adventure that teaches us that what makes you different can be what makes you special.

Moscow Ballet’s Great Russian Nutcracker | Denver

December 13th & 14th | Various times

Moscow Ballet’s Gift of Christmas Tour is coming to the Paramount Theatre – This Christmas give your family the gift of Moscow Ballet’s Great Russian Nutcracker! Step into a simpler time filled with sweet dreams and Christmas magic. With world-class artists, over 200 dazzling costumes, stunning sets, towering puppets, and soaring birds, don’t miss your chance to ring in the holidays with this acclaimed Christmas extravaganza. The New York Times, “Hot Ticket!” Celebrate this cherished holiday tradition and relive the dream with Tchaikovsky’s timeless score. Get tickets to this holiday show for the whole family now!


Mannheim Steamroller Christmas | Denver

December 14th & 15th | Various times

Join the celebration as Mannheim Steamroller makes history again – Celebrating 35 years of holiday magic as they bring their annual holiday tour to fans throughout the country. Experience the performance of the #1 Christmas music artist in history and for the first time ever, hear the entire album that started it all, LIVE – “Mannheim Steamroller Christmas!”


A Colorado Christmas | Denver 

December 13th, 14th, & 15th | Various times

The warm sounds of the holidays fill the Hall with festive seasonal favorites including ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas, narrated from stage by beloved Denver vocalist Devin DeSantis! This family-friendly evening, led by guest conductor Timothy Semanik, features traditional Christmas carols, your favorite new winter tunes, and even some newly arranged surprises – all with a chance to sing along to your heart’s content! And you better not pout because Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus will be on hand to see who’s naughty and who’s nice in preparation for the big night!


An Irish Christmas | Denver

December 18th | 7pm

As seen on PBS! This is one of the holiday shows that is a perfect family event! Take a journey through Christmas in Ireland with superb dancing, singing and Irish traditional music celebrating the international spirit of the holiday season.


A Charlie Brown Christmas: Live on Stage | Denver 

 December 22nd | 2:30pm & 6pm

Charlie Brown and his friends are bringing the true meaning of Christmas to this on-stage adaptation of everyone’s favorite Christmas television classic with a retelling of the story and a fun sing-along. Share Charlie Brown and the whole Peanuts gang with your family and share the message that Christmas is so much more than presents!


 

Twas the Night Before Christmas | Denver

December 24th | 2pm
Santa Claus is coming to town, and bringing the newest family holiday tradition to Denver’s Paramount Theatre during a national tour of Ken Ludwig’s Twas the Night Before Christmas. The all-new live stage adaptation of the classic Christmas poem provides audiences with a modern twist, as the enjoyable and lovable storyline follows an unstoppable trio: a mouse, an elf and a little girl who are determined to witness a Christmas miracle.



Holiday Shows & Holiday Concerts for Mom, Dad, & Friends

Love Actually in Concert | Denver 

December 6th | 7:30pm
Love Actually is the ultimate romantic comedy from the makers of Bridget Jones’s Diary and Notting Hill. Funny, irresistible, and heartwarming, an all-star cast will take you on a breathtaking tour of love’s delightful twists and turns. Fall under the spell of Love Actually and share the laughs and charm again and again.

Movie screened with live orchestra performing full film score. Stay for the credits, you’ll be glad you did!


John Denver Holiday with the Colorado Symphony | Denver

December 7th | 7:30pm

The musical legend John Denver is honored once more, but with a festive holiday theme in a special concert with your Colorado Symphony. Returning once more by popular demand, just in time for the holidays, see and hear two-time GRAMMY® Award-winning singer/songwriter John Denver performing classic songs in archival video footage, backed by live performances from the Colorado Symphony and members of his former band​. This concert is an innovative multi-media treat and unforgettable tribute with NEW holiday content.


Celtic Woman: The Best of Christmas Tour | Denver

December 8th | 5pm

Celebrate this holiday season with a holiday concert featuring the celestial voices of multi-platinum Irish singing sensation Celtic Woman with your Colorado Symphony. Featuring music from the all-female ensemble’s most favorite Yuletide songs performed by them over the years. Prepare for an enchanting and festive evening filled with mesmerizing music, performance, and holiday cheer.


BenDeLaCreme & Jinkx Monsoon: All I Want For Christmas Is Attention | Denver

December 17th | 8pm

Some holiday shows are just for adults, so leave the kids at home for this 18+ only event, because BenDeLaCreme and Jinkx Monsoon are back at the Paramount Theatre in an all-new two-queen holiday extravaganza! After last year’s wildly successful “To Jesus, Thanks for Everything” Jinkx and DeLa return to the stage this holiday season in a high-spirited scramble to maintain your interest!

DeLa is all sugar and Jinkx is all spice – but how do these two very different gals deal with the stress of the holidays? A little song, a lot of eggnog, and theaters full of people looking at them… Yup – all they want for Christmas is attention!


 

Handel’s Messiah | Denver 

December 20th & 21st | 7:30pm

If you’re ready for one of the best holiday shows around town, check this one out! A storied holiday classic returns with a freshly enriched design to experience the beloved masterpiece, Messiah. This innovative presentation is newly organized to present the narrative clearly while still maintaining the great musical traditions of this noble work. A Chamber Chorus of the Colorado Symphony Chorus will join the soloists on stage to bring more immediacy to the narrative while the full forces of the Symphony Chorus continue to thrill with their exciting and exacting choral sound, presenting Handel’s masterpiece in an enhanced dramatic context that this story-telling composer would have appreciated.


 

Ultimate Guide to the Holidays In & Around Denver 2019

Ultimate Guide to the Holiday Season Around Denver | Denver Moms

Christmas and Holiday Events in & Around Denver 2019

The Christmas and holiday season is officially upon us, Hanukkah is coming, and we’re all excited to get the most merriment out of this season! Check out our 2019 Ultimate Guide to Christmas and Holiday Events Around Denver! If you’re looking for something family friendly, and fun to do — we’ve got the ultimate guide!

To make planning your family fun a little easier, we’ve created posts to help you find exactly what you’re looking for! Each of the below images will take you to a guide specific to that topic. From shopping events, to festivals, light displays, Santa photos, and more, this will be your BEST resource for all things holiday around the Denver metro area!

Did we miss an event? Let us know by emailing [email protected]

Did we miss any holiday events around Denver this year? Please let us know by emailing [email protected], so we can add it to our Christmas and holiday fun!


Make sure you never miss out on things to do around Denver: Subscribe to our weekly Denver Moms’ newsletter! Be the first to know about our exclusive events, special offers and discounts, neighborhood group activities and, of course, local resources and parenting voices powered by local Denver area moms!

Outdoor Ice Skating In & Around Denver

Ice skaters at Denver International Airport
Photograph provided courtesy of Denver International Airport

Of all the wintery activities is there anything better than gliding around with friends and family on an outdoor ice rink surrounded by twinkling lights? Luckily for us, the Denver area is host to dozens of outdoor ice rinks open for business in the winter months that could be straight out of a Hallmark Christmas movie. Here’s a list of this year’s Denver outdoor ice rinks that will give you and your family all the Frozen vibes.

Free Ice Skating | Denver International Airport

November 22, 2019 – January 20, 2020 : 9am-9pm

Cost: Free

DIA is the best at reminding us how awesome our city is. Take for instance the [email protected] programs which feature a FREE (yes, free!) ice rink in the winter season. Located outside on the plaza between the Westin hotel and the Jeppesen terminal, visitors can literally twirl and glide through their holiday travel. In addition to a free skate sesh, there’s hot cocoa, cider, and entertainment on Friday afternoons. Not traveling this season? No problem. Take the light rail out to the airport for a super fun and affordable family outing.


Rink at Skyline Park | Denver Downtown

Open: November 26, 2019 – February 16, 2020: hours vary

Cost: Free admission, with $7.00 skate rentals for kids 12 and under, and $9 for adults 13 years and older.

The Rink at Skyline Park has become a holiday staple in the heart of Downtown Denver for the past decade. This outdoor skating rink has something for everyone – kid-friendly amenities including skate with Santa dates, broomball games, and even the option for private parties. Add in a cup of cider from the adjacent Christkindl Market, and you’ve got the makings for a perfectly cozy winter afternoon.


Parker Ice Trail at Discovery Park | Parker

Open: November 29, 2019

Cost: $6 for children 10 and under, $8 for adults. $4 skate rentals.

One of the few ice trails in the country, this outdoor ice rink is actually a frozen skating path that winds in and around Discovery Park decked out with sparkly lights. Fire pits and hot beverages lining the trail make being a spectator almost as fun as getting out on the ice. Head to Parker for a truly special skating experience.


The Pond at Southlands | Aurora

Open: November 15, 2019 – February 2020

Cost: $8.50 admission, plus $2.50 for skate rental : 4pm-9pm

This sweet rink at the center of the Shops at Southlands is surrounded by twinkling lights, and the perfect location for a today full of shopping, dining, and skating.


The Rink at Belmar | Lakewood 

Open: November 21, 2019 – January 05, 2020 : hours vary

Cost: $7.50 for children 12 and under, $9.50 for adults for one-hour admission. Skate rental included.

15 years running, this Denver ice skating rink at the center of Belmar Plaza is a holiday tradition in the Lakewood area. With tons of events including skating shows, ugly sweater night, and a Noon-Year’s Eve celebration, there is so much frozen fun to be had.


Winterskate | Louisville

Open: November 23, 2019 – February 2020 : hours vary

Cost: $8 for children 12 and under, $10 for adults. Skate rental included.

The only outdoor ice rinks in the north Denver metro area, Winterskate in Louisville offers so much more than just ice and lights. Located in historic downtown Louisville, Winterskate also has free musical entertainment, carriage rides, and concessions. Oh, and did we mention this rink is the largest outdoor ice rink in the country? Add this one to your winter bucket list,  for sure.


Winterskate | Northfield Stapleton

Open: Starting November 16, 2019 : hours vary

Cost: $9 for children 12 and under, $10 for adults. Skate rental included.

Located next to Zen Asian Sushi Bar & Grill, this Stapleton staple is a great way to have some active fun in between holiday shopping and errands. The Break the Ice holiday kick-off event on November 30 includes a block party, aerial performance, character skates and more.



If you find yourself adventuring beyond the Denver metro area, here are some more Colorado outdoor ice rinks to check out this winter season:

Rocky Mountain Rinks

Beaver Creek Village (Beaver Creek)

Stephen C. West Ice Arena (Breckenridge)

Dorsey Lake (Estes Park)

Evergreen Lake (Evergreen)

IceBox Ice Rink (Fraser)

Dercum Square (Keystone)

Keystone Lake (Keystone)

Nederland Ice & Racquet Park (Nederland)

Ice Skating at Solaris (Vail)

Vail Square Ice Rink (Vail)

Village Ice Rink (Winter Park)

North of Denver

Old Town Square (Fort Collins)

Longmont Ice Pavillion (Longmont)

South of Denver

Rink at the Rock (Castle Rock)

Skate in the Park (Colorado Springs)

 

Know of a rink we missed? Please comment below and let us know, so we can add it to our guides to Christmas and Holiday fun!

Ice Skating Around Denver | Denver Moms

Where to Find Denver’s Best Christmas Trees

Where to Find the Best Christmas Trees Around Denver | Denver Moms

Finding the perfect Christmas tree to deck the halls is something parents hope will be an experience that brings back beautiful nostalgic memories for our children someday. So many of us fondly remember loading up in the car, heading to the Christmas tree lot of farm and searching for the BEST Christmas trees ever! Dad (or Mom!) would cut it down (or pick it out), and we’d all sip hot chocolate while Dad wrestled the tree to the top of the minivan — right? 

Well, whether you’re looking to cut down your own tree, find a live tree to plant in your yard after the holidays, scout for a gorgeous pre-cut Balsam Fir, don’t worry! We’ve got the spots for you to make your Christmas tree dreams all come true, without having to go all Clark Griswold.

 


CreekSide Tree Nursery | Boulder Area

6932 N 95th St, Niwot, CO 80504
 

If you’re not prepared to pull a permit and venture into a park but still cut your own tree, CreekSide Tree Nursery is your place! Opening November 29th, CreekSide Tree Nursery has every type of Christmas Tree in ONE location! They have fresh-cut Christmas trees, living trees, and two cut-your-own Christmas tree fields! Visit them in Niwot at 95th + Niwot Rd. While you shop, emjoy complementary hot chocolate, tea, and candy canes. If you’re there on a weekend, Santa visits Saturdays and Sundays from 2pm – 4pm! 


Silver Bell Christmas Trees | Arvada 

If your family is looking for all the classic elements of an old time tree lot complete with friendly staff, free candy canes, music, and freshly cut trees, then head to this second generation family-owned Christmas Tree destination in Arvada. They have three types of trees, fresh garland, wreaths, and more! – Everything you need to deck your halls!


Tree Town Wonderland | Denver

3604 South Kipling, Denver, CO 80235

Tree Town Wonderland is not your typical tree lot. It’s a magical place where family and friends can gather and share in holiday fun. Hundreds of trees, with thousands of lights, are decorated throughout the two-acre site. Be sure to check their Special Holiday Events and plan your trip so that your littles can see Santa, catch storytime with Mrs. Claus, or even meet a reindeer! 


Tomari’s Trees | Morrison

6328 So. Turkey Creek Rd Morrison, CO 80465

Tomari’s is a locally-owned and community-minded Christmas Tree destination just up the hill in Morrison. Tomari’s has a huge selection of locally-sourced cut trees as well as Noble Fir and Nordman Fir trees, and they’ll help bundle and secure them to your vehicle. The Christmas Trees are just steps from Tomari’s gourmet coffee cafe, so enjoy shopping with a cup of hot cocoa, cider, or a flavored steamer. If you and your elves show up hungry, try their award winning freen fhili or some fantastic pastries! 


Jolly Christmas Trees | Multiple Locations

Aurora Town Center | Stapleton Northfield Mall | Colorado Springs 

Experience the joys and memories of buying a real Christmas tree with your friends and family at Jolly Christmas Trees three locations across the metro area. Jolly Christmas Trees make your holiday magical with tree varietals selected to last in Colorado’s dry winter climate: Fraser Firs, Balsam Firs, Scotch Pines, White Pines, and Korean Firs. They also have light-up inflatables and lots of tree accessories to make your holiday merry!


Neighborhood Christmas Tree Company | Multiple Locations

Aurora | Thornton | Denver

Proud to offer the freshest Christmas trees and accessories in Denver, this family owned business has become a holiday tradition. Take your pick of a variety of trees chosen because they’re best suited for the Denver climate: Noble Firs, Fraser Firs, Nordman Firs, and Grand Firs. All the trees are premium grade, freshly cut, and selected for superior quality shape! 


Everitt Farms | Lakewood 

9400 W. Alameda Avenue, Lakewood, CO 80226

Known for their commitment to sustainability, Everitt Fams in Lakewood brings that same commitment to their Christmas tree lot. For every tree cut down, another is planted, and the trees are grown at a local tree farm. Bring the kiddos to enjoy the firepit and free smores! 


Cottonwood Farms | Lafayette

10600 Isabelle Road, Lafayette, CO 80026

Intentionally grown for holidays in Colorado, the selection at Cottonwood Farms is unbeatable. Just minutes from Boulder, Lafayette, Louisville, Superior, and Erie, fresh, pre-cut trees are available beginning November 29th. 

 

 

Holiday Markets & Shopping Around Denver

 

Holiday Markets & Shopping Around Denver | Denver Moms

Denver has some amazing opportunities to shop local this holiday season! These amazing holiday markets and shopping events around Denver are sure to have the perfect gift for everyone on your list! 


Christkindl Market | Denver Downtown 

November 22nd – December 23rd

This award-winning annual holiday shopping event brings authentic German and European holiday traditions to Denver! This market opens every year on the Friday before Thanksgiving, and lasts through the 23rd of December. Guests can find delicious cuisine, festive German drinks, handmade jewelry, toys, clothing, gifts and much more. Live entertainment is featured inside the festival tent every evening, and dancing is highly encouraged!


Fetch Holiday Market | Denver Sports Castle 

November 30 – December 1 | December 6th – 8th | December 13th – 15th 

If you’re looking for our favorite reinvented retail experience for those who want it all — one of a kind gifts that come with a story, seasonal cocktails, food trucks and groovy background tunes, then you have got to get in on the Denver Holiday Flea.  Just rebranded and ready for another unforgettable holiday season at The Denver Sports Castle three weekends this holiday season, it is the place to find all things craft: waxed canvas totes to teak cutting boards, fanny packs to IPAs, jewelry to jam. They curate the artists and the products, and are a new-age sales and marketing platform for emerging brands. They’re friends of the maker and champions of the shaker – and they’ll delight everyone on your holiday gift list!  


Winter Gift Market | Denver Botanic Gardens

November 21 – 23rd 

Head to the Denver Botanic Gardens Shop for one-­of-a-kind, handcrafted holiday items; bath and body products; pottery; jewelry; specialty foods; clothing; antiques; and the Gardens’ Guild’s popular herbal vinegars and seasonings. Admission to Denver Botanic Gardens is free during the Winter Gift Market, and the Boettcher Memorial Tropical Conservatory and the Shop at the Gardens will be open.


Sugar Plum Bazaar | Denver

November 23rd and 24th 

Come down to the Sugar Plum Bazaar and enjoy the lighting of the lights at the City and county building the same night!!! We will have over 100 local artisans and businesses as well as a couple bars and food trucks. It is the perfect place to bring your family that is in town for the weekend and get ALL your holiday shopping done while supporting small businesses.


Christmas Market | Georgetown 

December 7th and December 9th 

The town of Georgetown transforms for two weekends into a bustling Christmas scene reminiscent of Christmas of long ago. If you’ve been thinking about checking out holiday markets, this is the one! Thousands of people gather  to experience a traditional Holiday where Christmas hasn’t changed in 100 years. There will be roasted chestnuts, shopping, horse-drawn wagon rides through Historic Georgetown, and wonderful sights and smells.St. Nicholas in his traditional dress and the daily procession of the Santa Lucia, as well as carolers in Victorian costume and dancers will all bring Christmas to life for Colorado families! 


Did we miss an event? Please comment below, so we can add it to our Christmas and Holiday fun!


Make sure you never miss out on things to do around Denver: Subscribe to our weekly Denver Moms newsletter! Be the first to know about our exclusive events, special offers and discounts, neighborhood group activities and, of course, local resources and parenting voices powered by local Denver area moms!

Guide to Denver Holiday Parades & Events

Holiday Parades & Holiday Special Events Around Denver | Denver Moms

The calendar is full of Christmas and Holiday fun around the Denver Area! We’ve got the list of all our favorite Holiday Parades & Special Holiday Events to get help spread cheer to you and yours! Also, check out our favorite Holiday Lights around Denver, and be sure to catch up with the big man in red at one of the area’s many Santa Sightings this season!

 


Holiday Parades ::

Catch the Glow Parade | Estes Park

November 29th

The 29th Annual “Catch the Glow” Parade will brighten downtown Estes Park the day after Thanksgiving – Friday, November 29.
Each year as many as 20,000 people line Elkhorn Avenue to “Catch the Glow” of this whimsical holiday parade, as well as spend the afternoon visiting Santa and strolling through downtown Estes Park. The parade features more than 40 units, including hand crafted floats from the Town of Estes Park and nonprofits, marching bands, fire trucks and other specialty vehicles.


Greeley Lights the Night Parade | Greeley

November 30th | 5pm

A don’t miss this holiday season the city of Greeley’s Lights the Night holiday parade! There are over fifty lighted floats that make their way through Downtown Greeley.


Parade of Lights | Denver Downtown

December 6th | 8pm & December 7th | 6pm

The Downtown Denver Partnership invites you to join them for a spectacular event! The 9NEWS Parade of Lights is a magical nighttime event, which features more than 40 units including extravagantly illuminated floats, giant helium-filled character balloons, magnificent marching bands, traditional equestrian units and vibrant cultural entries. This holiday parade is a longtime favorite!


Parade of Lights & First Friday Art Walk | Louisville

December 6th | 5pm – 9pm

Enjoy musical entertainment provided by local schools & churches, a living nativity, petting zoo and visits with Santa. The Parade begins at 7:00 p.m. at the south end of Main Street and ends on South Street.  All floats and entries must have lights. The Parade of Lights will include the Louisville Arts District First Friday Art Walk. Main Street will be closed starting at 5pm. The Art Walk will be from 5-6:30pm.


Olde Golden Holiday Parade | Golden 

December 7th, 14th, & 21st | 11:00am

Saturdays in December, authentic and historic downtown Golden becomes a festive holiday center with traditional decorations and fun family events. The free Olde Golden Christmas Parade starts at 1a:00 a.m. with cowboys on horses, floats, marching bands, old cars, elves on unicycles, the Grinch in his corvette, and of course, Santa Claus.  The parade winds down Washington Avenue with lots of activities before and after including snappy barbershop quartets, hot cider, Victorian carolers, and antique fire trucks. Presented by the Golden Chamber of Commerce.  *Rain, snow, or shine*


Lights of December Parade | Boulder

December 7th | 6pm

Crowds will enjoy marching bands, lit fire engines, holiday carolers and much more. The grand finale includes an appearance by the jolly old man himself – Santa Claus! The Parade starts at 15th & Walnut and heads West to Broadway, then North on Broadway to Spruce, and then East on Spruce ending at 15th.


Christmas in Conifer Parade & Celebration | Conifer 

December 7th | 2pm

Join us on Saturday, December 7th for the 37th Annual Conifer Christmas Parade featuring the March of Toys theme. Don’t miss holiday trolleys, warm spirits, live entertainment, Christmas Markets, Santaland and of course the very best small town Christmas Parade at this year’s 37th Annual Christmas in Conifer celebration!


Longmont Lights | Longmont

December 13th & 14th | 5pm

From ancient time, light has been both a source of mystery and magic, providing necessary warmth and guidance. Enjoy the mystery and magic of millions of sparkling lights and the sights and sounds of winter holiday celebrations as Longmont Lights continues with special activities in Roosevelt Park December 13th and 14th. There will be fireworks following the parade on Friday.


Christmas Carriage Parade | Parker 

December 14th | 12pm

The Parker Christmas Carriage Parade is a valued tradition held annually in downtown Parker in celebration of the holiday season. The Town of Parker and the Colorado Driving Society present this exciting event on the second Saturday of December each year and the parade is free to attend. Come and experience that holiday feeling in the air and enjoy this all-equestrian parade made up of dozens of horse-drawn carriages, wagons, surreys and stagecoaches from across Colorado, all dressed up for the occasion. Event-goers also enjoy a holiday farmer’s market, a petting zoo and pony rides, ice sculpting and visiting time and pictures with Mr. and Mrs. Claus!


Holiday Events::

Camp Christmas | Aurora  Stanley Marketplace

Now – January 5th | Times Vary

An over-the-top holiday extravaganza as big as the season it celebrates

Not for the faint of festivity, this over-the-top indoor immersive installation turns the holiday spirit all the way up with mesmerizing displays of decorations that shift time and reality. Camp Christmas is Denver’s newest holiday experience, where yuletide traditions of the past and present get merrily mashed together in a massive 10,000-square-foot wonderland. It’s not just pretty lights and mistletoe. This is where Marie Antoinette commands a Rococo sleigh, where ancient Roman festivals become Santa-fied, and where pink is more than just a color – it’s a place. Come in from the cold with your whole family and get wrapped in the ooey-gooey, odd and sweet rituals that have brought light to the darkness of winter for thousands of years.


Krampus Nacht at Christkindl Market | Denver

December 5th | 5pm

This December 5th, Krampus returns to the Denver Christkindl Market to find the misbehaving children! Join us in this annual tradition celebrating the German lore of St. Nick’s companion, Krampus, who has been known to roam regions including Austria and Bavaria seeking out those who didn’t make the Nice list. Have you been good this year??


St. Nickolaus Day at Christkindl Market | Denver

December 6 | 2pm – 7pm

Meet Saint Nikolaus, the German bringer of gifts, at our annual St. Nikolaus Day! In Germany, children wait for St. Nikolaus to come and to put a present under their pillows provided that the children were good during the year. Children who behaved badly may expect to find a twig or a piece of coal under their pillows (if they haven’t been caught by the Krampus the night before!). do some shopping, and stick around to sip hot cocoa and watch the Parade of Lights!


Olde Golden Christmas | Golden

December 6 – December 31

Historic downtown Golden will feature Victorian carolers, performances, visits with Santa, Newfoundland cart rides, parades, breakfast and photos with Santa, and holiday lights along the downtown area. Don’t miss Golden’s awe-inspiring Candlelight Walk!


 

Holiday Celebration | Highlands Ranch 

December 7th | 10am – 3pm

Celebrate at the Highlands Ranch Mansion with entertainment, games, performances, hay rides, vendors, and a special visit from Santa Claus. This Holiday Event is always a favorite!


Holiday’s Evening at the Littleton Museum – Littleton 

December 8 | 5:30pm

Looking for a special Holiday Event for your family? Join the Friends of the Littleton Library and Museum family for the most festive time of the year. Take delight in the smell of warm apple cider, cinnamon, cookies, and evergreens, while twinkling luminaries brighten the crisp December night air. Take a hay ride through the fields for a fresh perspective of the farms, while you snuggle with your favorite rosy-cheeked buddy.


Denver Pavilions Holiday Carousel 

December 20 – January 2nd | 11am – 9pm

Get into the holiday spirit by taking a ride on Downtown’s 1st & only Holiday Carousel. Due to popular demand, the carousel has been extended through the new year, with NEW YEAR’S EVE RIDES! So rekindle some of that childhood magic at Denver Pavilions. $3 per ride or FREE w/ a voucher from any Denver Pavilions merchant.
A portion of proceeds goes to Food Bank for the Rockies.


Best Holiday Lights Around Denver

Best Holiday Lights Around Denver | Denver MomsThe gorgeous displays of holiday lights around Denver make this time of year feel so magical! We’ve got a list of our favorite holiday light displays around town! 


Grand Illumination and Downtown Illuminations | Denver 

November 29th – New Year’s Eve

On Friday, November 29, Downtown Denver’s major landmarks will light up for the holidays during the Grand Illumination. The event features entertainment and lighting ceremonies at Denver Union Station and the City and County Building. Hundreds of thousands of lights will also illuminate the 16th Street Mall, Skyline Park, the D&F Clock Tower, 14th Street, Larimer Square and more.


Blossoms of Light | Denver 

November 29th – January 3rd | 5pm – 9pm

The Denver Botanic Gardens York Street location is transformed into a twinkling winter wonderland at this annual family-friendly event with thousands of lights. Wander the gardens and enjoy refreshments with the whole family. Don’t miss the interactive light display, holiday treats, and seasonal entertainment!


Zoo Lights | Denver 

November 29th – December 30th | 5:30pm – 8:30pm

Expected to span nearly 70 acres of the Denver Zoo this year, the Zoo Lights are an annual family tradition for many. Besides the real animal stars, you will find illuminated animals in action throughout the Zoo Lights experience. 


Candlelight Walk | Golden

December 6th | 6:30pm

Since 1988 Golden’s Candlelight Walk has been a traditional favorite.  This FREE community event brings thousands of families and friends into Golden.  Holding a candle and singing holiday songs, everyone walks down Washington Avenue from 15th Street in front of Foothills Art Center to 10th Street, where Santa and the mayor will help “light the lights” of our beautiful town.  Experience the “hometown” feel of the holiday season in historic downtown Golden.  


Lakewood Lights featuring the Mayor’s Tree Lighting | Lakewood   

December 6th & December 7th | 5:30-8:30 pm

Gather your friends, family and neighbors for this annual celebration! Join Mayor Adam Paul for a tree lighting ceremony at 5:45 p.m. on Friday, November 30. Enjoy a stroll among the light displays or hop on a wagon ride, listen to festive live music and warm up with roasted chestnuts and hot chocolate. Spin the dreidel to get coin-shaped chocolate gelt. Snap a photo with jolly old Santa Claus or craft an ornament to commemorate this happy holiday. 


Santa’s Village at Chatfield Farms | Littleton 

Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays, November 29th – December 22nd | 4:30pm – 8:30pm 

Chatfield Farms will be transformed into a magical village this holiday season with special guests Santa, Mrs. Claus, and Santa’s live reindeer! Don’t miss this new and exciting holiday experience for all ages. Hop on the hayride to catch a short movie at Santa’s cinema and find unique holiday gifts in his workshop.  


A Hudson Christmas | Littleton  

Nov 29-30 Dec 1, 6-8, 13-24, 26-31 | 5pm – 9pm

Hudson Christmas is the premier holiday light show in the Denver metro area, with thousands of twinkling lights in majestic trees, visits with Santa (through December 23) and memories for the whole family. Stroll along a festively-decorated outdoor walking path as you sip hot chocolate and experience dazzling displays of color and sound. Mark your calendars for this magical Littleton tradition.


Did we miss a holiday lights display or tree lighting around the Denver area? Comment below and we’ll add it to our list!


Make sure you never miss out on things to do around Denver: Subscribe to our weekly Denver Metro Moms Blog newsletter! Be the first to know about our exclusive events, special offers and discounts, neighborhood group activities and, of course, local resources and parenting voices powered by local Denver area moms!

Where to See Santa Around Denver

Where to See Santa Around Denver | Denver MomsThe holiday season is upon us, and we know all your little ones are thinking it’s time to make a Christmas wishlist and go see Santa to check if you’ve been nice or naughty! We’ve got the details on where to see Santa around Denver, so get your lists ready and get Santa photos!


Santa on the Square | Denver

November 30th | December 7th| December 14th | December 21st 

Head downtown to Larimer Square for some holiday cheer and to see Santa! Larimer Square is a favorite Denver destination for fabulous boutiques filled with something for everyone on your list! While you’re there, check out the carolers, carriage rides, and have a sit down with Santa on Saturdays and Sundays throughout the season. Visits with the big man in red are free and open to the public.


Breakfast with Santa at the Aquarium | Denver

December 7th & 8th | December 14th & 15th | December 21st – 24th

Make reservations to have breakfast buffet with Sharkey and Santa before going exploring throughout the Aquarium. Reservations required: Call 303-561-4450


Santa’s Flight Academy | Denver

Now – December 24th : hours vary

Head to Cherry Creek Mall to get Santa photos and become an official member of the flight crew! At this special visit with Santa, children get a personalized Cadet Badge, will try on a virtual flight suit, dance in the snow, and more! The Flight Academy is free, and a variety of photo packages are available for purchase.


Breakfast With Santa | Arvada

 December 7th : 9am 

Bring the entire family for breakfast with Santa at Apex Community Recreation Center. Bring your own camera! An adult must accompany children. Ages 3 to 103 must pay. Children two and under are free, but still need to register. No tickets sold at the door. Register by December 4th.


St. Nick on the Bricks | Boulder

November 29th : 11am – 2pm| Saturdays November 30 – December 21st 11am – 2pm

Kids of all ages can visit with Santa for FREE at the Downtown Boulder Visitor Information Center.  Whether you are asking for a fire engine for Tommy, a new doll for Molly, or a diamond ring for mommy, bring your list and a camera to capture priceless holiday memories. Then, take a FREE ride on the 100% Electric Tebo Train aka Snowflake Express. Children ages 10 and under (along with accompanying adults) will chug along Pearl Street in this one-of-a-kind experience. The Snowflake Express boards at the corner of 13th and Pearl where hot chocolate samples will be provided. Last train leaves the station at 2:00 pm.


Santa’s HQ Photos with Santa | Broomfield 

Now – December 24th : hours vary | Reservations available but not required

Head to FlatIron Crossing Mall to visit Santa for photos! He will be available for photos and visits at his Headquarters presented by HGTV, located at the base of the Grand Staircase. Visit the Magical Observatory where you can capture photos with family & friends, scan yourself at the Naughty or Nice O’Meter, and create and star in your own Elfie videos!

Pet Photos: November 14th, 21st, and December 5th : Cats and dogs only. Please be sure to have your pet on a leash or in a pet carrier.


Santa’s Workshop | Fort Collins

November 29th – December 15th, Friday – Saturday : 12pm – 6pm | December 18th – 19th : 3pm – 6pm | December 20th – 23rd : 12pm – 6pm | December 24th : 12pm – 4pm

At noon on November 27th, Santa will arrive by horse drawn carriage at the corner of Walnut and Linden streets to kick off the holidays! He is all set to welcome children of all ages and their families to his workshop in Old Town Square. Come give him your list and capture the memory with Santa photos! Visitors may take their own photos for free, or may take advantage of purchasing photos from a professional photographer. 


Breakfast with Santa | Golden

December 7th : 8:30am – 10:30am 

Enjoy a magical morning the Olde Golden Christmas Parade, and then join Mr. and Mrs. Claus for lunch at Old Capitol Grill & Smokehouse. Seating is limited, make reservations online. 


Breakfast with Santa | Highlands Ranch 

December 4th : 8:30am – 10:30am

Celebrate the magic of the Christmas season and enjoy a delicious breakfast buffet with Jolly Old Saint Nick as he comes to visit us for the holidays at Eastridge. Bring your appetite for the best pancakes and sausage this side of the North Pole. Want to treat your family to a magical morning and make your dreams come true? Santa and his merry elves arrive at 9:00am to listen to every good child’s special wish for Christmas. Remember to bring your camera to capture this favorite family tradition. Children may also enjoy creating crafts and listening to festive holiday music and stories from Mrs. Claus in the Workshop when they come to Breakfast with Santa in Highlands Ranch! 
Buy your tickets in advance, as this event may sell out! 


Photos with Santa | Lakewood

Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays December 6th – December 22nd : hours vary

Head out to Belmar for holiday shopping and the chance to take a photo with Santa at your favorite Lakewood shopping destination.


Santa’s Village at Chatfield Farms | Littleton

Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays, November 29th – December 22nd : 4:30pm – 8:30pm 

Come join the fun as Chatfield Farms is transformed into a magical village of holiday lights and fun. This exciting holiday experience for all ages has something for everyone, and of course  Take pictures with Santa and his live reindeer after you give him your wish list, craft with Mrs. Claus! Then, hop on the hayride to catch a short movie and find unique holiday gifts in his workshop.


Did we miss an event? Comment below so we can add it to our guide!


Make sure you never miss out on things to do around Denver: Subscribe to our weekly Denver Moms’ newsletter! Be the first to know about our exclusive events, special offers and discounts, neighborhood group activities and, of course, local resources and parenting voices powered by local Denver area moms!

 

5 Tips for Getting Kids Cooking in the Kitchen

I used to be a terrible cook. Seriously, terrible. Like, I burned water. Yes, it can be done if you forget about it long enough. So . . .  yeah, I basically couldn’t make macaroni and cheese. 

When we started having children, it became quite evident that cooking was something I might have to figure out . . . unless we were going to be either takeout junkies or professional breakfast eaters . . . because I could pour a bowl of cereal. Thankfully (for everyone involved), my husband is an excellent cook and was very patient while I mastered culinary arts learned how to follow a recipe.

Once I got past boiling water and some simple dinners, I wanted to cook . . . but I didn’t want to do it alone. I wanted my children to know how to cook, to build some confidence in their self-reliance, and to be involved in contributing to the family. Also, I wanted people to help with dishes . . . seriously.

Five Tips for Getting Children Involved in Cooking and Teaching Kids to Cook

1. Let kids help with meal planning

Meal planning is my nemesis, but a necessary evil. If I don’t plan, we eat cereal* or takeout. Getting the kids involved makes meal planning easier, gets them excited about meals, and ensures someone will eat what’s on the table. The kids are allowed to choose from a pre-approved list of recipes for our weekly meal plan. Whoever chooses a recipe is the “meal helper” and they also often accompany me to the grocery store and help pick out the ingredients we need.

Looking for some recipe ideas? Check out our Easy-Peasy Weeknight Meals, our Favorite Fall Slow Cooker Recipes, and these Simple Toddler-Approved Recipes to get you started! 

2. Keep the kitchen kid-friendly

If you want your kids cooking with you, I recommend a little bit of planning. I arrange things in my kitchen so that my children can help as much as possible, but also in a way that keeps the sharpest knives and other hazards out of reach. For the littles, some of our team swears by these wavy choppers – to get toddlers involved in dicing up vegetables or fruit. Also, when teaching kids to cook, don’t forget little ones are fantastic at mixing and pouring in pre-measured ingredients.  

3. Set jobs and expectations early to avoid fights, hurt feelings, and fires while teaching kids to cook

When it’s time to cook, the “meal helper” has to look at the recipe and tell me what we need for the meal. Once we’ve gathered ingredients, the very first thing we do is read through instructions from start to finish. Then, we decide who has the skills to safely accomplish each step and assign jobs. This not only helps prevent fights around sharp knives and the stove over who gets to chop and who gets to stir but also allows me to guide who may have an opportunity to learn a new skill. 

Tips on Teaching kids to cook 3. Give kids a “signature” recipe

Nothing fancy, but my oldest son’s “go-to” recipe is for a simple potato soup. It gives him confidence when he makes it, and it’s something I know he’s able to do without much supervision and the whole family loves it. We even refer to it as “his” potato soup, which makes him smile and take ownership of it. This also makes meal planning easy, because I know I can always suggest a “signature” recipe for the week. 

4. Try not to step in

I try to only intervene with the kids cooking process when something potentially dangerous, is happening. ( e.g.too advanced for their skill level (knife control, oven safety), raw or under-cooked food, grease fire hazards, etc.) Yes, it’s REALLY hard when they are making a “mistake” not to swoop in, take control, and correct them,. Instead, I gently ask everyone to pause and my “meal helper” reads that portion of the instructions again.

5. Above all, have fun!

Teaching kids to cook takes patience, and sometimes the meals don’t come out quite right. Regardless of whether or not the finished product is delicious, make sure the process is fun. Also, consider keeping condiments on hand, because Ranch makes anything taste better. Cooking with my children isn’t just about the food, it’s about talking, laughing, accomplishing something together that we feel good about . . . even if we end up burning the meal and eating cereal. Also, cleanup is sometimes the most fun part of the whole process. Yes, seriously. 

How do you get your kids cooking in the kitchen?

Follow our Healthy Eats for kids board on Pinterest for more recipe ideas!

*Note: I have nothing against cereal. I like cereal for a quick, nutritious, no-fuss breakfast, and ate lots of cereal on my journey to successful water boiling. Additionally, Breakfast for dinner is AWESOME . . . and very well received if pancakes, waffles, or at least some build your own omelets are involved)

Snow Day Activities for Kids

So, is it just me, or does everyone love the idea of a snow day?

No work, getting cozy, relaxing, and nothing on the to-do list except curling up with a good book or watching movies all day . . . Oh, wait, that used to be what snow days looked like. Now, I’m a mom and I have tiny humans to entertain. You feeling my pain? Don’t worry, we’ve got a list of some things to keep kiddos occupied so that the snowy day inside is fun for everyone!  

Snow Day ActivitiesSnow Day Activities (to keep kids occupied and mom happy) 

  1. Bake or make something fun for breakfast 
    Let those little fingers help and be part of the process. I know, they take so much longer and there’s a mess to clean up, but it’s worth it and so much fun for the kids! So, remember what this snow day game is all about – fun (and survival, but also fun)! Looking for a cozy breakfast idea? Here is a link to some of our favorites for your next snow day! 
  2.  Read a book
    Some winter favorites like The Mitten, The Snowy Day, or The First Day of Winter are sure to get you and your littles excited about the season!   
  3. Crafts
    I always have construction paper, cotton balls, glitter glue, markers, and pipe cleaners on hand. You could also have the kiddos make cut out snowflakes for a festive snow day craft!
  4. Screen Time
    Regardless of how you feel about screen time, once a book or two has been read, and you’ve done some crafts, it’s really not going to kill anyone to watch one or two episodes of a favorite cartoon, or that Snow Day movie. Bonus points if the movie or  show also includes snow!)
  5. Go Outside
    No, I haven’t lost my mind. Regardless of how cold it is, take the insane amount of time to bundle up your little people, and send them outside. Certainly, there’s a good chance it will take longer to bundle up than the time they will spend outside. That’s ok, just do it! Make snow angels, build a snowman and if you have a sled, more bonus points. Find a little hill and give it a go a couple of times. It’s a snow day, have some fun!
  6. Comfort Food
    So, the kids are outside turning themselves into human snowpeople. Finally, the house is a little quiet, so this is probably a good time to get something like dinner prep accomplished! So, grab the slow cooker and get dinner going in time to have a warm meal ready by the end of the day!. Need a recipe idea? Check out our Favorite Fall slow cooker recipes!  
  7. Hot Drinks
    Hot drinks are a MUST upon reentry from the arctic tundra known as outside. Certainly, something fantastic like tea with honey or hot chocolate with marshmallows will be perfect today!
  8. Coffee
    Yes, you’re likely to drink a LOT of coffee on a snow day. Embrace it, Mama.  
  9. Rub-A-Dub-Dub
    Sometimes little toes still need an extra special warm-up too, and this next activity is sure to be a crowd-pleaser. Nothing makes me feel much better than a warm bath, and on an extra cold day, I let the kids indulge a little. Go ahead, break out those dreaded bath crayons and bubbles and let the kiddos go to town!
  10. Homemade Snow Ice Cream
    Last, but not least, one of our favorite traditions. We aren’t able to do this one often, but when we have enough accumulation . . .  homemade snow ice cream is on the menu!! 

What are your favorite snow day activities? Share with us in the comments!

Best Family Friendly Breweries in and Around Denver

Ahhh, fall in Denver. The sun is shining, but I’m not sweating my mascara off, the kids are settled in school, the air is crisp but still warm . . .  Does it get much better than this? Patio season in the Mile High City is still in full swing, at least if you stay in the sunshine. Lifetimes ago, my husband and I spent many evenings checking out the trendy microbreweries around town, sampling their seasonal offerings, and enjoying the gorgeous weather.

Things have changed a little . . . the hours that we venture to these fine establishments may be slightly altered, and the pup in tow has transformed into three accompanied minors, but we don’t let our children stop us from enjoying a beer or two in public. And not just a beer . . . a GOOD beer . . . a GOOD, LOCAL beer. Yeah, that’s what I’m talking about. 

Now, don’t go all “Sweet Home Alabama” on me, this isn’t a “baby in a bar” type of situation. We live in a city where parents get dirty looks for not being shut-ins, and many local breweries actually WELCOME kiddos and even have activities for them! 

Family-Friendly Local Breweries Around DenverHere are the things I look for in a family-friendly brewery 

  1. Good Beer
    This should be a given. If the beer is terrible, count me out. I’ll stay home and drink a good beer we bought at the store.
  2. Space
    I’m not saying there needs to be a jungle gym, but there’s a reason we didn’t go to a restaurant ids are expected to sit quietly with a three-pack of crayons and coverless water cup. Kids need a little space to play.
  3. Beverage Options 
    Breweries that offer non-alcoholic drink options besides water get extra points from us. The kiddos think having lemonade or a soda is a special treat, so we like that!
  4. Snacks
    Most parents know that leaving home with kids and without snacks is about as safe as letting your two-year-old take garden shears to your hair. So, we always pack snacks, but a place that has snacks in case we run out (or in case I like snacks too) is great! 
  5. Activities
    This one is also for bonus points. Some breweries offer yard games or other things for kids (and adults) to do. 

If you are looking for family-friendly places where kids and adults can both enjoy themselves, then look no further than one of Colorado’s corner breweries. So, grab your family or a group of girlfriends and check out some of our favorite local breweries!::

New Terrain Brewery | Golden
This brewery in Golden may top my list of favorites. There is a huge outdoor dining area with picnic tables as well as open space for hula hooping and chalk art creating. The beer is fantastic, they have their own hard seltzer, and there are always food trucks available. The brewery itself sits adjacent to trails, making for a great post-hike stop.  

Long Table Brewhouse | North Park Hill
This neighborhood spot in North Park Hill is another perfect place to venture to with the family. They have a fantastic kid and dog-friendly patio, kombucha on tap, and daily food trucks. The unique building was once home to a coffin manufacturing facility as well as a Piggly Wiggly! 

Sanitas | Boulder
Sanitas offers a large indoor and outdoor space, as well as games, sodas, and kombucha on tap. Their on-site taco truck is amazing, and their beer is delicious.

New Belgium Brewery | Fort Collins 
This Fort Collins mecca for beer enthusiasts not only offers award-winning brews, but also a very kid-friendly atmosphere with open spaces and lawn games galore. There are always new and exciting beers to check out, as well as rotating food trucks. 

Lone Tree Brewing | Lone Tree 
When I first stepped foot in this place, I couldn’t tell if it was a brewery or an indoor play gym where parents and kids met for playdates. This is definitely a family-friendly brewery. The beer is tasty, the games are plentiful, and the space is perfect to allow for unrestrained littles to roam within eyesight. There are rotating food trucks that pass through as well. 

Station 26 | North Denver
This was
the first of many family-friendly breweries we frequented with a baby in tow, and will therefore always hold a special place in my heart. Once again, there is a great indoor and outdoor space with rotating food trucks and consistently great beer. There is also a bluegrass brunch on the second Sunday of every month, which is a great way to enjoy some live music with the family.

 

Intersect Brewing | Fort Collins 
This is it if you’re looking for excellent beer and fantastic local food a family-friendly spot in Fort Collins. Intersect features great outdoor and indoor spaces and up to 18 beers on tap with seasonal and year-round offerings. We love that this independent, family-owned brewery was founded by a husband and wife team looking to teach their children about hard work and community! 

Looking for more family-friendly local breweries around Denver? Check out this post.

What are your favorite family-friendly breweries in and around Denver? 

Denver Area Pumpkin Spice Everything

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So, is it safe to say that we’re all loving fall? Have you checked out our favorite area pumpkin patches yet and wandered through a corn maze or two? If you’re like us, you know that with the chill in the air comes all things pumpkin. If you’re a pumpkin spice lover, certainly you’ve been waiting for this moment all year! For our friends in the Denver Metro area, here’s your guide to where to find all things pumpkin. Map out your plans now- National Pumpkin Day is October 26!

PUMPKIN SPICE (& OTHER FALL ) COFFEE DRINKS::

Denver is filled with fall drinks, and we have something for everyone!

Pumpkin Spice in Denver at Atlas Coffee
Pumpkin spice in full effect at Atlas Coffee

ALLEGRO COFFEE COMPANY: So, you’re wanting a fall pick-me-up, but the sun is shining and you don’t want a hot drink? Head to Allegro and grab a Pumpkin Spice Cold Brew! It’ll give a fall-flavored kick to your week that will make you ready to tackle any DIY Halloween Costume Challenge! 

ATLAS COFFEE: Atlas is a community-focused craft coffee shop in Littleton, Colorado that was created to love and serve our community. They partner with a local roaster, Corvus Coffee, and are serving up some fantastic pumpkin spice this season! 

CORVUS COFFEE: Coffee enthusiasts around the metro area are no strangers to the roasters and baristas at Corvus. Their coffee is also featured at coffee shops around town because it’s just that good! We haven’t spotted pumpkin on their seasonal menu as of yet, but they do have a Salted Whiskey Caramel Lattes and The Auburn (Cinnamon-infused dark maple syrup latte)!

DRIP DENVER: Pumpkin chai lattes from Drip are just what we need to warm ourselves inside and out this season! We’ve always loved this fantastic local spot, and especially fall for this community-focused business when we want somewhere cozy and something warm and delicious!

CELESTIAL SEASONINGS:  Sweet Harvest Pumpkin Black Tea is perfect for a pick me up with a delicate fall flavor. To make this fall favorite, they start with rich black tea and fresh pumpkin flavor, then spice it with cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and a hint of natural sweetness.

LITTLE OWL COFFEE: Have you been to this little shop in LoDo? This local gem has been on Thrillist’s list of best coffee shops in America, and their seasonal offerings are AMAZING. They have “S’mor-tado,” a house-made chocolate ganache dipped in graham cracker with a roasted ‘mallow on the rim, a “Fall is life” pumpkin spice latte made with homemade pumpkin purée, ginger, nutmeg, Madagascar vanilla, and cinnamon, and a “Haldi Doodh!” turmeric & ginger latte. 

NOVO COFFEE: If you’re on the pumpkin kick, Novo has a fantastic Pumpkin Caramel through the month of November! However, they boast the real fall greatness is in their house Chai – the caramel notes in this year-round favorite hint of caramel apples that make us feel all the fall things.

LOOKING FOR A QUICK PUMPKIN SPICE FIX? NATIONAL BRANDS ARE ON THE #PSL TRAIN TOO, FRIENDS!

MCDONALD’S: Zoom through the drive-thru for a Pumpkin Spice Latte!

STARBUCKS: If you don’t know by now, they seemed to have coined the phrase “pumpkin spice” in 2003. Their seasonal pumpkin spice latte is in demand each year and is now available to consume in mass quantities. They also offer pumpkin bread and other pumpkin-flavored pastries.

PUMPKIN SPICE (& OTHER) FALL CRAFT BEERS:: 

Looking for something a little more adult? Denver has fantastic local seasonal beers, 

AVERY BREWING COMPANY:  In 2011, the local brewers at Avery wondered what would happen if a monstrous pumpkin ale, plump full of spicy gourdiness, were aged in fine fresh rum barrels to add suggestions of delicate oak and candied molasses. Rumpkin ale is what happens! They’ve also got other fantastic limited releases like their Sweater Party made with mulling spices (yes, please).

COPPER KETTLE BREWING COMPANY: This local brewery is totally committed to bringing fantastic, local, festive, craft beer to local connoisseurs. Get yourself to one of their taprooms to try their seasonal specialties, the Spooky Hollow Pumpkin Porter and Pumpkin Mexican Chocolate Stout!

DENVER BEER CO.: With two taprooms and a beer truck, Denver Beer Co. is known for changing their selection with the seasons, and fall is no exception! Denverites who love pumpkin beer are usually well acquainted with their seasonal Hey! Pumpkin – this beer has a nose full of cinnamon, nutmeg, and spice . . . it’s sweater weather in a can. This year, Denver Beer Company has melded two of their favorite beers for a big, bold, special release, and are bringing us Imperial Hey! Pumpkin Graham Cracker Porter to give some serious autumn fuzzies.  

S'mores Yeti
S’mores Yeti we paired with some of our favorite local chocolate!

GREAT DIVIDE BREWING: Not a lover of pumpkin beers? Well, then get yourself one of the Yeti clan seasonal offerings (they’re AH-mazing!). The S’mores Yeti tastes of the classic campsite dessert blended with the rich, roasty malt flavor of Yeti Imperial Stout. Looking for something spicier, check out the Mexican Chocolate Yeti made with a variety of spices, vanilla, and coffee to Yeti Imperial Stout to create their version of a traditional champurrado drink.  

SPICE TRADE BREWING: This fantastic local brewery has been brewing in Arvada since 2008. This fall, they’re opening a Spice Trade – World Taproom and Kitchen in the Tech Center, and bringing more awesome brews to please our palates! To warm you up, we recommend their #PSL Pumpkin Spice Latte (coffee pumpkin ale), and are also itching to try their Sichuan Saison and Chai Milk Stout! 

UPSLOPE BREWING COMPANY: Pumpkin Ale from Upslope is made by adding organic baby bear pumpkins to malt and hops and makes this truly a local farm to brewhouse collaboration. A custom blend of six spices rounds out the flavors in this highly anticipated beer.

 

SWEET AND SAVORY PUMPKIN EATS::

Pumpkin Chip at Little Man Ice Cream

THE DESSERT STAND: If this metro area favorite didn’t have three dessert trucks/ carts, we’d be pretty convinced that the crowd up north is hoarding deliciousness. At this Westminster spot, you can get fall favorites like pumpkin pies, pumpkin cakes, pumpkin spice cupcakes. Basically all the treats you’d need for your fall bash! 

DIFRANCOS: This fantastic farm to table Italian restaurant in Denver is known for incredible service and even better food! Their fall menu features a Pumpkin Pappardelle that we are all dying to try!  

GLAZED AND CONFUSED: Have you checked out this fabulous, local, creative donut shop? With two locations and a fantastic selection of fall donuts like pumpkin pie, molasses ginger, chai, and pumpkin porter, there’s no excuse to miss this deliciousness! 

LITTLE MAN ICE CREAM: This favorite spot for local ice cream has fantastic fall flavors to tickle your tastebuds like pumpkin chip and vegan pumpkin chai. They’ve also turned the area around their adorable milk can into a Little Man Pumpkin patch! Seriously, it’s the best thing ever to knock out ice cream AND a pumpkin patch trip in one!  

MIMI’S CAFE: With six metro locations, Mimi’s Cafe has something for everyone! This fall, we’re especially excited about the seasonal menu . Mimi’s is featuring pumpkin pain perdu, pumpkin spice muffin, pumpkin spice latte, pumpkin crème brûlée. If you’re looking for a drink to go with your tasty treat, try the fall sangria or salted caramel mimosas! 

SUSHI-RAMA: Yes, there’s a sushi spot on our list, and the pumpkin item they’re featuring isn’t on their dessert menu. If you’re looking for a creative way to show pumpkin some love this season, (because who isn’t?!) head over to Sushi-Rama and order the Pumpkin Dragon roll – seriously, it’s fantastic . . . and just the thing to balance out all the wasabi we put on everything else!

 

SPAM(?!)

Not quintessential Colorado, but if pumpkin spice is really your thing, try spam! I’m not kidding… At a Walmart near you. It seems pumpkin spice has finally reached all the things.

There you have it! A sampling of all the tasty pumpkin spice treats to enjoy this fall season. What are your favorite fall treats around Denver?

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