Holiday Budgeting

Since my divorce and crawling my way out of a terrible financial fix (thanks ex-husband!), I budget for nearly everything. There are a few things around the holidays that can send me for a loop so this year, I have tried to be more mindful of what those things are and budget appropriately.

  • Wrapping Paper – I typically plan my budget for the presents not the wrapping paper. Some malls in the area (or stores) offer free wrapping when you purchase a gift there. Take advantage of that!
  • Cookie Making – depending on the cookies some are less expensive to make than others. Can you make great cookies with simple ingredients and not a lot of expensive nuts or chocolate? Maybe even do a cookie exchange with friends or neighbors so you don’t have to buy a lot of unique ingredients.
  • Holiday Dress – Not that I go out that often but I do have one company Christmas party that I attend year after year. It is a dress up formal occasion. This time of year is great to grab a dress from a consignment store or trade with friends. Not only your own clothes – but also kids. My daughter is in choir and each year she has grown out of her crisp white shirt and black pants. So I need to budget their outfit or costume.
  • Little Gifts – There are a multitude of little gifts that seem to pop up. Gifts for your co-workers, neighbors, baby-sitter, teacher, or boss. (I would say hair dresser here but I usually go to Great Clips/CostCutters etc so I don’t have a regular person I need to spiff at the end of the year). (Even my kids have friends they want to give a little something to – I try to make them budget for this). Little tokens of appreciation add up. My kids and I made personalized coffee mugs a couple years ago. We got mugs at the dollar store and decorated them with ceramic sharpie markers. Easy and fun.
  • Decorations – I have some decorations that we use year after year, but I often have that string of lights that doesn’t light up or I just want to add a little something new. Plan ahead and use coupons! Michael’s Craft Store, Hobby Lobby, and Ace Hardware usually have coupons that you can use toward decorations.
  • Photos and Cards – Many people plan their family photos at this time of year, print cards and send. Photography is expensive – not to say that a great professional photographer is worth the money – just saying maybe take those photos in September.
  • Food -I’m not talking about the food that you make at home but the lunches out, dinners out and/or take out that you purchase because you have been shopping all day (or are still at the mall).

It may be too late to plan these expenses already for this year (Hello November 25th!!), but you can put them in your budget next year and save yourself a lot of headache and money.

Denver Deal: Black Friday

Maybe my family is weird. After all the Turkey is done, we sit around the table and get out the paper (about the only one I buy each year) to plot the day ahead – Black Friday. My daughter has even joined the fun the last few years – despite her not being a morning person AT ALL. But, with the promise of a Starbucks to start her 4 a.m. day she can handle it.

Target First Tuesday FREE Day. Tuesday, December 1, head over to the Children’s Museum of Denver for FREE admission from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. to check-out the $16 million expansion.

Black Friday Festivities:

  • Outlets at Castle Rock – On top of the center’s daily commitment to 30-70% off retail prices – Outlets at Castle Rock’s Moonlight Madness sale promises a fun, family-friendly late-night shopping experience for the whole family. Starting Thanksgiving night and running throughout the weekend, shoppers are invited to enjoy: Hourly prizes and trip giveaways, Street party performers including jugglers, roving magicians, balloon artists and face painters, DJ’s and live music from Mass Hipsteria, a pancake breakfast from Flippin’ Flapjacks on Friday starting at 7:30 a.m. Special deals including Ann Taylor Factory – 60% Off Entire Store, Le Creuset – 40% Off, Gap – 50% Off, Restoration Hardware – 30% Off, and many, many more!
  • Best Buy – I recently read that electronics are not a great deal on Black Friday. I beg to differ. The Best Buy ad is chock-full of great TV deals.
  • Target. Spend $75 on Black Friday get a coupon for 20% off on your next trip (Dec 4-13) or spend $100 Saturday on Holiday Shop you will get $50 with coupon. Speaking of coupons, make sure to clip them as you will get Target gift cards with purchases of Apple Watch, iPhone and iPad.
  • WalMart – WalMart also has TVs on sale (some start as early as 6 p.m. on Thursday evening), select DVDs for as low as $1.96 and light sabers for just $5. I know I will get my daughter a set of PJ’s for just $10!
  • Old Navy – Old Navy will give the first people in line a chance to win $1,000,000 and the whole store will be 50% off.
  • Aeropostale – The first 100 people in line at each store will be eligible to win clothes for themselves and their besties for a whole year! Anyone as interested in the Bethany Motaline as my kiddo? Plus you can score 50% off the whole store.
  • Denver Broncos Store – the Denver Broncos store at Sports Authority Field and Dove Valley will offer 50% off from 6 a.m. to 8 a.m. on Black Friday. After 8 a.m. you can save 40% (and the Park Meadows store as well).

Online Sales. It used to be that the only way to score a deal was to be at a store at 4 a.m. on Black Friday. But now,  there are several great scores for online sales. Amazon and Overstock promise great deals. But also brick-and-mortar stores like Best Buy and Costco will offer online only specials (with FREE shipping) on Thanksgiving day and Black Friday. Be sure to log-on to see what their offers are.

Clothes Mentor.  Clothes Mentor in Park Meadows area. will have a special Black Friday sale between 8am and 10 am the entire store will be 40% OFF (Excluding designer handbags/wallets).

Spot HeroSpotHero is now offering $1 night and weekend parking at the Sheraton in downtown Denver, for a limited time, including Thanksgiving weekend (Fri-Sun). Nights: 4pm – 3am and weekends: 24/7 (Friday 4pm – Monday 3am). Drivers do not need to be hotel guests in order to get the $1 discounted rate. The rate of $1 is per 24 hour period. (Please note: There are two weekends that the rate is not valid: 12/4-12/5 for Parade of Lights and 12/30-1/1 for Decadence at the Convention Center).

White Fence Farm announced its first eatery expansion in its Colorado history.  The new out post location is conveniently located in Green Valley Ranch and will be open everyday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. The new carry out location will have all of the farm favorites including chicken, coleslaw, bean salad, pickled beets, mashed potatoes and gravy, mac n’ cheese and desserts such as farm fresh pies, homemade fudge, delectable brownies and scrumptious rice crispy treats. Farm meals and value packs such as the popular “Farm Hand Pak” and “Picnic Pak” are available. New to the take-out menu are classic biscuits with honey butter. And the people have spoken; corn fritters will be available soon. Green Valley Ranch Blvd, Denver; 720.695.5823whitefencefarm-co.com

Stride Rite. It’s BOGO time (BUY ONE GET ONE 40% OFF) at Stride Rite. Some exclusions apply. See store for details.

Gift With Purchase or Bonus. The extras with a purchase deals are already rolling in.

  • Lego Store – Get a free exclusive Holiday Train with any purchase of $99 or more.
  • Yard House – Buy $50 gift card get $10 bonus card.
  • California Pizza Kitchen – Buy $50 in gift cards get a bonus $10 promotional card.
  • Target – Get a $10 gift card with a $50 grocery purchase (Through Nov 21)

Starbucks. Starbucks celebrates Merry Mondays through December 7. Members of their free loyalty club can get different deals each Monday. Next week you will get a free holiday bakery item when you purchase a holiday beverage.

Panera Bread. On these cold days of December a great deal like the 99-cent coffee with purchase offered at Panera (11 a.m. to close) is a great deal to keep you warm!

LiftopiaLiftopia – the largest online and mobile marketplace for ski lift tickets and other mountain activities – is giving skiers and boarders one more reason to celebrate: this Saturday, Sunday and Cyber Monday, everyone can register to win Liftopia gift credits, anywhere from $10 up to $250. Most ski areas are open by Thanksgiving weekend. So, this may be a pre-Christmas present for yourself…time away with the family.

Belly Bliss. Belly Bliss encourages Mamas to take some time for themselves during this frenetic holiday season. They are offering weekly workshops. Drink wine, eat food and socialize. Maybe even win prizes (they will have some raffle, silent auction, and door prizes at the events).

Hey Duckee. Holidays are just around the corner and If you have kids or grandkids you’ll love this website www.heyduckee.com. Hey Duckee was started by two women shopping for their own kids and grandkids. It took them all over the world to find quality made items, at affordable prices. You’re sure to find something for every child on your list with their huge selection of toys, clothes and accessories. Not only do they have amazing deals every single day but now through Christmas they are offering FREE SHIPPING with every single order.

 =======

Email me if you know of any great Denver deals!

If you’re on Twitter follow me on Twitter (GeeWhy93).  If I find a great deal during the week, I’ll tweet it out.

Loyalty Programs

I write a lot about deals. Especially here in Denver, CO. (Although some of them are good for anywhere). So I thought I would take a few moments to talk about Loyalty Programs. The good, the bad and the Ugly.

You may be familiar with Loyalty programs of all sorts. Some allow you to accrue points towards deals or free items (especially on your birthday). Some may require you just give your name and some basic information like an email address or a phone number.

Some Perks: Depending on the program, several offer you freebies for your birthday (I have another post on all the birthday perks  you can get just for giving up your email. Tip: create another email for all your “junk” email). You can gain access to special sales or deals – which can amount to great discounts or in some cases even cash back).

Word of warning: I don’t personally like or endorse any loyalty program that costs money. I also am very cautious about ones that would require me to give any financial information (including those that want your credit card number). Those that give you or open a credit card for you are a giant red flag – they will constantly tempt you to spend, spend, spend (while they collect your feeds and interest) for the possibility of getting more points or perks.

Some of the best ones:

  • Bare Minerals – in addition to the free item on your birthday, you also get a discount day, VIP discounts and always a 15% discount.
  • Sephora – Beauty classes, free samples, points program, discounts, free birthday gift, and special event invites (some including discounts).
  • Kohl’s – Earn cash back when you purchase items at Kohl’s (it doesn’t matter how you pay – I don’t use their credit card and still get the cash). Get special discounts and occasionally a great coupon in the mail (get $5 off when you purchase something for $5 or more – essentially get a $5 item for free).
  • Safeway – Safeway has a metric to look at what you purchase most often. They then give you specialized coupons just for you with discounts on items you purchase most (or their competitor product). Plus, their gas station program allows you to get discounts on gas based on how much you spend in store.
  • Best Buy – Best Buy has a loyalty program where they give you cash to spend in the store in the form of reward certificates. You can get 1 point for every $1 you spend. 250 points = $5 reward certificate. To me, 250 sounds like a lot – it really isn’t as most of the time if you are buying electronics or household items there they will easily add up quickly.
  • Southwest Airlines – This is probably one of my most favorite rewards programs. You can gain points from shopping through their portal, gain points from going out to eat at a restaurant near you, (they also offer a credit card you can gain points through), and of course through flying. The rewards are easy to redeem for free flights. I think their best perk is the Companion Pass – which allows you to bring a guest with you when you purchase one (like a BOGO on flights). *I am almost there!

Let me know what great perks programs you know about. What makes it so great? Are discounts better? Free items? VIP events? What drives you to join a program (or not)?

Teenage Son

I got in a fight with my teen age son the other night. As I am narrowing down to finally move back to his side of town (I am living with my parents on the complete opposite side of town for one month while I close on my house). When I moved I had asked my ex to keep the kids during the week (so we don’t have a 4 hour commute – two hours back and forth each day in traffic). This was so that they could stay with their friends. They could be close to their after school activities (my son playing football and my daughter in cheer). The agreement though was that I would keep the every other weekend that is part of our divorce agreement. (And Thanksgiving which falls in the middle of that).

My son’s final football game was played on Friday and I had planned on getting him after that game and bring him to my parents house for the weekend. Along with my daughter. My parents live in a decent sized three bedroom house – but one of the rooms has been converted into an office/craft room, leaving only one room for my son, daughter and I to sleep in. But they did offer to put together a blow-up bed. He has told me in the past that that room “freaks him out.” While I don’t know why because it opens to a fenced in back yard. I agreed to have my parents prepare the blow up and I would plan to sleep there while my son and daughter could be in the one bedroom.

I had also planned to take him to one of his favorite all you can eat restaurants, Cinzetti’s. Cinzetti’s serves Italian food. He had specifically asked to eat there once while we were up here. This was to be the Saturday – as I am only staying one month and last week we went to a Mystery Dinner (more on that in another post). I had even invited my sister’s youngest (his cousin) to come spend the night too – so it would seem more like a slumber party – and kids could be around kids. Who doesn’t love cousins?

But he said no. He got my ex on the phone and riled me up. He screamed at me that I was an awful parent. That I did not make the trip down to see the kids one night last week to take them to dinner. I thought I had been doing the right thing leaving them to their football, cheer and homework – rather than forcing them to spend a dinner with me. This time of year they are very busy with all their activities. He said it was my fault that I had no place for him to sleep (what he doesn’t understand is that I DO have a place – it is just not convenient – and on the other side of town away from his friends).

It really hurt my heart. The way he was yelling. I know this sounds like complaining and 1st world problems for certain. I do hope that one day my son will know that I love him. That I am not a bad parent as his dad has made him believe. I hope that he knows I had things planned specifically for him. So that HE could feel more comfortable. That there are kids that don’t have a place to stay at all – let alone two options. That there are kids that don’t have food to eat – let alone an offer for an all you can eat restaurant where he can eat to his heart’s content. I hope that he knows…one day….how much I miss him for just a week. I know that one day I will need to let him go anyway. I hope that one day he doesn’t have to make difficult decisions like not seeing his kids for a month because of circumstances a little out of his control.

Home Sweet Home

With all the troubles of the HUD house and the HOA of where I was looking before. I was beginning to think that being a home owner was really just a pipe dream and something I could not do on my own. Particularly given where I wanted to live being so expensive. Not that I really would necessarily pick that place to live but not wanting to argue with my Ex about my kids and/or move them from where they are happy.

The week that I moved in with my parents at the complete opposite side of town from where my kids and my life are – I started looking at houses in a little community that I have been avoiding (it is a bit isolated, it notoriously has higher taxes, poor resale and the water supply is from some other municipality so it is expensive). But then I started thinking about all the good things about the area. It still feeds to my kids High School (they would not be within walking distance of the school – but would be able to ride a bus).

I found a house with the help of my realtor, that was a flip. I was very excited to get my own Property Brothers done house. The kitchen is beautiful, the bathrooms redone and a great area in the basement that I can really envision my son LIVING in.

It was listed as much more than I really could afford – but I put a bid in at the top of my finances. Surprisingly, it was accepted with the condition that we close by the end of the month. This would make my loan originator work very hard (and fast). But it looks like it will be done on Nov 30. I will finally be a home-owner! Give me a week or two to get in and you can bet I will have a bunch of people over to help me celebrate.

Denver Deal: White Fence Farm, Starbucks, Consignments and More

As a mini shout-out to my son and his ThunderRidge Grizzlies High School football team. Congratulations to them on winning yet another round in the state play-offs. I am excited for them to play against Cherry Creek this next Friday. What I am not excited about now is the snow and the cold. Broncos fans help me out here. How in the world do you stay warm at these things? Any tips you can give me are much appreciated!

Denver FREE Day. Head on over to the Denver Zoo on November 19th. It’s FREE admission!

Denver Public Library Book Sale. Every once in a while even the library has to clean their shelves. This is when YOU score a great deal. November 19-21 the sale at the Denver Public Library (on floor B2) will include books for $1-3. Hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day and they do take credit cards.

Clothes Mentor. Celebrate Girls Night Out- Friday Nov. 13 from 5-8 p.m. at the Clothes Mentor in Park Meadows area. There will be food, a lot of fun and raffle prizes. If you can’t make it for GNO make sure to put Clothes Mentor on your Black Friday list when between 8am and 10 am the entire store will be 40% OFF (Excluding designer handbags/wallets).

White Fence Farm announced its first eatery expansion in its Colorado history.  The new out post location is conveniently located in Green Valley Ranch and will be open everyday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. The new carry out location will have all of the farm favorites including chicken, coleslaw, bean salad, pickled beets, mashed potatoes and gravy, mac n’ cheese and desserts such as farm fresh pies, homemade fudge, delectable brownies and scrumptious rice crispy treats. Farm meals and value packs such as the popular “Farm Hand Pak” and “Picnic Pak” are available. New to the take-out menu are classic biscuits with honey butter. And the people have spoken; corn fritters will be available soon. Green Valley Ranch Blvd, Denver; 720.695.5823whitefencefarm-co.com

Savvy Seconds Consignment Sale. Attention all you Fashionistas! What to do with all of the clothes you spend a fortune on but no longer wear? Savvy Seconds is Denver’s Largest Consignment Event for Women, Teens and Kids.  Kids Fall Event is held at the JCC Denver November 19-20th. NO FEE to attend.  Debit, Visa, Discover and MasterCard accepted. They are also looking for consignors (earn up to 75%) for this event – they’ll even pick up your stuff! For more information and shopping hours please visit  www.savvysecondssale.com

Larson Ski & Sport. Larson Ski and Sport in Lakewood will be holding their annual ski swap this weekend, November 20 &-21. Find great deals on skis, boots, poles, snowboards, helmets and more for growing kids, improving skiers, or just because you want something new! They are taking consignors now. Plus, while you are there you can get lift tickets (or 4-packs) from several of your favorite resorts.

Stride Rite. It’s BOGO time (BUY ONE GET ONE 40% OFF) at Stride Rite. Some exclusions apply. See store for details.

H&M Grand Opening. H&M is Grand Opening another store in the Denver area. This time it is at the Southwest Plaza on Thursday, November 19. Grand Openings mean opportunities to win great prizes. Up to $300 for the first 200 people in line!

Gift With Purchase or Bonus. The extras with a purchase deals are already rolling in.

  • Lego Store – Get a free exclusive Holiday Train with any purchase of $99 or more.
  • Yard House – Buy $50 gift card get $10 bonus card.
  • California Pizza Kitchen – Buy $50 in gift cards get a bonus $10 promotional card.
  • Target – Get a $10 gift card with a $50 grocery purchase (Through Nov 21)

Starbucks. Starbucks celebrates Merry Mondays through December 7. Members of their free loyalty club can get different deals each Monday. Next week you will get a free holiday bakery item when you purchase a holiday beverage.

Panera Bread. On these cold days of December a great deal like the 99-cent coffee with purchase offered at Panera (11 a.m. to close) is a great deal to keep you warm!

Belly Bliss. Belly Bliss encourages Mamas to take some time for themselves during this frenetic holiday season. They are offering weekly workshops. Drink wine, eat food and socialize. Maybe even win prizes (they will have some raffle, silent auction, and door prizes at the events). November 19 craft night will feature holiday home decor.

Hey Duckee. Holidays are just around the corner and If you have kids or grandkids you’ll love this website www.heyduckee.com. Hey Duckee was started by two women shopping for their own kids and grandkids. It took them all over the world to find quality made items, at affordable prices. You’re sure to find something for every child on your list with their huge selection of toys, clothes and accessories. Not only do they have amazing deals every single day but now through Christmas they are offering FREE SHIPPING with every single order.

Pictures On Gold! I am always looking for great and different gift ideas for not only my kids but since I pay for the stuff they often give to grandparents etc. I was so excited to see PicturesOnGold has these great number necklaces – where I can get my son’s number on a fancy gold necklace. You can also get great lockets and Save on customized Lockets from Pictures On Gold! Just in time for the Holidays! Use code famguide10 to save 10% off your order!

 =======

Email me if you know of any great Denver deals!

If you’re on Twitter follow me on Twitter (GeeWhy93).  If I find a great deal during the week, I’ll tweet it out.

Denver Deal: Veteran’s Day Deals, Free Days, Starbucks, and More

I recently went to a fun Detective Dinner with my kids that we booked through Vimbly.com. Vimbly offered MileHighMamas a gift certificate to try out the service. It was simple to choose a fun and interactive event to participate in (I will write a post shortly about our night). The choices were plentiful from exploration, adventure, eating, drinking and more. The process for making our choice, registering, checking out and what I liked best was the reminder emails.

Denver FREE Days

Veteran’s Day. Do you know a military family? A veteran? There are some great deals for Veterans on Veteran’s Day (Wednesday, November 11) this year.

  • Copper Mountain – Copper has moved up their opening date to Wednesday. Since it is Veteran’s Day all veterans (active and retired) and their dependents can ski for free on Wednesday.
  • Starbucks – Veterans active duty service members and spouses enjoy a free tall brewed hot coffee.
  • Castle Marne Bed & Breakfast in Downtown Denver will honor 20 Veterans with a free room and basket of goodies from A la Carte Gifts and Baskets.
  • Applebee’s – Veterans receive a free meal from a special menu selection.
  • Buffalo Wild Wings – Veterans and active duty military personnel receive one small order of wings and a side of fries for free from 4 – 7 p.m.
  • Chili’s – Veterans and active military service members get a free entrée from a limited menu
  • Great Clips – customers who come in for a service can get a free haircut card to give to their favorite veteran. Veterans can also receive a free haircut or get the free haircut card. Haircuts are redeemable until Dec. 31.
  • World Market – Active duty, retirees, veterans, Reserves, Guard, DoD and spouses get 20% off entire purchase November 7-11.
  • Bowlmor – Bowlmor AMF, the largest operating of bowling centers in the world, is offering FREE bowling nationwide. Every veteran or active military member that comes into one of over 300 centers will receive two free games plus shoe rental.
  • Gigi’s Cupcakes – Active and retired military can get a free cupcake.

Life Time Kids Academy “Choice”Open House. Life Time Fitness is expanding for kids ages 3 through 13 and includes a combination of many unique classes, including development of Fitness & Agility, Arts & Culture, Mind and Body, and Life Skills taught by qualified instructors known as “Gurus” all in one convenient location.  An open house will be held this weekend November 14-15 from 9 a.m.-noon at various locations and will include free demo classes to all members and fun activities and crafts for children, including face painting, temporary tattoos, balloon artists, bounce houses and more. https://www.lifetimefitness.com/en/programs-and-events/family/kids-academy.html

Fred Meyer’s JewelersFred Meyer Jewelers, celebrates the grand opening of its seventh Colorado location (17761 Cottonwood Dr. in Parker) Wednesday, November 11. The first 100 Fred Meyer Jewelers customers on opening day (6 a.m.) receive a FREE 18″ crystal infinity necklace in sterling silver valued at $75. Plus, the first 100 customers on November 11 through 15 receive a FREE gift bag filled with jewelry cleaner, mints, lip balm, shopping pads and more.

King Soopers. King Soopers has been offering the Free Friday Download for a while now. They offer great products. In the past few weeks we have received free treats for our cat, protein bar, yogurt, fruit drinks, and more.

Clothes Mentor. Celebrate Girls Night Out- Friday Nov. 13 from 5-8 p.m. at the Clothes Mentor in Park Meadows area. There will be food, a lot of fun and raffle prizes. If you can’t make it for GNO make sure to put Clothes Mentor on your Black Friday list when between 8am and 10 am the entire store will be 40% OFF (Excluding designer handbags/wallets).

Savvy Seconds Consignment Sale. Attention all you Fashionistas! What to do with all of the clothes you spend a fortune on but no longer wear? Savvy Seconds is Denver’s Largest Consignment Event for Women, Teens and Kids.  Kids Fall Event is held at the JCC Denver November 19-20th. NO FEE to attend.  Debit, Visa, Discover and MasterCard accepted. They are also looking for consignors (earn up to 75%) for this event – they’ll even pick up your stuff! For more information and shopping hours please visit  www.savvysecondssale.com

Nordstrom. The Nordstrom Fall clearance sale is on! Get up to 40% discount through November 15.

Stride Rite. It’s BOGO time (BUY ONE GET ONE 40% OFF) at Stride Rite. Some exclusions apply. See store for details.

Gift With Purchase or Bonus. The extras with a purchase deals are already rolling in.

  • Lego Store – Get a free exclusive Holiday Train with any purchase of $99 or more.
  • Yard House – Buy $50 gift card get $10 bonus card.
  • California Pizza Kitchen – Buy $50 in gift cards get a bonus $10 promotional card.

Swarovski Jingle & Mingle Event. Join Swarovski at Park Meadows on Thursday, November 12th from 6:00-8:00PM for their holiday party to kick off the gift-giving season! Enjoy festive music, complimentary giftwrap goodies, and exclusive offers.

Starbucks. Starbucks wants to help you make the season bright with a special Buy One Get One FREE with their holiday drinks (Caramel Brulee Latte, Pepermint Mocha and Chestnut Praline) Thursday, November 12 to Sunday, November 15 from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. at participating cafés. If you are a My Starbucks Rewards (which is free) member you get an extra day – Monday, November 16 from 2 p.m. to closing.

 =======

Email me if you know of any great Denver deals!

If you’re on Twitter follow me on Twitter (GeeWhy93).  If I find a great deal during the week, I’ll tweet it out.

Denver Deal: Denver Arts Week, Ski Expo, Santa Arrival and More

Last year it seemed that there were several stores that were in a race to see who would be open on Thanksgiving. This year it seems to be quite the opposite. Stores are proclaiming loud and clear that they will NOT be open. Among the stores are TJ Maxx, Marshalls, Nordstrom, Costco, Sam’s Club, Staples, and REI. While you and the staff of these stores may have to enjoy Thanksgiving at home, you may have a chance to get your time with Santa long before then.

Denver Arts Week. November 6 – 14 is Night at the Museums and Denver Arts Week 2015.  A week of events celebrating the city’s vibrant arts & culture scene. Events include Free showing of The Nutcracker by the Colorado Ballet, The Denver Art Museum (DAM) will offer free general admission during Night at the Museums on Nov. 7, 2015 from 5 to 10 p.m. This special evening offers visitors of all ages an after-hours creative art experience and access to 19 different exhibitions at the DAM. Galleries, Movies and more. There is certainly something for everyone – and it’s all FREE!

Santa Arrivals. Santa arrives to much fanfare, activities and great kids fun at the following locations.

  • Cherry Creek – Friday, November 6 celebrate the arrival of Santa Claus for the season at Cherry Creek Shopping Center and the official lighting of the Ice Palace from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. Enjoy festive holiday music from a live DJ, milk and treats and the Original Dickens Carolers. Also, beginning Nov. 6, in conjunction with the release of the The Peanuts Movie in theaters, Cherry Creek Shopping Center will offer a unique “Peanuts” holiday experience at the Ice Palace.
  • Park Meadows – Santa is ready for photos starting on November 7
  • Town Center of Aurora – Santa will be ready for photos starting at 7:10 a.m. on November 7. They are also offering a fun dine with Santa on November 29 from 4 p.m .to 6 p.m. You have to be a member of the Kidgets program and rsvp.
  • Outlets at Castle Rock – Join Outlets at Castle Rock for the official Holiday kickoff celebration! The party starts at 3:00pm with a FREE concert from Denver’s own Breanna Rubio, free hot cocoa, activities for the kids, and more! Santa will then make his way to the stage to light the famous Outlets at Castle Rock Christmas Tree and begin his stay in his cottage for pictures with the kids! Bundle up and join the fun Saturday, November 14th from 3-5pm!
  • FlatIrons Crossing – NOVEMBER 7, 2015 9:30 AM – 10:30 AM. Prepare to fill your bellies as we celebrate the arrival of Santa Claus with a FREE breakfast provided by Eggland’s Best! Plus, enjoy a jolly mix of festivities, featuring entertainment by the Jackman Brothers and other fun activities. Join us in the Food Court.

Ski and Snowboard Expo.  The 24th Annual Colorado Ski & Snowboard Expo opens Friday, Nov. 6 at noon at the Colorado Convention Center in downtown Denver. Known as Colorado’s single biggest ski and snowboard sale, shoppers arrive to make purchases on equipment and clothing with discounts ranging from 40-75 percent off. The Expo is open from noon to 10 pm on Friday, Nov. 6; 10 am to 8 pm on Saturday, Nov. 7; and 10 am to 6 pm on Sunday, Nov. 8. Representatives from Colorado resorts and other western mountain destinations will be selling season passes and lift tickets. Adding to the festive atmosphere, plenty of interactive and kids activities are included with admission.Try the high ropes course that stretches over the Expo, an introduction to the combined sport of Nordic biathlon that involves a Ski Erg machine that simulates cross-country movements to raise heart rate and then having participants drop to the ground and aim at a target with a laser rifle. Admission is $15 for adults or $12 with a discount coupon available in The Denver Post or at any Colorado Ski & Golf location or at http://www.bewisports.com/expos/boston/buy-tickets#/selectKids 12 and under are free.

King Soopers. King Soopers has been offering the Free Friday Download for a while now. They offer great products. In the past few weeks we have received free treats for our cat, protein bar, yogurt, fruit drinks, and more.
=======

Email me if you know of any great Denver deals!

Don’t want to miss any of Mile High Mamas’ contests and events? Be sure to sign up for our weekly email newsletter so you can forward these great deals to your friends.

If you’re on Twitter follow me on Twitter (GeeWhy93).  If I find a great deal during the week, I’ll tweet it out.

Kids Eat Free Mile High Mamas has rounded up a huge listing of local restaurants where kids eat free or for a discount with a paying adult.