Colorado Girl’s Summer Bucket List

Do you have a bucket list? You know one of those lists of things you want to do before you “kick the bucket”. My kids and I created our own sort of bucket list. While we didn’t call it Bucket List – we called it “Colorado Kid” list. It was all the things that we thought that someone who lives in Colorado should do in their lifetime. And maybe why some people actually come here to visit (instead of just those of us who get to live here). Some of the items were winter (ski, snowboard, snowmobile, ice skate on a lake, etc) there were quite a few that were summer items. So maybe you can start your own Colorado Kids list with some of these suggestions.

In Town (Denver)

  • WaterWorld is a water park on the North side of Denver (on 88th and Pecos). They have been recognized as one of the best water parks in the country and it is right here in our back yard!  https://www.waterworldcolorado.com/
  • At Elitch Gardens your sort of get a two for one, it is a theme park and water park. There are rides for all ages and sizes and plenty of other fun happenings from free concerts to dive in movies.  https://www.elitchgardens.com/
  • Who doesn’t love a night at Red Rocks? The natural amphitheater that is famous for the amazing sound and natural setting. One of the least expensive ways to really experience the venue with the whole family is Film on the Rocks! The films are typically proceeded by an awesome local band that goes along with the theme of the movie.  http://www.redrocksonline.com/fotr/
  • Free Concerts or movies is an amazing way to enjoy a Colorado evening and some entertainment. Most are free and pretty much you can find something on your side of town (because they happen everywhere). https://www.milehighmamas.com/blog/2018/06/01/summer-2018-free-concert-and-movie-guide/
  • Cherry Creek Arts Festival (July 6-8) is a wold-class and award-winning arts festival showcasing the visual arts, performing arts, and culinary arts. So much to see for everyone. Just make sure you bring your water bottle. It is usually pretty warm out. My kids and I sat in the shade of the tent of the culinary stage. We watched the chef prepare the meal and wrote down the ingredients and steps. Then we went to Whole Foods, bought all the stuff and re-created the meal at home that night. Arts in the home. (We couldn’t exactly re-create some of the visual arts – and we certainly tried to recreate some of the performing arts). cherrycreekartsfestival.org/
  • If music is your thing, Underground Music Showplace (July) is the place to go! Let’s just call it a full two days of a free concert downtown. https://www.undergroundmusicshowcase.com/
  • Taste of Colorado (Sept – Labor Day weekend) is a staple for anyone who has lived in Colorado for any time. Civic Center park is transformed into a tasting haven, top artists perform (Leann Rhimes was just announced for this year) and tents upon tents of crafts/community exhibitors https://atasteofcolorado.com/
  • Renaissance Fair. A bit cheesy but fun. Yes, we all want to walk around eating a giant turkey leg while we watch jousting or say hello to a King and Queen. It is a great teaching opportunity to talk through history and culture of a different time and place.  https://coloradorenaissance.com/

But if you’ve had too much in town – you can always escape to the Mountains!

  • Hike! Pretty much it seems like you can pull your car over on the side of the road and just start walking! Hiking is easy and fun. Stop and take pictures, see if you can find animal footprints in the dirt and try to identify the animal or just let the kids get their energy out. There are several books that can guide you and your team where a good hike might be for the ages and abilities of your crew. Some of our favorites? Bear Creek, Ouzel Falls, Royal Arch Trail and Mt. Falcon. My kids love wearing the water packs – that can be picked up pretty inexpensively!
  • Want to fly over Vail Valley? Try ZipLine! We went to 4 Eagle Ranch. The ranch has the usual ranch stuff (horses, rodeo series and western Family nights) but they also do Glamping, 4×4 tours and our favorite, ZipLining. The kids and I got outfitted at the ranch then hopped in a jeep and driven over to the Zip course. The course is 7 zips each getting slightly longer with the longest being 1000’! My daughter loved it. My son went tandem with a guide. They say they can hold most weights. 4eagleranch.com/
  • Several areas around town seem to have these amazing Obstacle Courses and/or summer tubing
    • Lawson Adventure Park is easy to get to as it is just outside of Idaho Springs (Eat a pizza at Beau Jo’s on the way home!) You can stay at the park in a Yurt, cabin or tent! But you can also just go for the day and try the activities. They have a Via Ferrata (rock climbing), Mountain Zorb (our favorite), learn how to fly fish on Clear Creek, try a short zipline, challenge course or try to stand up in a water walkerz.  http://lawsonadventurepark.com/
    • I can’t decide if I like snowboarding or summer at Vail more. The summer Vail Discovery includes adventure courses, ziplines, mountain coaster, tubing hils, climbing wall and bungee Trampoline. https://www.vail.com/explore-the-resort/activities-and-events/…/epic-discovery.aspx
    • Maybe your kids aren’t ready for a full sleep away camp (or maybe like me, you can’t really afford that)> I love thatYMCA Rockies has day tickets. Try your hand at archery, canoeing, challenge courses, craft shop, bike rentals, fishing, hiking, horseback riding, disc golf, climbing, swimming, tennis, rafting, volleyball or the summer tubing hill.  https://snowmountainranch.org/activities/summer-tubing-hill/
    • Bailey has a new adventure park. I have not been to this one yet – but sounds like a lot of the same stuff from ziplining to obstacle courses.  http://treehouseadventurepark.com/
  • Rafting is such a refreshing way to enjoy the mountains and an ultimate check on the bucket list. We used River Runners several years ago with my kids. They loved it. They sat in the middle of the boat, didn’t have to paddle and enjoyed the ride. We were quite ready for lunch when the 1/2 day rafting was over. That mountain run off water feels good at first – but even in summer it’s sort of cold! https://whitewater.net/
  • Colorado is well known for our Western Roots. So, we had to add horseback riding. We like Safari Ranch outside of Fairplay – because the horses are not trained to follow another’s trail. You feel like you’re out there on your own. We did a ½ day of riding and the day ended by the grill -= where we made lunch and then headed home before the summer camping traffic started on 285. americansafariranch.com/
  • A great weekend getaway is Glenwood Springs. There is a lot to do in Glenwood. You can hike Hanging Lake, go to Glenwood Caverns, swim in the hot springs pool. https://www.glenwoodcaverns.com/
  • I grew up in Steamboat –  so for me this was a must to show my kids all the places I went as a kid. I remember fishing at Lost Dog Creek, camping at big mountain and hiking Fish Creek Falls. But there are tons of things to do in town as well. Try the mountain coaster, or get a tube and go tubing down the Yampa (right by the park/library). However, it’s a 3-hour drive so at least a night up there makes sense.
  • Colorado Springs has a ton to offer as well. You can do it as a weekend get away or a bit further of a drive for a few hours of fun. There is a lot you can see/do down there as well. Cheyenne Mtn Zoo is cool. The Cave of the Winds (and the terror-dactyl ride), 7 falls, and drive to Royal Gorge.
  • If you like sitting in a hot spring pool Mt. Princeton can’t be beat. We especially loved the part in the river where you can be literally sitting in a pool of warm water and still have your toes in the freezing cold river! When we went we did a bit of hiking up Agnes Falls then enjoyed the hot springs afterwards.

This is just a start of the fun places we know about or have discovered. We are pretty certain that the “Colorado Kid” list is something that can be changed or added to all the time. So if you know of some other great things that scream Colorado please send them our way!

Denver Deal: Rocky Mountain Sitters, Tykester, Ski Deals and More

Nothing makes me feel happier than knowing that I help other moms get a great deal. Honestly, there is a ton to do in Denver that is pretty cheap (inexpensive for those of you who find offense in the word cheap) or even for FREE. And surprisingly there are fun things that aren’t too expensive in the mountains too! The kids and I will be heading up to Breckenridge this weekend for the Snow Sculpture Championships. Teams come from all over the globe to shape giant blocks of snow into amazing sculptures. The sculptures are FREE to view and it is a fun field trip for the family to visit one of the coolest little towns we have in Colorado. When we are there we can also ride the gondola for FREE and see other parts of the mountain!

Rocky Mountain Sitters. Are you looking for reliable, college-educated babysitters or nannies? Rocky Mountain Sitters provides families with kind, experienced caregivers who have been personally interviewed and background checked. If you want to ensure your babysitter has a passion for working with children, try out Rocky Mountain Sitters. Mile High Mamas is offering an exclusive discount: Use the promo code “RMS” for your first month free! http://www.rockymountainsitters.com/

Tykester. Do you hate being away from your young kids? Tykester is a newly-launched FREE app that is a super easy and fun way for childcare providers and parents to stay connected.Parents get real-time updates on their children, instead of waiting for a paper daily sheet or a conversation when they arrive to pick them up.The best news is Tykester isn’t just for working moms with kids in daycare and users run the gambit—from grandparents, aunts and uncles to deployed military to weekend babysitters to truly anyone who wants to get updates about your child. Tykester is also doing a giveaway for a $100 VISA gift card for anyone who downloads the free app.http://www.milehighmamas.com/blog/2015/01/13/app-parents-kids/

Cinderella at the Denver Center. February 3 before the show Cinderella at the Denver Center. Ticketed guests can take advantage of fun kids events in the lobby (starting at 6 p.m.) and participate in the Q&A after the 7 p.m. show. In addition, with the purchase of each adult entrée, kids receive one free kids’ meal off of the kids’ menu at Hard Rock Cafe. Dinner reservations: 303.623.3191

Winter on the Mountain at Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park. Winter brings dazzling lights and magical adventures as Glenwood Caverns
Adventure Park turns into a winter wonderland full of fun. Enjoy 500,000 lights adorning the park, one of the largest holiday light displays in Western Colorado! Also, for the first time both the Soaring Eagle Zip Ride and the Alpine Coaster will be lighted for evening rides. And there is holiday lighting inside the King’s Row cave section, making the tour even more colorful. Get 50% off using Mile High Mamas’ Winter Funday Pass MHMAMA14. http://glenwoodcaverns.com/park-tickets-hours.html

Starbucks. The Starbucks “treat receipt” is back. They are now offering a yummy pastry for just $1 when you bring that morning’s receipt back to a Starbucks after 2 p.m. (Through Monday, February 2).

Give Kids A Smile Day. Dental offices across Colorado join forces on February 6 to Give Kids A Smile. Kids have to be under 17 years old, your family must be low income and not have dental insurance, you must get your own transportation and arrive to your appointment on time. Visit the Colorado Dental website at http://www.cdaonline.org/gkaspatient for more information.

Ski Deals. January is Learn to Ski and Snowboard Month. Make sure to check out our round-up of deals. Also the deadline for the 5th and 6th grade passport from Colorado Ski Country deadline is January 31.

Grand Adventures. Grand Adventures is a Snowmobile Tour and Rental Company with the only tour in Grand County to the top of the Continental Divide up 12,000 ft!Go with a guide or get maps and explore on your own. They have 4 locations to choose from all with a variety of terrain for beginner to advanced riders. Try out our location in Grand Lake, The Snowmobile Capital Of Colorado and drive your snowmobile to local restaurants and shops. Great for all ages and abilities – super fun with the kids! http://www.grandadventures.com (970) 726-9247

Lift Ticket Deals. When you visit a Smashburger purchase an Entrée and a Drink get a two-for-one certificate for Winter Park. Fill up (10 gallons or more) at a Shell gas station you can get a coupon good for a buy one get one free ticket at Winter Park, Copper, Loveland and more. Liftopia has some of the best deals for skiing on Super Bowl Sunday! Plus, since most of the lifts stop at 4 p.m. you can make it back in time for the big game.

Avalanche Family Night. Want something fun to do for the whole family at a discount? Try going to anAvalanche hockey game during a Family Night. For just $119 you get four tickets, four Pepsi’s, and four meals. The next one is January 30.

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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.