5 Winning Reasons to Visit Colorado Springs – “Olympic City USA”!

Nestled along a gorgeous stretch of Rocky Mountain Foothills, just a touch south of Denver, lies the city of Colorado Springs.  The front range views of this area are some of the most stunning in all of Colorado.  And there’s plenty of fun to be had during a family visit to what’s been dubbed “Olympic City USA”. Here are just a few winning reasons why your family will enjoy a visit to Colorado Springs. #1 – Rich Olympic Heritage, a.k.a. Olympic City USA Curious why this place is known as Olympic City USA?  Note these interesting facts: Colorado Springs is home to the United States Olympic Committee and U.S. Paralympics They have two official Olympic Training Sites: the velodrome and ice skating facility The Colorado Springs Olympic Training Center is located here, and is open to the public. Public tours are available year-round Monday – Saturday.  Visitors can then explore the U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame Rotunda, shop at the U.S. Olympic Store and check out the art … [Read more...]

14 Places Kids Ski Free in Colorado

It's almost ski season in Colorado!  Many slopes have their opening this weekend.  My family is starting to make plans. and will be kicking things off in early December, with a visit to Crested Butte.  Although I'm not a die hard skier, it's something I want my kids to learn how to do.  Living in a state with the Rocky Mountains running through it makes me feel a little obligated! However, skiing with a family is not a cheap sport.  Fortunately many of the Colorado ski resorts offer deals, and it definitely pays to work these into your plans.  Saving on your kids lift tickets makes a huge difference!  Here's an excellent roundup I received from the non-profit  organization Colorado Ski Country USA. 5th and 6th Graders Ski Free - Passport Program First, let's start with the awesome 5th and 6th Grade Passport Program Colorado Ski Country USA offers any fifth grader the chance to ski or ride three days at 22 participating member resorts across the state absolutely free. That’s up … [Read more...]

Try a Spa “Daycation” at Vail’s The Sonnenalp

The Sonnenalp Hotel in Vail Village, Colorado has created a locals only experience so guests can enjoy the day the Sonnenalp way. For daycation reservations please contact 970-479-5404 or email spa@sonnenalp.com. My family has visited this amazing place, and we absolutely LOVED our time here.  You can see more about The Sonnenalp in my article I wrote for TravelingMom:  Sonnenalp Hotel - A European Getaway in Colorado. The Sonnenalp Daycation $275 50 Minute Spa Treatment 10 Minute Oxygen Bar Treatment Lunch at the Bully Ranch (alcohol not included) Daypass for the indoor/outdoor pool, steam rooms, sauna, whirlpools and solarium PHOTOS The Sonnenalp Daycation Experience   Your pampered day at Vail's The Sonnenalp Hotel Spa will include the following: Spa Treatment One 50 minute spa treatment from the Sonnenalp Spa. Full spa menu here. Top choices include:  Head and Toes Thai Poultice Massage - Indulge in this warm herbal compress massage based on … [Read more...]

Minecraft Players Tour Coming to Denver Movie Theatre

Does your child love Minecraft? This weekend on Saturday morning, instead of just playing at home, they can enjoy the game while meeting new friends as part of a local team representing Denver. This event is being brought to Colorado thanks to Super League Gaming and their Minecraft City Champs tournament, run in partnership with Nickelodeon.  Read on for more fun details on joining the Super League Minecraft Denver, starting THIS weekend. It’s like little league for Minecraft players! Fun, positive and a special opportunity to get out and play with other kids their age. Past players clearly have had a GREAT time! Minecraft Players Tour ~ Tickets & Grand Prize Trip Tickets are on sale now. The tournament begins on Sat. Oct 21st and continues for the following three Saturdays. One skilled player has a chance to win a HUGE prize for their family – 4 tickets to Nickelodeon’s Kids Choice Awards 2018, inclusive of round trip airfare to LA, 2 nights in a hotel and a $500 spending … [Read more...]

When a 7th Grade Hiking Field Trip Goes Awry

Last Friday was the perfect Colorado Fall day.  Sunny and high 60’s, absolutely ideal hiking weather.  My daughter’s 7th grade class was scheduled to do a class hike field trip.  I had the day off of work, and planned to join them.  Everything was right in the world. That is, until the bodies started hitting the floor. But I’m getting ahead of myself. Wait, Can We Bring Dog…?! So Friday morning we are scurrying around, packing lunches and getting ready for school.  I swear our Golden Retreiver Daisy must have spotted my daughter grabbing her hiking backpack.  You know those key items, that set the alarm bells off for a dog...”An adventure is afoot!!” Bless her 10 year old heart… she starts bouncing around like an excited puppy. “Oh Daisy, you can’t come on the field trip.”  Wait. Maybe she can? Since I planned on driving behind the school buses, and hiking with the kids – in theory, maybe we could bring the dog? Our plan was to have my daughter ask permission once … [Read more...]

Capturing Colorado Family Adventures

One of the things I love about living in Colorado, is that we do have four seasons. The variety keeps things interesting, and allows for different types of outdoor play different times of the year. And Fall means hiking and biking! No bugs.  Perfect temps for athletic endeavors. Gorgeous scenery of gold, orange, and red colored leaves.  It all makes for an ideal time to get the family outdoors for some adventuring. Capturing Your Family Adventure Memories I'm pretty good about taking pictures on our family recreates in the great outdoors.  I love looking back on past memories of the fun times we've had camping, fishing, and exploring.  This makes and preserves memories for us, as much as when we take a full-on vacation somewhere! Plus then I can share photos and video from our outdoor endeavors.  It keeps my family and friends up to date on the fun we've been having, which they love to see. And I'd like to think it also inspires other to want to go play outside, … [Read more...]

Tips for the Best Colorado Fall Drive & Family Adventure

You just can't beat Fall color in Colorado!  When those Aspen trees turn brilliant gold, and contrast against the Rocky Mountain evergreens... it's a breathtaking sight to behold.  Here's my "Insider List" of where the locals consider the best Colorado Fall drive.  Plus my tips on exploring a bit off the beaten path, and how to keep your kids excited about this awesome family outdoor adventure. A year-round outdoor lover, I'd have to say that fall is my absolute favorite season in Colorado.  I've polled the experts, and seen many of these for myself.  Here's my Insider List of best fall drives. Top 5 Colorado Fall Drives NORTHERN - Trail Ridge Road, Rocky Mountain National Park CENTRAL - Kebler Pass, part of the West Elk Loop that ends in fun ski town Crested Butte CENTRAL - Grand Mesa Byway (My favorite! More on this below), 45 minutes from Grand Junction SOUTHERN - Last Dollar Road, from Ridgeway to Telluride, both awesome mountain towns DENVER AREA - Guanella … [Read more...]

6 Cool Things You’ll Love at the Denver Aquarium

Nestled in a lovely, easy-to-access downtown area, the Denver Aquarium is a fabulous option for families.  You'll even find some surprising, non-fish attractions!  Here are the top exhibits to see, how much time to allow for a visit, what to expect for a closing time, and whether the attached Aquarium Restaurant is a good place to eat. We had been to the Downtown Denver Aquarium a few years ago, and I don't remember being too impressed.  But for some reason, this recent visit was more enjoyable than ever.  Perhaps it’s because this time around we have a first grader son that loves fish?  Or that they are now under a restaurant brand's umbrella, and have upped their overall game to bring in visitors? At any rate, we were quite impressed and had a wonderful time.  I heartily recommend this Colorado attraction!  Here's my recap of what to expect, and the best exhibits to watch for. Travel Through the World’s Ecosystems Rain forest ecosystem at Denver AquariumThe layout of the … [Read more...]

A Visit to Denver Museum of Nature & Science

There is certainly plenty of fun to be had in the city of Denver, Colorado.  When my family and I were there last weekend, we decided to swing by the Denver Museum of Nature & Science.  And boy, are we glad we did!  It had been a few years since our last visit.  As it turns out, this place is even more fabulous than we remembered. With three stories of interesting and varied exhibits to choose from, there’s truly something to pique everyone’s interest here. Our kids ages 6 and 12 have been bubbling with enthusiastic chatter ever since, telling friends and grandparents about all the things they saw and learned. Plus, it was air conditioned. On a 100 degree Colorado summer day.  It was the perfect place to be for a day of family fun. Awesome Outer Space Display… (Even if you Skip the Planetarium) You’ll notice when you purchase tickets there are several options.  One is to add a visit to the Planetarium.  We did *not* have these type of tickets, but were happy to … [Read more...]

bd’s Mongolian Grill for Fun Denver Dining

If you’re looking for a fun and delicious place to eat in Denver, you should check out bd’s Mongolian Grill.  Holding steady at it’s location in LoDo (lower downtown) for 20 years now… there’s a reason this place has stood the test of time. Fresh ingredients are ready at the helm for you to build-your-own stir fry, then have it fried up “Mongolian” style by the resident chefs. Make Your Own Stir Fry With so many amazing, fresh ingredients to choose from... you won't have trouble building your own stir fry. Need help crafting a specific dish you love?  Not to fret, they’ve got you covered with the recipe wall. Tip:  Peruse the recipes and grab a card before you start the buffet line.  Many people pass right by and don't realize they are available. I used a recipe card for Kung Pao Beef (although I admittedly wimped out on the full level of spiciness, and only added half the recommended cayenne). First, diners take their bowl up to the buffet of raw ingredients, … [Read more...]