Why You Need to See Colorado in the Fall

A year-round outdoor lover, I’d have to say that Fall is my absolute favorite season in Colorado.   The Fall colors in Colorado showcase a breathtaking mix of golds and greens, as the Aspen trees start to change color and contrast against the pines. There are numerous driving routes through the Colorado Rocky Mountains, available to behold this Fall splendor.  There's also an extensive trail system available for exploring, as the state is filled with outdoor lovers who love to go hiking, mountain biking, horseback riding, and 4x4 off roading. Here are some ideas on best bets for accommodations, keeping your kids excited about the adventure, my favorite Colorado scenic drive, and when to come visit. Colorado ~ Where To Stay First off, what are your options for accommodations?  Well, I say go native.  And by that I mean... embrace a nice cabin with a fireplace and hot tub, if  you can! If you’ve never staying a luxury lodge style cabin… you are in for a pleasant surprise.  … [Read more...]

Free Coffee & Carside-to-Curbside Service from Denver Canopy Airport Parking

Most Coloradans who travel on a budget, or just live near Denver, will likely find themselves flying out of DIA, the Denver International Airport.   For my family, much lower airfares are worth a little up front car travel time to book flights from this location. One thing I'm always sure to include in our vacation budget is airport parking.  Being on the uncrowded fringes of Denver has resulted in DIA having multiple options for long term parking of your vehicle.  Prices vary, but will generally be cheaper than parking in a DIA lot.  The short shuttle ride over to the airport is not a big deal, so this is the option we typically chose. I recently learned about a cool, affordable Denver airport parking option that I'm excited to try out the next time we depart from DIA.  Canopy Airport Parking offers three types of parking:  indoor valet, covered self-park, and open-air. They are a totally green facility which is: Green Garage Certified, LEED Gold … [Read more...]

It’s Good To Know How to Talk To Youth About Marijuana

This post is sponsored by Single Edition Media on behalf of the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. Ahhh… summertime. Sunny days spent at the pool, barbecue cookouts, and a break from school.  Kids are typically left with more freedom and time to hang out with their friends during the summer months.  This makes it an important time to talk to youth about marijuana use. Did you know that according to the 2012 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, first-time use of most substances, such as drugs and alcohol, among youth peaks during the summer months of June and July? One of the best ways to deter underage retail marijuana use is for informed adults to be prepared to have some honest conversations with youth about the topic.  To assist in this endeavor, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) has launched the Good To Know campaign to offer parents free information, tips, and tools. Good To Know ~ Talking To Youth Tips In … [Read more...]

What Teens Need To Know About Marijuana in Colorado

As all Coloradans are likely aware, this state now has the distinction of being one of the few locations in the US where retail use of Marijuana is legal.   This has brought about numerous changes to Colorado in recent months, including an influx of new residents. And a whole new ball game for parents to be prepared for. My kids are still quite young, but I’ve heard firsthand from Colorado moms about the new challenges that legalized use of marijuana has presented. One Denver area mom lamented to me how the primary argument she used to use with her son over recreational marijuana use, “it’s against the law”, has now become null and void, leaving her unsure of what else to say. His arsenal bolstered, he now enjoys pointing out to her, “See mom… it’s NOT against the law – there’s nothing wrong with using marijuana.” Especially for impressionable teenagers, you can see how this development has opened the way for the mentality: “Since it’s not illegal, it must be harmless”. New Free … [Read more...]

Top 5 Experiences at Elitch Gardens

America's only downtown amusement park, Elitch Gardens is located in the heart of Denver, Colorado.  For one admission price, you'll gain entrance to both this historical amusement park full of fun rides, and also an entire water park. My family recently enjoyed our very first visit to Elitch Gardens!  We stuck to the rides on the theme park side on this particular day, but would love to go back some time and also check out the water park.  Here were some of our favorite moments! Top 5 Experiences at Elitch Gardens #5 ~ Kids Roller Coaster Blazin' Buckaroo My 4 year old son is by far the wildest rider in our family.  The boy is fearless. Unfortunately for him... he's just not quite tall enough to go on the biggest and most thrilling rides yet.  [Mom sighs in relief.] So the biggest highlight for him at Elitch's was Blazin' Buckaroo, the family roller coaster.   Actually, we all liked it and rode it several times!  Every time we got off, he'd say, "Now I want to go on the … [Read more...]

Colorado Road Trip in the Legacy

Last weekend my family attended a convention in Denver.  Living on the "Western Slope" (west side of the Rocky Mountains), this meant a scenic road trip across the state of Colorado to reach the "Front Range" (the more populated east side of the Rocky Mountains, where Denver is located).  Plus, we had the exciting opportunity to borrow a 2015 Subaru Legacy for our mini vacation.   Among other things, this meant a sunroof. Sunroof's are always a good time! I love traveling on I-70 for a Colorado road trip, and think it's one of the prettiest and most impressive stretches of  US interstate in the country.  In many places, it hugs the Colorado River. Where the mountain passes were too steep, or geography just didn't lend itself well, they've built a tunnel or two through which you'll traverse.   Terrain through a few stretches (just east of Glenwood Springs is my favorite) will wind you through breathtaking canyons.  This was my first time doing so in a car with a … [Read more...]

Easy Family Hike in Vail, Colorado

Nestled in a valley, conveniently located right along Colorado's I-70, is the high altitude mountain town of Vail. In the winter, people flock here from all over the world for the epic skiing. But summer in Vail has it's charms too, including numerous hiking trails which offer the opportunity to enjoy the breathtaking alpine beauty in a warm weather season (my personal preference over cold and snow!) Vail has done an excellent job of offering hiking information for the area - including trail maps, hiking trail descriptions, and directions on how to find the trailheads.  You can even download a copy of the Vail Hiking Guide, which is what my family used on our recent hiking expedition in the area. Easy Family Hike in Vail, Colorado We had a late start, so selected a shorter trail.  I loved how easy it was to find (literally 2 minutes from the interstate exit), and it turned out to be a fun and easy family hike:  Trapper's Run. This spring and summer Colorado has … [Read more...]

Top 5 Experiences at the Denver Zoo

Every visit to the zoo is a new and exciting experience.  Unlike other tourist attractions with established rides and consistent entertainment performances... you just never know what antics the zoo animals will be up to when you visit!  That's one of the reasons my family loves visiting the Denver Zoo. Top 5 Experiences at the Denver Zoo Everyone's mileage will vary, and I'm sure your family has their own personal favorites at the zoo that they enjoy taking in.  But here's a quick look at my family's favorite moments on our recent trip to the Denver Zoo... Which of these would *you* most like to see? #5: Exploring the Rain Forest at Bird World I know what you're thinking.  BIRDS are not exactly the most exciting this to see at a zoo.  How wrong you would be...! We absolutely loved Bird World.  Who knows, maybe it's my growing affection for anything with feathers, since we recently became backyard chicken owners.  But I think this exhibit is underrated, and very nicely … [Read more...]

Colorado Summer Fun 2015 Coupons

Today I saw a fun mom post on Facebook, a photo of her adorable daughter eating pancakes at IHOP.  It was obviously the little girl's idea of how to kick off their day.  The cool mom (Brandi of Mama Knows It All, my fellow Aventura Ambassador) hashtagged the photo #SummerOfYes. I love it. In that same spirit of living this summer to the full, and going out there to get after some serious fun... how about a few awesome links to Colorado Summer Fun 2015 Coupons, from ColoradoKids.com?  There are all kinds of adventures to be had here in Colorado - may as well get them at a discount. Colorado Summer Fun 2015 Coupons Copper Mountain Resort Association Elitch Gardens Theme and Water Park Water World Pirates Cove The Splash at Fossil Trace Boondocks Fun Center Dinosaur Resource Center Children's Museum of Denver Butterfly Pavilion Downtown Aquarium Evolve Action Sports Park A+ Athletics Adventure Golf and Raceway RaftColorado.net Earth … [Read more...]

One Word That’ll Get Kids Excited To Hike

As a family, we enjoy spending time outdoors and hiking whenever we can. We've been "all systems go" on this activity for years now... until this season when my son no longer rides in the child carrier backpack.  Alas, as full of boundless energy as this kid is - he doesn't get that excited about HIKING.  Little stinker. Five minutes in to the trail:  "My legs hurt!  Carry me, mommy!" He's just not the trooper that his big sister has always been, when it comes to hiking. She used to cover miles, starting at age 3, sporting her own little mini Camelbak.  Aaaah.... good times. It's all a bit frustrating, and rather ironic, as my son is one of the most active and adventurous kids I've ever met.  What a minute.  Adventurous.  Hmmm... let's tap into some of that... So on our camping trip a week ago, I wanted to take one last hike with the kids before returning to civilization.  I find a pulloff area near a pretty red mountain and rather than ask, "Do you guys want to hike?", I say, … [Read more...]