Are you looking for some fun things to do in Denver with kids in winter? Following are a few activities we enjoy on cold winter days.
1. Denver Puppet Theater: We visited the Denver Puppet Theater for the first time in January. It is a fun indoor activity on a cold day. During the winter, they have marionette shows on Thursday and Friday @ 10AM and Saturday and Sunday @ 1PM. The performances last about 45 minutes. The shows change throughout the year. We saw Coyote Tales. A paper puppet is included in the cost of admission. There is a craft room where kids can decorate their puppets before and after the show. The building also includes a puppet museum and contains over 100 puppets. There is a wonderful courtyard outside with a garden and fountain. We look forward to exploring that area in the summer. Zook’s Coffee and Ice Cream is next door and a great place to visit as well. For more information please visit: www.denverpuppettheater.com
2. Denver Botanic Gardens: We spend alot of time at the Mordecai Children’s Garden in the summer. The children’s garden is closed in the winter, but the Denver Botanic Garden’s is a great place for kids and adults year round. Boettcher Memorial Tropical Conservatory offers a nice break from the cold, dry Colorado winters. Thousands of tropical plants are on display including orchids, banana and coffee plants. Moisture hangs in the air. If you close your eyes for 1 minute and breath in you might be able to briefly transport yourself to some place tropical. There are several paths through the conservatory that kids will enjoy exploring. You can walk-up two stories, or take an elevator, to have a view from the top of a banyan tree. There is also a small fish pond. Immediately adjacent to the conservatory is Marnie’s Pavilion. It is a two story exhibit room housing different species of orchids, bromeliads and ferns. The pavilion also has waterfalls, which are a big hit with the kids. For more information please visit: www.botanicgardens.org
3. REI: The Denver REI flagship store is housed in cool, historic building. It is filled with every imaginable kind of sporting apparel, device and equipment. We are big fans of REI. One amenity of this store we never knew existed, until having children, is the small indoor play area on the 3rd floor. It consists of 2 connected slides. One is a hollowed out canoe and the other slide runs through a tree trunk. There is a also a small faux pond. The play area can get crowded. Try and get when the store opens and head there first thing. There is a Starbucks in the building that opens before REI. It is a good place to start or finish your visit. For more information please visit: www.rei.com/stores/denver
4. Cherry Creek Mall Play Area: This is a good place to burn off energy on a chilly winter day, when outdoor play is not an option. The play area is located on the first floor of the mall near Macy’s. It consists of a number of large, plastic Looney Toons characters as well as slides and other play structures. The Mall stores do not open until 10AM, but the doors open at 7AM for the public areas, including the play area. I did confirm with the Mall that they thoroughly clean the play area every day at 2PM and 6PM. For more information please visit www.shopcherrycreek.com
Hopefully my list of fun things to do in Denver with kids in winter provides some helpful tips. I would love to hear any other suggestions for fun things to do in Denver with kids in winter!
Denver based Wavecloud is taking a new approach to eBooks. WaveCloud believes avid readers want more than just a place to buy a book, so it is building a virtual community for them. WaveCloud wants to enable more direct interaction and collaboration between authors, their readers and book lovers of all kinds. To promote the company, WaveCloud is offering new customers one free eBook download for a limited time. The company offers a wide range of titles. Check out www.wavecloud.com and get your free eBook.
McDonald’s will be giving out fifteen million books in UK Happy Meals over the next two years. How will kids respond to receiving a book rather than a toy in their happy meal? Read More
Death and fire are serious topics, but there are funny questions kids ask about death and fire. My five year daughter is very inquisitive. Lately, she has had a particular fascination with death and fire.When she was younger a frequent question she had was, “Why?” I would announce it was time for dinner and she would reply, “Why?” Those questions were easy. Things have changed. When I don’t respond immediately to her inquiries she sometimes will follow-up with, “Mommy, are you listening to me?” My delay in answering is frequently a result of trying to formulate the best response to her question. Sometimes, it is hard to come up with a good response to a simple question. Following are some questions my daughter asked me about death and fire. Please let me know if you have a suggestion for a better response. Some of my mine are pretty lame:
If your house catches on fire can you move back in when the fire goes away? Sometimes you can. It depends on how much of the house is burned and if it smells too much like smoke.
Can you drive your car again if it catches on fire? Cars usually don’t catch on fire. If it does, you probably will not be able to drive it again.
If our house catches on fire what is the first thing you would take out of the house? You and your brother.
Where is your grandmother’s body? It was cremated. (The question came up after my grandmother died. My daughter wanted to know where her body was. Much to my discomfort, I ended up trying to explain cremation.)
What does cremated mean? You burn someone’s body until the only thing left are ashes.
What are ashes? A very special kind of dirt.
When someone is cremated do their eyes also burn? Yes.
If have any funny questions kids ask about death and fire, I would love to hear them!
Halloween is one of the most highly anticipated holidays in our house. A big part of the excitement involves all the candy. We limit our children’s sugar consumption year round, but loosen up the rules on Halloween. That said, I am happy to see some non-candy Halloween treats mixed in with all the chocolate bars and lollipops they collect. Eating too much sugar can lead to hyperactive children as well as dental issues and unnecessary dental bills. Our kids receive more candy than we allow them to eat. On Halloween night we let them eat as much as they want. For the two days following Halloween, we let them graze on their candy in moderation. After that, we take all the remaining candy to the teachers’ lounges at our children’s schools. We allow our kids to keep all the non-candy Halloween treats. If you feel like offering something other than candy this year following are 5 non-candy Halloween treats.
1. Individual cartons of fruit juice
2. Granola bars
4. Band aids
5. Unsharpened Pencils
I welcome any more ideas for non-candy Halloween treats. Happy Halloween!
Does your child still want to hold your hand? It’s a simple gesture of childhood I have come to cherish. Like many of life’s experiences, you sometimes don’t appreciate the little moments, such as a child sitting in your lap, until they are gone. We are often too busy, or tired, to fully enjoy them.
My three-year-old son has already stopped wanting to hold my hand. He prefers to run ahead. He will only hold my hand as we cross a busy street, because it is one of our family rules. My five year old daughter is different. She can be very shy and really likes to hold my hand, particularly when meeting new people.
Her first day of kindergarten was the most extreme example. We did all we thought we could to prepare her for the big day. Over the summer, we played on the playground of her new school and would look in the window of her classroom. One of her best friends was going there too, and we had a number of conversations about how fun that would be. We read books about going to a new school and meeting new friends. As summer came to an end, I really began to dread the first day of school. I had come to the conclusion that, no matter the preparation, drop-off on the first day was going to be hard. The first day of kindergarten finally arrived on August 27th.
Even though we could have walked to school, we opted to drive on the first day because my husband and I thought we might end up carrying our daughter. We made the mistake of arriving early. As we sat on the playground, watching the other kids play, she clung to my hand. It was really more of a death grip. Finally, the bell rang. She would not move so I had to carry her into the classroom. There were alot of tears once we got inside and pleas of “don’t leave me.” At this point, I was crying too, and left my sunglasses on to hide my eyes. Amid the confusion, I looked around and noticed some families taking pictures of smiling children at their desks. I truly wanted to be happy for them, but just couldn’t force myself to do it. Four children sat at each small table. One of the little boys at my daughter’s table was crying as well, and that gave me some weird sense of comfort. Finally, I untangled myself from my daughter’s grasp and ran out the door.
Several weeks into the new school year, things had vastly improved. My daughter was happy to go to school and see her new friends. She still wanted to hold my hand and asked me to walk her to her classroom door, sometimes even to her desk. The other day something unexpected happen. She was talking to her new group of friends, as I stood a short distance away. The bell rang and she walked into school with them, without even a backward glance at me. I was surprised, happy and sad all at the same time. It was wonderful. She was comfortable enough to go in by herself, but surprisingly sad she did not need to hold my hand. After that day, she has still wanted to hold my hand. However, I am very aware that will not always be the case.