Category Archives: entertainment

Epic Family Ski Weekend with Epic SchoolKids

Note: This is also linked at Mile High Mamas – check it out!

As we started our family ski weekend, the kids couldn’t contain their excitement, and were ready to go first thing in the morning! I still hadn’t had my coffee, but their enthusiasm perked us all up for our day with Epic SchoolKids. We planned a ski weekend and experienced all the mountain has to offer for families, and I learned a few things too! For example, did you know that the Epic SchoolKids program offers 16 free ski days for kids in grades K-5th Grade at four Colorado resorts (4 days each): Keystone, Breckenridge, Vail and Beaver Creek? Their website also discusses FAQs on free lessons for first time skiers. Check out epicpass.com/ColoradoKids for updates. The instructions for getting the kids signed up are all here, and are super easy, if you have not done it yet. We had so much fun, here’s a short video, but you can check out the full one at this link or it is embedded below.

Epic School Kids Keystone 2017 from Deadline Motion Works on Vimeo.

On the day of our epic ski adventure, it was super easy to get both kids registered and fitted for
 equipment for lessons. From the moment we walked towards the ski school, until we picked them up, my husband and I both commented what a well-oiled and organized machine Keystone Ski and Ride School is. Our eldest wanted to try snowboarding and was a first time snowboarder. She had a blast! She said after a couple more lessons, she will be a boarder.

For my military readers, the Liberty Pass is available through Snow.Com at snow.com/epic-pass/military, and offers the best deal to our military and their families. You can check with your local ITT office or call the resort.

My husband and I also reconnected while the kids took their lessons. We hadn’t skied together like this in several years! After lessons, and lunch (included for the kids with their lessons), we skied the terrain together as a family. It was fun, and we could not keep up with the kids. They are way too fast for us! Long ski runs at Keystone made for a tired and exhausted family at the end of the day, so be prepared for worn out kiddos and adults!

Since our family was at Keystone, we loved eating at the top of the Summit, and enjoyed some breathtaking views. We also explored other parts of Keystone Resort, including tubing for the first time! Our kids didn’t want to stop tubing, and our little daredevil, our youngest, wanted to keep going even after her one hour was up with the tube. Check height requirements, and make sure to bring soft-sided boots (not ski boots), and you can even go down tubing as a group! The kids also crawled through and enjoyed the mountaintop snow fort. I took the gondola down because I was completely wiped but my little skier wanted to ski down with daddy.

If you are planning a family ski weekend, and want to avoid the I-70 traffic to/from Denver in both directions, which is quite stressful for all, check out lodging specials. We really enjoyed relaxing the night before the big ski day adventure in our condo, and regrouping again after our epic ski day. The private condo unit, not affiliated with Epic SchoolKids, was a short walk to Mountain House and ski school and made our lives easier with equipment, the kids, and the fatigue that set in after all the fun we had. But, it is nice to
 have a property close by to eat, change clothes (it was 
pretty hot when we went, so de-layering was a must), or just relax for a bit in the jetted hot tubs. I find that staying an overnight or two truly makes the epic adventure complete. All in all, our family had a successful, fun trip, and we loved everyone we met.
 We reconnected as a family, did something
 new, and shared lots of laughs before returning to reality. The kids’ final comment on our drive home said it all, “when can we do that again? I hope soon.” That was nice to hear, rather than hearing, “are we there yet?!”

Epic School Kids Ratna from Deadline Motion Works on Vimeo.

Required Disclosure: I was selected to blog and promote the Epic SchoolKids program on behalf of Vail Resorts, in exchange for a post and social media promotion. Our family received compensation in-kind. The opinions expressed here are my own, unbiased, and not attributed to Vail Resorts.

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Epic SchoolKids – an epic adventure

My family and I went skiing this weekend at Keystone, and experienced the Epic SchoolKids program (free skiing in CO for kids K-5). The kids had a blast, and my husband and I even got some alone time on the slopes while the girls took a lesson. We also experienced fun on the mountain, other than skiing and snowboarding. Stay tuned for my full post with pictures, but here are a few photos to get a glimpse of how much fun we had.


TUBING!

 

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Denver Art Museum Samurai Exhibit – Now through June 5th #SamuraiDAM

20160306_131418*warning: some of the images appear strange or rotated using Chrome.  Sorry about that.  It is a Chrome issue.

We visited the Denver Art Museum’s Samurai Exhibit today, on opening day, and it was a treat!  The Art Museum is iconic in Denver, and showcases some of the most amazing works of art you will see.  Do not miss this special, limited engagement exhibit while it is in town.  Now through June 5, DAM is featuring the Samurai Exhibit.

DAM 1 The Exhibit: The exhibition Samurai: Armor from the Ann and Gabriel Barbier-Mueller Collection tells the iconic story of Japanese samurai through 140 objects from one of the finest and most comprehensive collections of samurai armor and accoutrements in the world.
Surrounded by murals and war regalia, visitors will be immersed in the life, culture, and pageantry of samurai in the 1100s through the 1800s. Exquisitely decorated suits of armor, helmets, weapons, horse trappings, and additional battle gear will be on display, demonstrating masterful craftsmanship.Samurai will highlight the artistic inspiration for these elaborate suits of armor.

The exhibition is curated in collaboration with the Denver Art Museum and The Ann & Gabriel Barbier-Mueller Museum: The Samurai Collection, Dallas. An exhibition catalog, Art of Armor: Samurai Armor from the Ann and Gabriel Barbier-Mueller Collection, will be available in The Shops and online.

DAM 2DAM 3

Once you exit through the gift shop, the kids receive a sticker to make a seal.   Cross over 14th using the bridge (level 2) where you will arrive at the North Wing and the Samurai-themed kids activity area called the “Just for Fun Family Center.”  Parents can relax here and the kids can dress up as Samurai, make hats with their family crest/seal, and practice building sculptures with soft, large, hand-sculpted wooden rocks made by Sam Mobley.  In this area, kids can play games, draw, and cut loose.  The mural backdrop by artist Jena Siedler transforms you to Japan while you relax and play.  We had a blast today at the Denver Art Museum!

DAM 4Logistics & Information:   The exhibit is family-friendly, but I recommend kids ages 5 and up will enjoy this, and not so much the younger kids.  The museum provides you an audio guide at the entrance, and there is a separate number series for families versus adults to hear.   For the family guide, a “tengu” speaks to you about the pieces and trains you and the kids how to be a Samurai.   In folklore, the Tengu is a half bird, half man, and you meet him at the end of your audio tour.  The experience was fun for my kids, and they stayed engaged throughout the exhibit.  It is quite an extensive collection, and we were very impressed with how well it was displayed, explained, and laid out.   The exhibit is handicap accessible, and easy to push wheelchairs and strollers throughout the museum.

DAM 5Denver Art Museum does a great job with crowd control by doing timed entry for the special exhibit.  This ensures everyone enjoys the exhibit without being trampled, or overcrowded.  I wish other museums in the area would learn from this and follow suit.  It is so pleasant to walk around, read placards and enjoy the exhibit, rather than being shoved and so crowded-in that you cannot see a thing.  I absolutely love the Denver Art Museum for this reason, and this exhibit and the entire museum is enjoyable as a result.

You may buy your tickets on site, or online (by time), and it is not included with the general admission, so plan accordingly.  Members get a special rate, and there are senior, military and other discounts available.  Youth under age 18 are FREE at the Denver Art Museum but there is a $5 fee for them for this exhibit.   Photography is permitted in this area, but no FLASH photography is permitted.  The audio guides are well worth it!

The Museum is located near Civic Center Park, and there is ample garage open, but on Sundays, street parking is free.  Check the events calendar.  You can also park at the post office/federal building for $5, and walk a few blocks.  There are plenty of private paid lots as well.

Required Disclosure:  My family and I attended the Denver Art Museum’s Samurai Exhibit for free in exchange for an honest review and posting information about this special exhibit.  The opinions expressed here are my own.

Don’t miss this Groupon Deal (active now) for The Museum of Art in Denver or click below, and search for other great deals:
Once you click here, search for Denver Museum of Art. There is an amazing membership deal right now, you can try clicking here too.

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Santa HQ is at FlatIron Crossing Mall #SantaHQ #loveHGTV

SantaHQA magical journey awaits you and your little ones at FlatIrons Crossing Mall, now through Christmas Eve.  Don’t miss it!  HGTV has set up a Santa Headquarters at Flatiron Crossing Mall.  The journey starts as you are all transported to the North Pole.  When you enter, your children and even you (if you want) are scanned by the digital “Naughty or Nice O’Meter.”  It’s quite fun to see the kids’ faces as they get tagged one or the other.  You can sense how nervous they are as the scan meter lights up. wpid-20151114_121608.jpg wpid-20151114_121635.jpgwpid-20151114_121649.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

Next, you get a glimpse of Santa’s Command and Control Center, and Elf-Ray Vision in a 3D environment. You can see everything in this room in 3D!  Santa’s elves help guide you through this magical area, and the anticipation builds.wpid-20151114_121749.jpg

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wpid-20151114_122724.jpgBut, the journey doesn’t end there, you then take a picture with your entire group, before meeting the big man in red!  Get dressed up or go casual, but get ready to have fun with Santa, his elves, and all his cool equipment wpid-20151114_122816.jpgtransported temporarily from the North Pole to Flatirons Crossing Mall in Broomfield, Colorado.  Some things to note: Strollers can go through Santa HQ, little ones (under 2) may not enjoy the control center as much as older kids.  But hopefully you can save your energy and get them to smile for the most important part- SANTA!  There is waiting as you go through, so best to make a reservation so there is less waiting.  Also, the photo package is very reasonable and for $29.99 (with some deals online if you book in advance), you can get several different poses, and sizes in a package with some bonuses thrown in.  There are other great things to buy if you are interested to make great stocking stuffers and presents for the grandparents.  I thought it was great fun for my kiddos but they are older, and more aware of what is going on.   Check out this website and see if there is a Santa HQ near you.  Besides Colorado, there are other Santa HQ locations too!

Disclaimer: I was compensated by HGTV and Santa HQ for this post, but all opinions expressed here are honest and my own. 

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The Game is Afoot at the DMNS #SherlockinDenver

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*Please note: This article was written as a guest post for Mile High Mamas, and is posted here.  For Denver activities and more, check out their website.

221B  Baker Street has been transported to the Denver Museum of Nature and Science from now until January 31, 2016.  This interactive international exhibit has several parts, but starts with the history of this character and and includes a replica underground train station (circa 1895) where you can receive detective’s notebooks (available in English and Spanish), and go station to station to learn about the different techniques and aspects for solving crimes.  At each station, you stamp your detective notebook or receive a decoder (read the instructions or ask for help), because each station is different.

Gathering techniques and punches in your book
Gathering techniques and punches in your book

At the end of the station, you get a special decoded message from Sherlock Holmes that tells you what to do next. The game is definitely afoot, as you examine a crime in a Victorian-era home, stamp your book so you can take clues with you and then walk the streets of London to gather clues. At each of the final stations, you analyze all the evidence with hands-on interactive stations.  Thegameisafoot

The various stations, include a sitting room at 221B Baker Street, depicting the very room where Dr. Watson and Sherlock discussed cases.  The various stations make it fun for adults and children alike to enjoy solving a case and exploring the concept that “things are not always what they seem!”

crime scene
crime scene

Be prepared for some fun, interaction, and a whole lot of Sherlock Holmes.  If you love a mystery and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s creations, you will definitely enjoy this exhibit at the DMNS.  But, be careful and observe every detail, because “to a great mind, nothing is little.”

InvestigatingtheEvidence
Analyzing the evidence

 

A few things of note for this exhibit specifically:

  • You can take strollers, photos, but no flash photos, please.
  • Admission to this exhibit is extra, even for members.  But, special member discounts apply. 
  • Some of the content is not suitable for kids under age 10.  It depends on the child and what they can handle.  It’s a murder and analysis of evidence from a scene.
  • It is a complicated exhibited, so ask for help.  Plenty of amazing volunteers and staff are there to assist.
  • Attend on less busier days if you can, so you can truly enjoy this exhibit. Crowds make this exhibit tougher to enjoy/use.
  • It is open daily, except for Christmas day, December 25.

For more information, visit International Exhibition of Sherlock Holmes

*Disclaimer: I wrote this piece for DMNS and Mile High Mamas as a guest blogger.  I received compensation in the form of free admission for my family.  The information and any opinions posted here are my own.

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