Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park: It doesn’t get more Colorado than this!

 

Kids

Voted one of USA Today’s 10 Best Caves, Glenwood Caverns is a must for your family summer fun list. Three cave tours offer varying levels of difficulty to suit the whole family! I have a little dare devil, so this year, we opted for the Wild Cave Tour (10-year age requirement AND we finally made the cut). What is it!? Only the most extreme caving expedition a kiddo is permitted on, an adventure for the true thrill seeker.

Then and now

Then & Now (2011/2017)

Make the Most of Your Day Quick Tips…

  • Arrive early, when the gondola opens, to avoid long lines.
  • Claim a small $.50 locker before they fill.
  • Get in line for the bigger, more popular rides first.
  • Break early for lunch to beat the rush.
  • Don’t let the kids get caught in the speleobox. (Especially right before your 4-D movie begins!)

It’s hard to avoid – the one thing that happens and risks ruining the day for everyone. We generally count on Noelle to keep us on our toes: Water World wardrobe malfunction, lost races to the bathroom, and the time she didn’t get out of the elevator! But, this trip, it was me.

Theme Park Fail

I consider myself daring, for a mom. So, maybe it was first ride shock, or maybe just the fact that the ride swings OUT OVER THE CLIFF’S EDGE! But, I saw my life flash before my eyes…over-and-over again. Faint or scream, I made the obvious choice. A lot. With a scratchy voice and trembling hands, I exited the swing of terror, a theme park walk of shame, through the line of sweet little girls waiting to get on. Wide eyed, they kindly asked if I was going to be alright. I may still have the occasional nightmare, but hey, check that one off my list.

Swing

Park Favs

Tho I struggled with the Giant Canyon Swing, the kids LOVED it! They rode several times, throwing their hands in the air or striking nonchalant poses. I may have felt theme park envy.

The Alpine coaster was another top-pick. Scary enough to cling to the breaks but enjoyable enough for mom to survive. I’m sure the views are fantastic, but I’ll admit, my eyes were steady on the tracks and my heart was still jumpy.

The coming soon fav-to-be: Haunted Mine Drop. Opens THIS SUMMER!

Adventure of a Lifetime :: Our Wild Cave Tour was something spectacular. Stacked up against all the other amazing options, it was still unanimously #1 with my bunch. The 2-hour, underground crawl through spaces as small as 18 inches left us exhausted, in the very best way. It was a perfect grand finale for an unforgettable day.

 

 

TBT Glenwood Springs Adventure

Adventure photo remake coming soon!

Alpine slideDelightfully traumatizing ride down the Alpine slide.

In early spring 2011, I introduced the kids to a historic Colorado destination located in the Roaring Fork Valley near the Colorado River and Roaring Fork River: the city of Glenwood Springs. At that time, the kids were four and eight, which I assumed would make our adventure a lot less thrilling…I was wrong.

2011 GlenwoodGlenwood Springs Vacation, 2011

Our stop at Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park, 7,100 feet above the town, included a chilling, snow flurried zip down the Alpine coster; our first 4-D movie (I wasn’t expecting all that); a “cave dark” experience in the caverns; and a recovery soak in the natural hot springs pool.

So, when I asked Noelle what she wanted to do for her upcoming 10th birthday, I should have known Glenwood Caverns was at the top of the list. This time, she wanted to do something that she has been waiting “FOREVER” [said in a most dramatic tone, of course] to do… Glenwood Cavern’s Wild Cave Tour! A two-hour extreme caving tour *with a minimum age limit of 10 years.

On the books for this weekend. I’m forecasting epic.

#GlenwoodCaverns #GlenwoodSprings

Summer Camp Survival Gear

labeldaddylogo

Save 25% on Label Daddy labels! Exclusive laminated coating gives labels an extra layer of protection and is a must-have for summer camp (if you want belongings finding their way back home). Clothing, sports equipment, electronics, and other personal belongings…hey, put one on your kiddo! My kids always get returned.

Label Daddy labels keep belongings from getting lost or mixed up with others. These labels are great for adults too! — Put them on your sunglass/eyeglass case, phone, camera, sports equipment, tablet, e-reader, hats, clothing, and more. Ok, that might be pushing it, but you get the idea.

These labels are super durable peel-and-stick washable labels — they’re washer/dryer safe, microwave safe, dishwasher safe and UV resistant. Label Daddy labels are also fun and attractive. You design your own labels! Pick from tons of colors, sizes and logos, including MLB, NBA, and NHL team logos, and more. These labels are made in the USA and shipped directly to you worldwide.

Save 25% on your entire Label Daddy order – this is the best discount available anywhere. Use code USFAMILY25 at checkout. http://www.usfamily25.labeldaddy.com

If this feels like a pitch, it is. However, I do LOVE and use these little labels (maybe too many places). I asked my teen if he was too old for them (his keep disappearing) and he still can’t break my heart, lol!

Move Over Easter Bunny

Each spring we watch, with bittersweet endearment, as the piles of velvety powder slowly melt away from the slopes, and patches of green grass appear. What can make this changing of seasons a little sweeter? The Easter Bunny, of course…or, if you’re spending your days at Copper Mountain Resort, The Rainbow Fish Character!

And he’s making quite the splash at Copper Mountain.
Following breakfast: the World’s Largest Easter Egg Hunt!!

Rainbow Fish Photo Op!

coppereaster

Photo with a Rainbow Fish? Now this is Easter.

Easter Breakfast with the Rainbow Fish Character
Copper Mountain, Upper Conference Center – Kokopelli’s Trail
8:00am-10:00am
Family Breakfast
$25 Adults $21 Kids (ages 4-9)

Summit Sunrise Breakfast Buffet: fresh melons, pineapple, and seasonal berries. Assortment of fruit, yogurts, farm fresh scrambled eggs, Applewood smoked bacon & country style sausage links. Skillet style breakfast potatoes, waffle station, fruit preserves, and more!

Photo opp with Rainbow Fish (don’t forget your cameras), coloring station and souvenir gift for each child.

Great way to start your day before hopping along to the World’s Largest Easter Egg Hunt with 65,000 eggs in Center Village. (FREE)

 

A limited number of tickets are available. Early ticket purchase is suggested.

Hoofing It at the Horsetooth Half

Racetime Rundown:

  • Date: April 23, 2017
  • Time: 8:30am
  • Start: Hughes Stadium, Fort Collins, CO
  • Views: Pure Colorado
  • Course: Challenging. Rewarding. Net Downhill
  • After Party: New Belgium Brewing
  • Prize Purse: $4,000

This year will be the 44th anniversary of the Horsetooth Half Marathon. This scenic 13.1 mile trek is not only one of the most beautiful, it’s also the oldest in the state of Colorado!

horsetooth-pic
Top 10 Reasons to Run the Horsetooth Half 2017

10. 44th Anniversaries don’t happen every day.
9. Your New Years Resolution needs this.
8. The 500′ Monster Mountain is in the first 2 miles.
7. It’s all downhill from there.
6. #7 is not literal, but you’ve totally got this.
5. Music…on course, of course!
4. Voted Best Half in the Rocky Mtn. Region by Competitor, 2016.
3. $4K Cash Purse
2. BEER by New Belgium, for when you don’t win the $4,000.
1. You can join me :: AND my little brother – a horse of another, coming soon.

Now that I’ve convinced you, you’re going to want to start training – it helps.
Don’t worry, GnarRunners have thought of everything: Full Training Plan

 

Wondering what’s up with the horse theme this season? Me too.

photo: GnarRunners
#HorsetoothHalf #GnarRunners

Mile High Farms Family Fun, from the Horse’s Mouth

horse

A weekend escape to Mile High Farms was the perfect fall family tradition activity, particularly with the lovely weather we’ve been so lucky to have this year. Mile High Farms is located east of Denver, which was a new adventure for our family. It was great to experience the scenery and countryside as we meandered out that way.

The main draw for us: the corn maze! It took longer than we had hoped (because we’d like to skip right to expert), but hey, that’s all part of the fun, right?

Being that this was our first visit to Mile High Family Farms, everything was new and exciting to us. Ambiance and props had been created with much creativity, and entertainment lurked around every corner. The western family farm appeal was impressively genuine.

tire

Wide open spaces offered plenty of romping room, and although everything was new to us, we made sure to check out the newest features to the farm.

NEW features we explored:
Horse-drawn wagon rides
Second corn pit
Hula-hoop station (to burn off some sugar)
Mini hay bale maze (we were much quicker solving this one, lol!)

From the horse’s mouth…Mile High Farms is an excellent addition to the fall family fun bucket list!

 

Mile High Farms, Fall Traditions

mile-high-farms-denver
Our recent visit to Anderson Farms’ pumpkin patch. This weekend: Mile High Farms’ corn maze!

Mile High Farms is deemed “A Place Only Kids Can Imagine”, so it it bad that I’m swept away at the festive fall charm?

A few popular attractions at Mile High Farms:
Whimsical dressings at the INSPIRE stage are the perfect prop for playful performances and a world of imagination, a playground of repurposed farm equipment, petting zoo, AND getting lost in the corn pit (but I generally leave this to the kids…when people are watching, ha).

NEW this year:
Horse drawn wagon rides in addition to the traditional antique tractor rides through the pumpkin patch! A “Play Your Heart Out” theme, which I will certainly take very seriously. A second corn pit, hula-hoop station, additional stage performances, a second mini straw bail maze, and of course, the main maze – inspired and designed after the Mile High Farms’ tire swings (my stop this weekend!).

mile-high-farms-pumpkin-patch

$3 OFF ADMISSION! Valid Saturdays and Sundays ONLY through the month of October. Print out this coupon and redeem discount at our ticket booth. Limit 6 tickets per transaction. Not valid with any other offer.
http://www.usfamilyguide.com/nationaladmin/clientcoupons.php?bid=10946

Summer Camp Drop-In

Lifeguard Camp Hawaii

Summertime is anything but boring for our bunch (a nicer way of describing somewhat-organized chaos). Between the parties, BBQs, events, and gallivanting outdoors in the sunshiny days and cool nights, we have ordinary responsibilities. Bummer. And, while everyone faces the challenge of balancing fun and work, we have the additional challenge of navigating a schedule that’s rather out of the ordinary.

Summer camp, drop-in style…saves the day!

It’s the best solution I’ve found to manage our lives, which range from Colorado to Hawaii, 9 to 13 years, adventurous to super chillax; and we have to find a way to please everyone, of course (and I’m not claiming success to that one quite yet).

Our 2016 lineup has included some pretty notable adventures. AND we’re not done! Some of our favs thus far:

DENVER TOUR CLUB

Sam is the owner and main tour guide of the camp. He has experience working with children, a degree form CU, and is fully trained as a lifeguard – all of which helped me feel comfortable right away. Sam combines education with adventure to create a fun atmosphere for the kids that parents can truly appreciate.

JR. LIFEGUARD PROGRAM

This program is FREE on island! The program is sponsored by the North Shore Lifeguard Association and is taught by certified lifeguards. It’s intense and requires dedication, so it’s certainly not for everyone. My son, being more familiar with the Colorado scene, was certainly intimidated and will hopefully forgive his mom someday for strongly suggesting his involvement with the training (which could come in very handy someday!).

KAMA’AINA KIDS SUMMER INTERSESSION

I thought it would be a fabulous idea to introduce my youngest to her peer group culture on  Oahu. The camp is very reasonably priced and full of local culture. Noelle had the opportunity to sing songs she had never heard of, talk about places that are a mystery to her, and she even mispronounced musubi – which left the other children in hysterics. Oh, and she’s still amazed that the kids hadn’t a clue what kickball was.

CAMP UNPLUGGED @ MALAEKAHANA

This overnight adventure was included in the Kama’aina Kids daycamp package. We didn’t know this until attending camp (information can be increasingly difficult to obtain in Hawaii), but we were thrilled and Noelle had a North Shore adventure she’ll never forget! Beach fun, crabbing, low ropes, climbing wall, archery, camp fire time, and tie dye were just a few of the many experiences.

When life demands mundane and necessary responsibilities, make drop-in summer camp your solution!

New: Hex Your Memories!

hex metal print

AdoramaPix helps people turn their digital photographs from abstract computer files into beautiful keepsakes designed to last a lifetime. Their contemporary metal prints capture memories in rich color and vibrant detail. Because your images are infused right into the metal, and not painted on the surface, their metal prints are extremely durable. Not only will your metal image be water and weather proof, but scratch resistant as well. You can even clean it with glass cleaner. Your memories deserve to live in true, archival luxury with AdoramaPix metal prints.

You can find all the fun gift ideas HERE

My readers get to save! 25% off Hexagon #Metal Prints! Use promo code: PXHEXMTL25 expires 06/ 15 /2016