Denver Real Estate Blog

May 31, 2018

What to do in Denver in June 2018

Check out what's happening in Denver this June!

June 1st to June 3rd – Capitol Hill People’s Fair

“People's Fair is Denver's oldest neighborhood festival and famous for bringing together a diverse population to celebrate community and enjoy the start to the summer. This Civic Center Park tradition welcomes community groups, artists, and entertainment from every corner of Denver. The uniqueness and magic of the People's Fair is created by the blending of great family fun, carefully selected handmade arts & crafts, delicious culinary delights, fabulous entertainment and the commitment to raise funds for and promote the missions of non-profit organizations.” For more info, check out https://peoplesfair.com/

 

June 2nd to June 3rd – Denver Chalk Art Festival

“More than 200 professional, amateur and student artists will delight and amaze Denverites with their incredible talents in what has become one of the city's most treasured events. Over the course of two days, the artists will take to the street armed with vivid pastel chalks and spend hours on their hands and knees recreating major masterpieces or sharing original works of art. Spectators will watch as the intricate chalk paintings come to life and spread out to adorn four downtown blocks in and around Larimer Square. Visitors will enjoy live music, food and beverages while also having the rare opportunity to interact with the artists as they work.” For more info, check out https://www.denver.org/things-to-do/spring-summer/chalk-art-festival/

June 11th – Film on the Rocks: Grand Budapest Hotel

“Winner of the Film On the Rocks Wes Anderson poll, The Grand Budapest Hotel finds many of the auteur's closest collaborators (including Bill Murray, Jeff Goldblum, Edward Norton and Tilda Swinton) filling out his patented ensemble casting.” For more info, check out http://www.redrocksonline.com/fotr/

June 15th to June 17th – The Denver BBQ Festival

“We've invited some of the country's most award-winning BBQ legends to Denver this summer for America's biggest Father's Day BBQ. It's not about bragging rights (well, maybe a little), it's about feeding you a whole lotta hog. So come grab a slab, pound some pork, and bury your face in some brisket while enjoying cold drinks and killer live music at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. It's time to pig out. BBQ and beverages will be available to purchase, and all-inclusive VIP experiences are available.” For more info, check out https://denverbbqfest.com/

June 15th to June 17th – Denver Comic Con 2018 

“Denver Comic Con (DCC) is a 3-day, family-friendly pop culture fan extravaganza, featuring the best in pop culture entertainment. DCC is a program of the Colorado nonprofit Pop Culture Classroom, whose mission is to inspire a love of learning, to increase literacy, celebrate diversity and build community through pop culture education.” For more info, check out https://denvercomiccon.com/

June 16th – Juneteenth Music Festival 

“Join us Saturday June 16, 2018 on 26th & Welton in the Historic Five Points Neighborhood for Juneteenth Music Festival. Tens of thousands of festival goers will commence to celebrate freedom, community and culture. Set to a soundtrack of Blues, R&B, Soul, Jazz and Hip-Hop music, nearly 200 vendors line Welton Street for an epic celebration.” For more info, check out https://www.juneteenthmusicfestival.com/

June 23rd – South Platte River Fest

“After years of construction, the 6th annual South Platte RiverFest will be returning to the water! Try out a stand up paddleboard in the Cherry Creek or take a kayak down the boat chute in the South Platte River. Take a break on Shoemaker Plaza and listen to live music. Food and beverages will be available for purchase from our food court and on-site bars, with proceeds benefiting The Greenway Foundation. Spending time on the water is how we refresh during the summer; therefore, you do not want to miss this event!” For more info, check out http://www.thegreenwayfoundation.org/south-platte-riverfest.html

June 29th – Dive-in Movie: Despicable Me 3                                             

“Dive-In Movies are shown in Island Kingdom Water Park every Friday night June 29 - August 3. The Water Park closes at 6 p.m. with the exception of the Wave Pool, movies beginning around 7:30 p.m. Movies are free with any park admission or Season Pass.” For more info, check out https://www.elitchgardens.com/entertainment/dive-inmovies17/

 

 

 

 

Posted in Denver Lifestyle
May 10, 2018

First Impressions at the Front Door

Springtime in Denver

The flowers are waking up, the grass is turning green, the trees are budding, and the muddy shoes are multiplying by the front door, the living room, and any place that once was clean. Ordinarily, this is just a minor inconvenience and warrants only a mid-level “stink-eye” towards the offending party, but when you’re trying to sell your house and people are on the way over, the last thing you want to find is huge muddy mess on the floor. 

It’s Colorado and we live here because of the beautiful scenery and ability to get outdoors all year long. You may be able to instruct your children as to which door to use when their feet are dirty but there are some, yes husbands, that often seem to forget. So, unless you invent an electronic mud detection app that warns you of the impending mudocalype you need to have a plan.

Great Ideas for Muddy Shoes

  • One of the simplest solutions is the boot tray. They come in all shapes, sizes, colors, and materials. They can be decorative or simple depending on your needs and tastes. If you put one by each door, and gently encourage all family and guests to put their shoes in them immediately when they enter it will definitely help curb the spread of mud. Check out this site for some great ideas for boot trays. 
  • A temporary option is carpet squares. Generally, you can pick these up cheaply at most flooring or home improvement stores. These can be quickly disposed in the case of a last-minute showing. Car mats work great for this as well. Having a few of these near the back door or garage door will give everyone a place to toss their shoes quickly. You can find inexpensive versions at thrift or discount stores.
  • You might also want to consider plastic tubs. You can have a few of these placed in strategic locations. If you have guests or potential buyers coming by you can simply put on the lid and stack them neatly in the garage. Boxes also work well for this and can be recycled or composted if they start to get too soiled.

Be Prepared for the Inevitable

Regardless of the precautions you take someone will throw a muddy shoe right in the middle of the floor. Note, he was identified earlier. It is a good idea to keep a cleanup kit handy. A small bucket with a spray bottle, paper towels, a small brush and dust pan, and trash bags will be very handy for small spills. In most cases water works best so you don’t risk the chance of harming flooring or discoloring carpet with cleaners. If it gets a little out of hand, try some of these tips.

Reward Good Behavior

Finally, if your family is working together to keep things clean while your selling your house then give them a little reward. Maybe a piece of candy, special treat, or extra time on the computer for helping out. Some sellers have even created a point system that can be redeemed for bigger prizes if they put things where they below and help keep things clean. Be creative and inventive, and the results will be amazing.

 

Give us a Call for More Suggestions

Even in this market it helps to make your home as appealing as possible when selling. We love Denver and have been selling homes here in the snow, rain, sun, and mud. We know what works and what to not to do. Give us a call and we’ll be happy to talk to you about making the process easier. Oh, and if you do develop that mud app let me know, I’ll take three.

 

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Posted in Selling your Home
April 18, 2018

5 Places to Go when You and the Kids are Stir Crazy

I love springtime in Colorado. I enjoy getting out on my bike, spring skiing and everything the Denver area has to offer. However, I also completely understand that while these things are great for me, they are not always the best options to entertain young children. After being holed up in the house for a couple of months I'm sure you're ready to get out!

Here are my 5 Go-To Places when the kids, and you, need a break.

Meow Meow

One of my favorites is the Cat Café in Denver. Located at 3929 Tennyson Street it is a charming little place that fosters cats for adoptions and is a kitty heaven for children of all ages. You can play with and pet cats, have a cup of coffee, and just enjoy the environment. It is open from 10am – 7pm daily and a welcome reprieve from being stuck in the house. Get more information here: http://www.denvercatco.com

Denver’s Little Adventurers

If cats aren’t your thing, check out the Children’s Museum, https://www.mychildsmuseum.org. As the name implies, it is full of fun and engaging activities for children of all ages. Personally, I love the bubble exhibit, but you will find so many different activities that this is one place a membership can pay for itself quickly. In addition, it’s free the 1st Tuesday of each month from 4 pm – 8 pm. 

Kidosaurus Rex 

Are your kids dinosaur fanatics? Then you need to get your adventurer on at Dinosaur Ridge, http://www.dinoridge.org. With an amazing history of discoveries, this National Natural Landmark in Morrison is simply awe inspiring. There are fossils, displays, exhibits and you can literally walk in the footsteps of dinosaurs. It’s open all year round and perfect for a warm winter or spring day. 

I Get to Ride the Ostrich!

If you are up for a little drive in the mountains, then I highly recommend the Carousel of Happiness in Nederland. Even though my kids are now older, this is still one of their favorite memories and a yearly tradition. The restored 1910 carousel has astonishing animals and is suitable for all ages. The Wurlitzer band organ itself is amazing. The best part, it only costs $1 to ride. https://www.carouselofhappiness.org

 

Fun and Sun with Friends

 

This last one is a bit of a no brainer, but I feel it is important to mention. Denver is home to some of the best parks in the country. When it is cold, snowing, raining, or muddy, this might not be the best option, but on those wonderfully warm days there are many options. We would spend a day doing a park scavenger hunt. We would visit 3 parks and see what we could find. This is even more fun if you’re with another family with kids. The “Purple Park”, their name, was my kid’s favorite. Use this link to get started: https://www.denver.org/things-to-do/sports-recreation/denver-parks/ 

Get Out and Explore

I love my kids, and there is nothing better for me to take them someplace that excites them, especially when we’ve been trapped inside all winter. Denver is incredibly kid friendly, you just need to get out and explore. Call some friends, and make it happen. If you have any questions, please call us. We want to be more than realtors, we want to be your neighbors.

 

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Posted in Denver Lifestyle
March 18, 2018

Simple Renovations to Increase Your Home’s Value

One of the most common questions we get from people thinking about selling their home is what renovations should be done to raise the value or sell price. This is a great question, and while we always recommend that you reach out to us to discuss your particular situation, there are a few things that are beneficial in nearly every situation. However, the important thing is to remember not to spend more than you will get out of it.

Paint is your friend

Painting interiors is fairly easy and can give the home a fresh and bright look to prospective buyer. Start by walking through the house and see what rooms need it the most. Look for small cracks, chips and dirty paint to start with. Be sure to paint small rooms in light colors to make them look bigger. Avoid dramatic colors such as red, deep blues, or even yellows. It is always better to be neutral rather than pick colors that people might not like. It is also a good idea to make sure decorations are neutral and family specific items are stored away.

The Kitchen

In most renovations updating the kitchen will give you the most impact and increase in value. If you plan on staying in the home for many years before selling, go big. However, if you are just trying to improve buyer appeal, there are some smaller updates you can do that help in a big way. Try swapping out the kitchen faucets for a more modern look. Replace the blinds, curtains, and put in new lights to brighten the room. New floor coverings can also help the room look bright and inviting.

Spruce up the outside

Curb appeal is huge, so put on the gardening gloves or hire a professional. Most buyers already have a good idea whether or not they like the house before they’re even out of the car. If you know you’re going to be selling make sure you keep the lawn green and well-manicured. Trim the bushes and trees, and even plant some flowers if it is the right time of year. Clear away all dead brush, limbs, or any other unsightly messes. Your goal is to make your yard look like a magazine shoot.

You may also want to replace any ripped screens and do some touch up painting on doors and window frames. Be careful before deciding to paint the exterior of the house, though, as your color preference may be different than that of potential buyers. Before painting, we recommend talking with us. You may do better by offering a paint provision in the contract rather than incurring the expense up front.

Clean like your mom is visiting

Here is the most important “renovation” you can do when you are selling your home. Either prepare to use some serious elbow grease or hire professionals to give your home a top-down cleaning. Everything in the house should be cleaned and kept clean throughout the selling process. We understand this can be difficult with a family and busy schedules, but the cleaner you keep the home, the less stress you will have when the last minute showing pops up. So grab a scrub brush and clean like company is coming!

Are you ready to sell your home?

Selling your home can be stressful, but it can also be a huge opportunity to set the stage for the next phase of your life. If you're thinking about selling your home, give us a call and we'll help navigate you through getting out of your old home and into your new one.

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Posted in Selling your Home
Feb. 27, 2018

The Mighty Dryer Sheet

Dryer sheetMany consider themselves to be dryer sheet, or fabric softener sheet, specialists. We may not admit it openly or give it much thought, but we all have our favorite brands, smells, and softness level. Some of us may be quick to rebuke the claims of extra softness and static free living, that is until we run out and find that every doorknob shocks us and our t-shirt just doesn’t feel right. We love blogging about many things, but even the most astute may have missed just how versatile these little modern miracles are.

From the Dryer to the Kitchen

Chrome sink, stainless steel, and flour all bow to the mighty dryer sheet. Used sheets make chrome and stainless steel shine and because of their anti-static properties that can help keep the dust from sticking to vertical services. Did you spill a little flour? These little wonders can work better than most paper towels. All of us battle the stinky garbage can. Simply line the bottom of the container with used dryer sheets and then every time you do laundry throw them away in the kitchen instead of the wash room.

For the Thrifters among Us

There is nothing cooler than finding a beautiful antique desk, quilt, or book at the local thrift store or a garage sale. Unfortunately, these sometimes come with a history of smells as well. Since most quilts don’t machine wash well, fold them up with dryer sheets to give them a clean fresh scent. Stuff antique drawers with new or used sheets after you wipe them down. Place a musty book in a gallon sealable plastic bag with a dryer sheet and the musty smell will disappear.

Battle your little Furry Friends Humanely

Here’s a secret. Mice, spiders and insects are not huge fans of fabric softeners. Repel bugs by sticking a few where the insects and bugs like to hide. You can also attach one to the end of a broom to easily remove a spider web up in the corner. We love the outdoors in Denver, but not when it comes indoors! Stuff the entryways and holes that fall prey to mice with dryer sheets. Mice don’t like the smell or the taste, so generally they move on rather than gnaw through.

Our Favorite Use

Perhaps you have a home full of completely hygienic and smell free teenagers. If this is you, skip this paragraph. While we love our children, we must admit, it is simply amazing that an odoriferous manufacturing plant doesn’t exist inside their shoes. It is without a doubt one of the great scientific mysteries. However, if you stuff the used sheets into their shoes every time you do laundry you would be surprised at the overall impact and peace it brings your home. If you have any leftover, try sticking some in their gym bags, backpacks, and even hide them in their room. Not only effective, but it becomes a bit of a game after a while.

Have Great Ideas, Please Share

If you have any great ideas to reuse common household products or make living easier let us know. We would love to hear from you and build a repository of information for future home-owners. Who knows, the people you help most, may be your own children. In case you’re interested here are a few more uses for dryer sheets and other items. Enjoy your day and save those dryer sheets.

 

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Posted in Denver Lifestyle
Jan. 17, 2018

How to Improve the Energy Efficiency of Your Home

solar panels against a blue sky with clouds

Green energy is a hot topic here in Denver. We help drive innovation across the country with our thriving solar industry and other energy initiatives. But improving the energy efficiency of your home doesn’t have to mean big expenditures; you can make small changes that will still make a difference in your utility bills. We’re going to take a look at projects big and small that can make your home a little greener, save you money on utility bills, and maybe even increase the value of your home.

Belkin brand surge protector with three outletsUnplug your chargers and appliances when you’re not using them

Many appliances, TVs, and phone chargers continue to draw power when they’re not in use, so there are a lot of savings to be found in making sure things are left unplugged after you’ve finished using them. Try using surge protectors for areas with a lot of things plugged in, such as your computer or TV area, to make it easier to unplug.

Use cool or warm settings on your washing machine

Up to 90% of the energy used by your washing machine can go to heating up water, so using cool or warm water settings will save a bundle over time. Another simple way to save energy is by making sure you only wash full loads of laundry instead of half-loads. Front-loading washing machines are also more efficient than top-loading machines in both water and energy usage, so definitely look at front-loading machines first the next time you’re ready for a new machine.

showerhead with water spraying outInstall low-flow showerheads and water fixtures

Low-flow water fixtures will save you a lot of money on water usage, but depending on the fixture you want to replace it could be a major project. Low-flow showerheads are the least expensive and easiest way to get started, while low-flow faucets and low-flush toilets can be saved for when you’re ready for a major project. You can also check your current water fixtures for leaks and get those repaired if you’re not ready to replace them.

Install a programmable thermostat

Programmable thermostats can save you up to 10% on your energy bills, so they’ll pay for themselves pretty quickly. Plus, you’ll never have to worry about remembering to turn the thermostat up or down again.

Seal air leaks around your house

This is a pretty big project but it can be well worth it, especially in older, draftier homes. Air leaks drain away whatever heat or air conditioning you have on—not to mention the money you’re spending on that heating and cooling. Check around windows, doors, foundation, attic, and ducts to seal up the most common air leaks.

Replace doors and windows, or get storm doors and windows added in

Replacing doors and windows with more energy efficient models can get both pricy and time-consuming, but the energy savings can be huge. It may not be worth replacing doors and windows unless they’re already worn down or leaking, but you can also add storm windows and doors for a less expensive way to reap many of the same benefits.

person in full protective gear sprays foam insulation in atticMake sure your walls and attic are properly insulated

Insulation is key to ensuring your home keeps its heat in the winter and stays cool during the summer. Although it’s rarely worth it to replace insulation, it’s still worth checking that your walls are properly insulated without any gaps that allow air to pass through. Unfinished attics or lofts can be a huge drain on your heating or cooling efforts, so installing insulation can save you a lot of money pretty quickly.

Plant trees

Sealing and insulating your home are huge projects, but if you’re not ready for the time and expense involved, planting trees around your home can help. Deciduous trees that lose their leaves each year can provide shade and cover that keep the worst of the heat off your home in summer. During winter when their leaves are gone they’ll allow as much sunlight as possible through to help warm up your house.

Replace old furnaces and boilers

Old furnaces and boilers can drain money from your home, with many older models wasting fuel or simply not able to compare to the more energy efficient models available today. Although this is a big expense, it will pay off in the long run and add value to your home.

white house with white picket fence and trees surrounding it, all the leaves are yellow and falling to the ground

Check for tax incentives for energy efficiency upgrades to your home

Before starting any major projects, make sure you see if there are tax incentives in place to help you upgrade your home. With such a high price tag on many of these projects, it can make a big difference when you know you’ll be able to get some of it back.

Get an energy audit

If you think it’s time to start a major efficiency upgrade to your home, start by getting an energy audit. Once you know the scope of potential upgrades it’ll be much easier to decide where to start, and the overall value in reducing your expenses and adding value to your home can more than make up for the cost.

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Posted in Denver Lifestyle
Nov. 17, 2017

Is Denver the Right Place for You?

Here’s What You Need to Know

The city welcomes a ton of new residents every year. Money Magazine called it the “Mecca for millennials,” a hub for startups and young entrepreneurs, with a supportive infrastructure for business growth.

Denver has become a “wear jeans to work” city with improved public transit and many restaurants and bars to accommodate going out after the office. So if you like a city that rapidly mixes the cutting edge with history, you’ll fit right in.

You’ll also fit in if you like to ski, hike, ski some more, hike a bit farther, and then take a break to kayak. Denver is all about the outdoors; after all, it does sit a mile up in the mountains. It’s got gorgeous scenery, the sun shines 300 days a year, there’s plenty of snow, and it’s full of parks and green spaces, even right in the city. Your dog will love it, especially since Colorado is a very dog-friendly place.

The arts lover has plenty to do, with the world-class Red Rocks Amphitheatre nearby for music, museums, and the Denver Center for the Performing Arts. Its cultural scene is also home to a large, passionate craft brewing industry, with over 150 breweries and brewpubs. The University of Colorado Denver adds its own interest and liveliness. Then there’s the Broncos, Nuggets, Avs and Rockies for your full dose of pro sports. If you’re moving to Denver you can rest assured that there is plenty to do and a variety of ways to fit in.

Where to Fit Your Furniture

That might be trickier these days than fitting in yourself. The housing market is hot, as the city booms and more and more people relocate to the Mile-High City. Even renters and landlords are using brokers in this demand-driven market. Rents and mortgages are not at New York or San Francisco levels, but they’re increasing, as is the cost of living. Manageable, but increasing.



An average apartment rent is just over $1,200 for a one-bedroom, but depending on the neighborhood rent could be much higher. Houses count their time on the market in days, not months. But if you’re patient and flexible, there are many delightful places to live in Denver, each with its own flavor.

Families flock to Highland, Cherry Creek, and Washington Park, the latter having one of the many beautiful green spaces that speckle Denver. A more historic area, Lower Downtown (LoDo) combines old stone with young, urban living and lots to do. Five Points shares that vibe, but for less money. If you’d like to double your rent, try Capitol Hill or the Golden Triangle District, lovely and near everything, probably well worth some people’s money. Uptown is gentrifying, so there’s an interesting mix of walkable old and new, and it’s currently quite hipster.

And if you do move into this friendly, welcoming city, the help of one of the top real estate agents in Denver could be invaluable. With expertise in the neighborhoods and the pace of the current market, your agent can help you find a Denver dwelling you love that’s perfect for you and your needs.

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Posted in Denver Lifestyle
Aug. 23, 2017

How Do I Sell Mom and Dad’s House?

cleaning outThere isn’t a really good way to begin this post other than just stating the obvious. Our parents are aging and whether we are a Baby Boomer or Generation X kid, we are very likely going to have to face some hard decisions in the near future. Most often we are helping our parents move into senior communities or assisted living. In worse case scenarios, our parents have passed away. In either case, we are left with a home that needs to be emptied and sold.

It’s OK that it’s Hard

First and foremost, this may be one of the most challenging tasks of your life. Not only do you have to sort through decades of memories, you will need to make decisions that might be constantly second-guessed by other family members, neighbors, and friends. First, find a confidant you can vent to that isn’t involved and who you trust to give you sound advice. Second, make a plan with your family or whoever is helping. Finally, know this is tough and do your best to identify decisions which need to be made immediately and the ones that can wait.

boxesSo Much Stuff!

One of the first challenges is all the “stuff/treasures” in the home. It’s amazing how many things are acquired in just a few years; think of how much can accumulate in three or four decades. I always recommend the family coming together and deciding what should be done. If finances are important for senior living or health care, some items can be consigned or sold. If you want help hire an estate sale company or auctioneer. Costs of these services vary, so get multiple bids, read the contracts carefully, search online for reviews, and always check references.

Check the Shoes

Many of our parents had to live through some very hard times, some even the great depression. This is why they never let you throw away the last of the stale cereal. You might be amazed to learn that many depression children hide money, valuables, and jewelry. So, before you take all those shoes down to the thrift store, check the toes. I once helped a family clean out closets and we found over $1,000.00 stuffed in shoes. It seems that most people will hide their treasures where they can see them, so hidden money and jewelry is most often in the bedroom. Make sure you check suit pockets, books, and other small places. You never know what you might find.

Get Some Help

It may become more apparent after going through the house that the furniture, paint, wallpaper, and decorations make the house look dated. The challenge is understanding where to invest money or effort to bring it up-to-date. We’re experts in selling homes in the Denver Metro and we would be happy to talk with you and look at the home to see what can be done. You are not the first person that has gone through this and we understand how difficult it can be. Simply give us a call at 303-991-9878 or contact us. We’ll help you through this in a positive and caring manner.

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Posted in Selling your Home
June 28, 2017

4th of July Fireworks in Denver 2017

July 4th doesn't quite feel the same without a ton of fireworks, and one source of disappointment for many new Colorado residents is the ban that Colorado has on at-home fireworks. Although the city does offer a few shows to choose from — which are listed below in more detail — it is illegal to have the small fountains and other fiery, lovely goodness that many other states take for granted as part of their at-home annual tradition.

4th of July Denver 2017

If this is your first year here in Denver Metro, or if you've never attended the annual public firework displays in the past, here is a rundown of some of the best events for this 4th of July season. Of course, parking is usually at a minimum, and arriving well in advance to reserve a closer seat is highly recommended if you want to avoid extensive walking. Also, if you want to leave your car and sit on the grounds somewhere, optimal seating locations fill up almost as quickly as the parking lots!

If you intend to venture out and get a taste of Denver's firework shows this summer, it might be worth considering packing a picnic or supply bag of essentials before you go. This can include snacks, sunblock for sure, bug spray, bottles of water, a flashlight, and even a travel blanket. Few things are more frustrating than arriving at an event lasting several hours, out in public, but not being prepared with SPF and hydration!

All fireworks are expected to begin at approximately 9:30 pm!

ARVADA INDEPENDENCE DAY CELEBRATION

WHEN: July 4th – Starts at 4 pm
WHERE: Lutz/Stengler Sports Complex
INCLUDES: Kids Play Zone, human “Hamster” balls, inflatables, live music, craft booths, games, face painting, and food & drink stands

AURORA 4th OF JULY SPECTACULAR

WHEN: July 4th – Starts at 6 pm
WHERE: Town Center at Aurora
INCLUDES: Additional free activities

ENGLEWOOD FAMILY FESTIVAL

WHEN: July 4th – Starts at 3 pm
WHERE: Belleview & Cornerstone Parks
INCLUDES: FREE event (small fee for some activities and attractions) includes face painting, bungee trampoline, bounce castle and live entertainment

GOLDEN 4th OF JULY FESTIVAL

WHEN: July 4th – Starts at Noon
WHERE: Lions Park
INCLUDES: Lots of FREE rides and face painting beginning at noon; The Johnny O Band plays from 12:15 p.m. to 3 p.m., followed by Ryan Chrys & the Rough Cuts from 3:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. Something Underground takes the stage at 6:30 p.m.

watching fireworks in Denver

GREEN VALLEY RANCH CONCERT & FIREWORKS

WHEN: July 4th – Starts at 6 pm
WHERE: Green Valley Ranch Golf Club
INCLUDES: XO Band FREE concert at 6:15 p.m.; then headliners The Rumour at 7:30 p.m. at Green Valley Golf Club; There is a free shuttle service from 10 locations from 6:15 p.m. to 10:30 p.m.

HIGHLANDS RANCH JULY 4th CELEBRATION

WHEN: July 4th – Starts at 8:45 am
WHERE: Town Center North
INCLUDES: At 4 p.m., the action moves to Highland Heritage Regional Park for balloon twisters, face painters, games, inflatables; shuttles run from Highlands Ranch High School and Rock Canyon High School

NORTHGLENN 4th OF JULY FAMILY FESTIVAL

WHEN: July 4th – Starts at 7 am
WHERE: E.B. Rains Jr. Memorial Park (Across from City Hall)
INCLUDES: Pancake Breakfast, Pedals and Paws Patriot Parade; a 4-mile run, car show; bounce houses, pedal boats, Duck Derby; a bake sale, Beer Garden and a concert by Soul School. Food & community booths open at noon

LITTLETON FOURTH OF JULY FESTIVAL

WHEN: July 4th – Starts at 3 pm
WHERE: Cornerstone Park baseball field
INCLUDES: Food concessions available

THORNTON 4th OF JULY

WHEN: July 4th – Starts at 4 pm
WHERE: Carpenter Park Fields
INCUDES: Beer Garden & food vendors, Thornton Community Band performance at 5:15 p.m and Kory Brunson Band at 7:30 p.m.

FIREWORKS AT ELITCH GARDENS THEME & WATER PARK

WHEN: July 4th – Fireworks At Dusk!
WHERE: Elitch Gardens Theme & Water Park
INCLUDES: Free fireworks at dusk in addition to all the fun of a standard visit to Elitch gardens and water park (ticket required for entry to the Park)

THE RAPIDS — AND FIREWORKS!

WHEN: July 4th – Fireworks After the Game!
WHERE: Dick's Sporting Goods Park
INCLUDES: Colorado Rapids vs. Seattle Sounders at Dick's Sporting Goods. There is a free fireworks show visible via the parking lot outside

THE OUTLAWS — AND FIREWORKS!

WHEN: July 4th – Fireworks After the Game!
WHERE: Sports Authority Field at Mile High
INCLUDES: Denver Outlaws vs. Atlanta Blaze. After the game, there is a free fireworks show at Authority Field at Mile High that is visible for miles around!

Have a happy and safe Independence Day!
We are always here if you need us.

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Posted in Denver Lifestyle
June 18, 2017

3 Funky Picnic Ideas for Families

Picnics and summer go hand-in-hand, and this time-honored tradition is a staple for many American families. While the classic wicker basket and checkered blanket are still fun, today’s families are challenging themselves to think outside the box. If you’re looking for a new angle or theme for your picnic outings, these family-friendly, outdoor-ready ideas should help get the creativity flowing!

Before you head out for a picnic, please make sure to check the laws and regulations for any Denver Metro park or public space that you intend to visit. Most have bans on glass bottles/containers, for example. And don’t forget the sunscreen!

Safari Picnic (Recommended Ages: 6-10)

The “Backyard Safari” trend has become very popular in the last few years, but there’s no reason to limit the safari to your own yard! Pack up a rustic-looking basket with tasty treats and consider pairing up your kiddos with playful, whimsical accessories like this epic Safari Cargo Vest, which allows them to carry their supplies on them (and not in your pockets), or this outstanding and useful Safari Field Canteen!

These Animal Print Gift and Goody Bags can also be loaded up with packaged treats or wrapped sandwiches, depending on your menu choices. Finger foods are where it’s at with picnics, and these Silly Snake Hot Dogs replace standard Pigs-in-a-Blanket with something perfect for a family out in the wild. With a little more pre-picnic prep time, these Ladybug Crostini could be a big hit with families who have kids more excited to hunt bugs than big game out in the jungle. Just keep them chilled until you’re ready to leave and use them as an appetizer when you arrive.

Zombie Picnic (Recommended Ages: 6–13)

This theme can be particularly fun for families that love Halloween because there’s lots of room for incorporating spooky decorations and accessories that have been carried over from one year to the next. Zombies are definitely a popular trend, both with younger children and even teenagers. Parents can scale the spookiness level accordingly, but consider donning some creepy face paint, some shredded old clothing, and preparing “gross” Halloween-inspired snacks appropriate for an undead family munching in the grass.

Zombie Bite Sleeves are a fast way to create a Zombie vibe, and don't miss these fun, playful Zombie Warning Sign Necklaces to make it clear to everyone nearby that your family is all together--and hungry for brains! These Witchy-Poo Fingers may look like severed fingers, but not to worry, they're actually a tasty dessert. Alternatively, try Monster Toes for an adaptation of Pigs-in-a-Blanket, and Spooky Eyeballs are a great spin on Deviled Eggs. And while your entire meal doesn’t have to be creepy, the combination of attire and some Halloween-inspired hors d'oeuvres can make a Zombie Picnic festive and fun!

Luau Picnic (Recommended Ages: 6–16)

A luau picnic is a theme that can be adjusted to accommodate youth of any age, giving even stubborn teenagers something to look forward to. This quintessential summer motif is a classic, but it’s also versatile and on-the-go friendly! A wicker picnic basket even works to carry your supplies. Inexpensive party supplies can help bring this tropical theme to life, and reusable, non-glass Plastic Hibiscus Drink Cups can be a colorful way to serve lemonade, tea, or ice water when you get to your picnic location.

No luau feels complete without leis! These tropical lei necklaces are a lovely, floral addition to beach-worthy outfits for your picnic outing. Grass skirts, woven picnic blankets, Hawaiian print shirts, and floral headbands are all great ways to complement this theme. If you want portable entertainment, younger kids might enjoy a round of ring toss with this Express Inflatable Flamingo Ring Toss Game. Regarding the menu, some made-ahead Char siu-glazed pork and pineapple buns make for miniature sandwiches that are travel-ready. If you’re in need of a tropical-looking dessert, these Sand Dollar Cinnamon Sugar Cookies look absolutely delicious!

What's your favorite picnic theme? Let us know in the comments!

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