Come One, Come All to the Summer Heritage Evening at the Historic Walker Ranch Homestead

Walker Heritage_sm

On July 20, 2013 your family has an incredible opportunity to go back in time to get a sense of what it was like to be a homesteading family in the Boulder area. To be clear you need to head up early evening of July 20 to Walker Ranch to take part in their Summer Heritage Evening.

This is where you will find volunteers doing historical re-enactment of the homesteading lifestyle. It is always a bit different, but well worth the trip up Flagstaff to engage in activities such as learning to rope a cattle, playing with early settler’s toys, watching baking, blacksmithing, etc… Think Little House on the Prairie right in our back yard.

Time: 5:00 to 7:30pm

Location: Walker Ranch [To get to the Walker Ranch homestead, go approximately 7.4 miles up Flagstaff Mountain Road, west of Boulder]

Cost: Free

More information about the Walker Ranch Summer Heritage Evening can be found here.

Boulder Families Event Review: Treasure Island by Colorado Shakespeare Festival

Exciting. Intriguing. Pirate-like. Captivating. Adventurous. These are the words 8 and 10 year olds used to describe the performance of Treasure Island by the Colorado Shakespeare Festival. Earlier this week we had the opportunity to head to campus and watch this great play under the stars in an intimate outdoor setting. There was not a bad seat in the house! They did not know the story going in [I had meant to read the book to them before hand, but vacations got in the way!], but they were captivated by the experience and the story right away. Kids who love pirates, adventure and/or just a well acted story will love this show! 

We started over evening by parking on The Hill and walking over to campus. As we walked up we found people picnicking on the grass in front with characters singing to set the mood. We immediately found the food cart and purchased a cookie and we knew we were in for something special–the tone was set. We entered the building and handed in our tickets to find a mom and child ushering–it felt family-friendly right away. A quick read over all the information in the program offered the kids a brief synopsis of what was going to unfold. They were so serious the whole time which is a bit unlike two boys sitting together at 6:30pm when they generally find a way to wind each other up. The play started and immediately we were all swept in and an hour had passed when intermission was upon us. I was excited to see that there were snacks as well as kid-friendly and adult-friendly drinks available. We got a little something because who can resist during intermission at a play?

Swash buckling, gun fights, suspense and intrigue were peppered throughout the evening. There were kids of all ages that night. The house was silent, besides my kids asking a few questions, or so it seemed. I took that to indicate that Treasure Island was as exciting to the rest of the families there as it was to us. I personally felt carried away right in to the story. It felt professional, very intimate, engaging, and I highly, highly recommend it to all Boulder Families [and beyond]! But you don’t need to bring the kids because it would also make a great date night.

Kids’ Review

Favorite Character[s]: Long John Silver & Benn Gunn Why? Because I love pirates and I think Benn Gunn is funny!

Would you recommend this show to a friend? Yes. Why? Because it was fun to go and I like the story. There is a lot of sword fighting too.

What was your favorite thing about the play? It was well performed and exciting. Also, I like the stunt where people fell of the boat.

What would you recommend to make it better? Actually act out everything, instead of explaining some parts. It interrupted the play. But I still really liked it, it could just be a bit better.

Overall Kid Ratings [scale of 1 to 10]:

8 year old–9

10 year old–8

Details

Ages: 6+, but family-friendly setting at most ages

Date/Times: 6:30 & 8:00pm on various dates through August 9, 2012 [2 1/2 hours long with an intermission]

Recommended for families: Yes, without reservation

Reservations: Click here for more information and to purchase tickets. Kids tickets are only $10! 

It was a magical night for our family. I highly recommend Treasure Island. If your kids are elementary school aged or above they will fall in love with this production!

Boulder Families Trip Review: Touring The Denver Mint

My kids are fascinated with money. For kids it is a constant source of questions: Can I buy that? Is it too expensive? Why can’t we buy that $500 toy? If you are reading this blog I know you get it. I thought it would be great for my kids to see how money is made and so we toured the Denver Mint this Monday. Touring the Denver Mint is a fun, free activity for kids in Denver.

History: The Denver Mint produces the most coins in the United States. They have a long and storied history that is part of the gold rush throughout the Western United States. The building is impressive–old and beautiful. It also holds a LOT of gold.

Experience: If you are like our Boulder family you know you are doing something special because you are going to the big city: Denver! You stand in line and get checked in by security much like the airport. Immediately you realize this is serious business and your small group [20 people] move into the building to check out some displays. The displays are somewhat interesting, but not overwhelmingly so because they are not hands on. Two tour guides take you through a few different rooms that hold displays. They also explain what is going on below you through the windows: they are making coins of all kinds. This is captivating! They are rolling out the coins we use daily. There were kids of all ages on our tour who seemed interested in the experience.

Logistics: You have to make reservations ahead of time on their website. They book far in advance, but if you can keep checking back and sometimes things open up.

Cost: Free!

Time: 30+ minutes

What we liked most: Seeing coins made and hearing the old lore about the Mint

What we liked least: The tour was short. It was not hands on.

Recommendation: We recommend going if your kids are seven [7] or older. Younger ones can go, but this older group will actually enjoy it the most.

50 Free Things To Do This Summer!

Here is a great list of 50 FREE things to do this summer in the Denver/Boulder area. Most of them are family friendly. Some will surprise even those of us who have lived here for a long time. Others will just be a reminder of things we have been wanting to do, or places we want to revisit–maybe now with kids. No need to pay. Just go. Have an adventure. Try something new. Have fun! What else is should we add to this list?

The FREE list includes:

  • Art Fairs

  • Exhibits
  • Concerts
  • Attractions
  • Tours
  • Day Trips

I would add:

  • Boulder Farmer’s Market

  • Band on the Bricks
  • Live music at 29th Street Mall
  • Pearl Street [playing at the fountain, on the animal statues, at the rocks]

Here’s the link to 50 FREE Summer Things To Do!

A big thinks to http://www.denver.org and @iknowdenver!

Globetrotting Kids: Check Out These Kids’ Blogs About Traveling

National Geographic Kids is supporting kids to blog about their experiences on their Around The World family trip. Way to go National Geographic. I am SO jealous! For some interesting reading check out these two kids’ blogs:

National Geographic is such a great resource! My kids pour over it when it arrives and invariably there is an article & certainly photos that capture their curiosity. When I was researching stories about traveling with kids I found some great resources at National Geographic:

Calling Nature Detectives: A Free, Fun, and Self-Guided Opportunity on Boulder County Open Space

Get the kids outside and allow them to become Nature Detectives. Kids 11 and under will love becoming Nature Detectives! This program is an entertaining and engaging way to foster the love of nature in your children of all ages. You do not need special equipment or knowledge, just your children & their natural curiosity. The Boulder County Nature Detectives program includes Mystery Guides to many Boulder County Open Space properties and provides:

Once your child has completed three [3] Nature Detective programs they receive a prize. The more programs they complete the more prizes they collect.

The Nature Detectives program is free and available at the following trailheads. Caribou Ranch, Mud Lake, Betasso Preserve, Agricultural Heritage Center, Heil Valley Ranch, Carolyn Holmberg Preserve at Rock Creek Farm, Meyers Homestead Trail at Walker Ranch, Pella Crossing Lake, & Walden Ponds. For more information on the Nature Detectives program & downloadable click here. Or for more information you can call 303-678-6201.

Good job, Boulder County, putting together Nature Detectives! I love the way you are engaging children in the outdoors! What other creative programs are there in Boulder like this one?