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BackCountry - Wild at Heart

‘Tis the season to be jolly. Here’s how.

by | December 1st, 2016

Sometimes December feels more like the season to be busy, with the frantic pace of end-of-year work assignments, office parties, shopping, cooking, cleaning for house guests…well, you know the drill. Rather than simply reacting to every demand, consider taking a more proactive stance: What do I want my month to look like? What memories do I want to create? And then plan accordingly. Try subbing a few of these five memorable activities for other less-jolly obligations; there’s even one as close as BackCountry’s own Sundial House.

Here’s to a happy holiday season…on your terms.  

9 News Parade of Lights-Dec. 2 at 8pm & Dec. 3 at 6pm

Downtown Denver- Parade of Lights

This 42-year-old tradition remains the perfect way to kick off Denver’s holiday season. On a two-mile route in downtown Denver, this parade features marching bands, ornate floats, and, of course, special appearances by Major Waddles the Penguin and Santa. Dress warmly, take a thermos of hot cocoa, and stake out your spot along the route, or grab tickets ASAP for the limited grandstand seating in front of the beautifully lit City and County Building. Learn more. 

Hometown Holiday and Tree Lighting-Dec. 2, 4:30pm-7:30pm

If you prefer smaller crowds or just staying closer to home, try on this special Highlands Ranch tradition. Hometown Holiday is an old-fashioned community celebration with caroling, entertainment, food, and a visit from Santa Claus himself. (Naturally, the big guy has a busy schedule these days, so catch him before he leaves at 7:30.) The tree lighting is planned for 5pm. Held at Town Center South. Learn more

Denver Zoo Lights-Dec. 2-Jan. 1, 2017, 5:30pm-9pm

Imagine all 70 acres of the Denver Zoo, bright with illuminated animal sculptures that swing through trees, jump across lawns, and hide in bushes. Plus, you’ll enjoy all the holiday carolers, Santa meet-and-greets, and much more at this beloved Denver tradition. Zoo Lights is a memorable way to spend time with family, get a little exercise, and, of course, support the animals. Tip: Go on a “Value Night” for smaller crowds and reduced entry fee. Tickets range from $10-17. Learn more.  

Cookies with Santa-Dec. 10, 9am-1:30pm

Santa's Visit- Reunion CO

True, BackCountry is a bit of a hike from the North Pole, but the lure of cookies and photo ops with star-struck BackCountry kids brings Santa back year after year. Come enjoy time with your neighbors, wear your favorite ugly sweater or other festive attire, and have your kids bring their wishlists. Residents, RSVP through BackCountryLife.org by Monday, December 5th.

Denver Performing Arts Holiday Events-through December

Make attending at least one festive performance a holiday tradition in your family. The DCPA is offering something for everyone this month, from classics to new favorites in the making. Consider a musical performance of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. The soaring majesty of Handel’s Messiah. David Sedaris’s hilariously snarky Santaland Diaries about his stint as a Macy’s elf. Or The Nutcracker, dazzlingly performed by the Colorado Ballet. Ticket prices vary. Learn more.

Parade of Lights- Holiday Happenings

BackCountry’s Haunted House Event

by | November 10th, 2016

Residents had a spooktacular time at the BackCountry Haunted House event!

BackCountry’s Dog Costume Party

by | October 31st, 2016

BackCountry’s furry friends dressed up during the Dog Halloween Costume Party at Solstice Park.

Treat yourself to scary good fun.

by | September 29th, 2016

Good news! It’s officially October. Complete justification for grabbing a few bags of the Halloween candy that’s been on display since August. And after you’ve acquired your sweet stash—which, no doubt, will go untouched until the 31st—use our suggestions below to plan an entire month of monstrously good fun. Venture to places like the Denver Zoo or stay close to home; BackCountry and the south Metro area offer plenty to enjoy this time of year.    

Pumpkin Festival at Chatfield Farms —Oct. 7-9, 9am-5pm

Selecting the perfect future jack-o’-lantern from a 10-acre pumpkin patch is one of many activities to enjoy at the annual Pumpkin Festival at Chatfield Farms. (If you don’t know, Chatfield Farms is the Denver Botanic Gardens’ 75-acre native plant refuge and working farm, not far from BackCountry.) Make a day of it with hay rides, face painting, games, antique tractor exhibits, arts and crafts booths, food, live music, and more. Get lost in the corn maze next door for an extra fee. Complimentary daycare for little pumpkins. Ticket prices range from free (2 and under) to $8. Learn more.

pumpkin festival colorado fall

Haunted Forest Backcountry Wilderness Area —Oct. 21, 7:30pm-10:30pm

Behind BackCountry lies 8,200 acres of wilderness—and one unforgettable evening marked by bloodcurdling fun. If you’re feeling brave enough for a bit of a Blair Witch-style experience, visit the Haunted Forest after dark, where anything could be lurking in the shadows. But first, gather your courage with food trucks, an outdoor movie, live animals, and more. Tickets are for specific hour-long time slots and cost $13 per person. Recommended ages 10+; parental discretion advised. Learn more.

BackCountry Haunted House— October 2, 6pm-9pm

Residents: Take the terror indoors at the 2nd Annual BackCountry Haunted House held at the community’s award-winning gathering place, the Sundial House. This year’s theme is “Walking Dead,” so prepare to be scared—and then to recover with games, prizes, and fortune-telling. From 5pm-7pm, the haunted house will accommodate kids ages 3-9, but from 7pm-9pm, it will become an appropriate fright-fest for tweens, teens, and adults. Please bring an unwrapped toy or cash donation for CASA, advocates for children. RSVP at BackCountryLife.org. Learn more.  

bc-haunted-house-costumes

Boo at the Zoo —Oct. 22-23 and Oct. 29-30, 9am-5pm

For two weekends, the Denver Zoo gets (just a tad) spooky, offering 20 trick-or-treat stations, creepy crawly animal demonstrations, and oodles of family-friendly entertainment. Come in costume and enjoy not only the Halloween festivities, but visits with the zoo’s 4,000+ animals and ogle at the countless towering trees in their finest autumn glory. All activities are included in the price of admission ($12-17; free for ages 2 and under). Learn more.

BackCountry Halloween Hot Spot Houses—Oct. 31, dusk-7:30pm

Another perk of a gated community: worry-free trick-or-treating for your kids. At BackCountry, roving bands of candy-seekers—and givers—relax knowing that only residents are part of the transaction. Beyond that, friendly neighbors provide “hot spots” for trick-or-treaters and their parents to stop and enjoy a hot drink and/or snack, plus a little chit-chat. The HOA is looking for one volunteer on each block to open their garage and provide light refreshments. It’s a sweet way to get to know your neighbors and assess the season’s most popular costumes (will it be Pokémon? Ghostbusters?). If interested in hosting, please contact Christa Dellebovi at cdellebovi@ccmcnet.com by Friday, October 21st.

bc-haunted-house

BackCountry’s Blues and Brews

by | September 19th, 2016

Residents enjoyed the last concert of the season featuring Blues performed by Biff Gore & Friends at the amphitheater in BackCountry.

Get your A-game back at The Fitness Lab

by | September 7th, 2016

BackCountry™ has a reputation for attracting active people. Panoramic mountain views, 467 acres of natural open spaceand the 8,200-acre adjacent wilderness area have a way of tempting residents out on the trails to hike, bike, and revel in the serenity and fresh air.

However, life does have a way of throwing curveballs with illness, injury, or simply the effects of aging, which can sideline us from the activities we love—and that keep us healthy. At BackCountry, though, residents have an extremely helpful ally in The Fitness Lababout five minutes away near the intersection of Wildcat Reserve Parkway and McArthur Ranch Road.

Fitness Lab

The Fitness Lab is a medical exercise training facility that helps people manage their health through movement. Some of the challenges clients face include arthritis, joint replacement, diabetes, hypertension, cancer, multiple sclerosis, stroke, and injury from accidents. The Fitness Lab bridges the gap between healthcare and fitness by designing effective exercise programs to help manage such conditions. (Often, because of insurance limitations, people can’t achieve relief from their regular medical professionals before their benefits end.)

The Fitness Lab’s Movement Coaches work with clients to regain muscular balance, increase endurance, improve flexibility, and restore the function and vitality needed for good quality of life.

Three kinds of assistance are available at The Fitness Lab.

Medical Exercise Training establishes an exercise program for clients with chronic conditions. Here, the goal is to support the management of their diagnosis and to improve or maintain the gains already made through medical care, physical therapy, or chiropractic rehabilitation.

Active Life Training focuses on training clients for a life of activity free from injury, pain, and movement restrictions. Corrective exercise and functional strength training address postural problems and muscular imbalances that produce pain and dysfunction.

Fitness Lab Training

Fitness Training, conducted by certified personal trainers, is available to identify and meet fitness goals either individually or in a group.

“There is always a solution in movement,” says Trevor Wicken, one of the business’s two Movement Coaches. “It is not okay that so many individuals believe they have to accept their medical condition, surrender to chronic pain, and settle for a life without the freedom to choose how to live.” Wicken has been a Medical Exercise Practitioner for the past 15 years and

is an AAHFRP Medical Exercise Specialist; NASM Corrective, Performance, and Elite Personal Trainer; Neurokinetic Therapist; and TRX Sports Medicine Practitioner. He has worked with Division I athletes, some of whom have been professionally drafted Olympic medalists while they were in training, and current and retired professional athletes.

Fitness Lab Group

 Partner and fellow Movement Coach Matt Oster has been working in the health and fitness industry for more than six years. At the University of Colorado, Boulder, Matt studied psychology and slowly returned to sports after a debilitating football injury at the age of 14. His successful rehabilitation experience led him to earn a master’s degree in exercise science with a concentration in injury rehabilitation and performance enhancement.
Developing the right program for each client begins with a medical exercise assessment in which neurological, musculoskeletal, and functional movement is carefully evaluated. Hopefully, it’s just the first step to getting people stepping (or cycling) back on those BackCountry trails in no time.

BackCountry’s Back to School Pool Party

by | August 11th, 2016

BackCountry children enjoyed one last splash this summer during the Back to School Pool Party.

Everyone loves a Renaissance Man (or Woman)

by | August 2nd, 2016

You know those engaging people who know something about everything? The ones with the hungry—and well-fed—minds that move the conversational needle way past how hot July was? Well, now the darling of the summer cocktail party can be you, thanks to this list of recreational/educational activities. Learn about aeronautics and space travel. How to change your bike tires. Go on a brewery tour. Become a Rockies expert. Try your hand at plein air painting. It’s just another month in BackCountry, the perfect jumping-off point for adventure.  

Cockpit Demo Day at Wings Over the Rockies-Aug. 6, 10am-2pm

If you’ve never visited this historic 150,000-square-foot, 1930s-era air and space museum, now is the time. On Cockpit Demo Day, you and your kids can climb aboard select Wings aircraft and get a pilot’s perspective of the instruments and controls. Wings Over the Rockies Air & Space Museum houses a collection of more than 60 aircraft and space vehicles. Test your skills on their simulator, which allows you to pilot aircraft from WWII to Desert Storm, dogfight with your friends, and ride one of ten exhilarating simulated roller coasters. Tickets are $6-$9; children under 3 are free. Learn more.

2nd Annual BackCountry Bike Clinic-Aug. 6, 9am-12pm

With so many trails crisscrossing so much open space at BackCountry, biking is a very popular community pastime. Celebrate the outdoors lifestyle at this Family Bike Festival, featuring bike checks, mini clinics (how to change a tire, etc.), bike demos, prize giveaways, music, food, and adult and child bike riding clinics on the BackCountry trails. The skills clinics will be led again this year by Cindi Toepel of Energy Experience, a five-time World and 10-time National XTERRA Off-Road Champion. Clinic participants will receive a free breakfast. Please RSVP through BackCountryLife.org by Monday, August 1st.

BackCountry Biking

Colorado Rockies Game-Aug. 21, 2:10pm

There’s something magical about watching live baseball on a summer afternoon. Rekindle your passion for America’s pastime on a fun outing to Coors Field with your fellow BackCountry residents. Tuck into a catered picnic at the Platte River Picnic Area at Coors Field, which starts 90 minutes before the game. The menu includes hot dogs, bratwursts, salad, potato chips, cookies, and unlimited fountain sodas. Then, settle in for the game. RSVP through ActiveNet by July 22. Picnic is limited to the first 50 people, so register early. Infield club seats $62; right field box seats $28.

Coors Field

Brewery Tour-Aug. 27, 2pm-6pm

Crisp and clean. Malty and sweet. Hoppy and bitter. Find your beer soulmate—and learn what’s trending in craft beer—on this tasty BackCountry tour of three Denver breweries. Catch the party bus (with snacks and water) from the Sundial House with your friends and neighbors. The Brewery Tour will visit Prost Brewing in the Denver Highlands, Epic Brewing, and Great Divide Brewery & Tap Room in RiNo. Register through ActiveNet by August 19th; space is limited to the first 50 people. $30.

Art Afield at Cherokee Ranch and Castle-Aug. 31

Monet had to start somewhere. And with a Colorado meadow as your muse, who knows where this could go? Breathtaking Cherokee Ranch & Castle invites artists of all levels to paint in an open meadow north of the Highlands Ranch Conservation Area. Disappear into your canvas for the day, inspired by views extending from Pikes Peak to Longs Peak. Dress for the weather, come rain or shine, and bring a lunch, beverage, and art supplies. Tickets $20; beginning instruction available for an extra fee. Learn more. 

Cherokee Ranch Painting

BackCountry’s Tween Water Wizzard Pool Party

by | July 21st, 2016

BackCountry tweens had all kinds of tween fun at the Tween Water Wizard Pool Party!

Red, white, and do.

by | July 6th, 2016

Welcome, July. The peak of summer when we joyfully celebrate our nation’s independence. And, perhaps, declare our personal freedom from daily routine. It’s a month when the metro area (including BackCountry™) offers endless possibilities for fun in the sun—and out of the sun, too. Here are our favorite picks for July activities to further your personal pursuit of happiness.   

Patriotic Event & Concert-July 8, 5:30pm-8pm

BCPatrioticconcert2015

With so many top-notch fireworks shows to choose from, you should get all the snap, crackle, and pop you need. But BackCountry follows up the fireworks with its own intimate gathering. Held at the Amphitheater, this special celebration includes music by the Mostly Harmless Band, kids’ activities such as superhero training and games of “Superman Says,” Main Street BBQ, and a golf cart decorating contest hosted by Colorado Golf & Turf. See photos from last year here and RSVP at BackCountryLife.org.

Hot Air Balloon Rodeo in Steamboat-July 9-10, 6am

Have you experienced this classic summertime-in-Steamboat activity yet? Every year, this enchanting town becomes even more so with amazing hot air balloon antics combined with an art festival, now in its 42nd year.  A perfect photography opportunity, the day begins with watching the balloons inflate and pilots performing feats like dipping into Bald Eagle Lake. Then, coffee, breakfast, and a visit to Art in the Park, where arts and crafts, performances, and an interactive children’s area will fill your day. Learn more.

Girls Day! Painting Class & Women’s Shelter Drive-July 18, 2pm-4pm

BackCountry ladies, unleash your inner Georgia O’Keefe or Frida Kahlo while enjoying some quality time with your pals. Held at the Sundial House, this instructor-led class will give you the tools and guidance you need to walk away with a unique new painting. Bring clothing or toiletries to donate to the Battered Women’s Shelter. Donations are encouraged even if you can’t attend the class. $17 per painter. RSVP through ActiveNet.

Summer Concert-July 27, 6pm-8pm

When a neighborhood has its own amphitheater with Front Range views, one outdoor concert per month just isn’t enough. Gather with your BackCountry neighbors for an evening of music from the ‘50s, ‘60s, and ‘70s, performed by Cruisin’ Cats Band along with a special guestElvis! RSVP at BackCountryLife.org.

Colorado Dragon Boat Festival-July 30-31

Colorado Dragon Boat festival

Is it Sloan’s Lake in Denver? Or Qinghai Lake in China? Well, the lines may blur a little, given the fleet of colorful dragon boats slicing through the water—and all the other Asian sights, sounds, and tastes. This 2,000-year-old sport offers a true spectacle in its 16th year in Colorado, but for nearly 100,000 people, it’s a chance to learn about Asian culture through events such as Taiko drumming, Minyo dance, hip-hop (yes, really), spoken word performances, art demonstrations, children’s activities, and delicious foods from all across Asia and the Pacific Islands. Learn more.

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