BackCountry’s Tweens had a splish splashin’, belly floppin’, hula hoop dancin’ good time at the community’s recent Tween Pool Party.
BackCountry children spent a creative afternoon learning to paint at the Kids N’ Canvas event at the Sundial House.
Residents celebrated Memorial Day with interactive games, fun and food at the Sundial House.
If May was our month to tiptoe outside again, June is our full-on garden party. The time to plan something fun to do in the sunshine each and every weekend. After all June is, by presidential proclamation, National Great Outdoors Month. So, in the spirit of compliance with that executive decree, here is a month’s worth of events to tempt you beyond your freshly greened-up, BackCountry™ backyard—as beautiful as it no doubt is. Plus we threw in a few gatherings happening at our very own Sundial House and outdoor amphitheater, too.
Summer Kick-Off Concert– June 9, 6pm-8pm
It’s not every neighborhood that has its own annual summer kickoff concert. In its own amphitheater. Surrounded by wilderness and breathtaking mountain views. Summer is, frankly, awesome at BackCountry. This year’s concert features island music by the Tropical Coyotes and Mike’s 2 Kitchen Food Truck (bring cash or a credit card). For the kids, we’ll have a talented balloon animal creator and glitter tattoo artist. RSVP details to come, but in the meantime, email your questions to Christa Dellabovi. (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Colorado Renaissance Festival-June 11-Aug 7
Huzzah! It’s time once again for all good lords and ladies to immerse themselves in the sights, sounds, and tastes of 16th century England. And yes, there will be turkey legs. Entering its 40th season, the Colorado Renaissance Festival offers eight weekends of interactive revelry with costumed royalty and peasantry, jousters, jugglers, artisans, and minstrels. Enjoy hearty fare and multiple stages of performance. Held at Perry Park in Larkspur. Adult tickets $20.50; children $9. Learn more.
Cherry Blossom Festival-June 18-19
It’s pretty cool that a city of Denver’s size has such a vibrant Asian community. You’d be remiss not to celebrate all things Japanese at the annual Cherry Blossom Festival. Their long list of events includes traditional Shigin singing and poetry chanting, dance, Taiko drumming, bonsai demonstrations, beer gardens, and a lively Saturday night performance by the Cheapsuits with special guest Danny Yamamoto. And the food, of course, will be worth the trip, including favorites such as sushi, somen, panko dogs, and teriyaki chicken. Held downtown at Lawrence and 20th and inside the Tri-State Denver Buddhist Temple. Learn more.
Geeks Who Drink Trivia Night-June 24, 7pm
At last. It’s time to make use of all that useless information floating around in your head. Back by popular demand, this evening of adult beverages and friendly competition allows neighbors to show off their trivia prowess. Geeks Who Drink is a Colorado-based company that hosts these highly entertaining bar trivia events throughout the nation. Gather up a team of friends and neighbors, bring your thinking caps, and savor the challenge—plus snacks, of course. RSVP through ActiveNet by Friday, June 17. Participants must be 21+. Email Christa Dellabovi at email@example.com with questions.
Highlands Ranch Music Arts Festival-June 25-26
Our metro area is home to many talented musicians. And many of them will be coming to play at Civic Green Park in Highlands Ranch. Lucky us. Bring your lawn chairs for two days of performances in blues, jazz, country, and more. Bring your cooler, too, or make it easy on yourself and enjoy food and drink—as well as arts and crafts—supplied by local vendors. No dogs, please. Learn more.
Dare we say it? The snow and cold is over so it’s time to celebrate. Because May is such a wonderful (and well-deserved) time in Colorado, you’ll find all kinds of outdoor festivities planned at BackCountry™, Highlands Ranch, and beyond. Sure, that occasional, rogue snowstorm can roll in, so don’t go planting your tomatoes and eggplant just yet. But do plan on hitting a few of the outdoor happenings listed below. Just bring a jacket to be on the safe side.
Taste of Highlands Ranch-May 6, 6pm-9pm
Eat, drink, and discover your new favorite restaurant. For 21 years, The Taste of Highlands Ranch has brought the community together for food, wine, and fun. Held at the Eastridge Recreation Center, The Taste features sumptuous cuisine from more than 30 area restaurants and all you care to enjoy of wine, beer, and spirits. Savor a cold one outside at the ever popular beer garden with live music. $30 in advance, $35 day of event if not sold out. Must be 21+ to attend. Learn more.
Cinco de Mayo Festival (Denver)-May 7-8
The original inspiration behind Cinco de Mayo is the heroism of the outnumbered Mexican army who fought off the French in 1862. But along with honoring that struggle for freedom, there’s the sheer celebration of Latino culture—from the beauty of dance and music to the fun of Chihuahua races and taco-eating contests. Watch the parade downtown on Saturday at 11am, then make a day (or two) of it by exploring vendor and exhibitor booths and catching live performances. Learn more.
Five Points Jazz Festival-May 16
Each year since 2004, the Five Points Jazz Festival has treated metro residents to an afternoon of around 40 incredibly talented and culturally diverse jazz performances from across the country: Latin, blues, funk, trios, youth-focused programming, and more. It all happens along Welton Street at eight different venues in the neighborhood. (Five Points was once known as the Harlem of the West, home to several jazz clubs that hosted legends such as Miles Davis, Thelonious Monk, and many more.) Come for the music, food, culture, and fun. Entrance is free. Learn more.
First Film on the Rocks-May 23, 6:30
Here’s the definition of gilding the lily. Sunset at the awe-inspiring Red Rocks amphitheater. Live concert or comedian. Audience participation contests. And the screening of a cult classic film. Now that’s a delightful evening. This year’s season of Film on the Rocks kicks off with The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1, preceded by Strawberry Runners and Plume Varia. Doors open at 6:30 pm, bands begin playing at 7 pm, and movies start at dusk. General admission tickets $12; higher on day of show. VIP packages begin at $42. Learn more.
Pool Opens/Memorial Day Celebration-May 27
Come celebrate Memorial Day, the end of school, or just the pleasure of hanging out with neighbors who’ve come out of hibernation too. Located next to the Sundial House, the pool area offers something for everyone with a big pool, splash pad, water feature, lap pool, and lounge chairs. Activities include face painting, games, grilling, and a DJ.
The Luck of the Irish touched the Children of BackCountry during a magic show a the Sundial House.
Last month’s “spring forward” to Daylight Saving Time may have cost us a little sleep, but now we get to reap the rewards—outings that can stretch luxuriously into the evening, thanks to that inviting extra hour of sunlight. Now that longer days are officially here, it’s time to get out and enjoy some of the city’s seemingly infinite supply of springtime activities. Here are a few favorites, hand-picked for our BackCountry friends.
Rockies Opening Day-Apr. 8, 2:10pm
Hope springs eternal for Denver’s beloved, if beleaguered, professional baseball team. Support our boys by attending the always-exciting opening day game, this year against the San Diego Padres. The game, the beer, hot dogs, and Dinger are attractions enough, but more serious fans will be interested to see the effect of the newly raised outfield wall. What will this mean for our high-altitude home run advantage? Tickets $40-250. Learn more.
Sweeney Todd-Apr. 8-May 15
Remember the Academy Award-winning 2007 movie with Johnny Depp? This darkly funny thriller by Stephen Sondheim veers off in a bold new “gypsy punk” musical direction, reinvented by DeVotchKa, Denver’s Grammy-nominated hometown heroes. The story centers on Sweeney Todd, an unjustly treated London barber who exacts revenge by slicing his way through the city’s upper crust. (Actually hilarious, but not for kids or the squeamish.) Performed at the DCPA’s Stage Theater. Tickets start at $35. Learn more.
Family Fun Spring Event: Golf Cart Services-Apr, 9, 11am-1pm
Golf cart rides. Food trucks. Prizes. Entertainment for the kids. There’s something fun for everyone at this community get-together. And if you have a golf cart, Colorado Golf & Turf (the event sponsors) can even service it with appointments between 11am-4pm. If not, you can check out the new models they’ll have on display—kind of a fun thing to have on the winding, hilly roads of BackCountry. Where: the pool parking lot of the Sundial House. RSVP at BackCountryLife.org.
Highlands Ranch Kids’ Expo-Apr. 16, 12pm-3pm
Summer’s coming. Get the scoop on the season’s best kids’ programs while your kids get a preview of the fun. Held at the Eastridge Recreation Center, this free event will provide inflatables to play on, music, contests, activities, drawings, and food for purchase. Learn more.
Elitch Gardens Opening Day-April 30
In Denver, Elitch’s and summer go hand in hand. But why not be a contrarian and visit in the spring? Your reward will be smaller crowds and better temperatures. Beyond the park’s impressive 53 rides and attractions, this year’s extras include exciting new family shows, Dive-In Movies, a free summer concert series, and three fireworks extravaganzas that promise to light up the Denver skyline. Tickets range from $29.99-49.99, but children aged 0-3 are free. Season passes are $69.99. Learn more.
The Easter Bunny hopped to BackCountry for the annual Easter Egg Hunt.
BackCountry’s Luck of the Irish Show at the Sundial House
Should the dreaded words, “I’m bored” cross your child’s lips this spring break, you can always suggest killing time with chores—the go-to reply of moms for generations. But if that’s not your style (or better yet, the kids complete their chores), here are some alternative activities you can all enjoy together, easily accessible from BackCountry. Just in case you need a reminder, spring break at BackCountry schools is March 18-March 27 at Stone Mountain Elementary School, Ranch View Middle School, and Thunder Ridge High School.
Samurai Armor at DAM-Mar. 6-June 5
Fashion, history, weaponry—there’s something for every taste at this special exhibition at the Denver Art Museum. Surrounded by exquisitely decorated suits of samurai armor, helmets, weapons, horse trappings, and additional battle gear, visitors will be immersed in the life, culture, and pageantry of samurai from the 1100s to 1800s. The exhibit will also highlight the artistic inspiration for these masterfully crafted suits of armor. Ticket prices vary. Learn more.
Denver Zoo Giraffe Encounter
A springtime trip to the zoo is always a welcome idea, but now there’s an extra reason to visit. Well, actually, four: Dikembe, Heshimu, Masika, and Kipele, the four reticulated giraffes that you and your children will have the opportunity to feed by hand. Go for the whole day, but stop by the giraffe habitat for Encounter times at 11am-noon and 1pm-2pm on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays. General admission tickets are $9-13. Learn more.
NCAA Division I Basketball-Mar. 17-19
Get ready to cheer on your favorite college team: The first and second round of the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship is coming to the Pepsi Center. Opt for games only or a PrimeSport Hospitality Package with light hors d’oeuvres, a cash bar, entertainment, excellent tickets to the game, and more. Get tickets here.
Newsies-Mar. 23-Apr. 9
Winner of the 2012 Tony Awards for Best Score and Best Choreography, Newsies is a Disney musical that tells the underdog tale of newspaper delivery boys who stand up to the most powerful men in New York—and it’s based on real events. Direct from Broadway, this high-energy show has quite the pedigree, with a score by Alan Menken (Beauty and the Beast), a book by Harvey Fierstein (La Cage Aux Folles), and choreography by Christopher Gattelli (South Pacific). At the Denver Center for Performing Arts. Tickets start at $25. Learn more.
Get a sense of what life was like in the 1800s (hint: it wasn’t easy) at this beloved community resource in the heart of Littleton. Located on 39 acres, the museum consists of two living history farms (representing the 1860s and 1890s, respectively), a small lake, and exhibits inside the main building. Plenty of animals for the kids to ogle, too. Open for more than 40 years, the Littleton Museum has been recognized as one of the top ten local history museums in the country and, amazingly, it’s still free to visit. Learn more.