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Posts Tagged ‘Community’

‘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

Community Menorah Lighting-Dec. 26, 5:30pm

This year, Chanukah, the eight-day Jewish Festival of Lights, stretches from December 24-January 1. Join your friends and neighbors for the celebratory lighting of the menorah at sunset at the Eastridge Recreation Center. The Menorah will be lit and there will be a special performance by the children of Chabad Hebrew School, latkes and donuts, and Chanukah arts and crafts. It is free and open to the whole family! 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

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

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.

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

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.

Let’s take the party outside

by | May 3rd, 2016

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

cinco de mayo Denver

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

film on the rocks

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.

How to spend your daylight savings.

by | April 5th, 2016

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.

(Photo provided by Colorado Rockies Facebook page)

(Photo provided by Colorado Rockies Facebook page)

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.

golf carts Sundial House BackCountry

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.

(Photo courtesy of Elitch Gardens Facebook page)

(Photo courtesy of Elitch Gardens Facebook page)

How to enjoy a supersized February.

by | February 2nd, 2016

Cold, snowy February may seem like the one month you’d prefer less of, not more, but this year it comes with one extra day. 2016 is a leap year, which means it’s the year made for ladies proposing to gents, according to Irish tradition. And for newborn “leaplings,” who beat the 1,471-to-one odds of being born on Feb. 29.  And for everyone in BackCountry who could use an extra day to fulfill that January resolution to have more fun. Enjoy the February activity ideas below.

Mardi Gras in Snowmass-Feb. 9
Can’t squeeze in a trip to New Orleans this month? That’s okay—Snowmass has been throwing the biggest Mardi Gras bash in the mountains for 34 years. With face painting and performers at 2pm, bead tossing at 3pm, a madcap parade at 4pm, and fireworks at 7:30pm, you may feel as if you’re in the Crescent City itself. Except for all the epic skiing and snowboarding that you’ll be able to fit in, too. This authentic fête offers Cajun-inspired fun for every age. Learn more.

Lovers & Lattes at the Sundial House-Feb. 13, 7:30am-10am
It’s the month of love, and who among us doesn’t have warm, special feelings about…coffee? As a kickoff to Valentine’s Day weekend, BackCountry shows its love by offering residents a complimentary cup o’ joe at the Sundial House. Sinfully Delicious Mobile Gourmet Coffee Cart will whip up a delicious cup of your favorite beverage while you enjoy breakfast treats and coffeehouse jazz with your loved ones. No registration required.

Lovers and lattes BackCountryCO

Denver Pops Orchestra-Feb. 18, 7pm-8:30pm
In the perfect run-up to the Oscars on Feb. 28, the Denver Pops Orchestra is going to feature some of the best music written for the big screen. (And happily, this concert is close to BackCountry, at the Cherry Hills Community Church in Highlands Ranch.) Sit back with popcorn and candy as you listen to epic music from movies like Titanic and Pirates of the Caribbean from composers such John Williams, James Horner, and Hans Zimmer. Tickets are $10 in advance, $15 day of event if not sold out. Discounts for military, seniors and children. Learn more.

Geeks Who Drink Trivia Night-Feb. 26, 7pm
First trivia question: What is Geeks Who Drink? Check out their website for a full description, but the short answer is this: A Denver-based company that hosts highly entertaining bar trivia events created by dozens of quizmasters, writers, fact-checkers, graphic designers, and artists. Geeks Who
 Drink will be hosting 
the first- ever trivia night at BackCountry’s Sundial House, where neighbors will face-off
 and show each other their trivia chops. Bring your friends, neighbors, and thinking caps for an awesome night. Indulge at Pike’s Pub will be open for business throughout the event. Snacks will be provided. RSVP through ActiveNet by Friday, February 19. Participants must be 21+.

Leap Day!- February 29
What will you do with this extra day? It’s a Monday, but don’t let that stop you from adding in a little something special for you (Dinner out? Calming yoga class or massage?) or the family. Check out these ideas for 29 fun things to do on Leap Day. 

For example, have your kids write letters to themselves they’ll open on Leap Day in four years. Try your hand at frog origami. Or tackle a household project that you only want to do every four years—say, organizing the basement.

leap day activities

More fun: The best resolution ever.

by | December 30th, 2015

Lose weight. Save money. De-clutter. Yawn. How about a resolution with some real shelf life? “Have more fun this year” is a resolution we can all rally behind, and long past February. (Make your other resolutions, of course, but a few rewards along the way may help you keep them.) Besides skiing and snowboarding, fun activities are a little trickier to find in January—so here are a few suggestions to kick off your happiest year yet.

Winter Cultural Series: Arias and Ensembles-Jan 7, 7pm-8:30pm
Opera Colorado is coming to you, featuring a delightful evening of operatic and musical theater performances at Cherry Hills Community Church, just 10 minutes from BackCountry. Selections will be performed by Opera Colorado’s Young Artists—a talented crew of emerging professional opera singers—just as they would be on stage but without sets and costumes, creating an intimate and engaging experience. Tickets $7-15. Learn more about this and upcoming events in the series.

Highlands Ranch January events

Comedy Night at the Sundial House-Jan. 9, 7pm
What do you get when you cross a bouncer for the Rolling Stones, a veterinarian, and a professional stand-up comic? Dr. Kevin Fitzgerald, a true Renaissance man, who mines his well-rounded life for lots of laughs. Performing for BackCountry residents at the Sundial House, Dr. Fitzgerald has opened for performers such as Bob Hope, Diana Ross, The Temptations, and The Neville Brothers. And yet he still maintains a busy practice at Alameda East Veterinary Hospital in Denver. All ages, $25 per guest. Space limited to the first 65 residents. Register online through ActiveNet or at the Sundial House by Monday, January 4th.

National Western Stock Show & Rodeo-Jan. 9-24
Denver may be getting more uber-hip by the minute, but the Stock Show is our annual check-in with our rugged Western heritage—which is pretty cool, too. This 16-day show is a smorgasbord of entertainment and learning opportunities. Choose from rodeos (traditional, Mexican, and African-American), a BBQ Throwdown, Catch-a-Calf contest, fiddle contest, horse shows, livestock exhibitions, and much more. Ticket prices vary.  Learn more.

Princess & Superhero Party-Jan 21, 4pm-5pm
Residents! Hold onto your cape (or tiara): Batman and Princess Elsa are coming to the Sundial House. Which gives your kids the perfect excuse to dress up (again) in their favorite princess and superhero garb. Join us for afterschool snacks and fun, but be sure to RSVP by Friday, January 15 at www.BackCountryLife.org. Open to the first 40 kids who sign up. See a video of last year’s event here.

BackCountry Rapunzel and Spiderman

Southwest Rink at Skyline-through Feb. 16
Free ice skating is a wonderful way to enjoy the season—and maybe assist in another couple of resolutions too. At Skyline Park in downtown Denver, this seasonal outdoor rink invites you to skate, play broomball, and enjoy other activities like face painting, holiday movies, a photo booth, and hot cocoa. Skating is free; rent skates for $2 or bring your own. Free learn-to-skate lessons are offered every Wednesday from 11 am-12 pm and every Saturday 8 am-10 am. Learn more.

Why the best parties happen at BackCountry.

by | December 9th, 2015

Some might say BackCountry’s festive streak is simply a function of the fun, friendly people who tend to move there. Or the very active HOA that’s always cooking up special events to help neighbors get to know each other. All true, but there’s another factor involved: BackCountry offers perfect places for entertaining, both at the Sundial House and in residents’ own homes.

The Sundial House is an award-winning gathering place where residents not only meet for community events, but can host private parties. Several venues provide superb backdrops for gatherings large and small. In more temperate months, cocktails around the courtyard fire pit, looking out over thousands of acres of wilderness, makes for a pretty memorable get-together. You could also host a Broncos watch party at Pikes Pub and Lounge or a lively, interactive dinner party in the demonstration kitchen and dining room. The community room is large enough for a wedding, but with intimate conversation areas perfect for smaller gatherings. (Residents, find more information about reserving the Sundial House at www.backcountrylife.org or contact John Lyon at 303-346-2800 or jlyon@ccmcnet.com.)

That said, BackCountry homeowners have some amazing places to entertain right in their own homes. Visit any of the model homes and you may find yourself dreaming up the guest list for your housewarming party. Every Shea home is designed for great entertaining, both indoors and out, since the great outdoors is so breathtaking in BackCountry.

Within the Shadow Walk Collectionthe Somerset plan is made for entertaining. Guests can easily mingle in thoughtfully connected spaces, such as the formal dining room, morning room, great room, and this kitchen, with a rounded island and breakfast bar. 

BackCountryCO kitchen new home

A grand vaulted entrance welcomes guests to the Northern Sky model in the Water Dance Collection.

BackCountryCO foyer new home

Once the party gets going, everyone will find themselves gravitating toward this gourmet kitchen, where the spacious morning room easily seats eight and extends out into a covered outdoor dining terrace. The formal dining room and butler’s pantry complete the space, which is perfect for your more traditional holiday gatherings.

Kitchen and morning room

Also within the Water Dance Collection, the Solstice model offers a special twist for get-togethers. A spacious hearth room connects to the great room, kitchen, and dining area. With a dramatic fireplace as its focal point, the hearth room is an inviting place to break off from the crowd for an intimate conversation.

Hearth Room Art Lights BackCountryCO

BackCountry Colorado new home Overall

Those looking for ranch homes and low-maintenance living (more time for parties!) should peek into the Alize model in the Whispering Wind Collection

This plan has a large great room with fireplace and a morning room that accesses a covered dining terrace, which is perfect for Sunday brunch with friends. Evening might inspire parties downstairs in the finished basement that comes standard—a perfect place to share movies and popcorn or a game of pool.

Alize Basement

Parties at the Sundial House, parties at home…BackCountry offers several places to entertain guests. Discover your own party headquarters here.

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