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Posts Tagged ‘Douglas County’

‘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 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 Learn more.  


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 by Friday, October 21st.


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.

Welcome, National Great Outdoors Month

by | May 31st, 2016

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. (

Colorado Renaissance Festival-June 11-Aug 7
Ren Fest 2016
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 with questions.

Highlands Ranch Music Arts Festival-June 25-26
Highlands Ranch concert
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. 

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.

Bored kids? Here’s your answer.

by | March 9th, 2016

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. 

Samurai exhibit at DAM

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.

Newsies in Denver

Littleton Museum
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.

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 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.

Picture Your Pet | Official Rules

by | November 30th, 2015

Shea-Picture Your PetPicture Your Pet | Official Rules

Pets are important family members and can brighten our lives and our homes. This holiday season, we want to honor your four-legged, feathered, and scaly friends! Snap and submit a photo of your pet for a chance to win one of our fabulous prizes. Full contest details are below.

  1. From November 30 to December 11, 2015, enter a photo of your pet by posting it to the Facebook page of These photos can be of your pet in action, looking cute, showing off, hanging out with the family… Get creative! Add a caption to tell us a little bit about your pet and the photo. Please don’t forget to include your pet’s name.
  2. Only one entry per Facebook profile is accepted.
  3. Submissions will be gathered into a Facebook photo album located at, which will be published on or around December 12, 2015. Photos must be received by 8 p.m. MST on December 11 to qualify.
  4. Voting is open from the time the photo album goes live until December 17, 2015. Vote for your favorites and encourage other non-furry family members and friends to vote too. To vote, voters will simply like their favorite photo. Please note: Only one action per Facebook account is considered as a vote.
  5. The contest is open to anyone age 13 years or older (per Facebook’s user requirements). Interested parties must enter and vote through Facebook. You are not required to be a Shea homeowner to participate, you are not required to visit a community or attend a sales presentation, and no purchase or fee is necessary to enter. Entrants must be legal residents of the United States, District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, or U.S. territories and possessions. Void where prohibited. Employees of Shea Homes and its affiliates, and their immediate family members, are not eligible.
  6. By entering, entrants give permission for images to be used for marketing and promotion on social media platforms, on websites, and in e-newsletters.
  7. The photo with the most votes at the end of the voting period will receive a $100 gift card to Wag N’ Wash Highlands Ranch, photo with the second most votes will receive a $75 Wag N’ Wash Highlands Ranch gift card, and the photo with the third most votes will receive a $50 Wag N’ Wash Highlands Ranch gift card. Prizes are not redeemable for cash. This contest is in no way affiliated with or sponsored by Wag N’ Wash Highlands Ranch, the Denver Dumb Friends League, or Facebook.
  8. Winners will be notified on or around December 18, 2015, via Facebook. Prizes will be sent directly to the winners, at no cost to them. Delivery may take up to three weeks. Winners are responsible for taxes, if applicable.
  9. In addition to the prizes awarded during the Picture Your Pet contest, BackCountryCO will donate $1 to the Denver Dumb Friends League for each new page like received from November 30-December 17, 2015.

In entering the contest you subject yourself to the Contest Rules and are deemed to have reviewed, read and accepted the Rules.

We look forward to seeing your wonderful pets!

Why BackCountry smells so good

by | November 23rd, 2015

It could be all that fresh air, free of city traffic. The thousands of acres of open space rippling with sweet prairie grasses and wildflowers.

Or it could just be all the bath bombs residents are snapping up at Salus Bath & Body.

salus Highlands Ranch facial products

Salus, a Colorado maker of natural bath and body care products, is located in Highland Ranch’s Town Center, just a short drive from BackCountry. Opened this year, it’s the company’s third location; the other two are in Manitou Springs and Old Town Fort Collins. At the Highlands Ranch location, you can pick up customized, well, everything for your personal care: lotions, soaps, bath bombs, bubble bath, body washes, shampoos, conditioners, spa treatments, salt therapies, massage and body care, facial care, baby care, home fragrance, sport products, essential oils, and fragrances. Whew.

In a Denver Post article, co-owner Elissa Klaver (husband Jerell is her business partner) describes the shop as “Build-A-Bear meets Bath & Body Works meets Lush.” The Build-a-Bear reference speaks to how the products are handcrafted on the spot, per your taste. Customers choose among the many unscented products, then select from among 200+ fragrances and essential oils. Next, they watch the “Suds Team” mix up a freshly made batch just for them.   

salus bath products bath cupcakes

In the other half of the store, you can sniff your way through 200 types of bath and shower bombs and bath cupcakes, which have a bubble bath frosting and moisturizing “cake.” As fun as they are functional, these cupcakes are a clear winner in the stocking stuffer category.

Customers with sensitive skin can relax, knowing that all ingredients are labeled, and products are natural, organic, and paraben-free. Many are also gluten-free. If you’re allergic to fragrance, then simply forgo the scent.

salus shower bombs

Salus also has an active online business, so shopping from your living room (or bathtub) is always an option. Start shopping at

Interested in supporting other locally owned Highlands Ranch businesses? Read our previous posts about businesses, like Biker Jim’s Gourmet Dogs, BackCountry’s own CrossFit gym, and the artful floral arrangements at Abloom

Good stuff for guys at BackCountry

by | October 29th, 2015

Ok, let’s get the disclaimers out of the way. BackCountry is wonderful for both genders. And of course, men and women like plenty of the same things. But are there aspects to BackCountry that men seem particularly to like? Definitely.

Hop onto one of BackCountry’s trails and you’ll probably run into several of the community’s very active bikers. The in-neighborhood trails connect to trails within the South Rim, the community’s private wilderness of 467 acres, and then to 26 miles of challenging trails within the greater acres of the Backcountry Wilderness Area. Bikers never get bored here. As resident Craig Wilmes says, the trail systems “are very well-maintained and offer various degrees of difficulty from ‘not-too-bad’ to ‘that was really hard.’” An avid biker, Craig hosted a community bike clinic in August and encourages fellow bikers to join him and a group of fellow riders each Saturday during seasonable months.

BackCountry Colorado south rim

And while we’re on the topic of the Backcountry, some residents have enjoyed taking advantage of the Highlands Ranch-organized activities there, such as archery, camping, and hunting deer, elk, and wild turkey. Best of all, these activities, like the Backcountry Wilderness Area itself, are limited to Highlands Ranch residents to prevent overuse.

Six years ago, BackCountry resident David Angard organized the very first BackCountry Golf Tournament as a way for residents to get to know each other. This annual charity fundraiser, held at the Highlands Ranch Golf Course, is still going strong. Prizes, lunch, and game rehashing are always part of the fun.

Another resident, Doug Teague, put together a basketball team, the BackCountry Coyotes, that plays in the Highlands Ranch Men’s Sunday Night 35+ League. Doug says he’s met a “ton of great people from BackCountry” and is “always looking for good players and beer drinkers to join the team.” If you’re interested, contact Doug at

BackCountry biking Colorado

Two other man-friendly options are monthly Cigar Nights and Poker Nights. Cigar Nights typically rotate between host homes, and include cigars, drinks, food, and conversation (women and non-smokers attend too, by the way). For more information, contact Tommy Yionoulis at Poker Nights are just getting off the ground, so contact Howard Wolsky at if you’re interested.

Gents, here’s the bottom line: between the abundant, outdoor activities and active, highly social residents, BackCountry is an excellent place to be—dude or not.  

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