Get your Backcountry pass card here

BackCountry - Wild at Heart

Posts Tagged ‘family’

BackCountry’s 2nd Annual Yappy Hour Dog Swim

by | September 8th, 2017

BackCountry’s furry family members enjoyed an evening of getting their paws wet at the Sundial House pool. The dogs enjoyed the music, caricature photos, music and closing down the pool.

Home Sweet Wilderness

by | January 11th, 2017

Home Sweet Wilderness

Elk, deer, coyote, red-tailed hawk, and black bearthese are just a few of the neighbors quietly going about their business in the rugged wilderness adjacent to BackCountry™. For the lucky humans living next door, the 8,200-acre Backcountry Wilderness provides breathtaking views, mind-clearing bike rides, memorable family hikes, and easy access to a year-round roster of nature programs hosted by the Highlands Ranch Community Association.

Each program is thoughtfully designed to connect people to nature, while protecting the space for wildlife, which is “the primary goal,” explains Lindsey McKissick, Backcountry Wilderness Area Representative. Indeed, it’s a rare thing to find such a vast wildlife sanctuary in the middle of suburbia

“I think the greatest gift of living in BackCountry is having all the wonders of nature to explore directly in your backyard—without having to battle traffic on I-70 and the people once you get there,” says Lindsey. A nearby nature refuge can be especially meaningful to children. “We adults may remember playing in the creek in our neighborhood, but today’s kids have such a lack of time in nature,” Lindsey explains. “The Wilderness Area gives them the opportunity to engage their adventuresome spirits, to enjoy ‘free play’ in nature with no plans and no agenda.” They can even hang out with the draft horses, ponies, and chickens at the wilderness “base camp,” where most of the programs take place.

HRCA’s programs are open to the public, but Highlands Ranch residents enjoy discounted prices. The winter schedule is more modest, but on Jan. 21, families can enjoy a mini-campfire hike with a campfire, s’mores, and free play—there’s a giant log fort and sandpit with horseshoes and more—all for just $5. (Think of it as a Saturday morning alternative to the playground.) Also, private hayrides through the wilderness area are available year-round, allowing you to see places the public simply can’t. Some programs take place indoors this time of year, such as archery lessons and a Feb. 4 Pizza with Pokémon event. Held at the Southridge Rec Center, live animals akin to those in the beloved game will come for a fun, educational visit.

Warmer months bring back an abundance of outdoor events. Summer camps are a favorite, offering special focuses on art, adventure, horses, and leadership. Keep your eyes open for more about spring and summer programs in future blogs, but in the meantime, check out the many ways you can experience nature-in-the-suburbs on the HRCA website.

Surviving the Holidays 101

by | December 14th, 2015

It’s the most wonderful time of the year. Right? Right??? That’s what we all hope for, but sometimes the reality of gift-giving, shopping, entertaining, traveling, and hyper-inflated expectations can lead to major stress. And feeling stressed can, well, add to the stress of what’s supposed to be such a joyful time.

Sometimes all we need is a little attitude adjustment. For BackCountry residents, serenity is as close as the Sundial House, where all can indulge in some healthy me-time. Work out solo in the fitness room, or take advantage of small group or individual training (email wildirisrecreation@comcast.net or call Kim at 303-909-7977 for details). Or, perhaps a deep tissue massage is in order, in one of the Sundial House treatment rooms. (For appointments, contact Jodi Holmes at 303-908-2717 or Karen Hanna at 303-523-9781.)

massages at BackCountryCO

We also invite you to call upon the collective wisdom of the Shea Homes Surviving the Holidays Pinterest board. Here are some highlights:

Let’s start with a few general ideas for calming. These 10 ways to instantly de-stress will remind you to chill in your spare moments by perhaps sipping a mug of green tea for its theanine, an amino acid that promotes relaxation. Or by lighting a lavender candle before bedtime, which is proven to aid in drowsiness.

And speaking of sleep, consider stretching before you turn out the light. Here are some specific stretch techniquesincluding 10 yoga poses you can do in bed, plus some hip-opening stretches perfect for those of us who sit in an office all day.

Being sick during the holidays is the worst. So ward off trouble with these five tips for staying healthy, including drinking lots of water to counteract all the dehydrating schnapps and spiked eggnog. Also, try scheduling your workout before your parties (after putting in all that hard work, you’ll be less inclined to overindulge.)

The holidays can be stressful financially, too. Counteract all the spending with these suggestions for cutting costs. Taking advantage of seasonal sales at the grocery store is just one example.

holiday entertaining roast chicken

Entertaining can bring its own set of challenges, from planning guest lists and menus to making sure you have enough stemware. These dinner party tips include the Barefoot Contessa’s recipe for Perfect Roast Chicken along with suggestions for wine glasses, party games, and more. And should your guests stay for the weekend, here are eight ideas for keeping everyone happy.

With all the activities and busyness, kids can pick up on the stressful vibe. Slow down and try meditating with your kids with these step-by-step instructions for getting zen. If your children tend to get frazzled by the sensory overload of the season, check out these coping mechanisms. And finally, if you’re traveling with little ones, you’re entitled to call in for reinforcements. These tips for traveling on airplanes with kids suggest 20 travel activities and a bag of surprises to keep them engaged, as well as bringing along a pair of pajamas to induce sleepiness.

BackCountry’s Drive–In Movie at the Amphitheatre

by | August 18th, 2015

BackCountry residents enjoyed root beer floats, popcorn and fun entertainment along with a family movie during the “Drive-in” Movie Night at the amphitheater.

10 tips for babyproofing your new home

by | August 18th, 2015

Go ahead, pat yourself on the back. Buying a new home is one of the smartest safety decisions you can make for your child. Sure those vintage homes can be adorable, but the narrow stairs, cloth electrical wiring, lead pipes, lead-based paint, and asbestos? Not so much. Thankfully, you won’t have to deal with any of that drama in a new home!

New homes, like those in BackCountry, follow modern building codes that keep your family safe. After move-in, you may want to tailor your home further to keep the munchkins healthy and happy. First, let’s take a look in the kitchen, that pre-dinner playground where toddlers are tempted to cook up a bit of trouble.

baby proof home BackCountry

1. Use cabinet latches and locks.
Ideally, you’re going to move those toxic, under-sink cleaning products somewhere high and out of reach. If not, then be super-vigilant with keeping the cabinets latched, as well as other cabinets housing breakables and heavies. Of course, it’s a smart idea to leave a few cabinets unlatched with child-friendly plastic measuring cups, spoons and nesting bowls to buy yourself some precious cooking time.

2. Keep the pet food bowls behind a baby gate.
A bowl of hard, crunchy pet food looks so inviting to a kiddo, but it can be a real choking hazard. If you can’t separate the pet food from the living areas, stand by as your pet eats, then immediately remove the bowl. (And if you have stairs, you’re definitely going to need another baby gate.)

3. Install stove knob covers and a stove guard.
Kids do what they see parents do—which can lead to twisting stove knobs and pulling down hot, bubbling pots of pasta water. Avoid that scary scenario with devices that make the stove completely inaccessible.

In the living room:

4. Edit your houseplant collection.
While you want your child to eat his greens, there are limits. Some plants look tasty to a little one, but many common houseplants are actually poisonous. Give those bad boys to your single friends, or those with older kids, and avoid indiscriminate noshing of the rest by keeping all plants high and out of reach.

poisonous house plant

5. Soften sharp edges.
Coffee tables, hearths, TV stands, and window ledges can be right at eye level for short stacks. Cushion all those edges with corner guards until kids get a little taller and steadier on their feet.

6. Choose kid-friendly window treatments.
Window blinds get a bad rap due to choking deaths caused by dangling cords. They’re not off-limits if you choose blinds that are cordless. Other options include roller or motorized shades, or wood or composite shutters.

In the bathroom:

7. Lower your water heater to 120 degrees.
This helps prevent busy little hands from getting burned when cranking up the faucet. Of course, you should always test the water temperature before placing your child in the tub, too. And install an anti-scald device to the end of the bath spout and sink faucet.

8. Install a toilet lock.
These smart devices serve many purposes.  Little fingers don’t get smashed. No danger of accidental drowning. Prevention of icky, germy water play. And no flushing of toys down the toilet—common enough, as any plumber can attest.

9. Lock up your medicines.
First, see #1 regarding a latch on your medicine cabinet. Or if you opted for a cute bathroom mirror without a medicine cabinet, invest in a lockable medicine safe that can fit inside any cabinet or drawer.

medicine cabinet with lock

And basically, everywhere in your home:

10. Cover your electrical outlets.
Because inquiring minds want to know…if that thing makes the vacuum go, what will happen if I put this fork/finger/whatever in there? It happens. Outmaneuver your budding electrical engineer with these universal outlet covers, which slide shut when the outlet is not in use.

Search Our Blog

Past Articles and Posts