Hey Denver! Here come Pedalheads bike camps.

Pedalheads Bike Camps have been teaching kids to safely rides bikes for over 25 years. With over 70 sites in Canada and Washington State, over 200,000 kids have gone through the fantastic play-based learning programs. Specializing in getting kids off training wheels in one-week, “from training wheels to trails” is the message and people of Denver can now hear it!

Denver is fortunate to have been selected for the latest expansion of Pedalheads, which is based in Vancouver, British Columbia. Registration is now open for the four locations throughout metro Denver. All of the camps will provide ample opportunity for parents to take advantage of the fun that Pedalheads Bike Camps provide. Week long programing will include 1 hour classes for balance bikers and tricycle riders, as well as, both half-day and full-day camps for new riders ready to say goodbye to their training wheels to those preparing to safely take to the streets.

Pedalheads has been busy in their short time in Denver. Expos and obstacle courses – bike rodeos and helmet safety presentations have been a great way to introduce programs and philosophies. Keep an eye out and don’t miss the opportunity for your little ones to conquer the “blue mountain”. Summer camps at all Denver locations will run June through August. Registration can be done at www.pedalheads.com and any questions may be answered at 888.886.6464.

A fantastic spot on KVDR’s Colorado’s Best for the Baby & Kids Experience can be seen here.

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Time to party! Ratio Beerworks turns 1.

A lot can happen in a year. A milestone in the timeline of new business, the one-year-mark is reason to celebrate. Ratio Beerworks, located in Denver’s RHINO District, embraced this milestone with vigor and created an amazing Anniversary Weekend. Perhaps aided by an opening date that falls on Valentine’s Day, it was evident that there is much love for one of the hottest new breweries, not only in Denver but the entire U.S as well.

The weekend featured a packed schedule of entertainment, local food trucks and of course finely crafted and tasty beer. Limited releases of new brews brought happy crowds throughout the sun-drenched weekend. The events wound up Sunday with a special “Hangover Firkin” and Valentine’s Day brunch.

Pushing the hype was recent national recognition for this yearling brewery. Already a favorite of local craft-beer enthusiasts, Ratio Beerworks was named as one of the nations top 33 new breweries by the Beer Advocate, as well as one of the best new breweries in America by Thrillist. An honor for sure and as Brewmaster Jason says,” The beer is the core….”

Congratulations on the first year and here’s to many more to come.

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Ruby Jane Boutique comes to Denver’s Highlands Square

The long wait is finally over! Ruby Jane Boutique has come down from the mountains to set roots in Denver’s Highlands Square. Located at 32nd & Lowell Ave., Ruby Jane, Denver is the newest addition to the Valley Girl Boutique Family of 5 highly successful shops in Breckenridge, Avon and Edwards, Colorado. For years, clients shopping these unique mountain boutiques have urged for a Front Range location and now those wishes have been granted.

The rapid and dramatic transformation of this beautiful new space was nothing short of miraculous. Square Root, Inc., a local construction company which works magic in both commercial and residential projects, was able to guide the way through permitting, demo, build-out and inspections to a grand opening in just 5 weeks! Opening the weekend after Thanksgiving, Ruby Jane has experienced the warmest of welcomes from loads of happy and satisfied new clients.

The buzz is contagious, come visit Ruby Jane and see what the hype is all about. Featuring fun affordable fashion, home decor and unique gifts, Ruby Jane is a super compliment to the likes of The Perfect Petal, Vert Beauty, Novo Coffee and Prost, making Highlands Square the place to shop, not only in northwest Denver but the Front Range. New inventory arrives frequently so shop often!.

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GenFit is a playground for all ages.

There are many ways to experience some serious family fun in Denver. Now, thanks to the creative minds, and bodies, of the crew at GenFit, parents have the opportunity to make getting fit a family affair. On a recent Saturday Instructors Wood and Breigh led a rowdy group of parents and their eager offspring in a fitness class that made training a lot less like work and a lot more like a rip-roaring good time.

Following a serious warm-up, the task of the day was a circus-like circuit routine. Featuring pull-ups, agilities, karate kicks, rope climbing and, of course, the giant-tire -roll, each muscle group was both addressed and attacked. The hour long class was like a fitness factory and participants moved from station to station like cogs in a well oiled, giggling machine. The culmination of the exhausting morning was a thorough stretch followed by lots of high-fives.

The GenFit Kids Workout was a huge success with both young and old begging for more!
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Sixty Minute Men are going to “rock their socks” right out of Colorado.

Colorado seems to be a hotbed for the eclectic, creative and courageous. The music scene here is no different. With bands all the way back to Glenn Miller; to Big Head Todd & the Monsters, The Samples, Leftover Salmon, The Lumineers, The Fray, Zuba….the list is long. Next up is a five-piece group out of Boulder that is as exciting as they are skilled. Sixty Minute Men are a refreshing, rocking group of musicians that are poised to make the big time.

Recently playing at the annual Vine Street Pub’s Uptown Neighborhood Block Party, The Sixty Minute Men took the enormous crowd by storm and the reception was a collective “Wow!”. These guys bring a fresh and exhilarating sound to the stage that is complimented by an energy that is contagious. The sound they call “Original Soul” is a delicious mix of rock, funk, blues and, of course, soul and challenges each and every listener not to move.

Great things are in store for the Sixty Minute Men. The ingredients are all there for them to be the next big thing to come from the Colorado music scene. Go and check them out, you will not be disappointed!

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Brewer’s Olympics & great music…Vine Street Block Party has it all!

Mid-September is a fantastic time to be in Denver, Colorado. Beautiful days, blue sky and loads of festivals all mark this remarkable change of seasons. One annual event that combines all that is great in Denver is the Uptown Neighborhood Block Party at Vine Street Pub. This Denver location of Boulder’s Mountain Sun empire brings together some of the best craft-beer makers and musicians to create an entire day of mayhem and music that is hard to beat.

The 2015 edition of festivities began with the “Brewer’s Olympics”, a multi-event challenge for teams of two from well-known local breweries. There were, of course, the die-hard regulars, returning champions and eager rookies all prepared to do battle for the coveted bragging rights that go to the victors. Just beneath the thinly veiled guise of silly costumes and sillier behaviors laid an aura of dogged competition that hung in the fresh air like a ominous fog. Each team had a plan. So were successful, some not so much. In the end it was the rookie team from Ratio Beerworks that won gold and bragging rights until the fall of 2016.

Once the street was cleared and congratulations were given, the record-breaking crowd was treated to music so good, it defined awesome. The Sixty Minute Men of Boulder opened and wowed with their unique and funky sounds of “original soul”. Their music was electric and energy amazing. The “Men” were followed by a closing act that rivaled any the Mountain Sun crew has been able to put together. Anchored by The Drunken Hearts, the ensemble welcomed Dave Johnston from Yonder Mountain String Band and Rob Eaton from Dark Star Orchestra. The results were amazing and the streets were shaking.

Once  again, The Neighborhood Block Party was a monumental success and reminds us that things are good in Denver. Sponsors USBank, Westword deserve a big hand for their support, as well as the volunteers and all of the participating breweries that donated their fine craft. All proceeds from the event benefitted New Era Colorado who remind us not only to register to vote but to get out and do it!

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Operation Altitude creates a magical evening in Denver’s Union Station

Denver’s historic and newly-renovated Union Station served as a wonderful venue for a recent evening of culinary genius. The experience began with a cocktail on the upper terrace of the beautiful Terminal Bar followed by a comprehensive, private tour of the facility. Guests were then ushered to the Gallery Level for a very unique dining experience provided by Denver’s own Epicurean Group. This amazing experience, with every nuance thoughtfully considered and addressed, was orchestrated by Angie Vossler and Operation Altitude.

The set-up was immaculately, prepared by designer Jessica Stapp and her crew, with a warm and rustic, mountain, pure-Colorado feel. The dining experience, a Chef’s Dinner, in which each course was creatively finished by Epicurean’s “Innovation Chef” Jenna Johansen and her team in front of eagerly awaiting diners. At the introduction of each plated course, Chef Jenna described the offering with explanation of process that complimented her delicious creations.

The evening was very impressive, from setting to decor, presentation to every delectable dish and left the crowd in awe. Bravo Angie, Operation Altitude, Jenna, Jessica, Epicurean and Union Station for an evening these lucky few will not soon forget.

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Bryce Widom and his masterpieces in chalk.

I was introduced to a sampling of the beautiful works of Bryce Widom, while photographing the different locations of Mountain Sun Pubs & Breweries. Upon first glance of the murals there is a sense of something intriguing and special about the works. A closer look reveals color and detail that is quite extraordinary. When the realization is made that the images are created by an extremely steady hand, employing vivid colors of chalk, it is evident that the creator is a true artist.

The works are so very unique and more often than not, temporary; to be wiped clean and replaced with a new equally beautiful and creative offering. It has been an honor to be able to capture these wonderful murals, while they exist, and preserve them in a sense.

Next time you visit one of the Mountain Sun Pubs be sure to take a moment to appreciate the talent of the artist Bryce Widom.

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Avid4 Adventure is the place for summer camp fun!

Avid4 Adventure is growing fast and continues to provide kids in both the Colorado Front Range & now Northern California opportunities to get outside, experience, learn to be safe and have a ball!  With a crew of instructors who are caring, attentive, well trained and fun, Avid gives parents a great option to send their young adventurers for summer camps. More locations, more offering means more lids learning the skills to enjoy the outdoors!

The philosophy is simple: Create programming where parents feel comfortable, kids have a blast and instructors are proud team members. Avid 4 has done just that and it is obviously working. From the moment at drop off, when met with smiles by each attentive staff-member, to the car ride home, listening to the stories, riddles and experiences of your truly “happy camper” Avid 4 Adventure is great.

The 2015 season is winding down but stay tuned. Summer 2016 camps fill up quickly. Also, check out the Avid gear sales, happening this fall, where some super deals on lightly used equipment can be had.

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Stapleton Explorers, Biking, Canoeing & SUP:

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Progressive Martial Arts, mixing the old and the new with great success!

Progressive Martial Arts or PMA is a Denver establishment in the martial arts world. Established in 1985 to teach a fantastic blend of traditional methods in a contemporary environment, PMA has something for the young and the old. PMA creates a fun, healthy yet disciplined philosophy in all that they offer.

At almost any time on any given day, the facility is a buzzing hive of dedicated practitioners, preparing for or completing age-appropriate classes or working on individual skills. The rules are simple: work hard, show respect for the study and others, protect your opponent at all times and of course, have fun. With participants ranging in age and ability from 2 1/2 to 82 years old, it is testament to the fact that the dedicated study of martial arts and the PMA methodology is for anyone who is willing to put in the work.

The guiding principles of PMA are summed up well by founder, Mr. Stewart Lauper, in describing the goals for the youngest participants:

“We’re not trying to make them ‘Kings of the Ring,’ just excellent humans. And skill in martial arts increases that chance exponentially.”

On a personal note: We have exposed our 8-year-old daughter to the entire gamut of childhood activities and classes with mixed results. Almost immediately upon our start with PMA it became evident that we had found a winner. Our daughter showed an intrinsic dedication to not only participating in the classes and exercises but also the principles of training and positive lessons followed in the practices at Progressive Martial Arts.

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