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Photo courtesy of Candlelight Dinner Playhouse.

Photo courtesy of Candlelight Dinner Playhouse.

For six years, Candlelight Dinner Playhouse in Johnstown has been the place for top-notch dinner theater in Northern Colorado. I enjoy the venue because inside this expansive and luxurious space I am transported to another place and time.

Sometimes I’m transported to Bangkok (The King & I) or a steam liner (Anything Goes) or the mighty Mississippi (Big River, the Adventure of Huck Finn). In their newest production, the audience is transported to Neverland, complete with a flying Peter Pan, ticking crocodile and dancing Indians.

We saw the play on the Thursday before the Fourth of July, and the place was packed with folks of all ages. Having missed the last show, we were interested to see what new items had made it onto the menu, and we weren’t disappointed. Since Neverland is a tropical place, the chef designed entrees with a Jamaican flair. Continue Reading…

When writing about breweries, writers often concentrate on the beers, and while that’s an important topic, sometimes the broader experience is worth writing about. In my travels around Colorado, I get the opportunity to visit a lot of breweries, and there are certain moments that stand out, so I thought I’d share a few of them with you.

Trivia at City Star Brewing - HeidiTown.comWinning Trivia Night (twice) at City Star Brewing, Berthoud, Colorado

I freelance for the Berthoud newspaper, so I have had the great pleasure of writing about City Star since they opened in 2012. The brewery is one of my preferred watering holes. I love their inviting taproom and their gold medal Bandit Brown is a favorite.

While every visit is a good experience, my favorite City Star Brewing memory is winning trivia night, not once, but twice. Fun isn’t a strong enough word to describe trivia night at City Star – it’s a hoot, and my face always hurts the next day from overusing my laugh muscles.

Trivia night at City star is Wednesdays if you want to come take me on.

Playing Liars Dice and other games at Grimm Brothers Brewhouse, Loveland, Colorado

Like City Star, I’ve known the guys at Grimm since before they opened their doors back in 2010, and have had the great pleasure of writing about them a lot over the years.

I have spent many a memorable hour in their taproom, but the happiest memories are playing games there with friends. A night of Liars Dice resulted in more laughter than I thought was humanly possible.

They have a great game collection, good stuff like Catan and Small World. They even have a Sunday Taproom Special of $1 off pints if you are playing a game. Continue Reading…

People with Compassion for Pets logoThis July, the recipient of the HeidiTown Gives Back Campaign (free ad space and blog post) is People with Compassion for Pets, my giving circle.

Giving circles are groups of individuals who pool their funds in order to give a larger amount to a charity. As part of Change Gangs, our group is rather unique. Here’s how it works.

Each month we each donate $25. It’s automatically deducted from my bank account, so I don’t even have to remember to write a check. The money is pooled in an account and then, each quarter we award the money to a particular pet nonprofit, but not just any nonprofit. Each member may, if he or she chooses, nominate a pet charity to be considered for the award. Continue Reading…

The Agricultural Heritage Center at the Lohr/McIntosh Farm

I am nostalgic for farm life. I don’t know why. I did grow up in a small town where black and white cows outnumbered people, but I did not grow up on a farm. Perhaps I was a farmer’s daughter in a former life. I have no idea, but when I walk into a place like The Agricultural Heritage Center in Longmont, Colorado, I become wistful.

The Agricultural Heritage Center in Longmont, Colorado. HeidiTown (4)

The Agricultural Heritage Center is on the property of the former Lorh/McIntosh Farm, on Hwy 66, just minute outside of Lyons, Colorado. I’ve driven by many times, but this time, on a whim, I pulled into their parking lot. Continue Reading…

Biergarden Festival Denver logoWhat haven’t I written about Biergarten Festival? It’s one of my favorite Colorado summertime festivals, and in fact, I’d say it’s in the top three.

For me, Biergarten Festival ticks all the right boxes because it’s an authentic German summer party with all the proper accouterments. It’s truly fun for everyone, from the smallest member of your family to the oldest.

Why do I look forward to Biergarten Festival? Well, let me lay it out for you in a nice succinct list.

1. The music. While I don’t listen to German polka music as a matter of course, I do enjoy it, and it’s the perfect accompaniment to this event. It’s happy music and it gets folks dancing; young folks, old folks and barely walking folks. I also love the German dance troupes who entertain the festivalgoers throughout the festival.

boys dancing at Biergarten Fest in 2011. HeidiTown.com

2. The beer. What’s not to love about a good German beer? After all, I’m pretty sure the Germans invented the stuff. They serve up Paulaner beers at Biergarten Fest and if you think that means there’s just one type of beer to drink, you’re wrong. Paulaner makes all kinds of styles and there’s a good variety poured at this event. Continue Reading…

The Living Farm Cafe Paonia Colorado HeidiTown.com

The Living Farm Cafe

When I travel, my gut gets messed up. It’s happened for years now and I’ve chalked it up to too much eating out. I’ve come to expect it and carry tums as a matter of course. Something interesting happened on our trip to Delta County, Colorado, however. Even after three days on the trip, I felt great.

This is very odd, I thought, but then I realized that almost everything we’d consumed on this trip was organic food that had been grown within miles of where we ate it. There are very few places in Colorado where farm to table is possible, but it’s pretty standard if you visit Delta County.

My happy tummy was no coincidence; eating good food makes you feel good, so I thought I’d share what we ate and where we ate it.

The Living Farm Café

Paonia, Colorado in May is one of the most peaceful places I’ve ever visited. As we drove into town the sound of a crowing rooster greeted us. I was in love.

We were booked for two nights at The Living Farm Café & Inn in downtown. We’d previously been at the Leroux Creek Inn & Vineyard (read about it here). Our room above the café was small, but clean and adorable. The room had two windows and afternoon sunlight fell across the colorful quilt on the bed as we entered. Continue Reading…

Firestone 4th of July Logo

Nothing is better than a small town celebration of the 4th of July, and you’ll find just that in Firestone, Colorado. Firestone is located  30 minutes north of Denver and 40 miles south of Fort Collins, along I25. Founded as a coal mining town in the early 1900s, the town remained tiny until 2000, when folks discovered its charm. According to the 2010 U.S. Census, the town grew 431% from 2000 to 2010, with a current population of around 10,000.

Firestone Colorado 4th of July Parade

In a happy twist of calendar fate, the 4th lands on a Friday this year, so the holiday will mark the start of a 3-day weekend for most, and they’re wasting no time getting the party started in Firestone. Start the morning off with a pancake breakfast at 7 a.m. and then the Firecracker 5K race (register here).

The 4th of July parade gets underway at 10 a.m. It starts at Thunder Valley K-8, winds through historic Firestone and ends at Miners Park where the rest of the day’s celebrations take place. Continue Reading…

It’s rare to visit a farm and then eat an entire meal grown on the same farm later that day, but that’s just what we did on a May visit to Paonia, Colorado in Delta County.

Strawberries at The Living Farm. HeidiTown.com

“Farm to table” is a trendy phrase, but in reality, there are very few actual farm-to-table restaurants in Colorado, making The Living Farm Café & Inn a true one-of-a-kind. Every day, they serve up food from their farm that’s located just a mile down the road. It doesn’t get fresher than this. Plus, you can stay at the Inn above the restaurant, which is exactly what we did on our visit.

The farm and café are run by the same family, and while the café was open just last year, the farm has been in the family for four generations. Lynn, the matriarch of the family, gave us a tour of the farm late one afternoon. Her love of this place is palpable, especially her love of her sheep. Continue Reading…

The granddaddy of all beer festivals is the Colorado Brewers’ Festival, and for 25 years they’ve been setting the bar for beer fests across the state.

There’s a big change at this year’s Fort Collins’ fest. Admission is now free. General admission hours are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on both Saturday, June 28 and Sunday, June 29, 2014. Also, there’s no VIP ticket this year and your wristband is good all weekend long.

beer at Colorado Brewers' Fest 2013. HeidiTown.comIt’s about beer

Colorado Brewers’ Fest is first and foremost about beer. More than 50 Colorado breweries will tote their tasty brews to Fort Collins to be sampled by the hundreds of patrons at the fest. This is a chance for folks to “travel” through Colorado’s breweries without leaving the festival’s 7 acre grounds. Continue Reading…

We’ve been visiting the Colorado Renaissance Festival for many, many years. In fact, my husband’s been visiting the realm since he was just a kid. It’s one of our favorite summer excursions. At the end of the day we’re hot, covered in dust and turkey leg grease, but we’re happy.

Colorado Renaissance Festival is an outstanding production and I’ve pointed to this fest as an example that should be followed by other organizations wishing to put together a top notch event. It’s got it all; a well-planned layout, ambiance galore and authenticity. Okay, they aren’t real castles, but it’s as close as you’re get here in Colorado.

Now I know that most of you aren’t going to read any of this… you’re are just going to scroll down to the bottom of the post to figure out how to enter the contest, so I decided to share a bunch of pictures from our escapades at last year’s Colorado Renaissance Festival before telling you how to enter.  :-)

If you like castles and fairies, this is the festival for you.

Colorado Renaissance Festival HeidiTown 94

Do not give this guy your shoe. You’ve been warned.

Colorado Renaissance Festival HeidiTown 10

Continue Reading…