Christmas in Ouray, It’s Not Too Early to Start Planning

There are still 144 days until Christmas, so please don’t panic, however, it’s never too soon to plan holiday travel. And after this summer heatwave we’ve been experiencing, a cool down in the beautiful village of Ouray, Colorado sounds heavenly.

Spend Christmas in Ouray, photo by Dan Navakowski

Photo by Dan Navakowski & used with permission.

Imagine spending a wintry weekend surrounded by snowy peaks in Ouray, Colorado. Snowshoe on a local trail, enjoy a delicious meal or cozy up with a warm whiskey drink at KJ Wood Distillers. Top it all off with Ouray’s Wine, Chocolate & Cheese Festival.

Discounted tickets to Ouray’s Wine, Chocolate & Cheese Festival

The Annual Wine, Chocolate & Cheese Festival takes place during Ouray’s Winterfest, a seven-week holiday season of events and promotions. It starts after Thanksgiving and last through the Ouray Ice Festival in January. Festive activities take place throughout Winterfest, including Wine, Chocolate & Cheese Festival.

Spend Christmas in Ouray at Wine, Chocolate & Cheese Festival.

This blog post is your chance to purchase discounted tickets to Wine, Chocolate & Cheese Festival, and to start planning your winter getaway in Ouray.

This year’s event takes place on Saturday, December 10, 2016.

This festival features Colorado wines, chocolate and cheeses, and has expanded to include local craft distillers and arts and crafts. Of course, there’s live music too and this year’s festival theme is 1930’s Swing.

Ouray’s Wine, Chocolate & Cheese Festival is a beautiful way to ring in the holidays with a few of everyone’s favorite things. And it’s also an opportunity to purchase last minute Colorado gifts for all your favorite people.

Spend Christmas in Ouray. Cheese table at Wine, Chocolate & Cheese Festival.

Click here and enter “HeidiTown” into the “Enter Promotional Code” box to receive a 10% discount on your 2016 tickets to Ouray’s Wine, Chocolate & Cheese Festival. Promotion runs through August 31, 2016.

Ouray’s Wine, Chocolate & Cheese Festival is online at

Start planning your visit to Ouray at

Each year, Ouray’s Wine, Chocolate & Cheese Festival supports a local non-profit and this year’s benefactor is Weehawken Creative Arts, helping kids and adults in Ouray County and neighboring communities discover their creative potential through the arts.

Winterfest is supported by the Annual Ouray Jeep Raffle, a half-century-long community fundraiser that gives participants the opportunity to win a jeep.

Faith Perry at Ouray's Wine, Chocolate & Cheese Festival.


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A Golden, Colorado Christmas

I’m not a super Christmassy person. I don’t decorate my house, I don’t participate in cookie Christmas exchanges and I do not listen to the Christmas station on Pandora. I’m not a scrooge, really, just not big on holidays in general, except St. Patrick’s Day. Bagpipes and whiskey? Yes, please.

However, even the biggest Scrooge in the world can’t help but get into the spirit in Golden, Colorado.

Merry Christmas from the Golden Hotel.

The lobby of The Golden Hotel decked out for the holidays.

We visited Golden this past weekend in order to experience their annual Candlelight Parade. We stayed at The Golden Hotel which is ideally located for a holiday visit. Our room overlooked Clear Creek and once the sun went down we had a Christmassy view of all the lighted trees along the river.

After a drink at Barrels & Bottles (try the Gin Sure Thing IPA and Hot Apple Toddy), we ventured out on the street with unlit candles. It didn’t take long to find someone who lit our candles with theirs. Continue reading

Featured Festival: Denver Christkindl Market 2015

I love visiting Denver during the holidays. The city literally twinkles with Christmas cheer, especially the Denver Christkindl Market. As many of you know, we’re longtime lovers of this European-style Christmas market that sets up shop in Skyline Park in downtown Denver each holiday season.

Christmas lights at the Denver Christkindl Market 2014.

The market is a throwback to Christmas days of old. It’s fashioned after traditional European Christmas Markets that have a long history dating back to the Middle Ages, according to Wikipedia and other online sources.

Denver’s market isn’t quite that old, but it has become wildly popular over the last several years. The word has gotten out and visiting the market has become a tradition for many families, including mine.

Visitors to the market will find themselves transported to another place and time. Purchase a hot pretzel, sugary or salty, and browse the artisan stalls.

Beautiful sweaters at Denver Christkindl Market 2014.

Last year we bought my niece a brightly lit hanging paper star that she immediately asked “Uncle Ryan” to hand from her bedroom ceiling. Several years ago we purchased a beautiful German lace scarf for my mother. It is dyed a deep red and she cherishes it.

stars at Denver Christkindl Market 2014.

Eventually visitors to the market will find themselves in front of the Entertainment Tent. This warm and festively decorated tent serves as a waypoint for visitors. Here they can enjoy a beer, gluehwein, German mulled wine or schnapps. German music and dancers are on the Entertainment Tent stage throughout the festival. See the entertainment lineup here.

dancing kids at Denver Christkindl Market 2014.

Last but not least, visitors to the market can purchase a variety of European-inspired cuisine. From wienerschnitzel to hot pierogis – there’s something for every taste at the Denver Christkindl Market. My favorite is Chef Neuhold’s smoked salmon served with hot German potato salad. I get it every year at the Market and at the Biergarten Festival in Morrison every summer.

Heidi serving up schnapps at Denver Christkindl Market.

This year, market guests can win prizes each day between 11:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. Just be sure to pick up a free raffle ticket and you’ll potentially win a wonderful gift from one of the market’s vendors. A different gift will be given away each day.

Denver Christkindl Market

Skyline Park, 16th St. Mall & Arapahoe St., Denver, Colorado


November 20 through December 23, 2015

Sunday – Thursday 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Friday – Saturday 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Closing at 4 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day

Join the Market on Facebook

Follow the Market on Twitter

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Holiday happenings in the Mile High City

I’m a small town girl at heart, but I love visiting cities during Christmastime and Denver is a great Christmas city. A stroll through downtown Denver during November and December is the perfect way to get into the holiday spirit.

In addition to the lights and horse and carriage rides, Denver has two wonderful Christmas traditions; the Denver Christkindl Market and the Southwest Rink at Skyline Park. It’s easy to do these two things on the same outing.

Heidi serving up schnapps at Denver Christkindl Market.

Heidi (not the Mayor of HeidiTown) serving up schnapps at Denver Christkindl Market.

The Denver Christkindl Market is a longtime tradition in our family. We do a good portion of our Christmas shopping there and enjoy a German dinner under the Entertainment Tent. The ice rink, located across the street, is a wonderful excursion for the little ones, or even a date night, although watch out for kiddos, they’re abundant. Continue reading

Featured Festival: Denver Christkindl Market 2014

The Denver Christkindl Market is underway at Skyline Park in downtown Denver and this lively European style Christmas market has become a tradition in our house and something we eagerly look forward to every holiday season.

Why do we love it?

Truly Unique Shopping

Tired of strolling the mall for the perfect gift? The Christkindl Market has vendors selling goods that you won’t find anywhere else. I’m not much of a shopper, but even I love browsing the Christkindl Market.  Last year I found a gorgeous German lace scarf for my mother and colorful nesting dolls for our niece. Need a cuckoo clock? They’ve got those too.

Denver Christkindl Market at night

The Denver Christkindl Market comes alive after dark. Twinkling lights add to the festive mood. Photo courtesy of the German American Chamber of Commerce – Colorado Chapter.

Unique Food & Drink

As fun as it is to shop at the Denver Christkindl Market, I really go for the food and drink.  Glühwein, a traditional German mulled wine, is my favorite and it flows freely under the Entertainment Tent at the market.  My husband, Ryan, prefers the German beers that are also sold under the tent. Continue reading

Featured Festival: Wine, Chocolate & Cheese Festival in Ouray

There are few things I love more than wine, chocolate and cheese and I am not alone. That’s why you should get yourself to Ouray, Colorado for this annual December affair.

The event was founded by Faith Parry who has a passion for Colorado-owned businesses. She, along with Jennifer Loshaw, saw Wine, Chocolate & Cheese Festival as a way to support small Colorado wine and food businesses as well as bring visitors to Ouray.

“I wanted to have an opportunity to showcase the fabulous things we have in Colorado,” says Parry.

Ouray Wine, Chocolate & Cheese Festival.

She also wanted to encourage folks to shop local for Christmas presents instead of heading outside of Ouray to the big box stores.

Originally, the event featured Colorado wine and chocolate, but Colorado cheese was added the second year in order to bring something savory to the table. Last year, the event expanded again to include Colorado arts and crafts and Colorado distilled spirits – making it a real Colorado party.

Ouray Wine Chocolate & Cheese Festival.

Swing City Express, a 9-piece swing band will provide festive music for Wine, Chocolate & Cheese Festival this year. Guests are encouraged to dress up too – this year’s theme is Winter Wonderland.

Each year the festival helps out a local nonprofit and this year that organization is Art Partners, promoting youth development and building a sense of social responsibility and self-esteem. They serve Delta, Montrose and Ouray.

While this event attracts people from the region, there’s no reason folks on the Front Range can’t make a trip to the Ouray around Wine, Chocolate & Cheese Festival. After all, it may be tiny, but Ouray is full of fun – it’s a HeidiTown favorite! You can check out their two amazing museums, sip suds at two locally owned breweries, shop at the town’s many unique stores or just soak in the hot springs pool all day.

Ouray Colorado in the winter.

If you are more adventurous, check out the Ouray Ice Park – right now it’s set to open on the weekend of the festival. Read about my experience there.

“Ouray is a magical place in the winter,” says Parry. “Christmas lights shine against the sparkle of the snow.  It’s a quaint snowy town nestled in a canyon surrounded by towering mountains. And there’s fantastic festivities almost every weekend from Thanksgiving to mid-January.”

Tickets for Wine, Chocolate & Cheese Festival are just $20 and available online.  Better yet, stay at a participating Ouray hotel or bed and breakfast and receive a discounted ticket for only $10. Buy tickets and see list of participating lodging establishments here.

Ouray’s Wine, Chocolate & Cheese Festival

December 13, 2014

6 to 9 p.m.

Ouray Community Center at 320 6th Avenue

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Ouray Wine Chocolate & Cheese Festival



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Feature Festival: 3rd Annual Tree For All, Loveland, Colorado

There’s nothing more cheerful than a Christmas tree and no better way to ring in the holidays than by putting up the tree, but Christmas is about so much more than decorations and presents – it’s a time to reflect on our blessings and to assist those who may need a helping hand.

Tree for All logo

Tree for All is one of three fundraisers held annually by the Foothills Service League to benefit Foothills Gateway and Namaqua Center for Children. Since 1972, Foothills Gateway has been improving the lives of thousands of people in Northern Colorado with cognitive disabilities and their families. They help people conquer challenges and achieve their maximum potential.

Foothills Gateway, Inc.

For more than 35 years, Namaqua Center has provided care, treatment and healing to Northern Colorado’s most vulnerable children. Many of these children have lived through trauma and may have severe behavior challenges or have diagnosable emotional disturbances. Namaqua offers children-centered, community based programs to help give families the individualized support they need to raise healthy and happy children.

Tree for All will be held on Sunday, December 7, 2014, at 11:00 a.m. at The Ranch First National Bank Building in Loveland, Colorado. This event is an opportunity to celebrate the season and help two great organizations at the same time.

I call that a “win/win.”

Crowd shot at Tree for All, Foothills Service League.

For just $40/ticket participants can browse 50+ uniquely decorated Christmas trees that will be raffled off during the event. A beautiful brunch will be served, live entertainment will be provided and there will be door prizes, a cash bar and parking lot shuttle services.

multiple trees at Tree for All, Foothills Service League.

The Christmas trees are decorated by local businesses, organizations and individual donors and let’s just say that these folks get very creative.

Just take a look at this Cat Themed “Christmas Tree” pictured below.

Cat Christmas Tree at Tree for All by Foothills Service League.

Tickets to  Tree for All can be purchased at Cloz to Home (120 W 4th Street, Loveland), Rowe’s Flowers (863 N Cleveland Avenue, Loveland)

or online at

This is your opportunity to do something good for your community this holiday season and have fun doing it!

Here are a few more lovely Tree for All trees from past years.

Tree for All, Foothills Service League. 2

Tree for All, Foothills Service League.


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A visit to the Denver Christkindl Market

This year’s Denver Christkindl Market is bigger and better than ever. We stopped by for dinner and a little shopping before our Colorado Symphony concert on a Friday night. After all, the market, locate at Skyline Park in downtown Denver is just a block and a half away from the Denver Center for the Performing Arts.

Denver Christkindl Market 7 - HeidiTown

There are many glass ornaments to choose from at the Denver Christkindl Market.

Denver Christkindl Market 27 - HeidiTown

The market is a very festive place. Click the photo to enlarge.

Christmas Markets pop up all over Europe during the holidays, and the Denver Christkindl Market is modeled after the German version. A visit to the Christkindl market is more than just another shopping trip, it’s an experience to be savored. Literally. In addition to the vendor booths selling everything from German lace to Russian nesting dolls, there is authentic German and European cuisine available for purchase. Continue reading

Win a weekend escape to Breckenridge, CO for Race of the Santas


As many of you know, I’m a huge fan of Breckenridge. Having stayed there multiple times, I’m pretty familiar with the town and I love the chill atmosphere. It’s more than just a ski town. It’s a real, work-a-day town with a rich history and tons of festivals that happen year round.

One of those events is happening on Saturday, December 7, 2013.

and their off Race of the Santas in Breckenridge Colorado

It’s the Lighting of Breckenridge & the Race of the Santas, a benefit for Adopt an Angel. Participants in this wacky holiday race will run, jog or skip through a six-block course in downtown Breckenridge. Kids can join the fun in the Race of the Reindeer (antlers provided). The top finishers will be awarded Ullr helmets (yay!) and prize packages.

All sorts of activities are schedule for the Lighting of Breckenridge including carolers, holiday dancers, arts and crafts, and of course, the real Santa shows up after the race at 5 O’clock. You can see the entire schedule here.

And now for the really, really good news”¦ you have a chance to win a weekend stay in Breckenridge for this festive holiday event.

Here’s what one lucky winner will win:

1. Entry to Race of the Santas

2. Two Santa Suits – yours to keep!

3. A two-night stay with Beaver Run Resort  (arrive December 6, Depart December 8, 2013)

4. A $50 Gift Certificate to Motherloaded Tavern

With a two-night stay you’ll be able to treat yourself to some awesome early season skiing at Breckenridge Resort.

To enter the contest you must leave a comment below telling me why you should win a weekend in Breckenridge OR telling me your Race of the Santas strategy. Only one entry per person, please (my contest plugin will disqualify those who enter twice). The winner will be chosen at random on Friday, November 29 at 3 p.m. MST.

Beaver Run Resort

Beaver Run Resort

Be sure to leave me an email address that you check on a regular basis, The winner will have 48 hours to respond. In the past I’ve had trouble connecting with winners, so this is a new rule here in HeidiTown.

More good news!

For those of you who don’t win the Big Prize you can still attend this awesome event and receive 20% off of your December 6-8, 2013 stay with Beaver Run Resorts by mention HEIDITOWN when you make your reservation by phone. Call 1(800) 525-2253 to book your stay.

How cool is that?

A huge thank you to GoBreck, Beaver Run Resort and  Motherloaded Tavern for providing the swag for this giveaway!

Featured Festival: First Night, take an Enchanted Voyage in Fort Collins, Colorado

First Night Fort Collins 2012-13 largeThis year is the 17th Annual First Night in Fort Collins. This a New Year’s Eve celebration for the entire family.

This is a non-alcoholic New Year’s Eve party with entertainment galore. This year’s theme is Enchanted Voyage, and the night will not disappoint.

First Night events take place in 12 different venues around the city, from Lincoln Center to Old Town Square, and festivities get under way  at 6 p.m. on Monday, December 31st.
The schedule is jam packed with storytelling, history, interactive craft projects, street performers, international dance acts, comedy, theater, magicians and so much more it would take me too long to list them all here.

The evening’s headliner is  Popovich Comedy Pet Theater  from Las Vegas, Nevada. The Comedy Pet Theater features 16 dogs and other animal performers – all are rescue animals. Gregory Popovich has been featured on the Tonight Show and was named Entertainer of the Year by the American Circus Association. His unusual theater troupe has even been featured on Animal Planet.

The 45-minute Popovich Comedy Pet Theater is being held at Lincoln Center at 6, 7:30 and 9 p.m. This show is included with your First Night Button.

What’s a First Night Button? It’s your $12 ticket to every event that’s happening on the evening of the 31st.

Buy your First Night Button  HERE!  Kids under 5 are free.

For more information on First Night and other events happening in Fort Collins go to



Farm Stand Band



Summer 2016 –  Featured Nonprofit

National Mill Dog Rescue

Featured Festival:

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