Archives For Denver

denver city & county building holiday lights

Photo with permission from VisitDenver.com.

As much as I love small towns, during the holidays I love taking a trip to the big city. One of my fondest Christmas memories is walking under the canopy of lights on Larimer in downtown Denver. We were checking out all the window decorations and that year they were all ski scenes. Some were very elaborate with skiers moving up and down paper mache mountains and ice skaters twirling on painted ponds.

Denver is delightful during the holiday season; horse drawn carriages clomp up and down the 16th Street Mall, children skate at Skyline Park and you might even hear a Christmas carol or two.

The Mile High City knows how to do the holidays and the city literally lights up on during the Grand Illumination on Friday, November 23, 2012.

This year there will be lighting displays at the City and County Building, Larimer Square, Denver Pavilions, Union Station, Skyline Park, the 16th Street Mall and the historic D&F Tower.

This is a FREE event, so bundle up the kids and bring them down for an evening in the city. Live entertainment starts at 5:30 p.m. at Skyline Park and at 6 p.m. at Denver Union Station and at Civic Center Park. The official “countdown” begins at 6:30 and the lights go on at 6:45 p.m.

Once the lights are on, wandering over to the Denver Christkindl Market to do a little shopping and listen to live German music from Peter Kron. Afterwards, warm up at one of Denver’s fine eating establishments – currently, my personal favorite is Euclid Hall.

Details:
Grand Illumination of Downtown Denver
Friday, November 23, 2012
Free fun for the entire family

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If you are looking for more FREE winter events and activities in Denver, I love this list compiled by Visit Denver.

 

crayons

As the days get shorter and colder, I start to think about theater and museums. I realize these topics come up a lot on HeidiTown, but that’s because Colorado has no shortage of artistic and cultural events to write about, plus museums and live theater are the Mayor’s favorites.

On this week’s radio show on KRFC 88.9 FM, I share some upcoming art-related events happening along the Front Range in November.

Listen to the show here.

denver arts week logo 2012Nothing destroys the stereotype of being a cow town, like Denver Arts Week. Denver is a hub of arts and culture and during this week long celebration, every type of artistic medium is celebrated including visual arts, theater, music, film, museums, dance, opera comedy, history and heritage.

Get walking, get artsy

The event kicks off on November 2 with First Friday Art Walks in numerous neighborhoods around town. A list of six different walks can be found here.

Learn stuff

Next up, on November 3, it’s Night at the Museums. This is an opportunity to tour 22 Denver museums and pay no admission fees. There’s even a free shuttle that makes exploring that much easier. From the Denver Art Museum to the Denver Children’s Museum to the Forney Museum of Transportation, this is a whirlwind event that will leave you with a better knowledge of everything from history to art. Click here to learn more about Night at the Museums.

On stage

sign. theatre sign

Every day during Denver Arts Week, you’ll have a chance to see live theater, from the Denver Performing Arts Complex (the second largest such complex in the U.S.) to more intimate neighborhood theaters. There’s also the opportunity to get a sneak peek behind the curtain; see how productions come together and learn about actors’ and dancer’s crafts during workshops. From ballet to musicals to dramatic theatre, there’s a little something for everyone on stage during Denver Arts Week. For the entire lineup go here.

 

Becoming Van Gogh

Becoming Van Gogh

The Denver Art Museum is the largest jewel in the city’s cultural crown. The museum hosts world renowned exhibits, such as Yves Saint Laurent this past summer. Another amazing show just opened and it’s attracting art lovers from around the world.

The exhibit explores Van Gogh’s evolution as an artist through more than 70 paintings, alongside paintings from artists who played significant roles in his life. The exhibition is on loan from more than 60 public and private collections around the world.

Nothing like this has ever been assembled before and Denver is the only venue for this exhibit. Becoming Van Gogh is at the museum through January 20, 2013. Learn more at DenverArtMuseum.org.

See Starz

Starz Denver Film Fest

Starz Denver Film Festival, brought to you by the Denver Film Society, celebrates its 35th anniversary this year. If you’re a movie buff, this is the festival for you. The event runs November 1 through 11, and features 100s of films (I think. Their website doesn’t have the exact number of films being shown, but it seems like there are a lot). From documentaries to student films, the entire Starz Denver Film Festival schedule can be found here.

Denver Arts Week runs November 2 through 10th. Learn more at Denver.org/DenverArtsWeek.

 

The Stanley Hotel in Estes Park Colorado

The Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, Colorado. (Photo by H.M. Kerr-Schlaefer, all rights reserved)

It’s October and that means Halloween. It just so happens that I am a big scaredy cat, however, I do love a good ghost tour and I share some Colorado ghost tour information in this week’s radio segment. There’s also a nod to dead people and zombies in this show – you have been warned!

So without further ado, LISTEN HERE if you dare.

Note: Each Monday I upload my KRFC 88.9 FM segment to HeidiTown. You can here it on the radio on Wednesdays at noonish and Fridays at 5:30 p.m.

DMNS Pompeii

A Day in Pompeii at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science. (Photo by Chris Schneider)

I am a museum junkie, and the Denver Museum of Nature & Science is one of my favorites. I love the smell of a museum, the lighting, and the sense that I am learning something new just by being in the building.

Ancient history has never had a big draw for me, so I wasn’t particularly overjoyed to hear that the Pompeii exhibition was coming to Denver. But, of course, I had to see it, and in doing so I have developed a new fascination with ancient history.

“A Day in Pompeii” takes the visitor on a trip through the ancient city of Pompeii, a city of 20,000 that was covered in volcanic ash in AD 79. Ninety percent of the population was able to make it out of the city, but 10 percent were not, and the thick, wet ash from Mount Vesuvius encased them where they stood, sat or lay.

As a writer, I truly appreciate how the story of Pompeii unfolds as you walk through the Denver Museum of Nature & Science’s newest exhibit.

DMNS Pompeii

Historical re-enactors at "A Day in Pompeii" at DMNS. (Photo by Chris Schneider)

First, you meet the people of Pompeii and discover how they worked, shopped and played. You get to know them, through high resolution videos that take you through their homes, through the numerous artifacts on display and through the historical re-enactors that stroll through the exhibit, ready to impart the story of their daily life with you.

The beginning of the exhibition is cheerful and there’s a sense that life in Pompeii was pretty good, and although these people lived thousands of years ago, we have much in common. The Pompeiians loved creature comforts, enjoyed the theater, and would grab food from a street vendor and meet friends at a local bar where they played dice games.

As I walked through the exhibit with my husband, a furniture designer and builder, it occurred to us that the Romans may have discovered interior design. Their frescos and highly ornate furniture could have graced the pages of Roman Fine Living, if such a magazine existed in the early part of the 1st Century. Check out the pair of ornate curtain tie backs on display and you will truly understand our train of thought.

DMNS Pompeii statue

(Photo by Chris Schneider)

“A Day in Pompeii takes a 21st Century approach to the 1st Century,” says Dr. Steve Nash, exhibit curator.

Ancient Greece has influenced today’s culture in many ways, and it’s interesting to keep this in mind as you walk through “A Day in Pompeii.” From architecture to everyday living, many things in the exhibition feel strangely familiar.

Once you get to know Pompeii and its people, things get somber. You learn how the Roman’s worshipped, how they buried and honored their dead, and then the volcano erupts. Don’t miss the five minute video of the eruption in the room right before the part of the exhibition that houses the body casts from Pompeii. This sets the scene in a sobering fashion.

The body casts are probably the most famous artifacts from this exhibit, and most of us have seen photos of them at some point in our lives. As people huddled in their homes, or tried to outrun this natural disaster at the last moment, they were covered by volcanic ash. Over time, the bodies disintegrated leaving an empty cavity for archæologists to find centuries upon centuries later. In 1860, archæologist Guiseppe Fiiorelli poured plaster into these cavities, creating the first versions of the casts.

body cast

(Photo by Chris Schneider)

Ironically, seeing these body casts in person made these people even more real to me. The poses are so human; hands to the mouth, an arm covering a lovers head, friends (possibly sisters) in an embrace.

I left “A Day in Pompeii” with a newly sparked interested in ancient Roman history, and I think that’s the best review a museum exhibition could receive.

This exhibit opened at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science on September 14 and leaves on January 13, 2012. There are programs and events planned for both adults and children around “A Day in Pompeii” – see the list here.

Go to DMNS.org for ticket information.

 

DMNS Pompeii

Visitors interact with the historical enactors that dress in period clothing and portray characters from Ancient Rome inside A Day in Pompeii at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science. (Photo credit: Chris Schneider)

This week’s radio segment on KRFC 88.9 FM is full of history and culture. Think you can handle that?

Have you ever wanted to party like a Italian in AD 79? Well, find out when and where you can.

Wondering about the new Fort Collins Museum of Discovery? Find out the schedule for the opening of this state-of-the-art facility.

Are you a bird lover like me? Find out where you can see birds portrayed by 60 different artists.

And more Colorado cultural stuff that will tickle your curiosity and enrich your mind.

It’s all in this week’s radio segment, so LISTEN HERE.

Ripe wheat earsIt’s Monday, and that means this week’s segment from KRFC 88.9 FM is here!

By the way, September 14-22 is KRFC’s membership drive. This is a 100% community run radio station and it takes donations to keep the doors open. There are all sorts of membership levels to choose from so become a member today and help keep shows like HeidiTown on the air!

BECOME A KRFC MEMBER

Now on to our regular scheduled blog post.

Last week I wrote about agritourism, and on this week’s radio show I share some upcoming agritourism-related events happening around Colorado including harvest festivals and a top-notch foodie event in Denver.

LISTEN TO THE HEIDITOWN SEGMENT HERE.

sustainable living fair no dates logoOn this week’s radio segment on KRFC 88.9 FM, I share several educational festivals happening this weekend in Northern Colorado.

Also, new plays are in production on dinner theater stages around the state, find out what exciting titles are being produced currently.

Lastly, if you are planning a wintry escape to the mountains, I share a few great winter festivals you might want to plan your trip around.

Listen to the RADIO SEGMENT HERE.

 

fall flowers in Colorado

Fall flowers in Colorado. Photo by H.M. Kerr-Schlaefer.

For those of you who may be new to HeidiTown, each week I have a radio segment on KRFC 88.9 FM in Fort Collins, Colorado. It’s a community-ran public radio station broadcasting around Northern Colorado and beyond. My HeidiTown segments run on Wednesday around 12:30 p.m. and Friday at 5:30 p.m.

This week I share about some fun things happening around Northern Colorado in September, including a car show this weekend and several community festivals. I also mention a favorite scenic fall drive, that I have blogged as well. Read “Scenic Autumn Drives in Colorado with a Destination” here.

Listen to this week’s show HERE.

 

Between freelance writing and blogging I bounce between fun topics like Colorado travel, and not so fun topics like cancer. Sometimes I get severe writer’s block, and this week I found my writing brain seriously obstructed.

So I opted to write a top 5 list and share the reasons I love Colorado – this blog post nearly wrote itself.

Please feel free to comment & let me know why YOU love Colorado.

1.  Sunshine

I grew up in the Pacific Northwest, which means I never take for granted Colorado’s 300 plus days of sunshine every year.  The brightness of the sun makes Coloradans happy and active.

Sunset in the Rockies

Sunset in the Colorado Rockies. Photo by H.M. Kerr-Schlaefer, all rights reserved.

2.  Mountains

The Rocky Mountains are the biggest gems in Colorado’s crown. They provide a never ending list of recreational activities, offer up towns full of character and history, and provide a beautiful backdrop to the Front Range.

Bronco game

Photo by H.M. Kerr-Schlaefer, all rights reserved

3.  Sports

Colorado is a sports-lovers dream. From professional teams in every major sport to kayaking, rock climbing and cycling, this state is full of enthusiastic fans of sports, as well as athletes of every kind. The best part, in my opinion, is that no matter where you travel in Colorado, you can always find a place to watch the Broncos with fellow supporters.

Great Sand Dunes

Great Sand Dunes National Park. Photo by H.M. Kerr-Schlaefer, all rights reserved.

4.  State & National Park System

Colorado has 42 state parks with 4,376 campsites. The state is also home to four national parks, including Rocky Mountain, Mesa Verde, Great Sand Dunes and Black Canyon of the Gunnison. What I love about our national parks is that each is unique and offers different landscapes and activities.

Xena hiding from the rain

Our dog hiding from the rain on a hike in the Comanche Wilderness. Photo by H.M. Kerr-Schlaefer, all rights reserved.

5.  Dogs

I haven’t done any scientific research on this topic, but I think Colorado is one of the most dog-friendly states in the union. It’s not unusual for Coloradans to own several dogs, and they take them everywhere – from the sidewalks of Denver to the Rocky Mountain backcountry. As a lifelong dog person, I appreciate living in a dog-loving state.

So there you have it, the top five reasons I love Colorado.

Why do you love Colorado?