historical

A tour of the Timberlane Farm Museum in Loveland, Colorado

Belgian Horse at Timberlane Farm Museum HeidiTown

Funny picture because I caught this horse in mid-chew.

Collections at museums often represent snapshots from different places and different people. To find a collection of historical artifacts from one family is rare. To find them at the farm where the family lived for more than 100 years is even rarer.

This is what makes Timberlane Farm Museum in Loveland, Colorado so special.

The farm has been in the same family since 1860, when Judge W.B. Osborn and his wife Margaret acquired a 160 acre homestead in the Thompson Valley. Over the years the farm grew, but today just 17 acres remain, but also remaining are thousands of stories and hundreds of genuine artifacts from one of the first families of Loveland.

The farm brand at Timberlane Farm Museum HeidiTown

The farm brand was a T. Pictured here.

A visit to Timberlane Farm Museum brings Loveland history and Larimer County history alive – literally. I was greeted by the moo of cows as I exited my car at the farm on a snowy April day.

Located at 1st Avenue and Denver Avenue, hundreds of Lovelanders drive by Timberlane Farm every day, but few know much about the place. The museum was established six years ago as a nonprofit by Louise Osborn Gardels, the great granddaughter of Judge W.B. Osborn. Now 90-years-old, Gardels lives in Loveland and plays a vital role at the museum.

This living history museum truly breathes life into Loveland’s history from the mid-1800s to the 1940s. I’m not going to give everything about the farm away in this post because you should go on a tour and get the real story. I will, however, share with you a few of my favorite things from my tour.   Continue reading

A stay at The Rush Casino in Cripple Creek, Colorado

The Rush Casino & Hotel by HeidiTown

The Rush Casino in Cripple Creek, Colorado. Photo by H.M. Kerr-Schlaefer, all rights reserved.

While in Cripple Creek I was incarcerated and lost some money, but I’d still go back. We arrived in Cripple Creek on a cloudy Friday afternoon. I had been invited to be a guest at the brand new Rush Casino, formerly the Gold Rush. The building had been shuttered for three years before the new owners bought it, renovated the place and opened in August 2012.

I had never been to Cripple Creek before, and I can’t say that about many Colorado towns, so I was extra excited as we past Manitou Springs and then Woodland Park. As we neared our destination we were greeted by this view, just outside of Cripple Creek.

view driving into Cripple Creek Colorado photo by HeidiTown

View driving into Cripple Creek, Colorado. Photo by H.M. Kerr-Schlaefer, all rights reserved.

When we arrived in town I was quite delighted by the look of the place. Cripple Creek is an authentic mining town, all red brick and Victorian charm. While they legalized gambling in the early 1990s, the town has managed to retain its historical appeal.

At The Rush we found a open-plan casino, with extra high, golden ceilings and lots of elbow room. I dislike feeling pinned in at a casino, so this was a pleasant surprise. Apparently every guest at The Rush receives a mini-bar gift basket, a practice I would encourage every hotel to establish. At check in we were asked what we would like in our gift basket and given a list of items we could choose from.

mini-bar gift basket at The Rush Casino in Cripple Creek photo by HeidiTown

Our mini-bar gift basket at The Rush. Photo by H.M. Kerr-Schlaefer, all rights reserved.

While the casino at The Rush has been fully remodeled, the boutique hotel upstairs hasn’t receive as much attention, but there is a fresh coat of paint and upscale amenities like flat screen televisions and high end bath products. Our large room overlooked Bennett Avenue and included a nice view of the vintage Gold Rush sign.

We spent the first night gambling at The Rush, and winning at everything with the exception of three-card poker. I had very good luck at the Elvis game; the King and I got on famously. I enjoy these new games that include a chair with surround sound. At this game you rock out to famous Elvis tunes while trying to hunt down the rabbit in the Hound Dog Hunt. It’s seriously fun.

Elvis machine at The Rush photo by HeidiTown

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

In addition to your mini-bar gift basket, guests at The Rush get free “bottomless” breakfast at the casino’s restaurant. I really enjoyed the breakfasts during our stay, especially the fresh jalapenos in my omelet, and you can’t beat the $1.50 bloody Mary.

We spent the morning of our second day exploring Bennett Avenue. As we scouted out the other casinos and did some shopping at the boutiques along the northeast side town, it began to snow. The town was quickly blanketed in white and with the twinkling Christmas lights, it felt very much like an old-fashion kind of holiday.

There are some cute shops in Cripple Creek, including a candy store that we stopped at every day during our stay and 9494, my favorite store in town where I bought an adorable hat. The General Store is over 40 years old and squished between two casinos on the south side of Bennett. It is an entertaining place to shop and includes lot of stuff for kids.

Back at the casino we met up with my in-laws who had arrived from Denver. Lunch at The Rush got fairly high marks from our group, especially the chicken wrap.  After lunch, we left my mother-in-law at the slot machines and took my father-in-law with us to get into some trouble – and we succeeded, as the photos prove.

Heidi at the Cripple Creek jail museum photo by HeidiTown

Ryan at the Cripple Creek Jail Museum photo by HeidiTown

My father-in-law goofing off at the Cripple Creek jail museum by HeidiTown

As you can tell, we had a good laugh at the Outlaw & Lawmen Jail Museum.

That evening we spent time gambling at The Rush, and my husband had too much fun at the Monopoly slot machine and the black jack tables. Every Saturday night the casino brings in a DJ who takes requests and keeps things festive. The drinks and fun flowed, and despite not winning the hourly cash prize of $100, we had another great night.

The Rush Casino Cripple Creek December 2012 HeidiTown.com

The Rush Casino, formerly The Gold Rush. Photo by H.M. Kerr-Schlaefer, all rights reserved.

I’m very excited about the future of The Rush Casino in Cripple Creek. The Palladium is a 900-seat outdoor auditorium directly behind the casino and the owners plan to renovate it starting this spring. It should be open for summer concerts in 2013 – more than enough reason to go back and stay at The Rush again.

You can find The Rush online at TheRushCasino.com. You can also find them on Facebook HERE and follow them on Twitter.

PLEASE NOTE: The Rush Casino unexpectedly closed on Friday, January 4, 2013. I still highly recommend a trip to Cripple Creek, Colorado.

Featured Festival: Denver Christkindl Market

A grand welcome to the market by Ms. Laura Kantwerk.

A grand welcome to the market by Ms. Laura Kantwerk. Photos by H.M. Kerr-Schlaefer, all rights reserved.

It seems rather appropriate for the Mayor of a place called HeidiTown to have a connection to the German Chamber of Commerce – Colorado Chapter. Full disclosure: This organization has been advertising their events with HeidiTown for a while now and it’s a match made in heaven.

This organization puts together well-organized and top-notch events that I am more than happy to slap my endorsement on. Their Biergarten Festival is a summer party my husband and I look forward to every year.

The GACC-CO’s winter event is the Denver Christkindl Market. In operation for 12 years, this year there’s a new look, but the market hasn’t lost its intimate, European feel.

Christkindl markets have deep roots in Germany where the oldest recorded Christmas market dates back to 1310 in Munich. Held in front of churches, the markets were often part of a person’s church visit. Today, these markets are still held in town squares across Germany.

Tour the Denver Christkindl Market to find unique, handmade gifts for nearly everyone on your list. I found lots of knit hats and beautiful artisan jewelry that I’d love to find under the tree this Christmas.

Pastries at the Denver Christkindl Market

Pastries at the Denver Christkindl Market.

The best part of the market, in my illustrious opinion, is the food and the beer/entertainment tent. I’d recommend coming hungry, having some delicious European-style food and a beer or two and then going shopping.

While we were visiting the beer tent last weekend, the Chalet Dancers from Castle Rock were peforming and their authentic German dances impressed the crowd, me included. Under the tent you’ll find a full lineup of entertainment on the weekday evenings and weekends.

Sipping a beer or gluehwein (spiced wine), you’ll be transported to a different time and place, and this is what I love the most about the Denver Christkindl Market and the Biergarten Festival – it’s a chance to experience a little German culture right here in Colorado. Our state is rich with German heritage, but we don’t always get a chance to see it, taste it and feel it in action. I applaud the German Chamber of Commerce – Colorado Chapter for keeping this culture alive and well.

Keep in mind that the market is a wonderful event for children – from entertainment to delicious pastries, make the Denver Christkindl Market a part of their childhood memories this Christmas.

chalet dancers at Denver Christkindl Market

Chalet Dancers from Castle Rock, Colorado.

Denver Christkindl Market

Skyline Park (16th & Arapaho)

November 23 to December 22, 2012

Sunday – Wednesday 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Thursday – Saturday 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Join the Denver Christkindl Market on Facebook

www.denverchristkindlmarket.com

HeidiTown on the radio – the Colorado museum edition

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.

“Oklahoma!” comes to Colorado

Oklahoma Candlelight men

"Oklahoma!" now playing at Candlelight Dinner Playhouse. Courtesy photo.

It’s time for another dinner theater review and this time I went back to Candlelight Dinner Playhouse  in Johnstown, Colorado for “Oklahoma!” I’ve been going to theater since I was just a little girl, but I had never seen a production of this famous play until last week.

Today, “Oklahoma!” is considered a wholesome family musical and is often performed at high schools and even middle schools, so it’s difficult to think of it as ground breaking, but when “Oklahoma!” hit theaters in 1943, it broke the rules. First, the musical begins with just one person singing, and this was unusual. At the time, musicals always opened with a score performed by the ensemble cast. Secondly, a ballet takes place during the play, something that had never been done before.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with dinner theater… continue reading this review by clicking here.

The past in living color at History Colorado

Frank Oom History Colorado

History Colorado (Photo by Frank Oom, used with permission)

I had an opportunity to get a sneak peek at the new History Colorado museum in Denver this week, and I am so excited to share this blog post with you.

I grew up visiting museums, and I really love them, so I’m not completely unbiased when it comes to writing about museums. However, the fact that I have toured so many makes me a pseudo museum expert, and most museums, especially those focusing on history, feel very similar, but I am here to tell you that History Colorado is truly different.

Continue reading this post by clicking here.

HeidiTown.com on the radio – What’s happening in Colorado, April 27-29, 2012 & beyond

It’s that time again, time for another installment of HeidiTown.com on KRFC 88.9 FM, a community radio station in Fort Collins, Colorado.  Each week I share stuff to do around Colorado with the listeners of KRFC and then I upload the transcript and the audio to the blog.  So if you missed it, or you need web information, you can easily find it here.

You can read the transcript below or  listen to the audio HERE.

***

Frank Ooms History Colorado 2

History Colorado Museum (Photo by Frank Ooms, used with permission)

Hi, my name is Heidi and I’m the Mayor of HeidiTown.com, a blog about events, festivals and travel around Colorado.

I’m calling this weekend, April 27 through the 29th, the calm before the storm, because it is rather quiet around the state, but I think that is because, like me, everyone is gearing up summer.

This year, Cinco de Mayo is on a Saturday and in my mind that kicks off the 2012 festival season.

There are a couple events happening this weekend that have caught my attention.

The new History Colorado Museum is opening on Saturday in Denver. I had the opportunity to get a media-only sneak peek of the facility this past Monday, and  a post about the museum be up on the blog, Thursday, April 26. You can visit the museum online at HistoryColorado.org.

As I have previously mentioned, the Rocky Mountain Pinball Showdown is this weekend at the Embassy Suites in the Denver Tech Center. If you are a fan of pinball and classic arcade games, you don’t want to miss this event. More info can be found at PinBallShowDown.com.

Pinball enthusiasts should check out Pinball Jones right here in Fort Collins in the basement suite at 107 Linden Street. Their website is PinBallJones.com.

In Lyons, Colorado check out Lyons Classic Pinball behind Oskar Blues in downtown. This is a HeidiTown favorite place so find it on the blog by searching Lyons Classic Pinball. Visit them online at LyonsPinball.com.

If you are in the Springs area, check out the Penny Arcade in Manitou Springs featuring all sorts of vintage games including pinball. For more on historic Manitou, go to ManitouSprings.org.

This weekend on the Western Slope it’s the Fruita Fat Tire Festival. The event was started 17 years ago as a way to show off all the biking trails they were building in Fruita. This year, there will be four music shows running Friday and Saturday. The beer will flow, a scavenger hunt will occur and costumes are encouraged. I have friends who attend this event every year, and they say it’s always a very good time. Learn more at FruitaMountainBike.com, and be sure to pack your bike!

Tulip Fairy Parade Downtown Boulder

We called the Tulip Fairy out today to make sure she's ready for the annual Tulip Fairy & Elf Parade that happens on April 28 at 3 p.m. She's ready to go. See you there! (TulipFairyParade.com).

Here’s a sweet little event that is happening Saturday afternoon in Boulder. At 3 p.m. it’s the annual Tulip Fairy & Elf Parade. There are 15,000 tulips planted along Pearl Street and this event, welcoming spring, takes place in this colorful outdoor mall. Special events and activities for children are planned as well as a parade. Go to DowntownBoulder.com for details.

And now for some planning ahead…

As I previously mentioned, Cinco de Mayo falls on a Saturday this year, that’s the 5th of May for those of you who aren’t familiar with the holiday. There are several events happening in Fort Collins including an Artisan Show above the Rio Grande restaurant in the Agave Room.

The event runs from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and features a vast array of high-end art with everything from sculpture to jewelry. Over 55 artisans will be there, so I urge art lovers not to miss this show! You can follow the link on HeidiTown.com’s front page to the Cinco De Mayo Artisan Show’s Facebook event invite.

The 74th Annual Music & Blossom Festival in Canon City runs May 3 through the 6th. This delightful family-friendly fest has developed over the years into a true destination event. There is a parade, a carnival, a marching band competition, a pageant, and the list goes on and on. Visit CCBlossomFestival.com for the entire schedule.

rubber duckThe 24th Annual Estes Park Duck Races are also slated for May 5. Thousands of little rubber ducks are dropped into Fall River where they began their journey to Riverside Plaza in downtown Estes Park. The tradition was started in 1989 to help local charities. It has grown into a community celebration. Adopt a duck and support a local charity! Learn more at EPDuckrace.org.

If you missed any part of today’s segment, I post the transcript and audio of the show every week on HeidiTown.com.

As always, I encourage you to join the town’s block party on Facebook. It’s the place where we can get better acquainted. Go to Facebook.com/HeidiTown.comonFB.

You can also follow me on Twitter @HeidiTown or circle the town on Google Plus.

Thank you so much for listening! Until next week, I will see you online!

South Park is a real place, find out more…

South Park City - kids running.

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

It’s true that kids run and play in South Park, and the occasional burro can be seen trotting through town.

It is also true that South Park is located in the Colorado Rockies.

However, it’s probably not the town that that’s popped into to your mind.

Find out more about the real South Park City in my new post by clicking here.

The Mayor visits a museum in Berthoud, Colorado

Visitors to The Little Thompson Valley Pioneer Museum in Berthoud can immerse themselves in the area's rich history.

Visitors to The Little Thompson Valley Pioneer Museum can immerse themselves in Northern Colorado's rich history. (Photo by H.M. Kerr-Schlaefer, all rights reserved)

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In the first installment in The Mayor Visits a Museum series, the Mayor travels to the charming town of Berthoud, Colorado, where she takes a guided tour of   The Little Thompson Valley Pioneer Museum.

Find out more by reading the article here.

Happy Halloween from HeidiTown

Looking for something scary to do this weekend?   Take a new look at Fort Collins, Colorado by taking a Terror Tour of Old Town.

We took this tour last night and even though we are very familiar with Fort Collins, it was as if we were visiting a new town.   This walking  tour  takes approximately  60 minutes and  covers about a  mile and  a half of old town Fort Collins.

You’ll hear delightful  stories of ghosts, murders and meyhem.

It’s a HeidiTown highly recommended activity!

Tonight, October 31, tours run from 7 to 10 p.m.   A tour leaves every half hour from the Fort Collins Museum and Discovery Center at 200 Mathew Street.   At only $3/person, there’s no better deal in town.   Call (970) 221-6738 for more information.

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