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Flower Power in Fort Collins, a Visit to The Gardens on Spring Creek

Last week I was invited to Fort Collins to be on a tourism panel. Happily, the event was held at The Gardens on Spring Creek, a place I’ve wanted to visit for some time now.

Flower Power in Fort Collins, a Visit to The Gardens on Spring Creek. Rock Garden. HeidiTown.com

The gardens were established in 2004 when Ft. Collins voters supported a proposal to create a community horticultural center. More recently, an expansion of the gardens has been approved which will add a permanent Butterfly House and a concert venue that will accommodate 1500. You can see an artist’s rendering of the plan at The Gardens on Spring Creek. Continue reading

5 Unique Colorado Inns that Should be on Your Radar

I’ve stayed at four out of five of these inns, and I toured the other one, so you can be assured that there is an authentic voice behind this post. These Colorado inns are all quite varied in price and ambiance, but they are each one-of-a-kind.

5 Unique Colorado Inns that Should be on your Radar. The Distillery Inn partio. HeidiTown

Photo courtesy of The Distillery Inn.

The Distillery Inn at Marble Distilling Co. – Carbondale

The Distillery Inn is the most luxurious property on this list. I had the great pleasure of staying there last month. When I say it’s “unique,” I’m not exaggerating – it’s the only distillery inn in the world.

The five rooms, located above the distillery, are top-notch. The ambiance of the entire place is laid back, yet elegant. My favorite detail of my room, the Ginger, were the daffodils in the bathroom and tulips in the main room. Continue reading

Fort Collins for Christmas

Considering a holiday getaway this month? Fort Collins is an excellent Colorado Christmas town. Downtown sparkles with thousands of lights and from Old Town Square to Oak Street Plaza Park, the atmosphere is merry.

Fort Collins for Christmas

This past weekend, we did one-night getaway in Fort Collins to experience the city’s holiday offerings. Before exploring the festive scene we checked into the Fernweh Inn & Hostel on Mulberry, just blocks from the excitement of downtown Fort Collins.

Some people, including my husband, Ryan, have an aversion to any place with hostel in the name. The word makes him worried that he’s going to have to share a bathroom or wash dishes to earn his keep.

Fort Collins for Christmas, the Fernweh Inn & Hostel in the snow

Fernweh is a modern-day, American hostel which offers private rooms as well as bunk rooms. Our private room, “The Loft,” was a virtual suite because the space occupied the entire upstairs of this historic, Victorian home. There was a full bathroom in the room complete with large, soaking bathtub and multiple beds, making it perfect for a family or friends. Continue reading

Gift Guide for Friends with Good Tastes (In Food)

Know someone who loves food? Instead of buying them a cookbook or newfangled kitchen item, how about buying them a foodie experience?

Colorado has blossomed with food tours over the last several years, and I’ve had the pleasure of experiencing several of these delicious excursions.

Local Table Tours

LocalTableTours.com

This company was started by a Boulder food blogger who has traveled extensively in the United States and abroad. Today, Local Table run tours in Denver, Boulder and Fort Collins. In Denver, they do a tour at The Source, a Taste of Highlands and in downtown (Taste of LoDo and Union Station).

Gift Guide for Friends with Good Tastes

Photo courtesy of Local Table Tours.

Their Boulder-based tours including A Taste of Boulder, Cocktail Tours, Coffee & Chocolate Tours and May through October they offer tours at the Boulder Farmers’ Market.

In Fort Collins, tasting tours include a Cocktail Tour, Waffle & Chocolate Tour, Artisans at Scotch Pines Tour and, the one I experienced this past summer, the Jessup Farm Tasting Tour. Continue reading

Brewery Lights Delight in Fort Collins, Colorado

Looking for something unique to do with the entire family this holiday season? Look no further than Brewery Lights at the Budweiser plant in Fort Collins, Colorado.

Brewery Lights Delight in Fort Collins, Colorado

Last week, I was invited to opening night at Brewery Lights which takes place Thursdays through Sundays from 5 to 10 p.m. through December 30, 2016.

Ryan and I arrived early for a meet and greet with the Budweiser Clydesdales. One of the teams was in town for the weekend, and Clydesdale handler, Zane, introduced us to Frankie. At just four-years-old, Frankie stands 19 hands tall and is about 2000 lbs. He nuzzled us, looking for treats, and seemed to personify the breed’s reputation as “gentle giants.” Continue reading

Getting Foodie in Fort Collins at Jessup Farm Artisan Village

When I was asked to join a Local Table Tours outing at Jessup Farm Artisan Village in Fort Collins, I jumped at the opportunity to explore this unique Northern Colorado destination.

Getting Foodie in Fort Collins at Jessup Farm Artisan Village

Jessup Farm was a working farm built at the turn of the century. In 2011, the Campana family of Bellisimo Inc. rehabilitated the property and repurposed the buildings to house modern-day businesses scattered around like a village. Today the property is home to multiple small businesses, a flock of chickens and a large garden.

Getting Foodie in Fort Collins at Jessup Farm Artisan Village (10) HeidiTown

Chicken coop at Jessup Farm Artisan Village

According to Steven Sorensen, a Campana family member and part of Bellisimo Inc., when the family first conceived of the plan for Artisan Village, they didn’t visualize it as a destination for anyone other than those who lived in surrounding neighborhoods. Continue reading

HeidiTown Gives Back: Wine Fest & Disabled Resource Services

WineFest_logo_new colorHeidiTown Gives Back took a hiatus for a few months, but it’s back. I started the HeidiTown Gives Campaign in 2012, because I wanted to use the HeidiTown platform to help organizations that help Coloradans.

The nonprofit I’m highlighting this month is a service that exists to help folks in their most desperate time of need. No one ever wants to believes that they will need an organization like Disabled Resource Services (DSR), but we never know. In the blink of an eye a person can become disabled, whether it’s through a traumatic accident or serious illness, and DRS is there to help.

DRS assists people of any age and any disability in Larimer County to live with as much independence as their disabilities allow. Many of the people who seek the services of DRS are living in poverty and a significant number are homeless. Read how DRS changes lives on their website, DisabledResourceServices.org.

A guide dog at Wine Fest. All photos courtesy of DRS.

A guide dog at Wine Fest. All photos courtesy of DRS.

DRS’s biggest fundraiser of the year is just around the corner, and that’s where I come in. I’m using this blog post to encourage you to attend Wine Fest, a Fort Collins’ tradition for 34 years.

What’s Wine Fest?

While it’s held in Fort Collins, Colorado, Wine Fest is not a locals-only event. Seventeen percent of last year’s attendee came from outside of Northern Colorado. In fact, ticket sales show that 12 different Colorado cities were represented at the event.

Wine Fest, Fort Collins. HeidiTown.com

And people aren’t just flocking to Wine Fest to support a good cause, they are coming for the more than 500 wines from more than 150 wineries. Not wine drinker, but want to support the cause? Being that the event is held in the Napa Valley of Craft Beer, several years ago the festival organizers added craft beer tasting to the event.

Like many nonprofit fundraisers there is an auction and raffle, but in addition to those standard fundraising activities, there’s a wine luge. Yes, your Rosé will be poured into the top of this ice sculpture and will race down a serpentine route to the bottom where it will splash into a your waiting wine glass.

wine luge ice sculpture at Wine Fest in Fort Collins, Colorado. HeidiTown.com

In addition to wine, there’s also food served at Wine Fest. Catered by more than 10 of Fort Collins’ best eateries, guests will not go hungry at Wine Fest.

Wine Fest will be held Friday, April 1, 2016 at the Fort Collins Marriott Hotel in the evening. Purchase your tickets at WineFestFC.org.

Featured Festival: KRFC Birthday Bash

It’s hard to believe, but I’ve been on the radio at KRFC 88.9 FM for over a year and a half now. They came to me during the summer of 2011, asking if I’d be interested in doing a community segment, and I jumped at the chance. For 80 weeks I produced nearly 100 percent new material for the five minute show. With an increasingly active travel schedule, at the end of January, I decided to cut back to two shows per month.

My show is pre-recorded and then produced by either Dianne Fishman or her assistant Mickey. They make me sound like a professional before the show airs twice a week, once on Wednesdays just prior to 6 p.m. and Fridays at 5 p.m.

It’s been a fun experience and I look forward to continuing my relationship with KRFC.

KRFC is Fort Collins’ public radio, and it is supported entirely by volunteers and individuals who make contributions via memberships or one-time donations.

This week’s featured festival is the KRFC 10th Annual Birthday Bash, taking place on April 6 at the Sunset Event Center starting at 6:30 p.m. The musical lineup includes Great American Taxi, featuring Vince Herman of Leftover Salmon, Mama Lenny & the Remedy and Michael Kirkpatrick from The Holler! This is a fundraiser for KRFC, so come ready to spend some money on auction items.

10th Annual KRFC Birthday Bash

April 6, 2013

Sunset Event Center

General Admission $20

Purchase Tickets Now

KRFC BASH POSTER

HeidiTown on the Radio – Colorado wine & food festivals & more

wine glassIt’s time for another HeidiTown segment on KRFC 88.9 FM.

This week I cover food and wine events in Fort Collins, a unique festival high, high, high in the Rocky Mountains and much more.

Hear me on KRFC 88.9 FM on Wednesdays prior to the Bikes & Beer Show at 6 p.m. and on Fridays at 5 p.m.

OR, listen HERE!  

Featured Festival: Snow Sculpture in the Dark (Loveland, Colorado Feb. 5-10, 2013)

2013 Snow Sculpture HEIDITOWNSeveral years ago I was walking through downtown Loveland, Colorado when I ran into a man carving a humongous ice block. We got to talking and I learned that he was helping bring a snow carving competition to Loveland.

I knew immediately that this would be the perfect fit for a city already internationally known for art and sculpture, and boasting one of the largest sculpture shows in the country every summer.

In a short amount of time I’ve watched Snow Sculpture in the Dark grow from a small snow carving festival into what is now a sanctioned snow sculpture event where the winners will go on to compete as Team Colorado in the U.S. National Snow Sculpting Competition.

Ten talented teams from across Colorado will converge on Loveland on February 5th to start working on their unique snow creations. They will work every day of the week, weather permitting, until 10 p.m.

While this event has become big time, the festival is a community party that has been embraced by the residents of Loveland. It starts with snow stomping at the beginning of the week. Local businesses put together teams of at least three people to stomp the snow in preparation for the sculptors. I’m very excited for this part of the week because this year I have a HeidiTown snow stomping team. If you’d like to put a team together go here to sign up.

snow stomping at Snow Sculpture after Dark HeidiTown

Stomping snow at the 2012 Snow Sculpture in the Dark. Photo courtesy of E.L. Events.

The main event for the public gets underway on Friday, February 8, 2013. This is also the evening of Loveland’s monthly Night on the Town, art walk. In addition to art walk, downtown has put together lots of activities surrounding the snow sculpture event, such as a luminary walk, Valentine’s Day oriented fun at the Loveland Museum Gallery, entertainment at the Rialto Theater, an artisan show at The Majestic, horse-drawn carriage rides, and Loveland’s first-ever Still Parade.

What’s a Still Parade? Instead of the parade moving, the spectators move. The Still Parade, featuring floats, dance troupes, bands and more, will be held along Railroad Avenue from 6 to 7:30 p.m.

team of snow sculptors at Snow Sculpture after Dark in Loveland Colorado HeidiTown

A team of excited snow sculptors at Snow Sculpture in the Dark in Loveland in 2012. Photo courtesy E.L. Events.

Saturday, February 9, 2013 is going to be the perfect day to bring your kiddos to Loveland, Colorado to see the sculptures and participate in all sorts of family-friendly activities. There will be ice bowling, face painting, carriage rides, train rides, ice tick tack toe and more. You can also cast a vote for your favorite snow sculpture in the People’s Choice Awards. Awards will be presented at 3 p.m. on Saturday.

Insider’s tip: While in town, be sure to check out the 25 Ford Model A cars that will be parked in the lot north of 4th street and just east of Railroad Avenue.

I’m very excited to be a part of this unique Colorado event, and I hope that you will join me!

Snow Sculpture in the Dark

Loveland, Colorado

February 5-10, 2013

10 sculpture on 4th Street + a party in downtown

See map here

***

Please join Loveland Snow Sculpture on Facebook to win fun prizes!

To learn more about Snow Sculpture in the Dark, or to keep tabs on all the fun events happening in Loveland, Colorado, go to www.e-l-events.org. You can join EL Events on Facebook here.

 

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