Art & Luxury in Denver: Her Paris & The Oxford Hotel

What’s better than a day at the Denver Art Museum? A day at the art museum followed by a stay at The Oxford Hotel in downtown Denver.

Art & Luxury in Denver Her Paris & The Oxford Hotel Photo courtesy of The Oxford Hotel

Photo courtesy of The Oxford Hotel

Earlier this month we participated in The Oxford Hotel’s Denver Art Museum package which includes VIP access to Her Paris: Women Artists in the Age of Impressionism. It’s the perfect combination because the woman featured in this exhibit would have likely stayed at The Oxford Hotel if they had visited the Mile High City at the Turn of the Century. After all, any woman who had time to paint during this era came from a family of means.

Art & Luxury in Denver Her Paris & The Oxford Hotel, photo courtesy of The Oxford Hotel

Photo courtesy of The Oxford Hotel

The package includes two VIP tickets to the show, complimentary valet parking at The Oxford, transportation to and from the exhibit in the hotel’s gorgeous Cadillac and a complimentary hotel upgrade based on availability.

Believe me, there’s no better way to impress your significant other this holiday season than with this Denver hotel package. Continue reading

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

HeidiTown on the Radio – Getting ready for a Colorado Christmas

Estes Park Colorado holiday photo

Estes Park, Colorado lit up for the holidays. (Photo courtesy of, photo by Eric Rose)

It’s hard to believe, but the holidays are almost upon us, and while you may have been ignoring this fact, many have not. Last December’s post entitled “Top 5 Colorado Christmas Towns” has been trending here for nearly two months already. Apparently, many people are planning a Colorado Christmas this year.

I hope that this week’s segment on KRFC 88.9 FM will help you get in the spirit. I’ve found some delightful activities  including tree lighting events and holiday theater sure to get you in the proper mood for mulled wine, gingerbread cookies and roasted chestnuts.

So snuggle up with a mug of hot chocolate (I prefer it with a shot of peppermint schnapps) and listen to this week’s radio segment HERE.

Featured Festival: The Grand Illumination of Downtown Denver

denver city & county building holiday lights

Photo with permission from

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.

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


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


Yves St. Laurent & the Brown Palace: A Weekend of Luxury in Denver, Colorado

Denver Art Museum sign on lamp post

This is the only United States venue for this exhibit that is on display through July 8, 2012. Photo by H.M. Kerr-Schlaefer, all rights reserved.

My husband and I just celebrated 10 years of marriage in style. We spent a high-end Denver weekend with a trip to the Yves St. Laurent exhibit at the Denver Art Museum and a stay at the Brown Palace Hotel.

Yves Saint Laurent: The Retrospective at the Denver Art Museum

I sport a rather laidback Colorado style, so folks may be surprised that as a little girl I filled binders with clothing designs; everything from medieval princess dresses to ready-to-wear business suits.

By the time I entered my teenage years, grunge had become popular and living in the Pacific Northwest, I was at the epicenter of the flannel and ripped jeans trend. I bought my first pair of Birkenstocks and didn’t look back.

I never lost my love of haute couture, however, and you can often catch me watching shows like “America’s Next Top Model” and “Project Runway,” albeit wearing a comfy pair of flannel pants and a t-shirt.

When I heard the Yves St. Laurent exhibit was coming to the Denver Art Museum, I had to see it. Thankfully, my husband is an artist and will always happily tag along to any art-oriented event that I want to attend.

We visited the exhibit on a Saturday and it was packed with well-dressed women. We counted exactly four men in the crowded lobby. That being said, while my husband’s response to my ooohs and awwws throughout the exhibit was always “that’s cute,” he actually found St. Laurent’s story inspirational from an art perspective.

On busy days you may have a wait because they stagger entry times into the exhibit. Our wait was less than ten minutes, and I was happy to see that the museum staff was handing out portable tour guides. I’ve only seen these useful devices at large English museums. They look like one of those huge, old cell phones from the eighties. Each is equipped with a key pad and when you punch in the numbers corresponding with the various exhibits a nice voice tells you all about it – no reading required. It makes for a very quiet trip through the exhibit, despite the crowds.

Yves Saint Laurent- The Retrospective curated by Florence Muller,Pierre Berge

Installation view of Yves Saint Laurent: The Retrospective at the Denver Art Museum.

St. Yves Laurent was an influential clothing designer who lived from 1936 to 2008. He came to prominence in the French fashion world in the early 1960s, and started making waves right away. He was the first designer to introduce leather on the runway, shocking, not nearly as scandalous as his biggest contribution to the fashion world, the ladies pantsuit.

There was even a saying at the time: “If it’s pants, it’s Yves.”

Yves Saint Laurent_ Tuxedo with pants

Yves Saint Laurent, Tuxedo with pants, haute couture collection, Fall-Winter 1966. Black barathea and satin silk, white organdy blouse. © Foundation Pierre Bergé-Yves Saint Laurent, Paris / Photo A. Guirkinger.

Walking through the exhibit one experiences St. Laurent’s evolution as a designer, although he never moved away from putting women in designs that had been previously cut for men, like square shoulders. It’s also a walk through pop culture history.

St. Laurent is credited with being the first French clothing designer to develop an entire ready-to-wear line. He was quoted as saying, “Down with the Ritz, up with the streets!” referring to his clothing line for the everyday woman.

If you enjoy art, fashion and history, you should see Yves Saint Laurent: The Retrospective at the Denver Art Museum. This is the only United States venue for this exhibit that is on display through July 8, 2012. During the last 10 days of the exhibit, the museum will have extended hours. To learn more and purchase tickets go to

Brown Palace Hotel & Spa

Bright and sparkly new hotels are fine, but historic hotels have always been my favorite. They are steeped in history, and none more than the Brown Palace in Denver, Colorado. Nearly every President has stayed at the hotel since Roosevelt, and stories from this place could fill a book, and probably do.

tea at the Brown Palace

Afternoon tea at the Brown Palace in Denver, Colorado. Photo by H.M. Kerr-Schlaefer, all rights reserved.

A stay at the Brown Palace isn’t cheap, but you get what you pay for and more. You are treated like an honored guest from the moment they hand you champagne at the front desk. Everyone is genuinely nice without being pretentious – this is, after all, Colorado.

We’ve stayed at the Brown Palace a number of times, including on our wedding night, so it has a special place in our hearts. We always have a drink at Ship’s Tavern and sometimes indulge in breakfast at Ellington’s.

The rooms are comfortable with historic touches combined with modern conveniences like flat screen televisions. I would encourage you to check out the “specials and packages“ section on their website. I always book one of these options.

Currently, you can reserve the Designer Package which gets you two VIP passes to the Yves St. Laurent exhibit, plus a delicious chocolate surprise in your room. Visit the hotel online at



Celebrate the holidays in downtown Denver at the Christkindl Market

Christkindl Market LogoHere is an event that you should make part of your family tradition this holiday season.

The Denver Christkindl Market runs for nearly a month in downtown. You can make a day of it – attend the market for lunch and shopping, do a little ice skating and then try one of Denver’s fabulous restaurants for dinner – perhaps Euclid Hall or Cafe Berlin.

So without further ado, here’s all you need to know about the Denver Christkindl Market:

As you plan your holiday schedule, this is an event you must include on your list. It’s the 11th Annual Denver Christkindl Market at Skyline Park along the 16th Street Mall. Running November 25 through December 23, this event revives the old German traditions surrounding Christmas…  continue reading this article by clicking here.

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