Staycation | Glenwood Springs CO

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It was totally time for a staycation for the Grecos! With a baby, a staycation is way less stress, less planning and easier to do on a whim. Nick and I decided it was time for a weekend away so our minds could be in "vacation mode" for a few days. We are so blessed to live in a state where just a few hour drive and we can be in one of the most beautiful parts of the world, the Rocky Mountains. Nick grew up going to Glenwood Springs every summer with his family and he has the most pleasent memories from that so he's been dying to take baby G up there. We stayed up there for two nights, visited the Hot Springs pool and explored the town with our little guy. It was the perfect spur of the moment getaway and we are so glad we went up there. 

Glenwood Springs is about a three hour drive from Denver, we stopped in Silverthorne CO to break up the drive which seemed to help Giulian. Warning, if you have a baby and are doing any traveling through the mountains, remember that the altitude change can hurt their ears and since they don't know how to pop their ears they can get extremely upset and frustrated. Trying to get them to drink a bottle or take a pacifier is a smart idea to try and loosen the pressure from their ears. It was super sad, on the drive home Giulian was in a lot of pain from the altitude change and ear pressure. We just took a few extra stops and tried to get him to take a bottle.

There are so many fun things to do in Glenwood, the Hot Springs pool, hiking, wandering around the adorable town, the Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park is a blast, or you could even take a drive up to Aspen (just an hour away). 

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Like I said before, our absolute favorite thing to do in Glenwood Springs is go to the Hot Springs pool. Really, you can't visit Glenwood without it!!   It's the largest Hot Springs pool in the entire world you guys, how amazing is that!  And because it is so large, it isn't overcrowded. Not to say that a ton of people don't go there every day, but there is just a lot of space to hold all of us tourists.  They have slides, multiple pools at different temperatures, spa like jets in the warmer pool, there is a kiddie pool, a diving board...it's basically the best place ever! The pool is surrounded with beautiful red mountains, and if you go in the spring they are covered in lush greenery which gives a jungle/forest feel and is absolutely stunning.  

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We are not experts when it comes to every place to eat, drink and everything to do in Glenwood Springs. But we've been there several times and I thought it'd be fun to share a few of our favorite eateries with you. There are a few spots to eat in Glenwood that we would recommend. For ice cream, check out Kaleidoscoops. They have dozens of flavors, hand dipped cones and we've loved that spot for years. For breakfast make sure and go to Sweet Coloradough. Health nuts, this place is not for you, the donuts at this place are the best! If you're looking for a real treat, try their "11-Layer Croughnut" (holy calories) but it is delicious. They also have tasty coffee and breakfast sandwiches. For lunch or dinner try The Pullman. They have one of my favorite salads of all time, the handmade gnocchi salad. Shoot now I'm gonna crave that all day! Anyways, those are our go to "yummy" spots when we visit Glenwood Springs. I'm sure there are so many other delicious places we still need to try!  

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That's all I've got for ya! I just wanted to share a bit of our Staycation with you. It was a wonderful reminder to us that we can have a great time as a family and go in vacation mode without even hopping on an airplane. Our own backyard has so many amazing adventures, towns to explore and sights to see. Plus, Baby G is new to Colorado and has yet to see it all, so it's our job to show him around his home state! 

 

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7 Fun Activities To Do In or around Denver Colorado This Summer

Summer is just around the corner! I am a Colorado native and have lived in the Denver area my entire life. There are so many fun, and family friendly activities, fairs, festivals, and events going on in Denver every summer and I thought it'd be helpful for me to share some of the best ones with you! Each of these events is absolutely worth attending and a perfect way to spend a summer day with your friends and family. 

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Film on the rocks is where they play a movie in the outdoor amphitheater at Red Rocks. Admission starts at $15. I've attended this several times and it's always an amazing experience. We've seen Almost Famous, Jurassic Park and The Sandlot, they typically play classics that almost everyone enjoys. The movie starts at dusk, I recommend getting there early to watch the sun go down, it's one of the most beautiful sights, Red Rocks Amphitheater is just as breathtaking to me as the Greco Theater in Sicily (and that's saying a lot, trust me). 

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This event has food, drinks, entertainment, culture, and dragon boat races you can watch. It's a free event and this year it'll be July 28th and 29th at Sloan's Lake Park in Denver. 

There are a number of farmers' markets in the Denver area, just click the link above to see locations and schedules. I of course love getting fresh produce and shopping from local farmers at these markets, but they are also just a fun social event too. You can eat, drink, shop and wander around in the gorgeous summer weather. They are wonderful events for families and the best part is they are free and create an amazing sense of community. 

This is unique because you get to see artists in action. You get to enjoy the food, wine tasting and music while the artists sit on the ground working on their chalk art. There is also an area where kids will have the opportunity to create some of their own chalk art. It's a family friendly event. and the kids will have a blast.

For me personally, hiking is one of my favorite Colorado activities. We are blessed by such beauty in this state and until you hike you don't really get a taste of it. There are an unbelievable amount of trails and paths you can take, ranging in different difficulty levels (make sure to look into that before starting a trail). I have linked above an article that the Denver Post did on 10 hikes to do this summer, it's worth checking out. 

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From 5:30-9:30 pm you get to enjoy the art district on Santa Fe on the first Fridays of the month. There are hundreds of artists that participate, so if you are into art this is a great community event to join in on! Oh and there;s also food trucks (always fun). 

Above I have linked another Denver blogger's post, she did an amazing job covering where to watch outdoor movies in Denver. There are several options to choose from, all around town. I've attended the movie and music in the park in Golden, CO and it was a blast. They have food trucks, music, and of course when the sun goes down they show a movie. It's the perfect summer night activity for family night, date night or girls night out. Anyone would have a blast attending movie in the park. 


 
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Ice Castle Dillon Colorado

With a new baby and our life being very different these days, we are loving local adventures. So, when we heard there was an Ice Castle being built in Dillon, Colorado (about an hour from us) and we got invited to check it out before it opened to the public, we had to go! Dillon is west from Denver in the mountains, and we lucked out with clear roads on our way up there. My husband and I went, and we took my sister and her three kids. My niece is five years old and was thrilled to see "Elsa's Castle". I can't even imagine how magical that was for her, to be a little girl who loves the movie Frozen and to get to see an ice castle that is super similar to what Elsa built in the movie, too fun!

We left the baby with my mom in Denver, and honestly I wouldn't say this is a baby friendly outing... even with boots on it could be easy to slip and fall which with a baby could be very bad (obviously). On top of that, it is unbelievably cold which probably isn't ideal for a baby. If I'm being honest though, Giulian probably would have liked this adventure more than Mexico, he hated the heat and humidity (he is a Colorado baby 100%).  And it was really cool to see parents bring their little ones (most slightly older than Giulian, like 1 year and older) to the castle on sleds and slide them around. 

The castle was a blast! They had ice tunnels you could climb through, slides for the kids, lights under the ice to light up the castle and create a magical ambiance, and the icicles were beautiful. Because we were there early, and Colorado has been slightly warmer this year, the castle wasn't completely finished. They are working on making the castle bigger and better as we speak and they even have bigger slides, more of a maze to go through, and lots more ice to put on. So as much fun as we had, and as cool as it was it is only getting better as they continue to add to it.

They  also served hot cocoa and cookies after wandering the castle to warm you up, which was much needed. If you are lucky enough to have an ice castle being built near you (I think there are currently only six in the US), you should totally go check it out. It's a fun winter outing that is perfect for the whole family. I'm so grateful that Colorado was one of the locations for an ice castle this year. It's a great winter bucket list adventure! 

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