Fall Fun in Denver

Fall in the Denver area can be a magical time for the entire family. From a health perspective, it is always a good idea to get outside, breathe in the fresh air and have fun! From pumpkin farms to corn mazes and haunted houses, there is an abundance of opportunities to get some exercise and make lasting memories for years to come. Below is a list of some of our favorite places for children and adults to enjoy this fall.

Pumpkin farms. Picking pumpkins is all about family fun. Enjoy enormous amounts of fun picking out those perfect pumpkins for this year’s Jack O’ Lanterns!

  • Flat Acres Farm is located at 11321 Dransfeldt Road in Parker and is open through Halloween. Don’t miss the hayrides and petting zoo!
  • Anderson Farms is located at 6728 County Road in Erie and is open through the first of November. Enjoy a rich family atmosphere with plenty for the kids to do.

Corn mazes. Get lost in nonstop fun at these area corn mazes!

  • Corn Maze at Denver Botanic Gardens at Chatfield is open every Friday, Saturday and Sunday through the 1st of November. Aside from corn mazes of different shapes and sizes, you can also enjoy pony rides, hayrides and giant pillow jumping!
  • Haunted Field of Screams, located at 10270 Riverdale Road, is open every Thurs-Sat from now until the end of October. Get ready for hair-raising thrills as you test your nerves by exploring the Haunted Field of Screams, Dead Man’s Night Maze or Zombie Paintball Massacre. For added chills, you can experience all three!

Haunted houses. Prepare to be thrilled and terrified at these heart-stopping destinations!

  • The 13th Floor Haunted House is located at 4120 Brighton Blvd. and is open until November 14th. Visit the 13th Floor Haunted House and discover the eerie truth behind the legend of the 13th floor!
  • The Asylum is open until November 1st at 6100 E. 39th and features three terrifying attractions. This year’s attractions are Primitive Fear: Patient Alpha, Post Mortem: The Escape and The Abandoned.

Other Halloween-themed attractions around town. Here are some less scary events that may be more suitable for younger children.

  • The Trick or Treat Train, at the Colorado Railroad Museum, is open from 10am to 4pm on Halloween. Take this historic locomotive ride while trick-or-treating through family-friendly Railroad Halloween Town!
  • Boo at the Zoo is located at the Denver Zoo and is open from 9am-5pm on Oct. 24, 25, 31 and Nov. 1. Boo at the Zoo features trick-or-treating, animal exhibitions and entertainment the whole family will enjoy!

Do you have any favorite fall attractions to add to this list? Please share in the comments below!

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Mother's day ideas

7 Ideas to Make this Mother’s Day Special

This Sunday is Mother’s Day. One day devoted to appreciating the beloved women in our lives. For someone who did so much (and probably still does) one day is hardly enough, so the least we can do is make sure their day is extra special – beyond just the typical flowers and pedicures. Here are some ideas to show our leading ladies how important they are to us:

  • Grab brunch. It’s her special day, and she’s probably going to want to catch some extra zzz’s by sleeping in – she’s earned it. Bruch is a great way to grab a late breakfast and there are so many places in the Denver Metro area with delicious brunch menus. For something a little different try afternoon tea at the Brown Palace, which features scones, tea pastries and tea sandwiches along with a variety of delicious tea flavors.
  • Check out some art. The Denver Art Museum is the largest art museum between the West Coast and Chicago and is known for its American Indian art. General admission is free for kids. Also check out the Kirkland Museum of Fine & Decorative Art, which features an extensive collection of interior decorative art from 1875 to 1990.
  • Get some gardening inspiration. Mother’s day in Colorado is synonymous with the start of growing season. The Denver Botanical Gardens is North America’s largest collection of plants from cold temperate climates around the world, and features numerous xeriscaped exhibits with drought-tolerant plants from around the world.
  • Take her to a Rockies Game. This Sunday, the Rockies face off against the Los Angeles Dodgers, in what should be an exciting divisional matchup. Rockies games are great fun for the whole family, and Coors Field is one of the most enjoyable places to spend a day outside. After the game, there are plenty of places to grab a nice dinner in LoDo.
  • Bike ride on Cherry Creek Trail. If we’re lucky enough to get a reprieve from the rain, take a bike ride down the Cherry Creek Trail. You can rent bikes from Denver B-Cycle, picking them up at DU or Cherry Creek, and taking them to Downtown Denver.
  • Colorado Chocolate Festival. This festival runs Friday and Saturday of Mother’s Day Weekend. What better way to treat your mom or wife than to “30,000 sq. feet of Chocolate Heaven”?
  • Take a tour at Celestial Seasonings. You’ll see the whole process from raw ingredients all the way to your cup. Along the way you’ll get to sample many of their tea flavors. The trip really gets interesting when you get to the mint room — the smell is intense!

One day a year doesn’t seem like enough time to appreciated the awesome women in our lives, but we can at least make their day at little more special. What are you planning for Mother’s Day?

Brain Health Shmrain Health: Keys to Healthy Brain Living

When you think about health what comes to mind? Nutrition, fitness, maybe even stress-relieving activities? What about brain health? Cognitive decline is a scary concept, but what can we do about it? Studies have shown that embracing healthy lifestyle habits not only improves one’s overall health but can also slow and even halt cognitive decline. It’s never too late to actively protect your brain. From teenage years into elderly living, the brain continually rewires and adapts. Start protecting your brain by adopting a lifestyle that includes plenty of exercise, a nutritious diet and staying cognitively and socially active. Read on to learn how these easy changes can keep your brain mentally sharp.

Exercise
Staying physically fit is the number one way to stay mentally fit. Similar to car care, brain tune-ups will not only increase performance but longevity as well. Sedative lifestyles without physical fitness negatively impacts brain function. The number one cause of Alzheimer’s and dementia is the building up of plaque in the brain. Decreased blood flow from lack of cardiovascular activities allows unchecked plaque growth, increasing the chances of, amongst other factors, cognitive decline. It’s never too late to start. Join the local gym, take exercise classes and start running, jogging, or walking. Start improving your brain and body health today.

Nutrition
Like mom used to say, always eat your veggies! Vegetables and fruit should be consumed everyday. Alzheimer’s Association research has indicated that low-saturated and low-fat diets reduce chances of heart disease and cognitive decline. Decrease your intake of fats, red meats, sweets and sugared beverages and sodium. Focus on fruits, vegetables, nuts and grains. Instead of butter, try healthy fats such as olive oil. Instead of salt, try incorporating herbs and spices. Many diseases of the body are linked to diet and consumption. Choose a healthier diet to protect your heart and mind.

Mental Sharpness
Challenging yourself is a sure way to improve mental fitness. Learning a new skill, developing a hobby and reading more are just a few examples of positive mental activities. Start playing table tennis. Table tennis is the best activity for your brain, and is one of the few physical activities considered a ‘brain sport’. Table tennis improves motor skills, strategy, memory and is a great social activity. Stay mentally sharp, use it or lose it!

Socially Active
According to the Alzheimer’s Association, social engagement is associated with reduced rates of disability and may also reduce the risk of depression. Instead of messaging someone online, talk to them in person or call them on the phone. Strike up conversations with others and listen to what they have to say. Social engagement is a fundamental element for self-sustainability and preservation. Protect your noggin and get social.

Start protecting your brain today. Body builders did not become chiseled by exercising every now and again. Dedication to their craft got them to their goal. You too can reach your goals by setting small objectives to reach, building up confidence and genuine fulfillment. Make plans to set aside time for your brain. Make notes and keep track of activities. Log your achievements and work towards bettering your mind and body. Brain health should be a serious concern. Living a healthy lifestyle has permeable effects on your life and those around you. Stay active, eat healthy and socialize. Challenge yourself along the way and promote healthy living in everything you do.

Beat the Heat, Chill Out!

Summertime can get hectic in Colorado. Trying to pack in as many outdoor activities as possible while the weather is nice can make it easy to forget to relax. However, it’s important to remember that “relaxing” is an important factor in improving overall mental and physical health, and it doesn’t necessarily mean doing nothing.

Here are some great ways to reap relaxation’s rewards:

Go Outside. We all know the statistics; Colorado has more than 300 days of sunshine a year, so remember to put on sunscreen first. Studies show that spending time outdoors can improve mood, outlook on life, and overall ability to fight off infectious diseases. Whether having a barbeque or enjoying lemonade on the porch, spending time outdoors is an excellent way to relax.

Yoga. One of the fastest growing health trends in America today, yoga currently has 30 million practitioners in the US. Chances are if you haven’t tried yoga, someone you know has, and more and more yoga centers are popping up around the country. From boosting immunity, decreasing stress and anxiety, to improving flexibility, the benefits from yoga abound. 5280 has a great link for those looking to find a yoga studio in the Denver area: http://bit.ly/1yy3FoV.

Meditate. No longer just for Buddhist monks, meditation is starting to gain traction in the mainstream. Similar to yoga, meditation decreases ones levels of stress and anxiety. It also improves memory and the levels of gray matter in the brain; gray matter is responsible for your brain’s ability to focus as well as slow down your brain’s aging cycle. There are numerous ways to meditate, but one of the most popular methods is to simply follow your breath. For more information on meditation, this is an excellent link for beginning techniques: http://bit.ly/1tiAq7X.

Plant a garden. There are numerous benefits to gardening, and it’s not too late to begin one this year. For one, you get to grow high quality, healthy food in your yard. It also is responsible for decreasing levels of stress and anxiety and has been known to help individuals living with depression. Planting a garden is also a fun activity for the whole family, and there is no better way to get kids eating kale. The Denver post just released an eBook on gardening in Colorado, you can find more information about where to download it here: http://dpo.st/1jUCOAu.

Sleep. A good night rest is vital to mental and physical health. Between work and late night parties, it is easy to get behind on your sleep. Lack of sleep can lead to memory loss and anxiety. Medical studies show that 6-8 hours a night is best for your health, and you many need even more if you are participating in numerous physical outdoor activities.

Summer can be a busy time of year, but it’s important to remember that getting a decent amount of relaxation time can significantly improve mental and physical well being. So relax, it’s what the doctor ordered.