7 Denver Shoe Stores to Build Your Shoe Collection

Denver shoe stores Dardanos

From high-end, comfort shoes to fun shoes for a bargain price, these seven Denver shoe stores will help you complete your shoe collection. (Dardano’s pictured above.)

As I’ve written before, after spending too many nights with uncomfortable, trendy shoes in my 20s, I’ve come to value what I like to think of as investment shoes…high-quality, comfortable shoes that will last. Like many women, I’ve also realized that shoe shopping can be more fun than clothes shopping because your shoe size tends to be so much more consistent. And, even if you do end up going up a shoe size (I swear I did after one pregnancy), with shoes, you don’t ever feel bad if you suddenly find yourself needing the next size up.

But, I’ve also found that, more than any other accessory or clothing item, good shoes can really enhance or detract from your life experiences. I’m still thrilled about a pair of Dansko sandals I picked up just two days before we left for Merida, Mexico, a trip where we spent hours traipsing through the hot city center.  Traditional wisdom says you never pack a brand new pair of shoes for a trip, but I knew it would be an investment in my travel experience, and it’s still the pair I bring for all sunny travels.

Here are seven of my favorite Denver shoe stores where you can collect shoes for your own life experiences…

Dardano’s, 1550 S. Colorado Boulevard

A Denver institution, Dardano’s has long been one of my go-to places for shoes, and I’m never disappointed…though it is sometimes hard to walk out with only one pair. They carry such an extensive selection of attractive, comfortable shoes (Dansko and Naot are two of my favorites!) that I always start daydreaming about long walking tours through Europe…wearing my newly purchased shoes, of course. Plus, they repair shoes too, so you can hold on to your favorite pairs even longer.

What to buy: High quality, long-lasting everyday shoes and boots for men and women. You won’t find a stiletto here, but you can find some cute heels that won’t leave you wincing in pain later.

Denver shoe stores Little Feet

Little Feet, 201 University Boulevard (Cherry Creek)

I tend to think of Little Feet as a Dardano’s for kids. With brands like Merrell, Saucony, Stride Rite, Keen, and See Kai Run, they carry quality, durable shoes that protect and cushion little growing feet. And, though we still live in the land of Velcro shoes, one day I plan to sign my kiddo up for their free shoe-tying class.

What to buy: Great everyday shoes for your kiddos up to size 6 for girls and size 7 for boys, including crib shoes.

Scarpaletto, 1436 Larimer Street (LoDo)

Scarpaletto is another long-time local shop, serving Denver for nearly 30 years. The family-owned business carries men’s and women’s shoes and boots from brands like Donald J. Pliner, Frye, and Sorel. They also carry the largest selection of Old Gringo boots in Colorado.

What to buy: Shop here for your everyday “power” shoes…the ones you want to wear to work meetings for both comfort and attractiveness.

Denver shoe stores Two Sole Sisters

Two Sole Sisters, 1078 S. Gaylord (Wash Park) and 1703 Pearl Street, Boulder

The sisters behind the Boulder shop opened a Denver location in the Wash Park neighborhood a year ago. At Two Sole Sisters, you can expect to find high-end, quality women’s shoes and boots as well as purses, and a few other fun accessories. You’ll also get extremely attentive service, and frequently by one of the sisters. Brands include AGL, Cordani, Fly London as well as these others.

What to buy: Invest in a high quality pair of women’s leather boots like these, these, or this pair that I’m coveting, and you won’t regret it.

Strut, 3611 W. 32nd Avenue (Highland Square)

A cute little neighborhood boutique, Strut carries a carefully selected line of women’s shoes as well as women’s clothing and accessories. The price point is on the higher end, but with brands like Frye, Free People and Toms, so is the quality. And, they frequently have a sales rack as they rotate new shoes into stock, so you can still find a steal of a deal.

What to buy: Women’s sandals and boots (you’ll find both on sale now) plus a cute shirt to go with it.

Denver shoe stores True Love

True Love, 42 S. Broadway (SoBo)

When I think of True Love, I think of fun shoes…bright colors, current trends, maybe something a little edgier than you’ll find elsewhere. And, you won’t believe the prices. All of the women’s shoes are $38 or under, and all of the men’s shoes are $48 and under. This is where you might find a pair of shoes to go perfectly with that one outfit, but only that outfit…but with prices like these, you won’t mind.

What to buy: Trendy shoes for men and women at a great deal.

32nd west

32nd West, 3631 W. 32nd Avenue (Highland Square)

Not exactly a shoe store, 32nd West basically carries everything for an outdoor lifestyle…but that includes shoes! This sister store to Evergreen’s Boone Mountain Sports has been open since 2011. The store is mostly geared toward men and women, but it does have a nice selection of kids’ shoes.

What to buy: Hiking and running shoes for men and women. Everyday play shoes and boots for kids.

Where’s your favorite Denver shoe store?

In Denver This Week August 19th – 25th, 2016

In Denver this week August 19th - 25th, 2016 Adults only eventsWhat’s worth knowing in Denver this week August 19th – 25th, 2016? Some really good old-school reasons to put down your phones and stop chasing Pokemon Go…board games, books, tailgating, and drive-in movies. And some of this fun is definitely adults-only.

(Apparently Ashley, in the photo above, is a local maker who creates embroidered sass. I found her at the Horseshoe Market, but you can find her online here.)

Board Game Republic invites you to unplug over a game of…well, almost anything. The newly opened restaurant and bar in the Golden Triangle (900 W. 1st Avenue) has over 600 board games on hand for you to play. The grand opening celebration is Saturday.

The Big Wonderful kicks it up a notch tomorrow with Wondergate, its own Mile High tailgating event.

The first annual Lit Crawl Denver will take place on September 2 (in conjunction with First Friday). More than 20 Denver area writers will gather at venues along Berkeley’s Tennyson Street, where they promise an evening of “literary debauchery.” And if you don’t think book geeks can deliver on this, the after-party at The Oriental is scheduled to include a burlesque show, circus acts, and perhaps the best nerdy drinking game ever…an adult drinking spelling bee.

Adult Swim, the popular cable network, will be taking over Commerce City’s 88 Drive-In on September 10 for a free night of sneak peeks into the network’s pilots as well as some unaired episodes.

A lot of effort has recently been going into making Colfax Avenue a more pleasant place to walk. Last week I mentioned that volunteers had painted on-street murals in an effort to slow speeding cars. Now WalkDenver and Colfax Business Improvement District have completed a walking audit of East Colfax, and they are asking for your input to improve the Colfax Avenue pedestrian experience further.

Who doesn’t love The Source and Avanti here in Denver? But I am curious to see what Denver’s newest food and market halls have to offer. Also makes me wonder if my kids will hang out at food halls the way we hung out at mall food courts. (And, how they will laugh at what we once thought was cool.)

So many of Denver’s urban neighborhoods are designed to promote interaction with our neighbors. I love the higher density living and front yard congregating we have in Berkeley. But many are starting to take it one step further…Denver Life Magazine explains why cohousing is on the rise in Denver. (And, why it’s probably not what you think.)

Osaka Ramen in Cherry Creek is closing, but the RiNo location will stay open. And, a new distillery will be opening just down the street in RiNo early next year.

What are you up to this weekend? A few interesting options…Urban Market in Skyline Park, Skyline Park Beer Garden (opens today!), Polish Food Festival, Aurora Global Fest, and the Incredible, Edible Gluten-Free Food Fair. Plus, The Denver Ear shares this round-up of what to do with kids this weekend. And, here are a few more can’t-miss August events in Denver.

Enjoy the weekend!

For more curated content on Denver local living and businesses, follow my Denver Dweller magazine here on Flipboard!

6 Upscale Denver Thrift Stores for the Discerning

Yet Budget-Minded Fashionista

Denver thrift stores RagsAugust  17th is National Thrift Shop Day. Check out these 6 Denver thrift stores that are more curated clothing boutique than secondhand shop. Plus the Denver children’s clothing reseller where moms-in-the-know find the best used kids’ clothes.

Back in college there was a certain cachet to shopping in thrift stores. Anyone could go into a Gap or a Banana Republic and buy something off the perfectly styled racks and mannequins. But you had to have a keen eye and refined fashion sense to dig through the dingy piles of clothes at a dusty thrift shop and come up with a stylish score.

Resale clothing shops are nothing like that today. These Denver thrift stores are an entirely different experience. Light, airy spaces where well-curated designer clothes are displayed just as attractively as you would find in any upscale retail store. These stores aren’t just for hipsters…they’re for budget-conscious and even environmentally conscious shoppers who want to find a great deal on cute clothes…not to mention a pleasant shopping experience.

Here are 6 Denver thrift stores that feel more boutique than resale shop…

Clotheshorse, 4232 Tennyson (Berkeley Tennyson)

Just around the corner from my house, this little shop has been my go-to since it opened. Over the years I’ve purchased a Coach purse, a high-end designer leather laptop tote, and pristine white denim capris from Clotheshorse…all for a steal. They also have a rather extensive jewelry collection. Hours: Mon to Fri, 10am to 6pm; Sat, 10am to 5pm.

Denver thrift stores Clotheshorse

Denver thrift stores Deja Blue

Deja Blue, 303 University Boulevard (Cherry Creek)

With clothes and accessories carefully color-coordinated and arranged, the shop fits right in with Cherry Creek’s other retail stores. Unlike the other shops featured here, Deja Blue also carries men’s clothes, accessories, and shoes, in addition to women’s. And, imagine my surprise when the sales person handed me my exciting find (a great pair of denim capris for $6!) in a Goodwill bag. That’s right…DeJa Blue is actually an upscale Goodwill store with clothing “handpicked for the fashion and community conscience.  Hours: Mon to Sat, 10am to 6pm; Sun, 11am to 5pm

Denver thrift stores Plum

Plum Consignment, 2373 Central Park Boulevard (Stapleton)

Another resale shop you’d swear was a just another cute clothing boutique, Plum Consignment carries second-hand women’s clothing and shoes in mint condition, as well as new, unsold overstock from other clothing boutiques. They even have an online store so you can browse and order late night. Hours: Tue to Sat, 10am to 6pm; Sun, 12-5pm

Rags Consignment, 201 University Boulevard (Cherry Creek) or 3129 28th Street (Boulder)

After you stop at Deja Blue, pop on over to Rags Consignment, just a two-minute walk away. (There’s also a Boulder location.) They carry an extensive selection of women’s clothing and accessories, all stylishly displayed on easy-to-search through racks. Hours: Mon to Sat, 10am to 6pm; Sun, 11am to 5pm

SecondLove, 3440 W. 32nd Avenue (Highland Square)

I’m not surprised that SecondLove gets so much reviewer love. This little resale boutique is so artfully laid out with clothes beautifully displayed. I was immediately drawn to the rack of lovely white and cream shirts pictured below…and how often do you want to buy white from a secondhand shop? Hours: Mon to Sat, 10am to 6pm; Sun: 11am to 5pm

Denver thrift stores SecondLove

Wardrobe Works, 126 W. 12th Avenue (Golden Triangle)

Owner and wardrobe consultant Robyn Wackerli has curated a shop filled with high-end designers. At Wardrobe Works, you will find Prada, Chanel, Gucci, and the like…at very non-designer prices. Hours: Wed to Sat, 12 to 5pm; also by appointment

Plus, the best-kept secret of Denver’s savviest shopping mamas…

Back on the Rack Children’s Consignment Boutique, 600 S. Holly Street (Virginia Vail)

Why invest a lot of money in a wardrobe for kiddos only to have them outgrow their clothes in no time? Back on the Rack Children’s Consignment Boutique is the Denver spot to find brand-name, gently used kids’ clothing and shoes. Hours: Mon to Fri, 10am to 5pm; Sat: 10am to 4pm.

Looking for more local favorites for Denver shopping? Check out the Denver Dweller Shop Local Guide & Directory.

In Denver This Week August 12th – 18th, 2016

In Denver This Week August 12th - 18th, 2016: Bcycle

What’s happening in Denver this week? Get a deal on renting a Denver B-Cycle now through the end of the month. Plus a few more things to know…

You can try out Denver’s B-Cycle for less than $5 through the end of August. The normal half-hour rental fee is $7 per half-hour (less if you buy a pass.) And, if you’re lucky you might be able to snag one of a handful of pink unicorn B-Cycles (two pictured above), which are sponsored by the Museum of Nature and Science.

We are especially lucky in Denver when it comes to public and alternative transportation options. But one metro community has devised a unique solution to accessing public transportation. Centennial residents can now catch a Lyft to the light rail on the city’s dime.

Are you watching the Olympics? If you’ve tired of your couch and want to engage in a little American camaraderie, get the scoop on the best places to watch the Olympics in Denver from Denver Eater and The Denver Ear.

Colorful has always been one way to describe Colfax Avenue, but now that description means something a little bit different. Volunteers are painting on-street murals on Colfax in an ongoing effort to get cars to slow down to create a safer environment for bikers and pedestrians.

Colorado could soon be home to a beer museum. I wonder if they’ll have a tasting room?

Lucky ticket holders will get to sample the best Cherry Creek North restaurant dishes tomorrow night at the Cherry Creek North Food & Wine.

Where should Denverites retire if they want to stay in Colorado? These are the top 10 Colorado cities to retire in, according to a recent report.

Have you ever wondered if you have what it takes to be a Casa Bonita cliff diver? It’s a dream that’s likely unique to those who grew up locally, but one you may finally get to realize…cliff diver auditions are happening right now.

What are you up to this weekend? A few fun options…Hops in the Hangar, Urban Party Adventure, Denver Flea in City Park, Brick Fest Live Lego Fan Experience, and Tacolandia. Here are a few more things worth sticking around for this August.

Enjoy the weekend!

Shop These Denver Card Shops for Non-Cheesy Greeting Cards

Denver card shops: WordshopWant something irreverent? Sentimental? Beautifully designed? Check, check, and check. Hallmark’s got nothing on these local Denver card shops nestled into neighborhoods across the city. (Plus, 5 local card designers you’ll want to know.)

For me, a well-chosen greeting card has always been a point of pride. Before I became a mom, when my time was still my own, I’d been known to spend more than an hour looking through cards at a store, carefully selecting the right one, the one that sounded like I could have written it if I only were that clever.

Denver card shops: cards

Greeting cards don’t need to be sappy or cheesy. Sentimental, sure. Irreverent, definitely. And, those truly clever — some might say cheeky — and always beautifully designed cards? Those aren’t mass-produced, and you rarely find them in Hallmark aisles. Those cards find homes in little gift boutiques or card stores, locally owned and carefully curated.

It wasn’t that long ago that choices were rather limited. But now there are a number of fantastic Denver shops where you can find the cards that say the thing you wish you’d thought to say. Here are 12 local favorites tucked into Denver shopping districts across the city…

5 Green Boxes, 1596 S. Pearl Street and 1573 S. Pearl Street (Platt Park)

This gift boutique is actually composed of a “big store” and a “little store,” and carries an extensive selection of cards, cute gifts and home accessories. The sign is subtle but it’s hard to miss the green home furnishings decorating the exterior.

Denver card shops: 5 Green Boxes

The Artisan Center, 2757 E. 3rd Avenue (Cherry Creek)

Launched in 1977, The Artisan Center is Denver’s original boutique for locally made items. (Although they also carry national artists too.) The shop has a couple of walls dedicated to its extensive card collection, where you’ll find something for everyone.

Decade, 56 S. Broadway, Denver, 303-733-2288 (SoBo)

Another long-time Denver institution, there was a time when Decade was one of the only spots you could find off-the-wall, non-sappy cards…cards you wouldn’t send to your grandmother. Unless, of course, you also have a grandmother with an irreverent sense of humor. (I did, and she always appreciated these.)

eXtra Ordinary Gifts, 3867 Tennyson Street (Berkeley)

This little gift shop features all Colorado-made products, and that includes one of my favorite card lines, MintWaffle, by a Colorado designer.

I Heart Denver Store, 500 16th Street #264, Denver Pavilions 2nd Level (Downtown)

The former pop-up shop dedicated to Denver-area artists includes locally designed greeting cards often with a local theme. Card designers like Paper Plates Press, another of my favorites, poke fun at Colfax Avenue, I-70 traffic, and other things only a Coloradan can truly appreciate.

Jolly Goods, 4020 Tennyson Street (Berkeley)

This shop is filled with goods by local and national makers, and that includes greeting cards. Check out owner Nicole’s own personal quirky line of cards named for the shop.

Lulu’s Furniture & Decor, 2050 W. 30th Avenue (LoHi)

I was totally surprised to see this furniture and decor shop also carries really cute greeting cards. But I probably shouldn’t have been since the store carries many artisan-crafted wares.

Denver card shops: Lulu's

Pandora on the Hill, 1227 E. 17th Avenue (Uptown)

In my Capitol Hill days (also known as my twenties), I spent a lot of time browsing in this little shop. It has since relocated a bit north, but they still stock irreverence in object form, including fun gifts and cards.

The Perfect Petal, 3600 W. 32nd Avenue (Highland Square)

We have long bought our floral arrangements from this lovely little shop, and they carry a well-curated selection of greeting cards from the traditional (weddings, birthdays, thank you) to the non-traditional (semi-serious messages for exes).

Denver card shops: Perfect PetalTalulah Jones, 1122 E. 17th Avenue (Uptown)

This shop looks small from the outside but it is invitingly brimming with gifts, home accessories, women’s accessories, bath and body products, children’s toys, children’s shoes and clothes, art, and yes, greeting cards.

Tattered Cover Book Store, 1628 16th Street (LoDo) or 2526 East Colfax (Mayfair Colfax)

Do you only shop at the Tattered Cover for books? You’re missing out on a great selection of greeting cards from understated to artistic to quirky.

Denver card stores: WildflowersWildflowers, 1201 Madison Street, (Congress Park)

This spot may be one of the best-kept secrets of Congress Park. Come into this store for a card or two, but prepared to walk out with so much more. It’s packed with fantastic gifts, and garden and home decor accessories.

Wordshop, 3180 Meade Street (Highland Square)

All cards and stationery all of the time. This is also where you will run into my husband as just about every card he’s ever given me has been purchased from this little gem of a shop…and not a cheesy one amongst them.

Don’t have time to make it to a shop? You can also buy directly online from these Denver-area card designers…

Craftboner (Be forewarned…these are probably the most awesomely irreverent greeting cards you can buy.)

Grape Street Greetings

MintWaffle

PageFiftyFive

Paper Plates Press

Where are your favorite Denver card shops?

What to Know This Week: Denver’s Best Ice Cream

Denver ice cream

What’s worth knowing in Denver this week? Denver ice cream shops are offering a whole new spin on the traditional ice cream cone.

Everyone seems to be talking about the Denver ice cream scene this week. Personally I’ve had a long-time love affair with Sweet Action Ice Cream‘s salted butterscotch. And, my 4-year-old begs for Sweet Cow at least once a week. But, I now realize that my ice cream fidelity means I’ve been missing out on all kinds of frozen creations across the city…Ice cream bombes? High Point Creamery has those. Ice cream tacos? Nuggs Ice Cream claims that creation. Denverite can help you discover more of Denver’s unbelievably awesome ice cream concoctions, 303 Magazine lets you in on Denver’s 6 must-have ice cream sandwiches, and Westword tells you where to find the best boozy ice cream treats. I’m thinking we might have to spend these last few weeks of summer trying to determine our favorite new frozen treat.

I know it can be hard to be around ice cream if you’re dairy free…I’ve been there. It’s not just ice cream that’s off-limits either. For a while I was dairy-free (the choice of my nursing baby, not me), and I discovered that meant even baked goods were verboten. And, the dairy-free options — usually vegan — were not always very enticing. But dairy-free dessert lovers finally have a place they can really indulge…Make, Believe, a vegan bakery just opened in Capitol Hill.

Have you been to any of the 14 most promising new restaurants this year? Is your favorite on the list? We’ve found Tennyson’s Mas Kaos to be the perfect place to bring visitors due to its extensive menu and vegetarian, gluten-free and dairy-free options.

Were you hoping to get a ticket to this fall’s Great American Beer Festival? Most of us were out of luck since it sold out in just over an hour this year.

If you aren’t one of the lucky ticket holders you can always console yourself at Skyline Beer Garden, set to open on August 19 and serving 12 Colorado craft beers. Or check out one of the Westword’s recommended young breweries that are elevating local IPAs.

Beer not your thing? Head south to the new urban winery that will open in Littleton later this month. Or stop by the newly opened Prodigy Coffee House (on 40th off Colorado Boulevard). This neighborhood coffee shop has a cool new business model that is really giving back to the community.

Online indie dress retailer ModCloth will open a 3-week pop-up shop at Cherry Creek, and will hold in-store events featuring local businesses Teakoe and Tin Lizzie Apothecary.

What are you up to this weekend? A few fun options…Denver Yoga Festival, Denver Vintage Jazz Festival, Denver HaHo Market, Antique Row Outdoor Summer Neighborhood Block Party, Washington Street Block Party, Sesh Fest, and the last City Park Jazz of the summer. Plan the rest of your August here.

Enjoy the weekend!

Denver Daydreaming: Beach Vacation Essentials

Denver daydreaming beach vacation essentials

We have a beach vacation coming up, so I’ve been rounding up beach vacation essentials in eager anticipation!

We are heading out of state for a beach vacation in a couple of weeks, and I have been mentally packing for it all summer long. I love the mountains, but there is something about the crashing of waves that I’ve always associated with relaxation. Here are a few beach vacation essentials that I’ve found to make my daydreams a little dreamier.  (Note: This post contains some locally based affiliate links. Read more here.)

1. Victoria 2-toned packable hat with UPF 50+, $40
A good sun hat is a must, and I love one that I can pack in my bag without worrying about it getting crumpled. Boulder company Wallaroo offers so many packable options in fun bright colors that it’s hard to choose. I like the Savannah hat or the Casual Traveler hat too. But, I love the fresh colors of the pictured lime and aqua Victoria hat.

Where to buy: Wallaroo Hat Company online. Also available at Artisan Center (2757 East Third Avenue, Denver), 5 Green Boxes (1570 S Pearl St., Denver), Birdsall and Co. (1540 South Broadway, Denver), and these other Denver shops.

2. Large Turkish Pestamel Towel, $35
I love Turkish towels for their beautiful design and functionality, and I use them constantly. I think they make the perfect beach towel because they roll up small to fit in your bag, and then dry quickly afterward. Bloom has a beautiful selection of colors, too. (Many more are in stock in the store than are shown online, so take a peek the next time you are in Union Station.)

Where to buy: Bloom by Anuschka (Cherry Creek: 2353 E. Third Avenue, Denver, or Union Station: 1701 Wynkoop Street, Denver)

3. The Infinite Monkey Theorem White Wine Ridiculously Good Wine in a Can, $15/4-pack
Yes, wine in a can! It may sound a little crazy but I’ll bet you’re pleasantly surprised once you try it. I was a little suspicious at first but couldn’t resist the novelty factor…and I’m glad I didn’t! The white wine is crisp and refreshing in the summer heat, and even has a fun little fizz to it. These 4-packs from the Denver winery pack easily in your bag so you can enjoy them while adhering to the no-glass rules of most beaches. Generally I only travel with a carry-on, but it might be worth slipping one or two into a checked bag.

Where to buy: Infinite Monkey Theorem Urban Winery Taproom (3200 Larimer Street, Denver). Also available in many local liquor stores.

4. RuMe All bag, $16.95
I almost always have a reusable, packable tote bag on me, and it has saved me more than once.  I use them for groceries, for travel, for the kids, and especially at the swimming pool where I can toss the wet suits and towels in without worrying about everything else getting ruined. For that same reason, these waterproof bags are perfect for the beach. Plus, they will also fit easily into my luggage, and this one has an outer zipped pocket, just right for small essentials. And RuMe is a Colorado company!

Where to buy: RuMe online. Also available at Tattered Cover (2526 E. Colfax Avenue, Denver; 1628 16th Street, Denver; 1701 Wynkoop Street at Union Station, Denver; and these other Colorado locations), Twist and Shout (2508 E. Colfax, Denver), and many other Colorado locations.

5. SweetBitter by Stephanie Danler, $25 (Or any other engrossing read. See the Tattered Cover’s staff picks here.)
When I envision myself lying on the beach, it’s always with a drink in one hand (check!), and in the other hand is a book. A good beach read should be engrossing but not too cerebral. This debut novel by Damler has been hyped as a page-turner about New York living and the exclusive restaurant scene, and I think it will be just what I need.

Where to buy: Tattered Cover (2526 E. Colfax Avenue, Denver; 1628 16th Street, Denver; 1701 Wynkoop Street at Union Station, Denver; and these other Colorado locations.)

What’s your favorite thing to pack for a beach vacation? I’d love to know before I go!

Monthly Denversions: Things to Do

in August in Denver

August in Denver

How will you spend this August in Denver? From festivals to markets, block parties to outdoor concerts, it’s your last chance to take advantage of the Denver summer fun. And, if all else fails…nothing says “Denver summer” like running through the fountains at Union Station!

August always seems to bring a touch of wistfulness with it — where did the summer go? I always start the season so excited about all of the wonderful things we will do, especially here in Denver. And, as summer comes to an end, I am disappointed that we didn’t do nearly as much as I’d hoped.

One of the things I keep meaning to get to is City Park Jazz. This is such an awesome community event…and it’s free. Next weekend is our last chance, so I’m hopeful the stars will align (meaning my kiddos will cooperate), so that we can we can finally enjoy this Denver tradition.

And, starting tomorrow Denver Days are here again…through August 7.  Launched in 2012 by the Denver Mayor’s Office, Denver Days fosters positive neighbor interaction across the city by encouraging block parties, small park gatherings, and other small-scale social events where the focus is on being, well, neighborly. We will definitely be celebrating by hanging with our neighbors at our annual block party next weekend. Even if you haven’t planned anything formal, there are plenty of other ways you can still reach out to your neighbors. You can find some inspiration here!

Here are a few more fun happenings this August in Denver…

August 1: Colorado Proud Follow Your Fruits and Veggies Journey Kickoff, Colorado History Center

August 4: Urban Market, Skyline Park

August 4-7: Denver Yoga Festival, Union Station Plaza and Oxford Hotel

August 5-7: Denver Vintage Jazz Festival, City Hall Events Center

August 5: Denver HaHo Market, Santa Fe Drive (between 10th and 11th)

August 6: Antique Row Outdoor Summer Neighborhood Block Party (1200-1700 S. Broadway)

August 6:  Washington Street Block Party, Washington Street Community Center (809 S. Washington Street)

August 6: Sesh Fest: A Beer Festival, Highlands Masonic Event Center (3350 Federal)

August 7: City Park Jazz (The last one of the summer!)

August 13: Hops in the Hangar, Wings Over the Rockies Museum

August 13: Urban Party Adventure, The Matchbox (2625 Larimer Street, Denver)

August 13-14: Denver Flea, City Park

August 20: Urban Market, Skyline Park

August 20-21:  Polish Food Festival, St. Joseph Polish Roman Catholic Parish, Denver

August 25: Urban Market, Skyline Park

August 26: RiNo Music Festival, 3715 Chestnut Place, Denver

And, of course, those events that run all summer…

Civic Center Eats (Tue, Wed, Thu), Civic Center Park.

Denver’s Farmers Markets

Plus, all of those Colorado summer festivals!

Enjoy the weekend!

Shop Denver Back-to-School Sales This Week!

Shop Denver Back-to-School Sales This Week, NestShop the Denver back-to-school sales at our local stores this week. You’ll find great deals on adorable clothes and shoes.  Check out my guest post on The Denver Ear for details, and then plan to grab lunch at one of these nearby restaurants.

There are so many great back-to-school sales going on at Denver’s local shops this week. I know this because, for the first time ever as a parent, I am doing a little school shopping for my 4-year-old who is about to start at our neighborhood community school. We’re both feeling lots of mixed emotions about it!

We’re shopping for shoes and clothes this week, and I was happy for the opportunity to contribute a guest post on The Denver Ear on what we discovered. Check out my post, Psst…Back-to-School Denver Sales to see which local kids’ stores have deals on clothes, shoes, and even carry backpacks and fun school supplies.

As a kid, I remember school shopping being something of an event, often capped off with a special lunch or dinner out with my mom. Want to make an afternoon of it, too? Plan to grab lunch at one of these nearby spots…

Shop for shoes at Cherry Creek North’s Little Feet (201 University Boulevard, Denver), and clothes at Heloise (300 University Boulevard, Denver) and Hollyhocks (2817 East Third Avenue, Denver. Reopening on August 1). Then walk over to Syrup for a late breakfast or lunch. The lunch menu offers burgers and sandwiches, but pancakes at lunch would be a fun post-shopping treat, too. Afterwards stop by Nest or Hatched by Nest, just a few minutes’ drive away.

You can find some cute clothing basics, a pair of shoes, backpack and lunch bento box at Uptown’s Talulah Jones (1122 E. 17th Avenue). Then head down the block to Gumbo’s (1033 E. 17th Avenue, Denver). I’m a sucker for southern fare, and they have great picks for kids like popcorn shrimp or pulled pork (undressed) po’ boy. It’s a further jaunt (probably a car ride), but Steuben’s (523 E. 17th Avenue, Denver) is always a favorite for parents and kids both.

And, be sure to check out The Denver Ear post here for all of the details on the local sales!

What’s Happening Around Denver This Week? Experimental Theater and ’90s Nostalgia

Around Denver this Week: Experimental Theater, '90s NostalgiaIt’s mid-July and the summer afternoons are half gone. How are you spending your summer days? Perhaps you want to spend a lazy afternoon with a Colorado bloody mary in hand? Here are some fun happenings around Denver this week…and a few more things worth knowing.

Have you heard about the experimental theater production called Sweet & Lucky? It’s presented by Denver Center for the Performing Arts but is held in a 16,000-square-foot warehouse on Brighton Boulevard. The audience actually follows the performers through the maze of designed rooms, and interacts with them. Sounds absolutely surreal and I’m totally intrigued. The original series sold out but they just added shows through August 7!

Tickets are still on sale for the Governor’s Cup Wine Tasting on August 4, which pairs award-winning Colorado wines with small plates by noted area chefs.

When was the last time you walked down Colfax? WalkDenver’s “Art on the Ave” artists have transformed utility boxes along Colfax Avenue into works of art, creating a more pleasant pedestrian experience. The People’s Choice winners were selected this week by 900 area voters.

The Stompin’ Ground Games could be coming to a neighborhood near you soon. I love what this guy is doing to build community in neighborhoods across Denver! (As an aside, don’t forget that Denver Days are coming up in two weeks.)

The headline of this New York Times article implies Denver’s millennial appeal has a lot to do with the pot shops, but if you read it, it actually captures a snapshot of Denver’s lifestyle and culture much better than that. (But I still take issue with the claim that Denver has emerged from “urban irrelevance.”) If you don’t have time to slog through the entire article, the Denverite cheekily sums up the key points.

So, I’m about to show my age here, but I was kind-of excited to learn Taste of Colorado will be hosting Boyz II Men at Civic Center Park this summer. And, while we’re on the subject of growing up with ’90s music…this review of the recent “I Love the ’90s Tour” totally made me laugh and feel nostalgic for these one-hit wonders. Excuse me while I get lost in my high school days for a few minutes.

If you can’t get enough of Pokemon Go, you might want to join the 1000+ respondents who have RSVP’d to what was originally planned as a much more modest Denver Pokemon Go Bar Crawl on August 20.

There’s no doubt there’s recently been a lot of tension centered on police forces around the country. So, the timing of the release of this video of Denver police dancing to Ain’t Too Cool to Dance probably couldn’t be better. Yes, it’s a little corny, but that’s a good thing…what better reminder of our shared humanity than the goofy joy that dancing brings?

Enjoy the weekend!

P.S. Looking for something to do this weekend? Here’s a listing of fun July events.