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Saturday 30 November 2019

A Christmas Activity Advent Calendar: Colorado

Does your family have an advent calendar?

I grew up with the classic cardboard advent calendar with little pieces of chocolate hidden behind each panel. It was something I always looked forward to as December approached - even though the chocolate was never very good!

Our annual advent calendar is still something that I get very excited about each year, but it's rather different from the ones I grew up with. Each year our advent calendar is filled with vouchers holiday themed activities and events rather than chocolate. Well, it does have chocolate too, but the vouchers are the main thing.

I've shared our advent calendar here on Little Hiccups many times in the past, including a round up of the featured activities (which you can see here), but as many of the activities that I include are based in the Bay Area, it's time for me to add some new Colorado based activities.

While I'm sad that I won't be taking the kids to the Giant Gingerbread House at the Fairmont in San Francisco, watching the parade of lighted boats at Berkeley Marina, or checking our the light displays on Christmas Tree Lane in Alameda, I've learned that December in Colorado is packed full of holiday fun. In fact, there are so many parades, markets, lighting displays and Santa visits in our area that I'm a little overwhelmed narrowing it down!

I've been making lists of activities and events in the Boulder and Denver area that I think my kids will love and today I'm sharing them with you. We visited Colorado last year over the kids' Christmas break, so while we're still relatively new to the area, some of the activities that I'm including are not entirely new to our family. They tried and tested - and kid approved!

Welcome to Golden
Playing on a frozen creek in Estes Park
Checking out the Holiday Lights in Golden
Warming up with a hot chocolate at Blossoms of Light at Denver Botanic Garden
Denver City Hall

Here are the new activities I'll be adding to our advent calendar this year (click the links for more details):

Check out the colorful lights on the Mile High Tree in Denver
Ice skate outdoors in Downtown Denver or Louisville 
Visit Blossoms of Light at Denver Botanic Gardens 
Check out the illuminations and ice carving at Zoo Lights at Denver Zoo
Walk through the Ice Castles in Dillon
Fill up on German treats at the Christkindl Market in Denver
Watch the Parade of Lights in Louisville 
Take a dog cart ride in Golden
Visit Santa's Village at Chatfield Farms
Ride the Holiday Carousel in Downtown Denver
Take a walk through the Holiday Lights in Golden
Watch the Lights of December Parade in Boulder
Drive through the lights of Christmas in Color 
Take a horse and carriage ride through Downtown Louisville
Watch the holiday parade in Downtown Golden
Play on a frozen creek (we did this is Estes Park last year and the kids LOVED it)
Check out the Christmas displays at Union Station in Denver
Watch the light display at City Hall in Denver
Find a Snowman at Freezie Fest in Boulder

Ice skating in Downtown Denver
Ice Castles in Dillon during the day
Ice Castles in Dillon in the evening
Blossoms of Light at Denver Botanic Gardens
Union Station in Denver
Driving through Christmas In Color

If you live in Colorado (or have visited over the holidays) and have other suggestions, I'd love to hear!

Wednesday 27 November 2019

Natura Obscura

If you've been following along for a while you'll know that I'm a big fan of interactive and immersive art exhibitions. The kids and I visited quite a few of these sorts of interactive exhibitions and pop ups while living in the Bay Area, and we always thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. Art is always more fun when you can be a part of it, right? So when I came across Natura Obscura, an immersive art exhibition in Denver, I knew we had to go check it out.

Natura Obscura, on display at the Museum of Outdoor Arts, is a self guided experience where visitors will find themselves immersed in six rooms of art, all with a link to nature. When you step through the doors, you're taken to a dream world, where forest spirits light up under black light, messages on the floor and walls lead the way, fairy tales comes to life, and soft music creates a calm atmosphere.

Friday 22 November 2019

Holiday Pajamas for the Kids

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. 

Can you believe that the holiday season is almost here? Just over a month until Christmas. Eek!

With the holidays fast approaching I've been thinking about all of our annual traditions and how some of these will be changing due to our move to Colorado. No more visiting the giant gingerbread house at the Fairmont, no more checking out the lights on Christmas Tree Lane in Alameda, no more riding the Carousel at Tilden Park... But for everything tradition that is changing, there's another that will stay the same, no matter where we live.

One such tradition, is giving the kids' a new pair Christmas pajamas on Christmas Eve. Admittedly, my kids grow so slowly that they still fit into their Christmas pajamas and nightgowns from years ago, but I love seeing them in a new pair of pajamas (and scruffy hair) when they open their presents on Christmas morning.

I know that this is a tradition that a lot of families embrace, so today I'm sharing some of my favorite holiday pajamas for this year. Most of these are available in matching pajamas for siblings or even the whole family if that's your thing.

First up here's a look at my favorite pajamas, nightgowns and accessories for toddlers through big kids. You can click the links below to shop.

πŸŽ„ Primary Striped Nightie
πŸŽ„ Hanna Andersson Gnome Sweet Gnome Moccasins
πŸŽ„ Hanna Andersson Go Green Moccasins
πŸŽ„ Gap Buffalo Plaid PJ Set
πŸŽ„ Hanna Andersson Soft Knit Socks
πŸŽ„ Hanna Andersson Hanukkah PJ Set
πŸŽ„ Hanna Andersson Dear Deer Nightgown
πŸŽ„ Gap Marvel PJ Set
πŸŽ„ Hanna Andersson Union Suit Pajamas
πŸŽ„ Gap Holiday Dino PJ Set
πŸŽ„ Hanna Andersson Snowy Cottages PJ Set
πŸŽ„ Hanna Andersson Peanuts Scandinavian Holiday PJ Set
πŸŽ„ Hanna Andersson Classic Stripes PJ Set

Pretty much everything I shared above is available in baby sizes too, but I just had to share the following baby pajamas and accessories too as they're so cute.

⛄ Hanna Andersson Gnome Hat
⛄ Hanna Andersson Dear Deer Sweater Knit Booties
⛄ Whistle & Flute Snowflake Pajamas
⛄ Hanna Andersson Hanna Red Moccasins
⛄ Hanna Andersson Classic Stripe PJ Set
⛄ Hanna Andersson Gnome Sweet Gnome Sleeper
⛄ Hanna Andersson Get Baking Sleeper
⛄ Hanna Andersson Hanukkah Sleeper
⛄ Gap Buffalo Plaid Footed Pajamas
⛄ Mini Boden Cosy Applique Sleepsuit
⛄ Tea Collection Forest Fest Footed Pajamas
⛄ Primary Striped Baby Pajamas

Aren't they all just adorable?

Hanna Andersson is generally my go to brand for holiday pajamas for the girls, and perfect for family matching. Their most popular designs are repeated year after year which makes buying matching pajamas in bigger sizes or for new family members easy peasy. In recent years my girls have favored the nightgowns rather than the full length pajamas, but they're both super comfy and snuggly warm, and they last forever, which makes them great for hand me downs.

This year I'm thinking of going with the new striped nightgowns from Primary.com. My girls have a lot of Primary.com pajamas as I use them as the base for costumes, but the nightgowns are a new addition to their range, and I love the simplicity of the striped design.

Do you buy holiday pajamas for your kids? Do you go with matching for the whole family or chose a different design for each family member?

Friday 8 November 2019

My favorite Costume Making Supplies

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links.

Ok, I hear you...

Halloween was last week. No more costumes!

But if you ask me, dressing up in costumes is for all year round - especially when they're easy to make accessories that can be worn with anything. Plus, I know that if I don't share these easy tips now while it's all fresh in my mind, I'll forget to share before next Halloween too! Shh... pretend I didn't say that!

You may have noticed through the years that our Halloween costumes are almost always made up of clothes and accessories that can be worn over and over and over. These are my favorite types of costumes as they reduce waste, can be worn by multiple kids (or adults!), and they encourage fun dress ups at any time of year. If you know Mathilde, then there's a good chance that you've seen her dressed as a coyote at random times. Oh look, there she is being a coyote on squirrel patrol - and it's not even Halloween!

So, today I'm sharing my favorite costume making supplies, including one very special "secret ingredient" that saves a ton of time and makes costume making easier no matter your crafting skills. Make sure you read through to the end for that one.

Friday 1 November 2019

Halloween 2019

Another Halloween done and dusted!

This year's Halloween came with quite a few firsts for us. Our first Halloween in Colorado, our first year having a house to decorate, our first year handing out candy, our first time trick or treating in the snow! That last one was pretty unexpected! It was also the first year that Kim didn't wear his class nerd costume that he's worn every Halloween since we arrived in the US. Unfortunately it was far too cold for a thin polyester onesie - no matter how hilarious it looks! Ha!

This year we ended up with an inadvertent computer game theme! Ava dressed as Link from Legend of Zelda, Lola was a Minecraft panda, Mathilde was Bendy from Bendy and the Ink Machine, and I was Pikachu. Without his class nerd costume, Kim chose not to dress up this year. Trust me, we won't allow that again next year!

We had a day filled with celebrations with school parades and parties followed by trick or treating in the early evening. It was so chilly we headed out a little earlier than originally planned and we didn't stay out quite as late as we usually would, but the kids scored quite the haul in our neighborhood so they were pretty happy. Given that none of us look especially warmly dressed it may not look all that cold in my pics, but trust me, the kids were layered up with thermals underneath their costumes and once the sun went down the warm mittens and jackets came out. 

Here's a look at Halloween 2019...

Glow at the Gardens

Disclaimer: I was provided with complimentary tickets for this event.

Last week I visited Denver Botanic Gardens for the annual Glow at the Gardens Halloween event.

It was a frosty cold evening after a a day of snow, but the lights and displays were worth rugging up in layers for. The gardens were filled with amazing light displays, sculptures made of pumpkins, jack-o'lanterns of all sorts, spooky characters, and lots of children (and adults) in costumes trick or treating. It was such a fun event.

Last year when we visited Denver over Christmas break we attended the annual Blossoms of Light event and we loved it. So when I saw that there was a similar event in the lead up to Halloween, I couldn't wait to go.

Here's a look at all the fun...

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