See 10 Best of 2018

Essential Kids Guide to Denver

Terrence GordonMar 13, 2018

From RiNo to Stapleton, Sloans Lake to Hampden, the greater Denver area has an abundance of recreation centers, museums, festivals, and of course, loads of sunshine. Whether indoors or out, the Mile-High City continues to find new ways to impress even the most opinionated of critics - our children. It’s no wonder the rest of the country wants to call Denver home!

As a parent or youth organizer, finding an engrossing, guaranteed-to-entertain activity that keeps you within a budget is a little like a daily treasure hunt. Even with the myriad of different options found in our city, discovering the experience that our kids will want to tell their friends about in school hallways can leave any adult more than a little stressed out. Fortunately, ConsumersAdvocate.org has you covered.

Below are this week’s top varying areas of interest for youth-oriented associations and activities in Denver. They'll pique interests, help with healthy living concerns, and maybe even provoke excited conversations for the ride home.

Health

Staenberg-Loup Jewish Community Center (source)

The Staenberg-Loup Jewish Community Center is a place where everyone is welcome and offers a variety of activities for adults, kids and families, alike. The Fitness & Wellness Center provides a 10,000 square-foot-facility that offers over 80 group exercise classes a week, a Pilates studio, heated indoor and outdoor pools, and has recently been renovated with brand new locker rooms. The JCC Denver hosts a variety of family programming for kids and adults, providing enriching opportunities for children of all ages to play, discover, and grow. Programs include the Early Learning School, family engagement programs, after-school activities, summer day and residential camps, older adult & intergenerational programming, and arts focused programs through the Mizel Arts and Culture Center like Denver Children’s Theatre. The Staenberg-Loup Jewish Community Center is located at 350 S. Dahlia St. in Denver, CO. For more information, visit their website or call (303) 399-2660.

Image: APEX Denver (source)

APEX Denver offers a world-renowned agility and movement experience unmatched by any other in Colorado. Though parkour is a training discipline using movement that developed from military obstacle course training, in essence, it’s just a slightly more extreme version of all the creative, natural movements we did as kids; whether it was jumping off swings, climbing trees, or hopping over cracks in the sidewalk. APEX encourages people to rediscover the agility we had when we were 3 feet tall, only in a state-of-the-art facility where training is fun and feels more like play than exercise. With specific class levels for beginner, intermediate, or advanced athletes as young as six years old, there really is something for everyone; including free-running, parkour strength classes, and weights. Visit their homepage or give them a call at (720) 295-7279 to venture into a new experience of movement that the whole family is sure to love.

Image: Rocky Mountain Youth Clinics (image)

Rocky Mountain Youth Clinics' mission is to promote comprehensive, integrated health services from three primary clinics in Aurora, Denver, and Thornton, as well as from school-based clinics in Aurora, Basalt, Carbondale, Cortez, and Fort Collins. For over 20 years they have offered accessible, affordable, high-quality health care and support programs, regardless of the family's insurance status or ability to pay. In 2015, they provided 58,713 visits for 22,753 patients and of the total patients served, 3,915 had no insurance. The clinics employ dedicated and highly trained staff that strives to provide a true medical home experience to all patients, while ensuring a welcoming and culturally responsive environment for children and families of all backgrounds. Find out more through their homepage.

Image: Colorado Children's Immunization Coalition (source)

The Colorado Children's Immunization Coalition (CCIC) is a statewide nonprofit that strategically mobilizes diverse partners and families to advance children’s health through immunizations. The coalition is also a dependable resource on international disease information to protect our youth (and families) from harmful illnesses prior to infection.  One of the best aspects of this organization is that they achieve their goals without accepting funding from vaccine manufacturers and distributors. They are dedicated to to keeping Colorado kids healthy by building awareness for vaccines, educating health care providers, and advocating for policies that protect children with the goal of increasing childhood vaccination rates. To learn more about upcoming educational events, donations, or volunteer opportunities please visit their website or call (720) 777-5340.

                                                                 Image: Great Play of Cherry Creek (source)

Great Play of Cherry Creek is more than just an interactive gym for kids, as its patented design is built to develop their motor skills, fitness, and coordination, as well as sports skills. Their mission is to develop a love of physical activity so they can lead active, healthy, and confident lives, whether they choose to eventually pursue competitive athletics, or simply play and move for fun. Data from the CDC (2015-2016) indicates that nearly one in five school age children and young people in the United States suffers from obesity, a number that has more than tripled over the past forty years. Physical activity and development not only influences health and counteracts this negative trend, it also improves self-esteem, increases concentration power, and leads to greater academic success. But the most important factor in all of this is...that it’s FUN!! If you would like information about summer camps, birthday parties, classes, or any of the other services they offer, make sure to visit their homepage or call at (303) 955-0287.

Image: Kids in Need of Dentistry (source)

Kids in Need of Dentistry (KIND)’s mission is to increase the health and happiness of Colorado’s children in need, by eliminating dental disease through treatment and education. The organization operates out of four full-service oral healthcare centers in Denver and Colorado Springs, providing dental and orthodontic care to uninsured children at a 75% discount, as well as to children with Medicaid and CHP. They also serve children through a mobile hygiene/sealant program that goes into schools with 50% or more free and reduced lunch programs. Through their programs, staff, faithful volunteers and supporters, they continue to provide quality, comprehensive dental care and education to Colorado’s children in need. In addition, all of their facilities are staffed with Spanish bilingual personnel to assist patients in need of translation services. For more info just click here or you can call the administrative office at (303) 733-3710.

Image: Monkey Bizness (source)

Monkey Bizness: Centennial It may seem like a no-brainer, but play and physical activity are an essential part of every child’s proper growth and development, yet a worrying 74% of kids between 5-10 don’t get enough exercise. Finding safe, fun places to take your kids can be a challenge, however. Enter Monkey Bizness and its indoor setting, complete with jungle gyms, slides, toddler and infant play areas, play structures, and more, helping every kid be an active child. The center also offers food items, and can host birthday parties, group/special events, or camps. For more info, please visit their homepage, or call (303) 790-8885.

Image: Schlessman Family YMCA (source)

Though they have programming for the entire community, including adults and seniors, the Schlessman Family YMCA really shines when they serve Denver’s children. Through the Y, thousands of Denver area youth are cultivating the values, skills, and relationships that lead to positive behaviors, better health, and educational achievement. Every single day, the organization works to help children set and meet personal and educational goals, enabling them to build skills and confidence as they explore new interests. For the kids, the Y is a go-to spot for quality childcare, preschool, swim lessons, and year-round sports. More than just a gym or a place to workout, since 1844, it’s been a bulwark of community feeling. They always need donations and volunteers so please, don’t be shy, and for more information visit their website or call (720) 524-2750.

Lifestyle and Culture

Source: Allliance Française (source)

Bienvenue, mes enfants! The Alliance Française provides a cultural experience that simply cannot be duplicated. The official center for all things French in Denver, this non-profit organization is a worldwide cultural and education center with over 800 chapters in 132 countries. Apart from their language classes taught by native speakers, the Alliance hosts and organizes a large variety of events to encourage friendly, enriching cultural exchange.They are the only wholly French language, culture, and resource center in Colorado and are very proud to promote the integration of diverse cultures within the Denver community, supporting all local French-speaking communities. To learn more about what's going on soon, visit their homepage or call them at (303) 831-0304.

Image: Little Colorado (source)

Little Colorado provides a unique service you’d be hard-pressed to find anywhere else, by sustainably and responsibly bringing to life creative, heirloom-quality furniture your toddler is sure to love. For over thirty years, all of their products have been American-made, 100% wood, never plastic or laminate, created with the firm, daily commitment to making choices that are good for the future. With the Rocky Mountains as an inspirational background, the company manufactures bookcases, toy boxes, chairs, and tables, to name just a few. To learn more, and check out all of their cool creations, visit their homepage, or give them a call at (303) 964-3212.

Image: Denver Zoo (source)

Home to more than 3,700 animals, representing 600 species, the Denver Zoo is committed to species conservation by bringing science education to life and providing extraordinary experiences that foster human and animal connections. It is the most visited cultural destination in Colorado, serving more than 2 million people per year. Located in Denver’s City Park, the Zoo is a nonprofit organization accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), which assures the highest standards of animal care. With the mission to secure a better world for animals through human understanding, Denver Zoo commits more than $2 million annually to field conservation programs around the world. They offer a variety of services your kids are sure to love including camps, classes, and even private parties. For more information, check out their homepage or give them a call at (720) 337-1400.

Image: The Urban Farm (source)

Families unafraid of grass and mud stains, as winter’s icy grip slowly thaws in preparation for spring, will find exactly what they need at The Urban Farm at Stapleton. Founded in 1993 as part of an outreach program for inner city youth, they’ve since expanded to offer a multitude of one-of-a kind learning experiences you’d be hard-pressed to find anywhere else. Aiming to inspire excitement and enthusiasm for learning through practical work experience in a farm setting, they also focus on fostering respect, responsibility, curiosity, caring, and grit. Just in time for the warm weather they have their “Plant, Eat, and Get Local” event coming up on May 19th, a completely free activity that features vendors of local food products, specialty and gourmet foods (organic,vegan), small family farm products, CSA’s, and local meats. There will be educational opportunities, sustainable practices orientations, backyard poultry care workshops, healthy living tips, handcrafted items, and more! For more information on all of the great happenings at the farm, feel free to visit their homepage or give them a call at (303) 307-9332.

Image: Young Americans Center for Financial Education (source)

More than just a financial institution, Young Americans Center for Financial Education is a an innovator in youth financial education. Research has shown that a considerable percentage of the population (across all ages, incomes, and education levels) lack knowledge of even the basics of financial literacy. Young Americans works to help remedy this via a two-pronged approach, via their banking branch and their non-profit programs. Twenty years before the term financial literacy was defined on a national level, Young Americans was pioneering their signature “hands-on” approach to teaching personal finance, economics, and business was embraced by parents and teachers, and they remain at the forefront of this growing field. The overlying vision is that Colorado youth should grow up knowing how to earn, make, and manage their money wisely, regardless of background. To learn more about the programs offered and for general information visit their website or call their Denver location at (303) 321-2265.

Image: Dumb Friends League (source)

Dumb Friends League focuses on working with the compassionate Denver community to end pet homelessness and animal suffering, via youth camps which provide learning programs focused on lessons of compassion, respect, and proper animal care. Though mainly directed towards children and teens, these programs can also be beneficial to adults, since emphasizing importance of treating animals in a humane way is truly a lesson that can benefit all of society for a lifetime. Lastly, they also provide volunteer opportunities for Denver’s youth, so they can learn the value of giving back and building community through good works. For registration and all other info please visit their website or give them a call at (303) 751-5772.

                                               
Image: Kids at Yoga (source)

At Radiant Beginnings Yoga, trainers are committed to changing lives through their exclusive yoga and mindfulness programs, teacher training, and video brain breaks. The courses and the curriculum are data-driven and can be successfully used in schools, homes, and therapeutic environments. The team at Radiant Beginnings aims to create a world in which people have the right tools to manage stress and develop healthy coping strategies that can be used throughout their lives. Ultimately, the work done by trainers is designed to achieve this goal. For more information visit their homepage.

Image: Osage Café (source)

The Osage Café serves up a delicious and classic diner menu served up by some of Denver’s most promising youth. The café fills an underserved market niche, providing a quarterly rotating menu with weekly specials at affordable price points, as well as healthy culinary choices. Diners can choose to enjoy their warm and friendly dining room experience, or the convenience of a take-out option. Even better than the food and atmosphere are the programs provided for the youth who live in this area. The kitchen is staffed by youth between the ages of 16-21 from the Youth Culinary Academy, on a rotating basis in partnership with JP Morgan Chase, Denver’s Office of Economic Development, and Stueben’s Restaurant Group. For information on their menu, events, programs, and catering just visit their homepage or give them a call at (720) 956-3800. 

Denver Botanic Gardens (source)

Denver Botanic Gardens’ living collections encompass a multitude of specimens from different ecosystems. From the tropics to the tundra, the gardens showcase a plant palette chosen to thrive in Colorado’s semi-arid climate. As a dynamic, 24-acre urban oasis in the heart of the city, the whole family can discover unforgettable opportunities to flourish with unique garden experiences, including art exhibitions, special events, and education programs. The Summer Concert Series, for instance, presents world-renowned musicians in the Gardens’ beautiful landscape. Their current art exhibition is Pixelated: Sculpture by Mike Whiting, on view April 28 – September 23. Additional sites extend this experience throughout the Front Range: Denver Botanic Gardens at Chatfield is a 700-acre native plant refuge with an active farm in Jefferson County; Mount Goliath is a high-altitude garden and interpretive site on the Mount Evans Scenic Byway. The Gardens also manages programming at Plains Conservation Center in Aurora. For more information, visit www.botanicgardens.org or call 720.865.3500.

4-H Denver CSU Co-op Extension (source)

Located near Harvard Gulch, the 4-H Denver CSU Co-op Extension is part of the nation’s largest youth development organization. With a mission of empowering youth to reach their full potential, working and learning in partnership with caring adults, 4-H helps young people and their families gain the skills needed to be proactive forces in their communities and develop ideas for a more innovative economy. They envision a world in which youth and adults learn, grow, and work together, serving as catalysts for positive change. 4-H offers a multitude of programs for youth and their families, ranging from agriculture and horticulture, to family and consumer science. Children not only gain valuable foundational skills which ultimately help prepare them for success in life, they inherit over 100 years of an alumni network that continually provides support whenever needed. For information on all of their programming please visit the homepage or call them at 720-913-5270.

Hands-on Arts & Music

Image: artSPARK (source)

artSPARK offers a creative outlet for Denver kids to express themselves...or just get messy! Their community-based studio and art space has an encouraging atmosphere, so people of all ages and abilities can engage with materials and practice authentic creativity with a variety of different media. Whether it’s a summer camp, classes for the kids, a creative birthday party event, teen activities, or even sewing, artSPARK has something that’s sure to appeal to everybody, including parents! Their homepage has all the details, or you can also call them, at (303) 795-7897.

Image: Colorado Ballet (source)

The Colorado Ballet is a non-profit organization celebrating nearly 60 years of world-class classical ballet and innovative dance in Denver. As the premier ballet training institution in the state, the academy provides training to students ages 1 ½ through adults, with every level of expertise, from beginner through pre-professional. The goal is to present exceptional classical ballet and contemporary dance through performances, training, education, and community engagement, while inspiring and growing an increasingly diverse audience base.Their outstanding education and community engagement programs enable thousands to experience the magic of dance. The variety of programming serves in-need students, teachers, families, people with disabilities, and lifelong learners in Colorado. These programs make more than 35,000 contacts each year in 300 schools and organizations. Lastly, the mission they strive to achieve is very simple, Every. Body. Dance! For more information please visit their homepage or give them a call at (303) 837-8888.

Image: Denver Center for the Performing Arts (source)

The Denver Center for the Performing Arts has been a fixture in the Denver community for 40 years with world-class theatre and Broadway tours performed in the heart of downtown Denver at the Denver Performing Arts Complex. DCPA is also the nation’s largest non-profit theatre organization, dedicated to creating unforgettable shared experiences through beloved Broadway musicals, world-class plays, educational programs, and inspiring events. Through their Education department, they offer something for every young theatre-goer: from stepping on the stage in classes for students in Pre-K through high school, to offering the youngest learners their first theatre experience in Theatre for Young Audiences. At the Center, youth can fuel their creativity, and imagination, building their confidence through opportunities on the stage, behind the scenes, and in the audience. DCPA Education also offers in-school programming for every grade with Shakespeare in the Parking Lot, Book Stars!, High School Playwriting Competition, and workshops. For general information please visit their website or call them at (303) 893-4000.

Image: School of Rock - Denver (source)

Since 2011, School of Rock - Denver has been offering music instruction with a performance-based approach, inspiring students to learn, innovate, and gain in confidence. Their experienced teachers emphasize music fundamentals and foster important, real-life skills through teamwork and jam sessions. Students learn, absorb, and perform musical hits from some of the heaviest hitters in the industry, refining not only their overall music proficiency, but also learning the fundamentals of music composition. All students in the programs can expect weekly private lessons and band practices, performances at real-world venues, advanced instruction in music fundamentals such as stage performance, harmonies, and musicianship. To find out how to enroll your kid, visit their website or call them at (720) 221-6991.

Image: Inside the Orchestra (source)

Inside the Orchestra in a nonprofit organization focused on bringing orchestra music to young children in the greater Denver metropolitan community. Their overarching goal is to cultivate music appreciation, and enhance children’s education through an engaging, first-hand experience with a full orchestra, an experience to which many kids and families wouldn’t otherwise be exposed to. Established nearly 60 years ago as the Junior Symphony Guild (JSG), they introduced the Tiny Tots program in 1975, and in the 80's they recognized the need for vibrant educational programs to introduce young children to orchestral music. With children in mind first and foremost, the organization designed unique and interactive school programs, seeking to engage kids in a way that plants the seeds of a lifelong appreciation of music, complimenting the music education provided within the educational system. For more information on this pillar of the Denver community, please visit their homepage or call them at (303) 355-7855. 

Image: Craftsman & Apprentice (source)

If you’re looking for a fun and educational family activity, consider getting back to the basics, working with your hands and performing simple yet fulfilling tasks. The Craftsman & Apprentice is a family owned and operated workshop guided by these basic notions. In essence, they want all children to know the satisfaction of a job well done, of making something from nothing, and above all living a life of creativity. Whether you’re a teen or a child, looking for a weekend class or interested in summer camp; all of these and more are available, from a convenient location in Stapleton. They honor the workshop as a space to connect, to share, and to discover the good life, at any age. For more information please visit their website or call (720) 515-8611.

Image: Hunk-Ta-Bunk-Ta (source)

Hunk-Ta-Bunk-Ta started with a saying from Katherine Dines’ grandmother, which she used to call all her grandchildren. From there, Ms. Dines has since grown Hunk-Ta-Bunk-Ta into a one-of-a-kind musical experience, featuring both original and classic songs where children can join in, engage, and express themselves. She creates specialized shows for parties, school programs and community centers, library events, and in-home performances, as well as award-winning musical cds. For all the info on how to book her or buy a cd, visit her homepage or give her a call at (303) 298-7122.

Image: Abrakoodle (source)

A name like Abrakadoodle is a virtual guarantee of fun for your kids! More than simply entertainment for a few hours, the creative classes, themed summer and holiday camps, special events such as art activity days, and even private art parties are sure to ignite young imaginations by tapping into the creativity that lies within each and every child. Whether in a classroom in your child’s school, a community site, or a provided art studio, your child is sure to receive the very best in visual arts. Abrakadoodle only works with well-trained teachers, who help inspire kids through immersion in learning and creating art – which can sometimes get messy but is always a blast. By emphasizing hands-on, active discovery, as well as exploration through “process art”, they create and encourage a love of art, learning, and innovation. To find a studio near you, visit their homepage or give them a call at (303) 997-9061.

Image: Rocky Mountain Theatre for Kids (source)

It seems like someone is always telling kids “don’t act like that”, or “that’s not how you’re supposed to act”. But at the Rocky Mountain Theatre for Kids, no matter how your child decides to “act”, that energy will be captured, honed, and aimed into the world of theater. Their mission is to inspire youth in their creative process, while raising their performance standards to achieve theatrical excellence. Private lessons, acting classes, and summer camps are just a few of the programs in place to ensure that your child will be able to tap into their innate creativity, and have it nurtured by experts. The Theatre provides students with the opportunity to really own their work by encouraging them to think critically, make their own creative choices, and use each other as resources for guidance and inspiration. To find out about upcoming shows and other information just visit their website or call (303) 245-8150.

Image: Arts Street @ YEA (source)

Arts Street @ YEA (Youth Employment Academy) uses the power of creative arts to empower youth so they can pursue future education and employment opportunities, helping break the cycle of institutional and generational poverty in Denver communities. Their mission is broken up into three separate categories: studio membership, internships, and creative academics. The goal is for children to gain personal and economic stability through arts and technology, education, and creative employment training. This is an awesome organization becoming more and more visible as they move forward, recently awarded “Denver’s Best Youth Art Program 2017” by Westword! For more info visit their homepage or call them at (303) 825-1334.

Image: Neighborhood Music (source)

Neighborhood Music is a community of music lovers that lives out, firsthand, the meaning of those two words. Their sole focus is building relationships through music education, appreciation, and collaboration. Multiple studies have shown that music is a vital tool in developing a well-rounded child, helping develop the areas of the brain responsible for processing sound, language development, speech perception, spatial training, and reading skills. To that end, Neighborhood Music offers a wide range of activities for different age groups, including summer camps, private instruction, and even instrument rentals. To get all of the details please visit their homepage or call them at (720) 378-3668.

Image: Swallow Hill Music (source)

Located near the corner of Yale and Broadway, Swallow Hill Music is a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting and preserving roots, acoustic, and folk music. With three concert halls, they offer a little bit of everything, from classes for adults and children, summer camps, their own music school, workshops, community outreach programs, and of course, concerts. They’ve been providing quality music and instruction to Denver for nearly 40 years, and the entire time the mission has always been to “bring the joy of music to life every day”. By following their six core values; community, leadership, inclusivity, respect, quality, and cultivation, they have and always will positively impact the quality of people’s lives through music. There’s always a lot going on and summer camp 2018 registration is already open, so if you’re looking to sign up or simply get more information visit their homepage or give them a call at (303) 777-1003 ext. 2.

Image: Sound Minded Music Academy (source)

Sound Minded Music Academy is the foremost music lesson facility in Denver, offering singing and guitar classes, production and artist development, and vocal demo recordings, from their state-of-the-art Modern Rock Art Studios. Simply put, the academy’s focus is on the future of the music industry. Far from just teaching kids to play an instrument or sing their favorite song from the radio, this is the place where your child comes to learn to write and record their own music from day one! Please visit their homepage or call/text them at (720) 201-9744 to set up a session today.

Cleo Parker Robinson Dance (source)

The simple mention of her name automatically evokes thoughts and feelings of tradition, pride, heritage, and for many, brings to mind treasured memories of either past participation or of witnessing a captivating performance. Cleo Parker Robinson Dance (CPRD) is a cultural ambassador, encouraging innovation and education in every community they touch—both around the corner and around the globe. For over four decades, CPRD has ensured that every project they undertake is done with the double intent of transforming themselves and others; to give a voice to the voiceless; to leave a lasting legacy of excellence and understanding. Cleo has always been a huge proponent of arts in education, whether through the CPRD Academy or the International Summer Dance Institution (ISDI)’s summer camp, which is now open for registration. Dance is a powerful medium that contributes to healthy minds and bodies. Whether your wish is to learn, participate, support, or simply watch, there is always something for everyone no matter the gender, race, age, ethnicity, or skill level. If this sounds like something you’d be interested in, visit their homepage or give them a call at (303) 295-1759.

Youth on Record (source)

With the help of Colorado's most talented and willing musicians, Youth on Record inspires at-risk youth to see the potential for a better life. Their focus on education and skills training works to ensure that the youth they serve graduate from high school and are ready to enter the workforce, transition to college, or go on to advanced technical training and careers. Through programs like Open Lab and FEMpowered, Youth on Record has empowered 1,000 teens in some of Denver’s most vulnerable communities, helping them make life choices that positively impact their future. Through teaching coping tools, community-building, teens in the program develop the wherewithal to both succeed in today’s world and eventually become the leaders of tomorrow. They even have events like The 3rd Annual Block Party coming up on May 26th which is free and intended for all members of the community no matter their age. For information on their music, membership, volunteer opportunities, or any other services offered, visit their homepage or call them at (303) 993-5226.

Education and Learning

Bluff Lake Nature Center (source)

Bluff Lake Nature Center is a nonprofit agency that owns and manages a unique urban wildlife refuge and outdoor classroom in Denver. Each year, nearly 4,000 area school children visit Bluff Lake as part of the Center’s mission to share their unique urban natural area and inspire environmental connectedness and stewardship through experiential education, environmental engagement, and natural area preservation and restoration. In addition to their programs for schools, they also hold the Bluff Lake Summer Camp for children ages 6-11. While there, campers discover and play, while learning about nature in Bluff Lake’s protected prairie and wetland habitats. Tens of thousands of visitors come to Bluff Lake each year to enjoy a few moments of solace and connection with nature, or take part in one of the many scheduled programs or events. To learn more information please visit their homepage or give them a call at (720) 708-4147.

Image: Sewall Child Development Center (source)

All learners are welcome at Sewall Child Development Center’s high-quality programs. A leader of inclusionary education for children of all abilities, the center strives to provide an environment of understanding and diversity, in order to instill a sense of belonging and ownership for every member of the learning community, from the children, to the faculty, the parents, and other members of staff. The programs at Sewall are designed so that children of all abilities and learning styles, including those with special needs, can come together to learn and grow, with a 1:5 teacher to student ratio. More than just an educational strategy, inclusion is a belief system, founded on the principles of equality and justice. Sewall has been serving the Denver community since 1944, now from nine locations across the city. For more information on how to enroll or participate, visit their homepage or call at (303) 399-1800.

Image: Sun Valley Youth Center (source)

Sun Valley Youth Center is truly committed to giving the children of Sun Valley, Denver’s lowest income neighborhood, opportunities and hope for the future. Over the course of fourteen years, the organization has focused on transforming the lives of at-risk youth, via their daycare, mentoring, after-school care, youth development, and life essential programs. Aside from their traditional after-school program which helps kids complete homework and increase their literacy skills, Sun Valley also offers Free Karate, Flag Football, Cycling, Mindfulness, Yoga, Aqua Fitness, Healthy Living, Life skills, Cooking, Baking, and Overcoming Obstacles lessons. To learn more, visit their homepage, or show your support by donating with every Amazon purchase, by choosing them as your charity when shopping through smile.amazon.com.

Image: Butterfly Pavilion (source)

At over 22 years old, the Butterfly Pavilion is the first stand-alone nonprofit invertebrate zoo in the nation. You can experience their indoor tropical rainforest and over 1,600 free-flying butterflies while making your way through their 30,00 square feet, settled on an 11-acre campus. In addition, they have incredible adaptations to sea stars, bees, beetles, spiders, and you can even hold their famous tarantula Rosie! Their mission is to foster an appreciation of invertebrates by educating the public about the need to protect and care for threatened habitats globally, while conducting research for solutions in invertebrate conservation. There are several ways to experience all of the wonders they provide, such as through a school or youth group, special event, volunteering, birthday parties, and even internships. To find out more information please visit their homepage or give them a call at (303) 469-5441.

Image: History Colorado (source)

“Inspiring generations to find wonder and meaning in our past and to engage in creating a better Colorado”, this is the mission that History Colorado has set forth and aims to achieve. As a charitable organization, the group strives to engage and educate, bringing history to life through all forms of media in various hands-on settings. They offer access to cultural and heritage resources, a vast collection of archives, artifacts, and historical photography, programs for families and teachers, and finally, resources for students and teachers. All programs and services they provide are related to historic preservation and archaeology. For info related to their partner museums, relationship with the Smithsonian Institute, donations/volunteer opportunities, and general inquiries please visit their homepage or call them at (303) HISTORY [(303) 447-8679].

Image: Book Trust (source)

There is a short and simple quote that sums up what Book Trust is all about: “today a reader tomorrow a leader”. The idea that even just one book can positively change the course of one young person’s future, and spark a love affair with reading that will last a lifetime, is exactly what they envision for all children. This awesome organization can be accessed through participating Title I schools...in the 2016-2017 school year some 1.2 million books were delivered to over 51,000 kids! Children with consistent reading habits develop higher levels of self esteem, stronger interpersonal and social skills, as well as higher test scores, across all subjects. Most folks can recall their favorite bedtime story or book from childhood, and these are the very memories that every child should have the opportunity to create. If you are a parent, educator, or would like to donate please visit their website or call (720) 458-9889.

Image: Grade Power Learning Aurora (source)

Grade Power Learning Aurora specializes in building children’s self-esteem through their customized programs, combining a focus on both academic and cognitive skills which fit your child’s specific needs. These can not only lead to better grades in school, but also equip your child with the confidence and self-esteem to learn and succeed at anything–from college, to parenthood, to a successful career. Grade Power’s overarching mission is to teach school-oriented learning that will translate into knowledge and skills that last a lifetime. For more information please visit their website or call (303) 928-7644.

Image: Denver Inner City Parish (source)

Denver Inner City Parish is a grassroots human services nonprofit that, since 1960, has aimed to “welcome and empower people in need through support, determination, and community.” DICP’s three focus areas are 1) Hunger & Nutrition, 2) Intervention and Prevention within high-risk subcultures, and 3) Re-entry. Through comprehensive multi-generational programs and services, this transformative organization works to close the hunger gap, help those coming out of incarceration re-enter society, and intervene in/prevent mental health and gang-related issues. Their wraparound services aim to empower communities, support personal transformations, and create self-sustaining lifestyles for those who are most vulnerable by equipping them with the skills and resources they need to break the cycle of poverty. If you wish to donate or simply learn for information about the impactful work that they do please visit their homepage or call them at (303) 629-0636.

Image: Children's Museum of Denver at Marisco Campus (source)

The Children's Museum of Denver at Marisco Campus has been experienced by thousands upon thousands of Colorado kids and for good reason. They work to open doors for our future leaders, innovators, and adventurers to explore, create and learn on their own terms. Many do not know but children's museums rank only second to zoos among museum-related attractions in their ability to attract ethnically and culturally diverse audiences, and address the developmental needs of young children. And in 2015, they went through a $16.1 million expansion, creating a 9-acre campus and doubling the total exhibit space. Whether it is water, altitude, energy, or learning how to cook, you are bound to find endless opportunities to educate and fascinate your child. For more information just visit their homepage or call them at (303) 433-7444.

Image: International Learning Center (source)

For an awesome world approach to childcare and education, look no further than the International Learning Center, which provides an excellent environment for every child in their care. Starting as young as six weeks and all the way up to sixteen years, their center actively promotes excellence in the early childhood education of your little girl or guy. The center’s diverse personnel is full of bilingual staff and teachers, all striving to teach children about themselves and others around them. With a focus on children from diverse backgrounds, their mission is for each child to learn how to appreciate enriching experiences, cultural diversity, and academic achievement, all the while building vital learning skills. More information can be found on their homepage or by giving them a call at (720) 535-8222.

  Image: F-4 Phantom (source)

Wings Over the Rockies Air & Space Museum is a community-based organization with a pledge to educate and inspire people about the aviation and space endeavors of our past, present, and future. The organization is dedicated to bringing the visitors’ ideas about flight to life through exhibitions, events, and educational programs. Guests can also experience thrilling flight simulators, discover the Wings Aerospace Academy, an enrichment program for 6th-11th-grade students, and participate in dozens of exciting museum-sponsored events. For more information, visit their homepage, or give them a call at (303) 360-5360.

Image: Denver Art Museum (source)

The Denver Art Museum is one of the most popular attractions in the city, offering a multitude of attractions, exhibits, and programs for children and adults alike. They are an educational, nonprofit resource that sparks creative thinking and expression through transformative experiences with art. With a mission to enrich the lives of present and future generations through works of art, their holdings provide invaluable ways for the community to learn about cultures from around the world. For information on tours, visiting exhibits, collections, or to donate please visit their homepage or call them at (720) 865-5000 for general information.

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