If you’ve just packed up the family and moved to Colorado’s capital city, you’re not alone. Over the past decade, the number of children ages 5 to 17 in the Denver area rose by about 13 percent, according to NewGeography.com. Compare that with the national rate of about 4 percent, and you can see Denver is a hot spot for kids and families. It makes sense, with 78 neighborhoods, more than 200 parks, and the Rocky Mountains just 12 miles east; whether you’re a city dweller or a nature lover, there’s something for every sort of family here.
As you get adjusted to life in the Mile High City, check out these local, mom-friendly resources to help you get involved with other parents and group activities.
Meet other moms. There are a handful of active mom-focused groups in Denver, including Mod Moms. This club sets up playgroups for kids, participates in activities and events around town and, most importantly, offers support and friendship. Another local support group for moms is called MOMS Club (Moms Offering Moms Support). This group is designed specifically for stay-at-home moms, and meetings are held during the daytime. The club has monthly discussion groups, weekly playgroups, a seasonal walking club, and occasional guest speakers. Past speakers have included an EMT providing an infant CPR talk, and a preschool director advising on what to ask when looking for a preschool.
Have an after-school plan. Denver has a few after-school programs for local kids, you just have to be sure that you sign up early, as registration for each program is limited. Programs include the Rec Kidz program, where kids can get homework help, have a snack, socialize, and exercise after day of classes. The program is for kids ages 5 to 12 (3:30 – 6 p.m. Monday-Friday) at the Green Valley Ranch Recreation Center. There’s also the SOAR after-school program, a program built around academics, sports and wellness, arts and culture, and community. In this program, students go on field trips and get a daily healthy snack.
Go Parks and Rec. The city’s parks and recreation department has a slew of kid-focused activities, such as the youth sports program for kids ages 1 to 17. Options include basketball, volleyball, flag football, soccer, baseball, softball, coach pitch, t-ball, cheerleading and gymnastics. The teams are co-ed, and it’s a perfect chance for kids to make friends, stay healthy and get sporty. Denver Parks and Recreation also hosts climbing, hiking and snow sports trips.
Step into a seminar. In addition to pediatric services, Children’s Hospital Colorado has monthly parenting seminars, where you can get pediatric expertise on a range of topics. Their last seminar was about the book “No Regrets Parenting” by pediatric specialist Dr. Harley Rotbart. The seminar offered advice to help parents maximize enjoyable time with their children. Check out the upcoming seminars and sign up online.