Back to School Tools

Here we go, back to school! The lazy days of summer will soon give way to structured class time and evening homework. Douglas County Libraries is here for you. These free learning tools and resources can help as kids return to school and studying.

Online

DCL’s online research resources for students make research and studying easy and convenient, with tools for history, literature, science and much more. Library cardholders can access things like:

  • Live homework help and tutoring through Brainfuse. It’s a useful tool for students of all ages and levels, with Spanish-speaking tutors available if needed.
  • Foreign language lessons. Mango offers lessons for more than 70 languages; they’re free and can help boost classroom learning.
  • Britannica, the online encyclopedia. It offers three age-appropriate levels — Children, Young Adults, and Reference Center — for conducting research, completing homework, and working on projects. And it’s easy to access from any device, including tablets and smartphones.

You can also get help finding the right books to match your child’s reading level through AR BookFinder and Scholastic’s Book Wizard.

At Our Libraries

DCL offers programs to help strengthen literacy skills as well as spaces for studying and project work.

  • Kids ages 6-12 can boost literacy skills and confidence by reading out loud to trained therapy dogs through our Bark for Books program.
  • Reading Buddies pairs struggling readers in grades 1-3 with a trained teen volunteer. Together they read and play literacy-based games to improve skills. Ask a librarian for more information.
  • Students can reserve private study rooms at our Castle Pines, Castle Rock, Highlands Ranch, Lone Tree, Parker and Roxborough locations using a DCL library card.
  • The Parker Recording Studio is perfect for creating videos, musical compositions, animations and other digital school projects — state-of-the-art video and recording equipment included! Reserve the Recording Studio with a DCL library card.
  • Local history is easily accessible by visiting the Douglas County History Research Center in person at our Castle Rock location or online.

Community Service Volunteering

Community service is a graduation requirement in Douglas County, and we can help students fulfill that requirement. Volunteers can assist with library events, participate in Reading Buddies or Teen Library Council, and perform other general library duties. Visit VolunteerConnectDC.org and search opportunities with Douglas County Libraries.

 

The Upside of Being a Cardholder

There are so many perks to being a Douglas County Libraries cardholder! Here are just two.

Check Out Colorado

Add visiting all of Colorado’s 41 state parks to your bucket list! Through Check Out Colorado, you can check out a backpack that contains a pass good for admission to any Colorado State Park, including these five within a stone’s throw of Douglas County:

The pass is good for seven days, which means you can visit any number of parks in those seven days. Checkout is first come, first served; backpacks may not be put on hold.

Adventure Pass

Think globally, explore locally. Use your library card to reserve a free Adventure Pass to one of these local cultural institutions. Passes can be reserved up to 30 days in advance.

 

Weekend Escape: July 26-August 1

Summer isn’t over yet! Your Weekend Escape includes some great summertime activities and events that get you outside to enjoy the beauty and heritage of Colorado.

Thursday, July 26

Highlands Ranch: Summer Concert Series – Fab4, 6:30PM, FREE
If you like the Beatles, don’t miss this tribute band! Pack a picnic and enjoy the summer evening. More info here.

Parker: Discovery Park Concert Series – That Eighties Band, 6PM, FREE
Flash back to the ‘80s at this lively concert. More info here.

Friday, July 27

Castle Pines: TLC Presents: Ready Player One, 5:30PM, FREE
Catch a showing of the recently released film (PG-13), play ‘80s trivia, and enjoy movie snacks at our Castle Pines location. Learn more and register here.

Castle Rock: Western Heritage Welcome, 6PM, FREE
This kickoff to the Douglas County Fair and Rodeo starts with cowhands driving a herd of longhorn steer and cattle through downtown Castle Rock. Then, enjoy lots of Western activities at Festival Park. All the details here.

Highlands Ranch: Culture on the Green – Fiesta Colorado, 6:30PM, FREE
Enjoy a festive evening of Hispanic culture with song and dance performances at Civic Green Park. More details here.

Lone Tree: July Full Moon Hike, 7:30PM, FREE
Experience the nearly simultaneous setting sun and rising moon on this guided, moderate 2-mile hike. Kids are welcome! Learn more and register here.

Saturday, July 28

Littleton: Explore Chatfield State Park, 7AM, FREE
Take an early morning expert-guided field trip and explore various bird habitats in Chatfield State Park. All ability levels welcome for this 1- to 3-mile hike. Learn more.

Castle Rock: Fair and Rodeo Parade, 9:30AM, FREE
Everyone loves a parade, and this one is lively. More information here.

Roxborough: Roxy Puppet Theater, 10AM, FREE-$
Enjoy wild and wacky puppet tales of Roxborough wildlife. The event is free, but there is a $7 state parks entrance fee. More details here.

Parker: Parent-Child Art Class, 1PM, $
Parents, enjoy an afternoon of art with your kids ages 9-13. Learn more here.

Sunday, July 29

Various locations: Farmers Markets, FREE
Purchase fresh fruits, vegetables, baked goods and more from local growers and vendors at farmers markets in Castle Rock, Highlands Ranch, and Parker.

Monday, July 30

Littleton: Alamo Drafthouse Cinema Kids Camp – Despicable Me, 11AM, $
Don’t miss the last week of pick-your-price film screenings at Alamo’s Kids Camp. Starting Monday, check out Despicable Me for $1, $3 or $5, with all ticket proceeds benefiting Douglas County Libraries Foundation. Reserve your seat today!

Lone Tree: Animal Adventures, 2:30PM, FREE
Join Nature’s Educators at our Lone Tree location to learn about the cute critters that live in Neverland. They’ll have live doves, toads, rabbits and owls, and we’ll learn all about them in this Summer Reading Program event. Ages 2-12. Register here!

Wednesday, August 1

Highlands Ranch: Sunset Hayride, 6PM, $
Enjoy the sunset over the Rockies during a horse-drawn hayride into the backcountry wilderness area. Info and registration details here.

Lone Tree: Sunset Birdwatching, 6PM, FREE
Take a naturalist-guided sunset stroll and enjoy the birds when they’re most visible and active. Kids are welcome on this gentle 2-mile hike. Learn more and register here.

Still More…
There are plenty more summer festivals and events to take in this weekend, including Buffalo Bill Days in Golden, the Colorado Dragon Boat Festival at Sloan’s Lake, and Conifer’s Elevation Celebration. Or do some bargain shopping at one of DCL’s used book sale events. Maybe pick up a great audiobook or two for wherever the road takes you. Proceeds benefit Douglas County Libraries Foundation.

 

 

 

Weekend Escape: July 19-25

Outdoor movies, live music, and more family-friendly activities await. Enjoy your weekend!

Thursday, July 19

Lone Tree: RidgeGate Summer Beats, 5PM, FREE

Bring the family out for a picnic and a night of live music from Chris Daniels and the Kings. Food trucks will be on-site with food for purchase. Learn more here.

Parker: Discovery Park Summer Concert Series, 6PM, FREE

Enjoy a free concert at Discovery Park. Bring your picnic blankets and baskets to enjoy the sounds of Wash Park. Food trucks will be on-site with food for purchase. Learn more here.

Castle Rock: Tunes for Trails/Perks for Parks, 6:30PM, FREE

Listen to music outdoors at Philip S. Miller Park. Enjoy yard games, bounce houses, and food for purchase. Tonight’s band is That Eighties Band. Learn more here.

Highlands Ranch: Highlands Ranch Summer Concert Series, 6:30PM, FREE

Bring a picnic and enjoy great music at Highlands Heritage Regional Park. Kona Ice will be selling shaved ice. Tonight’s band is Groove N’ Motion. Learn more here.

Highlands Ranch: Geeks Who Read Teen Trivia, 6:30PM, FREE

Teams test their knowledge about movies, music, books and pop culture in a fun trivia competition. Learn more here.

Friday, July 20

Denver: Joy Park Free Nights, 4PM, FREE

Explore 30,000 square feet of outdoor adventure space for FREE at the Children’s Museum of Denver at Marsico Campus. Learn more here.

Saturday, July 21

Denver: Summer Low Sensory Mornings, 8AM, FREE

Experience a quiet and sensory-friendly visit to the Denver Botanic Gardens at York Street before public hours. Learn more here.

Highlands Ranch: Touch-a-Truck, 9AM, FREE

Get a chance to go behind the wheel of a fire engine. Meet hometown heroes and explore other vehicles, including big rigs, police cars, a Batmobile, and more. Learn more here.

Larkspur: Colorado Renaissance Festival, 10AM, $-$$

Eat, drink and be merry at the Colorado Renaissance Festival! Enjoy nonstop entertainment every weekend through August 5. Learn more here.

Castle Rock: Castle Rock WineFest, 2PM, $$

This outdoor wine tasting event features more than two dozen wineries and over 180 varieties of Colorado wine. Learn more here.

Castle Rock: Outdoor Movie Night at CALF’s Lowell Ranch, 7:30PM, $

Meet Ferdinand the calf and see Ferdinand the movie! Price includes a tour of CALF’s barnyard and livestock, snacks, and an outdoor showing of Ferdinand (PG). A s’mores kit complete with marshmallows, graham crackers, and chocolate will be provided to each family. Bring your own blanket or lawn chairs. Learn more here.

Sunday, July 22

Parker: Parker Farmers Market, 8AM, FREE

Support local farmers by shopping at this vibrant market packed with Colorado vegetable and fruit growers. Learn more here.

Castle Rock: Farmers Market, 11AM, FREE

Castle Rock’s NEW Sunday Farmers Market features a variety of vendors with everything from fresh, local produce to grass-fed meats, plus local artisans and much more! Learn more here.

Castle Rock: Free Yoga in the Park, 9AM, FREE

Practice yoga outdoors in Philip S. Miller Park. Learn more here.

Highlands Ranch: Highlands Ranch Farmers Market, 10AM, FREE

Select fresh-baked goods, fruits and vegetables for your family from local farmers. Learn more here.

Monday, July 23

Littleton: Alamo Drafthouse Cinema Kids Camp, 11AM, $

The Land Before Time is playing July 23-27, and you pick the ticket price: $1, $3 or $5. All Kids Camp ticket sales in July benefit Douglas County Libraries Foundation. Reserve your seat.

Castle Pines: Adventures in Art, 1:30PM, FREE

Kids ages 6-12 will make folded, clock-eating crocodiles in this interactive art program, using guided drawing, oil pastels, markers and watercolor. Learn more here.

Wednesday, July 25

Castle Pines: Animal Adventures, 4:30PM, FREE

What animals live in Neverland? Kids ages 2-12 will join experts from Nature’s Educators, plus live doves, toads, rabbits and owls, to explore where the critters live, what they eat, and how they survive. Learn more here.

 

Still More…

There are several festivals happening around the Denver area this weekend, including German Fest, the Mile High Global Bazaar, Pearl Street Arts Fest, Evergreen Summerfest, Orthodox Food Festival & Old Globeville Days, and Bikes and Big Wheels.

Weekend Escape: July 12-18

This weekend’s Escape is chock full of nature-oriented, family-friendly activities. Let the weekend begin!

Thursday, July 12

Highlands Ranch: Mansion Open Hours, 9AM-2PM, FREE
Tour the historic Highlands Ranch Mansion on your own or take a volunteer-guided tour. No reservations required. More info here.

Highlands Ranch: Summer Concert Series – Under a Blood Red Sky, 6:30PM, FREE
Pack a picnic supper and enjoy an evening of U2 tribute music in the park. Learn more here.

Littleton: Aspen Grove Family Film Night, Hook, 7PM, FREE
Make it a movie night! Film starts at dusk, but the kid-friendly fun begins at 7 p.m. with a jumpy castle and bounce obstacle course. More info here.

Friday, July 13

Lone Tree: Open Studio, 10AM, FREE
Beat the heat and create something crafty at our Lone Tree location. Use library-provided supplies, or bring your own. Learn more.

Castle Pines: Learn Origami, 4PM, FREE
Folding paper is a fun skill! What designs will you create? More info here.

Littleton: Audubon Center Nocturnal Wildlife Hike, 7PM, $
Search for bats, beavers, owls and more around the ponds. Get more details and register here.

Saturday, July 14

Parker: Gear Up, 2PM, FREE
Celebrate all things bicycle-related at our Parker location. Get info on cycling trails, clubs, races, bike safety and more, and enjoy fun games and activities. Register here.

Highlands Ranch: Campfire Hike, 5PM, $
This family-friendly hike in the Backcountry Wilderness Area lets you explore and play, then gather round the campfire to roast marshmallows and make s’mores (fire restrictions dependent). Learn more and book a spot here.

Castle Rock: Starlight Summer Movie, Coco, 6PM, FREE
Movie night under the stars starts with a street fair and kids’ activities, plus food and beverage vendors. Details here.

Parker: Movies in the Park, Wonder, 6PM, FREE
Bring the family to O’Brien Park for games, music and vendors/concessions, followed by this family-friendly film. Learn more.

Lone Tree: Guided Nature Hike in the Bluffs – Urban Coyotes, 7PM, FREE
Enjoy an evening hike and learn about living peaceably with urban coyotes. Learn more and register here.

Monday, July 16

Littleton: Alamo Drafthouse Cinema Kids Camp, Sing, 11AM, $
Sing is playing July 16-20, and you pick the ticket price: $1, $3 or $5. All Kids Camp ticket sales in July benefit Douglas County Libraries Foundation. Reserve your seat!

Tuesday, July 17

Castle Rock: Fun in the Sun, 11AM, FREE
Remember Splash in the Park? This is that — new name! Kid-oriented fun includes bounce houses, water activities, and more. More details here.

Castle Rock: Raptors Over the Rock, 5:30PM, FREE
Meet four kinds of raptors living in the area and hear their stories, followed by a meet and greet and photo ops. The Colorado Parks & Wildlife Critter Crate will also be on-scene. Many more details here.

Wednesday, July 18

Lone Tree: CU South Denver Grill & Chill, 11AM, $
What would summer be without a backyard barbecue? Soak up the sun, enjoy a fresh meal, and have some fun. More info here.

 

Baseball, Anyone?
The “Holy Grail” of baseball cards — a gem mint PSA 10 ‘52 Topps Mickey Mantle card — will be on display July 16-18 at History Colorado Center. Kids 5-15 get in free when wearing a baseball jersey! It’s part of the museum’s Play Ball! exhibition (open through the 2018 season), which features classic baseball artifacts from Babe Ruth to the Blake Street Bombers.

 

Check Out Colorado
Get outside and play at a local state park. Visit a DCL location to check out a backpack with a state parks pass!

 

 

Weekend Escape: July 6-11

July is made for farmers markets, outdoor music and ice cream. You’ll find all that and more happening this weekend in and around Douglas County.

 

Saturday, July 7

Castle Rock: Subaru Kids Obstacle Challenge Denver, 8:30AM, $$

The entire family can compete in this obstacle course designed for kids (ages 5-16). Traverse rock walls, army-crawl through mud pits, rope-swing over water, and more. The event occurs both Saturday and Sunday. Learn more here.

Denver: Free First Saturday, 9AM, FREE

General admission is free on the first Saturday of the month at the Denver Art Museum. Explore family-friendly exhibits. Learn more here.

Westminster: 1870s Vintage Baseball Game, 9:30AM, FREE

Watch a classic baseball game played by 1870s rules! Hot dogs, brats, peanuts and drinks will be available for purchase. Learn more here.

Larkspur: Colorado Renaissance Festival, 10AM, $$

Flash back to the 16th century and journey through a medieval city. Enjoy full-armor jousting, tasty turkey legs, music, and a marketplace featuring more than 200 artisans. Saturday and Sunday. Learn more here.

Castle Rock: Storytime at the Park, 10:45AM, FREE

Join Mr. Cliff for stories, music, magic and lots of laughs at Festival Park. Learn more here.

Sunday, July 8

Parker: Parker Farmers Market, 8AM, FREE

Support local farmers by shopping at this vibrant market packed with Colorado vegetable and fruit growers. Learn more here.

Highlands Ranch: Highlands Ranch Farmers Market, 10AM, FREE

Select fresh-baked goods, fruits and vegetables for your family from local farmers. Learn more here.

Castle Rock: Castle Rock Farmers Market, 11AM, FREE

Castle Rock’s NEW Sunday Farmers Market features a variety of vendors with everything from fresh, local produce to grass-fed meats, plus local artisans and much more! Learn more here.

Monday, July 9

Littleton: Alamo Drafthouse Kids Camp, 11AM, $

You pick the price — $1, $3, or $5 — and all proceeds benefit Douglas County Libraries. This week’s showing is Monsters vs. Aliens. See the show any weekday (Monday-Friday) at 11AM. Learn more here.

Tuesday, July 10

Parker: Movin’ & Groovin’ Family Video Challenge: Orientation, 3:30PM, FREE

DCL challenges you to create a video that moves us to tears or laughter, inspires us with heart, or gets us groovin’ to the beat. At the orientation, you will get the guidelines for your video submission and will spend the first half of the session familiarizing your group with the Recording Studio equipment. During the second half of the session you’ll learn how to utilize the computers available to edit your videos. Learn more and register here.

Wednesday, July 11

Various 7-Eleven Locations: 7/11 Day, 11AM, FREE

Get a free small Slurpee from participating 7-Elevens from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. while supplies last. Learn more here.

Highlands Ranch: STEAMWorks, 4PM, FREE

Drop in and explore topics related to science, technology, engineering, arts and math. Learn more here.

Highlands Ranch: Ice Cream Social, 6PM, $

Enjoy an evening of ice cream, food and fun at the annual Ice Cream Social in Civic Green Park. Learn more here.

 

Still More…

It’s time for the Cherry Creek Arts Festival. Enjoy music and arts, including interactive activities for the kids. Check out local museums for free! Use your DCL library card to access an Adventure Pass today. 

Weekend Escape: June 28-July 4

Is it the weekend yet? Let’s kick it off! This edition of the Weekend Escape includes plenty of fun outdoor events and activities, including Independence Day festivities and fireworks (weather and fire ban dependent).

Thursday, June 28

Highlands Ranch: Kids’ Zone, 3-5PM, FREE
Yo-ho-ho, maties! We’re pulling out all the stops for some pirate-themed fun at DCL in Highlands Ranch — ideal for kids 8-12. Learn more.

Castle Rock: Dirt Jumps & Donuts, 6PM, FREE
Grab your helmets and bikes and join Castle Rock Police Bike Unit for an evening of riding the jumps and trails. Donuts will also be served! More info here.

Castle Rock: Music in the Meadows, 6:30PM, FREE
Enjoy live music with The Radio Band. The audience gets to pick the radio station, and the band plays the hits. More details here.

Friday, June 29

Highlands Ranch: Culture on the Green, 6:30PM, FREE
Enjoy a picnic dinner al fresco to the tunes of Swing Era jazz, performed by After Midnight. Learn more here.

Saturday, June 30

Lone Tree: Guided Nature Hike in the Bluffs – Finding the Awe in Nature (Drawing/Sketching), 8:30AM, FREE
Enjoy a short hike and a morning of plein-air sketching, guided by a parks and rec naturalist and an award-winning local artist. All sketching supplies provided. Learn more and register here.

Sunday, July 1

Lone Tree: Free Pool Day for Residents, 10AM, FREE
Stay cool at Cook Creek Pool all day, for free. More info here.

Tuesday, July 3

Roxborough: Slick Science, 4:30PM, FREE
Calling all mad scientists ages 6-12! We’re Digging Up Dinosaurs and experimenting with fun science concepts at our Roxborough location. Register the kids here.

Wednesday, July 4

Castle Rock: Fireworks in Castle Rock, 9PM, FREE
Enjoy Castle Rock’s high-flying fireworks show from just about anywhere in town. The fireworks will blast off from the Santa Fe Quarry butte above Red Hawk Golf Course. More info here.

Highlands Ranch: Bike & Pet Parade & July 4th Parade, 8:45AM & 9AM, FREE
Decorate those bikes and dress up the kids and pets for a short parade celebrating Independence Day (8:45 a.m.). Then find a spot where the whole family can enjoy the community parade starting at 9 a.m. More details and info here.

Highlands Ranch: July 4th Celebration, 4PM, FREE-$
Celebrate the 4th family style, with balloon twisters, face painting, games, inflatables, live music, and a fireworks finale. Food vendors will be on-site (cash and credit cards accepted). More info here.

Lone Tree: Independence Day Celebration, 4PM, FREE-$
Lone Tree and Acres Green residents can enjoy an afternoon of fun that includes a kids’ bike parade, slackline skills park, games, live music, food vendors, and fireworks. More details and info here.

Parker: Stars & Stripes Celebration, 6PM, FREE-$
Enjoy an evening of fun family activities, including bounce houses, games and inflatables for kids and big slides and a climbing wall for adults. Face painting, a tot train, and a mobile zipline will also be available for a fee, as will food and drinks. Get all the details here.

Still More…

Aspen Grove’s Family Film Night under the stars returns for a free showing of “The Princess Bride” on Thursday, June 28. The film starts at dusk, but entertainment and kids activities kick off at 7 p.m., including a jumpy castle and bounce obstacle course.

The Kids Camp film series at Alamo Drafthouse Cinema in Littleton offers pick-your-price tickets — $1, $3, or $5 — with all ticket proceeds in July benefiting Douglas County Libraries Foundation. Watch “The Muppets Take Manhattan” starting July 2 and support your library!

Here’s another sweet deal: Tour the Hammond’s candy factory in Denver for free during factory business hours — no reservations required for groups of less than 10.

 

 

Weekend Escape: June 21-27

The weekend is almost here, and there are lots of amazing events happening! Enjoy this edition of the Weekend Escape.

Thursday, June 21

Lone Tree: RidgeGate Summer Beats Concert: The Tom Petty Project, 5PM, FREE
Enjoy music outdoors with the entire family. There will be food trucks and activities before the summer sounds of this Tom Petty cover band. Learn more.

Friday, June 22

Highlands Ranch: Young Yogis in the Park, 10AM, FREE
Young Yogis in the Park is kid-inspired and beginner-friendly. Drop in to breathe, laugh, stretch and bend. Ages 5 and younger are welcome with a caregiver. Parents are welcome to stay and play. There is also a session for teens starting at 11AM. More details here.

Castle Rock: Downtown After 5, 5:30PM, FREE
On select Fridays throughout the summer, head over to Festival Park for live music, great food, and a variety of beverages for the whole family to enjoy! This Friday, Tusk (a Fleetwood Mac tribute band) will be performing. More details here.

Highlands Ranch: Exploration of Pluto with Dr. Alan Stern, 7PM, FREE
Planetary scientist Dr. Alan Stern, leader of NASA’s New Horizons mission to Pluto, could redefine our universe. He’ll talk about his book Chasing New Horizons. Dr. Stern has been named to the Time 100 twice. A book sale and signing will follow his presentation. Register here.

Saturday, June 23

Larkspur: Colorado Renaissance Festival, 10AM, $
Enjoy this celebration of magical realms that goes through August 5 (weekends only). Don’t miss the well-played comedy acts, jousting competitions, Big Cats, and more, plus a festival menu that includes those famous turkey drumsticks! Learn more here.

Parker: $35,000 FarmVet Grand Prix, 4PM, FREE
Enjoy some of the highest level of equestrian competition at the Horse Park this weekend. Learn more 

Sunday, June 24

Lone Tree: Schweiger Ranch Tour, 2PM, FREE
Learn about the history of this longtime homestead. Enjoy fresh biscuits and learn how to churn butter by hand! Learn more here.

Monday, June 25

Parker: Movin’ & Groovin’ Family Video Challenge, 7PM, FREE
Here’s a fun family competition. Create a short video (up to 2 minutes) that moves us to tears or laughter, inspires us with heart, or gets us groovin’ to the beat! Contest entries are due by August 29, but join us for an orientation to learn the ins and outs of the Parker Recording Studio, which has all the tools you need to create your video. Learn more.

 

Still More…

Summer festivals are in full gear. There are a number to choose from this weekend in the greater Denver metro area, including: Sand in the City (Arvada), Highlands Street Fair (Denver), Cherry Blossom Festival (Denver), Unicorn Festival (Littleton), Colorado Tiny House Festival (Brighton), and South Platte RiverFest (Denver). To find more great summer festivals, see our next blog post.

11 Festivals to Celebrate Summer

What would summer be without a few classic Colorado festivals to kick up the fun factor?

These 11 offer something for everyone.

June

Colorado Renaissance Festival: June 16-Aug. 5, Larkspur
Enjoy this celebration of magical realms that goes through August 5 (weekends only). Don’t miss the well-played comedy acts, jousting competitions, Big Cats, and more, plus a festival menu that includes those famous turkey drumsticks!

Donkey Derby Days: June 22-24, Cripple Creek
Donkey races, games, live entertainment, food vendors, children’s activities, baby donkeys (cue the oohs and aahs), and more. You can even enter your dog in a dog show and compete for prizes.

Greeley Stampede: June 22-July 4, Greeley
This festival is packed with events and activities: concerts, bull fighting, a kids rodeo, and a demolition derby to name just a few. New to the Stampede are the Brushes & Bulls guided painting event and the Cowboy Games themed obstacle course.

Cowboys’ Roundup Days: June 30-July 4, Steamboat Springs
Tap into your Western roots at this old-fashioned community celebration. Enjoy a Pro Rodeo, free concert, block party, Independence Day celebration, and more.

July

Hot Air Balloon Rodeo: July 14-15, Steamboat Springs
No bucking broncos at this rodeo, but you will find plenty of colorful hot air balloons and balloon contests, arts and crafts, performances, a kids zone and interactive children’s area, food vendors, and more!

Pearl Street Arts Fest: July 21-22, Pearl Street in Boulder
This lively celebration of the arts includes artists from around the country, children’s art activities, and live performances.

Buffalo Bill Days: July 26-29, Golden
The whole family will find something to enjoy here: activities like Cody’s Wild West, mutton bustin’, live music, car shows, a golf tournament, food and merchandise vendors, and the list goes on.

August

Douglas County Fair & Rodeo: August 2-5, Castle Rock
This year marks the 100th anniversary of the fair and rodeo. There’s so much family fun to be had: a rodeo; carnival; mutton bustin’; barrel racing; an interactive, hands-on agricultural learning experience; pie-eating contest; and more.

Olathe Sweet Corn Festival: August 4, Olathe
Nothing screams “summer” louder than sweet corn. If you love the cobs from Olathe, you must go. This one-day festival features live music and, of course, a corn-eating contest, plus plenty of family-friendly activities.

Western Welcome Week: August 10-19, Littleton
This annual community celebration includes over 40 events — including free entertainment, an arts and crafts fair, and a Grand Parade — and benefits dozens of local civic and charitable organizations.

Palisade Peach Festival: August 17-18, Palisade
Go straight to the source for peach mania! Starting with the parade, to a pancake breakfast, to the Peach Cuisine and BBQ Throwdown demos, to a peach-eating contest, to the biggest peach contest, you’ll have a peachy time at this favorite Colorado festival.

 

 

 

Weekend Escape: June 14-20

It’s the Weekend Escape, just in time for Father’s Day! Enjoy some family fun this weekend in and around Douglas County.

Thursday, June 14

Highlands Ranch: Summer Concert Series, 6:30-8PM, FREE
It’s Summer Concert Series season! Pack a picnic and enjoy the music of a local band at Highland Heritage Regional Park. Kona Ice will be serving shaved ice. More details here.

Parker: Chess Club, 7-9PM, FREE
Make it a game night! Drop by our Parker location for some friendly chess competition for players of all ages and abilities. More info here.

Saturday, June 16

Castle Rock: Classic Rock Cruise-In Car Show, 10AM-3PM, FREE
Classic cars and live music — a perfect day for dads! This event in downtown Castle Rock also has bounce houses and family activities, plus food vendors on-site. More details here.

Castle Rock: SuperDad’s Day at the Outlets at Castle Rock, 1-3PM, FREE
Celebrate Father’s Day with a “super” themed experience that includes a meet and greet with different superheroes from iconic movies and comics, life-size board games, and a live DJ playing a superhero score. Wear a cape and receive a $5 Outlets at Castle Rock gift card, then shop for dad’s gift! Learn more.

Roxborough: Arrowhead Shores Concert Series, 6-9PM, FREE
That Eighties Band kicks off the Arrowhead Shores concert series. Enjoy live music, food and activities for all ages. Bring your own chairs, blankets and coolers. More info here.

Sunday, June 17

Castle Rock: Farmers Market, 11AM-3PM, FREE
Shop local produce, herbs, spices, honey and more at Festival Park. Learn more.

Lone Tree: Craft Lab, 2-4PM, FREE
Drop by the Studio in our Lone Tree location and make something crafty — like a gift for dad. More info here.

Littleton: Father’s Day Eagle Fest, 5:30-7PM, $
Presented by the Audubon Society of Greater Denver in partnership with Hawkquest. Bring a picnic dinner and enjoy a presentation of live eagles, falcons and other birds of prey, as well as other outdoors experiences. Drinks and desserts provided. Get more info here.

Wednesday, June 20

Parker: An Evening With Author Craig Grossi & Fred the Dog, 6:30-8:30PM, FREE
Craig is a former U.S. Marine who met Fred the dog on an Afghan battlefield. They’ll join us at our Parker branch to talk about how they rescued each other, and their new book, Craig & Fred. Books will be sold, including a Young Readers edition for ages 8-plus. Register here!

Lone Tree: Summer Solstice Guided Nature Hike in the Bluffs, 6-7:30PM, FREE
Celebrate the summer solstice in the Colorado outdoors. A professional naturalist will guide this hike in the Bluffs and provide info on how other cultures celebrate the first evening of summer and longest day of the year. Learn more here.

More Fun + Food

If you’re looking for good eats and fun treats this weekend, you found it! The Denver BBQ Festival features a whole lotta hog June 15-17. Indulge in Greek cuisine and festive music and entertainment at the Denver Greek Festival, June 15-17 — you don’t have to be Greek to have a good time! Escape to the “magical realm” of the Colorado Renaissance Festival, which kicks off Saturday, June 16.

Still More…

Create your own adventure with an Adventure Pass! Use your library card to book a pass to any of eight local cultural attractions.

Aspen Grove’s Family Film Night is Thursday, June 14, starting at 7 p.m. Kids can enjoy a jumpy house and bounce obstacle course, followed by a showing of The Wizard of Oz at dusk, for FREE!

Got extra energy? JumpStreet’s 10 Buck Tuesdays and Thursdays are back at its Littleton and Greenwood Village locations — jump for two hours for $10.