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Enjoy Outdoor Antics At Pine Valley Ranch Park
All Month; Free
Less than an hour’s drive from Denver, Pine Valley Ranch Park is an idyllic setting for a winter excursion. Besides the six miles of hiker-only footpaths (we like the 0.8-mile Park View Trail), you’ll find an island featuring a Chinese pagoda, a warming hut complete with a fireplace, and, best of all, Pine Lake, which transforms into an ice-skating rink during the chilly months.
Get Fit at the Valentine’s Day 5K
February 12; $35 for adults, $25 for teens and seniors, free for kids
The free 200-meter kids’ run turns this Valentine’s Day 5K through Washington Park into a family affair. Make sure to dress up as Colorado-inspired characters for the costume contest (our pick: members of the cast of South Park), and don’t depart without taking a photo with Cupid.
Learn to Bake
February 8 or 14; $55 per cake or six cupcakes
South Denver’s My Make Studio allows you to decorate your cake and eat it, too. Each of the two V Day–themed classes starts with a lesson in professional decorating. Then get to festooning a four-inch, heart-shaped chocolate cake (February 8) or six cupcakes (February 14). Bonus: The session comes with a glass of beer or wine for the adults and soda for the little ones.
Take a Carriage Ride
February 7 or 21; $190 for families
Bring your kid’s fairy-tale fantasies to life during an old-fashioned carriage ride through downtown Denver. Irish Rose Drafts’ 20- to 25-minute Romantic Deluxe Package will ferry you under the lights of Larimer Square and past the historic Daniels & Fisher Clock Tower while the 30- to 40-minute Romantic Grand Tour makes a detour down 14th Street to pass the iconic Big Blue Bear sculpture.
Learn About Chocolate
February 12; $15 to $17 for kids, $10 to $12 for adults
Denver Botanic Gardens’ blooms are beautiful. But if flowers feel a little clichéd for Valentine’s Day, give yourself (and your inquisitive kiddo) a more engaging present with a workshop about cacao trees and how their beans transform into luscious chocolates. Once you know the backstory, use your newfound knowledge to create your own box of chocolates.