We Got the FUNK

Thursday, November 16, 2017

The Colorado Ballet presents The Nutcracker #PromoCode

Disclosure:  I am partnering with the Colorado Ballet for a series of posts in exchange for tickets. All opinions are my own. 

It has become a tradition for my little girl and I to dress up, head to Downtown Denver and enjoy a spectacular show featuring amazing dancers with the Colorado Ballet in their seasonal showcase of The Nutcracker.  You can do the same and I have an awesome promo code to share with you to help you save some cash too!

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The Nutcracker is presented in partnership with KeyBank at the stunning Ellie Caulkins Opera House and features music performed LIVE by the Colorado Ballet Orchestra.  I am extremely excited for this year because our little girl has started her own dance journey and she loves ballet.  I know she will be enamored with the show this year and I am so excited to see her face light up as the fantastic dancers walk us through the wonderful story of The Nutcracker.

For almost 60 years the Colorado Ballet has mesmerized audiences with their stunning performance of The Nutcracker mixing a little tradition, with humor and beautiful visuals that bring the holiday magic alive.  This years performances of The Nutcracker begin on November 25th, 2017 and go through December 24th, 2017.  You can purchase tickets and find showtimes on their website

You can be sure that this year will be just as fantastic as years past.  In 2016 the Colorado Ballet's Nutcracker production was named the best-loved Nutcracker in the United States.  It is just that good.  We attend every year and every single year we come away in awe and full of joy!

If you are interested in purchasing tickets, please visit their website and use the promo code: PRINCE to save some money!

Have you seen The Nutcracker before?

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Tuesday, November 14, 2017

7 Reasons to Plan a Trip to Sioux Falls NOW! #WeAreHereSF #HIFromSD #ad





When I was a kid, my parents would take us on these tremendous road trip experiences.  I have driven over nearly all of the western and mid-western United States and stopped at nearly every major city and road side shop on the way!  Those memories are some of my fondest and as my kids get older, road trips will happen more and more.  One of the cities I remember visiting when I was a kid was Sioux Falls South Dakota.
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Sioux Falls is a gorgeous city with a lot of awesome things to do and see.  The husband and I are currently looking at our next family vacation and Sioux Falls is definitely on the list.  It is after all, the Heart of America and with gorgeous views, amazing food and entertaining options and of course the falls, who wouldn't want to road trip there!

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This image courtesy of Day Tripper
To entice the husband a bit more, we started looking at images from Sioux Falls, I totally fell in love.  I had to share the top 7 Reasons to plan a trip to Sioux Falls, SD now!  Up first --The Falls!

1. Falls Park: 
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This image courtesy of Ale and Tere
I mean you cannot go to Sioux Falls without seeing the falls right.  These pictures are breathtaking and exactly as I remember the falls!  I would love to see my children's reactions when they see falls park and just listen to the rushing water in such a serene place.

2.  The History
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This image courtesy of Ale and Tere
Sioux Falls is the largest city in the state and has a rich history.  One thing I really remember was visiting various little historical sites and reading about the impact this city had on the United States.  Its beginnings were a little crazy too!

3. The Food & Wine Scene

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This image courtesy of Ale and Tere
One thing I do not really recall was the food, but from the photos and stories that I have read online, the restaurants in Sioux Falls are amazing.  I know that I definitely want to eat at Prairie Berry based on the reviews and the fantastic open faced sandwiches.  I mean look at this!

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This image courtesy of Ale and Tere
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This image courtesy of Ale and Tere

The food looks just as good as the wine selections!  I mean this place is just pretty as is, add in some amazing food and drinks and this might just be the most perfect family getaway ever!

4. The Art
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This image courtesy of Day Tripper

Nearly every single blog we looked at or photo from a web search showed these amazing sculptures all along the main city streets.  Seriously, free art walk!  I can already imagine walking through Sioux Falls, checking out the sculptures and enjoying a little ice cream from the local mom and pop shop!

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This image courtesy of Ale and Tere
As if the sculptures are not enough, the art scene in Sioux Falls is booming and the galleries are exceptional!  My kids really enjoy going to the art museums here and I know they would be all about checking out the art galleries on vacation too!

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This image courtesy of Day Tripper

5. Shopping


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This image courtesy of Ale and Tere
What is a vacation without a little shopping.  The photo of this little holiday shop has me all googly eyes over this awesome little city.  I have read that they have a great little toy store and a few other fun boutiques that I cannot wait to check out!

6. The Zoo


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This image courtesy of Day Tripper
The biologist in me cannot pass up a chance to check out the animals.  I just love them.  I also love zoos and am very supportive of their conservation efforts.  Many people do not realize how critical zoos and aquariums are to our Earth now.  The Great Plains Zoo has a ton of animals to learn about including this adorable Panda!

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This image courtesy of Day Tripper
7. The Hometown Feel 

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This image courtesy of Ale and Tere
Sioux Falls is just a gorgeous city, but what I remember about it and what I can see from these photos is that is has that very warm hometown feel.  Trees lining the streets, gorgeous but modest homes and friendly people.  Sioux Falls really is a great place no matter your interests! I mean just check out this awesome video of Sioux Falls from Ale and Tere below:




So are you loving Sioux Falls as much as I am?  Well, you can enter to win this amazing travel experience with Visit Sioux Falls now!  Just follow THIS link and enter to win.

Have you been to Sioux Falls?  Tell me about it in the comments!


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Disney On Ice presents Follow Your Heart #PromoCode

Disclosure:  I was provided with free tickets, that I would have purchased anyway.  All opinions are my own. 

Disney On Ice presents Follow Your Heart arrives in Denver on December 7th, 2017 and you can get your tickets now!  I know we are excited to see this awesome show and carry on our family tradition.

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You likely visit my site enough to know that I might be a little Disney obsessed!  Disney On Ice holds a special place in my heart because it is something that my grandma always took my sister and I to growing up.  In fact, we have only missed one show ever!

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This show is sure to excite all fans!  This year it brings Finding Dory to the ice for the first time and I cannot even begin to explain how excited we are to see HANK!

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Another set of characters my kids are dying to see is the cast from Inside Out.  This is a family favorite.  I love how it addresses emotions in a way that kids can understand and my children have often used quotes from this movie to explain how they are feeling to me.

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I cannot wait to see how Disney brings this animated feature to life and I am pretty excited to see my kids faces light up when they see them too!

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Of course, there is always room for the classics and you can bet that Disney on Ice will have fun for boys and girls alike.  From the princesses, to Toy Story to every person's favorite snowman, there is something in this show for everyone!

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You can read more about the show below and grab your awesome promo code to save money on your tickets too!

About the The Show:  
Disney On Ice presents Follow Your Heart is bringing Disney•Pixar’s record-breaking animated feature Finding Dory to the ice for the first time in this live production produced by Feld Entertainment. The ice skating extravaganza featuring Disney•Pixar’s Inside Out, Disney’s Frozen and other beloved Disney stories visits Denver's Pepsi Center December 7-10, 2017. 

Just keep swimming with Dory, Nemo, Marlin and new pal Hank from Disney•Pixar’s Finding Dory as they embark on a life-changing excursion to find her parents and discover the true meaning of family. Cheer with the Emotions from Disney•Pixar’s Inside Out –Joy, Sadness, Anger, Fear and Disgust– as they help Riley find the confidence to win the hockey championship and experience the emotional rollercoaster of growing up. Venture to wintery world of Arendelle where Olaf and Kristoff help reunite royal sisters Anna and Elsa from Disney’s Frozen and learn love is the most powerful magic of all. See Cinderella, Rapunzel, Tiana and the Disney Princesses make their dreams come true through their virtues of bravery, kindness and perseverance. And celebrate true friendship with Buzz Lightyear, Woody and The Toy Story gang. Make unforgettable memories with Mickey, Minnie and all your Disney friends when Disney On Ice presents Follow Your Heart skates into your hometown! 
Denver Performance Schedule:Thurs., Dec. 7:  7:00 p.m.Fri., Dec. 8:  11:00 a.m., 7:00 p.m.Sat., Dec. 9:  11:00 a.m., 3:00 p.m.7:00 p.m.Sun., Dec. 101:00 p.m.5:00 p.m. 
To save $5.00 on your ticket, enter the Promo Code HEART at checkout! We will see you on December 7th! 

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Monday, November 13, 2017

How to Have an AWESOME Girls Night In On A Budget with Frontera® Skillets

Disclosure: This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #FronteraExperience #CollectiveBias

The three women you see with me in the photo below, are my soul sisters.  The keep me grounded, make me laugh and are always up for a little fun!  So when I text them this week and told them to come over Sunday night for a little dinner with Frontera® Skillets and painting, they were ready! 

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Every lady needs a girls night out...or in!  My girlfriends and I try to get together at least once every few months.  We are some busy ladies though, and it can definitely be tough.  However, we make time.  We plan vacations together, we have done a lot of lavish and fun things together, but sometimes we have to be budget conscious too!  That is why I decided to host my girlfriends over for the evening!
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When I invited them over I knew that I wanted to make the evening as easy and smooth as possible.  I was looking for a meal that was low stress, tasty and definitely easy on the clean up!  I headed to Target and decided to check out the frozen food section.

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Frontera® Skillets are only available currently in Colorado, Minnesota & Illinois
I had read about the Frontera® Skillets, inspired by chef Rick Bayless meals and decided that it would be really easy to grab a ready to make meal and some fixin's for a tasty and easy dinner option. At under $9.00 it was extremely budget friendly too.  I snagged 2 bags of the Frontera® Chicken Fajita Skillet because the ingredients looked to be really high quality and read in plain English and it was affordable.  The instructions were super simple and I didn't really need to add anything else.  That felt like a girls night in win!

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I also grabbed the Frontera® Original Guacamole Mix.  Normally, I would make my own, but the mixture of tangy tomatillo, green chili and garlic, as described on the packaging, made this mix hard to pass up.  I am so glad that I didn't because this was a tasty appetizer for my friends and I to enjoy.  I will definitely be stocking up on it the next time I am at Target.
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Getting home on Sunday was a chaos.  My kids had destroyed the house and even though my girlfriend's wouldn't mind, I wanted to relax, have fun and enjoy a night in.  I spent a good 2 hours putting the house back in order and when it came time to have dinner ready for them to arrive, I was so thankful that I went with the Frontera Chicken Fajita Skillet!

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It took 15 minutes to cook from start to finish, with minimal stirring and the smell in my home was AMAZING!  When my besties arrived, that is actually the first thing they both said!  The mixture of tender cuts of seared chicken simmered with fire roasted poblanos and chipotle chilis was just what this girls night ordered!

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I also quickly whipped up the guacamole mix so we had a little something to snack on while we caught up with each others lives.  I threw two avocados in with the mix into my food processor and the guacamole was done in less than 3 minutes.  It was SUPER tasty and what I really loved was that the guacamole did not turn brown AT ALL!  We had this sitting out for nearly 3 hours and not one ounce of brown was on it.

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I cannot eat Mexican food without salsa, but I was trying to keep the evening easy.  After all, the chicken fajitas and guacamole took minimal effort.  I grabbed some easy ingredients, threw them in the food processor and in just a couple minutes I also had my famous fresh garden salsa ready to eat with our meal.

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You can print the recipe below, pair it with some chips or even put it on top of whatever Mexican inspired (or non-mexican for that matter) meal.  I personally love it on everything.  You also do not have to use a food processor.  It will taste just as good if you hand chop the ingredients.  I just am not a fan of chunky salsa.


print recipe
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Simple Fresh Garden Salsa
This is the easiest fresh garden salsa you will EVER make and the taste is awesome!
Ingredients
  • 2 medium Tomatoes
  • 1/2 yellow or white Onion
  • 1-2 Jalapeno
  • 2 TBS Lemon Juice
  • 2 TBS Minced Garlic
  • 2 sprigs Cilantro
  • 1 TBS Garlic Salt
Instructions
1. Use a food processor and combine all ingredients until salsa is mixed well.
Details
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 16 oz

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It was time for dinner and I could not believe that I was able to get everything cooked and ready in under 20 minutes!  Seriously, what a stress free dinner option and great for girls night in!  I set up an easy street taco bar with chips and dip!

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I prepared 2 bags of the Frontera Chicken Fajita skillets and we had PLENTY to go around.  In fact I was able to feed myself, both my girlfriends, the little people in our house and have enough for lunches this week!  I know the bag says that it serves 2 people, but I think it feeds much more!

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Dinner was great.  We all agreed that the chicken fajitas had a bit of a sweet and spicy flavor to it and that it was really good.  The chicken was super tender and juicy, and overall we all agreed this is definitely a meal to add to our dinner rotations!

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Once we finished eating, we cleared the table and set up our own little painting party.  We've all been to those studios, but we're on a budget folks, so hit up your local craft store and do it at home.  I purchased 4 canvas', new paintbrushes, acrylic paint and the pallets all for $20.00! If you want to do this here is what you need:

  • Canvas
  • Acrylic Paint
  • Paint Brushes
  • Water Cups
  • Paint Pallet
  • Paper towels
  • A picture to model after


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We decided to paint a snowman as the holiday season is upon us and he was super cute.  We just googled, "easy paintings to do at home" and found one we all liked that we thought we could do. The snowman won and we propped my computer up on the table so we had a reference.

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Then we went to work, painting the background white, adding a hat, mixing paint colors to get the right shades of blues, greens & reds and laughing the entire time.

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We truly had the best time and agreed that we need to do more of this.  Our girls night in on a budget was perfect for all of us.  In total I spent just under $50.00 for all the painting supplies and food.  It was a fantastic way for us to spend some quality time together and bring our creative sides out as well.

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I loved that each of us created our paintings just a bit different!  It was a blast hanging out with my friends, having good food, great conversation and splendid entertainment.  I highly recommend getting together with your girlfriends for a girls night in soon!  We are totally doing this again!

If you are ready to host a fantastic girls night in and want to try the Frontera products, you can grab this awesome offer below by clicking here!  What a deal.  I know that we will be eating more of these for sure!


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Have you had a girls night in recently?  Tell me about it in the comments!

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Friday, November 10, 2017

That Time I Won Frogs and It Was the BEST. DAY. EVER

Disclosure: I was invited to an event at Beyond the Blackboard. We were not asked to write any post, I just wanted to share my story!

So on Sunday, my blogging BFF Censie, and I drove an hour to meet up with some awesome Denver bloggers and check out Beyond the Blackboard.  This is a store for teachers, parents and anyone that is looking to help kids learn through play!  I was in my element. 

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So we get to the store and go inside.  We are greeted by another blogging friend who shows us around a bit and lets us know a bit about the history behind Behind the Blackboard.  The stores are owned by a mother-daughter team who love education and wanted to provide resources for teachers to create lessons and classrooms that engage learning through play.  They are speaking my language!

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The stores are jam-packed full of awesome toys and educational tools for every single person.  Is your kid interested in science?  Well they have an entire section dedicated to physical, earth, life and the other science areas.  I personally got a little lost in this section, dreaming of all the fun things I could do with my own students and kids.  This was also the point in our visit, that I saw the African Dwarf frogs and I decided that I needed them.  I probably told every person there, that I needed those frogs. 

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One of my favorite corners aside from the science area was the room decor section.  Beyond the Blackboard has EVERYTHING you need to make your classroom stand out (and the prices are super affordable too)!  At my school we do not have our own classrooms, but I do have little spaces in each classroom that I do share to put my own decor and you can bet that come school supply time next year, I will be at Beyond the Blackboard!

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Once we were finished looking around, we gathered around these awesome goodie bags that the amazing women from Beyond the Blackboard put together for us. Our bags were packed full of awesome toys, learning tools and some fun savings too!  I'm definitely saving several of these for Christmas in our home.  My little are totally going to love having these fun surprises in their stockings on Christmas morning and I am going to love that they are toys that help them learn and practice fine motor skills which are great for handwriting!

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The ladies at Beyond the Blackboard decided to give us a few challenges to complete to learn more about the store and to sprinkle a little holiday cheer!  The first was a Melissa and Doug puzzle building challenge. I might be a ::little:: competitive.  Just a little, so when it was go time, we went fast and our group won the challenge and the puzzles!  My kids lost it when they saw those! 

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Another competition was a stocking stuffer competition.  We were given $50.00 store credit to shop around and create a stocking stuffed full of items that someone would love.  I chose my son's teacher.  He is in 2nd grade now and has a busy classroom full of very excitable little boys.  I figured a fun "fidget stocking" would be a perfect gift for her this holiday season!  I am really excited to gift it to her!

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The last couple games we played were Happy Salmon (which I lost) and then a fun white elephant gift exchange featuring their top sellers in the store!  Fun Fact, Beyond the Blackboard gift wraps all the items purchased in store with a ribbon and bow! It was super fun playing and learning about the toys and how they help with learning and motor skills and having a little competitive fun while we were at it!  When the game ended, there were still 3 gifts left in the center pile. The winner of the stocking stuffer contests would each get a 2nd gift!  Well guess who won!

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What did I end up winning?  FROGS!  You guys, I WON THE FROGS!  It was fate, it was the best day ever and I was probably the most ideal person to take these home.  Well, sort of.  They actually are in my classroom and my students and I are working on names for them currently.  I love them so much and it has been awesome to use them as a teaching tool in my classroom!  We are learning about photosynthesis right now and this tiny little ecosystem has been great to use as a model.  I absolutely have loved them and am so thankful that fate put these little froggies in my hands!

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I really had a great time learning about all the resources and fun Beyond the Blackboard has to offer!  If you are local to the Denver area, you should check out their Neighborhood Toy Store Day this Saturday November 11th!  You can show them this post to get 20% off your entire purchase and they will do free gift wrapping!  

Have you been to Beyond the Blackboard?

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Ladies! Change your Period Experience Now!

  • Disclosure: This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #PeriodConfidence #TryTheDivaCup #CollectiveBias


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Thursday, November 9, 2017

Join Us at Santa's Toy Factory!

Disclosure: This post is written in partnership with Bloggin' Mamas.  All opinions are my own. 

It is the holiday season and that means that it is time to dress our best, spend time with family and visit Jolly Ol' Saint Nick!  You can join us on Saturday, November 18th to visit the big guy at Santa's Toy Factory at Southwest Plaza Mall in Littleton Colorado!  Put it on the calendar, it looks and sounds amazing!

Southwest Plaza Mall Santa, When does santa arrive at Southwest Plaza Mall in Colorado 2017, 2017 Santas toy factory, Mattel and Santa at malls, Mattel events, Free mattel events with santa, colorado blogger, denver blogger,  ©2017 Gullane (Thomas) Limited. ©2017 Mattel. All Rights Reserved.
 Image Credit: ©2017 Gullane (Thomas) Limited. ©2017 Mattel. All Rights Reserved.

The Southwest Plaza Mall has partnered with Mattel to introduce a new holiday adventure that will be memorable for the entire family. Santa’s Toy Factory will open on November 18 in the center court area of the shopping center.

The holiday season is MY season.  It is the time of year that I feel most at peace, most alive and most aware of everyone and everything around me.  I try to keep that sentiment and those feelings around by decorating for various holidays, playing holiday music year round (yes, I do) and counting my blessings every moment I get.  However, this time of year I shine!  I am ready to see and do everything so when it was time to set up our Santa meeting, I wanted to find the perfect fit for our family!  Southwest Plaza Mall has been a mall that I attended regularly with my grandmother before her passing.  She often took us there to see the Santa and keeping her spirit alive and building traditions with my family are so important to me.

This year Santa's Toy Factory includes a partnership with Mattel.  Barbie, Hot Wheels, Thomas and Friends, these are all toy brands that I grew up loving and my kids are finding their passions for as well.  We are so excited to visit Santa and help him design and build those toys that we have grown to love while going through Santa's Toy Factory!

Here's a bit more about Santa's Toy Factory:

Southwest Plaza Mall Santa, When does santa arrive at Southwest Plaza Mall in Colorado 2017, 2017 Santas toy factory, Mattel and Santa at malls, Mattel events, Free mattel events with santa, colorado blogger, denver blogger,  Image Credit: ©2017 Gullane (Thomas) Limited. ©2017 Mattel. All Rights Reserved.
 Image Credit: ©2017 Gullane (Thomas) Limited. ©2017 Mattel. All Rights Reserved.

Santa’s Toy Factory is designed to empower creativity through an interactive, immersive experience to meet Santa. Within the 1,600 square-foot space, young guests will have the opportunity to “test” new toys in Santa’s Factory before they get delivered to all the boys and girls on Christmas morning. After they “test” the toys, they visit different stations to digitally design, build and paint toys from Mattel’s iconic brands including Barbie®, Hot Wheels®, and Thomas & Friends.. The grand finale, of course, will be meeting Santa himself for photos and to share their holiday wish list.
“We are proud to be partnering with Mattel to bring this new, one-of-a-kind holiday concept to life,” said Greg Sims, general manager of Southwest Plaza. “We are always looking for ways to introduce new brands and experiences to our community and can’t wait to showcase Santa’s Toy Factory this holiday season. We know our guests will embrace it.”
The experience with Santa’s Toy Factory is free-of-charge and photo packages begin at $39.99. To make reservations to ensure quicker access, please click HERE. If you'd like more information, please visit www.VisitSantasToyFactory.com. Southwest Plaza is located at 8501 West Bowles Ave and is home to a plethora of high-quality tenants including H&M, Francesca’s and Forever 21.

Check out these One-Day Special Events Too!

You Can Be Anything Barbie

 Southwest Plaza Mall Santa, When does santa arrive at Southwest Plaza Mall in Colorado 2017, 2017 Santas toy factory, Mattel and Santa at malls, Mattel events, Free mattel events with santa, colorado blogger, denver blogger, ©2017 Gullane (Thomas) Limited. ©2017 Mattel. All Rights Reserved.
 Image Credit: ©2017 Gullane (Thomas) Limited. ©2017 Mattel. All Rights Reserved.


November 18, 2017
12:00 PM - 3:00 PM
Center Court

Thomas and His Super Station

 Southwest Plaza Mall Santa, When does santa arrive at Southwest Plaza Mall in Colorado 2017, 2017 Santas toy factory, Mattel and Santa at malls, Mattel events, Free mattel events with santa, colorado blogger, denver blogger, ©2017 Gullane (Thomas) Limited. ©2017 Mattel. All Rights Reserved.
 Image Credit: ©2017 Gullane (Thomas) Limited. ©2017 Mattel. All Rights Reserved.

November 26, 2017
12:00 PM - 3:00 PM
Center Court

Hot Wheels Ultimate Garage

 Southwest Plaza Mall Santa, When does santa arrive at Southwest Plaza Mall in Colorado 2017, 2017 Santas toy factory, Mattel and Santa at malls, Mattel events, Free mattel events with santa, colorado blogger, denver blogger, ©2017 Gullane (Thomas) Limited. ©2017 Mattel. All Rights Reserved.
 Image Credit: ©2017 Gullane (Thomas) Limited. ©2017 Mattel. All Rights Reserved.

December 14, 2017
12:00 PM - 3:00 PM
Center Court

Get Social with SouthWest Plaza

Twitter: @ShopSouthwest

Instagram: @southwestplaza

Facebook: Southwest Plaza

Get Social with Mattel

Twitter: @Mattel

Instagram: @Mattel

Facebook: @Mattel

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Disclosure: I’ve partnered with Bloggin’ Mamas and GGP SouthWest Mall to share these free family events with my readers, and am being compensated for this partnership. All opinions expressed are my own.