One of my favorite place around is Castlewood Canyon State Park. There is a beautiful canyon, the ruins of a damn which burst and flooded all the way to Denver (30 miles), and the foundations of an old homestead. I have hiked most of the trails pre Mia and Anna.
The dam broke on August 3, 1933. That day is now known as Dam Day. Shhhh it's a well-kept secret. $7 to get in the park, a barbecue, activities for the kids, and only about 50 people! There was lots of people hiking around the park, but very few knew about the celebration (interesting way to commemorate a catastrophic flood) going on at the pavilion area.
The first thing we did was observe and play with the dam diorama.
The kids put in trees and people and livestock in the canyon.
Then the rain comes.
And the dam breaks! The entire canyon is flooded and the trees, people and livestock are carried away in the deluge. It was a very good visualization for the kids and they seemed to completely understand what happened.
After the diorama, the girls made candy dams out of Sunburst candy stones and frosting mortar.
Next, face painting and the playground!
We played for a few minutes and then went on a hike to the bottom of the canyon. With two preschoolers, resting takes up a good portion of our hikes.
The girls played in the water at the bottom with their "hiking sticks".
I love pictures of kids from the back.
Such a beautiful day!
We were getting hungry so we hiked back up. Mia hiked all the way down and back up herself. I carried Anna about half the way back up.
We got back to a great barbecue! Eating outside always tastes so good!
On the way to the Visitors Center, the girls stop to pet the bull snakes. Dan stood far away.
At the visitors center they got to reenact the dam break, only this time they got to save the dam by cranking open the hole! The flood was at night, so the reenactment was all in the dark as well, with squirt guns for rain and flashbulbs for lightning.
Tonight, the girls ate their dams for dessert.
I wasn't sure what to expect at Dam Day, but we were not disappointed. Remember, keep quiet, we like the noncrowds!