(Erin O. Smith, Associated Press file)

Parental dilemma: 4/20 weekend with your kids? There are options

With the pot consumers’ big holiday approaching quickly, we at The Cannabist have provided you with ways to experience this event to the fullest.  We’ve got a comprehensive list of 4/20 activities, a guide to Hitting the High Spots 4/20 week in Denver and a cheat sheet so out-of-townies see another side of what Denver has to offer while they toke up the town. However, for parents something was missing — what can I do on 4/20 weekend with my kid? Now we’ve got you covered.

Parental dilemma: 4/20 weekend with your kids? There are options
A popular pastime in the days before parenthood. (Brittany Driver, The Cannabist)

Before I had my son, April 20th meant that, in general, I was getting down on some weed. Requesting the day off, breaking out the blunt wraps and taking massive hits off the 6-foot bong (I totally had one) were a given.  I even went to a 4/20 party once with rolling competitions and pin the joint on Bob Marley.

But as my son’s full-time caregiver I’m clearly not going to be doing any of those things on a Sunday afternoon with my bundle of (mostly) joy.  Instead, I did a little hunting and found some less stoney, but still fun alternatives.  And with public transportation easily accessible for most, it’s an awesome choice whether you’re caring for your child or joining the hordes of partakers.

So I’m going to Ferris Bueller this thing and give you a full day’s worth of activities, yeah?  I’ve included potential events for the entire weekend because, honestly, there is not a ton going on in Denver on April 20 that is not related to weed. Almost everything on this list in fact happens on April 19, a.k.a. 4/20 Eve. It appears many event planners anticipated this date as a shared holiday and opted to hold their celebrations a day or week (or two) in advance.

April 19

Parental dilemma: 4/20 weekend with your kids? There are options
There’s hefty slate of family fun on 4/20 Eve in Lowry, including a 5K run and a block party with food, an Easter egg hunt and more. (Helen H. Richardson, Denver Post file)
  • The fun can begin as early as 9 a.m. with a 5-kilometer run at the Lowry Family Center’s 5K Block Party. The fee for adults is $25, and children over 7 are $15 (under are free). Participants finish the race in the parking lot of Z Place, a very intriguing community center (check it out). This is where the block party will be held beginning at 9:30.  It’s open to the public and will have an Easter egg hunt, giveaways, food and drinks.  They will even be health screenings. Slated to end at 2 p.m., this could be an invigorating way to start the holiday weekend for sure. April 19 at Lowry Family Center, 4605 Paris St., Denver.
  • Capitol Hill United Neighborhoods is hosting an Easter Egg Hunt! This will be the first year my son is doing an egg hunt and I am busting to see him running around with total abandon, flinging his basket of eggs all over the place, hopefully not injuring any precious souls in the process.  Busting!  CHUN promises a visit from the Easter Bunny (himself) and refreshments.  The event will be held at the Tears-McFarlane House near Cheesman Park and is open to children ages 7 and under. You will absolutely, without a doubt catch us here. April 19 at CHUN Community Center, 1290 Williams St., Denver.

  • Free is me and The Rocky Mountain Pet Expo is exactly that, my friends.  From 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the National Western Complex you and all your children are welcome gratis (pet attendees must have a signed waiver).  All sorts of vendors will be there in addition to a pet fashion show and adoption parade.  There is even a contest for cutest pet.  My son loves “puppy” and “kitty,” so this would be a fun way to catch some giggles for an hour or two. April 19 at National Western Complex, 4655 Humboldt St., Denver
  • Parental dilemma: 4/20 weekend with your kids? There are options
    Ubuntu dance festival (Daniel Beahm, provided by University of Colorado)
  • Of note — If you’re willing to make the drive to Boulder — the  Ubuntu African Festival is being held at the University of Colorado’s Glenn Miller Ballroom at 2 p.m.  I missed the Colorado Indian Market and Southwest Showcase and was pretty bummed, so if I have access to the car that day I might make the trek.  It’s $12 for adults and $7 for ages 18 and under.  I took some multicultural dance classes when I was growing up, and one of the styles we explored was African dance.  I know the beats, vivid colors and smiling faces are all things my son can’t get enough of. Older children can be encouraged to ask themselves what their life would be like if they were a part of this culture. It can be a fun lesson for lots of age groups, including mom and dad. April 19 at CU’s Glenn Miller Ballroom, Boulder.

  • More Pot and Parenting
    Ways to keep your stash away from kids || “It’s Just a Plant” gives kids candid look at cannabis (book review) || Lessons from child protective services || The big reveal — Telling Mom and Dad you partake

    April 20

    Parental dilemma: 4/20 weekend with your kids? There are options
    There will be brunch at the Downtown Aquarium on April 20. (Craig F. Walker, Denver Post file)
  • Honestly, the only non-denominational events that I found for Sunday were brunches.  Brunches and more brunches.  The most family-friendly one I came across was the reservation-required Easter Brunch at the Downtown Aquarium. Food service is from 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., so if you’re going to church this can still work for you. The cost for adults is $37.95 (there’s a discount for seniors) and children (ages 3-10 … and then I guess you’re an adult?) are $17.95. Two-year-olds and under eat for free.  My guy is 2, so I’m trying to scoop up these free opportunities while I still can. April 20 at Downtown Aquarium, 700 Water St., Denver.
  • If you want something a little more highbrow and a little less mermaids splashing around in the next tank, you can check out an insane number of brunches in Denver listed on Open Table. Literally, there are over 60 in the Denver area you can sort by price or cuisine type.  Something for everyone.
  • From this mama to the other mamas (and dadas) — enjoy your weekend as best you see fit and happy holidaze!