The tourism organization Visit Fort Collins does a wonderful job of sharing information about the vibe in this city and the new activities that are constantly being added. Their most recent video, The Best Family-Friendly Activities in Fort Collins, highlights a few of my family’s favorites, including:
- The Farm at Lee Martinez Park
- Fort Collins Museum of Discovery
- The Exchange (see my blog post about The Exchange here)
- Old Town Putt
Here are just a few more that I would have included:
- My gym, Genesis North: They offer great kids programming (and daycare), and just started up a kids’ version of CrossFit!
- Twin Silo Park: Fort Collins has countless beautiful parks and natural spaces, but this is a particular favorite of my tiny human.
- Horsetooth Reservoir: I am so happy that my kiddo likes to hike and kayak. It feels like we spend half our summer on the reservoir!
What are your favorite family-friendly spots in Fort Collins?
Happy New Year!
By now you may be overwhelmed by “new year, new you” posts. I happen to like you just the way you are — but if you’re feeling stuck in a rut, I am here to offer a few ideas of how to shake it off and give 2020 the fresh start it deserves.
- Put on your best filter. Did you know that Denver and Boulder have opened Selfie Museums? They’re just what they sound like: collections of fun rooms designed specifically for you to take delightful photos in. If your profile picture is still from that 5k you ran two years ago, you owe yourself some fresh photos with the bomb lighting.
- Listen to Oprah. That’s not a metaphor. She’s coming to Denver in March!
- Climb out of the box. Nudge yourself toward something new. Art galleries leaving you cold? Try RiNo’s Side Stories, which project art and videos on the outside of buildings. So over staycations? Hit the road with 303 Magazine‘s scenic road trip plans. Tired of your hotels not offering you kangaroo kisses? Golden has an interactive “vacation rental zoo.” I could do this all day, guys.
- Shake up your surroundings. Come on, you know I had to include this one. Is it time to tackle that kitchen remodel to add value to your home? Or perhaps you’ve outgrown your house altogether, and you’re ready to see what else is out there? If this is the year you need to change up your digs, please reach out — I would love to talk about how to make this happen for you in 2020.
Recently updated ranch floor-plan at 525 Columbia Road in Fort Collins with a fully finished basement. The large main floor features original hardwood floors that have just been refinished and stained. The addition to the home adds a dining room, family room and a beautiful sun-room off the back of the home so you can soak up the 300+ days of Colorado sunshine! The kitchen has been fully updated with brand new counters, back-splash and appliances. The main floor bath has also been fully updated. In the basement, you’ll find a large rec room for additional living and entertaining space. All carpet is brand new and the entire home has been repainted. Beautiful trees dot the property and there is still lots of space for you to plant a garden or entertain. Call for your private showing at (970) 829-8818 for more information or click the link below for more details.
It’s difficult to believe it’s only 10 days to Halloween! Have you made your plans yet? If not, here are a few events in the Fort Collins area that have piqued my interest:
- Oct 25-27, Treatsylvania: “Children ages ten years and under receive treat bags to use for trick-or-treating at the storefronts… Participants also enjoy a pumpkin patch, hayride, a “not-so-spooky” barn, refreshments, and cookies.
- Oct 25-26: Holiday Twin Drive-In’s Spook-a-thon: “Side 1: Monster House, Jurassic Park, The Thing; Side 2: Ghostbusters (1984), Beetlejuice, Scream“
- Oct 26, Bow Wowvania: “Bow Wowvania is a dog-friendly trick-or-treat event at The Farm. Hundreds of dogs and dog owners will take a stroll down Trick-or-Treat Street dressed in costume and eager for treats.”
- Through Oct 27, Harvest Farm’s Fall Festival: Includes corn mazes, wagon rides, bonfires, pig races (?!), homemade kettle corn and more!
- Oct 31 (morning), Tiny Tot Halloween: “It’s time once again for the tiny ghouls and goblins of Fort Collins to invade Old Town for a safe and family-friendly trick-or-treating experience!” (Although my tot is not so tiny anymore!)
This last one’s more of a fall celebration than a Halloween event, but I simply had to include it — it looks too fun!
It isn’t too often that you see my own face on this blog! (That’s me at left, alongside my friend Hannah.) When I’m not selling homes, taking business meetings over ice cream, or sharing tips on homeownership, I am out and about in Colorado just like many of you. It is important to me to be familiar with the area so that I can tell you not only about the homes on the market, but about the lifestyle and sense of community in various areas across the state.
Luckily I have help when it comes to exploring! My husband who is always interested in checking out a new brewery, and I have a tiny human who is naturally curious about the world. (For example, he and I recently met bison up close at Terry Bison Ranch Cheyenne, Wyoming!)
One of my secrets to getting to know an area is to sign up for a race, such as a 5k. It’s great exercise, sure, but it’s also a wonderful opportunity to visit a new part of town, or even a new-to-you city. My family always looks forward to the BolderBoulder race, and over Labor Day we took on the Fortitude 10k together, which was a sweet bonding experience that also gave me an excuse to admire all of the gorgeous historic homes along my favorite street, Mountain Avenue.
This weekend, my race was the Fall Equinox 5-mile. Even though I am based in Fort Collins, this race gave me an entirely new perspective on the area as I explored the stunning Poudre River Canyon on foot. This is why many people move to Colorado: to walk or run along a wild and scenic river as the sun rises over the canyon. For homebuyers, the Colorado lifestyle can be as important as the house itself. If you’re interested in talking to an agent who is passionate about both, please reach out!
Did you know that the City of Fort Collins offers tours of its public utilities? These free “Power Trip Bus Tours” visit Rawhide Energy Station (pictured), local energy sub-stations and more, all with the hopes of introducing the public to the different ways that electricity and water are generated and distributed through the city.
Fort Collins is also interested in how its citizens conserve energy, and provides a list of residential conservation programs for energy and water. According to the city, these programs saved over 200 million kilowatt-hours in 2019, enough electricity to power over 22,000 homes for an entire year — and they can save you a good deal of money at the same time.
Energy Conservation Programs
Efficiency Works Store: Get instant rebates on efficiency products at rebates.eworksstore.com
Efficiency Works – Home: Reduce costs and increase the comfort of your home with efficiency upgrades. Utilities customers can take advantage of a $60 efficiency audit (normally $600). fcgov.com/home-efficiency
Epic Loan: Competitive interest rates and no-money-down financing for up to 15 years on solar and water and energy efficiency projects. fcgov.com/financing
Refrigerator and Freezer Recycling (Efficiency Works): Recycle your old refrigerator or freezer and receive a $35 check and get it hauled away for free. fcgov.com/rfr
Clothes Washer Rebates (Efficiency Works): Purchase an ENERGY STAR-qualified clothes washer and receive a $50 bill credit. fcgov.com/washers
Green Energy Program: Purchase Green-e Energy certified renewable energy for an additional 2.65 cents per kilowatt-hour on top of your normal utility bill. fcgov.com/green-energy/
Solar Rebates: Install a solar PV system and receive up to $1,500 cash back. fcgov.com/solar
Water Conservation Programs
Sprinkler System Audits and Rebates: Get a free sprinkler system audit and equipment rebates. fcgov.com/sprinkler-audits
Xeriscape Incentive Program: Receive rebates to create a healthy, attractive landscape that conserves water and receive a rebate up to $750. fcgov.com/xip
Toilet Rebates: Receive a rebate when you buy a 1.1 gallons per flush or less toilet and recycle your old one. fcgov.com/toilet
Thank you to the City of Fort Collins for providing this information on a recent Power Trip Bus Tour, and for encouraging citizens to save money and resources through conservation!
Today I stumbled on a link I had to share with you: the Cache le Poudre River National Heritage Area video archive. If you are curious about the cities along the Poudre River (specifically Fort Collins, Loveland, Windsor and Greeley), these 30+ videos create a wonderful way to learn about the area without ever leaving home.
History buffs: The Poudre NHA has created many videos looking back on the heritage of the river; try The Poudre River Flood of 2013 or A River Runs Through It. The NHA also offers a great series of conversations with Northern Arapaho leaders such as Mark Soldier Wolf.
My personal favorite: The animated history of the National Heritage Area. What can I say—it’s adorable!
Here’s an interesting development to keep an eye on: Montava! I can’t help but be intrigued by all of these examples of “New Urbanism” that I see popping up. New Urbanism focuses on walkable neighborhoods, diverse types of housing, and environmentally-friendly design. (Read my blog about Longmont’s Prospect New Town for another example of New Urbanism.)
Montava is located in Fort Collins, just north of Mountain Vista (near Budweiser). It calls itself an “Agri-Urban community,” saying, “There is a rich history of agriculture in Fort Collins. We are embracing this history by integrating true urban farming into the DNA of Montava. By setting aside land that can be used to grow a wide variety of produce, we can foster people’s connection with their food at this most basic level. With our partners at Native Hill Farm, Montava will become a sustaining influence for generations.”
The people bringing Montava to life keep their own blog, which includes stories about “Planning for People, Bikes, and Not Cars” and “Reviving Quaint.” You can also keep up on Montava’s development on Facebook or Instagram, or read more about their principles of human-scaled design and sustainable communities on their website.
We’re in the full swing of summer, and for me that means taking my meetings out of the office and into the sun. Below are a few unique spots in Fort Collins where we could cool down while we talk shop.
- Old Town Churn is situated at the heart of The Exchange, which I blogged about here. Their Salted Oreo flavor is from another planet and The Exchange’s outdoor lawn area is kid-friendly.
- Walrus Ice Cream is a FoCo staple, as much for their playful flavors as for the walrus-inspired art covering the walls.
- Revolution Artisan Pops offers homemade gelato and ice pops. I love that they collaborate with other local businesses, from dairies to coffee shops to juiceries. Did you know Revolution is owned and operated by students at CSU?
- Union Bar & Soda Fountain is worth visiting just to check out their mid-century decor. In their own words, Union puts their “own creative twist on timeless recipes such as egg creams, phosphate sodas and even milkshakes.” They also offer cocktails, a full menu, and a beautiful patio.
- Eating healthier this summer? I haven’t forgotten you! Ba-nom-a-nom is a mobile food cart which offers soft serve made from fruit. Their goodies are “dairy free (vegan), gluten free, nut free, sugar free, fat free, & egg free by nature.” The cart can often be found at the FoCo Food Truck Rally.
I am only scratching the surface—Fort Collins has no shortage of summer sweets. Give me a call to meet up at one of my favorites, or at yours!
You would never buy a home without driving around the neighborhood first, right? Perhaps you should explore the area by bicycle as well!
Not sure where to begin? In Northern Colorado there is no shortage of fun clubs and group rides. However, I recommend looking into Pedaling the Poudre tours through the Poudre Heritage Alliance. These tours are less concerned with cardio and more focused on education and exploration along various stretches of the Cache le Poudre River. The guides are friendly and knowledgeable, their tours stick to paved trails, and the fees for the tour support the work that the PHA is doing to share the history and culture of the river corridor. PHA regularly offers tours in Larimer County (Fort Collins) and Weld County (Windsor, Greeley).
Prefer to move at your own pace? Strike out on your own with PHA’s self-guided tours instead. Stretch your legs, get some sun, and fall in love with a beautiful, scenic area!