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Your DIY Guide to a Backyard Makeover on a Budget

I had so much fun sprucing my yard up for the 4th, I wanted to find some fun, affordable things I could do to keep making it a more and more desirable place to spend time with family and friends. Check out all the awesome ideas I found!

Get Crafty with Your Fence

Fence with colorful marbles in it. Photo by Instagram user @suchgaul
Photo via @suchgaul

Cool backyard ideas don’t have to be expensive to have that “wow” factor. All you need is a drill, several different sizes of multi-colored marbles, and a rubber mallet for this cute DIY project. Your backyard will be illuminated with color when the sun hits just right!

Try Xeriscaping

Cacti in gravel. Photo by Instagram user @desertcoastdesigns
Photo via @desertcoastdesigns

Reduce water usage when you xeriscape your green space. This budget-friendly backyard landscaping idea is easy to do, requires minimum maintenance, and saves you on water all while giving your yard major appeal and adding value to your property!

Some of my favorite succulents and cactus:

  • Burro’s Tail
  • Haworthia Cooperi
  • Aloe
  • Opunita ‘Pina Colada’

A great website to visit for both plants is:                                                                       mountaincrestgardens.com

  Make a Portable Bar

Wooden outdoor bar cart by yellow door. Photo by Instagram user @thekatrinablair
Photo via @thekatrinablair

Load your cart up with glasses, small appetizer plates, a pitcher for lemonade or water, and an array of snacks to have a convenient fueling station right in your backyard. And if it starts to rain, you can easily transport it inside to keep the party going! Later, use it as a potting table for plants, or make two, like me 🙂 

 

 

 

Click on the link below for the materials and instructions to build this adorable outdoor table.

Outdoor Bar / Potting Bench / BBQ Prep Station

 

 

Cozy Fire Pit

Stone fire pit surrounded by bench. Photo by Instagram user @katrinacanerealtor
Photo via @katrinacanerealtor

The best backyard designs are the ones that include a fire pit! Show off your DIY skills by building your own fire pit out of wall stones with this simple tutorial, or find a metal one that’s also budget-friendly. Make sure that you include ample seating around your fire pit for roasting marshmallows!

Comfy Seating

Outdoor seating is one of the most important features to include in your backyard transformation. Large outdoor pillows, benches, and rocking chairs are all fantastic pieces to create a cozy space for you and your guests to relax. For a great cheap outdoor seating idea, make your own day bed with a                                                                  wooden pallet.

Wooden pallet benches with grey cushions. Photo by Instagram user @nataschajanina
Photo via @nataschajanina

 

 

 

String Up Some Mood Lighting

Outdoor table with mismatched chairs and twinkle lights. Photo by Instagram user @cl_urbearq
Photo via @cl_urbearq

 

 

If you’re looking to have one of the most beautiful backyards on the block, invest in outdoor lighting. Drape string lights down from a pergola or across your outdoor living space to give it a starry-night feel. You can also line any patio or garden path with torches and lanterns for soft lighting.

DIY Lighting ideas –                               Ping Pong Ball Lights 

Adding glow-in-the-dark pigments to stones and walkways is a fun touch!

Outdoor torches made from wine bottles and house hold objects!

                         Create Shade

Pergola draped with floral curtains and pink flowers. Photo by Instagram user @wainwrighthousetohome
Photo via @wainwrighthousetohome

A pergola is a definitely in the plans for my dream backyard! Clear out an area on a deck or in your yard and build your own pergola with this guide from DIY Network. Planning to spend a lot of time outside with your backyard remodel? Add curtains for extra shade to create the ultimate outdoor living room

 

Lay a Path

Outdoor stone path lined with flowers. Photo by Instagram user @plaids.and.poppies
Photo via @plaids.and.poppies

A garden isn’t necessary for this DIY backyard transformation idea! Put down materials like mulch, bricks, or stones to create a clear path from your house to the pool or playhouse in your backyard. You can also include a little flair to your pathway by adding yard decorations like glow-in-the-dark rocks or garden stakes!

Set Up a Backyard Theater

Outdoor theater with cushions and twinkle lights. Photo by Instagram user @rissipiecies
Photo by @rissipiecie

Grab the popcorn and appreciate the outdoors with this backyard makeover idea! Add a few blankets, large pillows, and string lights for a comfortable theater ambiance, and hook up a projector and screen to watch all of your favorite flicks right in your yard! This DIY screen is a cheap and easy way to create the ultimate backyard viewing experience.

 

Summer crafts for bored kids are always a good thing, and making things with your own two hands is more enjoyable in the end! Happy summer building, playing and partying to you and your loved ones!

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Test Your Boulder Brain! Weird Boulder Facts

See How Many You Already Know! 

– The NIST-F1 Cesium Fountain Atomic Clock, which sets the official time of the entire United States, is housed at the National Institute of Standards and Technology in Boulder. It is designed to keep absolutely precise time for the next 80 million years!Related image

-Bicycling is such a way of life in Boulder that the city can boast an enormous network of bike lanes and paths: 159 centerline miles. If all of the bike lanes in Boulder were laid end to end, they would stretch a greater distance than from Zurich to Milan!

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-As recently as 1939, Boulder was still receiving its mail by way of mules, not automobiles, and was the last city in the United States to have its post delivered this way!

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-The Dushanbe Teahouse, which now resides in the heart of Boulder, was actually a gift from the mayor and people of Dushanbe, Tajikstan, Boulder’s sister city. The teahouse, aside from being an amazing cultural artifact, is also a        bustling business that locals love.

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-In Boulder, one may not actually “own” a pet within the city limits: technically, the town’s citizens are merely “pet guardians,” and the pets own themselves.

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-Boulder is the first city to tax itself for funds dedicated solely to the acquisition and preservation of open space!

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-Independent Business Alliances are common enough throughout the United States now, helping communities develop strong locally-based economies and promoting independent businesses. There are now over 85 IBAs in the United States, but the very first one was in Boulder, Colorado!

-Boulder is one of the fastest-growing tech job markets, as it has the highest density of tech start-ups of any city in America.

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-Boulder is home to one of the last Chautauquas, adult education spaces that were very popular in the early 20th century. The Colorado Chautauqua is unique in that it functions year-round.

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-The first city in the United States to institute a Green Building Code for residences, Boulder residents are proud of the fact that this same law has now been mandated throughout Colorado.

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-With 45,000 acres of preserved open space and 60 parks, Boulder has been acknowledged as one of the Best Urban Green Spaces in America. 

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-Farmers’ Markets aren’t new, but Boulder made this green event just a little bit greener: in 2005, the Boulder Farmer’s Market became the first regularly scheduled zero-waste event in the United States. They ditched the trash cans in favor of recycling and composting literally all the waste at the market, inspiring the EPA to name Boulder the first “Green Power Community” in Colorado.

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Wow, I have lived here for almost 30 years and am still learning new, incredible things to this day! The adventure never ends here in sunny Boulder, Colorado! 

Come Join the Fiesta at the 2nd Annual Colorado Latino Festival!

The  Colorado Latino Festival  is a family-friendly festival that brings together the diverse and myriad cultures of Latin America and the Caribbean for a day of special attractions, musical acts, cultural offerings and some of the most delicious Latin American cuisine found in Colorado.

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Main Event:

Sunday, June 23, 2019, 11am-8pm
Free! 

Boulder is thrilled to host the festival for a second year. The Latino Festival celebrates the richness and diverse culture and contributions of Latin American and Caribbean people who live in Colorado and provides a space for a wide array of artistic and cultural performances, gastronomy, resources, education and much more. Plan all your #latinxfest activities at the Colorado Latino Festival website or check out the schedule below:

Colorado Latino Festival Schedule of Events! 

Image result for colorado latino festival Located in Downtown Boulder, near the Emma Gomez Martinez Park, off of Grove Street and 20th, off Arapahoe.

Free Day at the Museum of Boulder!

Boulder Weekly and the Museum of Boulder are pleased to announce FREE DAY at the museum on Sunday, June 2nd from 10:00am-5:00pm. Come enjoy all the Museum has to offer for adults and children including the Boulder Experience Gallery (2nd Floor Gallery) showcasing the history of Boulder, and A-MAZE-D (lower level) featuring a giant cardboard maze for all ages. The Google Garage maker-space will have volunteers to help visitors tinker and create.The folks from Sphero will be here with all sorts of robotics toys for you and your family to explore and tinker with! A visit would not be complete without taking a picture from the rooftop deck with fabulous views of the Flatirons.

VENUE

Museum of Boulder 

2205 Broadway

Boulder, CO 80302

Phone:

303.449.3464

Website:

www.museumofboulder.org

The Boulder Creek Festival and the BOLDERBoulder areHere!

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Happy Memorial Day! Thank You Veterans!

Before all the fun of the long weekend begins, we want to thank and remember all of those who have passed away in active military service. Thank you for your duty and for giving your life so we at home can stay safe and enjoy our beautiful state!                    We salute you!

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Boulder Creek Festival 2019

For over thirty years, the Boulder Creek Festival® has been the unofficial kickoff to summer in Boulder. Widely considered Boulder County’s favorite event, the Festival includes three days of festivities featuring a large variety of events, activities, food and entertainment unique to the

Boulder community.

The Festival is free to the public and features something for everyone: 9 separate event areas with 500 vendors showcase everything from community arts and crafts to healthier alternatives and technology while 3 performance stages feature a spectrum of music and dance. The festival also features carnival rides and food and beverage vendors. Join us over Memorial Day Weekend 2019 for the 32nd Annual Boulder Creek Festival®

the best event in Boulder!

 

Dates: 

May 25, 2019
May 26, 2019
May 27, 2019

Location: 

Boulder Creek between Arapahoe & Canyon (North & South) and between 9th & 14th (East & West)

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40th Annual BOLDERBoulder 10K Run! 

The BOLDERBoulder was founded in 1979 as a small, local 10K, and since has grown to be one of the largest and most respected community running events in the world. We remain locally owned and operated. Every year now we celebrate Memorial Day with more than 50,000 participants and 70,000 spectators.

The BOLDERBoulder has always been for everyone regardless of ability. Our mantra is “Oh Yes You Can!” We have walking, jogging and running waves so everyone can enjoy all 10 kilometers at their own pace.

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The finish line is at the University of Colorado’s Folsom Field, which becomes the perfect venue for everyone to gather and watch the professional race and the Memorial Day Tribute. The International Pro Team Challenge attracts some of the best male and female athletes from around the world. They finish around 11:45am in the packed stadium with a cheering crowd.  Then everyone stays to watch the grand finale, the Memorial Day tribute which begins promptly at high noon.

We sincerely hope you decide to join #BoldNation by taking part in what we like to call the biggest Memorial Day celebration on earth.

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Need an Idea for Something Fun to Do With the Family this Weekend?

This Weekend Will be Sunny and Warm!

Here are a Couple Ideas to get the Family Outside, Enjoying the Sun, Fresh Air and all the Beauty and Entertainment Boulder has to Offer!

Eldorado Canyon State Park 

One of Boulder County’s most spectacular natural treasures, Eldorado Canyon State Park is an outdoor-lover’s paradise and has something for everyone. Coming to hike along the magnificent sandstone cliffs, fish in the South Boulder Creek, or just take in the breathtaking scenery, locals and tourists alike frequent this day-only park year-round. If you are wondering what to do in Boulder with active kids, this is a great place to explore.

Eldorado Canyon State Park is home to some of the best rock climbing in the world and offers over 1,000 technical rock climbing routes in and around its golden cliffs. South Boulder Creek is also ideal for fishing, paddling, swimming and picnicking during the warm summer months, while winter sees cross-country skiers and snow hikers enjoying the scenery.

The state park is open during daylight hours only, and visitors must leave before dusk. There is a small entrance fee.

9 Kneale Road, Eldorado Springs, Colorado 80025, Phone: 303-494-3943 

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If you are looking for something a little slower paced and more relaxing you can visit, Long’s Iris Gardens!

Long’s Gardens, Boulder 

Founded in 1905 by J.D. Long, Long’s Gardens is a third-generation, family-owned and -operated iris farm in the heart of Boulder. The farm offers a tranquil escape for visitors from the city and specializes in growing and selling bearded iris, which provides spectacular natural scenery when in bloom from May through early June.

Long’s Gardens sells iris plants ranging in size from the Miniature Dwarf Bearded at 8 inches in height to the Tall Bearded at 27 inches and higher. Long’s Gardens also sells T-shirts, tote bags and books on caring for irises.

Visitors should note that the gardens are only open during blooming time: May through June.

3240 Broadway, Boulder, Colorado 80306, Phone: 866-442-2353 

Image result for long's garden boulder  If you prefer to be inside where it’s a little cooler, away from the sun, you’ll want to check out a Boulder must see!

Boulder Dushanbe Teahouse

Overlooking Boulder Creek in the heart of Central Park, nestled in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, the Boulder Dushanbe Teahouse is one of Boulder’s most beautiful and popular tourist attractions. Handcrafted in Dushanbe, Tajikistan and shipped to Dushanbe’s sister city of Boulder as a gift, the elaborate teahouse features exquisite exterior tile panels, a hand-carved and painted ceiling, and a fountain of seven hammered copper sculptures based on a 12th century poem, “The Seven Beauties. ”

Traditional afternoon tea is served with crisp English-style white linens and teatime accoutrements, including a three-tiered tower of freshly baked cakes and scones, sweet and savory pastries, and cucumber sandwiches, as well as a range of usual and unusual teas.

1770 13th Street, Boulder, Colorado 80302, Phone: 303-442-4993 

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If your into outer space, stars and planets you’ll definitely want to check out this local favorite, the Planetarium, on a day too hot to be outside!

Fiske Planetarium 

Based at the University of Colorado, the Fiske Planetarium is a popular attraction for both locals and visitors who love the stars. The Planetarium features a variety of exhibits, presentations and shows about the sky, the stars and the universe.

Shows are presented in one of the highest resolution theaters in North America, an Sky-Skan 8K full dome immersive theater, where visitors are surrounded by a 65-foot diameter screen, spectacular visuals, and incredible sound while the star machine displays over 20 million stars and the Milky Way. Visitors can also enjoy late-night laser shows with a new state-of-the-art laser system, as well as the popular Friday night stargazing at the Sommers-Bausch Observatory.

Weather permitting, stargazing evenings are held on the Sommers-Bausch Observatory’s Observation Deck on Fridays throughout the year, whenever the University of Colorado is open. Stargazers can explore the night sky through pier-mounted 16-inch and 18-inch telescopes as well as tripod-mounted binoculars and identify the stars with the world’s largest star wheel.

2414 Regent Dr, Boulder, Colorado 80309, Phone: 303-492-5002 

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Have a safe and happy rest of your week Boulder!

Mother’s Day Brunch at the Food Lab

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Mother’s Day is this Sunday! Come Celebrate Mom with an Interactive Brunch and a Mimosa at the Food Lab, the Whole Family can Come Learn to Cook Mom Brunch in an Entertaining and Informative Way!

What’s on the Menu:

Sweet Potato and Brussel Sprout Hash with Dijon Sauce and PoachedEggs

Lemon Ricotta Pancakes with Ginger Lemongrass Blueberries and Maple Syrup

Roast Carrot Salad with Labneh, Currants, Sunflower Seeds
Orange Blossom Mimosa 

Dates and Times:

  • Sunday, May 12, 2019 10 am – 1 pm

Location:

  Food Lab – 1825 Pearl St

VISIT WEBSITE  – To Register

Have a Warm, Healthy and Happy Mother’s Day to all of Those Wonderful Mothers out there! Thank You for all that You Do!

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Cinco De Mayo Salsa Party

Happy Cinco De Mayo!

It’s Finally Spring Again, and that Means.. No More Dancing Inside Anymore!

The infamous Bar Taco restaurant on west Pearl Street has opened their large patio space for a night of dancing.

Food
Live Music
Dancing
Suprise Performances
Salsa, Bachata, Reggaeton, Timba, Chacha, Zouk, Cumbia…
After Party
& more….

You wont want to miss this!

Sunday, May 5, 2019

5:30pm-9:30pm
Bar Taco
1048 Pearl St, Boulder, CO 80302

VISIT WEBSITE  

CASA Volunteers Make a World of Difference!

   Niwot-based Debra Reed Fowler Real Estate (DRF) has been an active supporter of VFC’s Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) program for three years. In March, her team donated $1,000 to help the organization continue to advocate on behalf of neglected and abused children.

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Gillian Marie, DRF’s Team Administrator explained that CASA is important to Fowler because;

“She talks often about how one person in your life, who believes in you, can change your life and she believes in giving children the best start they can have.“ 

Each year, hundreds of youngsters in Boulder County enter the child welfare system. It’s a complex and fraught system, but Voices for Children (VFC), a nonprofit organization based in Gunbarrel, helps children and their families find a path out.

Gillian Marie, DRF’s Team Administrator explained that CASA is important to Fowler because, “She talks often about how one person in your life, who believes in you, can change your life and she believes in giving children the best start they can have.“

CASA’s executive director, Jacob Harmon, said, “We serve abused children in Boulder County by providing qualified, trained volunteers to advocate for them throughout the court system. The work we’re doing is really building a healthier community. There’s recent research that has shown that the kids we’re serving live an average of seven years less than their peers.”  They also have higher levels of substance abuse and incarceration, but with the help of CASA volunteers, that dynamic is changing.

While social workers are assigned to each child, they may have a caseload of 20 to 30 kids at once, and there’s frequent turnover. But CASAs are assigned to just one child or one family at a time, allowing them to be more detail-oriented and available for the children.

Harmon said, “CASAs create better outcomes for our most vulnerable citizens. The CASA is that objective, independent, and constant presence in the kid’s life.”

Children most often enter the welfare system, because their parents are struggling with substance abuse and their home environment has become unsafe. Or parents may have mental health issues, the child may have been physically or emotionally abused by family members, or they may have experienced sex trafficking.  As a result, the child is placed in a foster care situation while their parents are getting their lives in order.

Any time a child is removed from a home in Boulder County, there’s an emergency hearing and CASA is called into action.

Harmon said, “The magistrate of Boulder County has decided that the service CASA provides is so valuable that she now automatically appoints a CASA to every new case. “

Two years ago there were 125 CASA volunteers, but today there are 267 in the ranks. The organization’s goal is to serve every child in Boulder County’s child welfare system, which means 100 more recruits are needed in 2019. So far this year, they’ve brought on 30 new CASAs.

CASAs are prepared for their roles with 40 hours of training, which covers how the child welfare system operates, the psychological ramifications of trauma and ways to support children experiencing it. VFC has attorneys and social workers on staff to support CASAs in their efforts around the clock.

“CASAs can be really effective and transformational in kids’ lives in about 20 hours a month, that’s just four to five hours a week,” Harmon said, dispelling the myth that volunteers have to be retired or independently wealthy to participate.

The most fundamental role of a CASA is to build a relationship in which the child feels heard and trusted unconditionally.  “So many of the kids in the child welfare system have been ignored to the point where they feel they have no ability to advocate for themselves because no one listens to them and nobody trusts them,” Harmon said.

CASAs and their kids often spend time just hanging out together, going to museums, playing games, or taking a walk. Many of the children in the program haven’t been given an opportunity to enjoy these types of experiences so that time together solidifies a relationship.

Reuniting families may take up to 18 months, and during that time it’s essential for children to know they are not going it alone; they have a mentor, a friend, and an expert to help them, so they stay in school, pursue their interests, heal emotionally and feel valued.

The role of a CASA is also to coordinate with other parts of the system – social workers, attorneys, parents, and foster parents – to make sure the child’s needs are met. Given what each CASA knows of the child and the child’s situation, their advice to the court is critical in deciding what is best for the child.

“The courts really rely on the CASA volunteer to get a sense of where the kid is in the process. They know what the child needs in order to succeed and thrive,” Harmon said.

While governmental funds provide 40 percent of their operating revenue, VFC primarily relies on the community’s generosity to offer their services. This year’s annual operating budget will come to more than $500,000.

Donations to CASA fall under the Colorado Child Contribution Credit and may qualify for a 50 percent tax credit on state taxes.

CASA will be holding its 6th annual Light of Hope luncheon at 1 p.m. on Thursday, April 25, at Folsom Field. This event is one of two critical fundraising events held each year.  During the event, highlighting the compelling work of the organization by profiling CASAs and the children they’ve worked with will bring home the importance and success of the organization.

To learn more about CASA, to volunteer or donate, and to attend the upcoming fundraising event, visit: www.vfccasa.org

CASA volunteers make a world of difference

 

Four Boulder County Easter Egg Hunts for 2019!

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 – Easter is late this year, on April 21, so Boulder’s Easter bunnies have better odds of getting their eggs to stay above the snow—though during Spring in Colorado, nothing is guaranteed. We’ve done our research and gathered four public egg hunts for you and the kiddos to try out! – 

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Grandrabbit’s Easter Egg Race (2525 Arapahoe Ave., Boulder)

  • Saturday, April 20, 10 a.m.–2 p.m.
  • The spectacular Grandrabbit’s Toy Shoppe hosts this free event, which includes prizes and giveaways. Hunts will take place at 10 a.m., 11 a.m., noon and 1 p.m. for ages 1 to 3; 10:20 a.m., 11:20 a.m., 12:20 p.m. and 1:20 p.m. for ages 4 to 6; and 10:40 a.m., 11:40 a.m., 12:40 p.m. and 1:40 p.m. for ages 7 to 10. Arrive at least 5 minutes before start time, one race per child.  

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White Fields Easter Egg Hunt and Festival (St Vrain Memorial Building, Roosevelt Park, Longmont)

  • Saturday, April 20, 10–11:30 a.m.
  • This free festival claims to be the biggest hunt in Boulder County. Additional activities include face painting, bracelet making, a puppet show, and bounce houses/obstacle course. 

The Well Easter Egg Hunt (Lazy Dog Sports Bar & Grill, 1346 Pearl St., Boulder)

  • Saturday, April 20, 10–11:30 a.m.
  • This free downtown Boulder event begins promptly at 10 a.m., and will provide plenty of candy hidden all across the Boulder County Commissioners’ Lawn. All elementary ages welcome. 

Calvary Bible Church Easter Egg Hunt (3245 Kalmia St., Boulder, and 615 Evans St., Erie)

  • Saturday, April 20, 10 a.m.–noon.
  • An annual church ministry event, the free hunt is open to kids through 5th grade and includes crafts, food, games and a special surprise. 

HAPPY EASTER 2019! 

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