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Five offbeat things to do this summer with kids ages five to ten

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If you have older children at home who'd consider our earlier suggestions for offbeat summer fun just so much easy kid's stuff, relax. There's plenty of awesome, quirky and local shit stuff for pre-adolescents to do in Denver, too. Here's our list of five great activities to enjoy this summer with kids ages five to ten.

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1) The sixth annual Highland 4th of July Parade Thursday, July 4 Meet up with fellow parade-goers at the intersection of 32nd Avenue and Clay Street at 7:45 a.m. sharp for the parade kick-off decorating party, where you and your kiddos can liven up your favorite non-motorized rides. At 9 a.m., it's time to line up so that the parade can get moving. You'll meander all the way down to Hirshorn Park, where bands, games and food await. Bring a blanket to picnic on, a non-perishable dish to share, and a can or two to donate to the local food bank. For more information, visit the Highland 4th of July Parade website or call 303-991-6204. 2) South Broadway Farmer's Market Wednesdays, starting July 10 23 Lincoln Street Farmers' market season is upon us, and local markets all over town are not only a great way to entertain kids, but to educate them about where their food comes from. The brand-new South Broadway Farmers' Market will join the lineup on July 10. Every Wednesday from then through the end of summer, you can swing by from 5 to 9 p.m. for plenty of fresh produce and family-friendly community camaraderie. For more information, visit the Broadway Farmers' Market Facebook Page, or call 303-734-0718. 3) Dinosaur Express 17155 West 44th Avenue, Golden All aboard! On Saturday, July 20, kids can sift through sand in search of fossils as part of the Colorado Railroad Museum's Dinosaur Express event, a collaboration with Morrison Natural History Museum, Dinosaur Ridge and Triebold Paleontology. At the railroad museum, you'll be greeted by multiple and massive Stegosauruses before meeting the 45-foot-long sea monster, Tylosaurus. Next, you'll follow dino tracks around the museum and listen to prehistoric stories; other activities include panning for gold and painting your own dinosaur tracks. Free for museum members and children under 2; non-member pricing: $5 for children, $15 for adults, $10 for seniors, and $30 for families. For more information, visit the Colorado Railroad Museum website or call 303-279-4591 4) The 13th Annual Colorado Dragon Boat Festival Sloan's Lake This free, annual family-friendly festival runs from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday, July 27 and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday, July 28. It's all about highlighting our state's Asian Pacific American heritage, and its signature event -- the two-day-long dragon boat racing, featuring a new fleet of six Hong Kong-style dragon boats -- is something you won't see anywhere else in the U.S. The festival also includes traditional and contemporary performing arts, genuine Pan-Asian cuisine and a marketplace brimming with Asian arts- and-crafts vendors. And don't miss out on the Zodiac Dash 3.5K fun run, held on the second morning of the festival as part of this year's "Commit to Be Fit" theme, which has also inspired healthier festival fare, including gluten-free options. The fun happens at Sloan's Lake, but you can park your automobiles at Sports Authority Field at Mile High and take a shuttle to the festival, so you don't take up all the parking in the neighborhood. For more information, visit the Colorado Dragon Boat Facebook Page or call 303-953-7277. 5) Loveland Loves BBQ, Bands, and Brews 152 East 5th Street Your kids will love the quick road trip to Loveland for that town's unofficial kick-off to summer! Residents and visitors alike have been gathering for years to celebrate the season Loveland-style, with good old-fashioned barbecue, craft brews and bands ranging from Amplified Souls to The Indulgers. The fun starts at 3 p.m. Friday, July 12 and the party won't stop until after the sun's set (otherwise known as 10 p.m. sharp); the festivities will continue on Saturday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. For more information, visit E.L. Events' website or call 970-980-4764.

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