Things to Do in Colorado Springs this Weekend (Aug 19-Aug 20)

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Lots of walking and hiking to be had this weekend in Colorado Springs. Not to mention our local roller derby club is out in full force. Looks like a beautiful Colorado weekend is in store for us! 

Things to Do This Weekend

Mystery Hike - Sat Aug 19, 1:00pm-2:30pmCheyenne Mountain State Park

Admission: $7 daily parking pass. This isn't just any normal hike! You and your family must solve puzzles, riddles, and mysteries as you search for clues through this one-mile trail. For more info, visit: Colorado Park & Wildlife.


Teddy Bear Day - Sat Aug 19, 9:00am-4:00pm, Cheyenne Mountain Zoo

Admission: $9.75 for children 3-11 who bring a stuffed animal. Get a disocunt on zoo admission and get a free complete check-up for your teddy bear, doll, or stuffed animal! For more info, visit: Cheyenne Mountain Zoo.


GPS Geocaching Treasure Hunt - Sat Aug 19, 10:00am-11:30amCheyenne Mountain State Park

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Admission: $7 daily parking pass. There seems to be a trend around town lately to hunt for hidden items. Join the original community savenger hunt that is known as geocaching!  For more info, visit: Colorado Parks & Wildlife.


Candy Snipers vs. Danger Dolls - Sat Aug 19, 7:00pm-10:00pm, Colorado Springs City Auditorium​ 221 East Kiowa

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Admission: Pre-sale $10, Door $15. Come watch the Candy Snipers battle the Danger Dolls and support our local derby league! For more info, visit: Pikes Peak Derby Dames.


Old Colorado City Car Show - Sun Aug 20, 9:00am-3:00pm, Bancroft Park in Old Colorado City

Admission: Free. Walk around Bancroft Park admiring classic cars and entertainment for the whole family. For more info, visit: Ace Entertainment.

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Things to Do in Colorado Springs this Weekend (Aug 12-Aug 13)

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Pump up those tires, tighten your helmets, and get ready for all the cycling events happening around Colorado Springs this weekend! Following the Colorado Classic that peddaled off yesterday, the Cycling Hill Climb is set for Saturday. Along with the biggest bounce house in the world, concerts, and solar eclipse photography class this weekend won't leave you on the couch. 

Things to Do This Weekend

Big Bounce America - Sat Aug 12-Sun Aug 13, 3:00pm-7:30pmEl Pomar Youth Sports Park 2212 Executive Circle

Admission: $15-$19. World's largest bounce house will be in our backyard this weekend! 10,000 sq ft of bouncing fun for kids and adults alike will be open Friday-Sunday. For more info, visit: The Big Bounce America.


The Broadmoor Pikes Peak Cycling Hill Climb​ - Sat Aug 12, 1:00pmPikes Peak - America's Mountain

Admission: Check website for registration. 7th annual non-competitive competition that will be held in conjunction with the first USA Cycling Hill Climb National Championships. For more info, visit: The Broadmoor Pikes Peak Cycling Hill Climb.


Firefall - Sat Aug 12, 8:00pmStargazers Theatre & Event Center

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Admission: $20-$25+ticketing fee. Come see Firefall this weekend at the Stargazers Theatre! They've toured with bands such as Journey, Fleetwood Mac, The Beach Boys, and more.  For more info, visit: Stargazers Theatre.


How to Photograph the Solar Eclipse - Sat Aug 12, 11:00am, Academy Frame Company​ 7560 N Academy Blvd

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Admission: A minimal donation will be required at the door. We're so excited to see the solar eclipse, but what about preserving what you see in a photo? Learn how to properly take solar eclipse photos from Professor Andrew Ketsdever who teaches astrodynamics and the space environment at the University of Colorado Colorado Springs. For more info, visit: Facebook Event.


August Second Sunday Jazz Affair - Sat Aug 13, 1:00pm-4:00pm, Olympian Plaza Reception Center​ 975 S Union Blvd

Admission: $5/member, $10/non-member. Enjoy a  mix of jazz standards, modern pop and funk, surf music, and original compositions from Jana Lee and the Hidden Agenda this Sunday. For more info, visit: Pikes Peak Jazz.

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2017 Real Estate Market Heads Strong into the Fall

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This year Colorado Springs real estate market made the list of top 10 cities in the nation for hottest real estate markets, according to Realtor.com, and it's no wonder.  Home prices continue to rise. Home sales are abundant. And there is significantly less inventory (homes for sale) than in years past. Here is a breakdown of what is happening in our little boom town this year.

Single Family Home Sales =  UP 5.6% over last year

Average Price for a Home =  UP 11.2% over last year (currently at $313,652)

Total Homes for Sale =  DOWN 15% from last year

Condo/Townhome Sales = UP 15% over last year

Average Price for a Condo/Townhome = UP 10.5% over last year (currently at $193,564)

Total Condos/Townhomes for Sale = DOWN 25.9% from last year

Supply is low. Demand is high. More buyers are buying and relocating here. And there are less homes for them to choose from. Competition is steep, driving home prices way up. Bidding wars are the norm, especially in the under $500,000 price range. 

I recently had two listings which received multiple offers within 24 hours of going on market. And both ended up selling for above asking price!  We call this a seller's market where homes sell fast and at top dollar.  Buyers, on the other hand, are at a disadvantage. They have less homes to choose from and prices are higher than ever.  The only fortunate thing is interest rates remain low, enabling buyers to qualify for higher amounts.

The big question? Will this trend continue?  And for how long? My belief is we will see this robust market for awhile, and definitely well into next year.  But eventually there will be a correction. History has proven markets like this always correct at some point. If you are looking to buy or sell and want to find out more about the market, give me a call.  

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Things to Do in Colorado Springs this Weekend (Aug 5-Aug 6)

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​More rain is predicted for this weekend, but that won't put a damper on our Colorado Springs events! Get out early to enjoy classic cars, running in a 5K, or the latest in home design. Then head indoors for concerts and space celebrations, Have a good weekend!



Things to Do This Weekend

Ruaile Buaile - Sat Aug 5, 7:00pmStargazers Theatre & Event Center

Admission: $15-$20. Four-piece modern day trad/pop/folk group from Ireland that have gained an international following will be here one night at the Stargazers Theatre. For more info, visit: Stargazers Theatre.


Curiosity's 5th Birthday on Mars - Sat Aug 5, 10:00am-4:00pmSpace Foundation Discovery Center

Admission: Included in regular Discovery Center admission ($5-$10). It's been five years since Curiosity landed on Mars! Celebrate at the Space Foundation with a variety of rover-related activities. For more info, visit: Space Foundation.


First & Main First Saturday Car Show - Jaguar Club of Southern Colorado - Sat Aug 5, 8:00am-10:00amParking lot in front of Dick's Sporting Goods @ First & Main Town Center

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Admission: Free. This weekend's car show is hosted by the Jaguar Club of Southern Colorado. Come see classic cars before this season wraps up! For more info, visit: First & Main Town Center.


Parade of Homes​ - Sat Aug 5 and Sun Aug 6, 10:00am-6:00pm, Greater​ Colorado Springs Area

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Admission: $10/ticket. This year's Parade of Homes is in full swing. Grab your tickets and head out to see the latest in home design and architecual innovations. For more info, visit: Parade of Homes.


Sertoma HEARS 5K Walk & Run - Sat Aug 5 8:30am-11:00am, Bear Creek Regional Park

Admission: $25/adult, $15/military and children 12-17, Free under 17. This 5K benefits HEARS which provides free audiology services and hearing aids to those in need within El Paso County. Come out and race for a good cause. For more info, visit: HEARS 5K.

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Choosing the Right High School

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Well, I am about to enter completely unknown territory!!!!  My only child, my son, will start his 8th-grade year and subsequently his last one in middle school.  Time to get down to business and start thinking about what high school he will be entering this time next year. (Uh, YIKES)!  Time to start preparing a checklist, or at the very least, a guideline, for what his Daddy and I will use to help make this next big step in our son's life that much easier.  I thought I would share my family's personal checklist for choosing the high school our son will attend. (Disclaimer, this list is prioritized first to last in what we determined, as a family, was most important for our own son).

Are any of his closest friends attending the same high school? 

As our son has gotten older, we have realized that the quantity of friends is not as important to him as the quality.  He has three or four close friends, but he has always put one particular friend above the rest. If he can have this type of strong, loyal, intense friendship with this other boy all the way through high school, he will have more than most.  (I am actually friends with the Vice Principal of one of the two schools we are considering, and I ran this sentiment by her.  It was a relief to receive her affirmation of how important this type of friendship will be, for both my son and his best friend, during their final four years as a child).

What kind of academic programs are offered

We like the idea of schools that offer both AP (Advanced Placement) and IB (International Baccalaureate) course work.  Since his Father and I both took Advanced Placement courses in high school, ourselves, we are more familiar with them and love the way these courses focus relatively intensively on one particular subject. But with IB courses, we were also intrigued with the more holistic approach that a particular subject may be given.  In the end, both schools we are considering offer a beautiful mix of classes that use the IB and AP curriculums together, which will hopefully allow our son to benefit and grow from the strengths of both programs.

What extracurricular activities are offered

For my son, his most important extracurricular activity is sports, so we made sure that both schools we are considering have programs for the three sports he has played since starting elementary school.  Other programs we looked for the schools to have include arts, volunteer work and community service, music, governance, and clubs.  It is very important to us for our son to be involved in character building activities outside of the classroom, and regardless of his first passion, it is very important to us for him to have the opportunity to explore other extracurricular options BESIDES sports.  Diversity is definitely key, here.

What is the overall school culture

After speaking with parents of high school graduates and teachers and administrative staff, the consensus was that the only way to really get a feel for a school's culture was to "get in the trenches", to actually go to each school and physically walk the halls while a school day was in session, and do this as many times as necessary, with and without our son present.  The goal is to get a feel for what we expect the school to teach our son about life beyond academics and the classroom, itself.  The goal is to see how students and teachers interact with one another in the classroom setting, to see if students and teachers greet each other personally, to see if students and teachers greet parents, to get a feel for student mood and how students treat each other whether they know each other or not.  The goal is to just get a sense of if the school has an overall feeling of joy and hope and happiness.  No science or numbers or stats involved here....just going to give it a go and trust that Mama intuition!

What is the graduation rate and what is the college attendance rate of the school

This was our last priority as a family as we are not the kind of family to base our decision on what high school our kid attends based on numbers alone, but, alas, numbers DO (kind of) matter! Plus, certain stats can suggest how successful a particular school has been at bringing our children to the next most important stage of their life....adulthood. 

This list is not inclusive, obviously, and may not even be any of your own priorities, but hopefully, it can at least serve as a jumping point for your family's own list if you, too, have a son or daughter who will be entering high school next year. This list for us, though welcomes balance, a concept we try to practice and live by routinely and day to day. We simply hope that addressing these five issues, as we choose a high school with our son, will create the ultimate opportunity for balance for him.  

Good luck and Happy High School shopping to you all!  See you in the trenches!

One final note:  It is too cliche' to even think about, much less type into words, but when I was growing up, I do not remember my mother having the option of choosing where I went to high school. Oh, you live in Hixson, Tennessee?  Yes.  Okay, your child will go to Hixson Junior High School and then Hixson High School.  And so, I did.  Regardless, I am grateful that, in this day and age, parents have the luxury to live in a certain area of Colorado Springs, (a city I have now called home for 25+ years) and choose for their children to go to school in a completely different area!!!!     

 

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