The end of May inevitably brings a little spark of anticipation—the days are getting longer, the kids are getting out of school, and it has only snowed twice—all signs that our long-awaited Colorado summer is finally here. Our staff at the J has been working hard all winter to fill the long summer months ahead of us with exciting, diverse classes and programs for community members of all ages. Here are the top 10 things we’re looking forward to for Summer 2017:



1. Stumpy’s Stampede

Running is generally more pleasant when it’s done through gentle, rolling forested hills covered in late-summer wildflowers. Our annual 5k/10k trail run, Stumpy’s Stampede, takes place every year at Ranch Camp in the Black Forest of Elbert, Colorado. Bring the whole family, dogs included, for this fun run—there’s even an obstacle course for kiddos. Post-race activities include food, vendors, music, and tie-dye. Make a weekend out of it by attending Family Camp from August 4–6…trust us, your family will thank you.


2. Summer Reading Club

Reading is great. Reading by the pool is even better. This summer, our Director of Festivals Amy is hard at work planning JAAMM Festival for the fall and needs help selecting books to include for this year’s lineup. If you’re looking for some interesting summer reads, email Amy. Now you can lazily read by the outdoor pool and help the J at the same time. Win win.


3. Poolside Playdates

This summer we’re hoping to see as many babies and parents as possible at our Poolside Playdates, every Friday starting June 9. Join us for snacks, bubbles, pool time, and a whole lot of fun in the sun. These playdates are the perfect opportunity to meet members of our community, and they’re free for Fitness & Wellness members. Be sure to check out our other summer Family Engagement Programs here.


4. Special FX Makeup Camp

Todd Debreceni is the king of special effects makeup—he literally wrote the book on it, a book many people refer to as ‘the bible’ for makeup effects artists. This world-renowned makeup artist has an incredibly impressive resume, including credits on movies like Die Hard II, Batman and Robin, and Captain Phillips. He’s also worked on many stage productions, including Young Frankenstein, Into the Woods, and The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe—just to name a few. Pretty much what we’re trying to say is Todd is a BIG DEAL and we’re thrilled to have him teaching a Fantasy & Sci-Fi Special FX Makeup class for the MACC Art Academy this summer from July 10–14. 


5. Summer Basketball League

Looking for a guaranteed slam dunk this summer? Starting the week of July 9, we’ll be hosting Play Mile High leagues in our gym—a men’s 5v5, a coed 5v5, and a men’s 4v4. Finally, you can show off those moves you’ve been practicing all winter.


6. Camp Inc. Business Academy

Do you ever find yourself spending hours and hours on end ignoring your responsibilities and watching Shark Tank marathons on TV? Turns out there’s a better way to become a savvy business professional, and it begins with Camp Inc. Business Academy. This Camp Shai specialty camp is the perfect way to teach kids entrepreneurial skills that will benefit them for the rest of their lives—it’s pretty much a Shark Tank for kids, without Mr. Wonderful’s harsh comments.


7. Pride Weekend festivities

This year, we’re proud to be hosting Pride Shabbat for the Denver Jewish Community on June 16. This will be an Egalitarian Shabbat service followed by a potluck dinner—you may even get to try some rainbow challah. The following Sunday, June 18, is Denver PrideFest, where we’ll be celebrating and marching with our community, LGBTQ Jews, loved ones, and allies. This celebration of community and culture is one of the top 10 biggest pride events in the entire country—you won’t want to miss this!


8. Serve, Snack & Splash

For both the aspiring Michael Phelps and the up-and-coming Serena Williams, Serve, Snack & Splash is a camp hosted by our Tennis Center and our aquatics department that splits campers’ time between swimming lessons in our outdoor pool and tennis lessons. Game, set, splash.


9. WTA Mainstage Performances

Our WTA actors will be putting on three mainstage performances this summer: My Fair Lady, Pippin, and Macbeth. These kids will be working hard with acting professionals all summer to put on some seriously amazing shows, and trust us—you will not be disappointed. Take a break from the pool one day to support these young actors. You just may be seeing some of their names in flashing lights one day.


10. Summer Group Exercise classes

We’ve got a TON of amazing group exercise classes to help you reach your summer fitness goals. Take advantage of our outdoor pool with Deep Water Aqua Fit, check out our new Barre Sculpt class, or embrace the summer heat with Heated Yoga—then swing by our Snack Shack by the pool for some ice cream to refuel. You deserve it.