Within Game Shack’s digital den, flat-screen TVs line the walls, flickering with the polygonal derring-do of gamers locked in virtual competition with titles for platforms including Xbox, Wii, and PC. While their plush leather video-game chairs make extended sessions as comfortable as they are engaging, Game Shack also brings games to life in their multi-floor, tiered laser-tag arena. Illuminated by black lights, players take aim at opponents against a tropical-themed backdrop depicting a moonlit waterfall, a spooky temple, and tiki men impersonating their favorite Bond villains. The party room hosts large groups for celebrations such as birthdays and special events, with party packages available that arm each member with unlimited laser tag and console gaming. Game Shack also hosts competitive-gaming events, with an official Elo-based ranking system that assigns seeding for tournaments. As players dash and game to their hearts’ delight, the Snack Shack keeps them properly fueled with food such as pizza, hot dogs, chicken wings, Monster energy drinks, and sodas.
Bowling is the great social equalizer—a common ground where grizzled undercover clowns, blue-collar English lords, LARPer librarians, big and tall lingerie models, hordes of hive-minded hipsters, and the other two social demographics that comprise America can unite in common cause and topple a gaggle of stuck-up, inanimate wooden pins. Brunswick has been a household name in this egalitarian pastime almost since the beginning, with a company history that dates back to the 19th century, providing classic American good times to all manner of patrons across the country. And with today's Groupon tying the room together, you'll get to play two games (up to a $9.98 value) in its hallowed halls wearing a pair of freshly disinfected bowling shoes (up to a $3.99 value).
Ghosts and evil clowns may elicit outright screams, but the story behind Aurora's 13th Door Haunted House is equally bone-chilling in its own way. According to legend, local millionaire John Barrington was throwing his annual All Hallows' Eve ball at the Barrington Hotel when his nephew, Andrew, came to him for help.
Andrew, a gambler with a streak of bad luck, had amassed some serious debts, and his life now depended upon financial aid from his wealthy uncle. Hoping to teach a hard lesson, Barrington refused his nephew's pleas for money and threw him out of the party. He could hardly have suspected the severe consequences that would follow.
Driven to rage by his uncle's response, Andrew blocked the doors to the ballroom and set the hotel on fire. The lavishly dressed guests all perished?all, that is, except for one. The sole survivor of the party had managed to find one door that Andrew failed to block: the 13th door.
Today, those who enter the infamous ballroom can still hear the screams of the souls trapped inside, and they may even come face-to-face with the ghost of Andrew Barrington himself. In order to escape, they'll have to find the 13th door while making it past the haunted hotel's countless horrors, which include a slew of zombie residents and a pile of unwashed bath towels.
The Plains Conservation Center is an offshoot of the West Arapahoe Conservation District, an organization appointed in 1949 to teach farming and ranching techniques that could help prevent another devastating Dust Bowl. While the PCC's mission has since expanded, the nonprofit organization's main goal remains the same: preserving the health of Colorado's plains. Between its two sites?a main 1,100-acre location in Aurora and more than 10,000 acres spread along West Bijou Creek?the organization maintains several attractions devoted to the history and environmental character of the region. These include more than five miles of hiking trails, a Cheyenne camp from 1837 with four standing tepees, and Wells Crossing, a replica 1887 farm consisting of sod houses, and heirloom gardens. For more modern sites, the Aurora location's visitor center features interactive displays and seasonal events such as Hops for Habitat, an annual fundraiser with beer tastings from local craft brewers.