When it came to her daughter Kayla’s equestrian education, Patty Savage Wooters entrusted the task to the most qualified candidate: herself. Kayla eventually became a two-time World Champion at the Kentucky State Fair and today, both Patty and Kayla channel their expertise into Longview Stables and Riding Academy. Private and group lessons accommodate first timers and horse-show veterans alike in the indoor and outdoor arenas, where instructors expound on fundamentals and bond riders and steeds via improved communication instead of trust falls.
At summer camp, counselors shepherd kids of all ages through daily rides and the basics of horse care, as well as horse-themed crafts. Birthday parties afford opportunities for kids to mount a mini pony named Pottachelli, while the birthday kid bounces atop a fully-grown horse. Nearby, boarded horses enjoy the shelter of stalls or canter like recently animated garden statues around emerald corrals and pastures.
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.
A rainbow of paint showers Dynamic Paintball's 8 acres, where players weave between bunkers. Year round, these simulated battlefields host games of intense Capture the Flag, during which participants must dodge acrylic salvos, hide behind wooden structures, and race across grassy fields. To keep things fun yet safe, Dynamic Paintball's staffers supervise all games and matches up players based on skill level. They also set up paintball battles for bachelor parties and birthdays.
Away from the technicolor warzone, a shaded staging area lets groups strategize and grab bites to eat. Players can also head over to Dynamic Paintball's proshop, where staffers repair damaged gear and recommend new paintball guns from the likes of Tippmann.
It's a good idea to arrive early at Movie Tavern, and not only if you hate missing the opening credits. Early birds can peruse the extensive menu of chef-crafted American cuisine, from kobe beef sliders to pizza and sandwiches. But even after the show begins, the snacks keep coming. Unobtrusive servers slip in during the show to deliver orders, and can be called on for more drinks or dessert with the push of a button. Guests can even sip margaritas or signature cocktails at the full bar before heading in to the theater. The family-friendly establishment also serves finger food for kiddies.
As for the entertainment, audiences get to enjoy all-digital presentations of first-run films any day of the week, plus Retro Cinema every Wednesday morning at 11:30 a.m. as well as Tuesday and Thursday evenings at 7:30 p.m. Audiences also benefit from Movie Tavern's membership program. Anyone can sign up for free online to receive one free bag of popcorn, plus a free ticket every year on their birthday, special offers, movie news, and invites to screenings and other special events.
At over 100 locations throughout the country, CorePower Yoga (CPY) invites students to creative classes that meld movement, breath, heat, and music into entrancing routines to energize the body and mind. Signature CPY classes are taught by approachable certified yoga instructors who lead students through dynamic, Vinyasa-style flows with demonstration and verbal cues, helping pupils of all experience levels tone core muscles and cultivate balance. CPY also offers teacher training and lifestyle programs to empower students to become yoga instructors or to just advance their individual practice. During construction of all its new studios, CPY strives to use recycled content, install eco-friendly and efficient mechanical systems, and ensure that any waste created doesn't end up in landfills or just piled in Mr. Henderson's garage.
A high-intensity fitness center that shirks the crowded mechanical mishmash of big gyms for open spaces and innovative workouts, CrossFit South Aurora empowers its members with constantly varied exercises and tightly knit group classes. In addition to three months of unlimited gym time ($125/month), members will enjoy benefits including a diet plan, a personal food shopper, a Sunday fundamentals class to build up their initial skill set, and a complimentary tattoo of a kettlebell. Freshly inked athletes are then encouraged to check out CrossFit's schedule and sign up for a small-group class taught by a professional trainer with personalized guidance in form and technique. With motivational workouts scaled to each group member’s ability, classes can quickly lead to a more defined physique and measurably higher odds of surviving back-alley attacks and Matthew McConaughey look-alike contests.