Shoppers at Southlands can take a break by taking a turn on this icy outdoor skating rink. Families and friends can lace up rented hockey or figure skates, then take to the ice to enjoy the crisp, cold air as they practice spins and backward maneuvers or fine-tune impersonations of a baby deer learning to walk.
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.
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.
On 10 a.m. on the first day of 2013, City Park's Great Lawn will fill with people ready to start the year off not with a resolution, but a commitment—a commitment to a healthy lifestyle. They'll run, walk, or jay-walk through the park and Marconi Drive on the flat, fast course, which it circles back to the Great Lawn where they started. After the race, runners can stick around for a post-race party to celebrate a successful first morning of the New Year.
In more than 30 cities across the nation, other runners will be participating in similar events as part of a movement that aims to stymie the rising rates of obesity and inaction in the United States.
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.
Bright reds, yellows, and blues add vibrant pops of color in Party On?s indoor playground. During birthdays and open-play, kids cascade down slides into inflatable fire engines or bounce inside the Scooby Doo-themed inflatable.
In the party room, birthday kids can nosh on pizza, cake, and ice cream. For an additional $100, the princess party package add-on enhances parties with visits from costumed characters such as Cinderella, Snow White, and Sleeping Beauty.