Held every year, the Kitchens with Altitude tour supports the Junior League of Colorado Springs, an organization that promotes volunteerism and developing women's potential throughout the Pikes Peak region through its charitable showcase of the region's most sophisticated residential kitchens. Tour-goers journey through a self-guided tour of the area's most upscale neighborhoods, scoping out gleaming appliances and getting marooned on elegant islands of marble and oak. At various homes along the path, the day's culinary odyssey will cover current trends in tabletop design and floral arrangements as well as cooking demonstrations and food and drink samples from renowned local chefs as they shout monosyllabic catchphrases at their ingredients. All tour proceeds support projects and programs benefiting women and children in El Paso County and the Junior League's Fantasy Flight and Kids in the Kitchen programs.
Sensory overload is the stock and trade at Rawkus. The massive venue, sporting 13,000 square feet for hundreds of regular-shaped feet to stand in, carries electronic accoutrements that range from a surrealistic laser system to a pro audio system for transcendent evenings out. While sprinkling its schedule with DJs, dance parties, and rock acts, the venue also serves beer and liquor from its bar and snacks from its kitchen.
In 1984, against the advice of certain friends and family members, a man named Frankie opened a pub on the East Side of Colorado Springs. He began with little more than a small storefront and a chalkboard on which he scrawled the day's burgers and sandwiches. But over the next three decades, to the surprise of everyone except the people who ate Frankie's food, the bar doubled in size. Frankie opened a patio, installed big-screen TVs, and, with the help of his wife—who was once just one of his patrons—began printing real menus. Today, Frankie keeps his visitors full with burgers, steaks, hand-battered onion rings, and other pub eats—most of which are recipes he's been making for years and some of which were inspired by dreams about storm clouds raining nacho cheese.
But Frankie's isn't just about food and beer, it's also about community. Throughout football season, his TVs broadcast the professional and college-level games in College Tickets, games on Sunday, Monday and Thursday Tickets and ESPN's Gameplan package, ranging from regular-season match-ups to special conference games. And every Saturday, live music draws newly formed friends to the dance floor, keeping them moving long into the night.
Pikes Peak Athletics founders Anna and George Heidinger are a real power couple: he's worked for years as a strength conditioning and swim trainer, she as a swim club coach and former Olympic Trails qualifier. But their decades of aquatic achievement haven't made them narrowly focused swimmers whose skin starts shriveling on dry land. In small-group and private lessons, they view even the most advanced students not as swimmers but as "people who swim," and, consequently, take a relationship-first approach to instruction.
The Heidingers are aided by a squad of experienced junior and senior coaches, each certified in CPR, first aid, and water safety—and each extensively shadowed by a head instructor and a benevolent water spirit before being turned loose to instruct on their own. Beyond basic lessons and intensive coaching, staff also organize seasonal swim teams, and lead an annual swim camp that helps students hone the four major strokes and other aquatic competition skills using video playback.
In 1976, busy California mother Joan Barnes wanted nothing more than to find a play place where she and her kids could enjoy age-appropriate, educational activities. Finding none, she developed her own innovative play environment within a developmental-based program structure now known as Gymboree Play & Music. Today, kids tumble and learn in more than 650 locations in 33 countries around the world, engaging in open play and classes designed to build cognitive and motor skills. As parents participate in their child’s development, their kids learn to paint, play music, and interact socially outside of their preschool knitting circles.
As a wife and mom, certified trainer Victoria McCullough helps women of all fitness levels kick-start sputtering metabolisms through 30- and 45-minute workouts. In spite of her military background, she motivates her students with encouragement rather than intimidation. Victoria augments the fat-burning effects of boot camps with nutritional advice and by teaching workout-at-home routines.
Ascent Cycling is a community-focused bike shop dedicated to serving every aspect of cyclists' needs. Check up on your bi-wheeled pal after a long, rough summer with a sport tune safety overhaul. Each service session begins with a full adjustment of the drive train and brakes, ensuring chains are freed of lodged tumbleweeds and impervious to attacks from microscopic chainsaws. The skilled staff will then spot-true wheel sets so that Sunday rides and sprints across troll-guarded bridges are dependably smooth. Momentum retention and pedal-pumping efficiency will be bolstered by a safety check, while a frame wipe-down will add glistening shine to each ride.