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.
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.
Brewing beer used to be just a hobby for Biff Morehead. After coming home from his day job at Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, he'd set to work homebrewing. But in 2013, he decided to make his hobby into a full-time vocation: he purchased a commercial brewing setup from a friend, and Smiling Toad Brewery was born. Inside the East Bijou Street brewery, Morehead uses locally sourced hops and grains to craft balanced, drinkable session beers such as the Irish ale, the aromatic Bella Lavender, and the Electric Espresso Stout. With its cozy, comfortable atmosphere, the brewery is a welcoming place to meet old friends or make new ones.
Look in any direction at Cleats Bar and Grill, and there's likely to be some kind of competition in sight. HD televisions peer down on visitors, casting football, hockey, and baseball games across their glowing faces. Friendly bouts of pool and darts break out elsewhere, while foosball players spin their miniature players until they vomit LEGO blocks. On the outdoor patio, guests surrounding the fire pit pass subtle bets on which log will be the last to crumble into ash. All the while, these varying gladiators take bites from team-themed burgers and hoist domestic and craft beers.