Denver Patio Ride's party bus moves through the River North arts district and downtown by way of pedaling—any willing pub-crawlers can power the party forward as the sober driver steers and brakes. After jump-starting at Billy’s Gourmet Hot Dogs on Larimer and Broadway, the bus cruises at a low-key 5 miles per hour, stopping at a smorgasbord of bars, many of which pour $5 specials of one shot and one beer. Guides infuse jaunts with historical tidbits, trivia, and prizes, while the solar-powered sound system’s iPod hookup allows pedalers to blast their personal collection of upbeat audio books. No weather other than rain or snow prevents tours, and the bus’s capacious storage space accommodates any party accessory except beer, which is not allowed on the bus. Revelers can rent out the whole bus for large parties, or buy seats on a weekly schedule of public pub-crawls.
Established in 1908, Lakeside Amusement Park maintains its turn-of-the-century charm while embracing modern amenities and attractions. An adrenaline-pumping drop tower and a slew of neon-hued, spinning rides contrast the classic joy of a wooden roller coaster, which rises from its perch near the lake.
The all-ages park also comprises Kiddies' Playland, a place where tots can get their fun fix on boats, animal-themed rides, and pint-sized motorcycles. The facility also accommodates large groups with on-site picnic grounds perfect for birthday parties or applesauce fights.
The sounds of slap shots and blades carving the ice resound through Big Bear Ice Arena as it sets the stage for visitors participating in hockey, figure skating, and a host of other games. Hockey programs for kids and adults follow the rules and regulations set forth by USA Hockey, which allows slap shots but not checking or doing burnouts in a Zamboni. When pucks aren't careening from board to board, figure skaters can glide out onto the ice for programs that range from a Learn to Skate class to competitive team events. Less competitive patrons, meanwhile, can log their time on the ice through games such as bandy and broomball or casual open skates.
Rainbow Play Systems’s expansive showrooms introduce kids aged 2 to 10 to a wonderland of gym equipment, all of which is available for purchase. A multitude of swing sets with spiral slides, trapeze rings, and tire swings exercise tykes while preparing them for the physics portion of the SAT.
Children’s Museum of Denver was originally founded in a converted school bus in 1973. Since then, its surroundings have changed, but its mission has remained the same: to engage visitors in learning through play. Its collection of 13 hands-on playscapes is designed to stimulate the minds of children from birth to age 8, earning Children's Museum of Denver a spot on Forbes's 2012 list of the 12 Best Children's Museums in the US.
Amid the museum's two stories, visitors learn about fire safety in Fire Station No. 1, shop for healthy foods in the market, and unleash their creative sides with paint and stage costumes at Arts a la Carte. Dedicated to nurturing a love of math and science, the museum also features a recyclable-material assembly plant, a bubble experimentation lab, and a newly opened kinetics exhibit with a gigantic marble run.
Built in 1859, the Four Mile House marked the final rest stop for people on westward journeys to Denver along the Cherokee Trail. Nestled on the Cherry Creek’s banks, the house played host to travelers seeking home-cooked meals and a place to sleep before their final four-mile trek to the city. Since then, the abode has been added to the National Register of Historic Places, and it's Denver's oldest standing structure.
A preserved slice of frontier life circa 1859–1899, Four Mile House is open for tours, as are its surrounding barns and outbuildings. Elsewhere, visitors can greet live goats and chickens or hop aboard horse-drawn rides around the 12-acre park. Four Mile House further celebrates its pioneer legacy with events such as historic demonstrations of activities like blacksmithing, the art of taking any object and painting it black.