Greeley Museums bring history alive?sometimes quite literally. The best example is Centennial Village, a living, breathing town square from 100 years ago. Over seven acres of immaculately restored land, time-swept citizens go about their lives as they would have in the last century: they toil at the blacksmith, file grievances at the courthouse, and a lucky few put up their feet at grand homes.
But though the seasonal city is the antique jewel in this historical tiara, it's hardly the only chance to learn about the past. The History Museum dips its toes into other eras, visiting the bicycle craze of the 1800s, the challenges of the homefront in the 1940s, and the grudge match between the town's namesake Congressman Horace Greeley and political cartoonist Thomas Nast. At the Colorado Model Railroad Museum, a 5,500-square-foot model railroad feels at home among 600 railroad artifacts and a full-size caboose. And the Meeker Home offers a look inside the lives of the Meeker family, who founded Greeley with a vision of a utopian future.
Cleaved through 30 acres of densely situated corn stalks, the Wild West Corn Maze tests voyagers’ senses of direction as they maneuver through the leafy corridors. The cornrows compose 10 distinct mazes, including one with a cowboys-and-aliens theme and an obstacle course where visitors challenge scarecrows to a barrel-rolling duel as they search for the exit. After moving through the agrarian labyrinth, guests with unlimited-level tickets can check out a number of other autumnal attractions, including tractor rides, a farm-animal petting zoo, and a pumpkin patch. The bucolic setting also boasts a massive jumping pillow—an inflatable mat where tykes can bounce in the open air—a pumpkin launcher and a corn cannon, both of which hearken back to the simpler days when all nautical warfare was waged with produce.
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.
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.
A movie palace to its core, The Cinema Grill favors a vibrant color scheme rarely seen outside the early days of Technicolor. The lobby's multi-hued walls surround the checkerboard box office with bright yellows, blues, and purples, while neon curlicues on the ceiling beckon movie-goers toward their movie. The menu of American staples mirrors the colorful decor with glowing margaritas, desserts topped with maraschino cherries, quesadillas speckled with green peppers, and deep-fried rainbows. Once ensconced in their swivel chairs, guests bathe in the high-definition (and sometimes three-dimensional) glow of the silver screen as servers take food orders and keep eating areas laden with plates of buffalo wings and shrimp fettuccine alfredo. Beers, cocktails, or glasses of wine are also available.
Bowling is the great social equalizer—a common ground where grizzled undercover clowns, blue-collar English lords, LARPer librarians, big and tall lingerie models, hordes of hive-minded hipsters, and the other two social demographics that comprise America can unite in common cause and topple a gaggle of stuck-up, inanimate wooden pins. Brunswick has been a household name in this egalitarian pastime almost since the beginning, with a company history that dates back to the 19th century, providing classic American good times to all manner of patrons across the country. And with today's Groupon tying the room together, you'll get to play two games (up to a $9.98 value) in its hallowed halls wearing a pair of freshly disinfected bowling shoes (up to a $3.99 value).