Big City Mountaineers helps underserved urban youth develop critical life skills through weeklong wilderness expeditions led by adult mentors. More than 1,000 youth per year have participated in the backpacking or canoeing expeditions since founder Jim Kern organized the first hiking trip in Montana more than two decades ago. On the trip, teenagers can develop a trusting, one-on-one relationship with their mentors and learn how to act with integrity, self-confidence, and responsibility. Big City Mountaineers also partners with volunteer climbers from Summit for Someone, who scale challenging North American peaks to raise money for youth in the program.
Co-founded more than 20 years ago by Carol McKelvey—wife of acclaimed comedian George McKelvey—and managed by a team of fresh new faces, Wits End Comedy Club serves as a meeting place for Denver-area laugh lovers. Local and touring comedians drop in via parachutes Thursday–Saturday, wowing patrons with sidesplitting standup and expertly stuck landings, and a frequently updated calendar keeps showgoers abreast of future performances. James Ervin Berry (May 3–5) coats his raunchy riffs in easygoing charm as he explores his romantic successes and failures through his signature, laid-back wit. Rollicking hypnotist Don Barnhart (May 10–12) completely immerses audiences in his comedy routine, sinking intrepid volunteers into hypnotic states before orchestrating zany situations with impish suggestions. Mark Poolos (May 17–19), star of the independent film Attack of the Killer Snow Cone Zombies, reflects on the world's absurdities with a bemused cynicism, offering up observational humor interspersed with self-deprecating cracks.
Multiplatinum-selling and multiple-Grammy-winning quartet Third Day’s stirring Southern rock thrills multitudes on its Make Your Move spring tour. One of the most popular Christian bands of the A.D. era, Third Day has moved millions of fans with hits such as “Cry Out to Jesus” and “Love Song,” as well as hundreds of tumbleweeds with its tour bus. With a sound that evokes Lynyrd Skynyrd in its Sunday best, the band tenderly testifies while rocking through a hook-laden marathon live show.
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.
According to United Airlines' Hemispheres magazine, three perfect days in Denver aren't complete without fly-fishing with Golden River Sports. Writer Rachel Sturtz was quite satisfied with her four-hour lesson, which isn't surprising, considering the the company's sterling reputation with sportsmen of all ability levels. The company's willingness to engage every clients comes from the experiences of instructors like Nick Adler, a self-taught fly fisherman who would have been grateful for guidance from a more experienced angler.
In that spirit, he and his fellow teachers offer four-part fly-fishing lessons, which begin with an introduction to fishing styles and equipment, and follow all the way through to advanced casting and how to read the water. Fly-tying clinics help out total beginners, guided trips take learning fishermen out to various creeks and rivers, and rentals allow schooled sportsmen to embark on their own adventures. An on-site store is loaded with all necessary equipment and accessories and gear for fly fishing and fly tying, including hooks, fly boxes, and a library of DVDs including fly-tying videos and each fish's favorite romantic comedy.
Smokin Joes BBQ heaps plates of beef brisket, St. Louis-style ribs, pulled pork and other menu items slathered in sauce that’s at once sweet, tangy, tart, and spicy. Other sauces include the spicy barbecue, sweet and tangy mustard sauce, and the Carolina sauce, which blends vinegar, brown sugar, and a hint of cayenne pepper ideal for whole-hog cooking. Signature milkshakes cool off the tongue with inventively sweet flavors, such as the birthday cake shake with Funfetti cake mix, milk, and vanilla ice cream. Smokin Joes can also cater for events such as company picnics, class reunions, and weddings, especially weddings where they toast with barbecue sauce instead of champagne.