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.
When guests cross the threshold into MorbidNights Colorado's Nut House, they enter the tormented minds of history's most notorious serial killers. Inside the 20 rooms that occupy the 12,000 square-foot fear factory, brazen voyagers come face to face with some of the most homicidal humans ever to walk the earth, and shudder with fear as the criminals reenact their notorious crimes or a favorite dance number from South Pacific. Those brave enough to risk the madness do so for a great cause, however, as the haunt donates a portion of its yearly proceeds to worthy causes including the Weld Food Bank or UNC student radio.
At five Chipper's Lanes FUN Center locations, colorful balls sail down glossy lanes, overseen during weekends and birthday parties by the center's mascot, Chipper the Chipmunk. During special events, guests can go to Chipper for a warm hug and supplement bowling fun with occasional live music performances and cosmic bowling at select locations. Between frames, players restore energy with burgers or pizza at the full-service, onsite restaurant.
The Stampede Troupe has been putting on a show for more than 35 years, offering theatergoers creative, attention-snagging plays, musicals, and youth outreach programs while allowing local talent to shine. The Philadelphia Story, a clever comedy by Philip Barry, revolves around gal-about-town Tracy Lord as she prepares for her second marriage. Unexpectedly, her ex-husband pops up declaring his ardor—just as a tabloid reporter falls headfirst into infatuation with Tracy. The love rhombus becomes frenzied, prompting giggles while Tracy tries to sort out her romantic life. Audience members can guffaw during the mix-ups and chuckle their way through this season's comedic production in the plush 222-seat Hensel Phelps Theatre as they watch the funny love production unfold.
Running counter to the belief that the art of model railroading is dead, the Colorado Model Railroad Museum at the Greeley Freight Station keeps bringing in more and more visitors each year. At its center is a lifelike sprawling model train layout that captivates every nearby onlooker. Beyond it, there are more than 600 rail-related artifacts to look at and to never, ever try to eat.
Eye Catcher: The museum's centerpiece, a 5,500-square-foot model railroad so vast and detailed it prompted the senior editor of Modern Railroader magazine to proclaim it "the finest model railroad I've ever seen." Visitors can walk around and through it, admiring the handmade trees, the realistic landscaping, and building replicas made from scratch.
Permanent Mainstay: The collection of artifacts includes a brakeman's lantern from the '40s, antique and operational Union Pacific and Sante Fe clocks, and what staffers dub the World's Smallest Train, with an engine about an inch long.
Don't Miss: a fully restored wooden C&S Caboose, which visitors can explore inside and out
Hands-On Experiments: Kids can play The Eye-Spy game: as they walk around, they seek out the location of dinosaurs, yeti, and the occasional Ewok hiding out in the layout
From the Press:
"When you walk in the doors of the Colorado Model Railroad Museum at the Greeley Freight Station you won?t believe your eyes." ?CBS4
"The Freight Station is one of the finest operational model railroads in the world . . . The landscape is incredibly detailed . . . and the volunteers are helpful and knowledgeable." ?Greeley Gazette
When soaring past the Rocky Mountains surrounding Glenwood Springs, trees seem to be the size of pinecones, streets look like pencil lines scrawled across the ground, and houses resemble Monopoly real estate. Yet the certified instructors at Adventure Paragliding assure first-timers that when they’re strapped in and soaring, a fear of heights seldom rears its head. That's because paragliding doesn’t involves the falling sensation of parachuting—pilots instead gently launch by jogging down a slight incline. When their feet leave the ground and the parachute-like sail carries them through the sky, they can turn and soar serenely, eventually landing softly.
The instructors fight myths about the scariness of their sport with regularity. They maintain that manning a paraglider takes more precision than bravery or physical strength, and their introductory lessons aim to impart that precision to all ages so that they might feel free flight and witness the midair views of the Rocky Mountains. For protégés in pursuit of loftier journeys, immersive certification programs cover more advanced techniques, such as ridge soaring and telling a snowcapped mountain apart from a giant sculpture of George Washington’s head.