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.
Though they operate more than 200 locations in upwards of 30 states, the team behind U.S. Baseball Academy aims to make each young athlete's experience a personal one. Their four- or six-week camps are taught by local instructors who are current or former coaches at the high school or college level, and typically offer a 6:1 or better player-to-teacher ratio for intense, professional-style training. The Academy's proven itinerary of hitting, pitching, fielding, and baserunning drills was developed by an advisory board of college coaches and Major League players, including Cy Young Award–winner and ace pitcher Brandon Webb.
At the Jumpoline Park, the whole family can escape from the everyday stresses of work, school, and gravity. Decked out in rainbow colors, the trampolines send jumpers soaring into the air, giving them the feeling of walking on the moon, where the surface is made of inner-spring mattresses. Jumping teams lob balls at each other in high-flying games in the dodgeball area, and kids age 7 and under leap safely in their own section, protected from injury by padded walls. But this enclave doesn't house just trampolines. Toddlers play in their own soft-surface area, while parents relax under the skilled hands of in-house massage therapists. During breaks, everyone meets up at the coffee shop for a snack or a cup of frozen yogurt.
Children run in trails marked by prehistoric footprints, and fingers run across fossils during each visit to Dinosaur Ridge, a nonprofit organization dedicated to the preservation of ancient artifacts. Around every corner of the outdoor museum—which rests on land designated as a national natural landmark—bones and impressions protrude from their earthy abodes as evidence of the area's once larger-than-life inhabitants. Paleontologists of all ages can examine curious tracks on surrounding hiking paths, such as Triceratops Trail, or hop on a guided bus tour to examine fossil sites and valleys where brontosauruses used to question the meaning of life.
Lurking inside the visitor center is the Trek Through Time exhibit, where interactive children's games, replica fossils, and massive murals join forces to lead explorers into different prehistoric eras. In addition to its day-to-day operations, Dinosaur Ridge also plays host to various events during the year, including Boy Scout days, birthday parties, and lectures that explain how T. rex stayed humble despite his large stature.
With a blazing marquee declaring “Hollywood” in towering neon letters, SouthGlenn Stadium 14 invokes the image of classic cinemas while still using the latest moviegoing technology. More than 2,500 high-backed seats cradle viewers across 14 theaters equipped with state-of-the-art Sony Digital 4K projection systems. Nine of these theaters also surround audiences with RealD 3-D systems, allowing them to revel in the thrills of endless snakes-in-a-nut-can scenes. Before films, the SkyboX Bar and Grill offers up a full-service menu of café entrees and craft drinks, including $1 domestic beers, $2 craft beers, and $1 fountain sodas. Entrees and beverages can be delivered to viewers lounging in Premiere Cinema balcony seats or enjoyed in the Skybox lounge.
Gates Tennis Center boasts 20 public-access courts and a skilled staff of international pros and former world-ranked racqueteers. Fledgling forehanders are separated by skill—beginner, intermediate, and advanced—and taught in 6:1 student-to-teacher groups, affording players plenty of room to spread sphere-swiping wings. A trio of one-hour swat-athons instill beginners with basic baseline skills, and veteran volleyers fine-tune careening crosscourt shots and lofting lobs.
Denver Botanic Gardens houses vibrant flowers, lush vegetation, and educational activities for visitors of all ages. Native and adapted plants flourish in the York Street campus, which also houses Mordecai Children’s Garden—a 3-acre lot with alpine gardens, mountain ranges, and cool bugs. The two-story waterfall at Marnie's Pavilion bursts with blooming orchids year-round, and a Japanese garden features Ponderosa pines sculpted to look like bonsai. Visitors stroll through water gardens inspired by Monet's estate at Giverny.
A comprehensive guide to attractions and things to do.