Derby was reborn in the early 2000s as a ferociously fun sport. Nearly all modern leagues are composed of female, DIY-spirited bands of punky costumed, vicious-monikered rascals who shove each other on traditional quad roller skates. The Rocky Mountain Rollergirls, Denver's original all-women flat-track roller derby league, is operated by the more than 40 skaters who makeup its six teams: home teams Red Ridin' Hoods, Sugar Kill Gang, Dooms Daisies, Kill Scouts, and traveling teams, Fight Club and the Contenders. These fearless athletes leave bouts with sprained shoulders, bruises, and hematomas, which is nothing compared to the competitors' pain (the ladies took home second place in the 2009 Women’s Flat Track Derby Association regional tournament and fourth in the national tournament).
Designed by adrenaline junkies specifically for Speed Raceway, each eco-friendly electric XLR8R kart can thrust racers at speeds nearing 50 mph through Speed Raceway's quarter-mile track. With 2 inches between you and the track below, the karts revolutionize the wind-resistant, frictional foundations of modern physics, proving once and for all that all physics is theoretical, especially gravity. Each 12-lap contest pits white-knuckled drivers against one another, and the entire field against a smug, unrelenting clock. Soon, licensed members can view an online database of their best times anytime, anywhere, and always in the presence of a disbelieving trackside crush.
Shoppers at the Southlands can take a break from gift buying by taking a turn on this icy outdoor skating rink. Families and friends can lace up rented hockey or figure skates, then take to the ice to enjoy the crisp, cold air as they practice spins and backward maneuvers or fine-tune impersonations of a baby deer learning to walk. The rink's opening also coincides with a visit from Santa, who parks his sleigh at Southlands Town Square on Tuesdays–Sundays, starting November 17.
The Denver Outlaws joined Major League Lacrosse as an expansion team in 2006, immediately staking out their territory with a Western Conference title and a trip to the league championship. In the years since, they have never once missed the playoffs, even when something good was on TV. From their inception, the Outlaws have marauded the league record books, setting attendance records in their inaugural season and improving from there, with recent Fourth of July games drawing more than 30,000 fans to Sports Authority Field at Mile High. This year’s Independence Day game continues the tradition of fireworks exploding over the field and a wave of apple pie filling flooding the parking lot.
The Denver Botanic Gardens’ three locations house 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. Trails cut through the Mount Goliath garden, delivering explorers to scenic vistas of the Divide peaks. In contrast to the untouched beauty of Mount Goliath, the Chatfield hub features mankind's imprint on the land. As a working farm, Chatfield makes new use of a restored dairy barn from 1918 and as well as a 19th-century schoolhouse. The farm doubles as a habitat for many bird species, and offers the rare opportunity to make eye contact with a heron.
JumpStreet is an indoor trampoline park where taut floors and angled walls made of springy trampoline surfaces beckon children and adults to bounce back and forth or try aerodynamic flips and gravity-defying leaps. The arena is structured like a skateboard park, though bouncers don’t need any equipment to hop across the wall-to-wall planes or climb up, slide down, or spring off the tilted trampoline walls, which can also be used to recreate the summer Olympics’ popular trampoline belly-flop event. Guests can hop on over to the springy dodgeball courts, where safe, competitive play is enhanced with ample bouncing, and arcades and batting cages offer engaging activities for those who need to rest their feet. Scattered across JumpStreet’s various locations are an assortment of other safe, kinetic activities, including a bull ride, a multicolored maze, and a foam pit.