For nearly 60 years, the Arapahoe Philharmonic has played the classical music of historical composers and modern musicians to audiences around Denver. The orchestra's Spring Pops Gala will feature the music of Rodgers and Hammerstein, the American songwriting duo whose musicals, including The Sound of Music and The King and I, have won a slew of Tony, Oscar, and Grammy awards. VIP ticket holders can slip in early for a Two Rivers wine tasting at 6:00 p.m., enjoying sips of vino and a variety of hors d’oeuvres. Curiosity-seekers can caravan a short safari through the animal- and plant-life exhibits of The Wildlife Experience museum, taking care to park impatient camels outside the venue before settling back into the reserved-seating area for a sonic adventure with the orchestra.
Jessica Pickering brings more than 12 years of horse-showing experience to each hunter, jumper, and eventing lesson she conducts. Using the tenets of dressage as an overarching theme, Jessica starts students off with flat lessons that focus on horizontal riding techniques before moving on to vertical jumps and activating the horse wings for aerial flights. Once students are comfortable galloping with their steed, they can begin jumping and competing. Each class takes place on the saddles of Venus and Miss Roulette, two highly trained horses that are great for beginners and kids.
The pole maestros at Mile High Pole Club integrate floor-to-ceiling poles, chair props, and flirtatious dance moves into fun, empowering workouts. The dedicated instructors offer classes with names such as Pole Vixens, Chairlates, and Belly Dancing, teaching students to spin, whirl, and slide on poles like jousting knights gone wild. The Combolicious class lets indecisive students try out a blend of chair- and pole-based dance moves, and the male-friendly Pole Trix & Play gives Y-chromosomed dancers a place to learn. All classes featured in the schedule run 55 racy minutes each and require class-specific fitness attire.
Members at Curves, a fitness center designed exclusively for women, rotate around a circuit of hydraulic resistance machines designed to work with female bodies and promote weight loss, protect against osteoporosis, and deal with arthritis. An experienced trainer is always nearby to help to manage participants’ machine maneuvering and muscle making. Instead of fiddling with weight stacks and losing momentum, the hydraulic machines use participants' own body weight, fitness level, and aerodynamic water bottles to create resistance that matches abilities, decreasing the risk of soreness or injury. Because traditional lift-and-lower motions create bulky muscles, each machine uses push-and-pull motions to create toned, lean muscles perfect for crushing a grapefruit without looking like you can. Between each weight station lies a recovery board where ladies cool down while walking, jogging, or running in place to keep up momentum. With each workout warrior at a different station, the only competition that exists is with one's own burgeoning muscles.
UFC Gym’s four fight-centric Denver-area gyms ditch the polished look of wood-floored workout studios for gritty, competitive spaces filled with 150-pound punching bags and intense workouts. Like a baker molding gingerbread men, UFC Gym sculpts six-packs with boxing, kickboxing, and mixed-martial-arts classes. Although instructors and students agree that the gym’s atmosphere may enkindle intimidation in first-time attendees, most experience boosted self-confidence after conquering their first class. Private training sessions further stoke courage with workouts that leave patrons with the exhilaration of having survived 12 rounds in the ring or five minutes in a high-school lunchroom.
The Wildlife Experience, one of the country's more aptly named museums, offers a chance to encounter members of various animal kingdoms and habitats through an uncommon combination of interactive exhibits, natural history, fine art, and documentary films. Once inside, explore a variety of permanent and not-so-permanent exhibits. Globeology, is a three-dimensional jaunt that takes visitors through biomes from wild Colorado to the barren, WiFi-less tundra. Frogs!: A Chorus of Colors, meanwhile, gives visitors eyewitness access to fifteen types of colorful and vocal anurans, offering young guests insight into what frogs do when not playing a banjo or being chased by a pig.