Summer Adventures in the Boulder Area
Mountainous, Organic, Natural, Hip, Green, Fresh Air, Outdoorsy, how would you describe your neighbors to the North? As a mom of three, let me take you through some of the family friendly activities that you must know about. Some things that are just so fabulous you will have to get in your car and find yourself driving this way. Of course, if you prefer to bike, that would be fine too.
What do ponies, humongous hay bales, a crazy zip line, sand in crevasses of your body that you didn’t know you had and one extremely large turkey have in common? – Sunflower Farms, of course. Located just south of Longmont, no summer is complete without a trip to this old fashioned farm. There truly is something for everyone to enjoy. My animal lover can’t get enough of feeding the goats. She’s been handing over fistfuls of corn since she learned to walk. My fearless boy swings from the zip line until his hands turn red from holding on so tightly. The littlest one experiments with sand and swings from the biggest baby swing ever. The kids can also enjoy the pond, huge tree house, hay bale maze and more. Check their website because their hours change with the season, but it is well worth adding to your summer agenda.
Become One with Nature – There are so many options for hiking, biking and hanging out in nature, how can you decide? You can’t really. With it being summer, I can’t help but mention The Res, if you are dying to get to the beach. Head to Boulder Reservoir. There is sand to squish between your toes and on windy days you can sit back and pretend that you hear the ocean. If it’s a trickle you long to hear, then head to Boulder Creek. We like to park at the Library and walk down for a splash.
Parks – A favorite park of mine for a variety of reasons, not to mention the large, usually clean bathroom, is Louisville Community Park. This park truly has it all. There is a grassy area for the kids to run free in, spray grounds to cool off, a large sandbox, playground and even a dog park with swim beach to watch the pooches play. This park was completed a few years ago and is still a hidden gem.
Let’s Get Wet – Roosevelt Activity Pool in Longmont makes the list of places for a summer visit. This pool is a little unusual as the maximum depth is only 2’ 8.” Makes for great squat workouts while holding a baby, perfect jumping for a toddler and an easy transition for child learning to swim.
Shopping! – My favorite shopping areas include The Village, Pearl Street, 29th Street Mall. Yes, in that order too. The Village has my all-time favorite place for kid’s shoes at Rocky Mountain Kids. You can even entice the kids to behave by taking them into Grandrabbits, a local toy store right next door after. I’m not done yet – then, stop in at Becoming Mothers for something just for you. The employees are so helpful and were a great stop when I was trying to find a baby carrier. They even carry the Boba Baby Carrier and Sleepy Wrap designed by a Colorado family. Without leaving the sidewalk you can sign up for classes at Gymboree Play and More. Did you know they even have music and art classes? If you are really feeling adventurous and I hope you are. After all, you still haven’t had to buckle and re-buckle a car seat, or even leave the sidewalk with your children – stop in to Zolo Grill for lunch. I love their chicken enchiladas. All of that in one stop!
Pearl Street is a great place to visit, even if you just want to people watch. There are a few must stops for kids including the pop-jet fountains, the marble animal play area and the rock structures.
If you are looking for a more traditional shopping experience, then the 29th Street Mall is for you.
Escape the Heat – Looking for a great way to get out of the heat and do a fun activity? Crackpots in Longmont is a favorite escape for a lot of moms. For little ones they even have a weekly program called Paint-Me-A-Story, where you listen to a story and paint a corresponding pottery piece. Perfect for your budding artist.
Activities Galore – I’m not joking. There are camps and classes for kids for everything you can imagine. If your child is really into a subject area, chances are there is a gathering for it. A new find for us has been Wild Bear Mountain Ecology Center in Nederland. At this point if you are sick of being in the heat, head up the canyon for an adventure with Wild Bear. They have weekly programs for preschoolers that are reasonably priced. If you have multiple children like me, the price is fantastic! We’re talking really cool outdoor programs, stuff you did as a kid. One of their weekly programs included learning about the lifecycle of frogs and then trying to catch some. Even I want to sign up for this!
Sweet Eats- It is summer after all, right? This should entitle you to at least ten ice cream treats in the next month. However, if you can’t flag down the ice cream truck in time, or you really are looking to spoil yourself, then you need to check out, not one, not two, OK now I’ve lost count – Frozen Yogurt Shops! These places are popping up everywhere. My recent visit to Ripple in Boulder had my kids mesmerized for days. They were taking our order and making play dough cups filled with fake coconut, marshmallows and fruity pebbles for days. Their eyes literally bulged when they saw the topping options. Over 70 options! If you want the real stuff though – Sweet Cow in Louisville is the place. We’ve had amazing coffee ice cream there. A bonus – Sweet Cow has an awesome, kid friendly patio. The kids might be so busy playing that you can enjoy your ice cream without sharing.
Something New? As if I haven’t given you enough reasons, let me give you one more. Boulder Valmont Bikepark offer fun for adults, but it has space for young kids to test out their cycling skills.
Come visit. I guarantee your kids will thank you.
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