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Play for the Day in Parker, CO

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I am an adventurous, type—the kind who is willing to try anything once. So when the opportunity arose to Play for the Day in Parker arose, I jumped on it immediately. Moments later, however, I thought to myself, “ummm…what, exactly, is there to do in Parker?” Aside from Sky Ridge hospital and an uncle who’s not really an uncle living in Parker, my knowledge and expertise of the area abruptly stopped. Still, it was worth exploring and it was just a few hours one day of my life. What was the harm?

It turns out, Parker is more than meets the eye. Several years ago, when my husband and I were looking for areas to purchase our first home, Parker was casually tossed into the mix of towns we would consider raising our family. Smallish, quaint, and right on the I-25 corridor, we brushed the area aside without much thought. Now, I wish we had given it greater consideration.

parkerH2O’Brien Outdoor Pool. Our first item on our agenda: H2O’Brien Pool located right off of Mainstreet and Victorian Way. This sprawling outdoor swimming pool was teeming with activity from the moment we arrived (a few minutes before 10 a.m.) until the moment we left. Two giant slides loomed above one of the areas of the pool inviting kids and adults alike to hurl themselves into the warm, rushing waters and emerge from the other end. A splash pad for kids of all ages garnered the attention of some of the less adventurous swimmers with colorful fountains and crisp, refreshing water. A zero-depth entry area also begged for kids and adults to wade into shin-deep waters and explore the various smaller-scale slides, water cannons, sprayers, and inviting waters. H2O’Brien pool is definitely an attraction in and of itself and could consume an entire day if we allowed it to. Alas, my 6-year-old daughter, who broke her arm earlier in July, is still in a cast ranging from fingertips to elbow, which put a damper on a little bit of our family fun at the pool. Covered with no fewer than three plastic bags at a time, she tentatively splashed in the zero-depth entry area of the pool and kicked water at her brothers but was hesitant to do much more than that. So with that, we moved on.

Indochine. Next stop: Indochine, a Thai and Vietnemese restaurant located on Main Sreet between a frozen yogurt shop on the right and a bar and grill on the left.  The atmosphere was warm and welcoming, and we were seated near the front windows where we could see all of the activity happening in front of us on Main Street. Shortly after our arrival, Yume Tran, one of the restaurant’s owners, emerged from the kitchen to introduce herself to our family and tell us a little bit about the restaurant. Bright, funny, friendly, and welcoming, Yume explained some of her favorite dishes to us (my husband had never had Thai food before), and spoke briefly about how much the town of Parker has grown in the past decade. She is passionate about creating delicious, healthy food that is simple to prepare, and often offers cooking demos on-site to show people how to prepare some of Indochine’s delicious cuisine in their own homes. She also bottles her sauces, and offers them for sale in the restaurant for “Meals in Minutes.” Words cannot begin to express how incredibly delicious the food was. The perfect blend of sweet and savory, spicy and creamy, decadent and light; Indochine will forever be a destination restaurant for my family, and we will not hesitate to make the nearly hour-long trek simply to indulge in Indochine’s incredible selection of Thai curries and sushi. Thai iced tea was something I cannot imagine how I have lived without for so long.

PACE Night-1PACE Center. Upon completing our meal, which left all of us stuffed to the gills, we leisurely made our way to the PACE Center for a contemporary Fauvists Art Exhibit followed by a live performance of Grease. The state-of-the art Parker Arts Cultural Events center was surprisingly modern, spacious, and upscale. The 50,000 square foot venue holds a 536 seat theater, art gallery, dance studio, meeting rooms, lobby, event room, and more. After admiring the paintings presented by some local Colorado artists, we were shown to our seats by an usher to take in a real live performance. The entire family was pleasantly surprised by the talent of the cast—it was hard to believe we were not taking in a show at the Denver Center for Performing Arts. The sets and theater were far more than what one might think of when they think of community theater. The 2 pm matinee of Grease was sold out—something that was largely unexpected.

Long story short: Parker has definitely moved to the top of my list for family places to explore. It is far more than just the location of a hospital and an uncle who isn’t really an uncle. It is truly a destination—one we will be visiting regularly from this point on. How did I not know about everything the town of Parker had to offer before? How about you? Do you have any photos of yourself and your family enjoying all that Parker has to offer? Share them on social media with #townofparkerco.

H2O’Brien Pool is open weekends beginning August 8 and closes on Labor Day.

Indochine: Open for lunch Monday-Saturday from 11:30 am-3:00 pm and Dinner Monday-Saturday from 5:00 pm- 9:00 pm. On Sundays, the restaurant is open from 4:30 pm-9 pm.

PACE Center:

Hours of operation will vary depending on season or events. You can purchase tickets to shows online, or call the box office for more information.

Rachael is a 38-year-old mom of three who is originally from the suburbs of Chicago but now lives in Brighton.  She enjoys showering without an audience and waiting until her kids are in bed before opening the “good snacks.” She has been married to her husband for 13 years.

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  • comment avatar E3 August 14, 2016

    There’s nothing better that getting the kids outdoors to play. It’s exercise for the body and mind while you make wonderful memories together.

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