Back in Boulder/Denver last weekend to visit the in-laws. We do lots of watery stuff there — funny, since Colorado could not be more land-locked.
The first morning, we took our usual trip to the North Boulder Rec Center. The city of Boulder knows how to do recreation right. Although it was snowing outside, there is a killer indoor pool with a two story slide that kids above 4 feet tall can slide down on their own. (under 4 feet, put the kid on your lap) My kids have been going to this pool for years. The have a gradual incline kiddie-pool where your non-swimmers/toddlers can be somewhat independent. The water is only a foot deep and there are fountains and mini-slides for them to investigate.
Without kids, there is a jacuzzi and lap pool as well — not to mention the classes and workout rooms also within the center.
We had lunch at Breadworks — after the swim, my kids were good and hungry (euphamism for breaking down). I like to bring my kids to this place: the food is good (best for lunch), reasonably priced and it works kind of like a cafeteria where you pick your food out of the line and go to the cashier. I had a piece of salmon with green beans on the side — healthy and delicious. They also sell pizza by the slice for the kids. You can also grab lunch on the go: salads, soups, to-go dinners are in the refrigerator case. Lots of gelato and cookies too, if you’ve got a sweet tooth.
The next day in Denver, we went to the Downtown Aquarium. Not only did my kids have a great time, so did I. There are ACTUAL mermaids! This was thrilling — not sure if it translates on the video, but the kids were out of their minds.
Another thing you can do at the aquarium is swim with the fish (or sharks). You get a wetsuit, a camera — a snorkel or scuba gear — and off you go, into the tanks. My kids were BEGGING — but they don’t swim very well, so we’ll have to wait a few more years before we go back and do that. It looked amazingly fun — and much warmer in a wet suit. I started thinking of the poor mermaids! Just a bikini top!
Lastly, we bought 3 sardines for $3 (such a deal. Not) to feed the rays. Here’s how they come up to you:
In this video, I put the sardine between my knuckles as instructed and waited for the ray to come near. A ray is so soft to touch. Almost like chamois leather. You can see what a pro I am.
When my mother-in-law heard that my 7 year old loves hamburgers, insisted that we go to Ted’s Montana Grill.
Ted is media mogul Ted Turner. The restaurant serves old-timey comfort food and their specialty is Bison — leaner and tastier than beef. (True) The decor — tin roof, tiled floors, Bison Head — told me that they know exactly who they are. The menu only confirmed it: iceberg wedge, bison burgers, homemade potato chips. There is a great kids menu and they give out wikki stix for the kids. Nice touch. The food was delicious (I had the Balsamic Blue Steak Salad — bison, greens, blue cheese, balsamic glaze — really terrific), although the service was crap. The food took over 45 minutes to get to us and the waitress never checked in — we had to flag her down. That said, I would definitely give it another try because our waitress seemed to be the only airhead in the restaurant.
Spring weather near the Rockies was a little schizophrenic: snowy one day, hot and sunny the next. Bring layers and be prepared to wear socks with your sandals! Well,not you, but maybe your kids.