nbrc-poolIf you have two children under the age of ten as traveling companions, Boulder is not a the foodie mecca you have been dreaming of.  But there are fun things to do and good places to eat, nonetheless.  Boulder is known for having very fit, healthy and emotionally conscious citizens.  Embrace the culture when you’re here and you’ll find things to do that aren’t necessarily touristy, but that the whole family (with young kids) can enjoy.

Friday 4 p.m.
There’s a Reason They Call it Boulder

Zelda Rock Climbing

If you’ve never been rock climbing before, a good place to start is an indoor rock climbing gym. There are quite few in Boulder.  We went to Boulder Rock Club.  (2829 Mapleton Avenue 800-836-4008×4) They are open until 10pm and can accommodate the entire family, even people who have never belayed before.  Both my kids, ages 8 and 7, feel comfortable climbing right up the wall.  Figure that it’s better than the parents climbing the walls…
Admission $10 for the first time, 12 and under.  Under 5 years, free!

6 p.m.
Pizza for Adults
My in-laws love taking us to Proto’s for pizza.  My kids love it, too.  If we have to eat more pizza on our vacation, we’re glad that it’s here.  The pizza is classic, Neapolitan thin crust pizza.  The ceasar salad has anchovies.  And…they have cocktails, not just beer and wine.  (4670 North Broadway Street, (720) 565-1050)

Saturday 9 a.m.
Ski Boulder?

Eldora Mountain Resort is the local ski mountain for Boulderites, just a 35 minute drive.  Sure, you could go to the front range (Vail, Loveland, Keystone), but as Eldora’s tagline gently reminds you, “Friends, don’t let friends drive I-70.”  Eldora is a small mountain but they are making snow and even at 15 degrees, this fair-weathered skier had a blast. Put your kids in ski school and everyone will have a great time. There’s more than just downhill — they also have nordic center with both classic and skate ski options. Or… you could snowshoe. (http://www.eldora.com)
4 p.m.
Apres Ski
Now that you’re nice and sore and tired from skiing, get into the hot tub at the North Boulder Recreation Center.  (3198 Broadway, 303-413-7260) While you’re doing that, your kids can get into the very kid-friendly pool that has a zero grade entry, water slide, bubble bench, basketball hoops and tons of lifeguards. You can get towels there and go into the sauna as well.  Great apres ski session with the kids! ($7 for Adults, $4.50 for kids 3-18)

7 p.m.
Ted’s Montana Grill
buffaloDid you know that Ted Turner owns a restaurant chain? Yup. He serves bison from his… bison farm? And there’s a kids’ menu and a happy hour and yummy cocktails and booths.  My kids have been here many times.  They specifically ask to go there — this is an adult restaurant that is very kid friendly without feeling like you are at TGI Friday’s. Get the bison.  It’s leaner. (1701 Pearl Street Boulder)

9 a.m.
Baby’s Gotta Eat!
You’re on vacation!  Don’t make breakfast.  Indulge! The Buff Restaurant (1725 28th St
Boulder, (303) 442-9150) is the kind of place where the food is so great, going to breakfast there such a treat, you wonder why there can’t be one of these in every town.  Eggs, waffles, homestead skillets — it’s a big menu.  You will be overwhelmed — go with a lot of people so you can taste everyone else’s plate.

10:30 a.m.
Retail Therapy
So now, you’re in a food coma.  Maybe you need to walk around a bit.  We come to Boulder from a fashion-starved city that shall remain nameless. We always end up at Rocky Mountain Kids — it ain’t cheap, but the shoes and the clothes are perfect for (grandma to buy for) our kids. It’s a small boutique with both small and big fashion labels. Even beautiful clothes for big boys.  (2520 Arapahoe H12a, (303) 447-2267)

Even in winter, Boulder is an active place.  There are people outdoors in the freezing weather.  They are fit! They eat healthy!  It’s a great place to indoctrinate your kids into this kind of lifestyle. And there are tons of activities for kids. The restaurants are fantastic… if your kids are not such picky eaters.

See more of Elizabeth’s posts on TravelingMom.com here.
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