Hotspots in Denver, CO
Visit the 27th floor of the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Denver and you'll find the Peaks Lounge and one of the best views in the city. The setting is swanky, the drinks are unique and the desserts are decadent. Cozy up to your honey while you relax into the comfy chairs and enjoy the ambiance. If you want to optimize your experience, be sure to visit around dusk to watch the sun dip behind the Rockies. You really can't beat the location so stop at the Peaks Lounge either before you head to a show or after you've toured the town.
Aspen Grove is a delightful open-air shopping center located in Littleton, Colorado. The shopping is fantastic in this dog-friendly market. Many businesses have "pet friendly" signs in the windows and plenty of water bowls line the walkway. Aspen Grove hosts a wide range of special events throughout the year, including The Colorado St. Bernard Rescue public education program and A Paris Street Market. When your finished shopping, take a short walk behind the shopping center to the Mary Carter Greenway Trail, which meanders along the Platte River. What a perfect day!
Located within Chatfield State Park, Chatfield Reservoir features one of the largest dog off-leash areas in the Denver metro area. Whether you are training your dog for sport or just need a place for him to stretch his legs, this expansive park will meet your needs. It's surrounded by awesome biking and running trails and includes several dog-friendly lakes and streams. This is a great place for you and your dog to make new friends and enjoy the natural beauty of Colorado. A daily or annual off-leash park pass will be required as of January 1, 2011. Passes cost $2 and $20, respectively and can be acquired at the park entrance, visitor's center or at self-service stations.
You can get as irreverent as you want in this church where the only worshipping is to music for hipsters 18 and older. Built in 1865, this gorgeous Gothic church was stripped of its pews and made into a multilevel dance club in SoCo (South of Colfax Nightlife District). DJs pump out tunes and strobe lights provide an electrifying atmosphere Thursday through Sunday nights. No cover for girls 21+ on Thursdays until 11 p.m and all night on Fridays. Aerial acrobats on fabric entertain every Friday, and free salsa lessons start at 9:30 on Saturdays when Latin music rocks the rafters.
If you are itching to step into skis but don't want the hassle or crowds (or cost) of the High Country, visit Golden Gate State Park in Golden for some cross-country skiing and/or snowshoeing. Both are excellent winter activities (especially for families) that you can enjoy with just simple training or basic instruction. This park has a wide range of trails that are suitable for both winter activities and all skill levels are welcomed. Rentals are not available so be sure to bring your equipment. The best time to visit is just after a snowfall when the trails are in their best condition. You will need a park pass so be sure to stop by the ranger station or purchase an annual pass through Colorado State Parks.
Bugs, bugs everywhere! Just 15 minutes from Denver, the Butterfly Pavilion will keep curious kids busy with a variety of displays, educational workshops and rotating exhibits. The highlight is a mini-rainforest with countless butterflies fluttering freely around you. Watch your kids navigate the lush paths as they try to follow the flights of the colorful butterflies. Be sure to bring your camera!
Walking into Cakes Amore in Littleton is like stepping into a sweet tooth paradise. The colors and sweet smells will transport you to a sugary wonderland. But don’t get too carried away or you’ll miss out on some of the best baked goods and desserts in the Denver metro area. The cakes are true works of art and the cupcakes are heavenly. Flavors include S’mores, tiramisu, chocolate dipped banana and root beer float. They even offer an “Obama” cupcake which is described as “white cake filled with fudge and topped with coconut icing and flakes for his Hawaiian roots.”
If you dare, take the kids sky diving—indoors! You don't fall from the sky; a column of air circulated by strong fans in a wind tunnel keeps you floating just a few feet above the ground. Engineers from NASA designed the wind tunnels, so your kiddos can feel like astronauts. Trained instructors show you how to freefall, just like sky divers. First-time flyers follow basic steps with one-on-one instruction; then you can advance your skills and learn how to do tricks. The cost goes down with repeat visits. For any age older than 3.
What could be more perfect than getting a manicure with your furry friend by your side? You can do just that at File-n-Style Nail Salon and Boutique in Denver's City Park neighborhood. As long as your dog is friendly, you can bring her along as you get pampered. This hip salon offers a wide range of nail, waxing and tanning services, as well as a stylish boutique featuring unique items for every fashionista. The staff is exceptionally friendly and accommodating. Often recognized as one of the best nail salons in Denver, File-n-Style is the perfect place to visit for a posh dog-friendly outing.
If your man’s not a fan of tutus or pointe shoes, no worries. This 50-year-old dance company produces contemporary dance as well as traditional ballet during its six-month season, so he’ll appreciate the athleticism of modern dance. If not, ditch him and go with girlfriends to see top professional dancers from around the world performing such full-length classics as Swan Lake, Dracula, and of course, The Nutcracker, an annual event beloved by Denver audiences during the holidays. Sets and costumes are stunning! Most performances are at the Ellie Caulkins Opera House in downtown’s cultural arts district, with one annually at the Newman Center on the University of Denver campus.