2021 summer fun can be found all throughout Colorado

From the mountains to Putt-Putt golf, Colorado provides various enjoyable ways to get outside of the house during summer break

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Etienne Girardet, Upslash.com

Fort Collins and Loveland are part of the top swimming cities in the U.S.

Skylar Whalen, Editor

The 2020-2021 school year is coming to a close. Summer is just around the corner, and with our last summer being entirely taken by a pandemic, we may not know what to do with ourselves.

There are so many different things that we can do here in Colorado. No, we don’t have beaches, but we have something that could be equally as even more enjoyable: mountains. And other activities, of course. You don’t have to spend your whole summer hiking. There are water parks, haunted houses, museums, and more!

Hiking 

Sometimes a trip deep into the mountains can be time consuming, but there are some closer options too.

I went to Rabbit Mountain in Boulder a couple years ago and the sites were beautiful. I went during the winter, but I presume that it would still be absolutely breathtaking in the summer. The flowers will be in full bloom and more wildlife will be out. The trails are fairly easy to hike and navigate. It’s a free of charge hike and you can go anytime during the day.

Another hike that looks great to go on is Agnes Vaille Falls. I have not personally been here, but the pictures look amazing. According to Day Hikes Near Denver, “Agnes Vaille falls is viewed on [a] 1 mile, easy, loop hike just south of Buena Vista, Colorado. Take in snow-capped Mt. Princeton and the white Chalk Cliffs of the canyon on what makes for a great family hike in the Arkansas River valley of Colorado.” I don’t know about you, but this sounds like a pretty fun activity.

Water and Amusement Parks

In terms of amusement parks, Colorado is known to be the home to Elitch’s, an amusement and water park. Elitch Gardens is located in the Denver area, near the Mile High stadium. There are fun roller coasters like the “Boomerang” and the “Brain Drain” along with small theatre productions. There is also a water park with the “SlideZilla”, and what I like to call the Red Slide (actually called the “Splashdown”). The tickets are a little pricey at $64.99 per person per visit, so it would be a good idea to pick the best day to go. There are also season passes that cost $179.99. Last time I went, it was absolutely worth it. Sometimes they will have sales that significantly decrease prices, so keep your eyes peeled for that.

There are hand sanitizer stations around the park, and customers are required to wear masks as they enter the doors (as of May 25th, 2021). Most of the park is outdoors, so it is not very likely that masks will be required outside in the near future when considering the recent mask orders by Governor Polis. Park hours are different on different days, but Elitch’s is now usually open on weekends.

Another fun place to visit in the summer months is Water World. You guessed it — this is a water park. If you drive to Federal Heights, you can go wade in their wave pool or explore their themed rides. I really enjoyed the “Lost River of the Pharaohs” and the “Mile High Flyer”, both of which feel like a roller coaster in water.

The park opens at the end of May from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. or 10 a.m.-6 p.m depending on the day. The price for anyone over 47 inches and who is not considered a senior citizen is $31.99 for a day ticket. There are also splash passes for unlimited summer visits and cabanas or bungalows as well.

The park recommends that swimmers be in swimming attire before coming in order to minimize time in doors changing. If you are fully vaccinated, you won’t need a mask, but it is recommended outside the water if not vaccinated. Please do not wear COVID-19 masks in the water. This is a safety hazard and can cause drowning.

Museums

If you aren’t the outdoorsy type, then maybe think of visiting a museum. There are many different types of museums in Colorado, including ones at colleges like Colorado University (CU), in the cliffs of Golden, or in more busy city centers like Denver or Greeley.

The Longmont Museum gives a history of our local area (even if you don’t personally live there). There are also new exhibits that move in and out at different times of the year. The information is pretty interesting.

Masks are required for those over two, and the museum provides some extras if they are forgotten. Places where younger kids can play are closed due to COVID-19. The museum’s temporary hours are “from 9 a.m.–3 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday; the Museum is closed Sunday and Monday”. Admission for adults is $8, students or seniors is $5, and children younger than four are free. 

I have also heard that the History Colorado Center is a great place to visit. The website shows that there are many different exhibits for Colorado history buffs. There are exhibits about women’s rights, Native Americans, World War II, and so on. Some reviews on the site talk about how they feel safe due to the museum’s thorough cleaning. I am unsure if masks are required.

Admission for students (16-22 with valid student IDs) is $10 and ages 5-15 are $8. The building is on 1200 N Broadway in Denver. It is open Monday through Sunday, from 10 a.m.-5 p.m.

Other Activities 

There are so many great things to do that can’t be categorized and deserve an honorable mention.

I have not personally been on this tour, but the Capital Hill Ghost and History Tour sounds pretty fun and interesting. According to the website, “This area has been documented as the most haunted neighborhood in the city of Denver. The tour offers an expansive range of information, including: the history of the neighborhood, scandals from the past, and haunted dwellings”. This can be for both the historians and the eidolists.

Bowling is also such a simple solution to boredom during the summer break months. I really enjoy going to Centennial Lanes — where classic greasy bowling alley food is met with the excitement of falling pins.

Another option for those of us that are not golf experts or aficionados is Putt-Putt golf. I know that my family and I enjoyed going to the Adventure Golf and Raceway in Westminster. The Putt-Putt courses are unique and enjoyable to be a part of, especially if you go with your family or a group of friends.

There are so many different things you can do when school ends, so I encourage you to get off TikTok and go out to enjoy a summer break that I feel we’ve been waiting for forever!