We know you came to Boulder for the outdoors. Most people do. With almost permanent blue skies and the Flatiron Mountains as our playground, it’s hard to wrangle yourself away from the excitement to go outdoors. Especially if you’re traveling with children.
But for those rare occasions where the sky is overcast and chilly and your kids don’t want to go for a hike, Boulder County’s got a whole slew of indoor adventures, too. The rec centers in Boulder and throughout the county put most cities’ best gyms to shame, with lazy rivers, rock climbing walls, water slides and excellent group fitness classes.
Here are some of our other favorite ways to entertain your family indoors in Boulder County. Hint: These also make awesome birthday party destinations for kids with winter birthdays.
1. Dizzy Fun Center, Longmont
[x_pullquote type=”right”]Local tip: Dizzy’s even offers a separate, enclosed room with windows where parents can connect to the wifi and work (or just sit in silence on the cushy couches). If you have some work to catch up on, you can bring your kids to Dizzy’s and they won’t complain.[/x_pullquote] Dizzy’s is always happening. This locally owned and operated amusement center was started by parents who were sick of driving far for birthday parties and indoor entertainment. What they created includes a ton of bounce houses, an arcade, laser tag and a laser maze, Nerf wars and a simple café for (not super healthy) snacks.
There’s plenty to do here for kids of all ages. Kidd Town, with its slides, toys and obstacles, caters to kids up to age 10. Teens can get wild in the laser tag area or try the Ninja Warrior-inspired obstacle course. There are different levels of difficulty, so younger kids and even adults can test their grit.
2. Warrior Challenge Arena, Broomfield
[x_pullquote type=”right”]Local tip: Reserve the picnic area on the side if you want to have cake or snacks afterward or you have a bigger group.[/x_pullquote]The Warrior Challenge Arena is a ninja warrior play world designed just for kids. The huge warehouse is filled with a long list of adjustable challenges, so every day offers something different. Highlights may include a tall net wall, rope-climbing, swinging balls, foam pits, rings, tunnels, sleds, a zip line, slackline, boxes, half pipes — the list is long. The arena boasts more than 75 different options.
Kids can sign up for a training class or book it for a private event like a birthday party. Adults can give it a go, too. If you’re tough enough.
3. YMCA of Boulder Valley, Boulder and Lafayette
The YMCA of Boulder Valley is what happens when the nonprofit Y meets the fittest city in America. This is a level above any other YMCA that you might have visited before. There are the typical programs and offerings, like sports clubs and swimming pools. But some more unique offerings include meditation classes, Nordic walking, a warm-water therapy pool, a kids’ triathlon, ice hockey, skateboarding camp and more.
4. Ice Centre at the Promenade, Westminster
If you missed ice skating on one of Boulder County’s outdoor ice rinks in the winter, no problem. You can slice the ice year-round at the Ice Centre in Westminster (but so close it feels like Broomfield). Sign up for an ice-skating class or drop in during certain time windows. You can also reserve the rink for a private event, like a birthday party.
5. Great Play, Superior
Great Play, located in Superior (just east of Boulder), claims to have the world’s first interactive gym. Imagine an indoor play area featuring eight different computerized projectors and sound and sensor systems that make kids feel like they’re playing along in a real-life movie. The system is designed to teach and stimulate children in a fun way, using games and activities that build confidence, strength, coordination and more.
Great Play is geared toward infants to kids around age 10. Everyone gets a free trial class to see if it’s a good fit.
6. Shredder Urban Ski and Snowboard Park, Boulder
Shredder makes skiing and snowboarding a year-round event in Boulder. Kids can sign up for ski and snowboard lessons in this indoor ski training facility that uses synthetic snow, man-built hills and various drills and obstacles to build the skills necessary to have success on the real mountains. This is a great class for kids new to the sport, but it’s also a way to improve techniques for advanced skiers. Plus, it’s super fun. Kids can wear real boots and skis and slide down slopes — no jacket, mittens or hat necessary.
Shredder begins teaching kids as young as 10 months old. Because Boulder.
7. Boulder Indoor Soccer
[x_pullquote type=”right”]Local tip: The Skybox even has two daily happy hours. From 4 to 6 p.m., all beer and wine is just $3 a glass. After 11 p.m., pitchers are just $11.[/x_pullquote] Boulder Indoor Soccer is just what it sounds like: an indoor soccer arena where you can play and watch the game year-round. After the game, head up to the Skybox Bar and Café, a unique “soccer bar” where you can get a pint and talk about the highlights of the game. As you might expect, the Skybox’s flat-screen TVs regularly stream soccer games that you can watch with other fans.