Tattered Cover Bookstore (Denver)

What:  Tattered Cover BookstoreTattered2
Where: Denver
When: * see website for the operating hours for each store
* The original Cherry Creek store moved in June 2006 to a new location at the old Lowenstein Theater at Colfax Ave. and Elizabeth.

What’s a bookstore doing in a website about free things to do in Colorado? Well, my friends, the Tattered Cover isn’t just any bookstore. What started out over 30 years ago as a small, cozy bookshop with an eclectic selection of books evolved into an amazing place for anyone who enjoys books. Not only will you find an outstanding selection of books (over half a million in the 3 locations, consisting of over 150,000 titles), but you’ll still enjoy the feeling of being in a cozy shop where you feel welcome to curl up on a sofa or sit back in a recliner to enjoy reading a book, magazine, or newspaper. This is the bookstore that some of the “big box” booksellers wish they could be.

Our favorite location was the one in the Cherry Creek area of Denver. When they outgrew their small shop, Tattered Cover moved into a large building formerly occupied by a local department store. That location is now history as well. However, the newest spot to enjoy Tattered Cover is in the historic Lowenstein Theater on Colfax & Elizabeth near East High School. We’re sure you’ll still enjoy a stroll among the thousands of books, and find a favorite nook or cranny (there are plenty to choose from) where you can relax. And don’t forget to stop in at the in-house coffee shop cafes.

If all this isn’t enough to entice you to visit, check out the stores’ Events Calendar. Nearly every day or evening there is a special event at one or more locations. Book Clubs, discussions and book signings by nationally-famous authors, poetry readings, children’s science presentations, a film series, and even tasting events presented by cookbook authors are offered. Check the Tattered Cover website or call their Events Line at (303) 322-1965 ext. 7446 for a schedule.

If there is such a thing as a perfect bookstore, this is it. Enjoy!

For more information, contact:
Tattered Cover Book Store

Historic LoDo
1628 16th Street
Denver, CO 80202
(303) 436-1070

Historic Lowenstein Theater
2526 East Colfax Avenue
Denver, CO 80206
(303) 322-7727

9315 Dorchester Street
Highlands Ranch, CO 80129
(303) 470-7050

email: books@tatteredcover.com

Sports Hall of Fame Museum (Denver)

What:  Colorado Sports Hall of Fame MuseumSportsHallOfFame
Where: Denver
When: Thursday through Saturday, 10 AM – 3 PM
(note: Museum may have special hours on Bronco home games and during other special events)

Here in Colorado, we love our sports. And we’ve certainly had our share of great athletes and great people associated with sports here in our home state.

Whether your interest lies with great moments in Colorado sport history, women in sports, or all things “Bronco”, you’ll find plenty to enjoy at the Colorado Sports Hall of Fame Museum. There’s even a display called “MIND – BODY – SPIRIT / THE IMPORTANCE OF SPORTS CONDITIONING” where John Elway and Amy Van Dyken demonstrate (through photos — sorry, they’re not here in person!) how muscle groups work together and provide injury prevention concepts.

There are 6 key characteristics which may qualify someone to be inducted into the Hall of Fame:

Sportsmanship – Leadership – Courage – Sacrifice – Endurance – Power

SportsA few of the inductees you’ll find honored here:

Bobby Anderson, Terrell Davis, Mildred “Babe” Didrickson, Jack Dempsey, Peggy Fleming, Rich “Goose” Gossage, Randy Gradishar, Scott Hamilton, Bill Hanzlik, Hale Irwin, Dan Issel, Billy Kidd, Floyd Little, Karl Mecklenburg, Robert “Red” Miller, Doug Moe, Haven Moses, Dan Reeves, Patrick Roy, Shannon Sharpe, Bill Toomey, Amy Van Dyken, Byron “Whizzer” White (yes, the same Byron White who served as a Supreme Court Justice), and, of course, John Elway.

Pretty impressive, eh?

For more information, contact:
INVESCO Field at Mile High
1701 Bryant St. #500
Denver, CO 80204



Additional directions:
The Colorado Sports Hall of Fame is located at Gate #1 on the west side of INVESCO Field at Mile High. For those of you not familiar with the Denver area, the football stadium is located just west of I-25 and north of Colfax Avenue.

Redstone Meadery (Boulder)

What:  Redstone Meadery – tour and mead tastingRedstone Meadery (Boulder) free tour
Where: Boulder
When: Monday – Friday: 1/2 hr tour 1 PM and 3 PM; tasting room open Noon – 6:30 PM;
Saturday: tour 12:30 pm, tasting room open Noon – 5 PM;
Call for private appointment at other times.
Plus: Free live music 2 PM – 5 PM every Saturday from November through April

Ah, Mead! The Nectar of the Gods, the original fermented beverage, Honey Wine. If you’ve never tasted Mead, you’re in for a treat when you visit this award-winning Meadery. Mead can be simply a fermented honey wine, or it can be turned into a champagne alternative with a little carbonation. Or, add fruit (black raspberry, boysenberry, apricot, grape), herbs, spices (vanilla, cinnamon), or other creative flavorings (juniper berry) to produce variations on the original theme.

According to legend and our old English Lit 101 class, Mead was offered to the gods of mythology, it was consumed by Beowulf, and Shakespeare’s character Falstaff enjoyed it regularly. The term “honeymoon” originally referred to the tradition of drinking honey wine for the first month of marriage to ensure the birth of baby boys.

Redstone Meadery (Boulder) free tourOne story of the origin of Mead is that lightning struck a tree with a cavity filled with honey and rain water. Natural wild yeast in the tree was activated, and the honey fermented. Some lucky soul then came to collect the honey, and had an eye-opening experience. As Pete Seeger sang,

“We will pray just like the Druids,
Drinking strange fermented fluids,
Go dancing naked through the woods,
They’re good enough for me.”


In this small, but growing facility, enjoy a very personalized tour where you can explore the entire process of creating Mead. The friendly staff at the Redstone Meadery describe and demonstrate the steps that turn honey, hot water, and yeast into a product that’s a bit like wine, a bit like champagne, and a bit like beer. Their bottling, labeling, and packaging process is mostly by hand; a sharp contrast to the so-fast-it’s-a-blur processes you’ll see at large beer breweries!

After the tour, enjoy tasting the wide variety of Mead products produced here. Feel the love, as the folks here like to say!


For more information, contact:
Redstone Meadery
4700 Pearl Street Unit 2-A
Boulder, CO 80301



Additional directions:
Drive to Boulder, and take Foothills Parkway (County Road 157) to the Pearl Parkway exit. Turn north on 47th Street, which is the frontage road just to the east of Foothills Parkway. Drive one block north on 47th, turn right on Pearl Street, and turn right immediately to enter the parking lot for the building that houses Redstone Meadery.

Red Rocks Park & Amphitheatre (Denver)

What: Red Rocks Park & AmphitheatreRed Rocks Amphitheatre (Denver CO)
Where: Denver
WhenVisitor Center:  Summer hours (May-Sept): 8:00 AM – 7:00 PM daily
Winter hours (October-April): 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM daily

The Beatles. Lyle Lovett. Sting. Al Jarreau. Allman Brothers Band. Earth, Wind & Fire. Rage Against the Machine. Itzhak Perlman. Grateful Dead. Paul Simon. U2. Smothers Brothers. Igor Stravinsky. Joe Cocker. Peter, Paul and Mary. Emmy Lou Harris. Al Hirt. Santana. Indigo Girls. Sheryl Crow. Phish. Willie Nelson. Roseanne.  Count Basie. Victor Borge. Widespread Panic. 

From Opera to Rock, Jazz to Reggae, Folk to Swing, Classical to Country; all types of musical performances have occurred at this spectacular natural amphitheatre since the early 1900s. In 1911, a famous opera star of the time traveled up to Red Rocks by burro to try out the acoustics and declared, “never in any opera house the world over have I found more perfect acoustic properties.”

How old is this amphitheater? Look at the 300-foot-high red sandstone cliffs on either side of the seating area. Ship Rock and Creation Rock have probably been standing here for over 250,000 years. The seats, stage, and other man-made additions were built from 1936 through 1947, designed with an emphasis on preserving the natural beauty of the area.

During the day, or late into the evening when no concert is scheduled, you can come explore this beautiful concert venue. Stand in front of the stage and speak to friends watching from high above in the last row of seats. Imagine thousands of fans anticipating the start of a concert. From the seating area, enjoy the panoramic views of Denver in the distance.

Red Rocks amphitheatre park (Denver CO)When you’re done exploring the amphitheatre, don’t miss the captivating Visitor Center, which opened in 2003. The Visitor Center is tucked under the seating, so it made a minimal impact on the appearance of the area. Watch a 10-minute film that describes the history – both natural and musical – of the park. Reminisce as you view concert posters from the past 40 years, see instruments belonging to favorite musicians, or use the interactive computer terminals to find out who performed here or to remember a special concert. Enjoy a relaxing meal at the Ship Rock Grille, a full-service restaurant located in the Visitor Center building.

Do you still have some energy left? Explore the paths around the amphitheatre, or hike the rugged 1.4 mile Trading Post loop trail, which will take you through marvelous rock formations, meadows, and valleys. Remember that rock climbing in this park is strictly prohibited, and failure to comply with this rule carries a large fine. The trail closes ½ hour before sunset.

This is a Denver-area classic, not to be missed!

For more information, contact:
Red Rocks Amphitheatre
16352 County Road #93
Morrison, CO 80465

(303) 295-4444 or (303) 640-2637


Additional directions:
Red Rocks Amphitheatre is located near Morrison, 15 miles west of downtown Denver. From I-70 take the Morrison exit (259). At the bottom of the exit ramp turn south (left, if you were driving Westbound on I-70) onto CO 93 and continue about 1.5 miles to the signed entrance on your right. Note: turn left at this intersection to visit Dinosaur Ridge.

NCAR Tour (Boulder)

What: National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) tourNCAR Science museum (Boulder CO) - free admission
Where: Boulder
When: Self-guided tours Weekdays 8-5; weekends and holidays 9-4;
Guided Tours at noon Mon.,Wed., and Fri., except holidays

In Woody Allen’s 1973 movie Sleeper, Woody tries to load a huge magnetic tape on a super computer, and ends up dangling out a window tangled up in tape. The futuristic building featured in this scene is the beautiful structure designed by world famous architect I.M. Pei, and the home of the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR). It is situated in a spectacular setting, nestled beneath Boulder’s dramatic Flatiron rock formations.

Adults and children alike will find fascinating hands-on displays that demonstrate how tornadoes form, how eddies form in water and air, and various electrical phenomena such as lightning and static electricity. These and other exhibits demonstrate processes that affect weather and climate.

NCAR Science museum (Boulder CO) - free admissionVisit the impressive computing center, utilized by researchers working to provide more accurate weather forecasts, improve hurricane warnings, understand climate change such as global warming, measure wind shear and turbulence, and much more. Learn how the use of the on-site 3D Visualization Lab has helped scientists make breakthroughs in analyzing data.

If terms like gigaflops and terabytes mean something to you, you’ll find additional details on the computers currently being used at NCAR, which runs one of the 10 fastest supercomputing centers in the world. Computer history buffs will enjoy a close-up view of part of the old Cray Supercomputer used by the center starting in the late 1970s.

After enjoying the indoor displays, head outside to the 0.4 mile Walter Orr Roberts Weather Trail, where you’ll hike through a nature preserve and learn about weather phenomena that may be visible around you while you walk! View the infamous Brown Cloud, look for Mountain Waves in the clouds, and learn about cold fronts, snow, ultraviolet light, erosion, fire, drought, and thunderstorms (oops, time to head back inside!) Be on the lookout for mule deer, rabbits, and lovely springtime wildflowers in the woods around you. Numerous other hiking trails are available in this region as well.


For more information, contact:
National Center for Atmospheric Research
1850 Table Mesa Drive
Boulder, CO 80305


Additional directions:
Drive to the intersection of Broadway and Table Mesa Drive on the north side of Boulder. Turn west on Table Mesa Drive, and continue to the end of the road, which is the entrance to the parking lot for NCAR.

The Money Museum (Denver)

What: The Money Museum Money Museum
Where: Denver
When: 8:30 am – 4:30 pm Monday through Friday
(closed on bank holidays)

Sorry, they aren’t giving away free money. But you get to design your own money — that’s pretty cool. You can’t spend it, but…

And you get to see what $30,000,000 looks like. Real money. Up close and personal.

The Money Museum at the Federal Reserve Bank offers a unique and up-close look at the nation’s financial system in action. Visitors can learn more about the Fed, view aspects of the payments system and discover how the Fed promotes a healthy economy which positively impacts our daily lives.

If your interest (pun intended) is in historical currency, you’re in the right place. Would you like to see a $100,000 bill? Yep, that’s here too. And here’s something that you’ll want to check out: see if you can spot a counterfeit vs. real $20 bill. There are several other interactive displays to enhance your knowledge of money and the economy.

Important:  There are special requirements for IDs and rules about items that cannot be brought into the Bank. Check them carefully before you go.

For more information, contact:
Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City – Denver Branch
1020 16th Street
Denver, CO 80202

(303) 572-2300

email: denvertours@kc.frb.org

Longmont Museum (Longmont)

What: Longmont Museum and Cultural CenterGlass wall 2
Where: 400 Quail Road in south Longmont
When: Mon. – Sat. 9-5, Sun. 1-5.

Now here’s a museum where you’ll enjoy the architecture, decor, and views just as much as the actual displays!

The exhibits change regularly, and there is surely something for everyone here. Take a look at a few of the offerings for 2007 and early 2008:

Ansel Adams & Edwin Land: Art, Science and Invention
– Photographs from the Polaroid Collection
Gadgets & Gizmos: Tools in Longmont
Frederic Remington Makes Tracks…Adventures and Artistic Impressions

Added in September, 2007 — a new permanent history gallery called “Front Range Rising” with hands-on artifacts, a large-scale topographical map of the area, and numerous treasures from the Museum’s collection.

Longs Peak RoomNote that the permanent exhibits are free. However, there may be a fee to view some special exhibits.

Got kids? The beautiful Longs Peak Room has killer views from the mountains to the plains, and is filled with interactive, cool stuff for the whole family to enjoy. There are local history books, an antique stereoscope, and drawers full of interesting historical objects from the Longmont area for everyone to explore.

Children can dress up as bison or crows as they learn about the special meaning of these creatures to native peoples of the region. Plan out a town using wooden blocks. Learn about early mountaineers Isabella Bird (who climbed Longs Peak in 1873!) and Enos Mills, the “father” of Rocky Mountain National Park. View some of the tools used by climbers to ascend Longs Peak over the years.

What a great way to spend the day!

For more information, contact:
Longmont Museum & Cultural Center
400 Quail Road
Longmont, CO 80501

(303) 651-8374


Leanin’ Tree Museum of Western Art (Boulder)

What: Leanin’ Tree Museum of Western ArtLeanin' Tree Western Art Museum (Boulder CO) - free admissionWhere: Boulder
When: Monday – Friday 8 AM – 4:30 PM.
Sat. and Sun. 10 AM – 4 PM. Closed Holidays.

This art museum is one of those wonderful surprises you sometimes get to experience. Be sure to allow yourself at least an hour to fully appreciate what is described as “the largest, privately held collection of western art in the country.” We’re sure you won’t be disappointed.

The Museum’s collection includes a wide variety of drawings, paintings, and sculptures from a number of famous artists. The exquisite facial expressions in some of the artwork have to be seen to be appreciated. You expect the characters to actually step out of their frames and engage you in conversation.

The Frederick Remington collection from Harper’s Weekly alone is very impressive. Those of us who can’t draw a straight line using a ruler can really appreciate the life-like animation he brings to his drawings. It’s difficult to say enough about this fine historic collection.

The variety of subjects insures that everyone in your family will enjoy this very special Museum. You might imagine that all the artwork revolves around cowboys and Indians. Not so! The Western landscapes are absolutely breathtaking. You’ll also find a sharp contrast in theme when you come across the humorous artwork.

Take time to browse through their very fine gift shop. There you will find a wide selection of fine art gift ideas including posters and greeting cards. After all, Leanin’ Tree is the largest publisher of western wildlife and regional interest greeting cards.

Visit this Museum once and you’ll be promising yourself that you’ll be back again real soon, Pardner!

No photography is allowed within the building, but you may take photos of the statues outside.

For more information, contact:
Leanin’ Tree Museum of Western Art
6055 Longbow Drive
Boulder, CO 80301

800-777-8716 x299


Additional directions:
Drive to the north side of Boulder, to the intersection of the Diagonal Highway (CO 119) and Jay Road (County Road 44). Turn east on Jay Road, crossing the railroad tracks. Continue 9.0 miles on Jay Road to Spine Road. Turn left (north) on Spine Road, and drive 0.9 miles (passing the entrance to Celestial Seasonings) to Longbow Drive. Turn right on Longbow, drive 1 block, and turn right at the “T” intersection. The museum will be to your left.

Hudson Gardens (Littleton)

What: Hudson Gardens Hudson Gardens in the off-season (Littleton CO) free admission during winter months
Where: Littleton
When: Free admission November through April

Perhaps you don’t think gardens can be beautiful during the “off-season”. It may be time to reconsider!

First of all, there are still many signs of life in our gardens in late Fall. And an early Spring visit can reward you with delightful blooms pushing through the last of the snow. But, even in the midst of Winter, a brisk walk in the cool, bright sunshine through a mostly-sleeping garden can be a joy.

Blue Heron at Hudson Gardens in the off-season (Littleton CO) free admission during winter monthsWander past the model train area and imagine a journey across the bridges and through the tunnels. Watch for Blue Heron or Canada Geese or other birds who enjoy these Gardens and waterways. Let your imagination take over as you wander through the Rock Garden or peek into the Hobbit Hole.

There is a special free remembrance day on September 11 each year (Check the Hudson Gardens website for other special dates).

For more information, contact:
The Hudson Gardens & Event Center
6115 South Santa Fe Drive
Littleton, CO 80120


email: info@hudsongardens.org

Geology Museum (Golden)

What: Colorado School of Mines Geology MuseumGeology Museum exhibit (Golden CO) - free admission
Where: Golden
When: Monday-Saturday 9-4, Sunday 1-4
Closed Sundays in Summer & all CSM holidays
School group tours must be scheduled in advance

We suppose you might groan if we said this museum is a “gem of a place.”

You won’t have that reaction when you peruse the display of approximately 50,000 minerals, fossils, gemstones, and artifacts which the museum has to offer. You’ll simply “ooh” and “aah” over this outstanding collection of material. About the time you think you’ve seen “the best” crystals, you’ll be dazzled by the display in the next case. From the blues of Azurite to the reds and pinks of Rhodochrosite, the whites and yellows of Quartz to the oranges and yellows of Wulfenite, the wide variety of rich colors along with impressive sizes and shapes make this museum tour a memorable event.

Geology Museum exhibit (Golden CO) - free admissionThe displays are well lit and documented as to type and origin of the specimen. View the official State Gems and State Minerals from each state. You’ll find articles from all around the globe as well as right here in Colorado. Speaking of Colorado, there’s a fine display of good old Colorado gold. While you’re lusting after all that gold, the kids can enjoy spending some time in the “kids corner.”

The lower floor contains an interesting display of Colorado mining history as well as some interesting fossils.

If you would like to donate $5,000 – $10,000, you can take home some really fine crystals. Check them out; don’t you think they would make a fine conversation piece on the family coffee table?

For more information, contact:
Colorado School of Mines
Department of Geology and Geological Engineering
16th and Maple Street
Golden, CO 80401
(303) 273-3815

Website: www.mines.edu/Academic/geology/museum/