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9 Fun(ky) COLORADO THINGS to Do This Summer

 

By Lexi Reich

 

Photo: by Sean McBride – Leadville Railroad

Summer in Colorado is a season of endless adventure, filled with activities that capture the state’s vibrant spirit. From quirky attractions to breathtaking natural wonders, there’s something for everyone. Here are nine fun and funky things for every Coloradan to experience this summer.

Photo: By Harry Warters, Marketing Coordinator & Photographer for Little Man Ice Cream

1. Grab a Scoop at Little Man Ice Cream’s New Greenwood Village Location

Little Man Ice Cream, a Denver favorite known for its inventive flavors and iconic milk can-shaped building, has opened a new location in Greenwood Village. Beyond serving up delightful scoops (salted Oreo is a must), Little Man Ice Cream is dedicated to giving back through its Scoop for Scoop program. Launched in 2008, the company started with donating a scoop of rice, beans or other essentials to communities in need around the world. As they grew, the program adapted to focus more locally while maintaining global ties. Now, a portion of each scoop funds organizations supporting education, child welfare, hunger relief, agriculture and sustainability. Some examples include international initiatives such as Far Away Friends in Uganda, as well as local organizations like Childhelp Colorado, dedicated to ending child abuse and neglect, and Dry Bones, and organization that serves houseless youth and young adults.

 

Photo: Courtesy of Colorado Rockies

2. Attend a Rockies Game at Coors Field

At Coors Field, the ballpark atmosphere, combined with stunning views of the Rocky Mountains, creates a perfect setting for a fun outing with friends or family. Grab a hot dog, cheer on the Colorado Rockies and soak in the quintessential American pastime. As a Rockies representative shares, “There’s no better place in Denver than Coors Field to enjoy a summer night with your friends or family.” Plus, this season the team held a highly recognized winning streak against some of the MLB’s best teams, so fandom and hype are at a high.

 

Photo: Courtesy of Sauvage Spectrum

3. Explore Palisade Wine Country

Nestled in the heart of Colorado’s Western Slope, Palisade is renowned for its beautiful vineyards and award-winning wines. This summer, don’t miss the Sunday farmers market in downtown Palisade, recently listed in USA Today’s Top 10 Best Farmers Markets. Local vendors offer fresh produce and unique artisan products like clothing, purses, lotions, soaps, gifts, jewelry and flowers. Grab a bite from rotating food trucks or new restaurant parklets. Local musicians perform weekly, setting the vibe at the Town Plaza or while you shop. “The community really comes together to create this event,” says Seraphina Hunter, Palisade farmers market coordinator. “It is a great place to spend a Sunday morning where you can find one-of-a-kind gifts, enjoy the local fare and sample local wines, if that’s your thing.” Additionally, local winery Sauvage Spectrum’s new Bubbles Brunch, which launched in May, promises a high-energy experience with guest DJs and rotating food purveyors, adding a vibrant twist to the traditional wine-tasting experience.

 

Photo: Courtesy of Denver Arts & Venues

4. See a Show at Red Rocks Amphitheatre

Red Rocks Amphitheatre, located in Morrison, is a world-famous concert venue that offers an unparalleled experience. Carved into the natural rock formations, the venue provides stunning acoustics and views of the surrounding landscape. Whether you’re catching a rock concert or a movie night under the stars, Red Rocks is a must-visit destination. This years headliners include Mt. Joy, Dierks Bentley, Gregory Alan Isakov, Imagine Dragons and more. Summer movie showings include “Shrek,” “The Wizard of Oz,” “Ferris Buellers Day Off” and more. For the fitness enthusiasts, there’s also a Yoga on the Rocks series with multiple sessions throughout the season.

 

5. Visit the UFO Watchtower in the San Luis Valley

For an out-of-this-world experience, head to the UFO Watchtower in Hooper. This quirky attraction has become a hotspot for UFO enthusiasts and curious travelers alike. Since its inception in 2000, there have been more than 300 documented UFO sightings, according to owner Judy Messoline. Don’t forget to learn about Snippy the Horse, whose death raised suspicion of an alien attack in 1967, which adds an extra layer of intrigue to this already mysterious location. Plus, nearby is Great Sand Dunes National Park, recognized as an International Dark Sky Park due to its exceptional conditions for stargazing, offers a prime vantage point for observing the night sky and possibly spotting a UFO.

 

6. Catch a Movie at a Drive-In Theater

The 88 Drive-In Theatre in Commerce City reopened in May, offering a nostalgic throwback to the golden age of drive-ins. Watching a movie under the stars from the comfort of your car is a unique experience that’s perfect for a summer evening. If you’re further afield, consider the Star Drive-In Theatre in Montrose, which recently celebrated its 75th season and is the oldest drive-in in the state still owned by its founding family. Recognized as a historic site by the county in 2021, the theater continues to uphold nostalgic traditions, such as hosting a “Back to the ’60s Night,” where awards are presented for categories like most impressive vintage automobile and best pin-up model.

 

Photo: Courtesy of Glenwood Hot Springs Resort

7. Relax at the New Yampah Mineral Baths at Glenwood Hot Springs Resort

Glenwood Hot Springs Resort, already a popular destination for its rejuvenating hot springs, has unveiled its new Yampah Mineral Baths. These mineral-rich baths offer therapeutic benefits, helping visitors unwind and revitalize. It’s an ideal way to relax after a day of exploring the Rockies. “It’s also fun to see the actual Yampah Source Spring that supplies our pools with geothermal waters and fill a water bottle at the drinking spring,” says Kevin Flohr, president and CEO of Glenwood Hot Springs Resort.

 

Photo: By Bruno Photos 71 – STOCK.ADOBE.COM

8. Visit The Great Stupa of Dharmakaya at Drala Mountain Center

Located an hour from Fort Collins at Red Feather Lakes, The Great Stupa of Dharmakaya is one of the most significant examples of sacred Buddhist architecture in North America. This serene and spiritually enriching site offers visitors a chance to connect with Buddhist teachings and enjoy the peaceful surroundings of Drala Mountain Center. Its a unique cultural experience that provides a tranquil escape from the hustle and bustle of daily life. Expect a short walk over small bridges and past prayer flags, and make sure to remove your shoes before entering the Stupa.

 

9. Ride the Scenic Leadville Railroad

Take a scenic journey through the San Isabel National Forest on the Leadville Railroad. Starting in the historic town of Leadville, the highest incorporated city in North America, this train ride reaches almost 11,000 feet, showcasing the stunning beauty of Colorado’s tallest peaks and evergreen forests. According to Claire Berger, sales and marketing assistant, “The Leadville Railroad is the perfect place to connect with the whole family—including the dog!—on a relaxing scenic journey through the San Isabel National Forest.” Tickets start at $30, dogs ride free.

 

With so many unique and exciting activities to choose from, Colorado offers endless possibilities for summer fun. So, gather your friends and family and get ready to explore the fun and funky side of Colorado!