Putts & Karts
Feeling competitive? Head on over to Adventure Golf & Raceway in Westminster and play a round or two of mini golf, race go karts or share a pretzel! Then make your way to Big Mac and Little Lu’s for a seafood medley of lobster bisque, fresh oysters and market fresh fish.
Go ice skating at an outdoor rink this winter. This is often an activity where two parties have wildly different skill levels, but that should be part of the fun. [Cupid tip: women like seeing how men react when they are bad at things.] Boulder has a downtown rink in the Civic Plaza (next to Dushanbe Teahouse) and Louisville has WinterSkate on Front St.
Farm to Table Dining
Come spring the local restaurants and farms will set up long tables outdoors away from the bustle of the city. Look out for several farm-to-table dinners, where chefs will show off their skills with local ingredients. Pre-meal happy hours provide plenty of personal conversation time before taking a seat at the communal table.
We’re all familiar with wide temperature swings the weather can bring, and thus checking the weather forecast more often than out-of-staters. Since that makes us weather nerds, check out our Boulder’s national lab, which studies way more than the 15-day forecast. NOAA’s Earth System Research Laboratory offers a free tour every Tuesday at 1 p.m.
Experienced climbers already know where to go, but newbies can both get something out of an intro class at an indoor gym. The Spot has earned a reputation for creating routes for all levels, and the Boulder Rock Club has several beginner options. The East County set can check out the Erie Community Center’s 32-foot climbing wall or 10-foot boulder setup to get a feel for climbing.
Decide on an experience level and destination with your partner, and then let Front Range Ride Guides lead the way. Chances are they can take you up and down a trail you don’t know about, and with a half-day tour, you’ll be back in Boulder for a well-earned dinner.
Spa & Dogs
Want to relax? Book a couples massage at Blooming Massage in Longmont, with a cozy atmosphere and friendly staff who get the spots no one else can seem to reach. Then head over to Marco’s Hot Dogs & Tacos for some bacon- wrapped wieners topped with the works! Hey, it was a spa, not a diet.
Trust in the brains behind Boulder Outdoor Cinema and go see a movie you know nothing about without checking out IMDB for a plot or cast summary. They’ve hosted movie nights all over Boulder for more than two decades. Getting to the venue and watching a good flic under the stars a sense of community.
Tea for Two
One of Boulder’s most widely known businesses is Celestial Seasonings, so take the 45-minute tour so you can finally say you’ve been. It sets you up to sample new flavors together and maybe find a mutual favorite.
Sure, you probably impressed one another on the dance floor with your great moves, or maybe you just drunk. Whether you want to learn to tango, blues dance or just some good ol’ two-stepping, this is something you can both learn or improve upon while holding each other and looking into one another’s eyes.
Another paired experience, acro-yoga takes yoga into an acrobatic, fun realm. You’ll need to pay special attention to your partner to keep them balanced above your feet and arms. Beyond the difficult poses, you can learn some great stretches here and carry into your in-home practice.
Slow your roll down Pearl Street. When was the last time you really soaked it in? Shared observations and experiences help keep create a bond and Pearl Street is full of conversation starters. Stop in to Press Play to compare high scores, maybe Boulder Bookstore has a reading that night, and if it’s going well, share a dessert while watching the street buskers.
Tips from the Social Set
Meeting people to kick around outdoors isn’t always easy. If only there was a website for that. Well, there are two, both based in Denver. Gociety facilitates, and hosts, social meetups for outdoorsy types. LuvByrd assists with “online dating for the outdoor enthusiast.” We turned to representatives of these websites for advice on meeting new friends and date ideas that will get the blood flowing.
Gociety connects people with similar skill and experience levels in activities like hiking, skiing or climbing, not romantic interests. Jason Antin, Gociety’s partnerships director, has planned several social excursions in and around Boulder County — and gone on plenty of his own — so he knows about mixing groups at different skill levels.
These local plans draw local members to Indian Peaks, Rocky Mountain National Park or even just morning coffees downtown to meet and mingle in person to make plan future excursions. One popular attraction are Taco Tuesdays at A-Basin. Members arrive at 7 p.m. equipped with snowshoes, skis, snowboards and headlamps. Gociety provides a stove at the summit to grill the tacos, and then everyone rides down.
Mike Keshian, LuvByrd’s founder and CEO, started off trying to match-make for his ski bum chums before realizing there was a market for the larger outdoor community.
“People are looking for common interests and, for the active lifestyle person, activities they can enjoy together,” he said. “LuvByrd just sets all that out on the table right away.” It worked for him, he’s in relationship longer than one ski season.
LuvByrd will host another of its popular Chairlift Speed Dating events at Loveland on February 11. (Hey, if things go well, Valentine’s Day makes a nice follow-up date.)
Mike Keshian’s Trip Ideas:
- Frisco Adventure Park: They carry you up, so it evens the playing field.
- Snowshoeing: There’s not really an extreme version, it’s great for hikers who want to get out in winter and it’s less crowded.
- Dive with the sharks at the Denver Aquarium: Easily the best place to scuba in the area.
- Take a weekend trip to Mesa Verde: Southwestern Colorado has a totally different feel than the Front Range.