Best Water World for the Masses (2001)

Gates Family Foundation Interactive Fountain

The Gates Family Foundation Interactive Fountain, a refurbished, space-age amusement, popped up a couple of summers ago behind the Denver Museum of Nature and Science. Since then, it's become Denver's best imitation of Water World -- except

admission is free. Here's what you'll find by the fountain when it's 95 degrees and rising in the middle of August: kids in swimsuits or cutoffs, toddlers in droopy diapers and even some pretty big kids, the kind old enough to buy booze and cigarettes (that puts them at about twelve). Each at their own pace, they'll race in and out of the spray, trying to outwit the thing, which pulsates interactively, spouting sudden jets of water in response to the tread of little feet. Of course, the revelers may have opposing goals: While some want only to jump in and out without being soaked, others hope to whip the manmade geysers into a frenzy rarely seen this far south of Yellowstone.


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