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Pop for Pops
Ethan Wenberg

Pop for Pops

Ah, Father's Day, when all patriarchs become Clark Griswold on vacation and all filial conversations become sentimental diatribes: "Enjoy this, kids. Someday when you have families of your own, you'll wish you had several hours together in the back of a cop car like this, just to sit and talk."

But sometimes it's hard to find paternally relevant, fun family activities. I mean, brunch was nice, but Dad can stand only so many trips to Crazy Pete's House of Unmatchable Neckties, and let's be honest: One of the best presents a father can get is a car full of sleeping kids so he can get home in time watch the Rockies/Orioles game. Herewith some suggestions to make those Dad's Day dreams come true:

Early in the day, when the chilluns are riled, take a few swings at the batting cages -- you know, where twelve-year-old suburbanites hit better than you do. Slammers, at 1878 South Wadsworth Boulevard in Lakewood, has fourteen indoor tunnels for pitching and hitting, plus five coin-operated cages. Call 303-988-7426 or go to

Kids still full of energy? Help them hallucinate with glow-in-the-dark cosmic bowling at Brunswick Zone lanes: Four bucks a game, three and a half for shoes, and free entertainment in the form of hyperglycemic pre-pubescent birthday parties. Hours for the trippy cosmic effects differ at each location, one of which is near the aforementioned Slammers, at 1135 South Wadsworth. On Sunday, June 19, cosmic hours are 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. Call 303-985-1578.

More glow-in-the-dark fun awaits just a short drive from the bowling alley, at Putting Edge, a psychedelic miniature golf course in the Colorado Mills mall, 14500 West Colfax Avenue in Lakewood. Eighteen holes run between $6 and $8.50 here, and kids four and under putt free. The course is open from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., and it's within walking distance of thirty mall shops just aching to sell you a monogrammed shoe buffer. Make a tee time at 303-202-0260 or go to

And if none of these activities tickles your Y chromosome or the kids are still awake, just guilt the young 'uns into volunteering at a homeless shelter and building some character. Either that, or treat yourself to the Papa Murphy's/Papa John's taste test, then wash it all down with Dad's Root Beer.


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