Numbers are few, and it ain't the triathlon, but air hockey is a real sport. If you don't believe it, head to Broomfield Bowl on select Thursday nights and watch the area's best players (some of whom are also among the country's best) slam it out on the sole tournament-sized air hockey table that sits just off to one side of the bar. Games, which are played with kneepads, plenty of athletic tape and carefully customized mallets, usually start up around 7 p.m. and last well into the evening. Watch and learn, Grasshopper: No matter what you did in your basement as a kid, don't expect to show up and win.
Numbers are few, and it ain't the triathlon, but air hockey is a real sport. If you don't believe it, head to Broomfield Bowl on select Thursday nights and watch the area's best players (some of whom are also among the country's best) slam it out on the sole tournament-sized air hockey table that sits just off to one side of the bar. Games, which are played with kneepads, plenty of athletic tape and carefully customized mallets, usually start up around 7 p.m. and last well into the evening. Watch and learn, Grasshopper: No matter what you did in your basement as a kid, don't expect to show up and win.


You got your brewpubs and mega-arcades with a few tables on the side, your harshly lit hustlers' dens full of smoke and reverse English, your suburban bar tables reeking of cheap beer and patchouli. For our money, though, the best and least pretentious pool-hall ambience in town still resides at this friendly, busy institution, where serious billiards stickmen brush up against casual 8-ball enthusiasts, and nobody refers to 9-Ball as a "bangers' game." Added bonus: two snooker tables, for those who believe size -- of table, at least -- matters.
You got your brewpubs and mega-arcades with a few tables on the side, your harshly lit hustlers' dens full of smoke and reverse English, your suburban bar tables reeking of cheap beer and patchouli. For our money, though, the best and least pretentious pool-hall ambience in town still resides at this friendly, busy institution, where serious billiards stickmen brush up against casual 8-ball enthusiasts, and nobody refers to 9-Ball as a "bangers' game." Added bonus: two snooker tables, for those who believe size -- of table, at least -- matters.


Emerald Isle
When Irish guys are smiling, it's probably because the weather is good enough for a pool party. No, not the kind where you get wet -- although true competitors can work up quite a sweat covering all the angles in a tough game of pool. Come spring, Emerald Isle sets up pool tables on its covered deck, where a real sport can take on a fresh opponent and fresh air at the same time. Nine ball in the side pocket!
When Irish guys are smiling, it's probably because the weather is good enough for a pool party. No, not the kind where you get wet -- although true competitors can work up quite a sweat covering all the angles in a tough game of pool. Come spring, Emerald Isle sets up pool tables on its covered deck, where a real sport can take on a fresh opponent and fresh air at the same time. Nine ball in the side pocket!


It's a sweltering summer day, and you and the kids want to get cool but don't necessarily want to take out a loan to do it. Drive west to the year-old Splash water park, thoughtfully provided by the citizens of Golden. It may not have the latest 1.5 million-gallon tsunami scrambler, but with an eight-lane lap pool, a 300-gallon bucket dump, two giant slides (one for inner tubes), and a geyser-shooting splash pad and sandpit for the kids, there's plenty to occupy your time. Kids pay as little as $2.50 per visit; adults may accompany them for $6.50 to $8.50, depending on residency.
It's a sweltering summer day, and you and the kids want to get cool but don't necessarily want to take out a loan to do it. Drive west to the year-old Splash water park, thoughtfully provided by the citizens of Golden. It may not have the latest 1.5 million-gallon tsunami scrambler, but with an eight-lane lap pool, a 300-gallon bucket dump, two giant slides (one for inner tubes), and a geyser-shooting splash pad and sandpit for the kids, there's plenty to occupy your time. Kids pay as little as $2.50 per visit; adults may accompany them for $6.50 to $8.50, depending on residency.
Parents, do you feel your child is getting soft and lacks the killer instinct necessary to survive today's competitive world? Well, forget Montessori and the Ivy League. South Suburban has been hosting this middle-school dodgeball league for more than a year. Games are typically held on Friday evenings (when most kids that age are gearing up for an evening of senseless vandalism). The league uses softer "gatorskin" balls -- not the painful red rubber balls of your youth -- but the effect is the same. For what it's worth, good sportsmanship is stressed.
Parents, do you feel your child is getting soft and lacks the killer instinct necessary to survive today's competitive world? Well, forget Montessori and the Ivy League. South Suburban has been hosting this middle-school dodgeball league for more than a year. Games are typically held on Friday evenings (when most kids that age are gearing up for an evening of senseless vandalism). The league uses softer "gatorskin" balls -- not the painful red rubber balls of your youth -- but the effect is the same. For what it's worth, good sportsmanship is stressed.


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