The 14,000-year history of the boomerang begins Down Under and continues today in Aurora with these space-age, Day-Glo toys. Handcrafted from airplane-grade birch plywood from Finland, they're the Ferraris of the boomerang industry, with style and performance that keep coming back. Boomerang fanatic/bank examiner Richard Pollock-Nelson collected 'rangs and competed in U.S. Boomerang Association-sanctioned events prior to buying Colorado Boomerangs from its Gunnison owners in 1998. Now the company, which takes the science behind the homing crescents (i.e., Newton's Third Law of Motion and Bernoulli's Law) very seriously, is the largest domestic manufacturer of high-end boomerangs in the world.


The superbly outfitted arcade inside Margarita Mama's is so massive - and the place so dead on most weeknights -- that we never have to wait in line to play Hot Flash and Fast Track, the venue's two air hockey tables. Hot Flash is a fun little black-light model, with the usual purple lamps, glow-in-the-dark orange plastic puck and plastic playing surface. Fast Track's playing surface, though, is polished steel. The puck is metal, too, and the goals are cut extremely tight. Be warned: Fast Track pucks have a tendency to fly off the table like tiny metal discs of destruction. At forty tokens for ten bucks, these games are a bargain -- right up there with the $2 Coronas available during Mama's happy hour.
The superbly outfitted arcade inside Margarita Mama's is so massive - and the place so dead on most weeknights -- that we never have to wait in line to play Hot Flash and Fast Track, the venue's two air hockey tables. Hot Flash is a fun little black-light model, with the usual purple lamps, glow-in-the-dark orange plastic puck and plastic playing surface. Fast Track's playing surface, though, is polished steel. The puck is metal, too, and the goals are cut extremely tight. Be warned: Fast Track pucks have a tendency to fly off the table like tiny metal discs of destruction. At forty tokens for ten bucks, these games are a bargain -- right up there with the $2 Coronas available during Mama's happy hour.
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.

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