The wait for machines and the posturing at those big fitness centers is enough reason to skip the gym altogether. And the steam-room culture -- and price -- of Denver's elite clubs isn't much better. But at Dumbbells, $50 a month for singles and $80 for couples buys you access to a clean, well-maintained weight room with little to no wait (except during lunch), yoga and aerobics classes, locker rooms fully stocked with lotions, potions and hairdryers, a juice bar, and a staff that's excited about fitness -- not just about getting your money. Plus, there's the "Just Show Up" incentive: Come fifteen times in the first six weeks of membership, and the club will refund you $25. Sure, you'll have to skip the steam room, but Dumbbells makes up for it with an even more rare amenity: free two-hour parking in the Tabor Center garage.


Oxford Club Spa
There are yoga studios and yoga styles to suit almost any practitioner -- but not just any budget: A serious yogi is looking at dropping $120 a month for a class card at most studios. At the Oxford Club, $50 a month ($600 a year) buys yoga seven days a week, plus access to the work-out facilities -- weights, free weights, treadmills, bikes -- and locker rooms stocked with Aveda products. But just because the price is low doesn't mean the studio is some dank, second-rate space. It's light, airy and big enough to spread out in. To sweeten the deal, membership includes twelve free-valet vouchers and discounts at McCormick's restaurant and on spa services and nights in the Oxford Hotel. Om.
There are yoga studios and yoga styles to suit almost any practitioner -- but not just any budget: A serious yogi is looking at dropping $120 a month for a class card at most studios. At the Oxford Club, $50 a month ($600 a year) buys yoga seven days a week, plus access to the work-out facilities -- weights, free weights, treadmills, bikes -- and locker rooms stocked with Aveda products. But just because the price is low doesn't mean the studio is some dank, second-rate space. It's light, airy and big enough to spread out in. To sweeten the deal, membership includes twelve free-valet vouchers and discounts at McCormick's restaurant and on spa services and nights in the Oxford Hotel. Om.


Okay, okay: Jillian's isn't one of those smoky, spit-scarred old pool halls that have earned top honors in the past. But let's remember that pool is a social event as well as a sport. So it's about time we paid homage to a company (yes, Jillian's is part of a chain) founded on the pool-as-entertainment theme. And how's this for entertainment? At the Colorado Mills Jillian's, the twelve felt-covered tables in the main section come complete with views of more sports on nearby TVs. And although private rooms are available for the true aficionado, this family-friendly place is designed more for the Huxtables than the Hustler. Because the service is friendly, the equipment superb and the wait never too long for a table, Jillian's has racked up this honor. Just bring your own grit.
Okay, okay: Jillian's isn't one of those smoky, spit-scarred old pool halls that have earned top honors in the past. But let's remember that pool is a social event as well as a sport. So it's about time we paid homage to a company (yes, Jillian's is part of a chain) founded on the pool-as-entertainment theme. And how's this for entertainment? At the Colorado Mills Jillian's, the twelve felt-covered tables in the main section come complete with views of more sports on nearby TVs. And although private rooms are available for the true aficionado, this family-friendly place is designed more for the Huxtables than the Hustler. Because the service is friendly, the equipment superb and the wait never too long for a table, Jillian's has racked up this honor. Just bring your own grit.


Kevin+Carroll+loves+the+classics.
Ding! Ding-ding! (Bump.) Ding! Ding-ding! If you ever walked into a pinball arcade going full-bore in the late '70s, you'd know the sound immediately, because there's nothing like it. Unlike the robotic Pacman and its cavalcade of increasingly sophisticated computerized offspring, pinball is a game rooted in physicality: You grind your hips into the machine, play rough with it, guide it with your hands like a horse, moving the silver ball -- ding, ding-ding -- from bumper to bumper, watching it elide like quicksilver through a mysterious maze, points amassing. The epitome of the age came on the edge of pinball's ruin: Bally's Xenon, a liquid being who cooed at you -- "Xenon" -- in a whispery, come-hither female voice, staring at you coldly yet salaciously from her bitchin' black-glass frame. Oh, to have her back again. The hell of it is, you can: Lyons pinball freaks Kevin and Carole Carroll have thirty pinball machines, including Xenon, at your disposal on any given Saturday night at their Lyons Classic Pinball, a smoke-free throwback arcade where you can share your memories with a new crop of kids -- your own. Unglue yourself from that computer screen and try it sometime. Bring quarters and an urge to get physical.
Ding! Ding-ding! (Bump.) Ding! Ding-ding! If you ever walked into a pinball arcade going full-bore in the late '70s, you'd know the sound immediately, because there's nothing like it. Unlike the robotic Pacman and its cavalcade of increasingly sophisticated computerized offspring, pinball is a game rooted in physicality: You grind your hips into the machine, play rough with it, guide it with your hands like a horse, moving the silver ball -- ding, ding-ding -- from bumper to bumper, watching it elide like quicksilver through a mysterious maze, points amassing. The epitome of the age came on the edge of pinball's ruin: Bally's Xenon, a liquid being who cooed at you -- "Xenon" -- in a whispery, come-hither female voice, staring at you coldly yet salaciously from her bitchin' black-glass frame. Oh, to have her back again. The hell of it is, you can: Lyons pinball freaks Kevin and Carole Carroll have thirty pinball machines, including Xenon, at your disposal on any given Saturday night at their Lyons Classic Pinball, a smoke-free throwback arcade where you can share your memories with a new crop of kids -- your own. Unglue yourself from that computer screen and try it sometime. Bring quarters and an urge to get physical.
Must+see+inside%3A+The+New+Climax+Lounge.
Sure, the front of the Climax Lounge is one of Denver's finest black-box live-music venues, but the vintage video arcade in the back lounge is where we like to spend our spare change. The selection of early- to mid-1980s games is truly a hall of fame: Donkey Kong, Pac Man, Centipede, Galaga, Qix, Tempest, Gorf and Tron (light cycles rock, dude!), all for just a quarter a play. If only they had Dig-Dug, we'd be in retro-vidiot heaven.
Sure, the front of the Climax Lounge is one of Denver's finest black-box live-music venues, but the vintage video arcade in the back lounge is where we like to spend our spare change. The selection of early- to mid-1980s games is truly a hall of fame: Donkey Kong, Pac Man, Centipede, Galaga, Qix, Tempest, Gorf and Tron (light cycles rock, dude!), all for just a quarter a play. If only they had Dig-Dug, we'd be in retro-vidiot heaven.


At the Candle Light Tavern, bar games are taken seriously. And while the dart boards, pool tables, foosball and Golden Tee Golf games are always popular, the kick-ass shuffleboard table is where the serious action happens. The long wooden table is covered with plenty of smooth sand, and an electronic score board hangs above center court; fifty cents is the going rate per game. And while the Candle Light is revered for its laid-back atmosphere, shuffleboard challenges are battled to the last hanging puck. This West Washington Park dive packs 'em in nightly, so hit it early to stake your claim.

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