Most metro-area indoor rec centers struggle to decide what they are. A splash area for kids? A workout pool for adults? As a result, many end up inadequate. Not Wheat Ridge Recreation Center. One side of this massive complex boasts a 120-foot water slide, fountains, a lazy river (free flotation devices available) and an outdoor patio for summer. On the other side, separated by a glass wall, is an eight-lane, 25-yard pool large enough to accommodate anything from a gaggle of geriatric breast-strokers to an entire competitive swimming meet. For the more daring, the adult side also has a springy one-meter diving board where grownups can practice their very mature cannonballs.


Wheat Ridge Recreation Center
Most metro-area indoor rec centers struggle to decide what they are. A splash area for kids? A workout pool for adults? As a result, many end up inadequate. Not Wheat Ridge Recreation Center. One side of this massive complex boasts a 120-foot water slide, fountains, a lazy river (free flotation devices available) and an outdoor patio for summer. On the other side, separated by a glass wall, is an eight-lane, 25-yard pool large enough to accommodate anything from a gaggle of geriatric breast-strokers to an entire competitive swimming meet. For the more daring, the adult side also has a springy one-meter diving board where grownups can practice their very mature cannonballs.

Busy downtown worker bees who still have a jones for hauling in lunkers could be forgiven for thinking that northwest Denver's Lake Carol Anne is the best thing since climbing walls went indoors. Located ten minutes from downtown, this fourteen-acre catch-and-release private lake is open between March and December. Early season, Carol Anne (named for co-owner Carol Anne Bohn, who, with her husband, Punch, bought the place in 1991) is stocked with several varieties of trout. As the temperature rises, largemouth bass becomes the fish of choice. One thing the swimmers all have in common, though, is size: The trout can weigh as much as fifteen pounds; the bass can tip the scales at eight. "And we have two-pound bluegill," the real-life Carol Anne says. "Your chances of catching a huge fish here are wonderful." Of course, great fishing within casting distance of LoDo isn't free. The Bohns, who limit membership at their pond to 100, charge $500 per year to cast 'n' commute.


Busy downtown worker bees who still have a jones for hauling in lunkers could be forgiven for thinking that northwest Denver's Lake Carol Anne is the best thing since climbing walls went indoors. Located ten minutes from downtown, this fourteen-acre catch-and-release private lake is open between March and December. Early season, Carol Anne (named for co-owner Carol Anne Bohn, who, with her husband, Punch, bought the place in 1991) is stocked with several varieties of trout. As the temperature rises, largemouth bass becomes the fish of choice. One thing the swimmers all have in common, though, is size: The trout can weigh as much as fifteen pounds; the bass can tip the scales at eight. "And we have two-pound bluegill," the real-life Carol Anne says. "Your chances of catching a huge fish here are wonderful." Of course, great fishing within casting distance of LoDo isn't free. The Bohns, who limit membership at their pond to 100, charge $500 per year to cast 'n' commute.

Ahoy, mateys! When the season fer swimmin' the briny deep's upon us, get ye down to Englewood, where the Jolly Roger flies o'er Pirates Cove. The City of Englewood water park, replete with three pools, debuted last summer to rave reviews by just about everyone, from the tots in swim diapers to swimmers with serious agendas, and no wonder: There are six lanes for lap swimmers, a lazy-river feature and a leisure pool with play islands, a super-soaking 750-gallon dump bucket (look out below, me buckos!), smoke-belching cannons, a spray park, slides and sound effects. Load up your towels, beach toys, sunscreen, flip-flops, peg legs and eye patches, and head for the pool. Opening day is May 28.


Pirates Cove Family Aquatic Park
Ahoy, mateys! When the season fer swimmin' the briny deep's upon us, get ye down to Englewood, where the Jolly Roger flies o'er Pirates Cove. The City of Englewood water park, replete with three pools, debuted last summer to rave reviews by just about everyone, from the tots in swim diapers to swimmers with serious agendas, and no wonder: There are six lanes for lap swimmers, a lazy-river feature and a leisure pool with play islands, a super-soaking 750-gallon dump bucket (look out below, me buckos!), smoke-belching cannons, a spray park, slides and sound effects. Load up your towels, beach toys, sunscreen, flip-flops, peg legs and eye patches, and head for the pool. Opening day is May 28.

You don't have to drive hours to get a whitewater thrill. Confluence Kayaking makes a spur-of-the-moment immersion easy. The business rents inflatable kayaks and gear and hosts weekly instructional classes in the University of Denver's Ritchie Center pool, allowing urban adventurers to test the basics before they shoot the rapids. Once you're ready, hit the short course along the South Platte River through Confluence Park; from there, it's just a splash to bigger water elsewhere.


Gamma Gallery
You don't have to drive hours to get a whitewater thrill. Confluence Kayaking makes a spur-of-the-moment immersion easy. The business rents inflatable kayaks and gear and hosts weekly instructional classes in the University of Denver's Ritchie Center pool, allowing urban adventurers to test the basics before they shoot the rapids. Once you're ready, hit the short course along the South Platte River through Confluence Park; from there, it's just a splash to bigger water elsewhere.

The golden years never looked more righteous than at the Starbucks inside the flagship REI store, which acts as a hub for cyclists who have all day to ride -- and the looks to prove it. Converging in droves from the Platte River, Clear Creek and Cherry Creek bike paths, senior cyclists stop here for their mid-morning beverage break. Bike racks are placed conveniently next to a paved pathway leading to a scenic patio where java junkies can check out the aging action; about 10 a.m. on summer weekdays is peak time. You'll be counting the minutes until you're eligible for that AARP discount.


The golden years never looked more righteous than at the Starbucks inside the flagship REI store, which acts as a hub for cyclists who have all day to ride -- and the looks to prove it. Converging in droves from the Platte River, Clear Creek and Cherry Creek bike paths, senior cyclists stop here for their mid-morning beverage break. Bike racks are placed conveniently next to a paved pathway leading to a scenic patio where java junkies can check out the aging action; about 10 a.m. on summer weekdays is peak time. You'll be counting the minutes until you're eligible for that AARP discount.

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