Best Terrain Park 2013 | Breckenridge | Best of Denver® | Best Restaurants, Bars, Clubs, Music and Stores in Denver | Westword

The Breckenridge Park & Pipe crew dug in early to roll out the white carpet for the Dew Tour's Ion Mountain Championships in December, then rocked it all season long with five different terrain parks and an Olympic-sized 22-foot superpipe. Some of the park's features are first-timer-friendly, offering a safe progression toward the bigger and burlier elements. The biggest and burliest of them were designed with the Breck Pro Team, a group of 26 top-tier sponsored athletes, in mind.

Earlier this year, History Colorado's sprawling diorama of circa-1860 Denver was brought up from the basement, where it underwent a thorough cleaning and restoration, and placed in the lobby under special glass that will hopefully protect its Lilliputian landscape for years to come. The best part of that landscape? Tiny cats the size of ants who are perched on the Early Denver diorama's tiny fences, keeping an eye on the even tinier chickens.

Denverites are still mourning the loss of the Ski Train to Winter Park, but the Rio Grande Scenic Railroad is a hell of a consolation prize. Although the owners of this company weren't able to pick up where the Ski Train left off, they offer incredible trips across southern Colorado, where the vistas are scenic, indeed — through tunnels, around horseshoe curves and over mountain passes. Theme excursions range from Wine Tasting Trains to Rails and Ales to concert trips that stop at an outdoor amphitheatre. But any trek on this train, which runs between Alamosa and La Veta, is memorable, whether you're standing in front of the open observation car, right behind the hundred-year-old steam engine, or sipping wine in the comfort of the City of New Orleans club car in back. All aboard!

Sports is sometimes described as the toy department of TV news — but it matters mightily to a lot of us, and to Vic Lombardi, too. Far from seeming bored by decades of watching guys and girls run around, he comes across as passionately engaged with the glories and goofiness of athletic competition — awestruck when something unusual or remarkable happens, but able to laugh along with us when things get silly. On top of that, he still offers the sort of commentary that used to be a staple of newscasts but has been left by the wayside at too many stations: He has opinions, and he isn't afraid to use them.

The Rocky Mountain Rollergirls league has a minimum age requirement of eighteen for its adult teams, but has been building its recruit pool (and fan base) with a year-long junior program that has become a statewide and national model after being prominently featured in Robin Bond's 2012 documentary Derby Baby. The Rocky Mountain Rollerpunks welcomes "Littles" Division girls and boys ages six to eleven (aka 5280 Might Club) and Juniors Division girls ages twelve to seventeen, some of whom have been graduating directly into the adult league. The Rollerpunks have been dominating the fledgling junior derby scene in Colorado and have started making a stamp on the national scene as regional junior tournaments begin popping up. Catch the Rollerpunks in action as the pre-bout or halftime show at upcoming Rollergirls bouts at the Fillmore and at the Rocky Mountain Rollergirls' War*house practice facility to see what all the fuss is about.

If you habitually (cough, cough) check the snow reports from your favorite resort before deciding whether or not to go to work in the morning, then join the club at Already a winner last year, the site got even better this season, upgrading its reporting tools and adding several new forecasters for national perspective (the site now offers detailed reports from Colorado, Utah, Tahoe, New England and the Mid-Atlantic). Boulder-based meteorologist/ski bum Joel Gratz, the site's co-founder, has become the go-to guy for local powder predictions and storm forecasts, thanks to his Colorado Daily Snow dispatches, which you can also get delivered straight to your inbox. Our favorite feature is the Powder Finder, an at-a-glance view of where to find the most snow in Colorado and across the country.

The University of Colorado women's basketball team finished its regular season ranked nineteenth nationally and fourth in a stacked Pac-12 conference. They had two winning streaks of ten and eleven games, respectively, and they snagged a five seed in this year's NCAA Tournament. The next step for the Buffs? Make it past the first round.

Careening Spiderman-style across Alkali Canyon on ziplines as long as 1,000 feet and as high as 600 feet above the canyon floor with Zip Adventures (near Wolcott and not far from the Vail and Beaver Creek resorts) provides the best buzz of the many zipline tours that have popped up in mountain towns in recent years. At $150, it's also one of the priciest, but it's worth every penny: You'll zip six different lines on the two-hour tour, and just when you're starting to think that one zipline is pretty much like the next, the guides will encourage you to try one hanging upside down. Bring earplugs if you're sensitive to the sound of your own screams.

Best Of Denver®

Best Of