It’s not that I didn’t have a great childhood. I didn't walk uphill both ways to school or anything. I had a pretty typical east coast upbringing. Neighborhood kids these days do have a lot on their plates, but for crying out loud, it’s good to be a kid in Boulder CO.
1) Maker Boulder
Maker Boulder just held their Mini Maker Faire event this weekend and they knocked it out of the park. Mackintosh Academy sponsored a booth were kids used drills, 2x4s and other material to make their own catapults. Google showed off the latest in 3D printing. There were drones, LEGOS, rockets and so much more. When I was a kid we had LEGOs and rockets, but a 3D printer was called a replicator and was only on Star Trek.
2) Rock Climbing
If you want, walk to the base of the Flatirons and start bouldering or head over to ABC Kid’s Climbing, the worlds only indoor kid's climbing gym, for their Sunday 12pm-6pm Family Open Gym. $30 for the whole family. They even have equipment you can borrow! When I was a kid we climbed the wall. My parent can recount stories for you, one grey hair at a time.
3) Rec Centers & YMCAs
Boulder boasts 3 recreation centers and 2 YMCAs so chances are you’re only a bike ride away from a great pool. They also offer classes in everything from gymnastics to basketball and special events like the Sweetheart Valentine Dance. We had one YMCA. It's where you went after school if your parents worked. They had a pool, but it didn't have a dinosaur in it.
4) Boulder Indoor Soccer
Boulder Indoor Soccer has been around for over 10 years. They just moved into their new building that offers multiple fields allowing more players time on the field even while the snow is falling. Imagine Olympic caliper training facility. When I was a kid on the east coast it snowed in November and melted in March. You played soccer in your neighbors unfinished basemen six months of the year. Sorry about that drywall...
Between Eldorables, Ski Trek and ski lessons, there are so many opportunities for kids to get on the slops and it’s only a 40 minute ride up the canyon! When I was a kid we skied, after driving three hours and then spent 90% of our time on the lift or in line. One run took less than a minute.
6) Foodies From Birth
Boulder is a casual town. There is hardly a restaurant in town you wouldn’t feel comfortable in wearing jeans and bringing the kids along. The Southern Sun even has boardgames to keep them busy. When I was a kid we ate at Dairy Queen. I never even tried sushi or Chinese food until I was an adult.
7) Tomboys Wear Pink
Boulder is the kind of town where you really have to try to stand out. Pink hair, tattoos, that’s not going to turn any heads. One of the upside to this is that it’s rewarded to be an individual here. Kids still face peer pressure, but it’s not the cookie cutter kind. Wave your flag and be yourself, that’s what gets you noticed. Kids can just be themselves. When I was a kid you were either a jock, a popular kid or other. I was squarely in the "other" category.
8) Valmont Bike Park
Not only can kids ride this park for free, their parents can rent out the party building for only $100-$150 and throw the best birthday party ever! When I was a kid we only saw this kind of thing on TV. We built ramps out of dirt and plywood and we didn't wear helmets.
9) Parks and Trails
With over 110 miles of trails, 35,000 acres of open space open to the public and 20 public playgrounds, kids here grow up with all the conveniences of urban living without giving up the freedom and joy rural space has to offer. When I grew up playgrounds were only found in school yards and not every school had one. Bike paths were the ruts we wore in the spring mud.
Boulder Valley and St. Vrain both offer wonderful public school options, many of them charter schools with some of the highest rankings in the state. If you are looking for something even more specialized there are tons of great private school options as well. With active parent involvement, after-school activities and team sports, these schools educate the whole child. When I grew up school was very rote. Memorize, copy, recopy. Free thinking was still considered non-mainstream and certainly not encouraged. As you can imagine, I was in the principal's office a lot.Boulder Valley and St. Vrain both offer wonderful public school options, many of
And after all that action you may find yourself, and your kiddo a little worn out. We'll call this photo "attachment parenting via exhaustion." Have fun out there!
BoulderHomeSource...It's a Lifestyle
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