Left Hand Valley Courier - All Local, All The Time

By Jen Rodehaver

Winter break activities off the beaten path


December 24, 2016

The photos with mall Santa have been taken, the sugar cookies on the counter are a bit stale and the sledding hill is showing some bare spots.

Still, several long days stretch ahead before the kids go back to school. How to deal with post holiday cabin fever? Here are some unconventional suggestions near and far to fill those many hours. Always phone or check the website for dates and hours before arriving.

Sunflower ArT Studio

Drop the kids off for the antidote to electronics at this welcoming studio in the Gunbarrel Shopping Center.

Monika and Lika both have advanced fine arts degrees, but more importantly, they encourage young people to discover how much fun it is to draw, paint, and learn printmaking. While the kids are busy, take the opportunity to check out the many new shops and eateries, all within walking distance.

Sunflower Art Studio — 6545 Gunpark Drive Boulder, 720-939-7545 or artsunflower.com. Classes are available for ages three to 15, plus winter break camps.

Jester’s Theatre

Watching a live theater performance causes more complex brain activity than anything on a screen. It’s true science! There is additional value in supporting local community theater. Paying audiences give local performers an opportunity to experience a vital form of self expression. And who knows? It might be you or your child up on that stage next year.

Jester’s Theatre - 224 Main Street, Longmont, 303-682-9980 or jesterstheatre.com. There are two holiday shows: Scrooge and The Worst Christmas Pageant in Town.

Longmont Museum and Cultural Center

Sometimes the best kept secrets are right under our noses. Lowriders: Cars and Culture is just one of several exhibits at this local gem.

The center is located at 400 Quail Road, Longmont, 303-651-8374.

Just as many native New Yorkers have never been to the Empire State Building or ridden the Staten Island Ferry, some locals have never been to this renowned tea company. The free tour (must be five years old and up) is fascinating. Be sure to schedule your visit when the production line is running and boxes of tea sail around a track to be filled and sealed. The mint room is legendary.

Celestial Seasonings — 4600 Sleepytime Drive, Boulder, 303-581-1266 or celestialseasonings.com.

Dizzy Family Fun Center

Your kids have been here but have you? What better way to blow off steam than a cutthroat game of laser tag or a rugged race through a ninja course. Kiddie town for the small fry and much more...

Dizzy Family Fun Center — 455 Weaver Park Road, Longmont, 303-834-9067 or dizzycolorado.com. The center has extended winter break hours.


There isn’t a person among us who doesn’t enjoy working with their hands. It is a primitive need left over from our cave-dwelling days. In this downtown workshop one can paint ceramics, make mosaics, or learn to fuse glass. Not feeling crafty or confident? Decorate a food bowl for your pet. They won’t complain.

Crackpots — 505 Main Street, Longmont, 303-776-2211 or ecrackpots.com.

Fiske Planetarium

We are so accustomed to looking down at our phones and our tablets, but what would happen if we looked up? The universe unfolds on the curved dome. “Season of Light” is a special December show at the planetarium plus Laser/Music shows and educational lectures. Check Chinook Book for discount coupons.

Colorado.edu/Fiske for schedule - University of Colorado Boulder - observe all parking signs.

Denver Botanical Gardens

Zoo Lights is so last year. The Denver Botanic Gardens’ 23 acres of paths are lit with exquisite colored lights and plenty of room to roam. Cafés provide hot drinks. Bundle and breathe it in through Jan.1. Advanced tickets required.

Denver Botanic Gardens “Blossoms of Light” 1007 York Street, Denver, 720-865-3501 or botanicgardens.org. A tip to drivers: there is a sharp left turn into the parking garage — it comes up suddenly before the crosswalk.

OUR Center

Lastly, there is immeasurable benefit for individuals and families in volunteer work. Whether it is a one-time event or a regular commitment, offering time and energy to those who find themselves in less than desirable circumstances will enrich the volunteer as much as the recipient. One local option offers a community café, market, community closet, clerical, and fundraising, all accepting volunteers.

Our Center – Outreach United Resource Center, Inc. 220 Collyer St. Longmont 303-772-5529.


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