There is an expression here in Colorado that has stood the test of time: “If you don’t like the weather in Colorado, wait five minutes and it will change.” Growing up here, I recall on several occasions when the temperature was seventy-five degrees one day and thirty degrees the next. On one particular occasion, when I was in high school, it snowed so much that school was actually canceled for the day. The next day, I kid you not, it was seventy degrees.
This extreme weather pattern is particularly evident in Denver as Winter turns to Spring. It can make planning outdoor activities a little unpredictable but we have several suggestions that can help you appreciate the wide variety of offerings available in the city before the truly warmer weather arrives.
BridgeEnglish Denver students have had a taste of the unpredictability of the early Spring weather in the first half of March with cloudless days of close to seventy degrees followed immediately by Mother Nature rearing her sometimes ugly head and showing us who is boss around here, dropping the temperature to a frosty thirty plus degrees. A string of beautiful 70 degree days was then followed by the threat of snow. So, if you think that Spring has sprung, think again. March has statistically proven to be the snowiest month in Colorado. So, what to do in that unpredictable time between the last days of Winter and the first days of Spring here in Denver when a picnic outside on a seemingly summery day can suddenly change to a dead of Winter climate? Not to worry, there are still many fun things for BridgeEnglish Denver students to do until Summer arrives. And they won’t cost you a pretty penny either.
First Fridays in the Santa Fe Art District
Why not experience some culture while you are actually living in a different culture? Santa Fe Art District First Fridays not only offer an exciting array of high-quality local artists’ works but there is free wine and appetizers to boot. Within the Art District, located on and near Santa Fe Drive and Kalamath Street between Alameda and 12th Avenues, you can enjoy over 60 participating galleries, artist studios and restaurants joining the First Friday Art Walk (6-9 pm) every first Friday of the month. Free guided shuttle buses pick you up at the light rail station at 10th Avenue and Osage Street and ferry you around the Art District on First Fridays between 5:30 and 9:30PM. Even if you’re not into art, the people-watching is a show in and of itself.
Indian Hot Springs, Idaho Springs
Is the quasi-cold weather still making you shiver? Then a trip to soak your bones in natural hot springs might be just what you need. Indian Springs is just outside of Denver on Interstate 70 and has been rated as one of the top ten mineral hot springs in the world. Relax in the geo-thermal cave baths or have a more social experience with your friends in the huge mineral water swimming pool. If you love being surrounded by nature, then maybe the outdoor mineral hot tubs are more your speed. You can also get a relaxing massage. If you are too tuckered out to go back down the hill to Denver, then why not rent a room in the adjacent hotel? Across the street is the small, mountain town of Idaho Springs where you can grab a bite and visit some wonderful little mom and pop shops.
See One of Denver’s Professional Sports Teams
If you’re a sports fan, the Mile High City is the place you want to be. Denver is home to no less than seven professional sports teams that thrill sold out crowds year-round. Basketball, baseball, football, soccer, lacrosse, hockey, rugby – Denver’s got it all, with some of the world’s best athletes on the rosters, and early springtime is the season to catch some of them compete. Football may be over, but you can still cheer for the Colorado Avalanche hockey team, the playoff challenging Denver Nuggets basketball team, the Colorado Rockies baseball team (the season opens in April) and the Colorado Rapids soccer team, winners of the MLS Cup in 2010. There is something for everyone and all events are held at world-renowned facilities including the Pepsi Center (Avalanche and Nuggets), Coors Field (Rockies), and Dick’s Sporting Goods Park (Rapids), the largest complex of its kind in North America.
Coors Brewery, Golden
Colorado is famous for Coors beer. Coors beer has been around since 1873 and continues to be a favorite amongst Coloradoans. At the famed Coors Brewery in Golden, Colorado, just outside Denver, you will get a first-hand experience of how Coors beer is brewed. The brewery experience includes a 30-minute self-paced tour highlighting the malting, brewing and packaging processes. But the best part of the tour is of course sampling a Coors beer at the very end in the “Fresh Beer Room.” You can view old time photos and memorabilia of the history of Colorado and Coors while indulging in one of the best beers you will ever taste. After the tour, take a stroll in beautiful, historic downtown Golden. On a snowy or unpredictable weather day, the Coors brewery is a great way to get some history and drink one of the most famous beers in the US.
Central City and Black Hawk
They may not be Vegas, but Central City and Black Hawk are two historic mining towns from the 1870s that have come alive. Located 34 miles (55km) west of Denver, the two towns offer more than 30 casinos with over 10,000 slot machines, blackjack tables and poker games. In 2009, the stakes in Black Hawk were raised. Betting limits are now $100, craps, and roulette tables have been added and casinos will be open around the clock. In other words, a fun mountain town has become a lot more fun in the past few years. The two cities are also known for having some of the best-preserved Victorian architecture in the West. There are mine tours, mining museums, and several places offering instruction in the fine art of gold panning in streams. Maybe you will even strike it rich!
If you’re in Denver now, or plan to be soon, take advantage of these opportunities to practice your English in situations that are both exciting, challenging and new. Get started by contacting our academic advisors for more information about Denver and our courses.