Destination: Denver

We’ve been to Denver 3 times now for work/play. This time, instead of chronicling our week there, I thought I’d just share some our favorite things we did this time around. We didn’t really take any pictures.

Family Activities:

The Denver Zoo
I’m not someone who likes to throw money away on random activities just for the sake of staying busy, they have to be worth their weight in debit card sliding. The zoo actually had one of their 8 free days per year the week we were there, so OF COURSE we went. But, I will say, if I had to pay full price to go, I wouldn’t have been annoyed. It’s a good, solid zoo. It always helps a ton when literally all of the animals were awake and active (I even saw an exotic bird lay an egg on the ground right next to me). I loved the that they have many animals that we don’t have at Hogle Zoo. We saw cheetahs and bears and anacondas and Nate’s favorite, two monitor lizards among other things.

Kazoo Toys
LOVE this toy store. First of all, it’s in the hippest, most beautiful part of town, Cherry Creek. The streets are lined with gorgeous (aka expensive) shops and homes. They are filled to the brim (but not overwhelmingly or chaotically so) with creative, cool, imaginative, nostalgic toys for kids of all ages. There are lots of classics and lots of new toys and there are lots of variety and options in each category. They even have many things out for the kids to play with while the parent tries not to blow their Christmas budget. The people are so friendly and helpful. I can’t recommend this place enough.

Westlands Park
I wish we had known about this park sooner. It is right in the middle of the Denver Tech Center so it is easy to pick up Rob, grab a to-go lunch, and take the kids to the park to burn some energy. It has a really tall slide, toddler play area, two large playgrounds, and a duck pond. Fun stuff.

Cherry Creek Shopping Center Play Area
This mall has a lot of high-end stores but we go there for the indoor play area. It is so much bigger than the play areas in Utah malls…which seems ironic since there are so many more kids here. The kids have a blast, though, and all of the parents whom I have met there are very friendly. It’s a good place to go when it’s cold outside.

Park Meadows Mall
Here we like to visit and play at the American Doll Store and the Lego Store.

 

Food:
I love finding stellar local food fare wherever we go. It’s kind of a hobby. We’ve had a lot of good food in Denver, but listed below are the places we will go to every time we visit.

Darcy’s Bistro & Pub
Oh, dear. The Dubliner sandwich (sourdough, house roast beef, grilled onions, white cheddar) is so good that we got it twice this time around.

Yanni’s
The best Lamb Souvlaki (marinated kebobs and assorted vegetables grilled to perfection and served with rice and Greek-style vegetables) we’ve ever had. We took this to-go to eat at the park and every time I looked over at Rob he was stuffing his face. We ate in-restaurant last time with our three crazy kids and the owners/managers were so very sweet and friendly to us. I’m sure they don’t see kids in their restaurant very often and were pleased to see us.

The Original Pancake House
They have a very fun creative menu. The kids love the playful pancake faces and Rob and I LOVE their good bacon and the Apple Pancake (oven baked with fresh granny smith apples and pure Sinkiang cinnamon glaze). It’s huge, gooey, and so delicious.

Crepes ‘n Crepes, a French Creperie
Rob and Caroline really enjoyed the ham and goat cheese crepe. Rob and I really REALLY enjoyed Heather’s Favorite Strawberry Crepe (strawberries, cream cheese, lemon, and brown sugar). We will be replicating this at home.

Grind
This is located in Glenwood Springs on the way to Denver. We’ve eaten at quite a few of the restaurants in this little community and this is the best we’ve had. “It’ is using grass fed and finished beef, keeping your health at the forefront. ‘It’ is sourcing that grass fed beef locally, supporting our local economy.’It’ is grinding every single patty we serve ourselves, knowing exactly what is going into the burgers and sandwiches you enjoy.” The wait for our order to be ready was long, but it was a very good burger.

 

I think that’s it for this trip. If you ever find yourself in Denver, do yourself a favor and try some of these. Tell them Julie sent you…

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