Inexpensive Entertainment Close To Home
One might think driving is cheaper than flying. However, take a closer look especially when flying a whole family. By the time you pay escalating gas prices, an overnight stay, meals and your valuable time, flying bargains might seem the better way to go. Of course, that also depends on how long you’ll stay, whether you need to rent a car, and how many people. Plan ahead and calculate the costs before making the choice to drive or fly.
Even though we are empty nesters, my husband and I choose to drive to many of our destinations. I drive; he reads. We save money by packing lunches, staying in lodging which offers “free” breakfasts, and rooms with mini-fridge and microwave, and/or taking advantage of relatives or friends who offer a place to sleep.
If our stay amounts to a number of days, we search for a condo which allows us to cook a few meals, especially breakfast. Even though breakfast is the cheapest of meals, we save time by eating in. Our cooler and picnic basket hold other meal choices, lunch and a dinner or two. Simple things like canned soup, spaghetti, or chili. Restaurant leftovers provide additional savings.
However you choose to travel, the best option for summer entertainment that won’t break the bank is to consider all the “close to home” activities throughout Colorado and nearby states. The following suggestions offer a wealth of fun, sightseeing, and the joy of travel within Colorado.
Besides those events/places familiar to most people, like Cheyenne Frontier Days, the Greeley Stampede, Mesa Verde, and Renaissance Fairs, think about treks to smaller cities.
Approximately three hours from Lyons, a trip to Leadville provides options from museums to historical homes. Plan an overnight stay if you want to enjoy all Leadville amenities. Allow time to view the city’s six museums - the Heritage Museum, Tabor Home, Healy House and Dexter Cabin, Tabor Opera House, Matchless Mine, and the National Mining Hall of Fame. A $25 Passport ticket admits you to all six.
Stop in at the Visitor’s Center and learn about free city walking tours and a Route of the Silver Kings driving tour. The website, http://www.visitleadvilleco.com, outlines summer activities, history, restaurants, and lodgings available from May 20 to Halloween.
Palisades, CO, claims to be the peach and wine capitol of the world. Log onto http://www.palisademusic.com/line-up.html to see the line-up for Palisades Bluegrass and Roots, June 10-12. Probably for adults only, discover more information about the Colorado Mountain Winefest, September 15-18 in Palisades, go to http://www.coloradowinefest.com/.
However, if you’d rather save travel time and gas, get a sitter and participate in the same festivities closer to home. CAVE, the people who run the Palisades Winefest, will host the first annual Denver Winefest at Northfield at Stapleton on June 11. You can partake of similar seminars, chef demos, and food.
Boulder hosts an afternoon of strolling Pearl Street’s culinary arts scene, galleries, and retail stores for a Taste of Pearl, May 1 from 2 to 6 p.m.. Enjoy a relaxing day while helping a non-profit organization, Emergency Family Assistance Association. Check http://www.boulderdowntown.com/events/taste-of-pearl for more information.
Parking is free at the Red Rocks Indian Art Show from June 19 to August 21. Find authentic Indian artwork from paintings to sculptures and leather to jewelry crafted by tribal affiliations of the Lakota, Assiniboine, Arapahoe, Pueblo, Navajo, Cree and Comanche.
Join the 108th Annual Cowboy’s Roundup Days and Fourth of July Celebration in Steamboat Springs. This salute to the Old West includes a parade, fireworks, cattle drive through town and rodeos.
Estes Park’s Rooftop Rodeo, July 12 to17, gives you rip-roarin’ cowboy action from saddle bronc, bareback bronc and bull riding to steer wrestling, tie-down roping, and barrel racing.
Midway activities begin at 5:30 p.m. and on July 12, 10:30 a.m., watch a parade with rodeo queens from across the US. Prices range from $3 for children 3-11 to $15 for adults. Activities take place at the Estes Park Fairgrounds.
Don’t forget the 20th Anniversary Loveland Sculpture Invitational Show and Sale, August 12-15. For location, parking, pricing, and additional information, go to http://lovelandsculpturegroup.org/visitor/.
For more things to do in and around Colorado, check this Colorado Events website http://tinyurl.com/4t7k3mn. Forty-nine pages suggest activities for the upcoming months.