The days are shorter and the temperatures are colder, but it’s time to enjoy some winter and spring fun.
Now is the perfect time to learn a new skill, like how to land the perfect uppercut, how to play frisbee golf or how to cook delightful Peruvian dishes at home. Of course, you’ll need to follow all local health mandates as they evolve, since the coronavirus pandemic continues to rage on.
Truth is, COVID-19 or not, Boulder is packed with wintertime thrills. All it takes is a desire to get out there and do it. How many of these winter and spring bucket list items can you check off your list?
1. Become The ‘Eye of the Tiger’
Ready to find your inner Rocky? Prepared to sweat like never before? Psyched to float like a butterfly and sting like a bee? The art of the jab is open for all at Front Range Boxing Academy. Housed inside a rusted and ancient Quonset hut off east Pearl Street, the facility follows all COVID-19 safety practices as students learn to land uppercuts, right crosses or body blows. The owner, Dave Gaudette — a former light heavyweight champ and practicing Buddhist — teaches the ways of the heavy bag, the speed bag and shadowboxing. The gym is right out of a 1950s boxing film and is open to men and women of all ages. The first class is free. Learn more online at https://frontrangeboxing.com or call 303-546-9747.
2. Zen Time
It’s time for a mental reset. Decompress from the stress and worry of 2020 at the Eldorado Mountain Yoga Ashram, a blissful place that offers in-person and virtual meditation classes. Whether in person or on Zoom, the value of meditation is well established. It’s a simple and safe way to experience stillness and introspection. Winter is for inside activities, so why not take a trip inside your own mind? Meditation is an easy escape. It will give your monkey brain a much-needed time-out. Take a deep breath and enjoy. You can learn more online at https://www.eldoradoyoga.org or call 303-249-1671.
3. Under The Sea
Landlocked locals can discover life beneath the oceans with a SCUBA certification course from Dave Weaver’s Dive & Travel Center, which is implementing COVID-19 safe practices. Most course material is taught online, and the hands-on practice with SCUBA gear takes place in local pools. Once certified, students can practice their skills during dive center trips to Belize, Honduras or Egypt (subject to COVID-19, of course). Until humans develop gills, being SCUBA certified is the only way to see a real-life Nemo. It’s easy to learn to float amid the coral, exotic fish and sea turtles and the occasional shark. Diving literally takes you to another world where you can experience weightlessness while swimming with manta rays. Three-quarters of the planet is covered with water. Why not experience it yourself? Visit their website at http://weaversdive.com or call 303-499-8500 for more information.
4. Time for Comfort Pho
Few things are as wonderful as a steaming bowl of pho on a winter’s day. The noodle, meat and beef broth concoction is a staple offering across Vietnam. Today, the dish is found everywhere from college dorms to high-end restaurants. Pho delivers belly-warming joy no matter the weather. The sight and smell of Vietnamese goodness zaps the winter blues. Boulder is blessed with many pho options. Chez Thuy, a decades-old Boulder Vietnamese restaurant, offers some of the best in town, but it’s become a common offering at many other eateries such as Boulder Pho.
5. Tee ‘Em Up
Golf is ideal on a cool summer’s day, but the game does not go dormant in winter. Local courses like Flatirons Golf Course, which started in 1938, are open year-round based on weather conditions. As Coloradoans know, winter can mean three feet of snow or a sunny day in the 50s. Real golfers fight through the cold and enjoy whacking drives like Bryson DeChambeau on the frozen tundra of winter. More info here: https://bouldercolorado.gov/parks-rec/flatirons-golf-course.
Those who like warmer temps can maintain their form at Fairways at the Stable, an indoor facility in Superior. The center is open seven days a week and gives hackers and scratch golfers the option of playing a simulated game at their indoor practice center. The simulators offer 30 different course layouts, plus the simulators are steps away from the center’s lounge and bar. No chills, no heavy clothing, no sweating. Just you, your pals, smashing balls into some of the best virtual courses in the world. Learn more online at https://www.golfatfairways.com or by calling 720-749-6445.
6. Golf Without Clubs
Not everyone has the time or ability to learn the art of golf. Fortunately, there’s frisbee golf and plenty of options for lovers of the flying disc to test their ability across open parks and landscapes scattered around Boulder. Plus, it’s free. Lovers of “frolf” can challenge their abilities by tossing the disc into a small basket, which serves as the target and hole. You can really play in any weather, so long as you can see the basket in front of you. Valmont Park Disc Golf Course, at the intersection of Valmont and Airport Road, is a popular spot to get started. https://bouldercolorado.gov/parks-rec/valmont-park-disc-golf-course
7. Cook and Learn
South America has some of the best eats on the planet. Those in the know say Peruvians have the most sophisticated palates of all. Learn to make amazing South American, Italian and French dishes at home by attending a cooking class at Journey Culinary. Journey, which also offers language classes in Spanish, French and Italian, doubles the delight with monthly cooking classes at the school’s Longmont office. The classes give attendees more than basic cooking lessons. Each event includes a smattering of language lessons and cultural exposure. Journey Culinary specializes in the Mediterranean (Southern Spain & Italy), European (France & Portugal), Latin American (Perú) and vegetarian meals. The events are not just feasts, but salon-like cultural experiences that fill the belly, brain and spirit. Space is limited due to COVID-19 rules. All health protocols are followed. Learn more online at https://www.journeyculinary.com or call 720-745-2290.
8. Learn to Fly
What’s more bucket list-ish than learning to fly? Not much. And, luckily, there are several flight schools in Boulder that are happy to help you soar. Journeys Aviation is just one local flight school that provides full instruction at the Boulder Municipal Airport. Whether you want to buzz the Flatirons or check out the view of your neighborhood from a few thousand feet in the air, Journeys Aviation has it covered. Instructors follow all the COVID-19 safety protocols. Students can study in classrooms, flight simulators and in the air. The school is good to go as long as the runway is free of snow. Time to fly like an eagle. Get started at https://www.journeysaviation.com or by calling 303- 449-4210.
9. Relax and Unwind
Time for some pure joy. You’ve made it through one of the worst years in recent memory. Be happy and treat yourself to some serious self-indulgence. Start with a top-shelf room at the St Julien Hotel & Spa. Get a top-floor suite with a view of the Flatirons, then hit the spa and go nuts. Facials, mani-pedis, CBD deep tissue work or whatever you need to end the tension of 2020. Enjoy a spot of tea, then stroll out the doors and do Pearl Street like an old-school tourist. Grab family-style Italian food at Pasta Jay’s, feast on sushi at Japango or stroll the mall to shop and people watch. Enjoy some of the best steaks in town at The Boulder Cork, then retreat to your luxury suite for a nightcap, dessert and stargazing. Enjoy the moment. Dance in your bathrobe and be thankful for all the good that’s coming. Book online at https://stjulien.com/ or by phone 720-406-9696.