Hither, Thither, and Yon: Get Out And About With the Kids in Boulder and Denver

Give cabin fever the boot with some local field trips. It’s hard not to feel a little stir crazy this time of year, when the craving for new life starts to bustle underneath one’s skin. When you need a few spots to get your yayas out, but the weather’s not cooperating, free range mama has these picks:

Playdates@the loft:
The loft, founded by Mark Megibow, is Boulder’s only playground café, where adults can sip Ozo coffee and tasty snacks while the kids careen in the decked out play area. Playdates, just up the stairs from the 29th St. Mall’s movie theatre, includes an 18′ industrial strength inflatable bouncy playland, a 6′ tall climbing mountain, and a separate play area for crawlers. It’s open for the toddler set everyday from 9:00-2:00. They sometime have events that let you drop off your child so you can do your shopping in unencumbered bliss. The loft charges walkers: $7; siblings: $6; crawlers: $5; and a 10-visit punch card is $50.

Denver Museum of Science and Nature:
Yes, it’s pricey as a one-off, but joining actually makes a lot of sense. A family membership will pay for itself in just two visits, plus checkout the reciprocal free membership it gets you to over 290 science centers and museums worldwide. The museum’s next exhibit, Snakes & Lizards, will thrill your budding ophiophilist (reptile lover). It highlights over 60 live snakes and lizards from over five continents and opens February 3.

Paint N’ Party To Go
Founded by Elaine Waterman, a.k.a. head mess maker, this fun art space for kids (they have classes for adults as well) reminds you to color outside the lines, paint outside the box, and embrace the art of chaos. Paint N’ Party , located in Longmont, has classes for the younger set, from 2 to 5, that caregivers attend and provide minimal art direction. Waterman’s carefully planned activities invite kids to have fun exploring, form, texture, and color. My son loves the projects—and the snacks—and I love that we can leave the mess behind.

Image: The loft