On
Newsstands
Now
Current Issue
—Courtesy of Shutterstock

Summer Adventures With Ice Cream

Take a cue from the kids and plan a special summer day the whole family will want to repeat all year long. 

By |

Ice cream has long been used as a special treat—OK, a bribe—to reward my kids once they’ve completed a long hike or a taxing (or unpopular) activity. Now they’ve turned the tables and compiled a list of what they consider truly fun activities, and paired these with some of their favorite local sweet shops. Take a cue from the kids and plan a special summer day the whole family will want to repeat all year long:

Advertisement

Sweet Cow Ice Cream & Tilt! Pinball, Louisville: With this duo, located just a few doors apart, it’s hard to know where to start. Tilt! has dozens of kid-pleasing games, from air hockey to video games to Star Trek pinball. Pair that with Sweet Cow’s super-friendly staff, outdoor hangout area, and fun flavors like E.T. Phone Home—crumbled peanut butter cups folded into creamy peanut butter ice cream— for an out-of-this-world experience.

Liks Ice Cream & Ferril Lake pedal boats or surreys, Denver: Let your kids pedal their hearts out around Ferril Lake in Denver’s City Park, then walk or drive a few blocks southwest to enjoy a thick shake or generous scoop at Liks, a neighborhood ice cream parlor with inspired flavors like Candy Lane, Cheesman Cheesecake, and Coconut Peanut Brittle.

The Cow Eatery & High-Speed Go-Karting, Morrison: If your kids are starting to drive you crazy, let them take the wheel. At Action Karting, kids ages 8+ can (with a signed waiver) rent high-speed Go Karts that cruise up to 55 miles per hour around a Bandimere Speedway track. Monday through Thursday, kids ages 5 to 7 can also learn how to drive (with a parent) in a pint-sized version with a top speed of 18 miles per hour. But—according to my kids—driving parents crazy is hard work, so your speed demons will need to top their tanks off with a float or a gooey banana split at The Cow Eatery.

(Check out old-school places to have vintage family fun)

Smart Cow Yogurt Bar & Castlewood Canyon State Park, Castle Rock: Follow up a mellow hike—and just a little splashing—along gurgling Cherry Creek with a stop at the Smart Cow self-service yogurt bar. Little ones will enjoy the chalk tables and a beanbag “corn toss,” and kids of all ages will love the 16 self-serve flavors (including at least one non-dairy option), rotating canisters of toppings, and marshmallow, hut fudge, or caramel sauce to top off their creations.

Advertisement

Miner Decadence Chocolate & panning for gold, Idaho Springs: Your kids are sure to develop a fever panning for gold, but even if they don’t strike it rich, be sure to reward them (and yourself) with velvety chocolate fudge, a chocolate-dipped caramel marshmallow, or a scoop (or two) of owner Connie’s all-natural Oh-My-God Rocky Road gelato. Tours of the Phoenix Gold Mine end with a streamside panning lesson, or you can stop by the Visitor Center to buy your own equipment and get directions to the perfect panning—and picnic—spot.

Discover more ways to enjoy summer in Denver at 5280.com/summerguide.

Recommended for You

Newsletter Signup

Keep me up to date on the latest trends and happenings around Denver. 5280 has a newsletter for everyone. Sign Up