It's A Date!

Celebrating an anniversary? Taking your crush on a first date? Want to rekindle the spark? Funky eateries, cozy hideaways, outdoor adventures, the perfect night in—we’ve planned for every occasion. We’ll leave the hard part (finding that special someone) up to you.

February 2012


The All-Day Babysitter


Adult conversation. A day without diapers. The pleasure of pure quiet—no crying, no whining, no carpooling to ballet class. In other words: alone time to recharge and catch up with each other.


You know those things on your bucket list that always seem just out of your grasp now that you have kids? Well, today’s the day. Reserve an early-morning balloon ride just after sunrise with Fair Winds Hot Air Balloon Flights in Boulder. After a continental breakfast, the wind will carry you 10 or so miles in up to 1.5 hours. Revel in the silence of the stunning Rocky Mountain horizon from Pikes Peak to the Wyoming border. If you don’t mind a group, you’ll fly with about a dozen other passengers. Otherwise, spring for the VIP private flight ($375 apiece), which includes a bottle of champagne and two glasses for your journey.

You’ll be back on the ground well before lunchtime, with plenty of time to swing through Boulder for a leisurely bite along Pearl Street before continuing up U.S. 36 to Lyons. Here, treat yourselves with a spa-and-wine package at Rock n’ River Day Resort’s La Bellezza Spa and Ciatano Winery. We suggest the Celebration: a relaxing steam sauna and hot tub session, followed by two 50- minute therapeutic massages and, eventually, a trip next door to the winery. Choose five pours from 10 varieties for your tasting, and leave with a bottle to savor later. You’ll return home rejuvenated, ready to run soccer practice the next morning.

Make it happen: Fair Winds Hot Air Balloon Flights, 6375 Nautilus Drive, Boulder, 303-939-9323, hotairballoonridescolorado.com; La Bellezza Spa (303-823-5006, labellezzaspa.com) and Ciatano Winery (303-823-5011, ciatanowinery.com), both at Rock n’ River Day Resort, 16858 N. St. Vrain Drive, Lyons, rocknriver.com

TIP: The Fair Winds balloon operators will work with you to make your experience memorable. Guys, if you want to have flowers or something special waiting in the basket, just put in a call beforehand to work out the logistics.

DREAM DATE: "Get a babysitter, have dinner somewhere off the beaten path, like the Queen of Sheba Ethiopian Restaurant on Colfax Avenue, and head to a theater for an evening movie. With three kids, I can’t remember the last time we saw something together that wasn’t animated." —Matt Selby, chef/owner, Vesta Dipping Grill and Steuben’s


Every year on our Top of the Town ballot we ask our readers to tell us their very best first date ideas. Here, a few of your most, er, creative responses.

Reader vote: JumpStreet

Jury says: Sweaty kids, flying dodge balls…ahh, what ambience.


Reader vote: Skydiving

Jury says: You’re right. Skip the small talk.


Reader vote: Casa Bonita

Jury says: Please tell us you’re bringing the rug rats.


Reader vote: Mountain Air Ranch—Colorado’s Family Nudist Resort

Jury says: Uh, we hope this is a joke.