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Colorado experiences plenty of April (snow) showers, but the weather gods always seem to taunt us with a few surprisingly balmy days. This year, circle April 23 on your calendar. That’s the day we’re most likely to get a pre-summer heat wave, at least according to historical temperature data from the Western Regional Climate Center. Here, six ways to best enjoy the thaw.
1. Explore Hudson Gardens from the ground up.
Spend the afternoon wandering through 30 sprawling acres of ponds, vegetable patches, and flower beds at this Littleton garden. Rent a family-friendly explorer pack; we recommend the Woodland Wonders kit, which includes a magnifying glass. If you want more guidance, follow the 1.25-mile Interpretive Tree Trail to learn about 15 of Colorado’s trees, including bristlecone pine, a species that has survived since dinosaurs roamed the Earth.
2. Grab a spoon at Sweet Cow Ice Cream’s newest location.
The fifth satellite of this local shop opened on South Pearl Street at the beginning of the year. Make sure to taste one of our favorites—the Ozo Coffee cookies and cream—before you choose from the 24 flavors offered at this Platt Park spot.
3. Walk through Stapleton’s Central Park—and help women advance their careers in the process.
Anyone who has interviewed for a job knows the right wardrobe can bolster confidence. Sign up for the Dress for Success Power Walk 5K in Stapleton to help empower Denver women to find and keep jobs with living wages. Donate your gently used professional clothing and share interview tips and career advice as you walk. And don’t forget to outfit yourself (and your pup) as you see fit—the best-dressed teams, dogs included, will win prizes such as gift certificates to Hacienda Colorado.
4. Get inside access to Denver’s historic places.
On April 23 and 24, you will be granted permission to peek inside nearly 70 of Denver’s most famous buildings—many of which aren’t typically open to the public. Choose your destinations from Doors Open Denver’s website, and then set your route. Our picks from this year’s list: City Park West’s Castle Marne Bed & Breakfast (pictured), the Bosworth House, and the Governor’s Residence at the Boettcher Mansion.
5. Cheer the Colorado Rapids to victory.
OK, so Pablo Mastroeni and his MLS team aren’t coming off the best season—the Rapids finished last in the Western conference in 2015 with a record of 9-15-10. But root for the home team anyway (they need it) as you sip an Odell 90 Shilling Ale in the stands of Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City and watch the Rapids take on the Seattle Sounders on the 23rd.
6. Dine al fresco—on a roof.
Casual yet upscale, Del Frisco’s Grille—part of the Del Frisco’s Restaurant Group—opened in November 2015. Hit this Cherry Creek spot for shareable wagyu corndogs and a Great Divide Colette Farmhouse Ale and take in stellar neighborhood views from the second-story rooftop patio.
—Photos by (from top) The Hudson Gardens & Event Center, Forty Degrees Photography, Dress For Success Denver, Weslee Ferguson, The Colorado Rapids, Gavin Berry