Retailers were so excited about Aurora’s new Stanley Marketplace that they leased out the entire 140,000-square-foot facility two years before it was finished. Now we finally get to see what got them all stirred up. Built as an aircraft-ejection-seat factory in 1954, Stanley Aviation shuttered operations almost a decade ago. Developers spent three years and $30 million transforming the old plant into a food-centric gathering place loosely modeled after San Francisco’s Ferry Building Marketplace. In short: a spot that offers myriad ways to spend a day. Sadly, we only had the space for three of them.

Work Zone: Why work from home when you can grab a single-origin pour-over at Logan House Coffee Co. and head straight to the Union Stanley, an on-site co-working center? For $35, you get a seat at a counter, high-speed internet, and use of a printer and fax machine. A Verde juice (kale, parsley, celery, lemon, and ginger) from Etai’s Juice Bar will revitalize your brain and bod in time for an evening hot power vinyasa class at Kindness Yoga.

—Photo Courtesy of Danielle Webster

Family Time: Bounce Stapleton’s foam pits and trampolines ($10 per tot) will entertain the little ones for two-hour stretches. When it’s time to refuel, visit the sustainable pizza shop Sazza for a peanut-butter-and-jam pie for the kids before feeding their imaginations at MindCraft Makerspace, a high-tech workshop that uses 3-D printers, laser cutters, and other gear to turn ideas into inventions. And Sweet Cow’s sixth Front Range shop provides the perfect daycap with its delicious oatmeal cookie ice cream.

Date Night: Poppy & Pine’s burlap-wrapped seasonal bouquets or Mondo Market’s selection of picnic-worthy cheeses and charcuterie should set the mood for a romantic rendezvous. Sharing a plate of dainty empanadas stuffed with everything from seared steak to sweet corn at Argentine eatery Maria Empanada only intensifies the intimacy. By the time you and your date arrive at Infinite Monkey Theorem Urban Winery’s second location (try the Dry Hopped Pear Cider), you’ll have stoked the flame—or ignited a new one.

This article was originally published in 5280 October 2016.
Callie Sumlin
Callie Sumlin
Callie Sumlin is a writer living in Westminster, and has been covering food and sustainability in the Centennial State for more than five years.