The Local newsletter is your free, daily guide to life in Colorado. For locals, by locals. Sign up today!
His quips are cornier than a silo full of kernels, and he’s pretty much the biggest exaggerator in the world, and that’s exactly why you love your dear old Dad. This Father’s Day, rather than getting him something he’ll leave at the bottom of a drawer, show him how much you love him by taking him somewhere. These experiential gift ideas will ensure you both have inside jokes and yarn to spin for years to come.
If Dad has a fondness for the great outdoors (or perhaps a man crush on John Dutton), consider booking an off-the-grid escape to The Ranch at Emerald Valley, one of The Broadmoor’s wilderness experience properties. Surrounded by 100,000 acres of Pike-San Isabel National Forests and nestled alongside two trout-filled lakes, this luxury dude ranch offers the perfect mix of active fun, fine dining, and an excuse for Pops to relax with his boots up (or, if he prefers, in one of the outdoor hot tubs). Just steps from your cabin—its logs are real, but the high-thread-count sheets mean your housing is rustic in aesthetics only—you can get your Robin Hood on with archery lessons, saddle up for a guided horseback ride, or take a fly-fishing tutorial. Hiking trails (including a lung buster up to 9,328-foot Gray Back Peak) abound. No matter your adventure, each exploit works up an appetite. Whether it’s Colorado Bison Tenderloin or Rohan Duck Ragu for dinner, you’ll want to indulge in whatever is on the menu. It’s all-inclusive, after all. Starting at $1,075 per night based on double occupancy at the Ranch
Give One Year of 5280 for just $16.
From the grass-fed beef in the steak tartare, which hails from Buckner Family Ranch, to the arugula from Esoterra in the mixed greens salad, nearly every mouthwatering morsel at Farow is sourced from within 10 miles of their Niwot-based restaurant location. The reason why is simple: Local ingredients taste better. You can treat dad to a night out with the Adventure Menu, which includes the chef’s choice of six courses ($90 per person) any night. Then again, we recommend joining their harvest-inspired Sunday Supper event on June 18 (Dad’s big day!) for Farow’s gourmet, communal dining experience en plein air at Speedwell Farm and Gardens. Starting at $120
No dad wants to see how the sausage gets made—unless by “sausage” you mean an award-winning, podium-gracing titanium bike frame welded and soldered by hand in the Moots factory. In that case, yes—Dad would certainly welcome a look at those links. Moots recently relaunched its factory tours in May, giving cycling enthusiasts a chance to see the secret sauce in each set of wheels. Every Monday and Friday at 10 a.m., the Steamboat Springs-based bike brand opens its doors to the public for hourlong tours that highlight its material sourcing, proprietary manufacturing, and construction processes. The tour is free; alas, the bike you’ll be tempted to buy at the tour’s end—not so much. Free
From the way he plays with Legos when he thinks nobody’s looking to his not-so-secret fondness for Goldfish crackers, Dad’s just a big kid at heart. Indulge his inner child with an afternoon at the new-this-June Bounce Empire, a 50,000-square-foot fun hub situated 10 miles east of Boulder. Race him through a 280-foot-long inflatable obstacle course or slide out of the maw of a 25-foot-tall raptor head. The biggest hurdle is deciding which of Bounce Empire’s more than 50 attractions to do first. All that bouncing make you both thirsty? Sidle up to one of the three on-site bars. $20 per hour per person
If Dad has seemed on edge lately, we’ve got a way to help him relax a little. The Scents of Colorado treatment at this Colorado Springs resort uses dry flotation therapy in tandem with a special blend of oils to hydrate the skin and calm the spirit. During the experience, he’ll be enveloped by body temperature warmth, relaxed by tranquil vibrations, and soothed by aromatherapy inspired by the Rockies in a Pure Sense Soft Pack Bed imported from Austria. Afterward, challenge him to a friendly game of pickleball at the Garden of the Gods Resort and Club’s newly unveiled courts, which were part of its recent $40 million renovation. $175 for a 60-minute Scents of Colorado session; $30 per hour for pickleball (free to members)
Think giving your pops a $240,000 McLaren 600LT is (far) outside your budget? It doesn’t have to be. Take him on a Rally Tour Experience with Oxotic Denver, and he’ll get a chance to drive a McLaren or one of its supercar siblings (a Lamborghini Huracan EVO, perhaps? Or maybe an Aston Martin Vantage?) through the flowy canyons and along the zippy curves of Colorado high country. Starting at $150 for a 15-mile, 20-minute driving experience
Whether wild rapids or chill ripples are Dad’s jam, Echo Canyon River Expeditions in Cañon City has the perfect option. The Family Float, a gentle ride through the upper reaches of Bighorn Sheep Canyon, caters to those who prefer calmer waters; the trip is suitable for kids as young as four. Teenagers older than 14 can join Dad on the rapids ripping through the Royal Gorge. Make a night of it with a stay in the Royal Gorge Cabins, located nearby. Starting at $99 for a half-day
Looking for a high-flying adventure option? Share the skies with your pops this summer in a tandem paragliding experience with Aspen Paragliding. You and Dad will each be seated in a harness and then attached, front and back, to your own expert pilot. For takeoff, each passenger and pilot jog down an easy slope until the glider lifts you both off the ground. Soaring high above Aspen, you’ll enjoy unparalleled views of the town and its surrounding peaks and valleys. Starting at $400 per person
Hit the Western Slope’s most iconic mountain bike trails with a build-your-own, multi-day itinerary put together with the help of adventure travel outfitter, Nomad Inc. One possible lineup includes two days riding the Roaring Fork Valley’s Aspen Sky Mountain Park and Snowmass Mountain Bike Park, followed by another two days tackling Moab’s 34-mile Whole Enchilada (7,000 feet of descent? Yes please.) and Crested Butte’s renowned 401 Trail. Nomad will also take care of lodging accommodations, meals, and planning your rest days. Starting at $1,400 per person for two nights lodging, two days guided riding, transportation, photography, and snacks/drinks