Are your children on winter break yet? Tired of having them sit around the house?
Unplug the television, get them off the couch, and head out for some fun activities that could actually leave them — and you — with some special memories.
Here are a handful of active experiences you can offer your children, right here in Boulder County, that don’t require batteries or an electric cord.
• Outdoor ice skating: Most people are familiar with the seasonal ice rink in downtown Boulder, but there are several others around the county.
The Longmont Ice Pavilion at Roosevelt Park offers public skating, drop-in hockey, drop-in ice skating and programs for learning how to skate and play hockey. See www.ci.longmont.co.us/REC/ICERINK.
WinterSkate in historic downtown Louisville (and at FlatIron Crossing) offers traditional holiday music, skate rentals and group discount rates. The Louisville rink is at the Steinbaugh Pavilion, 824 Front St., and it has more than 6,500 square feet of ice, concessions and a covered seating area. Check out www.bceproductions.com/winterskate.
In the winter, the town of Nederland’s tennis court complex gets turned into an Olympic-size ice rink offering not only hockey and figure skating, but even a curling club. For more information, visit nedrink.com.
• B&C Bounce Town: Located at 1821 Lefthand Circle in Longmont, this is a great place to let the kids get their energy out, jumping, slipping and running their way through inflatable castles, slides and obstacle courses. There are open bounce times during the weekdays; the weekends are reserved for parties. Couches for the parents to relax included. See bncbouncers.com
• WOW! (World of Wonder) Children’s Museum: Talk about interactive. This place offers everything from climbing on a pirate ship to science experiments to arts and crafts. There are exhibits where kids can pretend they are shopping at the grocery store or counting money at the bank. There is also a stage with costumes for dressing up and a toddler area with a sand box, puzzles and blocks. See www.wowmuseum.com.
• Crackpots: Similar to Color Me Mine in Boulder (1938 Pearl St., www.boulder.colormemine.com), here’s a place in Longmont where you and your child can pick out an unpainted piece of pottery and turn it into a colorful creation that will always remind you of that time you spent together. And you’re not limited to pottery; they also offer mosaics, glass fusing and silver clay. It’s at 501 Main St. Check out www.ecrackpots.com.
• Snowsports: Whether it’s sledding, snowshoeing or cross-country skiing, if you want to save your cash and you already have the gear, this is a great way to give kids more appreciation for the outdoors in winter. Good sledding hills include Scott Carpenter Park near 30th Street and Arapahoe Ave. in Boulder and Sunset Middle School on Sunset Street in Longmont.
• Climbing gyms: Whether it’s a climbing wall at one of the county’s recreation centers or a full-bore operation like The Spot Bouldering Gym (www.thespotgym.com), many kids prove to be excellent rock climbers even at a young age. It gives them a great sense of accomplishment when they reach the top — and when they make it higher than you, too.
• Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art: Take a guided tour of the museum, or check out a special event. Young Artists at Work is offering holiday workshops on Dec. 21 designed to jump-start creativity in kids aged 5 to 10. For more information, check out www.bmoca.org/events.
• Gateway Park Fun Center: The good times roll year ’round now at this north Boulder facility off of Hwy. 36. The center features go-karts, miniature golf, batting cages, a human maze, an arcade, inline hockey and a driving range. See www.gatewayfunpark.com.
• BoulderIndoorSoccer: This organization is offering skills clinics over the winter break, from Dec. 21 through Dec. 30, for ages 5 to 15. Full-day and halfday sessions are available. Call 303-440- 0809 or e-mail Info@ BoulderIndoorSoccer.com.
Boulder Dinner Theatre: For older kids, the BDT is showing Singing in the Rain through Feb. 14. For younger children (preschool through fifth grade), the theatre offers Kids Kabaret. The current show, Aesop-a-Rebop, ends Dec. 19. The Ugly Duckling will run from March 10 through May 29.