What comes to mind when you think of Cheyenne, Wyoming? Cowboy hats and big trucks? Trains? Those are all accurate descriptions of Cheyenne. It’s a historic train town with a lot of cowboys, cowgirls and big trucks. Today, however, Cheyenne is so much more.
We spent a weekend in Cheyenne earlier this month. We were there to attend the Celtic Festival and Rock the Block, as well as explore a town that we’d only ever passed through.
I’m going to write several posts about this trip, including some of the fun touristy things you can do here like the trolley tour, botanic garden and museums, but in this post, I want to concentrate on some of the surprising things we discovered in Cheyenne.
First of all, did you know that there are three breweries in Cheyenne, Wyoming? True story.
We visited two of the three, stopping first at Accomplice Beer Company where guests pour their own beer. Yes, you read that right. Accomplice has self-pour taps, and they have a lot of them. After a brief explanation of how it works from the bartender, we were off. They use an electronic card system to track how much you pour, so you can’t drink here all day long.
We also got lunch at this brewpub, sliders for Ryan and chicken tenders for me. The tenders were some of the best I’ve had, although the ranch dressing could be a bit thicker. While it’s a bit gimmicky, Accomplice is centrally located in the famous depot building and a must-visit when in Cheyenne.
Freedom’s Edge Brewing Co. is just a couple blocks from Cheyenne’s downtown plaza. They have a traditional taproom with a nice contemporary feel and really good beer. We’ll definitely be back to Freedom’s Edge on our next visit to Cheyenne.
We didn’t make it to Danielmark’s Brewing Co. on E. 18th Street, but this is Cheyenne’s newest brewery and is located in a renovated historic home. They have an outdoor patio and feature food trucks.
And speaking of food trucks, there’s a delightful pizza place in Cheyenne that got its start as a food truck. Bella Fuoco Wood Fire Pizza gets top marks from both Ryan and I, and we recommend the jalapeno popper and the NY Blue. Just thinking about these pizzas makes my mouth water.
Everyone knows about the Wrangler (Boot Barn) in Cheyenne, and I did purchase a hat there while I was in town, but we found a real gem of a shop next to Freedom’s Edge Brewery.
Mid Mod Etc. is a terrific store that’s worth the drive if you love mid modern clothing, furniture, decor and even cars. You can track their inventory by following their Facebook page. And here’s the best part, their prices beat anything you’ll find at the mid-modern stores in Denver.
Ryan was excited to discover two stores selling vinyl in Cheyenne. There’s Ernie November and Phoenix Books & Music.
In addition, Ryan was overjoyed to discover that Cheyenne has an arcade bar. Located in downtown, Flippers Family Arcade is good for families, but also fun for adults because not only do they have a large selection of arcade games and pinball, they have a bar serving beer and wine. It’s a great place to kill an hour or two.
So there you have it — did you know Cheyenne was so hip and happening? I didn’t. Keep an eye on HeidiTown.com for more posts about where we stayed and what we did in Cheyenne, Wyoming.
Thank you to Visit Cheyenne for hosting us on this trip.
Lyons, Colorado is one of our longtime haunts; after all, we’ve been visiting for more than a decade. It’s home to one of Ryan’s favorite destination, Lyons Classic Pinball, and anytime we’re in town some pinball must be played.
Last Friday, we had a new destination in Lyons – Spirit Hound Distillers. They’d invited me for a tour and we’d gladly accepted. Spirit Hound has been open for four years, and I’m embarrassed to say that this was my first visit.
The distillery has obviously been embraced by locals as the place was packed on a Saturday evening.
We weren’t just here for a tour, but to taste some spirits, including their holiday drinks made with their recently released barrel aged rum. Ryan had a warm chocolatey rum drink while I had my first-ever hot buttered rum – I highly approve. Continue reading
It’s that time again, time for another installment of HeidiTown.com on KRFC 88.9 FM, a community radio station in Fort Collins, Colorado. Each week I share stuff to do around Colorado with the listeners of KRFC and then I upload the transcript and the audio to the blog. So if you missed it, or you need web information, you can easily find it here.
You can read the transcript below or listen to the audio HERE.
Hi, my name is Heidi and I’m the Mayor of HeidiTown.com, a blog about events, festivals and travel around Colorado.
I’m calling this weekend, April 27 through the 29th, the calm before the storm, because it is rather quiet around the state, but I think that is because, like me, everyone is gearing up summer.
This year, Cinco de Mayo is on a Saturday and in my mind that kicks off the 2012 festival season.
There are a couple events happening this weekend that have caught my attention.
The new History Colorado Museum is opening on Saturday in Denver. I had the opportunity to get a media-only sneak peek of the facility this past Monday, and a post about the museum be up on the blog, Thursday, April 26. You can visit the museum online at HistoryColorado.org.
As I have previously mentioned, the Rocky Mountain Pinball Showdown is this weekend at the Embassy Suites in the Denver Tech Center. If you are a fan of pinball and classic arcade games, you don’t want to miss this event. More info can be found at PinBallShowDown.com.
Pinball enthusiasts should check out Pinball Jones right here in Fort Collins in the basement suite at 107 Linden Street. Their website is PinBallJones.com.
In Lyons, Colorado check out Lyons Classic Pinball behind Oskar Blues in downtown. This is a HeidiTown favorite place so find it on the blog by searching Lyons Classic Pinball. Visit them online at LyonsPinball.com.
If you are in the Springs area, check out the Penny Arcade in Manitou Springs featuring all sorts of vintage games including pinball. For more on historic Manitou, go to ManitouSprings.org.
This weekend on the Western Slope it’s the Fruita Fat Tire Festival. The event was started 17 years ago as a way to show off all the biking trails they were building in Fruita. This year, there will be four music shows running Friday and Saturday. The beer will flow, a scavenger hunt will occur and costumes are encouraged. I have friends who attend this event every year, and they say it’s always a very good time. Learn more at FruitaMountainBike.com, and be sure to pack your bike!
Here’s a sweet little event that is happening Saturday afternoon in Boulder. At 3 p.m. it’s the annual Tulip Fairy & Elf Parade. There are 15,000 tulips planted along Pearl Street and this event, welcoming spring, takes place in this colorful outdoor mall. Special events and activities for children are planned as well as a parade. Go to DowntownBoulder.com for details.
And now for some planning ahead…
As I previously mentioned, Cinco de Mayo falls on a Saturday this year, that’s the 5th of May for those of you who aren’t familiar with the holiday. There are several events happening in Fort Collins including an Artisan Show above the Rio Grande restaurant in the Agave Room.
The event runs from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and features a vast array of high-end art with everything from sculpture to jewelry. Over 55 artisans will be there, so I urge art lovers not to miss this show! You can follow the link on HeidiTown.com’s front page to the Cinco De Mayo Artisan Show’s Facebook event invite.
The 74th Annual Music & Blossom Festival in Canon City runs May 3 through the 6th. This delightful family-friendly fest has developed over the years into a true destination event. There is a parade, a carnival, a marching band competition, a pageant, and the list goes on and on. Visit CCBlossomFestival.com for the entire schedule.
The 24th Annual Estes Park Duck Races are also slated for May 5. Thousands of little rubber ducks are dropped into Fall River where they began their journey to Riverside Plaza in downtown Estes Park. The tradition was started in 1989 to help local charities. It has grown into a community celebration. Adopt a duck and support a local charity! Learn more at EPDuckrace.org.
If you missed any part of today’s segment, I post the transcript and audio of the show every week on HeidiTown.com.
As always, I encourage you to join the town’s block party on Facebook. It’s the place where we can get better acquainted. Go to Facebook.com/HeidiTown.comonFB.
Thank you so much for listening! Until next week, I will see you online!
The weekends seem to be flying by at a frightfully fast rate! I can’t believe that it is already mid-April. The following is the transcript from my weekly radio show on KRFC 88.9 FM. You can either read the transcript below or listen to the audio of the show HERE.
Hi, my name is Heidi and I’m the Mayor of HeidiTown.com, a blog about events, festivals and travel around Colorado.
As we head into the busy summer festival season I want to hand out some advice. If you are planning an event, don’t forget to calendar it online in newspapers up and down the Front Range.
I am surprised by how many organizations will make fliers, put the event in their newsletter and even create a Facebook event invite, but fail to calendar their festival in a local newspaper. This is a small and easy step for you to take and I promise, it will help with your event. I rely heavily on calendars and so does the festival going public. I LOVE social media, but if that should be an additional way to get your message out – don’t forget about the tried and true methods.
Okay, now that I’ve gotten that off my chest, on to regular scheduled programming!
If you were in Old Town Fort Collins a couple weekends ago, you might have got a glimpse of my rowdy HeidiTown gang on board the MyHandleBar. This is a unique way to do a brewery crawl. MyHandleBar bike is new to Fort Collins as of last summer and this was my third ride. If you want to see your adult friends giggle like school children this s pring and summer, get them on the MyHandleBar. There’s also a bike running in Boulder. Find out more at MyHandleBar.com.
Here are a few events that I’ve previously mentioned that are now upon us. This is the weekend of April 13th through the 15th, 2012.
The Arvada Kite Festival is this Saturday. I think this looks like the perfect event for a family outing. Visit ArvadaFestivals.com for all the details.
One of my favorite mountain mud season events is also this weekend. The 32nd Annual Cardboard Classic is part of Springalicious in Steamboat Springs. If you have been considering heading up to the Boat, this is the weekend to do it. The 5th Annual Splashdown Pond Skimming Competition is on Sunday, so make a road trip out of it! There are also live bands playing all weekend. More info at Steamboat.com.
Back here in Fort Collins I have posted a review of “The Sound of Music” now on stage at Midtown Art Center. I won’t give anything away except to say that the kids steal the show and I had one of my best meals I’ve had at this venue! Read the entire review on HeidiTown.com.
And now for something completely adorable! The Plumb Farm Learning Center in Greeley celebrates spring with its annual Baby Animal Days happening now through April 21. During Baby Animal Days families are invited to the farm to see llamas, alpacas, goats, lambs, cows, horses, pigs, rabbits, chicks and ducks. Baby animals will be everywhere so if you child is anything like me when I was a kid they will be overwhelmed with delight. The event is open daily through April 21st. Visit GreeleyGov.com/museums/BabyAnimalDays.
Lastly, in our planning ahead section…
This next event is for all you pinball wizards and groupies. At the end of the month, it’s the Rocky Mountain Pinball Showdown. That’s Friday, April 27th through Sunday April 29th.
I blogged about this event last year on HeidiTown. There are over 100 pinball machines on display – no quarters need to play. There are also exhibitors from around the country including pinball sellers, buyers, specialists and a lot more. If you are a fan of pinball, you don’t want to miss the Rocky Mountain Pinball Showdown at the Embassy Suites at the Denver Tech Center. Get more information at PinBallShowdown.com.
And by the way, every week I post a transcript of this show on HeidiTown, so if you need missed something, or need a web address, you can look it up there.
That’s all the time I have for this week. Remember, you can follow me on Twitter @HeidiTown, circle the town on Google Plus, or join the town’s block party on Facebook at Facebook.com/HeidiTown.comonFB.
Thanks for listening and until next time, I will see you online!
I love it when I discover a truly unique event, and the Rocky Mountain Pinball Showdown & Gameroom Expo definitely falls into this category.
I’ve written about the game of pinball previously on HeidiTown, and Lyons Classic Pinball is one of the Mayor’s frequently recommended activities.
I don’t know why I like pinball so much because quite frankly I’m terrible at the game, but I really enjoy pinball machine art and I’m a sucker for nostalgia. To me, pinball is a reminder of a quieter time when the local malt shop was a gathering spot and poodle skirts were all the rage. Of course, pinball is anything but quiet – walk into Lyons Classic Pinball on a Friday night and the sound of balls hitting paddles will drown out all the stress of your week and any other thought that might be in your head.
This weekend, pinball wizards will gather at the Embassy Suites – Denver Tech Center for three days of pinball debauchery. There will be tournaments for all ages and abilities, and seminars from pinball celebrities like Jack Guarnieri, Jack Askey, Brian “Destruk” Smith, John Trudeau and more.
There will be over 100 pinball machines on display from a variety of companies and featuring many artists. The art on a pinball machine can be just as collectible as the game units themselves.
The photo to the right is of a pinball machine at the Penny Arcade in Manitou Springs. It was our 2008 trip to the town that originally introduced me to pinball machine art. The blue-haired lady is my Twitter avatar and has become a vital part of my HeidiTown.com branding.
There will be over 100 pinball machines that visitors can play for FREE during this expo.
Also attending this event will be exhibitors from around the country, including pinball sellers, buyers, repairers, specialists, and more. They will be on hand to show off their wares, skills and fanaticism.
The expo is also offering a screening of the new pinball documentary called “Special When Lit.”
This expo is for the entire family and will appeal to crazed pinball enthusiasts as well as those with a more casual interest in the game.
The Rocky Mountain Pinball Showdown & Gameroom Expo starts Friday, April 29 and goes through Sunday, May 1. For all the details visit them online at www.pinballshowdown.com. You can also find the event on Facebook here.
March is here and that means Spring Break. Several people have asked what the Mayor recommends doing with the kiddos over the break. If you don’t have the resources to spend the break in Mexico or Disneyland, here are a few things that will be great excursions with the kids.
Visit the Zoo
Coloradoans are lucky to have two outstanding zoos in our state. When we lived in the Denver area we had a membership to the Denver Zoo, and it’s by far one of the best city zoos I’ve ever visited. However, my favorite zoo in the state, and maybe the world, is Cheyenne Mountain Zoo in Colorado Springs.
A major appeal of this zoo is its location on the side of Cheyenne Mountain. The animal enclosures connect seamlessly to the environment, and because it’s on a hill, visitors walk through the zoo on a zigzagging path. Never knowing what’s around the next corner makes visiting this zoo a real adventure.
The Cheyenne Mountain Zoo has the most prolific giraffe-breeding program in the world and one of the best giraffe enclosures I’ve ever seen. Visitors walk on an elevated viewing area, where they come face to face with these extraordinary animals. You can even spend a little on crackers to feed the giraffe. It’s an experience not to be missed.
Arcade in Manitou Springs
If your kids like video games, and I’m betting they do, why not take them to see the precursors to their Xboxes and Playstations. Manitou Springs, just minutes outside Colorado Springs, is a quirky town and the arcade is just one of many unique things this town has to offer.
We have spent several long weekends in Manitou Springs and the Penny Arcade is my husband’s favorite stop. Featuring an array of games in several buildings, you can find some of the very first penny arcade games, classic arcade games of the 1980s, skeeball, and even coin operated animal rides. There’s something for everyone and every age in this collection.
Pinball in Lyons
I’ve written previously about Lyons Classic Pinball on HeidiTown. This is a one-of-a-kind place, and makes for a fun-filled afternoon or evening. Located in Lyons, Colorado, this place has over thirty pinball machines from various time periods. You can guess what decade in which the machine was produced by looking at the art.
After pinball I recommend heading around the corner to Oskar Blues for a burger and soda. While there, head downstairs and check out Lyons Classic Video. This room is run by the same family as Lyon’s Classic Pinball and is home to such games as Tron, Mrs. Pacman, Donkey Kong, Q-bert and many more. There are 25 games in all and every game is just 25 cents.
Visit a Museum
I’m a huge advocate for museums. I grew up visiting museums and I have always loved them. If you start taking your children to museums at a young age, I think they too will be lifelong supporters of museums.
The Denver Museum of Nature & Science is a personal favorite, but you don’t have to drive that far to find an interesting and entertaining museum for the kids. Greeley, Fort Collins, Windsor, Loveland and Berthoud each have a museum or two and most have kid-oriented exhibits.
I’m planning to write about all the museums in Northern Colorado, but so far I’ve only made it to a handful. I still need to visit the Greeley Freight Station Museum, but I mention it here because it sounds like the perfect museum for children (and train lovers like me).
Please visit the Museum section of HeidiTown for info on the museums I have had a chance to write up.
HeidiTown Tip: If your kids like board and card games they’ll enjoy the Haunted Game CafÃ© locate in Fort Collins. This is a game store and coffee shop. You can play one of their many open games while sipping on an Italian soda or one of the cafe’s specialty drinks.
He’s a pinball wizard
There has to be a twist.
A pinball wizard,
Got such a supple wrist!
He’s a pinball wizard
His score shoots even more!
Lyons, Colorado is a cool little town, just about an hour northwest of Denver. It’s most famous landmark is probably Oskar Blues, home of Dale’s Pale Ale, but there’s another gem tucked away in this tiny town.
Lyons Classic Pinball is located next door to Oskar Blues, along Main Street. It’s a family run joint featuring approximately 37 pinball machines ranging from the 1960s to 2000s.
We stopped in this noisy establishment on a Friday night, collected a $10 roll of quarters from the front desk and then tried to decide where to start. The games range from 25 cents to 75 cents, with the cheapest games located in the back.
The crowd at Lyons Classic Pinball ranges from youngsters to grandparents. Everyone is welcome and almost everyone is sure to find a game they remember from their youth.
In 1871, British Inventor, Montegue Redgrave made additions to a game called Bagatelle. These included a coiled spring and plunger, shrinking the game’s size, replacing the large balls with marbles, and adding an inclined playfield. These are all common features of the game we now know as pinball.
During the early 1930s, pinball games were countertop machines and started appearing everywhere. The name “pinball” was coined in 1936. In the 1940s, the flipper was invented and by the 1960s, the pinball craze was in full swing.
I’m not really a fan of the actual game of pinball, but my two Friday night accomplices are definitely gamers, and while perhaps not pinball wizards, the two are much more skilled with the balls and flippers than I.
My enjoyment lies not in the game, but in the machines. I love pinball machine art. It’s easy to identify the decade a machine was built just by looking at the art. You can also tell a lot about what sorts of things were going on in the decade by the art on a pinball machine.
If you are fan of pinball, or just a bit nostalgic, a trip to Lyons Classic Pinball is a must. For more information about Lyons Classic Pinball or to find out about tournaments, visit www.lyonspinball.com.
When you visit, don’t miss Lyons Classic Video. This room is run by the same family and is located just beyond the pool tables in the Oskar Blues downstairs bar. The room is home to such games as Tron, Mrs. Pacman, Donkey Kong, Q-bert and many more. There are 25 games in all and every game is just 25 cents.