Hey, teens, you’ll find plenty to do around here
For older teens around the Grand Valley, the introduction of the scorching days of summer can bring endless boredom in and around the house.
Aside from holding part-time jobs, some of the younger Gen Y members can find themselves homework-free and living in a personal bubble of reluctantly watched soap operas and long afternoon naps.
Even with the freedom a driver’s license provides, teenagers may start whining about the limited availability of affordable fun.
The Grand Valley is jammed with activities that cost less than $20 each.
With a little creative thinking and hunting, we came up with some ideas.
CHECK THE LIVE MUSIC
Accompanying the arrival of the summer season is the growth of outdoor music events, and you don’t always have to be 18, or even 21, to get on the scene.
Fruita kicked off its summer concert series on June 3 and continues with free concerts every Thursday evening through Aug. 12. The entertainment begins at 7:30 p.m. at the Fruita Civic Center Pavilion. Bands include Pineapple Crackers, Clean Slate and Sweet Sunny South. Go to http://www.fruita.org for information.
In Grand Junction, Raindance Promotions has lined up a variety of bands for concerts at the Western Colorado Botanical Gardens, 641 Struthers Ave.
The first is a World Music Festival Concert at 6 p.m. June 18 (gates open at 5 p.m.) with the reggae act Jus Goodie and special guests Dualakoo & The Sol Weavers Fire Dancers.
Advance tickets are $12 at area City Market stores, The Muse in Fruita and botanical gardens. Tickets at the gate are $15.
The next concert is July 3 with The Samples and special guest 800 Mile Monday. Keep an eye on Out & About on Fridays for concert information.
AHH. GO FOR A DIP
The Lincoln Park-Moyer Swimming Pool offers free admission to those 17 and younger from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Wednesdays.
Those 18 and older must pay $4.75. After 3 p.m. on Wednesdays, youth 17 and younger get in free with a paid adult.
The waterslide isn’t free anytime, but if you want to slide for a morning or an afternoon only, it’s $2.50 for unlimited rides (daily pass for youth is $3.50).
And every day after 5 p.m., the waterslide costs $2.50 for everyone.
Look for information under “aquatics” at http://www.gjcity.org.
Local arts and crafts stores sponsor classes in a variety of subject areas.
At Michael’s, Arts and Crafts, 2464 U.S. Highway 6&50, classes range from cake decorating to seasonal and holiday crafts. Classes vary in price.
A complete list of classes can be found in the store or online at Michaels.com.
Paint about any piece of pottery you want at Angelo’s Paint-Your-Own-Pottery Studio, 2490 F Road, Suite 1.
Studio fees for teenagers are $2.50 with student ID all summer long.
Prices for pottery vary. Discounts also are available throughout the week and include 2-for-1 studio fees every Tuesday and Date Night every Saturday, during which time studio fees are $8 per couple.
A full list of events and discounts is available at GJAngelos.com.
Stroke of Genius, 455 Kokopelli Boulevard, Unit C, in Fruita, offers similar services.
Studio fees are half-price every Tuesday from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m.
“Frequent Painter” punch cards are also available. Bisque is 50 percent off after five punches and Thursday is Double Punch Day. Learn more at http://www.coloradokids.com/strokeofgenius./indes.html.
LACE UP YOUR BOWLING SHOES
GJ Scores, 2445 F 3/8 Road, has a Dollar Night every Tuesday from 6 p.m. until midnight.
It’s just like the name implies. A game of bowling is $1, shoe rentals are $1, a slice of cheese pizza is $1.
When considering a bowling outing, also check out the other alleys in town.
Freeway Bowl, 1900 I-70 Business Loop, offers all-you-can-bowl for $10 every day and that includes shoes.
Also check into offers at Orchard Mesa Lanes, 295 27 Road, where the usual rate is $15 per hour, per lane.
SCREAM FOR ICE CREAM
Ice cream is a staple of the summer diet.
Hometown favorite Graff Dairy, located just south of F Road off 29 Road, has homemade ice cream in all the classic favors.
Signature cookie dough bars also are available.
If you’re downtown, check out Gelato Junction on Main Street. It has more than 60 flavors of gelato and sorbet in addition to producing nine seasonal flavors.
FIGHT HEAT WITH WATER
All the necessary supplies — squirt guns, water balloons — for an old-fashioned water fight can be found for less than $15.
Squirt guns also can be used to add a twist to classic games such as capture the flag or tag.
SEE OLD MOVIES, BUT GOODIES
Every Tuesday night, Avalon Theatre on Main Street shows a movie for $5 a ticket.
Sure, the films shown on this night usually aren’t newly released flicks, but they’re often classics, cult classics or must-see-at-least-once-in-your-life movies.
Splurge on dinner at a downtown eatery on a Tuesday night, present your receipt at the ticket window and you’ll get two free tickets to the movie.
The movie starts at 7:15 p.m. Upcoming films include “Mary Poppins” and the 1968 version of “Planet of the Apes.”
Find a list of movies and dates at http://www.tworivers convention.com.
Movie-goers can also experience a little piece of Americana at the Tru Vu Drive-In in Delta.
Tickets are $7 a person (cash only) and the movies (usually a double-feature) begin at
Shows run every night through the summer. Check Friday’s Out & About to find out what’s playing.
An outdoor movie experience a little closer to home is the Glade Park Movies Under the Stars at sundown every Friday night.
The movie is free (donations greatly appreciated as they support the volunteer fire department), and the food at the concession stand is inexpensive (burgers are only a few bucks and the grill starts at 6 p.m.).
To get there, take Rim Rock Drive through Colorado National Monument, take the turn south toward Glade Park and go until you reach the Glade Park Store and the fire department. The movies are shown behind the fire department building.
The next movie scheduled to be shown is “Race to Witch Mountain.”
Go to http://www.glade-park.com/movies-under-the-stars.html for information.
GET AROUND DOWNTOWN
Looking at a long afternoon? Downtown Grand Junction is a great place to burn time.
With an eclectic array of shops such as Coffee Muggers and Triple Play Records, the heart of town caters to any taste. And be sure to venture beyond the Main Street storefronts to other quirky venues downtown such as the Planet Earth and the 4 Directions Gallery.
In addition to the stores, find the sculptures added to the Art on the Corner exhibit for 2010.
Think you know everything about downtown? Make sure you really do by taking a self-conducted history-intensive downtown walking tour.
Tour brochures can be picked up at the Grand Junction Visitor and Convention Bureau off Horizon Drive or at the Downtown Development Authority office in the Whitman Building.
JUST PARK IT
Take advantage of area parks for getting together with friends for basketball, volleyball, tennis or ultimate Frisbee.
Sand volleyball courts are available for public use at Canyon View Park. If you don’t have a volleyball, one can be purchased for about $15. The volleyball courts are available free on a first-come, first-serve basis.
Area parks are great for big games of ultimate Frisbee. Pick up a Frisbee for as little as $5. Glow-in-the-dark Frisbees can be found for about $15, and your game can be played after sunset.
For those after-dark games, teams can be identified by wearing glowing wrist bands of certain colors.
Ten glow bands are sold for about $1 at Michael’s or three bands can be purchased for about $1 at Wal-Mart.
THROW, TOSS, GOLF
A variety of disc or Frisbee golf (“frolf”) courses are scattered throughout the valley.
Similar to golf, participants throw discs from a tee box toward chain-link baskets.
Find a list of the nine-hole and 18-hole courses, including maps, at http://www.gvdiscgolf.org.
Discs can be purchased at sporting goods stores for about $8 each.
CLIMB THE WALLS
Indoor rock climbing at the Grand Junction Climbing Center is $12 for a day. Shoes, a harness and chalk bag can be rented collectively for $5.
Prior to climbing, customers must sign a waiver, which is available at the facility or at GJClimbing.com.
Those younger than 18 must have waivers signed by a parent or legal guardian.
LOOK FOR BARGAINS
The start of summer also indicates the beginning of the garage sale season.
Spend as little or as much time as you want rummaging through boxes and racks at garage sales.
Plan a route to area sales by checking out the garage sale listings in the classified section of The Daily Sentinel.
HIT THE TRAILS
Hiking trails can be found from one end of the Grand Valley to the other. Many are free.
Ask a friend for a trail recommendation or get a suggestion or two from Haggerty’s Hikes, which runs in Sundays in The Daily Sentinel and at GJSentinel.com.
Hiking trails in Colorado National Monument can be accessed for a park fee of $7 per vehicle.
Trails located within the 32-square-mile monument include Devil’s Kitchen and the Lemon Squeezers.
Keep a look out for special events at the monument as it prepares for its 100th anniversary in 2011.
History buffs should venture out to the McInnis Canyons National Conservation Area.
Parking is available at the McDonald Creek trail head off the Interstate 70 Rabbit Valley exit. Follow the dry creek bed and hunt along the cliffs for pictographs and petroglyphs left by Fremont Indians.
PEDAL UP, PEDAL DOWN
Plenty of mountain biking trails are available free on public lands. Here are a few ideas on where to go:
The Bureau of Land Management tracks along 18 Road north of Fruita and McInnis Canyons National Conservation Area are available for less experienced bikers or those looking for a day’s worth of riding.
More trails for riders of varying abilities can be found around the Kokopelli Trailhead south of Loma and Interstate 70, and the Tabaguache Trail head (Lunch Loop) off Monument Road.
LEARN VIA MUSEUM
Museums around Mesa County provide air-conditioned environments and plenty of history.
The Gateway Colorado Automobile Museum, an hour south of Grand Junction in Gateway, treats visitors to a century of car history.
Displays include a 1906 Cadillac Model H Coupe, a 1932 Auburn 8-100A Boattail Speedster Convertible and a 1954 Oldsmobile F-88 Convertible Concept Car, which is the only automobile of its kind in existence.
Admission is $9. Learn more at GatewayAutoMuseum.com.
Can’t leave the Grand Valley? No problem. The Museum of Western Colorado is right here with three locations — Dinosaur Journey, 550 Jurassic Court in Fruita; Cross Orchards Living History Farm, 3073 F Road; and Museum of the West, 462 Ute Ave.
Visitors can sit in one-room schoolhouses, tour a uranium mine or hike up the Sterling T. Smith Education Tower (the view is better than you might think).
Take a day and visit all three locations for $12 or one for the individual ticket price.
For information, go to MuseumofWesternCo.com.