RAINY DAY, HOT DAY FUN FOR KIDS
Let’s say it’s one of those days: It’s so hot you could fry an egg on the sidewalk. Or it’s smack in the middle of monsoon season and the rain isn’t letting up. And the kids are rambunctious!
You’ve got to get them out and about. Here are some ideas and places around the Grand Valley to keep you and the kids busy out of the blazing sun or a downpour:
MAKE DINO TRACKS
Watch out for the spitting, roaring dinosaur! Other than that, enjoy learning and exploring at Dinosaur Journey Museum, 550 Jurassic Court, Fruita.
There are interactive displays, a working laboratory, real fossils, cast skeletons and more to see and touch.
Can’t get enough of museums? Dinosaur Journey is part of The Museum of Western Colorado, which also features The Museum of the West in downtown Grand Junction and Cross Orchards Historic Site.
GO LITTLES GO
Not every place is suitable for little ones, but the Fun Factory at KidzPlex, 609 25 Road, Grand Junction, is perfect.
They can crawl through tunnels, end up in a ball pit, climb cargo nets, scoot down slides and more. There is a separate area for kids ages 2 and younger. The age limit for the Fun Factory is 10.
SHOP AND PLAY
This won’t fill the day, but for a half hour or so for the littler ones, the play area next to the food court at Mesa Mall, 2424 U.S. Highway 6, Grand Junction, has toys to climb, crawl through and run around.
And if nature calls — this part is great — the bathrooms are right across the way. There are even family bathrooms with toddler-size toilets and sinks and diaper-changing areas.
HERE’S A HANDHOLD
Are your kids climbing the walls?
Then join them at Grand Valley Climbing, 611 25 Road, Grand Junction.
With a colorful and inviting environment, this rock climbing gym has plenty to keep your family, age 2 and up, scaling the walls. The gym rents out all the equipment you need and offers auto belay systems.
And if you’re new to rock climbing, there’s an orientation to allay your fears.
EXPAND THE MIND
Mind the brain at the John McConnell Math and Science Center of Western Colorado, 2660 Unaweep Ave., Grand Junction.
With hands-on activities and teaching, the center engages children in science, technology, engineering and math. It’s so interesting and fun, they’ll never know they’re learning.
NEVER, EVER DULL
There is plenty to keep kids and parents busy inside and out at Bananas Fun Park, 2469 Riverside Parkway, Grand Junction.
Inside you’ll find the Inflatable Playland, lazer tag and lazer maze and an arcade.
Outside there is miniature golf, go-karts and bumper boats.
Like snakes? Don’t like snakes but think turtles are cool? Then visit the Grand Valley Zoological Quest’s Children’s Nature Center, 404 Jurassic Ave., Fruita, where you can learn, andtouch a number of different animals. Info: gvzooquest.org.
SPARE TIME FOR A STRIKE
If bowling is your pick for an afternoon, then there are several options from which you can choose.
Freeway Bowl, 1900 E. Main St., Grand Junction, is part of a program that offers free games of bowling to children during the summer. To register your kids, go to kidsbowlfree.com/freewaybowl. Info: freewaybowl.com.
If you’re on Orchard Mesa, then consider a stop at Orchard Mesa Lanes, 295 27 Road, Grand Junction. Check this bowling alley’s Facebook page for information.
Another option for bowling is Spin City, which you can read about below.
Rub in the sunscreen and actually enjoy the western Colorado heat via the cool of an outdoor pool with a waterslide.
The Lincoln Park-Moyer Swimming Pool, located in Grand Junction’s Lincoln Park at the corner of 12th Street and North Avenue, is open from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend.
It’s rarely rainy, but if it is, consider a dip at the Orchard Mesa Community Center Pool, 2736 Unaweep Ave., Grand Junction, which also has a waterslide.
JUMP, JUMP, JUMP
Get Air At The Silo, 715 S. Seventh St., Grand Junction, makes jumping on the bed look archaic.
Thousands of square feet of trampolines, even vertical trampolines, await you at The Silo, which offers a separate jumping areas for those over 46 inches and littler kids.
There is also a foam pit, dodgeball, slam ball, a ninja course and more. If you’ve got a child or adult with special needs, let the staff know and they’ll help you out.
READ, PLAY, LEARN
Mesa County Libraries’ Central Library, 443 N. Sixth St., Grand Junction, has a large children’s center where kids can explore through books and computers and not worry about being shushed all the time.
The library also hosts a number of story times, puppet shows and other activities on a regular basis.
If the Central Library isn’t on your way, then stop by one of the branch libraries (pictured) located across the valley.
BRRRING IT ON
Hope you’ve got jackets handy. You and the kids may need them while gliding over a regulation NHL size sheet of ice at The Glacier Ice Arena, 2515 Riverside Parkway, Grand Junction.
The rink offers public skating time, pick up hockey games and more.
GET IN THE CENTER
An option for swimming and more — basketball, volleyball, indoor track — is the Fruita Community Center, 324 N. Coulson, Fruita.
The center offers both a summertime outdoor pool and an indoor pool, which has a lazy river, tots play area, hot tub, whirlpool, floating alligator and more.
You could lace up your roller skates and roll away to the lights and music.
Or challenge the kids to round of bowling or laser tag. Or take a break in the arcade.
Try one or take the day for them all at Spin City, 637 14Road, Grand Junction.
Then perhaps it’s time to take in a movie with the 2015 Summer Movie Express at Regal Cinemas 14, 648 Market St., Grand Junction.
From May 26 through July 22, the theater will have $1 admission to specific G- or PG-rated movies for kids at 10 a.m. on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.