Thursday, December 8, 2016

Delicious Places in Longmont Where Kids Eat Free (or on the Cheap)

At Longmont 100, we love going out to eat, and usually we have our kid along for the ride. One way to make that easier on our wallets is to visit local restaurants offering free or half off kids' meals. Here is a round-up of our favorite Longmont spots offering specials for kiddos. 

Left: Wahoo's, Top right: Modern Market, Bottom right: Chuburger


Modern Market

700 Ken Pratt Blvd, #100
Sunday and MondayKids eat free from 5pm to close (one per adult entree purchased)

This has been our favorite go-to spot lately. Our kid always opts for the kids' pizza (with or without pepperoni), and we especially enjoy their sandwiches and salads. Seriously, they have the best salads in town.


Samples World Bistro

370 Main Street
Sunday: Kids eat free (one per adult entree purchased)

Samples World Bistro offers great kids' meals in a pretty sophisticated setting (don't miss their rooftop deck). Our kid goes for the mac 'n cheese, of course.


Chuburger

1225 Ken Pratt Blvd.
Tuesday: Kids 10 and under eat half price after 4pm

If we ask our daughter where she wants to go out to eat, she will say Chuburger 9 times out of 10. They have really fabulous grassfed beef hamburgers and addictive fries.

Longs Peak Pub

600 Longs Peak Ave.
ThursdayKids eat free before 6pm

Longs Peak Pub is the place to go with a noisy kid, because they will never be heard over the nightly hubbub. (i.e., Not the place for a quiet conversation, no matter the age.) Remember to go early (before 6pm) to get the deal.

Wahoo's

1087 South Hover Road Unit B
Thursday: Kids eat free after 4pm (two per adult entree purchased)

Wahoo's is pretty inexpensive, and you can get two kids' meals per paying adult, so it is definitely a steal of a deal. Our daughter was pleased to get fries with her quesadilla and then be able to watch a little surfing on the television.

Friday, November 25, 2016

Small Business Saturday: Where To Shop in Downtown Longmont This Year

Downtown Longmont is bustling with small businesses, and we are rounding up our favorites in honor of Small Business Saturday (November 26, 2016). This year, get out there and Shop Small! Keep money local and help our community thrive. (Have any favorites that we left out? Mention them in the comments!)

Clockwise from top left: Discoveries Egyption Imports, Yore, Colorado Crafted, Cheese Importers

Yore (381 Main St.)
The sleek Yore is one of our downtown faves. It features an expertly curated selection of quality goods that are practical, responsibly manufactured, and extremely cool.

Old Town Outfitters (501 Main St.)
Outdoor adventurers will love anything you pick out here -- Old Town Outfitters offers offers an array of apparel, gear and accessories.

Barbed Wire Books (504 Main St.)
If you're shopping for a bookworm, this is your spot. It's got shelves upon shelves of vintage volumes, along with a section devoted to new books as well.

Discoveries Egyptian Imports (454 Main St.) 
A hidden downtown gem, Discoveries Egyptian Imports is stocked with Egyptian jewelry, crafts and sculptures - everything that they carry is made in Egypt. Definitely worth checking out! 

Cheese Importers (103 Main St.)
Explore the tres bien gift shop, and take a trip into Cheese Importers' expansive walk-in cooler with 350 cheeses from all over the world available, not to mention olives, cured meats and more (lots of samples, too).

Adorn (668 4th Ave.)
Adorn offers whimsical cards and stationary, unique home décor and handmade jewelry. Its sister store across the street, Adornables (661 4th Ave.), focuses on out-of-the-ordinary toys and books for kids.

Larry's Guitar Shop (508 5th Ave.)
Make the musician in your life very happy and find a guitar, amplifier or musical accessory at this cozy stringed instrument shop, where the staff is as friendly as they are knowledgable. 

Colorado Crafted (online shop)
Skip the generic gift baskets this year. The Longmont-based Colorado Crafted's online shop sells stylish gift boxes of artisanal foods, all made right here in the Centennial State.  

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Longmont Holiday Market


When: 1pm - 5pm on December 10th, 2016
Where: 321 Main Street, Longmont

I am very pleased to be involved with a new holiday market in Longmont! The aptly-named Longmont Holiday Market will be taking place downtown in a newly renovated historic space on the same day as the city's annual holiday parade (a must-see event). 

The Longmont area has a bustling scene of artisans and makers, and this Market has a curated collection of some of the very best. Here is a sampling:

Brylo - A Longmont-based design studio that specializes in letterpress gift cards.
Verbena - Beautifully designed, small-batch skincare made in Boulder.
Motherlode Provisions - Bloody Mary mix, barbecue sauce, and hot sauce based in Longmont.
Fairisle Coffee - Ethically sourced, organic coffee roaster from Longmont.
Moxie Bread Co. - Exceptional artisanal breads and pastries from Louisville. 
Yore - Modern minimalist and traditional practical goods from downtown Longmont.
Colorado Crafted - Gift collections of locally made foods and artisanal goods (yes, this is my shop!).

There are quite a few more and you can find out about them at Longmont Colony's website. Colony is a newly formed collective of creatives, makers and small business owners who have come together to strengthen our community and showcase the unique individuals who make Longmont interesting. They will be sponsoring more events in the future, and the websites features profiles of local artisans accompanied by beautiful photography. Check it out!

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Lagerman Reservoir

Where: N 75th and Pike Road, Longmont, CO 80503
Webhttp://www.bouldercounty.org/os/parks/pages/lagermanres.aspx
When: Day use only
Union Reservoir and Boulder Reservoir might be the more well-known manmade bodies of water in the Longmont area, but Lagerman Reservoir, tucked away on the far west side of the city, just might beat them both when it comes to spectacular Front Range vistas. The views here are positively breathtaking -- and that's saying something in a place that specializes in breathtaking views. With a 1.6-mile trail that loops around the reservoir, this is a great spot to take your dog for a walk or a go for a jog. There's also a nicely maintained picnic area, boasting some serious Flatirons panoramas.
Depending on the time of year, keep an eye out for a wide array of birds, from ospreys to great blue herons. The reservoir is also a popular fishing destination, with anglers landing channel catfish, largemouth bass and black crappie, among others species. Wakeless boats are allowed, but no sailboats or sailboards.
Take note! The western end of Lagerman is closed for nesting birds April through August.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Rabbit Mountain Open Space

Where: Access the trailhead from Hwy 66 and N 53rd St
Web: http://www.bouldercounty.org/os/parks/pages/rabbitmtn.aspx
When: Day use only


Located between Longmont and Lyons off of Highway 66, Rabbit Mountain Open Space is one of our tried-and-true hikes when we don't feel like driving all the way into the mountains. Its easy-to-moderate trails are great for kids; with little effort, you'll all be rewarded with spectacular panoramas -- on a recent clear day, we could see all the way down to Pikes Peak, just about 130 miles away. Beyond the views, Rabbit Mountain is also a popular spot for mountain biking, jogging and even horseback riding.


Rabbit Mountain is a transitional area between the Rockies and the plains, so the landscape here feels unique for the Front Range, with wildflowers and high desert shrubs bumping up against red rock outcroppings and Ponderosa Pines. Keep an eye out for birds -- we've seen bald eagles, hawks and American kestrels while hiking here. As for other wildlife, oddly enough, we've never seen rabbits on Rabbit Mountain. But take note: the area's previous name was Rattlesnake Mountain.


Sunday, September 11, 2016

Yore

Where: 381 Main Street
Web: www.yore.us



In terms of square footage, Yore isn't big. But in terms of the impact it has on the Main Street retail scene, it's huge. The sleek shop adds a touch of minimalist sophistication to Longmont's main drag, with a crisp, bright feel that invites shoppers in.


Run by the husband-and-wife team of Ryan and Savannah Johnson, Yore offers a carefully selected batch of "practical goods." That means everything you get here is useful, intelligently designed, and responsibly manufactured. All good things, right? The shop is also just plain fun to browse around in, with each shelf revealing cool and interesting items, ranging from elegant kitchen items (steel straws, wooden mixing spoons, handmade cutting boards) to intriguing publications like Monocle and The Gentlewoman, to a pleasing selection of succulent plants. We love their fetching collection of greeting cards: whether you want something tasteful and charming or wry and irreverent, they've got you covered.


Since opening earlier this year, Yore has also become a magnet for Longmont's creative community, hosting exhibitions of local artists and photographers, as well as regular networking meet-ups. All in all, the shop is a fantastic addition to downtown Longmont -- make some time to stop in soon.


Sunday, September 4, 2016

The Best Fall Activities in Longmont

Temperatures are finally cooling down and leaves are just starting to change color ... that's right, fall (AKA The Best Season of Them All) is right around the corner. And there's no shortage of seasonal fun coming your way in Longmont, from cider doughnuts to sugar skulls. Here are our favorite autumnal activities around town.

Roger's Grove

Places To Go


Ya-Ya Farm & Orchard

Where: 6914 Ute Highway
When: September through November, Sat/Sun: 9am-4pm, Tues-Fri: 10am-3pm
Web: www.yayafarmandorchard.com
Pick apples from more than 800 trees, say hello to a few Percheron draft horses, enjoy a fresh-baked cider doughnut or two, and soak up some spectacular views at this lovely spot between Longmont and Lyons. More info

Rocky Mountain Pumpkin Ranch

Where: 9057 Ute Hwy
When: The October Pumpkin Festival is on weekends in October, 9 a.m.-6 p.m.
Select activities also available M-F, 9a.m.-5p.m.
Web: www.rockymtnpumpkinranch.com
October in Longmont isn't complete without at least one visit to the Rocky Mountain Pumpkin Ranch. On Saturdays and Sundays, this Highway 66 spot offers carnival rides, petting zoos, pony rides, bouncy play structures, corn mazes ... and oh yeah, a whole lot of pumpkins. More info

Roger's Grove

Where: Roger's Grove Park, 220 S Hover Street
The apples at Roger's Grove are free for the picking, so grab your tote bags and start harvesting -- fruit is usually on the trees through September. Be prepared: many of the best specimens can be found on the highest limbs, and a step stool will come in handy. (Bug spray is a good idea, too.) Kids will love climbing the trees and unlimited apples. More info

Rocky Mountain Pumpkin Ranch

Events


Longmont Oktoberfest

Where: Roosevelt Park
When: Saturday, October 24
Web: www.lefthandbrewing.com/events/longmont-oktoberfest-5/
Prost! Left Hand Brewing Co., Longmont's original craft brewery, brings Bavaria to Roosevelt Park with this annual event. There are some classic Oktoberfest sights, tastes, and sounds -- liederhosen, sauerkraut and polka -- alongside less traditional vibes: this year's headlining band is the legendary reggae group, The Wailers. There's also a whole lot of beer from local breweries, including Left Hand, Oskar Blues, Pumphouse Brewery, 300 Suns, Grossen Bart, Long’s Peak Tap House, Shoes & Brews, Skeye Brewing, and Wibby Brewing.


2016 Longmont Halloween Parade & Trick or Treat Street

Where: Parade starts on Longs Peak and Coffman and travels down Main Street
When: 9:30am, Saturday, October 29
Web: http://www.longmontcolorado.gov/departments/departments-n-z/recreation-services/special-events-recreation/halloween-parade
This one seems to get bigger (and the costumes more elaborate) with each passing year. Dress up in your Halloween costume and parade down Main Street with thousands of other spooky Longmontians. Afterwards, drop in at participating downtown stores for a little pre-Halloween trick or treating.

Longmont Museum's Dia De Los Muertos Celebration

Where: 400 Quail Road
When: Saturday, November 5, 11 am - 3 pm
Web: http://longmontcolorado.gov/departments/departments-e-m/museum/education/day-of-the-dead
The Longmont Museum's signature event is Dia De Los Muertos, the largest Day of the Dead celebration in Colorado. It's a fantastic (and FREE) cultural experience, honoring the memories of those who came before us with food, music, art, and much more. Kids will love sugar skull decorating, paper flower making, face painting, and more. Get into the spirit and come dressed in your finest “calaca” (skeleton) apparel.

Ya-Ya Farm & Orchard

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Button Rock Preserve

Where: CO Hwy 80, Lyons, Colorado 80540

This favorite hike lies well outside the city limits of Longmont, off of Highway 36 just west of Lyons. But it's actually managed by the City of Longmont, thanks to the Longmont and Ralph Price Reservoirs, which provide water for the city.


Button Rock is a great day hike for families; it's not too strenuous (the incline is very gradual on the way to the reservoir) and not too long (about five miles round trip), but still offers plenty of scenic viewpoints: crashing waterfalls, craggy rock formations and wide-open spaces. You can walk along the wide road that runs alongside the river, which is flat and smooth enough for strollers. Or you can climb the Sleepy Lion Trail, which is a bit longer and steeper, and leads you to a lovely grassy meadow. We've never seen any slumbering lions around here, but apparently bighorn sheep sometimes show up. Other animals you might catch a glimpse of include marmots, eagles and mule deer.


Whichever route you take, you'll end up at Button Rock Dam, where a powerful spray of white water shoots into the river below. It's an exciting sight and sound to say the least -- and on hot days, the mist from the water will cool you down considerably. From there, you can climb the steep trail to the reservoir high above, a placid and relaxing spot for a picnic. The views from up here are spectacular.


Getting There: From Lyons, head west on Highway 36 for 4 miles. Turn left at Boulder County Road 80 and continue for 3 miles. Take note! Boulder County Road 80 is not prominently marked and is easy to miss.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Golden Ponds

Where: 2651 3rd Ave

If you follow our Instagram account, you may have noticed that we spend a fair amount of time at Golden Ponds. Located at the western end of Third Avenue (and just off of the St Vrain Greenway), Golden Ponds are just a stone's throw from the middle of town.

A railroad track runs along the north side of the ponds, and large electric towers cut right across them, so you will not be fooled into thinking you have escaped into the wilderness. Still you can't beat the sweeping views of the mountains, and this is a great spot for viewing some of Longmont's wildlife. Over the years we have regularly spotted bald eagles, great blue herons, osprey, white pelicans, and once we even saw a mink. Of course, there are also geese and ducks aplenty. 
A pedestrian bridge crosses over the St Vrain Creek, revealing a small waterfall. In the spring, the waterfall rages wildly (as seen above) with all of the snow melt. This is always a favorite kids' destination, perfect for throwing rocks and cooling off in the spray. 

Golden Ponds also has many shelters making it a great picnicking spot, and it also allows fishing.


Sunday, March 6, 2016

36 Hours in Longmont, Colorado

Planning a visit to Longmont and wondering what to do or where to eat? For this itinerary, we've put together our suggestions for a perfect day-and-a-half of exploring, eating, and imbibing. These are our personal favorite places for giving out-of-town guests a feel for our city.


Friday


5 p.m. ROSALEE'S PIZZERIA, 461 Main Street

Get to this downtown pizza joint early because it fills up fast on weekend nights (or any other night for that matter). Once that massive, East Coast-style pie is brought to your table, you'll know why. The ingredients are fresh, the flavors are big, and the crust is just about perfect. Rosalee's has the best pizza in Longmont ... by a long shot. Order the buttery, garlic-y Sausage Knots if you've got a good-sized group with a good-sized appetite.

8:00 p.m. LONGS PEAK PUB, 600 Longs Peak Avenue

Cap off the night with a trip down the street to the Longs Peak Pub, where good vibes and excellent craft brews can be found in abundance. Part of the Boulder-based Mountain Sun empire, the beer list includes their own creations (the Colorado Kind Ale is a favorite), alongside some expertly chosen selections from the best Centennial State breweries. Longs Peak Pub's ambiance is always lively, often with a bluegrass picking session taking place and groups of locals gathered at the community tables. During the warmer months, head to the patio for a game of cornhole and enjoy the night air.

Saturday


9:00 a.m. CHEESE IMPORTERS, 103 Main Street

For a very good morning, stock up on tasty, flaky pastries and a steaming cup of fresh-brewed coffee at the famed Cheese Importers' French-inspired cafe. And definitely take a trip into their expansive, walk-in cooler with 350 cheeses from all over the world available, not to mention olives, cured meats and more (lots of samples, too). If you're a cheese lover (and who doesn't love a little fromage?), you may well think you've died and gone to heaven.

Cheese Importers

9:30 a.m. GOLDEN PONDS, 2651 Third Avenue

Coffee in hand, take a stroll around the lovely Golden Ponds, where a sweeping panorama of Longs Peak and the surrounding Rocky Mountain Front Range greets you. It's just steps away from one of Longmont's main drags, but once you're there, it feels like another world, with Canadian geese gliding across the water, lots of happy dogs, and quiet trails that loop around the ponds. Don't miss the waterfall on the south side of the park.

Golden Ponds

11 a.m. DOWNTOWN SHOPPING
There are more than enough big-box, big-name retail options in Longmont, but we suggest a stroll down Main Street for a more satisfying shopping spree.

  • OLD TOWN OUTFITTERS (501 Main St.) offers an array of apparel, gear and accessories for any outdoor adventures you might be planning. 
  • BARBED WIRE BOOKS (504 Main St.) is a great spot for bookworms, with shelves upon shelves of vintage volumes, along with a section devoted to new books as well. 
  • The just-opened YORE (381 Main St.) features an expertly curated selection of quality goods that are practical, responsibly manufactured -- and extremely cool. 
  • ADORN (668 4th Ave.), right off of Main St., is a good place to browse a while if you're looking for a gift or two, with a whimsical cards and stationary, unique home décor and handmade jewelry. Its sister store across the street, ADORNABLES (661 4th Ave.), focuses on out-of-the-ordinary toys and books for kids. 
Yore


1 p.m. LUNCH
Grab a bite to eat! Main Street has plenty of lunch options. For fantastic tacos (and supremely spicy salsa, if you like it hot), try TACOS AL MOLCAJETE (926 Main St.). The menu at THE ROOST (526 Main St.) is filled with delicious small plates  -- candied bacon sliders, anyone? Their rooftop patio can't be beat, either. SUN ROSE CAFE (379 Main St.) is a local favorite, with friendly service, great sandwiches and wraps, and extremely refreshing lavender lemonade. A few blocks from Main Street, you will find phenomenal ribs and pulled pork (and a lot more) at GEORGIA BOYS BBQ (237 Collyer St.).
Tacos al Molcajete


Georgia Boys BBQ

3 p.m. EXPLORE BEERMONT
At this point, there are probably too many Longmont craft breweries to visit in just one afternoon. But you should at least visit two or three -- just remember to pace yourself. Oskar Blues' taphouse, THE TASTY WEASEL (1800 Pike Rd.), is always a great time, with rare beers galore, free peanuts, live music ... and skee ball! LEFT HAND (1265 Boston Ave.), the other major brew player in town, has a creekside tasting room where you can relax outside with a Nitro Milk Stout or a Sawtooth Ale. Upstart Longmont breweries have been popping up all over, and 300 SUNS (335 1st Ave.), WIBBY (209 Emery St.), GROSSEN BART (1025 Delaware Ave.) and SHOES & BREWS (63 S. Pratt Pkwy.) are all worthy contenders. They're also all within easy walking distance of one another ... Cheers!
Wibby Brewing

7 p.m. SUGARBEET, 101 Pratt Street
Probably Longmont's finest fine dining experience, Sugarbeet (named for what was once Longmont's primary cash crop) is tucked away in the industrial section of town. But what it lacks in exterior aesthetics, it makes up for in farm-to-table goodness. Dinner here never disappoints, whether you're digging into housemade gnocchi, crispy heritage pork belly roulade or grilled filet mignon. The menu is always evolving, so no Sugarbeet experience is ever quite the same.

8:30 p.m. BIN 46 WINE BAR + RESTAURANT, 600 Longs Peak Avenue
End your day lingering over a glass of wine or craft cocktail and dessert at Bin 46, a stylish, mellow spot near Roosevelt Park. The wine list is extensive and the staff is happy to share personal favorites.

Sunday


8 a.m. JAVA STOP, 301 Main Street
Kick off your last day at Java Stop, located downtown in the historic Imperial Hotel building. The couches are comfy, the coffee is excellent, the art is local, the pastries are fresh, and the vibe is extremely low key and friendly. The prices are extremely reasonable too -- almost too reasonable. (Cash only.)


  Java Stop


9 a.m. Stroll around the HISTORIC WEST SIDE and THOMPSON PARK, 4th Ave and Pratt St
Coffee in hand, take some time to explore the tree-lined streets of Longmont's Historic West Side, home to some of the city's most impressive architecture. Thompson Park is a great open space to soak in a relaxing Sunday morning.

11 a.m. COMIDA CANTINA, 721 Confidence Drive
Brunch? Oh yes. A few years back, one of the Front Range's best food trucks has made the leap back into the brick-and-mortar world, with dazzling results. Comida, located in Longmont's Prospect neighborhood, puts an inspired spin on classic Mexican street food. You could pretty much choose from their menu at random -- everything we've tried has been amazing.