Wondering what there is to do in Golden with the kids when you’re not on the slopes or the trails?
I was looking though old photos the other day –pre-Christmas sentimentality and all. My memory was refreshed of the many family vacations we enjoyed in Golden before finally moving here full-time. Winter was our time -- to enjoy the skiing first and foremost, but also to kick back and enjoy Golden’s laid back, happy vibe.
Here are some of the things we discovered about family fun activities ‘off the slopes’ in Golden.
Public skating and tobogganing. There’s a good number of public skating rinks (click to view map) in and around town, and KHMR always floods a rink near the gondola base. We’ve certainly enjoyed many a fun family skate there over the years. Other favourites are the outdoor rink next to Mount 7 RecPlex, and skating on Reflection Lake which is located on the South edge of town, just off highway 95 at the base of Mount 7. There you will find picnic tables and an uber-fun toboggan slope (ask any local about tobogganing at Snake Hill and other fun spots), which together makes for a perfect afternoon of family fun. And not to forget -- for days that are either too warm or too cold for outdoor skating, the Golden & District Arena also regular public skate times.
Swimming. Yes, there is public indoor swimming available in Golden. And you don’t have to be a guest at one of the many ‘on the strip’ hotels with a swimming pool either. The Days Inn generously makes their pool facilities available to the public -- change rooms, pool, hot tub, sauna, and waterslide. You can go any time between 8am and 10:30pm for a $6 drop-in. Just remember to bring your own towel and check in advance for large bookings.
Movies, bowling …. and eating out. The main reason most families choose Golden is for the outdoor offerings. But if your kids are anything like ours, they (unbelievably) might still have energy to burn, even after a full day of outdoor fun. That’s where a casual dinner out and a bit of bowling or a movie hit the top of our family activity ‘to do’ list –relaxing enough for tired parents (I’m always pooped after a day on the slopes), but still fun and engaging for the kids. For the ‘eating out’ part, The Island Restaurant and the Wolf’s Den are two of our family’s favourites – but there’s plenty of great choices for family dining in Golden. We eat out frequently, and haven’t had a bad meal yet.
The bowling at Down Memory Lanes is all 5 pin, which makes it manageable for kids. Public bowling times are Tuesdays and Thursdays 5-10pm, Saturdays noon to midnight, and Sundays 12-6.
I think of the Golden Cinema as one of our town’s treasures. The website is always up-to-date about what’s playing and what’s coming up. They show matinees on the weekend (often a free family movie), and evening shows are always at 7:00pm, which makes it super easy to plan your evening. And it’s not like going to the movies in the city. In Golden, you can show up 15 minutes before show time, get your snacks and soda, find a good seat, and still have time to spare -- and cash in your wallet due to their impressively reasonable prices.
Indoor climbing. This makes for a perfect family activity on a day when you might be looking to do something indoors. The Dogtooth Climbing Gym offers an introduction to climbing session which is ideal for families. This flexible session allows for more than enough time for everyone in your family to learn some climbing basics, tackle a variety of different routes, and completely wear out your forearms. A friendly staff member will be with you the whole time handing out lots of points and trics of the trade, it’s recommended to call ahead to book.
Have fun enjoying Golden ‘off the slopes’ as well as on! Hope to see you around town.