My mom adventures in Fort Collins


Impressions of Fort Collins: Parks and stuff

At this point, I am not so new to Fort Collins. We moved her in May of 2010, as renters. Although the house-buying process was arduous, and I have no desire to do it again, we have been here in our home since July 2010. In grown-up time, this is short. However, I just realized that for my kids this is home. As in, Hometown. Scout doesn’t even remember Denver, except to learn when we talk about it that it’s where we used to live and where she was born.

At this point, we have dentists and doctors, and a pre-school we love. There are grocery stores we frequent, and other places my children point out from the car window. We have done a fair amount of exploring and “Sunday driving.” All of our family has been to visit us in our new home. I think we are settled in many ways.

Since I have hereby established my legitimacy as a resident of Fort Collins, I would now like to divulge some of my thoughts.

Parks: Fort Collins is certainly known for parks, and rightfully so. I have explored a lot of parks, and I like many of them for different reasons, but here are my top three.

  1. I enjoy Miramont Park a great deal–very young-kid friendly playground equipment, sand (which is super fun to play in–I don’t personally like the woodchips as much for building castles) and plenty of open space to explore. This is a great park to take young kids–it’s playground equipment is far from the road, it offers bathrooms and a picnic shelter (read: shade) close to the equipment, and it’s rarely super busy.
  2.  I also love Lee Martinez Park, mainly for its proximity to The Farm and some awesome trails (let’s face it, I think my elementary school had better playground equipment when I went there 25 years ago). My kids love exploring the woods, and these endless-seeming trails offer some excellent exploring.
  3. And last, but certainly not least, I also enjoy Fossil Creek Park. There are so many reasons to love this park, but honestly I find the playground equipment kinda annoying–it’s awkward and non-traditional. However, what this park lacks in classic kid playground equipment it makes up for in quality space. This park is huge. There is a reservoir/pond and a fabulous walking path that goes around it. We have found crayfish claws on the path, we have taken picnics to the park, we have run up and down the hills. Best of all, in the summer we have enjoyed the sprinkler park–tucked away near the pond in a man-made rock outcropping, it offers a fun, wet playplace without all the craziness of a bigger sprinkle park.

On the topic of parks, I would like to add that my hopes going into the new year include exploring the Gardens on Spring Creek and checking out one of the natural areas in town.

Certainly, there are many wonderful things about living in Fort Collins. A favorite perk of our new hometown for our family is the proximity of Rocky Mountain National Park, but to be fair–that’s an hour FROM Fort Collins. Other stuff that I have enjoyed that is located in our fair city:

  1. I finally had a chance to discover the French Nest at their very last date of the 2011 season. This open-air market is so much fun, and, for the crafter in me, such an inspiration. There are so many wonderful vendors, there’s live music and food. Many of the vendors upcycle and create from already-existing items. It would be very easy for me to get carried away here.
  2. The farmers markets located around town are also a fantastic way to pass some time. I discovered The Drake Road Farmers’ Market usually has the people from Morning Fresh Dairy there, and they offer Noosa Yogurt at a deep discount compared to the grocery stores in town. However, the Fort Collins Farmers Market often has a vendor selling the most delicious homemade salsas and fresh chips (they are as good, if not better than Chipotle’s chips). Sometimes we go to both on a given weekend. I haven’t yet made it to a winter farmers’ market, though. There’s still time, I guess.
  3. And, as anyone would expect, we have truly loved the proximity to so many fabulous craft breweries. There are still more to explore! Cory buys a lot of his homebrewing supplies from Hops and Berries, which is next to Equinox Brewing, so this is probably where most of our growlers have come from. My favorite has been Odell Brewing. I just love their beer the best, I guess. Fort Collins Brewery is also right down the street from there, so it makes for an easy Odells/FCB combined trip. Coopersmith’s is a brewpub in Old Town and we have found this to be a family-friendly restaurant with delicious food and beer. Given that Cory does brew awesome beer, we don’t typically explore these places as much as we’d like to, but it sure is fun when we do.

There are so many more places to explore. In the past we have enjoyed the Colorado Brewer’s Festival and the Taste of Fort Collins, but maybe I’ll save all those fabulous festivals and events for an entirely separate post!

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