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Practice yoga amid tropical foliage and beautiful butterflies at the Butterfly Pavilion. Photo by Carrie Dow

8 Places to Have Fun Without the Kids

Many kid-friendly places in the Denver metro area offer events just for adults. So book a sitter, leave the kids at home, and enjoy some much-needed adult time.

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There are so many fabulous places around Denver to have fun with our kids. Places where they can run around and be their high-spirited curious selves while learning a thing or two. But, have you ever secretly wished you could have those places to yourself? Imagine you and your friends finding all the elves at the nature museum without always having to be the model of decorum for your children. Well, here are some places we wouldn’t normally go without the kids, but it turns out we adults can have a whole lot of fun on our own. Just don’t tell the kids you’re going to their favorite spot.

1. Denver Botanic Gardens

Grown-Up Activity: Sunrise Vinyasa Yoga and Off the Clock

On the first Friday of the month throughout the winter, Denver Botanic Gardens York Street hosts fun adult-only happy hours to brighten the dark nights. The last one for 2019, Believe It or Not, is April 5 from 6 to 9 p.m. Learn about plants that are masters of illusion, using mimicry and deception to fool their predators. Guests are treated to live music, hands-on activities, and games, and garden scientists are available for questions. Food and drink are available for purchase. Online tickets are $18 in advance for members and $21 for nonmembers. Tickets at the door are $24 and $27 respectively.

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On Tuesday and Thursday mornings at 7:30 a.m., guests age 16 and up can participate in a one-hour Vinyasa morning yoga class at the gardens. Vinyasa yoga blends fluid movement with challenging postures and the garden setting promotes a sense of calm. Until May 14, yoga is in Morrison Center (enter through the east side gate on York Street). May 15 through September 30, enter through the Pinon Gate on the west side of York Street and meet near the Orangery. Cost is $10 for members and $12 for nonmembers and can be reserved online. Bring your own mat. Walk-ins welcome. 1007 York St., Denver. 720-865-3500

2. Butterfly Pavilion

Grown-Up Activity: Rainforest Yoga and Tripod Photography

Butterfly Pavilion yoga
Photo by Carrie Dow

The Butterfly Pavilion offers twice weekly Rainforest Yoga classes where you can unwind and soak in the peaceful bliss of tropical foliage and beautiful butterflies. Classes are held Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. and Saturday at 8 a.m. and are $8 for members, $10 for non-members. Guests must bring their own mat and the rainforest temperatures are between 65 and 85 degrees so dress accordingly. Preregistration is highly recommended. 6252 W. 104th Ave., Denver. 303-469-5441

Whether you’re a novice or advanced photographer, or somewhere in between, the Butterfly Pavilion offers a ‘quiet time’ photography session for guests to photograph the Pavilion’s residents. Grab your equipment—maybe that new lens you haven’t had time to get acquainted with—and get in before the doors open to the public. This is a self-guided session with no formal instruction and guests must bring their own equipment. The sessions are the first Saturday of the month at 7:45 a.m. Cost is $11 for members and $15 for nonmembers. Class size is limited to 25; preregistration is highly recommended.

3. Downtown Aquarium

Grown-Up Activity: Yoga with the Sharks

Om in the presence of a quiet, tranquil sea, that happens to be full of sharks. Denver’s Downtown Aquarium offers yoga classes every other Saturday at 8:30 a.m. for $15 per person. Classes are open to ages 16 and up, so teens can participate. Or let them sleep in while you rejuvenate with a view of serene corals and floating fish. The low lighting of the aquarium and the movements of the sea creatures make for the ultimate relaxing seaside experience without getting wet. 700 Water St., Denver. 303-561-4450

4. Museum of Contemporary Art Denver

Grown-Up Activity: Art Fitness Training

Once a month, the Museum of Contemporary Art Denver hosts Art Fitness Training to teach visitors how to look at and appreciate works of art. The event features an “emphasis on close observation and easy to grasp principles” to help us understand what we see, which we can then share with our kids. The events are Thursday evenings, April 18, May 16, and June 12 beginning at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are available online and are $10 for members and students, and $15 for nonmembers. Now that it’s spring, MCA Denver has opened their rooftop bar and café, serving wine and small plates before class starts. 1485 Delgany St., Denver. 303-298-7554

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5. Bear Creek Lake Park

Grown-Up Activity: Adult Nature Explorers

In Lakewood, nature lovers age 18 and up can have their own outdoor experience at Bear Creek Lake park’s monthly Adult Nature Explorers tours. Guests take a guided tour or hike through areas of the park and learn through activities, special guides, and tutorials. This month learn about “Invasives”—those non-native plants that have come to Colorado and found a way to thrive—on Thursday, April 18, at 5:30 p.m. Summer hike schedule and subjects will be posted online soon. Preregister online or by phone; $5 per person includes the park entrance fee. 15600 W. Morrison Rd., Lakewood. 303-697-6159

6. Denver Museum of Nature & Science

Grown-Up Activity: The Science Lounge

The third Thursday of every month, the Denver Museum of Nature & Science offers a mind-expanding experience for ages 21 and up. The Science Lounge gives visitors an evening of education mixed with entertainment and drinks at the museum. Each lounge features a different scientific topic with local experts giving seminars and demonstrations. The Science Lounge also allows you to be an adult by enjoying beer, wine, and cocktails at the cash bar. Spring topics include dragons on April 18 and virtual and augmented reality on May 16. Tickets are available online, $13 for members and $15 for nonmembers. The event starts at 6:30 p.m. 2001 Colorado Blvd., Denver. 303-370-6000

7. Wings Over the Rockies

Grown-Up Activity: Star Wars After Dark

Have you ever wanted your photo taken in an X-wing Fighter from Star Wars? This adult’s-only version of the popular Star Wars at the Hangar at Wings Over the Rockies is Friday, May 3. This is your chance to dress up as your favorite Star Wars character and be green-screened into the Star Wars world of exotic planets and spaceships. Guests will see their favorite characters, such as Tusken Raiders and Boba Fett and enjoy live music by The Fabulous Boogienauts. Try your brain at Star Wars Trivia in the aptly named Harrison Ford Theater and sample Star Wars-themed food and drinks. Tickets to Star Wars After Dark are $25 per person online and the event runs from 6 to 10 p.m. 7711 E. Academy Blvd., Denver. 303-360-5360

8. Denver Zoo

Grown-Up Activity: The Watering Hole

Enjoy a wild evening with an insider perspective at the Denver Zoo on these upcoming Wednesdays, May 29, July 17, and September 18. The zoo welcomes adults to enjoy a seminar on how the zoo cares for its animals and its conversation efforts around the world. Guests will enjoy light appetizers and a cash bar. Look for additional information on tickets, times, and lecture themes on the Denver Zoo website. 2300 Steele St., Denver. 720-337-1644

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