If you’re looking to celebrate the Olympics with more than a watch party, there are plenty of places around the Denver metro area offering hands-on involvement — without the pressure and monetary commitment that comes with league sign-ups. These “try it once” options make it easy to check the experience off your bucket list.
Apex Center Ice Arena
Apex will host an Olympic skating party from 3 to 4 p.m. Feb. 24 at 13150 W. 72nd Ave. in Arvada. Staff members are planning skating games and disco ball skating, with Olympic viewing in the lobby. In celebration of the Olympics, wear red, white and blue and receive $3.75 admission. Visit bit.ly/2EfltBX for more information.
Denver Curling Club
You’ve seen curling, but did you know you could try it? Denver Curling Club is hosting open houses for those looking to get the full experience. As one of the only Winter Olympic sports in which newcomers can both learn the rules and get a feel for competition immediately, it’s a great way for children, teens and adults to feel connected to the Games. Thirty-minute drop-in instructional sessions will be held 10 a.m.-4 p.m. and 7-9 p.m. Saturday, and 2-4 p.m. Sunday at the curling center, 14100 W. 7th Ave., Golden. A special session for kids ages 6-12 will be held 9-10 a.m. Saturday. For more information, visit dpo.st/2sncbyg.
Avs Try Hockey Events
Kids ages 4-9 are welcome to try hockey for free from 1 to 4 p.m. Tuesday, March 1 and March 6 at the Pepsi Center, 1000 Chopper Circle, Denver. USA Hockey-certified youth hockey coaches will join Avalanche Amateur Hockey Development staff, the Avalanche Hockey mascot Bernie the St. Bernard and the Ice Girls for on-ice instruction. No previous hockey experience is required. Only 150 youths are allowed per day, and registration is first-come, first-served. Visit bit.ly/2nU1luS to sign up.
Ruby Hill Rail Yard
Learning to ski or snowboard is no small feat, but you can learn to not only glide down a hill but take your basic skills to the next level at Denver’s free snow hill, Ruby Hill Rail Yard near Florida Avenue and South Platte River Drive. The 1-acre terrain park is open from 5 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily until the end of February. Strap on your skis or buckle in your board to slide rails, jump boxes and let loose your inner Shaun White. Visit dpo.st/2Ec06km for more information. (Looking for lessons? Head to any of Colorado’s world-class ski areas.)
National Standard Race (NASTAR)
The top downhill racers have to start somewhere. Thrill-seekers can try recreational racing daily at several Colorado resorts including Copper Mountain, Steamboat and Aspen. No prior racing experience is needed. For $5-$15 you can participate in one race or even race all day. For more information, visit nastar.com.