Mainstreet Parker

If Parker hasn’t been in your travel plans lately, you may think the town 20 miles southeast of Denver is nothing more than an amorphous, fast-growing bedroom community. But the community of 48,000 people, which boasts a Western Victorian downtown, is making a name for itself as a cultural, recreational and artistic boomtown.

Here are seven ways we found to have fun in Parker:

Railbender Skate and Tennis Park

Railbender merges the unlikely extreme worlds of skating and BMX biking with your traditional tennis courts. The skate park features a 36,000-square-foot “street-plaza”-style skate park. The park includes a flow bowl, street plaza and small peanut bowl for beginners and children, plus spines, roll-overs and hips along with handrails, ledges, manual pads and, yes, even a volcano. At the entry, you will find a ramp in the shape of the Colorado Rockies, keeping with the Colorado outdoor enthusiast theme of the park.

The tennis section includes six lighted tennis courts. When scheduled play is not in session, the courts are available on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Leagues form yearly for Spring United States Tennis Association (USTA) and USTA Colorado Adult Leagues. Leagues are for men and women, daytime and night.

The park also offers a children’s playground, three picnic shelters, a public art display, seasonal restrooms, access to the Cherry Creek Regional Trail and plenty of parking.

Both the skate park and tennis courts are lighted at night. Hours are from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m daily.

Salisbury Equestrian Park

Saddle up for 160 acres of equestrian space, as well as facilities for other youth and adult sports. Colorado Rockies-sponsored baseball fields for youths are located on the north side. Thirty acres of the park are reserved, underdeveloped open space.

The park’s equestrian features include a new arena grandstand with seating for 80, a lighted arena and a new two-story equestrian building with a ticket booth, restrooms and judges’/scorers’ observation area. The park also includes a multi-use equestrian area and picnic seating.

Parker Fieldhouse

The Parker Fieldhouse has 100,000 square feet for recreation and fun. Gymnasiums, batting cages, sports turf, inline skating rink, climbing wall, fitness loft, elevated track and an indoor playground make it a must-visit. The field house is home to several youth and adult competitive leagues.

Family events, such as Winter Wonderland Skate, which offers frosty crafts and skating activities, are often held at the field house.

Parker Fieldhouse admission fees are $5 for ages 15 to 61 and $4 for ages 3 to 15 and seniors 62 and older. Punch passes and memberships are also available.

Hours are Monday through Friday, 7 a.m.-11 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday, 7 a.m.-10 p.m.

Mainstreet Center

Located on historic Mainstreet in downtown Parker, the Mainstreet Center is a recreational and cultural landmark. Built in 1915, the center was originally the Parker School House, until 1967. The town of Parker acquired the building in 1997.

The Mainstreet Center is available for public rental. With an auditorium that seats 200, it can be used for business presentations and cultural events, including plays, concerts, children’s performances, recitals and classes.

The gymnasium houses youth sports activities. And exercise classes, such as Zumba, which fuses hypnotic Latin rhythms, is held at the Mainstreet Center, as well as at the Parker Recreation Center.

Pinnacle Climbing Wall

The pinnacle is a 25-foot indoor climbing wall that also features a bouldering surface. Natural rock features add to a more realistic climbing experience. Also, routes are often changed for more expert climbers to add variety and difficulty.

Climbers may use their own equipment, or harnesses may be rented for $3 and shoes for $2; helmets are free. A combo packet may be purchased for $4 or a punch card for 10 for $20. The wall is also available to rent for $75 per hour.

Hours are Monday, Wednesday and Friday, 4 p.m-7 p.m.; Tuesday through Thursday, 5 p.m.-8 p.m.; Saturday, 9 a.m.-noon and 5 p.m.-8 p.m.; and Sunday, 1 p.m.-5 p.m.

Fika Coffee

Fika, located on the downtown Mainstreet strip of Parker, has deemed itself a Swedish-American coffee house. Fika serves Kaladi Brothers Coffee and a few Swedish treats. It invites guests to enjoy traditional Swedish-inspired decor, not typically found in the area. Originally an old hotel, Fika includes the remodeled lobby and three other offshoots, perfect for business meetings or gathering with friends. This unique coffee house is a must visit.

Hours are Monday through Saturday, 7 a.m.-5 p.m., and Sunday, 7 a.m.-2 p.m.

If You Go

Railbender Skate and Tennis Park
10543 Twenty Mile Rd.
Parker, Colorado 80138
303-841-4500
www.parkeronline.org/index.aspx?NID=255

Salisbury Equestrian Park
11920 Motsenbocker Rd.
Parker, Colorado 80134
303-841-4500
www.parkeronline.org/index.aspx?nid=256

Parker Fieldhouse
18700 E. Plaza Dr.
Parker, Colorado 80134
303-805-6300
www.parkeronline.org/index.aspx?nid=348

Mainstreet Center
19650 E. Mainstreet
Parker, Colorado 80138
303-805-7728
http://www.parkeronline.org/index.aspx?NID=993

Pinnacle Climbing Wall
1870 E. Plaza Dr.
Parker, Colorado 80134
303-805-6300
http://www.parkeronline.org/index.aspx?nid=1509

Fika Coffee
19559 E. Main St.
Parker, Colorado 80138
303-840-3166
www.fikacoffeehouse.com

Derek Hedden is a journalism major at Metropolitan State College of Denver.

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