As a Yelp Elite, I get lots of opportunities to attend outings with other lovely Yelpers, where we get to experience a bit of culture, eat some food, and drink some drinks.
Yesterday we rode out east to the Plains Conservation Center in Aurora, Colorado to attend Yelp’s Harvest Hoopla!
The Plains is a 1000 acre (and 9000 additional acres 30 miles further east) outdoor education facility, where kids of all ages can learn a bit about the 19th century prairie settlers, the Cheyenne Indians, and all kinds of prairie wildlife. It started in 1949 to educate farmers in farming and ranching techniques to avoid another dust bowl disaster. It is now an educational non-profit, funded by private donations. The best part? It’s FREE! They do have programs that will charge a nominal fee, such as guided nature walks, bird watching , and constellation programs. The site also hosts a farm to table dinner each season, where the chefs use cooking techniques of the era. But for 6 days a week you can stroll the grounds at no charge, for as long as it’s open.
The grounds are just lovely, in a windblown, Little House On The Prairie sort of way. You could spend all day out here, listening to the prairie dogs warning each other of your presence (did you know their yips have adjectives?),
checking out the sod houses…
or the one room schoolhouse….
petting the big cows, chasing chickens, or viewing the reptiles in the prairie house. Want to ride your bike? Come on out, and avoid the crowds on the metro bike paths. With 1000 acres to explore, there’s a good chance you will have some privacy.
This is an especially great place for kids to run around and get some fresh air, and learn something in the process.