Places to play
El Pomar Youth Sports Complex
2230 Executive Circle (off South Circle and Janitell Road)
Baseball? Check. Lacrosse? Check. In-line hockey? Check. You get the idea. This is a full-service sports facility that also hosts soccer and softball. It has a batting cage and, for those who aren't into group sports, a trailhead to the Pikes Peak Greenway Trail.
Four Diamond Sports Complex
5025 N. Nevada Ave.
Can you say "scenic"? The white towers and walls of the Pulpit Rock outcropping loom in the distance at this popular park that hosts baseball, softball, football and soccer games.
Richard "Goose" Gossage Youth Sports Complex
3225-3950 Mark Dabling Blvd.
A baseball player's dream, this complex is named after Colorado Springs' most famous tie to baseball. Even after being named to the Hall of Fame last year, Goose Gossage continues to make his home in Colorado Springs.
Skyview Adult Softball Complex
2890 Resnik Drive (off South Powers Boulevard and Zeppelin Road)
There's something to be said for hoisting a beer after a hard-fought game. This sprawling adult complex features six fields, a clubhouse with restaurant and lounge, and two concrete wheelchair fields.
Leon Young Youth Sports Complex
1335 S. Chelton Road (off Alvarado Drive just north of Verde)
springsgov.com/SectionIndex.asp?SectionID=6; click on facilities
Its ballfields are considered among the best in the area. This complex was named for the late Leon Young, a tireless community supporter who was the city's first black mayor.
Adult & youth: general
Colorado Springs Parks and Recreation Services
Sports Office, 1315 E. Pikes Peak Ave., 385-5981
The go-to for sports teams, adult and youth, is Colorado Springs Parks, Recreation & Cultural Services. Whatever you're interested in basketball, dodgeball, flag football, kickball, softball, volleyball, soccer and tee ball, among others you're likely to find an opportunity. Thanks go to City Council, which decided against decimating these programs via budget cuts in early '09.
Pikes Peak Badminton Club
Hit a few birdies (of the plastic conical kind) with the Pikes Peak Badminton Club at the downtown YMCA from 5 to 8 on Saturday evenings. You'll be swinging away your stress in no time.
Colorado Springs Bowling
More than 70 million people bowl each year and, thankfully, not all of them steal the shoes. Visit csbowling.com to get all the local league and open-play locations and news.
If you've got golden gloves (or just plain old red ones) on your mind, BFS Boxing Club and Old School Boxing Gym should do the trick. Both offer class and competition opportunities.
BFS Boxing Club
4335 N. Academy Blvd., 264-8484
Old School Boxing Gym
2112 E. Platte Ave., 632-1982
Newbie or 5.11 climber, THE ROCK Climbing Center and Sport Climbing Center will keep you leading, top-roping and bouldering when the weather isn't playing by your rules.
THE ROCK Climbing Center
16240 Old Denver Highway, Monument, 481-9099
Sport Climbing Center
4650 Northpark Drive, 260-1050
If you're a technical climber and know what you're doing, fill out your annual city paperwork at the Garden of the Gods Visitor and Nature Center (gardenofgods.com). A total of 2,500 people each year get access to the Garden, as well as Red Rock Canyon Open Space, Cheyenne Cañon and Ute Valley Park. If you're looking to get involved in climbing, try AlpenQuest, Gravity Play or Pikes Peak Alpine School. All three offer training and outdoor expeditions in rock, ice and snow climbing.
4955 Northpark Drive, 531-7510
Pikes Peak Alpine School
10 S. Limit St., 630-3934
The Broadmoor Golf Club
1 Lake Ave., 577-5790
The cream of the golfing crop: the Broadmoor Golf Club. You'll need to either be a guest at the hotel or the buddy of a member and depending on the time of year, $95 to $230 in your pocket to play.
Patty Jewett Golf Course
900 E. Espanola St., 385-6934
Best Of 'o8
City-owned since 1919, Patty Jewett Golf Course offers nine-hole ($14.50-$15.50) and 18-hole ($28-$30) courses, under a canopy of 100-year-old trees hidden in the heart of Colorado Springs' old north end.
Golf: driving ranges
City of Colorado Springs golf courses
Don't be a duffer. Whether you're an amateur or an old pro, you'll need to drag out your drivers every now and then and practice your swings. Most golf courses around town have their own ranges, but if you're looking for something centrally located, inexpensive ($2 to $3 per small bucket) and with easy parking, try the city-owned Patty Jewett or Valley Hi courses.
Hockey: adult & youth
Tour Inline Hockey Arena
3325 Meadow Ridge Drive, 597-1235
Colorado Springs is home to the state's only arena dedicated to inline hockey. With seating for 250, the Tour Inline Hockey Arena hosts local, regional and national tournaments, skills camps and adult leagues. You don't need any experience to check out its basic adult skills program, although you'll likely want to wear all the loaner equipment they'll offer you.
Hockey: youth only
Colorado Springs Amateur Hockey Association
Got some kiddos who love ice? The Colorado Springs Amateur Hockey Association offers a slew of local and team travel opportunities for boys and girls, starting at age 5. Seasons run from August to March, but there are spring and summer camp options as well for those who just can't get enough.
Seeing the mountain sights from atop a horse is definitely an experience. Try Academy Riding Stables for a guided jaunt around Garden of the Gods. If you want to get a bit out of town, check out Woodland Park's Historic Triple B Ranch. Up there, experienced riders can go out on an unguided journey.
Historic Triple B Ranch
27640 N. Highway 67, Woodland Park, 687-8899
Academy Riding Stables
4 El Paso Blvd., 633-5667
Colorado Springs World Arena and Ice Hall
3185 Venetucci Blvd., 477-2100 (administration), 477-2121 (general information)
The World Arena is home of Colorado College Tiger Hockey. But even if you're only a Tiger at heart, you, too, can skate on its two sheets of ice.
Sertich Ice Center
1705 E. Pikes Peak Ave., 385-5983
Skate your heart out on the NHL-size ice surface at Sertich Ice Center. This city-owned facility is open for public skating, classes and hockey.
Tour Inline Hockey Arena
3325 Meadow Ridge Drive, 597-1235
Colorado Springs boasts the state's only arena dedicated to inline hockey. Get your skate on join a league, sign up for skills camp, or check out one of the ongoing tourneys.
Eleven Mile Reservoir
When it's warm and breezy, kayaking is a perfect way to laze away a day. Try Eleven Mile Reservoir, just a 45-minute drive from Colorado Springs near Lake George. You can rent a kayak or canoe at 11 Mile Sports & Marina by the hour or the day, then head out on the quiet water.
It's a bit like a pumped-up version of hide-and-go-seek by Crayola. Go blow off some steam and shoot your friends.
Color Splash Paintball
1813 Santa Fe Drive, Suite B, Pueblo, 719/544-1560
Dragon Arms, Inc.
1220 Dragon Man Drive, 683-2200
3838 Maizeland Road, 638-7037
"All skate. Everybody skate." Strap on eight wheels and spend a few lazy hours circling the floor or watching the kids fly by.
1920 N. Academy Blvd., 597-6066
4575 Austin Bluffs Pkwy., 591-1016
Skate City Pueblo
615 Hunter Drive, Pueblo, 719/545-2222
Memorial Park Skate Park
Pikes Peak Avenue and Union Boulevard
There are other sites around for ripping, but the newest and largest is the 40,000-square-foot Memorial Park Skate Park (101 El Paso Blvd.) built by Team Pain. Its bowls, street course, backyard-style pool and "hole-in-the-wall" are ready for ams and pros.
Visit springsgov.com for listings on seasonal outdoor pools, Prospect Lake and the Uncle Wilber Fountain.
Aquatic Fitness Center
Memorial Park, 280 S. Union Blvd., 385-5984
With three lap lanes, a water slide, a lazy river, a waterfall and a jungle gym wading pool, the indoor Aquatic Fitness Center has something for everyone.
Cottonwood Creek Recreation Center
3920 Dublin Blvd., 385-6508
Wave pools are cool. Add a water slide, a current channel and vortex, and zero beach entry, and swimming fans will be in love at Cottonwood Creek Recreation Center.
Manitou Aquatics & Fitness Center
202 Manitou Ave., Manitou Springs, 685-9735
Looking for lessons? Manitou Aquatics & Fitness Center offers private and group lessons for kids and adults. Oh, and aqua-aerobics classes, lifeguard training, and the Colorado Torpedoes swim team.
The Sand Pits Volleybar & Grill
5910 Omaha Blvd., 380-7263
From the end of April to mid-October, the Sand Pits' 1-acre beach with five volleyball courts hosts leagues, open play and King and Queen of the Beach competitions. Yeah, really. Sand volleyball. In Colorado.
Colorado Springs Sky Sox
4385 Tutt Blvd., 597-1449 (office), 591-7699 (tickets)
The feeder team to the Colorado Rockies, the Sky Sox ooze summer fun. For as little as $5, you can take in a game at Security Service Field. Got a bit more money to spend? Eat a hot dog and drink a beer as you cheer on the future of National League baseball. Depending on the night, you might even catch post-game fireworks.
Colorado College men's hockey and the United States Air Force Academy football are inarguably two of the top teams locals follow. But there are so many more college sports to watch live if you've got the interest.
Colorado College Varsity Athletics
14 E. Cache la Poudre St., 389-6607 (college activities) or 576-2626 (hockey tickets)
United States Air Force Academy Varsity Athletics
2168 Field House Drive, 800/666-8723 (tickets)
University of Colorado at Colorado Springs Varsity Athletics
PostTime Greyhound Park
3701 N. Nevada Ave., 632-1391
Live greyhound racing's shut down, but if you're still interested in placing a few horse racing bets, PostTime is open Wednesday through Sunday for simulcast wagering.
Pikes Peak Roller Derby
Pivots, blockers and jammers roller derby has its own language. But the women in Pikes Peak Roller Derby, the Springs' all-women flat-track competitive league, speak it well. Think you're tough enough? Try out to join the team. If you're not (or if you're of the male species), support them at a bout.
Aiken Audubon Society
The early bird catches the worm. Aiken Audubon Society will help you catch the bird or at least, track him down, photograph him and learn more about what kinds of worms he likes.
Colorado Springs Chess Club
On Wednesday nights at Poor Richard's Book Store, the tables are filled with chess boards and players of all ages, thanks to the Colorado Springs Chess Club. Join them for a slice of pizza, a glass of wine and, hopefully, the chance to yell, "Checkmate." The club also meets Tuesdays and some Saturdays; visit the Web site for details.
Avalokiteshvara Buddhist Center
High Plains Church, 1825 Dominion Way, 303/813-9551
Just $10 will get you an hour and a half of meditation class on Thursdays from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Oh, and free refreshments. Om.
Maharishi Enlightenment Center
1068 Elkton Drive, 532-0420
Reach your full human potential through a seven-step transcendental meditation course. It promises less stress, greater happiness, clearer thinking and more harmonious relationships.
Rocky Mountain Insight
2525 W. Pikes Peak Ave., Suite A, 634-0566
Rocky Mountain Insight "specializes in silence." Doesn't that sound lovely? Check out the weekly sitting group, introductory and advanced meditation and Buddhism classes, and various retreats.
Springs Mountain Sangha
Head to Shove Chapel on the Colorado College campus to meditate with this Zen practice community on Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays.
Adventure Miniature Golf
6550 Corporate Drive, 528-5430
Adventure Miniature Golf is the course that can be seen from I-25 south of Woodmen Road. Its easy access makes it a no-brainer for stopping by for a quick game with a bunch of friends on a warm summer evening
Hitts Miniature Golf
3402 N. Academy Blvd., 591-1146
Just $2 will cover you for a round of mini golf on any one of Hitts' three 18-hole courses.
Pikes Peak Firearms Coalition
The "voice for firearm rights in the Pikes Peak Region," the Pikes Peak Firearms Coalition is a membership organization that provides a ton of free information on its Web site for those looking for shooting ranges, clubs, safety course and legislative information.
Garden supply & nurseries
Nurseries and garden supply stores dot Colorado Springs for all your green needs. Here's just a handful of those that have been recognized in our Best Of voting:
Good Earth Garden Center
1330 N. Walnut St., 473-3399
1006 S. Institute St., 520-9463
4955 Austin Bluffs Pkwy., 574-8058
Rick's Garden Center
1827 W. Uintah St., 632-8491
Best Of 'o8
600 N. 18th St., 636-3085
Best Of 'o8
Spencer's Lawn & Garden Center
1430 S. Tejon St., 632-2788
4720 Center Valley Drive, Fountain, 392-2726
Sustainable landscaping & Xeriscape information
City Forestry Office
1401 Recreation Way, 385-5942
Trees in your electric lines? Bothersome bugs eating your city tree leaves? Need free mulch? Who ya gonna call?
Colorado Springs Utilities
2855 Mesa Road, 448-4800
Learn the what, why and how of Xeriscaping with a trip to CSU's demonstration gardens.
CSU Cooperative Extension
Master Gardener Help Desk, 636-8921
Help desks aren't just for computer problems. The master gardeners on the other end of this help line will answer all your questions about flowers and grasses, trees and shrubs, turf, veggies and more.
Gardening clubs & societies
Colorado Federation of Garden Clubs
The federation's Web site contains listings of local garden clubs across the state and includes several listings for Colorado Springs and the surrounding areas.
Horticulture Arts Society of Colorado Springs
Find all your native Colorado plant needs (flowers, shrubs, veggies and herbs) each May at the Horticulture Arts Society's annual plant sale at the Demonstration Gardens in Monument Valley Park.
Pikes Peak Urban Gardens
Confused about carrots? Crazy for cucumbers? Call PPUG, the local nonprofit organic gardening and sustainable urban farming experts.
As a volunteer Coach and Mentor in my third year at The First Tee of…