It’s no secret that the last year has been difficult for many of our local businesses here in Fort Collins and around the world. And while nearly every sector was affected, from restaurants and bars to salons and coffee shops, there is one group of businesses that was significantly impacted: entertainment centers and businesses focused on the arts, like music venues and theaters.
While many restaurants, coffee shops, breweries and bars were able to keep their doors (partially) opened, offering services like takeout and outdoor dining, many of these businesses were forced to completely shut their doors at the start of the pandemic. This is because they rely solely on in-person activities, like bowling, mini golfing, skating, and live shows and exhibitions.
But their story doesn’t stop there! There are many ways we can go the extra mile to support these businesses in Fort Collins at this time. If you’re able and you feel comfortable, consider supporting these local businesses by visiting them, buying tickets or becoming a member, in some instances. Or you can support them from afar by purchasing a gift card or even making a donation to support their cause. Together, we can help these local businesses thrive for many years to come!
Chipper’s Lanes is our go-to for all things fun and entertainment — whether we want to go bowling, play some arcade games, compete in laser tag or even play sand volleyball. Places like Chipper’s Lanes were hit hard during the pandemic, as mostly everything they do involves direct contact. But thankfully, each Chipper’s Lanes location — from Fort Collins to Estes Park — is now open with a mandated limited capacity. Reserve your lane before you come in — or call ahead if you’re using a discount, coupon or Groupon, which are available by walk-in only.
One of the best ways to support Chipper’s Lanes is by going there, of course! And there is one other unique way to get involved: Joining a Chipper’s Learning Pod, which can accommodate a group of up to six kids. They are offering classroom workspace, free WiFi, desks and chairs, plus post-learning fun, which includes 1 hour of bowling, one game of laser tag, and pizza and soda for all!
Step back in time with a visit to Pinball Jones — a fun, nostalgic destination for all ages. This Fort Collins institution in operation since 2011 offers rows and rows of classic pinball and arcade games at two locations, plus air hockey, bowlers, craft beer, snacks and more. After closing for several months in 2020, Pinball Jones is back open in accordance with local guidelines, which includes mask wearing and social distancing. Visit this nostalgic spot in Old Town — and be sure to bring plenty of quarters!
Unlock the mystery at Time Emporium, a state-of-the-art escape room with two locations, one in Loveland and one in Fort Collins. Between the two locations, Time Emporium offers four unique escape room adventures with more on the way! Their Fort Collins escape room is called Puzzler’s Underground Chamber of Time, a secret escape room in an old historical building suspected to be a secret chamber that belongs to an ancient spirit named the Puzzler.
As part of the Level Up program, Time Emporium was able to reopen, and all bookings are automatically private, allowing members from 1-2 households to participate. Click here to learn about their reopening plan! You can book your private session or purchase a gift card to use at a later date. Your support goes a step further; their new Escape for a Cause initiative donates $2 from every escape room ticket to a specific charity or cause.
Old Town Putt is a unique and fun destination for all things mini golf (and so much more!) at the Exchange in downtown Fort Collins. Here, you can play a round of indoor mini golf, play shuffleboard, skeeball and other bar games, and sip on a drink from the full bar. When they closed their doors at the start of the pandemic for a few months, Old Town Putt started offering a Lifetime Membership for $99 — which are still available! Membership includes unlimited, standard mini golf, a t-shirt, a membership ID card, 20% off member drinks, discounted golf for up to three friends, and exclusive member only deals and events. Thankfully, they’ve opened their doors, requiring masks and reservations.
There’s nothing more nostalgic than a visit to a skate rink. And thankfully, Fort Collins has Rollerland Skate Center, which has everything you need for the ultimate skating experience, plus an indoor playground, arcade games and an exciting laser maze. The skate center is family-owned by longtime Fort Collins residents, the Trevena family. Consider booking your next birthday party at Rollerland or simply go skating as a family, keeping their COVID policies in mind, including face mask wearing and social distancing. At this time, Rollerland is not taking reservations for public skating; they are operating on a first come, first served basis.
Take it the next level (literally!) at Urban Air Adventure Center, a year-round indoor trampoline and amusement park in Fort Collins. Here, you can ride go-karts, go on the Sky Rider, climb up climbing walls, try the ropes course, jump on trampolines, play dodgeball, and much more. Urban Adventure Park has been voted the best Gym in America for Kids by Shape Magazine — and it’s easy to see why!
One of the best ways to support the gym is by becoming a member, which saves you significant money in the long-term if you plan to visit regularly. Urban Air Adventure Center utilizes rigorous cleaning procedures and ask all guests to maintain a 6-foot distance from other guests and employees at all times. Tickets are required to reserve your spot in advance!
The Lincoln Center is Fort Collins’ largest event venue and, as such, is host to some of the biggest shows in town. These include nationwide comedy tours, huge concerts, Broadway productions, local acts and more. In short, their lineup includes a little something for everyone. And during the pandemic, they operated in several different capacities, from a facility closure to hosting small-scale events.
At this time, The Lincoln Center is open at a limited and safe capacity for scheduled events. Take a look at upcoming events and shows and purchase tickets before they fill up. Just be sure to get the latest update to their COVID policies here. If you’re not quite ready to return to the theater just yet, you can support the them by making a donation to The Lincoln Center Support League.
Sure, the Fort Collins Museum of Discovery doesn’t quite fit into the categories of entertainment or art centers — but they still need our support! This interactive history and science museum offers thought-provoking fun for all ages, especially kids. The 16,000-square-foot main gallery combines hands-on and artifact-based exhibits that cover everything from music to fossils and first peoples to outer space.
Admission to FCMoD is $12.50 for adults, $9.50 for juniors, students and seniors, and free for kids ages 0-2 and for members. One of the best ways to show your support is by becoming a member, which helps support this nonprofit museum and their mission — and gives you exclusive benefits and discounts. Or you can directly support the museum by donating!
Music venues have been some of the hardest-hit businesses throughout the pandemic, as tours and live shows were put on pause during the better part of a year. Make a concerted effort to support the Aggie Theatre, one of the most beloved music venues in Fort Collins. This historic, century-old music hall has a capacity of 650 people, which means it’s not the largest in the city, but the wide–open standing room makes it feel so. After being closed from March 13 to October 24, the Aggie has stayed strong, offering a number of both socially distanced and livestreamed shows. One of the best ways to support the theatre is by attending a show or purchasing a season pass! All tickets will be sold as groups at cabaret tables, safely distanced from other guests. As always, be sure to read up on their COVID guidelines before the show.
Museum of Art Fort Collins is located directly adjacent to Oak Street Plaza in one of the prettiest historic buildings in downtown Fort Collins. Inside, you’ll find rotating exhibitions exploring everything from masks and funny family portraits to fine art photography and cartoons.
The museum is now open with a capacity restriction of 50 people at a time. There are several ways to support the Museum of Art, including becoming a member, which gives you free admission to all exhibitions and various discounts and perks. You can also shop their gift shop online or make a donation to the museum.
If there’s anything we’ve learned over the last 12+ months, it’s that together, we can get through anything. Thank you for supporting the many entertainment and art centers in Fort Collins.