Best of Boulder 2013: Games, Hobbies and Recreation

Ryan Lenhart of University Bicycles

Adult Merchandise

2560 28th St., 303-442-7309

Second Place: Pleasures Boutique

research does not have to be boring, mind-numbing work. Case in point:
this blurb. Whoever said, “A picture is worth a thousand words” wasn’t
researching Fascinations’ website. Trust us, it’s more like a
thousand pictures are worth one word, “sexy.” And why not? Sex is good,
sex is fun, sex after dropping a few bucks at this year’s winner,
Fascinations, is even more fun … or at least more interesting … or maybe
a little daring, but only if that’s what you’re into. These folks have
it all when it comes to sex. They’ve got toys, bondage and fetish
products, lingerie, lubricants, erotic books and videos and something
called “electro sex.” Don’t know what that is? Might be time for a
little research of your own. Note: Research at second-place finisher
Pleasures is also not mind-numbing.

Arts and Crafts Supplies

2525 Arapahoe Ave., Unit D1, 303-443-1822%u2028

Second Place: Michaels
Third Place: Hobby Lobby
Fourth Place: Meininger
Fifth Place: Guiry’s Color Source

We all know the green vests, right? You walk into McGuckin Hardware, and you are surrounded by them. It’s not just that this store has everything in the world, it’s that there is always a
knowledgeable staffer in a green vest who is ready to point you in the
direction of what you need. And when it comes to arts and crafts, this
incredible store seems to always deliver the goods, whether it’s for
your kid’s school project or your own hobby. We love this place so much
that sometimes we go there for groceries and forget that they don’t sell
milk. Yet.

Bicycle Shop

839 Pearl St., 303-444-4196

Second Place: Boulder Cycle Sport
Third Place: Full Cycle
Fourth Place: Bicycle Village
Fifth Place: Community Cycles

75 degrees outside, sunny, minimal wind — you know, typical Boulder
weather. You just ate blueberry oatmeal and half a grapefruit and you’re
ready to conquer Four Mile Canyon on your brand new Bianchi. You go to
clip in but your bike sinks an inch; you’ve got a flat. Never fear, University Bicycles is
here! Walk on down to the corner of Pearl and 9th and find a bike tube
vending machine outside, just in case you got that flat at 7 a.m., and
rows upon rows of rentals, commuter bikes, road bikes and custom builds.
Whether you’ve been stoked to ride since you could walk or haven’t
ridden a bike since before puberty, University Bicycles’ services and
knowledgeable staff will get you pumped to pedal. What more could you
ask for from Boulder’s best bike shop?


1107 Pearl St., 303-447-2074

Second Place: Barnes & Noble
Third Place: Bookworm
Fourth Place: Trident Booksellers and Cafe
Fifth Place: Red Letter Secondhand Books

devoted supporters of the written word, we have to admit that this
particular category is near and dear to our hearts. Bookstores are a
refuge from bright screens, a place where reading is a tangible
activity and where knowledge has an inky, woodland smell. But before we
get too sappy about our love of print, we have to recognize our
fabulous winner, Boulder Book Store. The city’s largest
independent bookseller is a staple in the community, with its extensive
selection of local authors and inviting ambiance. And Boulder Book
Store’s friendly staff is always eager to help the avid readers find a
title or simply welcome tourists exploring the Pearl Street Mall.


2500 Pearl St., 303-443-1715

Second Place: Photocraft
Third Place: Costco / Target (tie)
Fourth Place: Walgreens

upon a time, in a land far away, people took photos with something
other than their phones. Actually, a lot of people still do take photos
with increasingly affordable and accessible digital cameras designed
to make just about anyone look like a pro. And they also still look at
photos on something other than a computer screen. So when you’ve got
that National Geographic-worthy image, or even just a fantastic
moment captured between your new niece and your grandmother, and you’re
ready to see it printed and framed in all its glory, you’ll want to
take it to Mike’s Camera.

photofinishing tones and custom effects can add some flair, and
they’ll print on a variety of surfaces, including canvas, metal and
even make life-size wall clings. Load your photos online and pick them
up when you get an email that they’re ready. What could be better than

CD/Record Store

1128 13th Street, 303-447-0159

Second Place: Bart’s Music Shack
Third Place: Absolute Vinyl

this day and age, it’s a damn shame that most kids get their music
downloaded from iTunes or some other Internet music provider. Back in
our day (you whippersnappers) we had things like records and
eight-tracks and cassettes and even things you might remember called
CDs. There was just something about going down to your local record
store, flipping through the new releases and the used albums, finding a
gem, opening the liner notes, feeling the physical accompaniment to your
music as you listened. Albums on the Hill can still give you that feeling. Don’t lose it.

Music Store

2691 30th St., Boulder, 303-443-8448

Second Place: HB Woodsong’s
Third Place: The Drum Shop
Fourth Place: Wildwood Music
Fifth Place: Miller Music

Want to be a rock star? Many scores of Hendrixes-in-training have passed through the doors of Robb’s Boulder Music throughout
the years, wide eyes staring at the walls of Les Pauls and Fenders.
Acoustic guitar lovers have options galore, too, and for the gigging
musician, Robb’s hosts luthiers — that’s a fancy word for a person who
fixes stringed instruments — for both instruments and amps.

Ski/Snowboard Shop

2525 Arapahoe Ave., #E 10, 303-938-8799

Second Place: Christy Sports
Third Place: Recreational Equipment, Inc. (REI)
Fourth Place: Larry’s Bootfitting
Fifth Place: Neptune Mountaineering

a good wax job? Not that kind of wax job, the ski kind. If so, these
guys have you covered. And while you’re dropping off the old slats for a
tune-up, you might as well pick up a few things, like everything you
can possibly imagine that has to do with snow sports. Boulder Ski Deals takes
its name seriously, and carries pretty much everything and every brand
you need to hit the slopes, from equipment to clothing to the best
tune-ups in town. They also have a great kids program that lets you
exchange gear annually as your little shredder grows. Our readers live
to ski, so their opinion matters, and they say that BSD is the best


1740 30th St., 303-938-2889
210 Ken Pratt Blvd., Longmont, 303-485-5939

Second Place: The Apple Store
Third Place: Listen Up
Fourth Place: Car Toys
Fifth Place: Radio Shack

when you got your first record player? OK, we’re dating ourselves
here. How about cassette deck? CD player? And what are those newfangled
things called? Oh yeah, iPods. Well, regardless of what generation you
belong to, our voters agree that Best Buy has the newest
technologies, best prices and a friendly staff to help you figure out
how to work your new gadget, whether it’s a digital camera or a
flat-screen TV. And speaking of iPods, our runner-up, The Apple Store,
is a super-fun place to shop as well. It’s like a playground for
grown-ups. Without the swing set.

Toy Store

2525 Arapahoe Ave., 303-443-0780

Second Place: Into The Wind
Third Place: PlayFair
Fourth Place: Karliquin’s Game Knight
Fifth Place: GameStop/Time Warp Comics (tie)

it’s easy to forget that toy stores really are for kids, especially
when anything giant, inflatable or equipped with lightning speed becomes
a part of the equation. But the truth is, toy stores are for kids, and
the kids are what it’s all about. Boulder’s own Grandrabbits Toy Shoppe has
been putting kids first since 1977. And they don’t just stock the
supplies to keep your favorite kids entertained and amused. For over 25
years, the toy store has been donating an average of $25,000 per year
to Colorado schools. The toy store also strives to support parents in
raising global citizens and to make all children — regardless of
national origins — a global priority.

Video/DVD Rental

1661 28th St., 303-440-4448

Second Place: Fascinations
Third Place: Blockbuster

Some video rental shops have endured the digital transition towards free entertainment. For the first-place winner, The Video Station, it could be because they’re an independent local business with an extensive selection. Although the Daily Camera reported
in January that the Video Station was moving to East Boulder, an
employee affirms that the Video Station is still in its 28th Street
location, where it has been for 23 years. You can find movies you can’t
find elsewhere, either online or at other video rental stores. And The
Video Station’s selection of documentaries is especially impressive.

STAFF PICK: Skate Shop

1505 Pearl St., #103, 303-443-1245

For nearly a decade, Meta Skateboards has
been dedicated to building and supporting the skateboarding community
in Boulder County. If you’re new to town or just visiting, and you’re
not sure of where the hot spots are for skateboarding and who to watch
out for as your sliding down that rail, the good folks at Meta are more
than willing to give you the lay of the land. They have great boards and
everything you need to keep yours up and running.

STAFF PICK: Best Place to Get Supplies for a Love Letter

803 Pearl St., Boulder, 303-444-0124

tell ya, the Broncos sure should trade up in the draft this year to get
a cornerback, don’t you think? They might need to talk with the
Dolphins in order to land… OK, gentlemen, now that there are no women
left reading this, here’s what you gotta do if you need an
old-fashioned adrenaline-shot-to-the-heart in your relationship: Go to Two Hands Paperie, buy
yourself some awesome rubber stamps and hand-crafted stationery, write
the sweetest, most darling love letter you can, buy a metal seal and
some wax, seal that thing up, and voilà, you have yourself a love
letter straight out of Jane Austen. Pair this with a fancy dinner
downtown, and, well — you can thank us later.

STAFF PICK: Drum-Related Customer Service

2095 30th St, Boulder, 303-402-0122

Most Boulder drummers have a special place in their heart for Billy Hoke, owner of The Drum Shop. He
seemingly knows everyone in town, and for good reason: His store is
the first stop on any local drummer’s list should something go wrong.
Bust a head the day of your gig? Billy’s got many options to replace
it, and he’ll even put it on your drum for free and give it a quick
tune with his handy torque drill. Catch him after hours before he
leaves and give him a good enough sob story, and he’ll probably wait a
few minutes just to help you out of your jam. His shop is a fixture of
the music community, and for good reason.

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