How Kids Saw Denver in 1979
We found yet another gem in our collection.
The 1978-1979 fourth grade class at Dennison School in Lakewood published—with the help of teachers Ms. Judith H. Cozzens and Ms. Collette C. Rouse—a booklet entitled As Kids See Denver '79.
The item's back cover says it all:
"'As Kids See Denver '79' is an exciting guidebook of over 120 places to go in greater Metropolitan Denver. This information will furnish years of family fun for all ages and help you entertain your visiting friends and relatives."
Each student was assigned a Denver area spot to review, creating a guidebook compilation of restaurants, parks, museums, libraries, and other attractions. The result is a fascinating snapshot of what Denver-area families did for fun in the late 1970s.
And, since kids tend to say the "darndest things," the students' reviews are both candid and cute. See some of our favorite quotes below, illustrated by Rocky Mountain News photos of the era.
CELEBRITY SPORTS CENTER, 888 S. Colorado Blvd, Denver
"Celebrity has 80 bowling lanes, several pool tables, and a fun center upstairs. Downstairs they have a shooting gallery, a pool, and many other things. When I go again, I am going swimming in the huge pool."
CASA BONITA RESTAURANT, 6715 W. Colfax Ave, Lakewood
“Casa Bonita of Lakewood has a seating capacity of 1,100 people...There is a swimmer who jumps off a cliff with a torch in his hand into the water.”
CHILDREN'S MUSEUM, Denver
"The Children’s Museum is a ‘funkey’ [sic] place where you do everything by yourself. They have a Star Wars section…The staff is using a lot of money, so take your kids."
APPLE TREE SHANTY, 8710 E. Colfax Ave, Denver
"The Apple Tree Shanty is a family restaurant. On the outside it looks like a 'neat little shack,’ but on the inside it’s 'applely nice.'"
CHEESMAN PARK, Denver
“It has pretty flowers you should not pick.”
BABY DOE'S RESTAURANT, 2520 W. 23rd Ave, Denver
“They serve good American food such as Prime Rib. . .Remember to see the antiques and stuff.”
ROLLER CITY, 6803 W. Alameda Ave, Lakewood
“Roller City is a fun place to go roller skating. Roller City’s dress code is as follow:
- No halter tops; bare midriffs
- No tank tops; muscle shirts
- No “T” shirts (underwear type)
- Hair must not be of an extreme style”
ELITCH GARDENS AMUSEMENT PARK, 4620 W. 38th Ave, Denver
“One of the new rides is the log ride called the Splinter. . .The park also has 53 lanes of Skee Ball, two roller coasters, miniature golf and many other fun filled rides."
Sounds like there was a lot of fun to be had in Denver at that time. Thanks for commenting, Mark!
Collette Rouse was my Grandmother and I am not surprised she had a hand in this project with her students. She taught school in Jefferson County for over 30 year. She passed away just a few years ago. I find this ironic because when I was a kid she took me to most of these wonderful places. Great memories of Denver the way it used to be.
What a wonderful project your grandmother co-created! Thanks for sharing, Chris.
I'm a few years too late since this article, but what memories. I grew up in Denver between late 60s - early 90s, and almost all of those photos bring back memories: Celebrity's, used to ditch school now and then and hang out in that very game room in the basement. Casa Bonita - remember going on a field trip there in the 5th grade when it first opened, then going there rest of the 70s on the weekends with friends. What fun. Elitches - when it was a unique park off 38th and had all the old buildings and gardens. Endless memories there. Apple Tree Shanty, very faded memories, always drove by it on Colfax as an adult. Wow....when Denver was had its own flavor.
Thanks for taking a walk down Denver's memory lane, Rich!
Golly! These are marvelous memories! I'm remembering the Cooper Theater - just north of the Century 21. Then, further south on Colorado Boulevard, on east side of the street was the Red Slipper and The Writer's Manor/Tiffin Inn. There was a large orphanage in that area, also. It was on the west side of the street. The Harvest Restaurant was a favorite place - near where a Target Store is now.
Thanks for reminiscing with us, Heidi!
The Celebrity Sports Center was created by Walt Disney, Art Linkletter, and several other celebrities.
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