On a recent weekend stay in Winter Park, Colorado, where we skied, tubed and snowmobiled, my family and I enjoyed not one but two fabulous places to eat pizza — and enjoy some good old-fashioned fun. Here’s the scoop on two kid-friendly restaurants in Winter Park:
The Foundry Cinema & Bowl
This entertainment complex in Winter Park is brand new, having opened just last summer. I thought the owners had taken an old, loft-like building and renovated and retro-fitted it to house two full-size movie screens with spacious seating, as well as eight bowling lanes. Nope, this is totally new construction built to look “old” and “lofty” — it absolutely works!
The vibe in the airy brick building is urban, modern, hip and fun; yet it does have a retro feel, with its vintage gasoline-station signs and memorabilia. Even the restrooms are uber-cool: the women’s restroom is girly, with its pink back lighting and print of Marilyn Monroe (I like the private full-door stalls, too); the men’s room actually has TV screens above each urinal (because men need entertainment at all times??).
While we didn’t watch a flick at The Foundry, I would highly recommend it. The seats have oversized cup holders and stow-away tables, so you can order food at a take-out counter — namely loaded fries or wood-fired pizzas — and drink (yes, alcohol from the full bar) and bring it into the theater to while you enjoy your movie. I love this dine-in theatre concept.
We did bowl two games while noshing on Spicy Rosemary Cashews and absolutely delicious, gourmet thin-crust pizza. We sampled four different pies, and I think our collective favorite was the Diavola with two Italian cheeses, dry Italian salami and oven-roasted peppers. My vegetarian daughter appreciated the Margherita, flavored with pesto.
Bowling was fun for our family because there were plenty of low-weight balls for kids. In addition to the groups of children and families bowling on the eight lanes, we also spotted groups of adults and teens — the joint definitely attracts all ages. Table “shuffleboard,” billiards and pinball machines round out the entertainment options at The Foundry — definitely great fun for our family on a “wild” Friday night!
Hernando’ Pizza & Pasta Pub
This pizza joint has been beloved by Winter Park locals — and visitors — since 1967. It’s a totally casual, bustling, comfortable spot for families to enjoy incredible custom-made pizzas at an affordable price. Hernando’s doesn’t take reservations, but you can call ahead to let them know you’re coming to get on a waitlist — which I highly recommend. The restaurant was packed when we arrived at about 6 p.m. on a Saturday night, and the wait for a table was at least 45 minutes.
However, you can pass some time simply by gazing at the walls in Hernando’s foyer. Here — and all over the restaurant — decorated $1 bills plaster the walls, ceiling, and dining room tables, too! It’s a funny tradition, but one that is great for visiting kids. The hostess or server has markers and crayons, and children (or adults!) can decorate a bill however they like for display in the restaurant; Mom and Dad, just don’t forget to bring your $1 bills!
The pizza options here are vast: choose from traditional, Roma (with Roma tomatoes) or Simone (with garlic and double cheese). Then you can pick whether you want wheat or white crust, rolled or thin. There’s even a gluten-free option available. Build your own 10- or 14-inch pie, or choose from a selection of specialty pizzas.
Our table ended up with a Greek salad, two orders of stromboli, the spinach artichoke dip and a hand-tossed, wheat, rolled traditional-crusted pizza. Everything was fresh tasting — the spinach dip had an unexpected spicy bite — and filling. In fact, we took some leftovers back to our condo.
Hernando’s is definitely a fun place for the entire family — just don’t forget to call ahead, especially on winter weekends.
I am one of three Colorado bloggers exploring the sights of Grand County, Colorado, this year, courtesy of the Grand County Colorado Tourism Board. Follow our adventures on Twitter with the hashtag #VisitGrandCounty. For more things to do with kids in Winter Park, Colorado, check out my post about skiing at Winter Park Resort, as well as tubing and snowmobiling in the area.