Playing in the Rockies takes on new meaning - and a scaled-down scope - at Chapel Hills Mall, with the opening of a soft play area inspired by the natural beauty of the Front Range.

The 'Pikes Peak Play Park, ' an indoor children's recreation area created by Playtime, a Denver company that specializes in soft-sculpted installations, features replicas of Pikes Peak, Garden of the Gods and local wildlife. There's also a fun-sized version of a Pikes Peak Cog Railway car and plenty of perimeter seating for parents.

'We wanted our play area to honor the gorgeous landmarks that we have just outside our doors, ' said Victoria Harley, the mall's general manager. 'It's a tribute to our gorgeous city. '

The play area also includes informational signs with highlights about Colorado, its landmarks and features; the peaks are even constructed of a material that looks like granite.

'There's a side of Pikes Peak that looks like part of the mountain slid off centuries ago, ' Harley said. Playtime 'was able to create a soft play element that looks just like the Pikes Peak we see when we walk out our doors. It's amazing. '

The site replaces a popular 25-year-old installation that had become too old to repair. Opened last month, the play park has proven popular with children and families visiting the mall, Harley said.

'We've actually had parents walk up and thank us, ' she said. 'This play area means something to them. '


Contact Stephanie Earls: 636-0364