BOULDER, Colo. — Summer vacation is a time for families to get together, and while Colorado is great for exploring the outdoors, it's nice to have something for a rainy day.
One fun activity comes from Boulder. You're In Good Company with Liberty Puzzles.
They aren't your average jigsaw puzzles — they're stories pieced together.
"Our puzzles have the feature of special shaped pieces that we call whimsy pieces," Liberty Puzzles owner and founder Chris Wirth said. "So-called because originally they were cut on a whim by the cutter."
The final pictures are often works of art, vintage maps or custom prints, and inside each puzzle are shapes representing the larger image.
"They are the shapes of people, characters, animals, flowers, geometric shapes, recognizable things," Wirth said.
They are carefully crafted pieces that start as a sketch and weave their way into the puzzle's theme.
"An ocean scene, for example, will have ocean creatures, fish and lobster and whatnot," he said.
The idea came from antique wooden puzzles his family inherited from the 1930s. The concept has evolved into a modern day pastime.
"When the lockdown came in 2020," Wirth said. "People started realizing 'what are we going to do for all these hours and hours?' And our business just exploded."
What's most fitting about their puzzles is the opportunity it gives families to connect without phones or screens distracting them. It's often what draws people to their store on Boulder's Pearl Street Mall.
"We have stories of families all different ages, people gathering around, holidays, and spending hours and hours all working together on them."
The mystery of their pieces becomes a conversation starter, and that's when the puzzle's real beauty reveals itself.