12 Awesome Things to Do in Colorado Springs with Kids
It was August and I was ready to escape Arkansas’ heat and humidity. Colorado seemed like the ideal place to go. Our family of 4 spent 5 days in Colorado Springs and it was the perfect family-friendly destination for our summer vacation. Colorado Springs offered all the gorgeous views plus tons of fun activities to keep little ones entertained. Garden of the Gods Resort hosted our stay and it was an excellent home base for exploring the area. Click here for my review of the property and all of its amenities. If you plan to visit Colorado Springs with kids, below are 12 awesome things to do on your next family vacation!
Note: Due to COVID 19, many of these major parks and tourist attractions have implemented protocols and best practices to ensure the health and safety of their guests. I truly appreciated and felt the measures that these establishments have put into place. I’ve added the links to each of the destinations so that you may read more about their protocols if you wish.
Disclosure: Some of the activities below were sponsored by Visit Colorado Springs. Regardless, all opinions and experiences are 100% our own.
Garden of the Gods Park
Talk about stunning views! You can’t visit Colorado without doing at least one hike, if not many. Hiking with kids (especially toddlers) can be tough. But this park offers tons of short trails with little elevation gain. Perfect for little legs while still seeing incredible views in every direction. Start by driving the full Juniper Loop first to get a feel for the whole park. Then pick your trail and park accordingly. There are many parking lots throughout.
The Derkins Central trail is stroller friendly. The Siamese Twins trail is only 1 mile and was less crowded. The Balanced Rock trail is a popular stop for the Instagram crowds because of the rock that balances making a fun photo. It’s also a lot more crowded though. Pack some snacks and bring plenty of water for a fun morning of hiking. Here’s the link to Garden of the Gods Park.
Manitou Cliff Dwellings
My kids LOVED exploring the Manitou Cliff Dwellings. To them it was like a miniature playhouse. To me, I was just in awe, soaking up the history and feeling like I stepped into the past. You’ll wander through the preserved Anasazi structures and get a picture of what life was like for the indigenous peoples of the region. Definitely a perfect place to visit in Colorado Springs with kids!
The Broadmoor Seven Falls
Visit Colorado’s most majestic waterfall. Now, 244 stairs with a toddler on your back is no easy feat. But the views are worth your effort. And, I was also so proud of Jimmie. Only 3 years old and he made it all the way to the top on his own. The stairs head up the mountain along 7 cascading waterfalls….hence, the Broadmoor SEVEN Falls. You can also take an elevator to the top to take in the view if you aren’t up for the full hike. See our YouTube video below of our hike.
Cheyenne Mountain Zoo
You could call us a “zoo” family. We like going to zoos and have been to many around the world. The Cheyenne Mountain Zoo is names the 4th best zoo in North America. And if you are traveling to Colorado Springs with kids, this is one stop you won’t want to miss. We fed the Giraffes, got to see the lions eat lunch, and hopped around with kangaroos.
Pro tip: Pay the $2 to use the “shuttle.” The golf cart driver will take you to the top of the mountain so that you may work your way DOWN one side of the park. Then she will pick you up at the bottom and take you back to the top once again. Now you can make your way down the other side of the park. A super time-saver and much easier for little kids.
Drive to the top of Pike’s Peak
Pike’s Peak is named in honor of American explorer Zebulon Pike. If you are visiting Colorado Springs with kids (particularly toddlers), try to time the drive during nap time for a more leisurely drive. It’s about a 1-hour drive to get to the top of the 14,115 ft peak, if you are coming from Downtown Colorado Springs. Simply take in the breathtaking views or plan to hike one of the mountain’s many trails.
Glen Eyrie Castle
We stumbled upon this castle while driving aimlessly trying to get the kids to nap. It’s an English Tudor-style home built in 1871 by the founder of Colorado Springs, General William Jackson Palmer. Just walking around the grounds is amazing, but if you plan ahead, you can tour the castle or have high tea in the afternoons. Here is the link to Glen Eyrie Castle.
U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Museum
This was such a fun museum to explore. The U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Museum (USOPM) is dedicated to showcasing athlete’s compelling stories and celebrate their achievements. Our kids, ages 2 and 3, enjoyed many of the interactive exhibits and got to pretend to be athletes themselves. I imagine kids from about the age 5 and up would enjoy this museum even more!
As one of the most accessible and interactive museums in the world, visitors will enjoy inclusive designs and assistive technologies like open captions, audio-description tracks, assisted listening, universal keypads, RFID-triggered customizations, accessible exhibit spaces with ramped experiences and more!– USOPM
America the Beautiful Fantasy Park
The more I travel with toddlers, the more I’ve come to find that playgrounds often have really nice views. It always helps to have a couple of playgrounds listed as options on my itinerary wherever we go. And this particular park in Colorado Springs was a perfect example. We had just finished touring the US Olympic Museum and this playground was right next door. If you are visiting Colorado Springs with kids, this is a great place to let them burn some energy.
Cripple Creek & Victor Narrow Gauge Railroad
What child, or adult for that matter, wouldn’t love a scenic train ride? I think it’s safe to say, this was the highlight of my 3-year-old son’s whole vacation. The old steam locomotive will transport you back to the gold mining days of Cripple Creek and Victor, Colorado. After your ride, grab lunch in the Old historic town. Here’s the link for tickets to the Cripple Creek Railroad. And check out our YouTube video of the train ride below!
The Royal Gorge Bridge
Home of America’s highest bridge and zipline! We ran out of time and didn’t get to squeeze this in. But check out the website here. It looks AMAZING!! I’ll definitely be adding it to the itinerary for my next visit to Colorado Springs with kids!
North Pole Santa’s Workshop
Ok, so I’m a bit of a Christmas fanatic and would happily celebrate the holiday year round. This Christmas-themed family amusement park is for kids of all ages. We didn’t get to visit during this trip because right now it is only partially open due to Covid-19. So check out the website here for ticket and other general information before you go.
Cave of the Winds Mountain Park
One of Colorado’s oldest and most famous attractions. Explore the massive caves in a variety of tour options. They also have a variety of thrill-seeker rides. Here’s the link to the Cave of the Winds Mountain Park
As you can see, Colorado Springs has so much to offer. From the history buffs to the outdoor enthusiasts…there is something for everyone. Start planning your trip now so you can see for yourself why this city is the perfect family vacation destination!
Happy and SAFE Travels!
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