Colorado Springs is chock full of amazing family activities and adventures for children of all ages--some that even I haven't done yet! Whether you are looking for a wild, crazy, and spontaneous adventure or simply an activity to keep your child busy for a couple of hours, there is bound to be something on this list you'll love to do with your family. I've included a few activities in areas near Colorado Springs as well, like Manitou Springs and Cañon City. Enjoy! And don't forget to comment and let me know which of these activities you loved most!
Explore the Outdoors
1. Hike In & Around Colorado Springs - FREE-$
If you live in or are new to Colorado Springs, you're likely no stranger to at least some of the beauty that Colorado has to offer. In Colorado Springs, we're lucky enough to be moments away from one of Colorado's most famous natural wonders -- The Garden of the Gods. It's never too early to show your child the wonders of the outdoors, so here are a few beautiful hikes that I'd recommend in and around Colorado Springs. And bonus--most of these locations are either free or very inexpensive to explore!
**Please note: While exploring our Colorado wilderness, please respect our beautiful state and employ the 7 "Leave No Trace" principles. This ensures that our environment experiences little-to-no negative human impact and keeps our state beautiful and thriving.
Garden of the Gods - Garden of the Gods is possibly one of Colorado's most well-known parks. This area is known for its stunning landscapes, towering red rocks, and extensive trail system. A must-see for the whole family!
Red Rock Canyon - Red Rock Canyon open space is a beautiful location to explore with family. With a winding dirt trail system for pedestrians, horses, and bikes, a picnic pavilion, and off-leash dog area, this is a gorgeous and peaceful place to explore the outdoors.
The Broadmoor Seven Falls - The Seven Falls are known for being Colorado's most majestic waterfalls and are referred to as the "Grandest Mile of Scenery in Colorado". You'll enjoy beautiful rock formations, golden prairies, and valleys during the 224-step climb to the hiking trails and streams that feed the falls. This activity does require a small fee, but for the price, it's worth the visit!
Paint Mines Interpretive Park - The Paint Mines were named for their colorful clays that were used by Native Americans to create paints. While climbing on the formations is strictly prohibited, the marked trail system throughout the park offers incredible opportunities to soak in the natural beauty of the area.
2. Fishing at the Rampart Reservoir - $
If you've got a little one that loves to fish, Rampart Reservoir is a great option for you! Located just 40 mins from Colorado Springs, this reservoir is stocked with trout by the Colorado Division of Wildlife and is a great spot for shore fishing or boat fishing.
3. Cave of the Winds - $$$
Cave of the Winds is located in Manitou Springs, CO and has a large variety of activities available for people of all ages including cave tours (Discovery Tour & Haunted Tour for ages 8+), challenge course, Bat-a-Pult attraction, and more. While this activity does cost money, the sheer amount of activities available at the Cave of the Winds Park makes this a must-see!
4. Cheyenne Mountain Zoo - $$$
Let your kids explore the natural world through the animals at the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo. This zoo is focused on conservation and education, and features a wide variety of beautiful and majestic animals for your family to enjoy and learn about.
5. Bus Tour of Pikes Peak - $$$$
If you've always wanted to travel up the Pikes Peak Highway, but the drive was a little too stressful, this may be the answer for you! Gray Line Bus Tours offers a guided tour up the Pikes Peak Highway with rich history and frequent stops for photo opportunities at locations like Crystal Reservoir, Glen Cove, and the summit of Pikes Peak. This guided tour takes roughly 4 hours and is a great way to enjoy the scenery and explore a little, without having to commit to a full, tiring hike.
Dive Into History & Science
6. Manitou Cliff Dwellings - $$
Located in Manitou Springs, the Manitou Cliff Dwellings Museum is a museum that shows how cliff dwelling Native Americans once lived. Your family will have the opportunity to explore Ancestral Puebloan architecture and learn all about the site.
7. U.S. Air Force Academy Planetarium - No Pricing Info Available
The USAF Academy Planetarium offers a variety of immersive films and events in their state-of-the-art planetarium. Enjoy educational films, concerts, live talks, and astronomical events with the whole family.
At the National Museum of World War II Aviation, you'll be able to experience 28 fully-restored WWII era aircraft, several fully-restored WWII era vehicles, and exhibits featuring over 4,000 documents and artifacts which provide insight into one of the most significant periods in American history.
9. Glen Eyrie Castle - $-$$$
Glen Eyrie is unique to the history of Colorado Springs. A guided tour of the castle lasts about 90 minutes and offer a brief video and guided walking tour through the carriage house and first & second floors of the castle.
10. Peterson Air and Space Museum - FREE
Peterson Air & Space Museum is Colorado's oldest aviation museum. Through their exhibits, your family can learn about the rich aviation and space history of Colorado Springs and the Peterson Space Force Base where the museum is located.
A guided tour of the Western Museum of Mining and Industry includes a few short videos, educational and anecdotal information about the Mining history of Colorado, and the opportunity to pan for gold yourself! The gift shop also features locally made items from artisans in the area.
12. Ghost Town Museum - $
The Wild West Ghost Town Museum is old-fashioned fun for the whole family! They have buildings and genuine artifacts that were rescued from the Pikes Peak region and preserved indoors. You can crank a butter churn, play arcade games, shop the gift shop, try your hand at the shooting gallery, and even pan for gold in the summer months.
At the Space Foundation Discovery Center your family will be immersed in all things space. They offer a variety of exhibits, including exhibits about space food, scale model rockets, the Mars robotics laboratory, the Mars Viking Lander, and more! Definitely worth the low cost for an afternoon among the stars.
14. Pioneers Museum - FREE
This educational museum offers guided tours of their exhibits which aim to preserve and connect us to the cultural history of the Pikes Peak region. The Pioneers Museum offers exhibits about African American history in Colorado Springs, women's suffrage in Colorado, and more. It also features a children's exhibit which allows children the hands-on experience of Bent's Fort--a trading post along the Santa Fe Trail in the 1800's.
15. May Natural History Museum - AKA The Bug Museum - $$
This local favorite is known as the "Bug Museum" around Colorado Springs. It's home to over 7,000 different species of preserved insects and has one of the largest privately owned collections of tropical insects in the world! With everything from moths and butterflies to venomous spiders and scorpions, the bug museum is sure to please the bug-catchers in your house!
Located in Woodland Park, the Rocky Mountain Dinosaur Resource Center offers 60-minute guided tours and has a variety of exhibits which display fossils of dinosaurs, marine reptiles, pterosaurs, and fish of North America's late Cretaceous period. They also have a gift shop on site.
Games & Entertainment
17. Sky Zone Trampoline Park - $$$
Fun for the whole family! If your little ones need to burn off some energy and bounce off the walls (literally), then this place should be on your list. This building is filled to the brim with trampolines, foam pits, obstacle courses, and more for you and your kids to enjoy! There is even a Little Leapers program for younger children to play with kids their own age in a safe environment.
18. Playstreet Museum - $$
The Playstreet Museum is a great way for younger kids to explore the wonders of the great outdoors in a safe children's museum atmosphere. Parents can sit and watch or join in the fun as their kids explore multiple educational exhibits over the course of 90 minutes.
19. Mini Golf - $$
20. Bowling/Laser Tag/Arcade - $$$
21. Penny Arcade - $
The Penny Arcade in Manitou Springs is well-known around the area for having a variety of arcade games (a small selection of which still only cost a penny to play!) While you're having fun at the arcade, you can explore Manitou Springs and some of the fun shops and restaurants in the area.
22. Color Me Mine Ceramics Painting Studio - $$$
Color Me Mine is a ceramics painting studio where you and your child can select a project to glaze and pick up at a later date once the item has been fired in the studio kiln. They have a wide selection of projects to paint and this is a great option for birthday parties as well!
Extra Special Adventures
23. Hot Air Balloon Ride - $$$$
Hot air balloon rides are one of the pricier activities on this list, but talk about a WOW factor. This bucket-list item is a treat for the whole family and a wonderful way to see the gorgeous landscapes of Colorado Springs from a whole new perspective. If you're looking for something truly special to do with you family, look no further!
24. Whitewater Rafting - $$$$
For the adventurous families, you'll find that whitewater rafting might be right up your alley! While this isn't exactly located in Colorado Springs, Cañon City is just an hour southwest of Colorado Springs and offers some great rafting down Bighorn Sheep Canyon (family-friendly) or Royal Gorge (class IV+ rapids). Definitely a special outing for the whole family!
25. Great Wolf Lodge Water Park - $$$
Welcome to Colorado Springs' best indoor water park! There's fun for all ages here with a half or full day pass available. Enjoy splash pools, water slides, agility courses, and more year-round.
26. Horseback Riding - $$$$
Explore the Garden of the Gods in a new and exciting way with horseback riding through Academy Riding Stables. One and two hour rides are available, however there are weight and age limits, so be sure to check out their website before you plan your trip.
27. The North Pole Colorado - $$$
This amusement park has roller coasters, ferris wheels, a carousel, and more! Enjoy games, shopping, and Christmas themed activities when you visit the North Pole. This is bound to be a crowd pleaser for everyone that loves to feel that Holly Jolly feeling!
Located about an hour outside of Colorado Springs, this railroad will take your family on a journey through the the gold mining days of Cripple Creek and Victor, Colorado. With lots of scenery and educational content to take in, this is a winner for anyone looking to see Colorado from a century-old steam locomotive!