Nestled at the foothills of the magnificent Rocky Mountains, Colorado Springs is a playground for young explorers. This vibrant city offers a plethora of fun things to do with kids, making it an ideal destination for families looking to create unforgettable memories. From awe-inspiring natural wonders to interactive museums, Colorado Springs is brimming with activities that cater to children of all ages. Let’s dive into the world of adventure that awaits in this scenic city!
Colorado Springs offers a plethora of outdoor escapades for families looking to immerse themselves in the beauty of nature while educating their kids about geology, wildlife, and the environment. Let’s explore three exciting destinations that promise unforgettable experiences for both parents and children. These attractions include Garden of the Gods, Pikes Peak – America’s Mountain, and Cheyenne Mountain Zoo.
Garden of the Gods is a geological marvel located in Colorado Springs, Colorado. This natural wonder spans over 1,300 acres and is renowned for its towering red rock formations that have been sculpted over millions of years. It’s a treasure trove of educational opportunities, making it an ideal destination for families seeking to combine adventure and learning.
- Geological Marvels: The park’s red rock formations, including the iconic Balanced Rock and Kissing Camels, offer a hands-on lesson in geology. Encourage kids to explore and discover the different types of rocks, their formations, and the forces of nature that shaped them;
- Visitor Center: Start your visit at the Garden of the Gods Visitor & Nature Center, which provides informative exhibits, interactive displays, and knowledgeable staff. You can pick up maps, and guidebooks, and even participate in ranger-led programs to enhance the educational experience;
- Guided Tours: Consider taking a guided tour where park interpreters share insights into the park’s geology, ecology, and history. Kids will be engaged and captivated by these informative excursions.
To make the most of your visit, here are some activities you can enjoy as a family:
- Hiking: Garden of the Gods offers numerous hiking trails of varying lengths and difficulty levels. The Perkins Central Garden Trail is a great choice for families with young children, providing easy access to stunning rock formations;
- Rock Climbing: For older kids with an adventurous spirit, there are opportunities for rock climbing. Make sure to follow safety guidelines and hire a certified guide if needed;
- Picnicking: Pack a picnic and enjoy a meal amidst the awe-inspiring red rocks. Several picnic areas are available throughout the park.
Pikes Peak, often referred to as “America’s Mountain,” stands as an iconic landmark in Colorado Springs. Rising to an elevation of 14,115 feet, this majestic peak offers not only breathtaking views but also an educational journey through the diverse ecosystems of the Rocky Mountains.
- Geography and Geology: As you ascend Pikes Peak via a scenic drive or the historic cog railway, you’ll witness a dramatic change in terrain, from foothills to alpine tundra. This presents a unique opportunity to discuss altitude, climate, and geological features with your children;
- Flora and Fauna: Keep an eye out for the diverse wildlife and vegetation along the way, including marmots, bighorn sheep, and alpine wildflowers. It’s a chance to teach kids about the adaptations necessary for survival in different environments;
- Historical Significance: Pikes Peak has a rich history, with ties to the Gold Rush and early explorers. Share stories of the past and the significance of this mountain in shaping the region’s history.
Make your visit to Pikes Peak educational and enjoyable with these activities:
- Scenic Drive: Take the Pikes Peak Highway for a leisurely drive to the summit. Along the way, there are pull-offs with informational signs explaining various aspects of the mountain;
- Cog Railway: If you prefer a unique and educational journey, ride the Pikes Peak Cog Railway, which offers guided commentary during the ascent;
- Summit Experience: Once at the summit, explore the gift shop and enjoy the panoramic views of Colorado Springs and beyond. Don’t forget to discuss the effects of high altitude with your children and practice safety measures.
Cheyenne Mountain Zoo is one of the highest-elevation zoos in America, located at the base of Cheyenne Mountain in Colorado Springs. This zoo offers an immersive experience with wildlife and provides a great opportunity for kids to learn about animals and their habitats.
- Animal Encounters: The zoo features a diverse collection of animals, including endangered species. Engage in conversations with your kids about conservation efforts, animal behavior, and the importance of protecting wildlife;
- Habitat Zones: The zoo is divided into different habitat zones, mimicking the natural environments of the animals. Teach your children about the specific needs of each species and how the zoo recreates these environments;
- Interactive Exhibits: Many exhibits offer interactive elements where kids can observe, touch, and learn about animals up close. These experiences foster curiosity and a deeper understanding of wildlife.
Enhance your visit to Cheyenne Mountain Zoo with these educational activities:
- Animal Feeding and Demonstrations: Check the schedule for feeding times and animal demonstrations. These presentations provide valuable insights into the habits and diets of various animals;
- Conservation Education: Participate in conservation-themed activities and discussions led by zoo staff. Learn about the zoo’s efforts to protect endangered species and their habitats;
- Kids’ Programs: The zoo often hosts educational programs tailored to children, including workshops and camps. Check the calendar for any special events during your visit.
Let’s explore two must-visit museums for families seeking to spark curiosity and learning in their children. These attractions include the Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum and the Space Foundation Discovery Center.
The Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum is a cultural gem nestled in the heart of the city. It serves as a time capsule, preserving the rich history and heritage of the region. What sets this museum apart is its interactive approach to learning, making it an engaging experience for children of all ages.
- Local History and Culture: The museum’s primary focus is to showcase the history and culture of Colorado Springs and the Pikes Peak region. Kids can learn about the indigenous people, early settlers, and the growth of the city through engaging exhibits;
- Interactive Exhibits: The museum prides itself on hands-on, interactive exhibits that cater to children’s learning styles. These exhibits encourage exploration and curiosity, making history come alive;
- Educational Programs: Check the museum’s schedule for special educational programs and workshops designed for kids. These programs often delve into specific historical events or themes, allowing children to delve deeper into their interests.
To make the most of your visit, consider the following activities:
- Scavenger Hunts: Many museums offer scavenger hunts or interactive games that guide children through the exhibits. It’s an entertaining way to ensure they absorb key historical facts;
- Artifacts Exploration: Encourage your kids to examine artifacts up close, ask questions, and learn about the historical significance of each item;
- Historical Costumes: Some museums provide costumes for children to dress up in, allowing them to immerse themselves in history by becoming pioneers, explorers, or historical figures.
For families with budding astronomers or space enthusiasts, the Space Foundation Discovery Center is a must-visit attraction. Located in Colorado Springs, this space museum offers a hands-on, interactive experience that allows kids to explore the wonders of the universe.
- Astronomy and Space Exploration: The Discovery Center introduces children to the fascinating world of astronomy, space science, and space exploration. They can learn about planets, stars, and the history of space missions;
- Hands-On Activities: Interactive exhibits and activities engage children in fun and educational ways. They can simulate astronaut training, explore space-related technology, and even experience the feeling of walking on the moon;
- STEM Education: The museum promotes STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) education through its exhibits and programs. It’s a great place to inspire an interest in these fields.
Here are some activities to consider during your visit:
- Planetarium Shows: Many space museums, including the Space Foundation Discovery Center, offer planetarium shows that transport kids into the depths of space. Check the schedule for showtimes;
- Space Shuttle Simulation: Some museums have space shuttle simulators where children can experience what it’s like to be an astronaut in a space mission;
- Educational Workshops: Look for workshops and educational programs designed for different age groups. These can cover topics like rocketry, astronomy, and space science in an engaging and informative manner.
Colorado Springs provides a vibrant artistic community that extends its warm embrace to children and families seeking to explore their creative sides. Let’s delve into two notable venues where kids can immerse themselves in the world of arts and crafts:
The Manitou Art Center is a hub of creativity located in the charming town of Manitou Springs, just outside of Colorado Springs. This center is a haven for budding artists and offers a variety of creative workshops and art classes suitable for children of all ages.
- Diverse Art Forms: The Manitou Art Center encompasses a wide range of artistic disciplines, from painting and ceramics to sculpture and photography. Kids have the opportunity to explore different art forms and discover their passions;
- Hands-On Learning: The center places a strong emphasis on hands-on learning. Children can actively engage in the artistic process, gaining practical skills while developing their creativity and artistic expression;
- Professional Guidance: Experienced instructors and artists lead the workshops, providing valuable guidance and encouragement to young participants. They help kids understand various techniques and concepts, nurturing their artistic growth.
Here are some activities that your child can enjoy at the Manitou Art Center:
- Art Classes: Enroll your child in art classes tailored to their age group and interests. These classes often cover fundamentals, techniques, and artistic concepts;
- Open Studios: Some sessions allow children to explore the art center’s studios freely, experimenting with different materials and creating their own masterpieces;
- Exhibitions: Encourage your child to visit art exhibitions at the center. Viewing art from local and visiting artists can inspire creativity and spark new ideas.
The Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center is a renowned institution dedicated to the celebration of the arts. It offers a family-friendly environment where kids can participate in workshops, attend events, and explore the world of fine arts.
- Artistic Exploration: The center encourages children to explore various forms of fine art, including painting, drawing, sculpture, and performance. This exposure allows them to develop a deeper appreciation for different art forms;
- Interactive Workshops: Family-friendly workshops are designed to be both fun and educational. They often focus on specific themes or techniques and provide hands-on experiences for young artists;
- Cultural Enrichment: The center hosts exhibitions, performances, and events that expose children to diverse cultures and artistic traditions. This helps broaden their horizons and deepen their understanding of art’s role in society.
Here are some activities to consider when visiting the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center:
- Family Workshops: Participate in family-oriented workshops that allow parents and children to create art together. It’s a bonding experience that encourages creativity;
- Art Exploration: Explore the center’s galleries and exhibitions. Engage your child in discussions about the artwork, encouraging them to express their thoughts and feelings;
- Live Performances: Attend live performances, including theater productions, music concerts, and dance performances. These events can inspire children and expose them to different art forms.
Colorado Springs is not just about natural beauty and culture; it also offers exciting adventure parks that promise thrills and spills for kids of all ages. Let’s explore two exceptional adventure parks: the Great Wolf Lodge Water Park and the North Pole – Santa’s Workshop.
The Great Wolf Lodge Water Park is a beloved indoor water park located in Colorado Springs, offering families a year-round aquatic adventure. It’s the perfect destination for kids to have fun, regardless of the weather outside.
- Water Dynamics: The water park provides an opportunity for kids to learn about water dynamics, such as how water flows, splashes, and reacts to different surfaces. This hands-on experience can be both educational and enjoyable;
- Swimming Skills: For children who are still developing their swimming skills, the water park offers a safe and controlled environment to practice. Parents can supervise and help kids become more confident in the water;
- Hygiene Awareness: Teach kids about the importance of water park hygiene, including showering before entering the pool areas and following safety rules. It’s a valuable lesson in personal responsibility.
Here are some activities and attractions within the Great Wolf Lodge Water Park:
- Water Slides: The park features a variety of water slides with different thrill levels, allowing kids to conquer their fears while having a blast;
- Wave Pool: Experience the excitement of a wave pool, where kids can learn about wave patterns and the force of water in a safe environment;
- Lazy River: The lazy river provides a leisurely experience while allowing kids to observe the flow of water and its effects on their surroundings.
North Pole – Santa’s Workshop is a magical Christmas-themed amusement park nestled in the mountains near Colorado Springs. While it primarily caters to younger children, it offers a unique blend of rides and entertainment that promises a day filled with joy and wonder.
- Seasonal Awareness: Visiting North Pole – Santa’s Workshop can help kids understand the concept of seasons and the traditions associated with Christmas. They can learn about different holiday customs and the joy of gift-giving;
- Creative Expression: The park often hosts arts and crafts activities where children can engage in creative projects. This fosters artistic expression and imagination;
- Storytelling: Many of the attractions incorporate storytelling and theatrical performances, allowing kids to immerse themselves in the magic of Christmas tales and folklore.
Explore the enchanting activities at North Pole – Santa’s Workshop:
- Rides and Attractions: The park features a variety of rides, including a Ferris wheel, carousel, and miniature train. These rides provide opportunities for kids to understand motion, balance, and gravity;
- Meet Santa Claus: Interacting with Santa Claus himself is a memorable experience for children. They can share their wishes and learn about the traditions associated with Santa;
- Entertainment Shows: Enjoy live entertainment shows, including puppet shows and musical performances, which engage children’s imaginations and provide cultural exposure.
Colorado Springs is a city that captivates the hearts of its young visitors through its diverse range of activities. Whether it’s exploring the great outdoors, learning through interactive exhibits, or splashing around in water parks, there’s something for every child in this picturesque city. Remember, the best things to do for kids in Colorado Springs are those that spark their curiosity and leave them with stories to tell. So pack your bags, gather your little adventurers, and get ready to explore the wonders of Colorado Springs!
Q: Are there any free activities for kids in Colorado Springs?
A: Absolutely! Garden of the Gods and some city parks offer free admission, making them budget-friendly options for fun things to do with kids in Colorado Springs.
Q: What are some indoor activities for kids?
A: The Space Foundation Discovery Center and the Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum are great indoor destinations for fun and learning.
Q: Can we find kid-friendly hiking trails in Colorado Springs?
A: Yes, there are several trails suitable for families in and around the city, such as Red Rock Canyon Open Space and Bear Creek Nature Center.
Q: Are there any activities for toddlers?
A: Many attractions in Colorado Springs, like the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo and Great Wolf Lodge, cater to toddlers with specific activities and play areas.
Q: What is the best time to visit Colorado Springs with kids?
A: Summer and early fall offer pleasant weather and a full range of outdoor and indoor activities, making it the ideal time for fun things to do in Colorado Springs for kids.