Colorado has so much to offer a visitor of any type, especially if you’re looking for an exciting family getaway. Cities that are commonly known to attract skiers in the winter also have fun for everyone in the “off-season.” The best thing about Colorado is that some of its top destinations are just a few hours away from Denver International Airport. Colorado Springs, Steamboat Springs, or Vail will provide the family with nature-based fun. Take a short train ride from the airport to Denver, the capital city, and see all it has to offer.
- Colorado Springs
Colorado Springs offers natural beauty of all kinds as well as a zoo, museums, and other wonderful family adventures to embark on. With so much to do nearby, you can fill your vacation with exploration and exposure to the beauty this state has to offer. Another great thing about this city is the affordability. With so many things to do outdoors, you can have a ball while on a budget.
One unforgettable experience to take the kids on is a family rafting trip down the Bighorn Sheep Canyon near Colorado Springs. After a day on the river, take a stroll through the Garden of the Gods. Make sure to stop by the visitor center, grab a map, and learn how this magical place came to be.
What family vacation would be complete without a visit to the zoo? Explore the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo which is home to 800 animals, 30 being endangered. It will certainly be an unforgettable experience as it is rated as one of the top ten US zoos by TripAdvisor. When you have had your fill of thrill-seeking destinations, relax on one of the affordable train rides to get a view of the scenery without having to worry about back seat driving.
- Steamboat Springs
Are you looking for a Wild West kind of getaway complete with fishing, rodeos, and hot air balloon rides? Look no further! Steamboat Springs can fulfill these wishes and provide your family with a trip to remember.
If you are planning your summer getaway or staycation in July, consider the weekend of the Hot Air Balloon and Art Festival. There are activities going on all day, all weekend. Saturday night the balloons light up the sky while you enjoy live music and beer gardens.
Be sure to visit the rodeo at Brent Romick Arena which runs all summer long. Immerse yourself in nature at the Stagecoach State Park where the fishing is trophy worthy. Just be careful not to hook the paddleboarding folks enjoying the calm waters. If you find yourself craving more, there are lots of other national parks within an hour’s drive.
If you’re looking for a big city kind of experience or love watching your favorite team play, Denver is the place to visit. Try to catch a foul ball at Coors Field and enjoy a baseball game in the heart of downtown. The best thing about Coors Field is that it has seats for all sorts of budgets. There is plenty of restaurants and breweries nearby so your family can soak up the Colorado sunshine before and after the ballgame.
Check out a hockey game at Pepsi Center which is within walking distance of the baseball stadium. Right on the other side of the freeway is Empower Stadium (formerly known as Invesco Field) and with some wishful thinking, watch the Broncos demolish the competition.
Thrillseekers can ride and swim at Elitch Gardens, an amusement and water park in the center of downtown. If your child is an aspiring mermaid or merman, take them to Water World which is a quick 20-minute drive from downtown. There are two big wave pools for all ages and so many rides that you won’t be able to do them all in one day.
Do you love museums, zoos, and aquariums? You’re in luck because Denver has it all. Spend the day exploring science at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science, and modern art at the Museum of Contemporary Art. Perfectly timed for vacations next summer, the Denver Art Museum’s facelift will be completed by June 2020. Be one of the first to see the newly remodeled museum just in time for its 50th birthday.
Take a day to see the aquatic animals at the Downtown Aquarium and wildlife at the Denver Zoo. Looking for a free three-day festival suitable for all ages? Come Labor Day weekend for Taste of Colorado with music, food, art, and of course, fun! There is even a kid zone with crafts, comedy, magic, and music catered to your littles. If you feel like taking a short cruise in the car with the kiddos, head up to Morrison for beautiful sights and music at the incredible Red Rocks venue. It is truly a bucket list destination everyone should be able to cross off.
If you are anything like me, you used to consider Vail a winter-only destination. What serves as the slopes for winter, transforms into gorgeous hiking trails in the summer. You can also mountain bike to explore the sights or hop on a horse for some scenic riding.
Whitewater Park is in the center of the city and you can kayak or whitewater raft down the river. Have you ever wanted to visit an amusement park in the middle of the mountains? Epic Discovery has you covered with a day of excitement on adventure courses, ziplines, tubing, mountain coasters, and mini-golf. Wanting to try something quirky and new? Cozy up to some goats on the top of a mountain as you flow through yoga poses.
Another beautiful music venue to check out is the Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater. This concert hall offers free weeknight concerts, the Vail Dance Festival, or perhaps your favorite band is headling. Whether you’re into jazz, bluegrass, or classical, Vail offers festivals for those genres every summer.
Cross another item off your bucket list by visiting the highest elevation botanical garden in the world, Betty Ford Alpine Gardens. Take a peaceful stroll through the serene garden after rocking out to some tunes.
Colorado is Home to Many Destinations for Family Fun
These cities prove just how magical Colorado destinations can be at any time of the year. This isn’t a complete list of all the great places Colorado has to offer, so I urge you to explore it all.
There is something for everyone whether you consider yourself a nightlife city dweller, robust explorer, nature seeker, or art and history buff. Come see why Colorado natives are so proud and get a taste of it for yourself!