Colorado Springs, Colorado is quickly becoming a popular family vacation town in the US! It’s no wonder it’s popular; there are so many family-friendly things to do in Colorado Springs with kids. It’s more a wonder that it took so long for it to really get the attention it deserves.
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Colorado Springs is home to Air Force Academy along with a few military bases. You can visit the Academy, but there are also so many more things to do in Colorado Springs with the family. Check out the top family-friendly things to do in Colorado Springs.
1- Stroll through Garden of the Gods – great things to do in Colorado Springs with kids
Garden of the Gods is stunning. In fact, the surveyor who noticed the high spires darting 300 feet into the sky back in the 1850’s called it “a fit place for the gods to assemble,” hence how it got its name. These stunning red rock formations are incredible, bright, and breath-taking. Garden of the Gods makes a perfect family-friendly stop in Colorado Springs for a few reasons.
One, the visitor’s center allows you to learn all about the area and animals native to the land. Plus, you can find many children’s activities happening while you visit.
Second, the main trail through the park is paved (stroller-friendly!) and easy for kids to walk. It’s not too long either, but takes you up-close to the amazing formations.
Third, it’s FREE. Who doesn’t love free adventure on a family trip?
Did you know you can bring your dog with you to Garden of the Gods? Actually, there are plenty of great Dog-friendly things to do in Colorado Springs!
Learn more in this post about traveling to Garden of the Gods with the family.
2- Olympic Training Center
Colorado Springs is known as Olympic City USA. It’s home to both an olympic museum that houses torches from past olympics, as well as the Olympic Training Center. Here, athletes and coaches live for years as they train up to compete in future olympics. Your family can visit (advance ticket purchase recommended) and watch a short film about the olympics, as well as take a walking tour of the center. And, you might even have a chance at meeting some great olympians and olympic-hopefuls!
3- Visit a Few Waterfalls in Colorado Springs
There are a few waterfalls in Colorado Springs that are pretty family-friendly. First, Rainbow Falls is just a short hike (less than a quarter-mile round trip) that younger kids can easily do. Located just off highway 24 in Manitou Springs, this waterfall is easily accessible and a great site for such a short walk. Beware that the parking lot isn’t huge, and can fill up quickly. If the spots are full, just take a short drive and try again in a few minutes.
Seven Falls is a more popularly known waterfall in Colorado Springs. It’s currently owned by the Broadmoor, and called the Broadmoor Seven Falls. You can park for free at seven falls, but there is a fee per-person to enter ($8-$14 at the moment). Personally, I think it’s worth the money to see this amazing waterfall that has various drops between the 1,250 foot box canyon. There are a few lookout points, so if the kids are younger you can still get a good view at the bottom. If the kids are older, you can take the 224 stairs up to other viewpoints along the falls.
Helen Hunt Falls is located a few miles from The Broadmoor. It’s an easy and short hike for kids and leads to a great waterfall from the Cheyenne Creek. View the beautiful stones beneath the crystal clear water!
4- Explore and Learn at the Space Foundation Discovery Center – fun things to do in Colorado Springs with kids
This space center is not the largest space museum you’ve ever been to, but it is really cool. There is a big floor gallery to learn about space suits, technology, rockets, sun flares, and everything else you’ve ever been interested in. With so many interactive exhibits, the kids and adults will be entertained for a few hours at this Space Center in Colorado Springs. The kids can ever do a little coding as they move a rover around on Mars-like soil in the Robotics Lab!
Read more about what to discover at the Space Foundation Discovery Center in Colorado Springs.
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5- Take in the Views at the Top of Pikes Peak
Known as America’s Mountain, Pikes Peak can be discovered in many different ways. The most popular way is to drive the 19-mile paved road up to the summit. Make sure to have a good amount of gas in the car before you start. Also, there is a general admission fee to ascend to the top.
You can also take the newly reopened Cog Rail to the top. The cog railway is newly renovated, providing new tracks and a new cog. There’s even a new visitor’s center. You can purchase snacks and drinks at the visitor’s center to take on the Cog, but no outside food is allowed. The 9 mile trip will bring you to the top and allow you 40 minutes to take in the landscapes and scenery around you.
6- Spend the Evening at Flying W Ranch
From late spring to early fall, the Flying W Ranch entertains the whole family for an evening! If you’re looking for fun things to do in Colorado Springs with kids, why not stop and be immersed in an evening of western heritage. Tickets will get you a dinner of smoked meats, beans, potatoes, applesauce and entertainment for the evening. The Flying W Wranglers have performed all over the world, and audiences enjoy both their music and humor during the show. Over 7 million people have seen the show since 1953.
7- Take a Family Hike in Colorado Springs
If you are looking for easy hikes for kids in Colorado Springs, there are plenty to pick from.
Make sure you have all the basic hiking gear for an enjoyable hike!
Garden of the Gods has a paved trail as mentioned above, but it also has plenty of hiking trails around the park. You can enjoy great views of the rock formations all along these trails. Check out the map here under “park info” or pick one up at the visitor’s center to find the right distance for your family.
Red Rock Canyon Open Space features a bunch of trails you can hike along. Try Greenlee to the Red Rock Canyon Loop for an easy, 2-mile kid-friendly hike. You’ll find a red rock landscape, greenery, and a lake to loop around.
Spruce Mountain Open Space is a little north of Colorado Springs, and is filled with beauty! These kid-friendly trails can be longer or shorter depending on your preference. Take Eagle Pass to Oak Shortcut for a short loop for younger kids. Or continue on at Spruce Mountain Trail for a little bit longer trek. The scenery will not disappoint!
Mount Cutler Trail is just under 2 miles and a great trail for families in Colorado Springs. Enjoy beautiful views of the rolling, pine-covered mountains. It’s located in the North Cheyenne Cañon Park, just a couple miles from The Broadmoor. When you’re finished, drive just a little further to enjoy Helen Hunt Falls!
If you have a little one with you, make the hike so much easier with a carrier backpack. We always used a Kelty, but here are a few highly rated carriers!
8- Pan for Gold at the Western Museum of Mining and Industry – Things to do in Colorado Springs with kids
This is good family fun inColorado Springs and has plenty to do for all ages. Purchase your admission ticket and enjoy an included tour at 10am or 1pm (tours currently paused for Covid, but a self-guided tour is complemented with staff who can answer any questions!) Kids will love panning for gold at the Western Museum of Mining and Industry (also included in the ticket), as well as learning all about mining history in movies and exhibits.
9- Feed the Giraffes at the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo
The Cheyenne Mountain Zoo is the highest zoo in America, sitting above 6,000 feet in elevation. It is in a beautiful setting. That said, there are plenty of hills to walk around to the different animals, so be sure to bring a stroller if you have younger kids. However, Cheyenne Mountain Zoo is a very adored zoo in Colorado. One of the highlights is being able to feed the giraffes at eye level. This is constantly rated one of the best things to do in Colorado Springs with kids.
Nearby Things To Do:
10- Go Back in Time at the Miramont Castle in Manitou Springs
Manitou Springs, located right beside Colorado Springs, is home to Miramont Castle. Built in 1895 for Fr. Francolon and his mother, the 4-story, 14,000 square-foot building has been passed through many hands over the years. Currently it is owned by the Manitou Springs Historical Society.
Kids will love first seeing the Fire Museum in the basement, the only one in Manitou Springs. Then they’ll love doing a fun, family scavenger hunt that will both keep their interest as they seek out certain items in each room and learn a little history along the way.
Adults will love the architecture that varies through the building: the Moorish arches, tea room, and the Solarium which has giant windows that look at the mountainside. After all, “Miramont” does mean “look at the mountain.”
11- Climb through Time at the Manitou Cliff Dwellings- Manitou Springs
Another fun thing for kids in the Colorado Springs area is to climb through, touch, and learn all about the Manitou Cliff Dwellings, which were part of the Anasazi Ruins. At almost 1,000 years old, these dwellings were originally located in the southwest part of Colorado. In 1904, they were relocated into Manitou Springs. Three years later upon completion, they were opened to the public.
12- Experience Cave of the Winds – Manitou Springs
At Cave of the Winds, the whole family can experience rides, attractions, and zip lines. But the true gem is going below in the caves. Take the Discovery Tour, where all ages can participate in learning about the geology and history of the caves as you walk through 15 rooms. The formations are stunning and the education is exciting.
13- Visit the North Pole Amusement Park and Santa’s Workshop in Cascade
This is among the top things for kids to do in Colorado Springs. Actually, just a few minutes from Colorado Springs is Cascade, Colorado where you can visit Santa year round! The kids will love the North Pole Amusement Park and Santa’s Workshop, where they can play on 24 rides. Plenty of rides are perfect for the younger kids, and under 2 rides free (with an adult). There are places to eat and play, and then make sure the kids get to see Santa at his workshop.
Hours / days vary. Please check the North Pole website for more info.
14- Stroll Through Paint Mines Interpretive Park- Calhan
A short drive away from Colorado Springs is Calhan, Colorado. Here, though you’ll feel like you’re driving to nowhere, you will come across colorful rock formations that are very family-friendly to visit.
Park in the Main Lot or the Overlook Lot for a short walk down to the Paint Mines, where you’ll see stunning, sparkling formations. The deeper you walk in, the more colorful it gets.
It’s not a very long walk, but make sure to bring water as it gets very warm! See more about visiting the Paint Mines here.
If you’re looking for family fun in Colorado Springs, don’t miss this. It’s a bit of a hidden gem, though it’s starting to become more and more known. My kids had a blast here.
Where to Stay in Colorado Springs
There is no shortage of hotels in Colorado Springs! The first choice that comes to mind that the kids will LOVE is Great Wolf Lodge. This hotel has activities for all day and all night. Its biggest feature is the massive waterpark with play areas for little ones and big kids. See more about why we love Great Wolf Lodge.The Great Wolf Lodge is waiting for you. Save 30% When You Stay for 2 Or More Nights with Promocode MOREFUNA
Another option if you want something a little simpler (afterall, there is so much to see in Colorado Springs that you may not have time to play at the hotel) is Drury Inn and Suites. This hotel is located in the northern part of Colorado Springs, not far from Air Force Academy. It has an indoor and outdoor pool so you can swim any time of year.
For something a little more swanky, book at the Garden of the Gods Resort and Club. Not only is there a beautiful pool to swim and play in, but you can look out and see Garden of the Gods right from one of the three pools as you relax. The room choices are endless as well. Would you like a regular hotel room? Or perhaps a suite? Or perhaps a cottage?
Visiting Colorado Springs with Kids
There are so many fun things to do in Colorado Springs with kids. The best part is that adults will enjoy all these activities as well. From meeting Olympic Athletes to meeting Santa, what are you most excited to do in Colorado Springs?
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