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Colorado Springs - Things to do with kids

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Kid approved activities in Colorado Springs

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Garden of the Gods

Towering red rocks and nature trails make this the perfect playground from gorgeous sunrise to sunset. Kids never grow tired of this place.

Garden of the Gods is a free public park donated to the City of Colorado Springs back in 1909 by the Charles Eilliot Perkins family. It was also designated a National Natural Landmark in 1971.

Technical climbing is allowed with submitted registration and proper gear. Segway tours, mountain biking, nature hikes, and more are also possible in the park. Plan your visit here. The neighboring Rock Ledge Ranch also offers a cool Living History Tour.

Consider parking at the Visitor Center and taking the short trail to the park, otherwise parking within the park can often prove more difficult during busy times. Note: The driving loop goes one way around the park.

(1805 N 30th St, Colorado Springs, CO 80904)

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Drive to the top of Pikes Peak

Or you could hike it if you’re up for the challenge.

Drive up to 14,114 feet and enjoy 360 vistas from Pikes Peak - America’s Mountain.

The Pikes Peak Highway provides gorgeous scenery and wildlife sitings along the curvy, thrilling 19-mile trip to the summit. The terrain and scenery changes as you go higher; get the full scoop here on what to look for as you go up.

Check here for Pikes Peak Highway hours of operation. The road is open as weather permits.

(5089 Pikes Peak Hwy, Cascade, CO 80809)

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Cheyenne Mountain Zoo

America’s only Mountain Zoo and currently the nation’s 6th best zoo, this one is a real crowd pleaser. Literally built on the side of Cheyenne Mountain, you will burn some calories as you meet an array of entertaining animals.

Feeding the giraffes, spying rhinos, watching grizzlies wrestle, and riding the sky chair are kid favorites, and the food there is actually pretty scrumptious.

Learn all about the different animals, hours, and entrance fees here.

(4250 Cheyenne Mountain Zoo Rd, Colorado Springs, CO 80906)

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Air Force Academy

Home to cutting-edge technology, stellar education and leadership training, compelling midcentury modern architecture, and a competitive D-1 athletic program, you don’t need a cadet to tell you the Air Force Academy is well worth a visit when you’re visiting Colorado Springs.

In addition to the cool campus and loads of history, hikers and bikers also have access to their well maintained trails on their 18,500 acre property.

Find out how to make the most of your visit to the Air Force Academy here.

(US Air Force Academy, 2346 Academy Dr, U.S. Air Force Academy, CO 80840)

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Red Rock Canyon Open Space

Red Rock Canyon Open Space is a 1,474-acre city park sitting on the west side of Colorado Springs, just before Manitou Springs off of U.S. Route 24.

Feeling like the little sister of the Garden of the Gods to the north, Red Rock Canyon Open Space is great for picnicking, climbing, hiking*, mountain biking, horseback riding, and letting your kids and dogs run loose.

Find maps and more information about Red Rock Canyon Open Space here.

(3550 W High St, Colorado Springs, CO 80904)

*Another fantastic hiking area is the Seven Bridges Trail in North Cheyenne Canyon Park.

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The Broadmoor Seven Falls

While it does cost money to visit this privately owned attraction, the Broadmoor’s Seven Falls, it is a site to behold.

This is a two-for one visit that requires some planning. First, make time for walking around the luxurious 5,000 acre resort known as the Broadmoor - a world-reknown 5-star hotel. Then, purchase tickets for Seven Falls at the gate; learn more about where to park, grabbing the shuttle, hours, and extra adventures here.

“Seven Falls is the only waterfall in Colorado to have earned a spot on National Geographic’s list of International Waterfalls.” - Broadmoor website

(S. Cheyenne Canyon Rd, Colorado Springs, CO 80905)

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Glen Eyrie

An English Tudor-style castle built, Glen Eyrie was built in 1871 by the founder of Colorado Springs: General William Jackson Palmer.

Home to 17 guest rooms, 2 dining rooms, and 7 meeting rooms, including the Castle Great Hall, Glen Eyrie sits on 500 acres of pine trees and sandstone formations just 1 mile north of Garden of the Gods.

Stay the night, eat dinner, hike the grounds, or tour the castle when you plan ahead. Learn more here.

(3820 N 30th St, Colorado Springs, CO 80904)

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Olympic Training Center

One of three campuses (the other two being in Lake Placid, New York and Chula Vista, California), this United States Olympic Training Center helps Olympic and Paralympic athletes train for upcoming events.

Take a tour and you might even meet an Olympian or Paralympian during your visit!

The Colorado Springs Olympic Training Center is home to sport and training facilities for these summer Olympic, Paralympic, Pan American and Parapan American sports: Boxing, Cycling, Figure skating, Gymnastics, Judo, Pentathlon, Shooting, Swimming, and Wrestling (some are Olympic or Paralympic only).

(1 Olympic Plaza, Colorado Springs, CO 80909)

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Manitou Springs Penny Arcade

Found in the historic spa town of Manitou Springs, don’t miss this penny arcade loaded with hundreds of games to suit everyone’s tastes.

Take a stroll down Memory Lane playing Skee-Ball, pinball, Pac-Man, the horse races, and more. Most games cost 25 cents. Your family can have an hour of fun for about $20.

(930 Manitou Ave, Manitou Springs, CO 80829)

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John Venezia Community Park

Need a break from being a tourist and looking for free fun with the little ones? Pack a picnic and some sunscreen and check out this cool new park and splash park for the afternoon.

More details about John Venezia Park here.

(3555 Briargate Pkwy, Colorado Springs, CO 80920)

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Royal Gorge Bridge & Park

Just one hour from Colorado Springs, the Royal Gorge is an exciting day trip. Your entrance fee into the park includes walking the Bridge, riding the Gondola, visiting the Theater, and the giant playground called Playland.

One. Giant. Adrenaline. Rush. When you splurge a little extra and try the Royal Rush Skycoaster, you’ll free fall 50 mph through the air and hang just 1,200 feet above the Arkansas River. Plan your time here.

(4218 Co Rd 3A, Cañon City, CO 81212)

Looking for more adrenaline rushes? Whitewater rafting with Noah’s Ark in Buena Vista is a blast! Noah’s offers top-notch guided rafting trips, plus an aerial zip line course.

Address: 23910 US Hwy 285, Buena Vista, CO 81211

Love hitting the open road? Check out our favorite stops along our Southwest Colorado Road Trip!

Our favorite Colorado Springs places to eat

For families these funky, local, yummy dives fit the bill.

Bingo BurgerUpbeat eatery doling out gourmet hamburgers along with fries, creative sauces, shakes & craft brews.” Downtown - 132 N Tejon St, Colorado Springs, CO 80903

Crave Real Burgers “Gourmet burgers with an array of topping choices & creative combinations, plus sandwiches & shakes.” 7465 N Academy Blvd, Colorado Springs, CO 80920

Skirted Heifer “Burger & bun options with choose-your-own toppings go with fries & frozen custard in funky digs.” Downtown - 204 N Tejon St, Colorado Springs, CO 80903

Bambino’s Urban Pizzeria “Casual spot offering pizza & Italian standards.” Downtown - 36 E Bijou St, Colorado Springs, CO 80903

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Bristol Brewing Company at Ivy Wild School “Bustling, atmospheric local brewery & pub in a former school offering tours, craft beers & more.” 1604 S Cascade Ave, Colorado Springs, CO 80905

Phantom Canyon Brewery “3-story brewery housed in a historic building features microbrews, a billiards hall & American fare.” Downtown - 2 E Pikes Peak Ave, Colorado Springs, CO 80903

Josh & John’s For the sweet tooth, this local joint is home to naturally homemade ice cream packed with flavor. 3 locations, one being downtown: 111 E Pikes Peak Ave, Colorado Springs, CO 80903

More places to eat

Kathryn Egley and her family lived in Colorado Springs just until recently, and she shares many more fantastic places to eat in Colorado Springs. Check out her blog here.

Lodging with kids

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Great Wolf Lodge boasts a massive indoor waterpark, mini-golf, ropes course, arcade, and more. Located in north Colorado Springs, just across the interstate from the Air Force Academy. (9494 Federal Drive, Colorado Springs, CO 80921)

Embassy Suites is perfect for big families of 5 or 6. A central location, plus the complimentary happy hour and breakfast buffet complete with made-to-order omelettes are tough to beat. (7290 Commerce Center Drive, Colorado Springs, Colorado, 80919)

Vacation rentals by owner in Old Colorado City - An average home rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars for the current 145 vacation homes available in Old Colorado City. Shop, dine, and enjoy this historic neighborhood that is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.