The region around Colorado Springs really rocks for families; kids are entertained while adults have a good time. Mix and match a walk or hike alongside The Broadmoor Seven Falls; a train to the top of Pikes Peak; heading underground in The Cave of the Winds; exploring the Manitou Cliff Dwellings that ancient pueblo Indians built more than 800 years ago; or an animal encounter at the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo.
Deciding what to do may be the hardest part. Many of the following top activities can take a half-day or more.
Take Broadmoor’s Pikes Peak Cog Railway to the top of the 14,115-foot-high mountain, where the journey reveals so much about the region. The train chugs through canyons with rushing waterfalls, past a forest of aspen trees, and then crawls above timberline. From the Summit House, the view stretches from mountains topping at the Continental Divide to the city of Colorado Springs and the plains beyond. (Make train reservations well in advance.)
After your ride, stop to sip pure mineral-spring water from fountains in Manitou Springs and have lunch at Adam’s Mountain Cafe. In the afternoon, visit Manitou Cliff Dwellings and walk through authentic cliff dwellings built by ancestral Puebloans more than 800 years ago. (They’ve been moved to this site from the southwest.) Or, head underground in the colorful Cave of the Winds.
End with a stroll in the Garden of the Gods, our favorite place in Colorado Springs. Use your imagination — and have the kids use theirs — to decide what creatures they can see in the towering iron-rich rocks.
Active kids can start the day walking up 224 steps alongside the rushing waterfalls at The Broadmoor’s Seven Falls, high into the steeply-walled box canyon. (An elevator is available for visitors who choose not to walk.) From here, take the kids on the one-mile long Inspiration Point trail, with views of the city and vast plains beyond.
Older children and adventurous parents can book a wild ride on The Broadmoor’s Soaring Adventure. The five-zipline trip goes over the falls and other canyons and ends at Seven Falls.
Animal lovers, especially with young children in tow, might spend part of a day watching elephants, giraffes and other animals at the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo. (Book a session with a tiger.) Ever seen a wolf? Kids are fascinated with up-close viewings at the Colorado Wolf and Wildlife Center. Intrigued by bugs? There are some 7,000 on display at the May Natural History Museum.
• Head back in time more than a century and try gold panning at the Ghost Town Museum.
• Enjoy Christmas year-round at the North Pole – Santa’s Workshop.
• Indulge sweet cravings with a tour of Patsy’s Candies factory, in the historic Old Colorado City District.
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