Carson & I travel to Colorado frequently to visit my grandparents, mom and other family members. During our most recent trips we decided to explore Colorado Springs.
Colorado Springs is a short 1.5-hour scenic drive from the Denver Metro area, so it makes for the perfect day trip. There are so many activities in and around Colorado Springs for you and your kids to enjoy.
Here are a few places that we explored.
1. The Cheyenne Mountain Zoo
This is not your average zoo. The Cheyenne Mountain Zoo was voted the #4 best zoo in North America by USA Today.
Tickets must be pre-purchased and there is timed entry due to COVID. We were one of the first people to walk into the zoo at 8:30am, so we had the full day to explore.
Ages 3-11: $19
2 and Under: Free (but still need to have a reservation)
Although the price may seem steep, there are so many hands on and animal encounters provided throughout the zoo.
*MASK ARE REQUIRED
Located on the zoos website, is a schedule of Animal Encounters along with their times, or extra price included. Your family can feed elephants, giraffes, rhinos, birds, and more. There are opportunities to touch snakes, turtles, lizards, and more. If you are lucky, you will run across a familiar hopping friend in Australia Land or see some pf the penguins out getting their daily exercise. Carson was even able to help release the rabbits for the Bunny Parade.
If you want more of a one on one encounter, you can schedule a V.I.P Experience on the website.
The Sky Lift:
If you’re not afraid of heights, and you are sucker for great views like myself, then I highly suggest that you ride the Cheyenne Mountain Zoos Sky Lift. The Sky Lift is an additional $5.00 for adults and $4.00 for kids, but you can ride it as many times as possible.
The Sky Lift is similar to a Ski Lift and it takes you on a nice ride to the top of the mountain. (Lifts are sanitized between riders due to COVID) At the top of the mountain, there is a rock-climbing wall, playgrounds, picnic area, a yurt and beautiful views of Colorado Springs.
*You CAN NOT walk back down to bottom; you must ride the ski lift back to the zoos main area.
Since the zoo is on a mountain, there is A LOT of walking. The attractions are mostly uphill and even for someone like me who works out EVERYDAY, I was a little winded. The zoo offers "Shuttle Stops" for those who might need some extra help getting around.
2. Go for a walk at Garden of the Gods
Garden of the Gods is the perfect place for your kids to burn off some energy as well as it allows you to have some family friendly exercise time. The park has several trails, both paved (stroller/ wheelchair friendly) and non-paved for those who want a little adventure.
Entry into the park is FREE. I recommend arriving early and during the week, because parking is limited, and the park is ALWAYS crowded.
If you don’t want to walk, the park offers Jeep Tours ($40-$75), Trolley Tours ($17.00), and Segway Tours if you are traveling with older kids ($92)
The “Red Rocks” will take your breath away, and they also make for GREAT photo opportunities.
Be sure to make a stop at the Garden of the Gods Visitor & Nature Center to check out the museum to learn about geology, rock formation and more.
3. The Airplane Restaurant
The Airplane Restaurant is the perfect place for your little travelers to enjoy a nice meal inside of a Boeing KC-97 Tanker Plane. Customers also have the option of sitting downstairs inside of the main dining room which resembles a typical restaurant.
Prices are similar to eating at Applebee’s or Chilis.
Due to COVID, masks are required to enter, and tables are spaced out to adhere to the social distancing requirements.
4. Royal Gorge Bridge & Park
The Royal Gorge Bridge and Park is located 30-40 minutes outside of Colorado Springs in Canon City, CO.
The Royal Gorge Bridge is the highest suspension bridge in America. The bridge crosses the gorge 955 feet, above the Arkansas River and held the record of highest bridge in the world from 1929 until 2001 when it was surpassed by the Liuguanghe Bridge in China.
Ages 6-12: $18.00
Under 6: FREE
Admission includes access to Americas Bridge, an Aerial Gondola ride, the Plaza Theater, Children's Playland, and spectacular views of the Royal Gorge. You also have the option to Zip Line across the gorge as well as get you adrenaline pumping on the Sky Coaster for an additional cost.
**Tickets online are cheaper then purchasing tickets at the park.
Once you arrive at the park, there are several photo opportunities. Since we went around Halloween, they had a nice Fall pumpkin set for pictures. The first stop is to get in line to ride the Aerial Gondola across the gorge. Riding the Gondola gives you amazing views of the mountains and the Arkansas River down below (you may see a few White Water Rafters or the Royal Gorge Train during your ride) Due to COVID, passengers are only seated with their party and the gondola is disinfected between riders.
Once you arrive to the other side of the gorge, you can feed the fish, the kids can play at the Children's Playland (limited capacity due to COVID), ride the carousel, head to the Plaza Theater to learn about the history of the bridge, and more.
After you’re done exploring, it is time to take the long walk across the Royal Gorge Bridge. You might see some familiar things listed on the bridge along the way. You can complete this journey as many times as you would like or enjoy lunch with a view at Café 1230, Bridgeview BBQ, or Grill on the Hill. We didn’t get a chance to eat at the restaurants, but everything looked amazing
5. The Royal Gorge Dinosaur Experience
On our journey to the Royal Gorge Bridge we passed a huge dinosaur on the side of the highway. Those of you who have been following me for a while, know Carson is obsessed with dinosaurs, so we made a stop on our way back towards Colorado Springs.
The Royal Gorge Dinosaur Experience, features a museum with free guided tours, a dinosaur walk that allows you up close encounters with robotic dinosaurs, a fossil dig, and a two rope courses (one for adults and older kids, one for the little ones) that allow you to come face to face with a T-Rex.
Kids ages 4-12: $8
Ropes Course Price:
Ages 4-12: $6
Dino Walk Price:
Ages 4-12: $6
Kids under six are FREE!!!
6. The North Pole
If you or your kids love the holiday season, then this is the place for you. At the North Pole, it is Christmas all year round.
The North Pole- Santa's Workshop is the Christmas Wonderland that every child would love. Meet Santa, make smores on the fire pit ($4.00), zip-line on a sleigh, slide down a candy cane, take a picture with a polar bear and more.
Unlimited Rides $10
Kids 2 and under FREE!
Due to COVID, the park ONLY had a four rides open. If you have little ones, they will enjoy, if you have kids who love to ride rides, I would personally wait till the park gets somewhat back to normal to visit.
There are still many more places and activities that Carson and I want to explore in the Colorado Springs area. Here's a quick list of other activities for you and your family to enjoy.