Things to do near Colorado Springs

I am constantly researching and looking for new fun activities for us to do. We love to explore and create new fun memories. As Colorado Springs has been our home for about three years, we are enjoying checking out everything to do in the area. We have more to explore but below are our favorite ten activities that we have experienced so far!

The below activities all have a cost associated with them. We also created a list of our top 10 favorite FREE activities in the Colorado Springs area.

Enjoy this list! We hope it includes something you would love to do. If we did not include your favorite activity, leave us your ideas of great activities near Colorado Springs in the comments below. We are always looking for new fun things to do!

1. Cheyenne Mountain Zoo – Let me start by saying that the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo is incredible!  As the zoo is on the side of a mountain, be warned that you will be doing a lot of uphill walking.  If you or the kiddos like feeding animals, this is a perfect place to visit.  You are able to feed giraffes, elephants, rhinos, parrots, goats.  Have you ever felt a giraffe’s tongue? You may have that experience at the Cheyenne Mountain zoo. In what they call ‘The Loft’, there are more fun animal experiences.  Our boys were able to feed some lizards in their cages in the loft. Our boys also loved feeding the parakeets!  

2. Cave of the Winds – I have been to Cave of the Winds several times over the years.  It used to primarily be a cave tour to learn about stalagmites and stalactites.  You walk through tight hallways, up and down narrow and steep stairways and through different rooms of the caves while learning about how the cave was discovered and all about the geology. The tour guide typically shuts off the lights and you cannot focus your eyes in the dark cave. 

However, we visited again last summer and I was amazed at how many new fun activities were added!  There is a ride in which your feet dangle as you fly down the Williams Canyon, a climbing wall, Geronimo’s Leap where you have to walk up poles, a 3-story obstacle course (and let me remind you that you are on the side of a cliff/canyon) while climbing around this course.  There is also a virtual world movie theater that we had to pull our boys away from.   

For the super adventurous, there is a zip line and another big ride that you fly over the canyon.  We did not participate in those on our last trip but maybe next time!  Cave of the Winds sets in a beautiful setting to look out over the beautiful canyon. Be warned that the drive up to the Cave is not the easiest especially if you are not accustomed to driving in the mountains. Take it slow and you will arrive safely!    

3. Royal Gorge – This attraction is in Canon City which is about an hour from CO Springs but it is well worth the trip!  The Royal Gorge is the highest suspension bridge in the US.  If you are afraid of heights, it may be a tough visit, but its gorgeous so we still recommend it.  You are able to walk across the bridge (with huge wooden slats) and you are also able to take a gondola ride across the deep canyon.  They also offer a zip line and a skycoaster ride for again, the extra adventurous, but those activities are an additional cost. We chose to skip on our last trip due to the large size of our group. 

In addition to the gorgeous setting, there are several activities to keep the kids busy. Our boys loved playing on the playground.  They also have a theater and we saw an awesome bird show.  I never pass up fun education!

Driving to the Royal Gorge, you will see many signs for attractions around Canon City. While we have not rafted through the river here or done a train ride, its on our list to experience sometime!

As pictured on the boys above, we never leave home without our Camel Back hydration backpacks. They are so convenient for exploring and adventures. Plus I don’t have to be responsible for everyone’s stuff! 🙂 Check out these backpacks on Amazon.

4. Great Wolf Lodge – This is an indoor waterpark.  There are several locations throughout the US including Colorado Springs. We loved it especially for a winter activity.  It’s a hotel so we spent the night, swam, enjoyed the water slides and played at the arcade.  The boys never pass up swimming!  They have lots of additional activities including shows and a spa that you can participate in but we mainly stayed in the water park and the arcade. There are restaurants in the hotel but there are also several good restaurants nearby. We walked across the parking lot for dinner. 

5. Visit a Gold Mine! We suggest Mollie Kathleen Gold Mine Tour in Cripple Creek.  Let’s just start by saying that you descend 1,000 feet underground in the tiniest elevator you have ever been in.  You are packed in as tight as possible.  Is it worth it?  Absolutely!  It was one of the fun and educational activities that we love along with being intriguing to learn what it was like to work in the gold mine.  I can’t imagine.  And the boys received a gold ore sample at the end and thought they were rich.  I would consider this a really amazing experience. 

6. Ghost Town Museum – This is a neat little museum and a great way to spend a couple hours.  The museum contains displays of things that are preserved from the Colorado Springs area.  It is fun to see all the ‘olden’ day items (furniture, pianos, phones, carriages, etc). 

They also have gold panning which the boys loved, a shooting gallery, antique arcade games and we had a blast looking through the unique items in the gift shop.

things to do near colorado springs pan for gold

7.  Air Force Academy sporting event – The Air Force Academy is a treat in itself to visit.  It’s an incredibly beautiful campus.  It is free to drive on but you must go through a military checkpoint.  We attended a basketball game and it was a lot of fun.  We recommend a visit to the campus, visit the gift shop and attend a sporting event. 

8. Springs climbing center – This is an indoor activity that will give you a great workout!  Rock climbing at Springs Climbing Center!  Our boys (including Ryan) love it!  This is a smaller gym with lots of serious climbers (but with lots of rock climbing walls). However, they are so friendly, helpful and its a great experience! 

Springs Climbing Center offers ‘free’ climbing (meaning no harnesses or straps) in addition to taller walls in which you use a harness. In additional to the entrance fee, you are able to rent any climbing equipment that you want. Preston used to take lessons here but we typically go just for an hour or two of fun. 

Springs Climbing Center

9. Winter Activities – Skiing at Monarch Mountain or Breckenridge!  Or sledding at Mueller State Park – Winter activities are always popular in Colorado.  Unfortunately, there are no available ski mountains in Colorado Springs but we still recommend it nonetheless.  Its worth a day trip! We tried Monarch Mountain and it is a great place for beginners.  Its less expensive than some other options such as Breckenridge but its not as large either (fewer and shorter hills).  Monarch and Breckenridge are both about 2.5 to 3 hours from the Springs. 

things to do near colorado springs skiing

If you are a first-time skier, you are able to take lessons. In addition, you may rent all the necessary ski equipment at the ski resort.

Of course, you don’t have to ski.  Sledding is always a great alternative. We have enjoyed sledding at Mueller State Park in Divide.  We are also fans of winter hiking or highly recommend visiting the Ice Castles in Dillon, CO.

 There is never a shortage of winter activities in this area!

10. My favorite summer activity – Rent ATV’s! – We have ATV’s and dirt bikes to go trail riding.  The mountains are a fabulous place for riding trails and seeing beautiful mountain scenery.  I recommend renting an ATV and riding the trails.  Woodland Park is one town that you can rent ATV’s for an afternoon or day of fun!  

Colorado Springs is a gorgeous area and there are plenty of wonderful activities to experience.

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