Winters in Southwest Ohio turn gray and damp quickly, holding onto hope that Spring will be around the corner soon. It’s a great time to plan a chilly weekend getaway to a city that does winter right; Colorado Springs, Colorado.
Where to Stay:
Colorado Springs has its own airport or is an easy hour drive from Denver International. With Allegiant’s non-stop flight from CVG to Denver, airfare is much more affordable for families without all the bells and whistles (no wifi, free snacks or drinks) but well worth the lesser fare for bigger families! Airbnbs, hotels and the Broadmoor Resort welcome guests to the beautiful mountain city.
What to do:
Colorado Springs is diverse in activities for children and adults. A short 10 minute drive to Manitou Springs offers arcades unlike any in Southwest Ohio, boutique shopping, live bands, a delightful candy shop and natural springs you can drink from! Back in Colorado Springs, families can explore many parks, Pioneer Museum, US Olympic Training Center, Air Force Academy, a variety of locally roasted coffee shops and delicious eateries.
An absolute must! Take an hour cog train ride up the tracks to the summit of Pikes Peak, reaching 14,115 feet in elevation! Feel the light effects of the high altitude in the National Forest of the highest summit of the Rocky Mountains. The ride up is magical and open year round, a gem for parents and children as the gorgeous waterfall views, snow covered pines, wildlife and view from the summit are inspiring. Warm up in the Pikes Peak museum, cafe and gift shop located at the top before an hour ride back down the tracks. Mom tip: try the high altitude donuts and pack lots of water!
A trip to Colorado Springs must include a visit to the Garden of the Gods, a stunning slice of Arizona right at the base of Pikes Peak range. The visitor center is free and highly recommended for families- the displays are both educational and fun! Give yourself at least 20 minutes to complete the circle drive around Garden of the Gods or take a few hours to explore on foot. The walk is paved and provides gorgeous angles of the tall red rocks including the ‘Kissing Camels.’ If you’re lucky, you may even spot a mule deer or two!
An hour south of Colorado Springs in Canon City is arguably one of the most remarkable views in the state. Drive the Gold Belt Tour along Highway 50 through Bighorn Sheep Canyon and along the Arkansas River. The Royal Gorge offers family fun and one of the best views of the gorge on the suspension bridge. Families can also ride a gondola across, zoom down a zipline, free fall on the Royal Rush Rollercoaster and the youngest family members can endlessly run through the three story playland.
After exploring the mountain views of the Royal Gorge, stop in historic Canon City for lunch or shopping in one of many boutiques and shops. Your dinosaur loving kiddo will love the many dino references as this area has provided many fossils and has even discovered brand new dinosaur species! For the thrill seeker, take a free drive along Skyline Drive where both sides of the ridge drop off along the way.