Colorado Springs: Outdoor Fun for the Adventurous Family

Explore something new in Colorado Springs!

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.


Cave of the Winds Mountain Park

The Pikes Peak region is home to many stunning photo-ops and thrilling adventures like Cave of the Winds cave tours, cliff side ropes challenge course, climbing wall, Bat-a-Pult, and the TERROR-dactyl ride over the canyon! For families seeking just the right amount of thrill, the Discovery Tour takes you on a 45-60 minute walking tour of the cave. Around 200 steps throughout the cave take you up and down different elevations (don’t forget to hydrate!) while your tour guide points out really cool geological differences in the 15 cave rooms.

The Discovery Tour is great for any age but for families with older kids ages 8+ looking to kick it up a notch- try a lantern tour! For an hour and a half, explore the cave by candlelight down the dark, narrow passageways. After your tour, stop by the gift shop and mine for some gems of your own.

Cave of the Winds has a gorgeous wrap around patio with views like no other. Warm up inside with Canyon Rim Grill hot cocoa, take in the views, watch family and friends fly over the canyon on zip lines, test your balance on the ropes and ladders 600 foot Wind Walker drop, and more! Book your Cave of the Winds package here.

cave of the winds
cave of the winds
cave of the winds
cave of the winds
cave of the winds
cave of the winds
cave of the winds
cave of the winds
cave of the winds

Royal Gorge Bridge & Park

An hour south of Colorado Springs in Canon City is one of Colorado’s most picturesque gorges: the Royal Gorge. Situated on top of the mountain, the adventure park offers high thrills and epic views of the Arkansas River over the suspended bridge, Royal Rush skycoaster, Cloudscraper zip line (minimum 4 feet tall), and aerial gondolas.

royal gorge bridge & park colorado
royal gorge bridge & park colorado
royal gorge bridge & park colorado
royal gorge bridge & park colorado

The Royal Gorge Bridge & Park is spread out on both sides of the range so families can squeeze in double the adventure! A ride over on the aerial gondolas is thrilling yet safe and fun for kids of all ages. Pro tip: if you’re visiting in the colder months, bundle up! There’s no heat on the gondolas.

royal gorge bridge & park colorado
royal gorge bridge & park colorado
royal gorge bridge & park colorado
royal gorge bridge & park colorado
royal gorge bridge & park colorado
royal gorge bridge & park colorado

Before walking back on the suspension bridge (you can also ride back on the gondola but we recommend a trip across the bridge!), kids can play on the Tommy Knocker playland, a fun space carved into the mountainside with tall climbers, ropes, and slides. A beautiful spot to burn off some energy before the hike back over America’s highest 956 foot suspension bridge. If you’re not a fan of heights, we recommend you sit this one out.

At the visitor center, families can mine for gems, warm up in the cafe, bring home fun souvenirs from the gift shop, and take in the views comfortably without the thrill. Check out their packages here!

The Broadmoor Manitou and Pikes Peak Cog Railway

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!


Garden of the Gods

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!


Royal Gorge

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. 


Canon City

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.


What to Eat

Phantom Canyon Brewing Company

Phantom Canyon is gorgeous inside, the modern vibes are welcoming with an incredible staff, too! One look at the kids menu and we were sold; fish & chips, corn dog, cheeseburger, mac and cheese, chicken tenders, grilled cheese… a perfect menu tailored to kids. For the adults, we recommend starting off with fried pickles before box car beer battered cod with sweet potato fries. Not a fish fan? BBQ pulled pork, pork green chili, carnitas tacos, Korean fried chicken sandwiches, and more brewery-type food makes up the delicious menu.

colorado springs

Loyal Cafe

A family getaway without coffee? No thanks. One of the best attributes of Loyal Cafe isn’t just the high quality espresso and stunning interior… its the healthy menu of toasts and bowls that will have you returning every morning for breakfast or brunch. Try the Apple Ricotta Toast with hand dipped ricotta, sliced apple, colorado honey, cinnamon, on house rustique or the Soft Boiled Egg on Toast with buttered toast, soft boiled egg, black peppercorn, on house rustique. Coffee lovers will delight in authentic cortados, macchiatos, and lattes with only the best grounds in Colorado Springs. Horchata, teas, lemonade, kombucha, and mimosas fill the rest of the menu.


Armadillo Ranch

In Manitou Springs, Armadillo Ranch has all the Southwest aesthetics on the corner of Manitou and Ruxton. Pub bites and Southwest fare nachos, tacos, quesaDILLO, cheese curds, wings, onion rings, and classic burgers await. For kids, grilled cheese, ham & cheese, chicken tenders, or a 3oz version of the classic burger fill hungry bellies. After Armadillo, stop in at the Candy Bar for dessert!

To plan your visit and check out all that Colorado Springs has to offer, visit here!

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