12 Things To Do With Family in Colorado Springs, Colorado

Last Updated on February 19, 2024 by Emily Johnson


Colorado Springs is a beautiful city located at the foot of Pikes Peak in central Colorado. Surrounded by magnificent mountain views and crisp clean air, it is an ideal destination for families looking for outdoor adventures, cultural experiences, and quality time together.

From exploring nature, enjoying attractions, and learning about history to relaxing at the spa and dining at family-friendly restaurants, there is something for visitors of all ages in the Colorado Springs area. This comprehensive guide covers the top 12 things to do with family in Colorado Springs to help you plan the perfect getaway built around connection and lifelong memories.

Hike Pikes Peak


At over 14,100 feet elevation, Pikes Peak is one of Colorado’s most iconic “fourteeners.” Families can drive, hike, or take the Pikes Peak Cog Railway to the summit to experience unmatched 360-degree mountain views and say you’ve stood atop America’s Mountain. Stop at the Pikes Peak Summit Visitor Center and complex halfway up to stretch your legs.

Bring layers as weather at the peak is unpredictable – you may experience rain, snow, ice, wind or sunshine all in the same day! If hiking to the summit seems too daunting, there are numerous family-friendly hiking trails below treeline like Barr Trail and the Crags Trail with astonishing scenery. Whichever experience you choose, make sure to fuel up with snacks, water and sun protection.

Visit Garden of the Gods


Garden of the Gods is a beloved natural landmark and public park composed of magnificent red rock formations dotted with juniper and mountain mahogany. The contrast of jagged upright rocks jutting 300 feet against the backdrop of snow-capped Pikes Peak is absolutely stunning. Explore the park by foot along the paved and dirt trails.

Popular routes include the Perkins Central Garden Trail (easy, under a mile) winding past signature sandstone features like the Kissing Camels and Balanced Rock, and the moderate one-mile Gateway Loop Trail starting from the park’s main entrance on Gateway Road.

Make sure to stop at the museum and visitor center to learn about the geology and ecosystems in Garden of the Gods through interactive exhibits. Before leaving, enjoy a meal outdoors at Rock Ledge Ranch while the kids play cowboy games.

Visit the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo


Consistently ranked one of the best zoos in the nation, the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo offers families a day of adventure as you walk among waterfalls and traverse the mountain landscape. Say hello to 800 incredible animals across exhibits like Primate World with western lowland gorillas and grizzly coast featuring brown bears, bald eagles and timberwolves.

Additional highlights include an aquatic center, carousel, sky ride and children’s zoo specifically designed for little ones ages 3-5 to pet sheep, groom pony carts and explore a fire truck. Make sure to see the giraffes at feeding time for a memorable experience. Cap off a visit to this acclaimed zoo by hand-feeding colorful parakeets in Bird Encounters.

Hike Helen Hunt Falls


Just 10 miles outside Colorado Springs lies a gorgeous 120-foot waterfall cascading down a rock cliff into a charming, peaceful gorge. The Helen Hunt Falls area features hiking trails suitable for all skill levels. Families can take the easy paved trail to the base of the falls and a viewing platform in under 0.4 miles, while more experienced hikers will enjoy ascending the steep trail to the top of the falls overlooking breathtaking Silver Cascade and the scenic North Cheyenne Canyon.

Pack a picnic to enjoy by the babbling stream before or after your hike. Admission is free, making this natural wonder an affordable option for families to witness the power and beauty of Colorado’s waterfalls.

Tour Cave of the Winds

Delve into the depths of one of Colorado’s most fascinating caves on a guided walking tour through Cave of the Winds. As you descend down stairs and winding walkways into chasms formed by nature millions of years ago, your experienced guide will fascinate you with tales about the caves’ unique geology, history and resident bat populations.

Marvel at nearly 20 rooms filled with astonishing stalactites, stalagmites and otherworldly formations with colorful names like Temple of Silence, Ghostly Grotto and Tower of Babel. Young kids will get a thrill from the Once Upon a Time tour making cave exploration into an adventure fairytale. No matter which tour you choose, you’ll gain a new appreciation for these underground chambers concealed below the Garden of the Gods.

Experience the Broadmoor Manitou & Pikes Peak Cog Railway

Round out your family adventures to Pikes Peak by taking an unforgettable ride on the Broadmoor Pikes Peak Cog Railway – the highest cog train in North America. Your 3-hour trip begins in 1893-mining town replica with historical exhibits and gift shops before you climb aboard the specially designed biodiesel locomotive train.

The 9-mile journey features audio guides and stunning panoramas as you ascend to the 14,115-foot summit at a thrilling grade of 25%. Watch for cascading waterfalls, colorful wildflowers and plentiful wildlife. Make the full-day excursion memorable by reserving the first-class parlor or open-air observation car. After reaching the peak towering over the clouds, explore interpretive signs highlighting mountain ecology and history or pose for shots by the cogwheel sign.

Drive up Mount Evans Scenic Byway

Mount Evans in the Rocky Mountains towers at 14,264 feet as one of Colorado’s truly epic peaks. Families can enjoy the thrill of this lofty environment by taking the Mount Evans Scenic Byway, the highest paved road in America topping out at 14,240 feet. This highway stretches over 28 miles from Idaho Springs with some heart-pounding switchbacks and lack of guardrails.

Stop often at overlooks to appreciate mountain scenery, subalpine forests, wildflowers, gently flowing streams, roaming bighorn sheep, yellow-bellied marmots and soaring birds of prey. Once at the summit, stretch your legs on the short walk to the peak’s marker then snap selfies by the Mount Evans Retail Store – officially the highest in America. On this lofty journey above treeline, be prepared for freezing temperatures anytime and dress in layers. Turn around if you feel lightheaded or nauseous as the altitude affects everyone differently.

Picnic Near Seven Falls & Hike to the Waterfall

Seven Falls is a spectacular 181-foot cascade dubbed “the grandest mile of scenery in Colorado.” While families can pay to take an elevator close to the falls inside Seven Falls park, you can also easily access free overlooks and trails from the adjacent Broadmoor Hotel property. Pack a picnic blanket and sandwiches then follow the dirt path from the lower parking lot to inspiration point for Instagram-worthy panoramas of Seven Falls with Pikes Peak looming behind the lush greenery.

When ready for some exercise, hike the moderate 1.4-mile roundtrip trail that takes you directly behind the thundering falls as the creek plunges over ribbons of slick metamorphic rock. Revel in the roar of the rushing waters and cool mist on your skin on this family-bonding mini adventure.

Visit Cave of the Winds Mountain Park & Cliff Dwellings

Just 15 minutes from downtown Colorado Springs unfolds a park devoted to honoring Native American history and culture amongst striking natural landscapes. At Cave of the Winds Mountain Park & Cliff Dwellings, families can first explore the caverns and grottos on a 45-minute guided tour revealing dazzling walls of stalactites, stalagmites, limestone canyons and fossils.

Afterwards, witness two reconstructed stone cliff dwellings built into the crevices that replicate how ancestral Puebloan peoples lived nearly 1,000 years ago. Kids will have fun participating in the pottery guild, atlatl throwing, archeology dig box and self-guided village audio tour bringing these ruins to life. Before leaving, enjoy Native American performances, shopping at the gift stores and grabbing a bite to eat at the restaurant while relishing the views of Williams Canyon.

Get Artsy at the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center

Introduce kids to fine arts appreciation and hands-on crafting with a visit to the esteemed Colorado Springs Fine Center. Among the expertly curated art galleries featuring notable regional and global artists, you’ll find a drop-in Family Art Studio open afternoons for kids of all ages. Supply your budding Picasso or O’Keefe with various materials and mediums like painting, sculpting clay, weaving and jewelry making then watch their creativity unfold.

On select weekends and summers, enjoy special family programs like Toddler Tuesday focusing on ages 1-5 with storytime and movement or Canvas + Clay Workshops for guided instruction through beginner painting and pottery. Don’t miss the captivating Bemis School of Art Architecture highlighting early 20th century building ornamentation.

Tour the Rock Ledge Historic Site


Just adjacent to the entrance for Garden of the Gods sits an intriguing homestead known as Rock Ledge Historic Site. Families are invited to tour the 1881 Rock Ledge House, 1903 Orchard House and other preserved outbuildings for just a few dollars each. Costumed guides will escort your group back in time to hear what life was like for the region’s early settlers in the late 19th century before Colorado became a state.

Be sure to explore the blacksmith shop, ranch facilities, greenhouses, flower gardens and historic apple orchard. Kids will love learning hands-on skills like pumping water, grinding corn, washing clothes, making candles and more. Before leaving, stop by the visitor center and gift shop for 19th century toys and educational children’s books helping Colorado’s history come alive.

Visit the Peterson Air and Space Museum

Aviation enthusiasts young and old will be amazed at the Peterson Air and Space Museum nestled on Peterson Space Force military base in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains just east of Colorado Springs. This free museum holds over 20,000 artifacts exploring the remarkable history of flight, space technology and the American armed forces dating back to WWI biplanes up to modern stealth jets and rockets.

Kids are mesmerized seeing aircraft upclose like a F-104 Starfighter, B-52 Bomber, P-38 Lighting and UH-1 Huey Helicopter while parents appreciate the Medal of Honor exhibit. Be sure to view the Apollo Memorial Room centered around an actual moon rock plus exhibits devoted to the famed Tuskegee Airmen pilots and Women Air Force Service Pilots. Reserve tickets online for this hidden gem often overlooked by tourists.

Conclusion

Colorado Springs shines bright as a top family destination thanks to its wealth of easily accessible natural attractions paired with enriching cultural experiences suitable for kids of all ages.

From scaling mountains and forging waterfalls to delving underground caverns and walking through history, families bond over adventure while making lifelong memories.

When you need some R&R, the Broadmoor Spa’s special kid-friendly amenities ensure the whole family emerges rejuvenated.

Use this guide detailing the 12 best things to do with kids in Colorado Springs as a blueprint for planning your upcoming family getaway filled with rocky trails, artistic pursuits, scientific wonders and western hospitality.

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