Colorado is famous for its mountains, nature, skiing, and national parks, all of which are perfect destinations for a Colorado family road trip. But when your family wants more than scenic drives, that’s when Colorado really delivers the adventure goods.
We’ve handpicked five fun and engaging adventures for your kids in Colorado (not forgetting the adults too!) that you won’t find at home.
And, with multigenerational family holidays all the go, why not take the grandparents along too for maximum family bonding!
Colorado for the under 10’s
In and around Denver, Colorado’s Mile High capital, there are lots of kid-friendly options. Children’s Museum of Denver: a fun, practical learning experience with a child-sized grocery market, fire station and construction workshop.
Nearby, Fort Collins Museum of Discovery: where children will relate to the entertaining hands-on blend of science, history, and culture. 45 minutes’ drive from Denver The Wild Animal Sanctuary will thrill the with its Mile Into the Wild walkway that lets them observe lions, wolves, grizzlies and other rescued exotic and endangered species from above.
Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad and Museum: kids love trains, especially this vintage steam locomotive that has been carrying passengers along the scenic Animas River from Durango to Silverton since 1882.
Take the family and learn to ski or snowboard with the help of kid-focused programs at any of the 28 ski areas and resorts in the state. (October to April.) Kids will also love tubing, sleigh rides, ice-climbing, ziplining and snowmobiling at Colorado’s winter wonderlands.
Rocky Mountain Dinosaur Resource Center, Woodland Park: children will love the displays of dinosaurs, prehistoric marine reptiles and fish and will learn the stories of their discoveries and see a working fossil lab.
More things to do in Colorado for older kids & teens
At Cave of the Winds Mountain Park in Manitou Springs kids can explore the underground caves or strap in to an overhead tracking system to climb along the outside rim of Williams Canyon.
Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs, one of Colorado’s most popular- and free attractions, offers rock climbing, horse riding or Segway tours through the spectacular rock formations or take the whole family in a fun open Jeep or on an ATV tour.
So, you thought whitewater rafting is only suitable for the most intrepid adventurers? Well even families with young children will be happy to know that kids can become intrepid adventurers safely and enjoy a family friendly rafting experience on Colorado’s Arkansas River. With well over 100 miles of raft-able waters ranging from Class I Floats to Class V white-knuckle adventures, you can choose your level of adventure to suit the ages of your family. It’s a unique way to enjoy the amazing Rocky Mountain scenery, float past some of Colorado’s famous “14ers” or even see some of the relics of the Gold Rush era. Experienced outfitters will provide a safe, fun experience for the whole family.
Epic Discovery at Vail and Breckenridge: adds nature immersion to outdoor challenges the kids will love, with exciting activities like mountain coasters, mountain biking, zipline tours, adventure courses and much more.
A visit to one of Colorado’s 30 guest ranches should be on your must-do list. Although each one is different, all are family-friendly and offer so much more than horse-back riding. Hiking, camping, fishing and learning the arts of the cowboy such as roping and branding are just for starters.