April 23, 2019

5 Fun Water Activities In Colorado Springs

After I got a lot of great feedback on my Colorado Springs Bucket List, I started thinking about taking my trip planning up a notch. If we were to visit Colorado Springs in the summer, what kind of adventures could we have on water? After digging around the Visit Colorado Springs website, I got some great inspiration. Here are the water-based activities in Colorado Springs that are kid-friendly and fun:

Fun things to do in Colorado Springs (in the water)! Here's a list of all the family-friendly water-based activities in Colorado Springs, including rafting, hikes to waterfall, water parks & SUP. #visitcos #pikespeakwonders #sponsored #OlympicCityUSA

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Visit Colorado Springs #visitcos #GetOutdoors #Adventure #ColoradoSprings

Fun things to do in the water in Colorado Springs - Whitewater rafting
Photo courtesy Visit Colorado Springs

Whitewater rafting

Adventure level: High

I was surprised to read that whitewater rafting can be quite family-friendly in the Colorado Springs area. I counted 14 different outfitters on the website, with many clearing marketing to parents by touting all-ages excursions and “family class” rapids.

Fun water activities in Colorado Springs - There are a lot of places to fish and fly fish in Colorado Springs, Colorado
Photo courtesy Visit Colorado Springs

Fishing

Adventure level: Low

Colorado Springs has several fishing spots including the Pike Peak area at the Crystal Creek Reservoir and at Arkansas River in Cañon City. For more urban fishing, try Fountain Creek in Manitou Springs. There are also three reservoirs on Pike Peak’s South Slope that are accessible if you have a permit. If you want a guide to show you the best spots, check this website out.

Things to do in Colorado Springs in the water - Stand-Up paddleboard and SUP yoga
Photo courtesy Visit Colorado Springs

Stand-Up Paddleboard

Adventure level: Low-Medium (depending on your balance and core strength)

If your kids are a little older, try hitting the water on stand-up paddleboards (SUP). Try SUP at Palmer Lake, Prospect Lake, Monument Lake, Quail Lake or any of the reservoirs around Pikes Peak. You can also try a SUP yoga class. I did that one time in Omaha, and it’s a mix of peacefulness and quite a workout trying to stay balanced.

Fun things to do in Colorado Springs include water activities like spray grounds, fountains and waterparks
Photo courtesy Visit Colorado Springs

Pools, Spray Grounds & Water Parks

Adventure level: Low

My kids love a good water park. Aga Park is a 4,000-square-foot water park with a ton of kid-friendly features like an elephant cannon and tidal bucket.

For pools, the YMCA of the Pikes Peak Region has collaborated with the City of Colorado Springs to bring several great options to the public without requiring a Y membership. These include indoor pools like Memorial Park Family Center YMCA and Cottonwood Creek Family Center YMCA, as well as outdoor options at Prospect Lake Beach, Wilson Ranch Pool, Portal Pool and Monument Valley.

Spraygardens are those seasonal water features at parks that typically are weather-dependent. Find spray grounds and fountains in the Colorado Springs area at Uncle Wilbur Fountain at Acacia Park (pictured), Julie Penrose Fountain at America the Beautiful Park, Deerfield Hills Spray Ground at Deerfield Hills Park, and The Water Hole at Venezia Park. Deerfield sounds pretty impressive with 16 different spray features as features like foaming geysers, soak stations and a water wall.

Things to do in Colorado Springs in the water - Hike to waterfalls including Broadmore Seven Falls
Photo courtesy Visit Colorado Springs

Hike to waterfalls

Adventure level: Medium-high

If you like the rush of that first glance of a waterfall, Colorado Springs has some trails for you. Moderate trails that are family-friendly include about a one-miler leading to Helen Hunt Falls; the Broadmoor Seven Falls (pictured), which takes some stair-climbing, but I hear it’s worth it; and St. Mary’s Falls in North Cheyenne Cañon Park, with a much longer hike of 6.1 miles round-trip.

Headed to Colorado Springs with kids? Here's a lift of activities in the water to keep cool all summer long - from adventurous whitewater rafting to water parks and fishing holes. #sponsored #visitcos #ColoradoSprings #familytravel

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June 8, 2018

My Colorado Springs Bucket List

I’ve been daydreaming about taking the family to Colorado Springs lately. I’m thinking of an unforgettable summer vacation with a little adventure mixed in with breath-taking scenery. Lucky for me, Colorado Springs Convention & Visitors Bureau has asked me to share my Colorado Springs bucket list with you all. Think your family would like hiking, zip lines, waterfalls, and animal encounters in Colorado? Keep reading!

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Colorado Springs Convention & Visitors Bureau. All thoughts, opinions and typos are my own. 

My Colorado Springs Bucket List

Gorgeous hikes – There are a ton of trails to choose from when visiting Colorado Springs. I’m eyeing ones that take me to a waterfall. Seven Falls looks astounding (entrance fee required). 

How could I go to Colorado Springs and not trekking around Garden of the Gods? I heard the visitor and nature center is fun to stop in first before going into the park. There are interactive exhibits and Geo-Trekker movie.

And of course, seeing Pikes Peak is a must, too.

The Garden of the Gods has to be on every Colorado Springs bucket list. Photo courtesy VisitCOS.com

Eat Good Eats – Every bucket list of mine includes restaurants I’d love to visit. I checked tons of posts about must-visit restaurants (I’m drooling over every suggestion in this Denver Zagat post) and, of course, scouted out the best ice cream (I’m thinking Josh & John’s Ice Cream). I’m also pretty sure I need to take the kids to The Airplane Restaurant – it’s in a real 1953 Boeing KC-97 tanker.

Royal Gorge Ride – I thought Royal Gorge was only a bridge you walked across, but now I see you can practically fly across the gorge. I think my family will stick to the calm aerial gondola ride instead of trying America’s highest zipline. Either way, we’re in for spectacular views. (There’s also a skycoaster ride if you really want to feel like you’re flying)

Colorado Springs bridge
Crossing the bridge at Royal Gorge offers families quite a view. Photo courtesy VisitCOS.com

Animals up-close – Zoos have become so much more than passive viewing attractions. I’d love to feed an elephant at Cheyenne Mountain Zoo (see all the animal feeding times here). And since this is a bucket list, I think it would be the ultimate experience signing up for one of their Animal Encounters, which is a private enrichment opportunity for a small group with an animal of their choosing.

Cheyenne Mountain Zoo has up-close animal encounters. Photo courtesy VisitCOS.com

Thrill ride on the river – There are quite a few white water rafting outfitters in the Colorado Springs area. My goal is to find one that operates on a river that’s pretty kid-friendly while still offering a bit of a thrill ride. You know, something scenic with a low difficulty level.

Explore cliff dwellings – My son is big on history and architecture, so visiting Manitou Cliff Dwellings is a must for us. Summer is a great time to visit since there are American Indian dances and wolf encounters.

Colorado Springs cliff dwellings
Time a visit to the Manitou Cliff Dwellings to be in the summer where families can watch American Indian dances and view wolf encounters. Photo courtesy VisitCOS.com

Find the springs – To find the springs of Colorado Springs, we actually need to head to Manitou Springs. There are eight mineral springs to find there, and they’re free to explore. Bring a cup to sample the water.

Play old-school games I’ve introduced my kids to “Frogger,” this winter, so why not go to a place like the family-owned Penny Arcade in Manitou Springs, where they have games like “PacMan.”

Manitou Springs. Photo courtesy VisitCOS.com

Dream of sports greatness – Colorado Springs is home to one of the country’s Olympic training centers. I’d love to take a tour and see some of my heroes have trained.

Do everything at Cave of the Winds Mountain Park – When I say “Do everything at Cave of the Winds,” I mean I want take a cave tour (Cave 101 sounds incredible … and muddy) AND do the adventurous rides there. Check out what they have going on outdoors: The Bat-A-Pult, The Terror-Dactyl, and the Wind Walker Challenge Course. These are definitely rides for older kids.

The ropes course at Cave of the Winds has quite the view. Photo courtesy VisitCOS.com

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Want more ideas? I have an entire Pinterest board dedicated to family adventures in Colorado Springs. Follow along for travel inspiration.

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My bucket list for Colorado Springs - A collection of the ultimate things to do in Colorado Springs, including outdoor adventures, must-see vistas, and kid-friendly, unforgettable attractions. #Colorado #USA