If the upcoming summer has you hunting for family adventure, consider these exhilarating Colorado attractions.
1. Hear a Lion’s Roar at the Wild Animal Sanctuary
Stroll above the habitats filled with tiger families, packs of wolves, grizzly bears, Bolivian lions and other rescued exotic and endangered species at the Wild Animal Sanctuary in Keenesburg, just an hour’s drive from Denver. The sanctuary’s Mile into the Wild Walkway is a system of open-air platforms that allows visitors to observe the roaming animals from above. Visit during summer evenings to witness lots of animal activity — most of the howling and roaring happens around sundown.
2. Flap Your Wings at SkyVenture Indoor Skydiving
SkyVenture Colorado’s smooth-riding vertical wind tunnel will make your summer soar. Break your skydiving session into separate segments so you can first get used to the flying feeling, then confer with your instructor before you head back in to try some new maneuvers. With a stellar training program and instructors, the only thing to worry about is how dorky you look: The tunnel is clear, enabling friends and family to snap embarrassing wind-in-your-face pics. But you’ll be having too much fun to care! Located just outside Denver in Lone Tree.
3. Zip Above Colorado Canyons Like a Soaring Eagle
Royal Gorge Bridge & Park in Cañon City and Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park in Glenwood Springs both already had their share of high-flying adventures with aerial trams, over-canyon swings and more. Adding to the fun, both amusement parks have recently added to their shortness-of-breath-inducing repertoires with a Soaring Eagle Zip Line. Unlike the typical zipline, riders sit in a “chair” that zips them parallel to the Royal Gorge 1,000 feet above the Arkansas River or 625 feet down a mountain in Glenwood. More Colorado ziplines.
4. Make Some Scaly Friends at Colorado Gators
If meeting Bo Mangles, a gigantic albino alligator, and petting some of his smaller scaly friends isn’t enough to make you squeal, the Colorado Gators Reptile Park in the San Luis Valley town of Mosca offers a Reptile Handling Class that gives you a chance to hold turtles, tortoises, gators, snakes, lizards and other creepy crawlies in the palm of your hand. (Registration is required at least one week in advance). The farm has been featured on Animal Planet, The Travel Channel and several travel and nature programs as a unique destination for “wild” fun.
Photos: Courtesy of Wild Animal Sanctuary, SkyVenture Colorado, Royal Gorge Bridge & Park and Colorado Gators Reptile Park.