Historic towns, a massive mountain and access to off-the-beaten-path museums are just some of the things that await you in the Springs. The best part? The whole family can find something to do for less than a Hamilton.
Shoot for the stars — or just see them from the Space Foundation where your admission is less than a tenner. And what comes with the price of admission? Science on a Sphere where you’ll peruse space artifacts and Mission to Europa where there’s hands-on fun for the whole family. On especially dark nights when the stars are sparkling, enjoy free Family Star Parties, an educational event on stars and space phenomena.
Take a winding drive west to this historic mountain town that played a significant role in Colorado’s Gold Rush history. Wander the streets checking out landmarks and search for the wild donkeys that roam the hills surrounding the town — we aren’t kidding! Take the kids on an open-air train ride or go down in a real gold mine. Each month there’s a different event, including car shows, motorcycle rallies and the Donkey Derby Days.
Feel like royalty at Miramont Castle, built by Father John Baptiste Francolon in 1895. This unique structure is comprised of architectural ideas from around the globe, offering visitors 14,000 square feet and nine separate styles. If your budget allows, pop in for a spot of tea at the Queen’s Parlour Tearoom, a Victorian delight in its own right. Have a scone first and you’ll get an additional $1 off your admission.
Real structures from Colorado’s wilder pioneering days fill this museum, each packed with thousands of artifacts from the era. Kids go bonkers for the hands-on gold panning and the museum’s antique arcade. They can also try out butter churning — it’s harder than it looks — and other old-school tools that will make them thankful for modern technology.
It’s not every day that you’ll find thousands upon thousands of insects housed together in one spot. Don’t worry about any sort of creeping or crawling, though, they’re all safely mounted and under glass. The May Museum showcases a collection that took decades to build and consists of insects from all over the planet. Look for the beetles the size of your fist if that sort of thing doesn’t terrify you.
Learn about the history of the American cowboy and rodeo’s evolution at the ProRodeo Hall of Fame. You’ve never seen a belt buckle that fancy or just how much equipment — think saddles, ropes and clothes — go into being a rodeo star. Follow the neighing to the livestock exhibit in the summer, where retired horses are just waiting to meet their adoring fans.
The kiddos in the group will adore this attraction. Why you ask? Because they can touch everything. Yes, everything. They can climb, jump, bump into and overall explore these ancient dwellings without a care in the world. Plus, they get to learn about the history of these structures in Colorado. It’s a win-win. If you download this super-easy mobile coupon, you’ll save $2, dropping your admission to $10!
Old Colorado City is a fantastic place to spend the day, with affordable dining for a variety of budgets and a wide range of boutiques and shops to explore. Check the event calendar before you head out as they have fun events all year long, including Mad Hatter Day — where the town is transformed into a wonderland with activities for kids of all ages.
Visiting this 118-year-old link to Colorado Springs’ early days is a must-have experience. It’s the largest shop and gallery in the state and they are not playing around in living up to those bragging rights. You’ll be treated to 25,000 square feet of shopping fun with 90,000 unique items, so even the most budget-conscious shopper is sure to go home with a gift they’ll love.
Sip, shop and sidle your way through this nifty little town. What will you be sipping? Water from the numerous mineral springs that are found throughout the hamlet. Locals will tell you that each has its own unique taste caused by the water interacting with different minerals. Don’t be surprised by a few bubbles, they’re supposed to have some effervescence.
As one of the most visited mountains on the planet, Pikes Peak is kind of a must-visit if you’re in the area. Sitting at 14,115 feet tall, this behemoth actually has a road so you can drive to its peak. And if you happen to be visiting between December and May, tickets to drive yourself up are only $10 for adults. If planning ahead is your thing, you can purchase tickets during those same dates and save them for later in the year. Now, it must be noted you might not be able to make it to the top as it snows in Colorado during those months, so we suggest calling ahead for the most up-to-date road conditions (719-385-7325).