13 days of school left.
I don’t keep track of that number to say that we hate school and can’t wait to get out. On the contrary, we love our school & teachers and have a great time being involved in the entire educational experience.
I keep track of that number because there is nothing in the world like a Colorado summer with my kids! We are intentional with our days. We choose activities that are fun, educational, physical, and social. We make memories.
Coming into our third full summer in Colorado, I’ve been making our “Bucket List” for this year. I hope you can find some inspiration here to make your summer one to remember!
You can see some of my favorite things to do around town HERE. We will be repeating most of those things. We will also spend most of our days hiking and picnicking, as there seems to be a never-ending list of amazing hikes to check out.
PPLD Summer Reading Program: We make sure to sign up for the summer program at our location of the Pikes Peak Library District, although I don’t see info about it on their site just yet. By completing a reading log, my kids earn coupons or discounts for local restaurants and activities. We also signed up at the Denver Public Library last year to earn even more goodies since they do not require you to live in the Denver area.
Fountain Creek & Bear Creek Nature Centers: We have visited the Fountain Creek Nature Center, but Bear Creek is still on our to-do list. There are trails and free informational centers that are great for the kids to learn about the geography and local wildlife. We spotted lots of little creatures on our visit to Fountain Creek, so bring your camera!
Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum: This museum is located downtown and is always free. I’m excited to see some examples of pioneer living, and they have a small Harry Potter exhibit until May 21st.
May Natural History Museum: Also known as “The Bug Museum”, this one may or may not actually happen. Part of me is really interested in seeing the world’s largest private insect collection, but part of me is….. not. This museum is not free, but I think the goose bumps are!
Peterson Air & Space Museum: This free museum is located on Peterson AFB, so you need to request a base pass at least 24 hours in advance of your visit. This really looks like an awesome place, and what kid doesn’t love airplanes and old hangars?
U.S. Olympic Training Center: With the summer Olympic games coming up in Rio this year, I think it’s a great time to visit the training center located right here in our own back yard! Admission is not free, but I think it’s a very fair price for a guided tour. I love the small tidbits of info that tour guides always seem to know.
Labor Day Lift Off: Before I moved to Colorado Springs, hot air balloons were a very rare site and the only balloon glow I had attended allowed us to see the balloons from 300 yards away. Imagine my delight to see the most vibrantly colored and beautifully designed balloons lifting off right above my head in the early morning sun and casually dipping into Prospect Lake. The evening glow allows you to watch close enough to feel the warmth of the flames. This is my favorite public event of the year!
Worth the Drive:
Florissant Fossil Bed National Monument: An hour west of us, Florissant Fossil Beds will give my kids a chance to pretend to be discoverers and palentologists. The fossil pictures are incredible, and we had a chance to view some of their fossils at a traveling exhibit. I’m looking forward to seeing the petrified tree stumps and all the different creatures forever entombed in the rock.
Rockies Game: Because it’s not summer without a baseball game! Be sure to sign up for emails from the Colorado Rockies if you’re flexible about what games you can attend–they send out a “Hot Rox” deal occasionally, and we’ve gone to games for $4 per person plus parking.
Pirate’s Cove: Aye, mateys, we discovered TREASURE when we found this place in Denver! No matter the age, there is something for your little one. Far cheaper than a full-scale water park, we find just as much fun & just as many thrills. They also allow you to bring in your own food (with some exceptions), so it’s great to bring a lunch and spend the whole day.
Centennial Center Park: Since we live on the north side of Colorado Springs, it’s not too far for us to hop up toward Denver for some fun. Centennial Center Park is a splash park and playground that’s totally worth the effort. It’s a public park, so it’s free. It’s a great way to cool off on a hot day, but it gets kind of crowded in the late afternoon.
Vail Farmer’s Market: Vail is a bit of a longer drive, but we have so much fun at the Farmer’s Market there. The smells from the food vendors, the bubbling creek, and the blooming flowers is heavenly. There are so many lovely things on display for the market along with the normal shops around town. The Betty Ford Alpine Garden is gorgeous in summer, and they have some amazing playgrounds for the kids to enjoy.
Celestial Seasonings Tour: We’ve toured Patsy’s Candies, Hammond’s Candies, and the Coors Factory, so next on our list is the Celestial Seasonings Tea Factory. The minimum age for the factory tour is 5, so I realize it won’t work for everyone. It is free, and located in Boulder. While in the area, I recommend taking a walk at the UC Boulder campus and enjoying the lovely architecture.
What are your plans for the summer? Where is your “must-go” location for fun?