Guide to Parks in Colorado Springs

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Guide to Parks Header

After months of being cooped up indoors, now is the time to check out the many parks that our beautiful city has to offer. Our Guide to Parks in Colorado Springs includes numerous community, neighborhood and regional parks in the area. We also provide a Parks Map that will help you locate the parks closest to you.

So pick a park, gather up your little ones, and your big kids too, and take the family out for some much needed Vitamin D.

Are we missing a park?

Please leave the park information in the comments section below so that we can add it in.

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Comment below for your chance to have your review featured in our Guide to Parks.

America the Beautiful Park

126 Cimino Dr. (Downtown)

Park Features: Playground, Picnic pavilion, Restrooms, Walking paths, Trail access.

Be sure to check out The Quirks, interactive art pieces located together on one side of the playground. 

Reader Review:

My 6-year-old absolutely loves America the Beautiful park.     

Cottonwood Creek Park

7040 Rangewood Dr. (Dublin Blvd. & Rangewood Dr.)

Park Features: Rec. center with indoor pool, Playground, Sledding hills, four soccer fields, three baseball/softball fields, in-line hockey court, tennis courts, basketball, Disc golf course, picnic tables, restrooms, walking paths (wheelchair accessible)

Reader Review:

Cottonwood Creek is our favorite. We can hop on a trail, play in the open space or on the playground all in one area.

The Happy Meadows Park

9295 Happy Meadows Trail (Cordera)

Park Features: Inspired by Charlotte’s Web, Barn-themed play equipment, Pig and spider sculptures, Climbing wall, Basketball/in-line skating, Mini apple-orchard

John Venezia Park

3555 Briargate Pkwy. (Briargate Parkway and Union Blvd).

Park Features: Playground, Sprayground, Pavilions, Picnic area, Artificial turf field, Soccer field, In-line hockey/basketball court, Four Pickleball courts, Restrooms, Walking loops, Trail access.

Reader Review:

 Venezia Park is a new favorite for our family! Perfect because it has parts for all ages.  

Memorial Park

1605 E. Pikes Peak Ave. (E. Pikes Peak and Hancock Aves.)

Park Features: Three playgrounds including Phil Long/Denver Broncos Community Playground with ADA accessibility, 40,000 square foot Skatepark, Sertich Ice Center, YMCA Rec. Center,  Lake, Trails, Horseshoe courts, Picnic areas, Restrooms, 

Reader Review:

My oldest loves the skatepark at Memorial and I love that it gets him outdoors.

Monument Valley Park

170 W. Cache La Poudre St

Park Features: Playgrounds, Baseball/Softball fields, Soccer fields, Tennis/Pickleball courts (lighted), Sand volleyball area, Picnic areas, Restrooms, Hiking/Bicycling trails, Access to Pikes Peak Greenway Trail, (wheelchair accessible). 

Palmer Park

3650 Maizeland Rd. (Maizeland Rd. and N. Academy Blvd.)

Park Features: Community playground, two baseball/softball fields, three volleyball courts, football/soccer fields,  dog park, restrooms, picnic areas, scenic overlooks and over 25 miles of trails.

Reader Review:

Palmer Park is great. Start at the park, then go for a hike, end with a picnic.

Quail Lake Park

915 Cheyenne Mountain Blvd. (Cheyenne Mountain Blvd. and Quail Lake Rd.).

Park Features: Playground, Basketball court, Picnic areas, Non-motorized boating, Fishing, Fitness trail, Two sand volleyball courts. 

Contributor Review:

Our family LOVES going to Quail Lake. We start off for a picnic, play at the playground and then walk around the lake. The views are stunning!

Rampart Park

8270 Lexington Dr., (access parking lot from Lexington Dr. north of Rampart High School).

Park Features: Playground, Basketball court, Baseball field, Tennis courts, Soccer field, Disc golf, Dog park, Picnic area, BMX track

Reader Review:

This is a perfect spot for kids to give BMX a try. 

Wilson Ranch Park

2335 Allegheny Dr. (just west of Centennial Blvd.)

Park Features: Playground, Picnic pavilion, Tennis courts, In-line hockey/basketball court, YMCA outdoor pool, Skatepark

Reader Review:

We play here all of the time and love the pool.

Ye Olde Castlewood Park

 9411 Lizard Rock Trail (Cordera)

Park Features: Alice in Wonderland themed, playground, Oversized and undersized sculptures and play equipment, giving children and adults alike the illusion of being really big or really small—depending on where they are in the park. 

Reader Review:

Castlewood park is really cute. It is secluded and has fun equipment along with tables. There is a little miniature door which the kids loved and you can walk the trail.

Acacia Park

115 E. Platte Ave. (Tejon & Bijou)

Park Features: Playground, Outdoor ice skating rink, Uncle Wilbur Fountain

Blunt Park

2329 W. Vermijo Ave. (S 24th St. & W. Vermijo Ave.)

Park Features: Playground, Basketball court, Baseball/softball field, Football/soccer fields, multi-play court

Bonforte Park

2323 N. Wahsatch Ave. (N. Wahsatch Ave. & Jackson St.)

Park Features: Handicap accessible, Playground,  Baseball/softball fields, Football/soccer fields, Tennis courts, Seasonal restrooms, Trails

Reader Review:

We love this quiet and beautiful park.

Bott Park

815 S. 26th St. (S. 26th & Hagerman Sts.)

Park Features: Playground, Basketball/multi-play court, Picnic area, Tennis courts.

Boulder Park

1210 E. Boulder St. (N. Hancock Ave. & E. Boulder St.)

Park Features: Playground, Basketball court, Baseball/softball field, Football/soccer fields, Multi-play court, trails

Broadmoor Bluffs Park

5315 Farthing Dr. (Farthing Dr. & Cardiff Cir.)

Park Features: Playground, Sledding

Broadmoor Glen Park

4035 Danceglen Dr. (Farthing Dr. and Danceglen Dr.)

Park Features: Playground, Baseball/softball field, Shuffleboard, Tennis courts

Broadmoor Valley Park

3750 Broadmoor Valley Rd. (Broadmoor Valley Rd and Laurel Oak Ct.)

Park Features: Playground, Basketball court, Football/Soccer fields, Softball field,

Buckskin Charlie Park

3750 Broadmoor Valley Rd. 7665 Scarborough Dr. (Scarborough Dr. and Stillwell Dr.)

Park Features: Playground, In-line hockey/basketball court, Multi-use playfields, T-ball field, Picnic Area, Buckskin Charlie Memorial

Candleflower Park

7690 Contrails Dr. (Contrails Dr. & Candleflower Cir.)

Park Features: Playground, Open play area

Carver Park

4242 Carefree Cir. N. (Blissfull Cir. N. and Blissfull Cir. S.)

Park Features: Playground, Baseball/softball field, Basketball court, Football/soccer fields, Picnic area

Cheyenne Meadows Park

3868 Glen Meadow Dr. (at Oak Creek Dr. W.)

Park Features: Playground, Baseball/softball field, Basketball/multi-use court, Soccer/football fields, Horseshoes, picnic area, Trails, Fenced dog park

Cucharras Park

1121 W. Cucharras St. (S. 12th and Cucharras Sts.)

Park Features: Playground, Basketball/multi-play court

Danville Park

1147 Mountview Ln. (Mountview Ln. and N. Hancock Ave.)

Park Features: Playground, Basketball, Baseball/softball field, Multi-play court, Football/soccer field, Picnic area

Deerfield Hills Park

4290 Deerfield Hills Rd.

Park Features: Playground, Deerfield Community Center, Community garden, Multi-play court, Spray Ground, Trails

Discovery Park

155 Buckeye Dr. (Buckeye Dr. east of Pebble Way)

Park Features: Playground, Baseball/softball field, Football/soccer field

Dublin Park

2450 Roundtop Dr. (Roundtop Dr & Tuckerman Ln.)

Park Features: Playground, Baseball/softball field, Basketball court, Football/soccer field, Volleyball court, Picnic area, Trails.

Erindale Park

1705 Twin Oaks Dr. (east of Lemonwood Dr.)

Park Features: Playground, Multi-play court, Trails

Eugene McCleary Park

5214 Pioneer Mesa Dr.

Park Features: Playground, Backstop, Basketball/in-line hockey court, Soccer field

Reader Review:

 This is our favorite park. it’s quiet and the perfect size for daily play with the littles.

Explorer Park

4260 Bardot Dr. (east of Explorer Elementary School)

Park Features: Playground, In-line hockey court, Picnic area

Foothills Park

853 Allegheny Dr. (Allegheny Dr. at Dark Horse Dr.)

Park Features: Playground, Baseball field, Basketball court, Volleyball court, Football/soccer field, Multi-play court, Picnic area, Trails

Ford Frick Park

8025 N. Union Blvd. (N. Union Blvd. and Lexington Dr.)

Park Features: Playground, Baseball, Soccer field, Picnic area

Fountain Park

901 E. Fountain Blvd. (Fountain Blvd. and Institute St.)

Park Features: Playground, Hillside Community Center, Bike park, Baseball/softball field, Football/soccer field, Multi-play court, Community garden, Picnic area

Fred Mckown Park

901 E. Fountain Blvd. (Fountain Blvd. and Institute St.)

Park Features: Playground, Backstop, Basketball court, Multi-purpose field

Frontier Park

3725 Meadow Ridge Dr. (east of Moundsview Dr.)

Park Features: Playground, Baseball/softball field, Basketball court, Football/soccer field, Picnic area, Trails

Garden Ranch Park

2220 Montebello Dr. W. (Montebello Dr. W. and Saddle Dr.)

Park Features: Playground, Baseball/softball field, Volleyball court, Basketball court, Fitness trail, Football/soccer field, picnic area

George Fellows Park

5711 Tuckerman Dr. (south of Vickers Dr.)

Park Features: Playground, Children’s garden, Picnic area

Reader Review:

We love to stop at this park after we visit the East library. 

Gold Camp Park

1536 Gold Spike Terr. (south off Lower Gold Camp Rd.)

Park Features: Playground, Baseball, Basketball, Skateboard area,

Golden Hills Park

6155 Delmonico Dr. (Delmonico Dr. south of Mesedge Dr.)

Park Features: Playground, Baseball/softball, Basketball court, Picnic area, Trails

Henry Park

1404 Lehmberg Blvd. (south of Palmer Park Blvd.)

Park Features: Playground, Multi-purpose field, Basketball

High Meadows Park

4216 Ashby Field Dr.

Park Features: Playground, Inline skate court, Basketball, Picnic area

Homestead Park

5300 block of Carefree Cir. S. (east of Escapardo Way on north side of Carefree Cir. S.)

Park Features: Playground, Basketball, Trails

Horace Shelby Park

6442 Summit Peak Dr.

Park Features: Playground, In-line/multi-play court, Picnic area

Ivywild Park

1660 Dorchester Dr. (Dorchester St. & W. Navajo St.)

Park Features: Playground, Little Free Library, History plaques

Reader Review:

I love that this park is tucked away. There are birdhouses in the trees, plaques and even an old well. 

Jackson Park

1111 Holland Park Blvd. (Holland Park Blvd. and Forest Hill Rd.)

Park Features: Playground, Baseball/softball field, Football/softball field.

Jack Templeton Park

5347 Rose Ridge Ln. (south off Stetson Hills Blvd.)

Park Features: Playground, Basketball/in-line hockey court, Multi-purpose field

James H. Smith Park

2205 Spring Blossom Dr.

Park Features: Playground, Climbing structures, Playfield

Jared Jensen Park

6724 Windom Peak Blvd.

Park Features: Playground, Skateboard area, Inline skate court, Basketball, Picnic area

Jefferson Park

2580 Lelaray St. (Lelaray St. and Northview Dr.)

Park Features: Playground, Football/soccer field

John Stone Park

4017 Family Pl. (west of Briargate YMCA)

Park Features: Playground, Basketball court, Skateboard park, Soccer field

Kathleen Marriage Park

2320 Amberwood Ln. (Creekside Estates)

Park Features: Playground, Basketball court, Multi-use field, In-line hockey court, Playground

Keller Park

4950 Meadowland Blvd. (Meadowland Blvd. and Montebello Dr. W.)

Park Features: Playground, Baseball/softball fields, Football/soccer fields

Ken Jordan Park

5914 High Noon Ave.

Park Features: Playground, Baseball field, Basketball court, Climbing structure, Horseshoe pits, Picnic area

Keystone Park

6050 Sapporo Dr.

Park Features: Playground, Baseball/softball field, Football/soccer field

Laura Gilpin Park

7415 Kettle Drum St.

Park Features: Playground, Inline skate court, basketball, Soccer field

Mary Keyer Park

1102 Middle Creek Pkwy.

Park Features: Playground, In-line hockey/basketball court, Tennis court, Multi-use playfields, Picnic area, pond with recycling stream, Walking/jogging loop with trailhead

Meadowlark Park

2709 Dickens Dr.

Park Features: Playground, Volleyball, Multi-use court, Soccer field, Trails

Meadowridge Park

8320 Boxelder Dr. (Rangewood Dr. and Contrails Dr.)

Park Features: Playground, Trails

Meadows Park

1990 S. El Paso Ave.

Park Features: Playground, Meadows Park Community Center, Baseball, Basketball/softball field, Football/soccer field, Multi-play court

Mountain Shadows Park

5151 Flying W Ranch Rd.

Park Features: Playground, Multi-use fields, Sledding, Horseshoe pits, Volleyball, Picnic areas.

Be sure to check out the Waldo Canyon Fire Memorial

Nancy Lewis Park

2615 Logan Ave. (Templeton Gap Road and Logan Ave.)

Park Features: Playground with fitness equipment, Pond with ducks, Croquet/putting green, Sand volleyball court, Picnic area

Contributor Review:

This park is such a gem. The playground is wonderful and we love visiting the ducks at the pond. 

Oak Meadow Park

4960 Farthing Dr.

Park Features: Playground, Basketball, Multi-use field, Picnic area, Trails

Oak Valley Ranch Park

2325 Silent Rain Drive

Park Features: Playground, Basketball court, T-ball field, Soccer field, Picnic area, trails

Old Farm Park

4585 Old Farm Circle W. (east of Windgate Ct.)

Park Features: Playground, Basketball court, Volleyball court

Otero Park

4585 Old Farm Circle W. (east of Windgate Ct.)

Park Features: Playground, Scenic overlook, Trails

Otis Park

731 N. Iowa Ave.

Park Features: Playground, Baseball/softball field, Multi-play court, Running track, Outdoor shuffleboard courts, Tetherball poles, Volleyball court, Picnic area

Penstemon Park

1375 Jet Wing Cir. (Jet Wing Cir. at Dewar Dr.)

Park Features: Playground, Basketball court, Multi-use field

Pinecliff Park

855 Popes Valley Dr. (Popes Valley Dr. and Haverhill Pl.)

Park Features: Playground, Baseball field, Soccer field, Basketball, Trails

Piñon Valley Park

5585 Mule Deer Dr.

Park Features: Playground, Basketball/Volleyball, Multi-use field, Picnic area

Pioneer Park

1101 Cenotaph Cir.

Park Features: Playground, Baseball/softball field, Football/soccer field

Prairie Grass Park

710 Chapman Dr.

Park Features: Playground, Basketball, Skateboard area, Climbing rock,

Pring Ranch Park

5264 Prairie Grass Ln. (Tutt Blvd. and Bridlespur Ave.

Park Features: Playground, In-line hockey/basketball court, Multi-use playfields, T-ball field, Picnic area, Link to the trail system.

Portal Park

3535 N. Hancock Ave. (N Hancock Ave. and Manchester St. northeast of Templeton Gap floodway)

Park Features: Playground, Baseball/softball field, Multi-play court, Football/soccer field, Outdoor swimming pool (Operated by YMCA), Tennis courts, Trails

Remington Park

2750 Pony Tracks Dr. (just east of Peterson Rd.)

Park Features: Playground, Basketball court, Soccer field, Trails

Roosevelt Park

219 Byron Dr. (west of Murray Blvd.)

Park Features: Playground, Baseball/softball field, Multi-play court, Picnic area

Roswell Park

515 Polk St.

Park Features: Playground, Basketball court, Softball field, Picnic area

Roy Benavidez Park

975 Afternoon Circle

Park Features: Playground, Sand volleyball, Picnic area

Sagebrush Park

651 Crestline Dr.

Park Features: Playground, Basketball court, Soccer field, Trails

Sandstone Park

4650 Pring Ranch Rd.

Park Features: Playground, Baseball field, Basketball court, Volleyball court, Multi-use field, Tennis courts, Trails

Snowy River Park

6152 Snowy River Dr.

Park Features: Playground, In-line hockey/basketball court, Multi-use field

Soaring Eagles Park

3196 Spotted Tail Dr.

Park Features: Playground, In-line hockey/multi-play court, Backstop

South Shooks Run Park

734 S. Corona St./402 E. Fountain Blvd

Park Features: Playgrounds, Shooks Run Creek, Shooks Run Trail

Springs Ranch Park

2990 Pony Tracks Dr. (just west of Peterson Rd.)

Park Features: Playground, In-line hockey/basketball court, Multi-use playfields, T-ball field, Picnic area

Stetson Park

4870 Jedediah Smith Rd. (north of Stetson Elementary)

Park Features: Playground, In-line skate/basketball court, Skateboard park area, Soccer field, Baseball field

Trues Mill Park

305 Longfellow Dr. (Robbins Mill Pl. at Hunts Mill Terr.)

Park Features: Playground

Twain Park

3320 E. San Miguel St. (San Miguel St. at Querida Dr.)

Park Features: Playground, Baseball/softball field, Football/soccer field,

Villa Loma Park

5055 Escapardo Way (between Inspiration Dr. and Oro Blanco Dr.)

Park Features: Playground, Trails

Wagner Park

3637 E. Bijou St. (E. Pikes Peak Ave. and Stanford St.)

Park Features: Playground, Baseball/softball field, Multi-play court, Football/soccer field,

Wasson Park

1910 N. Circle Dr. (N. Circle Dr. and Constitution Ave.)

Park Features: Playground, Baseball/softball field, Multi-play courts, Football/soccer field,

Wedgewood Park

2830 Parliament Dr. (London Fog and Parliament Drs.)

Park Features: Playground, Softball field, Multi-use field, Trails

Westmoor Park

3315 Water St. (Chambers Dr. and Westmoor Pl.)

Park Features: Playground, Baseball/softball field, Basketball court, Tennis courts

Wildflower Park

980 Nolte Dr. West.

Park Features: Playground, Baseball field, Soccer field, Basketball/in-line skate court, Picnic area

Woodland Hills Park

3617 Woodland Hills Dr. (Woodland Hills Dr. at Marshwood Ct.)

Park Features: Playground, Baseball/softball field, Multi-use fields

Woodmen Valley Park

2525 W. Woodmen Rd. (east of Woodmen-Roberts Elementary School)

Park Features: Playground, Baseball field, Basketball court, Multi-use fields, Lighted tennis courts.

Woodstone Park

1315 Carlson Dr.

Park Features: Playground, Basketball court, T-ball field, Multi-use fields

Bear Creek Regional Park

21st St. & Argus Blvd

Park Features: Playground, Tennis courts, Archery, Sand volleyball, Basketball, Garden, Horseshoe pit, Dog park, Nature Center, Picnic areas, Trails

Black Forest Regional Park

4800 Shoup Road

Park Features: Playground, Basketball court, Horseback riding, Horseshoe pit, Tennis courts, Playing fields, Picnic area, Trails

Contributor Review:

We’ve been loving doing hikes at Black Forest regional park. We have found it to be less crowded than a lot of parks around town and there is a nice little playground after we do the short loop hike as well as a large grass area to run around!

Fountain Creek Regional Park

2010 Duckwood Road, Fountain, CO

Park Features: Playground, Willow Springs Ponds, Nature Center, Basketball court, Horseback riding, Volleyball, Dog park, Playing fields, Trails

Fox Run Regional Park

2110 Stella Drive

Park Features: Playgrounds, Dog park, Gazebo, Horseback riding, Horseshoe pit, Volleyball, Picnic area, Trails

Homestead Ranch Regional Park

16444 Gollihar Road, Peyton, CO

Park Features: Playgrounds, Fishing, Horseback riding, Picnic area, Trails

Community Parks
America the Beautiful Park

126 Cimino Dr. (Downtown)

Park Features: Playground, Picnic pavilion, Restrooms, Walking paths, Trail access.

Be sure to check out The Quirks, interactive art pieces located together on one side of the playground. 

Reader Review:

My 6-year-old absolutely loves America the Beautiful park.     

Cottonwood Creek Park

7040 Rangewood Dr. (Dublin Blvd. & Rangewood Dr.)

Park Features: Rec. center with indoor pool, Playground, Sledding hills, four soccer fields, three baseball/softball fields, in-line hockey court, tennis courts, basketball, Disc golf course, picnic tables, restrooms, walking paths (wheelchair accessible)

Reader Review:

Cottonwood Creek is our favorite. We can hop on a trail, play in the open space or on the playground all in one area.

The Happy Meadows Park

9295 Happy Meadows Trail (Cordera)

Park Features: Inspired by Charlotte’s Web, Barn-themed play equipment, Pig and spider sculptures, Climbing wall, Basketball/in-line skating, Mini apple-orchard

John Venezia Park

3555 Briargate Pkwy. (Briargate Parkway and Union Blvd).

Park Features: Playground, Sprayground, Pavilions, Picnic area, Artificial turf field, Soccer field, In-line hockey/basketball court, Four Pickleball courts, Restrooms, Walking loops, Trail access.

Reader Review:

 Venezia Park is a new favorite for our family! Perfect because it has parts for all ages.  

Memorial Park

1605 E. Pikes Peak Ave. (E. Pikes Peak and Hancock Aves.)

Park Features: Three playgrounds including Phil Long/Denver Broncos Community Playground with ADA accessibility, 40,000 square foot Skatepark, Sertich Ice Center, YMCA Rec. Center,  Lake, Trails, Horseshoe courts, Picnic areas, Restrooms, 

Reader Review:

My oldest loves the skatepark at Memorial and I love that it gets him outdoors.

Monument Valley Park

170 W. Cache La Poudre St

Park Features: Playgrounds, Baseball/Softball fields, Soccer fields, Tennis/Pickleball courts (lighted), Sand volleyball area, Picnic areas, Restrooms, Hiking/Bicycling trails, Access to Pikes Peak Greenway Trail, (wheelchair accessible). 

Palmer Park

3650 Maizeland Rd. (Maizeland Rd. and N. Academy Blvd.)

Park Features: Community playground, two baseball/softball fields, three volleyball courts, football/soccer fields,  dog park, restrooms, picnic areas, scenic overlooks and over 25 miles of trails.

Reader Review:

Palmer Park is great. Start at the park, then go for a hike, end with a picnic.

Quail Lake Park

915 Cheyenne Mountain Blvd. (Cheyenne Mountain Blvd. and Quail Lake Rd.).

Park Features: Playground, Basketball court, Picnic areas, Non-motorized boating, Fishing, Fitness trail, Two sand volleyball courts. 

Contributor Review:

Our family LOVES going to Quail Lake. We start off for a picnic, play at the playground and then walk around the lake. The views are stunning!

Rampart Park

8270 Lexington Dr., (access parking lot from Lexington Dr. north of Rampart High School).

Park Features: Playground, Basketball court, Baseball field, Tennis courts, Soccer field, Disc golf, Dog park, Picnic area, BMX track

Reader Review:

This is a perfect spot for kids to give BMX a try. 

Wilson Ranch Park

2335 Allegheny Dr. (just west of Centennial Blvd.)

Park Features: Playground, Picnic pavilion, Tennis courts, In-line hockey/basketball court, YMCA outdoor pool, Skatepark

Reader Review:

We play here all of the time and love the pool.

Ye Olde Castlewood Park

 9411 Lizard Rock Trail (Cordera)

Park Features: Alice in Wonderland themed, playground, Oversized and undersized sculptures and play equipment, giving children and adults alike the illusion of being really big or really small—depending on where they are in the park. 

Reader Review:

Castlewood park is really cute. It is secluded and has fun equipment along with tables. There is a little miniature door which the kids loved and you can walk the trail.

Neighborhood Parks
Acacia Park

115 E. Platte Ave. (Tejon & Bijou)

Park Features: Playground, Outdoor ice skating rink, Uncle Wilbur Fountain

Blunt Park

2329 W. Vermijo Ave. (S 24th St. & W. Vermijo Ave.)

Park Features: Playground, Basketball court, Baseball/softball field, Football/soccer fields, multi-play court

Bonforte Park

2323 N. Wahsatch Ave. (N. Wahsatch Ave. & Jackson St.)

Park Features: Handicap accessible, Playground,  Baseball/softball fields, Football/soccer fields, Tennis courts, Seasonal restrooms, Trails

Reader Review:

We love this quiet and beautiful park.

Bott Park

815 S. 26th St. (S. 26th & Hagerman Sts.)

Park Features: Playground, Basketball/multi-play court, Picnic area, Tennis courts.

Boulder Park

1210 E. Boulder St. (N. Hancock Ave. & E. Boulder St.)

Park Features: Playground, Basketball court, Baseball/softball field, Football/soccer fields, Multi-play court, trails

Broadmoor Bluffs Park

5315 Farthing Dr. (Farthing Dr. & Cardiff Cir.)

Park Features: Playground, Sledding

Broadmoor Glen Park

4035 Danceglen Dr. (Farthing Dr. and Danceglen Dr.)

Park Features: Playground, Baseball/softball field, Shuffleboard, Tennis courts

Broadmoor Valley Park

3750 Broadmoor Valley Rd. (Broadmoor Valley Rd and Laurel Oak Ct.)

Park Features: Playground, Basketball court, Football/Soccer fields, Softball field,

Buckskin Charlie Park

3750 Broadmoor Valley Rd. 7665 Scarborough Dr. (Scarborough Dr. and Stillwell Dr.)

Park Features: Playground, In-line hockey/basketball court, Multi-use playfields, T-ball field, Picnic Area, Buckskin Charlie Memorial

Candleflower Park

7690 Contrails Dr. (Contrails Dr. & Candleflower Cir.)

Park Features: Playground, Open play area

Carver Park

4242 Carefree Cir. N. (Blissfull Cir. N. and Blissfull Cir. S.)

Park Features: Playground, Baseball/softball field, Basketball court, Football/soccer fields, Picnic area

Cheyenne Meadows Park

3868 Glen Meadow Dr. (at Oak Creek Dr. W.)

Park Features: Playground, Baseball/softball field, Basketball/multi-use court, Soccer/football fields, Horseshoes, picnic area, Trails, Fenced dog park

Cucharras Park

1121 W. Cucharras St. (S. 12th and Cucharras Sts.)

Park Features: Playground, Basketball/multi-play court

Danville Park

1147 Mountview Ln. (Mountview Ln. and N. Hancock Ave.)

Park Features: Playground, Basketball, Baseball/softball field, Multi-play court, Football/soccer field, Picnic area

Deerfield Hills Park

4290 Deerfield Hills Rd.

Park Features: Playground, Deerfield Community Center, Community garden, Multi-play court, Spray Ground, Trails

Discovery Park

155 Buckeye Dr. (Buckeye Dr. east of Pebble Way)

Park Features: Playground, Baseball/softball field, Football/soccer field

Dublin Park

2450 Roundtop Dr. (Roundtop Dr & Tuckerman Ln.)

Park Features: Playground, Baseball/softball field, Basketball court, Football/soccer field, Volleyball court, Picnic area, Trails.

Erindale Park

1705 Twin Oaks Dr. (east of Lemonwood Dr.)

Park Features: Playground, Multi-play court, Trails

Eugene McCleary Park

5214 Pioneer Mesa Dr.

Park Features: Playground, Backstop, Basketball/in-line hockey court, Soccer field

Reader Review:

 This is our favorite park. it’s quiet and the perfect size for daily play with the littles.

Explorer Park

4260 Bardot Dr. (east of Explorer Elementary School)

Park Features: Playground, In-line hockey court, Picnic area

Foothills Park

853 Allegheny Dr. (Allegheny Dr. at Dark Horse Dr.)

Park Features: Playground, Baseball field, Basketball court, Volleyball court, Football/soccer field, Multi-play court, Picnic area, Trails

Ford Frick Park

8025 N. Union Blvd. (N. Union Blvd. and Lexington Dr.)

Park Features: Playground, Baseball, Soccer field, Picnic area

Fountain Park

901 E. Fountain Blvd. (Fountain Blvd. and Institute St.)

Park Features: Playground, Hillside Community Center, Bike park, Baseball/softball field, Football/soccer field, Multi-play court, Community garden, Picnic area

Fred Mckown Park

901 E. Fountain Blvd. (Fountain Blvd. and Institute St.)

Park Features: Playground, Backstop, Basketball court, Multi-purpose field

Frontier Park

3725 Meadow Ridge Dr. (east of Moundsview Dr.)

Park Features: Playground, Baseball/softball field, Basketball court, Football/soccer field, Picnic area, Trails

Garden Ranch Park

2220 Montebello Dr. W. (Montebello Dr. W. and Saddle Dr.)

Park Features: Playground, Baseball/softball field, Volleyball court, Basketball court, Fitness trail, Football/soccer field, picnic area

George Fellows Park

5711 Tuckerman Dr. (south of Vickers Dr.)

Park Features: Playground, Children’s garden, Picnic area

Reader Review:

We love to stop at this park after we visit the East library. 

Gold Camp Park

1536 Gold Spike Terr. (south off Lower Gold Camp Rd.)

Park Features: Playground, Baseball, Basketball, Skateboard area,

Golden Hills Park

6155 Delmonico Dr. (Delmonico Dr. south of Mesedge Dr.)

Park Features: Playground, Baseball/softball, Basketball court, Picnic area, Trails

Henry Park

1404 Lehmberg Blvd. (south of Palmer Park Blvd.)

Park Features: Playground, Multi-purpose field, Basketball

High Meadows Park

4216 Ashby Field Dr.

Park Features: Playground, Inline skate court, Basketball, Picnic area

Homestead Park

5300 block of Carefree Cir. S. (east of Escapardo Way on north side of Carefree Cir. S.)

Park Features: Playground, Basketball, Trails

Horace Shelby Park

6442 Summit Peak Dr.

Park Features: Playground, In-line/multi-play court, Picnic area

Ivywild Park

1660 Dorchester Dr. (Dorchester St. & W. Navajo St.)

Park Features: Playground, Little Free Library, History plaques

Reader Review:

I love that this park is tucked away. There are birdhouses in the trees, plaques and even an old well. 

Jackson Park

1111 Holland Park Blvd. (Holland Park Blvd. and Forest Hill Rd.)

Park Features: Playground, Baseball/softball field, Football/softball field.

Jack Templeton Park

5347 Rose Ridge Ln. (south off Stetson Hills Blvd.)

Park Features: Playground, Basketball/in-line hockey court, Multi-purpose field

James H. Smith Park

2205 Spring Blossom Dr.

Park Features: Playground, Climbing structures, Playfield

Jared Jensen Park

6724 Windom Peak Blvd.

Park Features: Playground, Skateboard area, Inline skate court, Basketball, Picnic area

Jefferson Park

2580 Lelaray St. (Lelaray St. and Northview Dr.)

Park Features: Playground, Football/soccer field

John Stone Park

4017 Family Pl. (west of Briargate YMCA)

Park Features: Playground, Basketball court, Skateboard park, Soccer field

Kathleen Marriage Park

2320 Amberwood Ln. (Creekside Estates)

Park Features: Playground, Basketball court, Multi-use field, In-line hockey court, Playground

Keller Park

4950 Meadowland Blvd. (Meadowland Blvd. and Montebello Dr. W.)

Park Features: Playground, Baseball/softball fields, Football/soccer fields

Ken Jordan Park

5914 High Noon Ave.

Park Features: Playground, Baseball field, Basketball court, Climbing structure, Horseshoe pits, Picnic area

Keystone Park

6050 Sapporo Dr.

Park Features: Playground, Baseball/softball field, Football/soccer field

Laura Gilpin Park

7415 Kettle Drum St.

Park Features: Playground, Inline skate court, basketball, Soccer field

Mary Keyer Park

1102 Middle Creek Pkwy.

Park Features: Playground, In-line hockey/basketball court, Tennis court, Multi-use playfields, Picnic area, pond with recycling stream, Walking/jogging loop with trailhead

Meadowlark Park

2709 Dickens Dr.

Park Features: Playground, Volleyball, Multi-use court, Soccer field, Trails

Meadowridge Park

8320 Boxelder Dr. (Rangewood Dr. and Contrails Dr.)

Park Features: Playground, Trails

Meadows Park

1990 S. El Paso Ave.

Park Features: Playground, Meadows Park Community Center, Baseball, Basketball/softball field, Football/soccer field, Multi-play court

Mountain Shadows Park

5151 Flying W Ranch Rd.

Park Features: Playground, Multi-use fields, Sledding, Horseshoe pits, Volleyball, Picnic areas.

Be sure to check out the Waldo Canyon Fire Memorial

Nancy Lewis Park

2615 Logan Ave. (Templeton Gap Road and Logan Ave.)

Park Features: Playground with fitness equipment, Pond with ducks, Croquet/putting green, Sand volleyball court, Picnic area

Contributor Review:

This park is such a gem. The playground is wonderful and we love visiting the ducks at the pond. 

Oak Meadow Park

4960 Farthing Dr.

Park Features: Playground, Basketball, Multi-use field, Picnic area, Trails

Oak Valley Ranch Park

2325 Silent Rain Drive

Park Features: Playground, Basketball court, T-ball field, Soccer field, Picnic area, trails

Old Farm Park

4585 Old Farm Circle W. (east of Windgate Ct.)

Park Features: Playground, Basketball court, Volleyball court

Otero Park

4585 Old Farm Circle W. (east of Windgate Ct.)

Park Features: Playground, Scenic overlook, Trails

Otis Park

731 N. Iowa Ave.

Park Features: Playground, Baseball/softball field, Multi-play court, Running track, Outdoor shuffleboard courts, Tetherball poles, Volleyball court, Picnic area

Penstemon Park

1375 Jet Wing Cir. (Jet Wing Cir. at Dewar Dr.)

Park Features: Playground, Basketball court, Multi-use field

Pinecliff Park

855 Popes Valley Dr. (Popes Valley Dr. and Haverhill Pl.)

Park Features: Playground, Baseball field, Soccer field, Basketball, Trails

Piñon Valley Park

5585 Mule Deer Dr.

Park Features: Playground, Basketball/Volleyball, Multi-use field, Picnic area

Pioneer Park

1101 Cenotaph Cir.

Park Features: Playground, Baseball/softball field, Football/soccer field

Prairie Grass Park

710 Chapman Dr.

Park Features: Playground, Basketball, Skateboard area, Climbing rock,

Pring Ranch Park

5264 Prairie Grass Ln. (Tutt Blvd. and Bridlespur Ave.

Park Features: Playground, In-line hockey/basketball court, Multi-use playfields, T-ball field, Picnic area, Link to the trail system.

Portal Park

3535 N. Hancock Ave. (N Hancock Ave. and Manchester St. northeast of Templeton Gap floodway)

Park Features: Playground, Baseball/softball field, Multi-play court, Football/soccer field, Outdoor swimming pool (Operated by YMCA), Tennis courts, Trails

Remington Park

2750 Pony Tracks Dr. (just east of Peterson Rd.)

Park Features: Playground, Basketball court, Soccer field, Trails

Roosevelt Park

219 Byron Dr. (west of Murray Blvd.)

Park Features: Playground, Baseball/softball field, Multi-play court, Picnic area

Roswell Park

515 Polk St.

Park Features: Playground, Basketball court, Softball field, Picnic area

Roy Benavidez Park

975 Afternoon Circle

Park Features: Playground, Sand volleyball, Picnic area

Sagebrush Park

651 Crestline Dr.

Park Features: Playground, Basketball court, Soccer field, Trails

Sandstone Park

4650 Pring Ranch Rd.

Park Features: Playground, Baseball field, Basketball court, Volleyball court, Multi-use field, Tennis courts, Trails

Snowy River Park

6152 Snowy River Dr.

Park Features: Playground, In-line hockey/basketball court, Multi-use field

Soaring Eagles Park

3196 Spotted Tail Dr.

Park Features: Playground, In-line hockey/multi-play court, Backstop

South Shooks Run Park

734 S. Corona St./402 E. Fountain Blvd

Park Features: Playgrounds, Shooks Run Creek, Shooks Run Trail

Springs Ranch Park

2990 Pony Tracks Dr. (just west of Peterson Rd.)

Park Features: Playground, In-line hockey/basketball court, Multi-use playfields, T-ball field, Picnic area

Stetson Park

4870 Jedediah Smith Rd. (north of Stetson Elementary)

Park Features: Playground, In-line skate/basketball court, Skateboard park area, Soccer field, Baseball field

Trues Mill Park

305 Longfellow Dr. (Robbins Mill Pl. at Hunts Mill Terr.)

Park Features: Playground

Twain Park

3320 E. San Miguel St. (San Miguel St. at Querida Dr.)

Park Features: Playground, Baseball/softball field, Football/soccer field,

Villa Loma Park

5055 Escapardo Way (between Inspiration Dr. and Oro Blanco Dr.)

Park Features: Playground, Trails

Wagner Park

3637 E. Bijou St. (E. Pikes Peak Ave. and Stanford St.)

Park Features: Playground, Baseball/softball field, Multi-play court, Football/soccer field,

Wasson Park

1910 N. Circle Dr. (N. Circle Dr. and Constitution Ave.)

Park Features: Playground, Baseball/softball field, Multi-play courts, Football/soccer field,

Wedgewood Park

2830 Parliament Dr. (London Fog and Parliament Drs.)

Park Features: Playground, Softball field, Multi-use field, Trails

Westmoor Park

3315 Water St. (Chambers Dr. and Westmoor Pl.)

Park Features: Playground, Baseball/softball field, Basketball court, Tennis courts

Wildflower Park

980 Nolte Dr. West.

Park Features: Playground, Baseball field, Soccer field, Basketball/in-line skate court, Picnic area

Woodland Hills Park

3617 Woodland Hills Dr. (Woodland Hills Dr. at Marshwood Ct.)

Park Features: Playground, Baseball/softball field, Multi-use fields

Woodmen Valley Park

2525 W. Woodmen Rd. (east of Woodmen-Roberts Elementary School)

Park Features: Playground, Baseball field, Basketball court, Multi-use fields, Lighted tennis courts.

Woodstone Park

1315 Carlson Dr.

Park Features: Playground, Basketball court, T-ball field, Multi-use fields

Regional Parks
Bear Creek Regional Park

21st St. & Argus Blvd

Park Features: Playground, Tennis courts, Archery, Sand volleyball, Basketball, Garden, Horseshoe pit, Dog park, Nature Center, Picnic areas, Trails

Black Forest Regional Park

4800 Shoup Road

Park Features: Playground, Basketball court, Horseback riding, Horseshoe pit, Tennis courts, Playing fields, Picnic area, Trails

Contributor Review:

We’ve been loving doing hikes at Black Forest regional park. We have found it to be less crowded than a lot of parks around town and there is a nice little playground after we do the short loop hike as well as a large grass area to run around!

Fountain Creek Regional Park

2010 Duckwood Road, Fountain, CO

Park Features: Playground, Willow Springs Ponds, Nature Center, Basketball court, Horseback riding, Volleyball, Dog park, Playing fields, Trails

Fox Run Regional Park

2110 Stella Drive

Park Features: Playgrounds, Dog park, Gazebo, Horseback riding, Horseshoe pit, Volleyball, Picnic area, Trails

Homestead Ranch Regional Park

16444 Gollihar Road, Peyton, CO

Park Features: Playgrounds, Fishing, Horseback riding, Picnic area, Trails

Parks Map

Creating Structure in a Cancelled Summer: Time for Camp Mom

I spent my summers pre-kids working for and running summer camps. I met and fell in love with my husband at camp. Deep down inside, I still love belting camp songs, complete with motions. It is in my blood. Which is why this summer breaks my heart. Camps all over the world either flat out cancelled or altered almost beyond recognition in a time when we are all needing some normal.

As we have found our groove, I have been trying out different ways to add a little structure to our days. Something to expect and look forward to. While I appreciate my children’s ability to get along spending entire days building LEGO in the basement, I was getting bored! I have settled on a very loose and flexible framework for our weekdays. If we skip something or go on a long hike and don’t get around to all our plans, I don’t sweat it. Summer is supposed to fun rather than stressing out kids or moms!

Camp Mom is in session:

Handicrafts

This has turned out to be a huge winner! I dug through my (too extensive) craft supply hoard and made a list of activities and crafts we could do using supplies on hand. We put them on slips of paper and into a jar and we pull one out when we are looking for something to do. Slime, friendship bracelets, and beads! It’s been fun to introduce them to some of my favorite camp activities. When my memory has failed on the how-to of the day’s craft, we have turned to YouTube for help.

Life Skills

In my constant quest to raise adults rather than kids, life skills are front and center. I have a reluctant chore-completer who values choice, so I got a little creative. Every week, each kid gets four chores and they get to choose what order and how quickly they complete them. If they complete all four, they get paid on a simple ledger. This helps them understand the process, and we’re incorporating other lessons, such as developing a budget that includes saving and giving.

We also give them opportunities to work on skills that interest them. So far, we have done some more involved cooking together, as well as some woodworking and bicycle maintenance. They have expressed interest in sewing and photography. We have spent time writing actual letters to send to friends and family.

Mindfulness

Now more than ever, it feels so important to focus some attention on our emotional intelligence and wellness. Sometimes we are working out or going for a walk or a hike. Other times, we practice meditation or yoga together. We checked out a few library books that have short lessons and activities to work on coping skills and self-understanding. Through all of it, we’re taking time to talk about all the feelings we are having.

Afternoon Tea

I have always been a fan of afternoon tea. It feels fancy and luxurious, and gives a good pause in an ordinary day. The kids have enjoyed taking turns deciding on our refreshments and a topic of conversation. We have an unofficial rule that elaborate desserts can only happen once a week. Every week, one day is a poetry party. We’ve been enjoying perusing some poetry books and sharing some out loud together. A couple weeks in and we all look forward to our daily ritual.

What are you choosing to fill your summer with? What is working well for your family?

camp

July Fourth Reflections from your local Pyrotechnician

Our family takes July Fourth pretty seriously. But we have always done Independence Day a little differently than the average family.

When my husband and I were engaged, he received a call from his family with a request. He looked at me doubtfully before hanging up the phone and told them that he would run it by me to see if it was a possibility.

He wasted no time and cut to the chase. How would I feel about taking a few days off work to help his family out over the Fourth of July?

“Help them do what?” I asked, skeptically.

Well, his family has been in charge of shooting several professional fireworks shows in New Mexico for years and they had one show that was short-staffed. They were asking if we would be willing to be that staff.

Him: They would cover our gas, and lodging…but it would be doing pretty serious manual labor. In the desert. In July. Oh, and pretty much for free…

Me: Wait, so you are telling me that we will be shooting fireworks? Like actually shooting them off? REAL ones? Not the kind you get from those little shacks alongside the road, but REAL ones?

Him: Well, yeah…

Me: Done.

Him: Wait…really?!

And that is how it started.

The year after, we were given our “own” show in Grants, New Mexico, and for years that was our family’s only vacation together. One of the only “traditions” we stuck to.

I mean, we were poor. And that was essentially our version of a paid vacation.

But it was invigorating.

There was something about un-plugging. Getting out of town. Sweating. Getting dirty. Being sore and exhausted.

We brought on friends and family as our help during those years. We even had a few who came back and helped the following year.

And my kiddos.

We were in Grants in both 2012 and 2014 when I was pregnant with my girls. My parents started meeting us there in 2013 and my mom watched my daughter while we worked.

As the girls got older, we spent our spare moments in the hotel pool. Hotel lobby breakfasts. Crockpot meals in the room. We made makeshift sleeping arrangements; I am pretty sure my youngest slept in the bathtub one year because it was the only way we could keep the room dark and somewhat quiet.

It was a time of reflection for us.

A time to remember what we had been blessed with and why. A chance to revisit patriotism and ruminate on gratefulness. It gave us a chance to re-set for the next year.

And it provided us the opportunity to have that conversation with our girls as well. Granted, we generally got to have that conversation throughout the week and then punctuate it at the end with a literal bang.

Talk about punctuating the point.

I tell you what – there is nothing like watching fireworks from right underneath them. (Except maybe watching my kids watch fireworks; but that would be a completely different blog.)

Maybe it is the watching 22+ hours of blood and sweat equity go up in about 22 minutes. Maybe it is knowing that there is an entire city of people who have been waiting hours for this very moment. Maybe it is hearing their hoots and hollers from that very same crowd when it is all over; knowing that you worked HARD for their joy.

I used to think that for us it is knowing that it was another good year with a safe show, enjoyed by the masses.

But it is more than that.

It is a day when we all come together.

Race, creed, or color; it is a celebration of a nation that has given us the opportunity to be any one of those things and so much more. “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness,” more specifically, as taken from our very own Declaration of Independence.

For us, it is not about the work that goes into that week in preparing for one night. It is about the blood, sweat and tears that make up this life that we are all doing together.

And, more importantly, it is about doing it together.

We have been stretched as a nation lately; my hope is that we can take all that has happened in this last year and use it as a tie that can bind us together instead of a wedge separating us further.

I hope that this year, July Fourth can be a time to come together. That it will be a source of joy and a time for reflection.

And make sure to cheer for your fireworks crews – they have had you in mind all week preparing for that one moment of togetherness.

July Fourth

You’re Invited :: Free Virtual Park Hop Series

We are grateful to our local partners who make our events possible!

Co Springs Mom Collective and Colorado Springs Utilities are excited to present our 2nd annual Summer Virtual Park Hop Series!

About the Virtual Park Hops

These are FREE VIRTUAL EVENTS taking place throughout the summer in our Facebook Event page. We will be “live” on each date with a craft or activity AND special giveaways, discounts and other fun surprises for you and your kids between 10:00-11:00 AM each time, and would love to see your family for any portion {or all!} of this time frame!

Join us at the next virtual Park Hop of the summer!

Thursday, July 23rd – 10:00 am to 11:00 am in our event page
~Event Sponsor: Colorado Springs Utilities
~Activity Sponsors: True North ChiropracticPlay Street Museum, and Kokomo Sno Shave Ice

We hope you’ll join us in making this a summer to remember!

THANK YOU TO OUR EVENT SPONSOR! These events wouldn’t be possible without the help of Colorado Springs Utilities. Their mission is to provide safe, reliable, competitively-priced electric, natural gas, water and wastewater services to the citizen owners and customers of Colorado Springs Utilities.

CSU Park Hop Series

Sticky Hands and Sticky Hearts

This piece was originally published on February 11, 2018.

My son spilled my coffee this morning. All over the living room floor. It seems like it’s always on the harder days where these kinds of messes happen — where I’m already praying for a redo and I haven’t even gotten out of bed. There are a few stains around the house that memorialize these hard days; they haven’t all yet faded away.

The Messes

For example, I bought a white table last year. I thought that I could muscle a little bit of farmhouse into our house, but I forgot that I don’t have a live-in maid. Now, the table has this yellow tint that’s appeared around the edges after scrubbing and washing the top over and over again. It’s also decorated with dents, and chips, and permanent marker showcasing the times our family has spent there together: eating, crafting, and more.

Also, we painted our walls not my most favorite color right when we moved into this house. In fact, I think we painted it once, and then we painted it twice. It’s still not the color I want it to be, but I’m indecisive like that. Of course, it doesn’t actually matter what color my walls are, as my kids have discovered that walls are like canvases, too. They’ve found joy in taking mascara and crayons to it, like Van Gogh takes to a masterpiece—with gusto. And, no regret.

The Cleaning

I can name all the places in our house that have been aggressively loved by my kids. Some of them fondly, most of them not. When you’re in charge of the day-to-day cleaning, it’s hard not feel frustrated by these spots. You’re reminded how while you may clean it today… you have no idea what will happen to it tomorrow. There’s always a risk involved. Perhaps this is why I hardly ever mop?

I’ve come to realize that my home is a lot like my heart. There are days where I scrub it clean and prepare it for goals, dreams, and work and for those days where I’ve invited people in—to gather and play. Sometimes, I’m simply enjoying the few seconds where I’m alone and it’s quiet. But truth is, on every one of these days—the walls of my heart will always reflect the same; tiny little hands that have made them theirs.

The Frustration

Honestly, I used to feel frustrated by the marks and the dents and the chaos.  I’d get mad and have to disappear for a while. “This is why we can’t have nice things!” I’d yell in my head. Sometimes, I still do. Sometimes in the heat of the moment, a spilled cup of whatever on my brand new ottoman sends me spinning; and straight to the bathroom crying. It’s actually unlike me. Ask any of my friends, or even better—ask my husband. Messes don’t scare me.

The thing is, it actually has nothing to do with the messes themselves. It’s about the utter takeover, about the lack of space, about having nothing that’s mine anymore. It’s not my house, it’s theirs. And it’s not my heart, it’s theirs.

I could hardly wash them clean of it, now could I? Nor, would I want to.

The Realization

At the moment, my entire staircase wall is lined with squiggles from my son. It’s been a few months, and I still haven’t touched it. Instead of a glare on my conscious, it’s become a trophy of sorts.

It’s come to remind me that this is the season where memories are made. It’s come to remind me that just like homes, our hearts are meant to be lived in. And it’s come to remind me that these are the days that sticky hands matter because like memories, they form sticky hearts.

Always bound together.

messes

4 Ways to Elevate Your Red, White and Blue Outfits

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Fourth of July and summer time is the perfect time to rock your red, white and blue. But don’t just reach for the typical flag graphic t-shirt; why not try mixing pieces in your closet to create a more elevated patriotic look? I’m here to give you some ideas for how to pull it off.

Use What You’ve Got

Take a look in your closet. Do you have any of the following items?

  • White shorts/jeans/skirts
  • A solid t-shirt/tank top in red, white, or blue
  • Denim shorts or a skirt
  • A scarf or bandana
  • Accessories that are red, white, blue, or gold
  • A sun dress that has any combinations of red, white, or blue in any print, pattern, or is solid
  • Any piece of clothing that has stripes
  • A patriotic graphic tee, or a white tee that has a minimalist graphic design
  • A denim vest, either blue or white

My guess is, you do. And since you probably own at least one of the items above, you can put together a fun, festive, and classy patriotic look for your July 4th celebrations.

#1 White Bottoms for your Base

Grab your white shorts and use that as your base for creating a casual and neutral patriotic look. I used a polka dot neck scarf as a headband to add some print, and my metallic sandals for some shine. I know the photo makes my shirt look purplish, but I promise, it’s really a deep red color. Use the shades you own in your closet and make them work!
July Fourth 1

#2 Wear Your Stripes

No matter where you wear your stripes, they play well in a patriotic ensemble. Here I paired my graphic tank with a striped skirt. Your red, white, and blue can be bold or as understated as you’d like!July Fourth 3

#3 White tee with a minimal graphic

White tees are a staple in any closet. No matter if your white tee is solid or not, use it as your base and build your outfit from there. Here I reached for my COS MOM tee, denim shorts, and a simple red neck scarf. This look is easy, but pulled together. (Do you have a COS MOM shirt yet? Read my post with more ideas for how to style this excellent tee!)

#4 Dress it up

A dress is one of the easiest ways to go. It requires literally zero thinking as far as what to pair with it. Your dress will most likely look different than mine, but no matter if your dress is white with red polka dots or red with white and blue floral print… you can make your dress work! Use the dress as the base, and choose your accessories accordingly. Here all I needed to add was a pair of red earrings.July Fourth 4

I hope these tips and ideas have inspired you to get into your closet and play around with red, white and blue combinations! Have fun with your clothes and enjoy your July 4th celebrations!

red white and blue

Founding Fathers: Fun Facts About Colorado Springs’ Main Men

Did you know that less than half of Colorado residents were born here? If you’re like me, you simply arrived in this beautiful state as soon as you could, but you may know little about how Colorado Springs was founded.

Here are four facts for you and your kids about two major players in the city’s history: General William Jackson Palmer and Spencer Penrose.

Brotherly Love?

Born more than 30 years apart, these two men both have roots in Philadelphia. General Palmer, the elder of the two, moved to Philly with his family at age 5; Penrose was born into a prominent family there. Palmer eventually married into another prominent family when he took Mary Lincoln Mellon as his wife.

Fun fact for kids… General Palmer’s wife’s nickname was “Queen,” so it should be no surprise that General Palmer built her a castle. You can visit that castle today at Glen Eyrie, a hidden gem very close to Garden of the Gods.

Despite their well-heeled backgrounds, these two men could not have been more different.

General William Jackson Palmer

One of Palmer’s early passions was the railroad, and he was quite effective early on in his career. He convinced the owners of the Pennsylvania railway to switch to coal rather than the traditional wood-burning locomotives. The railway was the first in the US to do so. He soon put his career on hold to join Union forces in the Civil War, eventually rising to the ranks of brevet Brigadier General and earning the Congressional Medal of Honor for valor at age 29.

Within two years, he headed west to seek his fortune and to continue building his first love: the railroad.

Palmer was tasked with finding a route to California. Enamored with the beauty of our region, he settled here and continued to invest, founding the Denver and Rio Grande railway that ran across Colorado’s prolific mines. In some ways, this is where Palmer and Penrose’s paths cross.

Spencer Penrose

Spencer Penrose was born after the Civil War ended, and was considered by many to be a black sheep of sorts. He graduated last in his class at Harvard and went west to prove himself. Legend has it that he landed in Colorado Springs at age 27, flat broke and promptly landed in a bar fight!

When Penrose arrived in 1892, Colorado Springs was forming under General Palmer’s vision for a genteel, dry city. Spencer Penrose was a major fan of the very vices General Palmer sought to outlaw: gambling and drinking.

Fun fact for parents… Penrose eventually lost an eye several years after an injury sustained in college. As his fortunes grew, he had two glass eyes made: one with normal veining, and another to match his more common hungover and bloodshot look for the mornings!

While Palmer built his fortune by rail, Penrose dug deep and made money in mining. Only later did he come to invest in the property we now know as the Broadmoor.

Antagonism Starts With A

Palmer and Penrose both had visions for the city and for those who would come to visit. Palmer built the Antlers Hotel in the center of downtown. Penrose wanted the freedom to drink as he wished, went further south and built the Broadmoor Hotel.

Fun non-fact… Many have speculated that the small A in the Broadmoor’s logo was a snub directed at Palmer’s less tony Antler’s hotel. Although that story could fit Penrose’s more salty persona, construction on the Broadmoor began almost ten years after Palmer’s death. (And after the Antlers had burned to the ground and was rebuilt). Instead, the small A was an attempt to circumvent copyright issues with the Broadmoor name.

Some have described these two men as rivals, but their presence and desire for the well-being of our city continue to shape life here today.

Deep Pockets and Great Amenities

As General Palmer planned out the city, he gave land for schools, churches, and especially parks. As he retired from business, he focused on philanthropy. He gave roughly $4 million dollars (over $110 million today) to ensure the city would thrive.

Fun fact for everyone… Nearly 20 years after Palmer died, residents of the city raised funds to honor him with a statue. Palmer considered the intersection of Nevada and Platte as the heart of the city. He placed one of the first parks—Acacia Park—there for its stellar view of Pikes Peak. Called “the Man on the Iron Horse,” the statue reflects Palmer’s love of horses and the outdoors while also alluding to his role in bringing the railroad to the west.

We can also thank Spencer Penrose for the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, originally created to house his growing exotic animal collection. He and his wife were also major donors to the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center. They also founded the El Pomar Foundation, which continues his legacy of giving and sustaining good works throughout the entire state.

Many of the amenities we enjoy in Colorado Springs were planned from its earliest days due to the influence of these two men. Their foresight (and some would argue, elevated tastes and standard of living) benefit us today.

Colorado Springs

This piece was originally published on October 14, 2007.

On the Eve of Motherhood: An Open Letter to My Friend

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One of my dearest friends is having her first baby! And, as exciting as this seems, it’s been quite an experience. To start, she is single, and she is nearly 40. This pregnancy has been trying, confusing, and painful. But it’s also been a miracle, as she had been told she could never conceive. Here are my thoughts to her as she embarks upon the magical journey of motherhood.

Friend,

I wanted to share with you some thoughts before your sweet baby girl arrives tomorrow. I know that this pregnancy has been turbulent for you. From the day you found out you were pregnant, to navigating how to tell others about your situation. Throw in a new job and a Pandemic and you have one heck of a ride during these nine months.
I know that you are uncertain. I know that you are scared. I know that you are tired and annoyed and worried. But I also know that you are going to be an amazing mother. How do I know this?

You are SMART

You have made an amazing career for yourself and are sought after for your expertise and knowledge. You put yourself through college because you understood the value of education. And, not only are you book smart, you are street smart, too. You do your research and make informed, educated decisions. Not only are you one smart cookie, you are wise. I know that your child will have your brains and your wit — and that you’ll teach her everything she needs to know to grow into a strong, smart woman.

You are KIND

Your heart is enormous. You have an uncanny knack for including others and making friends. And, you are generous. I am thankful for all the times your generosity has benefited me. Not just financially, but with your friendship. You are always there, offering your shoulder to cry on when people need it. From dropping what you are doing for dinner or providing a place to crash when I am on business trips, to springing for a weekend away in Mexico, your kindness always shines through. Kindness attracts kindness, so I know that you will raise a child with kindness in her heart, as well.

You CARE DEEPLY

Your warm personality attracts others and allows you to build connections with people that run deep. You attract others like a magnet and they want to be around you. You listen when others speak. You are inquisitive into what makes them tick. And then you remember the details that encapsulate each individual. You feel what others are feeling and you often put others before yourself. I believe that this comes naturally for you and the birth of your girl will take your caring nature to new heights.

You LOVE FIERCELY

One of your best and brightest characteristics is how much love you give. Over the past two decades, I have seen you lay it all on the line for love. You have grown and matured through every heartbreak and lesson learned. You have done the work it takes to be introspective and self-assured. You do not give up on those you love. This unconditional love will surround your little girl and she will know that she is always supported and loved by her mother.

You are FUN

Some of my fondest (and wildest) memories include you! From exploring foreign lands to singing our hearts out at concerts to many football games, I know that when I am with you I will have a good time. And generally, an epic story to share! You make me laugh so hard I cry. And you are always up to try something new. Throw in a little bit of sass, and I know you will instill your zest for life in your daughter.

I am excited to see what this next chapter in your life will hold. I am proud to be your friend because I have seen your transformation over the last 20 years. Your friendship has added value and richness to my life. You are a positive influence in my life and in the lives of others.

I hope to provide the same for you — love, kindness, caring, wisdom, and fun — during the next 20 years and beyond. I want you to know that I am here for you. You can call me at any time and I will drop what I am doing to be there for you. You can ask for my advice — and take it or not! You can come to me without fear of judgment. I am here to support you the way you have supported me over the years.

I love you.

motherhood

Moving in with my Boyfriend

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It’s no secret that I am a single mom, in the sense that I am the sole parent to my only wonderful child. It’s also no secret that I recently moved to a new house. What you might not know is that I’m not technically single. I have a wonderful boyfriend and he’s the reason I moved — so we could live together!

I have a lot of opinions about dating as a single mom, based on my own experiences both as a dating mom and a child of a dating mom. I’m not here to tell anyone how to live their lives. We all have different beliefs and values that influence how we “do life.” Anyone who is dating with children must put a lot of thought into their dating policies. What follows is what made the most sense for me.

While I haven’t adhered to all of the advice in this book, and some of it didn’t apply to me, I highly recommend Love Factually for Single Parents: [& Those Dating Them], by Duana Welch. I refer to this book often.

Making the Introduction

Long before moving in with a partner comes the step of introducing your children to them. There are many schools of thought on this:

  • Do it immediately. If your kids and the person you’re dating don’t get along, or your romantic interest sucks with kids, why waste time finding that out?
  • Date for at least 3 months.
  • Wait as long as you can, ideally 6-12 months, and only introduce a person you’re in love with.
  • Introduce the person you’re dating as soon as you know they’re serious about you.
  • And probably a million others.

I have personally only introduced my child to men I could see a future with, and only after a several months. It doesn’t make sense to me to introduce a child to anyone who isn’t likely to be a fairly regular presence in their life.

How Long to Date Before Moving In

I have only moved in with one other man before the current boyfriend. It happened quickly, after only 9 months of dating. We stayed together for nearly 4 years, and even got engaged. It ended painfully, suffice it to say.

After that experience, I decided that I wouldn’t move in with someone until after we were engaged. I adopted this stance after reading Love Factually for Single Parents. There is some very convincing, data-driven information presented in the book which basically says moving in while you’re “just dating” is counter-productive if your goal is to get married.

I made it very clear from the beginning with my current boyfriend that I want to be married someday and I wouldn’t move in before getting engaged. We continued dating for a year with that understanding.

Compromise

After a year, we talked more about getting engaged and living together. My boyfriend had never lived with anyone before and was terrified of getting engaged, moving in and then discovering living together was awful. I was certain that was not going to happen, having had the experience of living with someone before.

I stuck to my guns for a while, thinking he would get over his silly fear. Eventually, it became clear that he didn’t feel comfortable getting engaged before moving in and I didn’t feel comfortable moving in before getting engaged — we were at an impasse.

A big part of his fear came from the fact that someone close to him married before moving in, quickly found out her new husband was not who she thought he was, and it rapidly ended in divorce. It made more sense to me then. I can understand wanting to learn from mistakes.

Eventually, I decided that I didn’t want to let this issue mess up a perfectly good relationship. I agreed to move in, with the understanding that we’d get engaged in the near future.

Getting the Okay

After we decided our intent to move in together, the next and most important step was to make sure my kiddo was on board.

I had been having frequent conversations with my daughter, checking in about how she felt about my boyfriend. Did she like him, think he was nice, have fun with him, etc. I knew there were no issues there. But the previous painful experience happened to my daughter, too. So it was important to me to ensure that she was feeling comfortable with moving in with the current person. She agreed.

Moving

House hunting proceeded as usual. We found a lovely house in a great school district, which was the top priority.

We moved and immediately got stay-at-home orders. We’ve only lived together for two months, but it feels like a lot longer than that because we’ve been together nearly 100 percent of the time! Talk about trial-by-fire, right?

Well, I’m pleased to say it’s going wonderfully.

boyfriend

You’re So Old Fashioned: Timeless Teachings for our Kids

I recently came across a list of 40 things that today’s kids need to learn. I read through the list and it got me thinking about the stuff I have taught my son or want to teach him that some kids these days may not know.

Why have I taught him these things? Does it even matter? My mom and dad taught me these things. Am I preserving their legacy or am I just trying to force my son to learn outdated things to make myself feel like a good mom? 

Neither. I teach him these things because I feel like they genuinely make a difference for him. They build character and are helping him learn how to take care of himself and those around him.

Teachings

Hospital Corners

The other day, I read that top sheets are going out of fashion these days. Not in my house! My mother drilled into me how to make a bed properly. You put on the fitted sheet, which is the easy part. Then, evenly lay the flat sheet on top of the fitted sheet. It’s important to tuck it into the end of the bed correctly so that it will stay tightly in place. Do people no longer have the few minutes it takes for this step? 

Watch Me Grow

In years past, we’ve created a small garden in our yard. We’ve planted tomatoes, peas, green beans, carrots, various peppers, and herbs. Some years, we did pretty good. Other years, the birds and rabbits benefited the most from our hard work. But the process was always fun: planning the plot, buying seeds, watching them sprout, and enjoying our harvest. My son truly loved growing his own food and it was a great lesson in knowing where our food comes actually comes from. Besides veggies, gardening also grows the skills of planning, nurturing, hard work and commitment.

Do It Yourself

Recently, our bathroom faucet was leaking. My son’s suggested solution was to call a plumber. My solution was to research what may be wrong and do some investigation. Teaching our children to think critically and work towards solving problems on their own is invaluable. This year, my son also has experienced doing routine maintenance on his bike. He can replace tires and inner tubes, pedals, and the chain. These DIY projects are good for learning how to use tools properly and safely, too. 

Hats Off

My old fashioned rule is no hats at the dinner table and no hats inside places of worship. Seems like a common courtesy, but I see many people, kids and adults, wearing hats indoors. Removing hats is a simple way to show respect to those around you.

Open that Card First

When it’s time for your birthday, make sure you open the giver’s card before you open their gift. Don’t be so anxious for the gift that you miss out on the giver’s well wishes for your special day.

Send a Note

And after you’ve opened that card and gift, make sure to send a note of your own saying thank you. I’ve made sure to teach my son the proper way to create a thank you note by including the salutation, body and a closing signature. The practice of sitting down to compose a handwritten note makes the receiver appreciate the gift more, I think. It helps us grow in gratitude for what we’ve been given. 

Look Out for Others

We have a sweet neighbor who lives alone and has had her share of health issues in recent years. It’s been a blessing to help her when we can. It’s been especially wonderful to share the experience with my son. Whether we are watching her cat, picking up some groceries, taking a meal to her home or just sitting a while for a chat, it’s good for him to see compassion in action. 

Turn that Off

Lastly, I’ve made sure that my son knows how to entertain himself without electronics or battery operated things. We play a lot of board games at our house, and I encourage my son to be outside riding his bike, playing with toys and reading. I never want him to be too plugged in. I’m also delaying getting him a cell phone or allowing social media accounts until he is older so he has time to interact with the world around him. 

Our kids are better people for learning how to do these timeless practical, respectful and caring tasks.  I hope that my son takes what he has experienced and learned into adulthood. What seemingly outdated or old fashioned skills have you taught your kids? Post it in the comments!

teaching

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