Staff Picks

Our Guide to the Ultimate Colorado Springs Family Vacation

By Brandon Ellis | May 10, 2021

Between the vast beauty of America's Mountain and the storied culture of Colorado’s Wild West, there’s no shortage of adventure to be had in Colorado Springs. There really is something for every age, from children to adults! Whether you have a family full of nature lovers or thrill-seekers, here’s the best activities and experiences for your Colorado Springs family vacation, handpicked by our staff at Cheyenne Mountain Resort.


For the Child at Heart

You don’t need to be a child to enjoy a zoo—not to mention the award-winning Cheyenne Mountain Zoo! Located only ten minutes from our resort, this unique zoo experience guarantees genuine animal interactions. At it’s heart is North America’s largest reticulated giraffe herd, where your family can view our long-necked friends face-to-face. The Zoo’s newest exhibit, Water’s Edge: Africa, displays impressive homes for Nile Hippos and African Penguins. Their beautifully taken care of animals inspire conservation, education, and general family vacation memories.

When we recommend some old-fashioned family fun, nothing beats the nostalgic joy of classic arcade games. The Penny Arcade in downtown Manitou Springs is a magical time capsule filled with over 400 vintage games priced as cheap as $0.01 per round! Show your competitive edge at your game of choice and redeem your tickets at the prize counter for a well-earned surprise.

One family-friendly secret is that Christmas in Colorado Springs begins in May! Opening May 22nd, The North Pole—Santa’s Workshop is an enchanting vintage amusement park nestled at the foot of Pikes Peak, offering panoramic views and Christmas cheer all year long. Take a ride on one of two dozen rides, munch on their famous funnel cake, and of course, meet the jolly man himself! (Just make sure you are on the nice list before you do!)


For the View Seeker

The Pikes Peak Region is chock full of vistas to check off your bucket list, but it’s how you experience them that makes the view truly unforgettable. For a leisurely trip that promises both breathtaking scenery and delicious food, hop aboard the Royal Gorge Route Railroad. On the two-hour train ride, you’ll wind through the soaring, 1,000-foot granite cliffs of Colorado's grandest canyon and past the rumbling Arkansas River—all while sitting back and enjoying a locally sourced breakfast, lunch, or dinner, prepared fresh on the train! Whether on the train or not, the Royal Gorge Bridge & Park is definitely worth a visit. Admission to this unique park includes access to America’s Bridge, the Gondola ride, and the Children’s Playground. The Cloudscraper Zip Line (America’s highest zip line!) and Royal Rush Skycoaster are thrilling ways to soar alongside the bridge. No matter how you experience it, the vistas are out of this world.

Garden of the Gods boasts more than just an epic name. This Rocky Mountain playground is packed with miles of trails weaving around towering dusty-red formations that frame Pikes Peak perfectly. You can put on your hiking boots and explore on foot, or you can pick up the pace by riding a segway or open-air Jeep. Adding to the full cowboy effect, horseback riding tours are also available. For a bit of retail therapy and relaxation, we recommend beginning or ending your adventure at the Garden of the Gods Trading Post where you can fuel up on Starbucks, enjoy lunch on the patio, and shop local-made souvenirs to take home as a badge of honor.


For The History Buff

While there are plenty of tours that offer a glimpse into Colorado’s storied past, Mollie Kathleen Gold Mine is by far one of the most immersive (literally) attractions you can experience. Take your family back to the era of the Colorado Gold Rush as you descend 1,000 feet underground and discover how miners once pried precious gold ore from deep beneath the Rocky Mountains.

If your kids have a penchant for getting their hands on everything, then Manitou Cliff Dwellings is the sensory-driven history lesson they’ve always wanted. Look, explore, and touch Anasazi artifacts and ruins, dating back 800 to 1000 years, in this unexpectedly thrilling 40-room museum. Carved into the orange cliff sides of Manitou Springs this is a unique learning experience for the entire family.

Down the road from the cliff dwellings is another rich, educational experience. The Cave of the Winds is an absolute staff favorite, and honestly a mix of all the above categories. It’ll be hard to leave the beautiful canyon vistas and enter the chambers of the vast cave system, but when inside the tour will boast geological wonders and unique-to-Colorado history. It’s awe-inspiring! After exiting the mouth of the cave, your kids will have plenty to do between the Wind Walker Challenge Course, Bat-A-Pult zipline ride, and the climbing wall. If you’re brave enough to tip over the edge of the cliff on the Terror-Dactyl plunge, make sure to leave your sunglasses with the attendant, because yes, you really go 100-miles per hour, and yes, you will scream.


For the End of Day Cool-Down

Finally, when the family adventures have been experienced, the Cheyenne Mountain Resort will always be there as the perfect home base. With five pools, two Jacuzzis, and a whole beach-front lake there is plenty of space to soak and catch some Vitamin-D. Not to mention the other family-fun Resort Activities available steps from your room.

Book Your Trip Now

This is just our shortlist of fun things to do on your next Colorado Springs family vacation. If you need help booking tickets, planning tours, or even if you want more personal recommendations, just ask a Cheyenne Mountain staff member and we would be happy to assist in making your Colorado Springs experience a cherished adventure for the whole family.