Colorado Vacation

lahtayMarch 21, 2005

My family will be going to Colorado in July for our

family vacation. My husband goes to Co. Springs on

business quite often. We plan to explore the C.S. area

and also head up to Rocky Mtn. Nat'l Forest. We have 3

boys ages 15, 11 & 4. Anyone have any tips, suggestions?

We would like to try a river raft excursion, but we are

concerned about the 4 year old. Anyone with any experience

with this?

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I have a friend whose teenaged daughter drowned a few years ago while on a rafting trip in Colorado. The raft overturned and her foot became lodged between two rocks. Maybe it was just a freak accident since many, many people take these trips without incident.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2005 at 5:20PM
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sections of the arkansas river are safe for children (although they might not permit 4 yo's) - not the colorado river- but in july the water might be too low for any of the rivers. You could do some floats along the platte river out of Denver. there is even tubing there.

While in the springs make sure you go to Garden of The Gods, beautiful red rock formations. easy trails. And you can easily find horse back tours north of the springs that will suit all your children. There is also a great amusement park and baseball experience in Denver (2 hours north of the springs)
And take sweaters, even in July the nights can be chilly. I have been on mountain passes on July 4th in a snowstorm.

    Bookmark   March 25, 2005 at 10:19AM
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Thank you, dayenu. Very good info.
We were planning Gard. of the G.s
Is the b-ball experience part of the amusement park?
My guys love baseball ( go Red Sox) but we wanted to
stay away from amusement parks this trip.
We want to experience Colorado--the culture, history,
scenery and of course, food!
Speaking of food, do you know anything about the Flying Ranch Authentic Chuckwagon Suppers in C.S.?
We were planning the Cheyenne Mtn. Zoo,
the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder (my 15 yr old wants to be a meteorologist), and the Rocky Mtn. Nat'l Forest. Also, our 4 year old is into dinosaurs big time--looks like lots of dino stuff out there.
Your say you're a transplanted cowgirl--are you from Co.?
I have lived in Southern New Hampshire for 20 years now, but I grew up on the coast of Maine.

    Bookmark   March 25, 2005 at 11:26AM
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the cheyenne mountain zoo is okay, the have a great exhibit of raptors. and the broadmoor has great golf and swimming and food. its a posh resort and you should at least go look at it. denver has an amazing zoo and an acquarium and one of the best natural history museums outside of NYC. the baseball stadium isn't in the amusement park, its in LoDO (lower downtown) , and area totally refurbished from being the skid row inthe 70;s. There also might be some train excursions out of union station in denver.

haven't heard of the place you mentioned to eat, but try to find some authentic western food. there is a sizable vietnamese population out there and some really great vietnamese food. ( a mix of chinese and french. very delicious) Have fun, I lived there for 25 years. you will adore the cool nights and the lack of mosquitoes.

    Bookmark   March 25, 2005 at 6:37PM
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The aquarium in Denver is one of the best I've ever been to. We loved Rocky Mountain National Park. There's lots to do there if you like the outdoors. There are drives to some pretty high areas and also lots of hiking from easy to quite difficult. Estes Park, the small resort town that is at the enterance to the park is a nice place to visit.

There's also the Denver Mint if that sounds interesting, my husband went and really enjoyed it.

We ate at an interesting place in Denver, the Buckhorn Exchange. It's Denver's oldest resteraunt, and has lots of interesting 'stuff' around including lots of animal mounts. They specialize in game and beef. It was very good.

That was one of our favorite vacations, I hope you enjoy yours.

    Bookmark   March 29, 2005 at 12:16PM
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I saw you were interested in checking out Rocky Mountain National Park, lahtay. I love Colorado! The Official page for the Grand County Tourism Board ( has a cute map of the area at: and lots of locally available activities as well as a trip planner at:

They also have very informative pages to read before lots of activities like:

Hope you have a good trip!


    Bookmark   February 27, 2007 at 7:41PM
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I just stopped by for a minute and see you are coming to MY TOWN (Colo Spgs). The Flying W Ranch dinner is probably not bad for kids. The food is not great and everyone sits at long picnic tables while a comedy-musical group entertains. I thought it was over-priced since I would not choose the entertainment and the food was very basic, served on "authentic" metal plates after standing in line like a cafeteria. If you do go, go early because the one really good thing is the village you can explore while waiting for the meal/entertainment to start.

If you want to eat high-end game food, try the Craftwood Inn in Manitou Springs. In fact, go to Manitou Springs and sample some of the local mineral springs. It is a fun trip to walk around the little town (a "suburb" of CS) and try the spring water. Bring your own cup! The springs are located outdoors in an area of a few city blocks. If you like the water, load up! Many of the locals use it for lemonaide. The waters are similar to Perrier with the notable exception of Iron Springs which tastes like rotten eggs.

Cave of the Winds is a good sized cave to visit here. The Cliff Dwellings are cool, but they are not actually real which stole the magic for me. The train up to the top of Pikes Peak is pretty boring for the most part unless you get lucky and see big horn sheep. If you go to the zoo, be sure to use your zoo ticket to DRIVE through the zoo and up to the Will Rogers Shrine. This is a great old tower with fabulous views of the city and plains.

There are a lot of cool things to do, but Garden of the Gods is definitely the best. --Kris

    Bookmark   March 26, 2007 at 6:50PM
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We were in Colorado Springs last fall and we went to a rodeo. My kids had a blast, it was right there in town.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2007 at 7:34PM
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