Colorado Springs

Country: 
Kids: 
4 years
2 years
Babies: 
11 months
Author: 
Parent
Date: 
2010-06-05 to 2010-06-07
Description: 

We visited Colorado Springs, Colorado for a couple days on a road trip when our kids were younger. It's still one of our very favorite places we've ever traveled! While we were there, we visited Garden of the Gods, Seven Falls, and the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo.

On our way to Garden of the Gods, both our girls fell asleep on the way and were still asleep when we got there. I wasn’t about to wake either of them up, so I hung out in the car with them while Max and daddy went exploring. They walked around for almost an hour, exploring the red rock formations.

The girls eventually woke up and we all headed out to explore. There were huge rock formations everywhere and plenty of smaller ones where climbing was allowed. The kids were in heaven. We spent a good hour and a half walking around climbing on all the different rocks. On the steep rocks, you could look up and see (very skilled!) rock climbers hundreds of feet off the ground scaling near-vertical rock walls. Luckily, our kiddos were just as happy to be climbing around on all the smaller scale rock formations.

Garden of the Gods is a registered National Natural Landmark in Colorado Springs.

Park Hours:

                        May 1 - Oct 31   5am - 11pm

                        Nov 1 - Apr 30   5am - 9pm

Garden of the Gods Visitor & Nature Center is open from 9 am to 5 pm in the winter months and 8 am to 8 pm Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend.

Both the Park and Visitor & Nature Center are free and open to the public.

There are 15 miles of trails to explore in the Garden of the Gods, ranging from easy 1 1/2 mile loops to longer intermediate loops. We stayed on the mail path while we were there, since our kids were pretty little. The next time we visit Garden of the Gods, we'll plan on hiking a couple of the trails.

The park does allow picnics and even has two dedicated picnic areas. They also offer guided walks and horseback rides throughout the trails in the park.

garden of the godsgarden of the godsdad and kids at garden of the godsgarden of the godsgarden of the godsdad and daughter at garden of the godskids climbing on rocks at garden of the godskids climbing on rocks at garden of the godskids climbing on rocks at garden of the gods

After our Garden of the Gods adventure, we headed to Seven Falls. Seven Falls is a paid attraction (rates are listed on their website) and is open 9 am to 5 pm most of the year, with extended hours during the summer.

Seven Falls is a 181 foot waterfall, that tumbles down across seven separate steps, hence the name 'Seven Falls'. Hiking is available on several trails and you can also climb the 224 step staircase for a higher view of the waterfall. Our son Max, who was 4 at the time, climbed the entire staircase with my husband Josh. It's very steep and a little scary for kids (and parents!), but Max was super proud of himself for making it the whole way. I don't recommend taking your kids up the stairs unless you have a 1:1 parent to child ratio!

There's a lot of wildlife to look at around the falls and our kids especially loved watching the chipmunks scampering around the grounds, looking for handouts.

seven falls waterfallseven falls waterfallboy climbed the staircase at seven falls

The next day, we visited the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo. The zoo is open 9 am to 5 pm most of the year, with extended hours during the summer. It is a paid attraction and rates are listed on their website.

The Cheyenne Mountain Zoo is the only mountain zoo in the United States. We've visited zoos all over the country, but this is still one of our very favorites! They have an incredible giraffe feeding station, where you can purchase giraffe crackers and feed the giraffes right out of your hand! Watch out... giraffes have super long tongues and they're sticky!

Our kids also LOVED the budgie buddy bird feeding area. For a nominal fee, we purchased birdseed on a popsicle stick. The kids held out their sticks and the birds flew down to eat the birdseed. They have a Mountaineer Sky Ride that looks like a ski lift and takes you for an aerial tour of the zoo, with great views of the Cheyenne Mountain and Colorado Springs.

There's a giant petting zoo called My Big Backyard, complete with rabbits, chickens, potbellied pigs, and other kid-friendly animals. There's also a huge playground perfect for antsy kids!

The Cheyenne Mountain Zoo has over 200 species of animals and sits on top of the Cheyenne Mountain. Because of that, it feels a lot more like visiting animals in the wild than a zoo. It's a must-visit if you're in Colorado Springs!

giraffe feeding station at cheyenne mountain zoogiraffe feeding station at cheyenne mountain zoobudgie buddy feeding at cheyenne mountain zookids looking at animals at the cheyenne mountain zoobaby on playground at cheyenne mountain zoogirl on playground at cheyenne mountain zoo

Gallery: 
dad and kids at garden of the gods
garden of the gods
seven falls waterfall
garden of the gods
giraffe feeding station at cheyenne mountain zoo
garden of the gods
baby on playground at cheyenne mountain zoo
garden of the gods
kids looking at animals at the cheyenne mountain zoo
garden of the gods
garden of the gods
dad and daughter at garden of the gods
kids climbing on rocks at garden of the gods
kids climbing on rocks at garden of the gods
kids climbing on rocks at garden of the gods
boy climbed the staircase at seven falls
giraffe feeding station at cheyenne mountain zoo
budgie buddy feeding at cheyenne mountain zoo
girl on playground at cheyenne mountain zoo
seven falls waterfall
Places: 
Article Type: 
In-Person Impressions

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