Family vacations in Colorado Springs can be rewarding experiences or absolute disasters -- it all depends on pre-trip homework. To make planning easier, we've done all the preparation. As part of a Huffington Post Travel series on traveling with children, here are recommended attractions for those planning Colorado Springs family vacations.
Pikes Peak Cog Railway
Address: 515 Ruxton Ave., Manitou Springs, CO 80829 Phone: 800-745-3773 Hours: Open seven days from mid-April through mid-November. The round trip takes three hours. Call for available times. Price: Adults, $31 to $33; kids, $17 to $18. Reservations required via phone or online.
The Pikes Peak Highway
Address: 5069 Pikes Peak Highway, Cascade, CO 80809 Phone: 800-318-9505 Hours: Open all year, but frequent closings due to inclement weather. Call ahead. Summer hours, 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday after Labor Day to Sept. 30, 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Rest of the year, 9 a.m to 3 p.m. Price: $40 per car or adults, $12 and children $5. Winter rates slightly less.
Old Colorado City Historical Museum
Address: 1 S. 24th St., Colorado Springs, CO 80904 Phone: 719-636-1225 Hours: Open all year Tuesday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Price: Free
Cave Of The Winds
If you have never gone spelunking (caving), Cave of the Winds has opportunities for family vacationers who want to try something new and different as well as a more advanced cave exploration experience that is more difficult. The Discovery Tour is a great subterranean tour for families with young children and the Lantern Tour provides a cave experience not unlike that of early spelunkers using lanterns and candles. The Lantern Tour takes you through low chambers where stooping is necessary and mud is a given.
Address: 100 Cave of the Winds Road, Manitou Springs, CO 80829 Phone: 719-685-5444 Hours: Open year-round. Summer, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.; winter, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Price: Discovery Tour, adults, $18; children 6 to 11, $9; children 5 and under, free. Lantern Tour, adults, $22; children 6 to 11, $12; children under 5 not permitted.
Lorig's Western Wear
Address: 15 N. Union Blvd., Colorado Springs, CO 80909 Phone: 719-633-4695 Hours: Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5:45 p.m. Saturday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Price: NA
Santa and his elves are busy at the North Pole at the base of Pikes Peak. The small amusement park has about two dozen rides, an aerial tram, a unique Christmas tree ride, a space shuttle ride and a miniature train. Santa's Workshop is a perfect Colorado adventure for the younger set in a setting worthy of North Pole status.
Address: 5050 Pikes Peak Highway, Cascade, CO 80809 Phone: 719-684-9432 Hours: May 27 through August 23, daily 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; August 24 through December 24, varies; call for weekly schedules. Price: Ages 2 to 59, $17.95; over 60 or under 2, free; military family rate, $12.95 per person.
Garden of the Gods
The family-friendly Garden of the Gods geological park and nature center draws locals and vacationers every year to view the unusual sandstone sculptures that have taken millions of years to form naturally. Added pluses of the park include the wildlife spotting, hiking trails, bike trails, a cafe, a visitor center and a historical movie of the park itself. The pace can be your own or you can take a bus tour, available in the summer.
Address: 1805 N. 30th St., Colorado Springs, CO 80904 Phone: 719-634-6666 Hours: Open daily all year. May through October, 5 a.m. to 11 p.m.; November through April, 5 a.m. to 9 p.m. Visitor Center: Summer, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Labor Day to Memorial Day, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Price: Free
Have you been to Colorado Springs? What are your favorite attractions?
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