New Colorado Springs Thanksgiving Traditions

November 3, 2017

So, Thanksgiving traditions are pretty standard, right? You eat way too much turkey, try to avoid politics at the dinner table and then fight over who has to wash the dishes when the party is over. Gorging on delicious food is a more than acceptable way to spend a day, but have you ever wanted to change it up a bit? Get out of the house and get some fresh air with all the family you have in town? Colorado Springs may seem like a ghost town on Thanksgiving, but there are actually a few places still open for fun — and no, we don’t mean Safeway’s frozen pie aisle. Look, we’re not trying to negate the critical tradition of family gluttony and football. We’re just offering some new traditions you can add to amplify the holiday togetherness (and give you some space to appreciate each other). Here’s your turkey day extracurricular activity breakdown!

YMCA Turkey Trot 5K

Face it, you’re going to consume way beyond your daily caloric allowance for any normal human being. Why not alleviate the guilt a bit by rising, shining and running a brisk three miles for the good of your local YMCA? The Turkey Trot 5K begins at 9 a.m., so you’ll have plenty of time to load the turkey in the oven before jaunting off to race (or walk) at the Briargate YMCA. Tickets run about $40 and come with a rad long-sleeved t-shirt you can lord over your lazier companions as they bemoan the consequences of a third slice of pie. “I feel no guilt,” you’ll proclaim, as you drain a can of Reddi-wip on your own fourth slice. “I ran three whole miles today.” There’s also a free 1K kids’ run at 8:15 a.m. that comes with a $10 youth shirt (while supplies last). We recommend you dress warm because it’s been pretty cold the last two years. Most importantly, wear a good hat. That cold wind is hard on tender ears. Register here.

Bond Indoors and Out at Cave of the Winds

Thanksgiving Cave of the Winds

Photo by: @lindsaypiittmann

Cave of the Winds offers special hours on Thanksgiving Day (10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.) to allow families to get some fresh air and show off a bit of cool Colorado-ness to their out-of-town relatives. These hours include many of the outdoor activities (weather permitting). That means you can drag your favorite cousins onto the Terror-dactyl (or your least favorite, if they’re afraid of heights). The last tour leaves at 1 p.m., so if you want to take the fun underground and explore the famous stalactites and stalagmites of Colorado Springs’ coolest cave system, get there early. Snap some photos of everyone in the cavernous rooms, learn the history of these enormous geological marvels and then head home for a delicious dinner, refreshed and renewed. Get details, times, and cost here.

Cross that Bridge When You Come to It: Fun at Royal Gorge

Thanksgiving Royal Gorge Bridge

Photo by: @hannahleighcrosby

Another Colorado attractions is keeping its doors open for limited hours on Thanksgiving Day. Royal Gorge Bridge and Park will be welcoming visitors from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Breathtaking views await as you cross the bridge and many of the park’s favorite activities are open. Take adventuresome grannies on the zipline, snap selfies with your favorite uncle in the aerial gondolas or bring all those super hyper young cousins to Tommy Knocker Playland to unleash their pent-up energy. This is an outdoor attraction, so bring warm clothes to dress up or down as Mother Nature changes her mind over and over. Go early while the turkey is cooking or eat early and go out for some post-meal exercise.

Family Movies, Post-Turkey

Maybe you’re just too full of delicious food to even think about moving faster than a slow crawl. There’s a new tradition for that, too. Hit the theaters and enjoy an evening of laughter, intrigue or adventure. Marvel and DC will be battling each other (and their respective villains) with Thor and Justice League, plus, the animated family movie Coco will be opening the day before Thanksgiving just to make sure there’s something beautiful and filled with music to watch. There’s even a scary film for those who are so inclined. Polaroid joins Coco with a Nov. 22 release, which means you can send the teens to the PG-13 flick while the littles enjoy their wholesome G-rated fun. The best part is that you’ll probably be way full, which means you won’t spend a million dollars on popcorn. (Note, do not try to sneak pie into the theater in your pockets. It gets super messy, trust us.) Call ahead or go online to make sure the theaters near you are open for business and be super friendly and kind to the awesome people working so you can enjoy a movie. (Note 2, matinee prices apply on the holidays. If you go earlier, you’ll save even more!)

Honorable Mention: Cheyenne Mountain Zoo

Thanksgiving Cheyenne Mountain Zoo

Photo by: @hickeyickyicky

We’ve been giving the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo a lot of love lately, but there’s a reason for that. It’s super cool! And it’s open on Thanksgiving. Take your family to the only mountainside zoo in the United States to burn time until dinner. Kids get to run around, adults get to pretend they aren’t giddy about feeding giraffes and everyone can take a ride on the merry-go-round. You’ll burn a lot of calories on the hills, too. Bonus.

Enhance your beloved holiday traditions with some new activities that will bring you closer together and help you enjoy your loved ones. We guarantee that this year won’t be the last that you try out any one of these cool adventures.

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