Featured photo by Brain Lewis Media
One group that commonly gets left out of the tour books and Colorado Springs adventure guides is pregnant women. Growing a whole human over a period of 40 weeks makes life a little more difficult for moms-to-be. It’s not that you have to give up having fun, it’s just that pregnancy can limit your abilities to do it like you would if you didn’t have a mini-you trying to kick your ribs out of your body. We want to help you make planning your adventures in Colorado Springs while pregnant a whole lot easier. Whether you’re a local mama-to-be or a visiting one, we’ve got the agenda to help you have a safe, amazing time in Colorado Springs and the greater Pikes Peak region.
Low-Key Outdoor Adventures
We know there comes a time in every pregnancy where you desperately want to get out and do something, but swollen ankles and temperamental bladders (must babies always push so hard on those things?) make your regular outdoor excursions less spontaneous. The outdoor adventures we are sharing are highly enjoyable, yet still close to places you can rest your weary feet (and bathrooms, of course). Broadmoor Seven Falls shuttles you conveniently close to its crashing, majestic waters and has two brief hiking trails you can explore. If you are so inclined, you can still climb the stairs that run along the falls, just be sure to wear good shoes and watch your footing to accommodate your skewed center of gravity if you’re pretty far along. The falls also have snacks and plenty of shady areas to rest. The Cave of the Winds Discovery Tour is another enjoyable way to spend outdoor time in Colorado, although it’s technically indoors, too. The cave is just west of Colorado Springs and has lots of geological goodness to explore. Like the falls, we recommend good shoes and a bit of care while walking around the attraction.
South of Colorado Springs, you’ll find the Royal Gorge Bridge and Park. The park is well-known for having some decidedly not-pregnancy-friendly rides that your non-gestating fellow travelers may want to try out — but you don’t have to feel sad about missing out. The bridge itself is worth the drive and the gondolas that cross the gorge are completely chill. The Manitou Cliff Dwellings are another easy place to walk and explore. However, if you’re at the round and awkward stage, we suggest you stay off the ladders. The museum at the Cliff Dwellings has lots of interesting indigenous history and a gift shop filled with art and jewelry. It’s dog-friendly, too. Last on this list is the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo. Yes, this zoo is on a mountainside, but it’s loaded with places to pause and rest, plus lots of bathrooms and numerous snack bars. You’ll get a nice walking workout while feeding giraffes and possibly meeting other critters who are in the same condition. You’re welcome to feel a bit smug that you don’t have to carry your baby as long as a giraffe or elephant and maybe a bit jealous you can’t just lay an egg like a peahen or the petting zoo chickens.
Escape the Colorado Sunshine
Yes, yes, we have hundreds of days of sunshine each year and it is awesome — unless you’re growing a human and your body temperature refuses to regulate itself. You should only be the gorgeous kind of hot while pregnant, not the sweaty, angry kind. So, let’s talk indoor attractions (these are great for rainy days and winter weather, too). In late spring and throughout the summer and early fall, the May Natural History Museum makes for a fun outing that won’t leave you roasting. There are thousands of bugs to examine, all safely contained in their glass cases. The bonus is that if you have other kiddos besides the one on the way, they’ll be thrilled with the museum’s plethora of creepy crawlies. That’s no working up a sweat chasing them. The ProRodeo Hall of Fame is also a great place to duck the heat. They have a stunning garden in the summer, but you can easily pop outside to check it out and then pop back in to explore decades of cowboy history in cooler conditions. Our third indoor choice is the Space Foundation Discovery Center. During the day, its cool atmosphere and nifty activities will keep you entertained and educated on all things universe. At night, they offer monthly star parties where you can check out the sky through telescopes. Last, but certainly not least, is the Western Museum of Mining and Industry. You can pan for gold, explore their mining exhibits and learn all about Colorado’s long history in mining and minerals. Like the ProRodeo Hall of Fame, there are interesting things to check out outside, but the cool embrace of central air is always close by.
Adventures on Wheels
If you want to explore the outdoors, but you prefer the comfort of wheeled transportation while you do it, the Pikes Peak region has three perfect options. We’re going to open this particular list with an altitude warning. If you’re not acclimated to higher altitudes, it’s worth having a brief conversation with your doctor about any precautions you might need to take. Adventures Out West can take you deep in the mountains without any hiking, even venturing as far as the Royal Gorge. They also have tours close to home, like the world-famous Garden of the Gods. The drivers are safe and will make sure you feel comfortable riding about with them. Alternatively, you can take a relaxing, scenic drive to Cripple Creek, where the Narrow Gauge Railroad waits to take you on a journey through the old mining settlements. The car is open-air, and you can even bring along your pupper. It’s worth noting that Cripple Creek is a lot cooler than Colorado Springs, too. That means you can break your no-walking vow just a little and explore the town on foot. There are unique museums, an old cemetery, an authentic gold mine and a few other activities you can enjoy while you’re there. Our last wheeled adventure is only recommended for women who are under six months pregnant. The Pikes Peak Tour by Gray Line will take you all the way to the summit of America’s Mountain in the comfort of one of their climate-controlled busses with several stops to snap photos and check out the views. If you prefer it, you can drive yourself up the Pikes Peak Highway and still stop at points of interest to check out the sights. In either case, make sure you get some hot, fresh donuts at the top. You know, for the baby.
Walk it Off
There are few exercises better for pregnant women than walking. It’s low impact, it’s good for your body and it’s rumored to make labor a bit easier (if that’s even possible). If you aren’t up for perusing the wilderness to get your steps in, we suggest you enjoy a day out shopping and dining. Manitou Springs is always a favorite destination for visitors and locals who like their shopping with a bit of sass. The town has great local restaurants, a real penny arcade, fascinating history and natural underground springs. (You can get a general mineral breakdown from ManitouMineralSprings.org. Just remember that the amounts shown are not specific. Mother Nature does what she wants, after all.) Old Colorado City is another beloved place to enjoy shopping, scenery and history. You should be able to find some adorable last-minute baby items, some mama pampering items and plenty of restaurants to satisfy just about any craving. Between both locations is the Garden of the Gods Trading Post, Colorado Springs’ shopper’s paradise, where you can find art, jewelry, gifts, fudge, local ice cream and a shady patio to relax and enjoy the Colorado scenery.
Catch a Show
If you want to go out for an evening but want to avoid the bars and concert halls there are two local attractions that still offer an exciting night out. Iron Springs Chateau is Colorado Springs’s premier melodrama theater with hilarious, audience-inclusive shows, vaudeville intermissions and, if you are so inclined, pre-show dinners. Cheer the hero and boo the villain (or the reverse, we don’t judge). Shows change seasonally, so you can probably go more than once before your new human arrives. Our other attraction is set to re-open soon after a long recovery from one of the Pikes Peak region’s most destructive fires. The Flying W Ranch gives visitors the wild west fun of chuckwagon dinners, campfire singalongs and good old-fashioned cowboy tunes under the starry Colorado skies. It’s been around for decades and has been a crowd favorite for just as long.
In closing, we’d like to remind you to drink lots of water when you venture out into Colorado Springs and parts beyond. Everyone should be drinking for two in the Rocky Mountains, even those who aren’t pregnant. Wear sunscreen and a hat, dress in layers and for the love of all things mountainous, wear comfortable shoes. No one, gestating or not, has ever been sad they wore good shoes.
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