Spring Break Activities in Colorado Springs
Spring Break is upon us and we’re inviting people near and far to ditch the beach and opt outside in the incredible splendor that is Colorado and the Pikes Peak region. Why spend hours in the blazing sun on a too-crowded shore when there is a veritable paradise right here in the Rocky Mountains? Sand in every crevice? Jellyfish and sharks brushing up against your legs while you swim? Excessive fist-pumping to bad 90s remixes? Yeah, we can’t think of a good reason either. With that, we’re sharing our favorites ways to play and why Colorado Springs is putting the spring in spring break this season. Knowing the unpredictable weather that is springtime in the Rockies, we’ve shared indoor and outdoor attractions and activities so you can warm up and chill out if we get a snow day. Let’s get started!
Spring Break Camps and Special Events
If you have kids who will get a break from school, or you’ve just chosen to take a few days to yourself to visit the Pikes Peak region, this list of camps and special events is a great way to find fun activities.
Cheyenne Mountain Zoo Spring Break Day Camps
Spring break is already cool enough for antsy kids who are tired of school. Spring break at the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo? That’s a whole new level of epic. Designed for kids from pre-K through sixth grade, these full and half-day camps immerse your kids in the day-to-day fun at the zoo. Each day of camp has a different theme that explores a new life zone and all the animals within it. Camp fees range from $30.75-$65.75 per day depending on age, camp and membership status. Camps run March 28-31. These camps are notorious for filling up fast, but they do have a waitlist you can inquire about at [email protected]. Don’t despair if you can’t snag a camp, the zoo is still open. Be sure to book your visit day in advance if that’s your alternative.
Spring Break Space Encounters: Space Foundation Discovery Center
Take a trip to the stars from March 27-31 at the Space Foundation Discovery Center. This year’s theme focuses on our solar system and the world beyond. Young explorers will learn about our planets, the moons that orbit them and the other celestial bodies that make up our little corner of the universe. Admission is $325 per student, and students get to spend the whole day at the center. Each day includes crafts, robotics, games, computer learning and other fun STEAM activities. For family fun, check out the Space Foundation’s free family star party on March 24 and the free teen astronomy club, also hosted on March 24.
Art Swap at the Old Colorado City Library
We’re pretty sure some portion of your spring break will involve arts and crafts. No, your age does not matter. Gather up your new and gently used crafting items you’d love to find a new home and pay a visit to the OCC library for the monthly art swap on March 11 from 1-4 p.m. The whole family is welcome to attend, and you can even do crafts with other swappers. You will get one ticket for every pound of crafting material that you bring. You can then use your tickets to “purchase” new craft items.
Blue Hands Club: Indigo Dyeing in Manitou Springs
Speaking of crafty, how about engaging in some good old-fashioned shibori indigo dyeing. The Manitou Art Center welcomes attendees to bring in their old clothes or plain items and discover the fun of hand-dyed fabrics. Bring neutral fibers for the best results. The cost is $25 and you can also pay an extra $10 to dye some of the event’s on-hand t-shirts. The event runs from 5-8 p.m. on March 10 and welcomes everyone. Oh, and they also include wine and snacks. Sign us up.
A Night with Poe: Miramont Castle in Manitou Springs
Is it Halloween already? No, and Miramont Castle does not care one bit. Edgar Allen Poe is for all season and he goes great with heavy hors d’oeuvres. The tiny castle in the hills above Manitou is hosting “A Night with Poe” on March 31 and April 1 with time slots at 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. Don’t even bother to keep reading this if you want a chance at a seat, it fills lightning fast. Call (719) 685-1011 right now and reserve your spot with a credit card. Enjoy an evening of spooky atmosphere, tasty appetizers and spirits both liquid and otherworldly. The evening includes a dramatic reading of “The Tell-Tale Heart” in the chapel. This is a popular and amazingly fun event. But you already called so there’s no reason to be concerned, right?
The Story Project: America’s Mountain
That gigantic mountain towering over the city of Colorado Springs has inspired many a visitor to the Pikes Peak region. Katharine Lee Bates wrote “America the Beautiful” after encountering the staggering panorama from the summit. The Story Project aims to stoke even more inspiration on March 10 when they welcome local storytellers to share their favorite tales of Pikes Peak. Learn about the indigenous Ute of the region and hear other unique stories from amazing orators. This event is free and runs from 7-9 p.m. at Knights of Columbus Hall, 20 W. Pikes Peak Ave. Want to find your own inspiration? Check out our Opt Outside section for ways you can visit America’s Mountain, too.
Opt Outside for Spring Break in Colorado Springs
Colorado’s most popular attraction is the scenery. We can’t tell you how many people we meet each week who moved to Colorado after being captivated in a single visit. If you want to get out and explore or if you’re a local reacquainting yourself with a nice little staycation, these Pikes Peak region attractions are sure to please.
Garden of the Gods Park
Towering rock formations and easy trails make this nationally recognized, completely free park a wonderful place to visit for everyone in the family. Wide, paved trails make the park accessible for everyone and the nature trails that weave around the park offer moderate challenge for hikers who want to explore the flora and fauna of the park. Stop into the Garden of the Gods Trading Post for an après-hike snack and pick up a gift or memento from the thousands of items offered in this community landmark.
Academy Riding Stables
Garden of the Gods can also be toured via horseback at the only stable allowed to operate in the much-loved park. With options for riders of all skillsets, you and your companions will be treated to a lovely ride through the interpretive park led by confident, friendly and safety-focused guides. The horses are friendly, and the staff is hilarious and deeply knowledgeable about the park and the Pikes Peak region.
Adventures Out West
For maximum spring break shenanigans in Colorado Springs, Adventures Out West could almost be considered your one-stop shop. You can roam the Pikes Peak region via their open-air jeep tours, zipline from their natural platforms near Manitou Springs, or even schedule a hot air balloon ride. The popular outfitter will let you curate an unforgettable experience that will beat any beach-themed vacation, guaranteed.
Pikes Peak—America’s Mountain
That towering gem that inspired America the Beautiful is one of the most accessible fourteeners in the world and you can explore it all you want during your spring break adventure in Colorado Springs. While we don’t advise hiking it in the spring due to unpredictable weather, you still have options, like driving up the Pikes Peak Highway and exploring the trails near points of interest or taking the Broadmoor and Pikes Peak Cog Railway to the summit from its new train station in Manitou Springs. You can also catch a ride with Gray Line coaches and relax as someone else does the driving. At the new Summit House at the peak of the Peak, you can munch on hot, fresh donuts and pick from a variety of souvenirs.
Fabulous and Family-Friendly Fun in the Pikes Peak Region
You don’t have to look any further than the Pikes Peak region if you’re hoping for a memorable and family-friendly vacation this spring break. There is a lot to do here in Colorado Springs and beyond and you’ll find we have far less crowding that our inexplicably popular counterparts outside the state.
The Royal Gorge Bridge and Park
While the Royal Gorge Bridge is no longer the highest suspension bridge in the world, it remains the most awesome suspension bridge in our little Colorado hearts. This amazing park has it all: stunning views, fun activities and rides that with thrill and terrify you. You can cross the gorge via gondola, check out popular rides or simply just gawk at the Arkansas as it crashes more than 900 feet below.
The Broadmoor Seven Falls
Seven falls has long been a favorite destination for visitors. During spring break, you may have the unique opportunity to catch the falls while they are still frozen from chillier temperatures. If not, the falls are still astounding, with a trail running alongside so you can get up-close to all that splashing beauty. Grab a snack from the snack bar and pay a visit to the rock shop to collect a colorful crystal to commemorate your trip.
Cave of the Winds
Everyone loves to explore caves, especially when they can do so safely without years of experience and expensive equipment. Cave of the Winds offers a fascinating tour through epic formations, dark caverns and stalactites and stalagmites. Outside the cave is just as much fun as the inside with an obstacle course, cool rides and a gift shop that will make any rockhound jump for joy.
Have a Small-Town Adventure
The Pikes Peak region has the privilege of being home to several unique and quirky small towns that are easy to get to and super delightful to explore. If you’re more of a walk-shop-dine kind of vacationer, you won’t be left behind here in Colorado. We’ve got what you need.
While Cripple Creek does offer gaming entertainment, there’s a lot more to this historic mining town. The drive alone is exceptionally pretty, but that’s not all the town has to offer. You can take a deep dive 1,000 feet below the surface of the earth and check out a real gold mine at the Mollie Kathleen Gold Mine. If you prefer to remain above ground, the Cripple Creek and Victor Railroad will take you out to learn about old mining encampments and mountain sights and sounds in their Fido-friendly, open-air trains. There’s always something cool going on, so check the town event calendar before you go.
Old Colorado City
Dining and shopping abound in this historic town conveniently located between Manitou Springs and Colorado Springs. Dozens of locally owned businesses and restaurants line the streets, offering hours of entertainment as you stroll, shop and dine to your heart’s content. Old Colorado City is also a great place to pick up a PikeRide bicycle to explore the town or pay a visit to nearby downtown Colorado Springs or Manitou Springs.
The quirkiest of quirky small towns, Manitou Springs is an eclectic place to spend spring break. You can hike the Intemann Trail behind the town, shop its locally owned businesses or wine and dine at a variety of restaurants. Manitou Springs is also home to an authentic arcade where you can play penny games, skee-ball, classic video games and modern games. While you’re visiting, be sure to check out the town’s many art galleries. The arts community in Manitou is second to none and you’ll find art for every taste.
Explore these Educational Colorado Springs Area Attractions
Just because the kids aren’t in school doesn’t mean they are banned from learning during their spring break vacation. And in the Pikes Peak region, education is synonymous with fun at all of our engaging, hands-on attractions. Check out these awesome attractions to mix a little learning in with your adventure.
The Manitou Springs Cliff Dwellings
If you want to get your educational fun outside, the Manitou Springs Cliff Dwellings are a literal walk back in time to see how the indigenous peoples of modern-day southeastern Colorado lived their lives centuries ago. The dwellings were carefully transported to the cliffs above Manitou springs more that 100 years ago and reconstructed with strong materials that allow visitors to touch and explore these monuments to a complex and rich culture.
The Wild West Ghost Town Museum
Moving back to the great indoors, the Wild West Ghost Town Museum is incredibly cool and highly entertaining. Like the Cliff Dwellings, the museum has real structures reconstructed from ghost towns across Colorado. You can take a peek through shop windows to see what sort of wares were sold in the way back when, snap photos of real wagons and play the afternoon away at the arcade shooting gallery. Kids and adults alike also love the Ghost Town’s gold panning activity, where you can pick through gravel in running water and seek your (tiny) fortune in the water.
The Western Museum of Mining and Industry
Last, but never least, the Western Museum of Mining and Industry is an exceptional attraction for anyone who is fascinated by rocks and mineral and even kiddos who are into big, bad construction machinery. The Mining Museum has acres of space packed with giant mining equipment that you can check out outdoors. Indoors, you’ll find cool exhibits on mining in Colorado and try your hand at more gold panning. The museum is a fantastic way to learn about an industry that has built the success of the state and the country!
The United States Olympic and Paralympic Museum
Sports enthusiasts cannot stop raving about this unique museum dedicated to the epic feats of the country’s most promising and talented amateur athletes. With state-of-the-art digital displays, hands-on exhibits and all the sports memorabilia and artifacts you could ever want, it’s easy to see why the United States Olympic and Paralympic Museum has made the list of top travel sites as a top destination. On top of all that, the museum is one of the most accessible in the world, meaning that everyone, no matter their unique needs, can enjoy the experience.
We aren’t going to judge you if you decide to go visit some salty, fish-filled ocean and get covered in sand that will never disappear (hello nature’s glitter). Well, maybe just a little bit. However, we can assure you that should you decide to visit the Pikes Peak region this spring break, you’ll have so much fun you’ll never want to leave. And if you already live here? You’ll remember exactly why you made the (brilliant) choice to do so.