Top 3 Attractions with Rides in Colorado Springs
We know that most people come to Colorado for the mountains. That doesn’t mean you can’t sample the other excitement the Pikes Peak region has to offer. If you want to boost your next visit or staycation with some great thrills or family fun, this list has our three top attractions with rides in Colorado Springs (and a little bit outside of it, too). Choose one or choose all three. There’s no guarantee your hair won’t be white after some of these rides, but you can just call it a souvenir of your bravery (or insanity, depending on who’s judging). Let’s dive in.
1. Rides for All at the North Pole — Santa’s Workshop
We’re kicking off this list with the North Pole—Santa’s Workshop. This mountainside amusement park has long been the go-to attraction for families who like rides and love Christmas. Let’s break down why this is a top Pikes Peak attraction. First, you only pay to play. That means that entry into the park is free, granting you access to all the Christmas goodness like ornament boutiques and other cool shops. Ride wristbands are $30 for guests ages 3-59 and they give you unlimited access to all the rides.
Speaking of rides, the North Pole has a lot of them, and they range from easy-breezy kiddie rides to bigger thrills for the big kiddos. You can look up the rides by size before you visit the park. Some rides do require a ticketed adult for children under 32 inches. Fun favorites include the Candy Cane Coaster, the high(ish) flying Christmas Tree ride and the Giant Wheel. Yes, the one you can see glowing on the hill from the highway at night. For an attraction with rides the whole family can enjoy, this is your best bet.
2. Thrill Rides at Cave of the Winds
Right next to Cave of the Winds and just west of Manitou Springs, you’ll find two of the coolest thrill rides in the area at an unlikely location: Cave of the Winds. This underground attraction has long been adored for its cool cavern tours, spooky lantern tours and other geological shenanigans. However, it is also home to two different cliffside thrill rides that will have your adrenaline pumping and your pulse pounding.
You and your favorite folks 42″ and over in height will be dropped from the rafters of the Cave of the Winds Pavilion and launched into an epic, 1,200-foot trip across the phenomenal Williams Canyon. You’ll reach speeds of up to 40 mile per hour along the way. The minimum height requirement is 42″ and riders under 48″ must have a buddy.
The Terror-Dactyl absolutely lives up to its name because it is, indeed, a terrifying experience. It’s also some of the most fun you’ll ever have getting tossed over the side of a cliff. Safely, of course. Balanced on the edge of a 200-foot cliff in William’s Canyon, the Terror-Dactyl flings riders 150 feet into the canyon at close to 100 miles per hours. It’s literally breathtaking. Rides must be a minimum height of 48 inches and a minimum of 100 pounds to ride. Be sure to wear pants or shorts, this is not a ride for a sundress.
3. Theme Park Attractions at the Royal Gorge Bridge and Park
Much like Cave of the Winds, the location of one of the world’s highest suspension bridges seems like a weird place for a thrill ride. However, you have to take into account just how much we like to toss people off cliffs for fun in Colorado (see above). For those who prefer a little more chill than thrill, the Royal Gorge does have gentler attractions. But first, let’s discuss the big baddie.
Royal Rush Skycoaster
Unlike its Colorado Springs counterpart, the Royal Rush Skycoaster only travels at about 50 miles per hour. We suspect it is due to the staggering free fall that occurs 1,200 feet above the crashing waters of the Arkansas River and vast canyon below. Indeed, this is a ride like no other. The views from the 100-foot tower alone are almost as cool as the ride. Take a good, long look because you probably won’t be paying attention once you’ve started your flight. You must be 46″-82″ tall to ride. Small children must fit into provided flight suits to be able to ride.
Aerial Gondolas and Daisy’s Carousel
From profoundly thrilling to excellently chilling, the Royal Gorge has other great entertainment for people who prefer not to amp up their heartrate. Well, unless you’re afraid of heights. The Aerial gondolas at the Royal Gorge will gently carry you across the gorge in an enclosed car at a much slower speed than the coaster. Same spectacular views, less terror. The littlest of littles can enjoy this ride and it’s included in your admission with unlimited rides. Speaking of those littles, Daisy’s Carousel is also included in admission and those lazy circles on adorable horses should be a safe bet for all.
There you have it, three epic attractions featuring some of the coolest rides in Colorado Springs and the Pikes Peak region. Screw your courage to the sticking place and get ready to make memories. Just, maybe, wait until you’re done riding to eat a big lunch. (We call that a pro tip.)