Colorado Little Kids - 2018 Summer Checklist

April 30, 2018



Here it is! Our Summer Checklist - keep in mind this is aimed at families with toddlers and preschoolers, so this will not include Summer camps or trips with high level of intensity/skill required. This blog will be a "living blog" and I will add photos, tips & tricks and more as we check them off of our list.

COLORED text is linked for your convenience.


Denver Central


Denver Rainy Days:


Day Trips

  • Ya Ya Orchard Farm

    • ​Ya ya lost a LOT of their orchard a few years back due to a late freeze. Be sure to sign up for apple picking early in the season to get in. Even if you don't get a slot on their list, be sure to go just for the fresh applesauce donuts. You'll want to bring some home for sure. The shop has fresh fruit, jams, honey and you can also buy carrots to feed the horses which is fun for the kiddos (and let's get real, us adults too). Great photo opportunities for those who like to blog! 

  • Dinosaur Ridge

    • Take a stroll around Red Rocks, or if you're up for some exercise local mom's love "Yoga on the Rocks" , pack a picnic and follow the Dinosaur Ridge dino tracks for a fun way to spend your afternoon. Kids will get their energy out playing and searching, but be sure to bring sunscreen, hats and light jackets as Colorado sun and weather can take a beating on you. Chapstick and water, water, water for those who are not locals especially!

  • Hiking at Rainbow Lake in Nederland

    • ​Kid and dog friendly, this lovely 2.5 mile hike is a great day trip option from Denver/Boulder. Stop in Nederland and ask about the Frozen Man - you're sure to find someone to tell you the history and also about Frozen Dead Guy Days (festival).

  • Broomfield Bay & Tiny Town.

  • Water World.

    • ​This is one that I'm adding for myself - I am a full grown adult woman who loves Water World and I'm not ashamed to admit it. I will say though, if you like to ride the rides you should probably bring another mommy friend, partner, dad, grandparent or even a nanny as it's easy to lose track of 2+ kiddos or get a chance to go off by yourself on the rides little ones are too short to ride. There are two great kid areas (the east one is better to camp near) for littles to play in that will provide a whole days worth of fun. Some families even bring tents and set up camp for the day, take naps, etc. We usually just bring a stroller or umbrella for the youngest to nap under at lunch time and a picnic with lots of snacks & drinks (no alcohol or glass). Pick your campout location away from garbages (bees) and close to where you mostly will be hanging out. Get there super early to get VIP passes if you're with a group and don't want to wait in super long lines for the bigger rides. PLEASE BRING SUNSCREEN - people forget a lot if they're new or visiting Colorado. Our sun hurts, protect yourself & those sweet babies. They do supply small lifejackets for kiddos if you forget and need, but they aren't always "in stock" so snag those early too if you need them. Goggles are a win as well.

  • Elitch Gardens

    • ​I have never been, but I'm told it's fun. We may or may not go this Summer as I'm not into roller coasters so much - don't send all of the hate mail at once! I would go to check out a concert, fireworks or maybe the water park. Let me know if you love Elitch and can change my mind on going!

  • Wild Animal Sanctuary.

    • ​I am so excited to finally go to the Sanctuary this Summer. The entry fees are a little confusing, so be sure to check out how to become an active supporter in order to get entry - this is a little different than just showing up like at a zoo or similar. No pets allowed, sometimes that needs to be said since Colorado is such a dog friendly place to explore.

  • Sunflower Farm

    • ​How adorable is this place? We have never been, but I had to add it to the list for this year. I'll be sure to add pictures when we go. Looks like it might be best to stop and grab a sandwich from Mod Market up the street and head over for the day. Closed M-W currently so make sure you go on a day they're open.


Weekend & Overnight Trips:

  • Motorhome rental

    • I fully plan to convince my partner, Severyn, to let me rent a motorhome and spend a week or two camping around the state. Wish me luck!

    • Camping spots we'd like to try: It's a teepee!

  • Paonia/Hotchkiss

    • Okay, so we had the most DARLING time in Paonia last year. We went to the Delicious orchards as our favorite thing there - they allow free camping on site too (if you get there before dark it's easy to set up). If you make it a multi-family affair you could take turns with wine tours, golfing, etc and go on all family hiking. Be sure to check out the local festivals and shops and support the tourist towns!

  • Santa Fe

  • Sand Dunes

    • Looks like it is about $20 to rent sleds and we were told bring pop up chairs for Little Medano creek with an umbrella or small tent and hats for the major sun exposure.

  • Colorado Springs

    • Cheyenne Mountain Zoo. We LOVE, LOVE this zoo. See our trip from Cora's birthday two years ago - the best thing to do is definitely feeding the giraffes. Bring some monies so you can buy bundles of lettuce to feed those big purple tongues. 

    • Seven Falls

    • Broadmoor Hotel

    • The North Pole - this place is a little odd, but through the eyes of a kiddo it's pretty cute.

    • Penny Arcade. Technically in Manitou Springs. Take a step back in time and check out this quant little town and be sure to stop at the Penny Arcade.

    • Manitou Cliff Dwellings. If you're going to jump over to Manitou you should definitely stop at the cliff dwellings for some history while you're around.

  • Bishop Castle

    • Bishop Castle! No idea what to expect other than a day of exploring - this is one day/weekend trip I would love some help picking things along the way to do. It looks like there is an old-fashioned drive in movie theatre in Mesa! Please send suggestions.


Know something I missed? Email me at and I'll be sure to add it here.




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