March is here and that means Spring Break. Several people have asked what the Mayor recommends doing with the kiddos over the break. If you don’t have the resources to spend the break in Mexico or Disneyland, here are a few things that will be great excursions with the kids.
Visit the Zoo
Coloradoans are lucky to have two outstanding zoos in our state. When we lived in the Denver area we had a membership to the Denver Zoo, and it’s by far one of the best city zoos I’ve ever visited. However, my favorite zoo in the state, and maybe the world, is Cheyenne Mountain Zoo in Colorado Springs.
A major appeal of this zoo is its location on the side of Cheyenne Mountain. The animal enclosures connect seamlessly to the environment, and because it’s on a hill, visitors walk through the zoo on a zigzagging path. Never knowing what’s around the next corner makes visiting this zoo a real adventure.
The Cheyenne Mountain Zoo has the most prolific giraffe-breeding program in the world and one of the best giraffe enclosures I’ve ever seen. Visitors walk on an elevated viewing area, where they come face to face with these extraordinary animals. You can even spend a little on crackers to feed the giraffe. It’s an experience not to be missed.
Arcade in Manitou Springs
If your kids like video games, and I’m betting they do, why not take them to see the precursors to their Xboxes and Playstations. Manitou Springs, just minutes outside Colorado Springs, is a quirky town and the arcade is just one of many unique things this town has to offer.
We have spent several long weekends in Manitou Springs and the Penny Arcade is my husband’s favorite stop. Featuring an array of games in several buildings, you can find some of the very first penny arcade games, classic arcade games of the 1980s, skeeball, and even coin operated animal rides. There’s something for everyone and every age in this collection.
Pinball in Lyons
I’ve written previously about Lyons Classic Pinball on HeidiTown. This is a one-of-a-kind place, and makes for a fun-filled afternoon or evening. Located in Lyons, Colorado, this place has over thirty pinball machines from various time periods. You can guess what decade in which the machine was produced by looking at the art.
After pinball I recommend heading around the corner to Oskar Blues for a burger and soda. While there, head downstairs and check out Lyons Classic Video. This room is run by the same family as Lyon’s Classic Pinball and is home to such games as Tron, Mrs. Pacman, Donkey Kong, Q-bert and many more. There are 25 games in all and every game is just 25 cents.
Visit a Museum
I’m a huge advocate for museums. I grew up visiting museums and I have always loved them. If you start taking your children to museums at a young age, I think they too will be lifelong supporters of museums.
The Denver Museum of Nature & Science is a personal favorite, but you don’t have to drive that far to find an interesting and entertaining museum for the kids. Greeley, Fort Collins, Windsor, Loveland and Berthoud each have a museum or two and most have kid-oriented exhibits.
I’m planning to write about all the museums in Northern Colorado, but so far I’ve only made it to a handful. I still need to visit the Greeley Freight Station Museum, but I mention it here because it sounds like the perfect museum for children (and train lovers like me).
Please visit the Museum section of HeidiTown for info on the museums I have had a chance to write up.
HeidiTown Tip: If your kids like board and card games they’ll enjoy the Haunted Game CafÃ© locate in Fort Collins. This is a game store and coffee shop. You can play one of their many open games while sipping on an Italian soda or one of the cafe’s specialty drinks.