Fort Collins is situated at the base of Colorado’s Rocky Mountains, offering dozens of family-friendly options for visitors and locals alike. Kids are welcome at many venues -- and some specialize in activities just for your kids, while there are others that you and your children can enjoy together. Since Fort Collins offers both indoor and outdoor activities, your family can have fun in this city any time of year.
Kids can participate in many of the area’s outdoor activities. Fort Collins is near the Poudre River, where your family can go whitewater rafting through companies like A Wanderlust Adventure. However, keep in mind that children typically must be at least 7-years-old and weigh at least 50 pounds for a whitewater adventure. Younger kids can have fun at The Farm at Lee Martinez Park, which offers a farmyard experience with animal contact and an agricultural lesson. Larimer County's Department of Natural Resources manages recreation areas in Fort Collins, including parks and hiking trails for kids to experience nature such as Horsetooth Mountain Open Space, which boasts Horsetooth Falls, a waterfall your family can enjoy in the spring.
Your kids can also enjoy the artistic activities Fort Collins has to offer, including the Fort Collins Museum of Art. This museum provides many exhibits, community events and educational programs, including a mask exhibit showcasing dozens of colorful masks from area artists. The Swetsville Zoo (no website; 4801 East Harmony Road, Fort Collins; 970-484-9509), a sculpture park, gives kids a chance to play among more than 170 statutes of plants, animals, space ships and more, all fashioned from recycled metal, parts and machinery. The Fort Collins Children’s Theatre hosts live theatrical performances for families and children of all ages to enjoy, as well as a summer drama workshop for children ages 10 and up.
Discovery and Farm Museums
Fort Collins also has several museums for kids interested in science, culture and nature. The Fort Collins Museum of Discovery combines science, history and culture exhibits so kids can learn in a hands-on atmosphere. This museum includes a 42-foot long plesiosaur and a nationally recognized interactive music exhibit that lets children create and play music. The Bee Family Centennial Farm Museum chronicles the Bee family’s adventures in farming, including displays about irrigation, sugar beets and lamb feeding, along with special children’s activities. Kids can milk a wooden cow and gather eggs from chickens' nesting boxes.
Indoor Play Areas
There's no shortage of indoor fun in Fort Collins either. If your kids like to swim but the weather is bad, the city’s recreation department operates Fort Collins' Edora Pool and Ice Center, which has indoor swimming and an ice skating rink. Mulberry Pool, also operated by the city’s recreation department, is open year-round and includes a kid-friendly interactive play area with slides and water features. Om Ananda Yoga offers yoga classes designed specifically for kids, while Mountain Kids has boys' gymnastics classes, as well as pointe and tap dance classes.