Colorado Staycation: Macaroni Kid Style!

June 21, 2012

Part 3 of 3

By: By: Kyrie Collins, Highlands Ranch-Parker-Castle Rock Publisher
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Feeding the giraffes at the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo
No need to plan a costly vacation and take a three-hour plane trip to have a GREAT time this summer. We live in Colorado!!! We've got sunshine, mountains, plains, lakes, beaches (yes, really), the largest city park system in the nation, professional sports teams, and friendly people galore.

In Colorado, we have 12 Macaroni Kid communities. Let Macaroni Kid be your guide to a fun-filled summer and get the insider's scoop to what's going on in various areas throughout Colorado! Below is a list of five more of the Colorado Macaroni Kid websites and some of the best places to go, recommended by the publishers of each site. Each website is just like this one, providing a complete list of local events and activities for kids and families to enjoy, plus information about some of the family-friendly businesses in the area. This is part three of three in our series. Read PART ONE and PART TWO here.

  • Water World, one of America's largest family water parks, is just 15 minutes north of downtown Denver.
  • Majestic View Nature Center has interactive and educational exhibits plus a kids' area, family-friendly walking trails around a lake and wetlands area, and easy access to Majestic View Park.
  • The Butterfly Pavilion in Westminster was the nation's first invertebrate zoo. The truly brave can hold Rosie, the friendly Chilean Rose Hair tarantula!
  • The Arvada Center has a wide variety of family productions and programs. Bonus: Squiggles, the 343-foot-long sea-saurus and the star of the accessible playground.
  • The Apex Center has indoor ice skating, a small indoor playground, a HUGE indoor aquatics area, a climbing wall, and much more!
Colorado Springs
  • Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, the nation's only mountain zoo, lets you get up close and personal with giraffes, budgies, wallabys, and more.
  • Manitou Springs is a quirky small-town that sits at the base of Pikes Peak, the mountain sung about in America the Beautiful.
  • Garden of the Gods was once an area where Native Americans gathered to worship - one visit and you'll understand why.
  • Western Museum of Mining & Industry lets you pan for gold, don a hardhat and walk through a replica of a mine, and visit with Oro and Nugget, the mining donkeys (bring an apple or a carrot for a treat).
  • Ferrara's Happy Apple Farm is a pick-your-own produce farm with 14 varieties of apples, plus pears, blackberries, raspberries, gooseberries, or pumpkins, depending on the time of year.
Fort Collins
  • Inspiration Playground provides a play surface that allows wheelchairs, walkers, and braces so children with and without physical disabilities can play independently on the same equipment.
  • Horsetooth Reservoir has it all: rock climbing, water skiing, scuba diving, fishing, boating, camping, and swimming.
  • Fort Fun family entertainment center has mini-golf, go-karts, batting cages, a giant slide, bumper boats, a shooting gallery, and much more!
  • The Gardens on Spring Creek has a Children's Garden, Garden of Eatin', a Rock Garden, and many more.
  • Sylvan Dale Guest Ranch in Loveland lets you get away from it all ... try horseback riding, trout fishing, trap shooting ... or just take a soak in the hot tub!
Highlands Ranch-Parker-Castle Rock
  • H2O'Brien Pool in Parker has dumping buckets, geysers, an enormous play structure, two water slides, and a sprayground too.
  • Yogi Bear's Jellystone Park in Larkspur is great for overnight camping or a day trip. Read ourreview for the full scoop.
  • The Outlets at Castle Rock has more than 120 brand-name stores with prices 30-70% off retail.
  • Civic Green Park in Highlands Ranch has family-friendly events just about every weekend, and many days during the week too!
  • The Lone Tree Arts Center has an incredbie amount of programming for children and families.
Littleton-Lakewood-Golden-Wheat Ridge
  • The Splash at Fossil Trace in Golden is a family-friendly water park with water slides, a giant dumping bucket, and a sprayground.
  • Fun City in Littleton has bowling, inflatables, an arcade, a raceway, miniature golf, and everything else that makes an indoor entertainment center FUN!
  • Casa Bonita is a Denver legend! Just remember ... you're going for the ENTERTAINMENT not the FOOD!
  • Tiny Town in Morrison has train rides, a playground with picnic tables, and a miniature town that will fascinate kids and adults alike!
  • Morrison Natural History Museum is small but packed with a wide variety of fossils, including mammoth tusks and baby dino footprints. Kids might even get the opportunity to use real paleontology tools to work on real fossils.
Don't forget, Macaroni Kid is national. If you are taking a vacation outside Colorado, and use the drop-down menu on the left side of the page to see if there is one for your destination. It's a great way to plan your vacation and save money too, since the majority of events listed by Macaroni Kid sites are free!

Finally, if you know someone looking for a fun job with hours she chooses, maybe a Macaroni Kid site in her community would be right up her alley. Have her send an email to and we can give her more information.

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