Trying to plan the perfect family vacation can feel tough; ensuring that little ones remain entertained, adults aren’t left underwhelmed, and that everybody has experiences that create memories to last a lifetime is a tall order. Luckily, the Salida & Buena Vista area offers families a host of activities that’ll leave everybody happy after a trip no matter what time of year you choose to visit. Check out the top activities with kids in Salida, Colorado.

WINTER

1. Ski at Monarch Ski Resort

Skiing is a fantastic family activity that will get you and your little ones out connecting with the world around you. For first-timers, the Monarch Ski Resort offers half and full day programs to help you get on your feet and learn how to tackle a slope effectively. Shy little ones can get in on a Mini + Me lesson with you to get introduced to the snow, equipment, and atmosphere of the mountain before trying anything out on their own.

2. Take a Sleigh Ride with a Team of Pups at Monarch Dog Sled Rides

Everyone has heard of dog sledding, but do you know anybody who’s actually done it? Maybe you will after your next trip! Monarch Dog Sled Rides offers tours that run just over an hour and give you and your family the chance to live out a once-in-a-lifetime experience. There is no minimum age to participate in a tour, but it is suggested that care is taken to bundle up especially young children a little bit extra. Your entire family can pile onto a sled (or two) and gain an entirely new perspective on the forest around you.

3. Go On a Snowmobile Tour

Whether you want to rent your own snowmobile or go on a guided tour, they make a fantastic option for getting out and enjoying the surrounding views of the 14,000-foot mountain peaks around you. Most companies recommend that children are at least five years old; some will allow children 3 to 4.5 provided you sign up for specialized private tours. Tours will give you the opportunity to go through the old railroad grade, learn some history, and then take off into the beautiful San Isabel National Forest.

4. Tubing Hill at Monarch

If your little ones are not quite ready to conquer a black diamond run, the whole family can enjoy the slopes at the Tubing Hill at Monarch Ski Resort. The 450’ snow tubing hill is open throughout the ski season and season pass holders even receive a discount. Make sure to check the days and times of operation before heading to the tubing hill. Riders must be at least 36” tall and able to ride alone in a tube. Children age six and under must be accompanied by a participating adult. Walk-ins are welcome (based on availability), or advance tickets may be purchased online or over the phone (719) 530-5196.

5. Family Fun Arcade on F Street

Located right in downtown Salida, you can enjoy some of your favorite games at this family-friendly hangout. Play your favorite classic arcade games from the 80s as well as pool, shuffleboard, air hockey and so much more. The arcade even boasts a virtual reality experience that is sure to have everyone talking. Bring your kids or just come and feel like kids again, but stop in and have some fun. Check out their facebook page for special events.

SUMMER

6. Raft in the Arkansas River

There are a host of tour companies in the area that can take your family out on the waters of the Arkansas River– some even offer fly fishing packages! Some more challenging tours require that kiddos be seven, ten, or even fourteen plus, but others will let little ones as young as four come along for more scenic and peaceful rides. Many programs are half-day and take you through the beautiful, high-walled Royal Gorge Canyon before letting you take in the scenic mountain and greenery views nearby.

7. Ride the Monarch Scenic Tram

The tram operates during the Summer season (this year it begins running again on May 15) and gives riders the opportunity to get up to the observatory. Once there, you can spend as long as you like getting a once-in-a-lifetime view of the surrounding area. Children three and under ride for free, and even an adult ticket is only ten dollars. This tram is a fantastic option for those looking to take up some time on a day with other, shorter activities without breaking the bank. Your entire family will have the opportunity to take in unparalleled scenic views as they ascend to over 12,000 feet in elevation– an experience they won’t soon forget.

8. Horseback Ride in the Rocky Mountains

Several stables and companies nearby provide guides horseback rides through the breathtaking Rocky Mountains. Most businesses that offer rides are able to work with a variety of schedules, budgets, and age limits to come up with an experience that’s tailored to your family. One or two hour rides for those short on time are always popular options, but it’s not difficult to find half-day or full-day rides if you think the kiddos can handle it. Spring, summer, and fall rides yield beautiful views of blossoming wildflowers, wildlife, and the surrounding mountains. Minimum ages will vary from business to business– six is typically a safe average to start working with when you’re planning, though.

9. Learn About Animals at Jumpin’ Good Goat Dairy

For the tikes who love animals, this may be a safe bet for some afternoon plans. Jumpin’ Good Goat Farm Daily offers farm and milking tours that last less than two hours and give children an overview of the property. Farm tours include information on sustainable agriculture and the history of the farm before letting kiddos meet the kids and mommas who make running the farm possible. Milking tours, which are available in the spring and summer, include a full farm tour and the opportunity to see what it takes to milk a dairy goat– they may even let you participate! Children two and under tour for free; adult pricing ranges from $8 to $16 depending on the season and children’s tickets are $4 to $12.

10. Get Some Exercise at Browns Canyon Adventure Park

For the more adventurous young ones, Browns Canyon Adventure Park offers a great opportunity to get outside and put in a little work for their entertainment. The park offers a host of activities to suit those with varying abilities in several age groups. Four courses offer a total of 66 challenge elements that allow your young ones (and you!) to jump, crawl, and swing your way through the day. Children must be seven years old to run a course and be over fifty pounds.

With so many choices to go around, you might actually find it tough to decide what sorts of activities to work into your next trip! Contact us today if you’d like to book a home base for you and your loved ones. We’d be thrilled to speak with you, learn more about your family, and offer suggestions as to what activities might take your vacation from good to great.

Share the Salida Love!