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The entire family can enjoy a day of cycling. If you choose a local path in the city or want some high country trail, you will be ready. So pack up the kids, fold up the trailer and get ready to tag-a-long....read more.
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Our website was established in 2008 and we are looking forward to providing outstanding information about cycling in Colorado. Our specialty is in the area of Mountain and Road biking. We also strive to include options for family rides or for any non-riders of the family (while mom, dad, sister or brother may be enjoying their favorite road or trail). This ensures that families can recreate together in the surrounding region. Feel free to contact us at: thom@switchbackcycling.com
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Early September brings new meaning to the term Gold Rush in Colorado. When the Aspens turn from green to gold you know winter is close behind. Riding in the high country of Colorado will give you rich rewards. As you pedal through amber canopies of leaves and crisp autumn days, the Colorado high country is like no place else. By now you have peaked in riding skills and ability and you are ready to continue on with serious riding. Whether on the road or singletrack, this time of year brings changes and changes fast. Snow in the morning and sunshine in the afternoon, or anything in between. So dress warm, have layers to add or subtract and get ready to roll out. Check out our featured ride, Kenosha Pass to Georgia Pass
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Family Fun

The entire family can enjoy a day of cycling. If you choose a local path in the city or want some high country trail, you will be ready. So pack up the kids, fold up the trailer and get ready to tag-a-long.

Are you the proverbial "bike widow"? Do you have children in tow? Perhaps you're looking for a running trail or just want to know about a few of the local boutiques. The family fun page will help you locate the child friendly bike paths, trails, and other amusements. We will also tell you about the great places to eat including that cute cafe with the specialty drinks and goodies. In addition, we'll highlight a few of the local shops and how they appeal to the entire family. Read about our family fun safety tips.

  • Aspen
  • Boulder
  • Breckenridge
  • Colorado Springs
  • Crested Butte
  • Evergreen
  • Frisco
  • Golden
  • Granby
  • Grand Junction
  • Idaho Spgs.
  • Keystone
  • Leadville
  • Morrison
  • Salida
  • Steamboat Springs
  • Summit County
  • Telluride
  • Winter Park
  • Vail

Family Fun - Aspen



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Yes, Aspen is one of the playgrounds of the rich and famous. I have also found this town to be full of friendly people offering to snap family photos. The Rio Grande Trail is my highlighted choice for a family biking excursion. The Rio Grande Trail begins behind the post office on Puppy Smith St. The first two miles are paved. The trail then crosses Cemetery Lane and becomes dirt continuing northwest to Woody Creek. The Roaring Fork River provides very pleasant auditory and visual stimulation along the way.

We all know that a park with a playground is optimal free entertainment for kids and Aspen does not disappoint. Herron Park on Neale Street not only has the playground and restroom facilities but the added bonus of a shallow stream great for barefoot wading a favorite pastime of toddlers everywhere. Snyder Park, Tot Lot Park and Yellow Brick School all make our list with playgrounds and bathroom facilities.

While I've found that all dining establishments in Aspen welcome children there are a few that have specific children's menu and spaces where the kids will have more fun. Boogie's Diner has that old fashioned flare complete with authentic diner items such as meatloaf, milkshakes and cheeseburgers. Moms also get the bonus of the great shopping area right underneath the diner. Little Annie's is casual with checkered tablecloths and a great grill menu. A visit to town isn't complete without stopping at Paradise Bakery. You can get ice cream for the kids and a nice coffee drink for yourself.

Shopping in Aspen can be daunting depending on your budget. Yet, there is something to be found for everyone. You can't go wrong at the Gap for women's, men's and children's clothing. Pitkin County Dry Goods is also a great place especially if you can catch a sale. Susie's consignment shop has great style and lots of things that look brand new. Don't forget to stop at Carl's Pharmacy. The name is deceiving as it is more like a general store. In addition to any necessity you may be after this mainstay also has a great selection of toys. After shopping don't forget to enjoy the fountain on the mall. Kids of all ages and yes the adults too will have fun frolicking in the water.

There is absolutely awesome family fun in Aspen.

Family Fun - Boulder



Being home to some of the world's elite athletes it is no surprise that cycling enthusiasts are everywhere in this town. There is no shortage of excellent road and mountain biking terrain. It is also the kind of place that the whole family can find recreational pursuits in a kid-friendly environment. There are five paved multi-use bike paths: Bear Creek Trail, Boulder Creek Path, Broadway Boogie Trail, Centennial Trail, and Cottonwood Trail. The pick for family fun is the Boulder Creek Path. It travels in an east-west direction following Boulder Creek from Arapahoe road near Cherryvale to Four mile Canyon. It provides easy access to several Boulder Parks (very appealing when you have toddlers that need to potty and stretch their legs or get wiggles out on playground equipment). It also makes it easy to bail-out anywhere along the way if needed. Other interesting sights along the trail include: fish ponds, a sculpture garden, the library, CU and beautiful cottonwood groves.

One of the simplest yet most entertaining activities you may choose to do is take a stroll on Pearl Street Mall. This outdoor pedestrian mall with cobblestone streets has something for everyone. The seasonal flowers and native trees along with the historic buildings provide wonderful ambiance. You will see people of all ages and from all walks of life. There are areas with sculptures for kids to climb on and sand your little ones can put their hands in. The four blocks long stretch has stores that range from boutiques to restaurants to arts, toy stores, outdoor adventures, books, etc. Even someone who detests shopping will find a store of interest here. You will also find entertainment from street performers and musicians. There is a fountain in front of the courthouse which offers free entertainment and a chance to cool off on hot summer days. The other family fun choice would be to head to one of Boulder's Parks. Foothills Community Park, Harlow Platts Community Park and East Boulder Community Park all have bike route access which makes it easy for the cyclists in the family to join the fun after a ride. These parks have playgrounds for the kids. Foothills and Harlow also have the all important restrooms. High on the list of tourist attractions would be Chautauqua Park. It was established in 1898 to bring culture to rural areas. There are lovely gardens and places to picnic here. You can also catch a cultural event or go for a hike.

Dining in Boulder does not disappoint. If you are walking the mall you may want to eat at Bimbamboo. This modern Asian kitchen has delectable food and a kid's menu. Of course you may want to stop at Hagen Das for dessert or Ben and Jerry's where there are flavors and treats to please all family members and all ages. You really can't go wrong finding a place to eat along the mall. Everyone is welcoming, just check out the menus and see what tempts your tastebuds and also appeals to your children. A day spent in Boulder will provide outdoor enjoyment for the entire family.

Family fun is bountiful in Boulder.

Family Fun - Breckenridge



Breckenridge is a 150-year-old quaint Victorian town. It was established in 1859 as a small mining outpost. Today it is known as a "real town" where real family fun abounds in recreational activities such as biking and hiking, along with art, theater, music and dance. I have to say this is a very fun town to "hang out" in no matter what your age. I will say that parking can be a challenge. Once you have scored a prize parking spot you can move forward with a fabulous day. What to do while dad is biking?

Activities are plentiful as there are so many family fun choices. Venture over to Carter Park which is on the south end of High Street. They have a great playground, picnic tables, restrooms and a patio with a nice view of the 10 mile range. The Peak 8 Fun Park is just that but a bit pricey. It may be something to do as a special treat since there are fun things that don't cost money. It has a super alpine slide, maze, climbing wall, trampoline, spin cycle, bounce house and gemstone panning. The mountain top children's museum is great for ages 2-5 years as they have an hourly workshop. You can also rent paddle boats on Maggie Pond. There is the Breckenridge Recreation Center which has two climbing walls, an indoor pool, slide and ice skating. A stroll down Main Street provides shops to intrigue all members of the family and restaurants to satisfy everyone's food cravings. The need for little people to move and run may take you to two of my favorite stores right on Main Street. Peek-A-Boo Toys at 117 South Main Street has lots of merchandise for kids of all ages. One of the greatest perks is the play area in the back which is appropriately called the indoor playground. There is a train table, horse to ride, mini kitchen for cooking play and dinosaurs to climb on and create fantasy adventures. Two Feet Tall is adeptly placed right across from an outdoor playground. This store has children's clothing, gifts and toys that will appeal to everyone. Of interest to mom would be Valleygirl boutique. This was my favorite shop as it has a friendly staff, great selection and affordable prices. I would also check out Big-City-Blues and Canary in a Clothesmine for more fun clothes. The town of Breckenridge has a multitude of restaurants most of which welcome families and kids of all ages. I always gravitate toward the places that have a children's menu. There's just something about taking the extra effort to provide affordable choices and portions for our little ones' palates. I will mention three favorites. Breckenridge Brewery located at 600 S Main St. is the only brewpub in town. They are known for their pub fare and fresh food selections. The atmosphere is energetic and friendly. Bubba Gump at 231 Main St. has a kids menu and games to entertain while waiting for your meal. Finally, Rasta Pasta a basement shop at Main St. and S. Park Ave. serves exquisite pasta creations including many Caribbean infused dishes. They also have booths for seating which I find nice with little ones. Of course there is a Starbucks on Main Street. There are also plenty of ice cream shops and cafes to choose for yummy treats and that oft needed caffeine boost. Family fun is at its best in Breckenridge.

Family Fun - Colorado Springs



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Colorado Springs and the surrounding area provide the scenic views and outdoor fun that you expect in our state. The city itself boasts 118 miles of urban bike trails and 61 miles of mountain biking trails. In 2010 Bicycling Magazine voted this city in the top 20 for friendliest bike cities in America. There are also seven regional parks and many fun things to do. We've highlighted a few of our favorites.

The family fun bike path would be the Santa Fe Trail Mountain Bike Trail also known as the Pikes Peak Greenway. This wide multi-use 30 mile trail extends north from Fountain Creek Nature Center to Palmer Lake. It is an easy ride with incredible scenery. You can access this trail via the North and South entrances of the Air Force Academy or take the Woodman Road exit off I25 and head west. Go over the first creek bridge and turn right into the parking lot. This ride can be enjoyed by the entire family. It is also used by hikers so no worries if you just want to push a baby buggy or jog along with your mini cyclists.

Two great activities to do with toddlers are a visit to the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo and a trip to the North Pole. Each of these attractions will easily fill a day with family fun. The Cheyenne Mountain Zoo sits just above the Broadmoor Hotel on 146 acres. There are over 700 animals representing 190 species. It is right on the mountainside at 6800 feet in elevation so be prepared for some walking. This zoo is intimate and the encounters with the animals are much more interactive. Right after you move through the entrance you come to the giraffe exhibit where you can feed them. My son also got to pet a baby wallaby and feed a budgerigar (parakeet). We were up close to grizzlies, mountain lions and hippos. There is a sky ride, pony rides, petting zoo and a carousel. It is a welcoming place and even the animals seem happy here. The exhibits really try to accommodate the needs of the different animals and mirror their natural habitats around the world. This zoo is an awesome way to spend a day with the family.

The North Pole is in Cascade Colorado. It basically sits nestled at the base of Pikes Peak. There is a beautiful little Christmas Village along with amusement rides. It is definitely geared for the younger crowd and perfect for toddlers. There was plenty of shade and the cost of food was reasonable. My toddler thoroughly enjoyed himself. We visited mid-week in July after the 4th. It was not crowded and we did not wait in any significant lines for a ride. Another plus was the rides were all long enough so the kids didn't immediately want to do them again. The village has a boy's toy store and girl's toy store geared specifically to the different genders. In addition, they have shops with beautiful ornaments and decorations. Of course you also get to see Santa and visit with him or as in my case just look at him briefly from the safe distance of the doorway. The day here was truly filled with magical memories and family fun.

Dining and shopping in Colorado Springs and the surrounding region provides you with many options. Colorado Springs has the usual assortment of chain restaurants which accommodate families. My family enjoyed the Elephant Bar on Academy Blvd with its diverse menu which catered to all of our various food tastes. My toddler enjoyed the wild animal replicas throughout the restaurant.

Two towns I would recommend exploring are Manitou Springs and Old Colorado City. They have that unique flare that makes you feel like you're on vacation when you visit. Old Colorado City provides you that colorful atmosphere of the old west. It is the oldest city in the Pikes Peak region and infamous for its rowdy reputation. The buildings today are much the same as the days following the discovery of gold in Cripple Creek. The ground floors are shops, stores, restaurants, and bars while the upper floors house offices, meeting rooms and residences. Presently, there are 120 shops and restaurants. Manitou Springs is Native American for spirit and the positive spirit of this town can be felt and seen everywhere. There are eleven named mineral springs throughout town. It is a stepping stone for many attractions including: Manitou and Pikes Peak Railway,

Cave of the Winds, Garden of the Gods, Seven Falls and the Air Force Academy to name a few. The Piramide Clothing Company sells eco-conscious jewelry and accessories and also boasts a store in nearby Old Colorado City. The Mountain Wind and Sun has kites and fun educational toys. Bear Works and Wearhouse allow you to create your own bear which kids always enjoy. There are plenty of dining establishments to choose from. Briarhurst Manor Estate and the Cliff House both have children's menu and provide a divine setting. You are sure to find something that will please your entire family.

Family Fun in Colorado Springs- Quite Spectacular

Family Fun - Crested Butte



Crested Butte has been aptly described by resort VP Ken Stone as "a colorful small town with expressive spirit." Colorado is a scenic state but I have to say that Crested Butte rates right up there as one of the most picturesque settings in Colorado. When visiting Crested Butte it is kind of like "two towns in one" as you are finding fun in both the town of Crested Butte and Mount Crested Butte. There are three miles separating the towns and the dependable shuttle service between the two virtually eliminates the need for driving.

The family fun bike ride of choice is in actuality named The Recreational Path. It is a paved pedestrian/bike path that is two miles in length and connects Mount Crested Butte and the town of Crested Butte. The path is surrounded by beautiful scenery including pastures, meadows and wetlands. Any runners in the family would also enjoy a jaunt on this course. Depending on your level of fitness you may want to start in Mount Crested Butte and just ride down to town. The dependable shuttle I promoted above does permit bikes if it is too difficult to ride back uphill with toddlers in tow.

There are three parks to highlight when traveling with toddlers. Two are in town and one in Mount Crested Butte. In town you have Three Ladies Park at First St. and Butte Ave. and Henderson Park at the corner of Whiterock Ave. and Third Street. Both of these parks are good for toddlers as they are small and close to the amenities in town. Henderson Park is on .3 acres and has a small swing set, slide and two little riding animals on springs. Three Ladies is on .2 acres with a small pavilion and picnic area. The community school also has a nice playground for kids of various ages. Up in Mount Crested Butte you will find Ted Scheske Park which is below town hall on 911 Gothic Road. The newest addition to this park is The Children's Playground designed with our small children in mind. Here you can take in the sweeping views of beautiful vistas as you watch your children play. It will create an amazing feeling of contentment for your soul. Anyone in the family who is interested in fitness will enjoy a workout on the Total Fitness Trail. It has exercise stations complete with any needed equipment and instructions for cardio and toning. You will get quite the workout considering you are at 9,400 feet. Don't forget to check out the mountain garden. Even your toddlers will enjoy seeing the variety of pretty flowers and learning all of their colors.

As with most resort towns kids really are welcome everywhere you go. Crested Butte also has six great restaurants that have a children's menu. For the breakfast and lunch crowd check out McGills complete with an old fashioned soda fountain and home-cooked meals. Donita's Cantina is my pick for dinner. I always eat at this restaurant at least once when I stay in Crested Butte. They have a casual down to earth atmosphere and fresh fabulous Mexican food. Bacchanale and Marchitelli's Gourmet Noodle are both great Italian hits. The Wooden Nickel and Last Steep round out the top six for dining with toddlers. Don't forget Camp 4 for coffee in both towns. Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory is also filled with tasty treats.

Shopping (indoor hunting) as I once heard it called by a woman comic, consists of stores for clothing, sports, western antiques, novelties, and unique stylish gifts. There is a funky store on Elk Street called Mabuhay where I got a beautiful silk wrap skirt a few years back that women still go crazy over. Retail Therapy (gotta love the name) has boutique styles at affordable prices. Mommy and Me Trading Co. has clothes for moms-to-be and us moms in general. You should also check out Petite Lavish. This is a children's boutique with unique baby and children's items. Pooh's Corner is the store for toys, games, stuffed animals and clothes for the younger members of your family. Blue Moon Books has children's books in addition to titles the entire family would be interested in. A visit to town would not be complete without the cycling family checking out the Mountain Bike Hall of Fame Museum. The museum houses memorabilia, vintage bikes, components, classic photos and press clippings.

Create family fun memories in Crested Butte.

Family Fun - Evergreen



Evergreen is exit 248 off I-70. It is considered "close in" (15 miles west of Denver) for our men to complete a nice road ride or mountain bike at one of the open space parks. Elk Meadows open space is where I would recommend a family fun ride. You can take Elk Meadow Trail which is relatively flat with a lovely scenic loop. It is also a nice place to hike or walk around. Perhaps you finished the family fun ride and the kids are still wound up. Head back north about one mile and on your right you will see Buchanan Park which has wonderful playground equipment. A little further north on the right is Bergen Park which has a lovely picnic area and those all important bathrooms. Your other option would be to continue south on 74 toward the town of Evergreen and head to Evergreen Lake. Evergreen Lake provides recreation including year round trout fishing, picnic tables with barbecue grills and a 1.5 mile path that circles the lake. If you want to venture into downtown Evergreen for dining, the sidewalks are narrow sidewalks so keep the kids close as there is always traffic to contend with.

There are some decent dining options for mom with kids in tow starting right when you exit the interstate. Depending on the time of day you can hit a Starbucks, Qdoba, McDonalds or Burger King on the northeast side of Evergreen Parkway. The southeast side has El Rancho which is a cute western restaurant complete with a gift shop. Bergen Village is my first choice with the kids. It is here that you will find Campgrounds Coffee and Eatery. This is a cafe that caters to both adults and kids serving breakfast and lunch items. The food is fabulous and they have this great organic menu. There is a sweet outdoor patio with a view and tables for toddlers along with booster seats. There is even a drive through if you find the kids aren't cooperating or for some other reason you may be in a hurry. Right next door you find the perfect match to a café, Hearthfire Books bookstore. This is a tiny, cute bookstore that does have a decent children's section. Right across the street is Bicycle Outfitters-a sure way to con dad into joining everyone for lunch. Also part of this shopping village is Bits and Pieces Clothing. Mom can leave the kids with dad at the bike shop and get a cool in style fashion fix. If you do opt to dine in the town of Evergreen the best bets would be Beau Jo's Pizza or Wildflower Café. The café has a fabulous healthy menu and people rave about the food. They also have a children's menu. Although this is a kid friendly establishment the one drawback is that it is very small inside. Beau Jo's is a familiar name to most front range residents. It is considered legendary among Colorado outdoor enthusiasts and its use of wind and solar power keep it in harmony with the environment. The menu is full of yummy choices with options including gluten free pizza, low carb, and healthy alternatives. They also have a satisfying children's menu. If you are from out of town, you just need to know that it is pizza Colorado style, pasta, salads, calzones, and sandwiches served in a friendly atmosphere. One can definitely find some everlasting family fun in Evergreen.

Family Fun - Frisco



Frisco is a town that is three square miles packed with family fun choices. Highlights include two parks, the Peninsula Recreation Area, Ten Mile recreational pathway, and a marina. The Peninsula Recreation Area is one half mile south of the town of Frisco on highway 9. It has a multi-purpose field, peak one disc golf course, picnic facilities, several campgrounds, a skateboard park and an extensive trail system. Having toddlers in tow, I would opt for a simple hike/walk through the forest along the shores of Lake Dillon. Toddlers can run about and play at the water's edge (carefully supervised of course). This can be followed by a picnic lunch. The town is also planning to put a new bike park here which will ultimately attract dad to the area. A simple hike/walk can also be accomplished on the Ten Mile rec pathway. This trail intersects Main Street and Summit Blvd. and is part of the fifty plus miles of paved stretches connecting the towns of Summit County and Vail. Dad could do a ride here and still come back and hang with the family, as it is used by hikers, bikers, visitors and locals to stroll around Frisco. If the kids need a playground then head to Walter Byron Park at 4th Ave. and Creekside Drive. Here you find it all: gazebo, picnic area, playground, grill, restrooms, parking and twenty acres all next to Ten Mile Creek. Meadow Creek Park is four acres located at the intersection of Meadow Drive and Hawn Drive. It also has a small playground, covered picnic area, grills, fishing dock, and parking. Finally, there is Frisco Bay Marina. It may not be to enticing for mom alone with the toddlers; however, when dad joins them it just might be fun to go on a historic boat tour of Lake Dillon. For water enthusiasts there are rentals for sailboats, pontoons, canoes, kayaks, paddle boats and fishing boats. Good to know for when the kids get older. There are thirty-five shops/boutiques and many restaurants eight of which have a children's menu. Hacienda Real gets high marks from families that have dined there. Locals favor the Boatyard Pizzeria and Grill or Silverheels at the Ore House. Stork and Bear Company is the place to shop for your children. They have a great selection of toys, clothes, shoes and outerwear. There are a couple cute cafes to enjoy yummy treats and drinks including Abbey's Coffee, Butterhorn Bakery and Pika Bagel Café. If mom has a chance to shop for herself she should check out Cornflower Boutique.

Frisco Adventure Park Bike Park is open seven days a week from dawn to dusk. Everyone can get in on the Family fun, it is free and includes a pump track, slope style flow lines and a dirt jump facility. In addition, there is a skate park, disc golf, fishing, hiking and biking trails nearby.

Family Fun in Frisco is fantastic.

Family Fun - Golden



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A Front Range community (nestled just below the foothills) where you might find yourself looking for some family fun while dad is biking would be Golden. This is a friendly place with the Howdy Folks Banner across the main street to greet all who come to visit. The family fun bike path travels along Clear Creek. It is a twenty mile long paved bike path which follows Clear Creek from the South Platte River to the town of Golden. If you pick the trail up at McIntyre Street you can head west all the way into downtown. Golden has quite a few parks that can provide optimal entertainment for your family. Beverly Heights Park is a good place to hang out if your spouse is riding Lookout Mountain. It is located at 19th Street and Goldenvue. This little park has slides with a tube and springy rides for toddlers to hop on. There are nice views to take in while keeping an eye on your toddlers. There is also a pavilion with a picnic table and a port a potty. Another great place for family fun is Discovery Park at 23rd and Illinois. There is a dinosaur for climbing, brass tortoise, digging pit, climbing wall, grass maze, and playground area. White Ash Mine Park is also good for toddlers with playground equipment organized in age zones.

Entertainment in the summer months can also be found at Splash Aquatics Park at Fossil Trace. Smaller than some of the bigger parks out there, Splash lends itself to toddler fun. They have two slides, a pool with fountains, wading areas, jungle gym with smaller slide for toddlers and beach area with a spray fountain. They also have shaded awnings to take a break from time to time out of the strong Colorado sun. Heritage Square is another awesome place to take toddlers. A replica of an old Western village with Victorian architecture, settled in the foothills of Golden. There are all kinds of fun activities including: amusement rides, miniature golf, old-time photos, face painting, paddle boats, train ride, alpine slide (for older kids) and unique shops. They also have a music hall which features family dinner theater and a children's theater that encourages audience participation. You can buy a pass for your kids to go on rides and many of the rides allow an adult to ride with small children for free-a nice perk. The bathrooms are spacious and clean and the young people who work the rides are very helpful and friendly. Another option both locals and out of town folks alike enjoy is viewing the buffalo at the herd overlook located five miles west of the Buffalo Bill Museum at the Genesee exit off I-70. The herd has been at Genesee Park since 1913. Buffalo Bill Museum and Grave ("where the wild west begins") is certainly worth a visit if you're a tourist. Here you can view exhibits about William F. Cody i.e. Buffalo Bill, Indian artifacts, Western art and firearms. Being up on Lookout Mountain is grand as it overlooks the Great Plains and has beautiful views of the Rockies.

Downtown Golden has its share of charm and family appeal. It was once known as the territorial capital of the west. Washington Avenue provides a shopping experience complete with galleries, boutiques, unique gifts and active wear. The women of the family should check out Baby Does Clothing which offers casual clothes and wearable art. There is also Juana Your Boutique with eco friendly earthy to elegant clothes. Looking for gifts? The Silver Horse provides western theme gifts and Avenue Gifts has seasonal items, candles and souvenirs. Vital Outdoors provides your toddlers with cool legos on a pint sized table and chairs for entertainment while you shop. They have clothing and shoes for all members of your family. You can veer off Washington Ave onto Ford Street and check out Golden Mill. This is a feed store for livestock which also has an array of toys and often has baby ducks and chicks to delight your youngsters.

Woody's Wood fired Pizza is a great deal when feeding hungry families. Golden is home to the original "mom and pop joint". Here you can feast on fresh wood fired flame cooked pizza. There is a twenty seven plus item salad bar and the pizza and salad all you can eat deal is tough to beat at $9.49. They also have pasta, sandwiches, burgers and wraps. Kids four and under are $2.79 and the four-ten year olds can chow down for $7.39. This restaurant is downtown on Washington Street and you can go for a lovely stroll to window shop, admire the fast rushing Clear Creek or play in the park after dinner. You should stop at Golden Sweets for some all natural ice cream or hand-dipped chocolates. My other dining pick for families is not downtown; however, the menu and food quality makes it a good choice for families. Mimi's Cafe is on Colfax right across from Colorado Mills Mall. They serve breakfast, lunch and dinner providing you with numerous yummy choices. They also have a children's menu with good variety. You get a nice atmosphere, sumptuous food and friendly service. Being across from the mall gives mom an excuse to do some shopping afterward. A nice alternative if you've exhausted your opportunities downtown.

Great riding and family fun in Golden.

Family Fun - Granby




Sol Vista Nationals



Granby is a small mountain town that is 7935 ft. above sea level and located between Fraser and Grand Lake. It is an area full of opportunities for family fun. Let's start with the SolVista resort. SolVista is the "hot" place to be for those folks who want mind blowing opportunities to mountain bike at all levels. It has a mini bike park just the right size for even the youngest aspiring mountain biker. Toddlers can be seen riding their stridor bikes over bumps and pint sized jumps. Moms and dads can beam with pride as they hone their newly acquired downhill skills. There are trails here that the whole family can enjoy.

Granby has plenty of summer activities for non bikers as well. Lake Granby is a focal point of fun. You can enjoy nearby hiking and water activities including boating, skiing, and fishing. Of course those of us with toddlers may just elect a short hike for a picnic near the marina. Horseback riding is another favorite summer activity as you take in the spectacular views of the Rocky Mountains. Those toting toddlers may want to have their equine interaction by way of the weekend rodeo.

Dining experiences cater to families. Maverick's Grille and Brick House 40 both offer children's menus and Remington's serves family style with a menu ranging from burgers to steaks. Carrie's Corner Café has homemade desserts and is a favorite among the locals. The Seven Trails Grille at SolVista serves both lunch and dinner in a casual family friendly environment. The Sun Piper is the must go to shop in the yellow cottage. Formerly the famous Cascades Cabins of Winter Park, they have something for every member of the family including: quality toys (stuffed animals, puzzles, educational toys), jewelry, books, trinkets and an ice cream parlor. They aptly describe themselves as a gallery of gifts for home, friends, family and self.

Good times and family fun in Granby.

Family Fun - Grand Junction/Fruita



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Way out west (27 miles east of the Utah border to be exact) in high desert country you will find the city of Grand Junction. Named for the historical upper Colorado River and the joining of the Colorado and Gunnison Rivers, it is the largest city in western Colorado. The terrain nearby is well known for epic riding to mountain bikers in Colorado, and all of North America. Road cyclists as well are drawn to this scenic area and terrain. Thus, many a family member or members will find themselves with the opportunity to explore the area. As with the rest of Colorado you won't be disappointed. There are plenty of breathtaking views and outdoor activities to enjoy.

The family fun bike path of choice would be to hit the Riverfront Trails. It is easily accessible for biking and/or walking along the Colorado River. There are several miles of paved trail which passes through cottonwood groves, wetlands and cattail marshes. It will be easy to pull trailers and let little ones test out their stridor bikes here.

Located on the northeast side of the Colorado Plateau and a must see of the area is the Colorado National Monument. A US National Park that will cast one of nature's spells with its sheer walled canyons, 450 feet tall red sandstone monoliths, plateaus and valleys. The 23 mile Rim Rock Drive takes you through three tunnels the longest being 530 feet. There are plenty of scenic viewpoints along the way with ample parking to admire the grand valley floor below. There are many hiking trails and you can certainly find one to accommodate all the ages and levels in your group. Detailed trail guides are available at the Visitor's Center. The Alcove Nature Trail is good for families with small children. It allows you to experience the plants, animals and rocks of the area. There are also nice areas to picnic and horseback ride in addition to cycling opportunities.

Another interesting family fun activity is to tour the Western Colorado Botanical Gardens and Butterfly House. Note: the first Sunday of every month is free. It is a fifteen acre playground for nature lovers including a children's secret garden, discovery greenhouse castle and picnic areas. The DooZoo Children's museum is "hands on" and kids can play act and shop at inside the miniature grocery, bank, post office and toy store. Finally, there is Lincoln Park located at 12th and North Ave. They have an outdoor pool with water slides, playgrounds and picnic areas. When passing through Fruita if you have an interest in dinosaurs you may want to stop at the Dinosaur Journey Museum. I would not recommend a trip to the quarry with young children as the temperature is quite hot. However, the museum will allow you to learn some fun facts and see some amazing fossils.

For those who prefer outdoor fun near the mountain bikers of the family, there is Highline Lake State Park. Camping at the park can provide a pivot point to access the abundant mountain bike trails nearby. In addition the park has many activities for families to enjoy. There are two lakes here, one for jet and water skiing and one that is wakeless. You can fish and swim on either lake in designated areas. There is hiking with trails that will accommodate toddler gear. The campsites and picnic areas are shaded and restrooms and showers are clean. It is quite scenic and with all the above mentioned activities a popular place to recreate.

The downtown shops would be the place for mom to get a shopping fix. They have a variety of shops, art galleries and restaurants to choose from. One option for an inexpensive family meal is Starvin Arvin's. They have multiple locations and great food choices in a casual atmosphere.

Family Fun in Grand Junction is a grand time on the western slope.

Family Fun - Idaho Springs



If your spouse decides to do a road ride on Squaw Pass and/or travel up the highest paved road in North America to Mt. Evans and you want to meet him after his descent, you would find yourself waiting for him in the town of Idaho Springs. It is one of those small mountain towns that you whiz by on I-70 when you're on your way to the Continental Divide. The town's claim to fame is being the birthplace of the Rocky Mountain Gold Rush. No surprise that they provide tours of restored mines. What to do with toddlers in tow? There is a cute little park at Colorado Blvd. and 7th Ave. Here you can find good things for little ones to climb on and ride upon. There are also the necessary bathrooms right there for your convenience. Miner Street (the town's authentic nineteenth century Main Street) is full of cute shops, ice cream parlors and restaurants. The only drawback is the street is very narrow so you need to keep a close eye on your toddlers. In Idaho Springs you also have your choice of some fast food restaurants . I prefer to bypass that part of town and focus the kids on one of the eateries on Miner Street. There is the infamous Beau Jo's original restaurant founded in 1973. It is considered legendary among Colorado outdoor enthusiasts. The use of wind and solar power keep it in harmony with the environment. The menu is full of yummy choices with options including gluten free pizza, low carb entrees and healthy alternatives. The children's menu has choices sure to please your youngsters. If you are from out of town you just need to know that it is pizza Colorado style, along with pasta, salads, calzones and sandwiches served in a friendly atmosphere. Tommy Knockers (also on Miner Street) serves tasty pub fare and has a children's menu. Two cute cafes that I should mention are Café Aimee and Two Brothers Deli. Here you can grab a latte and some yummy treats for the kids. You can also enjoy great breakfast and lunch choices. Keep your eye on Idaho Springs for some family fun.

Family Fun - Keystone



Keystone is the quintessential resort town. The architecture of the village reflects the history of the area and is designed with references to the mining era. According to my husband (the avid mountain biker of the family) the mountain has superb biking. If you're headed to River Run Village the first perk is free and easy parking. If you are facing the village from the parking lot on the right there is a small playground area. This includes a miniature golf course which can be played for $5.00/person. You can travel the bike path north and you will come upon Keystone Lake. This is a charming little body of water with condos on the roadside. Below the condos there are shops and a few restaurants including a pizza restaurant with a children's menu. There is also a great playground area on the southwest side of the lake. The one downside is there is no easy parking by the lake. It's probably easiest to access it via the bike path. Cures and Curiosities is the one stop store perfect for the residents of the condos and anyone visiting for the day. There is memorabilia, groceries, medications, toys, magazines and books for all ages. Family fun/needs can certainly be met here. The shops at River Run include high end stores such as Gorsuch Sports, a cute boutique Wildflower and Keystone Kids with apparel for your children. Kickapoo Tavern is a nice place for lunch or dinner with the kids. There is a Starbuck's with lovely fireside seating nearby and a great local coffee shop the Inxspot. The Snake River winds gently throughout the village providing memorable photo ops.

Keystone is a key stop for family fun in Summit County.

Family Fun - Leadville



Of course North America’s highest incorporated city would attract both cyclists who enjoy either road or mountain biking.  After all, who wouldn’t enjoy viewing spectacular scenery, majestic mountains, alpine lakes and wildflowers while satisfying your endorphin rush?  What does this town have for families with tots in tow?  What is there to do when you or the non cyclists are not on the bike?  By seeking out the help of some locals and exploring the area we came up with a few ideas.

At 10,430 feet above sea level the summer temperature is seldom over 80 degrees.  However, be sure and lather on the sunscreen for at this elevation your family can become much more susceptible to sunburn.  This legendary mining town has 70 square blocks of Victorian architecture.  It is part of the National Historic Landmark District.  There is a nice walking tour that ambles through town.  The family fun bike trek would be the Mineral Belt Trail.  This trail is ADA accessible and 12.5 miles with scenic views of Sawatch and Mosquito Ranges.  It is also perfect for hiking if the serious bikers of the family are off on their own.  There is a new (and much needed) playground that opened in August of 2009.  It is part of the Leadville Lake County Community Park.  Yes, they have restrooms.  The park is located on McWethy Drive just south of Lake County Fairgrounds. 

Four miles west of town you can head to the stunningly beautiful Turquoise Lake.  It is here you can find boating, fishing, camping and picnicking.  One suggestion would be to head to Lady of Lake picnic ground on the east shore by Tabor Boat Ramp.  You can do an easy 2.2 mile hike to the dam or just part of it with your toddlers.  The trail is right next to the lake making maneuvering with all of your toddler gear just a tad bit easier.  Plus you won’t be too far away from you vehicle and all of the contents necessary for traveling with toddlers.   A further drive but equally as picturesque is Twin Lakes.  Your children can have fun playing on the lake shore while you soak in the stunning views.  Other ideas worth mentioning include the Leadville Train.  The trips are 2 ½ hours long and full of scenic views of the Arkansas River Valley.  This may be nice if you are traveling with a newborn or have more sedentary people as part of your party.  However, I would not recommend sitting this long for toddlers unless you timed it with a nap and your child was a good sleeper in moving vehicles.  History buffs may enjoy the Heritage Museum, Healy House and Dexter Cabin.  There is also the National Mining Hall of Fame and Museum.  For those of you with a strong interest in mining there is the Route of the Silver Kings which is a driving tour through the twenty square mile historic mining district.  It includes twelve stops at mines, power plants, ghost towns and mining camps.  

Back in town recommended eateries include:  Tennessee Pass Café, a laid back casual place serving sandwiches and pizza.  The Grill serves amazing Mexican food but be warned it takes awhile so gage the mood of your children beforehand.  Zigatelli’s serves good Italian and The Golden Burro Café and Lounge has a kids menu.

If you get a chance to do any shopping I would check out the Melanzana.   It is a great store where you can find outdoor clothing made in Leadville.  It is not just for men and ladies I have some friends who have come out of this store with some really cute skirts and received many compliments.

Family fun in Leadville-Lots of exploring

Family Fun - Morrison



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Morrison is a little foothills town nicknamed "the nearest faraway place". Perhaps this is because year after year it always maintains that small town feeling. For the family fun bike path you may wish to ride the Bear Creek Trail which meanders along between the businesses and the creek. This trail adjoins Bear Creek from Lakewood's Bear Creek Lake State Park allowing cyclists and hikers to pass through Morrison. While you should always ride with caution, it is worth extra mention here because at times there is heavy traffic through town. Thus, you have the creek to be aware of on one side and the road or businesses on the other. The trail presently ends at Morrison Park. Another option would be to head to Mount Falcon Park. If you park in the west (upper) parking area you will be able to access a few of the gentle trails suitable for a family bike ride or hike (see the Front Range/Morrison page for directions). In addition, you will have the chance to absorb some of the history of the area, as there are historic sites along with scenic views to behold.

The best place to go with toddlers in tow would be Tiny Town. One of Colorado's oldest landmarks, it was created in 1915 by George Turner. He began making this town with 1/6 sized buildings for his daughter. It has been open to the public since 1920, survived many disasters, and was resurrected in 1988. Tots will enjoy peeking in the windows or crawling into some of the over one hundred buildings. Part of the fun includes a train ride around the town in an authentic steam locomotive. You can bring a picnic lunch to have under some shade trees. Right next to the picnic area there is a playground with swings, slides and climbing walls to burn off energy before your car ride home. There is a quaint gift shop and clean bathroom facilities on site, with ample parking right across the road. Another area of interest is Dinosaur Ridge. The outdoor museum is open year round from dawn to dusk and is free. If your children have any awareness of dinosaurs they will be amazed by the footprints and enjoy a short stop here. Of course you can't visit the Morrison area without a trip to Red Rocks. It has the highly coveted title of being the 8th Wonder of the World. The 300 million year old site sits fifteen miles west of Denver. Red Rocks is a geologically formed open-air amphitheater with two 3oo ft. monoliths that create acoustic perfection. There is no other in the world and it is an awesome place to attend a concert. If you head to Red Rocks with toddlers be sure to park in one of the upper lots. There is plenty of room for them to run around but no one can climb on any rocks here. They probably won't appreciate its beauty the same way you do; however, you may be able to point out some interesting fossils. Finally, Bear Creek Lake State Park lies just east of C470. There is an entrance fee; however, it provides you with 2500 acres and recreational activities including: cycling, hiking, horseback riding and water sports. There is a playground area and plenty of trails around the reservoir and along Bear Creek.

The dining place of choice is The Blue Cow Eatery. They provide breakfast, lunch and dinner and do have a children's menu. The menu has appetizers, burgers, soups, and salads. There are tastes for everyone's palate. You can have dessert here or walk down to Ozzi's for ice cream. Mom can check out La Boutique des Boudreaux and Sundance Sensations for a shopping fix.

Make the most of Family fun in Morrison.

Family Fun - Salida



"The outdoor life with no attitude" is how Salida was described by the New York Times in December 2008. This is indeed a fitting statement for this hip little town located in central Colorado's upper Arkansas River Valley below the Continental Divide. The area is aptly nicknamed the "Banana Belt" due to its temperate climate and sun soaked days. I have to admit I enjoy this town more and more each time we visit. The recommendation for a family fun bike ride would be to hit the Salida Trail. It is an optimal strolling/biking path. The short loop which I prefer with toddlers starts at Bongo Billy's Salida Café. Just ride down Sackett to F Street. Take a spin through Riverside Park and follow the trail next to the river back to Bongo's. Everyone will enjoy the scenery and the close proximity to the amenities in town (an oft needed feature with toddlers in tow).

For the non cyclists and/or the times when the hard core folks are engaged in serious road or mountain biking the rest of the family could head to the Salida Hot Springs Aquatic Center. You can enjoy the pools of water pumped in from the Rockies. They even have scheduled parent/tot swims to include your little ones. There is miniature golf across the street if you're looking for some more action. I'm always big on parks and enjoying the outdoors for free. Salida has nice options. Two of their parks have playgrounds complete with toddler areas. Riverside Park is nestled up against the Arkansas River in a beautiful setting with plenty of trees right in the heart of downtown. Of course you know the kids will be drawn to the water so keep a watchful eye. There is also Alpine Park which is on 2.3 acres. Both places also have restrooms available. Additional parks with playgrounds and the all important restrooms are Centennial and Marvin Parks.

Eateries that are family friendly include Bongo Billy's Salida Café. This establishment is family friendly and one of the true social centers of the town. They have a kids menu and very reasonable prices for quality food. The variety includes burgers, sandwiches, soups, salads, shakes, pies and Mexican dishes. Family fun will flourish here. 1st Street Café also tops the list touting the freshest of ingredients and an array of American, Mexican and vegetarian dishes. They also score points on their kids menu and the fact that they use no MSG or added salt in their preparations. At Amicas Pizza you will find wood fired pizza with yummy salads, sandwiches and homemade desserts. The staff is notably kind to kids and the entire family will enjoy great food. Finally, I have to mention Café Dawn which has a wonderful array of coffee, tea, soups and pastries- A great place for a treat after a good workout, toddler adventure or shopping spree. Speaking of shopping….check out Kaleidosope Toys to find unique high quality toys and gifts from all over the world. Yo lo clothing is one place for mom to find some fun pieces. You're sure to find a store or two that sparks your interest.

Family fun in Salida-sensational.

Family Fun - Steamboat Springs

Steamboat Springs is a resort town with true Western flare. I've had some of the most amazing tree skiing of my life in the "Shadows". Champagne powder abounds after a winter storm. But what of the summer months? Steamboat offers up a variety of family fun and cycling. The family fun bike path follows the Yampa River and is a nice 4 mile stretch that goes through town. You can access a few of the town's beautiful parks right off the path-a nice play or potty break for the tots that may be tagging along on the ride.

Speaking of parks-Steamboat boasts seven parks that have playground equipment and four of those have on site restrooms. The parks include Howelsen, Little Toots, Stockbridge, West Lincoln, Brooklyn, Emerald and Whistler. Each has their own appeal and depending on how long you're visiting you may want to play in all of them. Howelsen gives you a true Steamboat feel as you have the rodeo grounds, horse stables, baseball fields, ski jump, alpine slide, playground equipment and skatepark all in one convenient area. The playground equipment is minimal; however, there is so much to see and do packed in this one area that your toddlers will stay very entertained. Little Toots is also quite nice as there is a climbing structure with slides, swings, a grassy area for frolicking about and places to picnic. The fast moving river is right next to you; however, there is good fencing to keep your children safe. Of course, you will still have to keep a watchful eye as always since we know all kids are drawn to water. Whistler is a newer playground closer to the ski village. It boasts play areas for both young and older kids and is becoming a favorite among locals.

Family fun in Steamboat abounds with one interesting choice you won't find in other resort towns. The weekly Pro Rodeo Series. It takes place every Friday and Saturday night during the summer starting at 6:30pm. They even have events such as the ram scramble for kids five and under and the calf scramble for kid's six to twelve so they can participate in a real western rodeo. This is definitely something to see if you have any interest in this sort of activity. The aptly named Howler alpine slide also located at Howelsen Hill is a 2400 ft. track of fun for older kids. Heading up the to the ski village you have the Gondola Adventure Zone. My toddler had a ball on the inflatable slide. There is also the trampoline bungee, mechanical bull and a maze to get lost in. Outside of town you can access water sports at Steamboat Lake Marina, camping and authentic ranches for horseback riding. I don't think you can mention Steamboat without mentioning Strawberry Park Hot Springs. It is in a beautiful natural environment just outside of Steamboat. While not safe for pregnant women or young children there may be a member of your family who would enjoy a dip in the mineral springs. On the grounds you will find restrooms, changing areas and picnic areas.

I have to say that Steamboat is very child friendly when it comes to their restaurants. Most of them had children's menus and were warm and welcoming to our family and toddlers. We dined at the Cantina Fresh Mexican Bar and Grill. They catered to our toddler and to the seniors who requested the music be turned down as they were sitting by the speaker. They give prizes to well behaved children at the end of the meal and my son still plays with his chosen toy. I highly recommend Fuzziwigs Candy Linc to satisfy your sweet tooth. The staff was friendly and they gave very generous portions on their ice cream. If you're up at the mountain village you can dine at one of the hotels. The Sheraton had very generous portions for their breakfast menu. Dining at Slopeslide Grill will give you an average meal; however, the lawn out front is a great place for kids of all ages to run and play while the food is being prepared and after dinner when parents may just want to sit and soak in the scenery.

Steamboat shopping is filled with an eclectic mix of stores. It is always fun to explore the main street (and side streets too) of shops in resort towns. F.M. Light and Sons has advertisements on yellow signs starting on route 9 well before you get to town. It should be on your must visit list of shops and you should bring the whole family. This is a historic clothing store that has been around for over 100 years and five generations. Inside they have all the gear you need to accessorize any cowboy or cowgirl of all ages and sizes. They also have plenty of toys to keep your youngsters entertained. Our little black toy horse is still a favorite. I can lose myself in Off the Beaten Path Bookstore, Coffeehouse and Bakery Café. The name says it all-reading material for ages and interests along with yummy drinks and treats to satiate your appetite while expanding your mind. Duck Duck Goose is the kid's store you won't want to miss. They feature clothes, books, educational and developmental toys, games and puzzles. 8th Street West has fashionable clothing for the ladies. Kali's boutique is very upscale and trendy Chez Nous has great clothes in a down to earth atmosphere, while Blossom has clothing and accessories imported from Nepal at reasonable prices. So much to enjoy... .

Stimulating family fun in Steamboat Springs.

Family Fun - Summit County



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Summit County is aptly named Colorado's playground for good reason. Each town has its own little charm all within reasonably close proximity to one another. The family fun bike ride would be to hop on the local bike path system. It is part of 40 miles of paved roads that links the major towns and resorts of the county. The top choice would be a trip around Lake Dillon. The lake is an absolute jewel of beauty that one can appreciate from all directions. You can ride from the town of Dillon to the town of Keystone or go the other direction and ride to the town of Frisco. You can also ride a bike path from the town of Frisco to the town of Breckenridge and from the town of Frisco to Copper Mountain. Each trip provides you a different little adventure for your kids.

For activities other than biking let's start with the town of Dillon. Take Lake Dillon Drive straight to the lake and bear left toward the marina. Right next to the marina perched above the lake is a newly constructed playground that is just great for youngsters. There are swings and slides, climbing walls and spinning rides. There is a picnic area along with the all important bathrooms nearby. The view is absolutely spectacular-maybe one of the most picturesque in the state (of course there isn't just one in Colorado). The sun shimmers on the water and the backdrop is mountain peaks in every direction. Just hanging out by the lake can be an uplifting experience for the entire family. Lake Dillon also has free Saturday evening concerts in the summer. In addition, boat rentals are available at the marina.

Before I speak of eateries in the area I'm going to get right into family fun ideas for the town of Silverthorne. Due to the proximity of both towns one can easily recreate and/or eat just as easily in either place. Silverthorne is a little mountain town that straddles Interstate 70. There are restaurants and activities on both sides. The Silverthorne recreation center is a great place to head due to the expansive pool which is great for kids of all ages. The Outlets at Silverthorne can also provide family fun. There are over fifty stores ranging from sportswear, to infant/kids clothes to women's wear. With hundreds of discounted brands you can outfit the entire family. The three villages are comparable to an outdoor mall. It can be called scenic shopping with the river, walking bridges and outdoor fireplaces. Guest services will provide you with complimentary strollers. There are also areas where the kids can run around. Walking paths connect all of the stores on both sides of the interstate. The bathrooms are large and clean with changing tables. The outlet prices are also an enticement. They have an ice cream parlor and a Chipolte (good Mexican food) opening soon.

Dining choices in Silverthorne/Dillon abound. There are multiple fast food choices on route 9 on both sides of I70 just off the exit. There are also more healthy alternatives. One of my favorites is the Sunshine Café. It is located just south of the Dillon/Silverthorne exit off I70 in the strip mall on the right hand side of route 9. This is the premiere "kid friendly" place to go for delectable breakfast and lunch choices. The restaurant is always crowded, the food is great, and the service friendly. There are kid's drawings up on the walls. The menu has lots of healthy choices along with the usual favorites. The kid's menu has offerings that keep tykes happy and interested in dining. If you don't have time for a sit down meal or want to pick up some sandwiches to take on a picnic try the Smiling Moose Deli. It is in the same strip mall area. The sandwiches are tasty and the portions generous. If you are tweaking for that cup of Starbucks then keep traveling south up the hill and on the left you will see it. It's Starbucks with a view. A nice place to stop for a coffee and treats for the kids. When thinking of dinner options, the Dillon Dam Brewery comes to mind. It serves great pub food. However, I should warn you that it is always crowded and waiting for a table is not usually a good option with small children. Right above the brewery on the same side of the road is Red Mountain Grille. This place certainly attracts a crowd; however, the wait for a table was quick. They have excellent food and a menu with many options that is fairly priced.

The town of Dillon has a Farmers Market on Fridays from 9am-2pm. It is located on Buffalo Street by Town Park. There are over 90 vendors with delicious foods and interesting arts and crafts.

Dillion and Silverthorne are delightfully satisfying family fun.

Family Fun - Telluride



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When investigating southwestern Colorado for a vacation you will read over and over again about the spectacular scenery. After visiting you will forever picture this place in your mind. Yet, each visit will leave you awestruck as if you are experiencing it for the very first time. The same goes for family fun in this region. The family fun bike path is the River Trail. It can be used by hikers and bikers alike. It has a graded natural surface along the San Miguel River. The River Trail follows the San Miguel River upstream for two miles and past Telluride Town Park which is a great place to stop and picnic or play with toddlers and older kids. It starts west of Station Telluride. Once it intersects with Boomerang Trail you cross the Valley Floor and then follow the paved bike path east into the town of Telluride or west to Highway 145.

A fun day with kids would have to include a visit to Telluride Town Park. Here you will find a multitude of things to do and activities to satisfy kids and adults of all ages. There is an imagination station playground and fishing in a pond exclusively for the twelve and under crowd. There is plenty of shade and of course the all important restrooms. The park has covered indoor soccer fields, a Frisbee golf course, two sand volleyball courts, a skate park, public outdoor swimming pool, two tennis courts, two horseshoe pits, basketball courts a concert stage and pavilion. It is a venue for music festivals and host to campgrounds with three restrooms and two showers. The park is surrounded by the majestic peaks and the views are breathtaking in every direction. The Idarado Legacy Trail can be accessed from the park and the three mile round trip hike will provide you clear views of Bridal Veil Falls. Additional activities to do with toddlers in tow include a ride on the free gondola. It runs from 7:00 AM to midnight everyday and provides kids the thrill of an amusement park ride and adults 360 degree views. At the top of the gondola on Coonskin Ridge you will find the San Sophia Nature Center. It overlooks both the town of Telluride and Mountain Village. Here you will find information about hiking and biking trails and local weather. It is free to the public with wildlife presentations, nature crafts and children's activities showcasing the region's natural world. The mountain itself has many hiking and biking trails to explore from easy to difficult and will accommodate all ages and levels. The Mountain Village has a climbing rock for all ages and abilities just be sure and supervise your youngsters. For you history buffs the Telluride Historical Museum lets kids 5 and under in free. Finally, the Mountain Village provides a Summer Sunset Concert Series from late June to early September at the Sunset Plaza from 6-8pm. Let the sound of music and the freedom of dance inspire your entire family.

Shopping and dining are a unique experience because there are no chain stores or restaurants. You have two excellent locales to explore. There is the pedestrian friendly Mountain Village or you can head to historic downtown Telluride and wander into any shop that looks appealing. You and your family will be welcome everywhere. You will find something for everyone including: outdoor gear, home décor, jewelry, antiques, boutiques, art galleries, gifts/souvenirs, glassware, electronics, markets, and a bookstore with an espresso bar. Ladies, I highly suggest bringing dad along. Not only may he actually enjoy shopping (for a change) but he can watch the kids while you duck into a boutique or two and try on some stylish clothes. Scarpe is not only dressing the ladies but now has a complete children's line as well. Another place you can't miss with your children is Zia Sun full service toy store.

Dining options are varied and as with shopping you will find something to satisfy everyone's tastes. Two favorites worth mentioning are Emilio's Family Restaurant serving authentic Mexican food and La Concina De Luz serving regional Mexican and Southwestern cuisine. This place rates high with it use of organic, additive free, free-range and locally grown ingredients. They are very kid friendly and also offer vegetarian and gluten free dishes. You can also find great pizza and fine dining establishments.

Telluride and Mountain Village will provide cyclists and their families the ultimate Colorado destination resort experience.

Family Fun in Telluride-Totally Awesome

Family Fun - Winter Park



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Winter Park is known as a family resort. It is an ideal spot for the whole family to get out and enjoy the outdoors, village and town. The Fraser River Trail is ideal for the family bike outing. It is 5.5 miles requiring limited skills. The setting is picturesque and the background is filled with the sound of the river and the laughter of families. If you start at Winter Park resort it is a gradual downhill into town. Keep this in mind for the return trip. It winds along the Fraser River with plenty of places to stop for a picnic with benches and tables. There is even a campground with toilets on the route. Once in town it is safest for the kids to stay on the sidewalk. When you get to the traffic light at Vasquez Rd. cross the street. The sidewalk leads back to the bike path along a meadow all the way to the town of Fraser. Remember with kids in tow to keep in mind the uphill return or only ride part of the way. You can also do this ride in reverse and take advantage of a downhill return trip.

While your husband (or significant-other ) is fine tuning his downhill skills or climbing one of the many trails on the mountain you and the kids can enjoy some high energy activities at the bottom of the mountain in the newly renovated Winter Park Village. You can purchase a ticket that gives you access to miniature golf, the bungee trampoline, maze, and the alpine slide. You could also take the Zephyr chairlift up to the Sunspot Lodge and do a short hike and have lunch on a patio with a view.

The Village has been designed with families in mind to include shops and restaurants that appeal to family members of all ages. These include but are not limited to: Doc’s Roadhouse which is located at the base of Zephyr Express Lift with a kid friendly menu serving lunch, dinner and carry-out, 5 Mountain Tavern in the Vintage Hotel which also provides a family friendly menu and environment. Starbuck’s or Goody’s will satisfy your caffeine addiction or sweeten your day with other yummy drinks and goodies. Also the Coffee and Tea Market will never disappoint. It is located in the Balcony House at the base of Winter Park. It boasts a nice selection for breakfast and lunch with reasonable prices. There is also Trail’s End which combines goodies, necessities and clothing apparel. You can find all the little things you need and a few things you may want too.

A few miles down the road to the west you come upon the town of Winter Park. The new Hideaway Park is found where Midtown Road intersects with US 40. This puts you in the middle of town adjacent to Vasquez Creek Trail. There is great playground equipment, a climbing wall, and skate park along with the always needed restroom facilities. This is a place to just hang out and let the kids expend some of their energy.

When it is time to satiate appetites for food and shopping you should head to Cooper Creek Square. This is a brick building with multiple shops and eateries on three levels. There is free parking in the parking structure directly east of the shops. This one stop has a variety of stores and eateries to satisfy every member of the family. If your kids need more stimulation there is also Imaginations Toy Store which has toys for all ages and connects to a clothing store. Speaking of clothing, Christy’s Sports has all the latest sportswear for the season. By now your stomach may be starting to growl or you may feel the need to caffeinate. If it is still morning or lunchtime I must recommend Carver’s Bakery and Café in the little white building adjacent to Cooper Creek Square( on the south side). In my opinion this is one of the best little restaurants in town. It is open for breakfast and lunch. The food is fabulous! They have homemade breads and baked goods, a great menu selection (including the children’s menu) with wholesome foods and friendly service. Finally, there is the all important changing table in the bathroom. The Mountain Grind Café and Bistro also has friendly service with a cozy atmosphere to sip on lattes and hot chocolate while sampling baked goods or having a sandwich. As the dinner hour approaches you may want to stay right here and have Chinese at New Hong Kong or Mexican at Carlos and Maria’s or you may want to keep heading west on 40. Hernando’s Pizza and Pasta Pub was very family friendly with reasonable prices. The kids will enjoy the food along with the dollars all over the walls. The folks in town definitely make families feel welcome.

Winter Park is a win for the whole family

Family Fun - Vail



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Vail Resorts-just hearing the name conjures up images of fresh powder and the back bowls. Ahhhhh! I have to tell you that Vail is just as beautiful in the summer. I have also found Vail to be very family oriented with fun to be had by all. My pick for a family fun bike ride is the Gore Creek Trail. It is a paved bike path that starts east of Golden Peak and travels through Vail Village to Cascade Village in west Vail. There are signs with mile markers along the way to gage your distance. The trail runs parallel with the creek and there are lots of places to enter or exit as needed. This also makes a good running trail if mom has the chance for some quick solo cardio action.

What should we do while dad is riding? There are a few options. First there is the pirate ship at the bottom of the Vista Bahn. It offers wonderful entertainment to kids of all ages. Mom can interact with the toddlers on some of the smaller items or just have a seat and watch the older kids climb, slide and make up endless fantasy games. It is timeless free entertainment. Another suggestion would be to ride the gondola to the top and experience Adventure Ridge. You can even ride up with dad and have plenty of family photo ops before he takes off on his mountain bike. Adventure Ridge has lots to do including a dinosaur dig, climbing wall, volleyball, bocce and horseshoes, disc golf, rebound trampoline, guided nature hike, and discovery center. You could also do an independent hike and meet dad for lunch.

For dining in Vail there are a plethora of great restaurants and all of them are good. We are just going to highlight two we found were great with kids. The first is Pazzo's. It has some of the best pizza I have ever tasted at altitude. The atmosphere is casual and you and your children will come away satisfied. We also enjoyed Los Amigos for some tasty Mexican with a friendly wait staff and good prices. They had no problem switching out items on the kids menu for something my son would eat. In addition, we loved the flavors that were enhanced in our entrees. I have to mention the Marketplace on Meadow Drive and One Willow Bridge Road. It has a superb bistro market with a great little café for coffee and treats and also some excellent wines (yes, we moms do need a drink or two from time to time). Speaking of coffee, there is a Starbucks in Vail Village and in the newly remodeled Lionshead.

When it comes to shopping for your little ones, check out The Toy Store. It's entertaining for the kids and you may find that one new toy that intrigues them for your entire getaway. Kid Sport is a place for one stop shopping for clothing, biking equipment, baby strollers, joggers and backpack rentals. Quicksilver in Lionshead has a great selection of clothing for kids. Boutiques for mom include Pepi's, and Bliss.

Beaver Creek hails to the slogan “It’s not exactly roughing it”. An example would be the benches and water fountains along the bike path. The bike path is all downhill into Avon. Once there you can head towards Eagle-Vail or Edwards.

You will be victorious in your quest for family fun in Vail.

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Do you know of a great ride that is not listed with us? Have a great ride story? Know of a great town for family fun?
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