Warmer Weather: Summer!
This summer will look different due to social distancing and restrictions. But it is still officially summer! We have compiled a list of 47 ideas for summer activities. Please be sure to contact venues ahead of time to learn about restrictions, closures and cancellations!
1. Celebrate our National Parks!
Colorado is the proud home of two National Parks. Rocky Mountain National Park boasts unparalleled beauty and is about 2 hours and 40 minutes from the Springs. Great Sand Dunes National Park features a unique landscape of giant sand dunes against a backdrop of the Rocky Mountains. Medano Creek’s seasonal flow usually peaks in early June. Great Sand Dunes is about 3 hours from the Springs. Each of these parks will begin phased re-opening the first week of June.
2. Go retro gaming
Enjoy retro video and arcade games in a unique indoor/outdoor setting in Manitou Springs for just a few bucks at the Manitou Springs Penny Arcade!
3. Rent Vespa scooters…
…(and helmets!) to zip around town in the beautiful weather.
4. Fountain Creek Nature Center
Learn the starry night sky with a class at Fountain Creek Nature Center. This starts at night and won’t disappoint! Check out their other wonderful options for nature lovers. As of this publishing, the Nature Center itself is open but limited to 9 visitors at a time.
5. Check out a Bike Camp:
Kids on Bikes offers a variety of summer bike camp options for different ages and skill levels. As of this publishing, they are planning to begin camps June 1.
6. Go prospecting!
Crystals are abundant around the Pikes Peak region. Just keep in mind that you can only dig on private property with permission from the property owner. Keep your eyes pealed for the bright green Amazonite.
Check out Cheyenne Mountain State Park’s Bear Track range to take aim at 3D animal targets.
8. Hit the Trails:
For a special hidden gem, try Palmer Loop Trail
9. The Passport Program
The Passport Program is true local favorite. Explore 34 restaurants and breweries with BOGOs on specialty beverages. They are starting the passport program a few weeks late to let their partners safely open. Check their Facebook page for updates.
10. Pikes Peak International Hill Climb
Explore the history of this event at Penrose Heritage Museum and then find a spot on the Tejon corridor balconies for a fun view of the Fan Fest motorcycle acrobatics. For the Hill Climb, head to the start line and make sure you have barriers (rocks, trees, your own car) to view behind.
11. Go to the “beach”
Even though you’ll be without the palm trees, Colorado Springs has its own “beach.” For a fun day in the sand, check out Prospect Lake in Memorial Park. (No word yet on when this venue will open. Check their website for announcements.)
12. TWO STORY Indoor go-karts!
Ever been on a 2 story indoor go-kart track!? Well, time to grab onto your need for speed and head to Overdrive Raceway. Upstairs is adults only and downstairs is a slower option. (Limits on how many racers. Check their Facebook page for most recent updates)
13. The North Pole
Visit the North Pole and hang out with Santa at this adorable Christmas-themed amusement park. (They are hoping to open mid-June with different hours and restrictions. Check their website for updates)
Add a fun adventure up to the top of Pikes Peak after you visit the North Pole! (Gift shops are closed at this time. Bathrooms and other services at summit are currently suspended. Other bathrooms along the highway are still open. Mandatory shuttles leave from mile 13 and 16 of the total 19 mile drive, masks are required.)
14. Sample the “Springs”
FREE!! Bring your own water bottle and sample each of the 8 naturally flowing, mineral springs in Manitou Springs.
15. Work out on a Wednesday
Run, hike, or bike in Red Rocks Open Space and then enjoy food and beverage specials at Trails End Taproom as part of their Trailblazers Club. (The Trailblazers have gone virtual during the quarintine period. Check out their website for details on how to participate)
16. Uncle Wilbur
Take a dip in the Uncle Wilbur Fountain! (Stay tuned for information on when this fountain will open)
17. Indoor water park!
Have an indoor REAL water park day at Great Wolf Lodge.
18. American Classics Marketplace
Find a hidden treasure at the American Classics Marketplace. (Masks are required for all shoppers. Shopping for at risk customers is 9-10AM Wednesday and Saturday)
19. Sell your stuff, or buy!
Check out the Pikes Peak or Bust Rodeo August 19-22. Tickets available June 30.
21. Turn into a botanist
Watch the Friends of Cheyenne Canon calendar for free sessions offered through the summer to learn about plants and what is blooming in Cheyenne Canon. (These events may be held virtually this summer. Check website for updates.)
22. Shop at the Gold Hill Mesa Annual Yard Sale
This giant neighborhood always puts on a robust yard sale with a variety of treasures to be found.
23. Check out the Old North End Neighborhood Yard Sale
Pick up some good reads and maybe even some designer ware at the annual Old North End Neighborhood Yard Sale.
24. What if Festival
Hit up the What If Festival in Colorado Springs on September 12th for Innovation & Imagination.
25. Pikes Peak Urban Gardens
They let YOU be the harvester and take your fresh produce to the next level at Pikes Peak Urban Gardens.
26. Night ride in June on your bikes!
Starlight, Star Bright: String Christmas lights on your bikes and join the Starlight Spectacular night bike ride. (Check website for announcements about a date for the event this year)
27. Take a peaceful, meditation walk
The outdoor Labyrinth at Benet Hill Monastery is a nature walk in Black Forest. It’s important to keep your eyes peeled for tree roots and branches. Take it as symbolism for your mind meditation as you travel your way to the center. (The monastery is currently closed to the public until September 1, 2020, but check website for updates about re-opening)
28. Mt. Muscoco trail
Mt Muscoco trail is another hidden gem and the most exciting new trail in the area.
29. Hike with the kiddos
The best hiking area for the families with kiddos is the Fountain Creek Nature Center with tons to explore and safer options for hiking with the little ones. Related reading: Hiking with Kids in Colorado Springs
30. The Incline
If you’re a glutton for punishment (at least in my eyes) the famous Manitou Incline will give you a run for your athletic money! (The Incline is set to reopen in several weeks but be prepared for possible reservation requirements and fees)
31. Outdoor concerts
Check out different outdoor music events in the Colorado Springs area, including University Village Colorado on Fridays, Gold Hill Mesa on Saturdays, and Wolf Ranch on Wednesdays. Click here for a full list of (mostly) free outdoor concerts in Colorado Springs. (Check venue with sites for information about cancellations and restrictions)
32. Take a fly fishing class!
Take a class at Angler’s Covey. (Guided trips are available with restrictions)
33. Fly fishing pros
If you’re already a fly fishing professional, Eleven Mile Canyon on the South Platte River is one of the last great spots in the Springs where Verizon & AT&T can’t find you.
34. We all scream for ice cream!
Okay, we don’t ever say “NO” to Ice Cream, but what is better than a summer evening with a cone of delicious ice cream!? Answer: NOTHING! Check out Josh and John’s ice cream or Frozen Gold and test out every flavor!
35. Food trucks!
Try a food truck! Red Leg Brewery offers different local food trucks outside their doors each night. The Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum also hosts food trucks each week for Food Truck Tuesdays (no information yet if Food Truck Tuesdays will be held this summer).
36. Howl with the wolves
Colorado Wolf and Wildlife Center in Divide, Colorado offers different tours throughout the summer, including full moon feeding tours (eekkk)! (Check their website for details on group limits and restrictions)
37. Soak in a mineral water tub
Follow the natural spring water into SunWater Spa in Manitou Springs. Cool, clear nights are perfect for soaking in the beneficial mineral water tubs. (Currently closed by offering virtual yoga and meditation classes)
38. Old-fashioned soft serve
Get an old-fashioned soft serve cone at a walk up window at BJ’s Velvet Freeze. A local favorite for MANY years.
Related Reading: Things to Do in Colorado Springs
39. 2020 Lantern Fest
Prospect Park will play host to the Colorado Springs Water Lantern Festival on July 11.
40. Rocky Mountain Vibes Baseball
Take in a minor league game during the Vibes’ season. (They are hoping to play their home opener on June 26. Stay tuned to their website for information on delays)
41. May Natural History Museum
Explore the world’s largest private insect collect at the May Natural History Museum or the “Bug Museum” as I like to refer to it… there you will get to lay eyes on over 7,000 species!
42. Pick your own apples
When summer starts winding down by August, apples, raspberries, and blackberries are ready for picking at Ferrara’s Happy Apple Farm. (Anticipating an August opening. Check website for announcements)
43. Ride the Terror-Dactyl
Get your adrenaline pumping as you plummet 150 feet and pendulum across Williams Canyon on the “Terror-Dactyl” at Cave of the Winds just minutes from central Colorado Springs. (Closed as of this publication but hoping to open soon)
44. 2019 Labor Day Lift Off
Attend the 2020 Labor Day Lift Off and first thing in the morning, see 70 hot air balloons take off and enjoy breakfast and treats, entrance to the park is FREE.
45. Broadmoor Summer Programs
Feel the need for speed…. and flight on a course over Manitou Springs or criss-crossing over Cheyenne Canon, and experience the fun and luxury of a Broadmoor summer program. (The Broadmoor anticipates a June 28 re-opening to overnight guests)
46. Pikes Peak Library District Summer Program
Yes! All of the libraries are still holding their annual summer program. Program cards can be downloaded online or picked up through their curbside service.