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Summer in Colorado Springs

Posted by Susanna Haynie on June 27, 2023
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picture of sunglasses sitting on the edge of a pool with "Summer in the Springs" caption


Warmer Weather: Summer!

Warmer weather and sunshine have finally arrived in Colorado Springs. It’s often said that people come to Colorado for the winters (hello skiing!) and stay for the summers. We have compiled a list of 46 ideas for summer activities.

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1. Celebrate our National Parks

Colorado is the proud home of four 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.
  • Black Canyon National Park is a hidden gem in Colorado that boasts some of the steepest cliffs and narrowest gorges in North America. With over 30 miles of hiking trails, you can explore the beauty of the Gunnison River as it rushes through the canyon.
  • Mesa Verde National Park is home to some of the most well-preserved Ancestral Puebloan cliff dwellings in the entire United States. These ancient structures were built over 700 years ago and offer a fascinating glimpse into the lives of the people who lived in this area long before European settlers arrived

Related Reading: Tips to Get Free or Reduced Admission to National Parks

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 scooters

…(and helmets!) to zip around town in the beautiful weather.

4. Fountain Creek Nature Center

Participate in one of the many programs offered at Fountain Creek Nature Center and Bear Creek Nature Center. On July 7 & 8 their Fountain Creek location will host the Annual Firefly Celebration and Night Hike. Check out their website for other wonderful options for nature lovers.

5. Check out a Bike Camp

Kids on Bikes offers a variety of summer bike camp options for different ages and skill levels.

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 peeled for the bright green Amazonite.

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7. Archery

Check out Cheyenne Mountain State Park’s Bear Track range to take aim at 3D animal targets.

8. Hit the Trails

There is no shortage of hiking trails in Colorado Springs and the surrounding areas. There’s truly something for everyone with varying terrain. length and difficulty. For a special hidden gem, try Palmer Loop Trail.

Hiking with Kids
10 Easy Hiking Trails

9. Crafts & Drafts Passport

The Crafts & Drafts Passport is true local favorite. This program is free and digital! You’ll receive discounts and deals for craft beer and distilleries throughout Colorado Springs.

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.

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.

13. The North Pole

Visit the North Pole and hang out with Santa at this adorable Christmas-themed amusement park.

Add a fun adventure up to the top of Pikes Peak after you visit the North Pole!

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.

16. Uncle Wilbur

Take a dip in the Uncle Wilbur Fountain at Acacia Park.

17. Indoor water park

Have an indoor REAL water park staycation at Great Wolf Lodge.

18. American Classics Marketplace

Find a hidden treasure at the American Classics Marketplace – Colorado’s largest antique mall.

19. Visit the Flea Market

Try to buy, OR SELL, your stuff at the Colorado Springs Flea Market.

20. Rodeo

Check out the Pikes Peak or Bust Rodeo July 11-15. Tickets available now.

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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.

22. Shop at the Gold Hill Mesa Annual Yard Sale

This neighborhood on the west side always puts on a huge yard sale the first Saturday in June 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 clothing at the annual Old North End Neighborhood Yard Sale.

24. What if Festival

Hit up the What If Festival in Colorado Springs on September 9 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 in Garden of the Gods on August 5.

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 mindfulness meditation as you travel your way to the center.

28. Mt. Muscoco trail

Mt Muscoco trail is another hidden gem in North Cheyenne Canon Park.

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

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30. The Incline

The famous Manitou Incline is a great challenge for those wanting something physically demanding. Be sure to secure your reservation and plan ahead for parking options.

31. Outdoor concerts

Check out different outdoor music events in the Colorado Springs area, including University Village Colorado on Fridays, Gold Hill Mesa on select Saturdays, and Wolf Ranch on Wednesdays. Click here for a full list of (mostly) free outdoor concerts in Colorado Springs.

32. Take a fly fishing class

Take a class at Angler’s Covey.

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.

Related Reading: Fishing Spots near Colorado Springs

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! Many local breweries host different local food trucks outside their doors each night. The Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum also has food trucks each week for Food Truck Tuesdays.

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)!

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.

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. Water Lantern Fest

Prospect Park will play host to the Colorado Springs Water Lantern Festival. Date for 2023 TBD.

40. Rocky Mountain Vibes Baseball

Take in a minor league game during the Vibes’ season.

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. The museum highlights 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.

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.

44. Labor Day Lift Off

Attend the Labor Day Lift Off first thing in the morning to see 70+ hot air balloons take off. Pack a picnic breakfast to enjoy while you take in the breathtaking views. 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.

46. Pikes Peak Library District Summer Program

Yes! All of the libraries facilitate their annual summer program. Program cards can be downloaded online or picked up in person.


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Related Reading:

Fall Activities in Colorado Springs


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