2 weeks ago we took our first family vacation of the year to Colorado Springs. With a 3.5yr old and 17mo old, we have to be very detailed with our time. We’ve found out that 3 nights and 4 days with just us is the maximum vacation time for our girls. If my parents come along, we can extend it to a week because they’re super helpful and great with distractions. So we packed as much as we could into maximizing our almost 4 days in Colorado.
The first day we took our time driving from the airport into CO Springs, stopping at a cute coffee shop along the way. Once we got into town we had lunch with a totally gross view 😉 and then made a pit stop at Trader Joe’s for some snacks and groceries for the stay.
When we got to our Air BnB rental, it wasn’t exactly as we had hoped… I ended up cleaning the place for 2hrs with no AC in 90 degree heat (didn’t know about the lack of AC either…) Luckily they had units in the bedrooms upstairs, but it would have been nice to know ahead of time. Needless to say, we got our cleaning fee refunded. Our girls were happy and that’s really what mattered the most to us. We checked out a local lake and playground that evening and picked up some Paleo meals to go. The girls were very tired and cranky from the traveling.
From the next morning on, we hit the ground running, exactly what my girls and hubster love. We stopped by the Manitou Cliff Dwellings. These dwellings were incredible, until I realized in this moment when googling them that they are not original. That kinda sucked to find out… Original rocks from other locations built as a replica. Still so cool none-the-less, and small children would never know the difference, ha!
The last time I was in CO Springs, I was 4yrs old. I don’t remember much, but I do remember the North Pole. I had to relive that through my children. Our baby couldn’t ride a whole lot of the rides, but she really didn’t care (she morphed into some awesome kid I hadn’t seen in a while). One thing I did NOT remember is that every single ride was a spinning ride. My husband and I were both sick. OMG! Never again. Hopefully they remember this trip forever, bc seriously, we’re not doing that again. We can’t even do the carousel… Oh, and my kids hate Santa too. I have the most hysterical pic ever of my girls on the naughty list with Santa’s elf. We got print outs of it, ornaments, everything, bc it was EPiC!
After Santa’s joint we snuck a coffee in Manitou while the girls napped, got some rest at the house, then off again. We spent our entire evening at the Broadmoor, which to me, is the BEST thing CO Springs has to offer. We LOVED this place. We acted like we were staying there, and were treated just like everyone else. We used the playground, walked around forever, checked out the pool, ate at one of their 8 onsite restaurants- The Golden Bee, my girls danced the night away in the most gorgeous ballroom while I blared “Let it Go” for them on my phone, I got to pretend like I was Belle in Beauty & the Beast, and we had the BEST Sangrias EVER next to their amazing lake. (see more pics in my previous post)
The next day, we started off at the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo. So many people told us to visit here, I finally just gave in. BFlo and I are not really zoo people. We’re just not. But this zoo was incredible! They weren’t lying at all! We were there for 4hrs and still did not see it all. The girls loved it, we loved it, there was a ski lift to ride up the mountain. It was awesome!
The zoo is right next to the Broadmoor, so we stopped in there again, had lunch, the girls danced in a dining room, and then we left to find coffee. We went to downtown CO Springs, found an awesome coffee shop. While we drank our coffee, Ella fed a patio dog tons of plantain chips. Both were happy, so whatever, it’s whole30-ish, ha! After a late nap, we had a late dinner in downtown Manitou at a great little Mediterranean place. Waiters make everything, and we had such a great experience.
Our last day we woke up early and grabbed breakfast at the best restaurant in the area, Garden of the God’s Gourmet. So good and healthy options too. I had this mountain man hash and it was totally whole30. Def recommend that place. We took a road trip down to the Royal Gorge. It’s a phenomenon if you haven’t seen it. Used to be the world’s tallest bridge nearly 1000ft above the Arkansas River. It was built in 1929. It was just cool to see again. They have a free gondola that goes over it now, as well as zip lining. The kids play area was really nice too. Oh, and the towns around the Royal Gorge have 13 prisons, which are penitentiaries, the federal correctional department, and is also known as Prison City, USA. Might not want to know that when driving through… sorry!
After the Royal Gorge, we drove back, picked up our luggage, and drove through the Garden of the Gods on our way up to the airport. The memories I have from our trip as a 4yr old, I remember the North Pole, Royal Gorge, that the KOA camp ground had a little outdoor movie screen and Garden of the Gods. It’s pretty amazing and reminds me of Arizona, one of my favorite states ever 😉
It was such a great vacation. The girls had a blast, and that’s the most important part of a family vacation. I hope you enjoyed seeing our little vacay through our eyes. The memories will last forever!
Our airplane girlfriends… Signing off.