Disney popularized pre-kindergarten getaways with its kindermoon vacation packages, but you don’t have to travel to Anaheim or Orlando to experience great theme parks. Epic Discovery—located at both Vail and Breckenridge ski resorts—supplies all the essential thrills with adventure courses, zip lines, mountain coasters, summer tubing hills, and bungee trampolines, plus lodging and dining galore.
Crested Butte’s Summer Adventure Park is a budget-friendly alternative featuring rock climbing, bungee trampolines, miniature golf, and a gravity-defying BagJump. Closer to Denver, Lawson Adventure Park has everything from disc golf and a challenge course to ZORBing and Via Ferrata; lodging consists of yurts and cabins.
Spring into Grade School
Earning bragging rights as the world’s largest hot springs pool, Glenwood Hot Springs Resort is as long as two city blocks. Rent a cabana, and spend the day splashing around, enjoying a kiddie pool, water slides (minimum height requirements apply), and pure mineral water.
The town of Glenwood Springs satisfies families all weekend long with historic digs (Hotel Colorado) and outdoor adventures: Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park and Hanging Lake are good starting points. Or forget the hot water, and head to Great Wolf Lodge in Colorado Springs, an all-inclusive resort housing a 50,000-square-foot indoor aquatic center with four pools, nine waterslides, and access to obstacle courses (at an additional charge).
Let the Festivities Begin
You’ve assured your child that kindergarten will be peachy-keen, now prove it at the Palisade Peach Festival, August 16 to 19, held in the land of world-famous peaches. This annual agricultural celebration includes plenty of delicious, peach-themed food—peach ice cream, anyone?—along with live entertainment, guided tours of Palisade, special activities for kids, and charming lodging at local inns and bed-and-breakfasts. Alternatively, you can ensure your child is ready to soar to new heights by attending the Moffat County Balloon Festival, August 4 and 5, in Craig, Colorado, featuring a classic car show, rubber ducky races, music, and face painting, in addition to the daily hot-air balloon launches.
Full Steam Ahead
Come August, STEAM curriculum will surely enrich your child’s classroom. But for this kindermoon, consider another kind of steam. Taking off from Antonito, the Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad’s narrow-gauge steam engines travel daily to Chama, New Mexico, traversing the rugged, beautiful terrain of the Southern Rockies. Through August 10, a “Cinder Bear” ride offers half-day excursions just for families.
Or consider riding the California Zephyr from Denver to Grand Junction. The high-speed Amtrak train isn’t antique, but it’s scenic nonetheless, and has all the necessary amenities for an enjoyable eight-hour ride to the western slope. Families can discover endless opportunities for outdoor recreation, plus a unique downtown shopping district.