What To Do With the Kids In Glenwood Springs
Glenwood Springs has been regularly named as one of the best small towns to live in, and even #5 on Outside Magazine’s “16 Best Places to Live in America” in 2015. Most importantly, Sunset Magazine, USA Today, the Dallas Morning News, Travel + Leisure, Livability, and the Travel Channel have all recently awarded Glenwood Springs accolades for it’s family-fun, especially as it pertains to the Glenwood Caverns. So we thought we might provide a list for you to help you plan your days exploring Glenwood Springs with your children!
Glenwood Springs Caverns
I began bringing my son to the Glenwood Springs Caverns & Adventure Park when he was only 9 months old.
Start your adventure in the Iron Mountain Tramway, a 10-minute fully-enclosed and wheelchair accessible. You can park in the hotel parking lot at 51000 Two Rivers Plaza Road, near the Land Rover Roaring Fork Dealership and Hotel Glenwood Springs.
The undisputed highlight of the Caverns in the winter are the thrill rides (including the Alpine Coaster, a roller coaster that you ride down the mountain, weaving in and out just below the gondola) and the actual caverns or caves. GWS is home to the largest show cave open to the public in Colorado. In fact, USA Today rates Glenwood Caverns one of the “Top 10 Places to Go Underground”.
Cave tours are about 40 minutes and easy to navigate as long as you’re okay with some stairs. The King’s Row Cave Tour hosts the most lavish cave room in Colorado. (And the tour is great for kids; with the guide going into great detail last time about a “dragon” that lived in the cave and illuminating walls with his flashlight.
Year round, the caves are just above 50 degrees except for a portion of the Fairy Cave Tour, which leads you outside. Strollers are not allowed inside the caves so bring your Ergo, Bjorn, or other carrier for babies.
If you make it through the caves, you’ll likely work up an appetite for the fudge that calls to you from the gift shop at the top of the gondola. In my experience, you’d be crazy to ignore that call.
But alas, there is so much more than caverns at this Glenwood Adventure Park. Children 3 and up will enjoy the first 4D theater in Colorado at the Ala4D Motion Theater. Yes, that means your seat moves as you enjoy the show.
Glenwood Springs Library
The Glenwood Springs Library is part of the Garfield County Libraries and is packed with fun things to do for kids, including Toddler Storytime, Bilingual Preschool Storytime, After School Club, Middle School Book Club, Paws to Read, Teen Advisors Group, Teen Cooking Club, Teen Bloggers Club, Teen Book Club, and weekly video gaming.
With 29,000 square feet of library space including a finished first floor, 4,000 square feet of library space on the top level, and 10,000 square feet of space for CMC classes and offices, there’s ample room for your kids to explore and get their wiggles out this Winter. I love that the children and teen areas are well defined and their walls are adorned with community artists.
In the children’s area, you’ll find computers, playful furniture, and an early learning installation created by the Burgeon Group of Phoenix. Monday through Friday Storytimes range from 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., so be sure to check out the GWS Public Library Calendar to find a group that works for you and your brood.
Glenwood Rec Center
The Glenwood Springs Rec Center is filled with Climbing Walls, an Aquatic Center, and Ice Rink to banish your “mom, I’m bored’s” this Winter.
If your little one is 48 inches or taller, they will love the “wacky water slide” in the aquatic center. For littler ones, their activity pool ranges from 1-42 inches and has installations to spray water and splash in the fountains. Best of all, they have American Red Cross Certified lifeguards at the ready during all open pool hours. Through May 28th, here are the open swim hours:
|Mon & Wed||6:00 am – 1:00 pm, 4 pm – 8:00 pm|
|Tue & Thur||7:00 am – 1:00 pm, 4 pm – 8:00 pm|
|Fri||6:00 am – 8:00 pm|
|Saturday & Sunday||11:00 am- 4:30 pm|
Looking for a way to work out your Winter wiggles while clothed?
The GWS Parks & Rec Department offers indoor climbing with amenities for beginning, intermediate, and advanced climbers. If your little one is looking for a class to hone in his climbing skills, classes are offered Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday from 5-8:30 p.m and weekends from 12-5 p.m. During non-class hours, climbers are welcome to take advantage of the BYOG hours, or “bring your own gear”. Private climbing lessons are available and cost $30 for members and $35 for non-members. Call ahead to schedule with an instructor.
The GWS Community Center Ice Rink is an NHL-sized rink that hosts Learn To Skate, Public Skating, Stick and Puck, Youth and Adult Hockey. Call the Rental Coordinator to arrange a time for you and your family to enjoy at 970.384.6310. Here is a breakdown of the Ice Rink Fees:
|Public Skate – 4 years & Under||Free||Free||Free|
|Public Skate – 5 -17 years & over 65 years||Free||$4||$5|
|Public Skate – 18 – 64 years||Free||$5||$7|
|Drop-In Hockey – All ages||$5||$10||$12|
|Stick & Puck – All ages||Free||$6||$8|
|Ice Skate Rental||$3||$3||$3|
Glenwood Hot Springs Pool
The world-famous Glenwood Hot Springs pool boasts an enormous football-field sized pool meant for playing, lap-swimming, and general baking in natural hot springs water amidst a postcard mountain town backdrop. In fact, the Glenwood Hot Springs pool isn’t just the World’s Largest Hot Springs Pool, but they also have a luxury spa, premier athletic club, resort boutique and dining on their grounds. Their tag line is “rejuvenating since 1888” and the hot springs is arguably one of the hottest tickets in the Roaring Fork Valley in all seasons.
Hot Springs Pools aren’t just relaxing, but the pool naturally provides fifteen minerals that benefit your body.
If you’re looking for a RFV stay-cation, book The Sunlight Mountain Resort Hot Springs Package which includes:
- Lodging in your choice of accommodations
- Full hot breakfast served at our poolside Grill
- Unlimited hot springs pool access with stay
- One Sunlight Mountain lift ticket per night (per adult)
- One free lift ticket for kids,12 and under, per night (per paying adult)
- Transportation to and from mountain (set times)
Sunlight Mountain Resort
From the time my son was less than a year old I’ve been bringing him to Sunlight Resort to hike the edges of the ski slopes with friends.
If your little one is sturdy on his feet, you can book a ski or snowboard lesson with Sunlight’s “Learn to Shine” program. Three days of lessons includes equipment rental, lift tickets, and a 5-Day ski pass to hone in your new skills for just under $400. If you’re working around a nap schedule, you can book your lessons days or even weeks apart and register as little as 30 minutes before lessons start.
Have we missed something you and your family love to do in the Roaring Fork Valley this winter? Email us at [email protected] to share!