Fun Things to Do in Salida Colorado with Kids


April 27, 2018

Kids Activities in Salida, Colorado

Last weekend we packed up the kids and lots of outdoor gear and headed to Salida, Colorado. When my husband entered the Pole Pedal Paddle (or S3P) in Salida, I knew I wanted to bring the kids and cheer him on during the race. Salida is one of my favorite Colorado mountain towns, and I rarely make it all the way down there.

Keep reading for ideas on things to do in Salida, Colorado with kids.

1. The Salida Hot Springs Aquatic Center

This is my kind of pool. I am not a fan of taking the kids to our local rec pool because I get so cold, and being cold is my least favorite thing. But this pool…I could hang in the pool with my family for the hour+ that we spent here. (And I never go too hot either.)

Since we visited in April while it was too cold to play in the Arkansas River, this pool was the perfect way to play/tire out the boys. I loved how the lifeguards were so sweet to help my youngest climb the slide steps. The boys loved the waterfall features. And, again, I like being not too cold and not too hot.

This is the largest indoor hot springs in North America, and the leisure pool has temps that average between 97-100F. Adults swim for $11, Kids 6-17 for $5, and Youngsters 0-5 for $3. Visit their website for more information.

2. The Playground at Riverside Park

It seems like I am on a Park Tour of our country…From Quechee, Vermont to Woodstock, New York to Rangely, Colorado…we’ve spend a lot of time at playgrounds. We took the boys to a couple of playgrounds in Salida, and the Playground at Riverside Park was our favorite. Swings in the shape of a raft! This is a great place to spend some time outdoors, and it is located right in the main part of town on the river.

3. Moonlight Pizza and Brewpub

Need to eat? Grab a pie at this pizza joint. Parents can enjoy a cold beverage while the kids hang out on the patio and play life-sized Jenga. And, the indoor seating includes a couple of benches built-in to the wall, meaning you can easily confine youngsters or let them lie down if they are tired. The food was decent and the atmosphere was laid-back yet upbeat.

4. Sweetie’s Sandwich Shop

Another place to grab a bite to eat with the fam. This sandwich shop is a good place to eat lunch, and your kids will love the cookie jars and other desert options. (I may or may not have bribed my boys to behave by offering them a sweet chocolate chip cookie reward.)

5. Bike Riding

We stayed at a rental within a couple blocks from the main street of town. Our boys rode their bikes to restaurants and the park (while we walked) and all of this felt special/festive/fun. So pack your Strider bikes and pedal bikes!

6. Head up Monarch Pass

We drove up Monarch Pass to cheer for Daddy, but if it were wintertime, we would definitely have going skiing at Monarch Mountain (many of my friends swear by this mountain in terms of family-friendly skiing). If it were summer (or after May 15), we would have considered a ride on the Monarch Crest Scenic Tramway. (The boys would be fascinated to watch it work, but I am not sure that they would enjoy a ride.)

Salida Colorado with Kids

7. The Arkansas Hills Trail System

Okay, so maybe you can swap with your spouse and head out solo for a little bit to do some trail running / mountain biking / hiking on the hills just across the Arkansas River from downtown (…or maybe your kids are into hiking and would enjoy this area). One of my girlfriends and I stole an hour of time to run up by the big “S” on the hill. The trail running was fun, and although it was a lot of uphill, there were segments of flat/downhill that kept me going. Since shopping in Salida’s many artsy looking stores wasn’t an option for me on the this trip (hello boys and breakable items), I thoroughly enjoyed my hour away from the family for the run.

8. Extreme Sports

Our boys are too young to be into a lot of what the Salida area offers in terms of extreme sports, but as they get older, I would consider taking them to Captain Zipline or¬†horseback riding with Granite Mountain Outfitters (okay, so maybe that’s not terrily extreme!).

Since we do our own raft trips (just float trips or mellow whitewater for now with our young guys), I am not sure that we would ever take them on a commercial trip on the Arkansas River. But, families with older kids should look into this exciting option! There are so many rafting companies down there…I had a good time with River Runners on my last commercial trip.

9. Being Outdoors Together

My favorite part of the trip to Salida was spending time in the outdoors with my husband and the boys. We rented a home that had a great backyard (which is why we chose it) so that the boys could entertain themselves while we chilled with friends. In the past, we have camped along the Arkansas River in Salida with the kids (we are a fan of keeping our kids in life jackets when camping near water) and haven’t done a whole lot of anything, other than let them dig in the dirt, play together, and get dirty underneath Colorado blue skies.

10. Rocky Mountain Mini Golf

So we didn’t do this, but I saw the sign as we drove by, and I contemplated taking the family here. Alas, we didn’t have enough time. But how corny/traditional/perfect would it be to do this on a summer evening? The boys are probably a bit too young, but we’d still have fun.

Have you traveled to Salida with your family? Any tips on things to do or places to eat?

And, be sure to check out my ideas for hanging out in Crested Butte, Colorado with kiddos.

kayaks in salida colorado

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