Activities for all ages:
Durango Mountain Resort
In the summer, Durango Mountain Resort offers fun and adventure for everyone. Ride a chairlift up the mountain and ride your mountain bike or the Alpine Slide down. Take in the breathtaking views on a mountain hike. The Plunge Zipline, miniature golf, Bungee Trampoline, rock climbing wall, gold panning, miles of trails, shops, galleries and restaurants make it an adventure for the whole family.
River Rafting and Water Sports
Rafting outfitters in Durango offer family adventures that are safe for children. Trips on the lower portion of the Animas River are available as float trips for families with small children. Choose from one-hour, two-hour or half-day trips to suit your needs. For older children, more adventure is offered via longer trips and rides on a different portion of the river.
|4- Corners Whitewater||www.raft-kayak.com||888-946-1404|
|Mild to Wild Rafting||www.mild2wildrafting.com||800-567-6745|
|Adaptive Sports Association||www.asadurango.org||970-259-0374|
|Durango Rafting Company||www.durangoraft.com||877-257-2252|
|Durango Rivertrippers Rafting||www.durangorivertrippers.com||800-292-2885|
|Flexible Flyers Rafting||www.flexibleflyersrafting.com||800-346-7741|
|Mountain Waters Rafting||www.durangorafting.com||800-585-8243|
|Pine Rivers Surf Co.||www.pineriviersurfco.com||970-749-4107|
|Valley of the Spruce (Jet Skies)||www.valleyofspruce.com||970-884-5028|
Southwest Colorado is known for its outstanding fishing including the Gold Medal Waters of the Animas River. The Animas River, running through Durango, is one of the many places to catch trophy Rainbow, Brown and Cutthroat Trout. There are many lakes in the area as well, where you will have the opportunity to catch salmon, trout, pike and more. A license is required for adults; children 15 and under are free. Licenses can be purchased at sporting good stores, grocery stores or gas stations.
|Angler’s Wharf Marina||www.anglerswharf.com||970-884-9477|
|Animas Valley Anglers||www.gottrout.com||970-259-0484|
|Pro Fly Fishers||www.proflyfishers.com||970-385-9048|
|Vallecito Lake Area||www.vallecitolakechamber.com||970-247-1573|
|Durango Wildlife Education Center and Fish Hatchery||970-375-6766|
Hiking and Rock Climbing
There are many trails suitable for family hikes in the Durango area. The trail system includes adventures such as hiking to hidden mountain lakes, easy walks along rivers and streams, and climbing a mountainside for panoramic views. From squirrels to elk, youngsters will love the opportunity to view wildlife in its native habitat. For older kids, rock climbing adventures are a more challenging, thrilling adventure. To be safe, be prepared. Mountain weather can change quickly. Wear sturdy shoes and sunscreen, carry a backpack with food, water, and medical supplies, and beware of high altitude sickness which is marked by headache, nausea or vomiting.
|Colorado Mountain Expeditions||www.coloradoexpeditions.com||877-363-4453|
|Southwest Adventure Guides||www.mtnguide.net||800-642-5389|
|U.S. Forest Service||www.fs.fed.us/r2/sanjuan/||970-247-4874|
|San Juan Mountain Association||www.sjma.org||970-247-4874|
|Animas River Trail|
Explore the terrain of Southwest Colorado on a bike! Single track trails and access roads are available for beginners as well as advanced riders. Bicycle rentals and tours are also available. Maps at:
|2nd Ave Sports (rentals)||www.2ndavesports.com||970-247-4511|
|Adaptive Sports Association||www.asadurango.org||970-385-2163|
|Durango Bike Adventures||www.admotours.com||800-944-2351|
|Durango Cyclery (service)||www.durangocyclery.com||970-247-0747|
|Durango Mountain Bike Camp||www.durangomountainbikecamp.com||970-385-0411|
|Hassle Free Sports (rentals)||www.hasslefreesports.com||800-835-3800|
|Monty’s Town Bike Rental||www.montystownbikes.com||970-426-2807|
|Mountain Bike Specialist (service)||www.mountainbikespecialist.com||970-247-4066|
|Pedal the Peaks (rentals)||www.pedalthepeaks.biz||970-259-6880|
|Purgatory Sports (rentals)||www.durangomoutainresort.com||970-247-9000|
Jeep Tours and Rentals
Enjoy a thrilling 4 wheel ride through the mountains! You can admire the beautiful scenery of the mountains while feeling the wind in your face from the back of a jeep.
|Mild to Wild Jeep Tours||www.mildtowildrafting.com||800-567-6745|
|ATV’s at Vallecito Lake||www.valleyofspruce.com||970-884-5028|
|Farabee’s Jeep Rentals||www.farabeejeeprentals.com||877-970-5337|
Mesa Verde National Park
Mesa Verde Country
Situated in the hills just 35 miles west of Durango, Mesa Verde Country is the archaeological center of America. Mesa Verde Country is home to Mesa Verde National Park, the Ute Mountain Tribal Park, Hovenweep National Monument, the Anasazi Heritage Center and Crow Canyon Acharological Center. Mesa Verde Nation Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and offers kids an unforgettable opportunity to see and experience the life of the ancient Ancestral Puebloans.
Mesa Verde Tours
Anasazi Heritage Center
Discover the Anasazi story through exhibits, a pithouse replica, films and hands-on interactive educational computer programs. Touch the past- grind corn, weave on a loom, use microscopes and touch real artifacts in the Discovery Area. You’ll learn about the Four Corners area via the half –mile train to Escalante Ruin where you’ll have an excellent view of McPhee Reservoir, Mesa Verde and Four Corners mountain ranges and the Great Sage Plain. Free for children 17 and under.
Ute Mountain Tribal Park
Experience a special Native American interpretation of the culturally diverse homeland of the Ute Mountain Tribe. Native American guides interpret Ute Indian history, Ute rock art, geological land formation and Ancestral Puebloan rock art, artifacts and dwellings. Choose from full day, half day or special tours to remote sections of the park. Bring plenty of food, water, sunscreen and hiking gear!
Chimney Rock Archaeological Area
Chimney Rock is a San Juan National Forest Archaeological Area located between Durango and Pagosa Springs. Take a tour of the home of the ancestors of the modern Pueblo Indians and visit some of the hundreds of individual sites on the beautiful, scenic landscape. See the Visitor Center Cabin to set up tours, although reservations are not required for regular daily tours except for groups of ten or more.
A great opportunity to discover Durango’s history, the Animas Museum is the same location as the Animas City School built in 1906. The museum contains collections that will take you back into history, including a turn-of-the-century classroom and the pioneer Joy Cabin, as well as a gift shop. Open year round!
D&SNGRR Roundhouse Museum
Children will have a chance to view the roundhouse turntable in action as locomotives return each evening from Silverton. Browse through the many historical exhibits on display including a library, railroad lamp and lock display, artist’s exhibits and two full-size authentic turn-of-the-century locomotives. The museum brings to life the heritage of railroading in the Rockies.
Durango Discovery Museum
This world-class, interactive museum is hands-on fun for all ages. Visitors can explore science and energy topics in the country’s oldest surviving coal-fired, steam-generated AC power plant. The museum’s interactive discovery and science exhibits promise to “ignite curiosity, spark imagination and power exploration.”
Southern Ute Cultural Center & Museum
Explore the history of the Southern Ute Indians in this new Southern Ute Cultural Center located in Ignacio, Colorado. This interactive museum contains multiple galleries, libraries and archives, outdoor experiences and a museum store. Kids and their families can learn about the land that is of significance to the Ute people as well as investigate what defined the Ute Indian Tribe.
For an evening of entertainment and great food, try the Bar-D Chuckwagon. Enjoy a traditional barbecue beef and/or chicken dinner with all the fixins’, served on a tin plate. After you are full, you’ll be entertained with Western music by the Bar-D Wranglers. Before the show, kids will enjoy riding the Bar-D train and peeking into the Old Western Town shops for souvenirs. Memorial Day to Labor Day.
The Clay Room
Durango’s paint-your-own pottery studio for all ages! Parents can relax with a free beverage while the kids paint the pottery of their choice or take one of the offered classes. Classes cover everything from clay, to cake decorating and even Chinese.
Durango Nature Studies
Dedicated to bringing nature into the lives of people of all ages through hands-on experiential activities, Durango Nature Studies hosts many programs like Wild Walkabouts, nature camps, guided nature walks, classes and workshops.
Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad
Children of all ages love to ride this historic steam engine that takes you through the San Juan Mountains to the old mining town of Silverton, Colorado. Children can watch for wildlife and waterfalls along the journey. The train travels to Silverton in the summer with the option to take the bus in one direction. In the spring and winter, the train travels to Cascade Canyon. Special excursions include The Polar Express, Thomas the Train, The Pumpkin Express and more. Welcome aboard!
Souvenir Shopping in Historic Downtown Durango
There are many unique stores in the Nationally Registered Historic District where kids can search for something special for themselves or friends. Mom and Dad can also enjoy the galleries and museums as they stroll through one of America’s Dozen Distinctive Destinations.
Durango Wildlife Education Center/ Fish Hatchery
The Durango Wildlife Education Center is open to the public and admission is free. The center offers tours of the raceway and show ponds where trout are being raised and released into area waters. Children can feed the fish in both areas and fishing is available in select ponds. The center has educational displays of all the different ecosystems that are found in southwest Colorado. The displays include plants and animals that are found in each unique system. Open Memorial Day through September.
Durango Public Library
Located along the edge of the Animas River, in sight of the railroad tracks, the recently built Durango Public Library has sections for kids, parents as well as a restaurant to purchase food. Both children and parents can enjoy the peaceful and friendly atmosphere as they read and play games. When ready to leave, families can take an easy stroll down the Animas River Trail, located just outside the Library.
Thru the Lens Studio
Step back into the days of the Old West for a family portrait. Dress in authentic costumes, from cowboys and saloon girls to historical figures, and you’ll have a photo that will remain a treasure for years to come.
Art Supply House
A full-service art and supply store with hands on experiences. Explore art at the art table—free projects to introduce children and adults to different forms of media. Projects change weekly.
San Juan Public Lands Center
The San Juan Public Lands Center houses the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), National Forest Service & San Juan Mountains Association offices. They also have a bookstore, kid’s corner, library, educational tools and rotating hands-on exhibits.
Bowling at Sky Ute Casino Resort
Keep every family member entertained with 24 lane AMF bowling and a state-of-the-art arcade and party rental room. There is also a playground area, swimming pool and mini golf! With all of these attractions, everyone will find fun and enjoyment.
Watch bees make honey in a glass hive at Honeyville. While the bees are busy at work, sample some of the products that are made on-site like Colorado wildflower honeys, jams, jellies and candies.
Named in Entrepreneur Magazine’s Top 10 in 2007, visit Durango’s brightest candy store, located on Main Ave. Children and adults will be mesmerized by the wide variety of tasty treats and can sample a selection of goodies.
Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory
Come see the store that started it all! The original Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory store was in Durango and is currently on Main Ave. Meet Truffles, the fluffy bear, and taste the amazing fudge and specialized sweets while you watch some of the candies and caramel apples being made!
Trimble Spa & Natural Hot Springs
Just six miles north of Durango, Trimble Spa & Natural Hot Springs has an Olympic-sized pool and two therapy pools of mineral water that are heated by naturally occurring hot springs. Aside from splashing around in the water, herbal wraps, spa treatments, massages and La Stone Therapy are also offered. Large lawns surrounding the pools are perfect for picnicking and relaxing.
Community Recreation Center
Let kids splash around in the leisure pool, indoor play park and water slides, lap pool and hot tub. An indoor track, gymnasium, racquetball courts, fitness area, aerobics/dance room, climbing wall, baby-sitting room, youth game room and conference rooms are also offered.
|Durango Mountain Resort||www.durangomountainresort.com||1-800-979-9742|
|Sky Ute Casino||www.skyutecasino.com||970-563-7777|
Horseback Riding and Outfitters
Saddle up and step into the boots of a real western cowboy! Area outfitters offer trail rides suitable for families with children of most ages. Hourly, breakfast and dinner rides are available as well as hayrides and sleigh rides. Ask your outfitter about specific age restrictions and options for children to join for later activities.
|Antler Meadows Outfitting||www.antlermeadowsoutfitting.com||970-563-9567|
|Big Corral Riding Stables||www.vallacitolakeoutfitter.com||970-884-9235|
|Colorado Trails Ranch||www.coloradotrails.com||800-323-3833|
|D Bar G Outfitters||www.dbarg.com||970-385-6888|
|Elk Point Stables||www.elkpoint.com||970-259-8590|
|Great Divide Outfitters||www.greatdivideoutfitters.com||970-884-2372|
|Hole in the Wall Stagecoaches||www.theholeinthewallstables.com||970-768-3257|
|Over the Hill Outfitters||www.overthehilloutfitters.com||970-385-7656|
|Peak to Creek Outfitters||www.peaktocreekoutfitters.com||970-884-0199|
|Rocky Mountain Outfitters||www.rockymountainoutfitters.com||970-884-2074|
|Ron D. View Ranch & Outfitters||www.rondviewoutfitting.com||970-259-8590|
|San Juan Sky Outfitters||www.sanjuanskyoutfitters.com||970-259-8590|
|Sheep Mountain Guides & Outfitters||970-259-1076|
|T Bar M Outfitters||www.tbarmoutfittersdurango.com||970-259-5469|
|Waterfall Ranch Outfitters||www.waterfallranchoutfitters.com||970-247-8758|
|Wilderness Trails Ranch||www.wildernesstrails.com||800-527-2624|
Durango Arts Center
Come watch live performances at the Durango Arts Center! Always working on different productions, check their calendar for current showings and art exhibits.
Kids will love this interactive play. They’ll enjoy hissing the villain and cheering the hero. Parents will enjoy a walk down memory lane as they sing along to familiar tunes before the show opens and during the Vaudeville Review immediately following. Open June to mid-August nightly except Tuesday.
Henry Strater Theater
The Henry Strater Theater is one of the oldest and most respected continually running theatres in Colorado, offering a variety of performances. It hosts year-round community shows, and is one of National Geographic’s Top Ten Places to Experience in the USA. Check online or at the box office to see what is playing now!
|The Back Space Theatre||www.thebackspacetheatre.org||970-259-7940|
|Community Concert Hall||www.durangoconcerts.com||970-800-5753|
|Sky Ute Casino and Lodge||www.skyutecasino.com||800-876-7017|
Mayflower Gold Mill, Silverton
Take a guided tour through this historic mill. See all the machinery still in place and much of it operating during the tour. Visit the Aerial Tramhouse with the buckets and tram system. See how gold and silver were processed. Free gold panning! A rock & mineral shop and unique gifts from the gift shop are available. Open Memorial Day through September. Tours hourly 10:00 am –3:30 pm.
Old Hundred Gold Mine Tour, Silverton
The tour takes you into Galena Mountain where you follow the vein and learn about mining and experience operating mine equipment in a real mine setting. Free gold panning (the miner’s sluice box has been “salted” with the real thing, so you’re sure to find some!) Other sites include the electric mine train, the famous “Cliff Dwellers” boarding house, actual drilling demonstrations and the gift shop. Open early May through early October. Tours leave hourly, beginning at 10:00 am.
‘Tweens and Teenagers:
Durango Mountain Resort www.durangomountainresort.com 1-800-979-9742
Soaring® Tree Top Adventures
In a remote valley, accessible only by the historic steam train, this is an extreme zip line adventure. Soar through the Aspens and glide above the Animas River on an exhilarating tree-to-tree canopy tour. Soaring® offers outdoor activity and freedom to thrill seekers of all ages.
Full Blast Adventure Center
Visit the Full Blast Adventure Center to experience Zip Line tours and Paintball! This safe yet exhilarating activity is a breathtaking mix of excitement and fun. Soar through the air then challenge family or friends at paintball. Book in advance!
If you are looking for an adventure in Southwestern archaeology, an exploration of Native American cultures or a great way to experience the extraordinary landscape of the Four Corners Region, Crow Canyon Archaeological Center is the place for you! You’ll learn by participating in an actual archaeological dig, scrambling up slopes to view rock art, rafting down a river to explore a remote site or grinding corn as Native Americans have done for centuries. There are workshops, hands-on learning, archaeology adventures, cultural explorations and more. Wednesdays and Thursdays from May through September. For children 10 and older. Book your reservations in advance.
Winter Specific Activities:
Purgatory at Durango Mountain Resort
Durango Mountain Resort (DMR) offers world-class terrain, trails and amenities for skiers and boarders of all levels. With an average annual snowfall of 250 inches and over 300 days of sunshine a year, DMR is known for its incredible winter weather. Classes for kiddies, daycare and rentals are available. Also enjoy tubing and sledding on the mountain.
Purgatory Nordic Center
Purgatory Ski & Snowboard Rentals
Skiing, Snowboarding and Rentals
|Adaptive Sports Association||www.asadurango.org||970-385-2163|
|Bubba’s Boards & Mountain Sports||970-259-7377|
|Chapman Hill & Ice Skating Rink||www.durangogov.org||970-375-7395|
|Cliffside Ski and Sport||www.cliffsideski.com||970-385-1461|
|Gold Medal Sports||www.goldski.com||970-259-1063|
|Hassle Free Sports||www.hasslefreesports.com||800-835-3800|
|Hesperus Ski Area||www.ski-hesperus.com||970-259-3711|
|Inferno Snowboard Shop||www.infernosnowboardshop.com||888-396-8669|
|Pine River Valley Nordic Ski Club||www.vallecitolakechamber.com||970-884-7302|
|Second Avenue Sports||www.2ndavesports.com||970-247-4511|
|The Boarding Haus||www.boardinghaus.com||970-259-8182|
Snowmobiling, Dogsledding and Sleigh Rides
Get in the festive spirit with family-friendly snowmobile trips, dog sled trips and sleigh rides. Listen to the jingling of bells, the crunching of the snow, barking dogs, and the whinnies of the horses as you marvel in the winter wonderland of Durango.
|Durango Dog Ranch||www.durangodogranch.com||970-259-0694|
Homegrown Apple Days Festival
October- This free public event celebrates and highlights the apple. Those who attend gain information on how to promote sustainable foods while pressing, flinging and eating apples.
Peanuts™ Great Pumpkin Patch Express
October-The Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad hosts themed train ride to the pumpkin patch where passengers will meet the Peanuts™, enjoy live music and pick their own pumpkin to take home.
December-Take the kids on a Christmas excursion to the North Pole that they will never forget. Let the friendly chefs from the Polar Express indulge you in hot chocolate and cookies, while they read you the magical book of the Polar Express. Then, when you arrive at the North Pole, meet Santa and see what special surprises are still in store!
A Day Out With Thomas™
June-Passengers will chug along with Thomas the Tank Engine™ while enjoying stories, music and games. Meet Sir Topham Hatt while a memorable childhood friend springs to life, carrying boys and girls alike.
Winterfest at Durango Mountain Resort
January- To get the full winter experience, visit Winterfest at DMR. Try all the exciting, snow-related activities such as ice climbing, dog sledding or snowshoeing. Fun for all ages!
Visit www.durango.org to see a full calendar of upcoming special events!
Visit www.durango.org for a full dining guide!