Hello Durango Visitor!
Do you have kids? Do you have zero ideas on what to do in Durango? Well that’s why you have me! Now I don’t have kids personally being in college and 21 years old and all but I do know some really fun things that all ages will like. So let’s get started!
What to do with the kids
Both options can you keep you entertained for a day or a few hours at least. Trimble Hot Springs are about 8 miles north of downtown and Pagosa Hot Springs are about an hour east of downtown, in the town of Pagosa Springs which is at the base of Wolf Creek Pass.
Explore the Animas river.
We have a great river trail that is perfect for an exploration day. If you are feeling extra adventurous, why not float the river? You can rent or buy floats pretty cheaply (rent from one of the raft companies or buy them at Walgreens or Big 5) and you can spend a day floating the river with your little swimmers. Just make sure the river isn’t too high or else it will not be safe (you can ask a local raft company). Maybe have a day of exploring the shore and then find a good place for a picnic the next day. There are plenty of little beaches or the occasional picnic table scattered along the river. Great for all ages! Make sure to go on a really hot day and bring a lot of sunscreen so you are not fried at this high altitude. Grab some food, water, and a picnic blanket too so your kiddos are comfortable all day.
Check out downtown.
There are plenty of places to shop for all ages on Main Street. Durango is known for having an eclectic selection of local shopping.
Check out the White Dragon Tea Room which is actually right next door to the Durango Tourism Office located at 820 Main Ave. Very fun atmosphere and you can find an array of tea related gifts or enjoy a tall glass of freshly brewed tea. One of my favorites is the chocolate mint tea. It tastes like thin mints!
Home Inc. is attached to the White Dragon Tea Room, which is a great little shop to find your next signature scent or to just peruse and find a nice journal to record your trip in.
This is a fun place to go and explore. Plenty of fun pieces of jewelry and clothing to pick up but the back room is full of fun posters and knick knacks to hang on your walls.
Marias Book Shop. One of my all-time favorite book shops located at 960 Main Ave.
They have a large selection of great books. I personally like browsing through their cookbook section and dreaming about Julia Child's cook book. They also have a kids section in the back with plenty of your favorites and more. Also if you are looking for a guide book to the southwest they have a wide array to choose from. If you're searching aimlessly, strike up a conversation with one of their very helpful employees. They seem to have a knack for evaluating your latest read and pointing you toward something similar!
Durango Toy Depot located at 658 Main Ave
A great toy shop located in the heart of downtown. If your kids need a place to play and look at some new toys then stop in a have some fun.
Where to eat with the kids
If your little ones are feeling a little hungry and need a midday snack try either of our local Durango frozen treat locations or a Quesadilla pick me up.
Cream Bean Berry located at1021 Main Ave, Durango, CO 81301 is a personal favorite of mine.
Their Strawberry Rose Sorbet is to die for and many of the frozen treats are made with local ingredients. Katie the owner is super sweet and you’ll feel like you just stepped into an old-time ice-cream shop. They just moved onto their Main Ave location from the Smiley Building so make sure to go and check them out.
Or if your kids are used to self-serve frozen yogurt shops check out Top That located at 600 Main Ave #105.
A menagerie of toppings and flavors in a local self-serve frozen yogurt shop. I really enjoy all the different kinds of fruit they offer and how many different sauces they have as topping. Great for a little pick me up and for those eaters that may be on the pickier side.
Or if you are feeling for something a little more substantial try out Nini's Taqueria located at 552 Main Ave.
A low-key Mexican restaurant and one I’ve frequented a lot. If you need a little pick me up try the nachos or share a quesadilla. One of my favorite things is to get a chicken quesadilla with a half mango habanero and half mango lime salsa baked in. If you love spicy food like I do then their selection of salsas will make your mouth water. However if you are not as much into the spicy game then just get the mango lime or any of their other milder salsas. The tomatillo is another favorite of mine. This is also a great dinner destination.
If you want somewhere that the entire family will enjoy try GrassBurger. 726 1/2 Main Avenue
I cannot recommend them enough and one of my favorite places to grab a reasonably priced delicious burger. I can sometimes be a bit picky about burgers, but GrassBurger has figured me out. Plus, they have artisan sodas and a low-key atmosphere. I recommend the sweet potato fries and you can customize the burger to satisfy the pickiest of eaters.
Also if you are looking for a great picnic spot anywhere along the river or in Buckley Park which is on Main Ave and 12th street. Surrounded by great trees and rocks to climb on. Often the place for summer festivals so make sure to bring a picnic for a fun time and a show.
For a great afternoon exploration track down 3rd avenue between 12th street and college. Third is known for its beauty and the neighborhood has a thing for making miniature fairy gardens. Look around the tree roots and along the sidewalk and see if you can spot any of the faces of characters in the trees.
Where to take the kids
If you don’t mind driving there are plenty of adventures outside of town too!
Purgatory located at #1 Skier Place about a 40 minute drive out of Durango and they have plenty of fun activies for the kids all summer long.
This is a great summer destination especially to spend a day at. Even at 21 years old I still have a blast, and that is saying something! A total adventure ticket is $50 but it includes 5 single uses on a large list of activities. One of my favorites is the Alpine Slide or the Water Runners which are big balls floated on a pool of water you run around in. It’s fun for all ages!
Or if you want to just explore at your own leisure just drive north of town on Camino del Rio (Highway 550). You'll pass Pinkerton Hot springs which are a few miles north of town on the right side of the road which is a unique looking replica of a hot spring. This is a great photo-op
Next you'll drive by Honeyville (on the left), which is about a half hour out town and is local honey store that has plenty of honey products and you can even see the bees!
The scenery of the San Juan Mountains are to die for and the San Juan Skyway makes for a beautiful day trip . Make sure to drive safe because the mountain passes can sometimes be a precarious. It’s perfect for an adventure and with plenty of pull offs to take pictures you’ll have a full album of family pictures to remember the day by.
If you take highway 160 west of town toward Cortez you are on your way to Mesa Verde which is one of my all-time favorite national parks. You can do a driving tour of the park or explore via foot. They have guided tours that are affordable and well worth the dollars to get a true understanding of how amazing this site is. Don’t be afraid if you sign up for a hike that includes climbing a ladder. It’s perfect for all your little adventurers and history buffs.
If you would like a complete list of places I recommend eating or some other things to do then check out one of my previous blogs entitled The Locals Guide to Durango. Also if you have any questions feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.