When the computer screen, after-school schedule, and video games take over, it’s time to plan a vacation close to nature and close together. Fresh air, red dirt, and big mountains are just what the doctor ordered for the extra busy family. In Durango, families can unplug and unwind with a perfect San Juan mountain backdrop.

For a week of unplugged fun, fit for all ages, check out our must-do activities below:

Take a horseback ride through the National Forest

Nothing beats the quiet sounds of horse hooves on a trail and no trip to Durango is complete without National Forest time. Join a group trail ride or book your own private visit to one of the many stables in the area. With a guide, you’ll learn more about the natural area and find the best views on the best trails.

Spend an evening with the Bar D Wranglers

A family-favorite event since 1969, the Bar D Chuckwagon is often referred to as Durango’s #1 summer event. Explore the Bar D ranch, dance to old time live music from the Bar D wranglers, and enjoy a full camp-style barbecue. Onsite, your family can take hayrides, play at Lil Buckaroo Park, ride the horse-go-round, and make new friends at the Kid’s Korral. In the past half century, the event has changed very little, and that’s because the activity is a timeless, beloved tradition. Shows end after Labor Day Weekend.

Work together to escape the Conundrum Escape Room

Three full-immersive escape rooms are hidden in historic downtown at 736 Main Avenue. Stories about medieval times, saving the world, and mysterious lost temples take you away from Durango and directly into the adventure. Work together to solve themed puzzles and find the key to escape. The clock begins as soon as you enter the room, so put your thinking caps on and get to solving before time runs out.

Create art as a family at the Get Fused Glass Studio

Create your own beautiful art pieces, ornaments, jewelry, dishes, and even wind chimes at the “Get Fused” Glass studio. This family-friendly activity is fit for all ages and walk-ins are welcome. Visit the studio at 600 Main Avenue during open hours, where you can spend quality time creating art with your entire family.

Visit the Fish Hatchery and Wildlife Museum

Feed the rainbow trout, watch for wildlife, and sit on the banks of the Animas River at Colorado’s oldest state-owned fish hatchery. With interactive activities both in and outside the museum, the fish hatchery is a fun place to walk around, explore, and learn about the southwest’s natural environment.

Learn about science and the planet at the Powerhouse Science Center

Powerhouse is Durango’s interactive science center. Once a historic coal-fired, steam-powered AC generating plant, Powerhouse is now a playground for science-geared activity located on the Animas River.

Exhibits about air rockets, virtual reality, propulsion, and planet phases are designed to make complicated subjects engaging and interactive. You’ll find special events year-round, including the DEVO Film Festival, weekly toddler time, and Friday’s MakerLab Mingle. As a bonus, adult-friendly events like pubhouse happy hour make Powerhouse a destination place for all.

Make your own unique jewelry at Beads and Beyond

Whether you’re looking for gifts, accessories, or new jewelry for yourself, it’s always fun to stroll the aisles at Beads and Beyond. To make it an exciting outing fit for the whole family, join a class and make your own one-of-a-kind jewelry with local glass beads, stones, and chains. The most special souvenirs are the ones attached to memories, so create your own keepsakes to wear always and let the creativity flourish. 


This article complements the itinerary for the “Extreme Family Vacation.” To find even more recommendations on how to spend your adventurous family vacation in Durango, check here.