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Durango Family Guide: Activities Perfect For Families

Things To Do With Kids In Durango

There’s truly something for everyone in Durango -- and that includes plenty of things to do in Durango with kids. Durango family activities can entertain even the pickiest of little ones. Make memories with your family and enjoy the Four Corners Region in a way everyone will appreciate. Our Durango family guide includes a list of 10 things to do in Durango with kids. Get ready to explore the mountains and more!

things to do in Durango with kids

Climb Aboard The Durango Train

It’s a fact: Little ones are fascinated by trains. Even older kids will appreciate the majesty and power of the Durango-Silverton train ride. From special rides like the annual Polar Express and Christmas rides to the Railroad Museum in Durango, the train gives your family a chance to explore the region’s railroad history. The entire family will take in beautiful, scenic views as the Durango train chugs down the track. Make memories that will last a lifetime! Learn more about the Durango train, check out the schedule and even book your tickets!

things to do in Durango with kids

Burn Off Energy At The Playground

Santa Rita Park, nestled on the banks of the Animas River, is an outdoor wonderland for the whole family. The park features play equipment, grassy areas to toss a frisbee or kick a soccer ball, picnic areas and scenic views of the river. The Santa Rita Park playground got a makeover in 2016, so it features new and safe equipment the little ones will enjoy. Climb, slide, play and have a ball at the playground. Santa Rita Park is located at 149 S. Camino del Rio, Durango, CO 81301.

Other city parks in Durango with playgrounds worth checking out include the Animas City Park, Fassbinder Park, Hillcrest View Park, Pioneer Oark and Rank Park.

Plan A Family Hike

Get your blood pumping and take in fresh air by planning a family-friendly hike on one of the many trails in and around Durango. There are a number of trails that even the littlest of legs can conquer and enjoy. Kid-friendly trails in the Durango area include Smelter Mountain, Animas City Mountain and Spud Lake. When choosing which trail to take on, consider the ages of your children, their activity levels and what you would like to see. Family friendly Durango hikes are a great way to be active together.

Smelter Mountain: This one-mile hike can get a little steep in parts, but is totally worth it. Teen will love the Instagram-ready views of downtown Durango, little ones will love the opportunities to interact with nature. The trailhead is easy to find. It is located west of Highway 550/160 and is just South of Santa Rita Park.

Animas City Mountain: One of the most popular hiking trails in Durango, the trek up Animas City Mountain offers a 5-mile loop with plenty to see along the way. Little ones not ready to conquer 5 miles? The well-marked trail is broken into segments that make it easy to only take on the hike your family can handle. The Animas City Mountain Trailhead is easy to find, just take Main Street and turn west on 32nd Street. Make a right on West 4th Avenue, the find the dirt parking lot. This trail is dog-friendly, so even your four-legged family members can enjoy.

Spud Lake: Experience the beauty and wonder of the region by hiking up the trails around Spud Lake. This trail will give you serious elevation gain, so it’s wise to come prepared with sunscreen and water. You’ll see trout-filled waters, alpine forests and mountains along the 2-mile hike. Spud Lake is about 30 miles outside Durango. Take Highway 550 north out of town, then turn on Old Lime Creek Road (Road 591). Take the road until it dead ends, then park and find the trailhead.

things to do in Durango with kids

Make A Splash At The Rec Center

There’s more to Downtown Durango than restaurants and breweries. The gem of downtown might be the Durango Recreation Center. This family-friendly destination features more than 70,000 square feet of fun -- including an indoor pool and seasonally-open outdoor splash pad. Little ones will have a blast zipping down the 160 foot water slide, while adults might enjoy a relaxing yoga class or a game of pickleball. The Durango Recreation Center is located at 2700 Main Avenue, Durango, CO.

Power Up At The Science Center

Located in an old coal-fired, steam-powered AC generating plant, the Powerhouse Science Center and Maker Lab is a treat for the curious. The center showcases the past, present and future of science and will both educate and entertain your family through it’s interesting exhibits. Experience science and technology up close and personal at this family-friendly museum. Exhibits include those covering air rockets, virtual reality, planet phases and more. This is a great interactive and educational option for things to do in Durango with kids.

Go Wild At The Fish Hatchery

There’s something fishy in Durango and this is a very good thing. The fish hatchery stocks local waters with rainbow, brown, Snake River and native cutthroat trout along with kokanee salmon. Here you can see the fish from egg to adult. Be sure to bring quarters to get food to feed the fish. The hatchery is also home to a wildlife museum. Here you can learn about the creatures native to the Four Corners Region. The museum and hatchery are free to visit, but donations are requested. Hours vary seasonally.

Explore Mesa Verde

Mesa Verde is a fun and beautiful place to explore with your family, and it is easy to sneak in a little bit of education as well. This national park is full of natural and ancient man-made wonders that you don't want to miss. Tune into an audio tour or book a guided tour of Mesa Verde to further enhance your trip.

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things to do in Durango with kids

Sit Down To A Family Dinner

Kids can have picky palates and it can be difficult to find a venue for a family dinner than can please the whole family. Thankfully there are quite a few kid friendly restaurants in Durango. You can grab some food for a picnic, sit down and enjoy a burger and fries or even get the whole crew dressed up for a more upscale dining experience. The opportunities are endless and you can choose whatever fits your family best.

Nature's Oasis: Fuel your family with healthy food. Nature’s Oasis is located at 300 South Camino del Rio Durango, CO 81301.

Grassburger: This colorful and bright dining destination is perfect for the whole family. Enjoy juicy burgers made from grass-fed beef, or opt for a gluten-free or vegan meal. Grassburger is located at 726 1/2 Main Avenue Durango, CO 81301.

Ore House: Celebrate the occasion with family dinner at Ore House. This option offers a more upscale dining experience with a menu featuring the variety needed to please the whole family. The Ore House is located at 147 East College Dr Durango, CO 81301.

The Mahogany Grille: Take the family back in time a the Mahogany Grille. This kid-friendly restaurant features an Old West style menu. Find the Mahogany Grille in the Historic Strater Hotel at 699 Main Ave Durango, CO 81301.

Taste Something Sweet

For more than 100 years, Honeyville has been making Durango sweet with its wildflower honey, jams and more. Located about 15 minutes north of Downtown Durango, the Honeyville retail stores offers samples, bee viewing and a chance to bring home a taste of Colorado. See if you can spot the queen bee in Honeyville’s glass hives! Adults might get a kick out of the Honey House Distillery, where you can taste and purchase honey-infused liquors and libations.

things to do in Durango with kids

Check Out The Durango Library

The Durango Library and Botanic Gardens is a literature-lover’s dream. Special programs for adults and kids make the library a family-friendly destination for locals and visitors alike. Surprisingly, the Durango Library is known for more than its great collections of books and resources. One of the best things about their Durango Library is the view it offers of the Animas River and Animas City Trail. See deer and other animals wading in the water and enjoy great people watching from the trail view.

Visit The Botanic Gardens

The Durango Botanic Gardens are free and open to the public. This is a great spot to explore as a family, and a great way to teach your kids about the many different plants, trees, flowers and more that can be found in the area. Guided tours are available (seasonally dependent) and the gardens are constantly changing and expanding.

You can also explore the botanic gardens on the grounds of the library. It’s a true treat for the senses and one of the great things to do in Durango with kids.

With so many things to do in Durango with kids, it’s time to start planning your next adventure. Browse Durango lodging and more to make the most of your next vacation to family friendly Durango.

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