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Fun Day Trips With Kids

April 30th, 2012 | Written by | Day off in Parker Colorado, Fun things to do, Town of Parker

Rocky Mountain National Park is an easy day trip from Parker, Colorado.

Also see Day Trip to Sand Dunes national Park. 

The drive is a little over an hour to Rocky Mountain National Park from Parker, CO so we usually leave pretty early to beat traffic and find a good spot to play.

There are so many trails to hike I suggest visiting their website to pick one right for your family. With small kids we usually only hike parts of trails anyway. If you have bigger kids Deer Mountain is a cool hike that only takes about an hour and gives you great views of RMNP and down in towards the town of Estes Park.

I believe Fern Lake is one of our favorites. Our kids like to hang around water so streams, creeks and lakes are usually on the list for us when picking a trail to explore.

Along side the road in RMNP there are numerous places to pull off and picnic. Sometimes we find a cool picnic spot with a view of the meadows and stake that as our playground for the day. You don’t have to hike, climb or bike to have fun. Seriously, most of the time with our kids we will just hang out in one spot. The forest provides shade and ample exploring for the kids.

If you want to head back in to Estes Park for lunch I recommend Chelitos Mexican restaurant. Not super spicy [more for tourist] but still pretty good salsa and their burritos taste like heaven after playing outside for hours with kids. They are located upstairs above the stores and have outside upper deck dining so you can still enjoy the mountain views. Pretty cheap too. Kids like it.

Always pack snacks and water. Bring coats or warm clothes to layer up. The weather changes in minutes in the Colorado high country. I’ve been in Rocky Mountain National Park hiking in July when the weather changed and it was full on snowing within minutes of being a bright sunny day. If you do hike the high country bring a GPS or good map. If it snows the trails get covered quickly and not being able to see the trail back to the car can be a very scary feeling.

Caveat: This is a National Park with wild animals. Mountain lions and bears are present and active. To be honest the elk and deer can be just as dangerous so be mindful of these animals. Give them space. It’s their home and they are wild so if you see animals approaching it’s best to just pickup and move on to another spot. Don’t be a jerk.

Pick up what you take in and just as important pick up trash others may have left behind. It’s a great learning experience for your kids when they see Mom or Dad picking up litter left behind from others. 

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