Lockers and desks are being cleared out, field days and school picnics are under way, and teachers everywhere are making plans for celebratory margaritas. Ready or not, summer is here. To help your family make the most of this time of year, I’ve put together a bucket list of Fort Collins summer fun.
Get Outdoors: Let’s get the obvious one out of the way. You live in Colorado. You’re raising your children in Colorado. So act like it. You don’t have to haul the whole family up to the top of Horsetooth Rock (although that is one possibility). You can simply take a walk in a local natural area. Go fishing, camping, biking, or rafting. You are surrounded by magnificent options!
Read a Book: Every kid in town should join the Summer Reading Program through the Poudre River Library District. Reading logs are available starting June 1st and the kids will enjoy tracking their reading time and earning prizes. Teens and adults can participate as well!
Indulge in Ice Cream: Listen closely, for soon you will hear the music of the ice cream truck as it peddles overpriced popsicles and ice cream sandwiches. Or, seek out the latest trend, which involves pulling a lever on a wall, catching an oozing snake of froyo, piling on the toppings, and paying by the ounce. I prefer a hand-scooped ball of creamy, scrumptious ice cream, usually from my personal favorites, Walrus or Kilwin’s.
Watch a Street Performance: Thanks to a successful Kickstarter campaign, Streetmosphere is back for another summer! Throughout downtown Fort Collins and Front Range Village, you can enjoy entertainment from local artists, musicians, jugglers, magicians, and more.
Dine on a Patio: Sit outside with your family while enjoying a cold drink and tasty meal. Kristin Mastre of Feasting Fort Collins recommends Avo’s as the best family-friendly patio, followed closely by Coopersmith’s, Back Porch Café, and Silver Grill.
Visit a Splash Park: This is a fun and free way to cool off and the kids love it. Just don’t forget the sunscreen! For information on local splash parks, please click here.
Attend a Festival: There’s always some sort of celebration happening in or near Fort Collins. Browse craft booths, enjoy deep fried funnel cakes, play a carnival game, and take in performances. To stay informed of upcoming local events, subscribe to Growing Up Fort Collins’ weekly newsletter.
See a Movie: You can visit a movie theater any time throughout the year, but local film buffs are thrilled with the additional summer options in Fort Collins. Holiday Twin Drive-In is always popular and has the distinction of being the only drive-in in Larimer County, and one of only 6 in Colorado. For more traditional movie viewing, Cinemark and Carmike both offer a summer series for kids with cheap ticket prices, and The Lyric shows free cartoons with an optional all-you-can-eat cereal bar.
Get Out of Town: Fort Collins offers plenty of entertainment, but what is a summer break without the ubiquitous family road trip? A day trip to Denver offers many possibilities, or expand your horizons to further destinations. My family loved a recent getaway to Glenwood Springs, Estes Park is always a favorite, and a longer journey to Durango is in the works. For other Colorado destinations, HeidiTown is a useful guide.
Slide & Swing: Fort Collins is teeming with parks and playgrounds. Not only is the playground equipment fun, but the kids will surely enjoy other activities in the park. Fly a kite, kick a ball, or play in the sand! Like these little guys…
Your Turn: What would you add to a Summer Bucket List?