16 Fun Things To Do In Durango With Kids
Family Friendly Activities!
Durango CO is one of our favorite places to visit. For the last three years we have been coming in the summer to cool off from the Texas heat, but lately we’ve been coming in the winter to ski. Durango has so many different activities especially for kids, making it a great family friendly destination.
Sometimes called Durango Rocks, Durango is county seat of La Plata County Colorado. It houses the nationally-recognized Durango & Silverton narrow gauge railway. The rich history and cultural traditions of Durango can be seen prominently in the dozens of historic attractions that attract thousands of visitors every year. The Durango Harold is the local newspaper. Historic Hotels of America has designated the Strater Hotel in Durango, Colorado as a Historic Hotel of America. The hotel is one of only 26 in the country with this distinction. The city of Durango is a beautiful destination to spend your holiday without the stress or hassle.
Why is Durango famous?
Durango is most well-known for its Durango & Silverton narrow gauge railroad, which has been running since 1882. The train takes passengers on a scenic ride through the mountains and along the Animas River. The city of Durango also offers plenty of outdoor activities like hiking, biking, fishing, and horseback riding tours. You can also check out one of the many museums in town or go to one of Durango’s annual events!
Kid Activities in Durango
Indoor recreation activities
1. Powerhouse Science Center, formerly The Durango Discovery Museum. This museum is a great place for kids to explore and learn. They offer exhibits on nature, science, history and the arts.
2. Durango Welcome Center
The welcome center is a one-stop “information” shop for all that Durango and surrounding La Plata County offers to visitors and localsAnasazi Heritage Center: This center tells the story of the Ancestral Puebloans who have lived in the Four Corners area for over 700 years. It is located in Dolores, Colorado and is open from May through October.
3. Ride the Durango Train
The Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad has been operating since 1882. Take a ride on Durango Train (one of their steam engine trains) through beautiful mountain scenery surrounding the Animas River Valley from Durango to Silverton or vice versa!
Outdoor recreation activities
The Durango Fish Hatchery is a great place to take the kids for a fun day out. They can learn about the fish that live in local rivers and how the hatchery helps to protect them. This is family and kid friendly.
5. Animas River Trail
The concrete/asphalt trail stretches over 7 miles through town along the beautiful Animas River. It provides easy access to a variety of parks, open spaces and natural surface trails as well as the community recreation center, the public library, downtown Durango, neighborhoods and schools. Great for walking, biking or e-biking.
6. Mesa Verde National Park
With a thousand species, this untamed realm of deep canyons and sweeping vistas is home to several that live nowhere else on earth. For more than 700 years, the Ancestral Pueblo people constructed powerful towns on the mesas and cliffs of Mesa Verde. The park now protects the cultural heritage of 26 distinct tribes and allows visitors a rare glimpse into history.
7. Durango Skatepark
If your kids are into skateboarding or BMXing, they’ll love Durango Skatepark! It’s one of Colorado’s largest skateparks and has something for everyone.
8. Rotary Park Playground
Rotary Park is located right in downtown Durango and offers a playground, picnic areas and a duck pond.
9. Pinkerton Hot Springs
Hot springs are a result of melted snow and rainfall trickle down cracks in the Earth’s surface towards it core.
Speaking of hot springs, Durango Hot Springs are kid friendly. They have separate pools for the kids. Children are allowed to play and splash in the new salt water swimming pool.
10. Shop Downtown Durango
Shop local in Downtown Durango and on North Main Avenue. The original Fuzziwigs Candy Factory in Durango offers candy, toys, and homemade chocolates and fudge.
My favorite is the Cream Bean Berry ice cream shop. They have premium artisan ice cream made with fresh, local and organic ingredients with rotating flavors.
There are plenty more things to do in Durango with kids – these are just a few of our favorites! So if you’re looking for some family-friendly fun.
Is Durango safe to visit?
Durango is relatively safe compared to other cities in La Plata County and Colorado at large. The crime rate here is lower than national average but higher than state average when it comes down to violent crimes like murder or rape. There were 15 homicides reported during 2020 with two being solved so far (as of Jan 2021).
Family friendly things to do in Durango with kids in the Summer
Durango is a great place to visit any time of year, but the summer offers some unique opportunities for families. Durango’s trails are perfect for hiking and biking, and there are plenty of rivers and lakes around town that offer excellent fishing spots.
11. River Rafting Tubing on Alamas River
River rafting tubing, 4wd ATV, kayaking are popular family friendly things in the summer and there are a few companies that offer guided tours down the Animas River.
Animas River Access Points
33rd Street (limited parking)
29th Street at Memorial Park
Recreation Center (tubing put-in)* Free Parking for tubers and pump station to fill tubes.
9th Street at Schneider Park (tubing take-out)
Santa Rita Park
Zipline park is one of the newest attractions in Durango and is perfect for families. It offers a variety of ziplines, ropes courses and challenges for all ages!
13. Chuckwagon dinner & show! (Bar D Chuckwagon so much fun).
The Bar D Wranglers perform in concert after supper with music and songs of old west cowboys, comedy, and lively instrumentals. They also have a Western Art Gallery, Leather Shop, Blacksmith Shop w/ working Blacksmith, gift shop, chocolate shop, a Shooting Gallery, Wagon rides, Train rides, playground, gold panning and more!
14. Go Off Roading or ATVing.
Kennebec Pass Trail is our favorite off-road trail. It’s a 32.7 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Hesperus, Colorado that offers the chance to see wildlife and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for bird watching and ohv/off road driving. Dogs are also able to use this trail. There is a beautiful waterfalls as well down this trail called Basin Creek Waterfalls.
15. Inferno Mountain Coaster a favorite activity, mountain biking, go karts and more at Purgatory Resort.
What is there to do in Durango in the winter?
16. Skiing, snowboarding, sledding or snowmobiling at Purgatory Resort.
Durango’s winters are mild compared to most of Colorado, so you can still enjoy plenty of outdoor activities. There are a number of ski resorts within an hour or two of town, as well as opportunities for snowshoeing, ice skating and dog sledding. Purgatory resort offers family skiing (closest to Durango).
And don’t forget about the annual Polar Express train ride!
What is there to do in Durango for free?
There are plenty of things to do in Durango Colorado for free! Some popular activities include hiking and biking on the many trails around town in the San Juan National Forrest, fishing at one of the local rivers or lakes, and visiting one of Durango’s many museums. You can also check out one of Durango’s annual events or go for a walk downtown. Durango is a great place to visit any time of year!
You may also enjoy reading: 15 Fun & Exciting Things To Do in Estes Park Colorado.