The Front Range of Colorado is renowned for its easy access, temperate climate and more than 300 days of sunshine. Colorado families looking for ways to build some family time around a race need look no further. Check out our picks for some of the top family friendly races along Colorado’ Front Range.
One perfect place to start when exploring Denver with your family is City Park. Located in the center of the city, the park offers an idyllic setting for picnicking and outdoor activities, but it is also home to the Denver Zoo and the extraordinary Denver Museum of Nature and Science. The museum offers reasonably priced family workshops designed to engage families with current exhibits. The museum also houses an IMAX theater and planetarium. In June, the Revel Rockies half and full marathon takes place in Denver. The race is a popular qualifier for the Boston Marathon as the race boasts a smooth downhill course.
Venturing outside of Denver to the north, the city of Boulder is a popular tourist destination. On Memorial Day weekend the city is host to one of the largest 10K races in the United States, the Bolder Boulder with more than 50,000 participants. Many families walk or run the race together as the course is filled with fun attractions like live music, slip-and-slide stations and plenty of locals cheering on runners. While visiting Boulder, be sure to take the free Celestial Seasonings tour where you’ll get an up-close lesson in how tea is manufactured at this local business. Children of all ages are welcome, but only those age five and older are permitted on the factory portion of the tour. Downtown Boulder is home to one of the loveliest pedestrian malls in the country. Casual or upscale farm to table restaurants, street performers and beautiful landscaping are all featured along the Pearl Street Mall. If you’re up for an adventure then head over to the Enigma Escape Rooms at 14th and Pearl. Once you’re locked in, you’ll have 60 minutes to find clues to solve the puzzles that will release you and your family.
Another family-friendly town nearby is Longmont. The American Heroes run, which takes place in September, was started as a way to commemorate the heroes we lost during the tragic events of 9/11. In that spirit, a 9 hour and 11 minute run and a 24 hour vigil run are part of the running and walking events offered over the weekend. Longmont itself has many activities to keep the family happy. The Longmont Recreation Center is always a flurry of activity with an indoor basketball court, swimming pool and large workout facilities. Or, if you’d like a more relaxing time, enjoy some fishing at Izaak Walton Park or McIntosh Lake. Curious kids will love a visit to Briar Gate Farm where you can meet the animals and learn how they make delicious goat cheese.
Last on our list, but certainly not last in fun is Fort Collins. The Fort Collins Museum of Discovery is an absolute favorite for locals and visitors alike. By combining science and history, the curators have created an interactive and engaging experience. Make some noise in the music and sound lab or meet the two black-footed ferrets while learning about how the animal came back from the brink of extinction. If you’d like to get outdoors on your visit then the Horsetooth Mountain Open Space is just 4 miles outside of Fort Collins. More than 29 miles of hiking, biking and horseback riding trails are accessible in the park. Enjoy a hike to the well-known Horsetooth Rock or Horsetooth Falls in the spring and early summer. In August the Fort Collins Peach Festival is a great destination and includes a 5K run/walk. The race starts at 8a.m. and afterwards you can enjoy the peach pie-eating contest! Here in the foothills of the Colorado Rocky Mountains, it’s easy to turn race time into family time.