Our family of 9 goes to Estes Park about 3 times a year. We go for about 3 weeks in the summer. That leaves lots of time for activities, but I will tell you that my kids favorite activity in Estes is just playing outside. There are times the weather is yucky, so you have to do things indoors. We try when the weather is yucky, to just play around the house, we love puzzles and games, but sometimes we get a little stir crazy and everyone needs a change of scenery.
Here are some of our favorite indoor things to do:
Bowling at Chipper’s Estes Park – This is a vintage bowling alley. There are only 6-8 lanes so we try to get there at 3 when they open before it gets too crowded. Usually there are coupons online to make it less expensive. There is a bar just in case you need a mommy drink on vacation. Make sure you take socks because you need them with the bowling shoes and the shoes there might be older than you are.
Rockclimbing at Estes Park Mountain Shop – Our kids love to climb here. They have instructors that are incredibly encouraging to your kids and push them when they need to be pushed. They have smaller walls that kids can climb without being belayed while siblings climb. The crowd here is really unpredictable, you can go at one time one day and there’s no one there but then go the next day at the same time and it’s packed. There is no rhyme or reason to it. If you go in winter or spring, this is also where you rent sleds.
Rec Center – The City of Estes Park recently completed a brand new rec center. The indoor pool area is especially amazing. They have two pools in two separate areas. One area has a big slide, waterworks, and a lazy river. The awesome thing about this area is that they have puddle jumpers and life jackets provided, so you don’t even have to remember that! The other area is geared for older kids. For kids to be able to play in this area, they have to pass a swim test. The swim test is being able to swim to the length of a lap pool without stopping. In this area, there is a climbing wall in the pool and diving boards. When you are done swimming, their locker rooms are great to rinse off, get dry and dressed before you out into the cold. There’s also workout areas, basketball courts, and a track. If you are going with a group of people, they have rooms that you can rent for meeting.
Craft House at the Y – The Y has a craft house but there are a couple of strings to activities at the Y. You either have to be staying there or become a member. There are options to join the Y Estes while you are there. The craft house has fun art projects. You can tie-dye shirts, paint ceramics, jewelry making, silk printing, basket weaving, and others. The one thing to keep in mind that is that the cost of their projects can add up quickly. When we do it, we give each kid a budget of what they can do.
Basketball and Rollerskating at the Y -At the Y, there is are lots of great indoor activities. You can play basketball in a huge gym. This gym is great to get out wiggles. Sometimes we just go there to move and run. There is also a rollerskating rink connected to the basketball gym. You also need to be staying there or a membership to roller-skate.
Movies – When all else fails, there is a movie theatre. It’s pretty small so get there a little early to get tickets as sometimes it’s just a one man show. There is a guy selling the tickets, working the snack bar, and getting the movies played. Give yourself a little time and it will be smooth.
Other fun things indoors – the library, bingo at the Legion Hall, go the park headquarters.