My family is pretty busy. And not in the typical rushing out the door to school and meetings and soccer games. I mean we are pretty busy in that we have a hard time just sitting still and like to go out a lot. I have decided to write my first review of sorts, with many to come, about all the places we visit with our four year old son. Everything from restaurants to theme parks , campgrounds and swimming pools… I usually have an opinion about it, just like everyone else, right? But instead of just going on Yelp for a review I thought I would take the time to share with you all the kid-friendly and not-so kid-friendly places we visit.
This past weekend we went on another mini getaway. We stayed in a beautiful and rustic typical rocky mountain cabin in Basalt, CO. The drive up only took about 3 1/2 hours from Denver and road conditions were not too bad. We stayed with another couple and my boyfriends brother. The views from our cabin were so incredibly beautiful I literally did not want to look away. Crisp , brilliantly white snow covered the mountains and trees and all I could hear were some birds chirping and the trickle and bubble of a little creek running alongside the cabin. So serene. This would have been the perfect weekend to just relax by the wood burning stove and drink tea. But it was not that kind of weekend, of course.
Saturday morning after a hearty breakfast of bacon, eggs and hash browns we all headed up to Glenwood Springs Adventure Park. The gondola ride up to the park seemed long and made me uneasy. I suppose it was the steep incline over jagged sharp rocks. I normally do not mind the gondola rides at all but that day I just wanted to get on solid ground. Because we went during the winter the park was quite empty. There were no lines for anything which was great but a lot of it was closed until summer. We did ride the alpine rollercoaster several times and I think that was my favorite part! My son sat on my coaster and we just screamed and laughed the entire ride ! The first time down I did pump the breaks quite a bit. After that I just went down full speed and what a ride !! Definitely recommend !
We then played a carnival western shooting game that my kiddo really loved while the other adults in our group tried out the zipline. I did not try that. uh, HELLS no. I would have peed myself a little I think. Two people sit on these little plastic seats with little black seat belts over their laps and going backwards get taken across the zipline way out over the mountain. It then shoots you back towards the base and you slam into a stop. They loved it, I got nauseas just watching them do it !
We did both cave tours that they offer and WOW. I mean, WOW. Photos and words cannot describe what you can go see there. Our tour guide was absolutely amazing and even my son who can’t even sit still through dinner loved it.
Our tour guide was exceptionally knowledgable about the caves and caving. I have been on cave tours before but something about this one got me so interested in them that I have been thinking I will be going back to these caves to do the “wild tours” so that I can actually climb, crawl and scoot my way through them ! I think I would be pretty great at caving actually. I went through their “speleo box” in 2 minutes 27 seconds which I guess is rather good. Have no idea what a speleo box is? Check out this video on youtube of a child climbing his way through it wearing a GoPro speleo box video
You can learn more about the cave tours HERE
There are two caves to tour, one is called the Historic Fairy Cave and the other is King’s Row Cave. If you only have time for one I highly recommend King’s Row.I don’t want to spoil the surprise but if you really want to know head over to my instagram page to see one of my photos!
After a few runs on the alpine roller coaster and the cave tours we grabbed a quick bite to eat at the cafe in the gift shop and ordered a round of Irish coffees to warm us up. It was getting late, the snow was coming down faster and the park was about to close so we jumped on the gondola and headed back down the mountain.
Even though we were all exhausted from a busy day, we couldn’t skip soaking in the hot springs. So we headed to the Iron Mountain Hot Springs to unwind and get warm. These hot springs were much different than the ones I had gone to in Steamboat springs. It was much more like a spa, all very clean and organized and calming. I was impressed that they had 16 natural mineral water pools! They had options of different temperatures which was really nice. I enjoyed the 104 degree pool the best. They also had a large family pool and two bars that you could go up and order drinks from. I do wish that they had cocktail waitresses though because who really wants to get out of the hot springs and stand in line in the snow with just a bathing suit on?! nope.
There are said to be many benefits of soaking in natural hot springs.. I have read that soaking in hot springs increases your blood flow, circulation, metabolism, and absorption of essential minerals. And there are more than 14 different minerals found in the water of Iron Mountains hot springs! The five most abundant minerals in the soaking pools are iron, sulfate, chloride, sodium and calcium. Iron and sulfate are known for their relaxing qualities. The water is actually heated by geothermal heat from the Earth’s mantle.Pretty neat, hu?
One tip if you ever visit: bring a robe!!! It was still snowing and about 10 degrees when we all had to run from the warm and cozy locker room out to the pool. NOT FUN.
My son did really well at the hot springs and though there were not many children there (it was later in the evening) no one seemed to mind that he was with us. I was impressed with the cleanliness and I did enjoy the classical music that was played near the pools.
Big thumbs up for me for both the Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park and the Iron Mountain Hot Springs ! Most definitely prefect for a four year old. We may be visiting there again!
I wish that we could have done more and had Sunday to explore the town of Glenwood Springs but we had to leave early in the morning to make it back to Denver in time for my afternoon tea with the ladies. (We had this reservation planned weeks ago!)
TIP: the drive home took us FIVE HOURS on Sunday morning . Do not expect a quick trip back down to Denver !