View of the chocolate and cheese shops from the street which are one of the best things to do with kids in Fort Collins

15 Things to Do in Fort Collins With Kids (in 2023)

If you’re looking for fun things to do in Fort Collins with kids, I’ve got you covered! I’m a Colorado mom of four, and my family loves exploring this state. 

This guide features Fort Collins activities for a variety of interests, ages, and budgets. It also features a couple of fun day trips, as well as hidden gems your little ones, will absolutely love. 

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15 Things to Do in Fort Collins with Kids

Downtown Fort Collins

Play around downtown and explore its engaging children’s area.

View of the sitting bear statue on the sidewalk of Downtown Fort Collins
Discover plenty of entertainment in Old Town Square (photo: Page Light Studios / Shutterstock)

📍 Google Maps | Phone: (970) 484-6500 | Website | 👉 Browse Tours on Viator

Downtown Fort Collins has shops, restaurants, coffeehouses, and other fun places for all ages! There’s a kids’ play area in Old Town Square, where children can climb on the animal sculptures and make beautiful music on the xylophone. In the summer, a splash pad is available here, too.  

The Farm at Lee Martinez Park

Visit with barn animals and take the little ones on pony rides.

A toddler watching the goats on the fence
Let the kids meet goats, pigs, sheep, and more farmyard friends

📍 Google Maps | Phone: (970) 221-6665 | Website | Hours: Winter & Spring 10 am – 4 pm Wed-Sat, 12 pm – 4 pm Sun; Summer & Fall 10 am – 5 pm Wed-Sat, Sun 12 pm – 5 pm | Entrance: $4 2 years and up; $6 pony rides 

The Farm at Lee Martinez Park has a variety of barnyard animals for kids to pet and learn about. Little ones can also enjoy pony rides. In addition, the park has a playground and access to the Poudre River Trail. Pack a picnic for a full day of fun! 

Horsetooth Reservoir

Boat, fish, swim, and play along the water’s banks.

A paddleboard docked beside the rocky shore in Horsetooth Reservoir
Paddleboard rentals are also available at the reservoir

📍 Google Maps | Phone: (970) 498-5610 | Website | Entrance: $10 per vehicle 

Horsetooth Reservoir is one of the best lakes in Colorado! It’s a great spot for kids of all ages. With rentals on-site, older kids can paddleboard and kayak. Younger kids can explore the shore, splash in the water, and fish with a parent. 

Horsetooth Mountain Open Space is also nearby. It has some of the best mountain biking and hiking trails near Fort Collins!   

Rocky Mountain National Park

Take a day trip to a nearby national park.

A man walking down the rocky Alluvial Fan Trail near a river
The Alluvial Fan Trail, one of many family-friendly hikes in RMNP

📍 Google Maps | Phone: (970) 586-1206 | Website | Entrance: $30 per vehicle | 👉 Browse Tours on Viator

This is one of the four national parks in Colorado and a great day trip from Fort Collins.

It’s also a great place to go hiking with kids. You can take kids on easy, flat hikes like Coyote Valley, Sprague Lake, and the Alluvial Fan Trail. You’ll find hands-on displays at the various visitor centers, ranger talks for kids, and activities at the Holzwarth Historic Site. 

There are also lots of family-friendly things to do in nearby Estes Park! Head into town for ice cream, Fun City amusement park rides, go-karts, and more. 

👉 Pro Tip: I find baby carrier packs much easier for carrying small kids at national parks than strollers, even if the area is paved. Be sure to purchase one with a sunshade!

Fort Collins Trolley

Tour downtown on this educational experience.

View of two colorful Fort Collins Trolley in Colorado
Photo courtesy of Fort Collins Municipal Railway Society

📍 Google Maps | Phone: (970) 224-5372 | Website | Hours: 12 pm – 5 pm Sat, Sun & National Holidays, May 6 – October 1, 2023 | Tickets: $2 adults, free under 3

Kids will have a blast riding the historic trolley in downtown Fort Collins! The streetcar has been restored to its 1919 style, and kids can listen for the chime as it heads down the street. Tours take you from Old Town Square to City Park and back. 

City Park

Splash down water slides and cool off in the pool.

View of a colorful frog statue at the lake in City Park
Spot several of these vibrant frog statues throughout the park (photo: Page Light Studios / Shutterstock)

📍 Google Maps | Website | Hours: 5 am – 11 pm daily

City Park has a public pool with two big water slides for extra fun! There’s also a special toddler swim area. Kids can enjoy the playground at the park, plus basketball courts, tennis courts, and lots of grassy space for running around. 

Fort Fun

Choose from a variety of activities like mini golf, go-karts, and more!

A game of mini golf with a yellow ball and club at sunset
Enjoy mini golfing with an All Day Fun Pass

📍 Google Maps | Phone: (970) 472-8000 | Website | Hours: 3 pm – 8 pm Thurs, 12 pm – 10 pm Fri, 10 am – 10 pm Sat, 10 am – 8 pm Sun | Entrance: from $7 

Fort Fun packs a lot of entertainment into one venue! Kids can ride bumper boats, play arcade games, drive go-karts, play mini-golf, slide down the giant slide, and much more. If you want to spend a short amount of time here, you can pay per activity, or get a fun pass for a full day of excitement! 

The Gardens on Spring Creek

Enjoy the flowers and explore the butterfly house.

A monarch butterfly pollinating a pink flower
Monarchs are one of many types of butterflies your kids can spot here

📍 Google Maps | Phone: (970) 416-2486 | Website | Hours: 10 am – 4 pm daily | Entrance: $5.50 adults, $4 under 18

Kids will love these colorful botanic gardens, especially the Children’s Garden! There’s also a Dr. Seuss playhouse, a model train, and a sandpit. The Butterfly House features hundreds of butterflies, plus the flowers and foliage they love. 

👉 Pro Tip: Help kids document their adventures with a kid-friendly digital camera!

Fort Collins Museum of Discovery

Explore history, science, and more at this local museum.

A lion licking its paws
One exhibit overviews wildlife that lives in the Fort Collins foothills

📍 Google Maps | Phone: (970) 221-6738 | Website | Hours: 10 am – 5 pm Tues – Sun | Entrance: $12.50 adults, $9.50 under 19

Learn about the history of Fort Collins, explore the science of sound, and see discoveries in astronomy at this engaging museum. The Schatz Family Exploration Zone is a great area for kids to learn about science. The Otterbox Digital Dome Theater is a 360° theater that hosts lectures, shows, live music, and more.

CSU Annual Flower Trial Garden

Admire and learn about local flowers.

View of the colorful flowers behind the Annual Flower Trial Garden information sign
Students cultivate dozens of species in this space (photo: marekuliasz / Shutterstock)

📍 Google Maps | Phone: (970) 491-7179 | Website | Hours: Sunup – Sundown daily | Entrance: free

Students and faculty at Colorado State University use this flower garden as a teaching and research tool. The gardens are open to the public, and kids can wander and explore the colorful flora for free. 

Fly High Trampoline Park

Let them jump ‘til they drop.

A smiling girl inside the colorful cube trampoline
Wear them out with a few hours of jumping!

📍 Google Maps | Phone: (970) 305-5300 | Website | Hours: 10 am – 8 pm Mon, 3:30 pm – 9 pm Tues – Thurs, 10 am – 10 pm Fri & Sat, 10 am – 8 pm Sun | Entrance: $29.95 + $10 registration fee ages 6 and up, $20.95 + $10 registration fee ages 3 – 5

When you just gotta let the kids run out of their extra energy, this is your spot. The trampoline park has a variety of ways to bounce. The Indoor Soft Play area is perfect for younger kids to crawl, climb, slide, and explore.

Lory State Park

Head out on a family bike ride, or take part in many other recreational activities.

View of a man cycling along the trail of Lory State Park on a sunny day
Ride or hike at this scenic park!

📍 Google Maps | Phone: (970) 493-1623 | Website | Hours: 5 am – 6 pm daily | Entrance: $10 vehicle pass

Lory State Park is near Horsetooth Reservoir, one of Colorado’s best state parks. It has trails for hiking, biking, and horseback riding. Some of the trails access bays at the reservoir and there are places for boating as well. 

​​CSU Environmental Learning Center

Learn in a natural, outdoor environment.

Aerial view of the Cache la Poudre River in autumn
Views of the Cache la Poudre River in autumn

📍 Google Maps | Phone: (970) 491-1661 | Website | Hours: Sunrise – Sunset daily | Entrance: free

This 212-acre area is along the scenic Cache la Poudre River and has four different ecosystems for exploring. Boardwalks take you over some of the grasslands and it’s a fun spot for kids to walk, investigate plants and bugs, and be outside. 

👉 Pro Tip: If you’re spending the day outdoors in Colorado, you’ll definitely want a hat for kids! Look for one with a wide brim and a chin strap to keep it on. 

Raft the Cache la Poudre River

Challenge older kids to ride whitewater rapids.

View of the rapid whitewater of Cache la Poudre River and the rafters in the distance
During spring, the river swells due to snowmelt (photo: marekuliasz / Shutterstock)

📍 Google Maps | Phone: (970) 419-0917 | Website | Cost: from $95

Whitewater rafting is one of the absolute best things to do in Colorado! It’s a great experience for older elementary school kids through adults. 

At Mountain Whitewater Descents near Fort Collins, the age minimum is different at different times of the year. This is because water levels typically drop as summer wears on. From mid-May to June 20, kids have to be 13 years old to raft. From June 21 to July 4, they must be at least 10, and after July 4, kids need to be at least 7 to go rafting. 

Choose a shorter ride for their first time out, and make sure to wear sunscreen! 


Spend the day in a nearby small town.

View of the shops and empty sidewalk in Downtown Greeley
Downtown Greeley is a pleasant spot near Fort Collins

📍 Google Maps | Website

This small town in Colorado is about 40 minutes from Fort Collins. There are several kid-friendly things to do in Greeley, like visiting the Colorado Model Railroad Museum. There’s also the Centennial Village Museum and the engaging Greeley Family FunPlex.

FAQs About What to Do in Fort Collins for Families

Is Fort Collins good for kids?

Fort Collins is good for kids. There are fun places to visit like The Farm at Lee Martinez Park and the Fort Collins Museum of Discovery. Fort Collins also has great schools, lots of open space, and a slower pace than Denver and other bigger Colorado cities

What is there to do in Fort Collins for toddlers?

Things to do in Fort Collins for toddlers include the Fort Collins Trolley and kids’ play area at Old Town Square. They can visit the Museum of Discovery, and the farm animals at Lee Martinez Park. Toddlers will also enjoy playing at City Park and splashing in the water at Horsetooth Reservoir


Hopefully, this post has helped you find plenty of things to do in Fort Collins with kids. Enjoy your outing with the family! For more, check out my list of fun things to do in Colorado with kids.

(Featured Image Credit: Page Light Studios / Shutterstock)

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