Throughout the past few years, Loveland has been named one of the best places to live in Colorado, one of the most affordable places to live in the state, and one of the best places to raise a family. If you’ve lived in our city very long, if you’ve explored its parks, or attended an event in Downtown Loveland, you won’t be surprised to hear any of this. Our charming community boasts tons of hidden gems whether you’re looking for kid-friendly activities, craving scratch-made food, or tracking down craft beer.
In this guide, we rounded up the best kid-friendly activities, events and local businesses in Loveland so your whole summer can be filled with family fun. Take advantage of summer break and summer weather for an unforgettable season!
In 2019, the Rialto Theater is hosting six live music concerts at the Foote Lagoon from June 27th through August 8th. Free and open to the public, these events include food from local food trucks and kid-friendly activities like face painting, art activities and games. For full details, click here.
Founded in 1937, Loveland Museum is an accredited art and history museum that has grown to offer various history exhibits dating back to 1919, world-class art exhibitions, family events, adult and youth classes, readings, lectures and more. To see what exhibits, galleries, classes and programs are available this summer, check out the website here.
Operated by the City of Loveland, Chilson Rec Center is a full-service fitness, sports and aquatics facility complete with more than 100 weekly fitness classes, an indoor track, open courts, a lap pool, a zero-depth entry leisure pool with a lazy river, free weights and circuit weights, indoor cycling and more. In addition to offering childcare while parents and guardians are exercising, the indoor swimming facilities are great places to spend an afternoon with the kids! They even offer Sensory-Friendly Family Swim Night on the third Sunday of every month for children and family members with sensory needs.
With various activities, events and programs throughout the year, Zippity Zoo Barnyard is a great setting for an agritourism experience right here in Loveland. Their Family Picnics on the Farm are reservation-only experiences which will cost you just a $5 animal care donation per person. These reservations include access to the picnic table and grassy lawn as well as meet and greets with all the farm animals—just bring your own food and table settings! For more details, click here.
The MetroLux movie theater at The Promenade Shops at Centerra is celebrating summer with special showings of family favorites throughout the season. On Tuesdays and Wednesdays at 10 a.m. from June 11th through August 14th, they’re showing movies like The Secret Life of Pets, Minions, and Sing, and tickets are just $2 each! For the full lineup, click here.
The Buckhorn Northern Railroad in North Lake Park has been operating from Memorial Day weekend to Labor Day since 1977. The train itself is an authentic replica of the actual steam train that once hauled clay from Devil’s Backbone to Wild’s Brickyard, west of Loveland. Riding will cost you just 75 cents per rider and the train operates Tuesday through Sunday all summer long! For more information, click here.
The Cattail Creek Mini-Course is a 9-hole mini golf facility that offers real-grass golf played only with a putter. Operated by the City of Loveland, kids, families and adults can get a brief intro to golf using specialized Starting New at Golf (SNAG) equipment and try the course for free! For reservation information and more details, click here.
The Larimer County Fair is one of Northern Colorado’s largest annual events. From August 2nd through August 6th, guests can enjoy a parade through Downtown Loveland, catch concerts from big-name artists, play at Carnival Americana, shop the marketplace, cheer on competitors in the PRCA Rodeo, embark on pony rides, meet animals at the petting zoo, and see things like Twiggy the Water-Skiing Squirrel and dog agility performances. For all the details and schedule information, click here.
A landmark of Loveland culture, Chapungu Sculpture Park is a one-of-a-kind outdoor exhibit. The 26-acre gardens—both natural and landscaped—display 82 monumental stone sculptures from Zimbabwean artists. From artistic depictions of family to beautiful representations of nature, the park offers various displays and reflections. Admission is free and the gardens are dog-friendly, so feel free to bring the whole family!
Photo courtesy of Karen Burbank via Sylvan Dale Guest Ranch
Sylvan Dale Ranch has been family-owned and -operated for over 70 years in Loveland. Whether you’re staying overnight for the full dude ranch experience or you’re stopping by for a trail ride, the whole family is in for a treat. Their riding experiences include scenic options ranging from one hour to three hours, lead-around rides for youngsters, and Chow Down Rides, which include food! For more information, click here.
Loveland’s Sculpture in the Park brings thousands of people and artists to Northern Colorado every August. Heralded as one of the finest outdoor juried exhibitions of three-dimensional artwork in the United States, the event showcases more than 2,000 pieces of sculpture created by 160 sculptors from around the world. On Saturday and Sunday, guests can purchase tickets at the gate for $8, and children 14 and under are admitted for free. Once inside, you can all enjoy food and drink along with tent after tent of outstanding artwork. The dates for 2019 are August 9th through 11th.
Loveland Laser Tag and Fun Center offers laser tag, of course, but also a ropes course, an arcade, virtual reality experiences, bumper cars, a laser maze, a 4D motion simulator, a climbing wall and more! It’s the perfect indoor option for a full day of fun.
Devil’s Backbone is one of the most impressive visible geologic landmarks in Larimer County and Devil’s Backbone Open Space offers 2,198 acres to explore! That land includes 12 miles of trail, which connect to Rimrock Open Space and Horsetooth Mountain Open Space, available for hiking, running, horseback riding, mountain biking and wildlife viewing.
Photo courtesy of Emily Sierra via Wooden Mountain Bouldering Gym
This climbing gym is operated by a passionate team that believes climbing can change the world. The boutique facility offers more than 70 carefully curated bouldering problems that are reset on a 5-week cycle and include fun challenges for small children. Other features for kids include a mini-bouldering wall, kids-only hours, and three auto-belays so young children can experience climbing on their own terms. For visiting information, click here.
Loveland Sports Park was developed in the early 2000s to improve and increase access to youth athletic fields and facilities in town. Today, it’s one of our city’s best parks, boasting a skate park with bowls and a street course, seven full-size soccer fields, playgrounds and a seasonal spray ground, sand volleyball courts, basketball courts, inline hockey rinks, concessions and more.
Headquartered in Downtown Loveland, this annual event is a showcase of Loveland culture and a celebration of our small-town atmosphere. Attractions include tons of Colorado sweet corn and delicious food, live entertainment, contests, kid-friendly activities and, of course, the Corn Roast Parade. Mark your calendars for August 23rd and 24th!
If you and your kids have a favorite summer activity in Loveland, tell us about it in the comments below!