Come winter, it can be a bit more difficult to keep our little ones busy, as options like parks and swimming holes are less of an option. Yet, there are plenty of things to do with kids in Fort Collins during the winter, from indoor activities like bowling and crafting to outdoor adventures like ice skating and going to the winter farmers’ market.
Counter the inevitable “I’m bored” with this list of winter activities in Fort Collins. See how many things you can check off your to-do list before spring!
The Fort Collins Museum of Discovery proves that learning doesn’t have to be contained in a classroom! This interactive, immersive museum features hands-on and collections-based exhibits that explore history and science, telling the story of Northern Colorado and beyond. The 16,000-square-foot main gallery contains a variety of exhibits that cover everything from music to fossils to bicycles. FCMoD is open Wednesday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and admission is $12.50 for adults, $9.50 for students, seniors and juniors (ages 3-12), and free for children (ages 0-2) and members.
Got a future Sherlock Holmes in your family? Let them practice their problem-solving skills at an escape room, where you can work together as a group to escape a room in less than an hour. Located in the heart of downtown Fort Collins, Enigma Escape Rooms are live-action, interactive puzzles that take place inside themed rooms, including The Missing Scientist and The Facility. In a matter of 60 minutes, you must find the hidden clues, uncover the secret mystery of the room and unlock the door.
What is more quintessential than ice skating in the winter? Fort Collins has plenty of opportunities for ice skating, including right in the heart of town at the Old Town Skate Rink, which is operating all the way through Saturday, February 5, 2022. All weekend long, you can skate under twinkling lights — and enjoy the holiday lights adorning the rest of Old Town through Valentine’s Day. The best part? Admission and skate rentals are completely free and no reservations are needed!
And later in the season, you can go ice skating at the Edora Pool Ice Center (EPIC), Northern Colorado’s premier ice and aquatics facility with an indoor pool, two indoor ice rinks, concessions and more. Click here for more information about skating at EPIC, including the schedule for public skate times.
Every kid loves hot cocoa. And as much as we stock up on packets of cocoa powder at home, there’s nothing quite like the real deal. Nuance Chocolate in Old Town is your source for handmade, bean-to-bar chocolate in all forms, including hot cocoa. In fact, they have plenty of chocolatey drinks to choose from, including their famous Nuance Drinking Chocolate, French Style Hot Chocolate, traditional Hot Cocoa, coffee, and more.
The farmers’ market isn’t just for the spring, summer and fall! Bring the whole family to the Fort Collins Winter Farmers’ Market at Foothills Mall on select Saturdays throughout the season. Here, you can shop for fresh produce, local meats and dairy, breads and sweets, handmade art and goods, and much more. In 2022, the farmers’ market is taking place from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on January 15 and 29, February 12 and 26, March 12 and 26, and April 9 and 23.
Step back in time with a visit to Pinball Jones — a fun, nostalgic destination for all ages. Since 2011, this Fort Collins institution has offered rows and rows of classic pinball and arcade games at two locations, plus air hockey, bowlers, snacks and more. Kids will love the pinball machines, ranging from electromechanical masterpieces of the 1960s to the hottest new games on the market today. Pinball Jones also has an impressive selection of arcade games, including a 4-player PacMan table, racing units, and air hockey. Be sure to bring plenty of quarters!
On a cold, rainy day, bowling is an excellent way to pass time. But Chipper’s Lanes is more than just a bowling alley! Their Horsetooth location offers bowling, laser tag, sand volleyball, arcade games, and more. Take advantage of special “Kids Bowl Free” days by signing up here to be notified by email when registration is open.
You might think of Fort Fun as strictly a summertime destination, but there are plenty of indoor attractions to enjoy during the fall and winter months. Spend the day at this massive lakeside entertainment center to enjoy indoor bumper cars, air hockey, laser tag, and arcade games. Plus, Fort Fun has a restaurant on site serving all your kids’ favorites (like pizza, burgers and chicken tenders), so you can fuel up with a snack in between activities!
Photo Courtesy of Create a Craft
Working on crafts is a great way to keep little hands busy during the colder months, when outdoor play is not as enjoyable. Create a Craft is a paint-your-own pottery studio in Fort Collins offering both in-person classes and kits you can pick up and paint at home. If you paint in the studio, there is a $5 per painter studio fee, plus the price of each piece painted. They have a number of crafts specific for kids, including piggy banks, nightlights, and boxes.
If your kids are less interested in indoor activities and more interested in running around in the snow, there is no shortage of outdoor activities to do during the winter in Colorado. In fact, we recently put together a list of things to do other than skiing, like snowshoeing, ice fishing, tubing, and more. These activities will inspire you to explore other mountain towns throughout Colorado, from Estes Park to Vail!
What is your family’s favorite winter pastime? Tell us all about it in the comments below!