August 11  |  Local Events, Our Communities

10 Things to do with Your Kids Before School Starts in Fort Collins

This post was updated on July 30, 2018 to include current information and recommendations.

After three months of outdoor fun, playing all day and sleeping in, summertime is winding down and the kids are going back to school. Why not pack these last couple weeks with the most fun outings of the summer?

We’ve compiled a list of activities you and your kids can do before it’s time to hit the books to help maximize these last few days of summer vacation!


1. Visit the Fort Collins Museum of Discovery

The Fort Collins Museum of Discovery is a great way to have fun with the kids while learning more about our nearby wildlands and wildlife, fossils and more. In the Natural Areas exhibit, you and your kids can meet the museum’s two live black-footed ferrets, and you can all jam out while learning about music in the Music & Sound Lab. When scheduling your visit, keep in mind the museum is closed on Mondays!


2. Opt outside

The most obvious end of the summer activity is getting outside and taking full advantage of the warm weather and all the amazing local recreation possibilities in Northern Colorado. Camping, hiking and hanging out by the lake are all great options and easy to do close to home. 

For specific and local ideas, check out The Procrastinator’s Guide to Camping in ColoradoThe 10 Best Hiking Trails Near Estes Park, Colorado and The Ultimate Guide to Kayaking in Northern Colorado


3. Grab a scoop at an ice cream shop

What to do with kids in Fort Collins

Fort Collins is filled with fun dessert options, but celebrating with ice cream seems like the perfect way to end of summer. And we have a few favorites!

Walrus Ice Cream has been serving homemade, natural ice cream to the Fort Collins community since 1987. With over 20 homemade flavors to choose from, there is sure to be something for everyone! Kilwin’s Chocolate and Ice Cream is another great option if you’re looking to cool down with a tasty frozen treat. They also offer a variety of different chocolates, fudge, dipped apples and brittles.

If you prefer your ice cream on-the-go, there are also plenty of food truck options for cold summer treats, including Divine Ice Cream, Ba-NOM-a-NOM, Koby’s East Coast Snowball Stand, Kona Ice of Northern Colorado and Maddie’s Hawaiian Shaved Ice.


4. Cruise around the city

FoCo is home to the Fort Collins Bike Share which provides more than 20 stations all across town. At each location, you’ll find cruiser bikes available to rent through the Zagster app for just $2 per hour. Each one comes with a lock and can be left at any other Bike Share station in town!


5. Play a round of laser tag

Called Colorado’s best laser tag, Loveland Laser Tag and Fun Center has the largest arena in Northern Colorado. With bumper cars, an indoor ropes course, 4D motion theater, laser maze, climbing wall, arcade and more, you can easily fill your entire day with fun. Summer pricing, with lower cost admissions, is effective through Labor Day, so now is the perfect time to go!


6. Spend the day at Fort Fun

Fort Fun is located right next to Blue Heron Lake and has both indoor and outdoor activities for the whole family. There are two mini-golf courses, bumper cars, batting cages, an adventure train, water balloons, a giant slide and bumper boats. You can even take paddle boats onto the lake! It’s sure to be a summer outing the kids will tell their friends about once they get back to school.


7. Take an art class

kids art classes in Fort Collins

Kids, teens and adults can all take educational and community-centered art classes at VanCo School of Art in Fort Collins. This school focuses on figure drawing, life painting and oil painting. During their visit, students can learn color theory, composition and perspective while also developing skills in problem-solving, observation and visual thinking. These classes can be continued into the school year so now is a great time to get the kids started!

Smokestack Pottery in Fort Collins is another option for kids who like to get hands-on with clay. Artisan You and Schissler Academy of Fine Arts in Loveland are also great outlets for your creative kids.


8. Attend Bohemian Nights at NewWestFest

This year’s NewWestFest in Downtown Fort Collins is scheduled for August 10 – 12 with plenty of fun for everyone. Featuring six different stages and over 80 musical guests covering multiple genres, children, teens and adults will all be entertained. There will even be a Kids’ Music Adventure Stage Saturday and Sunday featuring Build-a-Band and Julia Kirkwood, among others. See the entire festival lineup here. This event is free. so get downtown and enjoy some family-friendly music!


9. Pick Fort Collins Peach Festival

The sixth annual Fort Collins Peach Festival is on August 18th this year, making it a perfect last summer outing or your first weekend activity of the school year. This year’s festival will have plenty of activities for the whole family including a 5k Run/Walk and a Healthy Kids Run, live music and, of course, thousands of delicious peaches from Palisade, Colorado! Admission is free so come on down to the festival to end summer in the best way.


10. Participate in the Foodie Walk

The next Foodie Walk is August 17th, making it the perfect time to learn some culinary science and try amazing, local food and drink before school starts. The walk is a self-guided tour through Downtown Fort Collins and includes stops both kids and adults can enjoy. Grab your Foodie Walk map at any participating shop and start hunting down your samples! 


Did we miss something?

What’s on your end of summer to-do list?

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