If you follow me on social media, then you know that we recently visited Colorado for the first time. First off, I fell in love with Colorado! It’s a gorgeous State with a ton of open space. Everyone is super cool, they have great food and not all the hustle and bustle that we have here in Atlanta. I will definitely be back to Colorado, we only scratched the surface of things to do.
One thing that we planned to do but didn’t get to was visit Rocky Mountain National Park. I had my heart set on it until a local told us about Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs. We looked it up and it said it was FREE.
Done and done.
Now, you may not know this about me, but I am a bit of a cheapskate. But it is for a good reason. I want to get more out of an experience and free or discounted means I can add something more to make our overall experiences a little more full. So, we took the gorgeous 1.5 hour drive to Colorado Springs from Denver. While we visited, I found 5 things you can do at Garden of the Gods for FREE, and here they are;
The most obvious thing you can do at Garden of the Gods is hiking. Yeah you can fork out the $17 to take a bus tour. What better way to see the grounds than getting up close and personal? We spent a couple hours hiking the area and seen some beautiful pieces of art that only Mother Nature can create.
Something I’m not use to see when hiking is seeing people rock climbing. It was interesting to watch the climbers in action and some definitely had an audience. I’d say they have the best view in the house for sure! All you need to do is fill out the Rock Climbing Permit and you’re good to go. Of course you need to bring your own equipment.
Visitor & Nature Center
Get a more in depth about the ecology, geology and the overall history of the park at no additional cost! The exhibits look pretty awesome, unfortunately we didn’t make it inside the Visitor and Nature Center (not going to go into detail, but it involves a particular basketball game that a certain somebody had to watch). I actually rally disappointed that we didn’t go in. The exhibits are hand-on which is the best way my little one learns.
Free Guided Walks
As noted, we hiked on our own, but you can totally enjoy a FREE guided walk everyday at 10 am and 2 pm. Get informed for the park experts on animals, plants and history of the park as you’re walking thru the park.
Free Nature Talks
If you’re not interested in walking the grounds (or maybe you physically can’t), the Visitor and Nature Center offers daily nature talks for free. They last only about 20 minutes and the topics vary from geology, ecology, the nature of the park and history.
Free Fun Run
How does the old saying go? The more the merrier? Every Thursday Garden of Gods host a fun run! You must fill out a registration form each week (find that HERE). What a great way to stay in shape or even prepare you for an 5k. We actually jogged a little while we were hiking. I’m out of shape, if anyone was wondering. 😉
Get Fit in the Garden
Every Wednesday from 9 am-11 am the park offers Get Fit in the Park for a 1-3 mile walk with a group. You must register in person for this event.
Garden of the Gods also has the little ones covered. They offer preschool programs when your 3-6 year old can hear a story, make a craft and have a discussion. You have to register, and the dates vary each month. Here is the number you need to call to register and to find out more information. 719-219-0108
Garden of the Gods is a great place to have a picnic. They have plenty of picnic tables around the park and a great view to take in while you enjoy your meal. You can even bring a propane grill!
Biking is an excellent way to spend some time at Garden of Gods. The park has a one-way street with a bike lane. The park also offers mountain biking, in designated areas.