Category Archives: Colorado

Our Visit with Santa at the North Pole!

Last month Kyle had to be traveling for work and ended up in Colorado for 3 weeks – so Lennox and I went for a long weekend to visit. We got to have a lot of fun in the cold, snowy weather, which I just love – but for Lennox, I think the highlight was this little Gem that we found North Pole Colorado – Home of Santa’s Workshop, just outside of Colorado Springs.

santas-workshop-colorado

santas-workshop-colorado-05

The North Pole Colorado is the perfect family spot during the holiday season if you are visiting the Denver or Colorado Springs. So what exactly is the North Pole? To kids, it’s where Santa lives when he’s not with the Elves in North Pole, Alaska. But to everyone else, it’s a Christmas themed amusement park. Built in the 1950’s at the base of Pikes Peak, it is full of nostalgia that I hope Lennox remembers forever!

santas-workshop-colorado-18

We were lucky enough to meet up with some friends, Censie from Building Our Story, and her family. It was great for the kid’s to get to see each other again (they love each other!) and for us to re-connect! I just love that we get to travel to Colorado from time to time now and have friends there!

lennox-jude-north-pole-2014

santas-workshop-colorado-03

Since went during a very cold spell, there was snow on the ground, which was SO festive – but it also meant that we had to BUNDLE UP a whole bunch! Once we had all our layers on, we headed into the park.

santas-workshop-colorado-04

The first thing we learned is that they don’t accept money inside the park. You have these index card sort of tickets that everything is kept track on – it’s kind of nice not to have to pull your wallet out at lunch or for a souvenir! Everything in the park was priced really reasonable too – which is really nice to see! I don’t mind paying $5-8 for lunch per person — rather than $15 at some tourist spots!

santas-workshop-colorado-07There are so many rides inside the park too. Some of them are Christmas themed and others are just kid themed. The best thing is that kids aged 2-6 can pretty much go on ALL the rides. I love that they are so kid-centric. It is the perfect spot for the older toddler/young child!

This ride was really fun – you ride in a Christmas Tree Ornament around the big white Christmas Tree. There is a lever in each ornament that raises and lowers the ride. Lennox and Jude tried to figure it out as they went around and around – and they did pretty well!

santas-workshop-colorado-09santas-workshop-colorado-08They also loved the rides where you could drive a race car, a lady bug or even a motorcycle! They were all beeping at each other!santas-workshop-colorado-17

Lastly, I think this was their favorite ride! This one they got to go up and down and pretend to be riding a horse as a cowboy! The giggles that came out during this ride were GREAT!

santas-workshop-colorado-06

Just watch them ride!

The highlight of the park, of course, is Santa Claus and his house! You go right into his house and can sit with him in his “living room”. Mrs. Claus is in there too. I only snapped a few photos myself – as they had a photographer in there – photos were only about $8 too! So worth it! It wasn’t busy so each child was able to really sit and talk to Santa if they wanted. Santa also talked to mom and dad and had lots of fun with the kids! Santa was very surprised when Lennox said she wanted a Telescope for Christmas, but was happy as well! Santa suggested maybe a Frozen Elsa toy too – go figure!

santas-workshop-colorado-13

santas-workshop-colorado-14

Outside of Santa’s house is a mailbox for Letters to Santa. I did not realize this prior to our visit, but if you put a letter in there with your address on it – you will receive a card back from Santa! How cute!

santas-workshop-colorado-15

The whole park is so quaint and cute! From the North Pole toy shops to the decorations, Christmas music, little restaurants and even the gondolas that will bring you over the park – you really feel like you are hanging out with Santa all day!

santas-workshop-colorado-16

santas-workshop-colorado-19

Eventually it was time to head back to Denver and say goodbye to our friends. I don’t think the kid’s wanted to EVER leave – but the sun was setting and it was time to get back down the mountain. It was a great day and I hope we can go back again – maybe even next year!

santas-workshop-colorado-12

santas-workshop-colorado-02

I would highly recommend visiting the North Pole in Colorado if you are in the area – especially at the holiday time – although they are open all year round! If you do plan on visiting, I encourage you to read these North Pole Colorado Santa Tips from Building our Story as well as checking out some tips directly from the North Pole!

1501340_10152882998925185_8785014541916804025_oYou can find more information about the North Pole Amusement Park in Colorado on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and their website!

Note: My family received free admission to the park in return for this post. All opinions are my own and I did LOVE the park!

Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park in Colorado

A Day at Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park

The main reason we went to Glenwood Springs was the Hot Springs Pool, but there is also another great attraction that you must see when you go to visit, the Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park! At first we actually were not going to visit the park. We went to ride the gondola up and down the mountain, because the ones in Vail and Aspen were closed. But once we got to the top and saw all the fun things there were to do, we bought a few tickets. After a few rides, we ended up buying the day pass and it was so worth it! We had such a fun family day. This day was all about Lennox. Plenty of this vacation was about Mom & Dad but we made sure that this day, was about Lennox. She got to do everything she wanted!

glenwood-cavern-adventure-park

Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park is located right in the heart of Glenwood Springs and immediately across from where we stayed! It opened mainly for the 2 caves that they have, one of which is Colorado’s largest show cave. Once up there, you will find out there are a ton of other things to do! They have Colorado’s first alpine coaster, Ferris wheel, zip line, roller coasters, 4D rides, panning for gems and so much more! I would highly recommend it – it’s worth the price!

glenwood-caverns-adventure-park02

We started our day by going up the Gondola. This was the first time Lennox had been on something like this and I was unsure if she would be scared of the height, but she wasn’t at all!heather-lennox-glenwood-adventure-park kyle-lennox-glenwood-adventure-park

Once up the mountain, Lennox wanted to pan for gems! She had so much fun finding her treasures. It works like most other places work – you get a big bucket of dirt that has treasures in it, she pours out a little at time and sifts it in the running water. We found lots of beautiful stones, gems and even an arrowhead.

glenwood-caverns-adventure-park07

After panning for gems, Kyle brought Lennox on the alpine coaster. This girl is scared of nothing! She got right in the little car and down the mountain she went. This Alpine Coaster brings you 3,4000 feet down the side of a mountain going very fast! She immediately wanted to do it again and again and again. This is when we realized we need to just buy the day pass that lets you do everything as many times as you want!

glenwood-caverns-adventure-park04glenwood-caverns-adventure-park03 A ride that is a little calmer is the Mine Ferris Wheel. It is a slow and easy ferris wheel for all ages. You get a nice view of the area from atop the mountain as well!

glenwood-caverns-adventure-park06glenwood-caverns-adventure-park05 Later in the day we went into the two caves that are within this mountain. They are very different from the caves we went to in Texas but still very cool – especially for Lennox. The first cave we went into was the Fairy Cave. Can I just say, it was the cutest thing to hear Lennox talk about how Fairies lived in this cave, how she may have seen one AND that the little puddles that were around, were where they went swimming and took a bath? CUTE!!

glenwood-adventure-caves

After heading out of the Fairy Cave, we rode some more rides and then headed into the best showcave in Colorado, Kings Row Cave. This one is much more of a decorated cave where you go down deeper into the cave and get to experience TOTAL darkness. You don’t know dark until you have experienced darkness underground.

glenwood-adventure-caverns glenwood-kings-row-cave glenwood-adventure-caverns02 While in the Caves, there is an observation area that you can go out onto – this is the view – just beautiful! I loved how there was still snow on the top of the mountains in June!view-from-glenwood-adventure-cavernsAll in all, it was a GREAT day! It was not very busy at all – I don’t know how busy it does get, but in June, it was great – not empty but not busy at all. The longest we waited was for the Alpine Coaster for maybe 10 minutes. Other times we just got right on. I would highly recommend visiting if you have time while visiting Glenwood Springs!glenwood-caverns-adventure-park01

Day Trip to Aspen & Maroon Bells

When we were in Colorado for a week this summer, one of our day trips was to Aspen. I have always wanted to go to Aspen. Of course, I bet its even more beautiful in the winter when it’s covered in white fluffy snow, but spring/summer will have to do for now!

aspen01Aspen was about an hour drive from Glenwood Springs, where we were staying. So after breakfast we hopped into the car and we were on our way. Driving to Aspen from Glenwood was a really nice drive as you are not on a big interstate highway as we were prior days, instead you drive through a lot of small towns before hitting the Aspen area.

aspen07

Once arriving in Aspen we wandered around town. It was a little different from what I expected, but it reminded me a lot of Cape Cod. I know a lot of Cape Codders and New Englanders vacation in the winter in Aspen, and I can see why. Although it is different, it really is very similar. It is a town of higher class stores, adult appeal and naturally beautiful.

aspen06

aspen05

aspen02

We roamed around town, grabbed some lunch where you could sit outside on the pedestrian road, eat some amazing homemade macaroni and cheese and try an adult beverage, a Moscow Mule. Kyle said that they were known for that so we tried one! It was pretty good and the copper mule cup it comes in, is pretty awesome!

aspen04

Lennox had some time to play at the bottom of the ski slopes on a mountain themed playground and then we decided, as the weather was turning, we would go see the number one most scenic spot in Colorado, the Maroon Bells!

aspen-maroon-bells-01

aspen-maroon-bells-03

aspen-maroon-bells-09

The Maroon Bells area is a 30 minute drive from downtown Aspen, but it is beautifully scenic. If you go in the middle of the summer, you would be required to take a shuttle but since we had a child with us, we were allowed to drive due to the car seat! Honestly, that was way better than taking the shuttle too! We could take our time and stop for any wildlife we saw. We were lucky enough to see a few deers and other creatures that Lennox loved!

aspen-maroon-bells-10Can you spot the animal?aspen-maroon-bells-12Once at the Maroon Bells, we went on the search for some snow, and low and behold we found some – this made Lennox very excited! It may have been old, kind of gross snow, honestly, but oh well – she loved it!aspen-maroon-bells-08aspen-maroon-bells-04 aspen-maroon-bells-07Since the weather was turning (cloudy, cool and sprinkling) it wasn’t busy at all. It’s a quiet area where you can take in the scenery. Lennox took this picture of us. She completely chopped off the mountains but not too bad of a picture for a 4-year-old! aspen-maroon-bells-05aspen-maroon-bells-02It was quiet enough that a LARGE Cinnamon Bear decided to make an appearance. I was able to snap a few photos of him – he really wasn’t far from us at all – it was little nerve-wracking – but he went along his business and eventually went back into the woods!aspen-maroon-bells-06aspen-maroon-bells-11Seeing the Maroon Bells, the mountains and all of the Aspen Trees in bloom was beautiful. something about the gray sky, white barked trees and vibrant green leaves just make these trees so pretty to me.aspen08If you are in the area, I would really recommend heading to Aspen for a relaxing, scenic day! Maybe some day, we can get back during the winter!aspen09