My husband and I like to offer experiences instead of buying a lot of gifts on special occasions. We give the kids a choice of a lot of gifts and a party, or go somewhere fun. I really enjoy giving them experiences, because we can make memories together.
Our children have visited a live volcano. We took our son to Great Wolf Lodge and let them play for nearly 24 hours. We camped in the middle of nowhere Colorado at the end of summer. We have had fun at every outing, and I'm glad my children have gotten to experience so much in their short little lives.
Our most recent trip was to Durango Colorado for a steam train ride after Christmas. Durango is about a 6 hour drive from Denver, so I went to researching cool places to stop on the way there.
Our first stop was at the Great Sand Dunes National Park.
I had never heard of this park before I started researching and planning our road trip. It is home to the tallest sand dunes in North America. It is literally in the middle of nowhere, but it is absolutely beautiful. We had a picnic then when on a short walk to the dunes. It was a chilly day, and my oldest was having some asthma issues. This is a must-see park. We plan on going back this summer/fall and camping. I can't wait to explore it further, maybe even slide down a gigantic sand dune.
Our next adventure was the Durango Railroad.
I didn't take many photos while I was on the train itself. It was nice just to take in the scenery. Durango is a very cute town. We took the train ride to Cascade Canyon, which is 25 miles. In the summer they offer trips to Silverton, which is 50 miles. I think the 25 mile trip is perfect for little ones. The whole train ride took us 6 hours, because the top speed is about 15mph. The ride is gorgeous. We played in the snow on our stop to Cascade Canyon. It's definitely a memorable experience. I know my 7 year old loved it, because he loves all things trains.
I do have one recommendation. If you can afford premium seating, with waitstaff. Do it. The constant slamming of wooden doors with people walking back and forth to the snack car or observations car, was annoying.
On our way back home we stopped at Colorado Gators Reptile Park.
Our last little adventure, was my personal favorite. We stopped on our way back home. The park is a reptile rescue and working farm. They have about 100s of alligators on site. They let you hold a young alligator. I would love to back and visit this place after a big snowfall. How funny and great would it be to see these big gators hanging in the snow?!
This road trip made me want to explore more of what Colorado has to offer. After living on Oahu for 6 years, and only being able to fly to get anywhere, we take advantage of a road trip. Heres to more adventures!