Colorado Springs is a tourist town, and makes a lot of money off of visitors. But locals also can take advantage of some FREE attractions, or FREE days at paid attractions. It’s the perfect stay-cation — play tourist for a week. You won’t be bored!
Garden of the Gods is a city park and a major attraction that is always FREE, thanks to Gen. William J. Palmer, the city’s founder. Hike, bike, take photos or just sit in the sun and enjoy the spectacular views.
Driving up Pikes Peak can be pricey — up to $40 per carload of five visitors — but you can hike up for FREE. Don’t tackle Barr Trail unless you’re in good shape and acclimated to the altitude, though.
The Money Museum of the National Numismatic Association, offers FREE admission once a month. Doors of the museum, 818 N. Cascade Ave., open at 10 a.m. on the third Saturday of each month. See rare and unusual coins. Check out the beautiful Bass Gallery and see how U.S. coinage has changed over the decades.
Arcade Amusements in downtown Manitou Springs will take adults back to their teen (or earlier) years with 10-cent pinball machines, Skeeball, and other old-fashioned arcade games. It’s a lot of fun for pennies on the dollar.and where else can you still find Pac-Man? It’s a cheap way to spend an afternoon and even though it’s open-air, it’s covered in case of rain.
The Colorado Springs Sky Sox are a AAA baseball team who play at Security Service Field, the highest professional ballpark in the United States at 6,531 feet above sea level. Where else can you sit in the bleachers and get spectacular views of the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains as a backdrop? Admission fees are modest, but there are additional discounts and deals almost every night of the season.
U.S. Air Force Academy. This national landmark military institution is open to casual visitors at no charge. Drive through the grounds. Visit the architecturally remarkable interdenominational chapel. Stop at the museum and take a short nature hike.
U.S. Olympic Training Center. See world-class athletes training in everything from swimming to cycling to archery. You might catch a glimpse of Olympic celebrities. Admission is FREE, and includes a museum and tour.
The Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum is housed in the beautifully preserved 1903 El Paso County Courthouse, with both a permanent local history collection and fascinating rotating exhibits. But the real amazing museum piece is the building itself.
The Penrose Heritage Museum, located in The Broadmoor hotel complex, was started in 1941 by the hotel’s founder and includes vehicles that carried local dignitaries and a few U.S. presidents, all dating from the early 20th century. A permanent Pikes Peak Hill Climb exhibit has just been added.
For more information about visiting Colorado Springs, including additional free attractions, discount coupons and more, go online to www.visitCOS.com. And if you want to broaden the scope of this year’s stay-cation, check out a site that lists lots of FREE things to do in Colorado. To visit it, CLICK HERE.