Children in Colorado
Children in Colorado
Colorado is tailor-made for family vacations, offering dude ranches, historic railroads, mining towns, rafting, and many outdoor activities. Places that are especially appealing to children are indicated by a rubber-duckie icon in the margin.
Visitor centers and lodgings are often good at recommending places to spend time with children. The guides issued by the tourism office of Colorado have sections geared toward children.If you are renting a car, don't forget to arrange for a car seat when you reserve.
The free monthly magazine Colorado Parent is available online and in the lobbies of office buildings, hotels, and other businesses.
Colorado Parent (303/722–2330. www.coloradoparent.com.)
If your children are two or older, ask about children's airfares. As a general rule, infants under two not occupying a seat fly at greatly reduced fares or even for free. But if you want to guarantee a seat for an infant, you have to pay full fare. Consider flying during off-peak days and times; most airlines will grant an infant a seat without a ticket if there are available seats.
Experts agree that it's a good idea to use safety seats aloft for children weighing less than 40 pounds. Airlines set their own policies: If you use a safety seat, U.S. carriers usually require that the child be ticketed, even if he or she is young enough to ride free, because the seats must be strapped into regular seats. And even if you pay the full adult fare for the seat, it may be worth it, especially on longer trips. Do check your airline's policy about using safety seats during takeoff and landing. Safety seats are not allowed everywhere in the plane, so get your seat assignments as early as possible.
When reserving, request children's meals or a freestanding bassinet (not available at all airlines) if you need them. But note that bulkhead seats, where you must sit to use the bassinet, may lack an overhead bin or storage space on the floor.
Most hotels in Colorado allow children under a certain age to stay in their parents' room at no extra charge, but others charge for them as extra adults; be sure to find out the cutoff age for children's discounts. Some B&Bs and luxury inns do not allow young children. Inquire when making reservations.
Although most dude ranches are ideal for children of all ages, be sure you know not only the activities a ranch offers but also which are emphasized before booking your vacation. A few ranches may have age restrictions excluding very young children.
Sports and the Outdoors
Altitude can be even more taxing on small lungs than on adult lungs, so be conservative when evaluating what level of activity your child will enjoy.
Some trip organizers arrange backpacking outings for families with small children, especially for family groups of eight or more. Short half-day or full-day bike trips with plenty of flat riding are possible at many Colorado resorts. Among the better resorts for this sort of activity are Aspen and Steamboat Springs. Winter Park resort has good instructional programs.
It's not advisable to take children under seven on extended rafting trips, except those specifically geared to young children. Before taking an extended trip, you might want to test the waters with a half-day or one-day excursion. Trips aboard larger, motorized rafts are probably safest. Outfitters designate some trips as "adults only," the cutoff usually being 16 years old.
Fodor's Trip Planning Ideas
- Fodor's Go List 2014: Where we are going in 2014
- World Cup Fever: Start planning your trip to Brazil!
- Fodor's 100 Hotel Awards: Check out the winners of 2013
- Weekend Getaways: Fodor's Recommends the Best Weekend Escapes in the US
- Great American Vacation: Find Your Next U.S. Trip with Fodor's
- 80 Degrees: Fodor's Helps You Find Your Best Beach Vacation Spots
- Best of Europe: Fodor's Picks the Best Places to Visit in Europe