Summer 2020 poses some interesting challenges for us as we compile our annual Things to Do for Summer in Colorado Springs 2020. Summer camps, sporting events and summer concerts are mostly canceled or postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This year, we decided to focus on family-centric, COVID-19-friendly, Colorado-based activities so that we can all be safe, follow the recommendations on gatherings, enjoy our families and really appreciate our beautiful summers in Colorado Springs.
Bugging in your backyard and beyond!
When is the last time that you went bug hunting? This is a great activity that can be done anywhere; in your backyard, at the neighborhood park, in the closet you haven’t cleaned in a while. We use the generic term “bugs”, but really mean all types of insects such as:
- Dragonflies and Damselflies (Order: Odonata)
- Earwigs (Order: Dermaptera)
- Grasshoppers and Crickets (Order: Orthoptera)
- Praying Mantids (Order: Mantodea)
- Mayflies (Order: Ephemeroptera)
- Ants and bees (Order: Hymenoptera)
- Butterflies and moths (Order: Lepidoptera)
- Beetles (Order: Coleoptera)
- Flies and mosquitoes (Order: Diptera)
(Hopefully the entomologist in the group will forgive me for leaving off the cockroaches and sucking lice).
Download and print the attached worksheet to find native bugs around Colorado Springs! Leave the bugs be, don’t harm them, just mark on the list when you find one! Don’t forget your magnifying glass!
Birding around Colorado Springs
Did you know that Colorado has over 500 species of birds? If entomology doesn’t excite you, maybe ornithology is your thing. Like bug hunting, bird hunting is easily done in your backyard, in an open field, or at the park down the street. Other great locations include:
- Bear Creek Nature Center
- Garden of the Gods Park
- Fountain Creek Regional Park
- Red Canyon Park
Also check out this resource: https://www.visitcos.com/blog/pikes-peak-birding-trail/
Download and print the attached worksheet to find native birds around Colorado Springs! Don’t forget your binoculars!
Exploring Near and Far
Make a mandala out of items found in nature
Use pinecones, flowers, sticks, rocks, etc to create a mandala at your local park (don’t destroy plants to get what you want, use what’s already laying around!)
Create your own obstacle course
Use items you may have around your house to create an obstacle course for the whole family. Examples: hula hoops, skateboards, any kind of ball, nets, hoops, racquets, boards, string/rope, sticks, etc.
Make a goal of trying a new park/trail each week – https://coloradosprings.gov/parks/page/parks-trails-open-spaces
Fly a kite
Get one from Poor Richards https://store-poorrichardsdowntown.com/product-tag/kite/
Are you familiar with geocaching? Letterboxing is a similar activity, but it is more easily done with families. Instead of a GPS, users use clues to find hidden stashes which contain a stamp which is used to document your success. Two great resources for this fun family friendly activity are: https://www.letterboxing.org/ and https://www.atlasquest.com/.
Nature Scavenger Hunt
Download and print the attached worksheet to find the listed items around your favorite park! Make sure you take a small bucket or Tupperware to gather your things!
Fishing for “the Big One”
Shops near Colorado Springs to get supplies:
Anglers Covey – https://www.anglerscovey.com/
Peak Fly Shop – https://thepeakflyshop.com/
Where to fish within a reasonable distance:
- Arkansas River
- Monument Lake
- Palmer Lake
- Fountain Creek – Manitou
- Pikes Peak North and South Slope Recreation Areas
Shop Local at a Farmer’s Market
Check the Farmer’s Market’s website/info as they are very individual due to COVID-19. Some Markets will not start until July, some have online ordering, some are on hold indefinitely.
- Pikes Peak Farmers Market – https://www.facebook.com/OldColoradoCityFarmersMarket/
- Colorado Farm and Art Market (CFAM) – https://www.facebook.com/farmandartmarket/
- Colorado Springs Farmers Markets – https://www.springsfarmersmarkets.com/
Neighborhood Fun in Colorado Springs
Yard Game Tournament
Invite a small group of friends or neighbors over for a yard game tournament! Play a few games, then create a bracket so you can declare the supreme winner. Use the yard games you already own to create the playing field or ask every family to bring one game to add to the fun! For more fun, pick up a silly used trophy at the resale shop to offer as the prize.
Purchase yard games: Garage Sales, Facebook Marketplace, Big Box Stores or even the Dollar Store
Whatever it is your family enjoys this summer, we hope it is wonderful!