Ten places to take your family when they visit FoCo

Cody Moore

Family visits are common during the summer months. And luckily, Fort Collins is filled with family activities to keep everyone from little cousins to grandparents happy. There is much more to offer beyond the breweries and campus that made the town famous. Like to hike, bike, and spend time outside? Or is local art and music more your style? What about a unique dining experience?  Fort Collins checks all of the above. Here are 10 things to do with your family in Fort Collins: 

  1. The Poudre and Horsetooth Mountain Park abounds with outdoor recreation opportunities. Book a trip with one of the certified whitewater rafting guides in town, and spend the day navigating the class II, III, or IV rapids.
  2. At St. Pete’s Fly Shop, ask one of their knowledgeable staff members about what flies the trout are eating this time of year. Stock up on a few choice bugs, and head up the Poudre River with one of their guides to try your luck on Colorado’s only nationally designated wild and scenic river.
  3. Rent paddle boards at the north end of Horsetooth Reservoir, and explore the hidden coves and cliffs of Lory State Park.
  4. Swing by the Fort Collins Bike Library to check out a couple bikes for free. Explore Old Town, and then cruise east down the paved Poudre River Trail.
  5. In the evening, hike to the top of Horsetooth Rock for the best views of Fort Collins to the east and Rocky Mountain National Park to the west.
  6. Take a walk around downtown and enjoy the local art and music scene. Be sure to look into Old Town Square’s concert schedule. 
  7. Make it a night out with mom at Pinot’s Palette. Sip on a glass of wine, and paint a canvas to take home.
  8. Try throwing pottery at Smokestack Pottery’s Happy Hour Throwdown. Owner and master potter Sue Collentine will teach and guide participants in making up to four pieces each. Bring a drink and snacks to munch on while you work.
  9. Stroll around Jessup Farms, an artisan village, to view craftsman, bakers, chefs and coffee roasters at work. Vortic Watch Co. produces the only 100% American made on site watches. Sip on a flight or two at the Jessup Farm Barrel House, a small brewery that specializes in craft beers aged in oak casks. Grab dinner at the Farmhouse, a restaurant located in a 130 year old building, complete with a functioning chicken coup in the back.  
  10. Every great day should end with a great meal, and Fort Collins offers fare for a broad range of tastes. Skip the rowdier bar scene, and take your parents to Social for cocktails and appetizers. The underground speakeasy-style lounge mixes up classic drinks with unique twists. For homemade pasta dished up in true Tuscan style, eat at Bissenti’s Ristorante. Head to La Luz’s to try a variety of salsas from their salsa bar and freshly made tacos. End the night at Nuance Chocolate and nibble on a flight of single-origin chocolates from Madagascar and Nicaragua.

Collegian Arts and Culture Reporter Cody Moore can be reached at entertainment@collegian.com.