Spring Break Boredom Busters from A to Z

By Kyrie Collins, Macaroni KID Highlands Ranch-Parker-Castle Rock-Lone Tree Publisher March 12, 2023

For most schools in Douglas County, Spring Break is March 13-17. If you're staying local, we've got 26 ideas to help you find your family fun®!

ART ENCOUNTERS! The celebrated outdoor public art program features 26 pieces by 14 artists in public places throughout Castle Rock, Highlands Ranch, Lone Tree, Parker, and Roxborough.

BE A TOURIST! Denver is a hot vacation destination for families from all over the United States. Take a guided tour at the State Capitol and get a 360˚ view of the Mile High City. See how pennies are made at the Denver Mint. Satisfy your sweet tooth at Hammond's Candy, handmade in Denver since 1920!

CARE FOR OTHERS! Make Blessing Bags to distribute to the homeless. Host a get-together of friends and families and make it a playdate! It's a great way to involve children in community service.

DINE OUT, COLORADO-STYLE! Did you know that Chipotle, Qdoba, and Quiznos came from humble beginnings right here in Colorado? If you're a local foodie who likes to try it all, we've rounded up some of Colorado's favorite restaurant chains you'll definitely want to experience for yourself. 

ENGAGE YOUR IMAGINATION! Our Douglas County Libraries have the most entertaining and imaginative indoor play areas! Playscapes include The Market at Highlands Ranch, Playful Pets animal clinic and grooming spa at Lone Tree, Little Letters Post Office at Castle Pines, U-Fix-It Pit Stop auto shop in Parker, and Mission Control at Roxborough.

FLY A KITE! Follow our instructions to make your own paper kite, then wait for a windy afternoon to test it out. It's Colorado in the springtime... we don't think you'll have to wait too long!

GO TO A SHOW! Even though DCSD is on Spring Break, nearby school districts aren't yet. Several school spring musicals are happening nearby! High school and youth theater is the best — and most affordable —way to introduce young children to live productions.

HIT A BASEBALL! The Batting Cages at Westridge are open March 13-17 from 10:00 AM–5:00 PM. A $1 token gets you 16 pitches. You can purchase 11 tokens for $10. (Hours are subject to change due to weather, as the temperature must be greater than 45 degrees to operate safely.)

INDOOR PLAYTIME! We've rounded up a baker's dozen of our favorite indoor play places for kids of all ages!

JIGSAW PUZZLES! We recently discovered an unopened puzzle in our house and spent a day putting it together with my 91-year-old grandmother. But you don't have to devote a day... set up a card table in the corner of your family room and add a piece or two at a time.

KID-FRIENDLY HIKES! Check out a few of our favorite Kid-Friendly Hikes along the Front Range. And don't forget the 13 Essentials for a Day Hike.

LACE UP YOUR RUNNING SHOES! It's not too late to sign up for the ShamROCK Stampede in Castle Rock or the St. Patrick's Day 5K in Highlands Ranch. Get great early bird pricing for other Races, Runs, and Rides happening this spring and summer in Douglas County.

MOVIE TIME! Catch a weekday matinee at your favorite neighborhood theater to see the latest releases, like Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, Creed III, or Champions. If you missed them last year, Avatar: The Way of Water and Puss in Boots: The Last Wish are still playing at select theaters.

NATURE CENTERS! Studies show that children who regularly spend time outside play more creatively, have lower stress levels, develop more robust immune systems, and have greater respect for themselves, others, and the environment. Here are 6 Front Range Nature Centers we think you'll love.

OLD-FASHIONED BACKYARD GAMES. Do you remember playing freeze tag or participating in a three-legged race as a kid? Have a Throw-Back Thursday in your backyard and play some Classic Outdoor Games with your children!

PICNIC ON THE STAGE. There's no place for a concert like Red Rocks! Did you know you can picnic and play on the very stage where thousands of iconic musicians have performed? Before or after, climb the steps or take a kid-friendly hike around the park. 

QUIET TIME IS IMPORTANT! Color, learn to meditate, or lie in a park and watch the clouds blow by. Relish the sound of silence.

READ A BOOK OUT LOUD TOGETHER. It isn't just for toddlers and preschoolers who can't read yet. Harry Potter and Percy Jackson are fun chapter books the whole family will enjoy. My kids and I are pretty partial to the 5-book fantasy-adventure Scepter series, written by Macaroni Dad Scott Collins.

SCFD FREE DAYS! Several Free Days are taking place during Douglas County School District's spring break:

  • Tuesday, March 14: Denver Art Museum
  • Wednesday, March 15: Denver Botanic Gardens at York Street and Chatfield Farms
  • Thursday, March 16: Colorado Railroad Museum
  • Friday, March 17: Dinosaur Ridge

TACKLE THE STAIRS AT PHILIP S. MILLER PARK. The Challenge Hill has 200 timber steps that climb 178 feet in elevation, similar to the Manitou Springs Incline.

UNSEEN OCEANS. Discover the ocean's best-kept secrets, including alien-like creatures, glow-in-the-dark fish, and other spectacular ocean life through movies, videos, and exhibits. The temporary exhibition at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science is open through April 9. 

VAIL, KEYSTONE, COPPER MOUNTAIN, BEAVER CREEK, ASPEN, MONARCH... The snow is deep, and the mountains are calling. Not a skier? Try a tubing hill or a guided snowshoe tour instead. Just be prepared for crowds.

WHIP UP SOMETHING DELICIOUS. I bet you've got a few recipes you've wanted to try! If not, our Snickerdoodle Blondies will warm your kitchen and make your entire house smell ahhhh-mazing!

X MARKS THE SPOT. Have you ever tried geocaching? There are lots of hidden treasures right here in Douglas County! All you need is an app on your phone and a sense of adventure.

YOGA IS GOOD FOR THE BODY AND THE MIND! Invite your kids to join you. Go to YouTube and search "yoga for kids" for a variety of short, kid-friendly sessions.

ZOO ANIMALS TEND TO BE MORE ACTIVE IN COOLER WEATHER! Visit the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo or the Denver Zoo to see the lions and tigers and bears — oh my!