Visiting Durango

Summer Family Activity Guide

Activities for the whole family!

Durango is a great place for families and offers many fun activities for the whole family to enjoy. There is no shortage of things to do. There are many free activities that families can enjoy like the train Museum, fish hatchery, Animas River trail and more.

Recreation Activities

durango summer activities

Animas River Trail - Enjoy a stroll down our 8-mile river trail or visit one of our many local parks including Fassbinder Park at Main Ave. and 17th Street, Santa Rita Park, and the park at the Durango Recreation Center to name a few. Pick up a map from a Downtown Ambassador or at the Durango Welcome Center.

Durango Recreation Center - located in the North Main District at 2700 Main Avenue. The 71,557 sq. ft. facility is filled with fun activities for the whole family. The facility has an expansive aquatics area with a 160 ft. water slide and play structures. The kids will enjoy scrambling over the rock wall or playing games on the full-size basketball court. Call 970-375-7300 for more information.

Chapman Hill - 500 Florida Road. Open for roller skating starting June 3! Get your groove on Friday and Saturday evenings. We turn the lights down low and laydown dance tracks from the 70's to current day pop. All ages are welcome. Friday & Saturday Night Disco Skate night 6 -9pm  Cost is $10 with or without skate rental, Children under 3 are free.

Go for a Hike - Durango is filled with many hiking trails that the whole family can enjoy. Many are located right in town and offer a nice getaway to enjoy the beautiful scenery in Durango. See our hiking guide here or visit the Durango Welcome Center for a full map and information on some local trails. 

Bike Rentals - We have several local bike shops that offer rentals for the day. Pedal the Peaks 598 Main Avenue, 2nd Ave Sports at 640 E. 2nd Avenue, Ski Barn 3533 Main Avenue. E-Bike rentals are available from Go Play Durango at 835 Main Avenue and Roll E-Bike & Paddle Board at 1259 Main Avenue. Pricing includes delivery right to your location.

Lake Nighthorse - Season opens on March 31, 2023 for weekend operation (Friday-Sunday,: 9-4pm) Daily Operations begin May 12. Swim Beach opens June 1. The new Wibit Aqua Park at the swim beach opens June 3. The Wibit Aqua Park will be available for public use during 4 daily sessions. The sessions will be 1 hour and 45 minutes each. There is a $5 fee per person/per session with a maximum of 60 individuals pers session. In person reservations will be open each day at the swim beach building at 9:30am. 

Lake Nighthorse enterence fees:  Day pass vehicle entrance $10, Walk/bike $4. There are season passes and 5 punch passes available online. Paddle board rentals are available on site.

Schneider Park Skate Park - Located at 950 Roosa Ave. Compact skate park for both beginner & advanced skaters or bikers, featuring rails, ramps & stairs. Free!

Durango BMX Track - 360 S. Camino Del Rio. Located on the south end of Durango, The track is free to use when races or clinics are not occurring. The track may be closed prior to races or when the track is wet.




Museums & Educational Activities

durango summer activities

Powerhouse Science Center - 1333 Camino Del Rio. The Powerhouse Science Center is educational and playful place for children of all ages with hands-on learning and interactive exhibits. Hours of Operation: Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday & Sunday 9 -4pm, Closed on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Visit their website or call (970) 259-9234.

Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad & Railroad Museum - 479 Main Avenue. Take a ride on the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad. This is an unforgettable experience to ride a coal-fired, steam-powered narrow-gauge train. It's an amazing experience that your family will continue to talk about years to come. Book your trip at Explore the Durango Silverton Railroad Museum. Admission is free! The museum has an interactive train model, authentic train cars for kids to explore, plus many interesting historical railroad artifacts. Open 7 days a week. Also ask about the new D&SNG Railroad Yard Tours. 1-hour tour of in-depth history & Tour.

The Durango Public Library - 1900 E. 3rd Street. Open Monday - Wednesday 9:30-6pm, Thursday 10am-6pm, Friday- 9:30-5:30pm, Saturday 9:30am-5pm. Closed on Sunday.The Library has an expansive section for children with seating areas, computers, puppet play area and more. During the summer months they have a full calendar of activities for children. Call for additional information 375-3380.

Durango Fish Hatchery and Wildlife Museum - 151 E. 16th Street. The Hatchery is open  7 days a week from 8am-4 pm. The facility produces more than 1.3 million fish per year, and visitors can feed the fish via coin-operated dispensers. The Museum is open from May through Mid-September. Inside the museum features an intimate display covering the area's wildlife. Allow 30 minutes. Bring some quarters so you can feed the fish! For more information call (970) 247-4755. Tours of the Hatchery are available. Call (970) 375-6766 to book a tour. 

Mesa Verde National Park - Families will enjoy a trip to Mesa Verde to learn the history and sites of Ancestral Pueblo people who mad Mesa Verde their home for over 700 years. Ask how your child can become a Junior Ranger and participate in activities while visiting the park. Entrance fee: $30 (private Vehicle) Park entrance is 56 miles from Durango. Call (970) 529-4465 for more information. Tour tickets can be purchased only on or by calling (877) 444-6777.

Animas Museum- Located in the North Main District, they offer a variety of exhibits and program for all ages. The museum is housed in the former Animas City school building, and features an authentic restored classroom from the early 1800s. Located at 3065 West 2nd Avenue. (click here for a map) Hours: Tuesday & Thursday, Saturday 10-4pm and Wednesday & Friday 1pm- 4pm. Call (970) 259-2402 for more information. 



Adventure Activities

durango summer activities

Rafting on the Animas River - Enjoy some adventures down the Animas River with one of our local guide companies. River Rafting, and tubing is a great way to cool down in the summer months. Check out these guide companies for reservations or for equipment rental. Mountain Waters Rafting 303 W. College Drive (by Albertsons),  Mild to Wild Rafting & Jeep Tours 50 Animas View Drive and Colorado Outback Adventures - 555 Main Avenue, 970-903-1923. Ski Barn provides daily rentals of both inflatable kayaks and tubes. They offer two convenient locations: 3533 Main Avenue or 1316 Main Avenue #10 

Paddle Board on our local Lakes!- Enjoy a full day in the sun at one of our local lakes paddle boarding. Durango area has an abundance of lakes in the area including Lake Nighthorse, Haviland Lake, Pastorius Reservoir, and the Animas River. These are just a few of many options for paddle boarding in our local area. Check out Roll E-bike & Paddle Board and Ski Barn for paddle board rentals, 

Explore the Moutains with a Jeep tour - Explore the San Juan Mountains on a jeep tour or create your own trip with a rental. Visit these companies for more information. Mountain Waters Rafting - 303 W. College Drive (800) 585-8243; Mild to Wild Rafting & Jeep Tours - 50 Animas View Drive (970) 247-4789; Colorado Outback Adventures - 555 Main Avenue, 970-903-1923.

Purgatory Resort - For a full day of fun check out Purgatory Resort for summer activities. They offer seven different activities including the exciting inferno Mountain Coaster, Alpine slide, and Bike Park. Additional activities include the scenic chairlift ride, treasure panning, paddle boards & boats, Kids off-road track and more. Open in June!. All tickets need to be purchased online.

Fishing- There are many fantastic rivers, lakes, and streams in the area to cast your rod including the Animas River that runs directly through the City of Durango. Anglers will enjoy the many options for fishing at our local lakes that include Lake Nighthorse, Haviland Lake and Pastorius Reservoir. The Animas River is home to Rainbow and Brown Trout as well as Cutthroat and Brook Trout that can be found in the upper reaches of the river. Durango offers several fly-fishing guiding options including The San Juan Angler and Duranglers Flies and Supplies. For chartered fishing excursions on Lake Nighthorse visit Go Fish Durango. They offer customized trips that include day cruises and fishing excursions. 



Hands-On Activities

durango summer activities

Create some art at Get Fused- Sun Sapphires - 640 Main Avenue suite 201. (upstairs) Create some art at Get Fused Glass Studio. This is a great activity for the whole family. They will teach you how to create your own beautiful glass piece or gifts. No experience necessary. Get Fused is open 11-5 Monday - Saturday and Sunday noon to 5pm. Appointments are necessary due to limited seating available. Call for availability (970) 259-2229.

Pan for treasures and gems at Durango Treasures - 900 Main Avenue. Stop by Durango Treasures and check out their mining cave where you can pan for gems, fossils and other treasures. Call(970) 403-5562 for availability.

Visit The Hive - 1150 Main Avenue. The Hive offers a variety of program offerings for children and teens. Programs include music workshops, Akido, strength and conditioning classes, day camps, Hip Hop workshop and skate boarding lessons. There is an indoor skate park open 7 days a week. Check their website for full details.





durango summer activities

Concerts in the Park - Concert Hall @ The Park in Downtown Durango's Buckley Park on Thursdays at 5:30pm June -July. Picnics, blankets, and lawn chairs are encouraged with Fired Up Pizzeria offering a selection of food and beverages throughout the evening. For further information, visit




Shopping & Dining

durango summer activities

Shop in Downtown Durango - Durango offers many unique shops and some fun shopping options for kids! Check out Twilight Toys, Rio Grande Trading Company, Maria's BookshopBeads and Beyond, Durango Treasures and Fuzziwigs Candy Factory. These are just a few of the stores to choose from. See a full list here

Family Friendly Restaurants - Durango offers many family friendly restaurants. A few of our favorites include: Carver Brewing Co, Grassburger, Steamworks Brewing Co, Fired up Pizza, Olde Tymer's Cafe, 11th Street Station, Nini's Taqueria, Serious Texas BBQ, Zia Taqueria and Homeslice Pizza. This is just a few of the many restaurants to choose from. See our full Family Friendly Restaurant Guide for more great information.

Sweet Treats - Don't forget to grab some sweet treats at some of some of these amazing locations! Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory, Magpie's Newsstand & Cafe, Cream Bean Berry, Animas Chocolate Company, Fuzziwigs Candy Factory, Cold Stone Creamery, and Baskin Robbins.