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 end of March/early April for weekend operation (Friday-Sunday,: 9-4pm) Daily Operations begin in May. Swim Beach opens in June. The new Wibit Aqua Park at the swim beach opens mid June. 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 entrance fees:  Day pass vehicle entrance $10, Walk/bike $5. 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.

City Parks- Durango is filled with a variety of parks and open spaces to explore. The largest facility is Santa Rita Park located on the south side of town at 149 S. Camino Del Rio. Santa Rita Park includes basketball courts, playground, open grass area. picnic shelters, restrooms and more. Santa Rita Park is located along the Animas River and is accessible by the Animas River Trail. Another popular park for families is Fassbinder Park located in the North Main District at 140 W. Park Ave. This park features a beautiful playground, restrooms, picnic tables, and grass area. It is filled with beautiful trees that provide great shade in the summer. Another great park to visit is the Commnity Recreation Center Park located at 2700 Main Avenue. The park area outside the Recreation Center includes a large amphitheater, large grassy area, and a large playground area that is shaded in the summer. Restrooms and water fountains are accessible inside the Recreation Center during normal business hours. Last but not least is Buckley Park, located in Historic Main Avenue. This beautiful park provides plenty of open space for many activities. This is a great spot to bring a picnic lunch or just let the kids run. This is also a very popular spot for sledding in the winter when the conditions allow it. Buckley Park is filled with multiple events throughout the summer. On Thursday evenings starting in late June, the park is filled with music with the Concert Hall@ the Park free summer concert series. This is a fun community event for the whole family. There are many other great events that also take place though out the year at the park, so make sure to check the events calendar for more information. 




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: Monday,Tuesday, Thursday, 9-1pm and Saturday & Sunday 9 -3:30pm, Closed on Wednesday 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 Wildlife Museum features an intimate display covering the area's wildlife. Allow at least 30 minutes to visit both the Hatchery and Museum. Bring some quarters so you can feed the fish! The Fish Hatchery and the Wildlife Museum is open from 8am- 4:30pm year around.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 made 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 35 miles from Durango. To reach the cliff dwellings, plan on approximately 1 to 1 ½ hours 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, 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 daily for the summer 2024 season starting June 15 to August 18.  Open Friday-Sundays August 23-October 6. (Plus, Labor Day, September 2.)  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 Sun Sapphires - 640 Main Avenue suite 201. (upstairs) Create some art at Sun Sapphires 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. Sun Sapphires is open 11 am – 5 pm Tuesday - Saturday and Sunday 12 pm – 5 pm. Walk-ins welcome for fused glass only but space may not always be guaranteed. Appointments are necessary for classes 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.





durango summer activities

Durango is filled with events all season long. Here are a few of the popular family friendly events during the summer months. Visit our event calendar a full list of current events. 

Concert Hall @ The Park - The Community Concert Hall at Fort Lewis College is happy to announce the return of its free summer concert series, Concert Hall @ The Park in Downtown Durango’s Buckley Park on Thursday evenings. Picnics, blankets, and lawn chairs are encouraged. Starting June 20 through August 1. For further information, visit

Community Concert Series - At the Powerhouse on Wednesday evenings june through mid August. The Powerhouse is thrilled to carry on a summer tradition of local music, community gathering, and non-profit support through a weekly Community Concert Series. Every Wednesday, from early June through mid-August, we will be hosting a concert outside on the Carver Family Plaza with half of ticket proceeds donated to a different local non-profit beneficiary. Presented by Visit Durango. 2024 Concert Dates: June 5, 12, 19, & 26, July 3,10,24, 31 and August 7 & 14.

Durango Farmers Market- The market features over 35 local farmers with fresh produce; locally raised meat products; local businesses creating hot, ready to eat food and beverages; artisans with high-quality handmade goods; and more. Buy your produce from the farmers that grew it and your bread from the baker who baked it. Meet your community each weekend and enjoy live musical entertainment. It's an event not to be missed! Open Saturdays 8 am to noon (October 9 am-noon). Market runs from May 11th through October 26th. Located at the TBK Bank Parking Lot at 259 W. 9th Street, just one block off Main Avenue. Across from the Durango Transit Center.

True Western Roundup- Wednesday Evenings starting in June at the La Plata County Fairgrounds and Events Center. The True Western Roundup is excited to showcase the working ranch activities of the American Cowboy and Cowgirl. We are proud to promote and preserve our western heritage in a positive family atmosphere and we welcome you to bring your family and friends for an exciting evening of wild western entertainment!

La Plata County Fair- An annual tradition for the entire family. The County Fair features live animals, exhibits, pies, quilts, and more. Fairgoers should check out the prized livestock raised by our local 4-H youth. No fair would be complete without traditional carnival rides and decadent carnival food.  A local favorite event not to be missed is the Demolition Derby. Tickets for this sell out quickly, so get yours in advance or pick up one the morning of the event. There is so much to do at the Fair, you just might want to visit more than once! Click here for a full schedule.




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 Pizza11th 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.

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