I don't know if I've done any work the last two days because I'm trying to soak up all the info out there!
My daughter and I are flying in and out of Denver 7/18 arriving at noon 7/25 leaving at 10pm.
I definitely want to spend a few days in Estes park, planning on booking two nights at the 4 Seasons Inn on Fall River at the end of our trip (7/23-7/25) because a room with private hot tub is available. The kiddo is all about horses, so definitely a ride. I like hiking and at home usually do 8-10 mile round trips. Obviously for this trip I will stick to the easier trails, hopefully picnic by a beautiful lake (was checking out http://www.rockymountainhikingtrails.com/rocky-mountain-best-easy-hikes.htm). Being from San Diego I appreciate craft beers so I'm hoping to stop by a kid friendly brewery for lunch or dinner while we're there. A scenic, fairly easy bike ride would be cool, but I'm not sure if the stores rent kids 20" bikes. I figure I can do this in other areas too.
My others ideas for the trip are all over the place!
Definitely want to try rafting (my daughter is on the smaller side for 8, I'm pretty sure she just hit 50 lbs which I see is the weight requirement, but definitely adventurous and like a good thrill). I'm trying to decide between:
Big Horn Sheep Canyon half day with Echo and camping or "glamping"
Brown Canyon half day with Noah's Ark and adding the Adventure Park (because it looks awesome!) and camping at Chalk Creek. If we go this route I'd also look into doing the hot springs at Mt. Princeton on a second day, because my kid would go wild about the waterslide. I saw on their site that the creek pools are closed for run off, not sure if that's still an issue in mid/late July? I'm assuming this is because of Naegleria fowleri risks (thanks for the scare microbiology).
Other things that sound interesting but I'm not sure how/if to fit them in. We're totally fine making 2-3 hour drives regularly at home to go to Disneyland or LA, but wouldn't want to drive that long for a day trip somewhere if that makes sense?
Drive up Pikes Peak (America the Beautiful!)
Garden of the Gods (possible renting bikes here?)
Cheyenne Mountain Zoo (we have a great zoo and a wild animal park in San Diego, so this might be fun but not a "must do")
Cave of the Winds (if we don't do the Adventure Park in Browns Canyon/Buena Vista I think the one there looks cool, but it's also not a "must do")
Thoughts? Suggestions? Way too much?? Should I also post this in other city forums? Thank you everyone! First trip to Colorado and I'm so excited.