Every summer we go to Colorado for a family vacation. My dad and step-mom live there in the summer so it’s the perfect opportunity to visit them and have an affordable vacation. There are so many activities to do and it’s such a nice break from the brutal Texas heat! What I love most about our Colorado trips is that we stay really active while on vacation. It works out really well with our two young boys. And as they grow up there will be more and more we are able to do as a family.
When we travel to Colorado we drive the entire trip in one day. It’s about a 12 hour drive + an hour or two for stopping and stretching. One of the ways we save money and stay healthy is to pack our breakfast and lunch and then stop for dinner. I pack things like cereal, muffins, and apples for breakfast. For lunches we do sandwiches, almond butter crackers, carrots, apples, etc. Sometimes I’ll pack myself a salad to eat on the way. I always pack plenty of snacks as well so we don’t fall into the trap of stopping for unhealthy treats at the gas station. I’ve learned that the kids do so much better while traveling when we stick to our normal eating habits. Lots of sugar and junk + traveling with kids = no bueno! I use a small cooler to pack our food since some of it is perishable.
I love this salad container. It is perfect for on-the-go salads. I use it all the time!
I don’t always prepare the lunches before we go. I usually just throw stuff in the cooler and a bag and then put the lunches together when we stop. One of our favorites is pictured below: almond butter on crackers with apples and carrots. Healthy, quick and easy.
Quick tip for traveling with kids: use cookie sheets to help keep the kids’ food from falling all over the place. It works really well. It’s also great for coloring and activity sheets. It gives the kids a hard surface to write/color on.
Lunches In Colorado
We were gone on adventures during the day most of the days we were in Colorado. I packed our lunches each of those days and we ate on the go. Sure, we could have stopped for food (except for the hiking days) but it’s so easy, healthy, and affordable to quickly throw some lunches together and take them with you.
Dinners In Colorado
Most of the evenings we ate at home. My step-mom is a great cook so we enjoyed lots of great meals. We had chicken enchilada soup, a pasta dish and the last night we were there we had fresh beans and corn from the garden + the most amazing homemade hushpuppies. I didn’t get any good pictures of our meals at home. We did eat two meals out. Once we ate at Amicas in Salida and the other night we ate at Breckenridge Brewery. Both meals were delicious, worth every calorie, and so much fun!
Fun in Colorado
We spent two of our days hiking. The hikes were each about 4-5 hours and the boys did great. Neither of the hikes were easy. Lots of climbing rocks and going up hills. All of the effort was worth it in the end because one of the hikes took us to a beautiful waterfall and the other a gorgeous lake. There was definitely a little bit of whining and resistance from the boys but I absolutely love to hike so they had no choice but to go along for the ride. All considering, they did great. We packed lunches and ate when we got to the waterfall and lake.
Our first day in Colorado we went to a little local festival and then went out for pizza at Amicas. We spent another day in Breckenridge where they have an entire peak dedicated to fun for the kids. We were there all day at the park and then ate at the Brewery that evening. We also spent a day at the hot springs and a local ghost town where the kids got to feed the chipmunks.
On the days we didn’t hike I woke up around 6:30 a.m. to take a 45 minute walk. Since there are a lot of hills by my dad’s place I was able to get in a decent work out each day. I’m hoping with the walks and hikes we balanced out some of the yummy foods and treats we ate while on vacation!
My youngest is about to turn 5 so my step-mom made him this precious cake. He loved it. I thought it was the perfect cake for a kid. You can find directions for making it here. She used homemade popcorn in place of the microwave popcorn.