8 awesome adventures for kids of all abilities
posted by: Mile High Mamas
Everyone deserves the chance to shine and we love that kids of all abilities are given access to so many wonders in Colorado. Below is a sampling of experiences that showcase the state’s adaptive adventures for all abilities.
Adaptive Sports Center, Crested Butte: This therapeutic recreation program operates year-round and offers a range of adaptive activities including mountain biking, skiing, ice climbing, kayaking and more. It also offers annual family and adventure camps. The center’s programs cater to individuals with a broad range of physical, emotional and cognitive differences.
Experience Colorado’s National Parks and National Monuments Via Wheelchair: Many of Colorado’s National Parks and National Monuments provide wheelchair-accessible touring information. There are special sand wheelchairs for exploring the famous dunes, camping and picnic areas in Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve, and there are nearly a half dozen wheelchair-accessible trails in Rocky Mountain National Park. Colorado National Monument and Mesa Verde National Park both offer accessible campsites, picnic areas and trails, and audio and/or visual tours.
Inspiration Playground at Spring Canyon Community Park, Fort Collins: Located at the base of the foothills, the 100-acre Spring Canyon Community Park gets rave reviews from parents and kids alike. The unique ADA play area, Inspiration Playground, offers a place for children and families of all abilities to share play experiences, and enables children of various abilities to play independently on the same equipment. Inspiration Playground offers a play surface that allows for wheelchairs, walkers and support braces. This free, outdoor play environment includes safe, state-of-the-art, sensory-rich structures that encourage integration and the development of cognitive, emotional, physical and social skills.
National Sports Center for the Disabled, Winter Park: The National Sports Center for the Disabled (NSCD) has provided adaptive sports lessons in Colorado for more than 40 years. NSCD offers a variety of adaptive lesson opportunities–including skiing, rafting, horseback riding and more–for both groups and individuals. While the Center is headquartered in Winter Park, NSCD also runs programs out of Broncos Stadium at Mile High in Denver.
Olympic & Paralympic Museum and Hall of Fame, Colorado Springs: The first and only U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Museum and Hall of Fame will open in Colorado Springs in spring 2020. The $90M project will be the most accessible museum in the world with an array of tailored, high-tech exhibits. This world-class attraction will showcase the entire journey of the games from birth in ancient Olympia to current Team USA hopefuls living and training in Colorado Springs every day.
Steamboat Adaptive Recreation Sports, Steamboat Springs: Since 2007, Steamboat Adaptive Recreation Sports (STARS) has made it its mission to empower and enrich lives through adaptive recreational sports. STARS programs help individuals to discover the outdoors and teach skills to overcome health challenges as well as develop confidence, self-esteem and independence. STARS uses skiing, cycling, therapeutic horseback riding, kayaking and other activities to empower people with different abilities. New in fall 2019, the nonprofit is unveiled the new STARS Ranch, a brand new 13,000-square-foot building that serves as a centralized hub for programming for people with different abilities.
Visit Colorado’s State Parks: Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) strives to ensure everyone can access the state’s special places and activities. CPW offers the Columbine Pass, which provides reduced park entrance fees to Colorado residents with different abilities. It also offers accessible fishing locations in every corner of the state and offers people with disabilities hunting accommodations and services. Requests can also be made for sign language interpretation and assistive listening equipment in the parks. Visitors searching for wheelchair-accessible trails across the state can access the Colorado Trail Explorer app.
Wilderness On Wheels, Grant: The mission of Wilderness on Wheels, or WOW, is to stimulate the development of access for disabled persons to natural outdoor environments. WOW accomplished this through the construction of a 1-mile, 8-foot wide boardwalk starting at 9,100 feet to the top of a 12,300-foot mountain 60 miles west of Denver near Grant. It is free to hike the boardwalk at Wilderness on Wheels; there are also fishing and camping at the site, as well as overnight cabins.
CP Family Network. If you’re a parent of a child with special needs, the CP Family Network (CPFN) is a compassionate community that provides resources for loved ones with cerebral palsy. Originally started by a group of families whose children developed cerebral palsy due to medical errors and birth injuries, the Cerebral Palsy Family Network is the world’s largest online community for connecting and supporting families like theirs.