Even when it’s cold outside, there’s always a lot to do in and around Briargate and Colorado Springs for the whole family. Here are some events to enjoy in the New Year, inside and out, for children and their families. They’re all free!

Animated drawings of children dancing

Programs for Kids: Music and Movement

Jan. 7, 14, and 28 – Have the toddlers been housebound? Get them up and moving, and you, too, with 30 minutes of music, stories, and movement. From 10 – 10:30 a.m., mom, dad, or a grandparent can bring their two- or three-year-old to the Pikes Peak Library District, Rockrimmon Branch, at 832 Village Center Dr. No pre-registration is necessary.

Shooks Run Trail Clean-Up

Jan. 10 – If you use the trail, it’s time for its monthly clean up! If you enjoy bike riding and are unfamiliar with the trail, it’s time to check it out! Participants are to meet at the PikeRide office, 719 E. Pikes Peak Ave. and will concentrate on the trail and creek between E. Costilla St. on the south and E. Willamette Ave. to the north. Participants must be 14 or older to use a PikeRide bike. Younger participants are welcome to attend with their own ride. A parent or adult guardian must accompany any minor. Registration is required, especially if you wish to use a PikeRide bike. The clean-up takes place from 3:30 – 5 p.m.

Teen Leadership Speaker: EJ Carrion

Jan. 11 – Best-selling author and entrepreneur EJ Carrion is a co-founder of the Student Success Agency, an organization that “pairs teens with near-peer advisors to help improve their high school-to-college transitional skills,” and more. Seating is limited to the first 350 reservations. The event takes place 9:30 – 11 a.m. in Berger Hall in the University Center at the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs, 1420 Austin Bluffs Parkway. For more information, contact Vicki Taylor, vtaylor5@uccs.edu

Children’s History Hour: Trains, Trolleys, and Horses, Of Course!

Jan. 16 or 26 – Choose your date. Children three to six years old are invited to attend this fun event, and learn about modes of transportation through the years prior to automobiles. Kids accompanied by an adult will enjoy story time along with a tour, followed by arts and crafts. The event is from 9 – 10 a.m., but attendees are invited to stay and play in the Trade at Bent’s Fort interactive exhibit, or partake in the picture hunt with Max the Marmot. Reservations can be made through the Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum website.

Museum Free Day(s)

Jan. 18 – From 10 a.m. – 7:30 p.m., here’s a chance to view the galleries of the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center at Colorado for free! You’ll be able to see the Center’s permanent displays, as well as anything special for January. Museum Free Days are underwritten by GE Johnson Construction Company, the Pikes Peak Community Foundation, and the Kirkpatrick Family Fund. The Arts Center is located at 30 W. Dale St.

Marshmallow Wars

Jan. 18 – It’s time for teens to get their marshmallow shooting practice in! From 4 – 5:30 p.m., teens will build marshmallow catapults. Those who aim and get these tasty treats into the mouths of their friends earn extra points. Not really, there are no points, just fun! Marshmallow Wars will be held at the Cheyenne Mountain Branch Library, 1785 S. 8th St. Suite 100.

Family Penguin Party

Jan. 19 – During this winter party, kids of all ages and their families can learn about penguins. You’ll learn some penguin crafts, play some penguin-themed games, and learn to make a penguin Oreo treat! The fun begins at 2 p.m. at the Cheyenne Mountain Librarymeeting room, 1785 S. 8th St., Suite 100.

100th Anniversary Kick-off Event

Jan. 26 – Also at the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center, help celebrate its centennial anniversary in the community! From 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. enjoy hands-on art activities and demonstrations. Participate in guided tours through the gallery’s exhibits and watch a kick-off to the upcoming Play Reading Series. Hot beverages and other treats will be offered. The celebration day will last until 7:30 p.m. The Arts Center is located at 30 W. Dale St.

Great Fruitcake Toss

Jan. 26 – OK, maybe not all fruitcake is fit to eat, or maybe you’ve just had too much of it. The annual Great Fruitcake Toss allows you to give it your best shot! In case you don’t have any, you can rent a fruitcake to participate. The fruitcake toss will be held from 1-3 p.m. at Memorial Park in Manitou Springs. Please take along one non-perishable food item as a donation to the Manitou Springs Community Pantry.

Family Star Party

Jan. 30 – Here’s a fun event for the whole family to reach for the stars! Held at Colorado Springs Space Foundation, Discovery Center this event offers free viewing through the Center’s outdoor telescope. Local staff will be on-hand to share information on what can be seen that evening and to answer general astronomy questions. Admission to the Center’s indoor exhibits will be offered at half-price this evening. The Discovery Center is located at 4425 Arrowswest Drive. The Family Star Party takes place from 6-8 p.m.

U.S. Air Force Academy Tours

Open daily year-round, take a self-guided tour of the Academy, stopping first at the Visitor Center open from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. Weather permitting take the nature trail to the Chapel. Note that while the trail is paved and only 1/3 mile, it is hilly and the return walk is quite a climb. Visit Arnold Hall, the location of many military exhibits, and view the Honor Court full of aircraft memorials. The Academy is located at 4102 Pinon Dr.

Photo of Bear Creek Dog Park - Colorado Springs, CO, United States

Bear Creek Dog Park

No matter the weather, the kids and pups want to get out to run and play! The Bear Creek Dog Park is open year-round from dawn to dusk. If you and your pup-child haven’t been there, you must go! If you have, bundle up and get going back for a visit. This 25-acre park off leash park has  several walking trails. Or, if you’re into agility, utilize the training area. There is fresh water for pups and owners, and a public restroom. Please be sure to clean up after your pet and follow other park rules. Owners must carry a leash at all times. The main parking lot is located at the NW corner of 21st and W. Rio Grande Street.

No matter what your interest, there is always so much to see and do in our wonderful Colorado Springs community. For the winter months, a lot of events carry over from one month to the next. If you can’t catch something in January, it may just be available in February, too. Want more news or information about Briargate? Give us the Johnson Team a call. We love this community and that’s why we make it our home!