Grand Junction is one of the most family-friendly and affordable vacation destinations in Colorado. Downtown is trendy and safe, trails are close by and not crowded, lodging is affordable, and there are over 250 restaurants to dine at. To help guide and inspire your next fam jam, check out a few of the most recommended places, to have a blast with your family, in Grand Junction!
Kick off an exciting day full of adventure and family fun with breakfast Main Street Bagels in Downtown Grand Junction. Everyone can fuel up on house-made treats such as bagels, artisan bread, homemade granola, breakfast sandwiches, and a variety of other baked goodies. This spacious café has plentiful seating both inside and out - making it perfect for the family to dig in before heading to the next adventure. Pro Parenting Tip: Snag a bag of Main Street Bagel’s Peanut Butter Crunch granola so you and the kiddos have something to snack on throughout the day.
If a relaxing sit-down breakfast is more your style, check out Dream Café, where steak & eggs, breakfast tacos, eggs benedict, and fruity pancakes are served up hot and fresh. Don’t just take our word for it though, over 1,100 reviews have Dream Café racking up a 4.6-star overall rating.
Before heading out for your day’s adventures, take a stroll down Main Street, where over 115 sculptures and murals frame the wide pedestrian-friendly sidewalks of Downtown Grand Junction. With many of the sculptures being interactive, the kiddos will have a blast getting playful with the art. Be sure to keep a lookout for the larger-than-life bike, which is the perfect place for a photo of the fam. Grand Junction is known for friendly and helpful locals, so don’t hesitate to ask someone to take your photo!
After fueling up for the day, let the kiddos choose their adventure at the dino museum. Experience an earthquake simulator and uncover Jurassic-era bones at the interactive Dinosaur Journey Museum. For another fun and educational kid-friendly destination, check out the exotic saltwater tanks and hands-on science experiments at the EUREKA! McConnell Science Museum, complete with more than 100 exhibits designed to make the wonders of science accessible and fun for all ages.
For lunch, drop into Grand Junction’s original brewery, Rockslide Restaurant & Brewery. Their menu has everything you expect including sandwiches, tacos, pizza, burgers and mac & cheese, so the pickiest of eaters will find something they like! Their Salmon Fish & Chips are a local favorite and are all-you-can-eat on Tuesdays and so is their Burnt End Mac & Cheese.
After grabbing a bite to eat, head over to Get Air Trampoline Park. Aside from the giant trampolines, check out the arcade, dodgeball, ninja course, obstacle course, foam pit, slamball, slackline, and even massage chairs! You can bring your own food and drink, and you also have the option to drop the kids off as long as they are over 9 years old.
If you need a sweet afternoon pick-me-up, pop into Gelato Junction, which boasts over 80 flavors of creamy confection including unique flavors like apple pie and traditional Italian flavors such as Zabajone. Just like every great ice cream shop, they also have the classics like ice cream sundaes, banana splits, malts and shakes. Plus, the convenient kid's area provides a fun and safe place for your little ones to hang out while you relax and indulge.
If the kiddos still have energy to burn off, take them over to Bananas Fun Park. It’s packed with activities including an arcade, lazer tag, miniature golf, go-karts, and bumper boats. Bananas also offers a waterpark with over 50 water features, 100 jet features, heated water, and a 10,000-gallon tipping bucket that is outrageously fun. The waterpark is open until 7 pm daily and the rest of Bananas Fun Park stays open until 10 pm through August 13.
There is no doubt that Bananas will work up an appetite for everyone, so perk up your little peeps with dinner at Junct'n Square Pizza. Dig into some hot garlic bread and a Detroit-style deep dish pizza or try their famous antipasta salad. They offer a variety of “meal deals” to choose from, which makes feeding the whole family a breeze.
Finish off the day with a relaxing evening and take the scenic Rim Rock Drive to the top of the Colorado National Monument, which is affectionately known as the “Heart of the World.” This 23-mile paved road has massive overlooks that many call a mini Grand Canyon. Numerous pull-offs along Rim Rock Drive make it easy to jump out of the car for quick and easy views of this amazing NPS site. Consider it hiking from your car!
The east entrance is only 6 miles from Downtown Grand Junction and the route takes about an hour to drive through the entire park from the east entrance to the west exit in Fruita. From there, you can hop on Interstate 70 in Fruita and head east back to your hotel in Grand Junction for a peaceful night’s rest.
We certainly jammed in a ton of fun here, so you might want to consider staying a few days to spread a few activities out or explore even more. Considering Grand Junction has some of the most affordable lodging in Colorado, including 32 hotels & motels and hundreds of vacation homes to choose from, you can stay awhile without emptying your wallet.