Destination: Grand Junction!

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The final bell has rung and the school year has come to an end. It’s now time for a family vacation! Reward the kiddos for their straight A’s (we like to think so) and treat yourself for helping with homework and carpooling. 

With over 1.5 million acres of public land, endless family activities and affordable lodging, take your Colorado family vacation to the next level without breaking the bank. Grand Junction has the most variety and affordable lodging in Colorado, so you can plan to stay an extra night or two. 

Brainiac Fun

Inquisitive minds want to know! Colorado Mesa University is known as one of the nation’s fastest-growing universities, so it is no surprise that Grand Junction knows how to make learning fun. 


Dinosaur Journey Museum: 

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Dinosaur Journey Museum is part of the Museums of Western Colorado and displays fossils that were found in the Grand Junction area. Both dinosaur enthusiasts and kids love visiting this interactive museum, which includes over 15,000 actual fossils, an earthquake simulator, fossil-cast dinosaur reproductions and robotic dinosaurs.


Eureka! McConnell Science Museum:

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Science meets Children’s Museum at Grand Junction’s Eureka! McConnell Science Museum. Eureka! joins the basic elements of science and mathematics with hands-on learning. Land a space shuttle, hold a bearded dragon, irrigate a peach orchard, and step into the mysterious darkness of the phosphorescent geology cave - all in one visit. Don’t be surprised if the kiddos have to drag the adults out the door.


Water, Zipline, Bowling & a Fun Park


Colorado River & Lincoln Park Pool:

Kids in Colorado River with Raft

While Grand Junction is considered a high desert, there are plenty of water activities for the kiddos to dive into. The Colorado River converges with the Gunnison River, creating many lakes and ponds that are perfect for fishing, floating or kayaking. The section of the river that crosses through Grand Junction is known for its peaceful and calm water which is ideal for those looking to float along on a tube, raft or SUP. 

If you prefer slides over river water, check out Lincoln Park—Moyer Pool. Featuring a splash pad, water playground, water slide and concessions, you can watch the kiddos splash around while you relax in the shade on the comfortable deck furniture. Lincoln Park Golf Course is nearby if the adults want to run over and play a quick nine holes.


Zipline Adventure:

Riverfront Zip Adventures Zipline Across the Colorado River

Riverfront Zip Adventures offers an experience that is sure to create a core memory for the kiddos. Soar 1,180 feet through the sky over the Colorado River and rappel 30 feet off the landing pad. Race your competition for a fun challenge or take in the beautiful landscapes of Grand Junction while you feel the rushing air on your face. Whichever you choose, this is an experience that can’t be found anywhere else!

Freeway Bowl & Orchard Mesa Lanes:

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Some family vacation activities never get old – although the stories parents tell about bowling from their own childhood might! It turns out that what was fun as a kid back in the day, is still fun at Grand Junction’s two bowling alleys: Freeway Bowl and Orchard Mesa Lanes. While the kids might call the giant bowling pin and neon sign “vintage” or “retro” and parents will call them “classic” or “nostalgic,” - everyone will call a night of bowling and arcades memorable! Just think, years from now your kids will be telling their own children the memories of bowling on their Grand Junction vacation and continuing the tradition!


Bananas Fun Park:

Bumper Boats at Bananas Fun Park

You’re going to go bananas with all the fun the family has together at this fun park. The Aqua Play Center is 6,000 square feet of splash fun, perfect for the warm summer days. Bananas Fun Park also has go-karts, bumper boats, miniature golf, laser tag, inflatable playland, splash pads, water slides, water guns, and the best birthday packages anywhere. They even have a full-service restaurant at Congo Café, complete with adult beverages.


Nostalgia & Baby Boutique

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Yes, shopping in Grand Junction can be enjoyable for the whole family - if you go to the right places! We’ve rounded up a couple of kid-approved shops that are unique to Grand Junction with items you can’t find anywhere else. 


Hog & Hen and Candy Time Shoppe: 

 Hog & Hen / Candytime Shoppe 

Imagine the perfect marriage of a general store, specialty bodega, local market, liquor store, and gluttonous confectionery shop complete with nostalgic candy. Hog & Hen and Candy Time Shoppe is a great place to shop for unique, local gifts and Colorado family vacation souvenirs to take home. Plus, you can also enjoy incredible, fresh sandwiches made to order in the deli – we recommend The Tom. Hog and Hen may be hard to describe, but it’s easy to enjoy with the whole family!


Freezies Treats

New to Grand Junction, Freezies Treats has been perfecting freeze-dried sweets and shipping them worldwide for over three years. The new storefront in Grand Junction takes gourmet ice cream and coats it with the freeze-dried goodness of the various candies making for a unique sweet treat that the kiddos will love. 


Colorado Baby:

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Megan and Alberto, and their seven kids, are the family behind Colorado Baby, a boutique children’s shop with trendy and natural parenting products. From books to toys, baby gear to educational games, this perfectly appointed shop is worth a stop even if you don’t have kids—it’s just that cute.


Grand Junction guarantees your family vacation will be one for the books. Start planning now, before the bell rings for the next school year. For more Grand Junction family adventures, check out the Fam Jam itinerary on page 38 of the Grand Junction Visitor Guide.