Colorado Springs, CO

4 Awesome and free things to do in Colorado Springs

Conquering Cognitions

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I love Neil Pasricha’s book, The Book of Awesome. During a difficult time in his life, Neil challenged himself to think of something “awesome” every day for 1000 consecutive weekdays. His blog is hugely popular, and he has written several books about finding joy and happiness. A few of my personal favorites from his list of 1000 awesome things are:

  • #995 Finding money you didn’t even know you lost.
  • #918 When you’re really tired and about to fall asleep and someone throws a blanket on you.
  • #485 When someone saves you a seat.
  • #445 Pulling a weed and getting all the roots with it.
  • #378 Finally making it past whatever was causing traffic to slow down.

As a psychologist, I know the value of shifting our focus to things we are thankful for instead of fixating on the challenges.

Maybe you, like me, are suffering from the post-pandemic malaise that seems to be floating around everywhere. It’s in the air and has been difficult to shake. My motivation is low, sleep is restless, and I’m more forgetful and distracted these days. I just don't have the same energy to engage as normal, so I'm in need of something awesome.

Here are four places that I think are pretty awesome (plus free) in Colorado Springs!

The Colorado Springs Pioneer Museum

This downtown museum (215 S. Tejon Street) is open Tuesday-Saturday and admission is always free - awesome! The museum is located in the former El Paso County Courthouse which is an impressive building with a cool clock tower.

There are fascinating exhibits in the museum including Pikes Peak region history, art, women's history, cultural exhibits, and photography. It is enjoyable for all ages. Bring a picnic and enjoy it on the beautiful outdoor grounds.

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North Cheyenne Canon Park

This gem has tons of hiking trails, two visitor/nature centers, and a waterfall. You can start at the Starsmore Visitor and Nature Center (2120 S. Cheyenne Canyon Road) where there is plenty of free parking.

There are several trail options to chose from including a short nature walk and longer hiking opportunities. My favorite is the Columbine Trail which starts at the nature center and ends at Helen Hunt Falls. It is a long hike, about four miles each way, but it's awesome!

Downtown Colorado Springs Art

The flowerpots along Tejon street contain 21 sculptures made by local arts. There is also an annual "Downtown Arts on the Street" that has 12 new pieces this year. You can download a self-guided tour here.

My favorite permanent downtown art displays are the 4 Humpty Dumpty sculptures and "The Pumpkin Man" (on the grounds of the Colorado Springs Pioneer Museum). Get outside, enjoy the beautiful weather, and marvel at some wonderful art. Another awesome free experience in Colorado Springs.

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Bear Creek Dog Park

I realize this may only be awesome to those of you with a dog, but if you don't have a pup, it is a fun place to watch someone else's four-legged friend play. This dog park has lots of open space for running, a creek for those pups who love splashing in the water, and a separate fenced-in area for the smaller breeds. It can get crowded on the weekends, so I prefer to visit on weekdays.

Spending time around dogs always makes me feel brighter. Next to the dog area is a large park with playground equipment, tennis & pickleball courts, and plenty of green open space for your two-legged kids to enjoy.

These are just a few of the awesome finds in Colorado Springs. If you are needing a mood or energy boost, consider exploring some of these great finds for a quick pick-me up. Please follow me to read more about free or low cost activities that can benefit your health and spirit!

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Jill is a clinical psychologist who earned her PsyD in 1997. She has over twenty years of clinical experience working with anxiety, depression, and trauma. Jill enjoys writing about personal growth, self-care, and healthy relationships. She is also an outdoor enthusiast, museum lover, and runner.

Colorado Springs, CO
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