Thinking about taking the kids on vacation? How about right here in Southern Colorado.
It's what more of you are doing according to tourist attractions across the state. Many of you are still taking that family trip without breaking the bank.
There are a ton of places to go and see, even places natives have never been. Depending on what you want to do, negotiating a price that's right for you, is not out of the question.
In Cripple Creek we were able to find a home for rent for cheaper than it’s listed price. We tried the old fashioned method of negotiating down the price, and it worked. We simply e-mailed the renter and asked if we could get the price knocked down from $150 a night to $125 a night and they accepted.
The home was lovely. "There's a lot of antiques and we try to keep that whole era," said Kim West who is owner of Red Door Vacation Rentals.
"People still want to get out," said West. And you still can. Just ask and you shall receive. "I'd rather fill the place for less than to have it sit empty, so, definitely, good time for negotiations this year," said West.
The home even came with some back yard amenities. It was furnished with a grill, patio set and hot tub.
The house also had room for at least two families.
Next, we take you to the Pikes Peak Heritage Center At Cripple Creek. It's brand new and has only been open for a couple of years. Last year alone they had more than 65,000 visitors.
"Most of our exhibits are interactive," said Ray White who is with the Pikes Peak Heritage Center At Cripple Creek. An added bonus: it's free admission.
"This is a great first stop," said White. White says they know where all the attractions in the area are, how to get there and how much they cost. "This is an easy, we like to say, one tank of gas destination," said White.
Next, we're off to the Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument Park in Florissant where they get roughly 70,000 visitors a year from all over the world. "Once you get here, you just love it," said Ranger Shawn Frizzell who is with the Colorado National Park.
But, that trend is quickly changing. "More and more people are coming locally, Coloradans, who haven't been here before," said Ranger Frizzell.
Strangers tell Ranger Frizzell. "I have lived down the road my whole life and I've never been here," said Ranger Frizzell.
They have 34-million year old fossils, petrified redwood trees and hiking trails. "This is a gem of a national park," said Ranger Frizzell.
You can spend at least two hours at the national park with the kids, that's just enough time for them to complete an activity list. Once they're done, they get a cool junior ranger badge.
Now, it's time for an activity for the parents. "Definitely a tourist attraction. We get a lot of tourists especially during the summer. We can be three or four rows deep in our tasting room," said Lexi McCarter who is with the Winery at Holy Cross Abbey in Canon City.
There are so many wines to chose from and almost all the wines you'd be sipping on are from home grown Colorado grapes. "All of our red wines we bring our grapes in from Palisade or Grand Junction," said McCarter.
They're open seven days a week, year round. "Our tasting room is always open," said McCarter.
The best part, it's free and kid friendly. They have an open yard area for the kids to play while you sip on wine.
Whether you like your wine sweet or dry, this next adventure is certainly going to leave you soaked from top to bottom.
We take you to Raft Masters which is also in Canon City. "All this stuff is right here in your back door," said Will Colon who is part owner of Raft Masters. "It'll be a stay-cation more than a vacation," said Colon.
The guys over at Raft Masters say they are also ready to break you a deal. "With the way the economy is right now, we're definitely out there to help out mostly families," said Colon.
They've changed their rates to suit you. So, instead of a flat rate, you pay three times your kid's age saving you an average of 30%. For a full day, it includes all your gear and a hearty lunch.
There are a ton of businesses out there right now that want your business and in some cases, like the vacation home, you might be able to name your price.
The links to all the places we visited are below.