Manitou Cliff Dwellings
What To Do
Cliff Dwellings $10 for adults/ $7.50 for kids over 3 (under 3 is free)
Pueblo Museum (included)
Just so you are aware, this was not a place we sought out to visit. To be honest, I'd never even heard of it. Here's how we ended up at the Cliff Dwellings.
We were en route to Pike's Peak (which I have heard of) in Colorado. We arrived at Pike's Peak and were informed that the summit was closed thanks to some ferocious wind. The highest we would be able to ascend would be a little over halfway. The cost was the same regardless. I had a car full of kids and didn't fancy driving up Pike's Peak with ferocious wind blowing, so we needed an alternative.
Manitou Cliff Dwellings is a tourist trap at the bottom of Pike's Peak, and they caught us. The Cliff Dwellings are basically 1,000 year old housing units from the Anasazi Native Americans. I will say, whoever owns them right now has done an amazing job setting up the historical side of the exhibit. There isn't a large amount of activities to do here, so they ensure that what they do offer will fill your time. The plaques are very informative and interesting. It's a great location if you or your children are studying Native Americans as it shows a variation in Native American living. (You can prove to your children that they did not all live in teepees.)
Here are the highlights of the Cliff Dwellings:
They are hands-on. The kids are allowed to climb all over the structures which is pretty awesome. Your kids will have a blast.
They have interactive exhibits such as turning corn into maize and a teepee.
They're informative and the information is actually quite interesting, even if you are a history enthusiast. They have an audio tour, but the exact same information is also written on the dwellings.
Kids 3 and under are free.
Here are the lowlights of the Cliff Dwellings:
It's $10 to see these dwellings. Yes, $10. Kind of ridiculous.
The museum is small, merely a collection of Native American artifacts inside plexiglas. Not super cool to look at nor as informative as the actual dwellings.
This isn't even the real location of the Dwellings, they were relocated here.
The whole stop will cost you about an hour or two of time, tops. Most of that time will be spent telling your children to be careful.
In conclusion, though I wouldn't make a special trip here, if you have money and time to spare, your kids will love it. It is a great place to stretch your legs. The price tag was a little heavy for me based on what you get. My kids would probably disagree though. They had a blast climbing all over the dwellings. It was like a giant, rock clubhouse for them.
So grab your kids, get to Colorado Springs, and explore LIFE.