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Top Spots To Take The Kids In Northern Colorado

With outstanding schools and wide-open spaces, Northern Colorado is a great place to raise children and as a result many families have chosen to make places like Fort Collins and Loveland their home. From a variety of parks, trail systems, museums and recreations centers, parents will find lots of fun things to do with the kids in Northern Colorado. Here are some of the very best places to take the kids.
Family Fun Plex

Family Fun Plex

1501 65th Avenue
Greeley, CO 80634
(970) 350-9401
The Family Fun Plex in Greeley is just one weapon in this city's arsenal of family friendly activities. Others include the Greeley Ice House, the Greeley Recreation Center, Greeley History Museum, and Union Colony Civic Center. Family Fun Plex features an aquatic park with slides, an 18-hole miniature golf course inspired by the Poudre Canyon, a fitness center and full size gymnasium, a fun zone with NEOS games, a season water balloon battle ground, and last but not least a park with ball fields, playground and picnic area as well as an outdoor amphitheater.

Fort Collins Museum & Discovery Science Center

Fort Collins Museum & Discovery Science Center

200 Matthews Street
Fort Collins, CO 80525
(970) 221-6738
Today, the Fort Collins Museum & Discovery Science Center is located in an historic Carnegie Library building, but it will soon be housed in a larger facility being constructed at College Avenue and Cherry Street on the north side of Old Town. The new 43,000 square foot building will combine science, history and culture in a state-of-the-art facility. The Discovery Science Center is a wonderful place for children with hands on science experiments and even an opportunity to meet Slinky the Python. The museum is a jewel in Fort Collins' crown and the new facility will be an even bigger jewel. Keep tabs on current exhibits and the progress of the new museum by visiting the website.

Swetsville Zoo

4801 E. Harmony Road
Fort Collins, CO 80528
(970) 484-9509

If you enjoy Americana, then you must make a stop at Swetsville Zoo located just off Interstate 25. This roadside attraction harkens back to the days when the family would veer off the highway to see the world's largest ball of yarn or a larger than life statue of Paul Bunyan. In 1985, Bill Swetz began building animals out of car parts, farm machinery and anything else he found useful. It started as a hobby, but now there are 160 of these creations at Swetsville Zoo. Visitors marvel at the spider built using the body of a Volkswagon bug, metal dinosaurs and birds and so much more. Admission is free, but donations are welcome.

Greeley Freight Station Museum
Inside the Greeley Freight Station Museum (credit: CBS)

Greeley Freight Station Museum

680 10th Street
Greeley, CO 80631
(970) 392-2934
The Greeley Freight Station Museum is well-known among train aficionados and in 2008 it was featured on the front of Model Railroader Magazine. The museum has everything from full-sized trains to an award winning model railroad. This is one of the largest museums for model trains in the country. If you or your child enjoys trains, this museum is not to be missed. During the winter the Greeley Freight Station Museum is only open on Saturdays and on the first Friday of each month, so plan accordingly.

- Heidi Kerr-Schlaefer is the Mayor of and a freelance writer from Northern Colorado. Follow her on Twitter at @HeidiTown.

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