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Ouray Colorado Vacation Guide and Trip Planning Information for SW Colorado

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Is Ouray Colorado Fun for Kids and Families? You Bet!


Ouray: Fun for Kids and Families in Southwest Colorado

This weekend, one of our kids participated in the 25th Annual Ouray Swim Meet, which is a fantastically fun meet that welcomes teams from all over the Western Slope.  130 swimmers came from Cortez, Delta, Durango, Grand Junction, Gunnison, Montrose, Rangely, and Telluride.

The Ouray Public Pool has been in operation since the 4th of July in 1927.  Owned and operated by the town of Ouray, it is not only a public pool, but it is also home to the Ouray Screaming Eels. That's right! Check 'em out.

ouray colorado swimming


As far as a location for a swim meet, the Ouray Public Pool is gorgeous. The pool appears to be cradled in the mountains.

Here, see what I mean?

ouray hot springs public pool

Anyway, I knew that it was going to be a great day from the very beginning when they started blasting Bon Jovi over the speakers during warmups. I'm a former Jersey girl- I can't help it. I almost started doing cartwheels as I was remembering my gymnastics routine to Livin' On A Prayer in junior high. DON'T WORRY - I didn't do it. Here's another picture of Ouray’s gorgeous pool.

ouray colorado natural hot springs

And look at the excellent fly, compliments of a Screaming Eel:

ouray co public hot springs pool

After the meet, we headed over to the playground for a few  minutes, and also checked out the fish and turtle pond.  Someone told us that there are sixteen turtles that live there, and there were tons of beautiful fish. I meant to take a picture, but we were busy trying to fish (no pun intended) sweet child #2 out of the pond after she slipped and fell in. But here's a picture of the playground. This has got to be one of the prettiest  playgrounds in the country. No kidding.

ouray best playground in colorado

Our stomachs were starting to grumble, so we headed over to one of our favorite restaurants in Ouray: Buen Tiempo. This place just rocks. The staff is always incredibly friendly and generous with the chips, and their food satisfies. My favorite is the spinach enchiladas. Yum. We sat on their patio, which is just downright pleasant and beautiful. Inside is equally appealing. By the way, what is the deal with the dollar bills on the ceiling? Does anyone know? I am probably the only person who lives in this area who doesn’t know. Forgive me.

buen tiempo restaurant ouray colorado
We had originally planned on squeezing in a quick hike up Lower Cascade Falls, but we were all pretty tired by this point. So we walked around town and of course we had to go into Gator Emporium. We saw rocks, beads, butterflies, beetles, bow and arrow, jewelry, purses, and this guy, whom I love:

gator emporium ouray colorado shopping

Go into Gator Emporium, and be sure not to miss the 50% off Ugly Guy Statues sale. Go to the back. Yes, the deals are always in the back.

We had so much fun at the Ouray Swim Meet. I don't care how old my kids get, I will keep going back again and again, as long as they let us come, just so that I can spend a day in this stunning place where water meets mountain. Have you been dozens of times? Then you know what I'm talking about. Have you never been? Well then, you must add this to your list of
things you need to do in your lifetime.

Ouray Hot Springs Pool Info:

  • Hours: 10AM - 10PM 7 days a week
  • Slides are open 12PM - 6PM
  • 2011 Summer closure dates for cleaning: June 7th and August 16th
  • Daily Rates:
  • $12 for adults
  • $8 youth (ages 4-12)
  • $10 seniors
  • Children 3 & under and seniors over 75 are FREE!
  • 10 punch swim pass $84
  • 20 punch swim pass $144
  • Lockers are $.50
  • Towels and swim suits are available to rent.
  • (970) 325.7073


About the author:  San Juan Parent is a parenting blog with information about family activities in the San Juan Mountains and surrounding communities. It was created by a mom who is always looking for something fun to do with her energetic children that will tire them out and make them go to bed at a decent hour.


Those pictures look amaaaazing. Makes me wish I had more vacation days. Oh well
Posted @ Thursday, May 02, 2013 4:30 AM by physictourism
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