The Garden of the Gods Visitor and Nature Center is the most visited attraction in the Colorado Springs region. Read our experience of this free education and nature center with interactive displays, spectacular views, photo opportunities and more.

Wondering “Should I visit the Garden of the Gods Visitor & Nature Center?” 

Yes, the Visitor Center alone is worth a stop. In my opinion, the Garden of the Gods Visitor and Nature Center rivals some famous National Parks like Arches National Park.

Plan Your Trip to the Garden of the Gods Visitor and Nature Center Colorado Springs
Garden of the Gods Visitor and Nature Center Colorado Springs

When we visited the Garden of the Gods, I was amazed at the quality of the visitor center.  This is more than check-in and grab a map, kind of place.  (Of course, you should get a map or download it here.)

There are so many things to do for adults and kids.  Even the toddler and preschooler had to be coaxed out of the visitor center.

The perspective from the terrace is a really spectacular view of the park with Pikes Peak in the back and changes with the daylight and seasons.  You can eat lunch at the cafe with a view of the rock formations.  We choose to picnic in the park instead of  eating at the cafe. 


The kids loved the interactive exhibits.   There are 30 interactive exhibits including:

Geology Exhibits

Kid Enjoying the Free Educational Geology Exhibit Garden of the Gods Visitor and Nature Center Colorado Springs Colorado
Enjoying the Free Educational Geology Exhibit

The five exhibits about the geology are displays of how the mountains, how the rocks in Garden of the Gods were formed, Colorado Geology.  The highlight is world’s only known fossil of the Theiophytalia kerri

Flora & Fauna Gallery

Kids and Toddler Enjoying the free Wildlife Exhibit at Garden of the Gods Colorado Springs Colorado
Toddler and Preschooler Enjoying the free Wildlife Exhibit

The wildlife display is an amazing collection of many different plants and animals of Colorado.  There are interactive displays of taxidermy, tracking wildlife, and education of scat.  

People & History

This exhibit does a wonderful job of telling the story of the Red Rock people, Colorado’s Native Americans and the Early Explorers.

American Buffalo Exhibit at Garden of the Gods Colorado Springs for the People and History portion.
American Buffalo Exhibit

Also, this exhibit highlights the buffalo as a prominent feature of the history of Colorado.  The information about the buffalo and what every single part was used for by the Native Americans was very educational.    

Buffalo art and photo op at the Garden of the Gods Visitor and Nature Center
Kids posing for photo of Buffalo Sculpture

The other exhibits include Tourism in Garden of the Gods, The Wall of Changing Seasons – Time Lapse Photography Exhibit, Fit for the Gods – A Photographic History of the Park and the Buffalo Photo op. 

3D Dinosaur Mural

We had a lot of fun with the 3D dinosaur mural.  Taking googfy photos over and over.  

Sisters having fun with the 3D Dinosaur Mural at the Garden of the Gods Visitor and Nature Center Colorado Springs Colorado
Sisters having fun with the 3D Dinosaur Mural

Geo-Trekker Theater. 

Learn how the amazing red rocks got there with the NEW Geo-Trekker theater experience, shown every 20 minutes.

HD Movie: “How Did Those Red Rocks Get There?” shown in the Geo-Trekker Theater. You do have to pay for tickets to the short movie ($5/adults, $3/children).. 

Junior Range Program

Also Garden of the Gods has their own Junior Ranger program.  You can pick up your booklets at the information desk and return it when finished to collect your junior ranger badge.  We are big fans of the Junior Ranger Programs at the state and national parks and were equally impressed with this one. 

Gift Shop

No visitor center is complete without a Gift Shop.  This gift shop has won awards in Colorado Springs.  The shop at the Visitor & Nature Center offers kids activities, geology gifts, books, apparel & keepsakes and Native American pottery & jewelry. 


Planning Your Visit to the Garden of the Gods

Entrance sign for the Garden of the Gods Visitor and Nature Center Colorado
Entrance sign for the Garden of the Gods Visitor and Nature Center

The Garden of the Gods Park and Visitor and Nature Center are free to the public. Its is located directly across the street from the Park’s main entrance at 1805 North 30th Street

  • Address: 1805 North 30th Street
  • Cost:  Free Admission
  • HoursWinter Hours: 9 am – 5 pm
  • Summer Hours: 8 am – 7 pm
  • Closed Thanksgiving,  Christmas & New Years Day
  • The park hours are from 5 am to 9pm 
  • Handicap accessible and stroller friendly
  • Download a Map of the Park here

If you are planning on visiting the Colorado Springs area we have more resources for you. Make sure to read all about planning a trip to Garden of the Gods and things to do in Colorado Springs.


Places to Stay Near Garden of the Gods

Planning a trip to Colorado Springs and thinking about staying near Garden of the Gods? When I searched Garden of the Gods, I found 182 properties based on distance from the entrance. YOu can look through all the properties I found here at Booking.comcheck prices and availability

Here are some of our suggestions for places to stay near Garden of the Gods


Final Thoughts on the Garden of the Gods Visitor and Nature Center

You may be tempted to breeze by and go straight into the park but the Garden of the Gods Visitor and Nature Center is worth the stop. I think you will be impressed by the things to do here and all the exhibits.

The interactive exhibits and photo opportunities were so much fun for the kids – toddlers to tweens.

After you visit let us know what you think of this world class visitor center.

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