The Best Neighborhoods in Colorado Springs for Families

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Malcolm-Wiley Floyd

Jul 19, 2023

CEO and Co-Founder of Stairs Financial, a YC-backed startup that connects first-time home buyers with down payment assistance programs across the US. Malcolm-Wiley studied economics at Harvard and is a licensed mortgage broker.

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    If you’re moving to Colorado, but you’re not sure if Denver is the right place for you, Colorado Springs is a good alternative. With a population of 480,000, the mid-sized city offers good schools, seemingly unlimited options for outdoor recreation, and housing prices that are more reasonable compared to Denver. 

    To help you with your search, we’ve found the best neighborhoods in Colorado Springs for families. Our list takes into account school ratings, housing affordability, recreation options, and proximity to amenities. 

    As a bonus, we also rounded up a list of the top things to do in Colorado Springs with kids. We hope the ideas inspire you.

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      Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only and should not be considered as legal or financial advice. Please consult an attorney, mortgage lender, or CPA for guidance on your specific situation.

      Best neighborhoods in Colorado Springs for families: The shortlist

      • Downtown Colorado Springs
      • Briargate
      • Northeast Colorado Springs
      • Central Colorado City
      • Northgate

      The 5 best neighborhoods for families in Colorado Springs: All the info

      These are the best neighborhoods for families with kids in Colorado Springs. All of these are within the city limits, though a couple of them have locations and layouts that are suitable for those who’d like to live in the suburbs.

      1. Downtown Colorado Springs

      Unlike Denver, Downtown Colorado Springs still has quite a bit of residential property and the downtown housing market prices are manageable. This is the most diverse and walkable neighborhood in Colorado Springs. It offers easy access to everything you need, from shopping and businesses, to Monument Valley Park with its river, trails, and playground.

      Additionally, the bordering neighborhoods of Middle Shooks Run, Knob Hill, and East Colorado Springs offer a similar location, atmosphere, and housing price point if you need to expand your housing search a bit.

      Neighborhood schools in downtown Colorado Springs rate slightly below average, but a nearby public charter, The Vanguard School, offers elementary, middle, and high schools that all rank 8/10 or higher. 

      Average home price: $545,000

      Walkability score: 89

      Top-rated schools: 

      • Columbia Elementary (4/10 rating on GreatSchools)
      • North Middle School (5/10)
      • Palmer High School (4/10)
      • The Vanguard School, public charter (8/10 elementary, 9/10 middle and high)

      Family Activities: Olympic Museum, Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum

      2. Briargate

      Briargate is a relatively large neighborhood north of Downtown Colorado Springs. It’s a nice middle ground for those who don’t want to be right in the hustle and bustle of downtown, but still want the option of getting into town easily.

      John Venezia Community Park is right in the middle of the neighborhood, and highway 25 offers a quick route into the heart of Colorado Springs. Schools in the area consistently receive high ratings. 

      Average home price: $574,966

      Walkability score: 34

      Top-rated schools: 

      • Mountain View Elementary (9/10 GreatSchools rating)
      • Challenger Middle School (9/10)
      • The Classical Academy High School, public charter (9/10)

      Family activities: John Venezia Community Park, Rampart Park

      3. Northeast Colorado Springs

      Northeast Colorado Springs is relatively close to downtown and is therefore relatively walkable. If walking isn’t your thing, the neighborhood is impressively easy to drive thanks to a couple of major thoroughfares that run through the area.

      This neighborhood is also flanked on two sides by Pulpit Rock Park and Palmer Park, which are two of the largest parks in town. In terms of schools, the area is split between two school districts, Colorado Springs School District #11 and Academy District #20, each with a number of high-rated options. 

      Average home price: $574,966

      Walkability score: 55

      Top-rated schools:

      • Lewis Palmer Elementary (8/10 GreatSchools rating)
      • Lewis-Palmer Middle School (6/10)
      • Lewis Palmer High School (9/10)

      Family activities: Pulpit Rock Park, Palmer Park

      4. Central Colorado City

      Central Colorado City is one of the best neighborhoods for families interested in making the most of living near the Rocky Mountains, since it’s on the west side of town. Highway 24 goes right from the neighborhood into the mountains. There are too many outdoor recreation areas to list within minutes of this neighborhood.

      Being close to the mountains also means this neighborhood and the bordering neighborhood, Pleasant Valley, have the qualities of a suburb, even though they’re just a few minutes from downtown. For families with school-aged children, the neighborhood has several well-rated schools to choose from. 

      Average home price: $535,000

      Walkability score: 57

      Top-rated schools: 

      • Taylor Elementary (9/10 GreatSchools rating)
      • Cheyenne Mountain Junior High (8/10)
      • Cheyenne Mountain High School (9/10)

      Family activities: Bear Creek Regional Park, Red Rock Canyon Open Space, Garden of the Gods

      5. Northgate

      Northgate is one of the most affluent neighborhoods in Colorado Springs. It’s within city limits, but the location essentially makes it a suburb. Even being a little further from downtown, there are still plenty of businesses in the area, there are two community parks in the neighborhood, and Fox Run Regional Park is only a short drive.

      Schools in the neighborhood receive mixed ratings, but families do have a few good options to choose from, including highly-rated Classical Academy public charter. 

      Average home price: $677,628

      Walkability score: 33

      Top-rated schools

      • Discovery Canyon Campus Elementary (7/10 GreatSchools rating)
      • Classical Academy Charter Elementary (9/10)
      • Classical Academy College Pathways, middle and high (8/10)

      Family activities: Western Museum of Mining and Industry, Fox Run Regional Park

      Learn more: Ready to buy a house in Colorado Springs? Make sure to read our article about closing costs in Colorado.

      Things to do in Colorado Springs with kids

      Colorado Springs is an impressively family-friendly town with plenty for young families to do. There’s a ton of history and family-friendly recreation in the area which ranges from parks and playgrounds to sports events at the Air Force Academy stadium.

      Outdoor recreation

      If you like to get outside with your family, there are dozens of outdoor areas which offer more than just hiking trails. There are caves, waterfalls, lakes, and historical sites close enough for day trips and afternoon outings.

      Cripple Creek Narrow Gauge Railroad

      The Cripple Creek Narrow Gauge Railroad offers a 45-minute train ride through the mining towns of Cripple Creek and Victor. The train is a century-old steam engine, which runs at a kid-friendly speed and offers plenty of space for the family to see the towns as the train chugs through.

      Penny Arcade

      Why do the games in this arcade cost a penny? Because they’re antiques. The penny arcade near Central Colorado City has everything from skeeball to pinball, all of them immaculately maintained and operational vintage machines. Additionally, there’s a taffy tub and other attractions within walking distance of the arcade.

      Rocky Mountain Dinosaur Resource Center

      Rocky Mountain Dinosaur Resource Center consistently ranks in the top 10 best dinosaur museums in the United States. There are 12,000 square feet of dinosaur displays including real fossils and posed skeletons. There’s also a fossil laboratory where the kids can watch fossils be extracted from ore deposits and restored.

      The North Pole

      Santa’s workshop is in the mountains just outside of Colorado Springs. North Pole Colorado is a Christmas themed amusement park complete with more than two-dozen rides, a petting zoo, and magic shows. Of course, there’s also a gift shop with some legitimate Christmas gifts.

      Cave of the Winds

      Cave of the Winds Mountain Park features an aerial playground complete with ziplines, rope bridges, and other acrobatic rope obstacles where kids can test their ninja skills. Children are outfitted with safety harnesses, so they won’t hit the ground if they fall. The kids can also explore the cave itself and learn about subterranean rock formations.

      Cheyenne Mountain Zoo

      The Cheyenne Mountain Zoo just south of Broadmoor has plenty of look-but-don’t-touch attractions. However, the kids can also feed giraffes, rhinos, goats and other fun animals in the hands-on part of the zoo. 

      Read more: Considering a move to Denver instead? Check out our list of the Best Neighborhoods in Denver for Families

      The bottom line: Is Colorado Springs a good place to raise a family?

      The Colorado Springs population is just under 484,000, which makes it a significantly smaller city than Denver. However, it still has many of the amenities of a larger city without the sprawl of a metro area, as well as a good range of quality schools.

      Colorado Springs may not offer the same career prospects as Denver, but it offers a lot more opportunities for family-focused activities. It’s also easier to get into the mountains from Colorado Springs and there are more historical and outdoor attractions.

      Additionally, there are colleges and employers in Colorado Springs, so the children won’t be forced to move to a larger city like Denver as they grow up, if they don’t want to. But, it’s a relatively short drive to visit Denver, if that’s where the kids end up.

      Ultimately, Colorado Springs should be considered a good place to raise a family. 

      Buying a home in Colorado Springs? How to get down payment assistance

      Although the Colorado Springs housing market tends to be more affordable than Denver, it’s still on the pricey side, with average home prices in the city sitting at close to $450,000. 

      Fortunately, there are a number of down payment assistance programs for Colorado buyers. Down payment assistance can help you hit those key down payment assistance points to make your monthly payments much more affordable.

      The problem is that it can be incredibly challenging to find information about down payment assistance programs, let alone decipher the best program for your circumstances and find a knowledgeable lender who can help you through the process. 

      Stairs is the solution to this problem.

      Stairs matches your information up with a huge database of loan options offered by trusted lenders. You get a targeted list of loans and any down payment assistance programs for which you qualify, making it easy to compare down payment assistance options side-by-side, apples-to-apples. 

      You also get access to knowledgeable lenders who understand the nuances of your specific down payment assistance program, so you can reduce the headaches of buying a home and ultimately get the most benefits possible. 

      Learn more about your down payment assistance options.

      Find up to $15,000 towards a home 🏠

      Compare local down payment assistance and find a mortgage, fast.

      Where do you want to buy?
        Search by ZIP code, address, city, county, or neighborhood
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