Loveland, Colorado- Best Denver Family Getaway!

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I’m a Colorado girl- born and raised. Yet I am constantly surprised by how much our state has to offer! From waterfall mountain hikes to sled-dog rides at the YMCA, Colorado never ceases to enthrall me.

So when we were invited on a press trip to see everything Loveland had to offer I was excited. I was raised next door in Fort Collins, and never spent time in Loveland because it seemed like we had everything in FoCo- why drive?

But once we got our itinerary for the weekend, I was super surprised to see the array of activities, restaurants, and hikes available in Loveland.

In this post, I’ll walk you through our weekend in Loveland- what we did, where we stayed, and where we ate. But before all of that, I’ll say- if you are considering a weekend getaway to Loveland- just do it!

Loveland Location

Loveland, Colorado is located in Northern Colorado, just west of the I-25 highway between Longmont and Fort Collins.

From Denver, it takes about 45 minutes to drive to Loveland, making it a great day trip for families of all shapes and sizes.

Loveland isn’t a huge town- the population is just about 80,000 people, many of whom work in Fort Collins. Loveland is most famous for its Valentine’s Day celebrations, but any time of year is a great time to visit.

Where To Stay

We stayed at the Embassy Suites and it was perfect- for a few reasons.

The first is that it is right off of the I-25 highway, and we were arriving late on a Friday from Denver. It was super easy to get to late at night.

We had a two-room suite, one room had two queen beds, there was a bathroom and then a room with a tv. It was nice to have extra room for our luggage. We visited during World Cup 2022 and the second TV in the extra room was perfect- we watched the game while the girls watched cartoons.

The other thing we loved bout the Embassy Suites was the breakfast buffet. They have made-to-order omelets and pancakes, a great coffee machine, fruit, pastries, cereal, yogurt… pretty much everything you can imagine. And it’s all included!

The other bonus about the Embassy Suites is that there is a Manager’s reception each night with cocktails and snacks. We were so busy running around town that we didn’t get a chance to go, but it is a nice perk. Both the breakfast and the reception are included in the price of a room.

Things To Do

Loveland Visitor’s Center

The very first thing you should do is head to the Loveland Visitor’s Center on the northwest side of I-25 at the US 34 exit. Here you can take a photo with the iconic “Love” sign, and you can visit the gift shop. I couldn’t believe all of the high-quality products made right in Loveland- we took home homemade salsa, a Christmas ornament, and Loveland-made vodka!

The back of the iconic “Love” sign is covered with engraved locks- you can purchase a lock at the Visitor’s Center and “lock your love” forever on the sign! We chose to write “pura vida” on our lock and it turned out super cute.

Loveland Laser Tag

From the Loveland Visitor’s Center, we headed to Loveland Laser Tag. We had never played Laser Tag before, and we weren’t sure what to expect- especially since we were in a warehouse behind a Walmart.

We couldn’t believe how nice it was though. The facility boasts not only laser tag, but also a climbing wall, bumper cars, an arcade, and a ropes course. There is a cafe with pizza and beer too!

The pricing structure and activity schedule is super client-friendly, but we were confused about what we had paid for. We had to keep going back to ask a zillion questions, and the staff was so friendly!

Basically, you can pay per activity, you can pay for three activities, or you can pay for a three-hour window to do whatever activities you want. It was super cool to see parents dropping their teens and older kids off to spend the day playing laser tag, and to see families like us with their kids playing laser tag.

The laser tag course is super clean and fun, and if you aren’t playing tag you can see the progress of the game outside on monitors. My husband and I played one round and then let the girls go wild. Everyone had a blast!

The Loveland Museum

We had some time to kill downtown before our next activity started, so we walked around The Foundry area. We happened upon the Loveland Museum and decided to go in. Admission to the main part of the museum was free, so why not?

The museum was so cool! It goes through the history of Loveland, and really focuses on the C&H Sugar industry that dominated Loveland in its early days. The girls loved walking through the old-time hotel and seeing artifacts from back in the day- it was a great, free way to kill an hour!

The Flipside

We stayed downtown for our next activity, which was the arcade. Even though there are tons of outdoor activities for families in Loveland (we can’t wait to get back in Spring for some hiking!) the weather was supposed to be cold so we chose indoor activities for this trip.

Plus, I LOVE to play Skee-Ball, and The Flipside arcade was supposed to have really good machines. So we headed in to find out if it was true.

The Flipside is a bar/arcade located right downtown in Loveland, and the fun thing is that all the machines take quarters. There are quarter machines located right inside the door. Once you have your quarters, it’s game on!

The locale doesn’t serve food, it’s just a bar, so I was wondering how family-friendly it would be. We have an adult arcade here in Denver and it gets pretty wild at all hours of the day. We were pleasantly surprised to see how many families were enjoying The Flipside in the afternoon. There was even a kid’s birthday party!

I was thrilled with the bartenders- they were cocktail mavens and really took pride in making high-quality cocktails. They weren’t too expensive either- I think the most expensive one was $9.

As for the Skee-Ball? I emptied $25 into the machines- they were in great condition, the scorekeeping screen actually worked, and the balls were in pristine condition. Flipside- I’ll be back!

Colorado Eagles Game

It’s not a trip to Loveland without seeing a game or a show at the Budweiser Events Center, and we chose to see the Colorado Eagles in action.

The Colorado Eagles are the semi-professional hockey team in Colorado, and they make their home in Loveland. Tickets start at just $19/person, and the arena doesn’t have a bad seat in the house.

The team won the national championships last year, and we were thrilled to see many of the same players take the ice this year too.

My girls had never been to a sporting event in person before- they loved it. Between the cheerleaders, the lights, the announcers, and the players on the ice, they were completely enthralled. I’d definitely recommend heading to a game. The best part was that we could walk to the events center from the Embassy Suites, so we didn’t have to worry about parking for the game.

Places To Eat

Vato’s Tacos

We love a good Mexican street taco, and living in northeast Denver means we have a plethora of authentic tacos trucks right in our backyard. We went to Vato’s with low expectations since we are taco snobs.

We arrived to find a huge menu with not only tacos but also burritos, tortas, and nachos. The kid’s menu had tacos and included a drink and dessert for a reasonable price. The cocktail menu was on point- of course I had a try a Paloma. What we most loved? How genuinely nice everyone was.

We tried several tacos and the nachos. I loved the fried avocado taco and my husband couldn’t get enough of the pork belly taco. The girls thought the chicken tacos were so good that they each ate 4!

Needless to say- Vato’s Tacos is now on our list of favorite places to eat.

Blue Bar and Grill

Located on the club level of the Budweiser Events Center, the Blue Bar and grill opens before each Colorado Eagles game and serves food.

They have a buffet option and a small menu. We chose to eat here because logistically it was just the easiest. We could go in the Club Level entrance since we had reservations at the Blue Bar, and we would already be near our seats when we were done eating.

The location of the Blue Bar and Grill was awesome for us- when the girls were done eating they could go peek at the game while we finished our beers.

The service wasn’t great though, and the food was mediocre at best. I would recommend it for ease, but not because the food is great by any means.

Holidays In Loveland

Winter Wonderlights

Christmas in Loveland is one of a kind! The Winter Wonderlights at Centerra mall is located just behind Macy’s, and they run nightly light shows. Each show runs on the hour and lasts 30 minutes, between 5-9. You can wander through the Chapungu Sculpture Park and enjoy the lights. Santa is around, several nights have free photos with Santa.

When we went it was really busy, so I’d say get there earlier rather than later. Bring warm clothes as the entire event is outside.

Sweetheart Festival

Loveland is the sweetheart city, and they go big for Valentine’s Day! One of my favorite Loveland traditions is to send a Valentine through the city for a special Valentine’s Day stamp.

Otherwise, the Sweetheart Festival is a multi-day Valentine’s celebration happening downtown. It includes a race, vendors, activities, music, and more. Definitely check it out it’s an internationally recognized celebration!

Disclosure: I was provided access to Loveland on a press trip for Visit Loveland. All opinions are my own.

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Christa Jimenez

Welcome! I’m Christa, a Spanish teacher married to a handsome Costa Rican and mother of two bilingual daughters. We’ve spent over 25 years living in and traveling to Costa Rica with our daughters, and this website is my love letter to all things Costa Rica- and to bilingual parenting too. You can read my full story here. Thanks for stopping by!

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