A good way to get away from the hot summer hear is to take a train ride up to Pikes Peak(elevation 14,115 ft).
In Manitou Springs, there is a small train station, the Pikes Peak Cog Railway, that has a Swiss train to take you to the top of the mountain! The ride up to the peak takes 1 hour and 15 minutes, but it goes by quickly because your conductor is telling you about evens that have happened alone Pikes Peak. The ride is also cool because reserved tickets means that your family sits together. You may also see big horn sheep, mountain goats, or chipmunks!
As you get closer to the top, you realize that something has changed. The temperature is dropping and lots of bugs start to come through your window! The bugs do not bite. They are like small nats and just annoying. As you approach the summit, simply close your window to avoid the bugs, slip your jacket on, and have your camera ready for endless views. It can be kind of scary at first because of how high you realize that you are! When you get off the train, you see a really beautiful site! You can see Colorado, Kansas, and New Mexico!
At the top(and bottom) of the mountain, there are gift shops! Each gift shop sells different items, but I recommend you save your money until you get to the top. You will need to buy extra water to help to prevent elevation sickness. You have over 30 minutes to look around. I know it isn't very much time, but it is still fun to be at the top!
If you miss the train back down to the station, unfortunately you will have to hike back down yourself!
If you don't want to take the train to Pikes Peak, you can drive a car up, but that takes longer. You can also hike and camp half way, but that takes even longer. Either way you chose, drink lots of water on the way up to help with your loss of oxygen and have a great time!