A day out having fun as a family is a wonderful thing. In these tough economic times though it can he hard for families who want to do something fun because it can cost so much money. The residents of Rio Blanco County are blessed to have many free and fun options right on their doorsteps. Whether you live in Rangely or Meeker the options of what to do for free are plenty.
Rangely: Rangely is a fairly secluded town but because of this it actually has a lot going on right there.
- Playground: There is a playground at the elementary school and then the nice new one in town. The new playground was built in 2008 and has a lot of cool features. There are parts of it appropriate for kids of all ages and it is a hot spot in the summer for kids and families to enjoy a day together. It is surrounded by plenty of green grass so you can bring your soccer balls, baseballs, footballs, frisbees or whatever else you can think of as well.
- Reservoir: Directly east of Rangely on Highway 64 as you head towards Meeker is the reservoir. The reservoir is always filled with people having fun in the summers. You can wade in the water, fish or if you have a boat you can water ski. It is a beautiful place and a lot of fun. Due to the fact that it is a large body of water make sure to take precautions to avoid mosquito bites on your kids.
- Hiking: Rangely can literally feel like it is in the middle of nowhere, which is one thing most residents like about it. With that being said it is surrounded by tons of open space, most of which is BLM land. There are plenty of places to hike with the family. Be sure to take steps to avoid sunburns and watch for snakes.
- Rec Center: The Rangely Recreation Center is a great place that has recently had a lot of updates. They sometimes sponsor free activities so be sure to keep a booklet of their activities on hand so you can be aware of upcoming events.
Meeker: Meeker is the county seat for Rio Blanco County and therefore has many activities going year around.
- Playground: There are 4 playgrounds in the town of Meeker. City Park has some nice playground equipment and is fenced in around the playground. It also has a huge grass area outside of the fence that you could play soccer, baseball, volleyball or frisbee on. There is a volley ball court and basketball court as well. It has a covered picnic area. The old preschool building has a nice playground that is no longer used by the schools. This one is great for smaller children as well as bigger children. It has some nice shade trees. Near the rec center is Paintbrush Park and it has some fun activities for a little bit older kids. It also has baseball and soccer fields right next to it. The elementary school has a nice playground and since it was built in 2010 it is all new.
- Fishing: There are two lakes close to town and then the river. One lake is west of Meeker on Highway 64 not too far before the turn off for County Road 5. The other is up river. Both are great fishing spots. Take precautions to avoid mosquito bites and sunburn.
- Hiking: Meeker is a beautiful place surrounded by mountains and therefore has many beautiful places to hike. Although there is still plenty of BLM land around Meeker, there is more private land around it then Rangely has so be sure to check where you are hiking. You can also go out of town to Hanging Lake in Glenwood Springs to hike.
- Rec Center: The Meeker Rec Center is wonderful about hosting activities in town and throughout the year that are free. The recent Community Appreciation Day was a hit and the Range Call always brings a lot of people out and about.
Whether you are in Rangely or Meeker there should be no reason you can’t enjoy fun family time even on a limited budget. Have a great rest of your summer!