What it’s like to Living in a Tiny Tourist Town Raising Kids

What it’s like to Living in a Tiny Tourist Town Raising Kids

You’ve made it. You’re finally here.

The streets are filled with other tourists like you, slightly lost even though it’s a small town. You wander around admiring the jagged badlands peeking from behind the western style buildings.

Everything is quaint.

Kids laugh and swing in a nearby playground, and the smell of burgers and pizza floats your way. Flowers are planted in pots and wells around town and lining sidewalks. You follow a trail of perennials up to what you assume is one of the many gift shops.

But it’s not.

A sign hanging by the door states that this little house is a private residence, and you can’t help but wonder.

What would it be like to live in a tiny tourist town all year round?


‘Cause a little bit of summer is what the whole year is all about.

–John Mayer

During the rushing summer season, I work in the historic Rough Rider’s Hotel as a server in Theodore’s Dining Room. I love it. There are so many people from all over the world, and not just my coworkers, but customers.

And the number one question I hear when a table sees my nametag that declares Medora as my home is, “What’s it like to live in a tiny tourist town?”

In the summer it’s hot and busy. It’s a rush of smiling faces, meeting new friends, and serving the traveling public. When not working, my kids and I pretend to be a tourist, taking in the musical, ice-cream, shops, and toys. It’s great to get pictures of their smiles as they play mini golf or splash in a pool.

The only downside is my kiddos and I barely see my husband. This is the season of work, and he likes to half-joke in June that he’ll see us, his waiting family, on his next day off.

Which will be in September.


[bctt tweet=”Life starts all over again when it gets crisp in the fall. –F. Scott Fitzgerald” username=”contactrwc”]

August passes by in a blur you can barely remember. Many of the workers are only half-present as each can almost feel themselves back in their respective homes.

Happy, but exhausted we enter the Fall season.

The streets, which only a couple of weeks ago were filled with life, are quiet. Like a scene from an old cowboy film, you almost expect to see a tumbleweed rolling across the deserted roads. Then the monsters come out as children from the Medora school go trick-or-treating to the well-decorated houses. The kids skip to a brick-made elementary school so quaint it even comes with a clock-tower.

Life as a postcard.

Fall also means a time for the workers to get any vacation time in they can. After the busy summer, many full-time employees feel the need to ‘escape’ from this little town for a time. To see something more than the awe-inspiring badlands or the nearest Walmart.

Change is necessary.


Snow falling soundlessly in the middle of the night will always fill my soul with sweet clarity.

–Novala Takemoto

There is a joke told by Jeff Foxworthy that goes something like this:

The four seasons of North Dakota are, winter, winter, still winter…and road construction.

It can feel as though winter in Medora never ends. Deep in the season, the days are mostly night as the sun falls behind the buttes around 4 pm. The temperatures with the windshield can reach up to -50 degrees and the snow so deep at times that my children cannot trudge through it un-shoveled. Sometimes, you wish to drive east or west on I-94 to see a new set of snow, only to find the highway closed. You begin to wonder precisely why you live in this tiny town.

It can be difficult; it can wear on your emotions.

Luckily, it’s stunning.

The snow falls in white cotton chunks that make the city look like a shaken snow globe. Christmas lights line the Rough Rider Hotel and shops while music from the hotel echoes down the snow-covered street. Tourists walk around for Cowboy Christmas carrying their hot chocolates as a horse and carriage trots by.




[bctt tweet=”Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end. –Seneca” username=”contactrwc”]

After a harsh, chilled winter, the citizens come out in Spring like animals from hibernation. Slowly you see people strolling the sidewalks once more, or bump into your neighbor at the gas station. We always end up remarking that, though we planned to get together during the winter season, we haven’t seen each other since last summer.

The time truly flies.

And it never soars faster than in a Medora spring. There is the terrifying wait to hear if each department will get its seasonal employees, foreign or American. There is the race and worry to get each store and restaurant cleaned, stocked and ready to open for the season. Spring is a moment of pulling your hair out with worry and stress, yet each of us here learns something about ourselves and co-workers that we never knew before.

We grow and mature like the young plants and buds around us.

But it is a joy to watch the new faces arrive, from near and far. To see old friends from past seasons and meet future friends. To see this unique city come alive once more. To see my kids play with others once more, to swim, laugh and play.

When you live in a tourist town, you may sometimes hear a visitor standing outside your door, chatting with friends or family. They may peek in your window or even sit on your front steps, thinking your home is another shop.

It can feel like you are an animal in a zoo.

But, it is lovely, emotional, and quaint, just like one of the Marquise’s paintings.

Winter is an etching, spring a watercolor, summer an oil painting and autumn a mosaic of them all. –Stanley Horowitz

living in tourist town

Garden of the Gods park

5 Best Places to Visit in Colorado Springs with Kids

Colorado Springs is a beautiful mountain town in Colorado state in the USA. It has many places to attract tourists and it is a nature lover’s paradise.

When I first visited this place a year ago, I fell in love with the mountains around the town. Nature seems beautiful even in winter with snow. There are a lot of places which kids will love. Here is a list of the best 5 places we enjoyed visiting with our kids.

  1. Pikes Peak Cog railway

Most of the kids enjoy the train rides. When the train goes to a mountain peak called “Pikes Peak” which is at 14,500 ft above sea level, it’s an incredible experience. This 3 hrs 15 mins round trip is never to be missed if you are visiting Colorado Springs. The trip to the peak offers fantastic views of valleys, lakes, forests and, waterfalls. If you are lucky, you might get a sight of animals like bighorn sheep, elks and squirrels. The summit has a gift shop and café to refresh. The donuts sold at the peak are crispy and delicious.

  1. Royal Gorge Bridge

Does your kid love a Gondola ride? Then, this bridge and park in Canon city which is around 1 hr drive from Colorado Springs is not to be missed. Royal Gorge is one of the world’s tallest suspension bridges. The Gondola ride gives breathtaking views of the valley and Arkansas river in the canyon. A walk on the bridge is also nice with kids. The entry is $23 per adults and $18 per child above 2 years old.

  1. Garden of the Gods

This is a natural park with free admission. Your child might love to watch the red rock formations and predict the shapes of rocks. There is an option to try rock climbing for kids. Balanced rock is the main attraction of the place where one rock is balanced on the top of the other. The visitor center has a lot of educational information for children to learn about how the rocks are formed. There are many walking trails and hiking activities and this place is beautiful to visit in all the seasons.

4. Cheyenne Mountain Zoo

At an elevation of 6800 ft above sea level, this is one of the highest zoos in America. This zoo is home to over 750 animals and 170 species of animals. There are many engaging exhibits for the kids and rides like carousel and skyline ride. Children can spot over 150 species of reptiles along with animals like snow leopard, tigers, giraffes, grizzly bears etc., Children will love feeding Giraffes. Admission is around $19.75 for adults and $14.75 for kids.

  1. Cave of the winds

These caves are millions of years old but discovered only in 1869. They have many limestone formations which are formed naturally over the years. The caves have regular tours to educate children and adults alike. The knowledgeable guides explain about cave geology and the differences between many limestone formations. There are adventurous rides as well like Bat-A-pult, wind walker challenge and Terror -Dactyle.

Stalactites inside the caves

I love this variety of tourist attractions here. A cave, A Mountain summit, A bridge, Natural rock formations and a zoo. Don’t you agree?

5 Best Places to Visit With Kids in Colorado Springs | Travel | kids | Family | Colorado


Mahathi Ramya Raising World Children - Where Cultures Meet Parenting Mahathi Ramya is a mom of 2 boys, a blogger, software testing professional and a classical dance teacher. She writes on books, travel, and parenting. She loves writing, traveling and painting a lot.