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Whether you’re a local or plan on visiting the Mile High City, you’ll find a wide range of things to see and do with kids in Denver, including these fabulous options.
Visit the Denver Zoo (Nearby Hotels)
Located in City Park, just minutes from downtown, the Denver Zoo houses over 4,000 animals from 750 different species. It stands out, not only because of the natural habitats the animals live in, but for its eco-friendly operations. Visitors can view species across the globe, from curious orangutans, roaring lions and massive Asian elephants, to slithering reptiles and delicate butterflies. The Northern Shores section is particularly popular for its polar bears. Kids, and kids-at-heart, love the Endangered Species Carousel which showcases some of the world’s many endangered species and the Pioneer Train that runs around flamingo lake and carousel meadow. There are fun kid-friendly activities too, like face painting, a princess meet and greet, and a photo booth.
Check out the Children's Museum of Denver (Nearby Hotels)
At the Children’s Museum of Denver, kids can work off all of that energy on a three-and-a-half-story climber, step inside a 6-foot bubble, sculpt a clay masterpiece or power a hot balloon, plus there’s also something new to explore. There are educational opportunities too, including the chance for some important life lessons at the child-sized grocery market, fire station and construction workshop. The Big Backyard, where they can choose a costume and see the world through the eyes of their favorite backyard animal or insect, is always a big hit, as is joy park, which includes a zip line, a sand pile for digging, the chance to build a fort using large swaths of fabric and stacking blocks and more.
Explore the Denver Museum of Nature & Science (Nearby Hotels)
The Denver Museum of Nature & Science is popular with people of all ages, hosting exhibits on everything from Egyptian mummies to gems and dinosaur bones. The Discovery Zone is a fun, hands-on educational center for children, while the interactive Space Odyssey area introduces visitors to the outer reaches of the galaxy and beyond. The facility also displays artifacts that pertain to paleontology, health sciences, anthropology, zoology, geology and space science, and includes more than 90 habitat scenes and information on animals from across the globe. Daily shows and screenings are hosted in its planetarium and IMAX Theater as well.
Catch a Game at Coors Field (Nearby Hotels)
Taking the kids to a ball game at Coors Field, home of Major League Baseball’s Colorado Rockies, brings the opportunity to enjoy one of the most impressive stadiums in the nation. Located in the city’s Ballpark neighborhood, it offers spectacular views of the Rocky Mountains, and it’s also famous for hosting the highest homeruns in history. The adults will especially appreciate the outstanding fare available here, as well as the beer, with the new double-decker rooftop area that offers 52 craft beers on tap. Of course, very young children don’t usually have the ability to focus for long, but the good news is that there are plenty of other things for them to do, including a playground and a “Just For Kids” eatery.
Cool Off at Water World (Nearby Hotels)
If you’re in Denver during the hot summer months, don’t miss Water World. In fact, it’s likely to be the highlight of the trip, especially for the kids. Located just minutes north of downtown, it hosts dozens of slides and rides for all ages with a variety of thrill levels. It has everything from steep slides that gets hearts pounding to the long Lazy River, a relaxing fun time for the whole family, to a watery splash playground for little ones.
Play at Elitch Gardens Theme Park (Nearby Hotels)
Elitch Gardens is another popular spot for families, open between early May and early November. It’s the only downtown theme park in the U.S., and is actually two parks in one. One side is a water park with tubes, wave pools and waterslides, while the other is filled with amusements, featuring 53 thrill rides including huge roller coasters like the Mind Eraser coaster, a Ferris wheel and many other major rides. Little ones can enjoy the 75-year-old carousel and Star Toons Studio. The Island Kingdom Water Park is included with your admission to Elitch Gardens, making it a good deal if you plan to experience both on a nice day.
Explore the Underwater World at Downtown Aquarium (Nearby Hotels)
This entertainment and dining complex is home to the largest aquarium between Chicago and California. The aquarium boasts over a million gallons of underwater exhibits that highlight fascinating ecosystems around the world, providing the opportunity to see fascinating marine life for all. It houses more than 500 species of animals, an interactive Stingray Reef touch tank, the Aquarium Restaurant, Dive Lounge, the Nautilus Ballroom and activities for the whole family.
Dine at Casa Bonita (Nearby Hotels)
The entertainment at Casa Bonita is worth a visit on its own, especially if you have kids. The cliff-diving, flame-juggling and all sorts of shenanigans involving pretend natives are sure to mesmerize the kids. If the sensory overload gets to be too much, you can always order a bucket of beer.
Enjoy an Inexpensive Evening Out at Lakeside Amusement Park (Nearby Hotels)
If you’re looking for a cheap evening out, head to this old-school amusement park that’s haled as the best of its kind west of the Mississippi. Arguably, it’s a lot more than a spot to enjoy an inexpensive night of rides. It not only hosts an old-fashioned wooden roller coaster and miniature steam-engine train, but it’s packed with living history. It’s been entertaining families since 1908, and the park has really stood the test of time – some of which actually seems to have stood still, retaining much of the end-of-the-Victorian-era charm that has made it such a unique destination for locals as well as visitors. You can enjoy all of this for just a $4 admission fee – and, you can even bring in your own food for a picnic too.