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8 Best Kid Friendly Things to Do in Denver

Best Kid Friendly Things to Do in Denver | CosmosMariners.com

This post was written in collaboration with Expedia.com

On our road trip from Las Vegas to Denver this year, we wanted to make each day as fun for our kids as possible. After all, if we were going to make 2 little kids get in the car every day, we wanted the destination to be worth the trouble.

As we hiked, explored, and camped our way towards Denver, we hoped that it would be filled with family fun like the rest of our trip. It did not disappoint! These are our favorite kid friendly things to do in Denver, so pack some snacks and get ready to go. I bet your kids--like my preschooler--will be begging to go back as soon as you get home.

City Park 

If you’ve never been to Denver before, City Park must be on your list. It has one of the highest concentrations of kid friendly things to do in Denver, thanks to the multiple lakes, massive playground area, and picnic perfect lawns.

You'll also find tennis courts, basketball courts, historical moments, and boathouse, so this sprawling complex has something for everyone from your sporty teen to your history loving middle schooler.

It’s also within walking distance of several other kid activities like the zoo and the Museum of Nature and Science, which makes it a great place to base your visit.

Start your day here, and let your kids burn off some energy before you head over to one of the paid attractions mentioned below. They might even like the park better than some of the other places on your agenda! (Isn't that how it always works?!)

If you're visiting during the summer months, see if your time in Denver aligns with one of the free outdoor movie showings. City Park is actually one of many spots in the greater Denver area with summer outdoor movie screenings, if that's your thing!

Red Rocks Park and Amphitheatre 

Best Kid Friendly Things to Do in Denver | CosmosMariners.com

This iconic concert venue is also an excellent destination when the weather in Denver is beautiful. Even little kids will be able to enjoy the easy Red Rocks Trading Post Trail, which is largely flat and well marked, and gives incredible views of the monoliths for which the park is named.

Music lovers will enjoy the new-ish Colorado Music Hall of Fame inside the park's trading post.

Families with older kids might try their hands at biking inside the park or a hike on the Geologic Overlook Trail, which is more challenging.

Don't forget to grab some lunch while you're there. Your kiddos will love the views from the Ship Rock Grille!

Check the concert schedule to see what’s playing, as older kids might be able to catch their favorite band here during your vacation. Click here for more information on the Red Rocks Park and Amphitheatre.

Children’s Museum of Denver 

This interactive museum for kids (not to be confused with the Wow! Children’s Museum in nearby Lafayette) is great for a rainy or chilly day. Just looking at the building (which is painted in bright primary colors) will get your kids ready for some fun times.

Inside, your little ones can try their hands at throwing a piece of pottery, listen to the daily story time, or learn about some tasty food in their kitchen demonstrations.

Elsewhere in the museum, your favorite adventurers can pretend to be a firefighter battling a blaze, splash in the water room, and practice grocery shopping in the kid-sized supermarket.

With four main sections (Explore, Imagine, Investigate, and Create), the entire family will be learning, making, doing, and laughing for your entire visit.

Note: Its exhibits will be most appreciated by elementary age kids, but there are areas for younger kids to explore as well.

Dinosaur Ridge 

Just outside of Denver and close to Red Rocks is the destination of every dinosaur lover’s dreams. (And really, who doesn't love dinosaurs?!)

Your family activities in Denver have to include a visit here so your kids can learn about the process of dinosaur excavation, see over 300 fossilized dinosaur tracks, and delve deeper into the area’s history at the indoor exhibit.

You'll have to have access to a car in order to venture this far out from the downtown area of Denver, but it is well worth the trouble. Plus, you'll get some incredible views of the city from this vantage point.

Union Station 

Best Kid Friendly Things to Do in Denver | CosmosMariners.com

It’s not one of the typical Denver children’s activities, but if your child loves trains, this would make for a fun stop as you wander LoDo (Lower Downtown). The recently refurbished Union Station boasts 22 platforms for train spotting, as well as a bookstore, reading areas, and several shops.

Take a break at Snooze for some of the best brunch you’ve ever had—and a kid’s menu that boasts amazing chocolate chip pancakes. If the weather is nice, your little one can frolic in the outdoor fountains after you eat.

The younger set of your travel group will also appreciate the massive chess and Jenga sets outside. Even if they don't know how to play, they'll have a blast hauling the pieces around while you wait for your seat at brunch!

Denver Zoo 

Best Kid Friendly Things to Do in Denver | CosmosMariners.com

Take a walk on the wild side!

After learning about Colorado’s extinct creatures, head to the Zoo at City Park to learn about conservation of the animals who live on the planet now. There are shows about birds, an area to learn how to be a responsible zookeeper, and a carousel onsite.

Visitors can also see exhibits with rhinos, giraffes, elephants, tigers, lions, African wild dogs, and hyenas. If you’re visiting during the summer, your kids can hop, splash, and dig in the Shore Play Area, complete with real sand.

For an additional fee, your family can feed one of the animals at the complex, such as the giraffes, lemurs, and penguins. There are also behind-the-scenes tours for groups who want to get up close and personal with the zoo's lions, tigers, and hippos.

The Denver Zoo website is chock full of ways to maximize your visit. Definitely check out the recommended itineraries for children, which help young visitors learn through questioning and play.

Denver Aquarium 

Best Kid Friendly Things to Do in Denver | CosmosMariners.com

With over 500 species on display, the Denver Aquarium lets you delve into underwater life even though you’re hundreds of miles from the nearest ocean. The property is divided by habitat, so you can choose to learn about the Amazon, open ocean, desert, or rainforest, and see animals, plants, and props unique to that area. Make sure you catch a glimpse of the mermaids who perform every 60 minutes during opening hours.

Your kids will also enjoy eating at the Aquarium’s restaurant in front of a 50,000 gallon tank. You might get lucky and have lunch while the daily dive show is happening!

Denver Museum of Nature and Science 

Best Kid Friendly Things to Do in Denver | CosmosMariners.com

Plan on spending an entire day here because your children will not want to leave. Start in the space exhibit where kids can don astronaut suits and man a pretend rocket, then head upstairs to learn about germs, immunity, and cells.

You can even do a science experiment on site! My preschooler and her cousin extracted wheat germ DNA, which was such a great learning experience. I definitely had to get in on the action while we were there as well, and I was happy to find that the lesson was well-guided and easy to follow.

There’s also a massive exhibit on animals from around the world, an IMAX theatre, dinosaur fossils, a planetarium, and an interactive Discovery Zone for younger visitors. We were there for nearly an entire day, and we still didn't get to see everything that the massive property has to offer.

Which of these kid friendly things in Denver would your kids like to do?


Best Kid Friendly Things to Do in Denver | CosmosMariners.com


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