Located just east of the Rocky Mountains and known for its beautiful sunny weather and amazing outdoor-oriented culture, Denver is the ideal place to take your kids for a fun holiday.
Denver is filled with great museums, great amusement parks, and an awe-inspiring natural environment that lives in the hearts of both visitors and residents.
With so many kid-friendly things to do and such gorgeous and pleasant scenery, it’s no wonder that it was voted the Best Place to Live in the US back in 2016!
Here are our 12 great suggestions of things to do in Denver with your kids!
1. Rocky Mountain National Park
Let your kids become brave pioneers and adventurous explorers as you take them to the beautiful Rocky Mountain National Park.
With five different geographical zones and open year round, there’s no excuse for missing out!
From beautiful views, to fun hikes, scenic drives, and even camping, there’s plenty for your kids to enjoy.
What’s more, this is a great place for the whole family to have some fun while learning about history and the National Park’s environment.
What Would the Kids Love About the Rocky Mountain National Park?
- They’ll feel a sense of pride and responsibility when participating in the “Rocky’s Junior Ranger Program”.
- If your children are the active type, then they’ll love any one of the Rocky Mountain National Park’s numerous trail hikes.
- They’ll love to see the night sky while camping.
- Horseback riding is an activity that will live in their memories for years.
- The Moraine Park Museum has some exhibits especially tailored for kids.
- The Zipline Adventure will give them bragging rights throughout the rest of the school year.
2. Denver Museum of Nature and Science
One way of keeping kids entertained is to appease their inquisitive and naturally curious minds.
Let your kids discover the wonders of science!
From dinosaurs to far away galaxies, the Denver Museum of Nature and Science has an exhibit for everyone.
The museum’s interactive experiences and their weekend workshops are a perfect choice for those who prefer a more hands-on approach to learning.
The planetarium and the IMAX cinema are also great ways to encourage learning through fun.
What Would the Kids Love About the Denver Museum of Nature and Science?
- The Denver Museum of Nature and Science is always showing a selection of great movies in their IMAX theatres.
- If your kids are animal lovers or aspiring vets, then they’ll love the three level wildlife exhibit. The three-dimensional scenarios will allow them to explore the world in one day.
- With live performances, demonstrations, and even hands-on experiences, The Space Odyssey section is sure to leave any kid reaching for the stars.
- The kids will feel like true archaeologists as they see mummies and Ancient Egyptian artefacts.
- The gems and minerals section will surely draw many ooohs and aaaahs as the kids are exposed to some of the most beautiful and strange rocks they’ll ever encounter.
- Dinosaurs, ancient plants… Let your kids experience the closest we can ever get to Jurassic Park!
3. Denver Botanical Gardens
Let your kids enjoy fresh air while admiring beautiful gardens at the Denver Botanical Gardens.
Inhaling all the scents of the various flowers will have therapeutic effect and allow your family to have relaxing quality time together.
Take the kids to the Mordecai’s Children Garden where they can explore six different ecosystems.
Or perhaps they’ll enjoy seeing the Internationally Inspired Gardens or the Shady Gardens.
With 24 acres to explore, there are plenty of options for your kids!
What Would your Kids Love About the Denver Botanical Gardens?
- They’ll love being exposed to new and unique ecosystems unlike anything they could have imagined!
- The Mordecai’s Children Garden allows them to explore 3 acres of diverse plants.
- Their Water Gardens have over 450 water plants that are sure to capture your kids’ curiosity.
- Their Ornament Gardens include beautiful sceneries such as the Lilac Garden, the May-Bonfils Stanton Memorial Rose Garden, the Romantic Gardens, and the Victorian Secret Gardens. They will make your kids believe they’ve just stepped into a Disney movie.
- The Offshoots at the Gardens Café and the Hive Garden Bistro will satisfy their hungry stomachs as you eat surrounded by beautiful flowers.
4. Denver Zoo
If there’s something every kids loves, it’s a Zoo.
The Denver Zoo is full of exotic animals just waiting to enthrall visitors.
California Sea Lions, Indian Peafowls, South African Lions, Clouded Leopards, Bald Eagles, American Flamingos, Grizzly Bears, and Red Pandas are just some of the animals you’ll see.
With so different specis, you might not get to every animal in one day!
What Would the Kids Love About the Denver Zoo?
- The kids will love seeing all the different animals. From the ones they are all familiar with to the unusual they never even knew existed, the Denver Zoo will inspire them to learn more about animals and stimulate their imagination
- The Denver Zoo has a Pre-Planned Play-Based Itinerary created especially to get the kids to play and learn at the same time
- Your kids will love feeling empowered as they learn about what they can do to help animals everywhere
5. Winter Park Ski Resort
Don’t let the name fool you; the Winter Park Ski Resort is a great during the winter and during the summer.
There’s something here for everyone.
Older kids and teenagers will love the Friday Music Series, with different live music every Friday during the summer, and the Campfire Music Series every Wednesday during the winter.
There’s also a zip line, mineral panning, an outdoor climbing wall, the adventure quest course, tubing, a chocolate festival and of course skiing.
There are even dog sled dog rides.
With multiple lodging and dining options, you can take your time enjoying each of the activities!
What Would the Kids Love About the Winter Park Ski Resort?
- The kids will love burning all that excess energy while connecting with nature through hikes, skiing, biking, and more!
- Older kids and teenagers will feel like they are in a movie as they listen to live outdoor music every week.
- The kids who love adventure and pushing to new heights will love challenging themselves by going through the Adventure Quest course or going down the Mad Adventure Rafting. They’ll brag to their friends for years to come.
- Your little animal lovers will fall in love with the horses and the sled dogs.
- Kids who have a need for speed will love the alpine slides, the tubing, and the zip lining.
- Younger kids will have the option of mazes, bouncy castles, and trampolines.
6. The Epic Escape Game – Denver
The Epic Escape Room Denver is one of eleven locations spread throughout America that challenges our kids with clues and puzzles.
You have just an hour to escape the mystery themed room you’ve been locked inside.
The clock is ticking and you better hurry!
If your kids think they’re great at general knowledge trivia and better than Sherlock Holmes at deducing, put them to the test and find out if they can cope with the stress of solving the puzzles before time runs out.
What Would the Kids Love About the Epic Escape Game?
- They’ll love feeling useful and empowered as they work together with you to find a solution to the puzzles.
- The mental exercise and challenges will fill them with fire and determination.
- If you managed to escape the room, they are sure to feel accomplished for the rest of the day.
- If you lose, then they are sure to keep working together for days to come, bonding over trying to figure out the puzzles you missed.
7. Downtown Aquarium Denver
Let your kids discover the underwater world!
At the Downtown Aquarium in Denver there are multiple displays of everything aquatic.
With over 500 animals, the kids will love watching the sharks being fed by the keepers in scuba diving gear, the snorkeling adventure, and learning what it takes to be a marine biologist.
Who knows, maybe this is the trip that will inspire a lifelong passion.
They also have a 4D-Theater and Mermaid Performances and the restaurant has a great kids menu.
What Would the Kids Love About the Downtown Aquarium Denver?
- Kids will be mesmerized by all the different fishes and aquatic animals they encounter.
- They’ll be inspired by learning about the sea and its amazing animals.
- The Mermaid Performance will be sure to enchant anyone.
- The 4D-Theater will be an amazing and unique experience that they won’t forget.
8. Loveland Laser Tag
Fun, games, and adrenaline!
If your kids are the type who love to run wild, then the Loveland Laser Tag is the place to go.
Their three level laser tag arena is the largest in Colorado, allowing for up to 40 players to battle against each other in fast paced fun games.
Other activities available include the rope course, the arcade, the X-Rider 4D Motion Simulator, the Spin Zone Bumper Cars, the Laser Maze, the Climbing Wall, and the brand new Raid game.
The Loveland Laser Tag also has a café that serves pizza, fries, cheeseburgers, and slushies. It’s everything a kid could ever ask for!
What Would the Kids Love About the Loveland Laser Tag?
- The three level arena will offer the kids the most epic game of laser tag they’ll ever play!
- The rope course and the climbing wall will challenge them to do things beyond their imagination.
- They’ll love feeling like they are in a Mission Impossible movie as they try to make it through the laser maze.
- The café will keep them full of energy with their favorite foods
9. Elitch Gardens
Nothing screams “summer with the kids” more than a day at an amusement park.
Who doesn’t love the rides, the ice cream, or that tired yet blissful feeling on the ride back home?
Well, Elitch Gardens can offer all of that and more!
With over 100 years of experience, there’s something here for everyone.
The thrill junkies will go nuts over the Minder Eraser roller coaster or the XLR8R free fall.
For those who prefer more family-friendly rides, the 100 feet tall Big Wheel, the Ghost Blasters haunted house, and the Observation Tower will stand out in their memories.
For the very little ones, Elitch Gardens has a wide variety of kids’ rides to make sure they won’t miss out on all the fun.
What Would the Kids Love About the Elitch Gardens?
- The kids will love burning all that extra vacation energy running from one ride to the other
- Those who love speed will have adrenaline pumping in their veins while riding Elitch Gardens’ roller coasters
- The beautiful view of the Rocky Mountains from the observation deck will inspire both awe and curiosity, giving even more vacation ideas
- The kids will love spending hours under the beautiful Denver sun, getting some much needed Vitamin D
10. The Butterfly Pavilion
Learn, explore, and connect with nature!
The Butterfly Pavilion has five exhibits and an outdoor garden and nature trail the kids can enjoy while getting close and personal with all sorts of invertebrates.
This nonprofit invertebrate zoo has been in operation since 1995, and it has as its mission caring for these amazing little creatures and educating people all of ages about their wondrous qualities.
What Would the Kids Love About the Butterfly Pavilion?
- The Butterfly Pavilion will feed the kids’ curious minds by teaching and exposing them to all sorts of new facts about numerous different invertebrates
- The children will absolutely love the Wings of the Tropic exhibit. With over 1,600 butterflies and 200 plant species, they’ll see the enchantment of the rainforest first hand
- The outdoor garden and the nature trail will provide for some great exploring
11. Hammond’s Candy Factory Tour
Save a visit to Hammond’s Candy Factory Tour for the last day of your trip as an incentive to get the kids to behave.
Situated right in Denver, Hammond’s Candy has been manufacturing delicious sweets for almost 100 years.
Come see how all your favorite lollipops, Candy-canes, chocolate, and all sorts of amazing treats are made.
After the tour you can buy some of your favorite Hammond’s Candy.
What Would the Kids Love About the Hammond’s Candy?
- Candies, candies, and more candies! The kids will literally be kids at a candy store!
- They’ll be awed seeing firsthand how their Christmas favorites are made.
- No reward will taste as sweet as a Hammond’s Candy after having gone through the Factory Tour and seeing how it is all made.
- The kids will love the free samples handed out throughout the tour.
Denver is a beautiful city with its roots nestled deeply in the Old West.
From the adventures in the Rocky Mountains and the Winter Ski Park Resort, the educational and interesting Museums, Zoos, and Aquariums, and the fun games like the Escape Room and the Loveland Laser Tag, there’s something to keep every child and adult entertained.
Summer or winter, autumn or spring, when in Denver your kids will surely make unforgettable memories.
Do you have other ideas for a Denver trip with kids?
Share it with us in the comments below.