Denver is a wonderland for young and old outdoor adventurers. While the snowy peaks and forested trails surrounding the city draw active travelers and locals outward, there is plenty of fun to be had by visitors within the city limits too. From kayaking in a park to digging for dinosaur bones, here are the top kid friendly activities to enjoy in Colorado’s capital city!
Denver Kid Friendly Attractions: The Mile High City's 10 Top Attractions and Activities for Children
1. City Park
Kids will have a field day at Denver’s City Park. With over 300 acres of green space in the heart of the Denver, this urban oasis allows visitors to stretch their legs and breathe some fresh air without having to travel far. In addition to plenty of grassy areas and trails for kids to run around, City Park features two lakes, a stunning boathouse, tennis courts, horseshoe courts, and playgrounds.
City Park is located in downtown Denver and is free and open to the public every day.
2. Denver Zoo - 2300 Steele Street, Denver, CO
If your kids want to pet a rhino or waddle with penguins, head downtown to the Denver Zoo. Located in City Park, this zoo has earned many sustainability accolades and offers plenty of guided tours and extra fun events for the kids to enjoy. To see the animals in action, make sure to watch the daily penguin feedings or the Elephant Passage Demo.
The zoo is located at 2300 Steele Street, Denver, CO 80205. It is open every day from 10am-4pm in winter (November 2nd - February 28th) and 9am-5pm in summer (March 1st - November 1st). Admission varies by season as well: $13 for adults and $9 for kids in winter, $17 for adults and $12 for kids during the summer.
3. Denver Museum of Nature and Science - 2001 Colorado Blvd, Denver, CO
Also found at City Park is this hub of educational fun for kids of all ages. Whether it’s dinosaurs, Native American cultures, gems and minerals, mummies, or space that interests your kiddos, children with a variety of passions will surely find something to engaging at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science. Museum highlights include watching scientists prepare fossils in the Laboratory of Earth Sciences as well as the Gates Planetarium’s presentations about our solar system.
The museum is located at 2001 Colorado Blvd, Denver, CO 80205 and is open daily from 9am-5pm. Admission is $14.95 for adults and $9.95 for kids ages 3-18.
4. Children’s Museum of Denver - 2121 Children's Museum Drive, Denver, CO
A children’s museum is the perfect place to let kids explore the world as well as their own creativity. Denver’s Children’s Museum offers dozens of engaging exhibits for kids to learn about science, nature, art, and more. Kids can explore what life looks like for a little woodland creature in the Big Backyard, build something with real tools, drive a fire truck, or paint a masterpiece.
The museum is located at 2121 Children's Museum Drive, Denver, CO 80211 and admission is $10. Hours are Monday-Friday from 9am-4pm, except Wednesdays when they are open until 7:30pm, and Saturdays and Sundays from 10am-5pm.
5. Confluence Park - 2250 15th St, Denver, CO
Located in the LoDo neighborhood, this urban park features trails for walking and biking and grassy areas for playing and picnics. If you have bigger kids who are looking for a little outdoor adventure, rent a kayak and race down the custom-made rapids of the South Platte River. Enjoy live music at the park’s free concerts on Thursday nights all summer long.
Confluence Park is located at 2250 15th St, Denver, CO 80202 and is free and open to the public every day.
6. Elitch Gardens Theme and Water Park - 2000 Elitch Circle, Denver, CO
Elitch Gardens is a thrilling theme park with scream-worthy roller coasters for bigger kids (adrenaline junkies will love the Mind Eraser and the Tower of Doom) and gentler rides for little ones, like the carousel, Ferris wheel, and Mouse House bumper cars. Check out the water park too, where kids can glide down water slides and splash around a variety of aquatic playgrounds.
Elitch Gardens is conveniently located downtown at 2000 Elitch Circle, Denver, CO 80204. The parks are open seasonally and hours vary, so it’s best to call ahead or check the visitor information online. Admission for kids under 48” is $31.99 online or at the gate. You can save on adult admission by buying online: admission for adults over 48” is $35.99 online and $46.99 at the gate.
7. Platte Valley Trolley - 1416 Platte St, Denver, CO
The Platte Valley Trolley is the last remnant of Denver’s rail transit system. Today, visitors can hop on the trolley for a fun and scenic tour of downtown Colorado’s capital city. From Confluence Park to the aquarium to the children’s museum, the trolley stops at a variety of attractions that might already be on your list. Catching a Broncos game? The trolley serves as a shuttle for football fans to and from the stadium during football season.
You can hop on the trolley at multiple locations but the main terminal is located at REI at 1416 Platte St, Denver, CO 80202. Check their website for additional stop and schedule information. Tickets are $5 for adults (13 and up) and $2 for children (prices are different for Broncos shuttle service.)
8. Dinosaur Ridge - 16831 W Alameda Pkwy, Morrison, COundefined
Dinosaur Ridge, a one-of-a-kind attraction, is located just a short 20 minute drive from downtown Denver. Some of the most well-preserved and fascinating dinosaur fossils were discovered at this historical site in the 1800s and its visitors can still enjoy them today. Hike multiple (fairly short) trails with the kids to witness real dinosaur bones. Kids will especially go nuts for the Bone Quarry, where they can actually touch Stegosaurus fossils, and the Triceratops Trail, where they can see a preserved Triceratops footprint!
Dinosaur Ridge is located at 16831 W Alameda Pkwy, Morrison, CO 80465. The visitor center is open 9am-5pm Monday through Saturday and 10am-5pm Sunday (from May through October) and 9am-4pm Monday through Saturday and 10am-4pm Sunday (from November through April.) The trails are free and Trek Through Time indoor exhibit is $2.
9. Morrison Natural History Museum - 501 Colorado Highway 8, Morrison, CO
For more dinosaur action, this museum is geared towards kids and has plenty more opportunities for dinosaur discoveries. Get your hands dirty at the Fossil Dig Pit, see (and touch!) a T-Rex skull, and watch fossil preparation in action in their on-site lab.
The museum is located at 501 Colorado Highway 8, Morrison, CO 80465 and is open daily from 10am-5pm. Admission is $8 for ages 12 and up and $6 for ages 3-11.
10. Miner’s Maze Adventureland - 18301 W Colfax Ave, Golden, CO
You won’t find anything else like the unique, wild West-themed, adventurous activities for all ages that are available just a short drive from the city. Find your way through the 5,000 square foot labyrinth, test your marksmanship at the shooting gallery, cool off with a game of squirt gun tag, traverse a ropes course, climb the rock wall, and more.
Miner’s Maze is located at 18301 W Colfax Ave, Golden, CO 80401. Hours vary by season and tickets vary based on the activities you choose so call ahead or check their website for more information.
This article was written by Katie Vaughan and edited by Lexi Perman.