Denver, Colorado is the gateway to the beautiful Rocky Mountains. Replete with hiking, mountain biking, and skiing opportunities, the sprawling state capital also offers plenty of other family-friendly entertainment. Denver vacation rentals boast breathtaking mountain views and easy access to the downtown area, with points of interest such as the Denver Art Museum, Water World Aquatic Park, and Denver Zoo. If you’re looking for things to do in Denver, here are some of the best tours, activities, and museums for an unforgettable getaway in Colorado.
1. Visit the Denver Museum of Nature and Science
Looking for rainy day things to do in Denver? Vacationers of all ages enjoy walking through exhibits of dinosaur skeletons, Egyptian mummies, and space equipment as well as an IMAX theater and plenty of hands-on exhibits for little ones. Be sure to stop by the planetarium and the great white shark 3D exhibit before you leave.
2. Check Out the Downtown Aquarium
Step into an underwater world at this family-friendly attraction featuring more than one million gallons’ worth of aquatic tanks and more than 500 species of freshwater and saltwater critters. The stingray touch tank is a must-see exhibit for families with kids.
3. Cool Down at Water World
If you’re traveling to Denver during the warmer months, head to this sprawling water park after enjoying a summer barbecue at your vacation rental. Relax as you float down the lazy river, or ride down Jet Stream and other thrilling water slides.
4. Learn Parkour at Apex Movement
Unleash your inner child at the Apex Movement parkour and free running facility, which offers both beginner classes and open gym sessions for free play. Kids of all ages love jumping into the foam pit.
5. Cruise Downtown on a Bike or Scooter
Book a tour with Mile High Bike Tours or rent a few scooters from ScooTour to shop and explore downtown Denver the fun way. This is a great option if you want to hit multiple museums, malls, and breweries in a single afternoon.
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6. See the Denver Sights From a Carriage
Whether you want a romantic ride to dinner or a unique family tour of downtown Denver, book a ride with Irish Rose Carriages to see the skyline and mountains from the seat of an old-fashioned horse-drawn carriage. This is also a festive way to see the holiday lights if you’re visiting in the winter.
7. Head to the Denver Zoo
No family vacation to Denver is complete without a trip to this zoo designed to resemble a Kenyan nature preserve. Here, you can see black rhinos, primates, tigers, and much more. Take a ride on the gas-powered train, and be sure to stop by the nursery to see the baby animals before you leave.
8. Walk Through the Denver Art Museum
Get in touch with the local arts scene at this stunning facility with more than 68,000 works from Colorado and across the globe. The Western American Art galleries and Van Gogh pieces are a few favorites, but you can also find older works, such as a collection of artifacts from the pre-Columbian era. Remember to walk through the fascinating sculpture garden before you leave.
9. Pick up Some Craft Beer and Coffee at The Source
This re-purposed 19th-century warehouse now holds a huge collection of organic and artisanal foods from local sources. Stop by for breakfast or lunch to enjoy steaming java, fresh-baked pastries, and craft beer before heading off on your next adventure.
10. Enjoy a Rocky Mountain Zipline Adventure
Denver Adventures offers an adrenaline-pumping zipline tour for the thrill seekers in your family. Fly through pine forests in the foothills of the Rockies with a seasoned guide before kicking back with a picnic packed from your Denver vacation home.
11. Take Banjo Billy’s Bus Tour
See the hidden side of Denver from a recliner on a decked-out hillbilly bus with this off-beat tour. As you cruise through downtown Denver, the guide shares crime tales, ghost stories, and other fun trivia.
12. Ride a Tuk-Tuk
Schedule your ride with Etuk Denver to ride the streets in one of the electric, three-wheeled rickshaws popular in Asia and Africa. This environmentally friendly tour brings you past graffiti murals, Union Station, Larimer Square, and other pieces of the urban Denver experience.
13. See the Molly Brown House Museum
Head over to the Capitol Hill district to stroll through the beautiful Victorian home of the “unsinkable” Molly Brown, who survived the sinking of the Titanic. While learning the history of the famous suffragette, visitors can also participate in a traditional Victorian tea or lunch for an extra fee.
14. Stroll Through the Denver Botanic Gardens
After a day of Denver sightseeing and shopping, kick back and relax with an afternoon walk through 24 acres of gardens featuring more than 700 native Colorado plant species. You can also step into the Japanese garden or gaze at the calla lilies in the South African Plaza. If you’re visiting during the summer, try to catch a performance from the summer concert series at the outdoor amphitheater.
15. Spend Time at the Wings Over the Rockies Air & Space Museum
Kids and adults alike love stopping by this museum to see dozens of rare spacecraft and aircraft, including an Alexander Eaglerock and even a Star Wars X-Wing fighter. The space itself is an Air Force hangar from the 1930s, and the guides offer a passionate history lesson during museum tours.
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