Family-friendly activities abound in Denver, Colorado. Enjoy access to parks, summer festivals, outdoor shows, and more. If you’re in town to enjoy Colorado’s famous winter sports opportunities, stop by Denver to take the kids to the Aquarium, or spend a day at the Denver Art Museum, which offers fun workshops and activities for the entire family. Take a day trip out to Morrison to indulge your little dinosaur enthusiast. After you find your vacation rental in Denver, here are the top 11 things to do with kids there.

1. Experience Wildlife at the Denver Zoo

flamingo birds

The Denver Zoo is renowned for the quality of care that it provides its animals. Explore this 80-acre zoo space and get a glimpse of exotic and local species in their natural habitats. Learn about your and your kids’ favorite animals, and help foster a love and appreciation for the natural world in your young ones.

2. Learn Something New at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science

elephant statue
Source: Flickr / Casey Fiesler

Located within the limits of City Park, close to the Zoo, the Denver Museum of Nature and Science offers scientific learning experiences for children and adults of all ages. With exhibit topics ranging from dinosaurs to contemporary wildlife to space exploration, this museum has something for every area of interest. An in-house IMAX theater and planetarium make the experience extra memorable for inquisitive minds.

3. Catch a Show at City Park

magnificent cityscape

City Park not only houses the Denver Museum of Nature and Science, and the Zoo, but is also home to a variety of festivals and shows throughout the year. Book your vacation rental in Denver during the busy summer season to enjoy live music and family activities in the park. If you’re looking for a peaceful way to spend an afternoon, pack your picnic gear and spend a day tossing a frisbee around this well-maintained field.

4. Cook, Craft, and Play at the Children’s Museum of Denver at Marisco Campus

outside the museum

Aimed especially at children from 0 to 8 years old, the Children’s Museum of Denver at Marisco Campus is an innovative and educational experience for the whole family. Special events and workshops are available all year round, allowing kids to explore and discover new concepts with the help and supervision of parents and guides. Let your kids participate in arts and crafts, cooking, and science experiments, while you rediscover your own inner child.

5. Make a Splash at Elitch Gardens Theme and Water Park

high waves
Source: Flickr / Ishrona

Located in the heart of Denver, Elitch Gardens is over 150 years old and remains the only downtown theme and water park in America. Visit the water park in the summer to enjoy a day cooling off on the waterslides and in the large communal pool, which features an artificial shore and plenty of seating for lounging and picnicking. Check out the theme park, which includes a number of carnival-style rides and attractions suitable for children and adults alike.

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6. Get Creative at the Denver Art Museum

horse on a chair
Source: Flickr / Butterbean

Head to the Denver Art Museum to take in the beautiful architecture of the Hamilton Building, which houses the museum galleries. Immerse yourself and your family in a huge collection of art from around the world, including numerous pieces by Native American artists. Be sure to check out the Just For Fun Family Center on the lower floor of the museum, which features games and activities that will engage children while introducing them to the world of fine art.

7. Visit the Denver U.S. Mint

building entrance

The Denver U.S. Mint on Colfax Avenue is one of only two operational mints in the United States. This mint offers free public tours during which visitors get to watch as shiny new coins are produced on an assembly line. Learn about the history and production of the nation’s currency, and help introduce kids to the inner workings of the economy.

8. Touch Stingrays at the Downtown Aquarium

life underwater
Source: Flickr / Matt Mordfin

Visit Denver’s conveniently located Downtown Aquarium and get up close and personal with over 500 species of aquatic animals. Interact directly with one of the friendlier species in the Stingray Reef touch tank, which gives supervised children the chance to pet real stingrays. Just minutes away from city-central vacation rental spots, this aquarium is open year-round and is a must-see for families staying in Denver.

9. Hop Aboard the Denver Trolley

trolley car

Experience the history and culture of Denver from the comfort of this authentic trolley car. This 30-minute guided ride travels along a historic streetcar line bordering the South Platte River. Enjoy the views of this heritage area of Denver while a seasoned tour guide tells tales of Denver’s earlier days.

10. Become a Paleontologist For a Day at Dinosaur Ridge

houses on the mountainside
Source: Flickr / U.S. Department of the Interior

Take a short drive outside of Denver city limits to visit Dinosaur Ridge, a patch of park land where many important fossil discoveries were made in the 1800’s. Take a self-guided walk around the area and see real bones and footprints left by species including stegosaurus and iguanodon. Your kids can even touch some of the dinosaur prints to get a sense of how large the dinosaurs really were. Don’t forget to stop by the Visitor Center to join a guided tour.

11. Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth at Hammond’s Candy Factory

factory signage
Source: hammondscandies.com

Replenish your energy at Hammond’s, a candy factory that has been operating in Denver since the 1920s. The factory offers free tours to visitors complete with samples to enjoy as you watch the process that turns raw ingredients into a variety of delicious treats.

 
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