Lions, tigers, bears – and so much more! Set aside several hours for exploration in the Denver Zoo, an eye-opening experience for all ages. The fourth most popular zoo in the nation has 4,000 animals representing more than 750 species. The Zoo’s Predator Ridge has a pride of lions, while polar bears frolic in nearby Northern Shores – check them out above ground or underwater thanks to a specially designed viewing window. You’ll also love Primate Panorama where fun-loving orangutans make their home.
Located in nearby Parker, The Wildlife Experience is an interactive and ever-changing institution that connects visitors with wildlife and habitats in a fun and educational environment. It’s a perfect place for families, with immersive exhibits such as Discovery Den and Cubs Corner where kids can make their own wildlife masterpieces. Also be sure to catch an innovative film in Max Brown's Adventure Theater.
One of the most unique “wild Denver” spots can be found just a few miles from downtown Denver at the 30,000-square-foot Butterfly Pavilion in Westminster. This amazing attraction combines science education with hands-on fun to teach visitors about invertebrates, science and conservation. The interactive exhibits are geared primarily towards families with kids ages 2 to 12 years old, but people of all ages will embrace the beauty and wonder of the tropical conservatory filled with 1,200 free-flying butterflies imported from around the globe.
Bison (or buffalos) are among the most iconic symbols of the American west – and you can get up close and personal with a herd of them just a short drive from downtown Denver. The City of Denver maintains a herd of 40 buffalo in a natural setting. The buffalo are direct descendants of the last wild buffalo herd in America. Bring the camera for some great photo opportunities!
Colorado may be landlocked, but that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t have plenty of marine life for you and your family to gawk at. The Downtown Aquarium features fascinating sea creatures, sharks and more. All in all there are more than 15,000 fish, mammals and plants, including an exhibit of Sumtran tigers who love to swim. And if you’re left with the urge to get a little wet yourself, you’re in luck: the Under the Sea exhibit lets you swim alongside a 250 lb. Queensland Grouper, Moray Eels, Guitar Fish, red drums and 400 of their closest friends.
Lions, Tigers and Bears, Oh My! Visit this 320 acre Rescue and Educational Facility, located just 30 miles outside of Denver, where more than 300 large carnivores roam free. One of the only places in America where you can see Lion Prides and groups of other carnivores living in natural habitats.
The Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge, one of the most fascinating ecological sites in the country, has made a remarkable transformation from a toxic piece of land into one of the premier urban national wildlife refuges in the United States. Since 1990, more than 383,000 visitors have explored this unique and beautiful area, enjoying bison, birds of prey, deer, and fishing.