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Kids are often tough to please, but they’ll be grinning from ear to ear when they’re in The Mile High City, thanks to Denver’s wide array of kid-friendly activities. Interactive museums, incredible zoos and aquariums, wide-open parks — they’re all perfect ways to entertain your little travelers!

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City Park Area

City Park

City Park is an expansive greenway boasting tennis courts, picnicking areas, playgrounds, lakes for paddling and City Park Jazz, a free, spectacular summer concert series. 

Denver Zoo

At the eastern edge of City Park sits the Denver Zoo, where education comes alive. More than 3,000 animals await at Denver's most popular cultural attraction. See elephants swim, watch orangutans swing and hear lions roar while enjoying up-close animal experiences that provide moving connections to wildlife. For an extra thrill, take a ride on the Conservation Carousel or aboard the Denver Zoo Railroad.

Denver Museum of Nature & Science

Just adjacent to the zoo is the Denver Museum of Nature & Science, where visitors can explore fossils and dinosaurs, ponder the mysteries of space at Gates Planetarium, discover Egyptian mummies and watch larger-than-life films at the Phipps IMAX 3D Theater. The Discovery Zone has dozens of hands-on activities for kids of all ages, from archaeological sandpits to moving water features. For an extra dose of fun, stop by the information desk in the main lobby to pick up a "Find the Hidden Elves Scavenger Hunt" sheet (also available online and in both English and Spanish), which will lead you to specific locations throughout the museum and help you find tiny elves hiding within each exhibit

Along the Platte River

The Platte River Valley, in the heart of the city and on the west side of downtown, boasts a cornucopia of family-friendly attractions and entertainment. 

Confluence Park

Confluence Park is one of the most frequented downtown parks and home to the South Platte River's premiere kayak chutes. The kids will experience quite a rush watching adventure seekers brave the rushing waters. If there aren't any kayakers, don't worry; it's still worth the trip for the great views of downtown, the chance to wade in the shallows and an extensive walking and biking trail.

Children's Museum of Denver at Marsico Campus

At the Children's Museum of Denver at Marsico Campus, they believe in kid-powered learning. Their one-of-a-kind exhibits open doors for young minds to create, discover and explore — on their own terms. Whether you’re stepping inside a 6-foot bubble, zipping through the air, sculpting a clay masterpiece or learning about the Laws of Motion, there’s always something new to explore. Reservations are required to visit the Museum. Learn more at mychildsmuseum.org/safer-play.

Elitch Gardens Theme & Water Park

Nearby, Elitch Gardens Theme & Water Park offers exhilarating adventures on more than 50 rides, including Meow Wolf's mind-bending voyage, Kaleidoscape. There's also an area for young kiddos, plenty of family rides and a 10-acre swimming area with slippery slides, crashing waves and lazy rivers.

Downtown Aquarium

Just a short walk away is the Downtown Aquarium, a seaworthy spectacle of kaleidoscopic fish coupled with reptile, bird and tiger habitats. Here, amid astounding marine life, kids can feed the stingrays, swim with the sharks, pan for gold, see a mermaid show, become a marine biologist for a day or even spend the night in the aquarium. Kids will also enjoy taking a ride on the Aquarium Express electric train or the Aquatic Carousel.

Denver Trolley

While you're in the area, hop aboard the Denver Trolley, an open-air streetcar that resembles the trolley on the "Mister Rogers' Neighborhood" TV show. The narrated tours provide a fascinating historical account of Denver from its Gold Rush days to the present.


Metropolitan State University – Center for Visual Art

Located in the heart of the Art District on Santa Fe, the Center for Visual Art is the off-campus art gallery of Metropolitan State University of Denver. In addition to showing significant contemporary art, the award-winning CVA serves as an interactive art laboratory for MSU Denver students and the community.


Located in historic Denver Fire Station No. 1, families will love the Denver Firefighters Museum. The building was erected in 1909 and served as a working fire station until 1974. The kids will enjoy the hands-on activities, as well as the exhibits that provide information on fire safety and prevention. Be sure to have the camera ready as they try on equipment, slide down the pole, ride on a fire truck designed specifically for kids and pretend to put out fires. The museum also has a gift shop with toys, apparel, books and more.


The History Colorado Center brings history to life with amazing interactive presentations. Traverse a 60-foot map of the state using a "time machine." Virtually zoom across the plains in a Model T Ford. And, soar off of a re-creation of one of the world's first ski jumps in Steamboat Springs, Colo.


At the Wings Over the Rockies Air & Space Museum, more than 50 planes and riveting space-oriented displays occupy the sprawling space, an aviation wonderland that allows families to get up close and personal with giant bombers, fighter jets, antique planes and a Vietnam-era Huey helicopter. The museum always has seasonal exhibits, and on the second Saturday of each month, both kids and adults can experience the electrifying buzz of climbing into the planes' cockpits.



The Colorado Railroad Museum has the state's largest collection of locomotives, cars, photos and historic railroad mementos. At one point, more than 2,000 miles of narrow-gauge track probed the mountains of Colorado, and this exciting era comes to life at the museum. Located in Golden, the museum is circled by a half-mile track, which allows them to do monthly "steam ups" with operating locomotives. On alternate weekends, the museum also runs the Galloping Goose, a rare bus mounted on train wheels that used to take passengers over Lizard Head Pass near Telluride.


Try an exhilarating activity for all ages. Indoor skydiving provides the sensations of real skydiving without the need for a parachute or the right weather. iFLY Denver is located south of Park Meadows Mall in the Lone Tree Entertainment District.


At Dinosaur Ridge in Morrison (near Red Rocks Park & Amphitheatre), an outdoor museum and visitor center, you can touch the bones of Allosaurus and Stegosaurus at the site where important dinosaur discoveries were made in the late 1800s. See how Iguanadons walked by viewing real dinosaur footprints preserved in the sandstone. There's a free, self-guided tour, so you and your little ones can explore at your own pace. 


Get a glimpse of early dinosaur discoveries from Colorado, including fossils from the first Stegosaurus and Apatosaurus ever found. Located 25 minutes west of downtown Denver, the 3,000-square-foot Morrison Natural History Museum offers a relaxed environment that's perfect for kids of all ages to explore rocks and fossils. The exhibits and guides connect visitors with the ancient story of the Front Range. Local excavations yielded famous baby dinosaur footprints that were featured in Smithsonian magazine and worldwide press.


Located in Westminster, just a 15-minute drive from downtown Denver, the Butterfly Pavilion is the perfect indoor refuge in which to interact with live invertebrates fluttering around a lush rainforest or to hold Rosie, a Chilean Rose Hair tarantula, in the palm of your hand — if you dare. The tropical conservatory is filled with lush greenery, trickling streams and more than 1,600 flitting butterflies, moths and skippers shipped from farms as far away as Kenya and Ecuador. Also, stop by the Water's Edge exhibit to be immersed in an underwater world full of sea creatures.


Learn about climate change, the 21st century's hottest topic, at the fascinating National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder. See a hailstone the size of a softball, watch as a miniature tornado is whipped up in front of your eyes and get an up-close look at how lightning is created. Free public tours are available.


There's no shortage of fun-filled free (and nearly free) family activities in Denver. 

Denver Skatepark

Ollies, grinders and rail slides are just a few of the moves you and the kids can take in at the 50,000-square-foot Denver Skatepark. Always packed with skaters, you'll see novices and experts alike attack the urban environment of planters, curbs, rails, bowls, half-pipes and more.

Denver U.S. Mint

To see where your currency is created (sorry, no free handouts), follow the money trail to the Denver U.S. Mint. The free, 45-minute tours are led by knowledgeable guides and provide a fascinating look into the history of coinage. Both kids and adults will love learning about the shiny pocket change that streams off the production lines. Tours are available Mon.–Thurs. from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Same-day tour tickets are available at the Tour Information window, which opens at 7 a.m.; no advance tickets are available. Line up early. 

Red Rocks Park & Amphitheatre

Aside from being a geological wonder 70 million years in the making, Red Rocks Park & Amphitheatre is one of the world's most famous concert venues and a must-see site for any music enthusiast, young or old. Kids love exploring the trails surrounding the amphitheatre, and a spectacular view of the plains makes it a perfect place for a kid-friendly hike. 

Hammond's Candies

Anyone with even the smallest sweet tooth will love this free tour, which gets you behind the scenes at Hammond's Candies, a company that has been making candy in Denver since 1920. You'll come away with a newfound respect for the candy industry, plenty of free samples — and maybe a cavity or two.

Tattered Cover Book Store

The Tattered Cover Book Store, arguably the top independent bookseller in the country, hosts hundreds of free children's events throughout the year, including lectures, book release parties and author appearances. The 16th Street Mall location is one of its three locations in the metro area, plus one at the Denver International Airport

Washington Park

The 155-acre park is one of Denver's largest and is consistently voted by locals as their favorite. Wash Park's expansive lawns, manicured gardens and Smith Lake offer plentiful recreation opportunities, including paddle boating, and there are several trails, including one that goes around the perimeter of the park. This is an ideal setting for a family picnic, tossing the Frisbee around or just hanging out in the sunshine.

Colorado Rockies Baseball

Denver is an undisputed sports paradise, and while tickets to the major sporting events don't come cheap, in-the-know baseball fanatics purchase Colorado Rockies baseball Rockpile seats at deeply discounted rates.


Denver Art Museum

The world-class Denver Art Museum — free for those 18 and younger every day and free for all the first Saturday of each month — is a great place to introduce kids to the wide and wonderful world of art. Every gallery on every floor of this expansive museum has something fun for families.

First, stop by the family space on level three of the Hamilton Building for activities. Then pick up Gallery Games —small activity boards that help kids learn about artwork through games similar to I spy, bingo and memory matching — which you'll find in various galleries and exhibits throughout the museum.

Smudge, squiggle and splatter at Create Playdates on the second Wednesday of the month from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. (extended to 2 p.m. June–August). Drop in with your little ones (the program is geared toward ages 3–5, but older and younger kids are also welcome) to meet up with other tots for artmaking, storytime throughout the museum and instructor-guided "close looking" to explore artwork. Create Playdates explore a new theme every other month and are available in English and Spanish. Got some little detectives? They'll love Foxy and Shmoxy: Art Detectives, held the second Sunday of each month from September to May. 

DAM also offers a wide array of art-centric classes and camps for kids every spring break, fall break, Thanksgiving break, winter break and throughout the summer. 

MCA Denver

Contemporary art can be for kids, too! The Bubble Garden at the Museum of Contemporary Art Denver is a dedicated, artist-designed space for kids and families that engages families in creative and imaginative ways. This space provides opportunities for families to be together and play, and is a destination inside the museum.

MCA Denver is free for all kids and teens 18 and younger. 

The Hudson Gardens & Event Center

Not only does Hudson Gardens have thirty acres of gardens and trails, but they also have tons of family-friendly classes and programs! From programs like the hands-on Photography & Painting Enrichment Program to drum circles and beyond, Hudson Gardens is so much more than a garden.

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