Located right at the foot of the Rockies, Denver, Colorado, has quickly become one of the best places to visit in the southwest, and for a good reason. It’s filled with tasty restaurants, epic outdoor adventures, and many fun things to do in Denver with kids!
This post will cover all the best things to do when visiting Mile High City with family and includes free and paid attractions. No matter what you choose to do during your trip to Denver, you’ll genuinely have a blast, even if you only check a few things off this list.
Keep reading to learn all about the best things to do in Denver with kids!
See a Game at Coors Field
Easily one of the best things to do with kids in the Mile High City is supporting the local baseball team, the Colorado Rockies, at Coors Field. Located right in LoDo, this baseball stadium is impossible to miss and is the perfect way to get involved with the local culture during your visit.
Visitors can purchase tickets online in advance. Here’s a tip from a local: don’t be afraid to wait until right before the game starts to buy your ticket. Often, this is the lowest price you can get, and those who purchase further in advance spend more! This is not always the case, though, especially if they’re playing a popular team like the LA Dodgers.
Have a Bite to Eat at D’Corozan
No trip to the city is complete without trying some local delicacies, like green chiles. D’Corozan is one of the best affordable Denver restaurants that’s a bit of a hidden gem, and only locals currently seem to frequent it.
D’Corozan is a Mexican restaurant located right near 16th Street. Most of their menu items are under 10 USD, and they serve everything from tasty tacos to nachos with queso. The best thing to order on their menu is their burritos, which come smothered, a traditional Colorado style!
If it’s nice out, be sure to ask to be seated outside. The area is often shaded, depending on the time of the day.
Explore Red Rocks Park & Amphitheater
Located a short drive outside of downtown Denver is Red Rocks Park & Amphitheater. While this is traditionally a concert venue, it’s also an outdoor haven filled with hiking trails and views that are unbeatable!
One of the top things to do at Red Rocks is to grab a quick to-go breakfast, like bagels, and then head over to the park to catch the sunrise. Seat yourself at the top of the venue so you can have the best view, and eat your breakfast as the beautiful colors of the sun start to rise above the city skyline of Denver!
Afterwards, you can also take the time to hike one of the many hiking trails in the park or further explore what Red Rocks offers. There’s also an excellent museum worth stopping by to learn more about the park’s history.
Take a Day Trip to Colorado Springs
If you’re visiting Denver with kids for a bit longer, consider taking a day trip south to Colorado Springs. It’s less than two hours away and is a beautiful city filled with indoor and outside attractions.
For a great outdoor attraction, don’t miss out on Garden of the Gods. This epic rock formation has many hiking trails, but there’s also a road that will bring you around the landmark so you can appreciate it from your car.
Other great things to do in Colorado Springs with kids include:
- Visiting the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo.
- Seeing The Broadmoor Seven Falls.
- Riding the Pikes Peak Cog Railway.
Visit the Zoo at City Park
City Park is one of the most popular parks to visit in the city, and it’s filled with tons of epic attractions that children will love. But, of course, the top place to visit in the park is the Denver Zoo! There are so many animals within the park to see.
While you could easily see everything within the zoo in just a few hours, it’s great to spend the entire day at the park. After exploring the zoo, be sure to go out and explore the rest of what the park has to offer, including its lakes, trails, and picnic spots!
Marvel at the Scenery in Rocky Mountain National Park
No trip to Denver with kids is complete without taking a day trip to Rocky Mountain National Park. It’s located in Estes Park and takes about an hour and a half drive to get there. Depending on the time of year that you’re visiting, you may have to obtain a timed permit, so be sure to check online before planning your trip to avoid disappointment.
The best place to go within the park if you’re visiting with kids is the Bear Lake area. Get there bright and early to get a parking spot (which can be hard to come by as the day goes on) and then stay there for the day. Start with the Bear Lake trail for a leisurely stroll, and consider also visiting Dream Lake, Nymph Lake, Alberta Falls, and maybe even Emerald Lake depending on the age of your children.
Play at the Children’s Museum of Denver
Another fun place to visit is the Children’s Museum of Denver. This museum is located downtown, filled with exhibits to keep children busy for hours. Unlike other places within the city, the Children’s Museum of Denver is often less busy in the afternoon.
Almost everything within the museum is entirely hands-on, so your kids can touch as they learn. There are also many different programs offered at the museum to keep kids entertained, including art and cooking classes. These require signing up ahead of time.
After having fun at the museum, consider popping by one of the local restaurants in the area to have a great bite to eat.
Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth at Little Man Ice Cream
Little Man Ice Cream is considered the top place to get sweets in the whole city for a reason! Their central location even looks precisely like a silver milk jug, a stark contrast to the rest of the buildings within the city.
This ice cream booth does walk-up service and has many seats available surrounding it. There’s every type of ice cream on the menu, including milkshakes, ice cream sandwiches (highly recommend), and even just classic hard ice cream. They make all the flavors themselves, so there are fun flavors that you won’t be able to find elsewhere.
Step Into Another World at Meow Wolf: Convergence Station
One of the new additions to Denver is an interactive “museum” called Meow Wolf: Convergence Station. This four-floor building includes tons of art made by local artists, and they essentially created a whole new world inside. Kids will feel like they’re inside their favorite movie, and adults will even enjoy the trip too!
Throughout the art exhibit, there are life-size structures that you can climb and explore, so it feels like you’re part of the exhibit too. The more you explore, the more you’ll find, as there are many different hidden rooms throughout Meow Wolf. Please purchase your tickets online because they tend to sell out fast, and you have to buy tickets for a specific date and time.
Dip Your Toes Into the Water at Confluence Park
Confluence Park is one of the spots to visit in Denver with Kids that’s a bit more underrated because it’s mostly a spot known by locals. This park is located at the end of 16th Street, not far from Union Station. The park is quite large and has tons of green space for kids to play or relax!
The Platte River also goes right through Confluence Park, and in the summer, especially when it’s hot, so many locals will come down with their children to let them dip their toes into the water. This is also a great spot to have a picnic, and alcohol is allowed for the results if it falls within a specific limit!
Rent a Boat in Washington Park
Washington Park is a smaller, residential park that has its own lake. This is one of the few spots within Denver where you can rent a boat to go out on the lake, and there are many different boat options. The pedal boats are the best option, as up to four people can be on them, only two people have to do the pedaling, and there’s a cover in case it’s hot!
Pricing for the boats is per hour, and it’s fun to go around the lake from the water. There may be a waitlist if all boats are currently out on the water, depending on the time of year. If that’s the case, you can also rent fun tuk-tuks and ride on the many trails throughout the park.
Spend a Day in Golden, Colorado
Another excellent day trip with children from Denver is Golden, Colorado. Most people will opt to visit Boulder instead, so Golden is a place that tends not to be as busy or overrun by tourists. It’s a classic western town that has many local shops.
While spending a day in Golden, you can eat at the local restaurants, do some shopping, and even go tubing if you’re visiting in the summer. Kids will especially love going tubing down the river, especially if they’re a bit older and can have a tube of their own!
Have a Blast at Elitch Gardens
A classic place to visit in Denver throughout most of the year besides winter is Elitch Gardens. This amusement park is located right in the city. Imagine riding a roller coaster with a great view of the Denver city skyline!
There are tons of fun rides within Elitch Gardens which are great for all ages. However, to save yourself time, be sure to buy your tickets online ahead of time so that you don’t have to wait in line upon arriving at the park. At least half a day is necessary to truly get your money’s worth at the park.
Learn About Sealife at the Downtown Aquarium
Located a short drive from LoDo is the Downtown Aquarium! Kids will love learning all about underwater animals at the aquarium, which is filled with tons of exhibits throughout. There’s even a tiger in the aquarium, which serves as a bit of a surprise!
The aquarium is also home to a restaurant, one of the top spots to eat in the city! Be sure to check the aquarium’s online calendar to see if they have any programs during your visit, as this is an excellent way for kids to learn even more and possibly even get up closer to some of the animals.
Final Thoughts on Things to do in Denver With Kids
Now you can see there are many incredible things to do in Denver with kids! Some of these are a bit seasonal, but as long as you plan your trip to the city ahead, you’ll indeed have an unforgettable holiday. So have fun planning your trip to the Mile High City!
Author Krystianna is the head blogger and founder behind Volumes & Voyages, a books and travel blog dedicated to encouraging others to chase their wanderlust, no matter their budget. When she’s not traveling, she can be found reading, designing for her clients in her website business, and finding the perfect cup of coffee in her city, Denver.