Family Activities in Denver


We've rounded up 25 of the best family activities in Denver to ensure that you have a memorable trip to the Mile High City. If you love outdoor adventures, you can try ziplining, whitewater rafting, skiing, or hiking in Colorado's scenic beauty. 

Fun things to do indoors include Puzzah, go-karting, and the Jumpstreet trampoline park. 

There are plenty of recommendations below. The only hard part is picking one or two! Hopefully you've planned a long enough trip that you can choose more than that!

Family Activities in Denver

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1. Sporting Events & Venue Tours

Sports Venues

If you are looking for family activities in Denver, you are in luck! The Mile High City has numerous professional sports teams including the NFL's Denver Broncos, the NHL's Colorado Avalanche, and MLB's Colorado Rockies. If those sports aren't enough for you, Denver also has professional basketball, soccer and lacrosse teams too. 

Most people only think of viewing the stadium during sporting events, however, if you want an insider's view, then Denver is the perfect place to be. You can enjoy tours inside of The Pepsi Center, Coors Field, and Sports Authority Field at Mile High on your visit to the city. 

>> Find additional details on upcoming sporting events and venue tours

2. Colorado State Capitol

State Capitol Murals

If you're interested in architecture, government, and state history, you must make sure to visit the Colorado State Capitol building. 

This historic structure, built in 1901, is topped with a beautiful dome covered in gold leaf in honor of Colorado's Gold Rush era. Take a guided tour to see the inside of the dome. You can also admire the building's many murals and its grand staircase. 

To learn more about Colorado history, make sure to spend some time in Mr. Brown's Attic Museum, which is housed inside the capitol. 

The capitol is open weekdays except major holidays.

>> See more pictures and learn more about visiting the State Capitol

3. Zipline Tours

Zipline Tours

Adventurous families will love the thrill of ziplining through the gorgeous forest scenery in the Rocky Mountain foothills, just 30 minutes outside of Denver. You will have your choice of several zipline track lengths as well as times of day for your soaring adventure. 

No experience is necessary, and the zipline operators provide training, equipment, and snacks. The minimum age to zipline is five years old. 

Hotel pickup and dropoff can be arranged at time of booking.

4. IMAX at the Museum of Nature & Science


Did you know that you don't have to visit the Museum of Nature & Science to enjoy its IMAX shows? If you've already visited the museum, or just prefer to see an IMAX movie, then head over to the theater during museum hours.

Everyday the museum offers educational films such as "Wild Africa 3D," "A Beautiful Planet 3D," and "National Parks Adventure 3D." Movies change periodically, so there is always something new. It's one of my favorite family activities in Denver.

>> Find a full list of museums to visit with the family

5. Theater & Other Family-Friendly Shows


I'm guessing you didn't immediately think of theater or family-friendly shows when you first started planning your visit to Denver. Well, you are in for a pleasant surprise since some of the best family activities in Denver include shows that have come straight from Broadway and will be touring during your visit.

If you aren't interested in seeing a Broadway show, and you want to try to see a performance that is less well known, you are still in luck. Denver has many smaller venues, that allow for theater shows from both traveling and local companies, for you to enjoy.

Now that you know, make sure the schedule your tickets and see your favorite show!

>> Find a full list of theater & other family-friendly shows

6. Aqua Golf (Mini-Golf)

Aqua Golf

Miniature golf is another of the fun family activities in Denver that you can enjoy with your kids. The difference between normal miniature golf and Aqua Golf is that Aqua Golf adds the extra challenge of water hazards. Navigate the water-driving ranges on this 36-hole course that also includes sandtraps. After a game or two, try your hand at table tennis or visit the snack bar for some refreshments.

Adults can take golf lessons while there. Rates are determined by the age of your kids as well as the number of balls you want to buy.

7. Union Station

Union Station

If you're out exploring downtown Denver, stop for a break at Union Station. This train station built in 1894 was renovated beautifully and serves as a gathering spot for locals.

Its Great Hall is the perfect place to chill out with the family before heading out on your next adventure. You can get a refreshing beverage or a sandwich to enjoy in its open seating area. There are also restaurants inside where you can get a drink or full meal.

Kids can play at the shuffleboard table. In the summer, there are fountains outside where you and your family can cool off. 

>> Find a list of the best free things to do with the family

8. Elitch Gardens

Elitch Gardens

There is no doubt that one of the most exciting family activities in Denver is Elitch Gardens. There are all kinds of fun rides, including classics like roller coasters and also some rides that are especially for your family so you can have great time and enjoy your day. It also has a water park where you can cool down during those hot summer days.

Some of the other events that happen within Elitch Gardens include carnival type games, a "Dive In" movie, and concerts. You can also choose from many different food options and do some shopping while you and your kids recover from all the running, and swimming, you'll be doing during the day.

9. Day Trip to Colorado Springs

Pikes Peak Summit Sign

Make sure to get out of the Denver city limits and go on a day trip where you'll visit several of Colorado's top attractions. You'll see fighter planes at the U.S. Air Force Academy, ancient red sandstone formations at Garden of the Gods park, and Pikes Peak, which tops out at 14,115 feet. During this 10-hour coach bus tour, you'll also learn about history and geology as you enjoy the beautiful scenery. 

The tour includes lunch at the adobe-style Garden of the Gods Trading Post and pickup at your hotel or Cherry Creek Shopping Center. Make sure to note that the tour ends at Cherry Creek Shopping Center, so you'll have to arrange your own transportation back to your hotel.

10. Genesee Park

Genesee Park

Take the family on a drive to Genesee Park, just 20 miles outside Denver, where you can see herds of bison and elk. This park, acquired in 1912, is the region's largest mountain park and lies at the foot of the Rockies' Front Range. 

From the 8,248-foot peak of Genesee Mountain, you'll get an amazing 360-degree view of the surrounding area. You can also visit the Genesee Experiential Center. Activities include camping, hiking, bicycling, softball, horseshoes, volleyball, and picnicking. 

11. Lakeside Amusement Park

Lakeside Amusement Park

Families have enjoyed summer days and nights and beautiful mountain views at Lakeside Amusement Park since 1908. Kids can ride classic carnival rides such as bumper cars, roller coasters, trains, and a merry-go-round. A lot of the rides are made for them, but thrill-seeking adults will have fun on the more adventurous rides. 

The park is open May through September until about 11 p.m., but its schedule varies so call ahead to check. 

12. Whitewater Rafting

White Water Rafting

Take a ride on the rapids with any of the several whitewater rafting companies within a couple hours of Denver. The closest option, Clear Creek Rafting, is only 30 minutes west of the city and offers Class II through Class V family rafting adventures. You'll take a trip down the narrow and steep Clear Creek. It's a challenging yet exciting river that provides plenty of whitewater fun. 

The company offers guided trips suitable for beginners and younger kids. Your trip includes a life vest, helmet, wetsuit, and photos. Neoprene booties can be rented. It's open daily May through Labor Day. 

Be sure to bring some extra clothes as you will get wet. Hot showers are available at the Idaho Springs office.

13. Puzzah


Puzzah is definitely one of the more unique and fun family activities in Denver. Families are placed in thematic rooms where they try to solve thought-provoking puzzles together. Choose from several "missions" based on time machines, magic, mysteries, and more.  

Games take an hour or less. Puzzah is not recommended for children five and younger. Kids 12 and older can play without adult supervision.

14. Unser Karting & Events

Unser Karts

If your kids love car racing, drive them over to Unser Karting & Events, an upscale indoor go-kart racing facility. Kids age six and older get a training session and safety gear before hopping into the high-performance racing karts for some competitive fun. 

When you want a break in the action, both kids and adults will enjoy the trackside tavern. Kids can play mini-bowling, table tennis, or pool in the game room, while adults can relax in the full bar and get a great view of races on the track.

15. Platte Valley Trolley

Platte Valley Trolley

The Platte Valley Trolley is another one of the popular family activities in Denver. This historic streetcar runs on a short track on the northwest side of downtown.

The trolley runs from Memorial Day weekend to Labor Day weekend. It also runs for some of the Denver Broncos home games. The round-trip trolley ride lasts about 25 minutes and stops at major attractions along the way.

16. Hammond's Candy Tour

Hammond's Making Candy

Your sweet tooth is going to thank you for taking this tour inside Hammond's Candy Factory. You will see how candy in this factory is made and how the innovations of today's machinery meld with the art of human hands as you watch the factory going full speed through your tour.

This free tour will help you learn about the history of Hammond's candy, see exhibits explaining how the candy is made, and you'll get to be up close and personal with the people that make the actual candy.

The average tour lasts about 30 minutes and you do not need a reservation unless you have a large group.

17. Skiing

Skiing with Family

Everyone knows that Denver is in the heart of the Rocky Mountains, which means there is great skiing all around the Mile High City. While most people think of Aspen, Vail or Telluride for skiing in Colorado, Denver is actually a skier's delight since there are so many ski areas nearby.

The three main ski resorts near Denver include Echo Mountain, Loveland, and Winter Park. All three have different benefits and each will give you something to enjoy throughout the day. All are setup for beginner, intermediate and advanced level skiers so no one in your family will be left out. You can also get lessons if you've never skied before or if you just want to improve your skiing skills.

18. Hiking

Hiking near Denver

Everyone knows that Colorado is great for skiing, but it is also fantastic for hiking. There are many different trails, with differing levels of difficulty, for you and your family to experience while enjoying some of the varied family activities in Denver and the surrounding area.

One of the local favorites is the Emerald Lake Hike in the Rocky Mountain National Park. There is also the Roxborough State Park which has hikes that allow you to pass around the gorgeous red rock formations. There are many more to choose from so make sure to take your time, plan out your hikes, and enjoy the gorgeous scenery all around you.

19. Camping

Camping in Denver

If you plan to spend some time in the mountains during the summer, I highly recommend visiting some local campgrounds. It's a beautiful way to disconnect from the world and reconnect with nature.

It's also nice to camp before or after hiking, biking, or whitewater rafting. It's always one of the more memorable family activities in Denver.

20. Got Jump in the Colorado Mills


Got Jump will have your kids bouncing off the walls as they have a wonderful time. This indoor trampoline park has 20,000 square feet of trampolines for an up-in-the-air adventure. There's also dodgeball for when you want to take a break from leaping all over the place. 

If you have kids three years old or younger, they can play in the special Earthquake area. Parents can join in on the fun, so will be one of the truly fun family activities in Denver where you can all enjoy yourselves.

21. Carpenter Recreation Center

Carpenter Recreation

The Carpenter Recreation Center in Thornton is a family-friendly option for those who like to swim or spend time in the gym. It offers daily open-swim times where everyone is welcome to enjoy some pool time.

The gym has several classes and open spots everyday where you can play basketball or run around to blow off steam. Both areas of the recreation center are open to the public for a small fee.

22. Adventure Golf & Raceway

Adventure Golf and Raceway

Adventure Golf & Raceway offers a variety of family activities in Denver that kids will enjoy. Whether it's go-karts, bumper cars, a rope course, or a maze, kids will have hours of fun exploring the park. Some of the highlights of the park include three beautifully landscaped 18-hole miniature golf courses with a Lost Continent, Adventure Cover, or Buccaneer Bay theme.

Adults can relax with a beer in the outdoor beer garden. There's also a concession stand with a fun NASCAR theme. Being that there is so much to do at Adventure Gold & Raceway, this definitely ranks up there as one of the most all encompassing family activities in Denver.

23. Family Activities in Denver: Water World


In summer, one of the best family activities in Denver is open: Water World. This huge water park features more than three dozen family-friendly attractions, many of which are geared toward the little ones. Water activities include whitewater rafting, slides, boogie boarding, lazy rivers, and a warming pool.  

Tubes are available for rent and you can purchase swimsuits, sunscreen, and more at the shops. Bring a picnic or get refreshments at the restaurant.

24. Westminster City Park Recreation Center

Westminster Parks and Rec

The Westminster City Park Recreation Center offers three indoor pools with slides, a rope swing, and an aquatic climbing wall so it is great choice for as you search for family activities in Denver.

The facility also has open play times in the gymnasium, a ceramics and pottery room, and a natural stone rock climbing wall. There's a small admission fee.

25. Topgolf

Top Golf

Another one of the great family activities in Denver is a trip to Topgolf — an innovative and fun way to play golf. At this indoor entertainment complex, golfers earn points by hitting microchipped balls at targets. The farthest and most accurate shots earn the most points. 

Children 12 and younger get access to KidZone. There's also pool, video games, and a giant Jenga set for them to play with.

Enjoy food and drinks delivered to your personal golf bay, hang out on the rooftop terrace, or watch some of the 200-plus HDTVs.

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