Things to do in Denver with kids include everything from hiking to museums to theme parks. Our 25 top picks also include visiting the zoo, catching a family-friendly show, and exploring the downtown Aquarium.
Not only will your children enjoy our list of activities, but we selected the best options for your entire family. Read on to learn more about our kid and family ideas for your time in the Mile High City.
Another one of the family-friendly things to do in Denver with kids is enjoy a local sports event. The Mile High City is home to several professional teams such as the Broncos, Rockies, and Avalanche. In any given month, you can catch two or three teams in action.
In addition, you can get a behind-the-scenes look at all of Denver's sports venues including the Pepsi Center, Sports Authority Field at Mile High, and Coors Field.
The Children's Museum is a fun attraction that aims to provide interactive, educational, and hands-on learning. Activities and exhibits are targeted for newborns to eight year olds.
Kids will enjoy special workshops in cooking, nature, ceramics, and more. Monday and Wednesday evenings are the best times to visit this popular museum. Check the website for a schedule of events.
A visit to the Colorado State Capitol is another one of the fun things to do in Denver with kids. You are welcome to explore this gorgeous building on your own or take one of its guided tours. The capitol building is open to visitors Monday through Friday and is closed on all major holidays.
Another one of the fun things to do in Denver with kids is to head off on a day trip to Rocky Mountain National Park. You can either drive up on your own or go with a guided tour.
This gorgeous national park offers stunning views, a variety of animals, and a chance to cross the Continental Divide.
The Denver Art Museum is the most visited museum in the Mile High City. It's home to thousands of pieces of art from all around the world. You will find both modern and ancient art throughout the building.
So, why is it on my list of things to do in Denver with kids? A visit here not only includes learning more about its amazing art but this place also has dozens of areas just for kids. During their visit, they can draw, go on a scavenger hunt, and more — all while learning more about art from all around the world.
One of the best outdoor things to do in Denver with kids is head out on a zipline tour. You can book a guided tour from Denver or drive out to the zipline course on your own.
The Denver area has several great places to go ziplining. Once you try it, you'll be hooked! It's a thrilling ride and unforgettable experience that your entire family will enjoy!
If your kids want to be a firefighter when they grow up, be sure to visit this museum during your trip to Denver. Said to be haunted, this 1909 historic building is on the site of the original station, which was dedicated in 1882.
The museum features programs and hands-on exhibits for kids. On these self-guided tours, kids can dress in firefighter equipment and view documents and photographs detailing the history of Denver's firefighters.
This renowned museum is noted for its dozens of world-famous wildlife dioramas. Exhibit topics have featured mummies, wildlife, health, gems and minerals, Native American culture, and space. Kids will love exploring the Discovery Zone and high-tech education studios. There's also a planetarium and IMAX theater.
Plan your visit on the weekend when kids can participate in games, crafts, and experiments. Once a month, the museum is free. Check its website for dates.
The Denver performing arts calendar is full of family-friendly shows. You can catch something on stage such as Frozen or A Christmas Carol. There are dozens of theater performances every month. Find a calendar of upcoming shows.
The Denver Zoo provides a chance for families to see animals at eye level in their natural habitat without the obstruction of fences or bars. The zoo, which is on the National Register of Historic Places, features predators, bears, felines, primates, giraffes, tropical wildlife, and birds. Families can participate in up-close animal encounters, and ride the train and carousel.
Time your visit around feedings for penguins, elephants, sea lions, and llamas. There are also mini-camps for second and third graders, special events for Halloween, Christmas, and more. Check its website for dates and times. The zoo is open everyday.
Visiting the Downtown Aquarium is one of the great things to do in Denver with kids. In more than one million gallons of exhibits, you'll see ecosystems such as rainforests and barrier reefs. The aquarium features more than 500 species, a stingray touch tank, 4-D theater, and a restaurant where you'll be seated around the 50,000 gallon tank.
Mermaids perform shows in the tank that's home to more than 100 colorful species. Their interactive show aimed at kids teaches them why taking care of the environment is crucial. Divers can also be seen making twice-daily feedings in the tank.
Elitch Gardens is another one of the things to do in Denver with kids. This large theme park features thrill rides, a water park, and entertainment for the little ones.
You will also find shopping, food, and plenty of fun for the entire family. It's open daily from late May to early September. It's also open Friday, Saturday, and Sunday from early September through the last weekend in October.
Built in 1859, Four Mile Historic Park is Denver's oldest standing structure and served as the last stop on the Cherokee Trail for travelers heading west into Denver. Experience pioneer life as you pan for gold, learn about the farm's historic barns, and visit the farm animals.
The attraction is open Wednesdays through Sundays. Admission is free the second Friday of each month from noon to 4 p.m. Pioneer story time is noon to 1 p.m., and tours are at 12:30, 1:30, and 2:30 p.m.
One of the best things to do in Denver with kids is driving out to Genesee Park, which is the area's largest mountain park. The park, acquired in 1912, serves as the scenic gateway to the Front Range.
Travel to the 8,248-foot summit of Genesee Mountain for an amazing 360-degree view. The kids will love watching the elk and bison herds. Other activities include camping and hiking.
Wings Over the Rockies is another one of my top recommendations of things to do in Denver with kids. Set inside a large airplane hangar, this museum features a variety of aircraft.
It's the perfect chance to see military jets, a B-2 bomber, and other historic aircraft up close. You can also hop inside the cockpit of a commercial jet or step inside one of the simulators.
If you have a sweet tooth like me, you'll love the Hammond's Candy Tour. Oh yes, it's one of the fun things to do in Denver with kids, but anyone with a sugar craving will love it, too!
This free tour runs all year with several daily tours. The tour is about an hour and includes a free sample (as well as a chance to cruise through the candy store). Call ahead to make an appointment during busy summer months or holidays. You can also swing by to book an appointment or see if they have immediate openings.
If your family loves to ski, you'll find several top-rated ski resorts just a short drive from Denver. Top picks include Keystone, Breckenridge, and Copper Mountain. Vail, Beaver Creek, and Aspen are also only a couple hours away.
Most ski towns and resorts have activities such as ski lessons, snowshoeing, and shopping. You will also find dozens of tasty places to eat. It's a perfect family-friendly activity for a day, weekend, or even for a full week!
One of the best outdoors things to do in Denver with kids is to go for a hike. Denver has dozens of places to hike, plus the foothills are just a short drive away if you want to escape the city.
If you need something more intense, several great mountain paths and 14,000-foot peaks are only an hour or two away.
Make sure to stop and smell the roses on your visit to the Botanic Gardens. This large attraction offers two locations with thousands of plants and flowers to admire.
The York Street campus offers a separate space just for kids. They will love the Lily Pond pool where a family of ducks is usually at play.
The Chatfield Farms location also has plenty of things to do in Denver with kids. It has a dedicated children's area, a butterfly house, and more fun areas to explore.
Both also host several fun family-friendly events throughout the year.
If you're looking to get out of the city and back to nature, head to this 15,000-acre sanctuary of more than 330 wildlife species. Animals you see may include eagles, bison, coyote, deer, raccoons, prairie dogs, and turtles.
Drive the 11-mile wildlife loop, fish, hike, and check out the visitor center and its educational programs.
The refuge is open daily from sunrise to sunset excluding Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's Day. Admission is free.
Get ready to be blown away at iFLY, an indoor skydiving facility where you'll find out what it's like to freefall through the air with none of the danger. Aspiring skydivers enter a wind tunnel where they'll experience a simulated freefall for 60 seconds — longer than an actual skydive!
First-time fliers get training, flight gear, and a post-flight certificate. Photos and DVDs are available so you can relive the experience. This is one of the most fun things to do in Denver with kids!
Dinosaur Ridge is an interesting place just a few miles outside of Denver near Morrison. You can see dinosaur fossils and learn more about them.
Head out on one of the trails, enjoy a tour with an expert guide, or visit the exhibit hall. You can also stop by the Discover Center and gift shop or get your hands dirty in the Backyard Bones area.
Red Rocks is one of the most famous outdoor amphitheaters in the country. This gorgeous attraction is free and a fun place to explore.
Located just southwest of downtown Denver, Red Rocks welcomes visitors to explore its rock formations, climb its man-made seating area, and enjoy the views of Denver and the surrounding areas.
During your visit, check out the small museum to learn more about the amphitheater and see a list of artists who have played here every year since opening.
This zoo features thousands of invertebrate animals including Rosie, its famous tarantula. Watch in awe as 1,600 butterflies fly around you, hold Rosie, touch a starfish, and examine sea creatures.
The zoo also has plenty of animals that do have spines: turtles, tortoises, and birds, which you may see in the gardens and along the nature trail.
Wildlife such as mule, deer, elk, bears, and mountain lions roam this 110-acre nature preserve. This ecosystem in the foothills is also home to ponderosa pines, meadows, grass prairie, and flowers.
Kids can enjoy hands-on activities, interactive exhibits, and family tours led by a naturalist. Other activities include picnicking, hiking, snowshoeing, and cross-country skiing.
It's also where Buffalo Bill is buried. You can visit his grave or step into a small museum nearby to learn more about him.