The hardest part about bringing the family to Denver is deciding how many activities, walks and museums you can fit into the time you stay in the Mile High City. Here are some suggestions guaranteed to keep the children entertained — and let you have some fun, too.
This museum is arguably the most family-friendly art museum in the country. Kids beg their parents to come here, where they have a special guide filled with activities and places where they can touch art, create art and play games. On most weekends and school holidays, your children each can choose a free, age-appropriate backpack with arts and crafts projects that highlight various types of art.
This treasure trove of artifacts and items collected from around the Centennial State will intrigue both adults and children. Here you can “drive” a Model T Ford down a bumpy lane, try to land without falling on a virtual ski jump and walk through a mine. Adults will enjoy the current special exhibit, “BackStory — Western American Art in Context,” which runs through Feb. 11, 2018. The museum is a block from the Denver Art Museum.
Take a Prehistoric Journey and watch an Allosaurus and a Stegosaurus battle with a 80-foot-long Diplodocus towering overhead. Pull an activity guide off the museum’s website and help your junior zoologists learn about beavers, elk and other animals portrayed life-size in the North American Wildlife Halls. Special exhibitions change, but “Nature’s Amazing Machines” is here through Jan. 1, 2018.
You wouldn’t know Denver is landlocked when you’re inside the Downtown Aquarium. Time a visit to watch the Mystic Mermaid show or see divers feed sharks, then lunch at a table where you watch fish swim by.
Here’s where to roam the world looking at animals. Grab a guide and check times for the sea lion demonstrations and the elephant show. If you’re lucky, a tiger will walk on a bridge over your head at The Edge.
Denver boasts miles of walking and biking paths, so when you need exercise, head to the nearest one. Someone at your hotel front desk should be able to direct you to the nearest path, but here’s where to find a list of trails throughout the Denver metro area. Try the City Park Trail, close to the Museum of Nature and Science and the Denver Zoo, where you will be strolling at 5,280 feet high, one mile above sea level.
Denver has a thriving B-Cycle program. If your children are old enough and bike carefully enough to ride on paths or city streets, rent a B-cycle in one location and drop it off in another.
All ages enjoy Dinosaur Ridge in nearby Morrison, where you can actually touch tracks made by dinosaurs that roamed here millions of years ago. There are 15 fossil and geological sites. Park at the entrance of this closed-off paved road and walk, or stop at the main Visitors Center and tour the tiny museum while waiting for the tour bus. The driver/guide will tell you the site’s history and stop at several places where you can see dinosaur tracks and bones up close.
Where to Get More Information
Denver’s official website has a list of current events and activities in the Mile High City. Before leaving home, go online and check out the Denver Mile High Culture Pass. These three- and five-day passes include admission to most of the museums mentioned above.