Explore Colorado

Things to Do With Kids in Denver

Sometimes when travelling with the family, it’s hard to find attractions that appeal to everyone, and compromise is a necessary vacationing-family trait to maintain the peace. Denver’s kid-friendly scene offers an array of opportunities to learn, see and do—and many attractions are suited for adult enjoyment, too. 

In City Park, the Denver Zoo and the Denver Museum of Nature and Science are within walking distance from one another and impress visitors of all ages with learning exhibits and state-of-the-art technology. The Denver Art Museum is never a bore for the kids, with the “Just for Fun” children’s center, and visitors of all ages dive into the activities at Water World—with a kids’ play area, wave pool, twist-turning slides and relaxing pools to accommodate any water park desire. 

These 10 Denver-area attractions are guaranteed to enthrall the entire family. 

Denver Zoo

Spanning 80 acres in City Park, the zoo is home to over 4,000 different animals representing some 600 species. Attractions include the Elephant Passage, which features 2 miles of interconnected trails and is one of the largest and most complex elephant habitats in North America; Harmony Hill Bear Habitat; and Predator Ridge.

Denver Art Museum

This 365,000-square-foot arts complex is home to two wings—one being the architecturally stunning Hamilton Building for contemporary art—and is considered to be the foremost art museum in the state. The vast permanent collection spans art from antiquity to the 20th century. 

Denver Museum of Nature Science

The kid-friendly exhibitions at Denver's natural-history and science museum in City Park explore six main areas of focus: anthropology, geology, paleontology, health science, zoology and space science. All told, the museum houses over 4 million artifacts and specimens (though only 2 percent are displayed at a time).

Children's Museum of Denver

The museum caters to kids ranging from newborn to age 8 with hands-on exhibits like Bubbles and Fire Station No. 1 that explore art, science, every day lifestyles and literacy, and daily activities and events all year long.

Elitch Gardens

Tons of attractions await at Denver's downtown theme park, including various roller coasters, a waterpark, and kid-friendly rides. For other entertainment, there are concerts, arcades, food and flower gardens. Waterpark open Memorial day weekend through Labor Day weekend. See website for hours of operation.

Butterfly Pavilion

More than 5,000 animals, including 1,600 butterflies, crawl, flutter, and fly around this interactive habitat. There's also an insect room and an outdoor exhibit with aquatic creatures. 

Dinosaur Ridge

Dinosaur fossils from the late-Jurassic and Cretaceous periods were found in the Morrison Formation—now known as Dinosaur Ridge—as early as 1877. Trace fossils of brontosaurus, stegosaurus and other ancient creatures remain. Self-guided and guided tours.

Downtown Aquarium

Visitors to one of the country’s largest aquariums can view more than 500 animal species, including otters, sharks, turtles, eels and fish of all kinds. Explore coral reefs and rainforests or get up-close-and-personal with oceanic wildlife at the stingray touch tank. 

Tiny Town Railroad

Historic pint-sized village featuring miniature steam locomotive rides. Take a miniature steam engine ride through a Western-themed town composed of one-sixth-sized buildings.

Water World

Visitors can dive into more than 40 attractions at one of the country's largest water parks. There are areas for the young kids, slides and rides for thrill-seekers and lots of green space and picnic areas. The park is open roughly from the last weekend in May through Labor Day.