Denver Kids Activities: 6 Things to Do They’ll Love

From an award-winning zoo to culture and pro sports, there’s no shortage of family-friendly activities in Denver. Home to hundreds of noteworthy attractions, this thriving metro welcomes visitors to play and learn. So much so that Denver even ranks among America’s Favorite Cities according to Travel and Leisure readers. Ready for a family getaway? Check out the top Denver kids activities to get started.

Top 6 Denver Kids Activities for Vacationing Families

denver kids activities zoo

Go Wild With Animals

Families in Denver have access to a zoo and an aquarium. Denver Zoo – which has been around since the early 1900s – cares for mammals, reptiles, birds, plants and more. Let kids see elephants, tigers, penguins, orangutans, zebras and dozens more animals. For an added bonus, book an up-close encounter with giraffes, flamingos, rhinos, birds and other wildlife.

In the heart of Denver, find Downtown Aquarium. This attraction features over 1 million gallons of underwater exhibits and houses over 500 species of animals. The aquarium is divided into nearly a dozen areas, such as Under the Sea, Rain Forest, Coral Lagoon and Shipwreck. After exploring all the exhibits, families can ride the express train or carousel.

Let Museums Inspire Them

The city has a vibrant arts and culture scene, and one of the best ways to experience it is visiting a museum. While Denver houses dozens of museums, two top the list for families.

Denver Museum of Nature and Science has educated and delighted guests since 1900. The museum has garnered worldwide attention for its discoveries and exhibits. While visiting, let kids learn about space, ancient cultures, health and how the world works. Then catch a show at the on-site planetarium.

Kids also have a blast at Children’s Museum Denver, an interactive attraction where kids play, learn and explore. The attraction suits children ages 12 and younger, and has indoor and outdoor exhibits. Watch them in the big backyard, role play in a grocery store or firehouse, dress up, interact with science and find DYI projects. Even infants have a play area just for them.

denver kids activities sports

Cheer for Teams

Families have several professional sports options in the area. Coors Field hosts the Colorado Rockies, a major league baseball team that plays from April to September. If visiting during fall and winter, watch the Denver Broncos (NFL) at Sports Authority Field at Mile High or hockey’s Colorado Avalanche at the Pepsi Center. For NBA all-stars catch a Denver Nuggets game at Pepsi Center from October to June. In addition, Denver also has pro soccer, lacrosse and rugby teams. With so many options, it’s easy to see why sports ranks among the top Denver kids activities. Read the full list of sports teams in Denver.

Play at Water Parks

When temperatures heat up, head to amusement and water parks. Elitch Gardens houses a theme and water park, which families receive access to for one price. The park has thrill rides, roller coasters, family rides, gentle kiddie rides and ones that splash. In addition to rides, families enjoy live entertainment, movies at the pool and annual events, such as Fright Fest in October.

Lakeside Amusement Park also welcomes families to play. The park opens during summer only and features nostalgic rides for all ages. Hop aboard trains, a coaster, merry-go-round, drop tower and bumper cars. Those with small children will find a Kiddies’ Playland just for them. Families are also welcome to host picnics and birthday parties at the park.

denver family activities outdoors

Venture Outdoors

With a location near Mount Evans, Rocky Mountain National Park and top ski resorts, there’s no shortage of outdoor recreation activities. Mount Evans sits about 60 miles west of Denver and ranks among Colorado’s famous 14ers – peaks that reach over 14,000 feet. After arriving, go hiking or take a scenic drive through the area.

Rocky Mountain National Park welcomes some 4.5 million visitors each year. The area features over 350 miles of hiking trails, over 140 lakes, horse-back rising, fly fishing and wildlife watching. Other outdoor activities include hot-air balloon rides, rock climbing, kayaking and paddleboarding.

Love snow skiing? Take kids to a nearby ski resort. In less than two hours, families can visit Breckenridge, Keystone and Copper Mountain, three top resorts in Colorado. Winter brings a season of snow-filled fun, including skiing, snowmobiling, snow shoeing and sledding. These resorts also have areas and activities just for kids.

Try to Escape

Escape room games have popped up in many destinations, and Denver is no exception. The city has over 15 escape rooms where guests have one hour to beat their situation.

Puzzah! – one of the top rated games in the city – is located in downtown Denver and welcomes small groups of two to eight players. These games suit children ages 6 and older, and children under 12 must have a adult supervision. For an easy to medium difficulty level, try M.A.S.K. or Tick Tock, where players save the world from threats. Those looking for a challenge should play Kazam!, which is full of magical delights.

This is just a sample of the best Denver kids activities. Learn more about Denver and why it’s a top destination in Colorado.

Need more travel ideas? Check out 10 fall foliage drives in 10 destinations.