Fun Family Adventures in Denver, Colorado
Colorado is home to the Rocky Mountains, famous skiing resorts, and amazing national parks. Denver, the capital city of the state, offers a variety of activities for families. Here are some of our favorite family adventures in Denver.
Boondocks Food & Fun
Boondocks has two locations in the Denver area. With an unlimited pass, our family was able to drive go carts on three different tracks – the Slick Track, the Rookie Track and the Fast Track. The kids loved the bumper boats, although the adults didn’t really like the spray feature on the boats. The adventure continued with two 18-hole mini golf courses.
All the fun is not outside. Inside the facility, we were able to bowl a couple of games, play laser tag, and test our skills at the arcade. The Parker location also is opening an XD Dark Ride this spring. The Unlimited Pass is a great deal, offering you unlimited play on all the attractions and $5 game play in the arcade.
Find out more about Boondocks here.
Denver Museum of Nature and Science
The premier science museum has three floors of displays and activities. You and your family can explore the universe in Space Odyessey and even catch a show at the in-house planetarium.
Our family loves the mining and gemstone exhibit, which include displays of Colorado’s indigenous gemstones Rhodochrosite and Aquamarine, and the largest gold nugget found in the state.
Kids love walking through the natural history exhibits on the second and third floors which allow them to see animals from around the world. You also can discover all about your body in Expedition Health. The third floor include a Prehistoric exhibit where you can see the evolution of life and see life-size casts of dinosaurs. Or you can see the mummified remains of two Egyptian women who lived 2,400 and 2,900 years ago.
The museum has a number of touring exhibitions and an IMAX theater, too. Find out more about the museum here.
Are your kids fascinated by insects, arachnids and lepidoptera (moths and butterflies)? If so, the Butterfly Pavilion is a perfect stop to learn about and witness these creatures firsthand. The focal point is the indoor tropical conservatory where you can watch hundreds of butterflies and moths in flight, at rest, or in pupae stage.
The butterfly pavilion also has a number of insects and invertebrates on display. Our family enjoyed watching a bee hive in action and our son was brave enough to hold Rosie, the resident tarantula.
In addition to the indoor pavilion, the Butterlfy Pavilion also has outdoor gardens and nature trail and many special events throughout the year. Find out more about the Butterfly Pavilion here.
History Colorado Center
The History Colorado Center is the perfect location for families to learn about the storied tales of the state. The four floor museum tells the tale of Colorado history from the Ancient Puebloan peoples of Mesa Verde, to the mining boom of the 1800s, to the Dust Bowl and Japanese Internment camps of the 1900s.
The center is home to a seemingly unlimited number of interactive displays where our kids were able to drive a Model T, create Native American pottery, try to master an Olympic-style ski jump, or “work” in a turn of the century General’s Store.
Find out more about History Colorado Center here.
Roxborough State Park
This park is perfect for the family that wants to get away from the noise and see the natural beauty of Colorado. Tucked away at the base of the Rocky Mountains, this is a hiking park with plenty of easy to moderate trails perfect for families.
The park is in the midst of some stunning red rock formations that run the length of Colorado’s Front Range. The rocks are stunning in all seasons, but are especially picturesque after a snow fall.
Drones and pets are prohibited at the park, although you may catch a glimpse at deer or other wildlife. Find out more here.
Denver Botanic Gardens
The family that appreciates lush greenery and colorful flowers will love the Denver Botanic Gardens. There are three locations for the gardens, but the downtown York Street location is our favorite. Here you can see indigenous tall grasses and flowers, masterfully sculpted Japanese gardens, picturesque English manor gardens, and indoor tropical plants.
The Gardens provide a quiet oasis in the middle of a thriving U.S. city. Find out more here.
Rocky Mountain Arsenal
The national wildlife refuge is a great place to see prairie grasses and wildlife you might not normally see in the middle of metropolitan Denver.
Our kids enjoyed seeing the bison and black-footed ferrets at the Arsenal. We unfortunately did not see the Bald Eagles who make the Arsenal home. The visitor’s center is a must-stop to see displays about the former military arsenal turned wildlife refuge. At the visitor’s center, you can also check out a backpack with a bug collector jar, binoculars and information about the flora and fauna in the region.
The best part of the Arsenal is that it is free admission. Find out more here.
Clyfford Still Museum
Denver has a number of art museums and galleries, but this downtown museum dedicated to the American abstract expressionist artist. Still disliked big art museums with multiple artists on exhibit, preferring that a museum exhibit the works of one artist exclusively.
Although it did not play a role in Still’s life, Denver won the right to build a museum to house Still’s art. The museum houses about 95% of his total works, including 830 paintings, and about 2,300 works on paper and sculpture.
Our aspiring artist daughter couldn’t get enough of this museum, and took pictures of every work on display.
Find out more about the museum here.
Does your family want the thrill of skydiving without the 10,000 foot jump? Why not try indoor skydiving? Lucky for you, Denver has an iFly Indoor Skydiving facility.
At the facility, you get paired with a certified instructor who teaches you the ropes before you enter the wind-tunnel to take flight. As you become more experienced, you are given more freedom to do solo flights.
My son and I tried this out for my birthday, and really enjoyed it. I don’t know that I am brave enough to jump out of a plane, but I would certainly go back to iFly to simulate the experience.
Find out more about iFly here.
Go To a Professional Sports Event
Denver is home to many professional sports teams. Whether you like football, hockey, baseball, soccer, basketball or lacrosse, Denver has a professional team for you.
The three primary sports stadiums, Mile-High Stadium, Pepsi Center, and Coors Field are within walking distance of each other. Dick’s Sporting Goods Park, home of soccer’s Colorado Rapids, is a short drive from downtown. Any time of the year, you can find a sport that is in season.
What is your favorite family friendly activity in Denver? What would you add to the list. Leave your comment for us and let us know.
Disclaimer: We were delighted to be the guests of Boondocks Food & Fun. As always, all opinions are our own. You can read our disclosure here.