Family Vacation to Denver [Fun Things to Do in Denver & Kid-Friendly Places to Stay]
Looking for a unique family vacation that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg? Colorado is less than 8 hours of a drive but filled with kid-friendly activities!
Whether you’re heading to Denver for skiing and snowboarding or just need to get out of Kansas City, there are tons of fun things to do in Denver…
We’ve gathered everything you need for a family vacations – things to do and places to stay. All you have to do is find a date that works for your family!
If you need something a little big closer, check out these places:
Fun Things to Do in Denver:
While Denver has so much to offer, these are some of our favorites!
This outdoor attraction has Jurassic Park dinosaur bones, as well as other real dinosaur bones! If your kids are into dinosaurs, this is a cool place to visit. It was the place of the first Stegosaurus discovery!
You can also walk along various trails that feature REAL dinosaur tracks! There are 250 tracks at Dinosaur Ridge, which is why it’s ranked the top track site by paleontologists…
Families can play for free the first Tuesday of each month from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Discover the Children’s Museum of Denver at Marsico Campus, where interactive playscapes, programs and special events make learning fun by engaging kids to play, learn and explore. It’s a place that ignites and fosters a love of learning that children will carry with them throughout life.
Check out each exhibit as some are currently closed. Exhibits include:
- Joy Park
- Adventure Park
- Box Canyon
- Center for the Young Child
- Big Backyard
- Art Studio
- Teaching Kitchen
- Assembly Plant
- Water Investigation
- Bubbles Exhibit
- Book Nook
- Fire Station No. 1
- My Market
- Ready Vet Go
- Village of Healthy Smile
Explore the life of pioneers in Denver when you visit the Littleton Museum. You’ll feel like you stepped back in time, giving a break from the modern world!
There’s kids activities at the children’s interactive gallery, 2 living history farm sites & tons to do. “The 1860s homestead farm and the 1890s turn-of-the-century urban farm represent how people lived and worked during the early years in Littleton and the South Platte Valle,” according to their website.
This is a giant park with two playgrounds, tennis courts and historical monuments to explore. If you need a place for your kids to burn off some energy, this is the perfect place!
It is also home to the Denver Zoo, the Denver Museum of Nature and Science and IMAX.
Located in City Park, it’s the perfect kids activity. There are 80 acres to explore and a huge variety of animals to visit! There are also many events and kids activities that you can participate in when you visit.
Explore under the sea at the Downtown Aquarium in Denver! There are a variety of fish and aquatic life, as well as mermaids! You can also ride the Aquarium Express with your kiddos or eat at a restaurant that gives the perfect view of the aquarium.
- Under the Sea
- In the Desert
- The Rainforest
- At the Wharf
- Coral Lagoon
- Sunken Temple
The museum exhibits are constantly changing, so even if you’ve visited the art museum before there are bound to be new things to see. Located in the heart of downtown Denver, it’s a quick stop no matter where you’re staying in Denver…
There are 2 locations of the botanical gardens. The York Street location in Denver & the Chatfield Farms location in Littleton. If you’re looking for more ponds, sculptures & cityscape type botanicals, check out the York St. location. The Chatfield location offers a corn maze, pumpkin patch & other farm fun during the Fall.
This lively street has shopping, restaurants and other places to explore! If you’re looking to buy souvenirs from your trip, this is the best place to shop. There is also a movie theater if you’re looking for things to do indoors when the weather gets not-so-nice.
You can ride the trolley around Denver and feel like you’re in an episode of Mr. Rodgers! This unique thing to do is something your kiddos will remember forever.
While there aren’t tons of concerts happening right now, you can still visit this beautiful Denver attraction. It is a short drive from downtown Denver and offers great views of the city!
There are hiking trails that are great for kids. Your family can easily walk the trails without having to worry about what to do if your kids get tired. You can also explore:
- Visitor’s Center
- Colorado Music Hall of Fame
- Art & Exhibits
- Red Rocks Hall of Fame
Whether it’s snowing or the sun is shining, you can explore the Butterfly Pavilion! It’s tropical environment is home to tons of butterflies. You can spend hours in here watching the butterflies fly around.
Learn about earth, space, dinosaurs, animals & so much more! You can explore the digital planetarium, IMAX theater, science experiments and tours. No matter what you’re interested in, there’s something for you here!
The museum is open every day of the week from 9 am to 5 pm, staying open till 9 pm on Fridays.
Wings Over the Rockies Air & Space Museum
Feel free to walk around the museum and explore air and space on your own, or attend one of their events. These events are perfect for families!
If you’re willing to drive a little further, Garden of the Gods is one of the best things to do in Colorado Springs.
Rent electric bikes and go on a bike tour of the gardens or you can drive and walk with your family! There is so much to see you probably will spend all day here…
This the perfect free thing to do in Denver! You can tour historic candy factory to learn how they make yummy candies (& maybe even try a few)!
Large screens allow you to get up close and personal in the candy-making experience. Kids can, “watch as their favorite treats are pulled, twisted, shaped and packaged by hand—just like they have been since 1920.”
Check out the rotating light up art exhibit on Daniels & Fisher Tower! It is lit up every day approx. 30 minutes after the sun goes down.
This is a pioneer museum where you can learn more about the history of Denver. You will go back in time to see how the oldest Denver residents live and get a cool view of Denver!
According to their site, “Step back in time and rediscover a historic oasis in the heart of the city with a tour of the beautiful Four Mile House museum, Denver’s oldest standing structure.”
Where to Stay in Denver, Colorado:
Airbnbs make it easier for your entire family to stay together and provide a more homey experience. Here are some of the best places to stay in Colorado…in our opinion.
If you’re visiting Denver with another family or a lot of children, this place is a great option! It’s located centrally, so you can easily get around town, as well as close to the light rail. There are 3 bedrooms, but 4 beds here.
If you’re looking for places to stay in downtown Denver, this is located on S. Broadway. There are 2 bedrooms and a pullout couch, so it accommodates up to 6 people. There is also a fenced-in backyard for the kiddos to play!
This place to stay in Denver has 3 bedrooms with 3 beds and 1 bathroom. It has both a front and backyard for the kiddos to play…perfect if they’re getting rambunctious! The front porch swing is also a big hit with past families.
This is about a 45 minute drive from Denver, but you definitely feel the mountain-living vibes! Up to 5 people can stay here, with 2 beds and an air mattress. Dogs are allowed for an additional cost.
There is NO Wi-fi so keep that in mind when considering this place. However, the listing says there is good cell service, so you won’t be completely cut off from communication. …but who cares about Wifi when you have mountains to explore!
Historic Home on Quiet Street in Denver
If you’re looking for a home to stay in Denver big enough for your whole family, this place has 4 bedrooms with 4 beds and sleeps 6 people! There are also 3 bathrooms, so you can have your own and the kiddos don’t have to fight over a bathroom…
It’s half a block from a park and located in a safe area. ** Pets are also welcome!
If none of these places fit your family’s needs, there are TONS more options throughout the city.
We hope your family is able to visit Denver to explore all the city and mountains have to offer. There are some great options for affordable places to stay in Denver if your family is on a budget.
If you have other fun favorites in Denver, be sure to drop them in the comments!
From our family to yours, iFamilyKC