3 Must-Know Kids’ Spots in Denver
Three spots you don't want to miss in Denver with kids.
Great spots for families with kids to explore in Denver!
It’s great when a city has so many fun and accommodating options for family travel, but it can also be overwhelming. Figuring out exactly where to go that the kids will definitely enjoy might seem like a challenge, but luckily Denver has some kids’ spots that are the ultimate crowd-pleasers. If you plan to be in the Denver area with your kids, be sure to have the following three attractions on your radar.
Children’s Museum Denver Marsico Campus
Location: 2121 Children’s Museum Drive, Denver, CO 80211
Why I love it: Hands-on doesn’t begin to describe the Denver Children’s Museum, where your child can become a veterinarian, an artist or a chef, play with bubbles or water, head to the market or learn how aerodynamics work. There are various storytimes throughout the day for a little downtime, as well as a no-shoes-allowed baby/toddler room with books, plush toys and lots of fun things to climb — and that’s all before you get to the outside section. Bring a bathing suit and/or clothes you don’t mind getting messy and your kid can play in the sandbox or the splash pad and, if they’re old and/or tall enough, check out the new Adventure Forest, a 500 ft.-long aerial adventure filled with climbing and crawling adventures.
Things to remember: You could spend all day here (and your kids will probably want you to), so keep that in mind when planning out your visit. You can bring a lunch, but there is also a cafeteria with lunch, drink and snack options. The museum can get busy, so if you can head there as soon as it opens or in the afternoon after lunch, you might get lucky and miss the rush. This museum is extremely hands-on, so bring the hand sanitizer (although there are hand sanitizer stations throughout the museum), and be sure to check for materials that the museum has provided for additional safety/comfort. For example, at the entrance of the water room, you’ll find raincoats the kids can put on to avoid getting drenched, and in the bubble room, the eye goggles are very helpful.
Mordecai Children’s Garden at the Denver Botanic Gardens
Location: 1007 York Street, Denver, CO 80206
Why I love it: The children’s garden that’s affiliated with the Denver Botanic Gardens is so separated from the regular gardens that you don’t even need to visit the main section of the gardens to partake in the fun over on the children’s side (although you should!). Located on the third floor of the parking garage, the 3-acre Mordecai Children’s Garden is a children’s oasis, filled with six ecosystems of natural materials and plants that the kids are actually encouraged to touch and smell, as well as a sandpit and stream to splash around in. Kids’ programs held throughout the year make the experience even more enhanced.
Things to remember: Access to the children’s garden is free with the purchase of a regular ticket, so it makes sense to check out both while you are there. My suggestion would be to hit up the children’s garden first to let the kids run around and get tired, then head over to the larger garden side to walk around and have lunch. The parking garage can get full, but there is also street parking available in the area. The Denver Botanic Gardens also hosts a lot of fun events, like a summer concert series, corn maze and Christmas light festival at the holidays.
Location: 2001 Colorado Blvd, Denver, CO 80205
Why I love it: More than a park, the City Park area is an experience. Heading to this one location offers access to two playgrounds, a lake that you can paddle out on or walk around, the Denver Zoo, the Denver Museum of Nature & Science and a splash pad (during the appropriate months). There is plenty of open space for the kids to run around and for picnics, plus tennis courts and a free concert series in the summer.
Things to remember: Pick your activities wisely here, since there is so much to do. This map can help give you a better idea of where everything is located so you can plan accordingly. Bring plenty of sunscreen if you plan to spend the majority of your time outside since it’s mostly open space, and take note of the outdoor restrooms on the map, since the restrooms inside the zoo and the museum are for paying visitors.
By: Cheryl Lock of Weary Wanderer