Elaine Schoch from CarpeTravel.com is sharing her favorite spots in Denver to explore with her little ones in tow. Make sure you hop over to her site for even more great travel with kids info.
Looking for things to do in Denver with kids? Here are a few of my favorites, from puppets to panning for gold, bike rides in the park and dinosaur bones, you will never be born in this mile-high city. If you have been to Denver, make sure to let us know what you love to do in Denver with kids in the comments below.
Denver Puppet Theatre
Think Simple. Fun. Inexpensive. The Denver Puppet Theatre provides an engaging and interactive marionette show for kids to enjoy as well as an art center where they can create their own puppet (for free). Following each performance (tickets are $7), kids are invited to play with more than 100 puppets and a small theater set to create their own puppet show. The theatre is connected to an outdoor courtyard where families can enjoy a picnic lunch they packed or you can grab lunch from the adjacent café – Zook’s.
Shows at the Denver Puppet Theatre are geared for kids ages three and up. My youngest, who was four at the time, could barely sit still during the performance BUT that’s ok. It’s a children’s theater so little ones can sit in chairs, the floor or stand to the side. My daughter did all of the above AND loved every minute of it. Read more in my full review of the Denver Puppet Theatre.
Washington Park was designated as one of the “Great Public Spaces in America” by the American Planning Association in the year 2012, and for good reason. With 10 tennis courts, a lawn bowling/croquet field, two playgrounds, a 2.6 mile jogging/biking path, two lakes for fishing and paddle boating AND the largest flower garden in Denver you can easily stay entertained for the day – or more– and it is free.
Ever wonder how a coin in made? There’s a lot more to it than you might think. Denver is home to one of the six United States Mint facilities and is a great thing to do with kids. The Denver Mint is located downtown and offers a free, 45-minute guided tour that explains the history of the United States Mint, how coins are produced, the craftsmanship required from the original designs and sculptures to the actual creation of the coins. Tours are recommended for children seven years of age and older, but younger kids have been known to tag along.
Have you ever wanted to explore a 1.5-mile trail with hundreds of dinosaur tracks, a quarry of dinosaur bones, and interesting geologic features? You can at Dinosaur Ridge.
Visitors can either hike the paved trail, which is designated a National Natural Landmark or take a guided bus tour. The self-guided tour/hike is free, and you will see 15 sites along the hike, each is marked by a sign explaining the background. If you choose to do the bus tour, get ready to be entertained. The guides are funny and really know their dinosaur facts. The bus tour costs about $5 per person and operates year-around. In addition to the tour, visitors can check out the indoor exhibit – Trek Through Time and the new Dinosaur Ridge Discovery Center.
Gold Mine Tours in Idaho Springs
Ok, so it’s not actually IN DENVER but Idaho Springs is about 20 miles west of Denver and gives you a great taste of mountain living and Colorado’s mining past. The Argo Mill sits in the center of Idaho Springs and is opened to the public for historic and educational tours. All tours end with panning for gold – you might just strike it rich!
Tip: if you do head out to Idaho Springs, grab a mountain pie and some fresh brewed Root Beer at Beau Jo’s Pizza. You won’t regret it! If you plan on doing any mine tours, make sure to check out a few tips on preparing your kids for mine tours (and maybe even yourself).
What are some of your favorite things to do in Denver with kids?
Elaine N. Schoch is a recovering corporate climber. She began writing CarpeTravel.com after leaving the corporate world to try to gain a better work life balance. Her writings at CarpeTravel focus on balancing life and work with her passions – traveling (with kids) and discovering new wines from around the world. You can find Elaine’s travel tales, musings and tips on CarpeTravel.com.