The Mile High City of Denver, Colorado offers a wide variety of tourist attractions for the whole family to enjoy. There are an assortment of activities to do and sights to see in the Denver area. Things include exploring museums, seeing sports games, attending concerts, shopping, and visiting the city’s amazing parks. The busy city never has a dull moment. No matter what your interests are, Denver’s diverse culture offers a little something for everyone.
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Things to do in Denver for Families
Museums & cultural attractions in Denver
While there are many other fun things to do while you are on vacation with your family, learning can be fun too! Denver harbors a rich tapestry of history, as well as culture, and there are some incredible museums to visit with your family while you are here.
Check out the Denver Art Museum, where there are many exhibitions to explore comprised of not only paintings, but sculptures and historical pieces as well.
For a more interactive adventure through history, nature, and science, plan a visit to the Denver Museum of Nature & Science, featuring a number of activities and exhibitions for all age groups.
The History Colorado Center offers many exciting tours and activities for families as well. Pricing information can be found on the websites for these museums.
Sports & Entertainment
Just about any sport you can think of can be seen in Denver at one of the many amazing stadiums. Go see the Denver Broncos play or catch a lacrosse game with the Denver Outlaws at the Sports Authority Field at Mile High. Or take your family to a good old-fashioned ball game at Coors Field, home of the Colorado Rockies. For soccer fans who want to see a Colorado Rapids game, Dick’s Sporting Goods Park is the place to go. At the Pepsi Center, you can see not only Colorado Avalanche and Denver Nuggets games, but also other attractions, to include concerts and the circus.
There are a variety of venues and theaters to visit in Denver as well. Among these is the Denver Coliseum, which hosts a vast array of events, consisting of the National Western Stock Show, AMA Arenacross races and Disney On Ice productions, to name a few. In the Denver Performing Arts Complex, there are numerous family-friendly attractions to look into. You can catch a play at the Buell Theatre, an opera or ballet at the Ellie Caulkins Opera House, or attend a Colorado Symphony Orchestra concert at the Boettcher Concert Hall.
Shopping & Dining
The 16th Street Mall is the mile-long pedestrian mall in Downtown Denver and is one of the best places for you and your family to immerse yourselves into the cityís culture, with several restaurants and boutiques to explore.
Larimer Square is known for its trendy atmosphere and historical charm with terrific shopping, outdoor cafÈs and some of Denverís best restaurants.
If you are looking for something a bit more modern or simply want to explore a different aspect of Denver, check out the Cherry Creek Shopping Center, a large mall full of upscale boutiques.
In addition, you may want to journey over to Cherry Creek North for a dynamic variety of galleries, childrenís stores, gift shops and many other chic stores.
Outdoor Recreation & Parks
One of the best ways for families to enjoy quality time together on vacation is to step outside and do something active together! There are many beautiful parks for your family to visit in Denver, such as: City Park, Confluence Park and Washington Park.
The Denver Botanic Gardens is a gorgeous park full of stunning art exhibits, flowers and vegetation.
Just outside of Denver is Red Rocks Amphitheatre. This is a famous tourist attraction and spectacular place for families to participate in outdoor activities like hiking and biking on the astounding trails in the park, all while taking experiencing the breathtaking views and geological wonders.
Take the kids on a trip to the Butterfly Pavilion to discover butterflies, insects, arachnids and marine invertebrates in a habitat that is natural and hospitable to these creatures. Don’t worry if there are not any out in the open that will harm you!
Another essential wildlife stop is the Denver Zoo, where you can learn about all types of animals with your children and see them firsthand.
If your family is seeking a day full of thrill and excitement, head on over to Elitch Gardens Theme Park, where there are rides and attractions for all ages, as well as a fantastic water park.
The place to go exclusively for water rides is Water World. Itís the biggest and best water park in America!
Free Things to do in Denver
Free Tours in Denver
One of the best parts of visiting Denver is all the free things to do, including free tours you can take at some of Denver’s historical buildings.
At the Colorado State Capitol Building, there are three free tours your family can take: The Historical Tour, Mr. Brownís Attic, and The Legislative Tour. These are all a wonderful way for families to learn more about the state of Colorado.
Learn how money is made at the U.S. Mint in Denver with a free tour that shows you the entire process of creating coins.
You can also go on a Story Trek with free downloadable Denver Story Trek. Pick up a free map at one of the city’s museums and set off to explore the city on a self-guided history tour.
Every January is the annual Rodeo Parade during the National Western Stock Show and Rodeo. This is a celebration of everything western including longhorn cattle, cowboys, cowgirls, horses, marching bands, floats, and horseback riders. The National Western Stock Show is one of the world’s largest indoor rodeos.
Dr. Marin Luther King Jr Marade
Denver has an annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr’s “Marade. The memorial parade begins at City Park and then continues to Civic Center Park. The parade ends at the Colorado State Capitol Building.
Saint Patrick’s Day Parade
The annual St. Patrick’s Day is the largest west of the Mississippi and attended by more than 200,000.
Colorado Sports Hall of Fame Museum is free and located at the Sports Authority Field at Mile High.
First Friday Art Walk
Throughout the city of Denver are First Friday Art Walks. These are on the first Friday of every month. At these you can enjoy vendors, cultural performances, music, art exhibits, food, and more.
Free Things to do in Denver during the Winter
Denver has even more free things to do in the winter months, including parades and ice skating.
Parade of Lights
Parade of Lights is a night time parade featuring twinkling lights, marching bands, giant balloons, majestic floats and delightful characters like Major Waddles the Penguin and Santa. The parade route begins at the Denver City and County Building on 14th Avenue and Bannock Street. The parade makes a rectangular, two-mile pattern, finishing on 14th Street and Glenarm Place.
Free Ice Skating
Skyline Park has a free ice skating rink. It’s open to the public from the end of November until mid February. You can bring your own skates or rent a pair at a low cost.
Ring in the New Year at the annual New Year’s Eve Fireworks on the 16th Street Mall in downtown Denver. In addition to fireworks they have a mini-parade with magicians, costumed performers, balloon artists, and more entertainment.
Denver ís incredible tourist attractions offer education, a taste of culture and a ton of fun for the whole family. Now it’s just a matter of choosing the right adventures for your family. With so many options, it is impossible to get bored in Denver. Whether you decide to go to parks and museums, or dive into the shopping scene, is up to you. Now that you know about all the wonderful attractions for families to take advantage of in Denver, your family is indubitably going to have the time of your lives when you visit.
We’ve been told Denver is very similar to our home city of Calgary, Canada. We’ll have to go see for ourselves :)