Family Activities in Denver, CO
Bugs, bugs everywhere! Just 15 minutes from Denver, the Butterfly Pavilion will keep curious kids busy with a variety of displays, educational workshops and rotating exhibits. The highlight is a mini-rainforest with countless butterflies fluttering freely around you. Watch your kids navigate the lush paths as they try to follow the flights of the colorful butterflies. Be sure to bring your camera!
You won't believe how close you are to Denver when you're enjoying this kid-friendly hiking spot. Mount Falcon Park offers nine trails of varying degrees of difficulty. With kids in tow, your best bet is to start at the Castle Trail and head for the Eagle Eye shelter. It's a relatively quick hike with easy terrain. When you get to Eagle Eye, unpack a picnic lunch and take in the truly breathtaking panoramic views. This spot does get busy on weekends and holidays but the crowds sometimes make rookie hikers feel at ease in a new environment.
Sooner or later, your kids will ask you where money comes from. Your wallet? The bank? These answers are correct, but to really see where coins are born, take a free tour of the Denver Mint. You'll learn the history of coins, how they are designed, sculpted and actually see them made. The Denver facility is one of only two in the country that produces coins currently in use: between 50 million a day! It started making coins in 1906 in its historic building, one of Colorado's oldest institutions. Reservations are required, and not recommended for kids younger than 7.
Just south of Denver in the manicured suburb of Greenwood Village, you'll find one of the most elaborate and beautifully designed public parks in Colorado. Westlands Park offers tremendous mountain views, three age-appropriate play areas, a huge tree house, gigantic slides, climbing walls, soccer fields, picnic tables, a splash pad, in-line hockey rink and bike trails. It has been featured in Landscape Architecture Magazine and is a frequent winner of local "favorite park" honors.
If you dare, take the kids sky diving—indoors! You don't fall from the sky; a column of air circulated by strong fans in a wind tunnel keeps you floating just a few feet above the ground. Engineers from NASA designed the wind tunnels, so your kiddos can feel like astronauts. Trained instructors show you how to freefall, just like sky divers. First-time flyers follow basic steps with one-on-one instruction; then you can advance your skills and learn how to do tricks. The cost goes down with repeat visits. For any age older than 3.