Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Family Travel: 5 Family Friendly Things to Do in Denver

Recently my family went on vacation to Colorado to escape the oppressive August heat in Texas. Colorado is a popular spot for Texans in August and now we know why: the weather was great, there is plenty to do, and everywhere we went was family friendly.

We began our vacation with a few days exploring Denver. With plenty of museums, public parks and just large public green spaces, we had no problem filling three days with activities and outdoor fun for myself, my husband and our two kids under age 4.

Since our hotel was located downtown, we ended up renting a car to get around to some of the sites, however a carless trip to Denver is certainly possible depending on what you want to do. Without further ado, here are my top 5 family friendly things to do in Denver, Colorado.

  1. City Park - located just a mile east of downtown Denver, this 330 acre park is home to the Denver Zoo, the Denver Museum of Nature and Science, several lakes, running trails, and a kids playground. We took advantage of almost everything offered in the park: the playground during some early mornings (before anything else is open and no toys in the hotel), as well as the Zoo and Museum.
  2. Denver Zoo - Most kids love the zoo, and ours are no exception. This zoo is large, well organized and (perhaps due to the cooler weather) and animals are out and about to see, instead of sleeping or hiding in some out of the way nook. We saw lions, lots of elephants, zebras, and scores of other animals. A plus to the zoo for good parking and very friendly staff as well.
  3. Denver Museum of Nature and Science - We are suckers for dinosaurs. As a result, this museum was a must stop on our list of places to go. But it wasn't just the dinosaur skeletons that took us in, some of the other exhibits, like the butterflies and an exhibit on animals in Colorado were also very interesting and interactive.
  4. Colorado Rockies Baseball Game - Confession, only my husband and son went to this activity, however they both had a GREAT time. Ticket prices are very reasonable, the ball park is new and clean, not to mention there is a large playground on premises for little ones who get bored by the baseball action. Best park of the ball park was that there is free transportation on city buses from many pickup points throughout the city. No need to waste time or money on parking, plus (from what I heard) the atmosphere on the buses is festive because everyone is going to the game.
  5. Denver Aquarium - Located several miles from downtown, the aquarium was an excellent afternoon destination. There is nothing better than pointing to real, live sharks and fish for your kids to be able to connect what they see in books and hear about to what they look like in the flesh. Another feature that is excellent is a miniature train on-site that you can ride on.

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