Denver, Colorado offers so many different tourist stops it is impossible to hit everything on one visit. With so much to choose from and so little time, here are some perfect stops for families with young children where everyone will enjoy a fun vacation day in the Mile High City.
Start the day with wonderful breakfast at the Snooke AM Eatery, one of Denver’s best breakfast restaurants. The restaurant is located at 700 Colorado Boulevard. For more information, call 303-736-6200 or check out their breakfast menu at their website.
After breakfast, jump in the car and head two miles south to visit the Denver Museum of Nature & Science. The museum offers kids the chance to see mummies, dinosaurs and wildlife animals while exploring the human body and expansive reaches of outer space.
The Discovery Zone opens at 10:00AM MST daily, an area where the little ones can play. The kids can listen to world music while working on puzzles, making crafts and working on science experiments. There is also an area where kids can dig up their own dinosaur bones.
Once out of the Discovery Zone, there is a lot to discover. The museum offers an Egyptian Mummy Exhibit containing two 3,000 year-old female mummies. Also on hand is an X-Ray machine so the kids can see what rests beneath the bandages. The exhibit concludes with a look at artifacts and a model of an ancient Egyptian temple.
After checking out the dinosaur exhibits, make sure to drop by the Gates Planetarium for an experience discovering stars, planets and the outer reaches of the solar system. The planetarium runs shows daily, starting at 10:00AM MST, with the last shows at 5:00PM MST.
The museum is located at 2001 Colorado Blvd. The museum is open from 9:00AM to 5:00PM MST, seven days a week with the exception of December 25. The Discovery Zone is open from 10:00AM to 4:00PM MST. Tickets are $11 for adults and $6 for kids. Children under 3 get in free. Combo tickets to the museum and planetarium can also be purchased for $21 for adults and $14 for children. For more information, call 303-370-6000 or visit their website.
After leaving the museum, head across the street to the Denver Zoo. The zoo houses over 3,500 different animals in more than 650 species. The zoo also features naturalistic habitats for many of its animals, including Predator Ridge, Tropical Discovery and Primate Panorama, across more than 80 acres in Denver’s City Park.
Head on over to Predator Ridge to discover Africa’s most dangerous predators. Kids can get up close and personal, in a safe environment, with lions, African wild dogs and hyenas. More than 14 different African species lives in the area designed to recreate Kenya.
The Tropical Discovery exhibit gives visitors a chance to see the Komodo dragons in their 5,500 square foot home. The Primate Panorama spans seven acres and houses 29 primates including a 600-pound gorilla. The zoo is also responsible for a breeding program for endangered species. They have birthed Amur leopards, Siberian tigers, black rhinos, red pandas and a red-bellied lemur.
Another fun stop at the zoo is an Indoor Rain Forest, where kids can explore waterfalls, darkened caves and a cypress swamp. The zoo presents an intriguing Bird World, possessing some of the strangest looking birds in existence. Make sure you don’t miss out on the Arctic penguins before you go.
The zoo is located at 2300 Steele Street. The zoo is open from 9:00AM to 5:00PM MST in the summer and 10:00AM to 4:00PM MST in the winter. Tickets are $13 for adults and $8 for the kids. Children under 3 get in free. For more information, call 303-376-4800 or visit their website.
After a long afternoon at the zoo, get out of the heat and into the comfortable confines of the Denver Downtown Aquarium. The facility boasts more than a million gallons of water and over 500 species of animals.
The exhibit is open from 10:00AM to 9:00PM MST from Sunday to Thursday and until 9:30PM MST on weekends. The aquarium includes a full-service restaurant, so grab a relaxing bite to eat before running around and viewing the exhibits.
The exhibits include North American, desert and rainforest habitats. There are also Under the Sea, At the Wharf, Coral Lagoon and Sunken Temple exhibits. For extra money, families can scuba, snorkel, swim with the fishes and dive with the sharks. You might even catch a glimpse of a mermaid swimming by.
The Downtown Aquarium is located at 700 Water Street. Tickets are $15.99 for adults and $9.99 for kids. All children under 3 get in free. For more information, call 303-561-4450 or visit their website.