Denver and the surrounding metro area has tons of fun available to families and kids. It is a welcoming town with activities for everyone. I am a mom of two kids, and this is our favorite list of the best Denver attractions for kids. This list includes free and affordable activities, something to suit all interests.
Best Denver Attractions for Kids
1 – Centennial Center Park and Splash Park – FREE
Centennial Center Park and Splash Park is an excellent park to visit at any time throughout the year. In the summer, there is a splash park. The water is cold, so it is a great find for a hot day. You can pack a picnic and hang out for hours.
The park playground puts other playgrounds to shame. The playground itself is shaped like a treehouse. There is also a dome comprised of climbing ropes, and there is a tire swing. Kids can play for hours without getting bored.
When visiting the park, you are close to the Centennial Airport. Look up, and you will see lots of planes taking off and landing.
Address: 13050 E. Peakview Ave., Centennial, CO 80112
2 – Denver Zoo
When looking for the best Denver attractions for kids, the Denver Zoo often makes the list. Go early, before the crowds and before nap time. The animals are most active in the early hours, and you will likely get to see them eat breakfast. Pack a lunch and have a picnic in the zoo. If you go early, you will get a chance to see most of the park before the crowds arrive and will head home to nap or rest just as the animals are napping.
Address: 2300 Steele Street, Denver, CO 80205
3 – Denver Children’s Museum
The Denver Children’s Museum is the perfect getaway rain, snow or shine. They have indoor and outdoor activities for all young children. My children have always been immersed when visiting the Denver Children’s Museum. There is an art studio, a fire truck, and a climbing exhibit, just to name a few. The is also a designated area for babies and very young toddlers.
You can go to the Denver Children’s Museum on a sunny day and spend the entire day outside. Bring an extra pair of clothes if this is your plan. There are splash features, a beach sand pile, and a man-made creek the kids can wade and play in. There is also a zip line outside.
Address: 2121 Children’s Museum Drive, Denver, CO 80211
4 – Robert F Clement Park – FREE
Clement Park is a little park in Littleton. There is a playground, a lake, and a gorgeous view. There are geese everywhere, which is fun for the little ones. You can pack a picnic. There is also a walking path around the park if you want to take a stroller run or walk.
Address: 7306 W Bowles Ave., Littleton, CO 80123
5 – Westlands Park and Playground – FREE
Westlands Park and Playground is off the chain! My kids always love it. It has a young child play area, a regular playground, a climbing wall, and “the mountain slide”. The slide goes down the entire side of a large hill. Beware, if you are alone with multiple children, they can escape out one side of the playground to another play area. I learned this the hard way.
Address: 5701 S Quebec Street, Greenwood Village, CO 80121
6 – Waterton Canyon – FREE
Grab a stroller and head to Waterton Canyon. The path is not paved, but it does have a packed-in trail. You can use a stroller, take a family bike ride, or just walk on foot. During the summer months, you are almost guaranteed to see some bighorn sheep. Dogs are not allowed on the trail.
You will park in the parking lot on the east side of the street and then walk the trail on the west side of the street.
Address: 11300 Waterton Road, Littleton, CO 80125
7 – Chatfield State Park
Chatfield State Park has so much to offer without leaving the Denver Metro Area. You will need a state park pass to visit Chatfield or will need to pay the daily rate. The reservoir has a child-friendly beach. You can take all your sand toys and spend the day in the water.
If you want a real treat, head out to Chatfield Reservoir in the very early morning, before 7:30 AM. The park has a hot air balloon landing pad. Traffic in the area is random, but there were many days we saw them floating nearby and then headed over to the park to watch them land.
There are hiking and bike paths in the park. The hiking paths are not shaded, so I do not recommend going in the middle of the day during the hot summer months. Go early, and don’t forget the sunscreen!
The park also has an off-leash dog park. There is an additional $2 fee to use this area. It is an extremely large area for your puppy to play!
The park also offers boating and camping opportunities.
Address: 11500 N. Roxborough Park Road, Littleton, CO 80125
8 – Dinosaur Ridge – FREE or CHEAP
Go see where the dinosaurs once walked right through Colorado. If you are a local, see if you can get a free pass from the library. If you cannot obtain a pass, only the guided bus tour costs money. You can do a self-guided tour on your own. The self-guided tour does require some walking, but it is stroller friendly.
Address: 16831 W. Alameda Parkway, Morrison, CO 80465
9 – CU South Denver Museum
CU South Denver offers an art and natural history museum and IMAX theater. This is the perfect spot on a cloudy or snowy day. If you are local, you can often obtain a free pass through the library’s culture and local pass programs. The free library pass does not include admission to the IMAX theater.
CU South Denver hosts regular events that are family friendly. You can check them out here.
Address: 10035 S. Peoria Street, Lone Tree, CO 80134
10 – Airplane watching from Perfect Landing restaurant
The Centennial Airport is one of the busiest private airports in the country. Take the kids over to Perfect Landing for lunch or pack a picnic and grab a spot in an airport parking lot. The kids will love the close-up views of the private jets and small aircraft taking off and landing.
Address: 7625 S. Peoria Street, Englewood, CO 80112
11 – Daniels Park – Free
Daniels Park is located south of Denver, but it is part of the Denver Mountain Park System. It is the perfect spot to see the sunset, take in breathtaking views of the mountains, take a short hike or have a picnic.
Address: 8682 N Daniels Park Rd. Sedalia, CO 80135
12 – Red Rocks Park and Amphitheater – FREE
Red Rocks has something to offer to people of all ages and abilities. It is an iconic stop in the Denver area. For music lovers, the museum at Red Rocks features some of the greatest musical names from the past century. For dinosaur lovers, the museum features information about Colorado’s pre-historic dinosaurs and unique geographical past.
Visitors can take hikes in the area or walk up and down the amphitheater steps. Stand on stage in the same spot as musical celebrities and imagine yourself performing in front of thousands!
Address: 18300 W. Alameda Parkway, Morrison, CO 80465
13 – Bluffs Regional Park Trail – FREE
This is an easily accessible trail located in the middle of town in Lone Tree, Colorado, just south of Denver. It is behind the Lone Tree Target. The trail makes a loop around a random, large hill. It has great views of the city and foothills from the top.
For little ones, you can climb just to the top, entering from the left side of the parking lot, and then hike right back down. My three-year-old and four-year-old were able to do this short bit. Once they were four and five years old, we were able to do the three-mile loop, but this was after some practice.
Address: 10099 Crooked Stick Trail, Lone Tree, Colorado 80124
14 – Stop for a donut at The Fractured Prune
This place is so much fun and one of the best donut shops in Denver! They specialize in cake donuts. They are made to order. Therefore, when you get your donut, it is hot. It is an experience because you get to pick out your frosting and toppings. The kids loved sitting at the counter, watching the donuts come out of the fryer and then picking out their unique flavors.
Address: 9696 E. Arapahoe Road, Greenwood Village, CO 80112
15 – Downtown Aquarium
Go check out the Downtown Aquarium and restaurant for a family fun-filled day. They have underwater exhibits and an interactive Stingray Touch tank. They also have a restaurant with a mermaid show. My girls were fascinated by the mermaids and fish.
Address: 700 Water Street, Denver, CO 80211
Hopefully, this list will inspire you to check out some cool areas in the Denver area. Many of these activities are free or affordable. Denver is a family town, and these are just some of the best Denver attractions for kids.
What do you think are the best Denver attractions for kids? Let us know in the comments.