Best Places to Take Kids in Denver, CO

As a family traveler it’s exciting planning visits to places you’ve always wanted to see. But with kids in tow you’ll need to plan some kid-friendly excursions to keep the boredom woes at bay.

This list is a comprehensive guide to the best spots to take your kiddos while traveling in Denver that’ll surely make lasting memories, they’ll beg you to bring them back!

1. Denver Zoo – This zoo is stocked full of amazing exhibits, great restaurants and thrilling events. The built in aquarium is designed to feel like you’re walking into a muggy rainforest and the animals are so close the kids feel like they’re really in the wild!

2. Denver Aquarium – Experience interactive fun like never before. With tanks that have cut outs for kids to stick their heads into so it feels like they’re swimming with the sharks, “real” mermaids that put on beautiful shows while swimming with the fish, and a sting ray cove where they can feed and touch the sting rays the Denver Aquarium is a thrilling experience for children of all ages! *Did I mention they also have tigers?!

3. Colorado Railroad Museum – Have a train lover? I know I do! This museum has real trains built into the side of a mountain kids can experience the history and beauty of old stream engines (and even ride them!) Thomas the Train comes every September for a fun train ride around the train yard! As well as the Polar Express with reenactments of the entire movie – It’s serious fun for the entire family!

4. Butterfly Pavilion – Ever wondered what it would be like to have thousands of butterflies surrounding you while you take in the smell of tropical flowers? It’s s a constant reality when you’re at the Butterfly Pavilion! They have so many interactive and educational stations for children of all ages it’s an amazing way to kill a few hours while letting your kids get their wiggles out and their minds growing!

5. Denver Museum of Nature and Science – This is a favorite of my family’s. Three stories of incredible history, interactive exhibits, an IMAX theatre and a planetarium. If you’re looking for a way to spend an entire day with the kids this is the spot. With a built in cafe and restaurant, a rotating travel exhibit area, and a kid’s indoor playground this is the place to bring the kids. Seriously one of our favorites!

6. Children’s Museum of Denver – Newly revamped and reimagined this eclectic museum has the coolest places for kids to play, learn and imagine. Another place to spend all day and wear them out (win-win!)

7. Elitch Gardens – Like amusement parks? You’ll LOVE this place. Stocked full of rides for people of all ages, you’ll easily spend an entire day drinking beers, riding crazy rollercoaster and eating some of the best comfort foods you can find!

8. Water World – One of my favorites since I was a kid. An amazing water park filled with some of the best rides and best funnel cakes Ive ever had. This is a MUST do on a warm summer day! Easy to spend an entire day here but definitely an unforgettable memory locale!

9. Denver Art Museum – Have an artsy kiddo? They’ll love the beautiful design of this building and even more beautiful sights inside (ha!). There is some gorgeous and unique art along with interactive STEM fun to keep kids engaged and happy 😉

10. KidSpace – STEM based play space for kiddos. An amazing spot for them to climb, play, learn and experience science with hands on exhibits. Also, it has a built in coffee shop, how cool is that?! It’s a spot we frequent for sure!

11. Little Monkey Bizness Westminster – Another absolute favorite of ours for sure. We come here about once a week, because it also has a coffee shop, an art room, and huge inflatables for kids to get ALL of that crazy energy out. they even have a spot for infants so they don’t get trampled on 😉 You can save 10% off with code SIMPLYKARALIZ_fff.

Obviously, outside of the Denver metro area, there are a million other amazing spots to hit but these are some of our Denver favorites that we go to often!

Looking for great recommendations on places outside of the city? Then check out this amazing post on fun things to do in Breckenridge, CO over at Champagne on Deck!

Provided by Champagne on Deck

Have another local spot you love? Comment with them below!

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Best Hidden Date Night Spots in Denver

I love Red Robin and Chili’s more than the next gal, but when you’re traveling and looking for a unique spot, you want something authentic and memorable. I’ve lived in Denver long enough to find the most amazing spots hidden in plain sight – And been desperate enough to try anywhere if that means making my babysitter time worthwhile, ha!

5. 740 Front – 740 Front St, Louisville, CO 80027 – $$

Built in 1904 this Louisville saloon restaurant has a lot of history with many stories to tell. But their greatest story is their phenomenal food. Known for their incredible seafood and steak, there are many amazing items to choose from so even the pickiest of eaters will find something they’ll adore. Their drinks are artfully handcrafted and their staff exudes sophistication. This is the perfect spot for a fancy night out for an anniversary, birthday, etc.

4. Ocean Prime1465 Larimer Street Denver, CO 80202 – $$$$

One of the best meals I’ve ever eaten was eaten here. Their food is incredible, their drinks are unique and dreamy, but their location is gorgeous. Right in downtown Denver you get an amazing view of Larimer Square that’s always lit up and always lively. This place is amazing if you’re looking for a classy dinner to impress and celebrate with a loved one. Try their lobster mac n’ cheese, seriously drool worthy.

3. EAT! Food and Drink – 520 Zang St N, Broomfield, CO 80021 – $

Love this place. It is tucked into a cute little strip mall but packs a big punch. Amazing food, along with gluten-free options, patio seating while sipping on a cold, refreshing cocktail, and pleasing conversations are only a few of the amazing qualities this place has to offer. The owner creates unique and thoughtful menu items that make it a place to try and remember!

2. Jack’s & Steamers – 8565 Five Parks Dr #100, Arvada, CO 80005 – $

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Owned by a former Olympic skier, Jack and his wife, Athan, own this incredible restaurant and created a training kitchen in order to support and employ people with developmental disabilities. Their kindness is not the only amazing thing they offer – Their unique and delicious menu keeps locals and travelers coming back time after time.

  1. Aspen Lodge Bar and Grill – 8125 W 94th Ave, Westminster, CO 80021 – $$

Literally, my number one favorite place to eat in Colorado. We’ve been coming for 6 years now and it’s become a tradition to take family and friends every-time they’re in town. Owned by Turkish native, Mesut, his restaurant is like a scene out of a Christmas lodge, but in the background, there is always Iron Maiden playing. An eclectic restaurant with American/Turkish foods will leave you full and happy. You’ll never experience anything quite like it anywhere else – When you come make sure to order his Mesut Burger (a traditional burger with a Turkish twist!) and his award winning Philly Cheesesteak Sandwich! Best place in Denver!

Chūze Fitness

When you feel so genuinely passionate about something you want to tell the world – And that’s exactly how I feel about Chūze Fitness. After I had Hudson (Over 4 years ago) I was in the best shape of my life.. I had more energy than I knew what to do with, I had a six pack and incredible confidence. But, I got all of that by living in a toxic mindset with food and exercise.

It was a chore. Eating insanely strictly, exercising everyday, and treating myself like a machine that I wouldn’t allow to rest. I’m sure what you would expect to happen, happened. I fell off the health train, HARD. I had one cheat meal and I spiraled. I felt like I was a failure, I felt disgusted with myself and I hated how I “felt”.

So I stopped eating healthy completely. I started drinking more alcohol, stopped working out, stopped everything that I considered “healthy” because I felt like it was a waste since I was “off the wagon”. Then I got pregnant with my twins. After I had them my body felt like it was shutting down. I had no energy, no desire to move, no desire to cook, no desire to do anything that wasn’t absolutely necessary.

I hated myself. And the worst part? I allowed myself to be like that until they were 8 months old – I felt like I was failing them as a Mother. I decided I needed to make a change – Not just for them but also for myself.

As a stay at home Mother of three I was super intimidated by the thought of working out at home like I always had because I knew I’d lose momentum the moment one of them needed something. So I did some searching and found a few gyms that had childcare. It seemed overwhelming but after hearing raving reviews about Chūze Fitness from some local Moms I decided to give it a try..

Their 7 day free trial included everything but tanning so I was able to take all my kiddos into the Kids Club to try it out. The ladies in there were immediately incredible. They were excited to take my twin babies (Something I absolutely feared) and told me to take my time and have a great workout..

After dropping them off I stood outside the Kid’s Club door, completely bewildered that I was kid-free.. I looked around at all of the amazing opportunities in front of me.. I could use their HydroMassage machines, get some cardio in at the Chūze Cinema, join in on a Zumba class, go for a swim, hop in the sauna or get rid of my nasty cold in the Eucalyptus steam room.. The possibilities literally seemed endless.

That was a month ago today. I can now honestly say that Chūze has already changed my life. This is my home away from home. My twins light up when they see the girls, Hudson constantly asks if we can go back to the “play place” and I know I can workout with complete assurance that my kids are in the best hands.

And because of them I’ve been able to gain my strength and energy back. I’ve been going multiple times a week – And sometimes, I literally just sit in the massage chairs, go for a tan then watch a movie while on a stationary bike because whether I am exercising or not it’s my time to focus on ME.

But, most of all, Chūze has changed my life completely because I am now able to be the Mother I need to be for my sweet boys. So thank you Chūze, for the opportunity to better myself and giving me the tools to do so.

Want to try it for yourself? Here is my referral code – I promise.. Your first day there you’ll know you want to sign up.. Did I mention they have a built in smoothie bar? 😉

FOX 31 News – Toy Fair 2020

Hey y’all! For my third year in a row I’ll be promoting the New York Toy Fair on FOX 31 Denver! This year we’ve got some amazing products to promote – Ones that enhance creativity, reinforce screen-free play, and STEM based toys that provide educational fun!

With the rise in awareness among parents and the same being taught at schools, it has been noticed that most children are shifting to sustainable choices and that includes toys! Green Toys™ is a line of eco-friendly toys and children’s products Made in the USA
from 100% recycled plastic milk jugs.

Green Toys™ Stacking Cups are colorful and fun, and teach basic counting and math concepts. Six graduated cups, dozens of possibilities for bath and play time. Scoop and pour water, build towers by turning upside down, or just sort sizes to nest. Fill cups 1 and 2, for example, and it will equal the volume of cup 3. Ages: 6 months + MSRP $9.99

Green Toys™ Tide Pool Set is a set includes a starfish, scallop, abalone, snail, squid, and jellyfish. Scoop up water with the abalone and create a cascading waterfall with the holes along the edge, or fill the jellyfish and watch the water run down and out each of the legs. The palm-sized shells are the perfect size for scooping and pouring water to wash little ones in infant tubs, while also great for the beach and backyard, too. Ages: 6 months + MSRP $9.99

Green Toys™ Tugboat allows kids to embark on a cruise across the bathtub. Navigate the
wading pool and even splash around in the occasional mud puddle. There’s
no end to the fun! Ages: 6 months + MSRP $9.99

Twinkling Twilight Turtle – New Calming Lights + Soothing Sounds! Now with 2 soothing MELODIES and 100’s of stars that TWINKLE on and off in a colorful, magical light show. Projects constellations in blue, green or amber. Fun, vibrant light effect on shell. Two soothing melodies built in, with adjustable volume control. Available for all ages. MSRP $34.99.

Lil’ Shuckies Large Shell Case from WeCool – Unboxing, blind bags and slime continues to captivate children nationwide. This colorful clam shell is also a carrying case complete with all the essentials one needs to shuck their Lil’ Shuckies and store their discoveries. Includes clam tool, two glitzy slimes, magic and 60 colorful pearl beads and
a necklace string. MSRP: $19.99, AGES: 4+, is available at Walmart!

What’s Wrong with Grown-Ups?, a new card game from Authentic Agility
Games
because adults like to have fun too.. How often have you wished that your teen would stop playing video games, sending friends videos you can only hope are appropriate, and going out, and instead, share what they’re thinking… with you?

A fun way to engage kids of all ages, the 500-question card games creates an
open two-way dialog that allows you to make new connections and deepen
your bond. It’s simple to play as each participant rolls the dice and then selects the category in which you are asked to answer a related question.

There’s plenty of research out there reminding parents how important screen free play has become. From toys that teach fine motor skills to STEM, screen free play is essential for the growth of our children.

That’s where smART Pixelator comes in. The smART Pixelator empowers kids to design and build 2D and 3D projects using Bluetooth connectivity, easy-to-follow lights, and smART Pixel Beads, Sequins or Pegs. Right out of the box, kids have a choice of creating 50 step-by-step designs using Pixel Beads. A smART Pixelator app and any mobile device also let them engineer their own projects, encouraging customization and experimentation. Additional beads, sequins, pegs, and projects are available to keep the fun flowing. Ideal for kids 7 to 107 years old. MSRP: $59.99

Construction toys can help kids develop cognitive and social skill as well as fuel creativity.

CREATTO™ Light-Up Crafting Kits is a simple yet versatile building system that consists of just two primary components that can be woven together into countless 3D creations. The flexible yet durable plastic tiles interlock quickly and easily for all skill levels; no additional materials or hardware required! Each Creatto kit includes assembly instructions for four different configurations, but the possibilities are limited only by your imagination. Add strings of colored LED lights to illuminate your works of art from the inside out. Five Creatto kits will be available Winter 2020. Creatto will be available in 3 fun sizes: mini, medi, and maxi.

Kids can choose to build the Moonlight Elephant Safari (MSRP $9.95; ages 6+), Magical
Moose & Forest Friends (MSRP $9.95; ages 6+), Starlight Kitty & Cutie Crew (MSRP
$19.95; ages 8+), Shimmer Shark & Ocean Pals (MSRP $29.95; ages 9+), or Sparkle
Unicorn & Friends (MSRP $29.95; ages 9+).

Harlem Globetrotters

All-New Harlem Globetrotters Pushing The Limits World Tour

I’ve been wanting to take my son to a Harlem Globetrotters show for FOREVER – Between their amazing athletic ability and their hilarious skits it’s a show the entire family will enjoy! We’ll be going with our best friends and we cannot wait to show y’all the pictures.. Or come with us! 25% off coupon below!

This is more than a basketball game. It is more than a show. It is the one and only Harlem Globetrotters in an all-new, larger-than-life world tour. You’ll be on your feet, out of your seat, laughing until it hurts and loving every moment. The 5th Quarter – The game isn’t over after the final shot! Meet your favorite Globetrotter court-side after the game to get an autograph and photo.

Don’t miss out – get your tickets today and save SAVE 25% for ALL Harlem Globetrotters Games with promo code FUNFAM. Must purchase 14 days before Game Date. https://www.harlemglobetrotters.com/world-tour/schedule http://www.usfamilyguide.com/coupon.php?bid=13043&dealid=2964

Traveling Victorian Dress Up Tea Party

The beauty and wonder of tea parties as a young girl is something I still fondly remember.. So when I heard of a TRAVELING tea party that brings the dress up clothes/accessories, fancy tableware and games TO you I knew I HAD to do it for my step-daughters’ 9th birthday party..

We’re now at an age where pretend play is not as much of a desire so as my only girl I knew it was my last chance for a tea party. I called up Traveling Tea Party and the sweetest women, Nancy and Linda, who own it were so sweet and enthusiastic! They were just as excited for the party as I was!

They supplied themed invitations that were adorable and included in the package – She was very excited to write out her own invitations for all her friends!

We started setting up and they were incredibly fast at getting all of the outfits laid out and a station for makeup and accessories. The birthday girl got to have first choice of her outfit and it was a point of pride and excitement.. She looked BEAUTIFUL. They had an impressive collection!

Once all of her friends were dressed and gorgeous they began their parlor games, games that taught poise (While still having a blast!) and class.

Afterwards we began the lunch. The tea was pink lemonade and they supplied pink wafer cookies which were perfect for dipping in the chocolate fountain we brought! I loved the beauty and grace of the event as simple things like the lady of the table ringing a bell when she was ready for tea time, serving the tea to each guest (Gracefully, of course) brought you back to a lovelier, simpler time where such things were expected.

Although her friends and her are getting older they absolutely loved the party and were raving about it for weeks. Nancy and Linda were so so sweet and the cutest things! If I had more girls I’d book them every year but my boys much rather prefer to smash things over tea time. 🤦🏽‍♀️

I highly recommend Traveling Tea Party to any Parent in the Denver area looking for a wonderful idea for their child’s next birthday party. You will not be disappointed and your little princess will feel like the bell of the ball!

(I was compensated for this post, all opinions are my own)

EAT! Food and Drink

Again.. Y’all KNOW I love local places that have paleo/gluten free options and I found one that’s literally 8 minutes down the road. A new hip spot called EAT! It’s in the lively shopping centers across from Flatirons Mall seated on the edge of Broomfield.

When you first walk in, you’re greeted by an industrial rustic vibe and friendly staff! The menu is full of classic brunch foods with unique twists, but don’t be fooled because they also provide health conscience items to meet your dietary needs!

They had amazing sweet potato fries and were able to provide us with gluten-free options for our burgers! *They had three different GF bread options, how awesome is that?!

Their drink menu also included some very unique recipes that were delicious additions to our brunch! (They grew the mint in house and used it for their drink infusions.. I love that!)

As amazing as the food and people were at the restaurant (Talking about you David and Alex!) the thing that really stood out to me was their amazing kid’s menu. It doubled as an activity booklet that used a PENNY as the writing utensil.. How eco-friendly is that! No waste, no chemicals.. Just a penny. I love it and I am hooked on that idea!

We’ll absolutely be back again – The hospitality and atmosphere makes you feel as though you’re in a hip downtown eatery but it’s in our own backyard and it’s super kid friendly! Thanks EAT!

(I was compensated for this post, all opinions are my own.)

Challenger International Soccer Camps

With the twins coming I’m really eager to get Hudson into some activities so help his little mind and body develop. Especially after the twins are born I’ll want him to get some socialization and activities in to keep him moving and outside! Well I just found TinyTykes Soccer Summer Camp through Challenger Sports and can’t wait to get him signed up for July!

Challenger Sports, the leading camp company in the US, has launched a brand new soccer camp that combines the most popular elements of their two camp programs, British Soccer and TetraBrazil. The all new Challenger International Soccer Camp will offer instructional camp programs for each age/ability level!

The TinyTykes program will provide 3-5 year olds with fundamental soccer activities, games, and stories, designed to enhance technical skills along with physical and social development. The Half Day Camp for 6-16 year olds is the most popular program and will provide 3 hours of skill development, games, challenges and competition each day.

Register now for Challenger’s International Soccer camp and get a free international ball, t-shirt, poster, skills evaluation and new downloadable coaching app & 20 skills videos! Register 30 days before camp and qualify for a free International Game Jersey! https://www.challengersports.com/international_soccer/

KidSpace A Children’s Exploration Center

Y’all know I love to do local places – This is one I really love to take Hudson to! It’s fun, educational AND health conscious so wanted to share them with y’all incase you’re looking for some fun places to hit up during these cold Colorado winters!

You walk in and it just screams interstellar.. There are themed sections everywhere! You see scientific experiment games based on Archimedes’ work, a launch lab where kids can use different levels of strength to get a rocket ship to different planets, a ballistics zone where kids can run, play, climb and use air launchers to shoot balls – And SO much more!!

Wherever you look there’s STEM play and that’s an amazing feeling as a parent to have the opportunity to have your kids learn as they play! I believe STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) is so crucial for children, especially at a young age as it allows their minds to bend and flex in ways they wouldn’t be able to ordinarily.

They have hourly planetarium shows in an amazing blow up igloo which is so fun for the kids!

Something all parents can appreciate is the extreme cleanliness of the entire facility – I never feel as though I’ve got to give Hudson a bath after he leaves! Another parent pleaser is the amazing full espresso bar with delicious coffees and healthy snacks!

The owners are so friendly and passionate about their creation and they should be. You can easily spend hours here.. So if you’re looking for a fun, indoor place to take your stir crazy kiddos – Bring them here!! You won’t be disappointed and they’ll be begging you to come back!

Dinosaur Birthday Party

Like a ton of other little kids his age Hudson is obsessed with dinosaurs. So it was a definite theme for his 3rd birthday! We decided to do it at the WOW! Children’s Museum in Lafayette, CO – It’s small enough where we won’t be overwhelmed but the kids can still have tons to do and it’s large enough for us to hold all of our close friends and family. 🙂

Their prices were great for a 2 hour session (This was my first time doing an “outside of the house” party so I was excited it was affordable 😉 ) and they helped so much with the set up! Y’all know how thrifty I am so I decided to ask around my local Facebook Mom groups and found ALL of my dinosaur decorations for FREE. I was pretty proud considering it turned out looking uh-mazing! 

The room was large enough for 20 people with space to spare and there TONS of tables for food, gifts, cake, etc.

Sprouts Farmers Market has the best catering platters!!! I grabbed 6: A veggie tray, a fruit tray, a sandwich tray, a dessert tray and a breakfast tray. They were all amazing, affordable for how much you got and they were a HIT. Anyone with any kind of food restrictions had plenty to eat which is obviously important to us as paleo eaters!

One of my favorite parts of this party planning was getting him a custom cake made by a local baker.. She does some AMAZING work and I’m SO happy I trusted her to make his cake! She made Hudson an AWESOME dinosaur cake and he LOVED it (Then she made this preggo Mama an INCREDIBLE carrot cake and omg it was gone in minutes haha!)

Hudson’s looking at this picture right now and really wants it.. haha!

Her bakery is located in Broomfield, CO and has the CUTEST name! The Book Tree Bakery! Contact her if you’re ever looking for any baked goods – You’ll be amazed ❥

At the end of the party we passed out little goody bags with different dinosaurs printed on them and each kid/adult got their own healthy snacks to take home – And my favorites, of course! SunRype Fruit Strips and Made in Nature snacks!

Everyone had such a blast and most importantly so did my little three year old! Highly recommend ALL of these places and goodies to anyone hosting a birthday party in the Colorado area! (Or anywhere else 😉 )

(I was compensated for some of the aspects of this post, but all opinions are my own!)