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!

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+).

2020 SunRype Fuel Your Family Fitness Sweepstakes

New year, new decade, new goals. But this years’ resolution isn’t just for me.. I want my whole family to get out and be more active. We’re already a very health focused family but I want to step it up even more.. Less screen time and more adventures.

Did you make resolutions for better health and more movement? Make it a family goal! Get everyone involved and it’ll make achieving them easier.

In fact, it may even win you a home gym or a fitness tracker! SunRype created a 2020 contest to inspire families to MOVE together with the chance to win one of 11 prizes! You can head to their website or Facebook for details on how to enter AND earn 10 BONUS entries when you post a photo of your family being active together on Instagram using the hashtag #SunRypeFuelFamilyFitness and tag @SunRypeUSA.

SunRype is all about health which is why they create wholesome snacks with real ingredients with families in mind. Their delicious and convenient fruit strips are perfect for kids when on the go or adults when they need a quick nutritious pick me up!

*NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. The sweepstakes will begin on January 6th, 2020 at 8:00am PT and ends on February 28th, 2020, at midnight PT. Open to legal residents of the 50 United States and the District of Columbia who are 18 years of age and older. The sweepstakes can be entered ONCE PER DAY. Find a full list of the prizes available to be won, their values, how to enter, odds of winning and draw dates along with the full rules and regulations at www.facebook.com/SunRypeUSA. Void where prohibited. Sponsor: Sun-Rype Products Ltd. 

All winners will be contacted by March 2nd, 2020 via email. In the meantime, head on over to our website, find us in the produce section of local grocery stores like Publix, Safeway, Albertsons, Winco or go to our Amazon Shop and get 10% Off with this discount code: SUNRYPE10

 **Prize(s) may not be exactly as illustrated.  A gift card(s) will be issued for the winner(s) to select equipment, sporting goods and/or fitness tracker(s) of their choice within the value of gift cards.

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)

Scrape-A-Round

If you’re like me you’re TIRED of scraping your windows the old fashioned way. So join the Scrape-A-Round movement! You will secure your family’s safety, access new gift ideas and scrape your windows cleaner in half the time!

They currently have a holiday promotion offering a 6 pack and FREE shipping for just $27 (A $43 value)! Scrape-A-Round is the perfect holiday gift idea for stocking stuffers, neighbor gifts, work gifts, and family gifts. Simply turn the Scrape-A-Round up side down, fill with selected items, wrap it up and have a unique gift as varied as your imagination. Visit http://www.scrapearound.com and use code: BSAFE to get FREE Shipping on your order.

Mile High Epidemic – Teen Vaping

I’m sure y’all have heard comments like this before: “Vaping isn’t nearly as dangerous as smoking cigarettes.” or, “It’s just water vapor – How can that be worse for you than straight cigarettes?”.

Well, these thoughts and ideas are filling our teen’s heads and they believe they’re actually making a “safer” decision by keeping to e-cigarettes. In reality, a JUUL pod (an e-cigarette cartridge) contains the same amount of nicotine as 20 cigarettes. TWENTY CIGARETTES.

Colorado youth are vaping nicotine at twice the national average and at the highest rate of 37 states surveyed, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. And, most recently, on Sept. 12, 2018, the FDA declared vaping as an epidemic across the United States.

How terrifying is that?! Colorado is ranked at TWICE the national average. As the mother and step-mother of almost five children that absolutely horrifies me. That could be one of my children. My 14 year old step-son could so easily hear these misconceptions and think it’d be “cool” to try vaping and then get addicted. Getting hooked on e-cigarettes could introduce horrible chemicals and nicotine into his body and within a year it could be a gateway into actual cigarettes.

There is little known about the long-term effects of vaping, however it is proven to have negative effects on their mental development as it harms their memory capabilities and causes depression. There is enough going on in our teens’ brains at this vulnerable age and we cannot have them stunting it with smoking.

This is not the future I want for my children and that is the reality of many teens right now in our state and country. So I implore my fellow parents and educators to cultivate their children’s thinking on vaping, even if it is not cigarettes. It Still.. Isn’t.. Safe.

According to the Tobacco Free Colorado website, about half of Colorado high school students have tried vaping nicotine and a statewide school survey shows 87 percent of Colorado high school students think cigarette smoking is risky, but only 50 percent think those risks apply to vaping nicotine.

As parents, we hold the responsibility in informing our children of the risks – even if they don’t smoke or have never tried it. It’s important to bestow the knowledge onto them.

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment has created a suite of materials to help parents and askable adults to understand the risks of vaping, and prepare them to have informed conversations with teens about it. The materials are available on the new Tobacco Free Colorado website at www.TobaccoFreeCO.org/know-the-facts.

(I was compensated for this post in partnership with the Colorado Department of Health and Environment. All opinions are my own and I truly feel passionate about this as my children are my world!)

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!)

South Dakota Vacation

Have you ever taken a trip and loved it so much you have to go again in the same year? Well that’s how I feel about South Dakota.. If y’all recall I went back in May with Hudson and my little sister, Eulalia. We had so much fun we had to go back but this time I was taking Hudson, my Husband Brent, my Father in Law Charles and my step-daughter Marret. None of them had ever been to South Dakota and always thought it was desert-y.. Man were they in for a surprise..

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I planned the whole trip and booked the same Roosevelt Inn we stayed in earlier in the year because it was so amazing! We made the 5 1/2 hour drive from Colorado to Keystone, SD (The BEST city to stay in because it’s 3 miles from Mount Rushmore and about 25 miles from Rapid City but it still so quiet and gorgeous!) We arrived at our incredible hotel, Roosevelt Inn and were as usual greeted by the amazing staff there (They even recognized me!) and made it up to our amazing loft bedroom! Two queen beds downstairs and two twin beds upstairs.. The kids were SO excited to have their own space… And TV 😉

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We didn’t want to waste anytime at all so we headed straight out from the hotel to see the sights.. We headed through the gorgeous black hills to the famous Reptile Gardens, it holds the world record for most reptile species on their grounds.. The gardens are gorgeous and so well taken care of.. Even in the beginning of the cold season their flowers were blooming and beautiful.

They’ve got incredibly large tortoises for the kids the pet and pythons to feel.. Inside their monster dome they’ve got the most beautiful exhibits holding scary yet amazing snakes, crocodiles, alligators and more! It was SO cool for the kids to see up close!

After exploring for an hour and a half we decided to head out to Rapid City for a look at their Dinosaur Park (Y’all know how obsessed Hudson is with dinosaurs 😉 ) They were HUGE statues made in 1936 for the incoming tourism and the kids are able to climb, learn and slide down their tails! It’s at the top of a large hill smack in the middle of Rapid City so you can see the city in all directions. It was awe-inspiring!

We decided to head back to the hotel after a long day of driving and exploring – When you drive into Keystone you feel like you’re in a quiet, nestled mountain town with cute shops and amazing food.. But the best part is driving up to our gorgeous light house looking hotel.. The Roosevelt Inn is exactly how it sounds.. A hotel inspired by Theodore Roosevelt.. With quotes on the walls, decoration inspired by his interests and even a “Selfie with Teddy” spot 😉

We settled in and headed down to their wonderful heated pool and spent an hour splashing and playing without anyone else! It was a wonderful way to unwind after a long fun day..

The next morning we were greeted by amazing smells coming from the lobby. They’ve got a complimentary breakfast every morning and it’s amazing!! Always stocked, always delicious and always something different!

After filling our bellies with a hearty breakfast we began our next day adventures! Our first stop was right down the road at Mount Rushmore.. It was a little chilly outside so it was actually really quiet! We parked and walked up to the monuments and took in their grand and glorious faces.. It’s not like anything you’ve ever seen and won’t know until you see it!!

We shopped at their decently priced gift shop then headed to our next fun-stination (See what I did there? 😉 )

I’d ALWAYS wanted to visit the Cosmos Mystery Area.. I’d seen it in a text book when I was younger and always found it’s story so fascinating!

Their history states: “In 1952, two college boys searched the Black Hills looking for the perfect spot to build a summer cabin. Upon their search, they stumbled into the mysterious world of the Cosmos.

The old cabin areas especially piqued their interest as the laws of logic and physics seemed to be turned upside-down. They continued to experiment and develop the demonstrations until they eventually opened their discovery to the public in 1953.

Come experience for yourself what continues to amaze and baffle visitors for over 65 years.”

It is just as mysterious as it sounds.. Balls rolled upwards, water drained up, people were taller standing on different but same levels and it was so disorienting your head would spin! It’s like nothing you’ll ever experience anywhere else..

It was my step-daughter’s favorite part of the trip because it was just so different!! They had friendly staff and a cute dog named Albert to meet you once you were finished too 😉 We’ll absolutely be back next time we visit!

Once we left we had some delicious lunch at The Front Porch and it was some of the best food we had the entire trip!! <3

After a quick nap at the hotel we walked around Keystone’s cute little shops for a few hours then ate some delicious dinner at the Ruby House for my birthday dinner! It’s a gorgeous old fashioned parlor themed restaurant with old paintings and guns hung all over the wall.

We were exhausted from the day so went back to our hotel and snuggled into our comfortable warm beds eager for the next days adventures..

We woke up to another morning of amazing breakfast which kickstarted our last day of fun!

I’d never seen so much fog than we had that morning! It was dense and really hard to see but we weren’t going to let that ruin our fun.. We drove into Rapid City for some sight seeing then on our way back decided to stop at the Dinosaur Museum.. They had over 50 life size dinosaur replicas.. Hudson was in HEAVEN! There was also a spooky mirror maze the kids wanted to go through and it was crazy cool! We were all so disoriented haha!!

After our dinosaur adventure we headed to my favorite part of our trip… Bear Country USA! It’s a drive thru park where animals roam free.. We had bears in the road, wolves ran right passed the car, elks were grazing and so much more… The fog had lightened up just a little but it actually made the experience a little more creepy and COOL! It was $55 for our vehicle but it was SO worth it.. Never will we ever get a chance to see a bear up THAT close again.. (Hopefully :p ) *I’ll add the bear photo as soon as I get it from my Husband’s phone :P*

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We wrapped up our trip and headed back to the hotel for naps, swimming and their game room!

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We were sad it was our last day.. So we went to do one last fun activity with the kids.. Some cosmic putt-putt at Putz n Glo.

After a fantastic night’s sleep we had one last breakfast, said our goodbyes to our amazing Roosevelt Inn staff and headed home.. This is a trip we’ll always remember.. It was the perfect weather and it was the end of their season so everything was quiet and slow.. Now that we’re back to fast paced Colorado living I’m already missing the sights and lifestyle South Dakota brings but we’ve decided to make a trip up every year as a new tradition.. And another tradition will be for us to always stay at the Roosevelt Inn because it was by far the most beautiful hotel we saw the whole time and added to the experience with it being president themed..

We highly recommend these adventures to anyone.. For only 5 1/2 hours away from Denver it makes for a perfect quick weekend getaway for families, couples or anyone wanting to slow down a little!

Thank you South Dakota for the best family vacation we’ve ever taken… We’ll be back!