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!

Like these ideas? Pin them for later!

Kid-Friendly Ideas on Galveston Island

Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links, meaning, at no cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.

Galveston is by far one of my favorite places in the world. With its Texan vibes and island carefree spirit it’s the most comfortable vacation destination for my family and I. It feels like home! This last month, I took my 5 year old, Hudson, on a Mommy and Son vacay to stay on the island because he’s never seen the beach before. By the end of it, he was begging me not to take him back to Colorado.

We only stayed for 4 days but it was enough to leave a lasting impression. Although we weren’t able to do everything, I made sure we still got a good chunk of touristy stuff in along with just beach chillin’ but I wanted to share a few things we did and didn’t do that I know would make for a memorable experience for your littles!

Where to stay:

Casa Del MarWe had the cutest little condo right on the beach with incredible views and ocean winds that blew across your lanai in the mornings while you’re enjoying your first, or second, cup of coffee. The rooms were decorated super beachy and colorful so when you settled in for the evening you still feel as if you are soaking in the island vibes.

It comes equipped with 1 bedroom and 1 full bath that is fully stocked with everything you need. The 1 bedroom has a queen sized bed and a twin bunk bed is located in the main hallway, perfect for kiddos (and some peace and quiet at night).

Interested? Call or text Reed at 412-337-9963 and he’ll hook you up with an amazing rate and the housekeeper Traci will make sure your every request is promptly taken care of, day or night! An amazing place with an even more amazing staff!

Where to eat:

Rainforest CafeObviously, the rainforest cafe is a HUGE hit with the kids. The deep forest ambiance and animatronic animals excite the kids while they dig into their rainforest themed foods and mega sized souvenir cups.

Fish Tales – Amazing food across from the Pleasure Pier. The balcony gave for amazing views of people buzzing about on the beach and making memories in the amusement park. Seriously.. The best clam chowder I’ve ever had.

Downtown Aquarium at Kemah – A little pricey but worth it being right on the water and inside an actual aquarium where you can see live fish and shark swimming about your meal. Also, another mega sized souvenir cup to take home, yippeeee…. But still, delicious.

Where to be touristy:

The Strand – A fun and classy shopping strip filled with eclectic and fun stops placed in older buildings. It’s a relaxing, fun place to grab a drink, some Galveston Island souvenirs and a dipped apple from Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory!

The Beach – Of course you’ll have to stop at the beach. We went everyday for hours. Sitting on the shore, eating McDonalds while watching the waves crash, scavenging for seashells and crabs, building sand castles and swimming in the water. It’s an incredible place to relax, unwind and watch the pure elation in your kid’s face. I’ll never forget his face when he built his first sand castle.

Where to visit:

Kemah Boardwalk – An amusement park on the beach. It’s an amazing way to take in the views and get some funnel cake while riding a carousel. There’s face-painting, carnival games and a train that takes you around the boardwalk. It’s an amazing place to spend some money, have some laughs and tire them kiddos out 😉

Moody Gardens – We didn’t get a change to stop here, sadly. But we heard nothing but amazing reviews. Placed inside three pyramids are three different exhibits. Rainforest, Aquarium and Discovery. Each of which hold unique experiences and attractions!

Galveston Ferry – In order to make it from Galveston Island to Port Bolivar you’ll need to take a ferry. An experience I’ve never had but loved it – You drive your car onto the boat and head up to the deck where you can watch the waves beneath the boat and the seagulls flying nearby. We even saw dolphins!

Schlitterbahn Water Park – Sadly this place was closed because Hudson has been wanting to go here for ages and it was even a little cold outside when we were there, so probably for the best! But check it out, it’s a huge water park known for it’s amazing rides!

Galveston Historic Seaport | Home of the 1877 Tall Ship ELISSA – We wanted to see this SO bad but it seemed to be closed.. I think, was really hard to tell. COVID has made things difficult but we’ll be sure to see this next time we’re in town.

What to pack:

If you choose Reed’s place at Casa Del Mar you’ll be equipped with beach chairs, beach towels, squirt guns, and more so no need to bring beach stuff! (Besides sunscreen 😉 )

Seashell bag. We got one from jane.com and it was the hit of our beach ventures. He was able to use his own little bag to hunt for shells and he felt so cool wrapping his bag around him and venturing out.

Flip-flops AND normal shoes. Cuz, walking and beach combing.

Wind-breaker. Sometimes that ocean wind is CRAZY cold. You never know 😉

We LOVE this Sand Castle pack. Wasn’t cheap and made amazing castles!


This was such an amazing trip, so much so my son has already been asking to go back asap. I know I missed a ton of other amazing activities but with only a few days we didn’t have a ton of time to do everything. Add your favorites below so we can help spread the word!

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.)

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..

IMG_0570

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 😉

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


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*

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


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

IMG_0581

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!

Boulder Clean Natural Cleaners

In our household we exclusively use eco-friendly, kid-safe products. As I’ve said many times before I believe that it is just as important what you put on your body as what you put in it. Our skin can easily absorb harsh chemicals – You wouldn’t ingest bleach would you? Then why spray it all over your home only to have it produce harmful fumes and toxic surfaces?

SmartSelect_20180912-200739_Instagram

My kids play in every inch of our home, so I would never want to douse it with chemicals I knew could easily get onto their hands and possibly in their mouths/eyes/nose/whatever! All of these and more are reasons to choose a natural cleaner. After trying all of the different natural cleaners I could I found that my favorite was always Boulder Clean. They’ve got all the items needed to tackle any type of house cleaning project: Laundry items, dishwashing products, soaps, cleaners and more!

SmartSelect_20180912-200722_Instagram

My dishes always come out cleaner, my clothes always come out smelling fresh and are safe for my kids’ skin, and their cleaner sprays smell amazing all with different surface cleaning specialties!

It took me awhile to adjust to the natural cleaners when I first got into it because I always thought bleach means clean but once you do your research and realize how much of a difference it makes for the environment and your families health you’ll never go back.. And Boulder Clean has their ingredients transparently listed on their website so you know exactly what you’re using!

Now, I want to help jump start some of y’all’s future in eco-friendly natural cleaners with a…..

GIVEAWAY!

SmartSelect_20180912-200836_Instagram

With back-to-school around I want to help you give your kids some fresh, amazing smelling clothes they’ll feel comfortable and irritation-free in! I’ll be giving away an entire laundry bundle to one lucky winner! This will include their Original Natural Laundry DetergentFabric Softener Dryer Spray, and Oxi-Smart Pre-Treat Stain Remover SprayI use these for my family and they’re incredible (Especially the Stain Remover Spray! I actually spilled red wine on my favorite white shirt and it took it out like friggin’ magic!)

Giveaway is hosted on my Instagram so head there to enter! Contest will end September 29th at 12:00PM MST so get those entries in! <3

SmartSelect_20180912-200801_Instagram

Colorado Renaissance Festival

An every year tradition in my family is to visit the Colorado Renaissance Festival. I remember going as a child and the fun memories have lasted over many years. My Children have such a blast – From seeing beautiful fairies to knights in full armor, they’ve got hundreds of things for children to see and do.

Screen Shot 2018-07-05 at 4.10.14 PM.png
My beautiful Family

But they don’t skimp on pleasing the adults – They’ve got alcoholic beverages from beers, ciders and margaritas for only $4.50! As well as decently priced meals and snacks!

20180701_113246
A gorgeous water statue dancing to Lakmé, Flower duet

Now.. Not only do they have fun festival games but they’ve also got camel/llama rides, pirate shows, jousting and royalty parades! I don’t think I’ve ever seen my step-daughter light up as much as when she saw the princesses.. A look I’ve seen before on myself when I too was younger : ❥

20180701_113358
My Prince ❥

Hudson loved the beautiful ladies in their fancy dresses (Such a flirt…) but I think his favorite moment was the camel rides.. He lit up like a Christmas tree : ❥

I highly recommend the Colorado Renaissance festival to anyone!! Families, Singles, Adults, ANYONE. You’ll have a blast from the PAST 😉

IMG_53171.jpg
“Wheeeee!”

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

Fondue Fairytails at The Melting Pot

Y’all with girls are sure to understand – There is nothing more magical than princesses… My step-daughter LOVES all things Princess, even at 7 years old and I love it. It reminds me of a simpler time when I too still envisioned myself as a princess finding my prince charming 😉

20180624_123924

When I heard The Melting Pot in Louisville, CO had a Fondue Fairytails event I HAD to take my kids! My step daughter dressed up in a lovely Arielle dress, a tiara and brought a mini koala pet.. “Because every princess has a small pet in the movies..”

The boys dressed in their Sunday best and we made our way to their restaurant! It was SO adorable – It looked like an old mine.. Very Colorado-esque!

20180624_113230

Their staff was so welcoming and sweet and REALLY got into the Prince and Princess roles.. It was so genuine and fun for the kids. We were sat down and immediately greeted by one of the best waiters we’ve ever had – Kay! She was so sweet and REALLY got our kids excited about the foods and events!

20180624_121759

It was only $34.95 per adult and $19.95 per kid and it included a 4 course meal!! The kids were ecstatic when asked which kind of chocolate sauce they wanted in the end 😉

20180624_115702
Hubby’s meat platter!

All of the meals were amazing and they were very accommodating to food allergies/preferences!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

There was dancing, singing, games, hand outs of tiaras/crowns/wands and in the end they gave the kids autographed photos of Princess LaFonda (HAHAHA – She said it was like Napoleon Dynamite) and the King (Who told Brent he was going to the “Pit of despair, dilly dilly” LOL)

20180624_115056
Their cocktails were divine

It was such an amazing experience for both my kids and us adults and we’ll absolutely be back SOON (The kids are already asking!)

20180624_123943

Thank you Melting Pot for creating such a fun event for our kiddos – We love restaurants like you!

20180624_115546
Hudson stole his sissy’s tiara.. LOL 😉

They’ll have quite a few more Fondue Fairytale dates available at their Louisville location – July 8th and 22nd as well as August 5th and 19th. Check them out – You WON’T be disappointed!

20180624_112751
Silly Bro Bro 😉

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