10 Great Places to Take Your Kids in Colorado

Photo by Pascal Claivaz

We know the best spots to hit the slopes in Colorado, but where are your favorite places to take the family during the off-season? There are so many great destinations to choose from in Colorado, it can be hard to decide which ones to hit. That’s why we wanted to share some of our favorite places to take the kiddos in our lovely home state.

1.Tiny Town

Tiny Town – it’s exactly what you think – a miniature old western style town for your little ones to explore. What makes it even better? A tiny train ride! Tiny Town is a great and inexpensive place to spend a day with the kids. There is a playground and picnic area, too so you can cut costs and bring your own lunch. This place has a rich history dating back to 1915 and is just a little bit west of Denver near the Flat Irons. So easy, so fun, what more could you want?

2. Hammonds Candies

Honestly, you could even leave the kids at home for this one and just enjoy the candy all to yourself (how cruel!). Hammond’s has been satisfying our sugar cravings in Denver for nearly 100 years. They make beautiful and delicious sweets ranging from colorful lollipops to decadent chocolates to buttery caramel popcorn. The best part? They offer free factory tours every ½ hour Monday – Friday from 9am to 3pm. If you have more than 10 people in your party (you are very brave) please call ahead and make a reservation, otherwise, no golden ticket needed, just browse the sweets until it’s your turn to go on a Willie Wonka style tour (no oompa loompas or chocolate rivers, sorry).

3. Cheyenne Mountain Zoo

Oh, sorry, did you say you wanted to feed a giraffe from your bare hand? Great! Check out the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo and feed those majestic, long-necked, beasts! You can also feed birds, party with peacocks, and get an incredible view of Colorado Springs. There is a tram, there is a carousel, there are beautiful birds wandering around (be careful they WILL try to eat your lunch). This zoo is one of the best zoos in the nation, with a focus on conservation, education, and animal protection, Cheyenne Mountain Zoo is a fun, interactive, and responsible way to experience and learn about wildlife while supporting an important cause. Oh, and did we mention it is on top of a mountain?

4. Denver Puppet Theater

Take your little thespians (or just plain drama queens) to check out a hilarious and fun puppet show, the kids can even play with the puppets after. Catch a show at the theatre darling, and after go out for some drinks and ice cream at Zooks Coffee and Ice Cream next door! How metropolitan!

5. Ghost Town Museum

Transport back to the mid to late 1800s when the gold rush and railways hit Colorado setting up booming prospecting towns that would quickly bust and turn into, well, less booming prospecting towns: ghost towns. At the Ghost Town Museum in the middle of Colorado Springs you and your little gold prospectors will be able to churn butter, pan for gold, see real antique artifacts from ghost towns all over the state, and learn a little something about the rough and tumble life of early Colorado towns and encampments. With totally affordable admission and plenty of things to explore, you and your family will have a great and educational time and who knows – maybe you’ll even strike gold!

6. Mesa Verde National Park

This trip may take a little more planning and is not for the faint of heart, but it is a guaranteed incredible experience! Climb up a huge ladder and squeeze into and out of the amazingly preserved ancient cliff dwellings of the ancestral Pueblo people dating back 1,400 years. For those that don’t love heights, there is always the Chapin Mesa Archeological Museum, where you can learn more about those ancient cliff-dwellers, see some of their art and gaze at some incredible archeological findings. There is so much to do at Mesa Verde National Park you may want to turn it into a camping adventure by booking a site at the Morefield Campgrounds four miles inside the park. Before you start your journey, make sure to watch this informative video on how to prepare for your trip to Mesa Verde.

7. Denver Children’s Museum

The Denver Children’s Museum is a totally fun and affordable place to take your little explorers and scientists. With plenty of interactive exhibits and a full schedule of events, your kids could spend an entire day enwrapped in all of the different activities offered at this museum. During the warmer months be sure to check out Joy Park where your little adventurers can discover ruins and mines, ride a zip line, dig in the sand and more! Oh, and don’t forget to bring a change of clothes – having this much fun can be a little messy.

8. Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park

Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park has something fun for everyone in the family. For those who appreciate the comforts of life, take a soak in one of the many mineral pools or hot springs or walk through and tour a beautiful cavern. For the thrill seekers in the family, there are roller coaster rides, including an Alpine coaster and a giant Canyon Swing. Once everyone has gotten to do their own thing, why not regroup for an old-timey family photo? Settle some family road trip quarrels with a competitive and friendly game of laser tag and then have your minds blown in the 4D Motion Theater. This outdoor adventure park really has it all!

9. Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad and Museum

This train is one of the oldest running trains in Colorado continuously running since 1881. Enjoy beautiful Colorado mountain views while riding in a true vintage train car. The Durango Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad and Museum is a great way for the whole family to step back in time and dive into one of the founding pieces of Colorado history not to mention the history of Westward expansion. Plus, how cool is it to ride in a real vintage train?! Check out some of their package deals offering activities from rafting to 4 wheel drive backcountry trips and more.

10. Manitou Springs Penny Arcade

If you’re in Colorado Springs looking to kill some time with the family, the Manitou Springs Penny Arcade is the place to do it! The arcade has five different rooms and an outdoor area with rides for kids (so you can keep playing Pac Man without distractions). With plenty of old-style games (and modern games) ranging from a penny to $1.50 you can spend a lot of time here for a little bit of money. The arcade is on a quaint street with plenty of little shops and places to eat, too. The Manitou Springs Penny Arcade is a blast from the past and a great arcade all in one with games like skeeball, billiards, and pinball as well as historic nickelodeons and wacky electromechanicals. This place is a no-brainer and a must visit for kids of all ages– don’t forget your quarters!

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