Just kidding, there really aren’t any don’ts when it comes to Denver. Colorado is one of our favorite family vacation destinations. We’ve been going for a handful of years every summer and now that our kids are getting a little older, we plan to squeeze in winter ski trips too!
First I’ll mention if you aren’t used to changes in altitude, I definitely recommend drinking plenty of water and taking aspirin before and during your trip. If you get really bad altitude sickness you can get a prescription drug from your doctor that works wonders, too.
Besides the majestic views, there are many other reasons to head to the mile high city. One our favorite areas to visit is Union Station. The historic landmark has been transformed in recent years and offers great restaurants, site seeing, shopping, outdoor markets, and the like. There’s even a fun fountain area where you’re sure to find kids running around playing.
Denver also has an amazing Children’s Museum with parks near by. Be sure to check their exhibit and event schedule to plan as there are some pretty awesome happenings that your children are sure to love.
Another favorite family activity is to head to the famous Red Rocks Amphitheater. Hike up to see the the best views of the city and see how they created a concert venue out of a mountain. We took our 5 and 3 year olds and they made it fine – just be sure to bring lots of water!
If you have some time, head up to Boulder. With a quaint downtown with amazing eateries, trails and picturesque views of the Rockies – it’s worth the drive. While you’re up there head a little further Northwest into the mountains and visit Estes Park.
There you can visit the Rocky Mountain National Park, and enjoy a day in a downtown where you’ll find one of a kind shops and eateries. Another great destination for kid-friendly (and dog!) trails and 360 mountain views. On your way up, make sure to stop by the Estes Park welcome sign to get a picture of the view! You won’t regret it!
If you head south of Denver, you’ll want to make your way to Colorado Springs to visit Garden of the Gods.
Again, bring lots of water as it can get pretty hot. Our kids love this park, not only for the beauty but for the trails and hiking even they can participate in. They do have guided tours available but you can navigate a lot of the park yourself as well. There’s a small museum across from the entrance of the park and the views from the balcony of Pike’s Peak are breathtaking!
If you head west of Denver into the mountains, stop by Georgetown and Golden to check out the Railroad Museum and ride the old mining train rides. The kids loved it and the history lesson was very interesting and fun.
A little further west and you’ll hit Keystone and Vail – our other favorite spots! Our friends have a place in Keystone and have graciously invited us several times to stay there and the trails, town center and activities would be enough to move there! Beautiful town and one we will continue to visit.
Vail is unique in architecture and just a beautiful quintessential mountain town. You can take the gondola up to Epic Discovery, Vail’s summer playground, and take in the sites and trails. Vail itself has lots of boutique shopping for moms and parks for the littles. We always make the trip up to Vail whenever we are in Colorado and I’m always sad to leave.
Even writing this post makes me miss the mountains. Time to start planning our next mountain getaway! What are your favorite Colorado activities?