With cool nights and beautiful sunshiny days, Denver is a great family getaway — but it’s not a cheap trip if you don’t do it right. To stay within budget and keep the kids happy, plan ahead to enjoy some of the city’s free and inexpensive attractions as well as restaurants custom made to keep both kids and parents smiling and relaxed all vacation long.
Kick It Off with Custard Toast
Nothing says vacation like an order of Custard Toast from The Universal, Denver’s classic diner with good old-fashioned grub. Keep the vacation food vibe alive all day with lunch at Denver Brider, where they write the menu on a big chalkboard and serve pizza and sweet potato tots that are kid-approved. If half the clan would rather have tacos than pizza, you could call a truce at MAS KAOS Pizzeria & Taqueria. And then keep the smiles coming with a sweet treat at Hammond’s Candies, which also offers fascinating free tours.
Have Some Hands-on Fun
Denver boasts lots of cool, family-friendly museums with interactive exhibits that keep little hands busy. For the smallest ones, plan a day at the Children’s Museum of Denver, where they can climb and play their way through the day without ever getting bored. If you’ve got a few future firefighters in your fam, check out the Denver Firefighter Museum. Like the Children’s Museum, it’s free for kids under age four — but it has a real-life fire pole! The Denver Zoo is another great choice if the kids want to see rare and wild animals closer than they ever have before.
Picnic in the Park
It’s beautiful weather most of the year in Denver, so one of the city’s many parks is a great cost-free way to enjoy it. Commons Park borders downtown, making it a good choice for a quick walk. City Park, with its historical monuments and two playgrounds, is the right option for getting the crazies out before dinner.
Learn All About Nature
Located right smack in City Park is the Denver Museum of Nature and Science. If your kids love to bombard you with questions about — well, about everything! — this is the place with the answers. Both young and old science lovers appreciate the exhibits, which range from gems and minerals that make up our planet to the farthest realms of outer space. There’s also a great exhibit on the native people and critters of Denver.
If you think you haven’t seen enough of Denver from the right perspective, hop on the Denver Trolley to explore the city in an open-air, old-fashioned trolley car during the warmer summer and early fall months. This tour is an adventure all by itself, and it’s a great way to snap pictures of the best parts of Denver while enjoying a breather. Bonus: You can buy tickets online to save a bit of hassle. Who doesn’t love that during a getaway?
If your family is excited to get down with Denver, you might want to check out this guide for additional ideas on outdoor adventures in the mile high city.