Colorado is home to a wide variety of attractions that the whole family can enjoy. The Centennial State offers extensive outdoor experiences, thanks to its location among the Rockies, but that's just the beginning. You'll find all sorts of activities for kids and adults alike whether you're interested in the splendor of the natural world or the cultural attractions found in town. Whatever your family is into, you'll find tons of things to do in this popular state. Check out the best kid-friendly things to do in Colorado and discover how you can craft an incredible itinerary for your trip.
Find family fun in Colorado among the great outdoors
Colorado is primarily known for its numerous outdoor activities, and you'll find plenty that your whole family can enjoy. Whether you're looking for hiking, biking, boating, or virtually anything else, you won't have to look far in this state. A lot of the nature trails can be quite challenging to conquer, but not all of them are like that. It's relatively easy to find trails that are well-maintained and safe enough that even small children can walk through them without an issue. Explore the best outdoor activities for family fun in Colorado.
Rocky Mountain National Park
When you visit Rocky Mountain National Park with kids, you'll find one of the most majestic outdoor spots in the state, if not the entire country. It comprises 415 square miles of outdoor splendor that's predominately mountainous with towering peaks and stunning viewpoints. The hiking trails total 300 miles, and a good portion of that is easy enough for the whole family to enjoy. Along the way, you'll find vibrant wildflowers, fascinating wildlife like birds and mammals, and starry nights if you stay past sundown.
Great Sand Dunes National Park
When you visit Great Sand Dunes National Park, you'll find some of the tallest dunes on the continent. The dune field itself stretches 30 square miles, and 5 of the dunes are more than 700 feet tall. This fascinating phenomenon is one that your kids won't want to miss out on, as hiking up the slope and sledding down the other side can offer endless fun. You'll also find a creek here with opportunities for swimming, skimboarding, and sandcastle-building. Consider staying after dark for spectacular stargazing without interference from light pollution.
Garden of the Gods
The Garden of the Gods is one of the most iconic spots in the entire state and a designated national natural landmark. You'll find a variety of impressive red rock formations that were created over millions of years through the movements of the earth. Several of these formations have garnered their own fame, like the Kissing Camels and the Sentinel Spires, so you and your kids won't want to miss out on those. You'll find several different ways to get around here,l including hiking, biking, and horseback riding.
Mesa Verde National Park
At Mesa Verde National Park, you and your family can explore the first-ever park that was created to preserve the works of people. Think of it as a combination of an outdoor adventure and a cultural exhibit. You'll find pristine walking paths and forests that spread around 5,000 archeological sites of the people who made their homes here 7 centuries ago. You'll be fascinated by the impressive cliff dwellings of the Ancestral Pueblo and the exhibits showcasing their rich culture and history.
Glenwood Hot Springs Pool
The Glenwood Hot Springs Pool is among the largest natural mineral springs in the world. The pool itself contains 1 million gallons of water, and the whole family can find fun and comfort in the inviting waters. If you visit during the summer, your kids will especially enjoy the several waterslides set up by the large grassy area, which is also a perfect spot for picnics. Of course, you'll still find space to relax in chairs and around tables along the perimeter of the pool itself.
Think of Dinosaur Ridge like you would an outdoor museum. You'll find more than 300 dinosaur footprints here, along with fossils that can inspire any aspiring paleontologists in your family. The Dinosaur Ridge Trail is easy enough for children to traverse, and your family can visit the legendary Dinosaur Ridge Bone Quarry. This is where the first stegosaurus remains in the entire world were found. You can tour the area at your own pace or take a guided tour, though the latter does come with a fee.
Strawberry Park Hot Springs
Whether you're looking to relax or embark on an adventure, Strawberry Park Hot Springs can provide. The hot springs themselves are perfect for relaxation with warm and inviting waters that the whole family can enjoy. Additionally, you'll find numerous hiking trails in the area. The springs are in a relatively remote location, so you'll find breathtaking views that aren't obscured by buildings. Keep in mind that the various pools here tend to have different temperatures. The largest is only lukewarm, so that's where you may want to go when you have small children with you.
At Pikes Peak, you'll find absolutely stunning views of Colorado from Pikes Peak Mountain. From an elevation of 14,115 feet, you'll be able to see the breathtaking local nature for miles out. While kids may not fully appreciate the views, they will appreciate the path up. You don't have to hike the mountain, as there's a railroad that travels to the top. It also happens to be one of the highest cog railroads in the world. Alternatively, you can simply drive to the peak on the 19-mile road that offers scenic views for virtually the entire length.
Explore Denver, Colorado with kids
The city of Denver is one of the most popular locations in Colorado, and that's no accident. The Mile High City is packed full of family things to do in Colorado whether you're looking for museums, parks, and theaters or delicious eateries and unique shops. Most of the city streets are laid out on a grid system, so it's easy to get around and find your favorite attractions in town. A bus system and train line can take you around if you don't plan to drive yourself. Denver International Airport is located here as well, so the city is easy to reach no matter where you're coming from.
Most people know Washington Park for its vibrant flower gardens, but that's just the beginning of everything it has to offer. This Denver city park features 10 tennis courts, 2 playgrounds, and a biking path that stretches 2.6 miles. You don't have to bring your own bike with you either, as rentals are conveniently available nearby and include options like a double bike surrey that lets your little ones simply relax and enjoy the ride. You can even venture out into the water by renting a kayak or paddleboat.
Hammond's Candy Factory
At Hammond's Candy Factory, you can expect your little ones to find unparalleled excitement if they have a sweet tooth. You can take a tour of this factory and learn all about how delicious candy is made. The 150 candy makers here generally make about 5,000 pounds of candy a day, and it's all done by hand. Of course, at the end of the tour, you can enjoy plenty of the sweet treats yourself. Keep in mind that the tour itself is free, so it's perfect for family vacations in Colorado on a budget.
The Denver Museum of Nature & Science
Nature When you visit the Denver Museum of & Science, you can enjoy Colorado kid activities that are as educational as they are fun. You'll find around 1.4 million unique artifacts inside along with a planetarium and an IMAX theater. Children as young as 2 years of age can enjoy interactive exhibits in the Discovery Zone, while older kids may prefer the 3D films and wildlife exhibits. You'll even find a restaurant on-site, so you can plan for a long visit here without having to leave to find lunch.
The Denver Mint offers far more than just coin-making. Your family can take a tour of this fascinating facility, which is 1 of only 6 throughout the entire country and 1 of just 2 that actively offer tours. When your family embarks on a tour here, you'll learn about the history of the United States Mint along with how coins are made. You can even see coin-making in action while discovering the long history of designs and sculptures used and considered for US coinage.
When you visit the Denver Zoo, your family can see a wide variety of exotic animals that have made their home here. They include big cats like tigers along with colossal elephants. The big cat exhibit is especially interesting, as it allows guests to get remarkably close to these animals all while remaining safe and secure. You'll even find some marine life here including stingrays that your kids can interact with directly. If your little ones are feeling particularly brave, they can even handle a live snake with the help of one of the friendly zookeepers.
Denver Art Museum
The Denver Art Museum is home to an array of works that kids and adults alike can enjoy. While much of the artwork on display was designed to speak to adults more than kids, children can still enjoy special sections designed just for the younger guests. Creative Corners, for example, lets them play and make crafts. Kids Corner, on the other hand, is best suited for kids who are looking to create their own works of art. Plus, they can also try on costumes there for fun games with the other kids.
Additional kid-friendly things to do in Colorado
Colorado's vast countryside offers seemingly endless outdoor adventure, while Denver is packed full of opportunities for family fun in the city. That's just the beginning, however, as you'll find a variety of activities throughout the state that are sure to keep your little ones entertained. Family fun in Colorado is ever-present, thanks to coasters, train rides, and special children's attractions specifically designed for the little ones to enjoy. Don't forget to explore the additional activities this stunning state can offer.
Georgetown Loop Railroad
The Georgetown Loop Railroad expertly combines a fun train ride with a history lesson. You'll find it running the length between Georgetown and Silver Plume, and it showcases some spectacular views of the Rockies along the way. The train is remarkably old as well, so a ride through the countryside here can feel like you're visiting a long-lost age of mining and outlaws. You'll find certain seasonal offerings here as well, including an actual Santa that kids can visit during the holiday season, so check the calendar before you book your visit.
Colorado isn't home to the actual North Pole, but you can find the next best thing. North Pole is a theme park by Colorado Springs that's Christmas-themed and open all year round. You'll find numerous rides, including coasters that are suitable for kids to enjoy as well. Live magic shows and animals are featured here as well, and the park also has shops and restaurants. Plus, your little ones can get a picture with Santa. This is a must-visit destination if you're looking for a bit of family-friendly holiday spirit on your trip to Colorado with kids.
Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park
At Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park, you'll find underground fun in caves with stunning stalactites and stalagmites. You can embark on a guided walking tour, but that's just the beginning. You'll also find rides here, including the Giant Canyon Swing, which sends riders soaring 1,300 feet above the river. Additionally, this park is home to one of the highest roller coasters in the country in terms of total elevation. Known as the Cliffhanger Coaster, you may find that it's only suitable for older kids, as its orientation on the edge of the canyon can seriously intensify the feeling of falling.
One Hundred Gold Mine
The One Hundred Gold Mine is a historic mine that showcases some of the most important aspects of the Gold Rush. You'll find yourself seemingly transported back to 1872, as the mine itself has remained largely unchanged since then, although some mining equipment from the early 20th century is present as well. You can embark on a guided tour of the mine and ride on an electric-powered mine train. Kids will especially enjoy being able to pan for gold themselves in the sluice box. There is still gold to be found, so your little ones just may find something that sparkles during their visit.
Explore Colorado family resorts
With plenty to see and do throughout the state, you'll need to determine where you and your family are going to book your stay. If you want to get the most out of your trip, a resort may be your best bet. These luxurious accommodations offer a wide range of top-level amenities in convenient destinations that will put you close to plenty of exciting attractions. Staying at a resort is especially useful if you plan to do any skiing during your trip considering how many ski resorts are among the Rockies in this state. Take a look at the top Colorado family resorts.
Keystone Resort is one of the top destinations in the state for a family vacation. Not only will you find yourself close to thrilling ski slopes, but you'll find plenty of beginner-level slopes that your kids or other inexperienced skiers in your family can enjoy. Guests here even have access to ski lessons taught by talented instructors. Plus, the equipment rentals make skiing accessible even if you don't have your own skis. Aside from skiing, you'll also find cross-country trails and a spa and salon that lets you relax at the end of a long day of adventure.
The Purgatory Resort in Durango is a popular destination for families whether they're interested in skiing or not. Of course, you'll find plenty of skiing and snowboarding opportunities here, but that's just the beginning. This resort is also home to sleigh rides and snowshoe tours your family can enjoy. If your kids are looking for a bit of adrenaline-inducing fun outside of the slopes, your family can check out the Inferno Mountain Coaster. This coaster lets you control the car's speed as you see fit. Don't be afraid to push it to its limit either, as it's designed to handle the track at top speed.
Vail Ski Resort
If you're traveling during the winter, Vail Ski Resort just might be the ultimate destination. You'll find yourself close to both stunning ski slopes and a welcoming and charming town with shops and restaurants the whole family can enjoy. You can even customize your lodging opting for more modern styling or old-world charm. Either way, you'll find luxury amenities and convenient proximity to endless activities to enjoy. The region truly feels like a winter wonderland, and this resort lets you get the most of it, especially if you opt for their convenient Epic Pass offering access to the expanded mountain.