Family Attractions in Denver

The mile high city of Denver Colorado is rich with history and vibrant activities, the perfect place to take a family on vacation. You’ll find so much to see and do in Denver that you’ll probably want to come back for your next vacation too.

Denver Botanic Gardens

The Denver Botanic Gardens were one of the first of its kind in the country, with a strong emphasis on native plants for the region and a history of providing people with information on how to promote local ecology. If you’re interested in attending a class when you’re visiting the Denver Botanic Gardens check their website for schedules. You may also want to see if they’re having a concert series event the evening of your visit, it’s a great way to unwind and enjoy the gardens at the end of your busy day.

Grant-Frontier Park

Denver was originally known as Montana City but this site was quickly abandoned as the city grew and expanded and became Denver. Grant-Frontier Park is believed to be the original site of Montana City and was discovered, cleaned and restored by teachers and students at the nearby Grant Middle School. On the part is a log cabin replica of what may have originally existed on or around the area and mining equipment that would have been used by early settlers. The park offers little educational value though, instead it’s a great patch of park for a quiet family picnic.

Downtown Aquarium

The Downtown Aquarium in Denver seems almost like a visit to a different world as the entire aquarium is setup to feature different themed regions. And rather than the standard tanks with fish the entire room has atmosphere which attempts to transport you away. The habitats invite you to come and explore the entire experience which doesn’t strictly stick to a fish only guideline as you’ll see birds and land critters as well. It’s a great learning experience and a fun day adventure for both adults and children.

Four Mile Historic Park

Four Mile Historic Park is truly a historic look at old Denver. The 12 acre park is located on Cherry Creek and includes the oldest standing structure in the entire city, Four Mile House. The house was built in 1859 and has served many functions throughout its life including wayside inn, stage shop, tavern and National Historic Landmark. In addition to the historical significance, the park is a great place to picnic and play. They hold regular programs and events for children so check their website if you’re looking for outdoor activities to participate in.

Stegosaur and Allosaur-Mess of Pottage567Creative Commons License Photo credit: Mess of Pottage

Stegosaur and Allosaur Denver Museum of Nature and Science

Denver Museum of Nature and Science

The Denver Museum of Nature and Science is considered one of the country’s premiere museums. The official date of its founding is listed as 1900 but some of the museum’s collections actually stretch back to 1868. Edwin Carter was a noted local pioneer and naturalist who loved collecting and displaying his finds in his home. He drew such a crowd and had such an extensive collection that his home became dubbed the Carter Museum. Eventually this collection formed the foundation of the Colorado Museum of Natural History. Others began donating their collections to the museum and it’s been expanding ever since.

16th Street Mall

One stop that has a bit of something for every single person in the family, even people not on vacation who may want a souvenir from your trip is the 16th Street Mall. This shopping extravaganza is a 16 block stretch of stores, dining, entertainment and a slew of tourist shops. Its downtown location makes it perfect for a day of exploring or a quick stop on your way to another local attraction.

Molly Brown House Museum

Another historic stop in Denver is the home of the famed “Unsinkable” Molly Brown or Margaret Tobin Brown one of the Titanic survivors. Molly Brown was a noted socialite, activist and philanthropist and became more famous after her ordeal upon the ill-fated Titanic. The home was built by architect William A. Lang in the 1880s and is also called the House of Lions. Obviously the home was quite elaborate and ornate but the depression rubbed the polish off and by the 1970s the home was set for demolitions. Historic Denver, Inc. decided to save the home and has since polished it back up to its original splendor.

Denver Art Museum

The Denver Art Museum is the largest art museum has long roots that reach back to the 1890s when it was then called the Denver Artists’ Club and was a series of meeting places for local artists. In 1949 the group got its own museum which is now the Denver Art Museum. The 356,000 square foot building features collection gallery space, three temporary exhibit areas and an auditorium for presentations.

USA 2004 (September 12th) Colorado, Railroad Museum-Paraflyer607Creative Commons License Photo credit: Paraflyer

Colorado, Railroad Museum

Colorado Railroad Museum

The Colorado Railroad Museum is celebrating 50 years in 2009 and featuring exciting events throughout the year to commemorate the anniversary. In 1959 Robert W. Richardson and Cornelius W. Hauck opened the museum to preserve the past for the future. Colorado has a pretty colorful railroad history with treacherous mountain passes, a gold rush, and the continued progression through technological advances. The museum building itself is a replica of a 1880s style depot and houses thousands of artifacts from the local history reaching back more than 125 years. If you’re looking for research the Robert W. Richardson Library is world renowned and features more than 10,000 railroad specific tomes.

Denver Mint

The Denver Mint couldn’t be in a better place, a city built on the gold rush that served as a vital hub for this industry. In 1863 the Denver Mint was established and still manufactures all denominations of circulating coins, coin dies, and the Denver portion of uncirculated sets and commemorative coins. The Denver Mint also serves as home to the country’s gold and silver bullion. Tours are free and open to the public so it’s a great family activity that gives you a deeper look behind the scenes of something you probably handle each and every day.
Creative Commons License photo credit: nalilo