A Great 4-Day Denver Itinerary For Families

Kids enjoy a large truck display at the Denver Firefighters Museum.
Photo Courtesy: Denver Firefighters Museum

Experience the Mile High City with your kids on this 4-day Denver itinerary for families! From the Denver Zoo to Red Rocks Park, the city and its surrounding areas feature plenty to do with kids of all ages. Denver is also a fantastic home base for exploring the rest of Colorado. Check out Colorado Springs for a short trip or take a longer getaway to Estes Park, home to Rocky Mountain National Park. Either way, we’ve included the best things to do in Denver with kids, plus where to stay in Denver with kids. Keep reading to plan your next Colorado family adventure! 

Day 1: Denver Zoo, Downtown Denver, Union Station

A young child looks at an elephant in an exhibit at the Denver Zoo.
Photo Courtesy: Joan Reedy via Denver Zoo

Start your Denver itinerary for families in downtown Denver. Nearby, you can visit the Denver Zoo. With more than 4,000 animals to see, your family can embark on a scavenger hunt for animals such as the fishing cat, the lorikeet, and the white-cheeked gibbon. The Denver Zoo also offers up-close experiences with some of the animals too. For lunch, eat at the zoo or bring a picnic to enjoy in City Park. 

Afternoon Activity: Denver Museum of Nature and Science 

A dinosaur skeleton in the lobby of the Denver Museum of Nature & Science, one of the best places to visit on a Denver itinerary for families!
Photo Courtesy: Denver Museum of Nature & Science

For another wonderful thing to do in Denver with kids, just next door to the Denver Zoo, there’s the Denver Museum of Nature and Science. Your kids will delight in the space exhibit, where they can learn about planets and spaceships. They will also love to see the glistening rocks and minerals exhibit, and you can’t miss the mummy in the Egyptian exhibit.

Additional Activity: Downtown Aquarium

The front of the Downtown Aquarium - Denver, featuring a huge wall of windows.
Photo Courtesy: Downtown Aquarium – Denver

If you’re looking for an aquatic adventure in Denver with kids, head to the Downtown Aquarium. With exhibits that take you through various habitats, like the beaches, lagoons, and rainforests, your family will experience a wide variety of aquatic life. See sharks, stingrays, fish, and otters as you explore. You can even wander through interactive, themed areas like The Warf, The Sunken Temple, and the Shipwreck.

Evening Activity: Larimer Square

For dinner, head to Larimer Square. This charming historic district is lined with restaurants such as Osteria Marco. Afterward, take a leisurely walk around the area and enjoy the atmosphere.

Day 2: Denver Art Museum, Meow Wolf, Cherry Creek

The exterior entrance of the Denver Art Museum, one of the best places to visit on a Denver itinerary for families!
Photo Courtesy: Denver Art Museum

To see more of Denver’s art scene, visit the Denver Art Museum. It’s a world-renowned institution with a collection that spans centuries and cultures. Your family can explore the museum’s galleries featuring paintings, sculptures, and photography. There are also two spaces, The Creative Hub and the Studio, designed especially for kids and teens. Plus, many other family-friendly activities to choose from, including Day at the DAM, Sensory-Friendly Mornings, and Create Playdates, to name a few.

If you have younger kids, you may prefer a visit to the Children’s Museum of Denver or the Denver Firefighters Museum. 

Afternoon Activity: 16th Street Mall, Denver Botanic Garden

For lunch, head to the 16th Street Mall. This pedestrian-friendly street is lined with restaurants and shops, making it a great place to grab a bite to eat. Then, check out the Denver Botanic Gardens. With 24 acres to explore, this urban oasis on York Street is a serene place to experience nature and art on your Denver itinerary for families.

Showcasing gorgeous flowers, tranquil ponds, and lush greenery, families can wander the fragrant gardens with their little ones to stimulate their senses and experience all the plant life and beauty surrounding them. 

Evening Activity: Cherry Creek

For dinner, try a local favorite restaurant in the Cherry Creek neighborhood. After dinner, catch a family-friendly performance at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts or enjoy a walk around Cherry Creek North.

Day 3: Red Rocks Park, Hiking

A young boy runs along a dusty path, while hiking in Red Rocks Park in Colorado, one of the best places to visit on a Denver itinerary for families!
Photo Courtesy: Kelli Levesque

Families who want to explore some nature near Denver should check out Red Rocks Park & Amphitheatre in the foothills outside of the city. The natural amphitheater, formed by massive red sandstone rocks, has been the venue for performances by some of the biggest names in music!

Check out their upcoming events so you can enjoy and experience one of the many unique shows here. Alternatively, make a trip to see the venue and take a hike in the area (there are several trail options). In the summer, they also have movies and yoga on their schedule of events. Pack a picnic lunch to enjoy it here with some stunning views! 

Afternoon Activity: Hiking

Small boy stands near a lake while hiking near Denver. Hiking is one of the best things to do on a Denver itinerary for families!
Photo Courtesy: Michelle Hamilton

In the afternoon, there are plenty of hikes near Denver for families who want to enjoy the outdoors. West of Denver, check out the gorgeous 4-mile Lower Maxwell Falls trail. Families also love the Lair O’ the Bear Park trail in nearby Evergreen. Near Boulder, families also like the 3.5-mile Anne U. White Trail. Or, enjoy the easier routes within the forested meadows of Heil Valley Ranch.

Evening Activity: Dinner & Dessert

For dinner, dine at a family-friendly restaurant in the nearby neighborhood of Capitol Hill or Congress Park. Don’t forget to stop at Sweet Cooie’s. This old-school, local ice cream shop is known for its delicious ice cream, cookies, and other sweet treats! 

Day 4: Day Or Weekend Trip From Denver

A family of five sits amongst a light snowfall in Garden of the Gods near Colorado Springs, one of the best places to visit on a Denver itinerary for families!
Photo Courtesy: Emily Kapic

If you’re searching for another day to add to your Denver itinerary for families, consider visiting one of the many beautiful places in the surrounding area. Here are some suggestions for the best places in Colorado for families!

Colorado Springs

Colorado Springs is around an hour from Denver and features plenty to do with kids! It’s the easiest day trip to take from the city, especially if you want to see more of the outdoors on your itinerary for families. Head to Pikes Peak, the second-highest peak in Colorado and one of the most popular tourist destinations. The Pikes Peak Summit Highway offers panoramic views and stops along the way to enjoy a picnic lunch. Animal lovers can’t miss a visit to The Cheyenne Mountain Zoo or Cheyenne Mountain State Park which showcases over 2,700 acres and 20 miles of hiking and biking trails. The Manitou Cliff Dwellings are also a great educational place to stop. 

Glenwood Springs

Glenwood Springs is just a 2.5-hour drive from Denver and conveniently situated between Aspen and Vail.  Famous for its Glenwood Hot Springs, there’s nothing like immersing yourself in healing waters while appreciating the mountain views. For something a little less crowded, you could also visit nearby Iron Mountain Hot Springs. Then, explore the charming shops and restaurants in the historic downtown area or pay respects at Doc Holliday’s grave at Linwood Cemetery. 

Glenwood Springs is also where you’ll find the Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park, accessible via a scenic gondola ride to a hilltop. Or, go white water rafting with Glenwood Adventure Company, Glenwood Canyon Rafting, and Whitewater Rafting LLC

Estes Park/Rocky Mountain National Park

Estes Park, just under two hours from Denver, is close to Rocky Mountain National Park. It’s also a great place to visit on a Denver itinerary for families! Families can see the park through two scenic drives, the Trail Ridge Road and Old Fall River Road. There are also different trails for various skill levels, like the 2-mile Dream Lake Trail or the 3.8-mile Emerald Lake Loop. Families can take in the town’s charm along Elkhorn Avenue, where unique shops offer handmade crafts and outdoor gear, as well as treats like homemade fudge and ice cream. 

Estes Park also offers outdoor adventures like horseback riding, biking, fly fishing, and white-water rafting, with various companies providing rafting options in the area.


From winter skiing to summer hiking, Breckenridge is surely one of the best weekend getaways from Denver for families! Less than two hours away, Breckenridge Ski Resort has specific family zones and easier areas marked. Plus, there are five peaks here and four terrain parks – the bottom of Peak 8 and Peak 9 are often the most popular spots for beginners. For non-skiers, there’s ice skating at the Stephen C. West Ice Arena, tubing at Copper Mountain, Frisco Adventure Park, or Keystone, plus snowmobiling and dog sledding. 

In the summer, you can wander the shops, restaurants, and art galleries on Main Street. Rent bikes to cruise around town or on the Blue River Rec Path, hike down the Snowflake Trailhead, or go river rafting.

Where To Stay In Denver With Kids

Inside a room with a view of downtown Denver at Four Seasons Hotel Denver.
Photo Courtesy: Four Seasons Hotel Denver

There are so many places to stay with kids during your Denver itinerary for families. Firstly, Gaylord Rockies Resort & Convention Center is a fantastic option, featuring an array of top-notch amenities. Then, kids will love the rooftop pool at the Westin Denver Downtown. And they’ll also be impressed by the indoor “camping” experience at the Ritz-Carlton, Denver.

Other great options include the Four Seasons Hotel Denver, the Grand Hyatt Denver, and the Crawford Hotel. For more suggestions, check out these best hotels in Denver for families!

Happy Travels!

A mom and her young daughter enjoy a trail snack, while hiking in Denver.

We hope you liked this 4-Day Denver Itinerary For Families! From Cherry Creek to City Park, the Denver Art Museum, and more, there’s so much to see in the Mile High City. Enjoy your next family vacation to Colorado! 

*This post may contain affiliate links that may earn us a small commission, at no additional cost to you. Affiliate links in no way inform the hotels, sights, products, or other recommendations included in our articles. All opinions and recommendations expressed here are compiled from submissions submitted by the generous members of our Families Who Love To Travel community.


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The Families Love Travel Team has a zest for life and an even bigger passion for globetrotting! Comprised of real-life travel professionals, we work hard behind the scenes to provide dynamic solutions for adventuring with children. Our enthusiastic team understands the challenges that often accompany traveling with kids and is committed to making Families Love Travel an inclusive space to convey these experiences.