Best Weekend Getaways From Denver For Families (All Within 3 – 6 Hours)

A young boy enjoys a lovely view in Rocky Mountain State Park, one of the best weekend getaways near Denver for families.
Photo Courtesy: Gunjan Prakash

Families looking to escape the hustle and bustle of city life should start planning one of the best weekend getaways from Denver! From picturesque natural surroundings to exciting outdoor activities, these getaways located within 3 to 6 hours of Denver have something for everyone. For adventurous families, resorts like Breckenridge provide countless opportunities for skiing or snowboarding during the winter months while transforming into hiker’s paradises come summer. Estes Park also boasts a charming downtown area bursting with unique shops and restaurants overlooking the gorgeous Lake Estes. Plus, if you want to drive a little further, you could also venture out-of-state to destinations like Santa Fe, New Mexico, or Moab, Utah. Either way, we’ve put together a fantastic list of the Best Weekend Getaways From Denver For Families. Keep reading to plan your next family vacation!

Best Weekend Getaways Under 3 Hours from Denver for Families

Looking for the best weekend getaways from Denver for families? From Frisco to Estes Park, there are plenty of fantastic destinations within a three-hour drive. Here are our favorite options when planning a family vacation to Denver! 

RELATED: One-Week Colorado Itinerary For Families: Excellent for This Summer!

Cañon City

Photo Courtesy: Emily Kapic

A hub for adventure and action-packed fun, Cañon City is the perfect spot to pack in a ton of thrilling activities for families! Around 2 hours from Denver, this area is ideal for adrenaline enthusiasts. From hiking and whitewater rafting to all-day ATV fun, the adventure opportunities are endless here.

Start your visit by exploring on land with Play Dirty Tours and their popular Ride the Rockies ATV Tour. All ages are welcome to zoom around the backcountry on an ATV (16+ to drive). In fact, they offer rides ranging from a classic 2-hour tour to 6 hours of extensive exploration of the Texas Creek Trail system, depending on your speed and itinerary. Then, it’s time to get on the water with Raft Masters. They have all-inclusive (lunch + photos) full and ½ day trips on some of the best whitewater in Colorado. Whether you book a family float or an intense whitewater experience, you’re sure to have an epic day on the river. If you plan to do several activities in the area, Raft Masters can also book combo tours with other local operators such as ATV and Jeep rides, to simplify the reservation process. 

During your trip, be sure to check out The Royal Gorge, which has enough adventures to last an entire day. Cross the suspension bridge and wave to the river rafters 1,000 feet below. Or, ride the Sky Coaster or Aerial Gondola for more views of the spectacular gorge. Thrill seekers will want to try the Via Ferrata for a chance to scale the valley walls, an impressive feat! Afterward, adventure-seekers can fill their hungry tummies at White Water Bar & Grill. Check the website for a calendar of live music.

Finally, if you can time your visit to align with the annual Royal Gorge Whitewater Festival in July, you’ll be treated to a lively weekend of river activities, food trucks, and live music! 

Where to Stay in Cañon City with Kids

Wondering where to stay in Cañon City with kids? Families love Parkview Inn. This small, local hotel offers a walkable location, as well as a complimentary free breakfast.

Compare rates on the new Families Love Travel booking site for your lodging needs here! Membership is complimentary!

Frisco

Photo Courtesy: Gunjan Prakash

Just over 1 hour and 15 minutes away from Denver is the perfect budget-friendly weekend getaway for families: Frisco! A tiny, adorable town situated in the heart of Summit County, Frisco provides an enchanting escape for visitors of all ages seeking outdoor adventure. Plus, with its proximity to Interstate 70, other attractions like Breckenridge, Keystone, and Dillon are easily accessible too. Not to mention, the area is pretty affordable when it comes to home rentals! 

From its stunning mountain views to its vibrant Main Street, Frisco offers something for everyone. During the warmer months, hikers appreciate Rainbow Lake Trailhead for its incredible vistas of the nearby mountains and valleys. There are also opportunities to bike around Dillon Reservoir. Families can also rent power and paddle boats at Frisco Bay Marina for sailing, fishing, canoeing, paddleboarding, and kayaking. Then, Lake Dillon Reservoir Marina Park complements the experience with its scenic views, playground, sandy beach, and a big lawn. Campers can also find various choices in the Frisco area. The Frisco Adventure Park features a skate park, golf, biking, and hiking opportunities too. 

Two young skiers ski across the grounds of Copper Mountain Resort, near Frisco.
Photo Courtesy: Gunjan Prakash

In the winter, Frisco is perfect for family adventures in the snow. Kids can hit the slopes at nearby ski resorts such as Copper, Breckenridge, or Keystone, with convenient winter bus services available to Copper. The Frisco Adventure Park offers an exhilarating tubing experience, and cross-country skiing is also a popular activity at the Frisco Nordic Center.

Look here for a home stay in Frisco with Vrbo!

Breckenridge

Two kids in winter gear stand together looking out onto the holiday decorations in Breckenridge, one of the best weekend getaways near Denver for families.
Photo Courtesy: Gunjan Prakash

Breckenridge is undoubtedly one of the best weekend getaways from Denver for families! From winter skiing to summer hiking, this charming mountain town has something to offer families during every season. Plus, it’s only about 90 minutes from Denver!

In the winter, ski families will appreciate that Breckenridge Ski Resort has specific family zones and easier areas marked. Plus, there are five peaks here and four terrain parks, so there are plenty of options. For example, the bottom of Peak 8 and Peak 9 have plenty of trails for beginners plus fun-filled Kids Adventure Zones. Advanced skiers will love exploring the high alpine terrain and trails off of North America’s highest chairlift, the Imperial Express.

For non-skiers, there’s ice skating at the Stephen C. West Ice Arena, sledding at Carter Park or the Runaway Sledding Hill on Fraction Drive, snowmobiling, dog sledding, and sleigh rides. For history buffs, visit the Country Boy Mine for a real mine tour or to learn more about the Gold Rush on a guided tour with Breckenridge History, available all year round.

Photo Courtesy (L-R): Ray Clark, Gunjan Prakash, Ray Clark

In the summer, you can wander the shops, restaurants, and art galleries on Main Street. Kids can also learn more about the mountain at the Mountain Top Children’s Museum. Featuring interactive exhibits, it offers activities such as dress-up, wood building, and videos to keep your kids busy for hours! Keep up the creativity with classes at Breck Create or drop into Ready, Paint, Fire! for family-friendly crafts (plus wine and beer for parents). To cool off, relax by the pool at the Breckenridge Recreation Center, which is undergoing a renovation project and re-opening in March 2024, or stay in one of the many luxurious resorts. Rent bikes to cruise around town or on the Blue River Rec Path or find easy hiking from the Snowflake Trailhead. Finally, adventurous families can go river rafting through the iconic Browns Canyon National Monument on the Arkansas River. 

Learn more about visiting Breckenridge this winter on our Guide To Skiing in Breckenridge With Kids! 

Where to Stay in Breckenridge with Kids

A view of One Ski Hill Place, across the snowy mountain, featuring their resort grounds and chairlift.
Photo Courtesy: One Ski Hill Place

Wondering where to stay in Breckenridge with kids? Many families love One Ski Hill Place – Peak 8, a stunning ski-in/ski-out lodge located at the base of Peak 8. The resort also offers a shuttle to get around town. Also located at Peak 8, the Grand Colorado Resort offers ski-in/ski-out access as well as equipment rentals. At the Beaver Run Resort, guests can enjoy ski-in/ski-out access to slopes for all skill levels, accessible by a nearby ski lift. For more suggestions, check out our list of where to stay in Breckenridge with kids this winter.

Estes Park/Rocky Mountain National Park

Photo Courtesy (L-R): Tanya Buran, Sarah Einhorn, Joshua Ellis

Estes Park, just under two hours from Denver, is one of the best budget-friendly weekend getaways for nature-loving families! With its proximity to Rocky Mountain National Park, abundant wildlife, and endless outdoor opportunities, there’s something for everyone here, especially in the warmer months.

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 whitewater rafting, with various companies providing rafting options.

Rocky Mountain National Park encompasses protected mountains, forests, and alpine tundra. 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. Easier trails for younger children include the Bear Lake Trail, the Alberta Falls Trail, and the Lily Lake Loop. Don’t forget to look out for elk, moose, and other wildlife!

If you plan on hiking popular trails, get there early to find parking. Also, ask about the Junior Ranger Program so kids can earn a badge!

Where to Stay near Estes Park/Rocky Mountain National Park with Kids

The Stanley Hotel standing proudly amongst the trees with mountains in the distance.
Photo Courtesy: The Stanley Hotel

Need somewhere to stay? Try The Stanley Hotel, famous for its role in The Shining, an RV park, or various cabin rentals in the area.  

RELATED: The 11 Best Small Ski Resorts in Colorado for Families (Affordable Too!)

YMCA of the Rockies – Snow Mountain Ranch 

Photo Courtesy: Michelle Hamilton

YMCA of the Rockies – Snow Mountain Ranch offers a truly unique and unforgettable family vacation experience! Located just under two hours from Denver, this sprawling resort sits on over 5,000 acres of pristine mountain landscape, providing endless opportunities for outdoor activities and relaxation. Plus, the accommodations are cozy, too. On the YMCA grounds, you will find lodges, yurts, campground sites, and beautiful, wooded cabins. 

An aerial view of the grounds at YMCA of the Rockies, featuring the yurts, a playground, and a wooded area.
Photo Courtesy: Michelle Hamilton

Complimentary summer activities include roller skating, indoor swimming, mini-golf, disc golf, and many hiking and biking trails. You can also try your hand at basketball, volleyball, or shuffleboard in the Keva Center. Then, when you’re looking for some downtime after roller skating or swimming, be sure to check out the library or visit the arts and crafts center.

In the winter, strap on some ice skates at the Winter Pavillion for some family ice skating! Some winter activities cost extra but are surely worth it, like horseback riding at Snow Mountain Stables or taking a sleigh ride through the snow-covered trees. Families can also book a snowmobile tour with Grand Adventures Tours, either guided or unguided. The YMCA also has a Nordic Center with groomed trails and the chance to go dog sledding.

In nearby Winter Park, a day pass provides access to a great, old-fashioned tubing hill and other winter activities for kids.

Learn more by reading our Exciting Colorado Getaway for Families: Snow Mountain Ranch -YMCA of the Rockies!

C Lazy U Ranch

The exterior of the main barn at C Lazy U Ranch, decorated for Christmas, with horses out front, one of the best weekend getaways near Denver for families.
Photo Courtesy: C Lazy U Ranch

C Lazy U Ranch is a hidden gem that offers the perfect weekend getaway for families! Situated in the heart of Colorado’s spectacular Rocky Mountains, around 2 hours from Denver, this all-inclusive luxurious dude ranch combines rustic charm with modern amenities to create an unforgettable experience. Plus, the accommodations include cozy cabins or spacious lodges, all offering breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains.

Photo Courtesy: C Lazy U Ranch

No matter what time of year you visit, C Lazy U Ranch has an incredible roster of activities that your kids will love. In the summer, kids can explore the property on a horseback ride, swim in the outdoor pool, or go hiking. Other adrenaline-pumping activities include mountain biking, fly fishing, ziplining, archery, trap shooting, and so much more.

In the winter, little ones can take advantage of Colorado’s snowy landscape by going tubing, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and snowmobiling. You can also explore the property on a sleigh ride or a winter horseback ride. Plus, this doesn’t even include the ranch’s activities that are available all year round, like its indoor game room, shopping options, and spa.

Parents also have their own amenities to enjoy, including an on-site fitness room and an array of dining options. Finally, kids between 3 and 17 can enroll in the Summer Kids’ Program at C Lazy U Ranch, while the winter, fall, and spring boasts a Kids’ Club for ages 3 to 12. 

Find more all-inclusive resorts in the United States by reading about our top picks for the 21 Best All-Inclusive Vacation Ideas In The United States For Families!

Glenwood Springs

Left Image: A orange gondola moves up the mountain near Glenwood Springs. Right Imge: A family enjoyes a huge adventure park ride while exploring Glennwood Springs, one of the best weekend getaways near Denver for families.
Photo Courtesy: Gunjan Prakash

Glenwood Springs is certainly one of the best weekend getaways from Denver for families! Just a 2.5-hour drive from Denver and conveniently situated between Aspen and Vail, it’s a particularly fantastic place to visit in the summer in Colorado with kids. 

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.

Several people raft down a river in Colorado with Glenwood Canyon Rafting.
Photo Courtesy: Glenwood Canyon Rafting

Glenwood Springs is also where you’ll find the Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park, accessible via a scenic gondola ride to a hilltop. There’s an adventure park with kiddie rides for all ages, games like laser tags, plus two caves to explore. Book an early time slot for The Fairy Caves Tour, which lasts about 40 minutes, and involves minimal walking. Don’t miss a visit to Hanging Lake, either. Here, you can horseback ride, bike, or hike. 

Glenwood Springs is also located along the Colorado River, which makes it a popular spot for whitewater rafting. There are multiple tour companies to book an excursion near Glenwood Springs, including Glenwood Adventure Company, Glenwood Canyon Rafting, and Whitewater Rafting LLC.

Use Tripadvisor to book things to do and activities in Glenwood Springs here!

Where to Stay in Glenwood Springs with Kids

An aerial view of Hotel Colorado in Glenwood Springs, featuring it iconic red roof and historic features amongst lush pine trees.
Photo Courtesy: Hotel Colorado

Looking for a unique place to stay in Glenwood Springs with kids? For a hotel stay, book a room at the Glenwood Hot Springs Resort or Hotel Glenwood Springs. Then, the historic Hotel Colorado is another great option. A lot of families also opt for rentals from Airbnb or Vrbo. Regardless of which you choose, you’ll love staying in Glenwood Springs on your Colorado getaway with kids.

Best Weekend Getaways Under 6 Hours from Denver for Families

When it comes to planning a weekend getaway for the whole family, Denver offers an array of fantastic options within a five-hour drive. Whether you want to explore the incredible sand dunes of Great Sand Dunes National Park or enjoy a chic ski vacation in Aspen, adventure awaits your family in these wonderful Colorado destinations. Keep reading to find out more! 

READ NEXT: 16 Amazing Family Hikes Near Denver

Great Sand Dunes National Park

Kids play in the sand at Great Sand Dunes National Park, one of the best weekend getaways near Denver for families.
Photo Courtesy: Gunjan Prakash

Great Sand Dunes National Park, just a little over 3.5 hours away from Denver, ranks high on the list of unique and awe-inspiring natural wonders! Located near Mosca in Southern Colorado, it’s known for its massive sand dunes – the tallest in North America. In fact, some of these sandy peaks reach astonishing heights of up to 750 feet! Since summer temperatures can be a bit hot, however, we suggest visiting in the spring. 

Kids play with tubes, preparing to sled down the sand dunes, at Sand Dunes National Park in Colorado, one of the best weekend getaways near Denver for families.
Photo Courtesy: Gunjan Prakash

Kids will definitely enjoy navigating the park, which seems like the Sahara Desert teleported to Colorado. Be warned that walking to the top of the dunes can be exhausting, however, especially in the heat. (It gets muddy, so remember to take off your shoes and look out for hot sand!) Once on top, one fun option for families is to rent a sandboard or sled to soar down the dunes. It’ll definitely be a thrilling experience for kids!

During the warmer months, kids can also cool down in Medano Creek, located at the dune’s base. Fishing and camping are also popular here, plus wildlife enthusiasts can spot coyotes, black bears, and other elusive animals in the mountains surrounding the dunes. Hiking trails also run along the park’s edge, leading to forests and wetlands. Stick around for sunset for an amazing view over the park! 

Pro Tip: When visiting Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve, be sure to wear some sort of eye protection, such as goggles or shades. Since the location is isolated, also bring snacks, sunscreen, and water. 

Crested Butte

Photo Courtesy: Gunjan Prakash

Crested Butte, situated just under a 4-hour drive from Denver, stands as a hidden gem in the Rocky Mountains, offering an ideal weekend escape for families seeking outdoor adventures. From beginners to advanced skiers, Crested Butte Mountain Resort provides endless wintertime fun with its well-groomed slopes and ski lessons for children. Additionally, winter activities like dog sledding and ice skating add to the snowy charm of Crested Butte.

In the summer, hiking and mountain biking trails wind through wildflower-filled meadows and dense forests. In fact, Crested Butte boasts some of the finest and most challenging mountain biking trails in Colorado. Don’t miss Kebler Pass and a scenic drive-through Ohio Pass for breathtaking vistas. In downtown Crested Butte, families can browse unique and colorful shops, art galleries, and restaurants serving up delicious local cuisine. Elk Avenue, the heart of downtown, showcases a relaxed mountain vibe, live music, or savor locally brewed craft beer.

Crested Butte Mountain Resort also offers mountain biking and ziplining, plus kids can even try their hand at fly fishing in various rivers and streams or kayaking. 

Explore lodging in Crested Butte with Expedia now!

Telluride

Downtown Telluride, one of the best weekend getaways near Denver for families, in the summer with mountains in the distance.

Telluride, located in the heart of the San Juan Mountains, is the perfect long weekend escape for families! While the drive from Denver takes just under six hours, the picturesque town’s charm and attractions make it well worth the journey. Whether you’re craving outdoor adventures or a tranquil retreat, Telluride has it all!

Strolling through Telluride’s historic downtown feels like time traveling, with its Victorian-era architecture adding a timeless charm, boutiques, art galleries, and restaurants. Families especially love the town’s natural beauty, surrounded by towering peaks and lush forests.

Photo Courtesy (L-R): Joshua Ellis, Gunjan Prakash, Jane Freedman

In the summer, this presents endless possibilities for exploring, from biking and hiking to Bridal Veil Falls and Bear Creek Falls to enjoying rafting or fly fishing at San Miguel River. There are also other kid-friendly trails, such as the River Trail or the Jurassic Trail. Plus, there are thrilling experiences like ziplining, aerial bridges, and rappelling. Take the scenic gondola up to the Mountain Village for something more unique.

During the winter, Telluride offers world-class skiing at the Telluride Ski Resort. Plus, other winter activities like ice skating, tubing, and snowshoeing. 

READ NEXT: 12 Of The Best Ski Resorts In America For Families Of All Ages

Where to Stay in Telluride with Kids

The outdoor pool at Madeline Hotel & Residences, Auberge Resorts Collection, nestled between lounge chairs and the restor buildings at night.
Photo Courtesy: Madeline Hotel & Residences, Auberge Resorts Collection

If you need somewhere to stay in Telluride with kids during the winter, consider Element 52 in downtown Telluride, or Madeline Hotel & Residences in Mountain Village.

Get great rates in Telluride through the Families Love Travel booking site! Join for free today!

Ouray

A beautiful valley near Ouray, Colorado, one of the best weekend getaways near Denver for families, in the summer.

Ouray, located a little over 5 hours and 40 minutes from Denver, is a hidden gem in the heart of the San Juan Mountains. With a picturesque Main Street, mesmerizing views, and a reputation as the “Switzerland of America,” it offers an exceptional escape for families in both the summer and winter. 

Summer provides the perfect weather for biking the Ridgeway Area Trail System to nearby Ridgeway. Families can also drive the San Juan Skyway/Million Dollar Highway. Or, you can take in the scenic views on foot and hike through the Ouray Perimeter Trail, a six-mile trail system accessible from multiple points in town. You don’t have to hike the whole thing, but even a few miles will reveal stunning waterfalls.

Visiting Box Cañon Falls Park is a must for more up-close views of the falls! Ouray is also a popular destination for off-roading due to its old mining roads, so book an ATV tour with Ride-N-Adventures.

Some ice climbs in the winter near Ouray.

Meanwhile, in the winter, Ouray offers ice climbing, cross-country skiing, ice skating, and opportunities for backcountry skiers. Make sure to visit Ouray Ice Park in winter, a man-made ice climbing park built and operated in a spectacular natural gorge within walking distance of the City of Ouray.

After a long day, cool down at the Ouray Hot Springs Pool and Fitness Center. Plus, in the surrounding area, families can also visit numerous ghost towns, such as Camp Bird Mine, Red Mountain Town, and Ironton Townsite. 

Aspen

A young boy stands on a snowy street with a view of downtown Aspen behind him, and snowy mountains in the distance.
Photo Courtesy: Gunjan Prakash

Aspen combines natural beauty with sophistication, making it one of the best weekend getaways from Denver for families! Known for its world-class ski resorts and luxurious accommodations, this charming town is around 3 hours away and offers both excitement and relaxation.

Photo Courtesy: Aspen Chamber Resort Association, Gunjan Prakash, Aspen Snowmass

Winter is a popular time to visit Aspen, as families flock to its kid-friendly resorts, like Snowmass and Buttermilk. Aspen Mountain is fantastic for teens or advanced skiers who want more of a thrill. Plus, the downtown transforms into a winter wonderland during the colder months, complete with cute decorations during Christmas, cozy après-ski options, and more family fun. This includes ice skating, snowmobiling, and tubing! 

In the summer, families can go white water or take advantage of the sunny weather and hike to the Maroon Bells, one of the most photographed spots in Colorado! While reservations on the shuttle or parking reservations are recommended, if unavailable, there is almost always last-minute availability on the shuttle. The Crater Lake Trail, Maroon Creek Trail, and the Maroon Lake Scenic Trail all provide stunning views and aren’t too difficult for kids. More beautiful scenery awaits on the Independence Pass, a gorgeous drive that passes through the Continental Divide. For a birds-eye view over Aspen Mountain, ride the Silver Queen Gondola. Finally, no matter the season, ACES/Aspen Center for Environmental Studies/Hallam Lake is a must-do visit with kids!

Note: Aspen is committed to sustainability and responsible tourism, and signing the Aspen Pledge is a great way to teach children about responsible travel.

Look for lodging in Aspen through Hotels.com now!

Durango

A stunning view of the remaining indigenous buildings at Mesa Verde National Park, one of the best weekend getaways near Denver for families.
Photo Courtesy: Dalya Gershtein

Durango is one of the best weekend getaways from Denver for families seeking an adventurous summer or fall escape! With its proximity to the San Juan Mountains, which are just over 6 hours away from Denver, this dynamic city in southwestern Colorado caters to various interests.

Enjoy a picnic near the river at Animas City Park, which has amazing views of the landscape. (There’s also a playground nearby.) If it’s warm enough, families can also go whitewater rafting on the Animas River. The Lower Animas is ideal for beginners who want a tranquil ride, while the Upper Animas offers a more thrilling experience.

In downtown Durango, there are lots of local cuisines to indulge in after a day of exploring, from farm-to-table restaurants to food trucks. Around an hour away, families can also visit Mesa Verde National Park, famous for the Cliff Palace, the largest cliff dwelling in North America. With a mix of hiking and driving, the three overlooks you can reach for the best view are Sunpoint, Sun Temple, and Cliff Palace.

A black train rolls along the tracks in the beautiful Colorado scenery as part of a tour for Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad, one of the best weekend getaways near Denver for families.
Photo Courtesy: Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad

Of course, a trip to Durango would be incomplete without riding the vintage Durango and Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad! Two types of tours are available to families. On an extended nine-and-a-half-hour round trip from Durango to Silverton, pass through the awe-inspiring San Juan National Forest and other locations inaccessible by car before stopping in Silverton to explore. There’s also the Cascade Canyon Express, a two-hour trip. 

Best Weekend Getaways from Denver for Families in Utah and New Mexico

For a memorable family weekend getaway near Denver, look no further than Utah and New Mexico, both offering unique experiences that are sure to entertain children and adults alike. Stay tuned to find out more! 

Looking for a unique family getaway? Try one of these destinations featuring European Vibes in America: Discovering U.S. Cities with European Charm For Families!

Santa Fe

The main street in Santa Fe, one of the best weekend getaways near Denver for families, leading to a Spanish-style church, and mountains in the distance.

Looking for the best weekend getaways from Denver for families? Look no further than Santa Fe, New Mexico! Known for its captivating blend of art, culture, and natural beauty, this unique destination offers a variety of exciting activities to enjoy with kids. Though it’s a bit further than other destinations on this list (around 6 hours), it’s an excellent option for families who love history and culture. 

On Santa Fe’s Historic Plaza, kids can see how many chili peppers they spot hanging around the main area of the town. It’s also a fantastic place to go shopping or try one of Santa Fe’s many restaurants. Of course, don’t forget to stroll through the family-owned galleries, craft jewelry shops, and more local artisans as you make your way down Canyon Road, the city’s main artistic district. Art-loving teens can’t miss the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum, Museum of International Folk Art, or the New Mexico Museum of Art.

Or, if you have younger kids, take them to Meow Wolf – an interactive experience the whole family will love! Finally, The Railyard is an up-and-coming part of town with many galleries and experimental art centers. 

Use Tripadvisor to book things to do or tours in Santa Fe here!

Dinosaur National Monument

A young girl reaches out to touch a large dinosaur fossil embedded in a rock at the Dinosaur National Monument in Utah.
Photo Courtesy: Kallie Miller

Get up close and personal with huge remains at Dinosaur National Monument! Located near Jensen on the border between Colorado and Utah, this national park welcomes dinosaur lovers from far and wide. 

Here, you can see over 1,500 bones encased in rock at the Dinosaur Quarry Exhibit Hall. Before you arrive, remember to pick up a Junior Ranger guidebook for your kids. They can complete the tasks in the booklet and submit them to the Visitor Center. Then, they’ll be officially sworn in as Junior Rangers and receive badges for free!

Depending on the season you visit, you’ll also find other family activities. Go hiking on one of the kid-friendly trails like the Hog Canyon Trail (1.7 miles), the Gates of Lodore Nature Trail (0.9 miles), and the Harpers Corner Trail (2.3 miles). If you visit in the summer, you can also go whitewater rafting.

Looking for more DINO-inspired fun? Read about our top picks for Amazing Dinosaur-Themed Vacations In The United States For Families

Moab

A young boy wearing a yellow shirt and a blue sun hat looks at the iconic Utah arches at Arches National Park, one of the best things to do in Moab with kids.
Photo Courtesy: Emily Kapic

Adventurous families will love a weekend getaway to Moab! Famous for its stunning red-rock landscape, this scenic city in southern Utah is around 5 and a half hours from Denver. It’s ideal for families who want to leave the state without heading too far, since Moab presents an idyllic setting filled with thrills and natural beauty. It can be quite hot in the summer, though, which is why many people like visiting in the spring. 

Try off-roading on a UTV or ATV, or rent a bike and ride down the Intrepid Trail or Bar-M Loop. Families can even see Moab by air on a helicopter ride with Pinnacle Helicopters! Or, take kids to The Wild West Challenge Course to soar through the trees. Dinosaur lovers can’t miss the Museum of Moab, Mill Canyon Dinosaur Trails, or The Paleosafari Moab Giants.

Of course, Moab also provides a gateway to Utah’s National Parks. Use your vacation to visit Arches National Park or Canyonlands National Park, featuring dramatic canyons, arches, and towering spires. Need more ideas for your trip? Discover all of the Adventurous Things to Do in Moab Kids Will Love!

Where to Stay in Moab with Kids

A view of the the two outdoor pools and resort grounds at Hyatt Place Moab.
Photo Courtesy: Hyatt Place Moab

If you need somewhere to stay in Moab with kids, you’re in the right place. For a typical hotel experience, try the Hyatt Place Moab, which has an outdoor pool and hot tub. Parents who want to stay close to Arches National Park will appreciate the convenience of the Hoodoo Moab, Curio Collection By Hilton.

If you want a more rugged experience in the wilderness, check out Base Camp Adventure Lodge, Under Canvas Glamping Tents Moab, Sorrel River Ranch Resort & Spa, or the Red Cliffs Lodge. Then, click here to find out where to stay in Moab with kids!

Happy Travels!

Photo Courtesy (L-R) Gunjan Prakash, Emily Kapic, Gunjan Prakash

We hope you liked this list of the Best Weekend Getaways From Denver For Families! From Telluride to Aspen, Frisco, and Estes Park, there are so many options for families to escape the city and see the beauty of Colorado and beyond. Enjoy your Colorado family vacation! 

*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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If you’re traveling to the Cayman Islands with kids, there’s some important information you need...

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Travel Gift Ideas

National Park With Kids

Family Travel Tips

Family on a road trip

7 Tips For Staying Sane on Family Road Trips

Avid family travelers often dream of taking a long road trip to really immerse their...

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Mom spraying two boys with bug repellent in the woods.

9 Best Bug Sprays And Lotions For Kids

Choosing the correct bug repellents for kids can make or break your summer! Who wants...

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Small boy playing with toys on an airplane.

6+ Tips for Keeping Kids Entertained on a Family Trip

Keeping kids entertained on a family trip can be a full-time job! I’ve come to...

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Families Love Travel Team

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.