Things to Do with Kids in Colorado

Things to do with kids on Vacation

Planning your Colorado vacation for many means finding fun things to do with kids, and Colorado has got you covered. Get your itinerary planner out and get ready to start adding to your hit list. It all depends on your route through the state or the destination(s) you plan to visit. Check out our kids activities recommendations and start building your vacation.

Things to Do with Kids rafting

On the Water Things to Do with Kids

State Parks and Kids Activities

State Parks have activities for kids, such as beaches, fishing, hiking, and biking trails. Some even have marinas that rent various types of boats, such as pontoon boats, canoes, paddle boats, and more. There’s nothing more fun than an afternoon on the water with your family and friends. Some parks have junior ranger programs and wildlife and bird-watching stations. Most State parks have a campground, so you can stay with the gang at the campsite and be ready for more action tomorrow. Many parks will have RV hookups, campground parks with picnic areas, and bathhouses with showers and laundry rooms. Each park is slightly different, so use our State Parks Guide to find one that will work best for your kids and family.

Whitewater Rafting Family Activities and Fun

Don’t let the idea of big whitewater rapids scare your family away from this super fun adventure. Colorado has several rafting companies offering guided rafting trips to meet your family's needs. Signing up for a low-rapids raft trip with the whole gang is possible. Rafting companies offer half and full-day trips. Many even combine half-day trips with other types of family activities, such as zip-lining, scenic train rides, horseback rides, off-road tours, and more. Check with the rafting company to learn more about their adventure packages.

Family Fun Things to Do at Colorado Lakes

Almost all of Colorado’s state parks feature a magnificent lake. Many have beaches and picnic sites; some allow power boats, while others are just for non-motorized boats. Have you and the kids tried paddle boarding? It’s a perfect family fun activity and makes for a nice lazy day at the lake. Even more lakes and reservoirs are located throughout the state that are large enough for sailing, such as Grand Lake or Dillon Reservoir.

Things to do with Kids at Colorado Water Parks

Water parks are spread across the state, but some exceptional ones are located in the Denver area. These water parks have water slides, splash pools and spray elements, swimming pools, water caves, and wave pools like Water World. Most water parks even have unique water features just for the little ones.
  • Elitch Gardens - Denver kids-activities-water-park
  • Island King Water Park - Denver
  • Oasis Family Aquatic Park - Brighton
  • The Splash at Fossil Trace - Golden
  • Pirates Water Park - Littleton
  • Discovery Bay Waterpark - Greeley
  • Sunrise Splash Park - Greeley
  • Adventure Island - Greeley
  • Banning Lewis Ranch Vista waterpark - Colorado Springs
  • Community Splash Park - Colorado Springs
  • Lakeside Amusement Park - Lakeside
  • Bananas Fun Park - Grand Junction
  • Walsenburg Wild Waters - Walsenburg
  • Centennial Park Spray Grout - Rifle
  • Water World - Federal Heights
  • Imondi Wake Zone - Fruita
  • Boondocks Food & Fun - Northglenn
  • Fairgrounds Park - Loveland
  • Old Town Hot Springs - Steamboat Springs
  • The Great Outdoors Water Park - Lafayette
  • Bay Aquatic Park - Bloomfield
  • H20’Brien Pool - Parker

things to do with kids activities Colorado adventure parks

Adventure Parks are Total Family Fun

Adventure parks are popping up all over Colorado, offering many fun activities for kids. Colorado’s resort towns have turned their base areas into mountain-style adventure parks featuring bungee trampolines, put-put golf, ropes and ladder courses, and other kids’ fun. While at the resort, hop on the gondola or chairlift for a scenic ride, or bring your mountain bike or hiking shoes. These gondola/chairlift rides drop you off on mountain tops that access trails for biking and hiking. Before you head back down, check out the mountain-top dining and other fun things to do with kids.

Colorado's Dedicated Adventure Parks

  • Royal Gorge Bridge and Park, located near Canon City in the Royal Gorge Region, has all sorts of family fun and kids activities. You can drive or walk across the highest suspension bridge in North America. Take the gondola ride across the Royal Gorge or if you’re brave, sign up for the Royal Rush Skycoaster or try climbing the Via Ferrata. For the smaller kids there’s the Tommy Knocker Playland and the Plaza Theater.
  • Cave of the Winds Mountain Park is a cave in the Pikes Peak region, just west of Colorado Springs. In addition to daily cave tours, this park features zip-lining, mountain chair rides, and challenge courses.
  • Glenwood Caverns in Glenwood Springs offers various thrill-seeking rides, a scenic gondola ride, and cave tours year-round.
  • The Frisco Adventure Park is a year-round activities center for grown-ups and little kids. It is located within the Peninsula Recreation Area (on the shore of Lake Dillon), which has miles of hiking, biking, and Nordic trails. Some of the kid's activities featured at the adventure park include a snow tubing hill, a beginner ski and ride hill, a skateboard park, a bike park, a disc golf course, chuck wagon rides, events, camping, and the Adventure Park Facility Rentals center.

Family-Friendly Hikes to Go On with Kids

If your visit starts in Denver, you can find several nice family-friendly and kid-friendly hikes downtown or nearby. Before you head up into the mountains, check out our top eight family hikes with kids recommendations. Family activities Friendly Hikes

Scenic Tours with Kids

Scenic Train Rides are Fun Things to do with Kids

A great way to spend an afternoon is on a scenic train ride with the kids or the whole family. You'll get a close-up view of the forest and expansive views of mountain vistas and hear historical tales along the way. These trains run daily during the warm months and feature seasonal special trains, too. Learn more about Colorado’s scenic trains.

Off-Road Tours are Fun For the Whole Gang

Colorado is full of old mining roads left over from the gold and silver mining boom of the early 1800s. These steep, twisty roads take the adventurous to out-of-the-way places and pass by magnificent vistas. After an afternoon together on an off-road tour, the kids will be wowed, jostled, and have lots of memories to share.

Stop at a Colorado Ghost Town

As you make your way through Colorado, stop at a ghost town. They are scenic and will transport the entire family back into the past. Let the kids explore and get an up-close view of what it was like living in the 1800s.  Although there are around 1500 ghost towns across the state, here are our top ghost town recommendations.

Visit The Great Sand Dunes National Park

This International Dark Sky Park in south-central Colorado is a spectacular place to visit and is loaded with fun kids' activities. As the name implies, this area is naturally landscaped with dramatic sand dunes against the backdrop of the Sangre de Cristo activities medano creek
  • During spring and early summer, Medano Creek, a shallow sandy bottom creek, is a favorite play spot. It's like a beach with continuously running water and gentle waves, perfect for little ones. The creek is big fun for tubing, playing in the sand, and just splashing around.
  • Sandboarding and sand sledding are also super popular with the kids. Kids of all sizes have discovered the wonder of sledding down the sand dunes. Local shops have sled rentals and will give you some tips, too.
  • Camping is available with four different campgrounds to choose from.

Dinosaur Parks are Fun Things to Do with Kids

There’s nothing more exciting for the kids than to check out dinosaur fossils and life-sized dinosaur replications. While planning your family trip to Colorado, add a stop at a dinosaur site. Here are some suggestions for the Royal Gorge Region:
  • See fossils and a complete Stegosaurus replica at the Royal Gorge Regional History Museum.
  • Stop at the Garden Park Fossil Area and explore 3,600 acres rich with fossils.
  • While you're at it, stop at the Indian Springs Trace Fossil Site and see fossilized tracks.
  • Include Skyline Drive as part of your summer road trip, and check out the roadside fossils and more.
Dinosaur National Monument in NW Colorado is another geological landmark with dinosaur remains from 100 million years ago.

Children’s Museums in Denver

With 51 museums in the Denver area and several dedicated to children, you will undoubtedly find a museum that the kids and the grown-ups will enjoy. Here are some recommendations:
  • Children’s Museum of Denver—Exhibits are one-of-a-kind, hands-on, and interactive. The target age range is newborn to eight years old.
  • Children’s Museum of Denver at Marsico Campus - interactive playscapes, daily educational programming, and special events.
  • Kids Wonder—Lil’Town is popular with kids when they learn to walk. It is safe for toddlers and has soft play and a tiny bounce house.
  • KidsSpace by Kookalooz - an indoor playground with STEM education for kids 0 - 10 years old. Over 9000 sq/ft of playground, ballistics area, hands-on STEM learning, planetarium/movie theater, and more.
  • The Air & Space Museum is in Hanger 1 of the former Lowry Air Force Base. Here, you can see iconic aircraft, space vehicles, artifacts, uniforms, and more.
  • Exploration of Flight - a 15-acre campus of future-focused aviation and space experiences. Colorado Railroad Museum - located in Golden, this 15-acre railyard features over 100 engines, cabooses, coaches, and more.
  • The Buffalo Bill Museum and Grave—Buffalo Bill was an iconic figure from the 1800s and a pioneer of the West.
  • The Museum of Discovery, located in Fort Collins, has been tailored for youth, offering hands-on experiences integrated with learning about history.

Zoos - Kids Activities

Make a stop at one of Colorado's remarkable zoos. Denver has three zoos right in the downtown area. The Zoological Garden is an 80-acre park with over 3,000 animal species. Pueblo has a 25-acre zoo next to the Nature & Wildlife Discovery Center. Learn more about Colorado's zoos.

Have Fun with These Things to Do with Kids

Have a great family vacation! Hopefully, you are putting together an enjoyable itinerary for the trip. With so many fun activities and things to do with kids in Colorado, it's hard to go wrong.

by Kathleen Fitzsimmons

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