Denver has become quite the hotspot over the last few years with a record number of people moving into the Mile High City, and bringing with them a wealth of hip offerings. And even though it might be a cool, cutting edge destination, Denver is still incredibly family-friendly. All across the city, you can find a wealth of things to do with kids, namely interactive and fun museums where even the smallest of travelers are sure to be entertained. If you’re heading to Denver with the whole family, be sure to plan some stops at these museums that both kids and adults in your group can appreciate.
Wings Over The Rockies Air & Space Museum
Settled into eastern Denver in Hanger 1 of the former Lowry Air Force Base, Wings Over The Rockies Air & Space Museum presents a learning experience that won’t bore the little ones. Founded in 1994, the museum offers more than 182,000 square feet of hanger space with over 50 planes dating from 1939 to 1990. In addition to antique planes, fighter jets, and even a homemade helicopter, kids can experience a number of space-focused exhibits. Throughout the permanent exhibits, parents won’t mind brushing up on aviation history as well. There are also simulators so that the whole family can experience taking flight. Frequently host to special admission days for kids, the museum costs $16.95 for adults, $9.95 for kids aged 4 to 16, and is free for those under 3. And if you can plan your visit for the second Saturday of the month, the museum offers the added experience of climbing into the plane cockpits.
Denver Firefighters Museum
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If your kids have an interest in learning about Denver’s firefighting history, the Denver Firefighters Museum offers loads of hands-on experiences. Located close to Civic Center Park in downtown Denver, the museum occupies Denver Fire Station No. 1 — a building from 1909 that served as a working fire station until 1974. With the goal of preserving the history of the Denver Fire Department and to educate the public on fire safety, the museum also has a number of fun activities for kids, from sliding down a pole, trying on equipment, to even pretending to put out fires. Admission costs $9 for adults, $6 for those aged 5 to 13, and is free for those aged 4 and under.
Children’s Museum of Denver at Marsico Campus
Perched along the Platte River in downtown Denver, the Children’s Museum of Denver at Marsico Campus offers kids, mostly newborns to 8 year olds, the chance to explore, imagine, investigate, and create. Not your standard museum in terms of formal exhibits, the Children’s Museum of Denver focuses on experiences, where your little ones can go on a 500-foot-long aerial adventure course, climb a 3-story mountain, be a vet at a clinic, paint in an art studio, and even make bubbles taller than their parents. There’s also a Joy Park at the museum, a space where kids can experience a small sample size of Colorado terrain from canyons to sand dunes. Admission costs $14 for those over 2, $12 for kids over 1, and is free for those under 1.
Denver Museum of Nature & Science
Conveniently close to the Denver Zoo, the Denver Museum of Nature & Science is an over-100-year institution in the city, and it also happens to be quite kid-friendly. The museum boasts a number of exhibits kids can enjoy. The Discovery Zone offers the opportunity to excavate fossils, create art projects, and even lead investigations. In addition, kids can appreciate the gems and minerals exhibit, the detailed wildlife dioramas, an IMAX theater and a planetarium. Tickets run $19.95 for adults and $14.95 for kids aged 3 to 18.
Colorado Railroad Museum
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If you want to venture with the family outside of downtown for an afternoon, those little ones who love trains will want to pay a visit to Golden to experience the Colorado Railroad Museum. Under a half hour from Denver, the museum details Colorado’s rich railroad history. Kids will delight not so much in formal museum exhibits but rather the 15-acre railyard — home to over 100 narrow and standard gauge locomotives, cabooses, and passenger cars. In addition to being the largest collection of locomotives in the state, the museum also puts on special events and hosts train rides throughout the year so that the whole family can hop aboard. Admission costs $10 for adults, $5 for those aged 2 to 15 ,and is free for children under 2.
Have you visited Denver with kids? What museums would you add to the list? Share your ideas with us in the comments below!