Thanks to Mile High Mamas’ Summer Activity Guide, we’re sharing hundreds of ideas for your Denver staycation. Part 2 in our two-part series features activities that are primarily outdoors — from waterparks to museums to working farms! The Denver metro area has all you need for fun with your family. Now that the weather is turning and (consistent) warm weather is around the corner, start making your summer itinerary for the family!
Family Outdoor Activities in Denver
Enjoy the sun (but don’t forget the sunscreen) and see what outdoor adventures you can find!
- Aspen Grove – They have summer movie nights with fun vendors / goodies for the kids. Check out their website for a complete listing of events.
- Belleview Park – Belleview Park has a stream that is great for wading or catching crawfish, a train to ride, and a children’s farm with a petting zoo.
- Berry Patch Farms – Berry Patch Farms opens in June for the season. It’s a pick-your-own fruit place that’s free to enter — you only pay for what you pick! Your kids will love wandering around in the yard with the chickens, turkeys, and pot-bellied pig, and picking out fresh produce in the farmhouse for supper.
- Bluff Lake Nature Center – This urban wildlife refuge and “outdoor classroom” is located on the eastern edge of Stapleton and is open from sunrise to sunset. Be sure to check out their calendar for different events through the summer or venture out there any day of the week to find some quiet time away from the city!
- Brighton Oasis Family Water Park. This family-friendly water park features a large tube slide, a lazy river with zero-depth entry, and a wave generator, a tot pool with zero-depth entry, and interactive play features.
- Carson Nature Center – The South Platte Park and Carson Nature Center in Littleton has hands-on activities focused on Colorado wildlife. Check out the biking and hiking trails too!
- Centennial Center Park – This 11-acre park includes an awesome playground, water features, picnic facilities, the historical timeline of the Cherry Creek Basin and an amphitheater. Adjacent to the Centennial Civic Center.
- Chautauqua Park – The Kids’ Park at Chautauqua in Boulder is another favorite spot. It has a slide built into the side of the mountain, a fun playhouse, a ranger’s station, great hikes, epic dining at the Dining Hall, and the best view around!
- Chatfield State Park – This is the perfect park for boating, swimming, hiking, bicycling, or riding horses. Chatfield Reservoir has many different types of activities to beat summer boredom.
- Cherry Creek State Park – This park is great for hiking, swimming, picnicking, or skipping rocks! There’s also ramp access for small boats. Follow the wetlands trail (footpath only) to see some of the shyer wildlife, or use the longer paved trails for biking. There is a walk-in entrance (free!) at the corner of Quincy and Parker.
- City Park – Denver’s largest park has a lot to boast about. The Denver Zoo to the north (check out the new tiger exhibit), Denver Museum of Nature & Science to the east, and several playgrounds in the middle – including a large lake with paddle boats shaped like ducks!
- Civic Green Park in Highlands Ranch – Next to the Highlands Ranch Library, this park has fun interactive fountains, a wading stream, a playground, and lots of great events including free yoga classes and concerts all summer.
- Clear Creek Valley Park – The 81-acre park is now open in Federal Heights with trails, fields, a destination playground, a water feature zip line, a fishing pond, and more!
- Clement Park (Littleton) – Clement Park is set on a 60-acre lake with a 1.4-mile walking path around it, tennis course, baseball fields, batting cages, multi-purpose fields, horseshoe pits, and three separate playgrounds
- Confluence Park – Even though we are in a dry climate, we still have plenty of water. Head down to Confluence Park and watch the kayakers strut their stuff (on the river that is) and play along the shore to keep cool. Even better, bring a picnic lunch.
- Cure Organic Farm – Volunteer at this farm in Boulder. The farm has set volunteer hours each week, and they are seasonally based. It’s totally kid-friendly (the owner has kids) and your kids can help, play, and learn.
- Delaney Historic Farm – Show your kids a working farm, not that far from the city at 170 S Chambers Road in Aurora. They have guided tours including a beekeeping tour.
- Denver Botanic Gardens – Make your very own “photo day” outing by packing the camera gear and head over to the gardens with your budding photographer(s) in tow. Two locations in Denver and at Chatfield.
- Denver Skatepark – Right near Millennium Bridge is a very large and intricate skate park! Be sure to go early with the little ones — it’s less crowded and cooler outside. Feel free to bring scooters if your kids are not proficient on boards yet. And don’t forget a helmet!
- Dinosaur Ridge and Dakota Hogback – Dinosaur Ridge features famous Jurassic dinosaur bones, such as Stegosaurus and Apatosaurus, discovered in 1877, and Cretaceous dinosaur footprints.
- Eldorado Canyon State Park – Located just five miles southwest of Boulder and 30 miles from Denver, this park is like a hidden treasure. It’s a great place for hiking, climbing, and picnicking. The popular Eldorado Swimming Pool is open this year and fed directly from the nearby artisan spring!
- Elitch Gardens Theme and Water Park – Elitch Gardens is Denver’s own 70-acre amusement and water park located downtown! Check out the rides, shows, and dive-in movies.
- Farmer’s Market – Check out this link to find a local farmer’s market in your area.
- Film on the Rocks – There is always at least one beloved kid film in this series at Red Rocks. The kids will love climbing the stairs and a special night out under the stars.
- First Fridays Art Walk in Denver – On the first Friday of every month, you’ll get a chance to experience the work of artists from around the world and next door. Over 30 galleries on Santa Fe in Denver participate in this event!
- Four Mile Historic Park – This park is just four miles from downtown Denver and features Denver’s oldest standing structure. This park is great for school-age kids and beyond. For a unique peek into Colorado’s frontier past, check it out.
- FlatIron Crossing – Looking for a giant sandbox? Check out the play area in front of the FlatIron Crossing while you shop.
- High Line Canal – This trail is great for hiking, biking, jogging, and horseback riding. There so much to see and much of it is shady!
- Hudson Gardens (Littleton) – The Hudson Gardens’ 30 acres non-profit botanical gardens are located along the bank of the South Platte River. Admission is free every day.
- Lair o’ the Bear Park – Open Space – This favorite park is near Evergreen. There’s a small hike that is good for kids but also a great picnic area and a spot to fish.
- Louisville Community Park – There is a grassy area for the kids to run, spray grounds to cool off in the summer, a large sandbox, playground, and even a dog park with swim beach to watch the pooches play.
- Lakeside Amusement Park – Lakeside isn’t your typical amusement park, and that’s why we like it. The art-deco signs and original architecture are showing their age, but the place has character. The kiddie rides are old school and you can bring your own picnic.
- Lion’s Park in Golden – Not only is there a great playground with a huge sandbox, picnic area, and Farmer’s Market, but the kids also love to watch the kayakers on the Clear Creek Whitewater Park.
- Lookout Mountain Nature Center & Preserve – Connect with nature, go on a naturalist-guided tour, sign up for their free classes, and revel in gorgeous views.
- Majestic View Nature Center (Arvada) – Majestic View Nature Center and Community Park is a 3,000 square foot Nature Center featuring hands-on nature and environmental displays, wildlife exhibits, a kid’s area, classrooms, and meeting space.
- Morrison Nature Center at Star K Ranch (Aurora) – Star K Ranch “regulars” include mule deer, painted turtles, snapping turtles, red-tailed hawks, American kestrels, western meadowlarks, great horned owls, and blue jays. Costumes, blocks, puppets, kids’ books, and live animal exhibits make Morrison Nature Center a great place for kids.
- Matthews Winters Park – This is the perfect gentle hike for young kids, and it’s close to Red Rocks. There is very little shade so be sure to go in the morning or evening on hot days — and don’t forget the sunscreen!
- Mother Cabrini Shrine – No matter your religious views, it can be uplifting to climb to the top and take in the breathtaking view of the city (stollers prohibited).
- Nottingham Park – The ground beneath the massive play structure is spongy, there is equipment for all ages of kids, and a shaded picnic area!
- Pearl Street Mall, Boulder (Boulder) – Stroll along the pedestrian mall, checking out the street performers, shops, spray fountain, shaded areas, and great views.
- Pirates Cove Aquatic Center – Great for small kids, the aquatic center offers a leisure pool with a large play structure, a 25-meter, 6-lane pool, a slide tower with three slides, and a lazy river.
- Plains Conservation Center – Discover your local prairie. This conservation center is “an outdoor education facility and state-designated natural”.
- Platte Valley Trolley Ride – Experience a piece of history on this open-air trolley ride that takes you past REI, Confluence Park, the Children’s Museum, and Invesco Field.
- Rocky Mountain Arsenal Wildlife Refuge (Commerce City) – Located 10 minutes from downtown Denver, this 17,000-acre refuge is one of the largest urban wildlife refuges in the United States. It consists of open lakes, wetlands, prairie grasslands, and woodlands and an excellent hands-on visitor’s center.
- Sensory Park – This park was built in cooperation with Children’s Hospital and is 100% accessible to children of all ages and abilities. It’s tucked away from view, nestled between Church Ranch Blvd. and Olde Wadsworth Blvd., just down the embankment from the Super Target in the Walnut Creek shopping area.
- Sixteenth Street Mall – This 16-block-long pedestrian and transit mall in Downtown Denver is home to numerous cafes and retail merchants. Stroll along or take the free shuttle!
- Central Park – As Denver’s third largest park, it attracts people from all over the city for RC boating, team sports, and an amazing Dr. Seuss-inspired playground.
- Tiny Town & Railroad – Tiny Town is the oldest kid-size village in the United States will remind you just how big you really are! Just west of Denver, Tiny Town has an awesome playground and train to ride too!
- Washington Park – “Wash Park” is a great place to rent a paddleboat, play on one of the playgrounds, or pack a picnic. Don’t forget to stop by Bonnie Brae Ice Cream for a scoop (or two) of ice cream.
- Water World – Featuring nearly 50 attractions for the entire family, Water World, located in Federal Heights, is one of the country’s premier family water parks.
- Westlands Park – This park in Greenwood Village has been ranked as one of the best parks in the metro area. The playgrounds include areas for kids of all ages and abilities. There is also an in-line hockey rink, playing fields, natural water sculpture, and more.
- The Wild Animal Sanctuary – The Wild Animal Sanctuary is a 720-acre refuge for more than 350 lions, tigers, bears, wolves, and other large carnivores. Locations in Keenesburg, Springfield, and Craig, Colorado.
We’re Here for You and Your Family
Summer is a fun time for families to get out, explore, and share some much-loved time together! While it’s the perfect time of year to go, go, go, make sure you’re taking time to check in with your integrative medicine doctors to maintain your children’s pediatric care and health coverage. Our team of integrative pediatric doctors can also offer complementary and alternative medical options and evidence based holistic treatments for common summer ailments — like sunburns, blisters, beestings, and more!
At Partners in Pediatrics, we are holistic pediatricians committed to educating the mile high city with integrative and functional wellness / health care topics to help you and your kids maintain optimal health. We are dedicated to providing your family with exceptional care using a holistic approach and combining conventional medicine and alternative remedies.
As always, please get in touch with us with any questions about summer safety. If you’re interested in more comprehensive advice, speak with our team serving patients in downtown Denver, Littleton, City Park, and the surrounding areas of Colorado.
Thank you to Mile High Mamas for their comprehensive list of summer time activities in Denver!