6 Outdoor Activities in Denver to do with Kids this Summer

mom and her baby hanging out before some outdoor activities in denver

Hi everyone! Let’s talk about Outdoor Activities in Denver to do with kids. From exploring the Red Rocks Amphitheater to biking along Cherry Creek Trail, Denver offers thrilling adventures for families. You can spend a day at Elitch Gardens Theme & Water Park for rides and water fun or enjoy a relaxed picnic at City Park with a visit to the Denver Zoo. Denver has it all for family fun outdoors so that I will list a few favorites here.

Outdoor Activities in Denver

Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge

The Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge is a 15,988-acre Refuge adjacent to Denver and Commerce City, Colorado. On the tour, you may see bison, coyotes, raptors, mule and white-tailed deer, and many songbirds. Reservations are required, and the best way to experience this 15,000-acre Refuge is by taking the 11-mile Wildlife Drive in your vehicle. The Wildlife Drive takes about 45 minutes to 1 hour to complete, and it’s free. The Refuge has more than 330 mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, and fish species. It’s for sure a fun place to take kids!

Denver Zoo

Denver Zoo is always a must-do for me and my little ones. I always buy the membership if I plan to go more than once to the zoo, and especially if you have a big family, it’s way more worth buying the membership and visiting the zoo a few more times. Right now, my kid’s favorite attractions are the elephant and flamingos, and we usually explore just one side of the zoo every time we go there. The zoo is always fun in the summer, so remember to wear sunscreen, bring a hat on hot days, and drink lots of water on hot days.

Denver Botanic Gardens

They have two locations: York Street, an urban oasis in Denver, and Chatfield Farms in Littleton. I especially love Chatfield Farms in October because of their pumpkin patch. The York location has many art exhibitions, programs for children and families, and a special place for little ones called the Mordecai Children’s Garden. It’s one of Denver’s first green rooftops and changes with the seasons. Each ecosystem has interactive elements for kids, like swinging bridges and water features. My kids enjoy the Denver Botanic Gardens, and we always stop by Chatfield Farms in September and October. Check their website for events all year round!

Elitch Gardens – Outdoor Activities in Denver

Elitch Gardens in Denver is a must-have for many families during the summer. They have more than 50 rides and a 10-acre swimming area with slippery slides, crashing waves, and lazy rivers, so you can easily spend the whole day there. Like the zoo, if you plan to go more than once during the summer, it is probably best to look at the membership prices as they will be cheaper.

Dinosaur Ridge

My kids love dinosaurs. What about yours? If you and your kids love learning about them, this is a cool stop in Morrison. You can also have guided tours, where a volunteer guide interprets the dinosaur tracks and bone fossils, local history, and geology during this outdoor one-way, 1.5-mile tour on a paved trail. So, plan on 1.5-2 hours if you choose to do this. We haven’t done it; it might work better for older kids, but we are not sure since we have experienced it.

You can get a discounted pass and visit Dinosaur Ridge and the Morrison Natural History Museum, or you can do what we did. We visited the Red Rocks Amphitheater and went on a walk with the kids, then visited Dinosaur Ridge and stopped at a restaurant on our way home. Kids love exploring the trails surrounding the theater, and a spectacular view of the plains makes it a perfect place for a kid-friendly hike.

The Hudson Gardens

My kids love walking in the gardens, especially from spring to fall. The Hudson Gardens, located just a few minutes from downtown Littleton, offer over thirty acres of garden exhibits, trails, open spaces, and event venues. It’s a perfect spot for a family outing, with plenty of space to explore and enjoy nature together. Plus, there are always new things to see and experience throughout the changing seasons. Whether it’s the colorful blooms in spring or the vibrant foliage in fall, it’s always a great place to stop by.

Outdoor Activities in Denver

What do you think of these suggestions? Have you been to all of them? If not, try some of these locations with your kiddos. And when did you last have photos taken of yourself and your family? So, I am a photographer in Denver, and if you’re looking for a family, child, or high school senior photographer, I would love to work with you!

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