Living in Miami we don’t experience real winters. Whenever we’re craving a bit of winter, Colorado is our go to. We’ve spent many winters here skiing but admittedly we always skipped Denver and went straight to the mountains. This winter we decided to do things a little different, spending a winter weekend in Denver with kids.
How to Get to Denver with Kids
We absolutely love planning trips around flight deals and there are always great deals to Denver. If you don’t have specific dates you have to travel you can always find great Denver deals on Scott’s Cheap Flights or Skyscanner.
How to Spend A Winter Weekend in Denver with Kids
If you have kids with big imaginations you definitely want to visit Meow Wolf. We previously visited the Las Vegas location and loved it so much we had to go again on our trip to Denver with kids. This interactive multi-floor exhibit had the kids so engaged, they loved going from room to room seeing what they would find next. Plan to spend at least two hours here.
I don’t know any kids that don’t like candy. Your family can take a free tour of the Hammond’s Candies factory. They make all of their products here and you can see them in action. Each tour comes with a sweet treat at the end. The tour lasts about 45 minutes.
Wings Over the Rockies Air & Space Museum
I didn’t think the kids could have a better time than they did at Meow Wolf but I think Wings Over the Rockies Air & Space Museum was a close second or tie. Here my daughters were able to learn about what it’s like living at the International Space Station. They were also able to do a simulated flight in the type of plane the Wright Brothers first flew in. They learned about Morse code, and played in the dedicated kids area. There are so many military jets in the museum as well and we got to take a ladder up to the top of one and look into the cockpit.
We’ve been to a few Butterfly World’s but nothing like the Butterfly Pavilion in Denver. I’m actually not sure why they call it Butterfly Pavilion because there is so much more to do. In the first room you enter it’s filled with colorful frogs and a variety of tarantulas. You can even hold a tarantula and I still can’t believe the girls were brave enough to do it.
The next room is a mini aquarium with every kid’s favorite fish, Dori! This room even has two touch tanks, one with starfish and one with crabs you can touch. After this room you get to the outdoor area with the butterflies and you can walk through
Red Rocks Amphitheater
Red Rocks Amphitheater is one of the most visited places in Denver and for good reason. Even if you can’t make it here for a concert to take in the amazing acoustics it’s worth stopping by. The red rocks are gorgeous and there are a few short hikes you can do.
Where to Ski During A Winter Weekend in Denver with Kids
After a fun filled two days in Denver it was time to hit the slopes. The closest and easiest mountain to ski from Denver is Winter Park. There is actually an Amtrak train that leaves from Union Station and drops you right at the base of the mountain. Literally hop off the train and you’re skiing in 5 minutes. If you don’t want to take the train it’s just 90 minutes to two hours from Denver depending on traffic you can drive here.
Things to do at Winter Park with Kids
Snow Tubing: Right at Winter Park Resort is their Coca-Cola Tube Park. Passes are sold in 1 hour increments and only a certain amount of tickets are sold for each session. This allows the lines to be manageable and for you to get to go down the hill multiple times in your session.
Take snowboard or ski lessons: Winter Park Resort offers both ski and snowboard lessons for all levels. This was our 4th year skiing with the girls and they were rusty at first but they picked it up again quickly. Kids as young as 3 years old can take lessons here.
Snowcat Tour: Want to explore the mountain without doing any work? Take a snowcat tour, we did a sunset one and it was so beautiful. The slopes are completely empty by this time and you get to go up the slopes in this cool snow cat. At the top your tour guide makes a fire so you can roast marshmallows or make s’mores and sip on hot chocolate.
Where to Eat in Denver with Kids
I never imagined Denver as a foodie city but I stand corrected. We obviously couldn’t eat everywhere on our short trip but we had great food everywhere we ate.
Denver Biscuit Co.: If you’re craving biscuits this is your place! I love the chicken biscuits with their fresh honey and the grits here are good too!
Denver Milk Market: Traveling with picky eaters or a family where everyone wants to eat something different? This is the place to go. It was connected to one of the hotels we stayed in and the perfect food hall. From Asian to Italian to seafood to American it has it all and the best part is you can sit at one table and order from any of the establishments all on one bill!
Quality Italian: If you like Italian food you will enjoy Quality Italian. With freshly made pasta on the menu not only was the food excellent but the service was excellent!
The Original: Honestly if you came here and only ate the brussel sprouts it would be worth it!
Snooze AM Eatery: Admittedly I am usually a french toast girl but the pancakes here are so good. We tried the pineapple upside down ones and well I’ve been craving them ever since.
Where to Stay in Denver with Kids
There are so many accommodations in Denver it can be overwhelming. Whether you prefer vacation rentals or hotels the options are endless. For this trip we chose a hotel and stayed in two different areas to get a feel for the city.
We first stayed at The Maven, located a few blocks from Union Station. There are tons of restaurants within walking distance. It’s a cute boutique hotel with lots of space to hang out in the lobby, play games and listen to music.
Later on in our trip we moved to The Halcyon located in the Cherry Creek neighborhood. We absolutely loved this boutique hotel. The service here was impeccable and the rooms were beautifully decorated with gorgeous bathrooms. The hotel has a restaurant on site as well as a restaurant connected to its lobby, Quality Italian.
We had the best winter weekend in Denver with kids. After so many years of visiting Colorado but landing and immediately leaving Denver it was great to see what Denver has to offer. If you found this article helpful, please share it!