Watch CBS News

Best Ways To See Denver For Families In 3 Days

It's difficult to do any metropolitan area in three day. Denver isn't any different. There is so much to see and do in and around the city that it's impossible to try to squeeze it all in during three days. But here are a couple of suggested itineraries, with a few alternate options, that can certainly give you a head start to planning a long weekend in the Mile High City with your family.


A trip to the Denver Museum Of Nature & Science is a great way to begin exploring the Mile High City with children.

Denver Museum of Nature and Science
(credit: Jason Hussong)

A wide variety of exhibits cover topics from ancient Egypt to space exploration. That means that there's surely something for everyone, even the curious adult. When you throw in the special temporary exhibits the museum hosts or a trip to the IMAX or Planetarium, it's easy to spend all morning or afternoon learning about the world around us. To learn more:

Downtown Aquarium
(credit: Jason Hussong)

From the Denver Museum of Nature & Science, head downtown to the Downtown Denver Aquarium. Kids will surely love the aquarium-side lunch before the family explores the aquatic exhibits, which also include a massive Sumatran tiger area. There's enough to do and explore at the aquarium to keep the family busy for the rest of the afternoon. To learn more: Downtown Denver Aquarium.

Head over to the nearby Wynkoop Brewing Company. The first brewpub in Colorado has a long and distinguished history, and a separate dining area is great for families. To learn more:


A second day can easily be spent wandering the pathways of the Denver Zoo.

Denver Zoo
(credit: Jason Hussong)

The zoo was first founded in 1896 around an orphaned black bear named Billy Bryan. The Denver Zoo has grown and expanded into an impressive educational and entertaining display of animals from around the world. On top of the animal exhibits and programs, kids will also surely love a ride on the small train or carousel on the zoo's grounds. To learn more:

The Uptown neighborhood and in particular on 17th is full of great dinner options. When you're done with supper, if you're not walked-out, take a short ten-block walk over to Liks Ice Cream for some desert. They've been scooping up flavors since 1976, and are a favorite among neighborhood residents and Denverites throughout the metro area. To learn more:


A relaxing morning or afternoon can be spent exploring one of the Denver Botanic Gardens locations.

Denver Botanic Gardens
(credit: Jason Hussong)

The grounds are beautifully groomed and offer great opportunities for kids to work off some energy, particularly at the Chatfield location in the south metro. If the weather isn't cooperating for outdoor recreation, head up to the Butterfly Pavilion for some up close encounters.

On your way west from the Botanic Gardens or Butterfly Pavilion, stop at the OLD CAPITOL GRILL in Golden for lunch. It serves up tasty and affordable meals in the first capitol building for the Colorado Territory. To learn more:

From Golden, a great opportunity presents itself. Just a short drive up Interstate 70 to the west is the Buffalo Bill Museum and Grave. For more information: The excellent old west history in the museum, next to Buffalo Bill's gravesite, is only eclipsed by the great views of Denver to the east from atop Lookout Mountain.
Buffalo Bill Cost: $5 (Adult), $1 (Children) *Gravesite admission is free

Check out any of the great Denver Top Spots suggestions for a great local meal tonight. If you're feeling adventurous, though, check out the famed Buckhorn Exchange. For more information: Buffalo, elk, rattlesnake, and the infamous Rocky Mountain oysters are all on the menu. More affordable kids meals are also available.

- Jason Hussong is an Assignment Editor at CBS4. He has traveled to all seven continents, most of the states, and almost all of the counties in Colorado; he writes about his travels at

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.