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Photo courtesy Andrew Han for the Children's Museum of Denver at Marsico Campus

2019 Family Favorites: Family Fun

Colorado families love to stay active. With an abundance of hiking trails, parks, world-famous attractions, museums, and events, there’s no shortage of activities to keep you busy year-round. Here are a few of our readers’ favorite places to play in the Centennial State.

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Table of Contents:

Museum for Families

Top Five

The Winner

Children’s Museum of Denver at Marsico Campus

Under the roof of this building, little and big kids alike can create in the Art Studio, experiment with flavors in the Teaching Kitchen, imagine they are a firefighter or a vet, and investigate theories of motion in the giant physics playground, Kinetics. With a couple years of expansion completed, there’s even more for kids to explore outside in Joy Park, including the brand new 500-foot-long aerial adventure course, Adventure Forest (shown above). 2121 Children’s Museum Dr., Denver


family favorites indoor play
Kids who love zip lining will be right at home at Mid-Air Adventures. Photo courtesy Lucy Beaugard

Indoor Activity Space

Top Five

The Winner

Mid-Air Adventures

Zip lines galore make Mid-Air Adventures a great place for thrill-seeking kids to burn some energy indoors in a safe environment. The 12,000-square-foot facility has giant swings, rope bridges, a 20-foot climbing wall, slides, and a toddler area, too, to keep adventurous kids busy. 9499 Washington St., Suite 100, Thornton

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Parent-Tot Activity

Top Five

The Winner

Rocky Mountain Aardvarks

The music you’ll discover in Rocky Mountain Aardvarks’ kids classes is based around original songs, rhythms, and chants by New York rock musician/composer and father of three, David Weinstone. Geared toward ages three months to five years, the lively music classes incorporate influences from many musical genres, with plenty of movement, musical storytelling, and break-out dance sessions. Six metro Denver locations


family favorites hike trail
Lair o’ the Bear Park is home to a great beginner hike for families, near Bear Creek.

Hike or Bike Trail with Kids

Top Five*

The Winner

Lair o’ the Bear Park

The 4.6-mile hiking trail is mostly flat, making it a great beginner stroll for families with young kids and pets; beautiful views at Panorama Point included. You’ll find an abundance of picnic tables, and will be close to Bear Creek for fishing. 22550 State Hwy. 74, Idledale

* Tie occurred in this category


Colorado Resort or Hotel for Families

Top Five

The Winner

Great Wolf Lodge

In addition to a wide range of indoor water slides that are sure to thrill toddlers to teens, families can experience the non-water attractions at Great Wolf Lodge’s Adventure Park, featuring Howler’s Peak Ropers Course and Rustic Ridge Climbing Wall. New this summer for families is the Summer Camp-In program, which includes campfire sing-alongs, pool parties, camp cuisine, and the opportunity to earn badges for activities. 9494 Federal Dr., Colorado Springs


Family Fair or Festival

Top Five

The Winner

Pumpkin Festival at Denver Botanic Gardens Chatfield Farms

Visiting a pumpkin patch is a fall tradition with many families, and this festival is a favorite spot for finding the perfect pumpkin. Enjoy food vendors, activities, and artisan booths. Pick out a pumpkin from Chatfield Farms’ 10-acre patch, then use the free pumpkin “daycare” while exploring the rest of the festival. Kids can play carnival games, make crafts, and try the corn maze with you or the mini-maze by themselves. 8500 W. Deer Creek Canyon Rd., Littleton

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Cheyenne Mountain Zoo in Colorado Springs is the only mountain zoo in the United States.

Family Day Trip

Top Five

The Winner

Cheyenne Mountain Zoo

At the only mountain zoo in the United States, visitors love hand-feeding the giraffe herd in the African Rift Valley exhibit and seeing a skier’s-eye-view of the zoo on the Mountaineer Sky Ride chairlift. This summer, explore the new Water’s Edge: Africa exhibit, featuring hippos, penguins, lemurs, and warthogs. In addition to 750 animals at the zoo, families can sign up for unique programs such as Animal Care 101 and Starlight Safari. 4250 Cheyenne Mountain Zoo Rd., Colorado Springs


Summer Mountain Getaway

Top Five

The Winner

YMCA of the Rockies Estes Park Center

Kind of like summer camp for the whole family, YMCA of the Rockies offers a wide range of activities by day including archery, miniature golf, horseback riding, crafts, and zip lining. Sign up for one of the center’s popular guided tours of the nearby Rocky Mountain National Park, then in the evening, unwind around a campfire, and take your furry family members to the new dog park. 2515 Tunnel Rd., Estes Park


Water World offers a wide range of attractions for all ages.

Water Park or Swim Center

Top Five

The Winner

Water World

Whether your kids are relax-on-the-shore types, thrill-ride seekers, or wobbly toddlers, Water World—one of the nation’s largest water parks—will not disappoint. Entertain your little ones at Wally World, relax on the Lazy River, barrel down the Ragin’ Colorado River in a family tube, race friends on Glacier Run, or experience Colorado’s only hydromagnetic watercoaster, The Mile High Flyer. 8801 N. Pecos St., Federal Heights


Winter Resort for Families

Top Five

The Winner

YMCA of the Rockies Snow Mountain Ranch

Boasting the best Nordic ski trails in Grand County, families looking for winter fun come here for cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, or fat biking, in addition to dog sledding, ice skating, tubing, and sleigh rides. Use of all Nordic trails is included in the cost of a stay in one of the cozy lodge rooms or cabins. When it’s time to warm up, guests can swim in the indoor pool, make arts and crafts, and enjoy other indoor family activities. 1101 County Rd. 53, Granby

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