Wondering What to Do in Denver?

Well I was too! When my husband and I decided that the kids and I should tag along to Denver on a work trip, I started researching what there is to do in the city. Since we decided to skip getting a rental car, we were somewhat limited as far as what we could feasibly manage with an umbrella stroller and public transportation.

Walking bridge to Downtown Children's Playground
Luckily, the Hyatt Regency Denver at Colorado Convention Center is just a block away from the 16th Street Mall. This is kind of an interesting area because it doesn't feel much different than a few city blocks that you might find in any other city. It has a lot of shopping and a few restaurants and a number of pianos along the road where anyone can stop and play.

The thing that makes the 16th Street Mall different is the free MallRide bus that runs from Civic Center Station to the light rail platform at Union Station. There is currently some effort to revitalize the Civic Center Station so the bus route is slightly different than normal. If you find yourself in Denver and want to make use of the MallRide bus, you can find out more information here.

The thing we ended up doing the most was riding the MallRide bus from about Welton Street down to Wynkoop Street. The bus could be easily accessed from the hotel by walking up either Welton Street or California Street since the entrance to the hotel was right between the two.

As a little related side note, there is quite an issue with panhandling and homelessness in Downtown Denver. I personally planned on always being back at the hotel much before dark as I wouldn't feel comfortable walking around alone with my kids.

The kids enjoyed simply taking the bus around but, if you get off at the Wynkoop Street stop (and you do have to be quick sometimes), and walk over Cherry Creek on the nice walking bridge, you can find the Downtown Children's Playground. We enjoyed many mornings at the playground getting plenty of energy out before nap time.

Little A having a blast at the Downtown Children's Playground
Downtown Children's Playground has a good variety of play equipment for all ages. There were smaller slides and climbing toys for Little A and Miss R and a large slide and tall climbing web that were more L's speed. There is also a fun little sand pit and in the summer months there is a hand cranked water feature that I've heard is a lot of fun.

Even Daddy had fun climbing!
We had grand plans for this trip and I had spent a few hours researching things to do alone with the kids while my husband worked. Unfortunately, we ended up having an unexpected trip to the Urgent Care that stopped our other fun plans from happening.

If you do find yourself in Downtown Denver without a car, here are the things that we had on our list of places to check out:

- Colorado State Capitol Buidling: You can find more information about signing up for a tour of the building here. They suggest making advance arrangements since demand, especially during legislative session, is high.

- Civic Center Park: This park is right by the capitol building and is supposed to be really beautiful. I've heard that there tend to be a lot of homeless people hanging out at the park so that is something to be aware of. The staff at the Regency Club suggested we avoid the area after about 5pm.

- Denver Art Museum: Also located close to the capitol building. Usually art museums aren't high on our list (especially if I will be taking the kids alone) but this museum looks like it has some really great programs set up for families and children. You can find more information here.

- Denver Central Library: Story time schedules and information about other events can be found here.

- Denver Firefighters Museum: This looked super fun and would be perfect if you have any kids who are just obsessed with firefighters. They occasionally have free entry days so check their website before going!

- Denver Mint: This was what I was the most excited about taking the kids to see. It took some time to find a reservation for a tour since they do fill up fast. If you are working on planning a trip to Denver, check for availability as soon as possible. If there aren't any tours showing up on the dates you will be there, keep checking. I saw lots of slots open up as the dates got closer. For more information about tours, check here.

If you do have a car, there are a lot of other options of great things to do with kids. Some of these include:

- Denver Zoo
- Denver Museum of Nature & Science
- Denver Botanic Gardens
- Downtown Aquarium
- Wings Over the Rockies: Air and Space Museum

I'm sure there are plenty of other things to do in Denver and maybe next time we go, we will actually be able to visit some of them!

Keep an eye on the blog for more info about our Urgent Care visit.


Hi, my name is Erica! After having three kids in three years you can usually find me in yoga pants with dark circles under my eyes and a Diet Dr. Pepper in hand. If you ever see me at the airport, I'm probably running around with a kid on my back in the Ergo while pushing another in the stroller. At times our house feels crazy and chaotic and I often struggle to keep dirty dishes out of the sink.

My friends all know that I'm the one they can turn to if they have any questions about traveling with their kids and I LOVE being that person!

There are a lot of things I want to do with my life but one of my favorite things is to help people find the courage and resources to make their travel dreams come true. I am super excited to have you along for our adventures and I hope you will come to think of me as your travel savvy friend because there is nothing I would love more!

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