20 Things to do in Denver Colorado

Colorado, in my humble opinion, is one of the most beautiful states in the country. Sometimes when we visit I wonder why we ever moved away from here.

Then I remember it snows a lot and it is cold too many months for my liking and so now Colorado is one of our favorite places to visit especially in the summer.

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy.

Things to Do Around Denver Colorado

  1. Tour the Unsinkable Molly Brown Museum
  2. Have a picnic at Denver City Park
  3. See the animals at the Denver Zoo
  4. Stop and smell the flowers at the Denver Botanic Garden
  5. Drive the Lariat Loop
  6. Hike in the Rocky Mountain National Park
  7. Visit a brewery
  8. Visit the 16th Street Mall
  9. Check out one of the many festivals on Larimer square
  10. Take a ride at the Lakeside Amusement Park
  11. Explore the miniature houses at Tiny Town Railroad
  12. Cool off at a Denver waterpark
  13. Explore Boulder
  14. Take a road trip on the Peak to Peak Highway
  15. Visit the Butterfly Pavilion
  16. See Elk in Estes Park
  17. Ski, snowboard, sled and ice skate
  18. Eat the Best Ribs in Colorado
  19. Hike Castle Rock Trail
  20. Take in the Views from Daniels Park

Unsinkable Molly Brown Museum

If you have ever read about the Titanic or watched the movie, you have probably heard of the unsinkable Molly Brown. Visit this historical house on your visit to Denver to learn all about this famous lady.

I have always been fascinated by the sinking of the Titanic in 1912. When I found out there was a Molly Brown Museum, I had to visit.

She was of course dubbed “the Unsinkable Molly Brown” after she survived the Titanic. Most interesting,to me, is that her name was not Molly, never was Molly. This was Hollywood. Her name was Margaret Brown, or “Maggie.” If you’ve seen the movie “the Unsinkable Molly Brown” or “Titanic” you will find Hollywood was not exactly accurate in their portrayal of Maggie.

Another great exhibit to learn about the Titanic is the traveling exhibit brought to major cities and museums. We saw this at the Arizona Science Center and it was really interesting. It is now a permanent exhibit in Las Vegas at the Luxor hotel.

There is no parking lot for this museum, you have to find a spot on the street. Also no photos allowed inside. It is pretty dark inside, so I would suggest purchasing postcards from the gift shop for interior photo shots.

Denver City Park

A large grassy park anchored by two lakes. The Denver City Park is a great place to ride a bike, go for a run, have a picnic, or visit with the geese.

Denver City Zoo

Our kids loved the Denver City Zoo’s interactive wildlife show. They learned about cats and exotic birds. One of their favorite exhibits.

Museum of Science

Dinosaurs, mummies and more can be seen at the Museum of Science in the Denver City Park. The Museum of Science is a fun interactive museum for kids and the grounds are beautiful as well.

Stop to Smell the Flowers at the Denver Colorado Botanic Garden

A little piece of heaven in the city. If you love flowers, and find peace in walking surrounded by them, then you should visit Denver’s botanical garden.

This garden has 23 acres of foliage. The gardens are broken up into 30+ different defined spaces.  Beautiful sculptures and water features can be seen throughout the gardens.

The Botanic Garden is one of the top ten gardens in the West. The garden has several areas dedicated to regional gardening; including the Plains Garden, Ornamental grasses, dry land mesa, water-smart garden area.

My favorites, however, are the lilacs, roses, Japanese gardens and the spaces that are tucked away within the gardens.

We visited the gardens again in the spring-with the lilacs in full bloom-what a heavenly scent! The state flower is the Rocky Mountain Columbine. A very pretty fragile looking flower that is white and lavender or blue (depends on who you ask). Columbines can be found here in other colors as well, but personally I think this color combo is the prettiest.

Drive the Lariat Loop & Historic Byway

The Lariat Loop is a 40-mile loop between Golden, Morrison, and Evergreen, Colorado. Some of the sights along the way include:

  • Lookout Mountain
  • Buffalo Bill Museum & Grave Site
  • Dinosaur Ridge
  • Red Rocks State Park
  • Buffalo Overlook

Peak to Peak Highway

A scenic drive from Denver to Estes Park.

Tour a Brewery

Coors brewery is the most well-known brewery in Golden, Colorado. Blue Moon, also owned by Coors, has a cool bar/brewery in Denver.

denver colorado things to do

Larimer Square

Shop, eat or stroll down Denver’s historical Larimer Square. Larimer Square is where many festivals are held throughout the year.

larimer square denver colorado things to do

16th Street Mall

A mile-long mall in the mile-high city. Free shuttles will take you to every corner.

denver colorado things to do

Denver Water Park

Cool off in one of Denver’s water parks.

Spend Time in Boulder

Thirty miles northwest of downtown Denver is Boulder, a cool college town with nature at its doorstep.

Lakeside Amusement Park

Lakeside Amusement Park is lots of fun for little kids. This amusement park reminds me of a state fair that is open all summer.

Butterfly Pavilion

See over a thousand butterflies at the Butterfly Pavilion in Westminster.

Tiny Town Railroad

A unique attraction in Colorado. A one-sixth-sized town with over 100 colorful buildings. Tiny Town Railroad is a great spot to take the little ones when visiting the Denver, Colorado area. A short train ride will give visitors a tour around the town. My daughter loved looking at all the little house throughout the town.

Some houses are furnished with great detail. Others have openings so kids can go inside of them. If you enjoy miniatures or doll houses, you would find this park interesting.

This is a one-sixth-sized town with over 100 colorful buildings. A father constructed this town to amuse his daughter. It was opened up to the public in the early 1900’s.

Ski, Snowboard, and Ice Skating in Colorado

If you love winter sports, you’re in luck! Colorado has some of the best ski resorts most within a few hours of Denver.

  • Winter Park
  • Vail
  • Breckenridge
  • Keystone
  • Arapahoe Basin
  • Loveland

Glenwood Springs is a pretty little city to visit if you are out towards Vail. Vail, in our opinion, was the best for skiing. Something for everyone here. Breckenridge has long winding slopes and is great if you don’t like the black diamond slopes. Keystone has steep slopes, not as good for beginners. Nice town with shops. Fairly close to Denver and had the most affordable food.

Arapahoe Basin is nothing fancy. They have some really steep slopes “double black diamond” and they have long winding slopes as well. It wasn’t as crowded as some others.

Ice Skating at the Promenade

The first time we visited Denver was in January and were excited to have our kids experience a “winter activity,” ice skating! This facility is fantastic. I learned how to ice skate on a lake, but other than the lack of natural scenery this is a great place to go ice skating.

Best Ribs in the Denver Area

If you love ribs, the Hickory House in Parker have the best ribs in the Denver area.

Hike Castle Rock Trail

A 1.5 mile climb to the base of the Castle Rock gives hikers a breath taking view.

Visit Daniels Park Near Castle Rock

Daniels Park has a gorgeous views. Grab some food and head out to Daniels Park for a picnic.

If you’re visiting Denver and if at all possible, spend some time in  Colorado Springs or “the Springs” as the locals call it.

denver colorado things to do