Whether you’re looking for fun outdoor adventures or creative indoor exploration, we’ve got you covered. Get ready to discover a range of exciting options that will keep your little ones happily occupied throughout the summer while keeping your wallet happy too. Let’s dive in and explore these fantastic summer activities that will make this season a memorable one for the whole family!

Bee Family Centennial Farm. The museum offers a one-of-a-kind learning experience as you journey through time with the Bee family’s efforts to cultivate the arid prairie of Northern Colorado. Learn about irrigation, the sugar beet industry, and lamb feeding. Enjoy the children’s activities and animals. 

Dinosaur Ridge. Take a trip into the prehistoric era with a mile and a half of beautiful exposed rock filled with dinosaur fossils. Explore the area independently or on a guided tour and marvel at the well-preserved footprints and bones embedded in the rocks. The informative visitor centers, interactive exhibits and breathtaking views make Dinosaur Ridge a captivating and educational experience for all ages. 

Dinosaur ridge
Photo courtesy of Crystal and ExplorationAmerica.com

The Wild Animal Sanctuary. With over 9,000 acres of sanctuary lands an hour outside of Denver, The Wild Animal Sanctuary in Keenesburg is an amazing attraction. It’s not only a place to spot big cats but also helps animals around the world, operating with a mission of saving animals from less-than-ideal situations and rehabilitating them. A typical visit might last 4 to 6 hours, spent walking the 1.5-mile walkway, stopping for lunch at the visitor’s center and learning about the wonderful creatures that call the sanctuary home. 

Wings over the Rockies. Wings Over the Rockies Air & Space Museum (Wings) is located on the former grounds of Lowry Air Force Base in Denver, Colorado. The museum is housed in the historic Hangar No. 1, built in 1939. The museum preserves the history of Lowry Air Force Base’s operations from 1938 to 1994 in its collections, archives and research library while educating and inspiring visitors about aviation and space endeavors of the past, present and future. 

Butterfly Pavilion. Butterfly Pavilion is an amazing invertebrate zoo. Each exhibit features a unique touch experience, live animals, interpretation by talented exhibit staff and interactive technology that explores science and conservation topics. 

Child exploring nature

Children’s Museum. A whimsical, imagination-stimulating adventure for kids. The museum features more than a dozen “playscapes,” including a hands-on fire department, an assembly plant for interactive building activities and a tot-sized veterinary clinic.

Hammond’s Candy Factory. It’s quite the production to watch 150 busy candy makers handcrafting 5,000 pounds of candy a day. The tour begins with a short video about the factory’s history, how particular candies were invented and the family who built the iconic Denver business. Then you get to watch the candy makers. Kids will see people bustling around in red aprons, stirring confections, slicing and twisting Hammond’s iconic candy canes. Your kids will walk away with an entirely new appreciation for the art of candy making.

Candy factory tour
Photo courtesy of Hammond Candies.

Colorado Railroad Museum. Bringing Colorado railroad history to life year-round. Stroll the Museum’s 15-acre railyard featuring more than 100 historic railcars. Tour exhibit galleries, a renowned library, roundhouse restoration facility and working turntable. Train rides are available every Saturday and daily throughout the summer. Head to their website to find more information about events taking place throughout the year. 

Hidee Gold Mine. Step back in time and experience the thrill of gold mining. This historic mine offers guided tours where you can learn about the rich mining history of the area and the techniques used to extract gold. You’ll have the opportunity to explore the underground tunnels, see original mining equipment, and even try your hand at panning for gold. With knowledgeable guides and a scenic setting, the Hidee Gold Mine provides a unique and educational experience for visitors of all ages, immersing them in the fascinating world of Colorado’s gold rush era.

Trout Haven Resort. Your family fishing vacation headquarters! The whole family can enjoy fun-filled fishing at the resort and if you want to stick around in Estes for a couple days you can also stay on site.

Kids fishing
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