I grew up in the colorful Colorado mountains. Denver Colorado is full of history, with wild west adventures, gold rush, geology/mining, and dinosaur findings. As a Colorado Native it’s my pleasure to share with you some of the best free or cheap kids activities in Denver.
My Grandparents came from Germany to visit often. We would take them to places like Buffalo Bills Grave, Lookout Mountain Nature Center, Downtown Golden, Buffalo overlook, Red Rocks outdoor theater and Rocky Mountain National Park.
Colorado is known for the beautiful Rocky Mountains and wonderful skiing. When people visit Denver, they typically go to the Denver Zoo, Denver Downtown Aquarium, Children’s Museum, Denver Art Museum, Denver Nature and Science Museum, and Botanic Gardens. These are excellent places to go but expensive on regular days.
The best time to go is on free days. We also have 15 free or cheap kids activities in Denver for you to try too!
Free or Cheap Kids Activities in Denver
Buffalo Bill Museum
We took my son to this museum when he was seven years old and he had a blast! Pictures of cowboys, horses, wagons, guns, and everything from the wild west that you can imagine. There are fur skins to touch, and awesome cowboy hats to wear.
I remember when I was little, my Grandpa from Germany bought me a leather belt with beads on it and a silver toy gun. With my stick horse I played for hours in my backyard woods.
This Museum is located in the woods up on Lookout Mountain. The overlook from this mountain overlooks the front range and Downtown Denver.
Right next door to the Museum is the Lookout Mountain Nature Center. You will not want to miss this location on your visit.
Lookout Mountain Nature Center
I have several fond memories of this place. It’s surrounded by wildlife with walking trails and pine trees. A great place to have a picnic and breathe in the fresh Colorado mountain air.
My kids love the interactive exhibits inside the Nature Center! Very educational and fun all at the same time! Not far from the Nature Center is Gennesee Mountain Park and Buffalo Overlook.
Genessee Mountain Park
Genesee Park is 20 miles west of Denver on I-70, off
Exit 254 (Genesee Park Exit) or Exit 253 (Chief Hosa).
Facilities in the park include:
- Camping at Chief Hosa (fee charged)
- Picnic areas with charcoal grills
- Softball field, volleyball pit, horseshoes
- Genesee Experiential Center
- Beaver Brook trailhead
- Braille Trail: designed for blind hikers with braille interpretive signage and waist-high guide
People from all over the world come to see the Buffalo Overlook. It’s a spectacular sight with a view of the Rocky Mountains on one side of the highway bridge and an overlook of Denver on the other side.
It’s in the same area as Buffalo Bills Greave and the Lookout Nature Center.
Buffalo Overlook views a large bison herd owned by the City of Denver at Genesee Park off of Interstate 70 west of Denver. The 30 or so bison, descendants of the last wild bison herd in the United States, come from a group of seven bison brought here from Yellowstone Park in 1914.
The bison live on 743 acres divided into pastures on both the north and south sides of Interstate 70. A tunnel lets them pass between pastures.
Colorado Railroad Museum
Colorado Railroad Museum is a fun place for everyone. Great family outing. Most of the trains are outside and the kids love climbing in and out of them.
This place is filled with history and grand stories. You will want to stay there a couple of hours and explore.
Golden History Museum
Neat walk and it feels like a different world and time. It’s a peaceful place and a wonderful way to connect with the past.
Take time after you tour to spend time in Golden. Visitors from out of town will feel like they truly are in the Old West.
Golden Geology Museum
This Museum is too cool to miss. You will love it if you are into rocks and you will start to love rocks after you get done visiting this place.
It’s a must see. My son digs this place.
Red Rocks Amphitheater
This is a fun place to hike around. You can visit the amphitheater when there is no concert. It’s a pretty special place.
There are stairs to run up and down, cool places to take photos, and great views of the metro area. You don’t have to take the tour and it’s free to just drive through the park and walk around.
Golden Gate Canyon Park
Golden Gate Canyon is the place to come to take a quick break from the city. It’s not that far from Denver and it is right in the foothills. Great place to cool off and look for wildlife.
Another great place for the whole family to explore and learn together.
Rocky Mountain National Park
This place is the reason to come to Colorado! If you come in the Fall, you will want to check out the Elk Mating Season called Elk-Bugling.
Our family goes just about every Fall to watch this and it’s quit the sight to see.
City Park Jazz
Colorado is a great place to visit and having four seasons with bright blue skies makes it a one of a kind vacation.
Come with binoculars, a great camera, and dress in layers. Plan on staying awhile because once you get here, you will not want to leave.
Other Free or Cheap Kids Activities in Denver
Lisa Brown is an aspiring writer and owner of The Family Roadmap Blog and a Parent Coach at the National Center Of Biblical Parenting. She has a 10-yr. old son, a 7-yr. old daughter, and has been married to her husband for 12 yrs. Prior to marriage, she worked over 20 yrs. enriching the lives of hundreds of children and families. Lisa has a Bachelors in Social Work and Early Childhood Education. To meet with Lisa about a parent concern or if you would like for Lisa to write an article or blog post, you can contact Lisa here.
Enjoy your time at home!