Wednesday, 28 October 2015

Denver, Colorado, is as beautiful as any place you'll visit in the United States, with plenty of things for your family to do all year-round.

Dubbed the "Mile-High City" thanks to its elevation of 5,280 feet, the metro area offers outdoor adventures, art museums, zoos, tasty restaurants, and other attractions. Here, we break down 25 things that families can do for less than $25 in Denver and the surrounding area.

1. Check out acres of beautiful plants

It can be easy to spend a whole day at the gorgeous  Denver Botanical Gardens, located just ten minutes from downtown. Their exhibits have included glass sculptures, landscape paintings, and other works by Colorado artists. Tickets are $12.50 for adults and $9 for students and children ages 3-15.

2. Get lost in a planetarium

The Denver Museum of Nature & Science is a super-cool place with a planetarium, IMAX theater, and a variety of hands-on exhibits. Tickets for the museum and planetarium are $19.95 for adults and $13.95 for kids 3-18 years old–but the IMAX is more.

3. Wave at a sea lion

The sprawling, 80-acre Denver Zoo is known all over the world as one of the best places to admire creatures of all types. Spend the day viewing lemurs, sea lions, otters, orangutans, and more. Tickets are $17 for adults and $12 for kids ages 3-11 years old.

4. Tour a baseball stadium

Coors Field

Take a guided tour of Coors Field, where the Colorado Rockies play. Call ahead to check for available times and make a reservation, since availability is based on time of year and the Rockies' playing schedule. Admission is $10 for adults and $7 for kids 12 and under.

5. Check out abstract art

The Kirkland Museum of Fine & Decorative Art features several collections of Denver artist Vance Kirkland. Visitors can check out his oil paintings, as well as sculptures and furniture pieces from other artists. Tickets are $8 per person and $6 for seniors, teachers, and students.

6. Learn about an art legend

Clyfford Still was one of the first abstract impressionist painters that emerged after the second World War and created a prolific body of work. Today, 95 percent of it sits in the Clyfford Still Museum. Tickets are $10 for adults and free for kids under 17 years old.

7. Tour the capitol

Colorado's capitol building

Colorado's capitol building is beautiful and offers tours Monday through Friday. Call ahead to make a reservation, but do so at least four weeks in advance. All tours are free to the public.

8. Expand your mind

Denver Art Museum

Head over to the Denver Art Museum and check out hundreds of works of art from visionaries around the world. Tickets are $13 for adults–but $10 if you are a Colorado resident–and free for all kids 18 and under.

9. Chow down at the Denver Union Station

Experience a 100-year-old historic landmark in the heart of downtown Denver. Whether you’re looking for high-end, fast or comfort food, Union Station’s restaurant choices will meet your needs.

10. Walk the mall

Denver's 16th Street Mall is an excellent place to spend a day outdoors, with very convenient mass transit and a variety of shops and restaurants. People watching is free.

11. Feel like a kid again

The Children's Museum of Denver offers an exciting learning environment for kids. Children under a year old can get in for free, and one-year-olds can get in for $7. Everyone else is asked to pay $9.

12. Spend the day with colorful fish

Downtown Aquarium is not just a place to see over a million gallons of underwater exhibits. There's also a full-service restaurant, a ballroom, and an interactive stingray touch tank. Tickets for adults cost $18.99, and kids ages 3 to 11 are charged $12.99.

13. Ride a train in Tiny Town

Just outside of Denver is Tiny Town, a child-friendly wonderland with a kid-sized train to ride, a playground, and picnic areas. Park admission is $5 for adults and $3 for kids 2 to 12 years old. Train rides are $2.

14. Hop in a bumper car

Check out Lakeside Amusement Park for a day on a merry-go-round, the Cyclone Coaster, and bumper cars. Parking is free and admission is $3.00. Rides are extra, but you can purchase unlimited rides Monday through Friday for $14.50.

15. Learn about a Titanic survivor

Denver resident Margaret Tobin Brown–played by Kathy Bates in the famous film about the ship–is arguably the most famous survivor of the Titanic. In 1970, the City saved her home from demolition and turned it into the Molly Brown House Museum. The 30-minute tour is recommended. Prices are $8 for adults and $5 for kids 6-12 years old.

16. Listen to hilarious comics

Comedy Works is one of the best places in Denver to see established stand-up comics perform, and watch up-and-comers hone their craft. Tickets vary depending on the show, but usually won't cost more than $23 per person.

17. Enjoy the outdoors

Denver's Civic Center Park is a perfect place to spend an afternoon outdoors. The scenery is picturesque, there are often live events, and it's surrounded by the state capitol and the Denver Art Museum. Admission is free.

18. Dig into some fried food

GB Fish & Chips has three locations in Denver and allows children to eat for free on Sundays with the purchase of an adult entrée. The servings are generous enough that you can split a full meal with a second person, and they're all under $25.

19. Learn about firefighters

Is your child interested in fighting fires someday? If so, go to the Denver Firefighters Museum and explore the site's multitude of exhibits. Admission is $6 for adults and $4 for kids 2-12 years old.

20. Admire historic aircrafts

Check out the Wings Over the Rockies Air & Space Museum for exhibits that feature historic military planes that broke speed records, as well as space and missile technology. Tickets are $11 for adults and $6 for kids 4 to 12 years old.

21. Play catch near a lake

Washington Park

Washington Park is Denver's largest park and a great place to play catch with your family. There's a running trail, lakes, soccer fields, playgrounds, tennis courts, and plenty more places for outdoor activities. Admission is free.

22. Bite into a hamburger

Head over to Tap & Burger for their signature burgers, wings, and their signature tap mac and cheese. Comfortable, inviting atmosphere to share with friends and family.

23. Absorb local history

There's a lot of rich local history to explore at the History Colorado Center. Learn about the Rocky Mountains, Coloradan travelers and settlers, and how borders were drawn and redrawn before Colorado was granted statehood in 1876. Admission is $12 for adults, $10 for students 13-22 with ID, and $8 for kids 6-12.

24. Become a transportation expert

The Forney Museum of Transportation is a fun place to educate yourself about the history of transportation–from bikes to trains to classic cars and more. Admission is $9.75 for adults and $5 for kids 3-12.

25. Tour a candy factory

Want your kids to feel like a kid in a candy store? Do them one better and tour a whole candy factory. Founded in 1920, Hammond's Candies is known for their hand-crafted candy canes and other confectionaries. Admission is free.

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