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Staycation Idea: Explore Denver Metro Area

May 29, 2014
By: Kyrie Collins, Highlands Ranch-Parker-Castle Rock Publisher
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Several years ago, my husband and I decided we would take our out-of-state vacations during Spring Break or Fall Break and stay home during the summer. Why pay high travel rates to go somewhere with 94% humidity when summer in Colorado is gorgeous and there is plenty to do right here in our home state?

Let Macaroni Kid be your guide to a fun-filled summer and get the insider's scoop to what's going on in various areas throughout Colorado! Below are links to the Denver Metro Macaroni Kid sites and some of the best places to go, recommended by the publisher of each site. Each website is just like this one, providing a complete list of local events and activities for kids and families to enjoy, plus information about some of the family-friendly businesses in the area.

Don't forget, Macaroni Kid is national. If you are taking a vacation outside Colorado, visit national.macaronikid.com and use the drop-down menu on the right side of the page to see if there is one for your destination. It's a great way to plan your vacation and save money too, since the majority of events listed by Macaroni Kid sites are free or low cost!


  • Bay Aquatic Park in Broomfield has a toddler section, a big interactive play structure, and water slides. Bring the entire family for just $10 on Fridays from 4:00 - 8:00 PM.
  • WOW! World of Wonder Children's Museum in Lafayette has a pirate ship, a science lab, an art studio, and much more to explore! Parents are free if accompanied by a child under 12.
  • The Bob L. Burger Recreation Center in Lafayette has a climbing wall IN their swimming pool, and the rec center is also the start of a two-mile, stroller-friendly walking path.
  • The recently-remodeled Broomfield Skate Park is fun for participants AND spectators. Please remember to wear a helmet if you're on wheels!
  • If you're awestruck by airplanes, the Spirit of Flight aviation museum in Erie shouldn't be missed.


  • Red Rocks Park and Amphitheatre has incredible concerts, classic films (most suitable for adults and teens), kid-friendly hiking trails, and breathtaking views.
  • Tiny Town has a miniature town, a train you can ride, and a fabulous playground, all surrounded by our lovely foothills.
  • Morrison Natural History Museum is small but packed with a wide variety of fossils, including mammoth tusks and baby dino footprints. Kids might even get the opportunity to use real paleontology tools to work on real fossils.

  • Fun City in Littleton has bowling, inflatables, an arcade, a raceway, miniature golf, and everything else that makes an indoor entertainment center FUN!
  • Casa Bonita in Lakewood is a local legend! Just remember, you're going for the ENTERTAINMENT not the FOOD!
  • Skate City Littleton is a great respite from the heat or summer showers where your kids can still be active. Skating is so much fun ... might as well join 'em!
  • Hudson Gardens has educational, cultural, and artistic events and activities for all ages, from tots to seniors, in a gorgeous setting, complete with a Plant Zoo, Water Garden with frogs, Chocolate Garden, and more.
  • Bear Creek Lake Park has a swim beach, motorized and non-motorized watercraft for rent, yurts for overnight camping, and fabulous naturalist programs for kids.

  • Visit St. Vrain State Park to see egrets, pelicans, and cormorants, and spend a peaceful day in the outdoors. The Blue Heron Reservoir will open in the not-too-distant future.
  • Celestial Seasonings in Boulder offers free tours (children must be 5 or older) and free samplings of any or all of their teas in the Tasting Room.
  • Gateway Fun Park in Boulder is an indoor/outdoor family fun center that even has a story time on Tuesdays!
  • The Longmont Museum & Cultural Center has Discovery Days for preschoolers, Discovery Kits for school-age children, and a variety of events for visitors of all ages.
  • Enjoy a variety of water activities, including swimming, fishing, and boating, at Union Reservoir in Longmont.

  • Boondocks Fun Center has bumper boats, a bowling alley, two miniature golf courses, laser tag, video games, a bowling alley, and more.
  • E. B. Rains Jr. Memorial Park has a Sensory Playground and is home to Webster Lake where you can fish or take a ride on a pedal boat.
  • Mid-Air Adventures is a favorite indoor playground of ours, with jungle swings, zip lines, rope bridges, and a 20-foot climbing wall.
  • Barr Lake State Park is home to more than 350 species of birds, including numerous bald eagles.
  • Brighton Oasis Family Aquatic Park has slides, a lazy river, wave generator, diving board area, and a tot pool with interactive play features.