The Perfect Long Weekend In Denver

September 14, 2013 6:00 AM

Elitch Gardens (credit: CBS)

Elitch Gardens (credit: CBS)Elitch Gardens (credit: CBS)

Warm days and crisp nights make fall the perfect time to explore the heart of Colorado – Denver. Visitors to the downtown Denver area will experience science and butterflies mixed with microbrews and roller coasters, and bring home memories of the amazing Mile High City.

Wynkoop Brewing Company
1634 18th St.
Denver, CO 80202
(303) 297-2700

Just as California’s Napa Valley is famous for its wineries, Denver has become well known for its microbreweries. One of the best places to tempt the taste buds of the beer connoisseur is the Wynkoop Brewing Company. Founded by Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper and a creative group of business adventurers, this brewery is Colorado’s first brewpub. Not only does it offer a myriad of beers and amazing food, but it also has pool tables, dart boards and shuffleboard to make lunch or dinner memorable. Be sure to see the passion that goes into the making of its famous brews by taking the tour. Walk off the deliciousness by taking a stroll down the 16th Street Mall where visitors can people watch and shop down Denver’s outdoor mall.

Denver Museum of Nature and Science
2001 Colorado Blvd.
Denver, CO 80205
(303) 370-6000

The Museum of Nature and Science in Denver not only shows off the most incredible dinosaur collection and eye-popping IMAX Theater and planetarium, it also has hands-on experiences for both young and old. Every third Thursday, the museum hosts the Science Lounge which brings together the perfect mixture of learning and socializing. Imagine sharing cocktails and conversation with guest speakers who will entertain and expand the mind. A special treat to look forward to is the “MythBusters: The Explosive Exhibition.” Starting October 11, visitors will become myth-busters and have the chance to test theories and play with hands-on experiments and see live myth-busting demonstrations.

Related: Top Summer Vacation Activities In Denver

Elitch Gardens Theme Park
2000 Elitch Circle
Denver, CO 80204
(303) 595-4386

With Halloween around the corner, fall is the time of year to seek out the things that scare in the night. Summer may be over but the weekends still belong to Fright Fest at Elitch Gardens. Denver’s famous amusement park transforms from the kid-friendly fun by day to the thrills and chills of haunted houses and scary rides by night. Its motto says it all with “Family by day. Fright by night.” During the day, the kids come in costume and enjoy the Trick-or-Treat Trail. At night, the older crowd gets to explore a haunted house filled with zombies.

Butterfly Pavilion
6252 W. 104th Ave.
Westminster, CO 80020
(303) 469-5441

Along Highway 36 in Westminster is the magical Butterfly Pavilion. Have the camera fully charged for the most amazing photo ops as beautiful butterflies float around the visitors often landing on nearby plants and possibly even a head or shirt. Not only is there fascination in the beautiful creatures, there’s a creepier fixture to the museum called Rosie. According to the Denver Post, Rosie the tarantula steals the show. More than 300,000 schoolchildren and countless adults have held the famous Chilean rose-hair over the years. Scores of children own “I Held Rosie” stickers. This affordable adventure will help the visitor escape the dry Colorado air to feel part of a rainforest.

Related: Top Trails To Enjoy Nature In The Denver Area

Colleen Bement is a freelance writer covering all things Denver. Her work can be found on