(credit: Dinosaur Ridge)
Just because school is back in session, that doesn’t mean you aren’t still looking for great things to do with your kiddos over the weekend. There are a lot of fun museums, exhibits, shows and other interactive ways to spend some time together. You’ll all have a lot of fun making memories and exploring something new, plus you may even learn a little something or two. Here are five fun ways to spend some time with your children near Denver this fall. Check out one, or try all five. You’ll be glad you did.
WOW! Children’s Museum
110 N. Harrison Ave.
Lafayette, CO 80026
Price: $9 for children/$5 for adults
Head up to Lafayette for a fun day with your kiddos at the WOW! Children’s Museum. There are a lot of super fun exhibits to keep you all busy (while you secretly throw in some educational stuff too). Learn about building giant bubbles, explore the rules of physics and science or check out a live puppet show. You can even try some dance and yoga together in the Dance and Yoga Studio, or learn about light and sound with color, shadow and even music made with light beams. You’ll have just as much fun exploring the exhibits as your children, so give your party a few hours (at least) to check out everything this great museum has to offer.
Ringling Bros. And Barnum & Bailey Present: “Out of this World”
4600 Humboldt St.
Denver, CO 80216
Price: Tickets range from $15 to $65
Dates: September 30 through October 9, 2016
What could be more fun than taking your whole family for a day at the circus? And not just any circus, but the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey circus. This new show is called “Out of this World,” and it’s an interactive, action-packed, space-themed circus filled with all the bells and whistles you have come to expect from a name like Ringling Bros. There is a storyline throughout this circus as the clowns, acrobats, animals and more take to the rings to show off all their best moves. This is a totally new circus experience, and you’ll definitely want to make time to bring the whole family out for this one.
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5735 Washington St.
Denver, CO 80216
Price: Tours are free of charge
Children of all ages will flip for a chance to tour a real life candy factory. Sure, it won’t be quite as magical as Willy Wonka’s factory, but you’ll get to see how this iconic Denver institution has made ribbon candy, candy canes and lollipops since 1920. You’ll get to see how everything is handmade from beginning to end, learn some new information about nostalgic candy and even a little science. Tours are about 30 minutes long, and you don’t need a reservation for small groups. A tour of this historic candy factory is a must for any Denver resident, so if you haven’t brought the kids down yet, here’s your chance. Plus, since all tours are free, you can save a few bucks to spend in the gift shop before you head home.
16831 W. Alameda Parkway
Morrison, CO 80465
Price: Prices vary depending on activity
Did you know that there is a spot nearby where you can check out actual Stegosaurus bones, Iguanodon tracks and other fossils? You can see dinosaur bones still encased in sandstone, and your kids will love getting to actually touch and feel these fossils from the last Jurassic period. You can take a hike with the kids as you follow dinosaur tracks with more than 300 different footprints. With guided tours, shuttle buses, indoor exhibits and more, Dinosaur Ridge is a totally unique way to spend a day with your children, learning about the ancient history of the same area you call home.
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National Center for Atmospheric Research
3090 Center Green Drive
Boulder, CO 80301
Price: Admission is Free
Do your kids find weather and the climate fascinating? Do you? Then you’ll have a great time exploring the National Center for Atmospheric Research. Yes, this actual national research center is open for public tours. There are interactive exhibits, art galleries and even an outdoor weather trail to follow. From weather exhibits where you can learn about what makes thunderstorms and tornadoes to the outdoor weather trail that teaches you all about weather and climate as you take a short hike, this is a great place that kids and parents will love.
Deborah Flomberg is a theater professional, freelance writer and Denver native. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.