Rainy Day Destinations In Denver


Untitled design-3You know those days, when you have plans to head to the zoo and spend the day outside in the Colorado sunshine? And instead you find yourself sipping your coffee, staring out the window at the pouring down rain or the trees blowing in the howling wind, and you wonder, now what are we going to do today?

Jumping in puddles only takes so much time. You could stay home and try to attack the piles of laundry laying around your house or the stack of dirty dishes staring you down. You could. But you know that the active and restless little people clamoring for your attention are going to need to get out today.

For your sanity, you know you need to get out today. What to do, what to do? In our house, that is when the “The Rainy Day Sticks” come to the rescue. Each stick has a mom-approved activity listed on it {we use this same idea for car trips, but with different activities listed on them} and the boys take turns picking a stick from the jar and whatever it says, well, therein lies our adventure for the day. Here are our top 10 indoor activities for a rainy day:

Lookout Mountain Nature Center – Honestly, this place is fantastic rain or shine and It’s FREE. Situated at the top of Lookout Mountain, surrounded by panoramic mountain views and hiking trails, this nature center has a wonderful hands-on children’s play room and observatory. They also have a monthly Nature Nuts program for preschoolers that is also FREE, but you have to sign up fast for those as they fill up quickly.

Rainy Day Activities
Thank heaven for Rainy Day Sticks!

Recreation Center Pool or Open Gym – Most cities around the Metro area have at least one rec center that has a zero entry pool with fun water features for young kids. This is a go-to option for us on a rainy or an exceptionally hot day. And some rec centers also have an open gym time when their gymnastics area with trampolines, foam block pits, bars, and other fun tumbling activities are available for children ages 0-5. We frequent this one, as it is fairly close to our house.

REI Denver Play Area – At the Flagship store on Platte St. downtown, a nature-inspired play area awaits your kids on the third floor of the store. It’s complete with two slides, one built into a fake tree and one in the form of canoe, not to mention a pretend cave for the kids to play in. And of course, there is the Starbucks downstairs, so Mama can get her coffee too.

Museums – Denver has a plethora of wonderful museums and each of the ones listed here has at a minimum, a children’s area(s):

Wildlife/Animal Encounters – When it’s time for your kids to get their wild on {somewhere other than your house}.

Your Local Library – Aside from having an abundance of children’s books, most libraries these days also have a small play area for kids, including some building toys, puzzles, and other learning activities. To add to your adventure, check your library’s calendar for weekly story times.

Sharkey Fun Zone at the Downtown Aquarium – This is the only FREE part of the whole museum and unknown to many people. To get to it, you have to walk through the restaurant and out the back door to the building behind the restaurant {it’s legit, I promise}. Inside, you’ll find a world of giant soft-sided sea creatures beckoning your kids to climb on them and romp around.

Indoor Playgrounds and Adventure Centers – We love the APEX Rec Clubhouse Adventure Playground in Arvada because it’s FREE, but a fun time is sure to be had at these other indoor playgrounds as well, Jungle Quest, and Lollipop Park.

Trampoline Center – If you have active little ones like I do and you need them they need to burn some energy, trampoline centers are a perfect destination. Jump Street has multiple locations and their Earthquake Zone is designed especially for children under 7, with small trampolines and bouncy houses. For children 3 and under, the cost is only $4 for all day admission.

BookstoresBookBar has Happier Hour every Thursday! 1/2 off wine for mom and kids’ meals from 4-5 p.m, and story time for the little ones at 4:30. Tattered Cover locations have various weekly storytimes for children, and the last Friday of each month is “Family Friday Nights”! Take your kiddos in their comfiest pajamas so they can enjoy stories, a fun activity, and healthy snacks while mom and dad kick back and relax with a treat from the coffee shop. Barnes & Noble – Besides their expansive collection of books and toys for you to browse, most stores have a children’s play area with a train table and/or lego building table, not to mention their weekly story times and crafts. And with a Starbucks inside, it’s another win win for Mom and kid.

What are your favorite rainy day activities in Denver? We’d love to hear from you!

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Melissa is an adventurer at heart, seeking to embrace the beauty and wildness of this life with her co-adventurer and husband of 8 years, Tom. When she’s not splashing in a mud puddle with her boys, ages 4 and 5, or cleaning the remains of a diaper gone awry from the hallway walls, Melissa works part-time as a Licensed Professional Counselor, striving to empower women through her practice, Rise and Shine Counseling. Give her a mountain and some free time and she’ll find a way to play, embracing every opportunity to run the trails, ski the slopes, and bike or hike the hills. A great day for Melissa would include a pre-dawn trail run, a cup (or maybe 3) of coffee, brushed teeth, some belly laughing with her boys, a little uninterrupted (what’s that?) time to read and write, and sharing in some good conversation over a glass of bold red wine with her hubby. Her faith, her people, and her sense of humor, carry her through the peaks and valleys of this life. She attempts to chronicle the journey over at her blog, www.expectantlife.com.



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