Start the day…
When to arrive
The museum is popular, so the earlier you get there, the better. The museum opens at 9 a.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. Saturday and Sunday. (Tip: Check out this option on the museum’s website to avoid days packed with field trip groups.)
Where to park
There is free parking right next to the museum on non-event days; the parking lot is pretty big, but does fill up throughout the day.
Where to eat
The museum has an in-house café on the first floor by the front entrance and gift shop. Or pack a lunch and eat outside.
What to see
Among the most popular exhibits are the Adventure Forest, which opened June 3, 2019, and the Teaching Kitchen, where a staff chef teaches kids how to make dishes and follow recipes. Space is limited and seats fill up fast; at the Adventure Forest, you give your name and phone number, and will be texted when a space is available. The Teaching Kitchen has five sessions a day; sign up on the wall outside the kitchen on the second floor.
There are more than 15 other exhibits in four categories: explore, imagine, investigate, and create. At “My Market,” children can pick out fruit and veggies, weigh the food, and prepare meals. The “Assemble Plant” lets kids design new objects, built with recycled materials. Adventure-themed exhibits like “Box Canyon,” “Big Backyard,” and “Altitude” focus on Colorado-themed outdoor activities like camping, rock climbing. and dressing up as animals in their natural habitats.
And for the littlest ones. Kids under age three enjoy the Center for the Young Child, a soft and safe area where babies and toddlers can play and escape the noise of the rest of the museum. A separate room called “The Nest” has dim lighting, rocking chairs and a soothing atmosphere.
In the neighborhood…
Before and after the museum, visit the underwater creatures at the Downtown Aquarium (aquariumrestaurants.com), right next door; slip, slide, and ride the rides at Elitch Gardens (elitchgardens.com), 2000 Elitch Circle, right across the South Platte River; and grab a Starbucks coffee, soak your feet, or sun yourself at Commons Park, across the pedestrian-friendly Highland Bridge.
The Children’s Museum of Denver
2121 Children’s Museum Drive