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6 Hours in Denver with Kids

Take the A-Line from the Denver airport to Union Station and spend a few hours downtown in this amazing city. Whether you have a long layover or just decide to fly in for the day, your trip will be worth the effort.

How We Got There

Flight into Denver Airport

RTD Rail Service to Union Station $9 day pass for adult $4.50 per school age children. If you buy a day pass be sure to stamp your ticket before boarding to start the usage time. Keep your ticket for your return. They checked ours twice while on the train to confirm it was valid.

If you buy a day pass be sure to stamp your ticket before boarding to start the usage time.

When We Went

Late March - beautiful sunny skies and mild weather

What We Did

16th Street Mall - Just out Union Station you will see the stops for the 16th Street Mall free bus. They make it so easy for us to spend our money at these stores.

The Federal Reserve - Money Museum - It's free to enter and in fact they pay you with a bag of shredded money. It doesn't take long to view the displays but it was a fun stop along the strip. If you are over 18 you will need to have a valid I.D. to enter.

If you are over 18 you will need to have a valid I.D. to enter.

The Money Museum - Denver Colorado

Larimer Square - If you enjoy boutique shopping and unique products this is the place for you. I wish we were able to see the square at night because I'm sure the lights strung about are beautiful.

One of many boutique stores and restaurants in Larimer Square - Denver, Colorado

Skyline Park - Here you will find wide open places, a clock tower of course, ping pong tables (bring your own paddles and balls) and a concrete climbing structure with a water feature in the Summer. It is also the location for many Summer events, a beer garden, and pop up putt putt so be sure to check the schedule. In winter it turns into an ice rink to make year round fun.

Skyline Park - Denver, Colorado

The Old Spaghetti Factory - you will have no trouble finding a place to eat in Denver but I have fond memories of this place from childhood and absolutely love the spaghetti with mizithra cheese and browned butter so it was a must for me.

The Old Spaghetti Factory - Denver, Colorado

Union Station - Denver - Here you will find the living room where you can just chill with a book and pastry, work, grab a drink, or play table shuffleboard (bring your own pucks). There are also some shops, restaurants, bars, ice cream parlors, and a hotel. It's a pretty cool place. We bought some pastries to enjoy and of course a coffee for me.

Union Station - Denver, Colorado

Tattered Cover Book Store - there is a small version of the store in Union Station but for the full experience you will need to walk a few blocks or hop on the free 16th Street Mall bus. The bookstore is old and quirky with plenty of character to enjoy.

There is a small version of the store in Union Station but for the true experience you will need to walk a few blocks or hop on the free 16th Street Mall bus.

Tattered Cover Bookstore - Denver, Colorado

The Capitol Building - currently tours are offered from 10am-3pm Monday-Friday

The Capitol Building - Denver, Colorado

We found this small playground next to Cherry Creek Trail just down the road from the Tattered Cover Bookstore. It was a great place for the girls to unwind before our train and plane ride home.

Playground - Denver, Colorado

What We Loved

The ease of getting downtown from the Denver Airport

Sunshine

Clock Tower Park

Shopping in Larimer Square and the 16th Street Mall

Fun in Larimer Square - Denver, Colorado

What We Disliked

The area surrounding the capitol building in Denver didn’t feel as safe.  It wasn't far from the other sites we visited in Denver but it had more panhandlers and trash.

Know Before You Go

If the doors to the train close you can push a button next to the door to open them again.  It doesn’t always mean the train is leaving.

Our train tickets were checked twice for validity throughout our journey. Keep them easily accessible.

If you want to tour The Denver Mint you need to arrive around 6 or 7 am to book your time.  They fill up quickly so we didn’t get to do this tour, but the federal reserve is free and open to all if you miss it.  The Mint cannot be reserved online or by phone at this time.

Just inside Union Station there is a desk with maps and someone to answer your questions.  Tom was super helpful and saved us a trip to the Mint (he knew tickets had already sold out for the day).  He directed us to The Federal Reserve money museum instead.  He also provided many other suggestions for our day trip in Denver. Remember Tip #5.

The 13th step of the capitol building is exactly 1 mile above sea level. Be sure to stop here for a picture.

The capitol building will give free historical tours 10am-3pm M-F.  Check the website for a schedule.  We gave ourselves the tour and happened upon a group in progress which we joined to access the lookout with great views.

If you bring ping pong paddles and a ball you can play ping pong on the tables next to the clock tower.

If you bring your own pucks you can play table shuffleboard in Union Station.  They have two tables up in The Living Room.  It would have been fun to play.

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