Sometimes is hard to just break the routine of staying warm and cozy at home, go out and explore the city during Winter. The good news is that there are wonderful activities Denver has to offer for kids and the whole family during the cold winter.

There are many benefits to spending time outside of the home with the family, is not just about blowing off steam. You can actually get inspired, learn new things, connect with your kiddos and see them enjoy new challenges. Here is a friendly list to inspire you to put on the boots, hats and coats and go out and enjoy the winter.

Get inspired at the Denver Art Museum and experience their drop in programs for kids. Storytelling, games, art activities, and more (kids 18 and under enjoy free general admission).

Explore and learn at the Denver Children’s Museum: from a bubbles lab to a forest, cooking classes at a real professional kitchen and an art studio with colors, clay and glazing. This is a hands-on museum for the kiddies and the adults. There is also a toddler room for younger kids that is great with lots of things to stimulate the little ones.This is definitely one of the best Children’s Museums in the country. You can easily spend 2-3 hours in here and not even seen it all.

They even have a real full size fire truck. How cool is that! Fun for every age. If you plan to go more than one time, they have annual memberships, that are worth considering.Does you kid love puppets? Check out Denver Puppet Theater to see an amazing marionette show, play with over one hundred puppets and even decorate your very own souvenir puppet ticket. They also have a lovely outdoor courtyard and free parking.

For art lovers in the family don’t miss The Art Garage: High-quality art classes taught by local artists. The Art Garage provides a community art education program and gathering space that gives access to the rich world of creative expression while supporting cultural, social, and educational diversity.

Check out The Wings Over the Rockies Air and Space Museum Exploration Station, to explore and learn aerodynamics principles in more than 182,000 square feet of hangar space full of iconic aircraft, space vehicles, artifacts and even experience thrilling flight simulators.

Ocean lover in your house? Stop by the Downtown Aquarium where you can feed the stingrays, enjoy a mermaid show, learn about sharks and more oceanic life with their Family Programs you can SCUBA & Snorkel, have a Shark Cage Experience, be a marine biologist or zoologist for a day and more animal encounters.

Experience wonderful music classes at Altitunes, with musical space travel themes, animals and music of the world. They have awesome music teachers inspiring kids with songs, dance and while playing live musical instruments. They provide the opportunity to learn about circle time and waiting for your turn and even clean up. Parachute travel, spaceballs, animal balls, bouncing on bulls and bubbles are some of the kids favorites.

Imagine, create and play at Lalu Art. They offer programming in creative play and self-exploration through yoga, dance, music, and creative therapy to ignite curiosity in children and adults of all ages.

For a great story time you can go to your closest Denver Public Library, Second Star to the Right, BookBar, Tattered Cover Book Store, thebookies.

If your kids are missing playing out in the sandbox Kids Dig could save the day. They will enjoy an indoor 825 sq. ft. sandbox that has over 40 tons of sand, which is themed on a quarry environment with pictures and large photo murals of earth moving equipment that gives kids a feeling of being inside their own quarry. Kids Dig also has a designated sand area (with over 5 tons of sand) for kids that are not potty-trained; and offers a Sand-Free carpeted area for infants/babies not wanting to get sandy. Adults, at no charge, may be permitted to join in their kid’s Sand Play activity, depending on the availability of space. Check out their special here.

From November 26th to February 16th, Downtown Denver’s Skyline Park turns into an ice rink. And the best part? It’s free to enter, and completely free if you bring your own skates. Otherwise it’s $7 to rent skates for kids 12 and under, and $9 for adults (13 and over). This space is fun for all ages, provides special special events throughout it’s run, and is even bookable for private events! An extra bonus, skates are free to any Colorado 4th grader all season long. This works on the honor system, no extra verification is needed, just tell the cashier that your kid is in the 4th grade.

Opening on November 14t, the 2019-2020 season will be the 15th operating season for this ice rink set in the center of the Belmar shopping district. Hours and pricing can be found on their website. There, you can also find their schedule of events. All together, this rink is sure to be a good time for families with kids of all ages.

You’ll definitely want to dress everyone warmly for this one. With locations in only six cities around the country, the ice castle in Dillon is a unique opportunity for families in Colorado. Dillon is a bit of a drive from Denver, for sure, but this beautiful castle is the perfect finale to a day trip to the mountains this winter. Make sure to stop by after the sun sets, to get the full effect of the lights embedded in the ice. It has plenty of tunnels and slides for the kids. Just make sure to wear warm socks and boots. Walking on ice will make for some cold feet if your not careful. But this magical place will be worth it, if only just for the wonder in your children’s face.

Experience the magic of The Polar Express in this immersive performance of the children’s classic tale. They are offering multiple showtimes on weekend nights in November and December. Tickets run from $60-120, and include cookies and hot chocolate at all price levels, with added bonuses at the higher levels. After the story concludes, guests get a train ride to the “North Pole” to meet Santa.

The Denver Christkindl Market is is put on by the Colorado Chapter of the German American Chamber of Commerce at Skyline park in downtown Denver. This festival is a celebration of German culture, and more specifically of German holiday traditions. With food, drink, handmade jewelry, toys, clothing, gifts, and more, this market has something for everyone. It also has live music and entertainment, and with plenty of things for the kids to do as well, this is a great place for the whole family.

Santa and his friends will be all set up at Chatfield Farms this winter. Hayrides, storytimes and sing-alongs, holiday lights, Santa’s Cinema featuring the movie Elf, reindeer meet and greets, and even a life-sized snow globe that you can actually enter make this a must see destination this winter.

Entering into its 28th year running, Denver Zoo’s Zoo lights is a long standing family tradition in Denver. With more that 2 million LEDs, this event is brighter than ever, and is maybe the best way to experience the Zoo. See the Zoo in a new light, as not only are there the lights, but you might just see the animals more active than usual around dusk.

Denver Botanical Gardens has been running this event even longer that Zoo Lights. A dazzling array of ever-changing lights transforms the already beautiful gardens into a winter wonderland, fit for the whole family. If one of your children has a holiday adjacent birthday, you can make it even more special hosting their party at the gardens during Blossoms of Light.

Parade of Lights

Since 1975, the Parade of Lights has been an important holiday tradition in Colorado. Head on down to Civic Center Park on December 6th or 7th to enjoy the 40+ unit parade set to the backdrop of the vibrantly lit Denver City and County Building. An even better part is if you can’t or don’t want to stand out in the cold, the whole thing is televised on 9News, so you can enjoy it from the comfort of your own home.

Despite its problems around 15 years ago, the Georgetown Loop Railroad is back and running well. This year they are offering two different holiday train rides. First is Santa’s North Pole Adventure. Join Santa and his helpers aboard decorated, enclosed, and heated coaches as they pass out presents, treats, and goodies to the little ones. Next is Santa’s Lighted Forest. This one is set in the evenings and offers a beautiful light show set to synchronized music as you pass through the forest above Georgetown. Santa and his helpers will be aboard as well inside the heated and enclosed coaches.

Perhaps one of the stranger of Colorado’s Christmas locations, North Pole Colorado is at the base of Pikes Peak, and is open from May to December. That’s right. You can visit the North Pole in the middle of summer. Well into its 60th year, this park is not only home to Santa’s Workshop, but is also an amusement park in its own right. With plenty of rides for kids of all ages, live shows, gift shops, and more, this is a family destination everyone should make it to at least once.