Ultimate Guide to Adventurous Kid Activities in Denver

Do you have a fearless kid who can’t seem to get enough of adventure? This guide was made with your little thrill-seeker in mind. Take a look at our ultimate guide to adventurous kid activities in Denver.

Skiing & Snowboarding

What kind of list would this be if we didn’t include skiing and boarding? We live in a state that is home to some of the finest skiing anywhere in the world, including lots of options within an easy drive from Denver (weather permitting!). Check out some of the closest options below if you’re looking to teach your kid how to ski or ride. It’s best to get them started early, you’d be shocked at how quickly kids go from complete beginners to total shredders! Keep in mind, the minimum age for lessons is usually 3-4 years old, and potty training is always required. Full-day lessons also include lunch!


Distance from Denver: 1.5 hours

Arapahoe Basin

Arapahoe Basin is a Colorado favorite and is home to the longest ski-season in Colorado! Usually opening in November, A-Basin can stay open as late as July. If you’re looking to get away from the resort-style crowds of many of the big Colorado ski areas, A-Basin is a great mountain to hit. They offer a variety of ski lessons for people of all ages, including their Flex 4 Discount Pack that can be used by 4 different people of any age and include lift passes.


Distance from Denver: 1 hour


Loveland is the closest ski area to Denver and hosts 1,800 acres of terrain and plenty of snowfall every year. The Loveland Valley is a separate base area that is great for beginners, hosting wide open & easy terrain and ski school lessons. They offer both private and group lessons for kids and adults of all ages!


Distance from Denver: 1.5 hours


One of the most popular resorts in Colorado, Keystone offers world-class skiing as well as a beautiful resort and base area that make it a very popular option for tourists coming from out of state. That being said, the massive size of this mountain assures that there is always plenty of room on the slopes. Their “little rippers” ski and ride lessons are top-notch and assure a fun & educational day for kids. Classes are separated into different age groups (3-4, 4-6, 7-14) to assure the best experience.


Distance from Denver: 1.5 hours

Winter Park

Voted the #1 ski resort in North America by USA Today, Winter Park is another highly-popular destination resort within close proximity to Denver. They host over 3,000 acres of amazing terrain, as well as a fantastic resort area that offers world-class dining and shopping as well as a multitude of fun events for the whole family. Winter Park offers private and group kids lessons, as well as a 4-week program where your kid can build friendships and really sharpen their ski or ride skills!


Distance from Denver: 1.5 hours


Eldora is a great choice for family skiing near Denver, and you get to avoid the infamous 1-70 skier traffic! Eldora is about an hour and a half from Denver, but only 25 minutes and roughly 20 miles from Boulder. Nearest lodging is located in Nederland a few miles away, making this mountain primarily a day-trip area. Kids can enjoy all day lessons here while parents can enjoy hitting the slopes.


Distance from Denver: 1 hour

Echo Mountain

This small but mighty mountain is the closest ski area to Denver, and by far the cheapest you’ll find in all of Colorado. The terrain is not as intense as what you’ll find deeper in the mountains, making this a great resort to learn. Echo Mountain does not offer private or group lessons, but if you’re already an experienced skier or rider, this is the best and cheapest option to teach your kids yourself.

Indoor Lessons in Denver

Looking for a cheaper and easier option to learn how to ski or ride? Denver is home to two state-of-the-art facilities that can teach kids and adults alike how to ski and ride before they ever touch the slopes. Ski lessons can be expensive when hitting the resorts. We love these methods of learning so your kids can waste no time having fun on the mountains this winter.

Rock Climbing

Since the inception of the sport, Colorado has always been on the forefront of rock climbing innovation. Some of the best-quality routes anywhere in the country are found in our state, and many professional climbers live right here in Denver and surrounding cities. The Denver area hosts many indoor climbing gyms (including the largest one in the entire country) that host a variety of lessons and kid-friendly options. If you have a little monkey who climbs on everything they see, a trip to the rock climbing gym might just instill a life-long passion for climbing in them. Rock gyms are also great for birthday parties!


698 W 84th Ave, Thornton, CO 80260, USA

Denver Bouldering Club

Denver Bouldering Club features over 7,000 Square Feet of Climbing Space! Families can enjoy awesome features to practice bouldering and climbing, including a 15’ Tall Bouldering, exciting Route Setting – 200+ Problems, systems Wall and Campus Board, 24/7 Access for Members, Shower Facilities On Site, Free Wi-Fi and Workstation, Climbing Instruction, and more!

Water & Adventure Parks

A day at the theme park is great for the whole family, as there is truly something for everyone to enjoy. Adventurous kids can truly put their fearlessness to the test on a high-speed roller coaster or water ride, while more mellow ones can have fun on less speedy attractions. Denver is home to some fantastic parks that young thrill seekers will love!


Most all adventurous spirits have their roots set in nature and exploration, and we are very lucky to be living in quite possibly the best state in the country for hiking, camping, and everything outdoors. A guide featuring all of the great hiking spots that are close to Denver would be big enough to fill an entire book (in fact, there are many books on this subject exactly). We tried to narrow it down to a few of our favorite hikes that are sure to excite and challenge kids and adults of all ages. Special shoutout to hikingproject.com where we pulled much of this info from, a great resource for finding awesome hikes!


Red Rocks Trading Post Loop

The Trading Post Trail at Red Rocks Park in Morrison is a very popular loop trail that is rated as Easy and perfect for young kids and families alike. This is a great trail to get beautiful views of the mountains and the whole city of Denver as well. Exploring the beautiful and unique red rock formations will be sure to inspire all who visit. Make sure to visit the Red Rocks Amphitheater after your hike, you can even climb the notoriously steep seats for an extra workout!


Mount Galbraith Loop via Cedar Gulch Trail

If you’re looking for a bit more of a challenge, one of our favorite moderate hikes near Denver is located in neighboring Golden and is perfect for kids who get bored on easy trails. With an elevation gain of over 900 feet you will surely get a workout in, but at only 4 miles as a loop trail this is a relatively short moderate hike..


Mount Bierstadt Summit Trail (14er!)

For the ultimate adventure, bag one of Colorado’s most popular 14ers that is also one of the closest to Denver! A 14er is a mountain that is over 14,000 feet in elevation, and Bierstadt makes the cut standing at 14,065 feet above sea level. Don’t let the height scare you too much. Although this is rated as hard, it is one of the easiest 14ers to climb, offering very well-kept trails and relatively easy elevation gain. Beginner hikers and kids alike can summit this mountain with some effort. Make sure you bring plenty of water (2+ liters per person) along with rain gear and sunscreen. The views from the summit of this mountain are as breathtaking as they are rewarding!

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