By Bryan Goodland
Summer is in full swing, and finding things to do, especially with grandchildren, can be a challenge. Luckily, Colorado offers a wide variety of activities sure to bridge the generation gap and make it a summer to remember.
To make things even easier, we’ve come up with a week’s worth of events to create some lasting summer memories.
Monday – Your first stop is the Denver Zoo on 2300 Steele St. Yes, it can be a bit of a drive from the suburbs, but this one is well worth it. The zoo first opened in 1896 and sprawls out over 80 acres. Start at Predator Ridge to check out the lions, and then work your way over to Tropical Discovery to see the rainforest and some of the new sloths that have been born. And don’t forget to visit Harmony Hill, the new bear exhibit. This replaces the bear mountain exhibit, which first opened in 1918, and offers a more modern animal enclosure.
Admission: Adults $20 and children $14 (age 3 to 11.) Visit www.denverzoo.org for more information.
Tuesday – Ok, so you’ve checked off the Denver Zoo, the most popular paid attraction in the city, but today you switch gears to man-made marvels. Head over to the Wings Over the Rockies museum at 7711 East Academy Blvd. in Denver. Look at their collection of more than 50 aircraft, with everything from a B-52 to an X-Wing Starfighter, just like in the movies.
Admission: Adults $16.95 and children $9.95. They offer discounts for young children, seniors, military and first responders. Visit www.wingsmuseum.org for more information.
Wednesday – Your next stop will immerse you in the wonders of history and science at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science. With rotating exhibits and floors of permanent displays, you can easily lose yourself in all this place has to offer. They also have a planetarium and IMAX theatre, along with the T-Rex Cafe so you can even stop for lunch. Also be sure to ask about the dinosaur bones that were just unearthed in Highlands Ranch and are being studied at the museum. The museum is located right next door to the Denver Zoo at 2001 Colorado Blvd.
Admission: Adults $19.95 and children $14.95. The IMAX and planetarium have separate charges. Visit www.dmns.org for discounts and purchasing tickets online.
Thursday – Now it is on to a cultural icon in Denver that has been operating here for close to 100 years. Hammond’s Candy Factory is famous for its handmade candies and you can see the process for yourself. Tours take place every 30 minutes Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and then on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. They are closed on Sundays and the tours are free, but you need to register beforehand. Hammond’s Candy Factory is located at 5735 Washington St. in Denver. For more information visit www.hammondscandies.com.
Friday – Kids love to touch and explore their world, and one place that actually welcomes that behavior (in certain areas) is the Littleton Museum. The museum consists of three unique areas; a children’s interactive gallery, an area dedicated to research, and the 19th century living farms section. The living farms section allows visitors to look at what life would have been like back in the 19th century. There are animals, a schoolhouse and homes from the era. Depending on when you go, you might see anything from how to make butter, to sheep shearing and even a real-life blacksmith working in his shop.
The museum is located at 6028 South Gallup St. in Littleton. Admission is free and the museum is open Tuesday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday from10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. They are closed on Mondays and holidays. For more information, visit www.littletongov.org/city-services/city-departments/museum.
Other top spots to try include: the Denver Aquarium, Children’s Museum of Denver, Denver Art Museum, Dinosaur Ridge and Four Mile Historic Park.