Lists

Cure Cabin Fever: Ten Fun Indoor Adventures for Kids in Denver

Children participated in LlevARTE Mano a Mano (Create-n-Take Hand in Hand) workshops at the Denver Art Museum.
Children participated in LlevARTE Mano a Mano (Create-n-Take Hand in Hand) workshops at the Denver Art Museum. Erin McCarley
The weather is cold and the holidays are over — and you're wondering what to do with the kids. That's where indoor wonderlands come in, and Denver and the surrounding areas have plenty of awesome adventures for the family that don't involve heavy coats and gloves or whining about frozen toes. Get out of the house and inside one of these ten establishments for fun and excitement — no matter the weather.

Alamo Drafthouse's Alamo for All
Multiple locations

Taking a little one to the movies can be hard. They're loud, antsy and might throw popcorn like wild animals. That's okay if you head to the Alamo Drafhouse's Alamo for All screenings (okay, maybe not the popcorn chucking). These early shows — before noon — are meant for families with little kids, people with sensory issues, and moms and dads who want to get out and see an adult show but can't get a babysitter. Recently we saw Frozen II, which is still playing, along with Spies in Disguise and Jumanji: The Next Level. Shows and times change each week, so check the schedule online. Most tickets at this time run $10, and kids can get a special booklet that they add stickers to on each visit, to win prizes.

Apex Center
13150 West 72nd Avenue
303-424-2739

The indoor playground in Arvada is just one of many reasons to visit the vast recreation space. This free facility has plenty of things to climb, explore, slither through and seek out, all with a camping and nature theme. For an $8 day fee, you and the family can enjoy the 23,000-square-foot pool and water area, natural rock climbing wall, ice rink and more.
 
click to enlarge Bugs are everywhere! - DANIELLE LIRETTE
Bugs are everywhere!
Danielle Lirette
Butterfly Pavilion
6252 West 104th Avenue, Westminster
303-469-5441

One of the best things about winter is how few bugs are around to, well, bug you. No wasps, ant armies or big spiders lurk under unused outdoor toys. But just because the wild insects remain dormant this time of year, it doesn't mean you can't get down with some encased arachnids at the Butterfly Pavilion in Westminster. There are plenty of bug displays to take in, Rosie the Tarantula to hold, a tropical-temp area filled with live butterflies, and a whole play area for your kids to work off some steam. Bring a picnic lunch and eat in the makeshift, heated tent, and let something bug your kids for a change. Admission is free if they're under two, $8 for ages 2 to 12, and $12 for everyone else.

click to enlarge The art studio is just one part of the Children's Museum. - LINNEA COVINGTON
The art studio is just one part of the Children's Museum.
Linnea Covington
Children's Museum
2121 Children's Museum Drive
303-433-7444

Although the recent hype surrounding the Children's Museum has been about the incredible new outdoor play space, it's inside where you will want to hang this month. For babies learning to crawl, there's a whole area of carpeted, low-traffic play things to explore without getting trampled on by bigger kids. Older children will love to climb the tower-cage and explore the "roof" of the venue, while looking down at things below. There's an art studio with paint, clay and projects to enjoy, as well as a test kitchen for the budding chefs in your life. (Sign up on the sheet in front of the room as soon as you get there. The spots fill up fast.) Play vet, pretend to be a worm or small creature crawling in the ground in the Big Backyard, open up your own grocery store and launch paper rockets. There's so much to do here you can easily spend the day — especially if you pack a lunch or purchase food from the museum's simple cafe. Admission ranges from $12 to $14 a person; those under one get in free.
KEEP WESTWORD FREE... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Linnea Covington moved back to Denver after spending thirteen years in New York City and couldn't be happier to be home, exploring the Mile High and eating as much as possible, especially when it involves pizza or ice cream.
Contact: Linnea Covington