Why You Gotta Go: Get your bearings at the newly opened History Colorado Center, which is full of hands-on exhibits about mining, nature, Native Americans, and more. The entire main floor of the center doubles as a map of the state. As your family pushes a giant “time machine” across the map, facts about colorful local figures and events pop up onto the time machine’s screens. It’s all happening at the Denver Zoo. Explore the Toyota Elephant Passage, which opens June 1, where visitors get close to Asian animals.
More exotic wildlife awaits 30 minutes outside the city at the Wild Animal Sanctuary. Stroll along the 30-foot-high walkway above lions, tigers, and leopards — all rescued from inhumane conditions. At Red Rocks Park, also outside the city, hike, bike, and play on the steps at the famous outdoor amphitheater. Pack a picnic!
Chow Down: The cafe at the Tattered Cover, an iconic indie bookstore in the LoDo area, is excellent for breakfast or lunch. Little Man Ice Cream in the Highlands neighborhood serves up inspired flavors like Mexican Chocolate and Coconut Almond Fudge.
Lay Your Head: The Curtis Hotel is retro funky! Each floor has a fun theme like Big Hair or Laugh Out Loud. Plus the Curtis is a short walk from many major attractions.