What are the best kid-friendly activities, and how do you have fun with kids in Denver? We test drove the new 2020 Mazda CX-5 Signature AWD for a week to find out so we can tell you all about it.
Disclaimer: I am not telling you the activities presented are 100% safe and COVID-19 free. You are responsible for making the final decision of whether or not to visit public businesses. Practice safe social distancing rules and consider wearing a mask per CDC recommendations. When in doubt, stay home.
Many travelers don’t consider Denver to be a very kid-friendly destination. It’s a fair assumption. After all, the city is known for its craft beer scene, legal marijuana, and easy access to world-renowned ski slopes. However, you shouldn’t rule Denver out as a vacation destination if you’re coming with kids – in fact, I’d highly recommend it! Believe it or not, Denver is a great spot to visit with kids of all ages. There are plenty of things for the whole family to see, do, and enjoy together!
Not sure what kid-friendly activities to add to your itinerary? Here are just a few great kid-friendly activities to enjoy when you’re in Denver:
HAVE A BLAST AT ELITCH GARDENS THEME & WATER PARK
Located in the heart of downtown Denver, Elitch Gardens is a great place to make memories with the whole family. On the theme park side, you’ll find rides geared towards kids of all ages, from family-friendly favorites like the Tea Cups to roller coasters like the Mind Eraser. And the water park offers similar variety, with ultra-fast water slides next to a wave pool and lazy river.
VISIT THE DENVER MUSEUM OF NATURE AND SCIENCE
Kids of all ages will find something to love at this museum – and adults will, too! Situated in City Park (another place worth checking out!), the Denver Museum of Nature and Science is well-loved by locals and visitors alike. Permanent exhibits highlight everything from dinosaurs and ancient Egyptian mummies to gemstones and space exploration. It’s a great way to spend a few hours and escape the heat – or the snow, depending on the season.
While you’re there, make sure to visit the Leprino Family Atrium for one of the best views of downtown Denver!
CHECK OUT THE ANIMALS AT THE DENVER ZOO
If your little ones enjoy looking at animals, then the Denver Zoo is where it’s at. With more than 3,000 animals to see, Denver Zoo is one of the most popular attractions for kids in the Denver area. There you can witness elephants, lions, flamingos and so much more. The kids can even take a ride on the Conservation Carousel or get on board the Denver Zoo Railroad.
TAKE A HIKE – LITERALLY!
Need to let your little ones burn off some energy? Escape the urban center of Denver and head for the hills! Hiking is a well-loved pastime for folks in the Denver area, and it’s easy to see why. There are hundreds of trails within a short drive from the city center, each offering a chance to escape the hustle and bustle and reconnect with nature. With spots ranging from the iconic Red Rocks Park and Amphitheater to Chautauqua Park in Boulder, known for the striking Flatiron Mountains, there are plenty of scenic places to explore for hikers of all skill levels – including kiddos with zero experience.
CHILDREN’S MUSEUM OF DENVER
The Children’s Museum of Denver believes in kid-powered learning. Kids can paint, sculpt, pretend to be a foraging squirrel, climb to the top of the 3 ½-story “mountain” or even make 8-foot-tall bubbles, there’s always an adventure ready for the little ones, including the new 500-foot-long outdoor aerial adventure course and immersive art installation Adventure Forest. Families can visit and play for free from 4 to 8 p. m. on the first Tuesday of every month.
GRAB A SWEET TREAT AT LITTLE MAN ICE CREAM
Are you craving a sweet treat? There are plenty of places to stop for dessert in Denver, but most pale in comparison to local favorite Little Man Ice Cream. Their menu is filled with a mix of classic favorites and their own exciting creations, like Oatmeal Cookie and Purple Cow. Visit their downtown location, or if you’re willing to take a drive, the whole family will enjoy a glimpse into the ice cream making process at their Sloan’s Lake Little Man Ice Cream Factory location.
BEST WAY TO GET AROUND?
Driving the Mazda CX-5 Signature AWD. The Mazda CX-5 may look small in stature and does not come with third-row seating, but don’t let its small size fool you. I always judge a car by the way my husband can sit in the passenger seat with room behind him as he’s 6’6, while I’m 5’10. This baby was able to seat our family of five comfortably and still have room in the trunk for all our luggage or non-essentials. If you need more space, the rear seats recline flat. Think of that shopping trip to Costco or IKEA, which we were able to do with no issues at all, as it was easy to load the car with the power-lift gate with height adjustment.
LET’S GET INTO THE DETAILS
The Mazda CX-5 Signature AWD not only looks great but drives excellent as well with its 227 horsepower and 2,000lbs towing capacity. The Signature model is the top of the line model. It comes standard with genuine layered wood trim and Caturra Brown Nappa leather seats, adding a touch of luxury without the price tag we’ve come to attach to luxury vehicles. The seats themselves were even designed to give more support to both driver and passenger and is fantastic for those long road trips that you may be thinking about, especially during this time.
Front and back seats come with a heated feature while the front comes with an optional cooling feature. One of the things I usually notice is the ambient noise a car gives when driving, and with the CX-5, while there was noise, it was very much reduced compared to other vehicles I’ve driven, making it easy to have conversations with those in the backseat and even listening to music on the impressive 7-inch touch screen display.
While the features (that I’ll get into next) and the looks of the Mazda CX-5 Signature AWD is pretty impressive, I wasn’t too impressed with the fuel efficiency as it only gives 22 city / 27 highway. With gas prices going up in the past few days, you may want to limit your city driving. However, for an SUV, it’s not too bad, but it could have been better.
If you’re looking for a family car or SUV that will keep you and your family safe, look no further than this Mazda CX-5 Signature AWD as it comes standard with i-Activsense safety technologies give you more protection than ever. It comes with a myriad of safety features, including some that you might not even have thought about. The most notable being:
360-Degree View Monitor – This uses the car 4 cameras to show the car’s surroundings on the display monitor.
Rear Cross-Traffic Alert & Blind Spot Monitoring – Alerts with visual and auditory cues when a vehicle is approaching.
Active Driving Display with Traffic Signs Recognition – You’re able to see your speed and safety systems warnings with turn by turn commands from the navigation system if equipped all on your windshield, allowing you to keep your eyes on the road.
|Don’t worry, this was taken safely over the shoulder of the driver. 😊|
Smart City Brake Support – Helps to detect vehicles and pedestrians in your path and apply the brakes if necessary, even at night.
Lane Departure Warning System – Detects and alerts when you unintentionally depart from your lane.
Lane Keep Assist – Which is the opposite of lane departure, helps keep you centered in your lane by applying minor steering correction when the vehicle detects you unintentionally departing from your lane.
Radar Cruise Control With Stop and Go Function – This is perfect for travel as it eliminates the need for you to manually adjust your speed based on the traffic.
Stay connected without taking your hands off the wheel. The Mazda CX-5 Signature AWD comes with Apple CarPlay™. You’re able to access your iPhone contacts, maps, playlists, and other compatible apps with your voice through Siri. Siri will also read incoming text messages and allow you to reply without taking your hands off the wheel. Android users can also connect through available Android Auto™ integration.
I really enjoyed driving the new 2020 Mazda CX-5 Signature AWD. It’s perfect for those wanting to take a trip to the mountains with it’s AWD capability and is big enough for a family of 5. If you’re planning a trip to Denver with kids, these are also just a few of the best activities you can enjoy together! Add one – or all – to your agenda, and you’ll be sure to have plenty of fun together in the Mile High City.