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As parents to two little ones, Dr. Carolyn Cronin and I are always on the lookout for fun things to do in Denver with kids. And, when we’re not perfecting our awesome patients’ smiles at Cronin & Czarnik Orthodontics in Westminster, CO, we can usually be found exploring activities in the area. Well, to help our fellow parents make this summer one to remember, we’re sharing our itinerary for the perfect day in Denver with kids. 

The Morning

  • Work up an appetite at the Butterfly Pavilion in Westminster. The Butterfly Pavilion is one of our favorite things to do in Metro Denver with our kids. The non-profit invertebrate zoo has gardens, nature trails, educational programs and hands-on learning experiences through its exhibits. Our daughter is all about the butterflies and I enjoy checking out the pollinator habitats. Fun fact: I spent a year after college traveling the country and researching the declining species of our world’s pollinators.
  • Grab brunch at a kid-friendly Denver-area restaurant. A few of our faves include:
  • Berkeley Donuts – Berkeley Donuts, located inside of Hops & Pie, has the BEST donuts in Colorado. Our family goes there every Sunday. 
  • Snooze – This popular breakfast spot uses fresh, responsibly sourced ingredients for its dishes, which range from healthy to decadent. With several locations in Denver and one in the north suburbs close to our practice, it makes for a convenient, delicious brunch. 
  • Leevers Locavore – Leevers Locavore is another of our family favorites. The natural grocery store and market in Denver’s Northside has ready-to-eat items perfect for a quick meal with kids and fun events like Cars & Coffee & Pancakes. We love checking out the local vendors, getting a free cup of coffee and enjoying face painting and other activities.
    Cars & Coffee & Pancakes.
  • Wrap up the morning at the Denver Zoo. If you’re ever stuck trying to figure out what to do with kids in Denver, you can’t go wrong with the Zoo. In fact, our family even has season passes. With over 3,000 creatures, tons of attractions and outstanding educational programs, you could spend an entire day there. If the kids are still hungry after brunch, treat them to some Dippin’ Dots (our daughter’s favorite) before you leave.

    The Early Afternoon

  • Learn through play at the Children’s Museum of Denver at Marsico Campus. The Children’s Museum of Denver is pure magic for children. We go so often, it’s another place our family has season passes for. Our toddler is thrilled by the interactive environment. All of the exhibits, ranging from a fire station to a life-like veterinarian’s office, are hands-on, so kids can touch, explore and learn.
  • Have a picnic at Confluence Park. Pick up some sandwiches and snacks from the Cafe at the Children’s Museum and head to Confluence Park, which is close by. Eat lunch while you watch the kayakers or enjoy the views of downtown from the sandy banks.

Late Afternoon

  • Splash around at Elitch Gardens Theme & Water Park. Make your way from Confluence park to Elitch Gardens Theme & Water Park. Elitch Gardens is super popular with our North Denver orthodontics patients and most of them have season passes. If you have younger kids, the park does have kids’ rides for the littlest visitors.
  • Or spend the rest of the afternoon at Water World. Another great option in the Denver area is Water World in Federal Heights. The water park has thrills for kids, teenagers and adults, as well as fun for small children


  • Have dinner. If your kids aren’t ready for a nap just yet, go out for a family dinner at another of the kid-friendly Denver-area restaurants. Our roots are in Chicago, so Dr. Cronin and I are huge pizza fans, a trait we passed down to our daughter. Here are our recommendations:
  • Homegrown Tap & Dough – Homegrown Tap & Dough in Olde Town Arvada serves hand-tossed, wood-fired pizzas and house-made pasta. The restaurant also has fun touches for the kids like ski chairs and a gondola. 
  • Kokopelli Beer Company – Kokopelli is a woman-owned brewpub in Westminster, a stone’s throw from our office. The pizza is fantastic, though there are plenty of other offerings if you want something different. They also have a kids’ menu. 
  • Li’l Nick’s Pizza – Li’L Nick’s in Wheat Ridge, CO has the old-school feel of a pizza parlor that reminds us of going out for pizza when we were growing up.
  • Enjoy a movie at one of the outdoor movie nights in Denver. Depending on which day you choose to try out our Denver itinerary, there’s a good chance you’ll be able to find an outdoor, family-friendly movie (many of the events are free!). Check out the options here

Schedule a Visit With Your Favorite Westminster, CO Orthodontist

Whether you attempt to tackle our Denver itinerary in a single day or you decide to spread it out over the summer, we hope your family loves the activities as much as our family does. When there’s a lull in the summer fun, schedule a complimentary consultation at Cronin & Czarnik Orthodontics for your child or yourself. As board-certified orthodontists in Westminster, CO, Dr. Cronin and I help patients of all ages get the healthy, beautiful smiles they deserve. 

Dr. Scott Czarnik

Author Dr. Scott Czarnik

Dr. Scott Czarnik graduated at the top of his dental school class from University of Illinois. He was then selected to attend orthodontic residency at the highly esteemed University of Minnesota. Following his residency, he took the additional step of becoming board certified. At Cronin & Czarnik Orthodontics, Dr. Czarnik is committed to delivering high quality, leading-edge orthodontic care in a relaxed, welcoming atmosphere.

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