With the high cost of raising a family, sometimes the best things in life are free or, at the very least, inexpensive, and this applies to fun family-oriented activities, as well. Often, families just need to get out of the house to refresh, have a good time, and burn off some energy before returning home. Here are six free or relatively cheap things to do around Creme de la Creme in Centennial, Colorado.
Denver Museum of Nature and Science
When you and your family wish to learn about nature and how science works, the Denver Museum of Nature and Science is the museum you need to visit. The scope of science covered at the museum includes anthropology, health, space, and so much more. There is something for all ages. The museum encourages families to visit together by having Friday evening hours, allowing the whole family to enjoy the museum together until 9 p.m.
Special events are part of what makes the Denver Museum of Nature and Science unique. The two current events to take part in are The Art of the Brick and Dogs! A Science Tail. The Art of the Brick has works of art made from LEGO bricks by artist Nathan Sawaya. On display, you and your family will see a T. rex skeleton consisting of 80,000 LEGO bricks, an unbelievably realistic sculpture of a man with thousands of yellow LEGO bricks falling from his chest, and many more exhibits of how LEGO bricks can be used to create art.
Dogs! A Science Tail is an in-depth look into the unique world of our most treasured four-legged companions. This immersive experience is a journey of what it’s like to have a dog’s senses. You and your family will learn how dogs hear, see, and smell the environment. You will be able to experience hidden sounds, walk a dog through an interactive neighborhood, excavate replicated fossils of dogs and wolves, and ultimately learn how dogs can have a successful interspecies partnership with humans. Visit the Denver Museum of Nature and Science for exciting learning experiences.
Monster Mini Golf
Though visiting Monster Mini Golf isn’t free, it is fairly inexpensive and lots of fun for the whole family. Their monster-themed mini-golf course with animated monsters, walls covered by relatable pop-culture, and 18 holes of glow-in-the-dark fun are sure to be a blast. They also have a state-of-the-art arcade with games to entertain all ages, and you can exchange the tickets you win for awesome prizes. If you want to escape reality for a bit, they also offer virtual reality attractions that immerse you in a truly unique experience like no other. Take your family to Monster Mini Golf for a monstrously fun time.
Ben Franklin Pool and Waterslide
For families who have recreation annual passes, admission to Ben Franklin Pool is free. There is plenty to do with numerous amenities your whole family will surely enjoy. The L-shaped pool at this recreational hot spot has six lanes that are each 25 yards long. Young children will enjoy the wading pool and its fun-filled play features. Adults will have fun using the diving board at the deep end of the pool. There is also a 140-foot-long water slide, a spray ground, concessions, picnic tables, and a bathhouse. You and your family will have an excellent time lounging in the sun and playing in the water.
Mary Carter Greenway (Arapahoe Greenway) Trail
A day of hiking can be just the escape from the stress of everyday life that you and your family need, and Mary Carter Greenway (Arapahoe Greenway) is the place to take that hike. The 8-mile trail has a paved path that is mirrored by a crushed stone path. Cyclists are limited to the paved trail, while pedestrians and those using wheelchairs are encouraged to use the stone trail.
Due to high traffic at this trail, cyclists are also asked to travel at 15 mph or slower, or they will be ticketed. Roundabouts were added as an effort to help reduce traffic congestion and provide users with a more relaxed experience. The trail has strategically placed rest areas, award-winning landscaping, and interpretive sites. The Mary Carter Greenway (Arapahoe Greenway) is a great place to get out and explore nature with the whole family.
All good things aren’t always free, but it might as well be for the prices you find at Kids Wonder. Admission is $12 for your first child and $8 for their siblings Monday through Friday, but it rises to $16 for your first child and $12 for their siblings on Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays. There are also memberships starting at $49 per month that offer unlimited daily play and much more. Kids Wonder has simulated areas where children can learn and play.
These areas include a cafe, a school, a construction zone, a home, a pet vet, a fire station, and a theater for your children to play in and let their imaginations run wild. A soft crawl area is also available for small children who haven’t mastered the art of walking yet. Toddlers have access to small climbers, playhouses, slides, and a tiny bounce house. Kids ranging in ages from 3 to 8 can take advantage of larger inflatables while their younger siblings play away. Kids Wonder is a safe place where parents can sit back and let their kids have a blast playing and meeting new friends.
Hammond’s Candy Factory
Image via Flickr by Aranami
All kids love candy. Hammond’s Candy Factory has a store, but the real attraction is the free factory tour. You and your family can take a behind the scenes look at the processes of how all of your favorite Hammond’s candies are made. Their factory store has lollipops, signature candy, an Oops! Room with discounted treats, and an old-fashioned chocolate counter. Once you have taken the tour, check out the shop for some mouth-watering goodness, and don’t forget to pick up some apparel and gear.
Though free is always good for family outings, inexpensive comes in at a close second. These are only six of the free or cheap things to do in and around Centennial, Colorado. Use these as a starting point, and you are sure to have a blast with your family and friends as you take the time to adventure out into your local area. No matter where you decide to go or what you choose to do, Centennial, Colorado, has a plethora of places where you can spend quality time with your family, so get out there and find your new favorite family hangout and explore Colorado.