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Eating and playing our way through Denver (with a toddler and infant)

One year ago, we ventured to Denver, Colorado for a week on our first trip as a family of four. Our oldest daughter was two and a half years old and our youngest daughter was just two months old. Here's our itinerary including our favorite food finds. Links are included below for more information.

Saturday

  • Arrival, you can't beat the Austin to Denver direct flights!

Sunday

  • Farmers Market - Visit Denver provides a list of multiple markets. We chose the City Park market off East Colfax Avenue that was just a few blocks from our rental house.

  • Denver Central Market in RiNo - A great food hall with lots of options for savory and sweet meals and snacks.

Monday

  • City Park - We started off the day walking through City Park. There are two ponds, ducks, two playgrounds, as well as some beautiful views. The Denver Zoo and Denver Museum of Nature and Science are located within the park.

  • Denver Museum of Nature & Science - There was so much to see! Three floors of exhibits, IMAX theater, planetarium, and more. The Discovery Zone was the biggest hit for our girls. We purchased our tickets through CityPass, which we found to be a great value and easy to use.

  • Afternoon nap for kids at rental house.

  • Downtown Aquarium - Centrally located, the aquarium was a great before dinner activity with the kids. They had a nice variety of species. Sadly, they also had a tiger, which looked very anxious and sad. I hope they find the tiger a new, more suitable home soon.

  • Avanti Food and Beverage - The food hall has two levels - one being a rooftop with excellent views. There are seven culinary options including pizza, fried chicken, seafood bowls, french inspired street food, and Venezuelan arepas. They have two bars where you can get beer, wine and cocktails.

Tuesday

  • Day trip to Colorado Springs to hike in the Garden of the Gods - this was the perfect place to go with an infant and 2 year old. We chose the Siamese Twin Trail that was an easy 1 mile roundtrip hike. It has a nice view of Pikes Peak. We drove the rest of the loop around the park and then returned to the Perkins Central Garden Trail that has a paved path for a stroller. The Gods Visitor & Nature Center was excellent and we were glad we stopped there first before entering into the park.

  • Afternoon nap for kids in the car as we returned to Denver.

  • Date night at Linger in Denver - We made reservations at Linger for just adults (no kids) after reading multiple positive reviews. The location is an old mortuary that was changed into a restaurant with a rooftop lounge and opened in 2011. They serve small plates. We got Devils on Horseback, Pork Potstickers (my favorite), Korean BBQ Tacos, Dahi Puri "Perfect bites", Wagyu sliders, and Tempura Ginger Chili Shrimp.

Wednesday

  • Denver Botanic Gardens - We spent the morning exploring the botanic gardens on York Street. There is a wide range of plants and gardens that cover 24 acres. Across the street from the main entrance is a children's garden that is worth the stop.

  • Lunch at Onefold - Right next to our rental home, this breakfast, lunch and coffee spot was a hit. They focus on fresh ingredients and many of the menu items had a Mexican inspiration, making me feel right back at home in Austin, Texas.

  • Afternoon nap for kids at rental house - We did our best to have the kids nap in bed every other afternoon. Since we were on the road Tuesday and Thursday, we made sure they got a good nap on Wednesday.

  • Dinner at home.

Thursday

  • Day trip to Fort Collins, Colorado

  • Lunch at The Farmhouse at Jessup Farms - The modern farmhouse was a favorite find on our trip. The food was delicious and it had a fresh atmosphere that made you want to hang out there all day long. There are a few shops as well as a coffee shop in the same artisan village.

  • Explore downtown Fort Collins - We ran through the splash pad in the center of town, enjoyed local shops, and tasted small batch chocolate like none other at Nuance.

  • New Belgium Brewery - Before heading back to Denver, we stopped by the New Belgium brewery. It was crowded but an enjoyable to visit their huge brewery. There were multiple outdoor spaces to hang out and relax while sampling the different brews. They have a food trucks there daily.

Friday

  • Relaxing day walking around our neighborhood including a trip to the Tattered Cover Book Store.

  • We picked up a copy of Goodnight, Denver and our two year old loved seeing many of the places we visited highlighted in the book.

  • Red Rocks - One final date night for just me and my husband to see live music at the Red Rocks Park & Amphitheater. This was a stunning location to listen to music. I recommend eating beforehand as the food options were very limited and not appealing to my tastes.

Saturday

  • Depart back home to Austin.

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