The 5280 Kids Guide
Whatever your kids want to do this fall—land a skateboard trick, become a jump rope champ, hold a tarantula—we've got you covered.
Camping, fishing, hunting, snowshoeing, and staying overnight at the Denver Aquarium are a few of the activities hosted by Environmental Learning for Kids (ELK), a Denver nonprofit that encourages passion in science and environmental leadership for culturally diverse kids. The family program allows parents and siblings to join Junior in healthy outdoor projects and excursions to become stewards of Colorado's natural resources. 6060 Broadway, 303-371-8658, www.elkkids.org
Longmont's 50-acre Sunflower Farm offers up just about any idyllic farm-life activity you can imagine. Collecting eggs and riding ponies? Check. Whiling away an afternoon on a tire swing or taking in a field of sunflowers? Yup. Blowing bubbles in a green field and climbing on tractors? Indeed. Learning about nature firsthand—definitely. 11150 Prospect Road, Longmont, 303-774-8001, www.sunflowerfarminfo.com
Geared toward fifth- through ninth-graders, the University of Colorado's dynamic Saturday-morning CU Wizards Series is a free monthly program hosted by "wizards"—university science professors—who entertain and engage the audience with interactive experiments in areas such as physics, chemistry, biology, or astronomy; each subject area is packaged with a title like "Climate Change in a Bottle." Check with CU's Science Discovery department for more opportunities, such as after-school classes and wilderness camps with an educational twist. University of Colorado at Boulder, 303-492-5011, www.colorado.edu/sciencediscovery/kids.html
A day trip to the Georgetown Loop Mining and Railroad Park, just 45 miles from Denver, is the perfect learning-leisure combo. For $22 per kid (adults are $29.50), ride a historic steam engine round-trip from Georgetown to Silver Plume, and trek about 400 feet on foot into the Lebanon Silver Mine. Check with the railroad for special events like the Pumpkin Train at Halloween and Santa's Polar Adventure Train in December. Devil's Gate Station, Georgetown, 1-888-456-6777, www.georgetownlooprr.com