- Written by Katie Harris Katie Harris
Explore the capital, interactive learning and candy-making
Want to get away for a day? Head to our capital city where an endless list of family-friendly excursions awaits! Not even the dreary January weather will be able to spoil your fun when you check out these hot spots for educational enrichment, hands-on exploration and sugarcoated fun. Spend a day in Denver and say goodbye to those post-holiday blues!
Stop 1: Colorado State Capitol
Get a firsthand look at the home of the Colorado General Assembly when you take a self-guided tour or join one of the half-hourly guided tours through the state capitol building. Both tours are available at no charge, and allow guests to peek inside Governor Hickenlooper’s office, where Scout the horse stands sentinel, stand on the capitol steps at exactly one mile above sea level and, on guided tours, climb up to the golden dome itself for an unrivaled view of the city and beyond.
Visitors from mid-January through mid-May may have the opportunity to witness history in the making during the second regular session of the general assembly. Elementary through high school aged kids will enjoy learning about the history of the building itself and going on a scavenger hunt to find important items throughout the building. The Colorado State Capitol building is open M-F from 7:30am-5pm. Guided tours take place M-F from 10am-3pm. Tours can fill up quickly, so arrive at least 20 minutes prior to desired tour time. The capitol building is located at 200 E. Colfax Ave, Denver 80203. For more information visit www.leg.colorado.gov.
Stop 2: Wow! Children’s Museum
Engage your kids in an interactive learning experience at Wow! Children’s Museum. Visitors can make their way to the bank station to learn about saving and spending, and practice being a bank teller. Aspiring doctors can give check-ups at the medical clinic, where they’ll learn about making healthy choices and explore human anatomy.
In the light and sound room, young scientists will have the opportunity to color with shadows, play music through light, and learn about patterns. The art room is always a popular place for kids to discover their creative side and get messy. Admission for Wow! Children’s Museum is $5/adult and $9/child aged 1 to 11 (infants are free of charge). The museum is open T-F from 9am-5pm, and Sa-Su from 10am-6pm, and is located at 110 N. Harrison Ave, Lafayette 80026. For more information visit www.wowchildrensmuseum.org.
Stop 3: Hammonds Candy Factory
The largest candy company in the U.S. offers free tours of its Denver factory. Guests begin their visit with a video detailing the history of Hammonds, from the company’s modest beginnings in 1920 to its unparalleled success in the market today. Next, visitors go behind the scenes where every day brings something different. The next room is the packaging room, where each individual piece of candy goes through a metal detector to ensure it’s free from copper cook pot debris before being packaged and shipped out to retailers.
At the end of your tour, enjoy a complimentary piece of candy while strolling through the impressive on-site candy gift shop, and don’t forget to snap a photo in front of the old-timey Hammonds candy van on your way out! Tours are offered T-F from 9am-3pm and Saturday from 10am-3pm on the half hour, January through February. Hours vary by season. Hammonds is located at 5735 N. Washington St, Denver 80216. For more information visit www.hammondscandies.com.