Toddlerhood is a fun and… complicated age for parents. These tiny adventurers are intensely curious and full of energy, which can be difficult when you add in wobbly walking, threenager independence or the trickiness of potty training. Not all kid-friendly activities suit the needs of toddlers, so I’ve put together 12 fun things to do in Boulder with toddlers and preschoolers. For a more comprehensive list, check out the Things to Do with Kids in Boulder This Summer Guide.
Boulder Public Libraries
Boulder offers five public libraries in different areas around town, all of which offer youth storytimes! Programs vary from lap babies to wobblers & walkers to toddlers and all-age storytimes. For the full schedule of youth storytimes for each library branch, click here. View today’s library branch hours here. For a map of all five libraries in Boulder, click here.
Meadow Music with Jeff and Paige
A kid favorite! Dance and sing with musical duo Jeff and Paige for an evening of children’s music and nature education. The evening consists of a short hike, followed by 45 minutes of nature music at the foot of the Flatirons. Sponsored by City of Boulder’s Open Space and Mountain Parks Division Meadow Music is an award-winning environmental education program at Chautauqua Green in Boulder, Colorado.! Meet us at 5:30 to start a short hike that’s friendly to all ages (we recommend arriving early to find a place to put your picnic blanket before the hike). After our hike we return to Chautauqua Green for a concert full of our original nature and science-based music. The concert starts around 6:00pm and ends by about 7:00. Bring a blanket to sit on, a picnic and some silliness. Meadow Music is held at Chautauqua Green, Baseline Rd & 9th Street, Boulder, CO 80302 on Mondays throughout the summer June 4 – August 13, 2018, 5:30 – 7PM. This event is FREE to all.
WOW Children’s Museum (Lafayette)
Just a short drive out of Boulder, the World of Wonder Children’s Museum in downtown Lafayette is a favorite for young children. Designed for interactive learning and play, WOW features a light & music room, an art room, a little clinic, a sandbox, a theatre area complete with costumes and stage and so much more! Kids can spend hours exploring this fun museum. There is a snack area with vending machines available. Hours: Monday: Closed, Tuesday-Friday: 9:00am-5:00pm Toddler Hour on Tuesday & Wednesday from 9:00am-10:00am (for children ages 5 years and younger), Saturday & Sunday: 10:00am-6:00pm. Cost: Children (ages 1-11): $9, Adults: $5, Infants (under 1): Free, Members Always Play for Free! WOW is located at 110 N. Harrison Avenue, Lafayette.
CU Museum of Natural History
The University of Colorado’s Museum of Natural History is fun, educational, interactive AND parent-friendly! The museum offers kid-inspired exhibits (right now — Curious Connections in Nature!) and a cute gift shop on the main level. In the lower level, kids will have a great time in the interactive play and learning area. Right outside the play area parents can enjoy a nice, FREE cup of coffee or tea in the museum’s BioLounge with comfortable seats and inviting atmosphere. Family-friendly bathrooms are located upstairs. While there are beautiful staircases in this beautiful, old building, there is also a centrally-located elevator making the museum handicapped and stroller-friendly. Admission is free, donations are accepted. The gift shop offers a fun array of science-inspired items. Paid parking is located South of the museum.
The CU Museum of Natural History is located at the Henderson Building, 15th and Broadway, Boulder, CO 80309. Hours: Monday – Friday 9-5, Saturday 9-4 and Sunday 10-4. Cost: FREE
Paddle Boats at Waneka Lake Park (Lafayette)
Your child is sure to get a kick out of the fun, colorful paddle boats at Waneka Lake Park‘s Boathouse. Parents can rent the paddle boats by the half hour (which come with complimentary – and required – life vests). Enjoy a calm, fun boat ride on a swan, flamingo, dragon or duck! For all the details, click here. Waneka Lake Park is located at 1600 Caria Dr, Lafayette, CO 80026. Hours: May 26 – August 12, 2018: Tuesdays & Thursday – Sunday 11AM – 7PM, Closed Monday & Wednesday. Cost: 2-person paddle boat $8/30 minutes, 4-person paddle boat $10/30 minutes.
East Boulder Community Park
East Boulder Community Park features a dinosaur-themed playground that is nearly surrounded by fencing, making it easier for parents to keep tabs on running toddlers. Much of the playground is toddler-friendly, in addition to structures that older children will enjoy. Covered picnic tables provide shade as well as a great place for a picnic. East Boulder Community Park is located at 5660 Sioux Dr, Boulder, CO 80303.
North Boulder Rec Center Leisure Pool
North Boulder Recreation Center recently opened its newly renovated zero-depth entry leisure pool. The pool features slides, fountains and spray features and other water play structures all at a comfortable 87°. Add all that up with family locker rooms and you have a great place for a fun morning at the pool. NoBo Rec Center is located at 3170 Broadway, Boulder, CO 80304. Hours: Monday – Thursday 6AM – 9:30PM, Friday 6AM – 7:30PM, Saturday, Saturday 6:30AM – 7PM, Sunday 7:30AM – 8PM. Cost: Adults $8.25, Seniors $5.75, Youth 3 – 18 $5, Kids 2 & Under are FREE.
Sunflower Farm (Longmont)
Sunflower Farm is a rural haven in South Longmont where kids can feed goats, sheep and llama, jump from hay bale to hay bale, play in the corn house, playhouse and sandboxes, explore the tree forts and bridges, hold a chicken, soar down the zipline, balance on the slackline. There is even an old airplane to explore. Sunflower Farm is located at 11150 Prospect Rd, Longmont, CO 80504. Check website for hours.
Shredder Urban Ski & Snowboard Park
Disappointed that ski season is over? Shredder Urban Ski & Snowboard Park has got you covered! Shredder is an amazing indoor ski and snowboarding facility for ages 10 months to adult. Shredder offers ski and snowboard school classes and summer camps to all ages, including freestyle fundamental classes (starting at age 8), Yeti School (10 months to 3 years), and beginning adult skiers/boarders. Located at 6655 Arapahoe Rd, Boulder, CO 80303. Hours: Class schedules here. Cost: Class schedules & prices here.
Butterfly Pavilion (North Westminster)
The Butterfly Pavilion is home to over 5,000 animals! Kids will be immersed in a tropical rainforest where 1,600 butterflies live and Rosie, the tarantula is ready to be held by brave children. Step to Water’s Edge to be immersed in an underwater world full of sea creatures. The pavilion features lovely gardens, a nature trail, an indoor children’s play area as well as a fun gift shop. Located at 6252 W 104th Ave, Westminster, CO 80020. Hours: Open daily from 9AM – 5PM. Cost: Adults – $11.00, Westminster Resident – $9.00, Seniors (65+) – $9.00, Children (2-12) – $7.00, Children (under 2) – FREE.
Louisville Community Park Sprayground
Toddlers and big kids alike will love Louisville Community Park‘s splashground! There’s nothing like water to keep a toddler’s interest. This fun splash pad is located right next to the park’s play structures as well as grassy fields. YES, there is a bathroom at this park! Located at 955 Bella Vista Dr, Louisville, CO 80027. Hours: Spray pad turned on for the season Memorial Weekend, open Dawn to Dusk. Cost: FREE. For a comprehensive list of splashpads, pools and other places to play in the water, click here.
Carousel of Happiness (Nederland)
Nederland’s Carousel of Happiness is a magical menagerie featuring 56 whimsical, hand-carved animals on a restored 1910 Looff carousel! This lovely carousel turns to the music of a 1913 Wurlitzer band organ. Witness the 100-year old gears churn by watching from the upper observation window. Wheelchair ramp available. Located at 20 Lakeview Dr, Nederland, CO 80466. Hours: Summertime Monday – Friday 10AM – 6PM, Saturday & Sunday 10AM – 7PM. Cost: Rides are just $1.