Refresh and Reunite

Appears in the March 2022 issue.

Organizing a reunion with far-flung family this year? With direct flights from Chicago and most other major cities, Denver is a worthy destination to gather for a family reunion. The Mile High City offers plenty of attractions right in town and a bevy of day and weekend trip options in the surrounding area.

In downtown Denver, stroll 16th Street Mall, a mile-long strip of restaurants and shops with pedicabs, horse-drawn carriages, and pedestrians sharing the street. Then head to the Children’s Museum of Denver (2121 Children’s Museum Dr., 303.433.7444,, which features energy, physics, and nature exhibits. A few miles west, Denver’s picturesque City Park is home to attractions that will thrill kiddos and grandparents alike, including Denver Zoo (2300 Steele St., 720.337.1400, and the Denver Museum of Nature & Science (2001 Colorado Blvd., 303.370.6000,

For epic hikes and scenic drives, a day trip to Rocky Mountain National Park ( in Estes Park is in order. Family-friendly trails include Lily Lake on the park’s East Side and the Coyote Valley Trail with Colorado River views on the West Side.

Colorado’s mineral hot springs are also a major draw. Just a 45-minute drive from Denver, Indian Hot Springs (302 Soda Creek Rd., Idaho Springs, 303.989.6666, features a family-friendly mineral swimming pool, outdoor Jacuzzis, and geothermal caves with sunken hot tubs. If you’re up for a longer drive and overnight stay, consider Glenwood Hot Springs (415 E. 6th St., Glenwood Springs, 970.945.6571, and Mount Princeton (15870 County Rd. 162, Nathrop, 719.395.2447,, two lovely resorts with spring-heated mineral pools, both 2½ hours from Denver.

To experience ranch life, try Devil’s Thumb Ranch (3530 County Rd. 83, Tabernash, 970.726.7000, with horseback riding, zip lining, and fly fishing. For an all-inclusive stay, luxury dude ranch C Lazy U (3640 Colorado Hwy. 125, Granby, 970.887.3344, is 2½ hours away with wintry fun in the form of snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, and tubing. 

Photo courtesy Visit Denver