Family Friendly Cities: Denver for Outdoor Paradise - United Hub
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Family friendly cities: Denver for outdoor paradise

By Bob Cooper, August 23, 2017

There are few better ways to entice the family outdoors and away from all those screens—that means you, too, mom and dad—than to head to the mountains. But don't worry, you won't need to drag out the tent from your garage or take out a loan because, in the Denver area, free and low-cost outdoor fun can be enjoyed by day while nights are spent in a comfy family-suite hotel.

The Flatirons from the Chautauqua Park trailhead in Denver

Mountain hikes

The Mile High City is not that many miles from an abundance of mountain parklands. Dozens of trails surround the outdoor mecca of Boulder, 40 minutes from Denver, with the most popular paths heading straight toward the dramatic rock formations called the Flatirons from the Chautauqua Park trailhead. The trailhead is only blocks from the University of Colorado campus. Multiple trails for all fitness levels also branch out from Echo Lake Park, one hour from Denver on the road to 14,260-foot Mt. Evans, highest paved road in America.

View of the skyline and City Park in Denver

City parks

While Echo Lake Park is one of 22 Denver Mountain Parks located outside the city, families intimidated by the idea of high-altitude hikes can be content picnicking or enjoying recreational activities at one of Denver's city parks. Bike paths, boat rentals, horseshoe pits and massive Frisbee fields are among the options at sprawling Washington Park. Waterskiing in Denver's largest lake is popular at Sloan's Lake Park. And at City Park, there's a huge playground for younger kids, tennis courts and a public golf course for everyone else.

Lion resting at the Denver Zoo

Denver Zoo

If encountering mountain lions and bears in the Rockies sounds a little too real for your family vacation, City Park is where you'll find the Denver Zoo ($17/adults, $12/kids). There you'll see not only lions, tigers and bears, but also elephants, emus and eagles—and an adorable red panda—among the 4,300 resident animals. This was America's first zoo to replace cages with natural enclosures, including the 10-acre Toyota Elephant Passage (giving new meaning to the idea of “trunk space" in a Yaris). Just for fun, mixed in with the real animals through Halloween are “Dinos!"—19 life-size animatronic dinosaurs.

Skyline view of Denver and the Elitch Gardens Water and Theme Park

Elitch Gardens

Elitch Gardens, America's only downtown theme and water park, isn't cheap ($40/adults, $35/children purchased online). But if you account for the number of hours you'll spend there with the family—probably all day—the math works out nicely. Daring kids and adults will get a rush from 13 thrill rides (the newest is a 17-story-high swing ride), little ones can choose among 13 pint-sized rides, plus there are dozens more family rides and water rides, four live-entertainment shows, and weekly free concerts and movies throughout the summer.

Front entrance of the Denver Museum of Nature & Science

The great indoors

When families need a break from the Great Outdoors, Denver delivers. The Denver Mint has been punching out coins since 1906 and remains the world's most prolific coin-maker; free tours are offered Mondays through Thursdays. The Denver Museum of Nature & Science ($17/adults, $12/kids), a Smithsonian-affiliated gem with an IMAX 3D theater and planetarium, was massively expanded in 2014 and features hands-on exhibits focused on everything from dinosaurs to outer space. Smaller children may prefer the Children's Museum of Denver ($13), where they can enjoy pint-sized zip-lining and boulder climbing; create masterpieces in the art studio and chef-supervised teaching kitchen, and pretend to be firefighters or veterinarians.

If you go

United Airlines offers flights to city of Denver from dozens of cities and MileagePlus Rewards can help pay for your car rental and a family-friendly hotel once you arrive. Go to united.com or use the United app to plan your vacation.

United Awards Free Flights for a Year to Winners of "Your Shot to Fly" Sweepstakes

Grand prize winners live in Bradenton, FL; Cleveland, OH; Goodyear, AZ; Oakland, CA and San Francisco, CA
By United Newsroom, July 29, 2021

CHICAGO, July 29, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- United Airlines today announced the five lucky grand prize winners of its "Your Shot to Fly" sweepstakes, who will each get to fly anywhere in the world United flies with a companion over the course of the next year. The winners of the "Your Shot to Fly" sweepstakes are:

  • Ashley Cronkhite from Bradenton, FL
  • Robert Simicak from Cleveland, OH
  • Sean Husmoe from Goodyear, AZ
  • Lauren Aldredge from Oakland CA
  • Lauren M. from San Francisco, CA

The sweepstakes was in support of the Biden administration's ongoing national effort to encourage more people to get their COVID-19 vaccination and encouraged United's MileagePlus® loyalty members to upload their vaccine records to United. In less than a month, more than one million MileagePlus members uploaded their vaccine cards to the United app and website for a shot to win one of the grand prizes. In June the airline awarded 30 first prize winners with a pair of roundtrip tickets anywhere United flies.

United First U.S. Airline to Offer Economy Customers Option to Pre-Order Snacks and Beverages

New pre-order option builds on the airline's contactless payment technology and is another example of the customer experience transformation underway at United
By United Newsroom, July 28, 2021

CHICAGO, July 28, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Starting today on select flights, all United customers – no matter what cabin of service they're flying in – can use the airline's award-winning mobile app and website to pre-order meals, snacks and beverages up to five days before they're scheduled to travel. United is the first and only U.S. airline to offer economy customers the option to pre-order snacks and beverages, a reflection of the customer experience transformation underway at the airline.



United Airlines to Operate More than 40 Weekly Flights as England Re-Opens to U.S. Travelers

In August, United is adding a second daily flight from Washington, D.C. to London
By United Newsroom, July 28, 2021

CHICAGO, July 28, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- With today's announcement of England reopening to fully vaccinated travelers from the U.S. beginning Aug 2, United Airlines is making it easier for business and leisure customers to jet across the pond with the addition of flights to London. In August, United will have six daily flights between the U.S. and London, including a second daily flight from Washington, D.C. and increasing service from Houston to daily. United looks forward to resuming additional London service in the coming months as well as launching new nonstop service between Boston and London. Customers traveling to England must be fully vaccinated in the U.S. with vaccines that have been approved by the FDA and must take a test before departure as well as a PCR test within the first two days of arrival. Passengers vaccinated in the U.S. will also need to complete a passenger locator form prior to traveling to England and provide proof of U.S. residency.

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