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 Cargo operates more than 11,000 cargo-only flights in one year

By The Hub team, March 19, 2021

On March 19, 2020, United operated its first flight carrying cargo without passengers on board. While the passenger cabin was empty, its cargo hold was completely full, carrying more than 29,000 pounds of commodities from Chicago O'Hare International Airport (ORD) to Frankfurt Airport (FRA).

A year later, United Cargo has operated more than 11,000 cargo-only flights carrying more than 570 million pounds of freight. To support the COVID-19 pandemic recovery efforts, United Cargo has also transported more than 113 million pounds of medical and pharmaceutical products on both cargo-only and passenger flights as well as approximately 10 million COVID-19 vaccines, providing global communities access to the items they have needed most.

10 tips for spring travel

By The Hub team, February 24, 2021

Whether you haven't flown with us for a while or just need a quick refresher before your spring trip, read this list of tips to know before your flight and arrive at the airport travel-ready:

1. Download the United app for contactless bag check, travel assistance and more

Before your flight, download the United app to view your flight status, check in, sign up for flight notifications, locate departure gates, access our free personal device entertainment when available and more. We've also updated our app with new features that can make your trip a little safer, including contactless bag check.

Don't forget to use Agent on Demand for help with any and all questions you may have before your flight. This new capability is available at all our U.S. hub airports and allows you to use your own mobile device to contact a customer service agent via phone, video or chat to help with day-of-travel questions while you're at the airport. Learn more about Agent on Demand here.

United joins UNICEF COVAX initiative

By The Hub team, February 19, 2021

This week, we were honored to become the first U.S. airline to join the UNICEF Humanitarian Airfreight Initiative to combat the COVID-19 pandemic by transporting the vaccine and other critically needed supplies to underserved areas of the globe.

"We are committed to helping the global community in any way we can, and we all must work together to do our part to bring this health and humanitarian crisis to an end," said Director of Cargo Specialty Products Manu Jacobs.

We will leverage our expertise to transport these critical pharmaceutical and healthcare shipments around the world safely, efficiently and expediently. We are proud to partner with the United Nations to support this global effort and provide equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines.

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