Colorado Vacations 
Family Travel Colorado 
Your Guide to Visiting Colorado with the Kids
A Quick History of Denver for Families
Denver has a history as a major supply hub - for gold mines in the mountains to the west, and cattle ranches on the prairies to the east.

The combination makes it a colorful and and interesting mix and great places for families to explore.

Did You  Know?

The City of Denver has its own
bison herd. In fact, it has two of them.

One herd lives in Genesee Park, along I-70, and the other lives in Daniels Park, in Douglas County.

Bison (Buffalo)
Photo: Denver, Colorado has its own bison herds. (Some folks call them buffalo.) The bison (buffalo) live in two different Denver Mountain Parks.

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Photo: Denver's Larimer Square
Photo Credit: Denver Metro Convention and Visitors Bureau

Larimer Square, one of the first streets in Denver and once its skid row, is now one of the city's most trendy and popular shopping districts.


Photo: Babies love the
Denver Botanic Gardens

Read our article about Taking the Kids to the Denver Botanic Gardens

Add a touch of nineteenth century elegance when you travel in Colorado with the kids.

Read our article:Colorado's Historic Luxury Hotels

Photo: Historic  photo of Denver, circa 1900.
Photo Credit: William Henry Jackson

efore 1858, the area that is now Denver was a pleasant hunting and camping area for Arapaho and Cheyenne people.

In late November of that year, prospectors found gold in the cold waters at the confluence of Cherry Creek and the South Platte River. They established a town, which was soon swollen by hordes of venturers in the 1859 gold rush. 

By 1890, Denver’s population had grown to the point that it was the second biggest city in the West, after San Francisco.

Its banking industry grew as gold strikes continued in nearby mountain towns. In 1863, the federal government established a mint facility Denver. At first it served only as an assay office, where miners would bring their gold nuggets and dust to be melted and cast into gold bars. It wasn’t until 1906 that the Denver Mint began to produce coins.

At the same time, nearby agriculture also contributed to Denver’s wealth. Farm crops grown in the fertile Platte River Valley and livestock that grew on the high plains found a shipping hub in Denver.

By 1899 livestock shows and auctions were being organized in Denver, and in 1906, the National Western Stock Show was born. Still in its original location near the Denver Stockyards on the South Platte River, the National Western Stock Show now hosts over 600,000 spectators annually.

Through a diversity of industries, including tourism, a sunny, temperate climate, and scenic setting, Denver has continued to grow to become a major metropolitan area.

Related Articles at

Denver Overview
Best Denver Area Attractions for Families

Other Pages on the History of Colorado Towns:

Colorado Springs History for Families
Leadville History for Families
Steamboat Springs History for Families

Ideas for Traveling Around Colorado with the Kids:

Best Family Attractions in Colorado
Recommended Trips
Towns and Cities

Colorado's National  Parks
Gear for Family Travel

Check out our site map for a well-organized list of over 140 articles on great colorado vacations for families.