Highlands Ranch, Colorado, is small suburb south of Denver that shares zip codes with the larger suburb of Littleton. The city has majestic views of the Rocky Mountains to the west and depending on where you are, views of downtown Denver to the east. Entertaining activities for your toddler abound right in Highlands Ranch, but because it's so close to Denver and other surrounding suburbs, you'll find no shortage of activities for you to do with your toddler.
Spend an hour or so at the Highlands Ranch Library (douglascountylibraries.org) for a free activity with your toddler. Settle down and read your toddler a story or two, take part in the story times the library offers or take a class geared specifically for toddlers. The Little Gym (thelittlegym.com) is about 15 minutes from the heart of Highlands Ranch in the neighboring city of Littleton. The gym encourages toddlers to get active through play time. Toddlers get to jump, hop, playing with hula hoops and throw balls of various sizes. Throughout the play time, your toddler will also learn colors, numbers, letters and how to take turns.
While the museums in the Highlands Ranch area aren't within the city limits, they are within 20 minutes of the city center. Your toddler will enjoy the Wings Over the Rockies Air and Space Museum (wingsmuseum.org), which is about 20 minutes away in Englewood. The museum boasts a large number of aircraft, some of which your toddler can climb up into and explore. Your toddler can watch a short video in an airplane seat and see a space shuttle up close, too. The Wildlife Experience in Parker is about 15 minutes away and brings the outdoors inside. While at the museum, your toddler can visit Cub's Corner where he can play with age-appropriate toys or dress up in animal costumes. Show your toddler the many animal dioramas the museum showcases or take a break and watch a short video about baby animals made specifically for small children.
On warm, sunny days, your toddler is bound to enjoy one of the parks in Highlands Ranch (highlandsranch.org/services/parks-open-space/parks). Civic Green Park has a large playground, and water features that spray, bubble and fountain. Cougar Run Park has a playground that's made to look like a boat, complete with a crow's nest and a porthole. Daniels Park (douglas.co.us/danielspark) is one of the largest parks in the area and boasts plenty of open space for running around, and your toddler will likely catch a glimpse of wildlife, such as bison, while in the park. Pirate's Cove (piratescovecolorado.com), which is about 15 minutes away in Littleton, is the perfect place to cool off on a hot summer day. Your toddler can ride down the lazy river on an inner tube with you, play on the giant water playground or splash around in the shallow pool area.
The Highlands Ranch Community Association (hrcaonline.org) offers a little bit of everything. Your toddler can take swimming lessons, participate in a dance class, see a rodeo or take part in the annual family events such as the Easter egg hunt and the 4th of July fireworks display. Lollipop Park (lollipoppark.com), which is a short 15-minute drive in neighboring Centennial, is an indoor amusement park complete with a Ferris wheel, carousel, train ride and a bounce house. A longer 30-minute drive will bring you to the Denver Zoo (denverzoo.org). Your toddler can spend the day watching monkeys, bears, tigers, lions, penguins, elephants and rhinoceroses, as well have the chance to feed birds, see a sea lion show and experience a tropical rainforest in the indoor Tropical Discovery exhibit.