We visited the Wildlife Experience with my two-year-old grandson. Having a small child with you definitely made this place more fun, although I think that the design and features of the museum would be a great experience for kids of all ages (including grandparents without the kids!). The most attractive part of the museum for children is the winding path that takes you through various areas across the planet and you can experience animated animals looking around, making noises, and doing everyday things like eating. The animals are pretty realistic – my grandson was rather frightened by the alligator when he opened his mouth. There are also animatronic human guides that look real and answer your questions asked from a special board.
There are live fish in tanks that young and old can watch. For those who like the Disney movie Finding Nemo, one of the tanks has both Nemo and Dori together.
For older visitors there is an art gallery with some spectacular paintings and sculptures of animals that can be found in Colorado and the Midwest. And next to the bookstore is a play area for little ones that had puppets and other hands-on experiences.
The museum was $10/per person, but little ones get in for a reduced price or free (check out their website for details.
The Wildlife Experience is located between Castle Rock and Denver in Parker, Colorado, right off of the I-25. There is a large free parking lot just outside.
This small but interesting museum is located in Castle Rock's old Denver and Rio Grand Railway Depot. The Depot was built in 1875 of native rhyolite stone, from nearby O'Brein Quarry. The museum highlights both local and railroad history, including early agriculture and industry in the Castle Rock area.
Even without the exhibits, the depot itself is worth taking a look, and we recommend you do so if you are ever in Castle Rock on a Wednesday, Saturday or Sunday afternoon. Those are the only days the museum is open, from Noon - 5:00 p.m.
The primary natural land feature in Castle Rock is…the Castle Rock, a rock formation that towers over Interstate 25 and overlooks the old part of town.
You can drive to and part at Rock Park (located at 1710 Front Street), which is the start of the 1.4 mile hike up the rock. Parking is free as is admission to the park. The trail is considered a difficult hike with a bit of rock climbing at the end if you want to go to the top; if you don’t hike the last part, then it would be considered moderately difficult (steep with steps and rough terrain in spots). There are two trails you can take, one being more difficult than the other (it is steeper while the other goes around the rock and switchbacks up the south side). We did this with a baby in a backpack and had no problems at all.
Once you are near the top, you can climb the rock to get to the summit. There is no specific spot for climbing up – do this at your own risk – but the northeast side is the easiest spot to climb. From the top you can look down on Castle Rock and see Pikes Peak in the distance.
Can you think of anything you can take your children to do anymore that will only cost you a penny? If you go to King Soopers right off I-25 at Meadows/Founders exit in Castle Rock, you can get a free cookie and ride the electronic pony.
The most obvious landmark in town can be scaled with relative ease. You can park at the base and follow the trail up to the base of this butte. There are a couple well traveled routes up the 40 foot rock wall to the top. The views are impressive. No safety cables or fences so be careful - not for the feint of heart. Great for young adults. Be smart (sober), not stupid and we'll all be able to continue enjoying this unpromoted activity.
Castle Pines (where the international golf tournament happens at the end of every summer) has a fairly new shopping area with a wine tasting on the second Wednesday of very month. For a $15.00 fee that goes to a charitable cause customers pick up a wine glass and enter shops in the village that fly a balloon. This signifies that the merchant has a bottle of wine inside and in most cases snacks to go with it. This is a wonderful way to wile away a Wednesday afternoon.
Nice views of the Rocky Mountains, Pikes Peak, and golf course below. Drive down the road a little farther to see buffalo and a nice view from atop the hill of denver. If you keep following the dirt road eventually turns back into pavement and ends out at highlands ranch parkway. There are hiking trails back here as well as picnic tables.
On Saturday, July 20th, 2 pm to 8 pm, wine lovers will have an opportunity to participate in a Grand Tasting of Colorado wines at one convenient location at The Grange in the Meadows at 3692 Meadows Blvd. If you have never attended the Castle Rock WineFest, an outdoor wine tasting event, will offer more than two dozen wineries and over 180 varieties of Colorado wine, you are certainly missing out. This event draws wine aficionados for its tastings, wine seminars, cooking demonstrations, fabulous food trucks, and an amazing local band to dance into the night. First 2000 WineFest attendees will receive a free wine bottle tote and wine glass. For tickets and details about the Castle Rock WineFest, entertainment schedule/menu/prices/locations & directions, Visit CastleRockWineFest.com.
Climb the Rock that is located in Castle Rock. This is an easy hike-a dirt path will lead you to the base of the Rock, from there you have to climb up the rock a short distance to reach the summit. There is no "defined" spot to start climbing-it is easiest on the Northeast side by the two trees. We were able to climb it with our two boys-it wasn't bad. From the top you have a great view of the city of Castle Rock, as well as Pike's Peak and the Rocky Mountain range.