There are many fun attractions and things to do with young kids in Denver  and at the various excursions included in this book, but it’s a good idea to ask about age limits at some museums and hotels. For example, the Kirkland Museum  does not allow any children under the age of 13 with or without an adult, and children ages 13–17 must be accompanied by an adult. While the Molly Brown House Museum  states that children are welcome, they are asked not to touch anything and it’s hardly fun for a toddler (grown-ups have to follow the same rules).
Of course the Children’s Museum  is a perfect place to play with kids newborn through age eight, and the Platte Valley Trolley  ride that makes a stop outside the museum is fun for adults and kids. The Denver Art Museum  has built in a variety of child-friendly activities in its permanent exhibits as well as a small make-your-own-art area. At the Denver Museum of Nature and Science  kids can watch an IMAX movie on the enormous screen or see the stars and planets at the Gates Planetarium, watch volunteers clean off dinosaur bones, step inside replicas of original Native American homes, or pretend to be astronauts.
The Denver Zoo  appeals to children of any age who like animals. Check ahead to see what’s on the schedule for families and kids at the Colorado History Museum  and the Denver Public Library , where there are different themes monthly.
Some of the best parks with playgrounds for kids include Washington Park , Stapleton Central Park , Cheesman Park, and City Park , and there is a playground at the Children’s Museum . City Park  also has paddleboats in the summer. In the winter, there is sledding at Commons Park , as well as Stapleton Central Park .
Visit www.denverkids.com  to find coupons for various classes and attractions.
Denver  seems to be a fairly supportive place for the gay, lesbian, and transgender community, with many organizations, events, and businesses geared toward this population. In 2008, year-old anti-discrimination laws were expanded to protect against discrimination based on sexual orientation in the workplace and beyond.
For more information on the local gay, lesbian, and transgender scene, check out the Denver Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (www.coloradobusinesscouncil.com ) or the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Community Center of Colorado (www.glbtcolorado.org ), which puts on the annual two-day Pridefest  event. Out Front Colorado (www.outfrontcolorado.com ) is a free biweekly paper available all over the city.
In addition to the transportation services for disabled travelers in Denver  listed earlier in this chapter, there are many trails designed for and open to people in wheelchairs.
Rocky Mountain National Park  has a handful of wheelchair-accessible trails that are as scenic as more challenging footpaths in the park. Go to www.nps.gov/romo  for more detailed information on where to find these trailheads and what to expect on each trail.
For information on wheelchair-accessible trails and facilities at Colorado State Parks, go to http://parks.co.state.us  or call 303/866-3437.
Nature-lovers in Denver can enjoy most of the Denver Botanic Gardens  and their offshoot, Centennial Gardens , on their wide, smooth concrete pathways. The main Denver Botanic Gardens has wheelchairs available for complimentary use and across the street (actually more conveniently located by the parking lot) is the Sensory Garden, which has free tours for groups with special needs.
There is a theater group in Denver , the Physically Handicapped Actors and Musical Artists League (PHAMALY), that performs a few times a year in the Denver area and at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts. The group was formed in 1989 when physically disabled acting students became frustrated with the lack of parts available to them. Get their latest schedule at www.phamaly.org  or call 303/575-0005.
It’s been noted more than once in this book that Denver  is quite pet-friendly. Numerous hotels cater to dogs, including the Hotel Teatro , Hotel Monaco , Loews, and the JW Marriott  at Cherry Creek. Depending on the hotel, they will walk your dog for you or recommend the best places for you to take your dog on a walk, provide a menu for dogs, and display a list of spa services.
There is less love, however, in the public sector, where in most public places dogs are required to be on a leash and there are fines for not complying with this rule. The site www.ecoanimal.com/dogfun/colorado.html  lists off-leash dog parks for Denver and many other Colorado cities, with detailed directions, hours, and rules. People are also required to clean-up after their dogs and “dogi-pots” are conveniently located near popular parks and walkways for disposing of those little plastic baggies.
There is a small enclosed area for pet exercise at Denver International Airport (www.flydenver.com ), but keep in mind it is off of the main terminal and travelers must go through security again to get back to their concourse. Check the airport website for more detailed information on traveling with pets.