An affluent community and planned suburb of Denver, there are plenty of things to do in Highlands Ranch for the whole family.
I’m a Colorado local who lives fairly close to the area, and in this article, I’m going to spill my secrets about the very best activities in Highlands Ranch. Think awesome outdoor activities, museums, craft beer spots, and more.
From historic mansions to the best trails, these are the best things to do in Highlands Ranch. And be sure to bookmark this epic list of things to do in Denver if you’re up for a day trip.
Ready? Let’s take a look!
Table of Contents
- 15 Fun Things to Do in Highlands Ranch
- Highlands Ranch Mansion
- Civic Green Park
- Cheese Ranch Historic & Natural Area
- Grist Brewing Company
- K-1 Speed Go Karting
- Chatfield State Park
- Highlands Ranch Town Center
- West Fork Disc Golf Course
- Hike the Trails
- University of Denver Golf Club at Highlands Ranch
- Gelato & Co
- Playstreet Museum
- Dad Clark Park
- Max Taps
- Monster Mini Golf
- FAQ’s About What to Do in Highlands Ranch
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15 Fun Things to Do in Highlands Ranch
Highlands Ranch Mansion
Tour a historic mansion and working ranch
The Highlands Ranch Mansion and Historic Park have been home to several Colorado businessmen, ranchers, and other well-to-do Colorado families from its conception in 1884. Visitors can take interesting walking tours of the mansion, wander through the gardens, and see the historic barns, windmills, and other ranch buildings.
Civic Green Park
Cool off at this splash park
Fun for the whole family, Civic Green Park is the perfect place to burn off some energy at the playground, cook up a picnic lunch on the barbeque grills, and in summer, let the kids cool off in the splash pad fountains. This spacious park is a great place to visit and spend a few hours.
📚 Related Reading: 23 Fun Things to Do in Denver With Kids (By a Local Mom)
Cheese Ranch Historic & Natural Area
Catch a fish or wander the trails
Cheese Ranch has walking trails, a fishing pond with a pier, and a community garden. The wildlife observation area makes a nice place to stop for a few minutes on a stroll.
Grist Brewing Company
Drink a delicious Colorado craft beer
Grist Brewing Company is a large brewpub that has cocktails and wine, but is really known for its craft beer. When you visit, try one of their beers brewed in-house, and maybe grab a snack like fried pickles or cheese curds to round out your visit.
If you’re traveling solo, then this is a great place to hit up – grab a seat at the bar and have a conversation with the bartender or other patrons.
📚 Related Reading: 21 Best Places to Live in Colorado in 2022 (By a Local)
K-1 Speed Go Karting
Indulge your need for speed
Spend an afternoon flying around the track at the K-1 Speed Go Karting indoor track. The building is air-conditioned, so it’s a fun activity to beat the heat in summer or escape the snow in winter. You’ll zoom around a professionally designed course in an electric kart, so you don’t have the gas fumes following you around indoors, either.
Chatfield State Park
Go boating or horseback riding at this popular park
Highlands Ranch butts up against the eastern edge of Chatfield State Park, where you can have plenty of adventures boating, camping, horseback riding, and more. There are hiking and biking trails and wildlife areas, and plenty of fishing and water activities.
Highlands Ranch Town Center
Check out an excellent farmers market and other shops
Highlands Ranch Town Center is a mixed-use development with stores like Home Depot and Michaels, restaurants, an ice cream shop, a bakery, and more. In summer, there’s an extensive farmer’s market with produce, flowers, and craft items for sale.
📚 Related Reading: 13 Denver Travel Tips & Things to Know
West Fork Disc Golf Course
Spend an afternoon honing your disc skills
West Fork is a disc golf course that’s a new addition to the Highlands Ranch park system. The course is fairly expansive and was completed in 2020. It’s free for drop-ins so you can start up a game anytime.
Hike the Trails
Enjoy the Highlands Ranch, CO scenery
There are hiking trails all through Highlands Ranch, many of which wander through parks, past the Highlands Ranch Mansion, and wind all through the back area of Highlands Ranch. Go biking, walk the dog, or just take a stroll on the more than 70 miles of trail in the area.
📚 Related Reading: 15 Best Hiking Trails in Colorado
University of Denver Golf Club at Highlands Ranch
Spend a day on the green
The fun thing about playing on Colorado golf courses is that your ball goes farther here thanks to the elevation. Spend a day trying out this fun phenomenon at the University of Denver Golf Club, which has public tee times as well as times for members.
Gelato & Co
Cool off with an icy treat
Gelato & Co. is the place to go in Highlands Ranch for a tasty frozen treat. Try authentic Italian flavors like Stracciatella or creative combos like Kroc Choc. They also have vegan sorbets and gelato for those with celiac and food allergies.
I’ve known people to Grubhub this gelato across two cities to their front door because they love it so much!
Let the kids burn off energy at this indoor play area
Playstreet Museum is an indoor play space specially designed for kids aged 8 and under. Educational toys and exhibits are meant to stimulate kids’ imagination and curiosity, and it’s a great option for kids on days when the weather is less than ideal.
Dad Clark Park
Take your furry friend to the park
Dad Clark Park has attractions for children and dogs, so you can get everyone in the house out to run around a bit. There’s a playground, sand play area, and basketball courts, plus a dog off-leash area for your furry pal.
Grab a drink and get involved
Max Taps is a taphouse featuring lots of local craft beers, wines, ciders, and other drinks. However, the taphouse also holds events like monthly yoga classes (with a beer reward when you finish), live music, community service projects, and more.
They just opened a dog area as well, so you can bring your beloved pup along and run him around. A food truck serves up snacks and a few main dishes to go along with your drinks.
🍻 Love Craft Beer? Browse brewery tours around Denver on Viator!
Monster Mini Golf
Glow up with black light mini golf
This indoor mini-golf spot is played on a glow-in-the-dark course that’s illuminated with black lights for a fun, crazy experience. Goofy monsters interact with guests and move and talk as you play. There’s also an arcade, and virtual reality attractions as well.
👉 Want more Denver area attractions? Just hit play on this video or read our Denver attraction guide:
FAQ’s About What to Do in Highlands Ranch
Is Highlands Ranch Colorado rich?
Highlands Ranch, Colorado is rich in the sense that the average household income is just over $150,000. That’s almost twice the national average. Granted, rich is a relative term – that amount of money will get you quite far in some places and not in others. The median home value in Highlands Ranch is $467,500.
Is Highlands Ranch a good place to live?
Highlands Ranch is a good place to live. It’s a suburban planned community, with good schools and lots of parks and conservation space for walking. It was listed among the Top Ten Places to Live in America by Money Magazine in 2018.
Is Highlands Ranch its own city?
Highlands Ranch is not a city. It is an unincorporated community and census-designated place in Douglas County, Colorado.
Is Highlands Ranch a good place to raise a family?
Highlands Ranch is a good place to raise a family. Because it’s a planned community, there are plenty of schools, parks, walking trails, and other spaces that make it a pleasant place to live. The community has good schools. The violent crime rate is below the national average, although the property crime rate is close to the national average.
What are the top Highlands Ranch attractions?
The top Highlands Ranch attractions are the area’s parks. There is lots of green space with nature trails, and parks with playgrounds and grills so families can spend a day outdoors. Highlands Ranch also has some great craft breweries like Grist. There are also plenty of restaurants, movie theaters, and other places to spend an evening.
Thanks for reading my picks for what to do in Highlands Ranch! Of course, since there are so many awesome nearby cities, so you may want to spend a day checking out things to do in Boulder or things to do in Denver as well.
I hope I’ve helped you find some fun things to do in Highlands Ranch!