A Family Getaway to Denver Union Station

Living on the Western Slope of Colorado, Denver has always been a favorite weekend getaway. So when the opportunity presented itself to join some old friends for a ballgame we jumped at the chance to enjoy a family weekend in Denver. I envisioned writing an article about the kids’ first baseball game and the little guy’s first visit to the Denver Children’s Museum. But who would have guessed that Crawford Hotel and Denver Union Station would become the highlight?!

Family Weekend at Denver Union Station

For a family vacation to Denver the Crawford Hotel is a favorite. Photo courtesy Ellen Jaskol/ Crawford Hotel.
For a family vacation to Denver the Crawford Hotel is a favorite. Photo courtesy Ellen Jaskol/ Crawford Hotel.

Time came to book our hotel. Very often the three+ star suite type hotels are our go-to hotel with the kids. The separate bedroom and living areas plus the kitchens and breakfast buffets are a draw. Denver has a couple of great ones downtown—Embassy Suites and the new Hyatt House.

The Crawford Hotel at Denver Union Station came across my radar. I remembered an article I’d read about it when it was being developed. Upon further research we thought “what a perfect place for our three year old son who only loves fire engines more than trains”. What a great choice we made!

Crawford Hotel at Denver Union Station

The revitalization of Denver Union Station is amazing. The lobby is bustling with all kinds of people and offers almost anything one could want whether on a stop during log travels or visiting the area for a vacation.
The revitalization of Denver Union Station is amazing. The lobby is bustling with all kinds of people and offers almost anything one could want whether on a stop during log travels or visiting the area for a vacation.

We arrived Friday evening. The Crawford Hotel check in desk is located on one side of Union Station. It feel a little weird to be checking in amongst restaurants and benches of passengers waiting for trains. But it sure was interesting. The kids were enthralled with the station. Then they were delighted when the front desk brought out a wagon filled with “Camp Crawford” gifts for them to choose from. At the same time they explained to us the many amenities that come with the (truly!) reasonable resort fee of $15.

The Crawford Hotel bathroom was truly luxurious inspiring spa play for children.
The Crawford Hotel bathroom was truly luxurious inspiring spa play for children.

A short walk across the station and up a couple of levels brought us to our room with a view of the train track and trains below. The room itself was very unique and luxurious. The bathroom was spectacular. Imaginary games of train stations combined with spas ensued once the obligatory room search was complete.

After quickly admonishing the kids not to touch the mini fridge (our last mini bar experience was an overpriced censored mini bar in Las Vegas) I was pleasantly surprised to realize that the two cold bottles of Voss water in the fridge were not the typical $9 each. Rather they were covered by the resort fee.

Rockies Game at Coors Field

Sunset over Coors Field is spectacular but the highlight for me was catching up with old friends and for the kids the highlights were the Dippin' Dots and Cotton Candy.
Sunset over Coors Field is spectacular but the highlight for me was catching up with old friends and for the kids the highlights were the Dippin’ Dots and Cotton Candy.

After letting the kids play their games and remarking on how happy they would be just staying in the room all night we finally enticed them to leave. We made our way to the baseball game. The large spray pad shooting rainbows of water right outside of Denver Union Station almost deterred us but engaging a pedicab driver to take us the two short blocks to the stadium got us back on track.

The spray pad outside the Crawford Hotel at Union Station could provide hours of fun for kids on a hot day or evening.
The spray pad outside the Crawford Hotel at Union Station could provide hours of fun for kids on a hot day or evening.

The Crawford Hotel could not have been more conveniently located to Coors Field. It had been years since taking in a baseball game. It was an opportunity for me to catch up with college friends—the highlight for me. The kids were clear that their favorite part of the game was the dippin’ dots and cotton candy. Though learning how to spit out sunflower seed shells was a close second. We anticipated making it to the third inning. But we beat our expectations by a whole inning. Arriving back to the hotel around dusk, we had time for some fantastic play at the spray pad with the backdrop of an orange sunset. A warm shower in the Crawford’s luxurious rain shower and then tucking into soft beds completed the evening.

Planning Breakfast at Denver Union Station

The breakfast at Snooze A.M. Eatery at Union Station was in the top three breakfasts our family has had the opportunity to enjoy together.
The breakfast at Snooze A.M. Eatery at Union Station was in the top three breakfasts our family has had the opportunity to enjoy together.

We are not very good at planning ahead or making reservations as it is hard to know how long it will take us to get out the door. So the next morning we took our time playing in the room before figuring out from the Crawford in-room iPad that Snooze an A.M. Eatery was the recommended breakfast eatery at Denver Union Station. We eventually made our way down through the lobby/ train station.

After being told there was a 30 minute wait, we let them know we were hotel guests (priority reservations had been advertised) and gave our cell phone number. The front desk was helpful in discussing other breakfast options. Snooze seemed to be the best option so we wandered Union Station eventually making it back around to the outside entrance of Snooze. A farmers’ market and outdoor waiting area with all kinds of toys kept us entertained during what was very short wait for a table on the outdoor patio.

Breakfast at Denver Union Station: Snooze an A.M. Eatery

OMG! French Toast — Brioche stuffed with mascarpone then griddled and topped with vanilla crème, salted caramel, fresh strawberries and toasted coconut. Photo courtesy Jess + Matt Photography.
OMG! French Toast — Brioche stuffed with mascarpone then griddled and topped with vanilla crème, salted caramel, fresh strawberries and toasted coconut. Photo courtesy Jess + Matt Photography.

Our server was fantastic and our food was phenomenal. I ordered the Chile Verde Benny with slow cooked pulled pork over a stack of green chile sauced tortillas and melted cheese with poached cage free eggs and green chili hollandaise, pico de gallo and cotija cheese. It was as delicious and unique as it sounded. My husband couldn’t resist ordering a Ruben for breakfast. Snooze’s Peter Paul Ruben contained mounds of locally made corned beef, sauerkraut, and Swiss cheese with house 1,000 isles dressing upon a plump pretzel roll. Their Cinnamon Roll pancake and ham were a hit with the kids. Not wanting us to miss out, our server surprised us with an appetizer of the OMG! French Toast — Brioche stuffed with mascarpone then griddled and topped with vanilla crème, salted caramel, fresh strawberries and toasted coconut. I am no restaurant critic but breakfast is our favorite meal out and this visit to Snooze made my list of top 3 breakfasts ever. It exceeded any expectations in every area from food quality and creativity to atmosphere and authentic service. WOW!

Denver Children’s Museum

The Denver Children's Museum has undergone a fantastic remodel but the highlight for preschool boys remains the fire station.
Denver Children’s Museum has undergone a fantastic remodel but the highlight for preschool boys remains the fire station.

Our kids enjoyed another fun-filled excursion to the spray pad before heading to the Children’s Museum. We hadn’t been to the Children’s Museum since their remodel and they did a fantastic job. Arriving too late to sign up for the cooking classes, didn’t put a damper on the day. Both kids enjoyed everything else. The three year old wouldn’t leave the lifelike fire station by the entrance. The seven year old settled in at the market and kitchen to make new friends and play after having explored everything else. Lunch at the museum was surprisingly affordable and enjoyable on the outside patio. After discovering the sand, water and trucks off the outside patio the three year old really didn’t want to leave.

It was perhaps the best Denver getaway we have had yet as a family because of the very unique hotel and dining experiences. The entire Denver Union Station experience was one-of-a-kind. Thank you Union Station, Crawford Hotel and Snooze. We will be back!

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