Box City

Teaching kids about the process of urban development.

DAF is proud to present BOX CITY 2021 in partnership with History Colorado. This year’s event will take place Monday, May 31 through Sunday, June 6 from 10am to 3pm. The format for the 2021 event allows for safe social distancing without sacrificing any of the family-friendly fun! 

Box City is an event for children (and their caregivers) – grades K-5 – where participants learn about the process of urban development and the principles that make for sound architecture, design and planning. Students start with a Building Permit for their desired building type, make a sketch of their building in the Design Studio, stop at the Hardware Store to get their cardboard and paper supplies, then head to the Construction Zone to make their Box City structure. After completing the Building Inspection process, students head to the Box City street grid where an Urban Planner helps them select an appropriate building site. Children finish the process by picking up their Certificate of Occupancy which includes a photo of them with their building.

How to participate:

  1. Make a reservation BELOW: This event will be one week long with two timed & ticketed entries per day Monday, May 31 through Saturday, June 5 (10am-12pm and 1pm-3pm), and one timed & ticketed entry on Sunday, June 6 (10am-12pm). One child per ticket; maximum four tickets per reservation. Children must be accompanied by a responsible adult who must remain within the History Colorado Center atrium during their visit. Adult companions do not need a ticket. Allow a minimum of one hour for participants to complete the Box City process (90 minutes to two hours is not uncommon). Box City participants must finish by 12pm (for entry at 10am) and 3pm (for entry at 1pm). History Colorado Center exhibits are open to Box City participants from 10am to 5pm on the day of Box City participation, including the new Building Denver: Visions of the Capital City opening May 29. No walk-ins allowed this year.
  2. Select a Building Kit: On the ticket selection screen, once you’ve selected your desired ticket(s), at the bottom of that same screen, please also select your child’s desired Building Kit (under “Add-ons”): House Size, Low Rise, Mid Rise or Skyscraper (limited quantity available). 
  3. What to bring: We encourage your child to have an idea of what they would like to design and build prior to Box City. If your child already has an initial sketch, they are welcome to bring it with them along with a completed Building Permit. Don’t worry if your child doesn’t have these completed; they can complete them on site, if desired. Additionally, we encourage your child to bring along any recyclable materials they would like to use in the construction of their building.

We look forward to seeing you at Box City 2021!

Please note: All attendees (including volunteers and staff) will be required to sign a waiver of liability and answer a COVID-19 questionnaire prior to participation. All attendees must wear a mask and remain six feet apart. Click here for more information on DAF’s COIVD-19 precautions.

Check out the timelapse video below of Box City 2019!