Amusement parks in and around Denver offer a diverse collection of thrill rides, classic attractions and family fun. After a day of exploring the Rocky Mountains, it's a good way to relax. As part of a Huffington Post Travel series on family-fun parks, here is our guide to all the key information visitors need to know about Denver area amusement parks.
Elitch Gardens Water Park
Elitch Gardens, located in downtown Denver, offers a traditional Colorado amusement park experience. The 100-year-old park features a variety of family and thrill rides, classic attractions like the carousel and Ferris wheel and a summer water park, all with a view of the Rocky Mountains in the background.
The SidewinderThe Sidewinder, one of seven roller coasters at Elitch's, is the signature ride at the park. This steel, twisting coaster is 635-feet-long and reaches speeds of up to 45 mph.
Rides For All AgesIn addition to Sidewinder, Elitch Gardens features 44 other rides, including six additional coasters and two water rides. The 78-acre park also offers a restored carousel, kiddie rides, a 100-foot-tall Ferris wheel and a free summer water park.
Dining OptionsElitch Gardens offers more than a dozen dining options, including J.M. Mulvihill's Pub, a fun gathering place with nachos, burgers, bratwurst and beer; and the Outback BBQ, which serves a variety of fair food items.
Safety RecordOur research revealed no notable news reports of accidents or safety issues at Elitch Gardens Theme Park.
Address: 2000 Elitch Circle, Denver, CO 80204
Hours: Open May through October. Hours vary frequently. Check Web site for current information.
Price: Adults 48" and taller, $42.99; juniors under 48" and seniors age 62+, $29.99. Online: adults, $37.99; juniors and seniors, $35.99.
Amusement Park At Heritage Square
Located about 40 minutes east of downtown Denver, the Amusement Park at Heritage Square is part of the larger Heritage Square complex, a Victorian-themed shopping, dining and entertainment mecca. The park offers attractions for all ages, including thrill rides, paddle boats, a classic carousel and mini-golf.
The Alpine SlideThe Amusement Park At Heritage Square features a variety of attractions, but one attraction that everyone from toddlers to thrill riders enjoy is the Alpine Slide. Although it's more affiliated with Heritage Square itself, it's one ride that seems to turn even the worst of moods.
Coasters And MoreIn addition to the primary attractions, the Amusement Park at Heritage Square has kiddie rides, swings, an arcade, go-karts and magic shows.
The Garden Grill And The Python PitThe park offers two eateries as well as picnic facilities. The Garden Grill serves burgers, fries, sandwiches and salads, and features live music on the weekends. The Python Pit Grill offers hot dogs, ice cream and similar treats.
Safety RecordOur research revealed no notable news reports of accidents or safety issues at the Amusement Park at Heritage Square.
Address: 18301 W. Colfax Ave., Golden, CO 80401
Hours: Open late April through October. Hours vary by month. Check Web site for current information.
Price: Unlimited day pass, $31 includes the train, $27 without the train; individual rides, $1.25.
Other Noteworthy Parks Near DenverRoyal Gorge Bridge and Park
Lakeside Amusement Park
Gateway Park Fun Center
Buckskin Joe's Frontier Town
What's your favorite amusement park in Colorado?
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