Colorado's amusement parks are not made up of your run-of-the-mill fast rides! The real star here is Mother Earth, and the land's beauty and rich resources are as much a part of the thrill as the interactive activities designed for visitors and their families. Kids of all ages will enjoy the thrill of experiencing firsthand Colorado's beauty, whether seen from a serene Ferris wheel, across the landscape in train rides or coasting above ground in hot-air balloons. 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 amusement parks near Colorado Springs.
Lakeside Amusement Park
Just 75 miles from Colorado Springs, Lakeside Amusement Park, north Denver's 103-year-old theme park, exudes good old-fashioned charm and personality. With great mountain views as a backdrop for its numerous rides -- 15 of which are meant specifically for youngsters -- there is a lot to see and do.
Classic RidesLakeside Amusement Park's old-time charm enchants visitors with its collection of classic amusement park rides. But its newer rides have also won acclaim. ColoradoAdventures.com reports that a roller coaster built in 2003 was rated among the top 10 in the United States.
Nostalgic Blast From The PastThe Zoom, a tower from which riders are given the sensation of being dropped from a great height, is a park favorite among thrill seekers. The Park's Loop-o-Plane was described as a "nostalgic blast from the past" by one ThemeParkCritic.com reviewer. Among the park's other top draws are the Cyclone, the Wild Chipmunk and the Hurricane.
Food OptionsClassic park fare is served in kiosks, and picnic areas allow for visitors to bring their food and beverages.
Safety RecordOur research revealed no notable news reports of accidents or safety issues at Lakeside Amusement Park.
Address: 4601 Sheridan Blvd., Denver, CO 80212
Hours: Hours vary, but generally rides operate from 7 to 11 p.m. on weekdays and 1 to 11 p.m. on weekends. Call ahead to ensure the park is open before you head out.
Price: Gate admission is $2.50 per person and is required for all ages over 2. Customers receive a 50-cent coupon good toward rides. Coupons cost 50 cents each, and a list of coupons required for each ride is available online.
Heritage Square Entertainment Village
About 20 minutes away from Denver is the Heritage Square Entertainment Village in Golden, Colorado. Set in an old Victorian town, the park evokes an older era and touts itself as a place that offers "clean, safe and affordable family fun." It offers family activities that range from classic amusement park rides to a music hall that hosts comedic plays and children's theater.
Coasters And Alpine SlidesThe Heritage Square Entertainment Village features classic amusement park rides that everyone enjoys, such as the Python Pit roller coaster and the Tilt-A-Whirl. Also featured, along with the beautiful view, is the square's Alpine Slide: A scenic chair ride takes you to the top, where you can sled down one of two half-mile tracks.
Action-Packed RidesOther park rides include the Scrambler, the Space Shuttle, the Ferris wheel and bumper and paddle boats. There are a number of rides geared specifically for the little ones. Among the square's other unusual activities are the Miner's Maze Adventureland, which includes a climbing wall and bungee tramp and the Heritage Square Rio Golden Railroad, a historic three-quarter-mile train ride, including passage over a 110-foot trestle 20 feet above the park.
Fun Family DiningThe Garden Grill offers classic amusement park food and treats (a menu is available online). Beer is also on the menu, and a band is the featured entertainment. Designated picnic areas are available on a first-come, first-served basis. No outside alcohol, bottles or barbecue grills are allowed.
Safety RecordOur research revealed no notable news reports of accidents or safety issues at Heritage Square Amusement Park.
Address: 18301 W. Colfax Ave., Golden, CO 80401
Hours: The park is open 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday. Check online for details.
Price: Value pass information is available online. Entrance and parking are free; individual tickets for amusement park rides are $1.25. Each activity varies in price (check online).
Other Noteworthy Parks Near Colorado Springs
Cave of the Winds
Garden of the Gods
Manitou Cliff Dwellings
Pikes Peak Cog Railway
Royal Gorge Bridge and Park
What's your family's favorite Colorado Springs amusement park?
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