Amusement parks in Colorado are always good places to visit to keep everyone entertained. You can find lots of different amusement parks in different cities in the state. Whether you live within or outside of Colorado, you can plan your holiday around these parks for some all-out family fun.
Most of these amusement parks have attractions for visitors of all ages. There’s something for the little kids and the adults, guaranteeing that everyone will have a good time in the park. Aside from the rides, you also get access to hearty meals and souvenir products.
Guide To Visiting Amusement Parks in Colorado
Note that amusement parks are best visited during the summer season when all rides are open. When visiting an amusement park, make sure you’re wearing light clothes with breathable fabrics. This keeps you feeling cool despite all the walking.
There’s no way around it — you will be walking around several thousand square meters of land! Even the smallest amusement park is the size of a small village, so you’ll want to be ready. Wear your most comfortable shoes. You should also wear sunblock and keep your face and eyes protected from the sunlight with hats and glasses.
You’ll also want to grab a copy of the park’s map at the entrance. This gives you the chance to look through all the rides and pinpoint where you want to go.
Best Amusement Parks in Colorado
When on the lookout for amusement parks in Colorado, here are the ones you have to check out:
Elitch Gardens Theme Park – Denver, CO
For years, Elitch Gardens Theme Park has been one of the premier amusement parks in the state. It was originally established in 1890, underwent several eras of management, and covers roughly 65 acres of property. There’s a total of around 40 rides in the park as it switches from a theme park to a water park, depending on the season. The park has managed to incorporate various greeneries in its overall design.
Luscious gardens sprawl through the space where visitors can sit and relax while deciding on their rides. Some of the most popular rides include the wooden roller coast, the Mister Twister, carousel, slingshot, boomerang, and more. The park offers a combination of family rides, thrill rides, water rides, and even kid rides.
Perhaps one of their most popular thrill rides is the Tower of Doom, which is a 210-foot drop to make your head spin. The Twister II is another favorite roller coaster ride and was originally opened in 1995. It can reach a speed of 55 mph with a drop of 91 feet. Twister II was inspired by Mr. Twister, which first occupied the park. The first roller coaster should have been relocated but since it was too expensive to move, the park decided to just build a new one.
If you want something a little more basic, however, there’s the Disaster Canyon water ride or the Shipwreck Falls.
Glenwood Springs Amusement Parks
Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park calls itself the only mountain-top theme park and has been operating since 1999. The park sits at an elevation of 7,100 feet and is around 160 miles away from Denver. This family-operated park originally became popular for its cave tours. The tours will take you through 40 minutes’ worth of walking. The Fairy Cave Tour is perhaps their most popular one, accommodating only 20 people per session because of the tiny space. The guide will talk you through the cave’s history, tracing the steps of the first explorers who went through the Darrow tunnel.
For the more adventurous, there’s the Wild Cave Tours. This is not a walking tour as the experience will require you to climb and crawl through different surfaces. You’ll need to be at peak physical performance as you go through complicated parts of a pristine tunnel. You’ll be able to enjoy the beauty of cave rooms that experience very little foot traffic. These cave tours are only available upon reservation and only during safe seasons.
When it comes to rides, Glenwood Caverns also has a lot to offer. There’s the Giant Canyon Swing, the Soaring Eagle Zip Ride, Laser Tag, and much more. One of the more popular rides is the Cliffhanger which is the highest elevation roller coaster in the USA available at full size. There’s also the Haunted Mine Drop. Unlike other drop towers, this thrill ride drops underground into a mine.
Lakeside Amusement Park
Lakeside Amusement Park is a family-owned park located in Lakeside. It sits right beside Denver and was first called “White City” when it opened in 1908. When it first opened, the park operated as a trolley park and somehow, it managed to hold on to that distinction. In fact, Lakeside Amusement Park is now one of just 13 trolley parks in the United States. Within Colorado, it is the only trolley park in operation.
As one of the oldest amusement parks in the country, Lakeside Amusement Park paved the way for the creation of Lakeside City. Unsurprisingly, the park is home to the city’s landmark – the Tower of Jewels.
The park offers a combination of rides from roller coasters, thrill rides, kid rides, and family rides. Perhaps one of the most popular rides is The Cyclone which is a wooden roller coaster. It’s one of the few remaining wooden roller coasters in the country today, and the last one standing designed by Edward Vettel. The ride is historic enough to be the recipient of the ACE Classic Coaster award given by the American Coaster Enthusiasts.
The park itself covers a total of 17 acres and is open only from May to Labor Day. The rest of the time, the park sits silent and goes through maintenance to keep all rides safe. Being as old as it is, it’s not surprising that the park has several defunct rides. There used to be a Casino Theater on-site, too, where concerts, plays, and dances were held. Today, the theater building still stands but is used as a warehouse.
Mustang Mountain Coaster
The Mustang Mountain Coaster features a scenic coaster drive. It lets you pass through Denver, Ft. Collins-Loveland, all the way to Boulder. Unlike other amusement parks on this list, there is no selection of rides. Instead, you get one coaster ride where you have relative control over the speed of your vehicle. This means that you can take your time taking in the scenery while still having fun.
The park itself is pretty close and quick to reach via Denver. This family-owned park basically lets its visitors experience a horseless trail ride through the woods. These rides are also perfectly safe and very inclusive. For example, the height requirement is 54 inches, allowing kids to still participate in the ride. Visitors who are at least 16 years old can also have a passenger on the ride so they can enjoy the activity with a loved one.
You can buy Mustang Mountain Coaster passes online. Passes bought within a particular year are good to use for that year, so there’s no need to worry about expiration dates. The only downside of the park is that there are no other rides after this one. However, the park is large enough that you can explore on foot.
Ready for Some Fun?
Amusement parks in Colorado are extensive, exciting, and accessible. You can spend multiple hours at each park and still find yourself looking forward to every ride. The best amusement parks in Colorado can offer you an unforgettable experience while keeping you safe with their thrill rides. To make the most out of your vacation, be sure to buy tickets ahead of time through online sellers. Check through their main site, too, so you’ll know exactly what the park has to offer when you visit. Have fun!