Colorado Parks: Unique Spots for the Whole Family

June 9, 2014

There are so many parks and playgrounds to take your kids to all over the state. Most have a swing set or a field, maybe even a picnic shelter to have a get together, but sometimes you want to go someplace a little different—a place that gives you a little more without needing to foot a bill for a big water park, museum, or zoo.

Here are a few hidden gems across the state for you to check out with your family.

Belleview Park: Englewood
5001 S Inca Dr
The playground at Belleview Park sports an aviation theme with miniature rockets to ride and a giant TM-76 Martin Mace Missile to ogle. The real draw, though, would be the miniature train and petting zoo. For $1.75 each, anyone can get a ride on the train or entrance to the farm to check out all of the animals and even pet a few. It adds that little bit that changes it up from the norm and give the kids something else to look forward to without spending an arm and a leg. But if you do decide you want to spend some money on an activity, Pirate’s Cove is just next door and as far as water parks go, it’s affordable for any family.

Westlands Park: Greenwood Village
5701 S. Quebec St. 
Some families are spread out over a few years and you may find yourself at the park with not only young children but older ones. Most parks aren’t equipped with something that will entertain everyone. Westlands Park has three different play areas that speak to different ages and even includes two climbing structres that work for the small inexperienced child as well as the seasoned climber. An in-line hockey rink and three multi-use playing fields round out the features here.

Ray Ross and Surfside Park: Lakewood
5330 W. 9th Ave. 
Lakewood seems to be the place to be for a splash pad since both Ray Ross and Surfside Park feature splash pads. Ray Ross is a little simpler with a playground and the free splash pad for a hot day. The splash pad at Surfside is a bit more extensive than the one at Ray Ross but you will be in good shape if you visit either this summer. Surfside has a $1 admittance for anyone of walking age (whether you use the splash pad or not) but it has a shelter you can rent for a party and a lot of space to run around. If you are looking for an inexpensive afternoon or a location for a fun kid party, this is the place.

Discovery Park: Golden
3701 Johnson St. 
This is a different kind of park that will keep your kids entertained on a whole new level. The climbing equipment is made up of a giant dinosaur and brass tortoise. Once they want a break from climbing, they can pretend they are archeologists in the digging pit and search for fossils. The whole family can also enjoy the grass maze and climbing wall. It’s not your usual playground but why does it need to be when they can be explorers?

Utah Park: Aurora
1800 S. Peoria St. 
Aurora's 46-acre Utah Park is amazing and has so much to offer any family. The 6,800-square-foot playground features the usual setup in addition to climbing pavilions, a pirate ship crow's nest, and a larger playground for big kids. Part of the playground is also wheelchair accessible for kids or other family members who want to join in on the fun. The park also offers ball fields, picnic shelters, a tennis center and a pool complete with slide and playground.

Town Park: Telluride
500 E. Colorado Ave.
Town Park manages to pack a lot of punch into a small town. The “community built” Imagination Station playground will entertain for hours and there is an additional toddler playground for the younger kiddos. Some of the unique perks to this park is a free kid fishing pond (with a four trout limit) for little ones age 12 and under. For the grownups in the crowd it features horse shoe pits, tennis course, basketball courts, volleyball, and disc golf. For the excitement junkies there is a skateboarding and trick bike facility.

Fossil Creek Community Park: Ft. Collins
5821 S. Lemay
This park is just fun. The play area comes complete with a giant mammoth for kids to crawl on and an all-around style that makes you feel like you are in the "Flintstones." To entertain some of the older kids, they have a skate park and skating rink as well as a dog park for your furry friends. The softball fields host a variety of games and the rolling hills are perfect for a picnic.

Rocket Park: Grand Junction
2601-2699 Orchard Ave. 
This park was named after the rocket shaped structure that children used to climb all over. It has since been turned into a fun piece of art overlooking the playground due to safety issues, but the style of the park still holds true to the theme. A bonus here is that this is a newer handi-capable park that can accommodate children and adults with disabilities.

America the Beautiful Park: Colorado Springs
126 Cimino Dr.  
What was originally created to beautify the entrance to downtown Colorado Springs turned into an amazing project where the community can get together. The “fantasy” park is extensive for kids to play on and the surrounding fields can be utilized for sports or picnics or anything else you can think of. The focal point of the park is the beautiful Julie Penrose Fountain that can be perfect on a hot day. As long as the weather is good, the fountain will be running and you will be able to enjoy playing in or around it.

What's your favorite park around the state?