Elitch Gardens in Denver, Colorado

Discover the only theme and water park located in a downtown setting. Packed with thrilling rides, entertaining shows and water slides; this park is perfect for the whole family.

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History

Elitch Gardens has a deep-rooted history that lends itself to plenty of superlatives spanning beyond a traditional amusement park. First opening its gates to the public in 1890 when John and Mary Elitch turned their farm into a zoological park, the gardens would become one of the first zoos west of Chicago, the home of Denver’s first symphony orchestra, Denver’s first botanic garden and Colorado’s first Children’s Museum and activity center. In 1916, a local businessman purchased Elitch Gardens from the Elitches and began four generations of family ownership.

From here, the Trocadero Ballroom opened, hosting iconic musical acts such as Benny Goodman, Tommy and Jimmy Dorsey and Gene Krupa. Twelve years later, a hand-made carousel was installed – and you and your kids can still ride it today.

Tickets

  • Adults: $34.99 (Save $11 by purchasing online instead of main gate)
  • Children: $31.99
  • Seniors: $31.99
  • The theme park includes admission to the Water Park.

More ticket information can be found on Elitch Gardens website.

A Glimpse at the Thrill Rides

The all-new attraction is the Brain Drain, a seven-story steel roller coaster that sends riders forward, backward and upside-down. In fact, the back-to-back seats give you the choice of mind-numbing direction while boasting views of the Denver skyline and Rocky Mountains.

Talk about corkscrews. The Boomerang, painted yellow and purple, curves time and again with rapid head-over-heels action. But not only will you twist and shout – you’ll do it at 50 miles per hour. Both lifts reach 125 feet, making it the tallest roller coaster at Elitch Gardens. Buckle up for one steel craze of a ride.

Hollywood & Vine is not for the nauseous. Originally named Paradise when the ride operated at the previous location, Hollywood & Vine truly twists things up. Sit in the wild ride as you spin faster and faster. Fun fact: This type of swing ride was manufactured in Germany and is commonly referred to as a “Break Dance.”

The Sling Shot launches guests inside a slingshot ball, accelerating to 80 mph for a few seconds before falling back to Earth. Notably, this is an extra charge attraction. Scared of heights? Steer clear of the Tower of Doom, which brings you on a Rocky Mountain high before plummeting 200 feet to the ground at 60 mph. If the views of the city and surrounding mountain ranges don’t take your breath away, the drop will.

Family Rides

Denver is family-friendly town, and the Elitch Gardens are no exception. The giant Ferris wheel takes visitors up 100 feet in a relaxing yet rewarding ride. This is tradition at its finest. Keep the good times rolling at the Carousel, where little ones hang on to the 83-year-old treasure that sits between the Entry Pavilion and the Water Park, complete with 67 hand-carved horses and chariots.

Since the best dreams involve flying, the tree-shaped Dragonwing might make you think you’re dreaming with your eyes open. From the tall beams, you can see a ring full of mini carts where riders sit and let the breeze blow through their hair.

Blazin’ Buckaroo was added to KiddieLand in 2013. Its few quick turns and top speeds of 15 mph makes for a pleasant thrill for youngsters.

If you want to experience the gorgeous Colorado views without the terrifying fall of the Tower of Doom, the Observation Tower is for you. The elevator will carry you up 250 feet to the viewing platform where you’ll soak in panoramic vistas of the Denver skyline.

Make a Splash at the Water Park

Yes, the theme park marks only half of the fun. The Water Park, open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day, is brimming with aquatic attractions. The Acapulco Cliff Dive, for example, is a 65-foot-tall, high-speed, free-fall water slide, Cannonball Falls offers two enclosed tube slides and the Edge takes guests down a giant 42-foot slide before racing up the other edge. Push yourself to the limits at Paradise Pipeline, or flush yourself down the water slide’s version of a toilet at the RipQurl, a tubing bowl for one or two riders.

When you need a breather, head to the Castaway Creek, which has geysers and waterfalls. Colorado might not sit on either coast, but the Commotion Ocean boasts all the water fun you’ll need. The massive wave pool is a blast for the whole family.

Complimentary life jackets are available at Raft Rentals for those who aren’t the strongest of swimmers. Other popular Water Park attractions include Hook’s Lagoon, Splashdown and the Tube Top.

Concerts and Shows

If you time your trip right, you can catch a live summer concert in the newly expanded Elitch Arena. Or, check out the all-new family shows such as Dine-In Movies, where you and the gang can enjoy an evening of cinematic fun while floating in the wave pool. Fireworks, the World of Magic and Character Trails are other must-sees.

Courtesy of Homeaway



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