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When you’re craving a little excitement on your vacation, explore the variety of Colorado rides and thrills at regional amusement parks. You’ll find fun activities and attractions for all ages and interests.
Elitch Gardens, located in the heart of downtown Denver, offers fun entertainment from April through October. In addition to thrill rides and kiddie attractions, the theme park offers a free concert series and dive-in movies in the summer. Fright Fest is a fun Halloween-themed event in October. Test your courage on the 17-story Star Flyer roller coaster or the six-story Mega Wedgie, a 40-mph water slide. Other popular rides include XLR8R, the world’s highest free fall swing, Mind Eraser, a 10-story suspension coaster, and The Half Pipe, a fast ride around a 10-story half pipe at up to 60 mph.
Water World is located 15 minutes north of downtown Denver at 88th Avenue and Pecos Street. Spanning 64 acres, the beautifully landscaped water park offers 50 water attractions and was rated one of the top 10 water parks in America by the Travel Channel. Open from May through Labor Day, the park offers tube slides, thrill rides, picnic areas and three separate children’s play areas.
Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park is situated halfway between Aspen and Vail in historic Glenwood Springs. The family-friendly attraction first opened as the Fairy Caves in 1895 but closed at the start of World War I. The caverns reopened in 1999 and the park has expanded to include carnival style rides along with guided tours of the caves. The Cliffhanger Roller Coaster is the longest alpine coaster in Colorado and provides cliff-side curves and thrilling drop-offs. The Giant Canyon Swing and the Glenwood Canyon Flyer offer stunning views of Glenwood Canyon and the Colorado River. Fly through the trees on the Soaring Eagle Zip Ride, or take the Iron Mountain Tramway 4300 ft. up for views from the summit. Other fun activities include laser tag, a climbing wall, gemstone mining, and an electronic shooting gallery. Special events are featured several times a year. Oktoberfest, Music on the Mountain and Winter on the Mountain are the most popular. The park is open daily from March-October and weekends only November-March.
Walsenburg Wild Waters in southern Colorado is a family-friendly water park open spring through summer. Enjoy three different swimming pools, a lazy river and water features including fountains, sprays and dumping buckets. Cool off on the 30 ft.-high water slide and enjoy a twisting, turning ride with a giant splash at the end. A Zero Entry Pool makes playing in the water safer for tiny tots. Sunbathe on the decks, pick up snacks at the refreshment stand and enjoy a fun day in the Colorado sun.
Soaring Tree Top Adventures in Durango boasts the largest zip line course in the United States. Offering 27 zip lines ranging from 56 ft. to 1400 ft. long, the attraction delivers thrills for the whole family. Getting to the site is half the fun. Located in the San Juan National Forest, the attraction is accessed by taking the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad. Your ticket includes the train ride, a zip-line adventure and lunch under the trees. Book an adventure from mid-May through mid-October.
North Pole Santa’s Workshop, located off Pikes Peak Highway in Cascade, is a Christmas-themed amusement park. Situated below Pikes Peak Mountain at an altitude of 7500 feet, the park has an ice-covered pole that never melts. Browse the holiday village gift shops, visit Santa and his elves, and enjoy magic shows, picnics and more than 25 carnival rides. Take a spin on the Christmas Tree Ride or fly through the sky on the Enterprise Space Shuttle. Little ones enjoy the antique carousel and feeding deer and llamas. The park is open Thursday-Monday from 10am-5pm.