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Thrill-Seeker's Guide to the Best Theme Parks in Denver

Roller coaster at the Elitch Gardens Theme Park in Denver, Colorado.

Welcome to the exciting world of theme parks in and around Denver, Colorado. While Denver may not have the same concentration of theme parks as larger cities, it offers a diverse range of attractions that promise fun, adventure, and memorable experiences for visitors of all ages. From thrilling rides to water parks, classic amusements to underground caverns, and opportunities to explore nature's wonders, these Denver-area theme parks and attractions have something special to offer. Join us on a journey through the exhilarating and entertaining theme park scene in the Mile-High City.

Overview of the best Theme Parks in and near Denver



Official Website

Elitch Gardens Theme & Water Park (Denver, CO)


Water World (Federal Heights, CO)


Lakeside Amusement Park (Denver, CO)


Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park (Glenwood Springs, CO)


Royal Gorge Bridge & Park (Canon City, CO)


Butterfly Pavilion and Insect Center (Westminster, CO)


Note: The prices mentioned are for one adult, but the parks offer various prices suitable for different groups of people. Check the official website and choose the pricing that suits you the best.


More about the best Theme Parks in Denver

Elitch Gardens Theme & Water Park (Denver, CO)

Elitch Gardens is a combination amusement park and water park located in the heart of Denver. It features a variety of thrilling rides, water slides, family attractions, and live entertainment.

Recommended Rides and Attractions:

  • Mindy Mindbender: A thrilling roller coaster with inversions and twists.

  • Twister II: A classic wooden roller coaster that provides a wild ride.

  • Island Kingdom Water Park: Features a lazy river, wave pool, and various water slides.

  • Star Flyer: A high-flying swing ride that offers panoramic views of the city.

  • Kiddyland: Perfect for younger children, with gentle rides and attractions.


Water World (Federal Heights, CO)

Water World is one of the largest water parks in the United States, offering a wide range of water slides, lazy rivers, wave pools, and family-friendly attractions.

Recommended Rides and Attractions:

  • Voyage to the Center of the Earth: A family raft ride that takes you on a journey through ancient caves.

  • The Revolution: A high-speed, looping water slide for thrill-seekers.

  • Calypso Cove: A massive wave pool with over 700,000 gallons of water.

  • Big Top Family Fun Zone: Features interactive water play areas for kids and families.


Lakeside Amusement Park (Denver, CO)

Lakeside Amusement Park is a historic park located by a beautiful lake. It offers classic amusement park rides, including a wooden roller coaster, a vintage carousel, and carnival games.

Recommended Rides and Attractions:

  • Cyclone: A classic wooden roller coaster that's been a park icon for decades.

  • Wild Chipmunk: A spinning coaster that provides a unique experience.

  • Merry-Go-Round: A beautifully restored, historic carousel.

  • Train Ride: A leisurely train journey around the park's scenic lake.


Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park (Glenwood Springs, CO)

Nestled in the mountains, this adventure park combines thrill rides with cave tours. You can experience unique rides, stunning views, and explore underground caverns.

Recommended Rides and Attractions:

  • Haunted Mine Drop: A thrilling drop ride that plunges you into an underground mine shaft.

  • Alpine Coaster: An exhilarating mountain coaster that lets you control your speed.

  • Cave Tours: Explore the stunning underground caves with guided tours.

  • Giant Canyon Swing: A massive swing that swings you out over Glenwood Canyon.


Royal Gorge Bridge & Park (Canon City, CO)

This park is known for its stunning suspension bridge over the Arkansas River and offers breathtaking views. Visitors can enjoy rides, a sky coaster, and scenic beauty.

Recommended Rides and Attractions:

  • Royal Gorge Bridge: Walk across North America's highest suspension bridge for breathtaking views.

  • Skycoaster: A thrilling swing experience that sends you soaring over the gorge.

  • Zip Line: Experience the thrill of ziplining across the gorge.

  • Gondola Ride: Enjoy a scenic gondola ride with stunning vistas.


Butterfly Pavilion and Insect Center (Westminster, CO)

While not a traditional theme park, the Butterfly Pavilion is a unique indoor zoo that features thousands of butterflies and other insects, making it an educational and interactive experience.

Recommended Rides and Attractions:

  • Butterfly Pavilion: Stroll through the butterfly enclosure and observe these colorful insects up close.

  • Crawl-A-See-Em: Get a closer look at insects and arachnids in this interactive exhibit.

  • Water's Edge: Explore aquatic life, including fish, turtles, and other creatures.

  • Outdoor Gardens: Wander through gardens featuring native plants and pollinators.


In the heart of the Rockies, Denver's amusement parks and attractions provide a unique blend of entertainment, adventure, and natural beauty. Whether you're seeking heart-pounding thrills at Elitch Gardens, making a splash at Water World, or exploring the wonders of Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park, there's an adventure awaiting every visitor. Lakeside Amusement Park's nostalgic charm and the majestic views at Royal Gorge Bridge & Park add to the region's theme park tapestry. And for a different kind of adventure, the Butterfly Pavilion and Insect Center offers an educational and enchanting experience. Denver's theme parks may be fewer in number, but they're big on fun and memorable moments, making them a delightful part of the city's attractions landscape.

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