One of the best parts of living in the Denver Metro area is the wealth of outdoor activities available to residents. Just about everywhere you look, there are parks and recreation for the public to enjoy. Having so many public areas available means that no matter what you're looking for, you'll probably find it in one of the many public parks.
City Park, at 1700 N York Street in the heart of Denver is a family favorite. There are ponds to paddleboat in, the free summer concert series, City Park Jazz, and plenty of space in the 314-acre park for a family picnic. Every weekend in the summer, you'll find the farmers market on the City Park Esplanade. The park is most well known for being home to the Denver Zoo and the Museum of Nature and Science, making it both a sunny and rainy day favorite. Go and play with the lions, tigers, and elephants at the zoo, or take shelter on a rainy day and explore the land of the dinosaurs and Ancient Egypt!
Washington Park, or "Wash Park" as it's known locally, at 1000 S Downing Street, is a favorite for sports and fitness. There are extensive paved trails, including a fitness course, for walking, jogging and biking, as well as tennis courts, a soccer field and a horseshoe pit. While you're walking the stroller-friendly trails, you can enjoy the beautiful flower beds and two lakes, where you can rent a boat if the mood strikes. There are two large playgrounds for the kids, as well.
Stapleton's Central Park, at 8601 E Martin Luther King Blvd S, is a fantastic park for kids! The innovative playground is the big draw. It features rubberized climbing surfaces, bright colors, water features and sand play. Big purple foam rubber mountains, with a bright blue foam "river" winding through, are scattered throughout for a climbing adventure. Adjacent to the playground is a 30-foot hill, which has become a favorite for sledding.
Clement Park, at 7306 W Bowles Ave in Littleton, is a family favorite. The main feature, Clement Park Lake, is surrounded by a wide paved trail where you will find families biking, skating, jogging, or walking the dog year round. The lake is a tranquil spot to take the fishing pole in the summer, and it's always fun for the kids the feed the ducks that call the park home. There are two playgrounds for the little ones, as well as a skate park for the older kids. The park is also host to free summer concerts, picnics, and the home of the Columbine Memorial.
Sensory Park, at 10376 Wadsworth Boulevard in Westminster, was built in conjunction with the Children's Hospital. It's the only 100% accessible park in the Denver area, made for children of all abilities. The Children's Hospital Northwest facility is nearby, making the playground a fantastic resource for patients, families, and any other kid! Some special features are the smooth transitions between surfaces, high contrast steps on play structures, a multitude of seating choices for the swings, and textured walkways for an interesting ride for the wheelchair bound. The wide variety of sights, scents, and textures give the park its name.
E.B. Raines, Jr. Memorial Park, at 11701 Community Center Drive in Northglenn, is a family-oriented community gathering space. Picnic pavilions, basketball courts and Webster Lake, with its paddleboats, are a backdrop for a large sensory playground. The playground features climbing structures, including a pirate ship, and spraying water in the summer. The sprayground appeals to children of all ages, with simple fountains for the little ones and climbing structures for the older kids. The picnic pavilions right next to the playground offer shelter and seating for friends to gather while the kids play the day away.
Cherry Creek State Park, at 4201 South Parker Road in Aurora, has it all! The Cherry Creek Reservoir offers activities for the whole family. For a lazy day, take a picnic, pack the sunscreen and hang out at the beach. If you're feeling more adventurous, there's boating, jet skiing, water skiing and fishing. Camping sites are available, as well as horseback riding and hiking. In the winter there is sledding and cross country skiing and snow tubing. Cherry Creek State Park has it all covered for outdoor sporting activities year round.
There is a park somewhere in or around Denver that will appeal to any need, from the small neighborhood park to the large state parks. You don't have to look far to find one you will love!
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