With summer upon us and most playgrounds reopened, we thought this was a good time to republish this story by Chris Sekirnjak. The Denver metro area is home to more than 700 public playgrounds, small and large, old and new, mundane and exciting. Finding the very best required visiting each play area, a project I completed in 2018. Here are 10 of my favorite ones that stand out from the rest. Chances are you have never heard of these parks, but all are all well worth a visit even if you live a few miles away.
If you’re curious to discover more of greater Denver’s spectacular play areas, get a copy of my guide book Denver Playgrounds & Parks. For a review of all 756 playgrounds, download my iPhone app. Visit the App Store or get details at the project website, playgroundsdenver.com. Happy exploring!
Come check out one of Denver’s super playgrounds! The many unique play opportunities include a tall covered climbing tower, rubber hills, a hanging seesaw swing, and a super fast concrete hill slide. Climb to the top of the tower and slide down on the inside! Countless climbing ribbons, nets, and spirals abound. There are also 8 swings, 9 spring toys, and plenty of spinners.
Location: Julian Street & W Howard Place, Denver
Denver Premium Outlets
This gigantic play area is a free activity center that offers families a break while shopping at the Denver Premium Outlets mall. The playground is open to the public, even if you’re not on a shopping trip. Super-tall slides, climbing towers, and large nets dominate the playground. Bridges, tunnels, and platforms are scattered throughout. Explore the dinosaur area, climbing ribbons, and turf hills.
Location: 13801 Grant Street, Thornton
Built in 2014, this playground resembles a deep forest. Logs, trees, mushrooms, and boulders are everywhere, and the color dark green dominates. The huge colorful sprayground makes summer days so much more fun; the park also offers an adjacent creek, a memorial garden, and a spacious picnic area.
Location: Garrison St & Ralston Rd, Arvada
Arvada Volunteer Fire Fighters Park
Fire engine red is the only color at this playground, from slides and swings to picnic benches and trash cans. A super-tall tube slide, spinners, a play fire truck, and lots of climbing ladders round out the fireman theme here. Come and have a firefighting experience!
Location: 8990 W 84th Ave, Arvada
Come to this Golden park at 6030 feet elevation and have it all, including some of the tallest slides in town! You get great views of the foothills and the plains, and a modern playground with a tall tower (5 flights of stairs) and several spinners (including a flywheel that’s fun for adults, too). Plenty of grassy open space surrounds the play area, ideal for playing frisbee golf or running around.
Location: 16169 W Ellsworth Dr, Golden
This mega playground was constructed in 2013 and truly offers something for everyone. In addition to the 11 swings, 8 slides, and 6 spinners, the play area includes a merry-go-round, a rocking boat, and sliding bars. The sprayground features spouts and fountains that light up at night. On summer weekends, there are pedal boat rentals on the adjacent lake, as well as a full-sized carousel.
Location: Madison St & 112th Ave, Thornton
Quail Crossing Park
Come visit this tall rocket waiting on its launch pad! You can climb to the top level, enter through one of the “shuttle entrances”, and adjust its large mission control panel. There is an alien-themed teeter-totter, a large suspended blue platform, and a spinning red ring (great for sitting or lying inside).
Location: 13402 Kalamath St, Westminster
Westlands has undergone several rounds of updates, most recently in 2000. Its three spacious play areas feature a village of play houses, unique sculptures, a hanging seesaw, and a slide built into the hillside. There is a tall observation tower, a nearby pond and splash area, and a flower garden. This is a great example of an older, yet top-notch playground in a beautiful park.
Location: 5701 S Quebec St, Greenwood Village
Westminster Center Park
Built in 2010 and nicknamed “Peter Pan Park” by locals, this play area surprises with a London theme, complete with the River Thames, Tower Bridge, and Big Ben. Artificial trees, boulders, and log tunnels add climbing challenges, and the many water features in this park are great for cooling down in the summer.
Location: W 93rd Ave & Xavier St, Westminster
Centennial Center Park
This is the flagship playground for the South metro area and boasts the largest sprayground in town, a huge climbing net, a stage for events, and a young kid area with slides, swings, sandboxes, and climbing structures. It doesn’t get much better than this!
Location: 13050 E Peakview Ave, Centennial
Guest contributor Chris Sekirnjak lives in Wheat Ridge with his wife and two young children. His guide books Denver Playgrounds & Parks and Run, Stroll, Hike were published in 2014 and 2016 and have both been adapted to mobile apps.