With the kids out of school on summer break, many families are searching for their new go-to playground. Denver has quite a few to offer, with some featuring unique additions such as a firefighter-themed activity park and a refreshing splash pad. Children of all ages will have the chance to run around, play, and create their adventures when they visit one of the coolest playgrounds in Denver.
Address: 1290 Knox Court
The Paco Sánchez playground has quickly become a regional attraction. This 30-acre park is located in West Denver and is inspired by its namesake, a Colorado house representative and the man who began the first Spanish radio station in the city — Paco Sánchez. The middle of the playscape is dominated by a 1950s-inspired microphone, as well as an exhilarating concrete slide that’s inspired by a gramophone. Apart from the extensive playground features, the park also has a full-sized basketball court, a skate park, and plenty of open space to enjoy a picnic or toss a ball.
PRO Tip: The park tends to get crowded, especially in the warmer summer months. Families who want a more relaxed environment should arrive early.
Address: 13801 Grant Street
Not only are the Denver Premium Outlets great for a full day of shopping, but they also feature a playground suitable for all ages. Children are invited to use their imagination and create a unique adventure while tackling the netted aerial pathways and the climbing features. The slide isn’t for the faint of heart, as it towers over the rest of the playground. To provide the most comfortable and convenient experience, the playground has a drinking fountain, a water bottle filling station, a bathroom area, and plenty of shade to lay back and enjoy a snack.
PRO Tip: Families looking to enjoy the park should enter through Parking Lot G, which provides the most direct access to the playground area.
Address: 7306 West Bowles Avenue
The Robert F. Clement Park is named after former county commissioner, Bob Clement. The playground saw a recent renovation between 2016-2020 and features an array of updated designs and additions. The playground has been built to ensure inclusivity and there are two additional smaller play structures and a splash park. There are several tennis and pickleball courts, as well as a couple of horseshoe pits and sand volleyball courts.
PRO Tip: The park hosts several events throughout the year, including the annual Summerset Festival. Upcoming summer events include the “Red, White & You” firework display on Monday, July 3rd, 2023. Admission is free and food vendors will be on-site, as well as live music.
Address: 5850 Garrison Street
The Ralston-Central Park is a 20-acre park that has two playgrounds, as well as a large splash pad that makes for the perfect escape from the summer heat. The park has several walking paths, in addition to a sand volleyball pit and a large picnic pavilion that’s covered from the elements. The park was designed with sustainability in mind, which is noticeable in the native plants that have been chosen for landscaping and the LED lighting. Indoor restrooms are available and the parking lot has abundant spaces, making for easy access at all times of the day.
PRO Tip: The splash pad is open between 10 AM and 8 PM and has a tendency to get crowded during especially hot afternoons, so arriving early is recommended.
Address: 9190 West 84th Avenue
The Arvada Firefighters Park is one of the most unique themes in the area. Children will love playing on the 3-story slide and climbing the monkey bars that are reminiscent of firefighter ladders. Everything is painted fire engine red and there are poles to slide down and bells to ring, allowing kids to envision themselves as an actual volunteer firefighter. The park is maintained by Arvada Parks and is kept well-manicured. Aside from the playground, the park also has a full basketball court and a picnic area, as well as baseball and softball fields.
PRO Tip: The picnic area has multiple grills. The large pavilion is available to rent, making for the perfect space to host a birthday party or a family gathering.
Address: 6802 East Yale Avenue
The James A. Bible Park was reopened in November of 2021 and features a revamped playground. Kids especially enjoy playing on the large net structure and the tall towers that test their daringness to climb up high. There is a sizable artificial turf hill in the middle of the play area, as well as a scooter area with a rolling paved pathway. The park is naturally designed, with woodsy elements and a stream running along the perimeter. Parents will enjoy the workout stations and the wildlife spotting opportunities.
PRO Tip: Make a day of James A. Bible Park! There is a bathroom building (closed during the winter season), drinking fountains and picnic tables.
Address: 3498 East 112th Avenue
Carpenter Park features a large play area, dispersed over a significant area which provides children with the room to run and play. There’s a splash pad, which is perfect for the heat of the afternoon during summertime. Multiple canopies shade the play area and covered picnic tables to avoid burning in the sun. The park features inclusive elements, such as accessible chair swings, rubber surfaces and ramps. There are musical features and sensory panels, enabling kiddos to engage an array of senses. Climbing enthusiasts in training will enjoy the monkey bars and the rock walls.
PRO Tip: During the summer, head over to the lake and rent a paddleboat. This is the perfect way to cap off a long play session and makes the perfect view for a Denver sunset.
Address: 2795 East 17th Avenue
City Park features one of Denver’s best playgrounds — the Dustin Redd Playground. Featuring a long-beloved castle theme, kids can climb the tall castle tower and tame the dragon structure by crawling through the tunnels and tackling the rope nets. The park had a grand reopening in October of 2021, after raising $2 million to replace the entire playground. The updates add inclusivity and increase the overall accessibility of the play area, ensuring every Denver child can enjoy the amenities. The surface is a combination of rubber and wood chips and is designed in a way to promote active engagement and physically healthy activities in children and their families.
PRO Tip: There are no permanent restroom facilities near the playground, though there are portables available. The playground is located on the west side of City Park.
9. Swansea Park
Address: 2650 East 49th Avenue
Swansea Park was designed by local elementary school students through a leadership program called “Imagine the Possibilities.” This program empowers young students to reimagine what a playground could be and over the course of six months, students met with city leaders and traveled to several playgrounds in Denver to brainstorm their perfect play area. The park features a large play structure, a zipline, geometrical shapes, and a tall spiral slide. Rope obstacles, ladders, and bars help encourage climbing and the tall log maze is a unique addition not found in other Denver parks.
PRO Tip: Apart from the play area, Swansea Park also has a walking path, a horseshoe pit, and a fitness area with a range of equipment to help users stay physically fit. There are baseball fields and a basketball court as well.
Address: 4801 West 92nd Avenue
Westminster Center Park is often referred to as the “Peter Pan Park” by locals. This 10-acre park features a walking path, stunning views, a small amphitheater, and of course, an epic Peter Pan-themed playground. Kids will be overjoyed to find Captain Hook’s Pirate Ship, the Darling family house, and the Neverwood forest. To escape the ship, children can use slides to get them to safety and cross the treacherous bridge while letting their imaginations run wild. There’s also a splash pad, as well as a shallow stream that makes for a great way to cool off on a hot day. The playground also stays true to its London theme by featuring Big Ben, the River Thames, and the Tower of London that kids can climb onto.
PRO Tip: With water fountains and restrooms on site, families can spend hours at the park. Remember to pack a picnic lunch and a reusable bottle.
11. Washington Park
Address: 701 South Franklin Street
Washington Park is a popular getaway in Denver, featuring a lake that’s perfect for kayaking and stand-up paddle boarding. The playground has one tall slide, as well as balancing logs that will keep kiddos (and their parents!) on their toes. The whimsical playground is inspired by the surrounding natural landscape, including a rolling sidewalk that’s suitable for rollerblades and scooters. Parents can sit at one of the many picnic tables or lay out a blanket in the shade while watching their child run and explore. There are two clubhouses with a rope bridge to connect them, as well as a large sandbox and a disc swing. For younger kiddos, there’s a junior play zone with large sculptures of a ladybug and bumblebee.
PRO Tip: The original play area was removed and completely replaced in 2018. The current park is updated and well-maintained and there is a restroom facility available to kids and families nearby.
Address: 3901 Arkins Court
Globeville Landing Park provides kids with the opportunity to climb, hang, balance, and jump through the use of a diverse array of play structures. There are two separate areas for play. One is suitable for ages 2 through 5 and the other for 5 to 12-year-olds. There’s also an all-ages area with additions such as a log structure, balance beam, and a sand play area. While there are no traditional belt swings, the playground has two unique rope swings that can each accommodate up to three. There is running water in the sand area, enabling kiddos to build the sandcastle of their dreams.
PRO Tip: There is no bathroom at Globeville Landing Park, so families should plan accordingly. There are multiple pavilions that feature covered seating, which is ideal on hot days and for taking a snack break.
13. Carmody Park
Address: 2200 South Kipling Street
Carmody Park is near Carmody Recreation Center, which has access to a splash pad and an outdoor pool for sunny summer days. The playground was completely overhauled in 2017, resulting in the city’s first universal playground. Children will encounter an imaginative place that’s both stimulating with creative and physical activity. A variety of mounds, ramps, and accessible structures ensure that every child can participate. Rubber surfacing is used throughout the playground and there are unique additions such as a lily pad stepper, a split log beam, and adventure rocks. The sand area features diggers and fossil discoveries for paleontologists in training. There are permanent restrooms and grills for a tasty barbecue lunch.
PRO Tip: Aside from the playground, the park also has basketball courts, bicycle paths, and several pieces of fitness equipment for parents or older teens who want to get a workout in.
Address: 8801 M.L.K Junior Boulevard
Stapleton’s Central Park is one of the largest in Denver, with 80 acres of fun and adventure awaiting children of all ages. The playground is inspired by none other than Dr. Seuss and features climbing boulders, a central tower, a climbing wall, and a large sand play area. The swings have five different options, ensuring that everybody has the chance to experience the exhilaration of flying through the air. The park’s other amenities include covered picnic areas, an amphitheater, a play fountain, and paths suitable for jogging and biking. Not to mention, there are picture-perfect views of the Rockies. There’s a pond area that’s popular for RC boating and a hill that’s great for sledding during the winter.
PRO Tip: Central Park in Stapleton attracts people from all over the city. It’s open year-round, generally from 5 AM to 11 PM. It can get crowded in the summer months, so arrive early to ensure an optimal spot in the shade.