There aren't a lot of major theme parks or amusement parks in Colorado. In fact, there is really only one —Elitch Gardens—and it's not all that big when compared to behemoths such as Six Flags Magic Mountain or Disneyland in California. But there are quite a few places to find rides and other amusements in the state. Let's run them down.
Colorado amusement parks and theme parks are listed alphabetically.
Bananas Fun Park is a family entertainment center with indoor and outdoor attractions. Activities include go-karts, laser tag, bumper boats, mini golf, bounce houses, and an arcade with redemption games. In the warmer months, the park offers Coconut Cove, an outdoor water play attraction with water slides, jets, climbing structures, and a tipping bucket.
The former Six Flags theme park has an interesting history. It dates back to 1890 and included an ornate theater for live productions and a ballroom where famous big bands performed. The original location closed, however, and the entire park relocated near downtown Denver in 1995.
Elitch Gardens includes some nice coasters as well as a good collection of other thrill rides, family rides, and kiddie rides. Among its most notable rides is Twister II, which is an ode to Mr. Twister, the wooden coaster that thrilled visitors at the original Elitch gardens for decades. Other standout rides include the 200-foot-tall drop ride, Tower of Doom, the 170-foot extreme swing ride, Star Flyer, and the steel coaster, Brain Drain.
New for 2019, the park will introduce Meow Wolf's Kaleidoscape, an intriguing dark ride that will feature colorful sets designed by an artists' collective.
Admission to the adjacent Island Kingdom water park is included with general admission. Elitch Gardens is open mid-April through late October.
With its underground caverns, cave tours, a tram ride to view the Rocky Mountains, and other attractions that take advantage of its beautiful surroundings, Glenwood Caverns is not a traditional amusement park. It does, however, include some amusement rides, including a couple of roller coasters, a Ferris wheel, a 4-D motion theater, and a giant swing.
One of the most unusual rides at Glenwood is the Haunted mine drop. Billed as the world’s first underground drop ride, it sends passengers plummeting more than 100 feet into a dark cavern bored into the mountain.
The site is open year-round, but some of the rides and attractions are seasonal.
The traditional amusement park dates back to 1908 and is one of a few remaining trolley parks. It has some lovely, original Art Deco signs and architecture as well as some vintage rides such as the circa-1940 Cyclone wooden coaster. And yes, Lakeside is located next to a lake. The park is open from early May to mid-September.
Like Glenwood Caverns, Royal Gorge Bridge & Park is not a typical amusement park. Attractions include the world's highest suspension bridge, the world's longest aerial tram, and the world's steepest incline railway. There are also a few amusement rides such as a carousel, a mini train, and a Skycoaster bungee drop ride. Royal Gorge is open year-round, but some of the rides and attractions are seasonal.
The small, Christmas-themed park dates back to the mid-1950s. The family and kiddie rides at Santa's Workshop include a small roller coaster, an antique car ride, a Ferris wheel, and a carousel. The highlight is a visit with Santa (of course). The park is open around the Christmas holidays as well as in warmer weather. And if you are wondering, Santa's Workshop is actually located in North Pole. That's the name of the town, which is located near Colorado Springs. The park is open in late May through the fall and again around the holidays.
Here are some resources to find nearby parks and make travel plans: