Denver has a surprising number of water fun for a city that can host snow anytime from September to May. When kids get antsy this summer or just want to explore their inner mermaid, check out these Denver-area water parks, beaches, and swim centers.
Elitch Gardens’ Water Park is included with theme park admission from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day, and tube rental is $5 for a single, or $8 for a double. Thrill slides like the Canonball Falls and Gangplanks, and our favorite, the Mega Wedgie, a 6-foot long aqua tube, are available for thrill seekers, as are others like Castaway Creek, an action river with geysers, water bubbles, and waterfalls. Commotion Ocean, Hook’s Lagoon, and Splashdown are other family-friendly pools for families. 2000 Elitch Circle, Denver
With 50 attractions for families, Water World opens Saturday, May 26. This summer, Water World is unveiling a new attraction called Glacier Run, which will have riders gliding straight down a steep mountain, a la flight of the penguin, at around 25 miles an hour on a mat. The run will have 8 lanes for belly down fun with frozen features like glaciers and wait for it…penguins. Park hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily, weather permitting. Water World offers free parking, and free tickets for tots under 40”. Tickets are $24-$37 for kids heights 40-47, $27-$42 for heights 48” and above, and $11 for seniors ages 60 and above.
Fasten your eye patch, and head out to Pirates Cove after May 26 to check out the leisurely lagoon pool, the family favorite Dump Bucket, lazy river, water slides, a sand play area, and a spray garden. Prices range from $7-$15 for daily passes and $158-$241 for family passes.
This suburban reservoir houses a decent sized beach for tanning swimming, paddle boarding, boating and fishing. There are lifeguards on duty to watch the kiddos and even a nature center to learn while you sun. Open 6:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. 5800 S Powhaton Rd., Aurora
Just 20 minutes from Downtown Denver, this sandy beach offers stand-up paddleboarding, paddleboats, kayaking, sand volleyball, and sunning. There are no lifeguards on duty at this reservoir which boasts more than 800 acres of water surface, but clean bathrooms and a concession stands. 14620 Morrison Rd., Lakewood
Rent a boat, canoe or kayak, or, swim, fish, picnic, or enjoy the warm rays at Boulder Reservoir, or try out the concessions. This boulder area reservoir also has a lifeguard on duty. Open Memorial Day to Labor Day from 5:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Entry is $4 for kids three to 18, and $7 for adults, kids age two and under are free. 5565 N. 51st St., Boulder
Enjoy boating, fishing, jet skiing, sailboarding, and swimming at Cherry Creek State Park. The sandy beach has a roped-off swimming area, and bathrooms at the beach for convenience. Parents should note that the beaches don’t have lifeguards on duty, so kids must be supervised at all time. 4201 S. Parker Rd., Denver
After making a stop at the Downtown Aquarium or Elitch Gardens, stop by Confluence Park to watch kayakers or sunbathe on the sandy banks while marveling at views of downtown Denver. 2250 15th St., Denver
Standley Lake is the drinking water supply for Westminster, Northglenn, and Thornton, as well as a great spot for fishing, paddling, swimming, and beach fun. A day pass is $7 per vehicle, and extra for use of a paddle board, canoe, kayak, or inflatable raft. Open May 1 to September 30, 6:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Simms St. and W. 100th Ave., Westminster
APEX offers 23,000 square feet of play features, spas, and a lap pool, as well as family locker rooms. With a curved 150-foot tube slide and body slide with a waterfall, and a vortex area, the center is a blast for thrill seekers. APEX also offers a play pool and an indoor play area with slides, fountains, waterfalls, and geysers. Kids age three and under must wear a swim diaper, kids age six and under must be directly supervised, and kids age nine and older can swim without adult supervision. 13150 W 72nd Ave., Arvada
Broomfield’s outdoor water park, designed for children ages one to 12, features a large pool, tot pool, body slide, tube slides, sprayground, picnic areas, and is ADA accessible. Opens on May 26. Kids age three and under are free with paying adult, kids age four to 17 are $5 resident/$7 nonresident and $5-$9 for adults. 250 Spader Way, Broomfield
Del Mar’s water park features a water playground with two slides, a full-service concession stand, a splashdown activity pool, a zero depth entry for new swimmers, and a new bathhouse with family changing rooms. $3.50 age two to 17, $4.50 ages 18-26, and$5 adults. A 10-punch admission pass is available for all ages, for $25. 12000 E. 6th Ave., Aurora
This pool is a destination for water fun with two 182′ water slides, a waterworks play structure, a spray garden, a concession area, and a shade pavilion for adults to enjoy a great book. Season passes are $90-$250 depending on residency, and number of family members. 10795 Victorian Dr., Parker
Hyland Hills Park & Recreation District’s three outdoor pools—Splashland, Carrol Butts, and Perl Mack—offer first-class amenities including beautiful decks with lounging and sunbathing areas, showers, locker rooms, and splash pad play areas for young children. The pools host many aquatics activities for all ages including swim lessons, water aerobics, and open swim. Pools open June 12-August 13. $2 per person, age four and up; season passes available for $20 per person.
The largest water park in Jefferson County, The Splash at Fossil Trace houses two large body and tube water slides, a large pool with a play structure, small water slides, spray fountains, and a 500 gallon dump bucket, as well as a sand area for all ages to make sandcastles, plus a spray fountain and shaded areas for reapplying sunscreen. Daily admission is free for kids age two and under, and $4.50-$10 for other guests. 3151 Illinois St., Golden
Denver Parks and Recreation owns and operates these 16 Denver-area pools that are open to the public from June 4 to August 12, with daily admission fees ranging from $1-$3.50.
- Aztlan Outdoor Pool – Open Swim: noon to 5 p.m., daily. 4435 Navajo St.
- Berkeley Park Outdoor Pool – Open Swim: 1:15 p.m. to 5 p.m., daily. 5105 W 46th Ave.
- Barnum Recreation Center – Open Swim: 11:15 a.m. to 6 p.m., daily. 370 Hooker St.
- Cook Park Outdoor Pool – Open Swim: 1:15 to 5 p.m., Monday-Friday; 12:15 to 6 p.m., Saturday and Sunday. 1655 S. Oneida St.
- Garfield Park Outdoor Pool – Open Swim: 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday-Friday; noon to 5 p.m., Saturday and Sunday. 1295 S. Lowell St.
- Eisenhower Outdoor Pool – Open Swim: 1:15 to 5 p.m., Monday-Friday; 1:15 to 6 p.m., Saturday and Sunday. 4300 Dartmouth Ave.
- Congress Park Outdoor Pool – Open Swim: 1:15 to 7 p.m., Monday-Friday; 12:15 to 7 p.m., Saturday and Sunday. 850 Josephine St.
- Globeville/Argo Park Outdoor Pool – Open Swim: 12:15 to 6 p.m., daily. 4700 Logan St.
- Green Valley Ranch Outdoor Pool – Open Swim: 1:15 to 6 p.m., Monday-Thursday; noon to 6 p.m., Friday-Sunday. 4455 Jebel St.
- Harvard Gulch Outdoor Pool – Open Swim: 1:15 to 5 p.m., Monday-Friday; 12:15 to 6 p.m., Saturday and Sunday. 550 E. Iliff Ave.
- Harvey Park Outdoor Pool – Open Swim: noon to 6 p.m., daily. 2150 Tennyson Way
- La Alma/Lincoln Park Outdoor Park – Open Swim: 12:15 to 6 p.m., Monday-Friday; 11:15 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday and Sunday. 1 1323 W. 11th Ave.
- Mestizo/Curtis Park Outdoor Pool – Open Swim: 12:30 to 6 p.m., daily. 3180 Champa St.
- Ruby Hill Park Outdoor Pool – Open Swim: 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., daily. 1555 W. Mexico St.
- Southwest Outdoor Pool – Open Swim: noon to 5 p.m., daily. 9200 Saratoga Place
- Swansea Outdoor Pool – Open Swim: noon to 5 p.m., daily. 2650 E. 49th Ave.