Denver amusement parks: Lakeside vs. Elitch Gardens

Posted | Contributed by Jeff

It might be only May, but it feels like summer's officially here: As of last weekend, both of Denver's big amusement parks — Lakeside and Elitch Gardens — are up and running. The two fun parks come alive in the warm-weather months. Each is loaded with history, but they're very different places.

Read more from The Denver Post.

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eightdotthree's avatar

Ambience: Elitch's is a standard, big-ticket amusement park — modern, flashy and crowd-pleasing. Lakeside's age and occasionally decrepit rides add a heavy air of history — or of gee-whiz nostalgia, depending on whom you ask. The park's neon signs, art deco flourishes and midcentury-modern-style rides are a delight for design geeks, too. Advantage: Lakeside.

Charm wins again!

Last edited by eightdotthree,
rollergator's avatar

Lakeside is the closest thing to Knoebels west of the Mississippi...or west of Elysburg. Short version: if you have to choose, go to Lakeside - and if you leave before dark, you're missing out!

RPM's avatar

I'll second that. Lakeside is a very fun park and worth the trip if you are in Denver. I was in town a couple of years ago on business, and liked the park so much, I went twice during the week. Its not the kind of place you can spend a whole day at, but it's perfect for an evening.

Elitch is fine, but Lakeside AFTER DARK is worth the trip even if you never ride a ride. During the day, well, the Cyclone is worth the trip and the carousel is unique, but the charm is geometrically better after dark,

(At least it was the last time I was there, which, amazingly, is now over a decade ago. Amazing how time flies)

Last edited by Captain Hawkeye,

This Isn't A Hospital--It's An Insane Asylum!

Lakeside without a doubt. I agree that the park is a must do at dusk. Elitch's at the old location was a neat (but cramped) park. It's current incarnation is a cookie cutter version that left us with a kind of a "eh" impression.

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