Elitch Gardens Review
Click for a large Aerial View of Elitch Gardens
2000 Elitch Circle
Denver CO 80204
While you are enjoying staying at our Silverthorne Lodge, you might want to take a day trip to Elitch Gardens in Denver, CO. Elitch Gardens is 1.5 hours from Silverthorne. We found the park to be very clean and full of shade trees and benches. There were attractions for all ages for toddlers to full grown adults. We went in the summer month of June and the weather was about 80 degrees with a 30% chance of showers.
Click for a large picture of Elitch Gardens Entrance
The Elitch Gardens is an amusement park and water park all in one. From the Silverthorne Lodge you can leave in the morning, get to the park when it opens, have a full day of fun, and rest here in the evening. The attractions include a whole section dedicated just for the kids to very exciting rides for the dare devils in your bunch. You can end the day with a bang because each night they have a wonderful display of fireworks for you to enjoy.
The park usually opens around 9am to 9 pm, but the times change for the seasons. Their website is EltichGardens.com, which keeps fresh postings of their operating hours. Elitch Gardens has been around for 120 yrs and has constantly added attractions. The park lets you come and go as you please as long as you let them stamp your hand on your way out. For those of you on a budget you may want to use this opportunity to have a quick picnic at your car. Of course they do have places to eat, but like most amusement parks, this prices are exhorbant. If you have a backpack you might even try packing a sandwich and a drink to eat inside the park.
Click for a large picture Roller Coaster Kids
This 6 year old and 3 year old had a blast in the Startoon Studios section which is only for children under 54" tall. The Startoon Studios section of Elitch Gardens has twelve rides so the children had a blast all morning and into the afternoon without ever going on the same ride twice. One of the rides, The Wacky Warehouse, was probably the kids' favorite. They occupied themselves for 45 min while the parents were able to relax on the shaded benches and watch them have fun. The Wacky Warehouse is a huge play area that has thousands of soft hand size balls scattered everywhere. With the help of a huge vacuum system, the kids thought they were magically flying the balls. They can also shoot the balls with big air-operated guns. Of course, the balls are so soft that they couldn't hurt anybody.
Click for a large picture of The Wacky Warehouse
Our 8 year and myself rode some of the larger rides. My heart felt like it stopped on some of the scary rides, but my daughter loved them all. Our favorite ride at Elitch Gardens was the Boomerang, which goes forward first while doing upside-down turns and twists. Then you do the same stuff again, except backwards! Our trip to Elitch Gardens was on Sunday and most of the lines were about a 5-10 minute wait in the morning, and a 10-20 minute wait in the afternoon. I have to say that the wooden roller coaster called the Twister II scared me so much that I don't think I will ride them again. The wooden roller coaster was typical of any wooden roller coaster; it was loud, rickety-sounding, and threw us about violenty as we flew down its rails. Still so, when the ride was over and I was glad to be alive, my daughter said, "Can we go again?"
Click for a large picture of Elitch's Ferris Wheel
Of course we had to do the Big Wheel, the giant Ferris Wheel where you can see everywhere. Our 8, 6, and 3 year olds were able to do many of the family rides together. A ride called The Ghost Blaster, where you shot with a laser gun at the ghosts inside the dark haunted house was thoroughly enjoyed by the kids. The Troika was another favorite, which has flying swings. The spinning Tea Cups were also at the top of the list of favorites.
Click for a large picture of Bob The Builder
Before heading over to the water park section of Elitch Gardens we watched Bob The Builder do a show about going green. In his show Bob The Builder stressed the importance of the three R's, which stand for Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle. The kids weren't so interested in the three R's as they were seeing Bob The Builder live in person.
At the end Bob The Builder's show, his assistance helped the crowd take pictures. The kids lined up and took their pictures with Bob The Builder, one at a time.
Click for a large picture of Disaster Canyon
We did all of the dry land rides first, then we went to the wet rides on the water park side of the amusement park. The wet rides, Shipwreck Falls and Disaster Canyon both totally drench you with cold water. Don't go on either one thinking you may not get wet because you will! You are not allowed to just wear your bathing suit either. Elitch's rules require you keep your clothes on and get them soaking wet. Also, don't think you can take your wet clothes off and walk around in your bathing suit afterward like we did. The park police will stop you and ask you to put your soaking
bottoms back on.
The water park is called Island Kingdom. In Island Kingdom you can walk around in your bathing suit without park security telling you anything. While at Island Kingdom we went down a slide called The Edge. This slide plunges you straight down, then sling shots you back and forth until you get to the end of the tube. Better watch out because this slide will give you a wedgy, so hold your bottom up on the raft. At the end of the slide you will enter into the Castaway Creek where you can relax on the inner tube.
Click for a large picture of the Carousel
We ended our day with a family ride on the Carousel, which is 82 yrs old. We were all able to ride the "Hobby Horses", even the baby. Then
we left to get a real dinner at Furr's Family Dinner for a reasonable price. We made it back to the Silverthorne Lodge about 9pm that night. It was a wonderful day trip!
If you think you might be interested in going to Elitch Gardens here is a map you can download and plan your day: Map of Elitch Gardens, Denver CO
Check below for a video we made of our trip to Elitch Gardens in Denver, Colorado.
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