Best parks and playgrounds in southern metro denver

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Best parks and playgrounds in southern metro denver

You’ll enjoy a great day with family or friends without fighting the mountain traffic, have a great picnic lunch, cool off in the shade or a splash pad, play games, stay fit and trim, simply relax, and enjoy these remarkable parks close to home.

Hudson Gardens in Littleton: Well-known for its summer concert series, Hudson Gardens features a regional display of flowers and plants in the Plant Zoo that grow well in the Rocky Mountain Region, such as Porcupine Grass, Ostrich Fern, and other “animals.” The miniature Garden Railroad (for viewing) and the Water Gardens with giant lily pads and scores of tiny frogs are some of the garden’s favorite features. Borrow a Family Explorer Pack and wear comfortable walking shoes. Hudson Gardens includes restrooms and a visitor center.

Marjorie Park, Greenwood Village: This park isn’t very big, doesn’t have a playground or a splash pad, or even a picnic table. So why is Marjorie Park on our list? Because it has incredible, gorgeous, life-size sculptures of the characters from Alice in Wonderland, including a huge one of the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party. Enter from the parking lot and follow the path to see the White Rabbit, the Caterpillar, and others presented in the same order that Alice met them. Make your visit extra special by bringing cupcakes with “Eat Me” labels or use cookie cutters to make bread-and-butterflies. Marjorie Park is on the north side of Fiddler’s Green Amphitheater.

O’Brien Park in Parker: Located near downtown Parker, O’Brien Park has two playground areas, a multi-purpose field, a basketball court, and a pool (paid admission). Many family-friendly events, including outdoor summer movies and Parker Days Festival, take place at this popular park. A variety of shops and restaurants are within walking distance. There are barbeque grills, pavilions, a gazebo, picnic tables, restrooms, and a water fountain.

Philip S. Miller Park, Castle Rock: This 300-acre park has something for everyone, including great hiking trails, a large playground, the Challenge Hill outdoor staircase, and more. You can spend an entire day at this park. If the weather turns sour or it gets too hot, you can head inside to the Miller Activity Complex to jump on the trampolines or swim indoors. The playground covers 2.5 acres, there’s an outdoor amphitheater, Zipline tours, an interconnected trail network, synthetic turf field, picnic pavilions, restroom, a splash pad, plaza area, and an outdoor fireplace.

Red Rocks State Park and Amphitheater in Morrison: Red Rocks is famous worldwide for its outdoor amphitheater, the world’s only natural geologically formed open-air theater. The beautiful setting, four hiking trails with breathtaking views, and impressive sandstone monoliths make it an extraordinary place to spend the day. The visitor center has a variety of educational exhibits. Nearly every top-tier Rock and Roll and country music band in history and many other entertainers from symphony orchestras to jazz quartets have played Red Rocks. Headliners over the years includes most members of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. If you’re a musician, singer, or songwriter, you have not truly “arrived” until you have played Red Rocks.

Roxborough State Park, Littleton: Filled with spectacular red rock formations, Roxborough State Park is just as beautiful in the winter as in the summer. The park has an educational visitor center, kid-friendly hiking trails, and Junior Ranger programs year-round (reservations required). Friends of Roxborough sponsor events and programs for all ages, including moonlight hikes and summer concerts. Roxborough includes an amphitheater and restrooms.

Salisbury Park in Parker: In addition to baseball fields and its equestrian complex, Salisbury includes two playgrounds, including one that is completely ADA accessible, plus a multi-purpose field and access to the Cherry Creek Trail. Visitors will enjoy batting cages, barbeque grills, horseshoe pits, pavilions, restrooms, and a water fountain.

Washington Park, Denver: The flower gardens at Washington Park are a major attraction. The gardens are replanted every Memorial Day weekend so it is new each summer. One of the three largest parks in the Denver park system, Wash Park also has a great playground, a large field well suited for volleyball nets, walking and biking paths, soccer fields, basketball courts, and tennis courts. Smith Lake has a paved walking path around it, and you can rent a kayak, canoe, or pedal boat.

Westlands Park in Greenwood Village: This park is truly a hidden gem. It has a huge playground area, a two-story treehouse, a giant sculpture of two hands holding a rock, a man-made lake, an inline hockey rink, both paved and unpaved walking paths, and a splash pad. Westlands also features large climbing structures, three playgrounds, multi-use sports playing fields, an interactive water feature, charcoal grills, restrooms, pickleball courts, and a basketball court.