Elitch Gardens Denver - An Insider's Guide to an Amazing Day

July 16, 2022

This one-stop shop for all the fun you can possibly dream of has a rich history dating back to the 1800s. Timeless thrills await around every corner!

This beloved downtown Denver, Colorado, attraction first opened to the public in 1890 and was visited by notable names such as P.T. Barnum and Tom Thumb on opening day. What began as a small, family-owned botanic garden and zoological park eventually blossomed into a full-on entertainment destination. Our Elitch Gardens Theme & Water Park tips will ensure you make the most of every opportunity for fun!

The amusement park serves as one of the oldest in the United States. It was family-owned for eight decades before ownership eventually passed to Premier Parks, Inc., and the park was renamed Six Flags Elitch Gardens. With another change of ownership years later, the park returned to its original moniker. Aside from changing ownership, the park also moved from its location at 38th Avenue and Tennyson Street in 1995 and added numerous new attractions over the years.

Today, Elitch Gardens Theme & Water Park rests in the River Mile neighborhood of the Central Platte River Valley and boasts an impressive portfolio of rides -- roller coasters and water slides! Keep reading for all the Elitch Gardens Theme & Water Park tips you'll need to have a blast.

aerial view of pool with elephant statues and large slide with people swimming in Elitch Gardens in Denver, Colorado, USA

photo credit: Pride Homes Team Colorado via Facebook

Why You Should Go

Elitch Gardens Theme & Water Park is like a roller coaster extravaganza! Twist and turn around fav-favorites such as the Mind Eraser, Sidewinder, and Boomerang. In addition, the wooden coaster Twister II features a whopping 90-foot drop! This ultimate adrenaline rush replaced the former Mister Twister coaster and proudly holds the title of the longest coaster in the park. So get in line if you dare!

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If you're looking to shake it up on rides other than roller coasters, the park has plenty more to offer! Soak in the gorgeous Colorado views from 200 feet in the air on the Tower of Doom. Or, swing high in the sky on the smoothly thrilling ride called Turn of the Century.

Have you ever been waiting in a long line at a theme park on a sizzling hot day and thought, "If only I could dive into a pool of cool blue water right now?" That daydream can be a reality at Elitch Gardens Theme & Water Park! After you've had your fill of classic amusement park rides, mosey over to the water park. Alternatively, visit the water park first and spend the cooler evening hours at the theme park!

Make a splash on Canonball Falls, Slidezilla, and RipQurl! Find calmer thrills in the Commotion Ocean wave pool or on the Castaway Creek lazy river. 

Pro Tip: The Historic Elitch Theatre still calls its original location home. Before or after your visit to Elitch Gardens Theme & Water Park, stopping by here is a must for history buffs!

photo credit: Elitch Gardens via Facebook


By now, you're probably grabbing your swimsuit and running out the door to pass through the park entrance! Before you take off, though, you're going to need tickets

Photo Alert: Speaking of the park entrance, don't forget to snap a photo of your group before you split up! No one will be thinking about cameras or poses while excitedly running around the park. So, knock this out before you begin your day!

Trying to keep the budget in mind? Today is your lucky day! Tripster offers discounted tickets, so you can get in on all the fun while saving some moolah. When you buy tickets from us, you'll receive them in your email. Print them off or show them on your phone when you arrive! Skip the ticket lines so you can hop in the ride lines faster.

Pro Tip: Hoping to visit both the theme park and water park? You'll only need one ticket! Both parks are included with the purchase of a single ticket. 

photo credit: Elitch Gardens via Facebook

When to Go

Elitch Gardens Theme & Water Park is typically open from April through October. However, June through August is the peak tourist season in Denver, so keep in mind that you may have to navigate thicker crowds during this time of the year.

Additionally, visiting during the week is your best bet for thinner crowds. However, the park is typically open one hour later on Fridays and Saturdays. Be sure to check the park calendar before you go to finalize your schedule!

Where to Eat

Classic theme park flavors are even tastier after working up your appetite on the rides. Crunchy nachos, crispy chicken tenders, juicy turkey legs, saucy pizza, rich cookie dough… need we say more?

Here are just a few of the delectable dining options in the park:

  • Rustler's Food Court
  • Island Breeze Cafe
  • Basil & Tomato Pizza

photo credit: Elitch Gardens via Facebook

Transportation & Parking

Elitch Gardens Theme & Water Park offers a convenient parking lot on-site. You can purchase parking the day of your visit before entering. Additionally, the season pass option includes parking if you purchase during a specific time of the year.

Related Post: Where are the Best Zoos in America?

Pro Tip: Keep a credit or debit card on you to save a few bucks! Parking only costs $25 if you pay with a card. However, you'll have to drop five extra dollars if you only have cash.

photo credit: Elitch Gardens via Facebook

Where Else to Go

From art districts to museums to shopping areas, the Mile High City offers plenty of other things to do once you come down from your theme park high. Of course, just outside the city is a natural wonderland of mountains, lakes, and hiking trails!

In addition, a trip to SeaQuest Littleton is essential if you're a marine maniac. Ooh and ah, at over 1,000 fascinating creatures! You'll even have chances to interact with sloths, tortoises, and sharks.  

Are You Ready to Use Our Elitch Gardens Theme & Water Park Tips?

Whether you're in it for the daredevil-worthy roller coasters or the slippery, refreshing water slides, one thing is for sure: your time at Elitch Gardens Theme & Water Park will be filled with memories for the vacation books!

Unsure of how to fill the rest of your Denver vacation itinerary? Tripster is here to help with attraction deals, hotel steals, and insider tips!

Have You Been to Elitch Gardens?

What was your favorite activity? Share with us below!

michaela smiling holding magazine with body of water in background

Written By Michaela

Michaela is a journalist who views every story she writes as an adventure, leading her to explore new places and meet new people. She is based in the Midwest ...

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