Elitch Gardens Denver – 2024 Insider’s Guide to the Park

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. You read that right! This park has been open for over 130 years! 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 they even have haunted houses during their annual event, Fright Fest!

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 to Elitch Gardens Denver

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 Elitch Garden rides other than Elitch Gardens 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 Elitch Gardens water rides like 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! You’ll get great Elitch Gardens photos too!

photo credit: Elitch Gardens via Facebook


By now, you’re probably grabbing your swimsuit and running out the door to pass through the Elitch Gardens entrance! Before you take off, though, you’re going to need tickets. Mind Eraser Elitch Gardens will still be there when you burst through the turnstile! 

Photo Alert: Speaking of the park entrance, don’t forget to snap a photo of your group before you split up! There is a stunning 83-year-old original carousel near the park entrance to use as a great backdrop.

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 Elitch Garden 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 is the Best Time to Go to Elitch Gardens

Elitch Gardens Theme & Elitch Gardens 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. In addition, you may consider heading to the park during special events to enjoy experiences like Elitch Gardens Fright Fest or Luminova Elitch Gardens

Additionally, visiting during the week is your best bet for thinner crowds and lower Elitch Gardens wait times. 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!

Elitch Gardens Hours

Parks hours are typically 10:30 am to 6:00 throughout the operating season.

Elitch Gardens Colorado: Where to Eat

Classic theme park flavors are even tastier after working up your appetite on each thrill ride at Denver Elitch. 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

Elitch Gardens Parking and Transportation

Elitch Gardens Theme and Water Park offers a convenient parking lot on-site. You can purchase parking on the day of your visit before entering. Additionally, the season pass option includes parking at Elitch Gardnes if you purchase during a specific time of the year. Keep in mind, if you travel to the park via light rail, you won’t need to worry about parking at all!

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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.  

Hotels Near Elitch Gardens

After a day of fun at Elitch Gardens, you’ll be ready to kick back at a nearby hotel. Conveniently located in the heart of Denver, this affords you a myriad of options. From luxury to value pricing. From swoon-worthy amenities to comfortably homey accommodations that will help you recharge during your stay in the mile-high city. Check out a few of our top picks for Denver hotels near Elitch Gardens:

Are You Ready to Use Our 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 this 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!

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Written by Michaela Satterfield

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

1 comment about “Elitch Gardens Denver – 2024 Insider’s Guide to the Park”


August 14, 2023 at 12:22 pm

I miss the old elitches!
Way too expensive now. And parking on top of that! No senior discounts to take grand kids in. And too old to ride the rides.

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