Growing up in Colorado, Elitches was the place to be in the summer. I remember visiting the original Elitch Gardens as a little girl and riding my first rollercoasters there. It has always been a place to enjoy a day with the family, take in some fun thrill rides and enjoy some yummy food.
Elitch Gardens opened in 1890 as a zoo and was family owned and operated for years. The first rollercoaster was added in 1904 and so the amusement park began. Elitches operated out of its original location outside of Downtown Denver until 1994, when it moved Downtown and has been for over 20 years. Many of the original Elitches rides even moved with them. I have visited Elitches several times and been a season pass holder when I was a teenager as well. We have never taken our kids to Elitches and felt like it was time to let them experience a little fun and history!
We planned a day and took the whole family. It was a bit gloomy out and chilly, but we all agreed that the colder weather was much better than it being way to hot. We walked in and immediately the kids were oohing and ahhing all over. Elitches has a its own little main street with shops and a theater as you walk into the main park. We did a little shopping at the Colorado Store and the candy store to get the day started.
Next was the first Elitches rides of the day. Our kids wanted to go on the carousel and so we did. The husband and my mom got on horses, while myself, the kids and my little nephew (who you cannot see in this photo) got in the little seated area behind them. Around we went, enjoying our first ride!
Our next stop was the kiddie area. Elitches Rides are one of the kids only ride areas and to this day, their kiddie area is really awesome. They have over 10 Elitches rides for kids as well as games and a large semi-indoor play area. Our kids loved this part of the park and spent nearly the entire day there. They rode every single ride there numerous times and never had a wait.
I loved that we could go on most of the Elitches rides with our kids if they wanted us too. Their favorite ride was the Crazy Bus and the Blazin’ Buckaroo rollercoaster. I have to admit, the rollercoaster was a favorite of mine too! After spending some time on rides, we hit up the pizza place on main street. We treated ourselves to some cheese and pepperoni pizzas. The prices were a bit higher than we expected, but the pizza was really good!
From there is was time for some adult rides. With the weather being a little less than cooperative, we did not get to ride a ton of the larger rides. We did have the VIP Rapid Rider passes and definitely put those to use though. Worth the money for sure. My mom had to ride the Thunder Bolt, which is her favorite ride. She was hysterical on this and we all laughed and cheered as she came around and around!
On our list was the Twister II and the Star Flyer. Twister II is a wooden roller coaster, modeled after the original twister at the original Elitch Gardens location. It is a jolty, up and down thrill ride that is a can’t miss. We love this roller coaster and never miss an opportunity to take a little ride! The Star Flyer is Elitches new thrill ride and what a thrill it seriously was. My sister was freaking out as we waited in our short VIP line to ride this 17 story swing! We loaded on the ride and up and up we went, while spinning around and taking in the amazing sights of the park from above. It was awesome and honestly aside from the height of the ride, it was really more relaxing than scary!
The weather got colder and the park was getting busier on a Friday night. It was time for us to head home. We had a great time and will definitely be returning next season for some more fun! Elitch Gardens has so many great rides for everyone and is a blast. You can learn more about Elitches and their current special offers here. The have some amazing summer events from Dive-in movies at the water park to a summer concert series, there is something for everyone.