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Elitch Gardens Family Rides
Grab the kids and head for some theme park fun!
In the slide show above, you're enjoying pictures of Elitch Garden's family rides and attractions. As you can clearly see from the photos, you DON'T have to be a thrill ride-lover to have fun at Denver, Colorado's Elitch Gardens amusement park. There are plenty of rides suitable for you to experience with your elementary & middle school-aged kids. In addition, Elitches has a nice selection of kiddie rides for the toddlers and preschoolers in your group. On this page, you'll see pictures and learn more about the Elitch Gardens attractions that delight visitors of all ages.
Elitch Gardens list of family rides
The Elitch Gardens park map is very helpful in pointing out your family ride options. You will be able to get a park map as you enter Elitch's turnstiles. In addition, you will find park maps sitting in holders placed throughout the theme park. This is a nice touch, since it's hard to find a park map at most amusement parks if you've forgotten to pick one up at the front gate.
List of Family Rides at Elitch's: The theme park's brochure will point out a dozen attractions your family will enjoy if your kids are "tween" age. It provides a separate list of kiddie rides your children will enjoy if they're in the toddler or preschooler age range. "Family" rides you may enjoy together with your older kids are scattered throughout the entire park, mixed in amongst the roller coasters and thrill rides. Rides for young children are kept together in a special kiddieland section of the park called "Startoon Studios."
FAMILY RIDE LIST:
1.) Elitch Gardens Antique Carousel, which dates back from 1928, and came to Elitch's new downtown location when the park moved in 1995. Despite its age, this is not the original Elitch Gardens carousel! That honor goes to the 1906 carousel that today stands in Kit Carson County in Burlington, Colorado!
Minimum height requirements for Elitch Gardens family rides
48 inches in height is an important number at the Elitch Gardens theme park. It's a height kids must attain before getting to ride on some of the parks larger thrill rides (though some rides require a 52 inch minimum height. So, any ride that allows kids to board before they reach 48 inches tall is considered a family ride.
The term "family ride" doesn't mean that preschoolers...or even smaller elementary school-aged children will be able to board. There is a section of the park (called "Startoon Studios") which has kiddie rides meant for toddlers and preschoolers. A family ride at Elitch's is a ride you may enjoy TOGETHER with the 'tweens in your group.
Here are the minimum height requirements for family rides at Denver's Elitch Gardens:
1.) Antique Carousel: There is no minimum height requirement, but a parent or responsible adult should ride with young children. You can see the picture of a beautiful Elitch's carousel horse above on this page.
2.) Big Wheel Ferris Wheel: For a ride that gives you sweeping views of both Elitch's park as well as downtown Denver, the Big Wheel can't be beat! Everyone in the family may ride...but kids under 42 inches tall must be accompanied by an adult. Pictures of The Big Wheel are included in the slide show above.
3.) Tea Cup ride: Elitch's Tea Cups spin gently round 'n round...but you can add some "elbow grease" to give your family a wilder ride! No infants are allowed on the Tea Cups. Toddlers and preschoolers under 42 inches in height must be accompanied by an adult.
4.) Spider thrill ride: Unfortunately for Spider Ride-lovers, this ride was removed for the 2011 season. It will be missed!
5.) Troika thrill ride: Tweens think the Troika thrill ride at Elitch Gardens is a scream! Kids 42 inches tall may ride with an adult; kids 50 inches or taller may ride alone.
6.) Disaster Canyon rafting ride: On a warm day at Elitch's, you can cool off by taking a relaxing...but wet...ride on the theme park's white water rafting adventure. Kids need to be 36 inches or taller to ride with an adult, or 42 inches tall to ride alone.
7.) Shipwreck Falls plunging boat ride: Shipwreck Falls is a water thrill ride with a steep drop at the end...into a pool that sends up the biggest splash you may have ever seen! Don't prepare to get just wet; expect to get drenched! Kids need to be 36 inches tall to ride with an adult, or 42 inches tall to ride alone. (Use your discretion, however. The steep drop could be terrifying to some small fry. The adults scream, too, on this one!)
8.) Sea Dragon ride: This ride will rock you like a cradle...a cradle on steroids! The ride in the center seats is mild; riding on either end is wild! So, be sure to sit in the section that will give your kids the type of ride experience they'd prefer. Minimum height for the Sea Dragon ride is 42 inches tall.
9.) Tilt a Whirl ride: You'll get moderate thrills from this "old favorite" ride found at many amusement parks...including Elitch's. Kids need to be 46 inches tall to ride; no infants allowed.
10.) Dragonwing Ride: The Dragonwing's speed is not terrifying to most kids...but it's height may be. You'll get a stunning view of the area around Elitch's once the Dragonwing ride cars get hoisted up its tall poll and the action begins. Kids must be 42 inches tall to ride with an adult alongside them, or 48 inches tall to ride alone.
11.) Elitch Gardens Observation Tower: The Elitch tower is an landmark which can be seen for miles around. When it's open, you may head to the top for a good view of the surrounding area. Kids under 42 inches tall must be accompanied by an adult.
12.) Thunder Bolt ride: Though Elitch Gardens officially lists the Thunder Bolt as being a thrill ride for older kids, it has a minimum height for kids of only 42 inches tall (when accompanied by an adult.) The Thunder Bolt gets its thrills not from height, but from velocity...as it speeds round and round a central hub. Guests over 48 inches tall may ride alone.
13.) Ghost Blasters: This indoor dark ride is made for maximum participation. This "haunted house" is only mildly scary for kids. More likely, they'll have lots of fun--because this ride is outfitted with laser guns. Have fun scoring points as you blast your way along the route!
Other Elitch rides & attractions for families
In addition to the rides that Elitch Gardens lists on its park map (and website) as being Family Rides, these other attractions are also suitable for parents of kids about age 9 and up:
ELITCH GARDENS SHOWS: Most Elitch Gardens shows do not run the entire April-October season. However, if you visit Elitch's during the busy summer months, you'll have a variety of daily shows to enjoy on your visit. Some of these live shows are meant especially for families with kids...while others are aimed at a general audience of mixed ages.
ELITCH GARDENS CONCERT SERIES! Famous-name artists visit Elitch Gardens every summer. Concerts come free with your price of admission...BUT you're not guaranteed that you'll get a spot for the concert. Be sure to start holding your seat 'way before the show begins or you might not get a spot.
ELITCH GARDENS FRIGHT FEST: By day, kids will have fun viewing decorations and getting candy at the park's Trick-or-Treat Trail. By night, watch out! You'll get some scares in Elitch's haunted houses, or when you're startled by a frightening monster! If you'd like to see pictures and get more info, please check out our Halloween at Elitch Gardens page