As the weather continues to warm, you know it’s highly likely you’ll find me at one park or another throughout the state. We have so many, and they’re all pretty great, that I enjoy making my way around a handful of them. Today I want to highlight my favorite Denver parks:
Washington Park: A pond on each end of the park, this rectangular chunk of land is a great place to wander. A variety of birds relax here and in the warmer months the rose garden is in beautiful bloom. Lawn bowling fields, basketball courts, and a playground fill part of the space but most of the acreage is grass. People like to play volleyball here and you can rent surreys (aka bike carriages), kayaks, paddle boats, etc. I like the atmosphere here, it’s great for a picnic and a stroll. It’s also within walking distance of Bonnie Brae Ice Cream (they do have vegan options) so, get yourself a treat and then enjoy your time walking around and people watching.
Cheesman Park (and Little Cheesman Park): This park butts up against the Denver Botanic Gardens so even if you don’t have the $15 to get into the gardens, you can still peek in a tiny bit as you walk along the park’s western edge. Not only that, but this park is within walking distance of Liks Ice Cream (they also have vegan options). This is a good park for picnics and gatherings, I’m a fan myself of having my meetup group meet here near the Pavilion (it’s an easy landmark) or at Little Cheesman. Little Cheesman, is Cheesman park’s little sister, situated on the south side of E 8th Ave. It’s smaller, but it’s also a nice place for picnics and hanging out. There also seems to always be just enough parallel parking over there, so if you don’t love looking for parking, Little Cheesman is the place to go.
City Park: This park is next to both the Denver Zoo and the Denver Museum of Nature and Science, could it be any cooler than that? Like Washington Park, there are two bodies of water here, one of which houses a lot of birds and is called Duck Lake. It sits right behind the zoo, so as you look for pelicans and other neat fowl, you can sometimes hear elephants since their home is right on the other side of the fence. This park is full of giant trees and there are a handful of statues, including one of Martin Luther King Jr (most of the statues are in the southwest section of the park). In the past, there would be a farmer’s market every week in the warmer months by Thatcher Fountain (near E 17th Ave and City Park Esplanade), hopefully it’s still there this year. Only two blocks away from the south side of the park is Colfax Ave so you’re close to great food places like Hooked on Colfax (try their chocolate chip cookie – not vegan) and Denver Biscuit Co/Fat Sully’s Pizza
Rosamond Park: This park is near my apartment so it deserves a shout out. Having a park that I can walk to within 5 minutes is lovely and wonderful and I highly recommend it if you can swing it. 😉 And, while it’s not a big park like all the parks above (you can walk the whole thing in 20-25 minutes), it does have a little creek that runs through the middle of it as well as lots of picnic tables scattered throughout. Soccer and lacrosse practice and games take place on one side of the park and there’s a playground on the north end and tennis courts on the south end. I enjoy walking it during lunch breaks and having picnics with my friends underneath the trees in the evenings and weekends. Grab a frozen drink from Sonic, just across the street, and go sit on the bench by the little garden section that the Friends of Rosamond take care of. Or sit under one of the many large, gnarled trees near the creek. Or sit in the open area near the playground and watch the sun set.
James A. Bible Park: Like Rosamond, a creek also runs through a portion of this park, although I believe this creek is larger. James A. Bible Park has tennis courts as well as a couple of baseball fields. What I like about this park is that there are two paths one can take as you meander around the space. You can take the paved sidewalk or the unpaved, dirt path that circles around the outer edge of the park. The dirt path is walled in by tall trees. Either route that you go, you can look into people’s backyards and dream about living in a home that overlooks such a lovely place. This park also has outdoor gym equipment like pull up bars, stationary bikes, and strength machines. So if you can’t afford a gym subscription (those things are ridiculous), you can at least go here and gain a bit of muscle.
You know, I thought I’d be able to choose a favorite Denver park as I worked on this post but I realized as I wrote this that it just isn’t possible. These parks have their own pros and cons, so it just depends on my mood and what I want out of a park that day that helps me choose where to go. Notice how I mention ice cream and food places nearby most of the parks? I’m always of the opinion that on a pleasant day, you should picnic at a park (either with your own food or food from a nearby restaurant) and sometime in the middle of your relaxation, or maybe towards the end, go grab some ice cream or other treat. Who wants to go on a picnic?! 😉