Nothing beats sharing a picnic with the family outdoors in the fresh air and sunshine. You can vary what you bring according to the occasion and picnics are an excellent way to bond with family and friends. When looking for the best six spots for a picnic in the Centennial, Colorado, area, use this handy guide our team at Crème de la Crème of Centennial put together for you.

Centennial Center Park

Picnic box in Centennial, CO.
basket by Jeremy Noble is licensed with CC BY 2.0

Everyone in the family will enjoy spending the day at Centennial Center Park. This 11-acre park has playgrounds, a splash pad, historical features, and plenty of open space for kids to run around and burn off energy. Kids really enjoy the playground area with features such as a climbing wall, treehouse, slides, and jungle gym. During the summer, park officials open the water park where kids can splash around and cool off.

History buffs will appreciate learning about the history of the Cherry Creek Basin, and after a busy day, everyone can enjoy a picnic under one of the shady pavilions. There are so many activities and things to do at Centennial Center Park, you’ll want to come picnic and play here often. To help make your picnic meal easy, stop by many of these Centennial restaurants and order food to go that you can add to your picnic basket.

Location: 13050 E. Peakview Ave. in Centennial

Contact: parkinfo@centennialco.gov

Cherry Creek State Park

Cherry Creek State Park is one of the premier parks in the Centennial area for recreation, activities, and picnicking. This impressive 4,200-acre park offers visitors an abundance of recreational opportunities, from fishing and boating to ice-skating and dog sledding.

Anglers will enjoy fishing from the shoreline or by boat on Cherry Creek Reservoir. Mountain bikers and hikers can look for birds and wildlife on the many trails that surround the lake, and your furry friends will get a kick out of playing in the 100-acre off-leash dog park complete with a stream. You’ll find plenty of places to picnic at Cherry Creek State Park, including six sites designated for groups.

Location: 4201 South Parker Road in Aurora

Contact: cherry.creek.park@state.co.us

Denver Botanic Gardens

Enjoy a city-style picnic when you stop at the Denver Botanic Gardens. This stunning location has over 24 acres of gardens with special collections from around the world. Bring your picnic and enjoy your meal near the Internationally Inspired Gardens with garden themes from areas such as Southeast Asia, the Tropics, and South Africa.

On a warm afternoon, you and the family will enjoy a picnic in the Shady Gardens area with flowers and plants that attract pollinators such as bees and hummingbirds. After your meal, stroll through the birds and bees walk, along the oak grove and Shady Lane area, or explore the Woodlands Mosaic area to learn about the importance of forests for the environment.

Location: 1007 York St. in Denver

Contact: 720-865-3500

Dove Valley Regional Park

After checking out a book at one of the libraries within the Arapahoe Libraries system, head over to Dove Valley Regional Park to relax under the shade, read, and enjoy a picnic. This lovely town park has four picnic pavilions with barbecues to cook your burgers, hot dogs, and vegetable for a hot lunch. Dove Valley Regional Park has eight soccer fields the family can play on, two baseball/softball diamonds, and four sand volleyball courts for recreation. You’ll find a stroller-friendly 1-mile paved walking path, clean restrooms, and a drinking fountain at Dove Valley Regional Park.

Location: 7900 S. Potomac St. in Centennial

 Contact: 303-739-7160

Lookout Mountain Park

If you’d like to have a picnic with sweeping views of the Rocky Mountains, Denver, and the town of Golden, take the drive to the top of Lookout Mountain. This mountain sits 7,300 feet above Golden and is home to a nature center and the Buffalo Bill Museum and Grave. You’ll learn about the impact Bill Cody had interpreting life in the old West with his Buffalo Bill’s Wild West shows. In addition, you can get information about the buffalo that roamed the plains below Lookout Mountain and their influence on the development of the west.

After exploring the artifacts, photographs, and exhibits in the museum, head to the nature center, lay out a blanket on the grassy area, and enjoy a well-deserved picnic. If you want to add food to your picnic basket, stop at the little gift shop for a bowl of hot soup, homemade fudge, and other goodies. After your meal, take a short kid-friendly walk to one of the main lookout areas to savor the outstanding views.

Location: 987 Lookout Mountain Road in Golden

Contact: 303-279-2282

Highland Heritage Regional Park

With over 92 acres to explore and play in, Highland Heritage Regional Park is a gem of a park in the Highlands Ranch area. The kids will enjoy playing on the two interactive playgrounds while teenagers and adults can get a workout at the outdoor strength training sections of the park. Everyone can burn off energy running around the large open space with 14.76 acres of multi-use bluegrass fields. This park offers six picnic shelters so you’ll have plenty of space to spread out your meal and enjoy eating in between activities.

You’ll also find a sand volleyball court, a hard-surface basketball court, and an amphitheater offering free concerts during the summer months. Hikers, joggers, and bicyclists can use the 3.06 miles of paved paths, which is also perfect for pushing a stroller or wheelchair. Bring your pup with you so they can also burn off energy in the dog park equipped with water stations for them to quench their thirst after romping with their friends.

Location: 9651 S. Quebec St. in Highlands Ranch

Contact: 303-660-7400

Aren’t picnics so much fun? Where is your favorite spot to have a tasty picnic in the Centennial area? What are your go-to picnic items the family enjoys the most? If we missed a unique location for a picnic, let our team at Crème de la Crème of Centennial know. We always enjoy learning about beautiful places near our city.