You can make some of the best memories by doing the simplest things. Having fun with the little ones in your life doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive. Children benefit from time outdoors and need lots of exercise to help their muscles and fine motor skills develop properly. Whether you are taking the kids to the park for a quick outing or for your daily dose of sun, heading to a safe park with lots to do will ensure the kids benefit from the experience. Read on to learn about our list of awesome parks near Thornton.

Carpenter Park

Thornton, CO park bench sitting in the shade.
Image via Flickr by channone Licensed CC BY 2.0

Carpenter Park is an exceptional place to visit with little ones. Like any other park, there are many spots to sit and talk, read a book, enjoy a cold drink, or just converse. It is a great spot to people watch, or to see some native birds nesting in the trees. If you want to help the kids get active, there are plenty of options. The park features basketball courts, bocce courts, horseshoe pits, shuffleboard, and sand volleyball courts. If you want to have a tennis match that runs into the evening, the lighted tennis courts can help make that happen safely. 

Although there are several spots featuring playground equipment, the major attraction is the Xeriscape Garden at Margret Carpenter Recreation Center. The concept, created by Denver Water in 1981, intended to promote low-water-use landscaping. The garden, installed in 1997, combines low-water use plants with hard landscaping to reduce urban water consumption. Having a garden accessible to the community and near a park helps to educate residents about plants that can survive with minimal water and provides a blueprint for residents to follow when creating their own xeriscape gardens. A visit here is great to inspire the little horticulturalist in your life. 

Other features that differentiate this park amongst others in the Thornton area include an amphitheater that seats up to 500 people. It is available to rent for $40 per hour. There is also a carousel for park guests to ride and splash pads to help the kids cool off on those hotter days

Carpenter Park is located at 3498 E. 112th Avenue, right behind the Carpenter Recreational Center. The park is open daily from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. For more information, or to learn about carousel rates and splash pad rules, call 303-255-7800.

Pecos Park

Pecos Park is an exceptional spot to visit if you need to walk the dogs, take a leisurely stroll, or admire the sunset. A key feature here is the on-site skate park. It is an ideal place for kids to practice those skateboard tricks safely. The pre-fab surface offers a skid resistant surface to help make the learning process a little easier and less painful during a tumble. You’ll also find some open areas for little ones to run, pleasant locations to picnic, and benches to relax. 

Pecos Park is at 96th Avenue and Orangewood Drive. Park hours are from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily. For more information, call 303-255-7833.

Hunters Glen Park

Hunters Glen Lake Park in Thornton features outdoor recreation and is a nature preserve. For anglers, it is a convenient spot to stop for a couple hours and enjoy casting a line. You can expect to catch anything from largemouth bass, to common carp and bluegill. The picturesque location also has picnic tables to enjoy an nice outdoor meal together. You can also get your daily steps logged in on your pedometer along the paved walking trail around the lake. 

Hunters Glen Park is at E. 128th Avenue right here in Thornton. For more information, call 303-255-7830.

  1. B. Rains Jr. Memorial Park 

The E. B. Rains Jr. Memorial Park in Northglenn is one of the most popular parks in the area, offering a slew of activities for families. Originally known as Webster Park, E. B. Rains Jr. Memorial Park’s amenities include a pavilion, playground, picnic tables, and well-maintained restrooms for the public to use. Basketball courts and multi-sport fields are available on a first-come-first-serve basis. 

For the artists in the family, the E. B. Rains Jr. Memorial Park is host to Northglenn’s Art on Parade program. The public art initiative is a one-year outdoor program that showcases the art of of up to six professional sculptors. Park visitors can also opt to rent pedal boats or kayaks to take out onto the water on Webster Lake. Fishing is also available, but check the website for information on licenses and regulations. 

  1. B Rains Jr. Memorial Park is at 11701 Community Center Drive in Northglenn, about 6 miles from Thornton. The 28-acre park is open from sunrise to sunset. For more information, call 3030-280-7821. 

Bill Goodspeed Happy Tails Dog Park

For the family to share the fun with Fido, head over to Bill Goodspeed Happy Tails Dog Park. As the only off-leash dog park in the city, it is a favorite of pet-loving families. The 10.29- acre park, established in 2003, features a fenced-in area, water fountain, shaded sections, and solar lighting. Other park amenities include restrooms, picnic tables, and a pavilion. There’s no playground, but with all the fun to be had with our canine companions, there is no need. 

The Bill Goodspeed Happy Tails Dog Park is at the intersection of Leroy Drive and Irma Drive. For more information, or to learn about reserving a park pavilion, call 3030-280-7821. 

So there you have it. Crème de la Crème of Lone Tree, Colorado, has just shared with you our suggestions for some awesome parks near Thornton. Whether you want to read under a tree with your little ones or need them to work off extra energy, these are sure to be a hit. What do you think of our suggestions? Did we miss your favorite park to visit for an afternoon of fun? If we did, let us know! Leave us a message sharing your thoughts and we’ll be happy to check out your ideas.