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Best Parks 2015

Pick a Park for Summer Fun

Kids line up on hot days to cool off in the Uncle Wilbur fountain in Acacia Park.

Kids line up on hot days to cool off in the Uncle Wilbur fountain in Acacia Park.

It’s summer, so get the kids outdoors to play. There’s a national push to fight childhood obesity and active play is one of the best ways for kids (and adults) to get exercise. Together, El Paso County and the City of Colorado Springs provide an amazing 35 acres of parkland for every 1,000 residents. They offer such amenities as bubbling fountains, sports fields, hiking trails and wildlife. You’ve probably explored your neighborhood park, so here are some great suggestions for other kid-friendly parks to try.  –by linda duval

America the Beautiful Park

This huge expanse incorporates places to run and play (bring a Frisbee) with a cleverly designed playground and a large wading pool topped by a magnificent sculpture that frames views of Pikes Peak. 

Memorial Park

You can swim indoors at the city pool or outdoors at Prospect Lake, do professional-level skateboarding, play tennis or cool off in an ice-skating rink. Walk around Prospect Lake or do a little fishing. 

Acacia Park

In summer, the big draw at this downtown gem is the Uncle Wilbur Fountain, which has a charismatic tuba-playing character rise up and get everyone wet about every half hour.

Bear Creek Regional Park 

It has two playgrounds, two sand volleyball courts (BYO ball and net), four horseshoe pits (BYO shoes), an archery range, a basketball court and picnic areas. The Bear Creek Nature Center has great programs for kids and families every week and good beginner hiking trails for everyone. 

Fountain Creek Regional Park

Located in the southeastern metro area, this is a great place to take kids for a nature hike and do a little birdwatching. There are also volleyball courts and horseshoe pits (BYO equipment). The nature center offers classes for kids and families. 

Monument Valley Park 

Besides room to run, there’s a terrific playground and an outdoor swimming pool open in summer. Paved paths lend themselves to biking as well as leisurely strolls.

Neighborhood Parks

There are so many, and each has its appeal. The Alice in Wonderland-themed park at Flying Horse is a delight for little girls (and boys, too). The Nancy Lewis Park near Union and Fillmore has a pond that sometimes attracts wildlife, especially ducks. 

So load up the bikes, grab a Frisbee, pack a lunch and plan to spend a day in a park this summer. It’s free and fun and healthy for everyone. Don’t forget the sunscreen.