Best of Denver

Five Best Places to Enjoy an Old-School Summer Night in Denver

Denver has many brand-spankin' new places to eat, drink and have fun in the sun or on a balmy evening. But there are also plenty of great spots where you can enjoy an old-school summer night, including Lakeside Amusement Park, our Best Old-School Summer Night destination in the 2015 Best of Denver. Lakeside is just one of many locations around the city where you can get a vintage entertainment fix; here are our five favorite spots to enjoy the living history of Denver this summer.

5) 88 Drive-In Theatre
8780 Rosemary Street, Commerce City
Just minutes outside of Denver proper, the 88 Drive-In Theatre has been serving up feature films since 1976. First-run family-friendly movies, comedies, action flicks and dramas all find a home on this big, outdoor screen, where patrons can camp out in their cars and enjoy a triple-header of features every weekend night. The movie house under the stars received a digital projection upgrade this year, promising a crisper picture for all to enjoy at this throwback summer staple.

4) Aqua Golf
501 West Florida Avenue
Whether you're a golf pro or a fledgling player, Aqua Golf has something for you. With two miniature eighteen-hole golf courses and a driving range that lets you hit balls directly into a body of water (hence the name), there's plenty of fun to be had here. After the facility fell into disrepair, the city of Denver brought this retro activity back to life, remodeling the Aqua Golf complex and lighting it up nicely. The joint is open every day from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., so it's a perfect place to enjoy a warm summer evening with a bunch of friends and a bucket of balls.

3) Boondocks Fun Center
I-25 and 120th Avenue, Northglenn

What's better than a go-kart race under the stars? Boondocks Fun Center offers up an outdoor arena featuring bumper boats, miniature golf and a killer amateur racetrack, along with indoor activities like bowling, laser-tag and an arcade. The complex is open until 1 a.m. on most summer weekend nights, so adults can get their Formula One fun on until late into the evening.  

2) Film on the Rocks
Red Rock Amphitheatre, 18300 West Alameda Parkway, Morrison
Concerts fill this venue's calendar during the majority of the year, but it's only during the summer months that you can enjoy live music and a film at this historic amphitheatre that opened in 1941. Local bands are paired with classic films and audience favorites for this summer-long event that has become a staple for Colorado movie buffs and fans of the great outdoors. The season kicks off May 23 with a showing of The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1, with Denver acts Strawberry Runners and Plume Varia providing the opening sounds. The Film on the Rocks season ends with a surprise, yet-to-be-announced film and musical acts, so stay tuned for more on this Colorado tradition. 

1) Lakeside Amusement Park
4601 Sheridan Boulevard, Lakeside
There is no place in this state quite like Lakeside Amusement Park. On a perfect Colorado summer evening, a stroll through the grounds reveals a gathering place shaded by mature trees and lit by thousands of twinkling bulbs, all accentuated by the sounds of the rattling Cyclone roller coaster and a chorus of happy screams and hollers. The turn-of-the-century amusement park wears its age well and with pride. From its Victorian-era buildings to the art-deco additions of the '30s, Lakeside will thrill those who appreciate beautiful historic architecture as well as those just out for some fun.

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Bree Davies is a multimedia journalist, artist advocate and community organizer born and raised in Denver. Rooted in the world of Do-It-Yourself arts and music, Davies co-founded Titwrench experimental music festival, is host of the local music and comedy show Sounds on 29th on CPT12 Colorado Public Television and is creator and host of the civic and social issue-focused podcast, Hello? Denver? Are You Still There? Her work is centered on a passionate advocacy for all ages, accessible, inclusive, non-commercial and autonomous DIY art spaces and music venues in Denver.
Contact: Bree Davies