Best of Denver

Ten best free fountains where you can get wet and wild on a hot Denver day

No need to sweat the rising temperatures: Your next kid-tastic adventure is just a fountain away. That's right, the Denver metro area boasts some of the coolest, child-friendly fountains known to man, most adjacent to day-trip-worthy family attractions -- and all free. What are you waiting for? Grab the kids, suits and swim diapers, and start splashing.

See also: Boulder's Meadow Music offers a fun way for families to connect with nature and each other

10) H2Odyssey City Park, 1700 York Street

Prepare to get wet -- really, really wet -- at H2Odyssey, a water jet fountain located just west of the Denver Museum of Nature and Science. Operating from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday, this big, mysterious spray pad will keep kids guessing where the water will shoot up next. H2Odyssey is so fantastic, in fact, that the Leaping Laminar Fountain, part of the Denver Museum of Nature and Science's new Discovery Zone exhibit, is modeled after it. Of course, you'll have to pay to see DMNS's newest addition -- $13 for adult general admission; $8 for kids 3-18 -- or wait until the next free day, on September 8.

9) Great Plains Park Spray Park 20100 East Jewell Avenue, Aurora

It's a little tricky finding the spray-ground lurking on the south side of Jewell -- but the colorful, inviting water feature, open 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily through early October, is worth the hunt. This spray park is huge, produces immense puddles, and draws large crowds. The fifty-acre park also houses a playground -- complete with pint-sized toddler structures for little guys -- as well as shade shelters and a well-groomed baseball field. Make a day of it: The nearby Plains Conservation Center, with its bygone pioneer nostalgia and massive educational and conversational efforts, is a family must-see. (The spray-ground will be closed on Tuesday, August 26 while public works crews resurface the adjacent parking lot.)

8) The Fountains on Martin Plaza 100 West 14th Avenue Parkway

Tucked between the Denver Art Museum's Hamilton building and Mad Greens you'll find a simple -- and super-fun -- spray pad that's owned and maintained by the DAM. The water's turned on daily at 7:15 a.m. and keeps spouting until 10 p.m.. Really adventurous kiddos might even be tempted to dip a toe in the fountains in front of the museum. After you've dried off, peruse the halls of the DAM; first Saturdays are free, and the museum offers an array of ever-changing kid-friendly games, stations and interactive exhibits. General admission is $10 for adults, $3 for youth 6-18, and free for those 5 and under.

7) The Pop Jet Fountain Pearl Street Mall in Boulder This spray pad, where water shoots up from the ground, runs every day on the Pearl Street Mall, a spot where families can also shop or grab a bite to eat. Street performers and bands are visible from the Pop Jet Fountain, which means parents can sit, relax and be entertained while the kids cool off. Other fun features for adventurous kids include animal statues perfect for climbing, and the big rocks on the bricks between 13th and Broadway. Keep reading for six more of the best free fountains.
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Jamie Siebrase is a Denver-based freelance writer, and author of the forthcoming Falcon Guide Hiking Wth Kids, Colorado: 52 Great Hikes for Families.
Contact: Jamie Siebrase

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