Many Colorado drivers have probably driven past the faded yellow tower next to the white wooden roller coaster on I-70 & Sheridan without a second thought. Little do they know that this is Denver’s Lakeside Amusement Park, once the highlight of Colorado.
At its debut on Memorial Day in 1908, Lakeside Amusement Park in Denver was considered “The Coney Island of the West.” Built with lots of architectural salvage, Lakeside had the largest indoor swimming pool in Colorado, live theater, ballroom dances, dance marathons, New York opera stars and fancy dining. It was most famous for having 100,000 glittering lights and the Tower of Jewels – the tall yellow tower. Guests had and still have 40 rides to choose from.
Currently, of the 40 rides, 16 are for kids. Lakeside is now a vintage Denver amusement park open only during the summer and gate admission is only $2.50. Tickets are 50 cents each or an unbelievable $13.75 for admission and unlimited rides Monday through Friday or $19.75 for both on weekends.
Some of the most popular rides include: Merry-Go-Round, Wild Chipmunk, The Dragon, Zoom, Tilt-A-Whirl, The Scrambler, The Flying Dutchman and the huge wooden roller coaster. Train rides around the lake on the original “Puffing Billy” and “Whistling Tom” are also a hit.
Much of this vintage Denver amusement park resembles a carnival on weekends featuring cotton candy and funnel cakes. Guests can also bring their own picnics.
For a century-plus old amusement park, Lakeside brings back memories of the good old days for Denver natives.