With the warm weather and beautiful blue Colorado skies, a picnic is just the thing this summer. From scenic overviews to flower-laden grounds, the top places for a picnic in Denver have a little something for every taste.
Between 15th and 19th streets, and Little Raven on the Platte River
Denver, CO 80202
Whether you’re dining riverside or hiking the gentle hill overlooking the city, Commons Park is a great picnic spot. From benches near the Platte to the compass-inspired art installation at the top of the hill overlooking the bike path and surrounding area, picnic goers here get a little bit everything inherently perfect for a day in the park. Come here for a game of Frisbee, a bike ride or, of course, one of the best picnics the area has to offer. Located near coffee shops, restaurants, shopping and a bike trail, the spot is ideal for all-day picnic goers or just a relaxing afternoon at the park.
Between East 18th and East 23rd avenues, and Colorado Boulevard and York
Conveniently located near Denver Zoo and Denver Museum of Nature and Science, City Park is a great afternoon getaway between activities. With boats available for rent at the boathouse, tennis courts and sprawling green grounds, the scenic picnic destination also overlooks the Denver skyline. Stroll through the rose gardens or throw a blanket down near the fountain to make memories that’ll last generations. Facilities here include picnic tables if chowing down on the ground just won’t cut it, and plenty of people watching opportunities.
Related: Top Playgrounds in the Denver Area
Between Franklin and Downing streets, and Virginia and E. Louisiana
Denver, CO 80209
With two large lakes and a smaller pond, Washington Park is an ideal picnic area, with plenty of tables, benches and expansive grounds. From carefully manicured gardens to a running and biking track around the entire park, Washington Park is great for everything from heckling awkward athletes — nobody looks graceful while lawn bowling — to jumping in on drop-in games of volleyball. Bring horseshoes to take advantage of the few remaining city horseshoe pits. Reservations can also be made for large groups in the picnic grounds.
1007 York St
Denver, CO 80206
Price: free for members/$12.50 for adults/$9 for children
With themed gardens such as the Wildlife Treasures or the El Pormar Waterway, slip away to any number of delightful niches for a picnic at Denver Botanic Gardens. Dining options such as the Monet Deck Café or Offshoots at the Gardens are great places to grab a bite, or bring your own and just enjoy on the lawns, benches and scenic overlooks at the gardens. Cascading waterfalls, beautiful lily ponds and fragrant herb gardens are the delight of picnickers enjoying all the botanic gardens has to offer.
18300 W. Alameda Pkwy.
Morrison, CO 80465
Overlooking Denver, Red Rocks Park has a picnic area that rivals the views of most state parks. A short drive from Denver, the overlook up Plains View Road is appropriately named. Breathtaking views, geologic wonders and a beautifully designed park all come together to make this a premium picnic destination. Hike around the megalithic red stones, visit to the Visitor’s Center for information on the area, or snag a stellar workout running up and down the famous Red Rocks amphitheater steps for an all-around perfect picnic outing.
Oxford Spokes and Suds Package
1600 17th St.
Denver, CO 80202
Price: $220 per night for two people
If you’re traveling from out of town or seeking a stay-cation in Denver with the added bonus of a picnic-inclusive package, Oxford Hotel is a perfect option. Offering the spokes and suds package, this inclusive picnic lunch for two includes a night’s deluxe accommodation, microbrew amenities in-room for two, complimentary overnight valet parking, and all-day B-Cycle Pass, perfect for a quick trip to nearby Commons Park, or for the ambitious, City Park.
Chad Chisholm is an avid globetrotter and brings the best of travel secrets and expert insights to his readership. A Denver-based travel writer and photographer, Chad’s travels have taken him to five of the seven continents in a passionate love affair with the world of travel and the outdoors. His work can be found at Examiner.com.