Best. Day. Ever. If you live in Denver or the surrounding area, and you have kids up to about age 12, you need to check this place out. Two other moms and a total of seven kids (ages 5-9) and I made the trek to Pirate’s Cove Family Fun Aquatic Center on June 30, a sunny 90+ degree Tuesday, and we all had a blast.
Pirate’s Cove Family Fun Aquatic Center is located on the southwest side of the Denver Metro Area at 1225 W. Belleview Avenue in
Englewood, Colorado. It is an awesome waterpark for younger kids who may not be ready for some of the bigger thrill rides offered at larger parks or for moms who may not be ready to let kids wander on their own too far. It was perfect for our group–thrilling enough for the ages of our kids (5-9) but small enough that we felt safe letting the kids venture out on their own a little bit.
The basics: The park is open daily from 10 AM to 6 PM, but the crowd cleared considerably around 3:00. The price is $9.75 for adults and $8.50 for kids over two. We did an internet search for coupons and found one for our visit for a buy one get one 1/2 off. You are allowed to bring in your own food and drinks. You can also bring in water toys such as water guns and noodles, and life jackets for the little non-swimmers.
The park opens daily at 10 AM. Part of our group arrived before the doors opened. The line of people waiting to get in looked long, but the admission process was pretty quick and efficient once the park opened. Our group was able to stake out a table with an umbrella and some lounge chairs near the leisure pool to accommodate all of us. Visitors are allowed to bring in snacks and coolers, but there is a size limit and no glass is allowed. Our bags were inspected at the entrance. There are many tables, umbrellas, chairs, and shady spots throughout the park, but of course they go fast. We kept all of our belongings at our spot, but I did observe a wall of pay lockers to secure valuables. The parking lot is also close if you want to keep valuables in your car.
The park is basically laid out in three levels. The upper level is “The River” and contains the lazy river and the water slides. The line for the lazy river was pretty long for most of the day, but it moved reasonably quickly most of the time. Riders are allowed to stay on an inner-tube for as long as they like. As people finish the ride, they depart from the river and send their empty tube back to the entrance area. The lazy river was relaxing and a fun way for us to get started at the park. Our whole group went on the lazy river at the same time. The water slide tower contains three slides that vary in length and speed. Riders must be 48″ to ride, so some of the kids in our group were not tall enough to ride this year. The older kids loved the slides, but the wait was pretty long for most of the day. Our kids thought it was worth the wait, though. *After 3:00 or so, the crowd cleared out significantly, and we were able to get on the lazy river and the water slides with very short waits.
The middle area of the park is “The Lagoon” and contains a leisure pool with a pirate ship play structure and zero depth entry, a kiddie pool, a sprayground area, and a beach area. This is where we spent most of our time. Our table and chairs and stuff were in this area, so after our lazy river ride, we stopped at our table to eat our lunch. Being able to bring our own food and drinks was a great perk for us. It makes the day so much more affordable, and it was nice for the hungry and thirsty kids to keep coming back throughout the day to refuel. My five-year-old enjoyed playing in this area the most. She liked climbing on the pirate ship and fiddling with all of the different sprayers, dump buckets, and a slide. The water was also a good depth for her to splash and play.
The lowest level of the park contains a competitive pool with diving boards and a dump slide. The pool is 12 feet deep and also contains a lap swim section. The older kids in our group enjoyed this area because the water was deep enough that they had to practice their swimming skills and could challenge themselves to jump off the diving board. The younger kids in our group looked at this area of the park but did not spend any time there.
Other amenities: If you don’t want to pack a lunch or you want to enjoy an ice cold treat in the heat, there is a concession stand that sells pizza, hot dogs, candy, and a few other items. There is also a separate snow cone station and Dippin’ Dots. The prices were high, of course, but seemed on par with other similar venues.
We had a great time at Pirate’s Cove and highly recommend it for anyone in the vicinity of Denver. I am sure we will visit again soon.
The best things:
- The value for the cost. My group consisted of one adult and four kids. We had a coupon to get one entry half off, so our total price was just under $40. We stayed for 6 1/2 hours.
- Being able to bring in our own food. Concessions are available, but bringing our own was a big money saver.
- The park was a manageable size–after scoping out the whole park and eating lunch, we let our 8 and 9-year-olds have the freedom to move about the park on their own. They have had swimming lessons and are responsible, so we felt comfortable with this decision. We had a table in a central location that they could come to if they had any issues.
- Lifeguards were plentiful. We felt safe even when our kids were out of sight because the park seemed to be well-staffed.
- The park was kept pretty clean. I noticed full garbage cans at one point and within a few minutes, a crew of employees was emptying them out.
- Though the park was busy, the lines moved reasonably quickly. After 3:00, it was awesome to get on the lazy river and slides with almost no waiting.
Things I would do differently:
- We should have packed some water shoes. I didn’t think of this until it was too late. We did o.k. without them, but the concrete did get pretty hot in the sun.
- Put on sunscreen more often. We coated everyone when we first got to the park and again after lunch. We should have done one more application in the afternoon. No one was severely burnt, but we did have some pink backs.
- Bring some water guns. There were a lot of things to do at the park, but the water guns may have helped keep the kids cool and a little more entertained when we did have to wait in line.
Visit the Pirate’s Cove website for more information.
I was not compensated in any way to write this review. My friends and family visited the park on June 30, 2015, and I felt inspired to share my thoughts with others who may be considering going to Pirate’s Cove. If you have anything to add, please share in the comments.