If you’re a parent looking to engage your children in a fun outdoor adventure, Northern Colorado has an abundance of public playgrounds that are perfect for a playful scavenger hunt! Northern Colorado is bursting with family-friendly environments and open spaces for play. So, grab your checklist, prepare your detective skills, and get ready to embark on an exciting quest to uncover some of the hidden gems at public playgrounds in Northern Colorado!

A young girl in pink pants reaches out to monkey bars from a play structure platform in City Park Fort Collins
  1. City Park Playground – Fort Collins:

Our adventure begins at the City Park Playground in Fort Collins, a popular and beloved destination for many local families. Established in 1911, this park sits in the heart of Fort Collins, and shares space with the also popular City Park Pool.

As you enter this playground, see if you and your family can find the following items on your scavenger hunt list:

  • Old artillery cannons
  • The Statue of Liberty
  • Large colorful frogs
  • Playground equipment for toddlers and bigger children

Don’t forget to explore all of the park. There are beautiful walking paths, a picturesque lake, and plenty of open space for running and picnics!

(1500 W Mulberry Street, Fort Collins)

A child runs up a rock structure beyond the large playground equipment at Spring Canyon Park
  1. Spring Canyon Park Playground – Fort Collins:

Next, head to the Spring Canyon Park Playground, known for its modern design and interactive features. It has beautiful mountain views, and has recreational facilities for every interest! It also can boast that it was Colorado’s first handicap accessible playground.

Your scavenger hunt here should include:

  • A water play area with fountains and sprinklers
  • A giant spiderweb climbing structure
  • A stone giant’s toes!
  • A wheelchair accessible teeter totter
  • A giant slide built into a cliff

Beyond the playground, your family can explore paved trails connected to Spring Creek Trail, a busy dog park, Veterans Plaza – a public place ot honor military men and women, and multiple ball fields.

(2626 W Horsetooth Rd, Fort Collins)

Photo of the Sugar Beet wooden playground structure and playground area
  1. Sugar Beet Park – Fort Collins

It might be on the smaller side, but Sugar Beet Park is the only park in Northern Colorado that features a playground centered around a 12-foot-tall wooden sugar beet! The play structure includes a rope ladder, a slide, and more! 

Can your family find:

  • Pollinator garden
  • Sliding benches that replicate the rail cars that once transported beets on the railroad tracks that run just north of the park
  • Seated Zipline
  • Multi-seat teeter totter

This park was built as a nod to Fort Collins’ history of cash crops, and is located near the former Great Western Sugar Factory – the end place for all of the sugar beet crops that were grown in the area.

(Corner of East Vine Drive & 9th Street)

A large wooden bat and baseball sit in the  middle of a playground area at Fairgrounds Park
  1. Fairgrounds Park Playground – Loveland:

Now it’s time to venture into Loveland and explore Fairgrounds Park Playground. This whimsical playground offers an array of captivating elements to discover and explore, including:

  • A Tot-Lot Play Area and covered pavilion
  • Splash Park
  • Large Baseball & Bat
  • Skate Park
  • Fitness Court
  • Obstacle Climbing Course full of spinners, monkey bars, and balance testers
  • Sand pit
  • Batting cages

This park has plenty of shade, so be prepared to spend hours of fun exploring all of the hidden gems here!

(700 S Railroad Ave, Loveland)

Ground level photo overlooking the play area and pavilions at Mehaffey Park
  1. Mehaffey Park Playground – Loveland:

Mehaffey Park Playground is a fantastic destination for kids of all ages. Your scavenger hunt at this playground should feature:

  • A large play structure with multiple slides
  • A rope climbing area
  • A merry-go-round
  • A waterfall
  • Swings suitable for all ages
  • Arboretum with multiple stations
  • 9-hole disc golf
  • Pickleball Courts

Mehaffey is the perfect spot to explore – the adventure playground is easy to spend hours at alone!

(3285 W 22nd Street, Loveland)

Green climbing playground equipment built to resemble a pond with cat tails
  1. Namaqua Park – Loveland:

Namaqua is a favorite because it’s a bit off the beaten path. It lies near a river for additional fun, and it has a unique and fun playground. See if you can find these amenities:

  • A Frog Face on the play structure
  • A slide built in Cat Tails
  • Plenty of tactile and sensory play features
  • Horseshoe court
  • Fishing spots on the shore of the Big Thompson River

You can explore the wooded area and find tons of bugs and wildlife. It’s also a great place for a family picnic right along the water!

(730 Namaqua Ave, Loveland)

Hopefully, these family-friendly spots and this scavenger hunt will be the beginning of a summer full of exploration! Northern Colorado offers endless opportunities for family-friendly fun, with it’s diverse range of playgrounds and surrounding amenities. Whether you’re a local or a visitor, the playgrounds mentioned here are sure to provide hours of entertainment and adventure.

Remember, while enjoying your scavenger hunts, it’s important to respect each playground’s rules, practice good hygiene, and maintain the cleanliness of the areas you visit. 

Now – get out there and create some lasting memories while embracing the joy and wonder of these remarkable playgrounds!

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