Heritage Park Golden, Colorado: Heritage Square
UPDATE: I saw on the news tonight that Heritage Park has closed, and tonight was its very last evening in operation! I have SO many wonderful childhood memories of visiting Heritage Park and I am so thankful I was able to take my girls a couple years ago! I so WISH I would have taken them a couple more times since that visit, but as it does, time steals us away. I remember telling husband when we were there that eventually it would be gone and it was a matter of time. Over the last few years Colorado has experienced exponential growth and migration and that time is apparently now, for developers to purchase the land that Heritage Park is on for other purposes. I am so very thankful I was able to enjoy this historic family amusement park as a child, and as a momma. See below for our visit to the park a couple years ago.
I have been wanting to visit Golden, Colorado's historic, Heritage Square Amusement Park for some time now. I haven't been since I was a kiddo! Now that Remy is three, and more importantly, that 36" sweet spot for carnival rides, I decided THIS was the summer, and now was the time to take the girls to Heritage Square Amusement Park. We were soooo glad we got up there! I have to admit, at first I was a little sad when we first got out of the car and saw a little bit of a dismal scene. Husband thought I was crazy and thought the grounds looked beautiful, and he was right, for someone who had never been before. The hilly lands and front range back drop are pretty hard to mess up. It just wasn't the opulent image I had envisioned from my memory of when I used to visit as a child. The dinner theater, the sweets shop, the bustling little main street area, gone, gone, GONE! There are still potted plants here and there, and you can tell the park is doing its best to hang on to something so beautiful and wonderful, but at closer glance, you see weeds sneaking in cracks, and ride carts unavailable due to needing a little repair. If anyone with seed money out there is reading this, or an investor type, here is my campaign to SAVE HERITAGE SQUARE AMUSEMENT PARK! There you have it! #saveheritagesquare if that makes it more concrete.
There were construction gates around the historic town portion of the amusement park and it is in the process of being demolished! Can you believe it?! Well, by now it shouldn't shock me that they are destroying a part of history and nostalgia. Like with most historic buildings around Denver and surrounding areas, there is much gentrification happening, i.e. big time real estate people coming in and bull dozing the place. That's my bit.
I have been asked this question on more than one occasion by people traveling here from other places, new transplants, "What is a quintessential Colorado thing to do? What or where should I go that says, 'Colroado.'" Heritage Square, my friends, was one of those places. So go!!! Apparently they are taking down the famous Alpine Slide as well, the big, white slide you see going down the mountain in Golden as you drive along I-70. However, the park rides, mostly geared towards 10 years and under I would say, the Go Carts, and the grill will remain for some years to come. The future of what goes up around it remains somewhat of a mystery. Will it turn out to be like an original Elitch Gardens story where they "kept" the carousel and tore everything else down only to replace the beautiful grounds and park with hideous track housing? I certainly hope not.
The slight sagging and wrinkles of age aside, the park is still that little bit of sunshine and giggles that I remember. We came in high spirits and left even happier that we had come, brought our girls, and shared such a special day. Created new memories of Heritage Square. I'll remember that flutter in my tummy that the ferris wheel gave me and looking over the edge with my Remy. And the deep laugh I got from sliding clear up against the side of that wave ride, we were the only ones on, and Arlo was sliding down like a little noodle that I was holding tightly. That Scrambler ride... and how it starts out slow and then wipe you side to side. The looks on the girls' faces sitting in the front of that "Crazy Bus" with their Baba going up and down! The smiles this place produced can't be bottled. Pure joy! At least from Baba and I! We had such a fun time! Remy's favorite was the Train roller coaster. She was also able to ride the dragon roller coaster too which was pretty exciting!
Other highlights of the park that we hope to enjoy more of are the swan paddle boats on the pond, possibly the Go Carts, and we missed the dragon boat ride so we have to get back for that. It's not your MAJOR theme park or wild coaster ride place, but there are gorgeous picnic grounds for groups and parties and like I said above, great fun in a manageable space (no fear of losing someone) for families. The rides seemed especially suited for kids of elementary school age and younger. Surprisingly, Arlo was able to ride several rides with an adult as well! She did get a little peeved that she had to sit out on the swings, and Remy was nothing but adorable flying around on that all by herself and putting her hands in the air! Special shout out to the CUTEST workers, especially Cameron who complimented Remy's Nike's and made her get a little shy because he reminds us so much of our favorite neighbor Toby! She's smitten.... The food at the grill wasn't bad either! We had the chicken tenders and the grilled chicken sandwich- both good and the fries were delicious! We skipped the funnel cake, another BIG thing to make it back for!
Heritage Square, we love you all over again and hate to see you changing, but we want to visit you as long as they let us!