Ten reasons why Lakeside Amusement Park rules
When you love something with your whole heart, your desire to defend it at every possible chance is unrelenting. This is how I feel about Lakeside Amusement Park. Not that this magical place needs any more positive public words from me, but it still feels like each summer, I hear the same misunderstanding grumbles about the park that holds my heart.
Modmidmod.com The entrance to Lakeside's world-famous Cyclone.
As I continue to contemplate the future placement of my "Lake Rhoda" tattoo (honoring the body of water that Lakeside sits beside) and in advance of Reel Social Club's second annual Summer Scream private park party at Lakeside this Thursday, August 30, here are seven reasons why the old-school amusement park rules more than any other place on the planet.
10. The Architecture
Modmidmod.com An artist's rendering of Richard Crowther's sleek, mid-century design.
Though the park opened in 1908 and its gleaming "Tower of Jewels" that can be seen down Sheridan Boulevard reflects turn-of-the-last-century architectural style, the majority of the park's memorable structures were designed by Richard Crowther in the late-'40s and early '50s. A pioneer of solar and energy-efficient architecture, Crowther was also was a master at using neon lighting to accent his work.
The art-deco style of rounded edges and sleek movement-simulating lines makes Crowther's structures easy to spot throughout the park. Luckily, Lakeside has taken care of his work over the years, adding little more than a fresh coat of paint to the beautiful ticket booths and ride houses. Crowther's art-deco masterpieces are best enjoyed in person, but if you can't make it to the park, check out The Denver Eye and Modmidmod.com's collections of photos and renderings.
9. Mature trees!
When Elitch Gardens picked up and moved downtown two decades ago, it couldn't take its vegetation along. But Lakeside's still got it, along with beautiful buildings, and there are plenty of shaded spots throughout the park to take a break from the heat. Take a ride on the Hurricane (also known as the "planes" by long-standing Lakeside fans) and get up close and personal with the trees, as they almost (but just miss) whipping you in the face.
If you're sneaky, you can BYO-adult beverages into Lakeside (though by no means do we advocate drinking and riding.) There's plenty of great, greasy food inside the park, but you can stay on your no-fun, I mean, gluten-free and vegan diet if you want, and bring a picnic to Lakeside. There are picnic tables where the five or five hundred of you can enjoy a nice dinner before riding the rides. And the picnic-friendly policy helps keep Lakeside affordable for all.
7. Soft serve
While you can BYO ice cream to the park if you want, you can also enjoy a wobbly twist cone, which teenage vendors sell for under $3. Oversized, icy cold and messy, soft-serve ice cream is best (if only) enjoyed in public. Not one for ice cream? Grub on the park's pizza, popcorn, funnel cakes and hot dogs on the cheap -- because for under $20 (during the weekday, anyway) you can get unlimited rides and a meal.