Do you enjoy watching clouds? Do you like reading books in pretty areas? Do you want to become king of the playground? Does your pet need a new place to frolic?

Do you need a new place to frolic?

If you’ve answered “yes” to any of these questions, you’re probably in need of a park. Luckily, Boulder has a lot of fantastic parks. Here are a few of my favorites:

Scott Carpenter Park

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Scott Carpenter Park has everything a person could ever want. It has a huge open field, an excellent skatepark, an outdoor swimming pool, and a jungle gym with a space ship. That’s right, this park has a space ship. It’s not going to necessarily take you on the next moon mission, but it’s an awesome structure for kids to climb on. The space ship is a memorial to Scott Carpenter, who was born in Boulder and eventually became the second American to orbit the earth. If things get too hot, however, the outdoor swimming pool offers a great relief to the summer heat and includes a water slide and a diving board. The park can be found at the intersection of 30th and Arapahoe Avenue.

Chautauqua Park

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Chautauqua is one of Boulder’s most popular parks. For starters, it offers a ton of nearby hiking trails. Chautauqua has a very expansive trail system that takes visitors up and around the famous Flatiron rock formations. This trail system is one of Boulder’s most prominent hiking trails, so if you haven’t already explored the trails in this area, you owe it to yourself to do so. Chautauqua Park is also home to the Chautauqua Dining Hall, which is a very popular spot for brunch. If you would rather pack your own meal, however, there are plenty of picnic spots both at tables and the large field area. If all this isn’t enough to satisfy your park needs, there’s also an amphitheater that features plays, musicians, and comedians. Chautauqua Park can be found at 900 Baseline Road.

Foothills Community Park

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Foothills Community Park is a spectacular family destination. This play structure is sure to win over kids. If your child is a play structure connoisseur, they will be impressed with the diversity of slides and intricate climbing walls on this masterful piece of outdoor architecture. This park also includes a dog park and a number of trails, so dogs can enjoy themselves here as well. Even if you’re interested in simply sitting on a bench, there are beautiful views to observe here, especially around sunset. There are additionally a few covered picnic areas, so if you enjoy sunset picnics, then this place is definitely your destination. On top of all this, aspiring basketball players can enjoy the finely-crafted basketball hoops here. This park can be found west of Broadway off of Cherry Avenue.

Eben G. Fine Park

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Eben G. Fine Park is a great summer hangout area. It’s a perfect spot for picnics, has convenient access to Boulder Creek, and it includes a small play structure. It’s a perfect place for a hot summer day, because the trees in the area provide ample amounts of shade in the park. If you’re looking for a more effective way to cool off, however, this is also a popular place to go tubing in the summer. If you have an inner tube, be sure to bring it! If you are tubing, however, it is important to pay attention to the daily creek flow rates. The best river tubing conditions are when the river’s discharge is between 100-200cfs. If you’re feeling particularly adventurous, you can still tube this river up to when it its discharge is 300cfs, but prepare to be taken on a particularly wet roller coaster ride if the discharge is higher than 200cfs. Eben G. Fine Park can be found by traveling to the west end of Arapahoe Avenue.