Perhaps, I’ve watched It’s A Wonderful Life, A Christmas Story, or National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation too many times, but for the first time in more than a decade, I have a hankering to go sledding. My aversion to gravity-influenced sports is well documented, so I am aware that this is a bad idea. Still…

It was hard to watch the oh-so powdery snow fall on Sunday and not grab a cardboard box and head to the nearest hill.* Granted, Colorado has plenty of awesome sledding in the High Country, with rope-tow access and fancy sleds. And you should try those spots some time. But for those of us who remember sledding as the ultimate free winter activity (makeshift sleds, kids bundled up with so many layers that your arms stuck straight out, and races down and up the hills), here are some close-to-home options for Denver’s next snow day.

For…the littlest ones: Stapleton’s Central Park

Where: After a snowstorm, pretty much every bump in the park becomes fair game for sledders, but a popular spot is near Martin Luther King Boulevard and Central Park Boulevard.

Selling Point: This spot will feel like bubble wrap for anxious adults because the parent-to-kid ratio is so even that tots are almost always within arms-reach of a grown-up.

For…the classic experience: Littleton’s Sledding Hill Park

Where: This north-facing, wide, and gentle slope can handle a lot of sledders, but the limited parking area on West Ken Caryl Avenue can’t. You’ve been warned.

Selling Point: Generations of locals have slid down this slope; be part of the tradition.

For…the ultimate snow day: Denver’s Ruby Hill Park

Where: Recently, this south Denver park is better known for its rail yard for skier and snowboarders, but sledders have ruled the powder slopes for much longer.

Selling Point: When Denver gets at least three-inches of powder—and you don’t want to battle traffic on I-70—you can save your gas money.

*Buzz Kill: Sledding is actually verboten in Denver’s city parks (except for specially designated areas). However, based on how many sleds we’ve seen at many local hills, the rules aren’t strictly enforced. Be respectful and careful please.

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Natasha Gardner
Natasha Gardner
Natasha Gardner is a Denver-based writer and the former Articles Editor for 5280.