Last updated: 05:00 PM ET, Thu June 04 2015

Study Reveals 10 Most Playful Cities for Families

Destination & Tourism | Patrick Clarke | June 04, 2015

Study Reveals 10 Most Playful Cities for Families

It's no secret that Denver is among the top destinations in the U.S. But according to a new study sponsored by Quaker Chewy, the Mile High City is also America's Most Playful City for Families.

Denver's abundance of state and local parks, in addition to its high volume of family-friendly amenities like swimming pools and sports fields and courts, separated it from the pack. According to TripAdvisor, Mount Evans, the Denver Museum of Nature & Science and the Denver Zoo are just a few of the playful attractions visiting families are likely to seek out in Colorado's capital. 

Nonetheless, the study went beyond the Rockies to discover some other gems for playful families. 

Here's a look at the complete top 10 list of the Most Playful U.S. Cities for Families:

1. Denver, Colorado

2. Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota

3. Seattle, Washington

4. Portland, Oregon

5. Washington, D.C.

6. San Diego, California

7. Atlanta, Georgia

8. San Francisco, California

9. Sacramento, California

10. Virginia Beach, Virginia

The cities that made the cut not only boast a high population of families and children, but access to a variety of playful amenities, whether indoor or outdoor.

Surprisingly, only three cities east of the Mississippi River (Washington, Atlanta and Virginia Beach) cracked the top 10, led by the nation's capital at No. 5. On the flip side, three cities from California featured in the top 10, with San Diego barely edging out San Francisco and Sacramento. 

The Pacific Northwest is also well-represented on the list, with Seattle and Portland each making the top five at Nos. 3 and 4 respectively behind runner-up Minneapolis-St. Paul. 

Quaker Chewy's study, which analyzed the 50 largest metropolitan areas in the U.S., was conducted by Sperling's Best Places this past April. 

"The top cities were identified using factors which can be correlated with family fun and play time, including families/children per capita, family/play-centric amenities, parks, consumer expenditures related to play/recreation and the frequency of playful activities," said Quaker Chewy in a press release. 

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