Free Things to Do in Denver
Now that you got a great deal on your flight and hotel for your trip to Denver, it is time to set your activities. In the Mile High city, there are plenty of attractions, and entrance can cost you a pretty penny. We put together a list of the best free things to do in Denver for your and your family on your next trip to Colorado. Like everything here in CO, most of these free events and activities are outdoors, supported by local communities and unique to the Centennial State.
Jazz it Up
If you love jazz and plan to be in Denver during the warmer months, pack a picnic basket and park yourself at the City Park bandstand for the City Park Jazz concert series. The area’s best musicians put on weekly shows gratis. Check out who is playing and times here.
Movies al Fresco
Keeping up with things outdoors, in the evening and in a park, you can catch a free flick at several of the local parks during late Fall, Spring, and Summer. Movies are shown at Skyline Park, Infinity Park at Glendale, and the Civic Center. Make plans and get there early, as this is a local’s favorite. This is a great activity for families or if you just want to lose yourself in a great classic film.
Raise a Glass (or a Cup)
Brewery tours are a great free activity for the 21+ crowd. Learn how beer is made, meet local brew masters and sample some unique craft beers. The usual suspects are always fun, including Coors in Golden, and Budweiser in Fort Collins…but those who love unique flavors should check out Wynkoop, Great Divide Brewing Company, Renegade Brewing Company, and Declaration Brewing.
Don’t whine if you like vino. Check out Balistreri Vineyards, a great winery within the Denver city limits.
For those who rather have a free brew, without the alcohol, you should try a cup of great tea at Celestial Seasonings in Boulder. Just a short drive, but a great place to go and check out how tea is processed and a great cup is made.
Yes, the views are free. The Rockies are some of the most beautiful works of art ever, and to complement it, Denver has some amazing museums and galleries that offer complimentary entrance.
The Denver Museum of Art offers free entrance on the first Saturday of every month, and free entrance for kids every day.
The Colorado Sports Hall of Fame at Mile High Stadium is a great place to check out the state’s top athletes and get a great view of this fantastic stadium. Don’t go there during a football game…trust me.
Once a month, the Denver Museum of Nature and Science has a free day. Check out their site to find out when you can see those dino-bones for free.
For a DIY tour, spend an afternoon in the Golden Triangle neighborhood. This cool section of town has more than two dozen galleries of current artists that create in a variety of mediums. Lace up your walking shoes and enjoy the works and styles of very contemporary local folks.
Hikes, Views, and Mile-Markers
The State Capitol, inspired by our nation’s own, offers free tours and vistas to boot. It has a tremendous set of stairs that will take you up to a great deck that overlooks the city and the magnificent Rockies. Look for the 13th step at exactly 1,600 meters above sea level (that is a mile for most of us 😉 ) and post a picture of that so that the social sphere can applaud your affinity to high altitude.
Colorado should change its nickname to the Outdoor State. Hikes are almost mandatory, but be warned (like we have been saying), this place is a mile or more above sea level. That means your lungs will have to work extra hard just to take a breath, and you will get tired faster than at home (unless home is atop a mountain).
The best places to go for a free hike are: Red Rocks Park, City Park, Wash Park, Civic Center Park (which also host free workouts almost every day) and Skyline Park
Other great things to do for free
Check out the renewed and updated Union Station
Hang out with Giant Dancing Statues
Ice Skate at Skyline Park (if you bring your own skates, if not, $2 will lease you a pair)
Walk around 16th street and enjoy an open-air window shopping