FREE AND FUN ATTRACTIONS AND TOURS
FREE DAYS AT DENVER’S GREATEST ATTRACTIONS!
Colorado residents can enjoy the following cultural attractions for free on select days throughout the summer: The Denver Art Museum (June 7, July 5, August 2, September 6 – free to all, not just Colorado residents); Denver Botanic Gardens at York Street (August 4); Denver Botanic Gardens at Chatfield (June 3, August 5); Denver Museum of Nature & Science (June 2, June 30, July 20, September 8); Clyfford Still Museum (June 20, August 7); Denver Firefighters Museum (August 2). Check out the full calendar.
U.S. MINT TOUR
320 W. Colfax Ave.
Learn how to make money! The U.S. Mint produces 50 million coins a day, each one stamped with a little “D” for Denver. Free tours show every step in the process of turning a dull, blank, metal slug into shiny pocket change.
COLORADO STATE CAPITOL TOUR
200 E. Colfax Ave.
Tour magnificent, gold-domed Colorado Capitol Building. Stand at exactly a mile high on the steps, see Allen True’s beautiful murals, listen in on the Colorado General Assembly, and check out the gorgeous Rose Onyx wainscoting. Free tours are available 10 a.m.-3 p.m., Mondays through Fridays.
CHILDREN’S MUSEUM FREE TARGET TUESDAYS
2121 Children’s Museum Dr.
A perfect after-school activity — the extremely fun Children’s Museum of Denver is FREE every first Tuesday of the month from 4-8 p.m.
OUR GLOBAL KITCHEN FAMILY DAYS AT THE HISTORY COLORADO CENTER
Kids 12 and under get in for FREE during these events on May 31, June 21, July 3 and August 8. Join the History Colorado Center on Global Kitchen Family Days for cooking demonstrations, food-themed crafts, cultural performances, and more. Visit the Food: Our Global Kitchenexhibit and check out special activities in the taste kitchen. Explore kitchen tools, sample tasty treats, and savor food stories from around the world and in Colorado.
DENVER STORY TREK
Ever wonder about the stories of the places you pass? On Denver Story Trek you’ll explore the stories behind Denver’s historic landscapes and landmarks on an interactive, self-guided tour of the city. It’s simple to use and free!
19th and Little Raven Sts.
The expansive Denver SkatePark – one of the most renowned skate parks in the country – is filled with bowls for all levels of skating skill. Admission is free. Helmets are required.
COLORADO SPORTS HALL OF FAME MUSEUM
1701 Mile High Stadium Cir.
Housed in Sports Authority Field At Mile High Stadium (home of the Denver Broncos), the Colorado Sports Hall of Fame Museum honors the legacies of The Mile High City’s greatest sports heroes, and features the Gallery of Legends, a “Great Moments in Colorado Sports” exhibit and a section celebrating the achievements of girls and women in Colorado Sports.
ROCKMOUNT RANCH WEAR
1626 Wazee St.
Browse the racks and enjoy the free museum at Lower Downtown’s historic Rockmount Ranch Wear, the originator of the western snap-button shirt. The walls are adorned with photos of the many celebs who have worn Rockmount shirts, including Eric Clapton, Robert Redford and Elvis Presley.
FEDERAL RESERVE BANK OF KANSAS CITY-DENVER BRANCH’S MONEY MUSEUM
1020 16th St.
The Money Museum offers an opportunity to learn about the Federal Reserve Bank. And, best of all, it’s free! Walk-ins are welcome and groups can make advance reservations. Photo ID required for visitors 18 and older. On your way out, don’t forget to get your bag of shredded money.
TATTERED COVER BOOKSTORE
1628 16th St.
The Tattered Cover is one of the nation’s largest and most well-known independent bookstores and often hosts free signings by some of the literary world’s most famous authors. They also offer free wi-fi if you want to surf the net while you’re there.
NATIONAL CENTER FOR ATMOSPHERIC RESEARCH
1850 Table Mesa Dr., Boulder
Learn about global warming, the 21st century’s hottest topic, at the National Center for Atmospheric Research. See a hailstone the size of a softball, watch as a miniature tornado is whipped up in front of your eyes, and get an up close look at how lightning is created.
RED ROCKS AMPHITHEATRE & PARK
18300 W. Alameda Pkwy., Morrison
Carved from towering red rock monuments, Red Rocks Amphitheatre & Park is one of the world’s most renowned concert venues. When there’s no concert, the free Visitor Center has a museum Performers’ Hall of Fame, while the surrounding park has hiking trails that weave in, around and over the colorful red rocks.
6028 S. Gallup St., Littleton
Travel back in time at the Littleton Museum and get a glimpse into Colorado’s pioneer past. Located on 39 acres, the museum consists of two living history farms (one from the 1860s and one from the 1890s), with a working farm, a blacksmith shop and more than 40,000 historically Colorado artifacts.
CELESTIAL SEASONINGS TOUR
4600 Sleepytime Dr., Boulder
See how Celestial Seasonings, the largest specialty tea manufacturer in North America, blends, packages and ships its teas, then enjoy free samples of every variety they make, and discover a gallery of original artwork from their famous tea boxes.
16831 W. Alameda Pkwy., Morrison
See some dinos – or what’s left of them anyway. Dinosaur Ridge features famous Jurassic dinosaur bones, such as Stegosaurus and Apatosaurus, discovered in 1877, and Cretaceous dinosaur footprints. A guidebook is available for use on self-guided tours.
GARDEN OF THE GODS
1805 N. 30th St., Colorado Springs
Located 60 miles from Denver, the awe-inspiring Garden of the Gods features gigantic 500-foot high red sandstone rock monuments at the base of Pikes Peak.
FREE FESTIVALS & EVENTS
WORLD SOCCER CELEBRATIONS
WHEN: June 13-16
WHERE: Skyline Park, 16th and Arapahoe
Can’t make it to Brazil this year for the World Cup? Here’s the next best thing. Join fellow futbol fans in downtown Denver’s Skyline Park for a series of World Soccer Celebrations, featuring live broadcasts of matches from Brazil on a 20-foot screen. The public is invited to this free event that includes four days of live soccer, food and drink vendors, games, giveaways and more. The event will culminate in the U.S. National Team’s match against Ghana on Monday, June 16 at 3:30 p.m.
JUNETEENTH MUSIC FESTIVAL
WHEN: June 14
WHERE: Five Points Neighborhood on Welton St.
Denver’s Juneteenth Music Festival is one of the nation’s largest celebrations, drawing in record numbers of festival-goers and participation. The two-day event features live performances, art and cultural exhibitions, and food and commercial vendors; with partners and sponsors ranging from community support networks and organizations, to local and international companies.
WHEN: June 21-22
WHERE: Civic Center Park, Broadway and Colfax Ave.
Denver’s Lesbian, Gay Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) community throws an enormous party every summer with Denver PrideFest in Civic Center Park. Recognized as one of the top ten pride events in the country, Denver PrideFest is a celebration of community and culture that is welcoming — and fun! — to all attendees, regardless of sexual orientation. Produced by the Gay Lesbian Bisexual & Transgender Community Center of Colorado, the two-day festival gets bigger. Last year attracted more than 200,000 people from Colorado and the surrounding areas. This year should draw even more revelers.
CHERRY CREEK ARTS FESTIVAL
WHEN: July 4-6
WHERE: Cherry Creek North from 2nd to 3rd Aves., on the seven streets between Columbine and Steele Sts.
Cherry Creek Arts Festival (CCAF) is a world-class and award-winning celebration of the visual, culinary and performing arts, and enjoys an attendance of 350,000 visitors over the 3-day event. CCAF gives patrons the rare and special opportunity to meet and talk with international visual artists, sample fine cuisine, visit special exhibits and artist demonstrations, and entertain their families with interactive “Artivities” and exciting performing arts.
COLORADO BLACK ARTS FESTIVAL
WHEN: July 11-13
WHERE: City Park West, 17th Ave. and Colorado Blvd.
The Colorado Black Arts Festival is a three-day festival that presents an array of exciting African-American arts and cultural delights. A wide array of art will adorn the grounds and live music (including jazz, hip hop, R&B, rock ‘n’ roll and more) from the people of African descent will give way to a memorable weekend. This is a family friendly event with programming and activities for the entire family.
UNION STATION GRAND OPENING
WHEN: July 12, 10 a.m.-3 p.m.
WHERE: Denver’s Union Station, 1701 Wynkoop St.
For several years, Denver’s Union Station has been undergoing a major transformation to once again be a destination for Coloradans and visitors alike. The project includes an extensive transportation hub, a custom-crafted line up of locally owned restaurants and shops, and a new 112 room hotel. On July 12, be there for the FREE grand opening celebration, with loads of fun activities, giveaways and more.
COLORADO DRAGON BOAT FESTIVAL
WHEN: July 19-20
WHERE: Sloan’s Lake Park, 1700 S. Sheridan Blvd.
Founded in 2001 to celebrate Colorado’s rich Asian Pacific American (APA) culture, the Colorado Dragon Boat Festival has become the region’s fastest growing fun, family-friendly summer festival. Named “Top Annual Festival” by the Rocky Mountain News and a “Best of Denver” event by Westword, it offers festival-goers the opportunity to explore APA customs through performances, arts and crafts, shopping, dining and the exciting athletic competition of dragon boat racing.
A TASTE OF COLORADO
WHEN: Aug. 29 – Sept. 1
WHERE: Civic Center Park, Broadway and Colfax Ave.
A Taste of Colorado stands proud as the end-of-summer celebration of community pride and spirit in the Denver region. Over 500,000 people make the four-day festival their Labor Day Weekend celebration, enjoying the offerings of more 50 area restaurants, 250 marketplace artisans and vendors, seven stages, and educational programs promoting the diverse cultural and western heritage of the region.
SOUTHWEST MOVIES AT SKYLINE PARK
WHEN: All summer long
WHERE: In Denver’s city parks
Spread out a blanket in one of Denver’s most gorgeous parks in the heart of downtown for FREE, family friendly Outdoor Movies in the Parks.
Southwest Movies at Skyline Park 2014 lineup:
June 21 – “Saving Mr. Banks”
June 28 – “Finding Nemo”
July 5 – “Frozen”
July 12 – “Monsters University”
July 19 – “Father of the Bride”
July 26 – “Fly Away Home”
August 2 – “Gravity”
August 9 – “Man of Steel”
FREE LIVE MUSIC
CITY PARK JAZZ
WHEN: Sunday evenings in June and July
WHERE: City Park, 17th Ave. and Colorado Blvd.
Every Sunday night in June and July, the City Park Bandstand and Pavilion turns into a swinging, open-air jazz club as music lovers of all ages congregate for the free City Park Jazz.
SOUTH PLATTE RIVERFEST
WHEN: June 28-29
WHERE: Confluence Park, 2250 15th St.
The South Platte RiverFest is a two day festival includes free stand up paddle board lessons and demos, a variety of riverside recreational activities, live music, beer, food, and more.
CIVIC CENTER PARK’S INDEPENDENCE EVE
WHEN: July 3
WHERE: Civic Center Park, Broadway and Colfax Ave.
The annual Independence Eve Celebration will feature a free patriotic concert, an innovative light show on the Denver City and County Building and a stunning fireworks finale.
LARIAT LOOP BYWAY
Retrace the motoring adventures of the early 1920s and experience the thrill of foothills exploration at the dawn of the Age of Motorcars on this 40-mile scenic circle in the foothills west of Denver. The Lariat Loop takes motorists to several popular attractions, including Buffalo Bill’s Grave & Museum, the Colorado Railroad Museum and the Mother Cabrini Shrine.
DENVER PARKS & LAKES
Denver’s city parks are beautiful. Confluence Park, located within walking distance of downtown, offers sandy shores for sunbathing, a kayak practice route, and bike paths. Up in the Highlands neighborhood, explore Sloan’s Lake Park, an urban oasis with the enormous Sloan’s Lake taking center stage.
At the entrance to the legendary Rocky Mountain National, the historic resort village of Estes Park offers shopping and dining – as well as the hotel that inspired Stephen King’s The Shining!
A recent study pegged Boulder as the “happiest” city in America. You’ll find out why when you stroll past the shops, cafes and street performers on the Pearl Street Mall, or take a hike on the city’s 200 miles of trails.
PEAK TO PEAK SCENIC & HISTORIC BYWAY
Less than an hour from Denver, the 55-mile-long Peak To Peak Scenic & Historic Bywayprovides matchless views of the Continental Divide. From Black Hawk to Estes Park, the pleasantly winding road – the oldest scenic byway in Colorado – meanders through valleys and ridges, with shimmering aspens visible throughout the entire route.
DENVER BIKE TRAILS
Denver is home to a massive network of more than 850 miles of paved, off-road trailsthat crisscross throughout the seven county metro area, making it a two-wheeled paradise. Paved trails connect to hundreds of additional miles of dirt trails, offering mountain bike adventures.
MOUNT EVANS SCENIC BYWAY & ECHO LAKE
The highest paved road in North America climbs 9,000 feet from Denver, passing through five life zones en route to the 14,264-foot high summit. Mount Evans is one of Colorado’s 54 fourteeners (peaks that climb to 14,000 feet and above), and one of only two in the nation that you can drive up. Note: Driving the Scenic Byway is $10 per vehicle, but hiking to Echo Lake is free – as is all that magnificent fresh mountain air. Generally open Memorial Day to Labor Day.
Nestled in a steep mountain valley, Georgetown is one of Colorado’s most elegant mining towns with 200 Victorian buildings. Ride the Georgetown Loop Railroad over a 100-foot high trestle to neighboring Silver Plume.