Free Things To Do This Fall In Denver
Enjoy the best Denver has to offer this fall without stretching your budget. The Mile High City is packed with free festivals, attractions and activities that will keep you busy all season long!
FESTIVALS AND EVENTS
A Taste of Colorado
WHEN: Sept. 2–5, 2016
WHERE: Civic Center Park
Held every year over Labor Day Weekend in Civic Center Park, A Taste of Colorado puts the spotlight on the diversity of Colorado cuisine. Delight your taste buds with creations from the state’s favorite restaurants and food estabishments. Enjoy live entertainment, carnival rides, family-friendly entertainment and much more.
New Belgium’s Tour de Fat
WHEN: Sept. 10, 2016
WHERE: City Park
A ballyhoo of bikes and beer! Connecting people with bikes, beer and community since 1997, the Tour de Fat’s Denver stop takes place in City Park. Expect a costumed bike parade, food, music, merriment and — of course — beer. The ride begins at 10 a.m. from the west side of City Park.
Denver Art Museum Friendship Powwow
WHERE: Denver Art Museum
At the Denver Art Museum Friendship Powwow, experience powwow dance and pageantry, participate in a community mural project, watch artist demonstrations, browse vendor booths and enjoy your first (or 101st) piece of fry bread.
WHEN: Sept. 10–11, 2016
WHERE: Belmar Center
The annual Festival Italiano Food & Wine Festival at Belmar Center is a fun-filled celebration of all things Italian. The event will feature over 70 of the area's finest Italian food, wine and artisan vendors selling ceramics, gelato, sausage, baked goods, pasta, flowers, herbs, sculpture, antique maps, produce, pizza and much more.
Buffalo Bill's Fall Roundup
WHERE: Buffalo Bill Museum & Grave
Meet Buffalo Bill, Annie Oakley and other "living history" figures straight out of the Old West at Buffalo Bill's Fall Roundup at the Buffalo Bill Museum & Grave!
WHEN: Sept. 23–25 and Sept. 30–Oct. 2, 2016
WHERE: Ballpark Neighborhood
Denver's Oktoberfest commemorates the world-famous and time-honored tradition of German heritage over two weekends each fall. Enjoy German attractions, including music from national touring groups, performances by international dancers, children's activities, heritage booths selling German goods, an accordion concert and authentic German drinks and cuisine.
Pumpkin Harvest Festival
WHERE: Four Mile Historic Park
At Four Mile Historic Park's Pumpkin Harvest Festival, find the perfect pumpkin in the patch, create your very own scarecrow, listen and dance to old-time music, play historic games or make a historic craft!
Festival of Scarecrows
WHEN: Oct. 8, 2016
WHERE: Historic Olde Town Arvada
Head to Historic Olde Town Arvada for the Festival of Scarecrows. This autumn event features scarecrow contests, a pumpkin patch, a costume parade, community booths, hay wagon rides and a giant pumpkin contest.
Denver Zombie Crawl
WHERE: Downtown Denver
The Denver Zombie Crawl holds the Guinness World Record for the largest zombie event. That's a lot of undead Denverites! You’ll laugh, you’ll scream, you’ll come to appreciate all the creativity that exists in Denver — at least in the underground world of the undead.
Denver Arts Week
WHEN: Nov. 4–12, 2016
WHERE: Various museums, galleries and venues in the Denver Metro area
Based on the popular event from Paris, the tenth annual Denver Arts Week is an eight-day celebration of all things art in The Mile High City, during which many of the city's top museums, art galleries, theaters and concerts halls offer free or discounted admission. Free shuttle buses make it easy to hop from venue to venue. In addition to free or discounted admission, many venues offer special music, dance and other performances throughout the week.
FREE ATTRACTIONS AND TOURS
Denver Zoo Free Days (Colorado Residents only)
WHEN: Nov. 4, Nov. 7 and Nov. 17, 2016
WHERE: Denver Zoo
Say hello to the animals for free three times this fall. The Denver Zoo, located in City Park, spans over 75 acres and is home to more than 4,000 animals, including rare amur leopards, okapi, black rhinoceros, elephants, vampire bats, orangutan, Komodo dragons and more!
Denver Museum of Nature & Science Free Days (Colorado Residents only)
WHEN: Sept. 11, Oct. 24, Nov. 13 and Dec. 12, 2016
WHERE: Denver Museum of Nature & Science
Explore the Denver Museum of Nature & Science, a maze filled with treasures of the earth: dinosaurs, dioramas, space exhibits, science experiments, a digital planetarium, IMAX theatre and touring shows.
Denver Botanic Gardens Free Days: York Street Location (Colorado Residents only)
WHEN: Sept. 14 and Nov. 11-12, 2016
WHERE: Denver Botanic Gardens
Denver Botanic Gardens is a 23-acre oasis in the middle of the city, with 45 different gardens (some 33,000 plants), as well as one of the nation's top 10 conservatories. Relax in the Japanese Garden, climb through the Rock Alpine Garden and explore the Mordecai Children's Garden.
Denver Botanic Gardens Free Day: Chatfield Location (Colorado Residents only)
WHEN: Nov. 1, 2016
WHERE: Denver Botanic Gardens at Chatfield
Denver Botanic Gardens at Chatfield is a picturesque nature preserve among the grasslands, ponds and cottonwood banks of Deer Creek. Facilities include nature trails, a wildlife observation area, display gardens, educational exhibits, a historical farm, a 19th century one-room schoolhouse, working beehives and picnic areas.
Denver Art Museum Free Days
WHEN: Sept. 3, Oct. 1, Nov. 5 and Dec. 3, 2016
WHERE: Denver Art Museum
The Denver Art Museum's Hamilton Building is an architectural work of art. Designed by Daniel Libeskind, it will change the way you experience art and architecture. Explore the Museum's galleries showcasing a world-famous American Indian art collection, as well as traditional and contemporary art from around the world.
Free Target Tuesday Nights at the Children’s Museum of Denver
WHEN: Sept. 6, Oct. 4, Nov. 1 and Dec. 6, 2016
WHERE: Children's Museum of Denver
Families can play for free the first Tuesday of each month from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Discover the Children's Museum of Denver, where interactive playscapes, programs and special events make learning fun by engaging kids to play, learn and explore. It's a place that ignites and fosters a love of learning that children will carry with them throughout life.
Molly Brown House Free Days
WHEN: Sept. 10 and Nov. 11, 2016
WHERE: Molly Brown House Museum
Learn all about the "Unsinkable" Molly Brown and the tragic voyage of the Titanic during free days at the Molly Brown House Museum.
Denver Firefighters Museum Free Day
WHEN: Oct. 15, 2016
WHERE: Denver Firefighters Museum
The Denver Firefighters Museum is one of Denver's great hidden gems, located in the heart of Downtown. Learn about real American heroes, try on some firefighters' gear, get behind the wheel of an antique fire engine and even slide down the pole!
Four Mile Historic Park Free Days
WHEN: Sept. 9, Oct. 14, Nov. 11 and Dec. 9, 2016
WHERE: Four Mile Historic Park
Take a trip back in time to Denver's pioneer past at Four Mile Historic Park, nestled on the bank of Cherry Creek. Stop by for a free afternoon of tours, historic demonstrations and more.
Free Denver Public Art Tours
Arts & Venues Denver invites art and architecture lovers to participate in free Public Art Tours — available on foot, bike and scooter. These free guided tours focus on small segments of the city’s public art collection and give citizens and visitors the opportunity to venture inside venues such as the Ellie Caulkins Opera House and Colorado Convention Center to view works and hear the details of their creation and installation.
U.S. Mint Tour
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.
Garden of the Gods
Located just 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.
National Center for Atmospheric Research
Learn about global warming, the 21st century's hottest topic, at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder. 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 Park & Amphitheatre
Carved from towering red rock monuments, Red Rocks Park & Amphitheatre is one of the world's most renowned concert venues. When there's no concert, the free Visitor Center has a museum and Performers' Hall of Fame, while the surrounding park offers hiking trails that weave in, around and over the colorful red rocks.
Colorado State Capitol Tour
Tour the 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., Monday through Friday.
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!
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 historic Colorado artifacts.
Tattered Cover Book Store
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.
Coors Brewery Tour
"Taste the Rockies!" Coors Brewery, the world's largest brewing site, still uses the same Rocky Mountain spring water that Adolph Coors discovered in 1873. Free tours of the brewery in nearby Golden show every step in the brewing process and end with free samples for those over 21.
Celestial Seasonings Tour
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. The Boulder facility also includes a gallery of original artwork from the company's famous tea boxes.
Great Divide Brewery Tour
Get a behind-the-scenes look at Denver's craft beer world on a free tour at the Great Divide Brewery in Downtown Denver or the new Barrel Bar in RiNo. Tours at both locations take place at 3 p.m., 4 p.m. and 5 p.m., Mon.–Fri. and each hour from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.
See some dinos — or what's left of them, anyway. Dinosaur Ridge in Morrison 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.
Colorado Sports Hall of Fame Museum
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
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.
Colorado’s Fall Colors
Fall in Colorado isn’t complete without taking in the brilliant transformation of the state’s signature tree, the Aspen. The fall change from mellow green to stunning gold takes place during various weeks in September, depending on where you are — and since the color only lasts a week, timing is everything! One of the best leaf-peeping routes on the Rocky Mountain Front Range is the Peak to Peak Highway and Scenic Byway that travels the high-altitude road between Black Hawk and Estes Park. Virtually every way you look, you’ll see majestic Aspen colors. Another great Front Range ride is along the Guanella Pass Scenic Byway, just south of the historic town of Georgetown. Bunches of blazing Aspen can be found all over this incredible drive. Learn more
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 the Lariat Loop, a 40-mile scenic circle in the foothills west of Denver. The Lariat Loop takes motorists to several popular attractions, including the Buffalo Bill Museum & Grave, the Colorado Railroad Museum and the Mother Cabrini Shrine.