The Mile High City is ready to entertain and inspire with urban adventure, outdoor activities and signature events
Denver is ready to deliver as the cultural and entertainment hub of the Rocky Mountains and, with a jam-packed events calendar, there are so many ways to live life to the fullest in the Mile High City this summer.
Denver has something for everyone with exceptional cultural and culinary experiences in the city, outdoor recreation in the nearby Rocky Mountains and events for music lovers, Broadway buffs, foodies, families and festival fans alike. The more than 300 days of sunshine each year and vibrant urban atmosphere only add to the allure of summertime in Colorado’s capital.
Below are some Denver summer highlights. For a full list of summer activities, go to the VISIT DENVER website.
Summer in Denver
Whether you're taking in Rocky Mountain views from a rooftop patio, attending a concert at the legendary Red Rocks Amphitheatre, planning an epic outdoor adventure, or shopping and dining in the city’s diverse neighborhoods, there's nothing like Denver during the spring and summer months. And don't miss the action-packed holiday weekends of Memorial Day, Fourth of July and Labor Day.
Play in the mountains, stay in the city. The neighboring Rocky Mountains are overflowing with outdoor activities like cycling, running, white water rafting, kayaking, rock climbing and more, all within less than two hours. After a full day of outdoor adventures, return to the city and have a feast on an outdoor patio, grab a craft beer along the Denver Beer Trail or explore the city's vibrant neighborhoods, teeming with arts, culture and urban flair.
Denver Summer Events
Festival season is back
Denver Day of Rock, May 28
A free music festival showcasing local, regional and national musicians from across various genres takes downtown. Headliners include Chris Isaak and Ingrid Andress.
Five Points Jazz Festival, June 4
Local musicians will fill the air with smooth notes as Denver’s Five Points neighborhood lives up to its moniker as the “Harlem of the West.”
Denver Fringe Festival, June 23-26
Enjoy original theatre, comedy, magic, dance and more during the annual performing arts festival in the River North Arts District (RiNo) and Five Points.
Denver PrideFest, June 25-26
In 2019, more than 525,000 turned out to celebrate during Denver PrideFest. Expect large crowds again as the event returns with a 5K race Saturday and a parade on Sunday. Plus, a festival with more than 250 exhibitors, 30 food/beverage vendors and live performances will keep Civic Center Park hopping both days.
Cherry Creek Arts Festival, July 1-3
A nationally recognized event, the Cherry Creek Arts Festival takes art outdoors in Denver’s upscale Cherry Creek North neighborhood.
Vortex, Aug. 5-7
For the first time, Meow Wolf is bringing its electronic music festival to Convergence Station, the renowned art collective’s third permanent location, in Denver. While a local venue hasn’t been announced, expect performances by Toro y Moi, Duke Dumont and more, plus experiential art and fantastic costumes.
Live Music for Everyone
Red Rocks Summer Concert Series
Named the “best outdoor amphitheatre in the country” by Rolling Stone Magazine, Denver’s iconic Red Rocks was the highest attended concert venue in the world in 2021. This summer, Red Rocks offers an outstanding summer lineup featuring Colorado’s own Big Head Todd and the Monsters (June 11) and Nathaniel Rateliff (Aug. 23-24), plus Glass Animals (June 14-15), Widespread Panic (June 24), The Black Keys (July 13), The Chicks (Aug. 2-3), Bonnie Raitt (Aug. 11), Thomas Rhett (Aug. 12), Pitbull (Aug. 19), Steve Miller Band (Aug. 23) and Nine Inch Nails (Sept. 2-3). There’s also a South Park 25th Anniversary Concert featuring Trey Parker & Matt Stone, Primus and Ween on Aug. 10.
Ball Arena is hosting Chris Stapleton (June 24-25), Rod Stewart (June 26), Santana with Earth, Wind & Fire (June 29), OneRepublic (Aug. 12) and The Killers (Aug. 31). Empower Field’s lineup includes Luke Combs (May 21), Red Hot Chili Peppers (July 23), Kenny Chesney (July 30) and The Weeknd (Aug. 18). Coors Field in LoDo will play host to two concerts this summer – a throwback with Motley Crüe, Def Leppard and Poison (July 21) and Denver’s own The Lumineers (July 22).
Juneteenth Music Festival, June 18-19
Don’t miss live performances, interactive and educational programming, and more as the festival returns to Denver’s Five Points neighborhood.
Colorado Black Arts Festival, July 8-10
Denver’s 36th annual celebration of African American art and culture includes a visual art showcase, parade, scavenger hunt and more – all for free at City Park.
Colorado Dragon Boat Festival, July 23-24
Join Colorado's annual celebration of Asian and Asian American heritage with the biggest Dragon Boat Festival in the U.S.! Of course, there are the boat races, but there is so much more to this Sloan’s Lake festival including nearly 100 live performances, an Asian marketplace, a traditional lion dance and a spicy ramen-eating contest.
Broadway in Denver
The Denver Center for the Performing Arts brings four Broadway shows to the Buell Theatre this summer: Tony Award-winning musical Dear Evan Hansen (May 31-June 5), Moulin Rouge! The Musical (June 9-26), Pretty Woman (Aug. 2-14) and another Tony Award-winner in Hadestown (Aug. 30-Sept. 11).
Arts & Culture
The Denver Art Museum, which reopened in 2021 after a massive, $150 million renovation, is hosting three exhibitions honoring female artists: Modern Women/Modern Vision (through Aug. 28), the Fashion Designs of Carla Fernandez (through Sept. 5) and an exhibit featuring nearly 100 photographs by renowned painter Georgia O’Keeffe to see another side of the artist (July 3-Nov. 6). Go further back in time at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science and see stunning artwork and artifacts in Egypt: The Time of Pharaohs through Sept. 5. Head outside to explore where nature and art meet at Denver Botanic Gardens – with 24 acres of flora from around the world, it’s an oasis in the city. Plus, now through Sept. 11, the gardens are hosting renowned outdoor sculptor Ursula von Rydingsvard’s “The Contour of Feeling” featuring large cedar sculptures. Another opportunity to feel immersed in art is at Meow Wolf Denver. Convergence Station is Meow Wolf’s third permanent art installation and its biggest, transporting visitors into fantastic realms of storytelling and exploration through the work of more than 300 artists. Finally, but not-to-be-missed, is the world premiere of the immersive production Theater of the Mind, co-created by David Byrne of the Talking Heads/creator of the Broadway hit American Utopia, and writer Mala Gaonkar. Theater of the Mind will take audience members through an immersive journey of self-reflection, discovery and imagination, inspired by and grounded in neuroscience – all at York Street Yards in Denver’s Clayton neighborhood.
Get Ready to Feast
Denver’s best pitmasters will team up with legends from Kansas City, St. Louis, Texas and across the country to serve award-winning eats at The Denver BBQ Festival June 17-19 at Empower Field at Mile High. To get a taste of Denver’s dynamic dining scene check out The Big Eat on July 28 at The Galleria at the Denver Performing Arts Complex. The event features small bites and sips from more than 60 vendors for a true taste of the city. Cherry Creek Al Fresco – a food and wine event – returns Aug. 18-20 to celebrate the diverse and sophisticated tastes of Cherry Creek North dining. The event includes tastings, seminars and demos before culminating in the Grand Tasting. And, not to be missed, is the Labor Day tradition of A Taste of Colorado Sept. 3-5. With food and drink from more than 50 vendors, free performances from local and regional musicians, booths highlighting local artisans and fun activities for kids, the 16th Street Mall will be hopping for the holiday weekend.
Sports in the City
The Colfax Marathon returns to its normal timeslot on the running calendar when thousands will hit the streets of Denver on May 15. On June 25, the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team returns to Dick’s Sporting Goods Park for an international friendly against Columbia in the team’s penultimate tune-up before the CONCACAF Championship in July. Young athletes with a physical, visual and/or intellectual impairment participate in archery, swimming, track, wheelchair tennis, powerlifting and more at the Move United Junior Nationals presented by The Hartford July 16-22 across Metro Denver. Volunteer opportunities are also available for this event.
Fun for the Whole Family
The Clyfford Still Museum has curated an exhibit specifically for a younger audience featuring art selected by children and displayed lower on the walls for their peers to see. Clyfford Still, Art and the Young Mind runs through Aug. 7 and also includes interactive experiences. From T-Rex to Velociraptors, JURASSIC WORLD: THE EXHIBITION allows fans of all ages to step into highly detailed scenes and encounter life-sized dinosaurs through Sept. 5. To keep those young minds sharp over summer break, the Denver Museum of Nature and Science hosts Mazes & Brain Games featuring 3D puzzles, physical games and more through Sept. 25. And, to take advantage of the sunny, summer weather, don’t forget to visit Denver Zoo. More than 3,000 animals call the zoo home including Amur tigers, Asian elephants, gorillas, sloths and a grizzly bear.
Feel Good, Laugh Hard and Get Your Fan Fix
Yoga on the Rocks (June 4-Aug. 13) returns for its 10th year and features two bilingual sessions (Spanish/English) for the first time. Marquee comedians Chris Rock (June 21 at the Bellco Theatre) and Amy Schumer (four shows Aug. 27-28 at the Paramount Theatre) are sure to bring big laughs to Denver. Finally, the FAN EXPO at the Colorado Convention Center July 1-3 will be a star-studded affair with Elijah Wood and Sean Astin from The Lord of the Rings Trilogy and Matthew Lewis from Harry Potter. Actors from newer shows like The Mandalorian and The Book of Boba Fett and classic films like Clerks and The Goonies will be there too.
About VISIT DENVER, The Convention & Visitors Bureau
Celebrating 113 years of promoting The Mile High City, VISIT DENVER is a nonprofit trade association that contracts with the City of Denver to market Denver as a convention and leisure destination, increasing economic development in the city, creating jobs and generating taxes. Denver welcomed more than 31 million visitors in 2019, generating $6 billion in spending, while supporting more than 60,000 jobs and making Tourism one of the city’s largest industries. Learn more about Denver on the VISITDENVER website or at TOURISMPAYSDENVER. Denver International Airport (DEN; flydenver.com) is the #3 busiest airport in the world connecting The Mile High City to more than 200 destinations globally. Follow Denver’s social media channels for up-to-the-minute updates at: Facebook.com/visitdenver; Twitter.com/visitdenver; Instagram.com/visitdenver; and YouTube.com/visitdenver.