Summer holiday weekends in The Mile High City allow some extra time for people to relax, enjoy the city’s 300 days of annual sunshine and experience everything the season has to offer. From Memorial Day to Labor Day, Denver has an abundance of things to do all summer long – especially on longer holiday weekends.
Below are just a few things people can enjoy in Denver on Memorial Day, Father’s Day, Fourth of July, Labor Day and all the weekends in between. For more information, including hotel deals, go to the VISIT DENVER website.
Denver Day of Rock, May 25
Denver Day of Rock is a free event that features five stages of live music along Denver’s 16th Street Mall on the Saturday of Memorial Day Weekend. Denver Day of Rock unites the community through music and family-friendly entertainment while also raising funds to support Amp the Cause, a Denver nonprofit that raises awareness about critical family issues and supports local charities. This year’s lineup includes headliners Eli Young Band, Barns Courtney and Austin Young Band, among many other local and national artists.
Other concerts over Memorial Day Weekend include The Devil Makes Three (May 24), The Disco Biscuits (May 25) and Celtic Woman (May 26) at Red Rocks Amphitheatre; Carmina Burana from the Colorado Symphony and the Colorado Symphony Chorus (May 24-26) at the Boettcher Concert Hall; and many more at venues throughout the city.
Major League Baseball’s Colorado Rockies will play the Baltimore Orioles at Coors Field in a three-game series (May 24-26) followed by another series against the Arizona Diamondbacks beginning on Memorial Day (May 27).
Veterans Memorial Day Tribute, May 25
This annual tribute honors all fallen Colorado heroes and their families. The 20th annual Tribute will feature inspirational music, a Reading of Names, the US Navy Bell Toll, Remembrance Wreath laying for heroes that have died in past wars placed by veteran representatives and presentations of signature Tribute banners and Pins to Gold Star families.
Water World Opening Day, May 25
Located just north of downtown, Water World features 46 water adventures on 64 acres of land – the largest variety of water attractions in the U.S. Families can enjoy everything from a lazy river to speed slides; children’s play adventures to Colorado’s only magnetic water coaster, the Mile High Flyer. The park features kid-friendly food vendors, but picnics are also welcome and parking is free.
The Denver BBQ Festival, June 14-16
The 2nd annual Denver BBQ Festival returns to Broncos Stadium at Mile High on Father’s Day weekend. Some of the country's most award-winning BBQ chefs and pitmasters will be serving up a variety of meats amongst a background of live music and other festivities.
Denver PrideFest, June 15-16
Recognized as one of the top 10 pride events in the country, Denver PrideFest is a free, two-day festival that takes place in Denver’s Civic Center Park – this year commemorating the 50th anniversary of Stonewall with an all-star lineup of events. The weekend features activities and entertainment for adults, kids and pets – from a Dogs in Drag Parade and the annual Gay Pride Parade to the Denver Pride5K and three stages of music and cultural entertainment. Headliners include Todrick Hall, Cynthia Lee Fontaine, DJ Joe Gauthreaux, Lady Bunny and more.
Juneteenth Music Festival, June 15-16
Juneteenth is the oldest known celebration commemorating the end of slavery in the U.S. In Denver, tens of thousands of festival goers will come together in Denver’s historic Five Points neighborhood – known as the “Harlem of the West” thanks to its rich jazz history and diverse culture – to celebrate freedom, community and culture. This year, for the first time, the festival will be a two day event. Three music stages will feature live performances, headlined by Grammy-winning R&B icon Ashanti.
CONCACAF Gold Cup, June 19
Taking place every two years, the CONCACAF Gold Cup features some of the Western Hemisphere’s best players in games around the U.S. It is the official national team championship of the region, crowning the best national team in North and Central America and the Caribbean. The Group A doubleheader, taking place at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in Denver, will feature the Mexico Men’s National team against Canada, as well as Cuba facing off against Martinique.
Independence Eve, July 3
Held in Denver’s Civic Center Park, the free annual Independence Eve celebration features a patriotic concert, an innovative light show on the Denver City & County Building and a stunning fireworks finale over the city.
Cherry Creek Arts Festival, July 5-7
Every Fourth of July Weekend, the Cherry Creek North neighborhood hosts the Cherry Creek Arts Festival, a world-class and award-winning display of visual, culinary and performing arts. More than five full blocks of the neighborhood feature the works of local and nationally known artisans, vendors and activities, including Artivity Avenue with interactive activities for the whole family. Throughout the weekend, there are also concerts, live entertainment and more.
Denver is home to seven professional sports teams, including Major League Baseball’s Colorado Rockies, Major League Soccer’s Colorado Rapids and Major League Lacrosse’s Denver Outlaws. The Rapids play the New England Revolution on the Fourth of July, and fans can stay late to watch the fireworks display over the field after the game. The Outlaws will have fireworks after their July 4th game against the Atlanta Blaze and the Rockies will have two nights of fireworks after competing against the Houston Astros.
Elitch Gardens Theme & Water Park puts on a fireworks display on July 4, lighting up the night sky beginning at dusk.
Labor Day Weekend & Denver’s Summer Finale
Denver just cannot get enough summer, so as the season comes to a close, The Mile High City celebrates in style – with not just one long weekend, but an entire month of celebrations as its unofficial summer finale.
Colorado Classic, August 22-25
Professional bicycle racing returned to Colorado in 2017 with the Colorado Classic, a series of men’s and women’s races in three Colorado cities. New this year, race organizers announced that the 2019 Colorado Classic will be a women’s only race – the only UCI standalone women’s stage race in the Western hemisphere; raising the bar with quadrupled prize purse, team stipends, live streaming and longer, more challenging routes. This year’s race will go through Steamboat, Avon and Golden, culminating in an exciting, urban Denver finish on August 25.
A Taste of Colorado, August 31 – September 2
This festival, held in Denver’s Civic Center Park and on the surrounding streets, highlights some of Colorado’s favorite food establishments – from ethnic specialties to traditional favorites, diners can enjoy full-sized or sample portions of their favorites throughout the festival. The festival also features live music from more than 25 national and regional artists, family-friendly activities and more.
CRUSH WALLS, September 2-8
For about a week each fall, CRUSH (Creative Rituals Under Social Harmony) organizes artists, in partnership with local businesses, to splash color and concepts across the RiNo (River North) Art District through the use of mural art. The event has become a platform for artists from around the world to gather, create and share ideas and techniques, all to the delight of some 20,000 spectators and visitors. Started in 2010 as a low-key gathering, CRUSH WALLS is quickly becoming one of the largest street art festivals in the world, accumulating popular acclaim and formal accolades.
Denver Food + Wine Festival, September 3-8
Denver Food + Wine Festival is a multi-day extravaganza of food, wine and spirits education and tastings around the city. Events include Dinner Under the Stars, Rise + Dine (an annual brunch festival), SHAKE DOWN (a cocktail event) and the signature event, The Grand Tasting.
Summer Concert Finale
Closing out an epic summer concert season, Billy Joel will perform live at Coors Field (August 8) and Zac Brown Band will follow the next day (August 9). Dave Matthews Band will play Fiddler’s Green Amphitheatre on August 23; and PHISH will perform their traditional three-day Labor Day Weekend shows at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park (August 30 – September 1).
Blockbuster Exhibitions & Event Series
Red Rocks Amphitheatre Summer Concert Series
The Red Rocks Summer Concert Series, held at Red Rocks Amphitheatre – the world’s only naturally formed, acoustically perfect amphitheater – will be the largest one yet with the most number of headliners performing at the renowned concert venue in its 78-year history. During the day at Red Rocks Park, various organizations host yoga and fitness classes, and there are plenty of hiking trails. Headliners for Memorial Day Weekend include The Disco Biscuits, Celtic Woman and Disclosure. The Avett Brothers take over the Fourth of July weekend, following Blues Traveler’s annual show on the actual holiday. August’s Summer Finale will see headliners including O.A.R., Lionel Richie, Shakey Graves, Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats, OneRepublic with the Colorado Symphony and more; and Labor Day weekend will wrap with Amos Lee on September 2.
Our Senses: Creating Your Reality, through August 4
The senses get the scientific spotlight at Denver Museum of Nature & Science, an exhibition for the whole family that playfully reveals how and why what we perceive is not all, or exactly, what’s actually going on around us. In a series of interactive galleries, visitors will enjoy some "sensory overload" as they play with color, patterns, sound, scents and touch and discover how there is so much more to our senses than just the usual five.
Leonardo da Vinci: 500 Years of Genius, through August 25
Although Leonardo da Vinci died in 1519, his influence has endured. His extraordinary legacy as an inventor, artist, scientist, anatomist, engineer, architect, sculptor and philosopher comes to life at Denver Museum of Nature & Science in Leonardo da Vinci: 500 Years of Genius, the most comprehensive exhibition about da Vinci ever presented. Dozens of replicas of da Vinci’s machine inventions, built using his detailed codices, reveal how his fundamental scientific and artistic principles continue to impact the world today. In addition, the exhibition will feature the fascinating Secrets of the Mona Lisa exhibit, with super-magnified visual examinations and the only 360-degree replica ever made of the iconic painting.
Human | Nature: Figures from the Craig Ponzio Sculpture Collection, through September 15
Human | Nature: Figures from the Craig Ponzio Sculpture Collection presents sculptures that explore the human form in both classical and abstract styles, from the early 20th century to today at Denver Botanic Gardens. Featured artists hail from around the world and include Eric Fischl, Jacques Lipchitz, Sassona Norton, Beverly Pepper, Auguste Rodin and Manolo Valdés.From sculpture to selfies to dance, the power of the human figure conveys and conjures a range of emotions. Human | Nature shares the expressive capacity of the human form against the backdrop of the Gardens’ diverse botanical environments.