There’s so much going on in Denver this summer, where do you begin? See world-class art exhibitions, experience cultural festivals, catch live music at Red Rocks Park & Amphitheatre and get a taste of Denver’s thriving food scene.
Here are some top ways to have an unforgettable time. Check out special hotel deals for great weekend getaways.
1~Arts & Culture
Take your pick of blockbuster museum exhibitions. At the Denver Museum of Nature & Science, experience the global sensation The Art of the Brick (June 19, 2020–Jan. 24, 2021), artist Nathan Sawaya's original artworks and reimagined versions of famous masterpieces made from thousands of LEGO® bricks; and learn to spot patterns in nature, music, art, architecture and even the human body in the immersive experience, Numbers in Nature: A Mirror Maze (May 15–Aug. 30, 2020). See renowned illustrator Norman Rockwell's depictions of everyday war-era domestic and community life in the 1940s at Denver Art Museum's Norman Rockwell: Imagining Freedom (May 2–Aug. 23, 2020); and hear the stories of the Ute, Colorado's longest continuous residents, told through their own art, photography and video at History Colorado Center's Written on the Land: Ute Voices, Ute History (now through Sept. 2, 2021). Discover the visual, culinary and performing arts at the three-day Cherry Creek Arts Festival (July 3–5, 2020; free); celebrate African-American art and culture at the Colorado Black Arts Festival (July 10–12, 2020; free); and explore Denver’s vibrant creative community at First Friday Art Walks.
2~Music & Nightlife
We’ve got music! Take a seat under the stars this summer at Red Rocks Amphitheatre and other outdoor concert venues; feel the beat as the Westword Music Showcase (June 27, 2020) rocks the Golden Triangle Creative District; celebrate the anniversary of the end of slavery in the United States at the annual Juneteenth Music Festival (June 20–21, 2020; free); don't miss Denver’s premier indie festival, Underground Music Showcase (July 24–26, 2020); and groove to free tunes on Sundays at City Park Jazz and throughout the summer at Levitt Pavilion Denver.
Ready for some family fun? Head to Elitch Gardens Theme & Water Park for some thrills; see world-class art exhibitions at Denver Art Museum (kids under 18 get in free); feed giraffes at Denver Zoo and check out the latest zoo babies; let your children create and explore at the Children's Museum of Denver at Marsico Campus; check out other kid-friendly activities; go on an urban adventure; or take an exciting day trip.
4~Festivals & Special Events
Denver has festivals galore. Join one of the top 10 pride events in the country at Denver PrideFest (June 20–21, 2020; free); get a glimpse of the best new TV pilots at SeriesFest Season 6 (June 18–24, 2020); celebrate Japanese culture at the Cherry Blossom Festival (June 27–28, 2020; free); cheer on the competitors and take in the cultural activities at the Colorado Dragon Boat Festival (July 25–26, 2020; free); and indulge in a multi-day extravaganza of food, wine and spirits at Denver Food + Wine Festival (Sept. 9–13, 2020).
The holiday weekends — Memorial Day, Fourth of July and Labor Day — are packed with exciting events like Denver Day of Rock (May 23, 2020; free), Denver Arts Festival (May 23–24, 2020), Cherry Creek Arts Festival (July 3–5, 2020; free), Denver Pop Culture Con (July 3–5, 2020), A Taste of Colorado (Sept. 5–7, 2020; free), cultural festivals and urban adventures for all ages.
Denver will host several world-class sporting events this summer. Be there as Colorado rides with pride at the Rocky Mountain Regional Gay Rodeo (July 10–12, 2020); and experience the excitement of professional bicycle racing combined at the Colorado Classic (Aug. 27–30, 2020; free), North America's only stand-alone women's professional stage road bike race.
Denver is a year-round outdoor city. Explore exotic wildlife, including Denver Zoo’s Amur tiger exhibit. Or get your thrills at theme and amusement parks, take a stroll in city parks, take a bike ride on the city's vast network of paved trails, shoot the rapids with Confluence Kayaks or go for a hike at Red Rocks Park & Amphitheatre.
8~Food & Drink
Join legendary pitmasters as they serve up world-class barbecue at the Denver BBQ Festival (June 19–21, 2020; free) on Father's Day weekend; Slow Food Nations (Sept. 11–13, 2020; free) is returning with a unique street festival that offers a world of good, clean and fair food for all; enjoy offerings from more 50 area restaurants, 275 marketplace artisans and vendors at A Taste of Colorado (Sept. 5–7, 2020; free); celebrate the city's famous craft-beer scene during the nine-day Denver Beer Week (Sept. 18–26, 2020), which culminates in the largest collection of beer ever served at the Great American Beer Festival® (Sept. 24–26, 2020). Find a new favorite eatery by checking out our Must-Try Restaurants, Romantic Restaurants and Outdoor and Patio Dining pages. Get a taste of Denver’s famous craft beer scene by following the Denver Beer Trail, a self-guided sampling of top breweries. If you’re in the mood for wine, check out Denver’s urban wineries or relax and have a mixed drink at various sophisticated, sleek and chic cocktail lounges.
Denver is hosting a new season of shows and events like "The Book of Mormon" (June 9–28, 2020), "My Fair Lady" (July 15–26, 2020) and "Hamilton" (Aug. 12–Oct. 4, 2020). Enjoy classical music in an iconic setting as the Colorado Symphony & Chorus Perform: Beethoven 9 at Red Rocks.
10~Free Things, Hidden Gems & More
Denver's summer is packed with free things to do. Interested in pop culture? Have a rock 'n' roll experience or go see your favorite jam band. Want to get some fresh air? In the mood for shopping? See the city’s shopping options and get lost in the world of boutiques. And beyond the big-ticket attractions is a wide array of hidden gems that make for fascinating excursions.