There’s so much going on in Denver this summer, where do you begin? See world-class art exhibitions, experience cultural festivals 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. See renowned illustrator Norman Rockwell's depictions of war-era domestic and community life in the 1940s in Norman Rockwell: Imagining Freedom (thru Sept. 7, 2020) at Denver Art Museum. At Denver Museum of Nature & Science, experience the global sensation The Art of the Brick (thru Jan. 24, 2021), artist Nathan Sawaya's original artworks and reimagined versions of famous masterpieces made from thousands of LEGO® bricks. For more LEGO® fun, visit Nature Connects®, Art with LEGO® Bricks (July 17–Nov. 1, 2020) at Denver Zoo, featuring more than 15 nature-inspired creations by Artist Sean Kenney. Immerse yourself in more than 12,000 square feet of whimsy with The John Denver Experience (thru Aug. 16, 2020) at History Colorado Center, an ode to the boundless joy and creative spirit of an immortal songwriter, performer, environmentalist and humanitarian. And explore Denver’s vibrant creative community at First Friday Art Walks.
Denver's summer concert season includes outdoor music at the iconic Red Rocks Amphitheatre and other venues with a view. Enjoy an evening with The Beach Boys (Aug. 6, 2020) at Levitt Pavilion or catch The Lumineers with Gregory Alan Isakov (Aug. 29, 2020) live at Coors Field. Listen to top jazz performers from around the country as you sip the finest wine eat gourmet food at Nocturne. See some of the biggest country music stars at Grizzy Rose, a world-famous honky-tonk. Or lace up your dancing shoes and at these Denver dance clubs.
Ready for some family fun? See world-class art exhibitions at Denver Art Museum (kids under 18 get in free). Cool off under the sea at Downtown Aquarium or feed giraffes at Denver Zoo and check out the latest zoo babies. If you've got a family of film buffs, head to one of the season's many outdoor and drive-in movies. Check out other kid-friendly activities; go on an urban adventure; or take a day trip to nearby parks and attractions.
4~Festivals & Special Events
Celebrate our global heritage with traditional food, music and art from hundreds of countries and cultures from around the world at the Denver International Festival (Aug. 1, 2020). Flash back to the 16th century and journey through a medieval city at the Colorado Renaissance Festival (Aug. 1–Sept. 20, 2020). And watch as larger-than-life murals evolve from ideas into masterpieces right before your eyes during The annual CRUSH WALLS event (Sept. 14–20, 2020).
Labor Day weekend is packed with exciting events, cultural festivals and urban adventures for all ages.
Denver will host 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. Meet exotic wildlife at Denver Zoo. Explore an urban oasis at Denver Botanic Gardens or a historical farm at Chatfield Farms in nearby Littleton. Grab your camera for a photoshoot of Denver's murals and street art. Or get your thrills at theme and amusement parks, go for 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
Groove to tunes and eat some BBQ at the 23rd Annual Blues & BBQ Festival (July 18–19, 2020). Indulge in a multi-day extravaganza of food, wine and spirits at Denver Food + Wine Festival (Sept. 9–13, 2020). And celebrate the city's famous craft-beer scene during the nine-day Denver Beer Week (Sept. 18–26, 2020). Still hungry? 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, or taking a brewery tour. 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 "Disney's The Little Mermaid" (July 30–Aug. 1, 2020); and the dazzling "International Queen of Burlesque," Dita Von Teese (Aug. 18, 2020). Tickle your funny bone with Iliza Shlesinger (Aug. 15, 2020); Chris Tucker (Sept. 11, 2020); Frank Caliendo, Dennis Miller & David Spade (Sept. 12, 2020); Fortune Feimster (Sept. 18, 2020); Doug Stanhope (Sept. 25–26, 2020); and Gabriel Iglesias (Sept. 25, 2020).
10~Free Things, Hidden Gems & More
Denver's summer is packed with free things to do. 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. Explore the legacy of Denver's Beat Generation. And beyond the big-ticket attractions is a wide array of unique tours that make for fascinating excursions.