Enjoy some of The Mile High City's greatest winter attractions, activities, tours and events for FREE. Make a night of it and take advantage of great hotel deals starting at $99!

Free Outdoor Fun

Red Rocks Park & Amphitheatre

Carved from towering red rock monuments, Red Rocks Park & Amphitheatre in Morrison 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. 

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

Dinosaur Ridge

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. 

Littleton Museum

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.

Garden of the Gods

Located just 60 miles from Denver, the awe-inspiring Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs features gigantic 500-foot-high red sandstone rock monuments at the base of Pikes Peak. 
 

Festivals & Events

Good Market 

WHEN: Thru Nov. 20, 2022 (weekends)
WHERE: Banshee House
Holiday shopping season is right around the corner, but no fear, we've got you covered with another edition of our indie market! Shop and sip when Good Market returns to Banshee House this November for a two-weekend run.

Cherry Creek North Winter Wanderland Light Walk

WHEN: Nov. 17–Dec. 24, 2022
WHERE: Cherry Creek North
At Cherry Creek North, savor the season with a musical light walk under a million twinkling lights. Children of all ages will enjoy searching for eight sparkling trees that are choreographed to winter melodies in a beautifully timed show. Scan the QR code at each tree for a chance to win a $1,000 Cherry Creek North shopping spree.

Cherry Creek Holiday Market

WHEN: Nov. 17–Dec. 24, 2022
WHERE: Cherry Creek North
The free Cherry Creek North Holiday Market at Fillmore Plaza features 30 local artisan vendors, live music, and festive drinks and decor.

2nd Annual Grand Holiday Parade, Tree Lighting & Santa’s Arrival

WHEN: Nov. 18, 2022; 5–8 p.m.
WHERE: The Streets at SouthGlenn, Centennial
This grand parade of floats, characters, entertainers and musicians will usher in Santa and Mrs. Claus to welcome them to SouthGlenn! There will also be Clydesdale carriage rides, a reindeer corral, and cookies and hot cocoa with Santa's elves.

Downtown Lakewood Holiday BAZAAR

WHEN: Nov. 18–19, Dec. 2–4 and Dec. 16–18, 2022
WHERE: Belmar District, Lakewood

The free Holiday BAZAAR returns to Belmar District, taking over a huge 27,000-square-foot indoor space right next to the plaza with more than 80 craft vendors and fashion trucks, holiday-themed pop-up bars, food trucks, live entertainment and the highly anticipated return of the Belmar Plaza outdoor ice skating rink!

Denver Christkindlmarket

WHEN: Nov. 18–Dec. 23, 2022
WHERE: Civic Center Park

This outdoor event brings the most beloved elements of an authentic German holiday experience to The Mile High City. Stroll through a European village decorated for the holiday season as you shop for finely crafted artisan gifts and treats at charming wooden huts. Fuel your shopping with authentic Glühwein (mulled spiced wine), German Biers and hot chocolate, and nosh on Bavarian-style pretzels, fresh smoked salmon, Knödel, Goulasch, Nürnberger Sausages, pastries, caramels and European chocolates. 

The Mile High Tree presented by XCEL Energy & Xfinity

WHEN: Nov. 18–Dec. 31, 2022
WHERE: Civic Center Park
Join in the free festivities at this festive holiday attraction, the Mile High Tree. It’s a brilliantly lit, 110-foot-tall immersive art installation that provides a dazzling lights-and-music show. 

Castle Rock Starlighting

WHEN: Nov. 19, 2022
WHERE: 300 Second Street, Castle Rock
Presented by the Castle Rock Chamber of Commerce, the Castle Rock “Lighting of the Star” has been a community event shared by residents dating back to 1936. The same spirit of volunteerism, generosity and love of tradition exists today, as Castle Rock businesses and residents prepare to celebrate Starlighting on the Saturday before Thanksgiving.

Firefly Handmade Denver Holiday Market- Wash Park

WHEN: Nov. 19–20, 2022
WHERE: 300 Second Street, Castle Rock
Firefly artisans will fill the blocks of Old South Gaylord Street for holiday gift shopping, featuring the best of local, handmade craft, art and design. Enjoy free admission and live music while you pick up one-of-a-kind holiday gifts, and discover unique handmade home goods, jewelry and accessories, adult and children's fashion, skincare, ceramics, art, artisanal food, paper goods, pet goods and much more.

16th Street Mall Holiday Festival

WHEN: Nov. 19–20, Nov. 26–27 and Dec. 10, 2022
WHERE: 16th Street Mall - Pedestrian Mall
This highly attended annual curated marketplace features an awesome selection of one of-a-kind seasonal items, high-quality handcrafted goods, fabulous holiday gift ideas, delicious specialty foods, home décor and unique holiday gifts. While you shop, enjoy Christmas carolers, live entertainers and appearances by Santa!

Downtown Denver Rink

WHEN: Nov. 21, 2022–Feb. 14, 2023
WHERE: Skyline Park
Bundle up for some free ice skating in the heart of downtown and enjoy special events. 

Light the Lights

WHEN: Nov. 23, 2022–Jan. 22, 2023
WHERE: City & County of Denver​ Building in Civic Center Park
Each night, at 5:45 p.m. and 6:45 p.m., an eight-minute choreographed light and music holiday show will light up the night. It then goes to a festive, static holiday disply until 10:45 p.m. The light and music shows will not play on Mondays because of City Council meetings, but the static light display will still shine. There will be a special light schedule on December 3, to highlight activities as the 9 News Parade of Lights  begins in front of the City and County Building. The building will remain completely dark for an annual memorial vigil honoring persons experiencing homelessness on December 20. Be there when the magic begins with the Light the Lights Celebration  on November 23 from 4:30–5:30 p.m. Denver7 News Anchor Anne Trujillo will host this year’s program which will feature live holiday music performed by the Denver Municipal Band. At approximately 5:15 pm, Mayor Michael B. Hancock will flip Denver’s giant light switch which will turn on the first holiday light and music show of the season.

Après Ski Holiday Market

WHEN: Nov. 25–Dec. 18, 2022 (weekends)
WHERE: Dairy Block
Paying homage to the quaint European holiday festivals, the Aprés Ski-themed weekend festival takes place in the heated alleyway between all the Daily Block shops and restaurants. Running every weekend between Thanksgiving and Christmas, the Aprés Holiday Market gives consumers the opportunity to engage with unique, independently owned and high-quality brands to shop while enjoying a beverage and embracing their inner ski vibes.

RiNo Holiday BAZAAR

WHEN: Nov. 26–27, 2022
WHERE: Zeppelin Station
Denver BAZAAR brings its holiday shopping extravaganza to Zeppelin Station on Small Business Saturday and Sunday! This outdoor market will feature more than 80 carefully curated vendors and fashion trucks, holiday-themed pop-up bars, an indoor food hall and more. Enjoy free entry, live music and DIY workshops.

Grand Illumination — Merry & Bright Lights Show — Miracle at Union Station Cocktail Bar — Santa Visits

WHEN: Nov. 26–Dec. 27, 2022
WHERE: Denver Union Station
The annual Grand Illumination  event on Nov. 26 will feature performances of classic holiday hits by the Denver Dolls, a visit from Santa and Mrs. Claus, and the grand highlight of the evening — the lighting of the station’s outdoor 40-foot-tall Christmas tree that features more than 7,000 holiday lights. Also, the Grand Illumination kicks off the Merry & Bright Lights Show , which will once again transform the exterior façade of Denver’s landmark train station into a spectacular canvas spreading holiday cheer. You can see it each night of the season. Miracle at Union Station , a whimsical pop-up cocktail bar, will open on Nov. 25. Meanwhile, Santa and Mrs. Claus  will be making regular appearances at the station from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Nov. 28; and Dec. 5, 12 and 19

Farolito Lighting & Pinecone Ceremony

WHEN: Nov. 27, 2022; 4–5:30 p.m.
WHERE: The Fort Restaurant/Tesoro Cultural Center, Morrison

Welcome the holiday season and honor a member of the community who has enlightened the hearts and minds of others. Feel the warmth and watch as pinecones are tossed into the courtyard fire, sending good thoughts and prayers into the night sky. Sing along to Christmas carols from the 1830s and 1840s with music students from the Colorado School of Mines and other strolling musicians. Enjoy Mexican hot chocolate, hot cider and traditional biscochitos.

Denver Makers Market

WHEN: Nov. 27 and Dec. 11, 2022
WHERE: 8200 S Colorado Blvd., Centennial
Browse good from more than 70 local artisans, crafters, farmers and vendors at this free indoor/outdoor market. There will be food trucks on site to fuel your shopping. The market is free, but be sure to sign up in advance with a General Admission Ticket to enter the Grand Prize Giveaway. Also, the first 50 shoppers to arrive will receive a VIP gift when they check in!

Holiday Pottery Sale

WHEN: Dec. 1–11, 2022; Wednesday–Sunday
WHERE: 
Arvada Center for the Arts & Humanities, Arvada
Instructors and students of the Center’s own ceramics education studio offer an extensive selection of functional and sculptural pottery, with all purchases supporting the artists and the Arvada Center. Admission is free to the public.

Fine Art Market

WHEN: Dec. 1–18, 2022
WHERE: 
Arvada Center for the Arts & Humanities, Arvada
Shop thousands of giftable items like jewelry, ceramics, ornaments, paintings, cards,and more from over 90 Colorado artists! Your purchases directly support the artists and the Arvada Center Galleries. Admission is free to the public.

Olde Golden Candlelight Walk

WHEN: Dec. 2, 2022; 6:30 p.m.
WHERE: City of Golden
Experience the beauty of the holiday season with a candlelit walk down Washington Avenue in historic Golden. Sing carols with neighbors and friends and marvel as the street is illuminated by thousands of glowing candles and the warmth of the festive, small-town holiday atmosphere. Many of the shops along Washington Avenue will be open and there will hot cider, cocoa and outdoor cafes to enjoy along the way. At the conclusion of the walk, the “switch” for Golden’s 50,000 holiday lights along Clear Creek and throughout downtown will be flipped, marking the official start to Golden’s holiday season. Pre-walk festivities and entertainment, including holiday dancers and music, will be on stage near the Golden Visitors Center at 10th and Washington Avenue starting at 5 p.m., and the walk begins in front of Foothills Art Center at 15th Street and Washington Avenue at 6:30 p.m. 

First Friday Local Artist Market

WHEN: Dec. 2, 2022
WHERE: Tennyson
Head top Tennyson on the first Friday of each month for a market featuring freshly baked pastries and sweet treats from Vegan Epicurist; handcrafted jewelry from Rock + Textile & Wingspan Studios; herbal remedies and tea blends from Herbalist Riot & Magia Botanica; vintage and upcycled clothing from Damn Fine Denim & Swan Soup Adornments; tacos, margs and stone-fired pizza from Mas Kaos; and more!

Milly Rose Pop-Up Shopping at Thompson Denver

WHEN: Dec. 2, 2022
WHERE: Thompson Denver
This holiday season, ditch the monotony of online scrolling for gifts, and leave the tired, big-box brands behind. Join us for a uniquely curated holiday shopping experience with local boutique Milly Rose. Sip on delightful holiday cocktails courtesy of Bar M at Chez Maggy as you peruse locally sourced jewelry, clothing, home-decor and wellness products. 

Parade of Lights

WHEN: Dec. 3, 2022; 6 p.m.
WHERE: Throughout downtown
This free holiday spectacular features extravagantly illuminated floats, giant helium-filled character balloons, magnificent marching bands, traditional equestrian units, and vibrant cultural displays. And of course, special appearances by Major Waddles the Penguin and Santa! The parade begins at 14th and Bannock Streets where you can purchase grandstand seating in front of the City and County Building. Spectators can view the parade for free along the two-mile route on Tremont Street between 14th and 17th Streets, on 17th Street from Tremont to Arapahoe Street, on Arapahoe between 17th and 15th Streets, and on 15th Street from Arapahoe to Glenarm. For more information, see the 9NEWS Parade of Lights web page. 

Holiday BrassFest

WHEN: Dec. 3, 2022
WHERE: DPAC/Denver Performing Arts Complex
Deck the halls with Denver Brass as they make the sounds of the season ring through DPAC. This favorite holiday tradition features a free concert of heartwarming holiday music with some of our favorite guest artists: you! Give back to your city through song. All brass players at any level are encouraged to register. 

Saturday Night Lights at Cherry Creek North

WHEN: Dec. 3–17, 2022; Saturdays
WHERE: Cherry Creek North
Immerse yourself in the sights and sounds of the season and enjoy complimentary treats as you wander beneath 600 illuminated and musically choreographed trees throughout Cherry Creek North. Watch as stilt walkers, acrobats, jugglers and other performers add to the festive atmosphere, creating an evening to remember for the whole family.

4th Annual Mountain Toad Holiday Market

WHEN: Dec. 4, 2022
WHERE: Mountain Toad Brewing, Golden

Head to Golden for Mountain Toad Brewing's free 4th Annual Holiday Market and shop for all your favorites for yourself and others, beer in hand!

Holiday Tree Lighting Ceremony

WHEN: Dec. 6, 2022
WHERE: Aurora Municipal Center, Aurora

Witness the illumination of thousands of strands of lights. This event will have holiday-themed activities, treats, live entertainment and a visit from a special guest in a jolly red suit...

Holiday Arts and Pottery Sale

WHEN: Dec. 10, 2022
WHERE: Washington Heights Arts Center, Lakewood

Shop beautiful art and pottery made by the students and instructors of Washington Heights Arts Center. Purchase unique gifts made by local artists, including mugs, bowls and serving dishes, jewelry, scarves, paintings and more. Admission is free!

Belleview Station Holiday BAZAAR

WHEN: Dec. 10–11, 2022
WHERE: Belleview Station

Still on the hunt for the perfect present? Sip and shop at the Belleview Station Holiday BAZAAR in the Denver Tech Center this December! This outdoor market will feature more than 70 carefully curated vendors, fashion trucks, food trucks and street food, pop-up bars and heated beer garden featuring festive holiday sips and more!

Sip and Shop - A Holiday Event

WHEN: Dec. 14, 2022
WHERE: Thompson Denver
With less than two weeks left ‘til Christmas, this is your chance to find an unforgettable gift for even the pickiest Grinch on your list. Better yet? Complimentary beverages will be flowing all afternoon from 2 to 5 p.m. in the lobby of Thompson Denver! Peruse an artfully-curated array of some of the best local vendors for some last minute holiday shopping while sipping on cocktails.

Chanukah Celebration

WHEN: Dec. 18, 2022
WHERE: Cherry Creek North
Celebrate the first night of Chanukah with Chabad of Cherry Creek. Families and guests of all ages will enjoy what is truly a festival of lights with face painting, fire juggling, festive treats and crafts.
 

Free Museum Days

Plains Conservation Center Free Days

WHEN: Nov. 19 and Dec. 15, 2022; Jan. 19, Feb. 23 and March 11 2023; 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.
WHERE: Plains Conservation Center, Aurora
The Plains Conservation Center helps students and adults grow their knowledge and appreciation of the prairie ecosystem and the cultural history of Colorado through a variety of educational programs managed by Denver Botanic Gardens in cooperation with the City of Aurora.

Denver Botanic Gardens Free Days: York Street Location

WHEN: Nov. 25, 2022; Jan. 16, Feb. 16 and March 15, 2023
WHERE: Denver Botanic Gardens 
Denver Botanic Gardens is a 24-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 Days: Chatfield Farms Location

WHEN: Nov. 25, 2022; Jan. 16, Feb. 16 and March 15, 2023
WHERE: Denver Botanic Gardens at Chatfield Farms, Littleton
Denver Botanic Gardens at Chatfield Farms 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. 

Four Mile Historic Park Free Days

WHEN: Every third Sunday of the month
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 on the third Sunday of each month.

Museo de las Americas Free First Fridays

WHEN: Every first Friday of the month
WHERE: Museo de las Americas 
Museo de las Americas is dedicated to educating people about the arts and cultures of Latinidad in the Americas and is the premier Latin American art museum in the region. The museum offers free admission every First Friday, no tickets needed.

Penny Saturdays at MCA Denver

WHEN: Every first Saturday of the month
WHERE: MCA Denver
Okay, so it's not technically free. But every first Saturday of the month, Colorado residents can explore Museum of Contemporary Art Denver for just $0.01. 

Denver Museum of Nature & Science Free Days

WHEN: Dec. 5, 2022
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, an IMAX theatre and touring shows. 

Denver Art Museum Free Days

WHEN: Dec. 13, 2022
WHERE: Denver Art Museum 
Explore the Denver Art Museum's galleries showcasing a world-famous Indigenous art collection, as well as traditional and contemporary art from around the world. And admission is ALWAYS free for youth ages 18 and under, ever day.

Clyfford Still Museum Free Days

WHEN: Dec. 7, 2022
WHERE: Clyfford Still Museum
Enjoy nine beautiful galleries of Clyfford Still’s art, historic photos and letters from the Clyfford Still Archives, an interactive timeline, dozens of videos and books and a pair of tranquil outdoor terraces. 

History Colorado Center Free Days

WHEN: TBA 2023
WHERE: History Colorado Center
History Colorado Center showcases powerful stories, honoring Colorado’s treasured memories and vibrant communities through exhibitions and programs. The center is also home to the State Historic Preservation Office and Stephen H. Hart Research Center — the portal to History Colorado’s more than 200,000 artifacts. 

Denver Zoo Free Days

WHEN: TBA 2023
WHERE: Denver Zoo
Say hello to the animals for free this season. 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, orangutans, Komodo dragons and more! 
 

More Free Attractions and Tours

First Friday Art Walks

WHEN: Every First Friday
WHERE: Denver's Art Districts
Discover Denver's thriving creative community during a First Friday celebration, held every first Friday of the month. Galleries in Denver's creative art districts stay open late. 

Free Denver Public Art Tours

Denver Arts & Venues  invites art and architecture lovers to participate in free public art tours 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 intimate details of their creation and installation.

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!

Great Divide Brewery Tour

Get a behind-the-scenes look at Denver's craft beer world on a free tour at the Great Divide Brewing Co. downtown or the Great Divide Barrel Bar in RiNo.

Colorado Sports Hall of Fame Museum

Housed in Empower Field at Mile High  (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.

Denver Skatepark

The expansive Denver Skatepark — one of the most renowned skate parks in the country — is filled with bowls for all levels of skating skill. Admission is free. Helmets are required.

Denver Beer Trail

The Denver Beer Trail provides a sampling of Denver’s top microbreweries. Follow the suggested routes or pick and choose from the list of featured breweries.

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. 

Denver's City Parks

No matter where you find yourself in The Mile High City, you’re likely only a few steps away from a lush and relaxing green space. Memorial Day weekend is the perfect time to explore Denver's more than 5,000 acres of traditional parks and parkways, as well as an additional 14,000 acres of spectacular mountain parks in neighboring counties that are maintained by the City and County of Denver.

Denver Street Art

Denver street artists have been busy brightening (and enlightening) the urban landscape for decades by making canvases of the city’s alleyways, building exteriors, warehouses, garage doors and storefronts. Grab your camera and take a stroll past some of the city's favorite murals. 

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