FREE FESTIVALS AND EVENTS
WHEN: Nov. 16–Dec. 23, 2018
WHERE: 1515 Arapahoe St.
The Christkindl Market includes vendors from Germany, Ukraine, Ireland and other countries — as well as local artisans — offering high-quality gifts, such as hand-carved wooden figurines, handmade candles and ornaments. Traditional German food will tempt your taste buds. Sip on warm Glühwein (hot spiced wine) as you listen to traditional Christmas carols and live German music. Entry is free and the entire family is invited.
WHEN: Nov. 23, 2018 at 6 p.m.
WHERE: Denver Union Station
As part of Downtown Denver's Winter in the City program, Downtown Denver's Grand Illumination event will light up downtown, from Denver Union Station to the City and County Building at Civic Center Park. Afterwards, meet Santa, enjoy drinks at Terminal Bar and dance to holiday classics by the Denver Dolls. The lights stay on through the end of December.
FREE MUSEUM DAYS
WHEN: Dec. 9, 2018
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, IMAX theatre and touring shows.
WHEN: Dec. 1, 2018; Jan. 5, Feb. 2, Mar. 2, 2019
WHERE: Denver Art Museum
The Denver Art Museum's Hamilton Building is an architectural work of art. Designed by Daniel Libeskind, it will change the way you experience art and architecture. Explore the Museum's galleries showcasing a world-famous American Indian art collection, as well as art from around the world.
WHEN: Dec. 4, 2018; Jan. 1, Feb. 5, Mar. 5, 2019
WHERE: Children's Museum of Denver at Marsico Campus
Families can play for free the first Tuesday of each month from 4 p.m.–8 p.m. Discover the Children's Museum of Denver at Marsico Campus, where interactive Playscapes, programs, and special events all make learning fun by engaging children, infant through age 8, to play, learn and explore. It is a place that ignites and fosters a love of learning that children will carry with them throughout life.
WHEN: Nov. 30, Dec. 28, 2018; Jan. 25, Feb. 22, 2019
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. The Clyfford Still Museum is also free every Friday evening from 5 to 8 p.m.
WHEN: Dec. 7, 2018
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.
WHEN: Dec. 14, 2018; Jan. 11, Feb. 8, Mar. 8, 2019; 12–4 p.m.
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.
MORE FREE ATTRACTIONS AND TOURS
WHEN: Nov. 20, 2018–Feb. 3, 2019
WHERE: Skyline Park, the corner of 16th and Arapahoe
One of the most popular holiday events in Denver, the Downtown Denver Rink at Skyline Park in Downtown Denver returns in 2017 with ice skating and family fun. The rink is free and open to the public with the option to bring your own skates or rent a pair at a minimal cost.
WHEN: June. 14–Dec. 1, 2018
WHERE: DPAC/Denver Performing Arts Complex
Meow Wolf is coming to Denver in 2020, but in the meantime, they're collaborating with local Denver artists to bring this free art show to The Mile High City.
WHEN: Dec. 7, 2018
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 seven art districts stay open late for a festive, street party-like event.
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.
See and experience downtown Denver the green way, on foot! Denver Free Walking Tours offers daily walking tours that start in Civic Center Park, wind through downtown past more than a dozen of Denver's distinctive landmarks, and end in front of Coors Field. The daily tour showcases the history, architecture, landmarks and businesses of The Mile High City.
Learn how to make money! The U.S. Mint produces 50 million coins a day, each one stamped with a little "D" for Denver. Free tours show every step in the process of turning a dull, blank, metal slug into shiny pocket change.
The Money Museum offers an opportunity to learn about the Federal Reserve Bank. Walk-ins are welcome and groups can make advance reservations. Photo ID required for visitors 18 and older. On your way out, don't forget to get your bag of shredded money.
Tour the magnificent, gold-domed Colorado Capitol Building. Stand at exactly a mile high on the steps, see Allen True's beautiful murals, listen in on the Colorado General Assembly, and check out the gorgeous Rose Onyx wainscoting. Free tours are available 10 a.m.–3 p.m., Mondays through Fridays.
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!
Get a behind-the-scenes look at Denver's craft beer world on a free tour at the Great Divide Brewery in Downtown Denver or the Great Divide Barrel Bar in RiNo. Tours at both locations take place at 3 p.m., 4 p.m. and 5 p.m., Mon.–Fri. and each hour from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.
Housed in Sports Authority 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.
Learn about Denver's LGBT history with this free audio walking tour. The GPS-led app (available for iPhone and Android) will take you to 10 of Denver's top LGBT landmarks in the Capitol Hill neighborhood and along Colfax Avenue.
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.
The Tattered Cover is one of the nation's largest and most well-known independent bookstores and often hosts free signings by some of the literary world's most famous authors. They also offer free wi-fi if you want to surf the net while you're there.
If you prefer whiskey to beer, the free Stranahan's Colorado Whiskey Distillery tour was made for you. Learn how the good stuff gets made during an hour-long guided tour, then sample Stranahan's Diamond Peak and Original Single Malt Whiskies.
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.
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.
FREE THINGS TO DO NEAR DENVER
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 historically Colorado artifacts.
"Taste the Rockies!" Coors Brewery, the world's largest brewing site still uses the same Rocky Mountain spring water that Adolph Coors discovered in 1873. Free tours show every step in the brewing process, and end with free samples for those over 21.
Carved from towering red rock monuments, Red Rocks Park & Amphitheatre is one of the world's most renowned concert venues. When there's no concert, the free Visitor Center has a museum Performers' Hall of Fame, while the surrounding park has hiking trails that weave in, around and over the colorful red rocks.
See some dinos - or what's left of them anyway. Dinosaur Ridge 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.
Located just 60 miles from Denver, the awe-inspiring Garden of the Gods features gigantic 500-foot-high red sandstone rock monuments at the base of Pikes Peak.
CELESTIAL SEASONINGS TOUR
See how Celestial Seasonings, the largest specialty tea manufacturer in North America, blends, packages and ships its teas, then enjoy free samples of every variety they make, and discover a gallery of original artwork from their famous tea boxes.
Learn about global warming, the 21st century's hottest topic, at the National Center for Atmospheric Research. See a hailstone the size of a softball, watch as a miniature tornado is whipped up in front of your eyes, and get an up close look at how lightning is created.