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Enjoy the best Denver has to offer this fall without stretching your budget. The Mile High City is packed with free festivals, attractions and activities that will keep you busy all season long!

OUTDOOR FUN

RED ROCKS PARK & AMPHITHEATRE

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 and Performers' Hall of Fame, while the surrounding park offers hiking trails that weave in, around and over the colorful red rocks. 

COLORADO’S FALL COLORS

Fall in Colorado isn’t complete without taking in the brilliant transformation of the state’s signature tree, the Aspen. The fall change from mellow green to stunning gold takes place during various weeks in September, depending on where you are — and since the color only lasts a week, timing is everything! One of the best leaf-peeping routes on the Rocky Mountain Front Range is the Peak to Peak Highway and Scenic Byway that travels the high-altitude road between Black Hawk and Estes Park. Virtually every way you look, you’ll see majestic Aspen colors. Another great Front Range ride is along the Guanella Pass Scenic Byway, just south of the historic town of Georgetown. Bunches of blazing Aspen can be found all over this incredible drive.

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 features gigantic 500-foot-high red sandstone rock monuments at the base of Pikes Peak. 

FESTIVALS AND EVENTS

 

21ST ANNUAL FESTIVAL OF WREATHS

WHEN: Thru Dec. 11, 2020
WHERE: Aurora History Museum
For more than two decades, artists and other members of the community have decorated and donated wreaths for this holiday-themed fundraiser. Wreaths will be on display at the Aurora History Museum and sold through an online auction. This year's proceeds will help ensure the continuation of exhibits, programs and preservation efforts that have been affected by COVID-19. Reserve an entry time to visit the museum to view the wreaths and vote on your favorite!

DENVER CHRISTKINDL MARKET

WHEN: Thru Dec. 23, 2020
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. This year, the Denver Christkindl Market is moving to a spacious, open-air location in Civic Center Park.

CHERRY CREEK HOLIDAY MARKET

WHEN: Thru Dec. 23, 2020
WHERE: Fillmore Plaza

Join the festivities this holiday season as Cherry Creek North visitors fill Fillmore Plaza between 1st and 2nd. Shop from 30 vendors featuring products in European chalet-style clad shipping containers; enjoy live music by bands and carolers, and sip cocktails and hot beverages throughout Fillmore Plaza.

THE MILE HIGH TREE, PRESENTING SPONSOR MODELO®

WHEN: Thru Jan. 2, 2021 (5–9:30 p.m. on most Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays; and 5–8 p.m. on some Sundays)
WHERE: 16th Street Mall at Welton Street

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. 

PRISMATICA

WHEN: Thru Jan. 3, 2021
WHERE: Cherry Creek North

Stroll through a modern ice palace with Prismatica, an interactive lighting exhibit where visitors can literally play with light by interacting with 25 pivoting prisms that reflect a rainbow of light and color. See it on Milwaukee Street between 2nd and 3rd Avenues.

WINTER WANDERLAND LIGHT WALK

WHEN: Thru Feb. 28, 2021
WHERE: Cherry Creek North
New for 2020, experience Denver's only free holiday light art walk with dazzling light displays in trees throughout the district, culminating with the transformation of Fillmore Plaza into a sparkling winter light display.

WINTER AGLOW ON GLENARM

WHEN: Nov. 27–Dec. 19, 2020
WHERE: Denver Pavilions

This winter, Denver Pavilions, downtown Denver's outdoor shopping, dining and entertainment district, will transform into a holiday wonderland with a brightly lit forest surrounding three popular Parade of Lights floats on Glenarm Street. And on Friday and Saturday nights (5–7 p.m.), enjoy live carolers, Santa visits (from safely atop the Santa Sleigh float) and free family photos with any Denver Pavilions receipt.

APRES HOLIDAY MARKET DENVER

WHEN: Nov. 27–Dec. 20, 2020
WHERE: Dairy Block

This outdoor market in the heated alleyway at Dairy Block pays homage to the quaint holiday festivals of Europe. Shop every weekend (Friday—Sunday, 11 a.m.–5 p.m.) between Thanksgiving and Christmas while enjoying a seasonal beverage.

PARADE OF LIGHTS

WHEN: Nov. 27–Dec. 31, 2020
WHERE: Throughout downtown Denver
The Downtown Denver Partnership is transforming the community tradition, 9News Parade of Lights, in 2020! This year's parade will be a multi-week, socially safe extravaganza of activities across downtown. The floats you know and love will be displayed throughout downtown, from Denver Pavilions to Denver Union Station, offering multiple chances for our community to relish in the charm and excitement of the holiday season again and again. Download the mobile app for the exact locations but here's where they are roughly located:

On Wynkoop Street between 17th and 18th streets 
Home for the Holidays Float Presented by American Furniture Warehouse 
Toybox Float Presented by 5280 Publishing

In the parking area off of Market Street between 18th and 19th streets
Jewelry Box Float Presented by The Crazy Merchant Inc.

In the courtyard at 16th and Lawrence streets
Gift Box Station Presented by Donor Alliance

On the plaza at 16th and Arapahoe streets 
Ram Station Presented by Colorado State University
Clocktower Float Presented by 9NEWS
Christmas Story Float Presented by Confluence Ministries 

On Glenarm Place between 15th and 16th streets
Santa Float Presented by Ent Credit Union
Share the Magic Presented by KOSI 101.1
Gingerbread House Float Presented by Xcel Energy

HOMETOWN MARKET - HOLLYDAY MARKET

WHEN: Nov. 28, 2020
WHERE: South Holly Church, Centennial

Enjoy this open-air market featuring handmade and vintage items from 40+ vendors. Find unique, one-of-a-kind gifts made by local artisans. Buy for your loved ones, or treat yourself! Items will include holiday and home décor, accessories, jewelry, kids toys, party supplies, vintage finds, art, candles, artisanal food and more!

JACKALOPE VIRTUAL HOLIDAY MARKET

WHEN: Nov. 28–Dec. 18, 2020
WHERE: Online
Make a list and check it twice before logging on to the Jackalope Virtual Holiday Market. Shop online for gifts from more than 100 artisans, including fashion and accessories, home decor, art, body products, food and much more, all from the comfort and safety of home!

THE ANNUAL HOLIDAY SHOW: WEB-A-THON EDITION

WHEN: Dec. 5, 2020
WHERE: Online

This year, the Longmont Museum's epic annual fundraiser extravaganza broadcast will be streamed live and direct from the Stewart Auditorium. The free show features more than a dozen musical acts over eight hours. Enjoy some of your favorite local musicians as they perform original tunes and holiday standards. And, in classic telethon style, the museum will be taking donations online and over the phone for the duration of the show.

FREE MUSEUM DAYS

FREE FIRST SATURDAYS AT MCA DENVER

WHEN: First Saturdays of the month
WHERE: MCA DENVER
Enjoy the Museum of Contemporary Art Denver for just a penny (on the museum)!

MUSEO DE LAS AMERICAS FREE CULTURAL FIRST FRIDAYS

WHEN: Dec. 4, 2020
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.

FOUR MILE HISTORIC PARK FREE DAYS

WHEN: Dec. 11, 2020
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 second Friday of each month.

LONGMONT MUSEUM SECOND SATURDAY FREE DAYS

WHEN: Dec. 12, 2020
WHERE: Longmont Museum and Cultural Center, Longmont
The Longmont Museum is a center for culture in Northern Colorado where people of all ages can explore history, experience art and discover new ideas through dynamic programs, exhibitions and events.

MORE FREE ATTRACTIONS AND TOURS

SKI FACTORY TOURS

WHEN: Thru April, Tuesdays–Saturdays
WHERE: Meier Skis

Meier Skis offers two free tour options to learn about how trees are turned into skis. Grab a seat at the bar, made from ski core wood with windows looking onto the factory floor. Enjoy a complimentary locally brewed beer while a friendly skitender explains the ski-building process. Or reserve a 5 p.m. happy hour tour and go behind the scenes and learn about each step in the ski-making process.

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. 

PASSING THROUGH BY SCOTTIE BURGESS

WHEN: Thru Nov. 30, 2020
WHERE: Republic Plaza
This large, site-specific installation by local artist Scottie Burgess consists of multiple wooden rectangular forms that trace the ever-changing Republic Plaza silhouette experienced through its viewer’s fluid perspective, creating a dynamic arrangement that references time, the building and the lives that traverse through its spaces.

A IS FOR…

WHEN: Thru Nov. 30, 2020
WHERE: Denver Art Museum

In this free outdoor exhibition, local artist Chinn Wang pairs words and symbols — some familiar and recognizable, some abstract and coded — to explore how learning language functions as the key to storytelling and powerful expressions of identity. A is for… is located in the Martin Plaza in front of the Denver Art Museum

THE FENCE

WHEN: Thru Nov. 30, 2020
WHERE: Cherry Creek Shopping Center

THE FENCE is a juried, traveling outdoor photography exhibit of outstanding images by photographers from around the world. The free exhibit is installed along a 500-foot banner at Cherry Creek Park behind the shopping center (near the bike path).

FREE DENVER PUBLIC ART TOURS

Denver Arts & Venues invites art and architecture lovers to participate in free Public Art Tours — available 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 details of their creation and installation. 

NIGHT LIGHTS DENVER 

Night Lights Denver features rotating content designed by local artists and the community and projected on the Arapahoe Street side of the Daniels & Fisher Tower. See it for free every Tuesday through Sunday evening.

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.

FARMERS' MARKETS

Denver may be a major city, but there are hundreds of nearby farms across the Front Range, meaning there's no shortage of fresh produce to fill The Mile High City's multiple farmers' markets. You'll also find humanely-raised meats, baked goods, prepared foods, fresh flowers and artisanal personal care products, and many markets also include live music, food vendors and flea markets. Most markets begin in May and extend into the fall. 

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! 

DENVER FREE WALKING TOURS

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.  

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. 

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.

GREAT DIVIDE BREWERY TOUR 

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 new 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. 

Dynamic Variation: