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!
WHEN: Nov. 17–Dec. 23, 2017
WHERE: 1515 Arapahoe, Denver, CO 80111
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: Through Oct. 17, 2018
WHERE: Civic Center Park
Internationally acclaimed Chinese contemporary artist Ai Weiwei has reinterpreted the twelve bronze animal heads representing the traditional Chinese zodiac at Civic Center Park. See these grand public sculptures in Denver as part of their world tour.
WHEN: Nov. 21, 2017–Feb. 16, 2018
WHERE: Skyline Park, the corner of 16th and Arapahoe
Grab your family and friends and head to 16th and Arapahoe in downtown Denver to the Downtown Denver Rink at Skyline Park. Skate rentals are$6-$8, or bring your own pair and take a spin on the ice for free! Free days for kids will take place throughout the season. Look for regularly scheduled entertainment and activities each week including: Friday night DJs; Saturday morning skating lessons; Saturday night concerts; and Sunday afternoon family entertainment.
WHEN: Nov. 24, 2017 at 6 p.m.
WHERE: City & County Building, 1437 Bannock St., Denver, CO 80202
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. The lights stay on through the end of December.
FREE ATTRACTIONS AND TOURS
DENVER ZOO FREE DAYS (COLORADO RESIDENTS ONLY)
WHEN: TBA, 2018
WHERE: Denver Zoo
Say hello to the animals for free three times this fall. The 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, orangutan, Komodo dragons and more!
DENVER MUSEUM OF NATURE & SCIENCE FREE DAYS (COLORADO RESIDENTS ONLY)
WHEN: Dec. 10, 2017
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.
DENVER BOTANIC GARDENS FREE DAYS: YORK STREET LOCATION (COLORADO RESIDENTS ONLY)
WHEN: TBA, 2018
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 DAY: CHATFIELD LOCATION (COLORADO RESIDENTS ONLY)
WHEN: TBA, 2018
WHERE: Denver Botanic Gardens at Chatfield
Denver Botanic Gardens at Chatfield 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.
WHEN: Dec. 2, 2017
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 traditional and contemporary art from around the world.
WHEN: Dec. 5, 2017
WHERE: Children's Museum of Denver at Marsico Campus
Families can play for free the first Tuesday of each month from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Discover the Children's Museum of Denver at Marsico Campus, where interactive playscapes, programs and special events make learning fun by engaging kids to play, learn and explore. It's a place that ignites and fosters a love of learning that children will carry with them throughout life.
WHEN: TBA, 2018
WHERE: Molly Brown House Museum
Learn all about the "Unsinkable" Molly Brown and the tragic voyage of the Titanic during free days at the Molly Brown House Museum.
WHEN: TBA, 2018
WHERE: Denver Firefighters Museum
The Denver Firefighters Museum is one of Denver's great hidden gems, located in the heart of Downtown. Learn about real American heroes, try on some firefighters' gear, get behind the wheel of an antique fire engine and even slide down the pole!
WHEN: Dec. 8, 2017
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.
Learn about global warming, the 21st century's hottest topic, at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder. 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.
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.
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., Monday through Friday.
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!
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.
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.
"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 of the brewery in nearby Golden show every step in the brewing process and end with free samples for those over 21.
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. The Boulder facility also includes a gallery of original artwork from the company's famous tea boxes.
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.
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.
Housed in Sports Authority Field At Mile High Stadium (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.
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 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.
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.
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.