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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
WHEN: Sept. 15–Oct. 15, 2021
WHERE: Various venues throughout town
Each year, Denverites observe National Hispanic Heritage Month from September 15 to October 15. It's a month-long celebration of the histories, cultures and contributions of American citizens whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean and Central and South America.
WHEN: Sept. 17–19, 2021
WHERE: Empower Field at Mile High
BBQ is back! Don't miss this chance to grab an ice-cold brew and sample pure smoked bliss from award-winning pitmasters from across the country. Admission is free with BBQ, drinks and more available to purchase, or get an all-you-can-eat-drink Q Pit Pass.
WHEN: Sept. 18–19, 2021
WHERE: Central Park's Conservatory Green Neighborhood
This free fine art and fine crafts festival supports Colorado artists while showcasing a select group of national artists.
WHEN: Sept. 18–19, 2021
WHERE: Olde Town Arvada
Enjoy a weekend of shopping featuring more than 100 hand-selected artisans in the heart of Olde Town Arvada to find trendsetting indie goods, including original fashion and jewelry, paper goods, innovative home decor and housewares, art, photography, food, plus much more. Admission is free!
WHEN: Sept. 25–26, 2021
WHERE: Parfet Park, Golden
Colorado’s premier mountain festival features a fun-filled, family-friendly weekend of multi-sport adventuring, educational programming and celebration of all things Mountain! The free festival will feature a variety of clinics, competitions, gear demos, swag, entertainment and local food and libations.
WHEN: Oct. 2, 2021
WHERE: Belleview Station
Denver BAZAAR's signature makers marketplace returns just in time for fall shopping and sipping. Spanning three blocks, the free Autumn BAZAAR at Belleview Station brings a shopping party to the streets to support local small businesses!
WHEN: Oct. 2–3, 2021
WHERE: Cheesman Park
More than 130 artists and craftsmen from across the country will showcase their work at the 2021 Cheesman Park Art Fest. This is a juried event, and the festival organizers take pride in the curated selection of hand-made, American-made work sold directly by the artists.
WHEN: Nov. 5–13, 2021
WHERE: Throughout Denver
Denver Arts Week is a celebration of all things art in The Mile High City, featuring events at a wide variety of art galleries, museums, theaters and concert halls.
WHEN: Sept. 20, Oct. 4 and Nov. 6, 2021
WHERE: Denver Museum of Nature & Science
Satisfy your science curiosity in a safe environment during free days at this kid-friendly science and nature museum! Reserve your tickets in advance.
WHEN: Oct. 24, 2021
WHERE: Denver Art Museum
Explore the Denver Art Museum's galleries for free!
WHEN: First Saturdays of the month
WHERE: MCA DENVER
Enjoy the Museum of Contemporary Art Denver for just a penny (on the museum)!
WHEN: Oct. 21, 2021
Say hello to the animals for free two times this fall. 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! Free days currently work on a lottery system due to COVID-19. Reserve your free ticket online in advance.
WHEN: Sept. 10, Oct. 19, Nov. 18 and Dec. 8, 2021
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.
WHEN: Sept. 10, Oct. 8, Nov. 12 and Dec 10, 2021
Travel back in time ... for free! Enjoy historic demonstrations, take a tour of the Four Mile House Museum and meet our many farm animals. Every second Friday of the month from 12 to 4 p.m.
WHEN: Oct. 7, 2021
Travel back in time at this 15-acre railyard and museum in nearby Golden. The Colorado Railroad Museum feature over 100 engines, cabooses and coaches, a garden railway and a library and roundhouse restoration facility with working turntable.
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.
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.
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 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.
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 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.
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!
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.
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 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.
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.
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.