FREE FESTIVALS AND EVENTS
WHEN: May 4–5, 2019
WHERE: Civic Center Park
Attendance is free at the annual Cinco de Mayo Festival in Civic Center Park, one of the largest cultural events in Colorado, with more than 400,000 visitors each year. Enjoy live entertainment on three stages, hundreds of exhibitors, great food and drink, children's activities, a parade — and the hotly contested green chile cook-off.
WHEN: May 18, 2019
WHERE: Five Points neighborhood
The Five Points Jazz Festival takes place on the third Saturday of May and celebrates the history of Denver's iconic and musical Five Points neighborhood.
WHEN: May 25–26, 2019
WHERE: Conservatory Green at Northfield Stapleton
During the Denver Arts Festival, more than 100 of Colorado's most esteemed artists showcase paintings, sculpture, photography, glasswork, woodwork and more. A small set of acclaimed national artists will also display their work. This popular event is expected to bring over 50,000 attendees.
WHEN: May 25, 2019
WHERE: Downtown Denver
A free, outdoor music festival in the heart of downtown Denver? Yes, please. Denver Day of Rock is an annual tradition that sees dozens of performers bringing rockin' good vibes to The Mile High City. This event will feature five stages of live music throughout downtown Denver.
WHEN: June 1–2, 2019
WHERE: Larmier Square
Every spring, the sidewalks around Larimer Square come to life during the annual Denver Chalk Art Festival, as more than 200 professional, amateur and student chalk artists turn concrete into canvas. This is a don't-miss event, especially since these masterpieces will be washed away with the next spring shower.
WHEN: June 14–16, 2019
WHERE: Sports Authority Field at Mile High
It's Father's Day weekend, and what does dad want most? A cold brew and some BBQ! Enjoy pulled pork, barbecued brisket, smoked sausage and more at the second annual Denver BBQ Festival. Admission is free on Saturday and Sunday.
WHEN: June 15–16, 2019
WHERE: Civic Center Park
Recognized as one of the top 10 pride events in the country, Denver PrideFest is a free, two-day festival that takes place in Civic Center Park. The weekend features activities and entertainment for adults and kids alike, including the annual Gay Pride Parade, the Big Gay 5K and three stages of music and entertainment.
FREE MUSEUM DAYS
WHEN: Apr. 28 and June 2, 2019
Colorado residents can 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: Apr. 6, May 4 and June 1, 2019
Explore the Denver Art Museum's galleries for free the first Saturday of every month.
WHEN: Mar. 26, Apr. 28, May 22 and June 18, 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.
WHEN: Mar. 22, Apr. 14 and June 4, 2019
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.
WHEN: Apr. 2 and June 4, 2019
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: Apr. 2, May 7 and June 4, 2019
With several themed worlds of wonder for kiddos to explore, the Children's Museum of Denver at Marsico Campus is free every first Tuesday of the month from 4 to 8 p.m.
WHEN: Apr. 12, May 10 and June 14, 2019
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: Apr. 5, May 3 and June 7, 2019
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: May 1, 2019
Learn all about the "Unsinkable" Molly Brown and the tragic voyage of the Titanic. Free days at the Molly Brown House Museum are for residents of Adams, Arapahoe, Boulder, Broomfield, Denver, Douglas and Jefferson Counties.
MORE FREE TOURS AND ATTRACTIONS
Galleries, studios and cultural attractions in Denver's art districts stay open late the first Friday of every month for a mind-expanding night of art, food, drink and fun.
Explore the many creative spaces of this special corner of Denver, as the Golden Triangle galleries host artist receptions, openings, talks and performance art.
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.
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 on the hour 10 a.m.–3 p.m., Mondays through Fridays.
Learn how to make money! The U.S. Mint can produce more than 50 million coins a day, each one stamped with a little "D" for Denver. Free guided tours show every step in the process of turning a dull, blank, metal slug into shiny pocket change.
Denver Central Library has an impressive art gallery on the seventh floor. The library is best known, perhaps, for its Western History Collection, which covers the earliest explorations, Spanish land grants, Native American history, the gold rush era and the present day with a particular focus on the Rocky Mountain West.
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.
Housed in Sports Authority Field at Mile High Stadium (home of the Denver Broncos), the Colorado Sports Hall of Fame 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.
The expansive Denver Skatepark — one of the most renowned 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 greenway, 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.
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.
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 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 Great Divide Brewing Co. in downtown Denver and at the brewery's River North Barrel Bar location. Tours are about 30 minutes in length and take place at 3, 4 and 5 p.m. Mon.–Fri., and each hour starting at 2 p.m. until 6 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.
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 ATTRACTIONS 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.
Located 60 miles from Denver in Colorado Springs, the awe-inspiring Garden of the Gods features gigantic 500-foot high red sandstone rock monuments at the base of Pikes Peak.
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.
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 Performers' Hall of Fame, while the surrounding park has hiking trails that weave in, around and over the colorful red rocks.