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Denver's summer is packed with free things to do like checking out the rock 'n' roll memorabilia at Rockmount Ranch Wear, hiking at Red Rocks Park or seeing an outdoor movie. 

FREE FESTIVALS AND EVENTS

CINCO DE MAYO FESTIVAL 

WHEN: May 2–3, 2020
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.

FIVE POINTS JAZZ FESTIVAL 

WHEN: May 16, 2020
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.

DENVER DAY OF ROCK 

WHEN: May 23, 2020
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.

DENVER ARTS FESTIVAL 

WHEN: May 23–24, 2020
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.

DENVER CHALK ART FESTIVAL 

WHEN: June 5–6, 2020
WHERE: Larimer 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.

TASTE OF LOUISVILLE  

WHEN: June 6, 2020
WHERE: Historic Main Street, Louisville

Enjoy this opportunity to taste the "Quality of Life" in Louisville with excellent food, local beer, arts and crafts booths, kids' entertainment and live music from local bands. This will also be the opening day for the Louisville Farmer's Market.

COLFAX ART FEST 

WHEN: June 13, 2020
WHERE: Lamar Station Plaza, Lakewood
The annual Colfax Art Fest is an all-day, family-friendly event with food trucks, adult beverages, music, kid’s activities, a craft marketplace and, of course, art!

DENVER BBQ FESTIVAL 

WHEN: June 19–21, 2020
WHERE: Empower 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. 

DENVER PRIDEFEST 2020 

WHEN: June 20–21, 2020
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 Coors Light PrideFest Parade, the Pride 5K and three stages of music and entertainment. 

JUNETEENTH MUSIC FESTIVAL 

WHEN: June 20–21, 2020
WHERE: Five Points neighborhood
Listen to the sounds of hip-hop, R&B, blues, soul and jazz as nearly 200 vendors line Welton Street. The annual Juneteenth Parade kicks off the fun, and make sure to watch the #DREAMBIG Awards Ceremony.

ARVADA ON TAP  

WHEN: June 27, 2020
WHERE: Ralston Recreation Area, Arvada

Head to nearby Arvada for an afternoon of craft beer and BBQ sampling! There will also be activities for the kiddos and an amateur BBQ competition.

CHERRY BLOSSOM FESTIVAL 

WHEN: June 27–28, 2020
WHERE: Sakura Square
Japanese culture and heritage are showcased at the annual Cherry Blossom Festival. Dance, taiko drums and martial arts are featured on the outdoor stage, while inside the Denver Buddhist Temple you’ll find food sales and exhibits.

CHERRY CREEK ARTS FESTIVAL 

WHEN: July 3–5, 2020
WHERE: Cherry Creek North

This free, outdoor extravaganza — the city's signature cultural celebration of the visual, performing and culinary arts — gives more than 350,000 annual visitors the chance to meet and talk with international visual artists, enjoy a wide range of family-friendly fun and sample fine cuisine. At the Cherry Creek Arts Festival, experience Artivity Avenue, a full block of interactive activities perfect for youngsters. Visit the Cultural Pavilion, where music, dance and theater from around the globe will be presented. Culinary Avenue features tasty treats and live cooking demonstrations from some of Denver's most popular eateries.

COLORADO BLACK ARTS FESTIVAL 

WHEN: July 10–12, 2020
WHERE: City Park
This family-friendly event showcases the creative talents of local, regional and national African Americans in art and culture. The three-day Colorado Black Arts Festival also features three performing stages filled with dance, jazz, blues, soul, reggae, gospel, traditional African drum and dance.

COLORADO DRAGON BOAT FESTIVAL 

WHEN: July 25–26, 2020
WHERE: Sloan's Lake Park 
Founded in 2001 to celebrate Colorado's Asian Pacific American (APA) culture, the Colorado Dragon Boat Festival has become the region's fastest-growing fun, family-friendly summer festival. Named "Top Annual Festival" by the Rocky Mountain News and a "Best of Denver" event by Westword, it offers festival-goers the opportunity to explore APA customs through performances, arts and crafts, shopping, dining and the exciting athletic competition of dragon boat racing.  

CHEESMAN PARK ART FEST

WHEN: July 25–26, 2020
WHERE: Cheesman Park

Some 135 artists from all over the country will showcase their work during this free two-day festival. There will also be live music and food trucks. 

BOULDER COUNTY FAIR 

WHEN: July 31–Aug. 9, 2020
WHERE: Boulder County Fairgrounds, Longmont
The annual Boulder County Fair is the oldest fair in Colorado celebrating more than 150 years. There is no charge for parking, gate admission or concerts (though there is a charge for rides, concessions, motorized sports, rodeos abd some special events), so come back as often as you like! 

COLORADO SCOTTISH FESTIVAL & ROCKY MOUNTAIN HIGHLAND GAMES 

WHEN: Aug. 1–2, 2020
WHERE: Citizens Park, Edgewater
Since 1964, this annual festival has brought traditional Scottish Heavy Athletics, piping and drumming, Scottish Highland and Country dancing and Celtic culture to Colorado. Enjoy Celtic music and entertainment, Dogs of the British Isles, a British Car Show, Celtic food and merchandise and historical re-enactments. 

A TASTE OF COLORADO 

WHEN: Sept. 5–7, 2020
WHERE: Civic Center Park
A Taste of Colorado is the end-of-summer celebration of community pride and spirit in the Denver region. Over 500,000 people make the four-day festival their Labor Day Weekend celebration, enjoying the offerings of more 50 area restaurants, 275 marketplace artisans and vendors, six stages, and educational programs promoting the diverse cultural and Western heritage of the region.

DENVER STARTUP WEEK 

WHEN: Sept. 14–18, 2020
WHERE: Various venues throughout town
Founded in 2012, Denver Startup Week is a celebration of The Mile High City's entrepreneurs. The core programming is centered on the entrepreneurial community, with an emphasis on technology, design, social entrepreneurship, manufacturing and business.

CRUSH WALLS 

WHEN: Sept. 14–20, 2020
WHERE: River North Art District - RiNo
The annual CRUSH WALLS is a week-long celebration of graffiti and street art, and it is responsible for many of the vibrant murals in RiNo. Join the action and watch as larger-than-life murals evolve from ideas into masterpieces right before your eyes!

NATIONAL HISPANIC HERITAGE MONTH 

WHEN: Sept. 15–Oct. 15, 2020
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.

DENVER BEER WEEK 

WHEN: Sept. 18–26, 2020
WHERE: Various venues throughout town
A nine-day, citywide celebration of all things beer includes rare beer tastings, beer-paired dinners, tap takeovers, brewery tours, firkin tappings and a variety of entertaining beer events.

FREE LIVE MUSIC

CITY PARK JAZZ

WHEN: Sunday evenings in June and July and the first Sunday of August
WHERE: City Park

Every Sunday night in June and July and the first Sunday in August, the City Park Bandstand and Pavilion turns into a swinging, open-air jazz club as music lovers of all ages congregate for the free City Park Jazz.

  • June 7, 2020: The Burroughs
  • June 14, 2020: Nelson Rangell
  • June 21, 2020: SUCH 
  • June 28, 2020: Cast Iron Queens
  • July 5, 2020: Annie Booth Big Band
  • July 12, 2020: Otis Taylor
  • July 19, 2020: Purnell Steen and Le Jazz Machine
  • July 26, 2020: Brass Band Extravaganza featuring Pedicab Junction, Otone Brass Band and Brothers of Brass
  • Aug. 2, 2020: Los Bohemios
  • Aug. 9, 2020: Chris Daniels & The Kings featuring Freddi Gowdy

 

LEVITT PAVILION

WHEN: May–September
The Levitt Pavilion is a new, state-of-the-art amphitheater in Ruby Hill Park that was created as a gift to the community. This outdoor venue hosts a slew of free concerts every summer. Bring a blanket and a picnic, kick back on the lawn and enjoy artists from a wide range of genres.

  • May 22, 2020: Gondwana w/E.N Young (free)
  • June 5, 2020: Busty & The Bass (free)
  • June 6, 2020: La Santa Cecelia (free)
  • June 11, 2020: Alex Cuba (free)
  • June 13, 2020: Rebirth Brass Band (free)
  • June 19, 2020: Logan Mize (free)
  • June 28, 2020: The Slackers (free)
  • July 16, 2020: Las Cafeteras (free)
  • July 17, 2020: Patrick Sweany (free)
  • July 26, 2020: John King (free)

 

ELWAY'S TASTE & TUNES SUMMER MUSIC SERIES

WHEN: Wednesday evenings from June to August
WHERE: Elway's Cherry Creek

It's a Wednesday night thing and the music is free. The Elway's Taste & Tunes Summer Music Series fills the restaurant-adjacent courtyard with rockin' tunes. Enjoy music, cocktails and Elway's signature menu.

COOHILLS BEATS ON THE CREEK SUMMER CONCERT SERIES

WHEN: Tuesday evenings from June to August
WHERE: Coohills

Join Coohills for six Tuesdays this summer for their free Beats on the Creek Summer Concert Series, benefiting the Conservation Colorado Education Fund. From 6:30–8:30 p.m., head to Wewatta Bridge for live music above Cherry Creek.

FREE MUSEUM DAYS

DENVER MUSEUM OF NATURE & SCIENCE FREE DAYS

WHEN: May 31, July 1, Aug. 12, Sept. 2 and Sept. 21, 2020
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, an IMAX theatre and touring shows.

DENVER ART MUSEUM FREE DAYS

WHEN: May 2, June 6, July 7, Aug. 1 and Sept. 5, 2020
Explore the Denver Art Museum's galleries for free! General admission to the Denver Art Museum is free to all youth ages 18 and under every day, granting more kids access to art than ever before. Youth pricing is capped at $5 for special ticketed exhibitions. 

PENNY SATURDAY AT MCA DENVER

WHEN: May 2, June 6, July 4, Aug. 1 and Sept. 5, 2020
WHERE: MCA DENVER — Museum of Contemporary Art Denver
Okay, so it's not technically free. But every first Saturday of the month, Colorado residents can explore MCA Denver for just $0.01. 

CLYFFORD STILL MUSEUM FREE DAYS

WHEN: May 20, June 16, July 26, Aug. 12 and Sept. 26, 2020
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. 

DENVER BOTANIC GARDENS FREE DAYS: YORK STREET LOCATION (COLORADO RESIDENTS ONLY)

WHEN: June 23, July 13 and Aug. 11, 2020
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: June 2, July 7 and Aug. 4, 2020
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. 

HISTORY COLORADO FREE DAY

WHEN: Aug. 1, 2020
History Colorado Center takes you back in time, connecting you to Colorado's past. Explore it for free on Colorado Day, Aug. 1, 2020.

COLORADO RAILROAD MUSEUM FREE DAYS

WHEN: May 7, 2020
Travel back in time at this 15-acre railyard and museum in nearby Golden, Colorado. The Colorado Railroad Museum feature over 100 engines, cabooses and coaches, a garden railway and a library and roundhouse restoration facility with working turntable.

CHILDREN'S MUSEUM OF DENVER AT MARSICO FREE FIRST TUESDAYS

WHEN: May 5, June 2, July 7, Aug. 4 and Sept. 1, 2020
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.

FOUR MILE HISTORIC PARK FREE DAYS

WHEN: May 8, June 12, July 10, Aug. 14 and Sept. 11, 2020
Travel back in time ... for free! Enjoy historic demonstrations, take a tour of the Four Mile House Museum and meet the many farm animals. Every second Friday of the month from 12 to 4 p.m.

DENVER FIREFIGHTERS MUSEUM FUN AT THE FIREHOUSE FREE DAYS

WHEN: May 9 and Aug. 8, 2020
Learn about fire safety and the history of firefighting in Denver through more than a century of historical artifacts and exciting hands-on activities. Kids will especially love trying on the child-size firefighting gear and exploring the touch cart full of real firefighting tools and equipment.

MUSEO DE LAS AMERICAS: FREE CULTURAL FIRST FRIDAYS

WHEN: May 1, June 5, July 3, Aug. 7 and Sept. 4, 2020
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. Enjoy the museum's free, themed Cultural First Fridays the first Friday of each month from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.

MOLLY BROWN HOUSE FREE DAYS

WHEN: June 24 and August 26, 2020
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

FIRST FRIDAY - FIVE POINTS JAZZ HOP

WHEN: Every First Friday
WHERE: Five Points
The Historic Five Points Neighborhood keeps culture alive! Join us every first Friday of the month as some of the city's best local talent sets a swingin', jazzy soundtrack in your favorite restaurants and watering holes along Welton St. 

OUTDOOR MOVIES IN THE PARKS

WHEN: All summer long
Spread out a blanket in one of Denver's gorgeous parks for free, family-friendly Outdoor Movies in the Parks.  

FARMERS' MARKETS

WHEN: All summer long
The many farmers' markets spread throughout The Mile High City aren't just about local farm-fresh produce, delicious baked goods and yummy prepared foods — though you'll find more than enough of those things. Each Denver farmers' market is a festive, weekly street fair, with live entertainment, family-friendly activities and a vibrant crowd of locals.

FIRST FRIDAY ART WALKS

WHEN: May 1, June 5, July 3, Aug. 7 and Sept. 4, 2020
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.

FINAL FRIDAY IN THE GOLDEN TRIANGLE

WHEN: June 26, July 31 and Aug. 28, 2020
Explore the many creative spaces of this special corner of Denver as the Golden Triangle galleries host artist receptions, openings, talks and performance art. 

FREE DENVER PUBLIC ART TOURS

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.

COLORADO STATE CAPITOL TOUR

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.

U.S. MINT TOUR

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.

DENVER CENTRAL LIBRARY

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.

FEDERAL RESERVE BANK OF KANSAS CITY – DENVER BRANCH'S MONEY MUSEUM

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. 

COLORADO SPORTS HALL OF FAME

Housed in Empower Field at Mile High (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.

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.

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.  

TATTERED COVER BOOK STORE

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.

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 BREWING TOUR

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.

ROCKMOUNT RANCH WEAR

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

LITTLETON HISTORICAL MUSEUM

Travel back in time at the Littleton Historical 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 in nearby Littleton

GARDEN OF THE GODS

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.

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.

RED ROCKS PARK & AMPHITHEATRE

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

NATIONAL CENTER FOR ATMOSPHERIC RESEARCH

Learn about global warming, the 21st century's hottest topic, at the National Center for Atmospheric Research, located about 30 minutes away 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.

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. The factory is located in Boulder. Tours are available for families with children ages 5 and up. 

 

Dynamic Variation: