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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

CHERRY CREEK ARTS FESTIVAL

WHEN: July 1-3, 2017
WHERE: Cherry Creek North, from 2nd to 3rd Avenues, on the seven streets between Columbine and Steele Sts. 

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.

DENVER CHALK ART FESTIVAL 

WHEN: June 3-4, 2017
WHERE: Larimer Square
See Larimer Square take on vivid pastel hues as artists spend hours on their hands and knees creating chalk-drawn masterpieces at the annual Denver Chalk Art Festival.

BUSKERFEST

WHEN: June 23-24, 2017
WHERE: Denver Union Station

Buskerfest will take place in Denver Union Station's fantastic public plaza and will celebrate a tradition of live street art and performance in The Mile High City. Attendees of all ages are welcome to come watch street musicians, fire performers, musicians, face painters, hula-hoopers, jugglers and others.

CHERRY BLOSSOM FESTIVAL

WHEN: June 24-25, 2017
WHERE: 20th and Lawrence Streets

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.

FIRST FRIDAY ART WALKS

WHEN: July 7, Aug. 4, Sept. 1, 2017
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 seven art districts stay open late for a festive, street party-like event.

COLORADO DRAGON BOAT FESTIVAL

WHEN: July 29-30, 2017
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.  

FARMERS' MARKETS

WHEN: All summer long
WHERE: Throughout Denver

The many farmers' markets spread throughout The Mile High City aren't just about locally grown, 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.

A TASTE OF COLORADO

WHEN: Sept. 1–4, 2017
WHERE: Civic Center Park, Broadway and Colfax Ave. 

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.

OUTDOOR MOVIES IN THE PARKS

WHEN: All summer long
WHERE: In Denver's city parks

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

THE BIG WONDERFUL

WHEN: Saturdays from 12–7:30 p.m.
WHERE: Various locations in and around Denver

Part farmers' market, part outdoor flea market, and all fun, The Big Wonderful also includes beach volleyball, a craft beer garden, an urban farm, and live music and entertainment.

FREE LIVE MUSIC

CITY PARK JAZZ

WHEN: Sunday evenings in June and July
WHERE: City Park

Every Sunday night in June and July, 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.

ELWAY'S TASTE & TUNES SUMMER MUSIC SERIES

WHEN: Wednesday evenings, mid-June to mid-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, June–August, 2017
WHERE: Coohills

Join Coohills for eight consecutive Tuesdays this summer for their free Beats on the Creek Summer Concert Series. From 6:30-8:30 p.m., live music will fill the restaurant for all guests to enjoy. Last year's headliners included The Hazel Miller Band, Funkiphino, That 80's Band, The Moderators, Mr. Majestyk's 8-Track Revival, UBRS and The Long Run.

FREE ATTRACTIONS AND TOURS

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.

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.  

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.

SCIENTIFIC AND CULTURAL FACILITIES DISTRICT (SCFD) FREE DAYS

Colorado residents can enjoy the following cultural attractions for free on select days throughout the summer: Denver Botanic Gardens at York Street (June 14, July 17 and Aug. 29, 2017); Denver Botanic Gardens at Chatfield (June 6, July 15 and Aug. 1, 2017); Denver Museum of Nature & Science (June 4, Aug. 6, Aug. 28 and Sept. 17, 2017); Clyfford Still Museum (June 3, June 30, July 1, July 28 and Aug. 25, Sept. 29, 2017); and Denver Firefighters Museum (August 2, 2017).

DENVER ART MUSEUM

WHEN: First Saturdays 
FREE to all youth ages 18 and under every day

First time in The Mile High City? Free Saturdays are a great opportunity to explore Denver's vibrant arts and culture! The Denver Art Museum offers free general admission on the first Saturday of the month and includes locals and tourists. 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. 

DENVER SKATEPARK

19th and Little Raven Sts.
The expansive Denver Skate Park — 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.

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.

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.

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.

CHILDREN'S MUSEUM FREE TARGET TUESDAYS

Tots love exploring and learning in the themed mini-worlds inside the Children's Museum of Denver for free the every first Tuesday of the month from 4–8 p.m.

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!

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.

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.

COORS BREWERY TOUR

"Taste the Rockies!" on a tour at Golden's Coors Brewery. The world's largest brewing site still uses the same Rocky Mountain spring water that Adolph Coors discovered in 1873. Free tours show every step in the brewing process and end with free samples for those over 21.

STRANAHAN'S COLORADO WHISKEY DISTILLERY TOUR

If you prefer whiskey to beer, the free Stranahan's Colorado Whiskey Distillery tour was made for you. Learn how the good stuff gets made during an hour-long guided tour, then sample Stranahan's Diamond Peak and  Original Single Malt Whiskies. 

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.

GREAT DIVIDE BREWING CO. TOUR

Get a behind-the-scenes look at Denver's craft beer world on a free tour at the Great Divide Brewing Co. in downtown Denver and at the brewery's River North location. Tours are about 30 minutes in length and take place at 3, 4 and 5 p.m. Mon.–Fri., and each hour from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Sat. and Sun.

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.

COLORADO SPORTS HALL OF FAME MUSEUM

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.

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.

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

The Money Museum offers an opportunity to learn about the Federal Reserve Bank. And, best of all, it's free! 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.