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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. 

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OUTDOOR FUN

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.

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.

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.

STREET ART

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. 

FARMERS' MARKETS

The Mile High City's more than 20 farmers' markets aren't just about locally grown produce, delicious baked goods and prepared foods — though you'll find those in abundance! Each market is a festive, weekly street fair, many with live entertainment and family-friendly activities. 

CITY PARKS

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.

LESSER-KNOWN, HIDDEN-GEM PARKS

If you’re looking for a quiet spot to have a picnic, take in great views or experience a different side of the city, check out these lesser-known Denver parks.

HOW TO EXPLORE THE SOUTH PLATTE RIVER BY BIKE

Take a two-wheeled tour through the heart of the city along this beautiful river. You'll cruise by some of the city's biggest attractions. 

DENVER'S BEST URBAN HIKES

Denver is a city with boundless outdoor fun and has an ideal location next to the foothills of the Rocky Mountains. While The Mile High City is conveniently close to major peaks for hiking, there's actually no need to head into the mountains when Denver's regional trail system encompasses hundreds of miles for all ages and abilities to explore. 

Levitt Pavilion

Located in historic Ruby Hill Park, minutes from downtown Denver, Levitt Pavilion offers some 50 free concerts each summer on its spacious lawn. It's also a great place to hang out, take in the views and have a picnic. 

HOW TO EXPLORE THE COLORADO TRAIL IN WATERTON CANYON

Many people think that Denver’s prettiest, closest and most accessible bit of mountain scenery is Waterton Canyon. This is the start of the famous Colorado Trail, one of the great long-distance hikes (or mountain bike rides) of the Rocky Mountains.   

PET-FRIENDLY DENVER

Denver is home to dozens of pet-friendly activities and destinations, including dog-friendly hotels and dog parks. Find the best on-leash and off-leash fun for your best friend. 

FREE FESTIVALS AND EVENTS

FRIDAY NIGHT BAZAAR

WHEN: Thru Aug. 27, 2021; Fridays
WHERE: Friday Night BAZAAR

Enjoy an evening of shopping, sipping and mingling in the RiNo Art District! The Friday Night BAZAAR features more than 40 local vendors, food trucks, craft beer and cocktails and live music. Entry is free and everyone is welcome! 

BLACK LOVE MURAL FESTIVAL

WHEN: Thru Aug. 2, 2021
WHERE: Civic Center Park

Watch artists paint colorful murals in Denver's Civic Center Park! Every weekend leading up to Juneteenth, the group will host live paintings, workshops and activations.

DENVER DAY OF ROCK

WHEN: Aug. 28, 2021
WHERE: 16th Street Mall

Denver Day of Rock is a free, one-of-a-kind music event on the 16th Street Mall that features five stages with live music and family-friendly entertainment throughout Denver. The event supports Amp The Cause, a local nonprofit organization focused on children’s health and education.

A TASTE OF COLORADO

WHEN: Sept. 4–6, 2021
WHERE: Downtown Denver
This year’s A Taste of Colorado event will take place throughout the streets of Downtown Denver over Labor Day weekend to celebrate our city and diverse food, music and culture.

CHERRY CREEK ARTS FESTIVAL

WHEN: Sept. 4–6, 2021
WHERE: Cherry Creek North

The 30th anniversary Cherry Creek Arts Festival will transform the streets of Cherry Creek North into an innovative outdoor fine art show. Enjoy free parking and admission to see 265 national juried artists selling incredible original artworks. And don't miss a full block of family-friendly activities on "ARTivity Avenue," live music and more. 

COLORADO SPRINGS LABOR DAY LIFT OFF 2021

WHEN: Sept. 4–6, 2021
WHERE: Memorial Park, Colorado Springs

It’s the most colorful (and free) weekend of the year! You won’t want to miss the early morning hot air balloon launches that fill the city skyline and the Saturday evening balloon glows. 

BUSKERFEST

WHEN: Sept. 10–12, 2021
WHERE: Denver Union Station

For one weekend, Wynkoop Plaza in front of Denver's historic Union Station is transformed into a public theater and art space where you'll be amazed by comedy, circus and music shows from a curated cast of world-touring street performers. Watch larger-than-life puppets, stilt walkers and living statues parade through the fountains under the incredible facade of Union Station. There is no fee for entry and everyone is welcome, but the artists do rely on donations from the audience to support their work and travels. 

FALL MARKET WITH THE DOWNTOWN BOULDER FALL FEST

WHEN: Sept. 10–12, 2021
WHERE: Pearl Street Mall, Boulder

Firefly Handmade is beyond excited to once again join this cherished Boulder tradition! Browse goods from more than 100 fabulous Firefly Handmade artisans, enjoy live music and sip drinks at the beer/wine/margarita garden. Admission is free.

NATIONAL HISPANIC HERITAGE MONTH

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.

DENVER ARTS FESTIVAL

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.

COLORADO DRAGON BOAT FESTIVAL

WHEN: Sept. 25–26, 2021
WHERE: Sloan’s Lake Park
Come cheer on your favorite Dragon Boat teams as they race across Sloan's Lake! Grab a delicious meal and drink at the Taste of Asia food courts, buy amazing gifts and goods at the Asian Marketplace and relax or dance along to live music at stages throughout the festival. This is a FREE family event for all ages!

DOORS OPEN DENVER

WHEN: TBA 2021
WHERE: City of Denver

Explore Denver architecture as Doors Open Denver opens the doors to some of the places and spaces that make The Mile High City such a special place. From historic structures to contemporary builds and everything in between, there's architecture for everyone to enjoy.

FREE MUSEUM DAYS

DENVER MUSEUM OF NATURE & SCIENCE FREE DAYS

WHEN: Aug. 11, Sept. 1 and Sept. 20, 2021
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. 

CLYFFORD STILL MUSEUM FREE DAYS

WHEN: July 25, Aug. 13 and Sept. 10, 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.

FOUR MILE FREE DAY

WHEN: Aug. 13 and Sept. 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.

MUSEO DE LAS AMERICAS: FREE CULTURAL FIRST FRIDAYS

WHEN: Aug. 6 and Sept. 3, 2021
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 free admission and events from 5–9 p.m. the first Friday of each month. 

PENNY SATURDAY AT MCA DENVER

WHEN: Aug. 7 and Sept. 4, 2021
Okay, so it's not technically free. But every first Saturday of the month, Colorado residents can explore MCA Denver for just $0.01. 

FIRST FRIDAY ART WALKS

WHEN: Aug. 6 and Sept. 3, 2021
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. 

DENVER ZOO FREE DAYS 

WHEN: TBA 2022
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. 

DENVER ART MUSEUM FREE DAYS

WHEN: TBA 2022
Explore the Denver Art Museum's galleries for free! 

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

WHEN: TBA 2022
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 2022
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. 

CHILDREN'S MUSEUM OF DENVER AT MARSICO FREE FIRST TUESDAY NIGHTS

WHEN: TBA 2022
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.

MOLLY BROWN HOUSE FREE DAYS

WHEN: TBA 2022
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. 

COLORADO RAILROAD MUSEUM FREE DAYS

WHEN: TBA 2022
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.

DENVER FIREFIGHTERS MUSEUM FREE DAY

WHEN: TBA 2022
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.

MORE FREE TOURS AND ATTRACTIONS

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.  

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.

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 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.  

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. 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.

NIGHT LIGHTS DENVER  

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 every Thursday through Saturday evening.

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