Tour The Coors Brewery
Did someone say free beer? If touring local breweries is your thing, then look no further than the MillerCoors brewery tour in Denver. Beer enthusiasts will love learning about the rich history of one of America’s most prolific beer brands while enjoying three free beers that everyone receives at the end of the tour. Short on time? Take the short tour to skip all that rich history nonsense and get to your free beer quicker!
See The Dikeou Collection
A contemporary art collection in downtown Denver, the Dikeou collection has been a part of the city’s history since its opening in 2003. Featuring over 30 artists and a growing collection of poets and musicians, the Dikeou Collection is surely the place to be for even the most frugal of creative minds.
Discover The Blue Bear
Surely you’ve heard of pink elephants before, but how often have you seen a blue bear? What about a 40 foot tall blue bear that has a nasty peeping habit? That’s precisely what you’ll find standing outside the entrance of the Colorado Convention Center with its nose pressed up against the glass as it spies on unsuspecting (okay, not TOTALLY unsuspecting) tourists inside the third floor. The statue entitled “I See What You Mean” was constructed by Lawrence Argent in 2005, and has already become a staple for tourists. There’s even a film documentary devoted to it!
Cycle The Denver Cruiser Ride
You’ve never been on a bike ride quite like this! The Denver Cruiser Ride is summer time tradition that features a weekly bike ride through the city and attracts roughly 2,000 cyclists for each ride. So what makes the DCR so special? With each week comes a new theme that cyclists are encouraged to play along with, whether it’s dressing up or simply decorating their bikes. Themes can range from very specific (pirates, seamen, and mermaids) to puzzlingly vague (freakshow). In any case, they’re always outrageous, and the entire event is definitely worth a try. Check out DCR’s list of 2015 themes
Tour The Stranahan's Distillery
Denver LOVES to drink. That’s why there’s ANOTHER free booze tour on this list! Whiskey aficionados will revel at the chance to tour Colorado's first (legal) microdistillery, while novices to the spirit stand to learn a great deal about the distilling process that makes Colorado whiskey truly unique. As with most booze tours, free tastings are provided at the end, making this a popular weekend destination. Reservations
Witness The Big Wonderful
Denver’s central marketplace is certainly worth a look for tourists looking to experience the city as well as townies who are simply looking for a way to spend the day. The Big Wonderful fosters a sense of growth within communities, and gives local people a place to be creative. While technically free to enter, you may consider bringing a few spare dollars to spend on some of the local food, crafts and music. We promise you won’t regret it.
Check out Dinosaur Ridge
Just west of Denver lies Dinosaur Ridge, one of the most well-known dinosaur fossil sites in the world. The 1.5 mile Dinosaur Ridge Trail features hundreds of fossilized tracks from the jurassic era, as well as a quarry of dinosaur bones. The little ones in your family will let their imaginations run wild in this prehistoric park, making Dinosaur Ridge the perfect family destination in Colorado.
Don’t like whiskey or beer? Okay, we promise we’ve got it right this time! Many of Denver’s wineries (and there are MANY of them) offer free tours, with tastings, to show wine connoisseurs the process that produces their all-time favorite beverage. Denver’s Winery Row
is also worth a look, as it provides a high concentration of colorado wine tastings in a small area.
Play Chess On 16th Street
Something about playing chess outdoors with a close friend is supremely relaxing, and we can’t think of any better place than the 16th Street Mall in Denver. There’s always local music within earshot and a friendly face ready to challenge you, just in case you forgot your friends at home. Of course, the tables themselves only add to the experience, as many people consider them functional works of art.
See The Giant Dancing Statues
Speaking of art, take a drive down Speer Boulevard to see the dancing alien statues towering over 60 feet in the sky. Some find the statues charming, as they are meant to be in a perpetual state of dance. Many of the locals however consider them an eyesore, citing their white surface as an obnoxious reflector of the sun’s rays. Check it out and decide for yourself (and don’t forget to let us know what you think).
See The Red Rocks Ampitheatre (Sans The Shows And Movies)
Red Rocks Amphitheatre is world renowned for its extravagant concerts and dazzling light shows (both of which cost money), but when there’s no event planned, Red Rocks Park is well worth the 10 mile trip outside of Denver to explore. Featuring an abundance of naturally occurring red sandstone and several well-known rock formations, including Pluto’s Seat and Creation Rock, it is one of the most widely visited geologic sites in the United States. It’s the perfect place for a picnic or other outdoor activities in Colorado.
Stroll The Flower Gardens At Washington Park
Washington Park really does have something for everybody within its 165 acres, including tennis courts, lawn bowling, indoor swimming pools, and a boathouse that can be rented out. By far one of the most alluring attractions at Washington Park though is the Victorian-style flower garden (which is the largest in Denver). With over 54 flower beds and 15,000 flower varieties, you’ll need an entire day to take in all the sights this garden has to offer. The best part? Unlike other botanical gardens around the country, the Washington Park garden is absolutely free!
City Park Jazz at Ferril Lake
City Park Jazz is a Denver tradition that you won’t want to miss out on. Luckily, with 10 free Jazz concerts each summer in Denver’s historic city park, you won’t have much of an excuse to skip this event. Funded primarily by donations and gifts from the Denver business community, City Park Jazz has provided a variety of jazz, blues and salsa music since 1986, although its roots reach back over 130 years.
Colorado Dragon Boat Festival
The Colorado Dragon Boat Festival is a yearly tradition that celebrates the culture of the Pacific Asian communities in Colorado. Its purpose is to raise awareness, knowledge, and understanding between the general public and Colorado’s Asian communities. It does cost a team fee (not to mention boat construction fees) to enter the actual race, but simply attending the event is both free and very much encouraged. Whether you’re looking to broaden your cultural horizons or simply looking for a free festival to enjoy, the Colorado Dragon Boat Festival is an excellent outing for all walks of life.
Cherry Creek Arts Festival
This three day event in Denver’s Cherry Creek North Shopping District is a celebration of art in all forms. You have no excuse to skip out on being a part of the nearly 350,000 people that regularly attend this extravagant festival. With a host of excellent musical performances alongside hundreds of pieces of art to adore, there is always plenty to see at this free event.
Summer Outdoor Movies In The Park
Aren’t you sick of Netflix yet? Wouldn’t you rather experience your favorite films in the great outdoors with one of the greatest communities in the country? If so, then high-tail it to one of Denver's (several) parks for Denver’s Summer Outdoor Movie Series and witness one of the best cinema experiences of your life. Movie titles and locations vary from year to year, so make sure you pick a park and a movie that works best for you and your family and enjoy the show.
Independence Eve At Civic Center Park
Denver loves America so much that the entire city annually celebrates our country’s birthday twice in a row! Held in Civic Center Park, Denver’s Independence Eve celebration regularly features live music, a gorgeous light show, and of course, a stellar fireworks display. Attendees regularly bring coolers full of food and beer for this city-wide celebration, but be sure to get there early, as seating is limited.
Garden Of The Gods
While not technically located in Denver, the Garden Of The Gods is too monumental and too surreal to ignore on this list. Only a short drive south of Denver in the neighboring city of Colorado Springs, the Garden Of The Gods is a designated National Natural Landmark that is sure to take your breath away. The garden contains a wide array of oft photographed geologic locations that are as stunning as they are geologically rare.
The Money Museum At The Federal Reserve Bank Of Kansas City-Denver
Some places cost money to get into. Others, like the Money Museum actually give you money for attending. Yes you read that right, each time you visit the Money Museum at the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City-Denver, you get to leave with a big bag of cash. Sold on it yet? Not so fast. All the cash in the bag is shredded, so it might not be worth it to go for a get-rich-quick scheme. If however, you are interested in U.S. currency and the operations of the Federal Reserve Bank, this free tour is definitely worth a visit.