Top 15 Free Things to Do in Denver That Will Save You Money

The “Mile-High City”, also known as Denver, Colorado, is filled with fun things to do, and conveniently located very close to some of the most beautiful National Parks in the United States. Clearly, there are loads to do, but when you’re traveling on a budget, you may want to plan a trip to the city during one of these free events. Before you go, the city is willing to send you a free magazine of the Denver Visitor’s Guide, which lays out everything you need to know. In the meantime, we have already gathered a list of 15 free things to do in Denver. 

Free Things to Do in Denver That Will Save You Money

The Denver Mint

Have you ever wondered how money is made? Denver, Colorado has one of the few mints in the United States. Tours are totally free, and it can be an interesting and educational trip for all ages. This can be an excellent opportunity to teach your kids about money, and how the economy works. 

The Golden Triangle

The “Golden Triangle” is an intersection of three streets in Denver, Colorado that have businesses dealing in art and commerce. Within this triangle, there are free events happening periodically all year long. The Final Friday Art Walk, Denver Design Week, and Denver Startup Week are just a few special events happening within the golden triangle. 

Denver Capitol Tours

Denver is the Capital of the state of Colorado, so why not take a free tour? Every Monday through Friday, 10 am to 3 pm, you and your entire family can walk in the historic Capital Building for a tour. 

The Denver Art Museum

Bring your family somewhere filled with culture by taking them to the Denver Art Museum, which showcases new art exhibits and films on a regular basis. Admission to the Denver Art Museum is free for kids 18 and under every single day of the week. Adults must pay admission, but there are discounts for groups and Colorado state residents. If you want to get your entire family into the museum for free, you must go on the Free First Saturday

Cherry Creek Arts Festival

Every summer, the Cherry Creek Arts Festival takes place in Denver, Colorado. It showcases local artists, restaurants, and breweries as well. The only night that’s free is the opening night, and the dates will change every year. Be sure to check the information about their “Preview Event”, in order to make sure you get free admission.

Denver Chalk Art Festival

Every summer, more than 200 artists meet up in Denver’s Larimer Square to draw with chalk on the pavement. Even when this magical two-day event is over, you can still walk past the artwork with your family for free…Unless it rains.

The Denver Flea

In August, Denver holds a huge flea market that is free to enter. It’s filled with local food, breweries, artists, and entertainment. You could spend hours simply browsing all of the exciting sights, sounds, and smells for free. Be sure to check out their website for dates and sales schedules for their possible holiday events.

The Denver Zoo

The Denver Zoo offers “Free Days” on very specific days of the year, but they’re usually during off-season. There are a few other ways to get free tickets, as well. They offer free admission on your birthday. Children under 2 years old are always free. 

If you happen to be a citizen of Denver, you can sign up for “My Denver Card”, which acts as both a library card and a golden ticket to local destinations. With the My Denver Card, you can access the zoo for free for up to 5 people, so long as there is at least one adult that is paying full-price ($17).

The Denver Dragon Boat Festival

Every July, Denver celebrates the Dragon Boat Festival, where competitors race their boats across Sloan’s Lake. The festival lasts for two days.

Since the idea for the festival comes from China, the entire event offers Asian cultural performances, food, and even a Japanese anime portion of the event. Kids can make their own dragon masks at “Dragonland”, and the entire family can watch the traditional Chinese Lion Dance performance.

Denver Museum of Nature and Science

Do your kids love dinosaurs? You shouldn’t miss the opportunity to see gorgeous fossils on display. Every year, the Denver Museum of Nature & Science sets a schedule for “Community Free Days”, where anyone can get in free of charge. If you’re a teacher, large school groups are not allowed to go on Community Free Day.

Hammond’s Candy Factory

Satisfy your sweet tooth with a tour of Hammond’s Candy Factory, located on N. Washington Street in Denver. The free tour lasts for roughly 30 minutes, and a new one starts every hour.

If you have a group smaller than ten people, feel free to just show up during their regular hours, Monday-Friday from 9 am to 3 pm. If you’re bringing a big group, be sure to call ahead. Not only is this tour a lot of fun, but it’s very educational for children. 

The best part of the tour? You get free candy samples!

Colorado National Parks

If you planned a vacation to the state of Colorado, you can’t leave without a trip to one of their beautiful National Parks. They are some of the most beautiful things to visit by far and they all have free entrance days, no matter which National Park you happen to visit. Enjoy the great outdoors with your family, and take in all that Earth has to offer. Colorado also has many national monuments and national heritage areas.

Movies in the Park

All summer long, the city of Denver has free entertainment scheduled in their parks. Opening acts include live bands and comedians, and when the sun goes down, they will start a movie. The best part? You can bring your own drinks and snacks, without spending any money. Just be sure to get there early, since seats fill up fast.

City Park Jazz

Every Sunday in June and July has free live jazz bands playing outside in City Park. Performances start at 6 pm, and there is a new band each week. Bring your own lawn chairs, snacks, and drinks for this family-fun event.

Free Brewery Tours

The Great Divide Brewing Co. and Wynkoop Brewing Co. are two of the breweries in Denver that offer free tours on a daily basis. If you have a car available to drive, then you’re in luck, because Colorado has tons of them. One of the most famous breweries, Anheuser-Busch, is located in Fort Collins, Co., which is a little over an hour away from Denver.

Bon Voyage!

Are you looking for more free things to do on your next vacation? Check out our other tips for saving money on travel.

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Shannon Quinn: Shannon Quinn is an entrepreneur and writer from the Greater Philadelphia area. If you want to see more of her work, you can find her on Twitter @ShannQ.