Denver – Free Activities

Located at the foot of the Rocky Mountains, Denver is one of the sunniest places you can visit in the country. Averaging 300 days of sunshine each year, there are plenty of chances to explore the Colorado capital in great weather. Step aside Florida, there’s a new Sunshine State!

From historic 19th century buildings to beautiful scenery, you definitely won’t run out of things to do. The best part? You won’t break your budget, as all of the activities listed here are free. Use this guide to help you decide what costless adventures to go on while in Denver.


City Park

Denver has no shortage of free parks to hang out in. A great one is City Park, Denver’s main urban park and one of its oldest public spaces. It was modeled after Central Park in New York City, and has enough activities to make the Big Apple proud.

City Park offers ample picnic areas, walking trails, and children’s playgrounds all within a mile-long area. If you brought your fishing pole with you, there are two lakes on site.

If you’ve enjoyed your time out in the sun, the Denver Zoo and Museum of Science and Nature are nearby. But if you don’t want to dip into your budget, wait until the afternoon when the lawns are filled with recreational sports games. From flag football to kickball, feel free to join one of these teams for a little friendly competition.


The Colorado State Capitol Building

DenverDenver sits one mile above sea level, appropriately earning the nickname the Mile High City. To get to the exact 5,280-foot mark, head to the Colorado State Capitol Building. When you reach the 13th step you’ll see a brass medallion engraved with a silhouette of the Rocky Mountains symbolizing that you’ve made it. Keep climbing the 99-step staircase to reach an open-air deck, which provides a jaw-dropping view of the city skyline and the Rocky Mountains.

But wait! There are even more reasons why you should visit the Capitol. For one thing, it’s on the National Register of Historic Places, evidenced by breathtaking architecture such as stained glass and yule marble elements.

Inside the Capitol you’ll find complimentary guided tours, visitor galleries, and exhibits. They detail the building’s history and the inner workings of the state’s government. Welcoming more than 300,000 visitors annually, the Colorado State Capitol Building is a must-see while in Denver.


Hammond’s Candies Factory

Got a sweet tooth? Or two? Tour Hammond’s Candy Factory to get the inside scoop of what it takes to run a candy business even Willy Wonka himself would be proud of.

Hammond’s started making delicious treats in 1920 and has since went on to become a name that’s recognized around the world. Known for their candy canes and infused chocolate, Hammond’s prides themselves on making the highest quality of candy.

Go behind the scenes at Hammond’s on a free, 30-minute guided tour of the facility. Learn how the company bakes, molds, and cuts their candy while viewing factory operations on large video screens. With plenty of free samples to take home, you’ll be leaving with a smile on your face and your hands full of some of the sweetest treats in Denver.


Tattered Cover Book Store

Calling all bookworms! If you’re a reading junkie, Tattered Cover Book Store should be high up on your list of places to check out. It’s built its way up to become one of the largest independent bookstore chains in the United States. First opened in the Cherry Creek North district in 1971, the bookstore now has three neighborhood locations around Denver, including LoDo, East Colfax, and Highlands Ranch.

With a wide array of books to choose from, each bookstore serves as a friendly gathering space in their community. They host storytimes for children, themed events on Fridays, free book signings, and more.

If you’re looking for a laid-back day, Tattered Cover Bookstore is the perfect place to rest your feet while sipping something warm from their café.


Red Rocks Park and Amphitheatre

DenverWant to take the scenic route? Red Rocks Park and Amphitheatre is the perfect way to take in the natural beauty of Colorado.

Built into a natural rock structure, the amphitheatre has hosted some of the world’s most beloved artists, including The Beatles. Feel free to roam the 10,000-seat arena at your leisure, although you’ll have to dig up some cash if you want to see a concert later that night. If you’re feeling up for it, join the joggers and athletes that use the stairs as an exercise course.

There are two trails at Red Rocks Park you can wander along, including sections for mountain bikes and horseback riding. Head into the Red Rocks Visitor Center before you start your trek for a free, interactive tour of the amphitheatre’s history. Also inside the park is the Colorado Music Hall of Fame, which honors the state’s notable musicians. No matter what adventure you find at Red Rocks, you’re guaranteed to have a great time.


Denver Money Museum

Ever had millions of dollars sitting in front of you? If you’re looking for a wealth of knowledge, visit the Denver Money Museum to learn how the nation’s financial system operates.

It won’t cost you a penny to learn about money. The museum is open for walk-in visitors to take free, self-guided tours. Design your own currency and see if you can determine a real $20 from a counterfeit one! Along with these fun activities you’ll learn about the functions of the Federal Reserve and can check out currency dating back to when America was first founded.

Don’t forget to grab a souvenir bag of shredded money when you leave!


Denver Walking Tours

DenverIf you’re feeling ambitious and want to explore as much of Denver as possible, take advantage of a free guided tour of the city. Led by expert guides over the course of two hours, Denver Walking Tours gives you an in-depth look at the Mile High City.

The tour hits all of Denver’s well-known spots, starting at the Capitol building and ending at Union Station. Along the way you’ll stop by the Denver Art Museum, Larimer Square, and 16th Street Mall. Tours take place rain or shine, with reservations only needed for groups of seven or more.

Participants of all ages are welcomed on this low-difficulty walking tour, spanning 1.7 miles of flat ground with plenty of stops. The guides are trained in working with young kids, so feel free to bring your whole family!