We all know that Denver is a great city to live in, but the daily grind can quickly spawn a blasé attitude toward one’s hometown. Do you only partake in “tourist” activities when friends or family come to visit? Or perhaps you drive by the Mint on your way to work every day but have never actually been inside. Or maybe technology has led you to ignore the fact that brick-and-mortar public libraries still exist. Maybe you’re thinking you need a vacation away from the city this summer, but you’d rather put that money toward a down payment on your dream home. Lucky for you, Denver is the perfect place for a budget-friendly staycation. Despite the cost of living climbing continuously, there are still plenty of free activities to enjoy. Here are some of our favorites:
- The Denver Botanic Gardens offer free entrance days nearly once a month at both the York Street and Chatfield Farms location.
- Pack a picnic basket or go for a walk at one of Denver’s many parks.
- Venture just a few miles outside city limits to the Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge. Entrance is free, as is your participation in their nature programs, wildlife viewing tours, and kids activities.
Sports & Fitness
- Lace up your running shoes or hop on your bike and sweat your way across Denver’s extensive network of urban trails. You’ll experience the most scenic areas of the city all while getting in a good workout.
- Civic Center Moves offers free year-round fitness classes. If you’re an early riser, try the 5:30 a.m. high intensity workout. If you find yourself hitting snooze most mornings, no worries — there are after-work slots, as well.
- Gym chains like Anytime or 24 Hour Fitness usually offer a 7-day free trial, and even some of the luxury gyms will let you test them out for a few days with no obligation to sign up for a membership.
- Travel through the history of our state’s athletic accomplishments at The Colorado Sports Hall of Fame Museum housed at Mile High Stadium. Kids get to dress up in team jerseys and dream of the day they’ll wear one with their own name on the back.
- Have a passion for helping others and an athletic skill you’d like to share? Get in touch with the National Sports Center for the Disabled. Over 1,300 volunteers help out year-round and have fun while doing it!
- If you’re not the sporty type but still want to give back, VolunteerMatch.org can pair you with a cause you’re passionate about, whether it be animal rescue, youth mentoring, or giving manicures to hospice patients.
- First Friday Art Walk – Every first Friday of the month, several art districts throughout the city offer free tours and shuttle service.
- Denver Art Museum – Why stop after a First Friday Art Walk, when you can pick up where you left off the next morning at the Denver Art Museum’s Free First Saturdays?
- Cherry Creek Art Festival – Taking place July 1-3, this year’s festival features 260 artists, live music, workshops, pop-up performances, and more.
- Colorado Dragon Boat Festival – Cheer on racing dragon boats, learn ancient martial arts techniques, and chant with Buddhist monks as they awaken the dragon to kick off the weekend festivities. The 2017 festival will be held on July 29 and 30 at Sloan’s Lake.
- City Park Jazz – Starting in June, grab a blanket and your picnic basket and head over to City Park on Sunday nights to enjoy a free jazz concert.
- Outdoor Movies –Skyline Park, Civic Center Park, and Founders Green all host free movie screenings throughout the summer.
- State Capitol Tour – Free tours are held daily on weekdays. No need to reserve if there are fewer than 10 people in your group.
- Mint Tour – Tours take place from Monday through Thursday with free tickets available each day starting at 7 a.m. Get there early before they run out!
- Walking Tours – From May through October, show up at The Veteran’s Memorial at 10 a.m. on any given day for a free walking tour.
- Denver Public Library – Peruse the calendar for free events, or get yourself a library card, check out a book, and go read it under a tree.
Food & Drink
- Hammond’s Candies allows visitors to come see for themselves how workers have been handcrafting every single piece of candy since 1920.
- Divino Wine & Spirits and Mondo Vino have free weekly wine tastings — a great way to try before you buy!
- Wynkoop and Great Divide Brewing Co. give free tours of their facilities where visitors learn about their beer-making process. You can also opt for a self-guided walking tour of the city’s numerous breweries by using one of Denver Brewery Guide’s maps.
Education & Workshops
- REI offers free classes such as Bike Maintenance, Backpacking Basics, How to Climb a 14er, and Yoga for Outdoor Enthusiasts. Spots fill up quickly, so reserve early!
- Denver Urban Garden will guide you through a two-hour workshop on backyard composting. Be ready to get your hands dirty!
Now that you have plenty of reasons not to dip into your dream home fund for this summer’s vacation, let us help you see how far those savings will get you towards finding your new dwelling. Fill out our contact form or give us a call at 720-935-0412.