What Are the Best Things to Do in Denver, Colorado?
Denver, Colorado, is one of the greatest cities in the country and has plenty to offer for every traveler. From museums to gardens, zoos, restaurants, and more, Denver is the ideal destination for any trip. If you want to find fun things to do in Denver this weekend, take a look at our calendar of events. Or, if you are looking for budget-friendly attractions, check out all of the great free attractions in Denver! Explore our full list of options and read on to discover some of the best things to do in Denver, CO.
For even more recommendations on things to do in Denver, Colorado, be sure to download our free Vacation Guide to Denver! Use our guide for restaurant recommendations, ideas for day trips, indoor/outdoor excursions, and so much more. It will simplify your planning process and ensure you have a truly remarkable experience in the Mile High City.
The Absolute Best Things to Do in Denver, Colorado
Explore Fascinating Museums and Exhibits:
Denver Museum of Nature & Science
The Denver Museum of Nature and Science features many unique exhibits and an IMAX theater. The Egyptian exhibit and Exhibition Health are particularly worthwhile. Prehistoric Journey has been a staple of the museum for 25 years and has fossils from dinosaurs and other creatures. It’s a must-see exhibit when visiting the Denver Museum of Nature & Science. Make sure to plan for plenty of time when visiting the museum, because there is so much to see and experience!
Located right next to the Denver Museum of Nature and Science, the Denver Zoo houses over 3,800 animals from more than 650 different species. The museum champions conservation and safety for all of the animals. Enjoy exhibits featuring sea lions, African penguins, elephants, bears, and lions. You can take a guided tour or feel free to walk through and enjoy the wonders on your own.
Denver Art Museum
The Denver Art Museum is located in downtown and has over 68,000 pieces of unique artwork from around the world and from many different time periods. Be sure to view the wide range of Native American and Asian artwork collections. This museum is also kid-friendly with free admission for children!
Wings Over the Rockies Air & Space Museum
The Wings Over the Rockies Air & Space Museum is one of the best tourist attractions in Denver, Colorado. Opened in 1994, it is our state’s official air and space museum and provides exhibits explaining the history of the now-closed Lowry Air Force Base.
Denver Downtown Aquarium
This aquarium in Denver the one of the largest in the country and offers an upscale casual dining experience to visitors in addition to interesting exhibits. It’s a great opportunity for the entire family to see gorgeous and fascinating marine life right in downtown Denver!
Anyone with even a slight interest in currency or the process of minting American money will find the Denver Mint fascinating. The largest single producer of coins in the world, this mint has been in operation since 1906. Free Denver Mint tours are available by reservation.
Molly Brown House
Get acquainted with American philanthropist, activist, and socialite Molly Brown at the Molly Brown House in downtown Denver. This beautiful museum highlights Victorian Denver, architectural preservation, and the life of a woman who survived the sinking of the Titanic!
Denver Museum of Contemporary Art
The Denver Museum of Contemporary Art has been attracting visitors for over 20 years with its unique exhibits and events. You can find this hub of modern artwork and culture in downtown Denver. If you get hungry or thirsty, feel free to check out their rooftop cafe. Visitors who are 18 years-old and younger enjoy free admission!
Denver Firefighters Museum
The Denver Firefighters Museum serves as a fantastic attraction in the area. Visiting this museum supports their commitment to honoring past and present members of the Denver Fire Department. Here you can find various exhibits that provide information on their history and heroism. The museum is family-friendly, so feel free to bring everyone along!
Get Some Fresh Air With These Outdoor Activities:
Denver Botanic Gardens
Located minutes from downtown, the Denver Botanic Gardens is a state treasure. The gardens feature North America’s largest collection of plants from cold temperature climates around the world. There are seven distinct gardens that have plants specifically from Colorado, too. While here, take a stroll through great outdoor gardens with sculptures and water features. The gardens span over 24 acres and make for a great stop when you are in town!
Professional Sports Games
Denver is home to all four major sports teams including the NFL’s Denver Broncos, MLB’s Colorado Rockies, NBA’s Denver Nuggets, and the NHL’s Colorado Avalanche. During the summer, head to Coors Field on 16th and Blake to catch a Rockies game at one of the most scenic baseball stadiums in the country. The Rockies have one of the greatest attendance numbers in Major League Baseball, thanks to some of the best players in the game and the best view in town. Home to the Sandlot Brewery, there are also great dining options at the ballpark.
Red Rocks Amphitheatre
Denver, Colorado, is famous for being a great outdoor city, and there is plenty to do just outside of it as well. Head to the foothills to Red Rocks for a concert or just to enjoy the view. You can also make the short drive to Idaho Springs or Georgetown for a convenient day trip that will give you a nice taste of the mountains nearby.
Elitch Gardens Theme and Water Park
Spend a day at the Elitch Gardens Theme and Water Park, one of the best things to do with kids in Denver! Open May to October, this park is right in the middle of downtown Denver.
Little Dry Creek Trail
This hiking trail that follows Little Dry Creek offers some of the most scenic hiking in Denver! The trail intersects the Highline Canal Trail at Cherry Hills Village. Be sure to explore other hiking trails in the area to choose the right one for you, including some easy hikes in Denver!
Ski Resorts Near Denver
With plenty of ski resorts near Denver, there are lots of places to experience what Colorado is famously known for! People travel from all over to enjoy the amazing skiing and snowboarding in Colorado. Don’t delay! Make sure you check out one these amazing ski resorts near Denver: Loveland Ski Area, Arapahoe Basin, Keystone, Breckenridge, and Winter Park.
Enjoy the Many Things to Do in Denver at Night:
Shop at the 16th Street Mall
In the heart of downtown Denver, 16th Street Mall has everything from the finest restaurants to the best stores. There are over 300 stores and 50 restaurants to choose from here! Walk through the mall, grab a pedicab, or take a ride in one of the shuttles to experience it all. Visit this local favorite for some of the best shopping in Denver.
Dine at Local Restaurants and Bars
After spending the day shopping along the 16th Street Mall, enjoy pre-dinner drinks at the speakeasy Green Russell then head to dinner at Beast + Bottle on 17th Ave. Alternatively, if you spend a day at the Botanic Gardens, you can then easily head down the street for an excellent dinner at Atelier by Radex French Restaurant. Some of your adventures may take you near Lincoln Ave, where you can partake in drinks and live jazz music at Dazzle. To satisfy your night time sweet tooth, head to Sweet Action or Little Man Ice Cream for some of the best ice cream in the area. Many of our local restaurants feature outdoor patios for excellent dining, especially during the summer!
There are also many opportunities for romantic getaways in Denver. Be sure to look over our guide for date night ideas and the many romantic things to do.
The Best Nightlife in Denver
If you’re looking for a place to let loose, dance the night away, sing to your heart’s content, or game on, this list of Denver’s best nightlife is for you! Whether it’s a swanky bar, unique club, or an arcade, you’re in for a great night out at any of these top venues in the Mile High City.
If you’re looking for one of the best cowboy bars in Denver and in Colorado, look no further than the Grizzly Rose. This country western bar features several top touring acts along with a mechanical bull, line dancing, and more western fun. Some of the top performers frontline here including Garth Brooks, Faith Hill, Taylor Swift, Brooks & Dunn, and Willie Nelson. The Grizzly Rose also serves up the best BBQ in Denver!
This converted house of worship is now of the top nightclubs in Denver. The Church is the premier dance club in the Mile High City and attracts the top DJ’s in the nation. The best talent frequently performs at The Church offering patrons a top experience of nightlife in Denver.
The Tavern boasts one of the top rooftop bars in the country and is a popular destination in Denver. This is a great place to stop before, during or after Colorado Rockies games at nearby Coors Field. In fact, the rooftop overlooks Coors Field and is a great stop on game days. Featuring several floors, many TVs, a lounge area, two full bars, and more, the Tavern makes its name as one of the best bars in town.
The only champagne bar in Denver, Corridor 44 is a high-end stop during your nightlife tour of Denver. Featuring oversized chairs, chandeliers and more, Corridor 44 has great food and drinks that will make it a great place stop in Larimer Square.
The Cruise Room, located in the historic Oxford Hotel, is Denver’s first post-prohibition bar. The Art Deco style takes you back to the swanky days of the 1930s. A fantastic cocktail list and unique setting make this one of the top nightlife destinations in Denver.
Howl at the Moon
Right next to Coors Field is Howl at the Moon, a high-energy piano bar where you can sing and dance the night away. This fun Denver nightlife experience full of great drinks and music will have you going all night long. This bar features talented musicians and is sure to be a great stop for you and your friends.
Enjoy a drink and play one of the 45 classic arcade games featured at The 1-Up. This one-of-a-kind Denver nightlife venue resembles the old arcades in Portland and Brooklyn. There are 16 pinball machines and three lanes of classic Skee-Ball. 1-Up has plenty for everyone to do while having a great night out.
On a Budget? Try These Free Attractions in Denver!
Denver hosts tons of world-class festivals every year, with most of them being free to the public. Whether you’re in town celebrating a holiday or a quick summer trip, the Mile High City has something unique for everyone!
Cherry Creek Arts Festival
The Cherry Creek Arts Festival gives guests a taste of fabulous art exhibitions, culinary tastings, and live music. Admission is free to this Fourth of July weekend celebration, providing top-notch entertainment for adults and kids.
Colorado Dragon Boat Festival
Locals and visitors commemorate Asian-American culture at the Colorado Dragon Boat Festival.
Watch Dragon Boat races, sample cuisine from around the world, and enjoy authentic entertainment at Sloan Lake Park!
City Park Jazz
Feel the rhythm at the City Park Jazz summer-long concert event! Ten free jazz concerts offer guests a great outdoor atmosphere in beautiful City Park.
Museums and Galleries
The extensive list of museums and galleries around the Mile High City have free entry days every month. While the schedule changes every year and depends on the attraction, this is a great way to get a taste of the fascinating exhibits and sights around Denver.
In addition to the Denver Mint Museum’s free tours, there are a couple of other excellent options that offer guests an authentic taste some of Colorado’s finest beverages.
Coors Brewery Tour
The nationally acclaimed Coors Brewery is about a 25-minute ride outside of downtown in Golden, CO. Coors provides guests with exceptional free tours of the facility, highlighting the history of the brewery, how they brew their beer and a free sampling session at the end!
Celestial Seasonings Tea Tasting Tour
If you are looking for something a little less heavy, Celestial Seasonings offers free tea tours of their headquarters only 45 minutes north of Denver in Boulder, CO. Learn about the tea making process, from raw ingredients to finished products, and experience several attractions within the facility.
Experience All of This and More When You Stay at Castle Marne!
After finding everything you want to see and do in Denver, complete your getaway by booking one of our stunning Victorian-style guest rooms! Stay at our historic inn to experience elegant accommodations in a convenient location. Our beautiful bed and breakfast in downtown Denver is a wonderful alternative to hotels and will allow you to easily explore all the great activities and attractions nearby. Check our availability and book now!
Don’t forget to request your free Vacation Guide for more detailed information on things to do, attractions to see, and local events to attend!