You next family vacation doesn’t have to cost you a fortune. In fact, when you round up your crew and head to Denver, Colorado, you’ll get plenty of bang for your buck. Between exploring the local museums and romping around the red rock trails, there are free and affordable things to do in Denver with kids everywhere you look.
Whether you’re traveling with teens or tots, check out some of the best free activities and events in Denver that are perfect for the whole family—and your wallet.
1. Denver Art Museum
The Denver Art Museum offers free admission every first Saturday of the month. Adults will pay an admission fee any other day of the week, but children under 18 always get in free of charge. With more than 70,000 works of art, this museum is both educational and entertaining for the whole gang.
2. Denver Skatepark
Need a place where your teens can burn off some energy? Check out the Denver Skatepark. One of the best free things to do in Denver, this skatepark features 60,000 square feet of terrain for skateboarders, bikers, and bladers. Kick back and snap some pics of your kids on the ramps—or hop on some wheels and join them!
3. Washington Park
When it comes to family things to do in Denver without a price tag, check out Washington Park. Cast a line in Smith Lake, play a round of horseshoe, and bike along the scenic trails. You and your kiddos can easily spend the entire day playing around the flower gardens and picnicking along the lake.
4. City Park Jazz
Each year, City Park hosts free jazz concerts every Sunday between June and the beginning of August. For some major family fun in Denver, grab a spot on the lawn and dance the evening away. Dotsero, Hazel Miller, and Emma Mayes & The Hip are just a few of the musicians taking the stage this summer.
5. Red Rocks Trail at Red Rocks
Though technically located in nearby Morrison, the Red Rocks Trail belongs on your Denver to-do list. Showcasing the region’s magnificent red rock formations, this easy trail is ideal for visitors of all ages. While you’re here, check out the famous Red Rocks Amphitheater.
6. Hammond’s Candy Factory Tour
Get ready for a treat! Denver has been serving up Hammond’s sweets since 1920, and now you can get a taste of the goodies for yourself. Round up your kiddos and take a free tour of the candy factory, one of the top family activities in Denver. You’ll receive a behind-the-scenes look at how the local treats are made, and you’ll even get to sample some sweets, too!
7. Denver Mint
Ever wonder where our pennies, nickels, dimes, and quarters are produced? Visit Denver Mint to find out. This free and educational tour, open to visitors 7 years and older, provides a glimpse into the art of minting. Call ahead to make sure your visit coincides with when the coins are being made.
8. Denver Zoo Free Days
The Denver Zoo hosts several free days throughout the year. In 2019, the zoo offered several admission-free days in January, February, and November, so check the attraction’s website to plan in advance. On a normal day, children’s tickets are available at a reduced rate, while kids under the age of two get in for free. Additional discounts are available for seniors and visitors with a military ID.
Wondering about other ways to explore Denver on a budget? Take a look at these travel tips and go easy on your wallet:
- Plan a visit during January, spring, or autumn, when airfare tends to be the cheapest.
- Get a little spooky with a Downtown Denver Haunted Walking Tour, which is suitable for all ages.
- Tours don’t have to cost a fortune—join the 1 Hour LoDo Walking Tour.
- Venture outside of Denver! Explore the nearby attractions from the mountains to the arts.
- For more budget-friendly advice, check out our Denver travel guide.
Look into other fun things to do in Denver that won’t break the bank, and tell us about your favorite free and budget-friendly attractions in Mile High City.
Header image via Arina P Habich/Shutterstock.com