80+ Fun, FREE & Low Cost Things to Do in Colorado This Summer!
Happy Summer, y'all! June is officially here, which means it's time for my annual Fun, Free & Low-Cost summertime roundup! I had a ton of fun putting together last year's calendar of events, and 2017 was even more delightful. The downloadable calendar is ready and waiting at the end of this post! Everything you need can be found right here, so feel free to scroll; from festivals and fairs to summer reading and DIY workshops, you've got the makings of a great summer!
Festivals & Fairs
Cherry Blossom Festival: June 24th & 25th
South Platte Riverfest: June 24th & 25th
Cherry Creek Arts Festival: July 1st-3rd
Independence Eve: July 3rd
Park Hill 4th of July Parade: July 4th
Colorado Black Arts Festival: July 7th
Meet in the Street: Saturdays, July 8th-August 26th from 11am to 6pm
Mile High Global Bazaar: July 14th-16th
Slow Food Nations: July 14th-16th
Denver County Fair: July 21st-23rd
Cheesman Park Art Festival: July 29th-30th
Jackalope Indie Artisan Festival: July 29th-30th
Colorado Dragon Boat Festival: July 29th-30th
16th Street Fair: August 11th-12th
Sloan's Lake Art & Music Festival: August 12th-13th
Museums & Gardens
*Denver Museum of Nature & Science FREE Days: June 4th, August 6th & 28th
*Denver Art Museum FREE First Saturdays: July 1st, August 5th (Kids 18 & under are always free!)
Denver Botanic Gardens FREE Days: York Street: June 14th, July 17th, August 29th; Chatfield Farms: June 5th, July 15th, August 1st
Children's Museum of Denver (Marsico Campus) Target Tuesday Nights: FREE admission the first Tuesday of each month from 4pm-8pm! Summer dates are June 6th, July 11th & August 1st; Joy Park Free Nights: Free Admission to the Joy Park Exhibit ONLY every third Friday from 4pm-8pm. Summer dates are June 16th, July 21st, August 18th
Denver Money Museum: FREE admission every day Monday-Friday 9:30-4pm
*History Colorado Center: FREE admission in honor of Colorado Day, August 1st
Denver Firefighters Museum: FREE admission August 20th, 10am-4pm
*Denver kids ages 5-18 get FREE admission all year with the My Denver Card!
Pools, Splash Pads, Fountains, and More!
Denver Recreation Centers: FREE admission to indoor and outdoor pools for My Denver Card holders; Adults 25-64, $3.50; Young Adults 19-24, $3; Kids 1-18, $1; Seniors 65+ $2; Persons with Disabilities, $2
Confluence Park: FREE and a family favorite! Great for dipping toes in the water, watching kayakers navigate the rapids, and admiring the beautiful murals.
Wynkoop Plaza Fountain: FREE
Mordecai Children's Garden: FREE with admission to the York Street Denver Botanic Gardens (Head to the gardens on a free day and save)! Kids and adults alike can explore the six ecosystems on display, paying particular attention to the awesomeness of Pipsqeak Pond.
Bay Aquatic Center: Adults 18-59, $9; Kids 4-17, $7; Seniors 60+, $7 (This is in Broomfield, which is about 20-30 minutes from Denver, but I wanted to include it because it's a great place to spend a day!) Also offers discounted rates for Broomfield residents!
Cherry Creek State Park: Another favorite spot! Not free, but costs $9 for the day. Bring a picnic lunch, watch the boats go by, and bask in the sunshine!
Movies & Music
Monday Movie Madness at Infinity Park in Glendale: FREE outdoor movies alternating Mondays from June 26th-August 7th
Civic Center Cinema: Wednesdays from August 2nd-16th
Dine-In Movies at Elitch Gardens: FREE with admission every Friday from June 30th-August 4th (Definitely a splurge, but a great way to get the most bang for your buck!)
2017 Summer Film Series at Historic Elitch Gardens Theater: June 16th-August 25th; $5 for folks over 6; FREE for kiddos under 6 years
City Park Jazz: FREE concerts at City Park Sundays from June 4th-August 6th
Concerts on The Green in Stapleton: Alternating Saturdays from June 10th to August 12th
MoJaBlu Concert Series in Stapleton: Thursday evenings from June 15th-August 3rd
Farmers Markets & Food Trucks
South Pearl Street Farmers Market: Sundays from May 21st-November 19th, 9am-1pm
Union Station Farmers Market: Saturdays from June 3rd-October 28th, 9am-2pm
Cherry Creek Fresh Market: Saturdays from May 6th-October 28th, 8am-1pm; Wednedays from June 14th to September 27th, 9am-1pm
City Park Esplanade Fresh Market: Sundays from June 4th to October 29th, 9am-1pm
Stapleton Fresh Market: Sundays from June 18th to October 15th, 8:30am-12:30pm
Civic Center EATS: Wednesdays & Thursdays through October 5th, 11am-2pm
Classes & Tours
Home Depot Workshops for Kids: Usually the first Saturday of each month, starting June 3rd
Michael's Kids' Classes & Camps: Beginning June 3rd, starting at $2 per class/per child
Celestial Seasonings Tea Tour: Monday-Friday, 10am-4pm; Saturdays, 10am-4pm; Sundays, 11am-3pm
The Money Museum: FREE tours Monday-Friday, 9:30am-4pm
The Denver Mint: FREE tours Monday-Thursday, 8am-3:30pm
Denver Story Trek: FREE self-guided audio tours of Denver's history! Download 'em to your phone and bike/walk/drive around the sites.
The Best Kid-Friendly Hiking Trails
All smiles at Lair O' the Bear!
2017 Summer Reading Guide by Modern Mrs. Darcy: The kids aren't the only ones who should be reading this summer! Join in the fun with this awesome annual guide by one of my favorite bibliophiles, Anne Bogel of Modern Mrs. Darcy.
Adventures Outside of Denver
City SummerFest: June 1st-18th, Colorado Springs
INSPIRE Arts Week: June 1st-11th, Lakewood
Tesoro Living History Experience: Weekends, starting June 2nd-October15th, Morrison
Bands on the Bricks: June 7th-August 9th, Boulder
GoPro Mountain Games: June 8th-11th, Vail
Parker Days Festival: June 9th-11th, Parker
Creatura Psychedelica: June 10th, Greenwood Village
Rockin' Block Party: June 10th, Lakewood
Sand In the City: June 24th-25th, Arvada
Scandinavian Midsummer Festival: June 24th-25th, Estes Park
Evergreen Music Festival: July 4th, Evergreen
Biergarten Festival: July 7th-9th, Morrison
Copper Mountain Music Festival: July 7th-9th, Copper Mountain
Colorado Irish Festival: July 14th-16th, Littleton
Lavender Festival: July 15th, Littleton
Pearl Street Arts Fest: July 15th-16th, Boulder
Colorado Scottish Festival: August 4th-6th, Snowmass
Jeffco Fair and Festival: August 10th-13th, Golden
Colorado State Fair: August 25th-September 4th, Pueblo