Looking for ultimate things to do in Denver, Colorado? Whether you’re a local or a visitor, Denver’s vibrant city has something for everyone. From outdoor adventures to indoor attractions, historical landmarks to modern marvels, and family-friendly activities to nightlife options, Denver offers a diverse range of experiences.
In this blog post, we’ve curated a list of 15 can’t-miss things to do in Denver, Colorado. Explore stunning natural beauty, delve into the city’s rich cultural heritage, and immerse yourself in the thriving arts and entertainment scene. Discover the best places to visit, things to see, and experiences that will make your trip unforgettable. Let’s dive in and explore the exciting things to do in Denver!
How many days do you need to see Denver?
Deciding how long to stay in Denver depends on your preferences, budget, and plans. We suggest spending three to four days exploring the city’s main attractions and soaking in its vibe. It has a lot of things to do in Denver, and you wouldn’t want to miss its highlights. If you have more time, consider extending your stay to visit nearby destinations like the Rocky Mountains, Boulder, Colorado Springs, or Fort Collins, all just an hour or two away by car, offering scenic and adventurous options.
For the best weather and fewer crowds, plan your visit from April to May or September to October. However, Denver welcomes visitors year-round, with options for snow sports, hiking trails, festivals, and more. Enjoy your time discovering the diverse activities the city has to offer!
What are some fun facts about Denver, Colorado?
Here are some fun facts about Denver, Colorado, that you may not know – perfect for planning your things to do in Denver:
- Denver has 300 days of sunshine per year, more than San Diego or Miami.
- Denver is home to the largest city park system in the country, with over 200 parks and 29,000 acres of land.
- Denver is the birthplace of the cheeseburger. The trademark was awarded to Louis Ballast of the Humpty Dumpty Drive-In in 1935.
- Denver is the only city in history to turn down the Olympics. The city was awarded the 1976 Winter Olympics, but the voters rejected it due to environmental and financial concerns.
- Denver has the largest airport in the country, and the second largest in the world. It covers 53 square miles and has six runways.
- Denver has a 16th Street Mall, a pedestrian-only street that runs for a mile in the heart of downtown. It has over 200 shops, restaurants, and bars, and a free shuttle bus that runs every few minutes.
Here is the List of Things to Do in Denver, Colorado
Now that you have learned some interesting facts about Denver, these are some of the best and most popular activities that you can enjoy in this city, regardless of your age, interests, or budget. You will find a mix of outdoor and indoor options, historical and modern attractions, cultural and recreational experiences, and more. So, without further ado, here are 15 can’t-miss things to do in Denver, Colorado:
1. Denver Art Museum
If you’re on the lookout for awesome things to do in Denver, don’t miss a visit to the Denver Art Museum – it’s a cultural hotspot boasting over 70,000 artworks. And for those craving a cosmic adventure, head over to the Denver Museum of Nature & Science. Picture this: a 125-seat Gates Planetarium, where the universe unfolds in spectacular fashion.
Plus, there’s a 440-seat Phipps IMAX Theater that’ll turn your visit into an out-of-this-world experience – things to do in Denver just got a lot more cosmic! From dino bones to mummies and a global animal roll call, it’s a Denver delight you won’t want to skip!
2. Denver Botanic Gardens
For a chill city escape, hit up the Denver Botanic Gardens—it’s like a 24-acre plant paradise in the heart of Denver. With over 15,000 plant species doing their green thing, it’s a chill-out zone for nature buffs. Get ready to roam through cool spots like the Japanese Garden, Rock Alpine Garden (rock on!), Water Garden (splash alert!), Mordecai Children’s Garden (kid-approved), and the Science Pyramid (because who doesn’t love a good pyramid?).
Throughout the year, they even throw in concerts and art shows – talk about plants with pizzazz! So, if you’re on the lookout for tranquil and leafy things to do in Denver, this garden getaway is a no-brainer!
3. MCA Denver
Embark on a Denver artistic escapade at MCA Denver—where things to do in Denver get a seriously creative makeover. This trendy hub is an art haven, showcasing a wild mix of local, national, and global talents. Immerse yourself in exhibitions that span paintings, sculptures, videos, and more—it’s an art buffet, really. Engage in performances, soak up wisdom in lectures, and get hands-on in workshops to level up your artsy game.
And let’s not forget the museum’s eco-chic vibe—it’s the first LEED-certified museum in the US, so you can enjoy art with an eco-friendly high five. Wrap it all up with mountain-meets-city views at the rooftop cafe. This isn’t just a museum visit; it’s a Denver art party!
4. Molly Brown House Museum
Uncover Denver’s time capsule at the Molly Brown House Museum—because the “fame game” insists this is a must-do on your things to do in Denver hit list. Step into the world of Margaret “Molly” Brown, the Titanic’s survivor turned superheroine. It’s not just a historic house; it’s a fame-filled voyage into Denver’s past.
With original furniture, artifacts, and Victorian flair, it’s practically a time machine minus the wonky physics. After this fame-packed history lesson, not putting it on your things to do in Denver list would be like skipping dessert. Molly Brown’s house: where history meets Hollywood-level fame!
5. Empower Field at Mile High
Feel the Denver buzz at Empower Field at Mile High—an absolute must-do on your things to do in Denver list. This stadium isn’t just a game-changer; it’s a game-day thrill fest where Broncos’ magic happens. Dive into the live game excitement, join the roaring crowd, and treat yourself to stadium luxuries. But here’s the real touchdown—take a tour and unveil the secrets of the locker rooms, press box, and even the Colorado Sports Hall of Fame.
The popularity of this place practically shouted, “You gotta be here!” So, dear reader, after soaking in its fame, trust us, you’ll want to add this exhilarating experience to your Denver checklist. It’s not just a stadium; it’s a Denver legend in the making!
6. Hiking near Denver
Craving adventure without breaking a sweat? Hiking near Denver is your go-to move, and trust us, it’s practically the Rocky Mountains saying, “You can’t resist this.” Whether you’re into a stroll with a view or a hardcore mountain conquering, Denver’s got trails for all stripes. Picture yourself in a nature-themed wonderland—forests, lakes, waterfalls, maybe even elk photobombing your selfie.
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Trails like Mount Bierstadt and Royal Arch are basically the celebs of the hiking scene. It’s like nature’s treadmill, but with better views and the chance of elk encounters. For every outdoor enthusiast, this is the things to do in the Denver jackpot! Lace up, hike-on, and thank us later!
7. Clyfford Still Museum
Dive into the weird and wonderful world of abstract art at the Clyfford Still Museum—because your “things to do in Denver” list just got a lot cooler. This place is a tribute to Clyfford Still, the Picasso of abstract expressionism.
It’s like stepping into the mind of a genius, with over 3,000 artworks that range from “What’s that?” to “Whoa!” You’ll get the lowdown on his quirks, his impact, and even the snazzy design of the museum itself. So, dear reader, the fame of this spot practically whispered, “Add it to your Denver to-do list—it’s an artsy adventure waiting to happen!”
8. Mount Evans Scenic Byway
Ready for a Rocky Mountain roller coaster ride? Buckle up and hit the Mount Evans Scenic Byway—it’s basically the Rocky Mountains saying, “Hold my altitude!” This road trip is no joke—it’s the highest paved road in North America, soaring to 14,130 feet. Picture yourself cruising through alpine awesomeness, catching glimpses of bighorn sheep playing hide-and-seek and mountain goats having their VIP mountain moments.
And oh, the views! From Rocky Mountains grandeur to the Denver skyline—it’s the kind of scenery that makes selfies jealous. So, fellow road warrior, add this high-altitude adventure to your things to do in Denver list. Trust us, it’s peak excitement!
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9. Denver Performing Arts Complex
Ready to sprinkle some entertainment magic? Dive into the Denver Performing Arts Complex, the showbiz giant boasting 10 venues and 10,000+ seats! It’s the Broadway of the Rockies, featuring local and global talents in a cultural circus of musicals, plays, operas, and more. The architecture is so fancy, even the bricks do jazz hands.
Plus, there’s a smorgasbord of restaurants and shops for your post-show munchies and swag needs. Don’t miss out; this place is Denver’s answer to boredom. So, after this cultural rollercoaster, your to-do list needs a fancy check mark, trust us!
10. Denver Art Street
Prepare for an artsy escapade at the Denver Art Street—a hip and happening spot that’s practically the Picasso of street scenes in Denver. Dive into the RiNo neighborhood and discover 100+ murals that are like a party for your eyeballs. It’s street art and graffiti, but like, on a caffeine buzz.
Each mural spills the beans on the community’s vibe, and trust me, it’s way cooler than your neighbor’s BBQ. For the full scoop, snag a guided tour or workshop—because understanding the art of spray cans is practically a superpower. Add this explosion of color to your things to do in Denver list—it’s practically begging for a high-five!
11. Denver Beer Festival
Calling all beer enthusiasts! Prepare your taste buds for a frothy fiesta at a Denver Beer Festival—a no-brainer for anyone who appreciates the finer things in life, like hops and happiness. Denver, aka the beer capital of the US, hosts epic fests that are practically Olympic-level for beer lovers. Imagine a magical land where over 100 breweries come together, sharing their liquid masterpieces.
It’s like Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory, but for adults and with more hops. Dive into Denver’s beer culture with events like the Great American Beer Festival—because why settle for an ordinary pint when you can have a beer adventure? Add it to your things to do in Denver list and get ready for a hoppy good time!
12. Downtown Aquarium
For all the aquatic aficionados out there, brace yourselves for the Downtown Aquarium—a Denver hotspot that’s basically a sea symphony. With a million gallons of water and a cast of characters ranging from sharks to swimming Sumatran tigers (yes, you read that right), it’s a fin-tastic experience. Forget the stereotypes; these tigers are the Michael Phelps of the feline world.
Dive into the Swim with the Fish and Dive with the Sharks programs—because who wouldn’t want a fishy selfie? This aquarium isn’t just about critters; it’s a water-themed journey along the Colorado River and a detour to Indonesia’s Kampar River. Popularity alert: this is a things to do in Denver must-add!
13. Meow Wolf’s Convergence Station
Prepare for an art extravaganza at Meow Wolf’s Convergence Station—a mind-bending experience that’s basically the Avengers of art installations. Unveiled in 2021, it’s like Meow Wolf’s masterpiece on steroids. Picture a four-story wonderland where each level is a universe of its own—like art on a cosmic caffeine rush.
Engage with sculptures, lights, sounds, and tech that’ll make your brain do cartwheels. It’s like stepping into a cosmic choose-your-own-adventure where dimensions collide. If you’re into art and adventure, this is your Narnia. Trust us, Meow Wolf’s Convergence Station isn’t just a station; it’s the art-venture of a lifetime. Popularity alert: add it to your things to do in Denver” list, pronto!
14. Denver’s Cemeteries
Step into Denver’s history with a graveyard stroll—yes, you read that right, and no, it’s not as spooky as it sounds. Wander through the city’s cemeteries, where history gets a plot twist. Unearth the tales of influential figures who basically wrote Denver’s story. It’s like a time-traveling biography, but with more headstones.
Riverside, Fairmount, and Mount Olivet are the VIP cemeteries, where even ghosts appreciate good company. History buffs, this one’s for you; it’s like binge-watching the city’s heritage in a peaceful, tree-filled setting. Popularity alert: these cemeteries are practically Denver’s cool history book. Add it to your things to do in Denver list and get ready for a grave encounter!
15. Denver Zoo
Get ready to unleash your wild side at the Denver Zoo—a place so popular, even pandas wish they could snag a ticket. According to a super-official Visit Denver survey, it’s the city’s top-dog paid attraction. More than 2 million folks flock here each year, making it a zoo-celeb. Bear Mountain is like a bear’s version of MTV Cribs, and Predator Ridge is where hyenas and lions play the ultimate game of hide-and-seek.
Swing by Primate Panorama for a monkey business extravaganza. Pro tip: time your visit with feeding sessions—it’s like dinner and a show, but with way more fur! Popularity alert: add this zoo-nique experience to your things to do in Denver list. It’s basically the animal kingdom’s red carpet event!
We hope you enjoyed this post. Share it with friends and family, and let us know your thoughts in the comments. For questions, feel free to reach out. Thank you for reading, and have a wonderful day exploring the many things to do in Denver!
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What are some must-visit attractions in Denver?
Denver offers diverse attractions, including the Denver Art Museum, Red Rocks Amphitheatre, and Denver Botanic Gardens.
Are there outdoor activities near Denver?
Yes, explore outdoor activities like hiking in the Rocky Mountains, biking along Cherry Creek Trail, or enjoying city parks.
What is the best time to visit Denver?
The best times are spring (April to May) and fall (September to October) for mild weather and fewer crowds.
Are there family-friendly activities in Denver?
Absolutely! Visit the Denver Zoo, Children’s Museum, or explore interactive exhibits at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science.
How can I explore Denver’s art scene?
Visit the Denver Art Museum, MCA Denver, and explore the RiNo Arts District for street art.
What is the best way to get around Denver?
Denver has a bike-sharing program, light rail, buses, and rideshare options for convenient transportation.
What winter activities are available in Denver?
Enjoy skiing or snowboarding in the nearby Rocky Mountains or explore festive events during the holiday season.
Where can I find live music in Denver?
Check out concerts at Red Rocks Amphitheatre, the Bluebird Theater, or the Fillmore Auditorium.