Fun Things to do in Denver
Denver, city and county, capital of Colorado, U.S., at the western edge of the Great Plains, just east of the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains. The city and county were consolidated as a single administrative unit in 1902. Denver lies at the junction of Cherry Creek and the South Platte River. Its elevation (5,280 feet [1,609 metres] above sea level at the State Capitol), which gives it the nickname Mile High City, and a mild, sunny, dry climate are distinctive characteristics.
Best time to go
The best times to visit Denver are April through May and September through October. The city's shoulder seasons are characterized by comfortable temperatures, fewer tourists and lower accommodation prices than the summer high season.
Fun city facts and activities
- Denver. If you're not from Denver, what does the name mean to you? Home of the Broncos perhaps? The fact that it's located 5,280ft above sea level? (That's exactly one mile.) Or that it boasts 300 days of sunshine each year..? Did you know that the city that has 10th largest downtown area in the nation also has a lot more on offer than you might imagine..?
Denver, Colorado, perfectly combines epic sports, tasty eats, high-class art and the great outdoors (with a couple dozen dispensaries and breweries thrown in) into one amazing city. To make the most of your time in the Mile High City, peruse our list of the very best things to do in Denver right now.
From unique museums and craft-booze crawls, to top-notch restaurants and outdoor adventures, Denver offers a little something for everyone (with no shortage of awesome things to do). And don't just think Colorado ski resorts are the only reason to fly into Denver: This erstwhile mining settlement is also one of the country's best bachelor party destinations and a bona fide cultural hub. So make a reservation at one of the best hotels in Denver and start planning your trip!
Neighborhoods to explore
- Capitol Hill
- Denver locals have the work-hard-play-hard lifestyle nailed and it's that philosophy which shines through in the explosion of restaurants, things to do, cafes and food hall collectives. Plus, the ongoing revitalization of downtowns perimeter neighborhoods like Lower Highland (LoHi) and River North (RiNo) continues to attract ambitious new culinary projects, which in turn pushes longtime pioneers to strengthen their commitments to patrons.
The result is a city chock-full of restaurants that work tirelessly to perfect the seasonal and farm-to-table ethos that Colorado is known for. It makes for a culinary scene thats delightfully playful, for both visionary chefs and exploratory diners. From nationally recognized fine-dining staples to sexy rooftop it-crowd destinations to mega-trendy shipping containers-turned-marketplace-foodie stalls and hip brunch spots, eating out here has never been more delicious.
Denver Offbeat activities
Free or cheap things to do
1. Go on a Denver Ghost Tour Denver has a long, storied history and a few ghost stories to tell. Join a guided ghost tour to learn about the citys haunted past.
2. Visit the Denver Art Museum Explore the worlds largest collection of Native American art and discover the many exhibitions and displays in the expansive museum.
3. Take a Graffiti Tour Tour the streets of Denver with a local graffiti artist and learn about the citys street art scene.
4. Play Disc Golf Disc golf is a popular sport in Denver and there are a few courses to choose from.
5. Watch a Movie at the Alamo Drafthouse Enjoy a movie with a twist at the Alamo Drafthouse. The theater offers a variety of food and drinks, as well as a lively atmosphere.
6. Go to a Drive-In Movie Denver has several drive-in movie
Raleigh seasonal activities
Activities for every season
1. Enjoy the Outdoors: Raleigh has a wealth of outdoor activities including hiking and biking trails, parks, lakes, and rivers. Enjoy a picnic, a leisurely stroll, or an invigorating bike ride.
2. Visit the Museums: Raleigh boasts a wide variety of museums, including the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences, the North Carolina Museum of History, and the North Carolina Museum of Art.
3. Attend a Festival: Raleigh hosts a range of festivals throughout the year, from the North Carolina State Fair to the International Bluegrass Music Festival.
4. Shop at the Farmer's Market: Visit the State Farmers Market for fresh fruits and vegetables, flowers, honey, and more.
5. Go to the Drive-In: The Raleigh Road Outdoor Theater, the only drive-in theater in the Triangle area, features classic and new releases.
6. See a Show: Catch a live show at the Red Hat Amphithe
Fun things to do in with kids
Free or cheap things to do
1. City Park
Spend the day at City Park, which includes two lakes, monuments, two playgrounds, and picnic sites. It's also home to some of the city's biggest attractions, like the Denver Museum of Nature and Science and the Denver Zoo. It tops our charts for fun things to do in Denver with the kids!
2. Denver Art Museum
Admire the masterpieces inside the Denver Art Museum. Its Martin Building has undergone a full restoration and renovation and is almost ready for its close-up, reopening to the public in October 2021. Admission for youth ages 18 and younger is FREE at all times. Stop by the visitors' services desk to pick up activity cards to guide your visit.
3. Hit the Slopes
What's a story about Colorado without mention of its world-class skiing? While you have to get out of Denver to hit the hills, you don't have to go far. Loveland Ski Area is just over 50 miles west and there are plenty of other options, too. Want to hit the slopes in the offseason? Try Snobahn where its revolving slopes are like ski treadmills with "snow-like surfaces" that allow for perpetual skiing. Lessons, parties, and summer camps are all available.
4. Denver Selfie Museum
Teens and tweens go crazy for this offbeat Denver art museum where snapping selfies is the whole point. Room after room of Instagram backgrounds await. All you need to bring is a camera and a smile.
5. Denver Zoo
See the animals at the Denver Zoo, which has more than 3,600 critters under its care. In the midst of its 125th-anniversary celebration, the Denver Zoo is improving every day, and there's always something new to see. A trip to its Tropical Discovery exhibit brings you up close with a brand new 22-foot sloth tree. Budding veterinarians will be thrilled with a trip to the 22,000 square foot Helen and Arthur E. Johnson Animal Hospital, where visitors can witness vets at work in a pair of treatment rooms from a bank of windows in the lobby. Educational programs and animal encounters are hosted at multiple exhibits daily, letting visitors get up closewith safety top of mindto the zoo's animals.
6. Buckhorn Exchange
Eat at Denver's oldest steakhouse, Buckhorn Exchange, where the menu offers a taste of adventure and wild game, including elk and buffalo. The old-west setting is family-friendly, but this Denver restaurant's prices are a little high, which makes it a good pick for a special occasion.
7. Casa Bonita
See what the fuss is about at Casa Bonita, and yes, I'm talking about that Casa Bonita, recently rescued from bankruptcy by the South Park creators themselves. There's really not one way to describe this establishment. It's part restaurant and part theme park where you'll find cliff divers, arcade games, stage shows, and live musicians...and below-average food (to put it nicely).
8. Check out Denver's Foodie Scene
Burrito-loving families will be happy to know the original Chipotle is still in business near the University of Denver, and sub enthusiasts can grab a hoagie from the first Quiznos in the Capitol Hill neighborhood. And there are many other local Denver restaurants to choose from that focus on fresh, farm-to-table offerings.
9. Hammond's Candy Factory
For kids with a sweet toothso, every kidHammond's Candy Factory is the place to go. The factory offers FREE tours where guests can see how candy canes, ribbon candies, and lollipops are shaped by hand. Tours run twice an hour Tuesdays through Saturdays, and they last about 30 minutes.
10. Celestial Seasonings
The well-known tea brand is headquartered just outside of Boulder and visitors can take a tour (in non-COVID times). Go behind the scenes to get a look at its operation and enjoy the sensory overload of the Mint Room. When you're done, visit the Tea Shop and Cafe for a soothing souvenir.
City data and FAQ
Is Denver a good place to visit?
I like Denver. The mountains are close, there are wonderful restaurants, art museums. My biggest problem with Denver is the traffic, it can be horrendous at certain times. It also helps I have a lot of family along the front range from Windsor to Denver.
Lucy Shupe - Lives in Wyoming (1956 Present)
Do you need a car to visit Denver?
If you are going to stay in the city center of Denver then you could get away without a car. But it is a pretty boring city. If you want to explore the foothills of the Rockies or head up into the mountains you are going to need a car. There are plenty of places to rent a car. Just shop around.
Jon Shore - Lives in Riga, Latvia & Italy
Not necessarily, but it could be helpful to have one. A lot depends on what you are going to do, and where you are going to go while here. The RTD system is good, not great, and there are cabs and Lyfts and Ubers, plus Lime scooters and bikes. There are ways around not having a car in Denver.
Steven Stevenson Lives in Denver, CO
Not necessarily because public transportation is pretty good. It doesn't run 24 hrs (some lines run until like 3am though) so you may find that you need and Uber. Use the train when you can because it's a lot faster. There is a free shuttle that runs up and down the 16th Street Mall downtown and the train has stops in downtown as well. If you're going to a Rockies game there will be shuttles that go to Coors Field.
You can even catch a bus in from DIA if your hotel doesn't have a shuttle available.
Cheryl Williams Lived in Denver, CO (1994 2001)
If you are just visiting the Denver Metro Area, there are ways to get around without car. Denver has light rail trains that can get you in and out of the city. There will likely be taxi cabs at the airport, just like any city. If you want to go into the Rocky Mountains you may want a rental car.
However, f you want to go into the mountains and stay at a resort there are private shuttles that will take you to hotels in Summit County, Aspen, and Winter Park. The fees are not too bad.
Bruce Aldridge Lives in Denver, CO (1957 Present)
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