Looking to have a fabulous time in Denver without breaking the bank? We here at When in ROAM are here to help! Here are some of the best money-saving activities to add to your to-do list the next time you find yourself in Denver.
1. Enjoy the great outdoors.
Being that Colorado is such a beautiful state, my number one priority is always to get outside as much as possible. And, as luck would have it, mother nature’s activities (such as hiking and biking) just so happen to be extremely inexpensive and easy to come by in the Denver area. Here are a few ways you can enjoy CO’s 300 days of sunshine without breaking the bank:
- Rent a bike with B-cycle. This Denver bike share is great for those on a tight budget. You can get a 24 hour bike rental pass for only $9! (Do be advised that you must check in the cycle every 30 minutes so as not to incur additional fees. But, you can check it into any dock in Denver so you’re still able to ride your hearts out!) You can map out your route prior to riding using the B-cycle app making it an easy, and cheap, way to explore the city. And don’t forget about the Cherry Creek Trail – Denver’s 42 mile long bike and jogging path – there are plenty of B-cycle docks to check into along the route.
- Go on a hike. Although you do have to get outside of the Denver city center to enjoy any hiking trails, there are plenty of paths within a 30 minute drive of Denver. One of my all time favorite scenic hikes is Red Rocks Trail which spans two parks – Red Rocks Park and Matthews/Winters Park (part of Jefferson County Open Space). This mild 6-mile loop is great for those getting acclimated to the altitude and wanting expansive rock formation views. If you’re looking for something a bit more challenging, Mesa Trail is the ticket. Located within Boulder’s city limits, Chautauqua Park is home to an elaborate trail system. Mesa Trail runs along the flatirons and foothills providing outstanding mountain views throughout the entire 13.4 mile in-and-back hike. The best part of both of these hikes is they are great in all seasons (just make sure you have proper footwear if there is snow on the ground).
- Enjoy a stroll around Washington Park. Or really, any park of your choosing! There are plenty of public parks wonderful for walking and people watching in the Denver area. Washington Park (again), City Park, and Cheeseman Park, are a couple to look out for. Most have paved paths surrounding each open area and both City Park and Wash Park have playgrounds if you want to relive your childhood on the swing set.
2. Experience Denver’s history.
When traveling to any city it’s important to experience the history and see the foundation it was built upon. And hey, we do have rainy days every once in a while so we can’t always be outdoors! If you’re in need of a break from the elements and are ready to take an active part in learning about Denver’s historic side, there are plenty of to-do’s on the cheap:
- Check out the Denver Zoo, Botanic Gardens, or one of the many museums on a free day. This 2017 calendar provides all of the dates for free museum entry on one compact web site. I love this page to assist with plans before traveling! My top three hot spots to get free entry – Denver Art Museum (DAM), Museum of Nature and Science, and the Botanic Gardens… don’t miss out!
- See how money is made on the Denver Mint Tour. Free tour tickets are passed out daily at the Tour Information Window located at the Gift Shop entrance off Cherokee Street. Tickets are provided for same-day tours only and are distributed until there are no longer tickets available. The Tour Information Window opens promptly at 7am with availability for six tour times throughout the day. Show up early to claim your coveted spot!
- One can never have enough money… After visiting the Denver Mint, trek over to the Federal Reserve where the Money Museum is located. This provides a more interactive take on paper bills and the history of currency. Again, no cost to the patron, but a photo ID is necessary to enter.
- Take a complimentary State Capitol Tour. Denver’s State Capitol building is smack dab in the center of the city making this option hard to pass up. Free public tours are offered on the hour Monday-Friday from 10:00am-3:00pm. Arriving early is necessary to reserve your place as they are on a first-come, first-served basis and are limited to the first 30 people that arrive.
Traveling to Denver doesn’t always mean go, go, go. Sometimes it’s nice to take a load off and relax. Whether that be a nice evening listening to live music, a casual loop around a favorite Farmer’s Market, or cozy-ing up in front of a big screen – here are a few other inexpensive ways to wind down and enjoy your time in Denver:
- Farmer’s Markets are popping up all over the Front Range! The three I would be sure and hit while in town are Cherry Creek’s Fresh Market, Union Station’s Saturday Market, and the newest Santa Rosa Farmer’s Market happening on Wednesdays inside the Wells Fargo Center immediately downtown.
- Attending a movie theater doesn’t have to be pricey: Elvis Cinemas prides itself on being “the best movie value in town.” With $3 tickets before 6:00pm and $4 tickets after 6:00pm. This is one affordable family outing.
- If you’re in the mood to listen to great tunes and not worry about paying a cover charge, the Levitt Pavilion has got you covered. Well into it’s first Denver season, Levitt Pavilion has proven to be an awesome evening out and a way to make date nights happen even on a budget. Bring your best picnic blanket, your favorite snacks, and friends or loved ones and you’ve got yourself a night out! Their calendar features locally and nationally renown artists of all sounds and genres.
4. Work up a sweat.
Seeing as Denver is known for it’s high levels of activity, there are plenty of ways to get a good sweat on for little to no money. Working out is a good way to interact with locals and get insights into Denver’s lifestyle and culture. Here’s how you can get fit while traveling without spending any dough:
- Attend a Civic Center MOVES class. Civic Center MOVES is a free fitness series located in Denver’s Civic Center Park. These workouts cater to all levels of activity and include everything from yoga to full body conditioning work outs. This initiative began as a way for Denver residents to utilize the centrally located park as well as to help Denverites get fit. All you need to do is print and sign this waiver and show up for class. See you there!
- Are you a yogi at heart? Corepower puts on an awesome summer series of free yoga events throughout the city. Want to get your ‘Om’ on in a brewery? That can be done. How about tree pose surrounded by trees? Check! Just look at this Corepower summer schedule for upcoming sessions that most appeal to you.
5. Drink it up.
Another favorite hobby while on vacation is drinking, because heck, you only live once! And boy, you know bevs can get expensive! Don’t worry, I’ve got ways to save even if you want to enjoy a cocktail or two. Here are some of the best deals you can find at Denver’s local watering holes:
- Enjoy Bremen’s Wine and Tap Happy Hour seven days a week. This outstanding new restaurant in Denver’s LoHi neighborhood does a ‘by the clock’ happy hour from 3pm-6pm meaning during the three o’clock hour happy hour drinks are $3, the four o’clock hour brings you $4 drinks and so on and so forth until HH ends. They’re also testing out a Sunday Funday special – $20 all you can drink – talk about deal of the century!
- What’s better than getting tipsy before noon? Bottomless mimosas are the best way to day drink on pennies to the dollar. My two recommendations to pop bubbly and sip orange juice are The Lobby and The Art, a hotel. Both have bottomless options available for weekend brunch.
For many more ways to ball out on a budget while in Denver, please visit When in ROAM where we can help create a personalized itinerary to aid in your best and most bargain-conscious vacation in Denver.