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Top-10 Most Interesting Free Things to Do in Denver

Denver is striking from the very first minutes – the extraordinary beauty of the city and the friendliness of the locals. Here people are always open for dialogue and are ready to help if the tourist needs help. On one side, there are Rocky Mountains, on the other one – High Plains, and between them – there is a great place Denver, the capital of Colorado, which rose to an altitude of more than 1600 meters above sea level. While in Los Angeles and San Francisco life was in full swing, the territory where Denver is now located was completely empty. They started to master it only in the middle of the XIX century. Perhaps because the lands of Colorado were difficult to access for the settlers, or maybe the settlers were simply afraid of the harsh climate in those places and the Indians? Are you interested and want to learn more about this place? Then, check the list of free things to do in Denver we have collected for you!


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Thing number 1: Look at the Capitol Building

The state capitol of Colorado is located in Denver, the capital of the state of Colorado. The Capitol Building holds meetings of the Colorado General Assembly, which includes:

  • the House of Representatives,
  • the Senate of the State of Colorado,
  • the office of the Governor of Colorado.

The Capitol building was built in the period from 1886 to 1894, during the construction of which Colorado white granite was used, and the dome was originally covered with copper plates, but a few years later copper began to oxidize, and the dome was covered with gold-plated plates in memory of the gold rush in Colorado. In 1949, 1980 and 1991, it was covered with gilding.

Interesting: Most of the windows are presented in the form of stained glass windows depicting people and events related to the history of Colorado, and in one of the rooms there is a gallery of portraits of all US presidents.

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Thing number 2: Have a Look at the Denver Clock Tower

The Denver Clock Tower is one of the symbols of Denver, located in the city center on 16th Street.

The tower was built in 1910 and was called the Daniels and Fisher Tower, because it was part of the Daniels and Fisher department store.

Some facts about the tower:

  • The building was designed by architect Frederick Sterner, modeled on the bell tower of St. Mark’s Basilica on St. Mark’s Square in Venice.
  • The 20-story tower has a clock on all four sides.
  • The tower is 99 meters (325 feet) tall.

During construction, the tower was the highest structure in the area between Mississippi and California. In 1958, the May Company bought a store from Daniels and Fisher and freed the tower.

In 1971, the shop was demolished, and the tower was preserved and restored. Since 1981, the upper floors of the tower are rented as offices. On the ground floor of the tower, there is the cabaret Lannies Clocktower.

Interesting: The tower was listed on the National Register of Historic Places of the USA at number 19.

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Thing number 3: Go to the 16 Mall Street

16 Mall Street is a pedestrian street located in Denver, Colorado. The 2-km street is home to:

  • more than 300 stores,
  • over 50 restaurants
  • and many other establishments.

This is the perfect place for all shopaholics. Here you will see a lot of street musicians, many of whom perform country and folk music. Dancers, actors, impressionists, comedians also use this district as the main place for performances. Although car traffic is prohibited in the street, there is still a free bus, which you can use to go sightseeing.

Interesting: If you can’t imagine your vacation without shopping, don’t pass by this place because here you will find branded clothes and many things that you will find nowhere else.

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Thing number 4: Go to Denver Zoo

Denver Zoo is the fourth most popular in the United States. It has become a house for rare animal species. Most of the animals are outdoors, but there are also warm rooms for them. One of them is a tropical forest, in which a tropical climate is artificially created.  In Denver, travelers are presented with a huge selection of attractions, many of them will be interesting to visit with the whole family.

Visiting Denver with children and not visiting Denver Zoo is not right. You should definitely go there and look at elephants, leopards, tigers, bears, giraffes, lizards, peacocks, penguins, parrots. There are many unusual animals that even adults will see for the first time, and children from an early age will discover the world of fauna and its unusual representatives. Spending a whole day here and not noticing how time will pass by is quite possible. Such walk will make your mood excellent and convenient route will help you to get around all the animals.

A visit to the Denver Zoo Zoo should be a must-see for the excursion program, and it is interesting to spend several hours in this large and well-kept zoo. In its spacious enclosures live giraffes, gorillas, birds of prey and other representatives of the exotic wildlife, and peacocks stroll along the paths of the zoo. The territory of the zoo is interestingly decorated, here among the beautiful trees and plants you can see a lot of original sculptures made of recycled garbage, playgrounds are equipped for visitors with children in the zoo.

Here, you will see:

  • over 700 animal species,
  • the most amazing trees,
  • beautiful flowers.

First, you may think what this place is doing in the list of free things to do in Denver. You will be pleasantly surprised because in the zoo, they organize special days of free visits, which are very popular among families.

As a rule, they are arranged in autumn and winter. That’s why if you want to go to the zoo for free, you’d better plan your trip to Denver during these seasons.

Interesting:  Children like to walk around the zoo and watch the animals, but in addition there are special playgrounds in the zoo, where the child can frolic and have fun!

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Thing number 5: Visit the International Airport

Denver International Airport, measuring 140 square meters, is not only the largest airport in the United States and the second largest in the world, but also one of the most efficient airport terminals in the world. The operation of the airport began in 1995. Its construction, built in the form of snowy mountain peaks, is one of the attractions of the city. The airport is covered with many legends and conspiracy theories.

The airport is adjacent to two highways, which allows you to reach it without difficulty. What benefits can you find here:

  • the special location of the runways (one of which is the longest in the US),
  • a computerized baggage management system,
  • 3 terminals and 138 gates significantly reduce the formation of queues and allow passengers to travel comfortably.

Its construction provides for further expansion.

Interesting: A large number of shocking sculptures, frescoes, mysterious inscriptions and signs, various artifacts caused the appearance of many legends about the airport.

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Thing number 6: Go to the Arena “Pepsi Center”

Arena “Pepsi Center” is a multifunctional sports complex in Denver. It was opened in 1999. From the start, the Pepsi Center has been the home arena for the Denver Nuggets basketball team and the Colorado Avalanche hockey team. Some interesting facts about Pepsi Center:

  • The arena was part of a six-year construction campaign in Denver to upgrade sports facilities.
  • The cost of building Pepsi Center was 187 million dollars.
  • The arena is equipped with all modern systems and amenities. Its capacity is more than 19 thousand spectators.

Interesting: In addition to sporting events, social events, musical concerts, and at times political parties congresses often take place in the arena. So this means that you can visit this place for free enjoying interesting social events.

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Thing number 7: Go to the University of Denver

The University of Denver was founded in 1864 by the former Colorado Governor John Evans. It is one of the oldest private schools in the United States. The university includes a number of historic buildings:

  • Its main building was built in 1890, it is located on the territory of a picturesque park with lawns, flower beds and fountains.
  • The original facade of the building is a typical representative of the Renaissance Romanesque style.
  • The attraction of the university is a small old church, built in 1870. After a recent restoration, it is open to visitors.

Teaching at the university is conducted in 11 areas. At their disposal – comfortable housing, entertainment centers, sports clubs, cafes and restaurants. This knowledge-intensive educational institution has gained an excellent reputation. A high level of education and a beautiful city attract a large number of people who want to study in this educational institution.

Interesting: More than 5,000 undergraduate and 6,000 postgraduate students study there.

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Thing number 8: Go to the Denver Theater Complex

The Denver Theater Complex is one of the largest in the United States. It is a complex structure of reinforced concrete slabs and glass, consisting of four blocks with a total area of 50 thousand square meters. The power of the auditoriums of the complex is 10 thousand people. They are equipped with modern electro-acoustic system that regulates the sound quality of choral and symphonic performances. The elegant interior of the premises is designed in classic style with baroque elements, it is decorated with minor stucco details and canvases of modern talented artists.

The repertoire of the theatrical complex represents a wide range of:

  • concerts of classical music,
  • opera,
  • ballet,
  • theatrical performances,
  • jazz and folk concerts,
  • as well as various entertainment events with the participation of American and foreign performers.

Here children’s shows are very popular, taking young viewers into the world of fantasy and adventure.

Interesting: The auditoriums of the theater complex are also used for conferences, seminars and business meetings.

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Thing number 9: Check Out Denver Aquarium

Be sure to check out the Denver Downtown Aquarium. Its collection of marine life is sure to appeal to children. In huge aquariums, they will be able to see:

  • exotic fish,
  • watch jellyfish and stingrays,
  • as well as see other inhabitants of the deep sea.

The aquarium has a large pool with slopes, as well as many beautiful recreation areas where you can take spectacular photos. Visitors can order interesting excursions, but if you don’t want to spend money, it is possible to have a walk through its territory independently.

Interesting: Here, you will find rare fish species, which you won’t find in every US Aquarium.
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Thing number 10: Go to Museum with Kids

The American city of Denver is a great place to spend a family vacation. Here it will be interesting to children practically everywhere, therefore, it’s definitely not worth leaving the hotel. So, the Children’s Museum of Denver, which many consider to be the best children’s museum in the world, is one of the first places that you should definitely visit with your children. One of the museums of Denver is designed specifically for children – the Children’s Museum of Denver. It is more like a huge entertainment center, in which there is suitable entertainment for children of any age. There is a special play area for young visitors with various gymnastic projectiles and attractions, and there are rooms for creativity, where kids can learn how to make interesting souvenirs or draw.

  • Every day, interesting educational events and games are held in the museum,
  • older children will like to make scientific experiments,
  • kids will be able to play with soap bubbles and draw their first real picture.

Another original museum that kids will enjoy is the Denver Museum of Miniatures, Dolls and Toys. The basis of the collection of this museum is miniature toys and dolls, all the exhibits are handmade and incredibly interesting. In addition to miniature toys, the museum presents mini-copies of Denver’s famous sights, as well as copies of some of its iconic areas.

Interesting: Children will love doll houses with a huge amount of miniature items and attributes.

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