Very few things in life are actually free and to find something free to do in Denver can be challenging. Travelers can spend hours trying to find that perfect free thing to do in Denver and sometimes the obvious free things to do in Denver are well, just too obvious and get looked over. We’ve put together a great guide for you to use to make your visit to Denver unforgettable.
1. There are more than books at the Denver Public Library.
You don’t need to be a book worm to appreciate the Denver Public Library. The 540,000-square foot facility is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is loaded not only with books but numerous interesting exhibits, research departments as well as activities for people of all ages. The library is home to some of the best research departments in the country with the Blair-Caldwell African American Research Library as well as the Western History and Genealogy Department. The library hosts numerous events throughout the year, and there are rotating exhibits situated on the 7th floor that range from local artists to research collections to historical displays.
Location: 10 West 14th Avenue Parkway adjacent to Civic Center Park in Downtown Denver.
2. Making Money at the United States Mint in Denver.
First opened in 1906, the United States Mint in Denver is housed in a gorgeous Late 19th and 20th Century Revival building which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Visitors can sign up in advance for a free 45-minute tour of the facility which has been stamping coins since 1906. The United States Mint in Denver is a great free thing to do in Denver for anyone who likes historic buildings and don’t be surprised if you can actually watch them stamp a few coins while you are visiting.
Location: Downtown Denver on Cherokee Street between West Colfax Avenue and West 14th.
3. An incredible walk through history at Colorado State Capitol.
The Colorado State Capitol is an ideal free thing to do in Denver for everyone. The 1894 Neo-Classical building constructed of white marble and adorned with a real gold leaf dome is the center piece of the Denver Civic Center National Historic Landmark District. The 18-story building is offers free tours throughout the year where you can watch the legislative branches of the Colorado government work as well as travel to the top of dome for an incredible bird’s eye view of the Downtown Denver. When you are there, make sure you stand on the 13th step leading into the building to say that you were exactly One Mile High.
Location: 200 East Colfax Avenue adjacent to Civic Center Park in Downtown Denver.
4. All Aboard at Union Station!
Spend some time at the renovated Union Station where you can revel in the glory of railroad service of days gone past. Originally constructed in 1881 the Beaux-Arts building is highlighted with Classical as well as Romanesque features and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Once inside this fabulous space, your eyes will pop with pleasure while viewing the intricate detail of the ceilings and chandeliers. While you are there, you can stroll through the several shopping boutiques or grab a bite to eat in one of the numerous trendy restaurants. If you are visiting in the summer, make sure to dip your toes in the gigantic water fountain that adorns the front entrance.
Location: 1701 Wynkoop Street in Downtown Denver.
5. Bison roaming the prairie at the Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge.
One of the more fascinating free things to do in Denver is to make a visit to the Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge. The 15,000-acre sanctuary is home to an unusual history that started with farmland and would be home to the one of the largest chemical weapons manufacturing site before being home to numerous animals such as the black-footed ferret. The wildlife refuge is a peaceful place where visitors can see a variety of landscapes that include prairie, wetlands and forested areas. There are over 330 species of animals that call the refuge home with standouts such as bison, bald eagles, and deer stealing the show. Visitors can participate in numerous educational programs, view interpretive exhibits, take a stunning self-driving wildlife tour, and you will find over 10-miles of nature trails to hike.
Location: Northeast of Denver at 6550 Gateway Road Commerce City, Colorado.
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