Life in Denver

Free Things to Do in Denver in the Spring and Summer

Life in DenverMay 21, 2018

Denver is an exciting, world-class city with plenty of attractions of all types. When you need a break from your nursing school studies, you will find ample opportunities to be entertained, amused, challenged and delighted. Here are a few suggestions that not only will not break the bank, but are entirely free!


Cinco de Mayo Festival

Head to Civic Center Park on—you guessed it, May 5 (and May 6)—to join in the fiesta. Join up to 400,000 other party-goers at this largest-in-Colorado cultural celebration. Of course, the myriad opportunities to sample Mexican cuisine and beer are not free, but admission is, so this is a not-to-be-missed event that is easy on the bank account. Sample some green chili at the annual cook-off, or dance to vibrant mariachi bands along with Colorado’s thriving Latino population and non-Latino celebrants. Begins 10 a.m., May 5 and 6, Civic Center Park: E. Broadway Ave. and Colfax.

The BigWonderful

This recent addition to the roster of annual celebrations in Denver takes place May 5 and 6, 2018, Noon to 6 p.m. RSVP with your email address for free general admission. You’ll find huge crowds enjoying dozens of vendors, beer galore (more than a dozen local craft brewers will be on hand to make the beer flow), and at least 10 food trucks, offering everything from the exotic (Ethiopian or American Indian) to the unexpected (wild game and seafood) to Chicago-style Italian beef. “Farm to Truck” offers typical American fare, such as a BLT, but you will also find more exotic choices, such as Vegetarian Hempseed Wrap or Lamb Burgers. Located at 4400 Fox St., Denver. 

Denver Arts Festival

From May 26 to May 27, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., head to 8304 E. 49th Place, Denver, for the new, annual Denver Arts Festival. This free-admission fine arts and crafts festival showcases and supports some of Colorado’s best artists and craftspeople at Stapleton’s Conservatory Green Neighborhoods. Ranked among the nation’s premiere arts festivals, organizers expect up to 50,000 people. While admission is free, and “window shopping” is all part of the fun, you may want to bring your wallet in case a particular artwork calls out to you. Parking is also free. 

Capitol Hill People’s Fair

Also located at Civic Center Park (101 W. 14th Ave., Denver), June 1-3, this is Denver’s oldest neighborhood festival. Featuring family-friendly fun, handmade arts and crafts, entertainment, and inventive, enticing food options, this free-admission festival supports the missions of non-profit organizations. For your free tickets, RSVP online.

Free Museum Admission Opportunities

Denver features some world-class art, galleries and museums. On certain dates, various museums offer free admission—just the thing for students on a budget. 

Denver Art Museum First Free Saturdays

Every first Saturday of the month you will be able to enjoy free admission to this delightful museum, located at 100 W. 14th Ave. Pkwy. This spring and summer, dates are: April 7, May 5, June 2, July 7 and August 4. From Degas to Warhol, you’ll find thousands of masterworks here from a wide array of eras, styles, media, and cultures. This being the Mile High City, there is an impressive collection of Western American Art, too.

Denver Museum of Nature and Science

Take a break from all those science-oriented classes to peruse the offerings on display at Denver Museum of Nature and Science. Free days of admission this year include Apr. 9, Apr. 29, and June 3. Discover the many treasures of the earth and the heavens, from dinosaurs to the digital planetarium. Or catch a film at the IMAX theater (tickets extra). Located at 2001 Colorado Blvd., Denver.