Summertime in Denver is very lively in many corners of the city. Wherever you go, you may come upon outdoor entertainment, patio dining and sights to see. Even in the mountain areas owned by Denver, you will find many activities to do. Here are ten recommendations for summer activities in Denver:
#1 – Get a Thrill at Elitch Gardens or Lakeside
Bring your family to Elitch Gardens, Denver’s downtown amusement park, to ride on rollercoasters, water slides, Elitch’s ferris wheel, and more. Elitch’s also hosts concerts throughout the season, which are free with admission to the park. Visit both the Theme Park and Water Park for one admission price from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day. A daily ticket bought online (save some money online) costs $35.99 for adults, $31.99 for children, and $29.99 for seniors (age 62+); season passes cost $69.99 with free bring a friend tickets, season parking, and other perks.
Want to visit another amusement park in Denver? Lakeside Amusement Park is located in north Denver at I-70 and Sheridan and has beautiful views of the mountains from the park. Rides include a traditional merry-go-round, spinning rides, and Kiddies’ Playland. Bring a picnic to enjoy with your family on your next visit to Lakeside.
#2 – Sample Diverse Bites at Civic Center Eats
If you work or live near downtown, visit the food truck lineup at Civic Center Eats Tuesdays to Thursdays from 11am to 2pm at Civic Center Park from May 3 to October 6, 2016 (no food trucks on June 2, August 31, September 1, and September 6). Known as “the largest gathering of food trucks in Metro Denver,” Civic Center Eats has many different types of food trucks you can try out, from Filipino food, various BBQ joints, to the traditional standbys of pizza, sandwiches, and soups. A few trucks to check out are Manna from Heaven, Steuben’s Food Truck, and Quiero Arepas. Finish off your lunch with an ice cold Aiko Pop and fuel up for the afternoon with a drink from Doppio’s Organic Coffee. Most of the trucks will accept credit cards, but bring cash as a back-up.
#3 – Delight Your Ears with Free Live Music in Denver
Catch live jazz music performances on Sunday nights at City Park.
On Sunday evenings in June and July from 6-8pm, bring your family along with a picnic dinner and lawn chairs to City Park for free City Park Jazz. City Park Jazz celebrates its 30th season this year with a variety of local musicians from diverse genres.
If you need a mid-week music break, visit Elway’s in Cherry Creek: the restaurant hosts Elway’s Taste & Tunes Summer Music Series every Wednesday evening from mid-June to mid-August in its courtyard. Bands perform from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m.
#4 – Dine Al Fresco in Larimer Square in August
Make reservations now to experience exquisite outdoor dining at the restaurants in Larimer Square on August 20. Restaurants in Larimer Square include Bistro Vendome, Ocean Prime, and Tamayo, among many others.
#5 – Entertain Your Senses at Red Rocks Park and Amphitheatre
Red Rocks Park and Amphitheatre provides a lot of entertainment and recreation options for Denver residents and tourists alike:
- Enjoy a fitness challenge? Walk or run up and down the amphitheatre and get that heart pumping. Red Rocks hosts various fitness challenges throughout the spring and summer, but these are highly popular events and sell out very quickly. If you enjoy hiking or biking, Red Rocks has several trails: Geologic Overlook Trail (pedestrians only), The Trading Post Trail (pedestrians only), and the Red Rocks Trail (hiking, mountain biking, and horseback riding).
- Watch a movie under the stars at Film on the Rocks this summer, thanks to the Denver Film Society and Denver Arts & Venues. Catch movies such as Scream, Deadpool, and The Sandlot at Red Rocks for only $15 per person.
- Various artists have performed at Red Rocks Amphitheatre every summer since 1941, with such notable acts such as the Beatles in 1964 and U2 in 1983. This year, enjoy tunes from Blues Traveler, Chris Botti and Joshua Bell, Dolly Parton, and more.
This year marks the 75th anniversary of Red Rocks Park and Amphitheatre, so the park is celebrating this milestone with a social media contest to win a pair of tickets to one of its preferred events this year, through October 6.
#6 – Cheer on the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field
Enjoy a cold beer and hot dog, while cheering on Denver’s hometown baseball team with your friends and colleagues at Coors Field this summer. The 2016 season runs through October 2, with tickets starting from $6 in the Rockpile up to $225 in the Infield Box, depending on the day of the week. Make an evening at the ballpark special by attending one of the upcoming special theme days, such as Star Wars Night, Yoga Day, or University Hat Days.
#7 – Relish in Fine Art on First Friday Art Walks
Peruse Denver’s many art galleries in its seven official art districts on the first Friday of every month this summer. Galleries and studios stay open late so you can admire the different art on display with fellow Denverites.
#8 – Enjoy the Outdoors at Lookout Mountain Park
Lookout Mountain Park has breathtaking views of downtown Denver and the Continental Divide at the top of the mountain. Ride your bike on up and reward yourself for the challenging ride up with the spectacular views. If you are a history buff, stop by the Buffalo Bill Museum and visit his grave, which are located inside the park.
#9 – Discover Denver Landmarks through Denver Story Trek
Create your own tour of Denver’s historic landmarks or select from one of the featured tours through Denver Story Trek, an easy-to-use and free service. “Featured Treks” include Women of the West, Mile High Art & Culture, and more. These tours throughout Denver are easy to access by biking, walking, or driving. Audio tours are available for free through the Denver Story Trek website.
#10 – Travel to the Top of Mount Evans
A view of Mount Evans from Summit Lake Park.
Known as North America’s highest paved road, Mount Evans Scenic Byway will take you up 7,000 feet in altitude to the top of Mount Evans for remarkable views of Colorado at 14,130 feet. On your way up, stop by the Mount Goliath Natural Area to study the Bristlecone Pine (the oldest living organism on earth) and walk the Bristlecone Loop Trail and have a picnic lunch at Summit Lake Park. Be prepared to pay any applicable fees.