Twenty family-friendly things to do and see in Colorado this Fourth of July weekend
Ken Hamblin for Westword.
With the Fourth of July holiday landing on a Friday this year, Colorado will be home to patriotic celebrations full of music, food, fun and fireworks (of course) all weekend long. We've rounded up twenty of the best family-friendly spots to celebrate, whether right here in the city, on the plains or up in the mountains.
Thursday, July 3
This annual gathering in the heart of the city is a great way for the family to kick off the July Fourth weekend. Featuring live music from the Hazel Miller Band, the Denver Municipal Band and more, the night will be capped off with an amazing fireworks display over the City and County Building. Patrons are welcome to bring picnics, blankets and lawn chairs, and concessions will also be for sale on-site.
Colorado Music Festival: Patriotism & Pops Family Concert at Chautauqua Auditorium (7:30 p.m.) $9 to $48
Settle into the grandeur of Chautauqua Auditorium for a night of patriotic tunes. Led by conductor Lawrence Golan, the Colorado Music Festival orchestra will offer up a holiday-inspired concert.
Go all-American by catching the Rockies as the team goes up against the Los Angeles Dodgers for a four-game homestand. Then sit back and enjoy the post-game fireworks at this multi-day celebration.
Music, food, fun and games come together at Estes Park's annual festival, which also includes some Wild West bull-riding, an Independence Day pancake breakfast and more. The big finale of the two-day fest will be fireworks on the Fourth.
Friday, July 4
Nathan Federico for Westword.
This annual celebration of local and international art is always a go-go holiday event, as the Cherry Creek North shopping district becomes a giant outdoor creative market. Artists from all over the world and right here in Colorado will be showcasing their best; look for live music, culinary demonstrations and plenty of fun, family-oriented activities, too.
The Colorado Symphony takes you on a journey with this July Fourth celebration featuring the music from Star Wars, as well as plenty of patriotic tunes. Grab a reserved spot or plant a blanket on the lawn for a night of music and fireworks.
This day-long, family-friendly Fourth of July celebration features live karaoke, a mechanical bull, a trampoline, a climbing wall and more. Hazel Miller and her band will perform and the Rapids will go up against the Columbus Crew before fireworks fill the night sky. Keep reading for more family-friendly Fourth events.
Photo courtesty of Highland Parade Facebook page.
Seventh annual Highland 4th of July Parade in the LoHi neighborhood (2600 17th Street in Denver) Free
Going strong for more than half a decade, this patriotic neighborhood block party starts with a morning bike-decorating party before the big Fourth of July parade, live music, food, games and a 100-foot-long ice cream sundae.
Head to this holiday celebration early to grab a spot for one of the best fireworks displays in the metro area. Food, drinks, crafts and live music will also be a part of the party at the family-friendly gathering put on by the City of Aurora.
Head up to the mountains to join Keystone Resort for a day of patriotic celebration, including a red, white and blue bicycle decoration party, live music from Funkiphino, and plenty of activities and games for children and adults. After dark, sit back and enjoy a dazzling fireworks display while enjoying a crisp evening away from the city.
Ken Hamblin for Westword.
Get your fill of roller-coaster rides and water slides at Elitch Gardens during the day and then stick around for the fireworks display that the park will set off at dark.
Boasting ten hours of entertainment for only ten bucks, Fun City welcomes all to go crazy at this indoor arena of excitement. Play laser tag, go bowling or throw down with a game of life-size Jenga while cooling off from the heat of the summer day.
Pioneer 4th Celebration at the Elbert County Historical Society and Museum, 515 Comanche Street (Highway 86) in Kiowa (noon to 3 p.m.) Free
Learn about Colorado history at this museum's new Smoky Hill Trail exhibit while celebrating the Fourth of July pioneer-style. A pie-baking contest, a watermelon-eating contest and live music are all part of the family-friendly day celebrating the nation's birthday while also telling this state's colorful story. Keep reading for more family-friendly events on the Fourth.
Photo via denveroutlaws.com.
Our city's professional lacrosse team takes on the Boston Cannons for a high-energy game on this patriotic holiday. Post-game, a massive fireworks display will be paired with visuals projected on the stadium's 220 foot-wide high-definition screen.
Celebrate the holiday in Civil War-era style as the historic Four Mile House hosts a daylong picnic-style gathering. Uncle Sam and Abraham Lincoln look-alikes will regale visitors with tales from the past; you can also participate in old-fashioned games like tug of war and egg-and-spoon or pony up for a horse-drawn wagon ride.
Enjoy the patriotic tunes of a bygone era as the Highline Silver Cornet Band performs inside the History Colorado Center. Then wander through the museum to learn more about our state's history on this day of national celebration.
Park Hill 4th of July Parade in Park Hill, 23rd Avenue from Dexter Street to Krameria Street (1:30 p.m.) Free
Join the historic Park Hill neighborhood in celebrating the nation's birthday with this massive parade. Acrobats, marching bands and plenty of red, white and blue-decorated floats will make their way down East 23rd Avenue for this mobile, mid-day party.
Dress in your finest red, white and blue running apparel for this seriously silly run benefiting Colorado's Make-A-Wish Foundation. Adults get a chance to race and children get a competition of their own with the Firecracker Kids Fun Run. Racers will be awarded prizes for best patriotic attire, and there will be food and beverages for sale during and after the run.
Saturday, July 5
Skyline Park becomes an outdoor movie theater for this summer-long series of free films. A special showing of Frozen is sure to delight kids and adults, as this tale of two princess sisters unfolds under the stars.
Sunday, July 6
A weekly tradition in the summer, City Park Jazz offers a wonderful musical experience within the lush green setting of the park. This special post-July 4th edition will feature soul singer SuCh; attendees are encouraged to get up and dance.