VISIT DENVER has assembled several great things-to-do lists under the heading "Denver's Sensational Summer," including the nineteen best free attractions and tours. The roster includes several new selections since last year (see those choices by clicking here and here) plus fresh rankings and new information about when and where the price is zero. They're scattered around the area (one's even in Colorado Springs) but all worth checking out -- especially considering that the price is right.
Continue to check out all nineteen, featuring photos, VISIT DENVER text and links for each attraction.
Number 19: GARDEN OF THE GODS
1805 N. 30th St., Colorado Springs
Located 60 miles from Denver, the awe-inspiring Garden of the Gods features gigantic 500-foot high red sandstone rock monuments at the base of Pikes Peak.
Number 18: DINOSAUR RIDGE
16831 W. Alameda Pkwy., Morrison
See some dinos -- or what's left of them anyway. Dinosaur Ridge features famous Jurassic dinosaur bones, such as Stegosaurus and Apatosaurus, discovered in 1877, and Cretaceous dinosaur footprints. A guidebook is available for use on self-guided tours.
Number 17: CELESTIAL SEASONINGS TOUR
4600 Sleepytime Dr., Boulder
See how Celestial Seasonings, the largest specialty tea manufacturer in North America, blends, packages and ships its teas, then enjoy free samples of every variety they make, and discover a gallery of original artwork from their famous tea boxes.
Continue to keep counting down the Denver area's nineteen best free attractions and tours according to VISIT DENVER. Number 16: COORS BREWERY TOUR
13th and Ford, Golden
"Taste the Rockies!" Coors Brewery, the world's largest brewing site still uses the same Rocky Mountain spring water that Adolph Coors discovered in 1873. Free tours show every step in the brewing process, and end with free samples for those over 21.
Number 15: LITTLETON MUSEUM
6028 S. Gallup St., Littleton
Travel back in time at the Littleton Museum and get a glimpse into Colorado's pioneer past. Located on 39 acres, the museum consists of two living history farms (one from the 1860s and one from the 1890s), with a working farm, a blacksmith shop and more than 40,000 historically Colorado artifacts.
Number 14: RED ROCKS AMPHITHEATRE & PARK
18300 W. Alameda Pkwy., Morrison
Carved from towering red rock monuments, Red Rocks Amphitheatre & Park is one of the world's most renowned concert venues. When there's no concert, the free Visitor Center has a museum Performers' Hall of Fame, while the surrounding park has hiking trails that weave in, around and over the colorful red rocks.
Continue to keep counting down the Denver area's nineteen best free attractions and tours according to VISIT DENVER. Number 13: NATIONAL CENTER FOR ATMOSPHERIC RESEARCH
1850 Table Mesa Dr., Boulder
Learn about global warming, the 21st century's hottest topic, at the National Center for Atmospheric Research. See a hailstone the size of a softball, watch as a miniature tornado is whipped up in front of your eyes, and get an up close look at how lightning is created.
Number 12: TATTERED COVER BOOKSTORE
1628 16th St.
The Tattered Cover is one of the nation's largest and most well-known independent bookstores and often hosts free signings by some of the literary world's most famous authors. They also offer free wi-fi if you want to surf the net while you're there.
1020 16th St.
The Money Museum offers an opportunity to learn about the Federal Reserve Bank. And, best of all, it's free! Walk-ins are welcome and groups can make advance reservations. Photo ID required for visitors 18 and older. On your way out, don't forget to get your bag of shredded money.
Continue to keep counting down the Denver area's nineteen best free attractions and tours according to VISIT DENVER. Number 10: ROCKMOUNT RANCH WEAR
1626 Wazee St.
Browse the racks and enjoy the free museum at Lower Downtown's historic Rockmount Ranch Wear, the originator of the western snap-button shirt. The walls are adorned with photos of the many celebs who have worn Rockmount shirts, including Eric Clapton, Robert Redford and Elvis Presley.
Number 9: COLORADO SPORTS HALL OF FAME MUSEUM
1701 Mile High Stadium Cir.
Housed in Sports Authority Field At Mile High Stadium (home of the Denver Broncos), the Colorado Sports Hall of Fame Museum honors the legacies of The Mile High City's greatest sports heroes, and features the Gallery of Legends, a "Great Moments in Colorado Sports" exhibit and a section celebrating the achievements of girls and women in Colorado Sports.
Number 8: GREAT DIVIDE BREWERY TOUR
2201 Arapahoe St.
Get a behind-the-scenes look at Denver's craft beer world on a free tour at the Great Divide Brewery in downtown Denver. Tours take place at 3 p.m. and 4 p.m. Monday - Friday and each hour starting at 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday and 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday.
Continue to keep counting down the Denver area's nineteen best free attractions and tours according to VISIT DENVER. Number 7: DENVER SKATEPARK
19th and Little Raven Sts.
The expansive Denver SkatePark -- one of the most renowned skate parks in the country -- is filled with bowls for all levels of skating skill. Admission is free. Helmets are required.
Number 6: DENVER STORY TREK
Ever wonder about the stories of the places you pass? On Denver Story Trek you'll explore the stories behind Denver's historic landscapes and landmarks on an interactive, self-guided tour of the city. It's simple to use and free! Number 5: OUR GLOBAL KITCHEN FAMILY DAYS AT THE HISTORY COLORADO CENTER
Kids 12 and under get in for FREE during these events on May 31, June 21, July 3 and August 8. Join the History Colorado Center on Global Kitchen Family Days for cooking demonstrations, food-themed crafts, cultural performances, and more. Visit the Food: Our Global Kitchen exhibit and check out special activities in the taste kitchen. Explore kitchen tools, sample tasty treats, and savor food stories from around the world and in Colorado.
Continue to keep counting down the Denver area's nineteen best free attractions and tours according to VISIT DENVER. Number 4: CHILDREN'S MUSEUM FREE TARGET TUESDAYS
2121 Children's Museum Dr.
A perfect after-school activity -- the extremely fun Children's Museum of Denver is FREE every first Tuesday of the month from 4-8 p.m.
Number 3: COLORADO STATE CAPITOL TOUR
200 E. Colfax Ave.
Tour magnificent, gold-domed Colorado Capitol Building. Stand at exactly a mile high on the steps, see Allen True's beautiful murals, listen in on the Colorado General Assembly, and check out the gorgeous Rose Onyx wainscoting. Free tours are available 10 a.m.-3 p.m., Mondays through Fridays.
Number 2: U.S. MINT TOUR
320 W. Colfax Ave.
Learn how to make money! The U.S. Mint produces 50 million coins a day, each one stamped with a little "D" for Denver. Free tours show every step in the process of turning a dull, blank, metal slug into shiny pocket change.
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Colorado residents can enjoy the following cultural attractions for free on select days throughout the summer: The Denver Art Museum (June 7, July 5, August 2, September 6 -- free to all, not just Colorado residents); Denver Botanic Gardens at York Street (August 4); Denver Botanic Gardens at Chatfield (June 3, August 5); Denver Museum of Nature & Science (June 2, June 30, July 20, September 8); Clyfford Still Museum (June 20, August 7); Denver Firefighters Museum (August 2).
Send your story tips to the author, Michael Roberts.
More from our Things to Do archive circa August 2013: "Photos: Denver's best free attractions and tours -- the top nine."