Things to Do

Ten Things to Do for Free in Denver This Weekend

Independence Eve celebration will return to Civic Center Park.
Independence Eve celebration will return to Civic Center Park. Michael Emery Hecker
It's a party-party weekend, with the big Independence Eve Celebration in Civic Center Park on July 3. But you can also see and be seen while looking at art, learn about zines and catch cool concerts.

See our list of events worth the price of admission here, and keep reading for ten of the best free events in Denver (and beyond) this week:

Cherry Creek Arts Festival 2022
Sunday, July 3, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Cherry Creek North, on Second and Third avenues from Clayton Street to Steele Street, and between Second and Third avenues from Detroit Street to Steele Street

This July 4 weekend, the Cherry Creek Arts Festival will return to its traditional grounds in the heart of Cherry Creek North, with 250 artists and artisans pitching tents where they'll sling juried artwork and wares in a broad variety of media. And it wouldn’t be the CCAF without live music, the creation station, a diverse culinary row and deals on purchases at participating businesses along the route. The fest is always free (there are some optional ticketed VIP perks and/or related events). Familiarize yourself with the 2022 artists and learn more here.

Self Made Weekend Pop-Up Shop Explosion
Sunday, July 3, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Holiday Inn Express & Suites Denver, Aurora Medical Campus, 14200 East Colfax Avenue, Aurora

Some people just want to shop over a holiday weekend, setting off dopamine fireworks in their brains with every new find or deal. Perfect for the July 4th weekend! If that’s you, drop everything and run to the Holiday Inn Express & Suites Denver at the Aurora Medical Campus for — what else? — a Pop-Up Shop Explosion by Self Made, where 32 vintage vendors and artisans will set up shop for two days. Shop small; enjoy food, music and drinks; and take home a big reward in the shape of true happiness. Admission is free; get more info and RSVP at Eventbrite.

4th of July Weekend on the Rooftop
Sunday, July 3, and Monday, July 4, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Avanti Food & Beverage, 3200 Pecos Street

The rooftop at Avanti is prime property for fireworks viewing, especially the ones that will be blasting off on Friday and Saturday nights at Coors Field, just a few blocks away over the river and I-25. Others will be viewable at a greater distance, but there are other reasons to park yourself at Avanti this weekend, including plenty of food choices, the Big Chill Bar (which will be pushing a Frozen Bomb Pop cocktail special all weekend) and a few food deals around the hall. Get all the info you need here.

Snowmass Art Festival
Sunday, July 3, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Monday, July 4, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Base Village, Snowmass Village

What do Coloradans do on a long weekend? A lot of them head to the hills for a few days of pristine nature and much-needed respite. And, for anyone landing in the vicinity of Aspen/Snowmass, that could also include an outdoor art show in the sweet mountain air. Plan a stroll through the juried Snowmass Art Festival by Colorado Events at the Snowmass Village Base, and get some culture as part of the holiday mountain revelry. Learn more here.

Independence Day on Larimer Square
Sunday, July 3, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Larimer Square

Celebrate the holiday weekend with two days of free activities in Larimer Square, with local music, a scavenger hunt and more. On Saturday, look for free face painting by Laughing Ladies and free caricature drawings by Jane Yamada and Chad Straka, while Larimer Sessions Live Music presents DJ Thred Savage. On Sunday, activities include chalk art by Tadd Moskal, a scavenger hunt with prizes hidden every hour from 1 to 5 p.m., and live music with the Alex Blocker Band from 2 to 5 p.m. RSVP here.
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Colorado Chautauqua
Colorado Chautauqua Cafe Grand Opening
Sunday, July 3, noon to 2 p.m.
900 Baseline Road, Boulder

After a renovation project, the circa 1899 Chautauqua Cafe is reopening, with a ribbon-cutting at noon, music by the Mile High Brass Band at 12:15 p.m., family-friendly activities and free ice cream for kids under twelve. After the festivities, it should be a beautiful day to hike around the park. Find out more here.

Lucha Libre & Laughs
Sunday, July 3, 5 p.m., Ratio Beerworks Overland, 2033 South Cherokee Street

Lucha Libre and Laughs promises double the fun this weekend in a collaboration with Ratio Beerworks, which is hosting two days of LLL’s signature pro wrestling and comedy mix at its RiNo location on Saturday and its Overland spot on Sunday. Each free show has a completely different cast of wrestlers and comedians, and Ratio will be releasing two separate brews: one a returning favorite and the other completely new. Talk about fireworks! Find info here.

Independence Eve
Sunday, July 3, doors at 4 p.m.
Civic Center Park
The annual July 3 celebration returns to Civic Center Park. Music performances start at 5 p.m., with the Colorado Symphony taking the stage at 8:15 p.m.; fireworks will be shot off the City and County Building beginning at 9:30. Admission is free, and no outside beverages are allowed — but they'll be sold on site, and food trucks will be on hand. Find out more here.

The Altons With Wes Watkins
Sunday, July 3, 5 p.m. (doosr at 4 p.m.)
Levitt Pavilion Denver, 1380 West Florida Avenue
Levitt's free concerts remain a real reason to celebrate. Although VIP packages are available, general admission is free. Find out more here.

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Highland United Neighborhood
Highland 4th of July Bike Parade and After-Party
Monday, July 4, 8 a.m. to noon
West 32nd Avenue and Clay Street, to Hirshhorn Park, 3000 Tejon
Highland United Neighborhood is celebrating its fifteenth 4th of July Bike Parade, which will be followed by an after-party at Little Man, which is celebrating its fourteenth birthday. The festivities start with a bike-decorating bash at 8 p.m., followed by the parade that begins at 9:30 a.m. and goes from 32nd and Clay to Hirshorn Park, where the fire truck #7 splashdown is at 10 a.m. at Hirshorn Park. From there, the party moves across the street, where Little Man Ice Cream will host a performance with Ballet Folklorico Mexico el la Piel from 11 a.m. to noon. Find out more here.

Do you know of a great free event in Denver (or beyond)? We'll be updating this list through the week; send information to [email protected]
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