Things to Do

Ten Things to Do for Free in Denver This Week

History Colorado
Join the state's birthday bash!
Summer is speeding past, but this last week of July is packed with hot (very) events, both online and in person. Look for plenty of city-sponsored fun at Denver Days, starting July 31 and running through August 8. And on Sunday, August 1, celebrate the entire state on Colorado Day. That party continues on August 2, when admission to all Colorado State Parks is free.

Keep reading for ten of the best free events in and around Denver this week.

The Art Can
Saturday, July 31, 4 to 9 p.m., continuing through November 3
25th and Larimer streets

The Ramble Hotel is again hosting the Art Can, a pop-up gallery inside a shipping container that offers two-week residencies to artists. First up: Mike Graves, who'll be moving in and showing his work through August 10. When not open to the public — officially 4 to 9 p.m. on Fridays and Sundays, with additional hours determined by the artist — the container can serve as studio space. Ten more artists will be featured through November 3; they were chosen by the artists who were at the Can in 2019. Find out more here, and after you visit Graves, enjoy the Friday Night Bazaar just down the street.

click to enlarge KAYLA NEWNAM
Kayla Newnam
Kayla Newnam: Out There Murals
Daily through August 11, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Town Center Square at The Orchard, 14697 Delaware Street, Westminster

Have art camper, will travel! Kayla Newnam, founder and creator of Out There Murals,’is traveling cross-country to paint murals in all fifty states, and Orchard Town Center in Westminster will be her Colorado location through August 11. On July 28, she'll begin outlining six murals that will become one large topographical map of Colorado, complete with fruit blossoms from different regions. Catch Newnam (and maybe her dachshunds) in action at the Orchard. Find out more here.

13th Floor Haunted House Denver Event Staff and Scare Actor Auditions
Saturday, July 31, and August 7 and 14
Location TBA

What's better than visiting a haunted house? Working at one! With Halloween on the horizon, the 13th Floor Haunted House will be holding auditions over the next few weekends for actors and staff. No experience is required, though you must love freaking people out, be filled with energy, and embrace the monstrous side of life. To register for an audition and schedule an appointment, go here.

Denver Days at the Denver Public Library
Saturday, July 31, through August 8
Denver Public Library branches
The Denver Public Library and all of its branches are marking Denver Days with opportunities to meet neighbors, connect with library friends and resources, and celebrate the beautiful city. The events kick off with Denver Days Lotería on July 31 at the Valdez-Perry Branch Library, 4690 Vine Street, from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. Find the full schedule here.

Community Barnum Party
Saturday, July 31, 3 to 6 p.m.
The Co-Op at 1st, 5145 West First Avenue
Celebrate the community with kids' activities, live music and free food at the Co-Op, where the nonprofit Jovial Concepts provides a variety of programs and services to assist with food access, food equity, safety and sustainability. Find out more here.

Waking Up the Summer Dance Party: Bubbles & Bathrobes
Saturday, July 31, 6 p.m.
Awake, 2240 Clay Street

Secret Dance Addiction hosts this free party with DoubleCrush, a DJ duo featuring Becca on electric violin playing hip-hop and party hits. Shake what your granny gave you in your bathrobe, then party into the night with nonstop dancing and magic on the streets of Denver outside of Awake, Denver's sober bar.  RSVP for the free bash here.

High Line Canal Celebration and Open House
Sunday, August 1, 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.
4010 East Orchard Road, Centennial

Celebrate Colorado Day and the official 2021 Walk FOR the Canal kick off with the High Line Canal Conservancy at its brand-new office – steps off of the Canal! There will be activities, snacks and a special Colorado Day celebration, including a walk around the historic Little Dry Creek property. If you're planning to Walk FOR the Canal, a 71-mile movement challenge to support the High Line that runs through October 10, you can also pick up your registration packet. Find out more here.
Join Colorado's birthday bash! - HISTORY COLORADO
Join Colorado's birthday bash!
History Colorado
Colorado Day
Sunday, August 1, 10 to 5 p.m.
History Colorado Center, 1200 Broadway

History Colorado and more than twenty partner attractions will offer an epic bash at the History Colorado Center on the Centennial State's 145th birthday; all four floors will be full of interactive exhibits. See Building Denver: Visions of the Capital City and a brand-new exhibit of Denver street photography, Brick & Soul, from Armando Geneyro; artist Adri Norris will lead a workshop at 2 p.m., and the makerspace will be open all day. Musical guests include traditional taiko drummers, classical guitarist Flint Datino, jazz guitarist Jack McManaman, solo artist Arlin Tawzer and the Brothers of Brass. Down 13th Avenue at Bannock Street, the Center for Colorado Women’s History will host a free walk-in open house from 1:30 to 4 p.m., and the other History Colorado facilities across the state — El Pueblo History Museum in Pueblo, Fort Garland Museum and Cultural Center in Fort Garland, and the Ute Indian Museum in Montrose — will also offer free admission. Advance registration is available; learn more and sign up here.

Community Roots Art Festival (CRAFt) 2021
Sunday, August 1, 1 to 10 p.m.
VisionQuest Brewery, 2510 47th Street, Boulder

There’s a new festival in Boulder: the Community Roots Art Festival, a daylong showcase and evening dance party focused specifically on BIPOC artists, performers and vendors. It begins with an art show from 1 to 4 p.m., including such diversions as the b-boys, krumpers and house dancers of Block 1750 and an artist scavenger hunt for prizes; from 4 to 7, dancers, musicians and spoken-word artists will take the stage. Finally, dance the night away with DJ Musa Starseed at the turntable. Admission is free, with donation options — because organizers hope the fest will continue to mix art and justice in the years to come! RSVP and learn more here.

Rapidgrass Music Festival
Sunday, August 1, 3 to 10 p.m.
Clear Creek Ball Fields, Shelly/Quinn Fields, 101 East Idaho Springs Road, Idaho Springs
After years of highway construction and other challenges in and around Idaho Springs, now the town is giving back to the community with a free, one-day concert/party featuring Rapidgrass. Tickets will be available for food and drinks (the new Beau Jo's truck will be on hand, and Tommyknocker, among others, will be pouring); all proceeds will go to Carlson Elementary to finish the playground project, as well as to the Historical Society of Idaho Springs. Find out more here.

Plan ahead:

Celebrate Colorado Day at National Parks
Monday, August 2

Colorado Parks and Wildlife celebrates Colorado Day on the first Monday in August, with free entrance into all 42 state parks. Find out more here.

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