How to find fun, free things to do in Denver (and likely your city, too) 1

This morning I woke up in Dallas and The Villain woke up in St. Louis but by 9 a.m. we were brunching in Denver. Air travel is pretty incredible when you stop and think about it, and points make things like hopping on a last-minute flight for a Royals game with your nephews possible for us. As much as we love travel and appreciate the opportunities we have to travel regularly, I’m so thankful to be back in Denver. The past few weeks have been a season stuffed to the brim with business travel and mini-vacations; very little time sleeping in my own bed, cooking in my kitchen, or seeing my husband.

While I have plenty of trip reviews to catch up on, I have Denver on my mind today and wanted to post some of my tips for how we explore our city cheaply. If you have travel plans to Denver soon hopefully these sites will be useful to you, and if not some creative Google searches should help you find similar sites, blogs, magazines and newsletters in your hometown. Note: Many of these sites are not Denver specific, you’ll just need to search for your own city.


We had brunch for practically free at Syrup in North Cherry Creek this morning thanks to a promotion with Alpine Bank I found out about through Mile High on the Cheap

  • Dear Denver–Weekly post on Friday afternoons with the top upcoming activities for the weekend
  • Mile High on the Cheap–Daily post highlighting free or affordable food, activities, etc. in Denver and surrounding communities. Site includes great resource of ‘always free’ tours, including some of my favorites, the Celestial Seasonings Tour in Boulder and Coors Brewery Tour in Golden .
  • Denver off the Wagon: Highlights beer festivals, beer tappings, tap takeovers, etc.
  • Yelp: Great source for reviews, upcoming events and often even host free events for Yelpers.
  • Imbibe: Mostly drinking related festivals and special events.
  • Thrillist: Features lots of “lists” and often leads me to finding new places, such as some of the restaurants in the “Top 10 Happy Hours.” 
  • Westword: Source for restaurant, music, movie and event reviews and listings. My favorite is the weekly “10 Things to do for under $10” post.
  • The Convention and Visitor’s Bureau Site. I like to use the Event Calendar.
  • 5280: Denver print and digital magazine specializing in food/drink, travel/outdoors, fitness, culture and events, and fashion.
  • Modern in Denver: Architecture, art and design magazine. Frequently hosts free events.
  • Meetup: Connects you with others in your area with similar interests
  • Free event suggestions: First Friday art events (RiNo and Santa Fe are our favorites), free museum days at least once a month, and grocery stores such as Whole Foods regularly offer cooking classes and demonstrations, and farmer’s markets are a great way to buy local (and usually get plenty of free samples). In Colorado one of the best free activities is to get outdoors! For suggestions on good hikes, camping sites or bike trails, we love to stop by and visit with the  volunteers at REI.
  • Discounted event tickets:
    • Goldstar
    • Night Out
    • Living Social ($10 off first purchase)
    • Groupon
    • Check local grocery stores for cheap sporting events tickets. For instance, you can get ‘Rockpile’ tickets to Rockies game cheap at King Soopers.

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