9 Cool Things to Do in Denver

The government for Denver was formed in Apollo Hall Saloon in Larimer Square in 1859. The city is known by many as the beer capital of the United States. Residents enjoy the city’s ties to the country way of life celebrated at the National Western Stock Show. Every January, Denver hosts one of the largest rodeos in the world. There are so many cool things to do in Denver, Colorado, that deciding on your itinerary can be very difficult. So, this list of top Denver attractions for adults and children is here to help you.

1. Sip a Cold One at the Great American Beer Festival

The first pioneers and miners were a thirsty lot when they arrived in Denver. The fresh Rocky Mountain water inspired Adolph Coors to found the Coors Brewery Company in nearby Golden, Colorado, in 1873. Today, the city has many outstanding craft breweries. So, one of the cool things to do in Denver is to indulge in a sip of over 3,000 different beers at the Great American Beer Festival.

In September/October, this three-day event held at the Colorado Convention Center offers beers from around the country arranged geographically throughout the hall. This is one of the favorite things to do in Denver, Colorado in September. Watch to see who wins the top honors among the 96 beer categories covering 161 different beer styles at this prestigious event. Learn to pair the perfect beer with great food as top Denver chefs take center stage.

  • Best for: Adults – Colorado law states you must be 21 to drink
  • Season: Great American Beer Festival (October 3-5, 2019)
  • Address: 700 14th Street Denver, Colorado 80202

2. Dine at the Buckhorn Exchange

The oldest restaurant in Colorado is the Buckhorn Exchange. Eating there is one of the coolest things to do in Denver. Henry Zietz, who was a sidekick to Buffalo Bill and Chief Sitting Bull, opened this restaurant in 1893. This restaurant serves a variety of wild game including yak, alligator, buffalo, elk, salmon, quail, and game hen. A special children’s menu makes this a great Denver attraction for the whole family.

Start your dining experience with a stop in the lounge for unique cocktails, while listening to Roz Brown on the autoharp, or Bill Barwick, who has been named the Western Music Association Male Performer of the Year. Take a look at the creative menu in the bar that is printed on newspaper. View over 200 antique weapons and over 500 mounted animals, including an African Cape Buffalo shot by President Roosevelt.

  • Best for: Couples and families
  • Season: Open year-round
  • Address: 1000 Osage Street, Denver, Colorado 80204

3. Stroll through the Forney Transportation Museum

The Forney Transportation Museum is home to some of the most unusual vehicles in the world. See the six-cylinder 1923 Kissel Speedster owned by Amelia Earhart. View a 1916 Detroit Electric Opera Coupe that could go over 211 miles on a single charge. Admire the 12-cylinder 1934 Pierce-Arrow Limousine that set 14 international records at the Bonneville Races. See the Big Boy locomotive that is one of the largest locomotives ever built.

View one of the few New Phantom Rolls Royce gold-plated limousines still in existence. Imagine farming with the 1923 Case Tractor capable of burning coal, wood, straw, or oil. If you are looking for cool things to do in Denver under $20, know that ticket prices go from $5 for children to $11 for adults. The museum is also a good Denver attraction for the weekend, as it is open Monday-Saturday 10 AM – 4 PM, and Sunday 12 PM – 4 PM.

  • Best for: Couples and families
  • Season: Open year round. Closed on major holidays.
  • Address: 4303 Brighton Boulevard Denver, Colorado 80216

4. See Life in Miniature at the Denver Museum of Miniatures, Dolls, and Toys

Everything shrunk in size at the Denver Museum of Miniatures, Dolls, and Toys. The museum changes its temporary displays every three months, making it a great Denver attraction to visit frequently. A favorite permanent exhibit is the display of architecturally unique homes, with the colorful Southwest homes being many people’s favorites.

See the miniature modes of transportation including cars, planes, and trains. Imagine attending a miniature circus. View the antique dolls, including many from Japan. Children especially enjoy visiting this place as they can make their own miniature gnomes, robots, finger puppets, fish kites, castles, or houses at special workshops. Parents looking for cool things to do in Denver with kids should absolutely take their children to the Museum of Miniatures, Dolls, and Toys. It will be a joy for the entire family!

  • Best for: Couples and families
  • Season: Open year-round
  • Address: 1880 Gaylord Street Denver, Colorado 80206

5. Root for the Home Team at a Sporting Event

Denver is one of only 12 cities in the United States to have four professional sports teams. The Major League Baseball’s Colorado Rockies play their games at Coors Field from April through October. The Denver Broncos try to prepare for their elusive Super Bowl victory at Sports Authority Field at Mile High from September to January.

The National Hockey League’s Colorado Avalanche continue to prove they are a top contender at the Pepsi Center. The Colorado Rapids featuring a team of soccer players from around the world play at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, located about nine miles north of Denver. If you are looking for Denver sports attractions, just check each team’s schedule and book your tickets.

  • Best for: Couples and families
  • Season: Depends on the sport
  • Address: Coors Field 2001 Blake Street Denver, Colorado 80205
    Sports Authority Field at Mile High 1701 Bryant Street, Denver, Colorado 80204
    Pepsi Center 1000 Chopper Circle Denver, Colorado 80204
    Dick’s Sporting Goods Park 6000 Victory Way Commerce City, Colorado 80022

6. Connect with Nature at the Denver Botanic Gardens

Over 15,000 species are spread across 24 acres at the Denver Botanic Gardens. These gardens feature over 700 plants from Colorado. See the Japanese Garden complete with bonsai trees. Stroll through the South African Plaza featuring calla lilies and red hot pokers. Pay special attention to the many sculptures located throughout the 41 unique gardens.

Planning your trip to coincide with one of the many special festivities is one of the most fun things to do in Denver. Hear the music during the summer concert series. The special art shows also make this a great place to visit. Many activities at the gardens are aimed at children, making it one of the top things to do in Denver with kids. Tickets for adults are $21.50, while children will pay $9.

  • Best for: Couples and families
  • Season: Open all year
  • Address: 1007 York Street Denver, CO 80206

7. Discover the Natural Wonders of Colorado at Denver Museum of Nature & Science

The Museum of Nature and Science is truly a number 1 Denver tourist attraction. With lots of amazing permanent and special exhibitions about dinosaurs, gems, wildlife, and the universe, the museum is a cultural icon of Denver. Visitors can enjoy numerous planetarium and Imax shows, or take part in the various learning activities for adults, children, and groups. Do not miss the observatory, which offers a breathtaking view of Denver and the Rocky Mountains. The museum is open every day from 9 AM to 5 PM, so you can put it on your list of cool things to do in Denver this weekend.

  • Best for: Adults and children
  • Season: Open all year
  • Address: 2001 Colorado Blvd. Denver, CO 80205

8. Tour the Best Amphitheatre In America

One of the thrilling things to do in Denver is to hit the Red Rocks Park and Amphitheatre. There is nothing more satisfying than experiencing this acoustically stunning marvel of ochre sandstone yourself. Recently listed as a National Historic Landmark, the amphitheater is a top destination for Colorado residents and tourists. Approximately 15 miles from Denver, the Red Rocks tour starts the experience with food and drink specials at the Thirsty Lion, giving round-trip options. So, make plans to see a concert or any other events, watch a movie, hike, and dine.

  • Best for: Adults and children
  • Season: Open all year
  • Address: 18300 W Alameda Pkwy, Morrison, CO 80465

9. See the Above and Beyond Interactive Flight Exhibition

The Above and Beyond exhibition is an interactive exhibition that explores flight. You can get lost in immersive simulations, explore interactive design challenges, visit iconic historical touchstones, and hear inspiring stories from innovators, both from the past and from the present. The exhibition hosted by the Wings Over the Rockies Air & Space Museum allows you not only to design, but also to fly a supersonic jet. You can also pilot a drone, experience how a bird flies, and reach the limits of space in an elevator.

  • Best for: Adults and children
  • Season: September 29, 2018 – January 13, 2019
  • Address: 7711 East Academy Boulevard, Denver, CO 80230-6929


Visiting the mile-high city offers you a variety of cool things to do in Denver. Indulge at the Great American Beer Festival featuring award-winning drinks from around the country. Eat the wild game at Buckhorn Exchange. Explore the unique modes of transportation at the Forney Transportation Museum. Make your own miniatures at the Denver Museum of Miniatures, Dolls, and Toys. Root for the four professional sports teams.

With so many outstanding things to do in Denver Colorado, never miss a tour to Elitch Gardens which is the only Downtown Theme and Water Park. It offers something for everyone with 53 rides and entertainment, including 14 pint-sized adventures, exciting roller coasters, excellent water slides, Dive-In Movies, free concerts, and stunning fireworks extravaganzas. There are so many things to do in Denver during all seasons that you will need to choose based on your interests for an amazing vacation.

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