If you can’t make it up to Estes Park right now, you can enjoy numerous free events all around the state. Colorado offers something free, fun and interesting for everyone in the family. Here is a short list of some of the most popular events or shows around the state.
Pack up the children and visit the Denver Museum of Nature & Science. Enjoy museum exhibitions like Space Odyssey, Prehistoric Journey and Egyptian Mummies on free days: February 21, March 1, April 18, August 8, August 30, September 13, September 19, October 3, October 18, November 14 and December 6. Free admission applies to the museum only (not including the IMAX Theater or Gates Planetarium) and only to Colorado residents. http://dmns.org
Egyptian Mummies, Denver Museum of Nature & Science
The Botanic Gardens in Denver and in Chatfield both have free days. For Denver the dates are January 18, February 15, April 22, July 22, August 25, September 26 and October 28. The Chatfield gardens will be free on February 5, March 5, April 2, May 7, June 4, August 6, November 5 and December 3. On view now are the monumental sculptures of Henry Moore. Twenty of Moore’s massive sculptures are displayed within the landscape settings of the Gardens’ York Street and Chatfield locations. Chatfield has the adorable Deer Creek Discovery children’s tree house for play. http://botanicgardens.org
The Denver Art Museum has free First Saturdays on February 6, March 6, May 1, June 5, July 3, August 7, September 4, October 2, November 6 and December 4, sponsored by Target. Through April 4th – “Embrace!” See what happens when 17 artists transform the DAM with 3-D artworks, bungee cord sculpture, sloping walls, and imaginative one-of-a-kind installations. http://denverartmuseum.org
Twilight’s Compendium by Shinique Smith. Photo by Jeff Wells.
Go to the Arvada Center for the Arts and Humanities in Arvada for an extensive collection entitled: Kirkland Museum Collection: 100+ Years of Colorado Art, through April 4th. Be sure to take in the Sculpture Gardens and Historical Museum while there.
Heads up beer lovers! The Anheuser-Busch Brewery Tour in Fort Collins gives you a behind the scenes look at their state-of-the-art facilities, brewhouses, cellars and packaging plants. And complimentary tastings! One Saturday a month (call or go to their website for dates) between 1:00 – 3:00pm you can have your picture taken up close and personal with the famous Budweiser Clydesdale horses. http://budweisertours.com/toursFTC.htm
And equal time to the Coors Brewery in Golden. They also offer a free tour and tasting. http://coors.com
In Boulder, the Andrew J. Macky Gallery, at U of C, runs exhibitions of artists through out the year; check their website to find out who/what/when. The gallery is free and open to the public on Wednesdays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. http://colorado.edu/macky/gallery
While you’re in Boulder, stop at the Leanin’ Tree Museum and Sculpture Garden of Western Art. Admission and parking is free. Long considered by locals to be the best little museum Colorado has to offer. http://leanintreemuseum.com/default_flash.asp
Then take the free tour at Celestial Seasonings, the tea company. The aroma is amazing and the process fascinating. The tour lasts about 45 minutes and takes visitors through the factory, the Art Gallery, Herb Garden and the Mint Room for tastings. http://www.celestialseasonings.com/visit-us/index.html
And don’t forget the National Center for Atmospheric Research Mesa Lab set up against the Flatirons where the exterior of the building, designed by I.M. Pei, is as great as the interior displays. The lab tour includes a live 3-D model of a tornado. Join the free hour long Noon tour; or they even have a multi-lingual cell phone/audio tour. No reservations are necessary. Open seven days a week, there’s also extensive hiking trails on the complex property. http://www.ucar.edu/educ_outreach/visit/tours.html
Back at the Denver Zoo, Colorado residents get in for free on February 7, February 16, October 13, October 21, November 7 and November 13. http://www.denverzoo.org
And don’t forget the Colorado State Capitol building offers tours. State Capitol Tourism Desk at 303-866-2604.
The Rocky Mountain Arsenal used to be a site for chemical weapons and pesticide production. Now it’s put to excellent use as a National Wildlife Refuge. Located just 11 miles north-east of downtown Denver, its open to the public Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday from 7:30am-4pm. They have free tram rides and wildlife programs. http://www.fws.gov/rockymountainarsenal
For more free events in Colorado go to: http://www.denver.org/events/free-events