Wondering what you can do in Denver with little time on your hands? Start with the following hotspots and attractions.
A trip to the Mile High City can be exhilarating. After all, the views of the Rocky Mountains alone make for a perfect weekend getaway.
But there’s more to this gem of a city than meets the eye.
There’s a lot to explore in Denver no matter what kind of weather you have on your visit. Indoors or outdoors, there’s always something cool to see and exciting to do. And the following tops the list.
Picnic in the Denver Botanic Gardens
Of all the things to do in Denver on weekends, having a picnic at the popular gardens is one of the most relaxing. It’s a place where multiple rare species of plants live in their natural habitats, as well as themed gardens like a Japanese garden.
You can also bring your own meal or sample some of the local fares at either of the two restaurants.
If the weather permits, you easily can spend the better part of a day relaxing and exploring the majestic Denver Botanic Gardens. You might even catch an event there if you’re lucky.
Go to the Children’s Museum of Denver
Traveling with the family usually implies additional planning, including finding some things to do in Denver with kids. If that’s the case, give the Children’s Museum a try.
The museum initially only targeted kids up to eight years old. These days, however, it’s a must-see attraction for guests of all ages. It boasts an impressive number of displays and interactive exhibits. You can all have fun, explore, learn, go nature climbing, talk science, and so much more.
The snack bar should help you keep up your energy, too.
Test Your Detective Skills
Are you looking for fun things to do in Denver? How about attending a mystery dinner theater? If that’s right up your alley, know that the Adams Mystery Playhouse is one of the coolest venues in town.
It has terrific actors on staff and a great dinner menu. Here, your job is to enjoy your meal, search for clues, and solve the murder. Winning teams will receive souvenir prizes with which they can commemorate the experience.
It’s not a bad deal for a weekend night out in Denver.
Reach for the Skies
If you can’t visit much of Denver on your short trip, it’s best to cover as much ground as possible in a short amount of time. And booking a seat on a Rocky Mountain Hot Air balloon tour is a great way to get a fantastic view of its world-famous mountains.
Even though the hot air balloons don’t fly higher than 1,800 feet, it’s still a thrilling experience that allows you to see most of Denver’s picturesque surroundings. At the end of the flight, you get to pop open a champagne bottle and enjoy a glass, all while calming your heart rate.
Enjoy Some Spirits
A free distillery tour is one of the best things to do in Denver, especially when traveling on a budget. And the Stranahan’s Colorado Whiskey tour offers just that.
It lasts well over an hour and narrates the history of the local brand and the complex process of making fine-aged whiskey. And at the end of the tour, you can sample some of the spirits if you’re up for it.
Gaze at the Flying Machines Inside the Air & Space Museum
Denver, Colorado is home to a former US Air Force hangar. It spans 150,000-square feet and now houses a diverse collection of aircraft and other flying vehicles.
You can check out some very rare displays, such as a B-18A Bolo. Sci-fi lovers are in luck as they can even see a model of the Star Wars X-Wing fighter. Meanwhile, kids and aviation enthusiasts will probably enjoy the museum the most. That’s because many of the aircraft allow entry to the cockpit.
It’s a great way to learn a thing or two about how military planes work and how to operate the various instruments found inside of one.
Museum of Nature and Science
Often dubbed the region’s best informal science resource, the museum is a place of awe and wonder that guests of all ages can enjoy. Learning about the natural wonders of Earth and beyond is simply one of the best things to do in Denver.
Check out exhibits of Colorado fauna and learn about the many birds and mammals that call the Rocky Mountains home. You can also take a break and visit the planetarium or explore the various wonders of space.
Visit the Transportation Museum
If you’d rather check out a more niche museum, the Forney Transportation Museum can deliver in spades – it’s a unique facility with over 600 items on display.
Everything comes with a story about the history of transportation. From some of the oldest carriages, bikes, and steam locomotives to cars, motorcycles, and airplanes – there’s a bit of everything for everyone to enjoy.
However, two vehicles usually draw the biggest attention. There’s the 1923 Kissel Gold Bug once owned by Amelia Earhart and the other is an old Model T that’s still in excellent condition.
Explore What You Can on Mount Evans
If your weekend trip to Denver is all about getting some fresh air, then Mount Evans won’t disappoint. It’s Colorado’s 12th highest peak and the closest one to downtown Denver.
Hiking to the top of the peak is simply one of the most rewarding things to do in Denver. You can gaze at the picturesque scenery and not have to contend with heavy traffic, either.
Keep in mind that going on foot may take up to four hours if you start your journey at the lake. Luckily, there’s also a paved road if you want to drive most of the way up.
You’re likely to find exploring the mountain while going through various climate zones a thrilling experience.
One weekend is not Enough
You can get a good idea of what Denver has to offer even if you only have time for a weekend trip. But once you get there and start exploring, you’ll learn right away that Mile High City deserves a couple more days of your time.
Surrounding the city are amazing mountain landscapes and wildlife. Meanwhile, the city’s many museums can each keep you busy for half a day. And don’t forget that there are tons of other attractions to visit.
That’s why on your next visit to Denver, make sure to stay longer.