15 Fun Things to Do in Denver This Summer
From paddleboarding to stunning local hikes, these activities are your summer must-dos.
From its abundant outdoor activities to its thriving bar and restaurant scene, there’s no shortage of fun to be had in Denver. If you’ve claimed 2022 as your year to get back to doing all the things you love, take advantage of the Mile High summer sunshine and grab the paddle board, concert tickets, or cold and frothy beer glass and get out there. Whether you’re looking to cut loose or keep things low-key, here’s a list of 15 fun cool things you can do in Denver like, right now.
The newest, coolest concept to hit Denver is a sensory experience like no other. ESP HiFi is a Japanese-style listening bar that’s main focus is audio: playing curated music and sounds at optimized levels in a way that hits you in just the right way. This is the place to go to relax, work, or have quality conversations without feeling the need to shout over speakers. Come in the morning for coffee and tea, stay through the evening for a selection of beer, wine, and cocktails.
Throw on the skates
In addition to its recent resurgence among the masses, roller skating (or blading) is a great way to be active and have a good time whether solo or with friends. There are even a few outdoor rinks in Denver so you can get your Vitamin D, too. Downtown Denver’s outdoor skate park (close to Coors Field) is always a classic, but the relatively recent opening of City Skate, the city’s first-ever outdoor roller rink, has also made quite the impression. And checking out ReelWorks and Tracks’ monthly, themed roller skating party, Roll, makes for a perfect blend of singing, dancing, and skating.
Stroll through a farmers market
Farmers markets are back in full swing, friends—that means local, handcrafted goods, free samples, and as many dogs as you can possibly pet. Get your biggest reusable bag ready and head on down to Old South Pearl or City Park and have yourself a day full of fresh produce and tasty food truck bites. If you can, definitely make the trip up to the Boulder County Farmers Market at least once—it’s got a massive selection and some really honorable values when it comes to supporting farmers.
Spend the day paddleboarding
We’ve reached prime time for parks opening, meaning tons of lakes are now readily available for you and your SUP board. Pack some lunch and post up on the beach with your tent and, after some serious board pumping, head out onto the water and paddle to your heart’s content. Bear Creek Lake Park’s Soda Lakes are always a favorite, and if you don’t have your own SUP yet, you can rent one for $25.
Sip at a local cidery
We all know Denver’s reputation when it comes to craft beer, but it’s also sneakily got several really great cideries beckoning you to try them out. RiNo’s Stem Ciders is always a fun time, especially if some of the local fare is involved. Other cideries and cider mills boasting the sweet, tart, and naturally gluten-free adult beverage include Colorado Cider Company, Haykin Family Cider, and Waldschänke Ciders.
Tube down a river
Is there any better feeling than floating along with your toes in the water, basking in the sun, and enjoying the scenery? We don’t think so, either. Tubing is a huge summer pastime for Denverites, from Golden’s Clear Creek to Littleton’s South Platte River. Places like Breckenridge Brewery Farmhouse neighbor Adventure West River Tube Rentals are your hookup for quality tubes, but you can also grab a few friends and some tubes of your own and all float on. Definitely don’t forget the sunscreen for this one.
Beer? Check. The ultimate relaxation? Double check. Welcome to The Beer Spa, where you can soak away your worries, have them massaged out in zero gravity chairs, and sample a wide variety of Colorado’s craft brews all in one visit. Fully immerse yourself in your love of beer with hydrotherapy baths and an infrared sauna, then check out the monthly rotation of what’s on tap. View the full service menu and prepare for your solo spa day, date night, or private party—no matter the occasion, it’ll be a hopping good time.
A sunny stroll through the Botanic Gardens’ summer blooms is perfect for a date, family outing, or solo trip. Take your time (and get a tan while you’re at it) and admire the beautiful flora that the minds behind the gardens take such great care of. And definitely take advantage of the many events and exhibits hosted here like the return of Music at the Gardens, starting this June.
Transport yourself to the ways of the Old American West with a visit to Four Mile Historic Park, where you’ll find a fully working farm, expansive (seasonal) garden, and historically accurate replicas representing life from the mid-1800s and beyond. It’s also where you’ll find Denver’s oldest standing structure, the Four Mile House Museum. Take a trip for yourself or bring the whole fam along to check out the various (and very cute) farm animals and learn a thing or two about Denver’s history and, dare we say, the good ol’ days.
Let us preface this listing by saying that any trip to the Denver Art Museum is worth your time. But if you’re itching to pick up a new hobby or trying to have some fun on a budget, consider DAM’s drop-in classes. Every month, the museum extends the invitation to adults to come in, view impressive works, and use the inspiration to draw or write and then share their creations. DAM also offers a number of other budget-friendly programs, including online and in-person talks and lectures.
Immerse yourself in art
Absolute fan-favorite, interactive exhibit Meow Wolf is still alive and well at Convergence Station, and you’re encouraged to go if you haven’t yet (or revisit if you have). But now on the scene is the Immersive Frida Kahlo exhibit at Lighthouse Artspace. Wander through the light and color of two of the most mesmerizing exhibits to grace Denver and maybe learn a thing or two while you’re at it.
Take in Denver’s beauty while on horseback
Take a romantic horseback ride with your SO at sunset or book a pony ride or pony party (yes, that’s a thing) for the kids at Bear Creek Stables in Morrison, and enjoy the Front Range views. 12 Mile Stables, based out of Aurora, also offers guided trail rides through prairies, over streams, and offers a “Sunset and Dinner Ride” featuring hearty cowboy fare for after your trek. In a different light, The Right Step, Inc. offers horseback riding but in a therapeutic way for people with special needs, and is also a 501(c)3 organization.
A true Western atmosphere and menu await at The Fort, where you can try everything from Bison Eggs and Rocky Mountain Oysters to elk, trout, and quail. Take your seasonal cocktail to the outdoor patio and warm yourself by a fire pit while stargazing, tour the adobe building and learn all about its long history.
Yes, it is the best place to see music in the known galaxy. And let’s just go ahead and say Red Rocks’ summer season is the best season, because watching your favorite artists jam out on a warm evening with a cold tallboy in hand is peak Denver experience. Bonus: Before a concert or even if you feel like making the drive on a day you don’t have tickets, you can still walk around Red Rocks park for a gorgeous (free) sojourn, anytime.
Central Business District
This Downtown icon Brown Palace is over 125 years old and a traditional afternoon tea here is still one of the classiest experiences you can have in Denver. It’s the perfect excuse to don your favorite Bridgerton-inspired outfit and sit in the atrium’s regal atmosphere, sipping tea. Options range from a $40 per person tea, scones, and finger sandwich-filled experience to the $250 option for four that includes a bottle of Moët.