Lifestyle

40 Things to Do in Denver for $10 or Less

Published On 11/10/2015 Published On 11/10/2015

Because when you’re broke and bored, you can usually scrounge up at least $10, right? It’s time to start fishing those quarters out from under your car seats, couch cushions, and friends’ pockets, and go have some good, clean, broke-ass fun.

1. Rent a B-cycle

Various locations
Price: $9 for 30 minutes
With 87 stations around town, you can pretty much take one of these rented rides anywhere.

2. Eat a bowl of green chili at Sam’s No. 3

Aurora, Glendale, and Downtown
Price: $4.99
Coloradans will eat this stuff on anything, but the version at Sam’s is also damn good on it’s own.

Flickr/Susan Batterman

3. See the stars at Chamberlin Observatory

University Park
Price: $4
‘Cause really, when’s the last time you looked through a telescope made in 1894?

4. Play 18 holes at Colorado Journey Mini Golf

Littleton
Price: $7 (or $5.50 if you’re a resident of the South Suburban District)
Each hole is designed to represent a Colorado attraction, so you basically get to tour the entire state with enough money leftover for a post-game PBR.

Flickr/Dixie Lawrence

5. Explore a state park

Various locations
Price: $7-$9
There are 42 state parks in Colorado with many in, or near, the Metro Denver area. Pick a day, pick a park, and you’ve got an adventure.

6. Take a light rail ride to Golden

The W Line
Price: $2.25-$5
Why? Because then you can get three free beers at the also-free Coors Brewery tour.

Flickr/David Herrera

7. Tour the Pepsi Center

Auraria
Price: $10
Take a peek behind the scenes in the place that’s home to the Denver Nuggets and Colorado Avalanche.

8. Rent skates at Southwest Rink

Central Business District
Price: $2
The rink is open late November through mid-February, and the skating itself is free. So channel your inner Brian Boitano show off your best double axel.

High Point Creamery

9. Sample five flavors with an ice cream flight

Hilltop
Price: $9
This option at High Point Creamery is a dream come true for anyone who loves ice cream (so, basically everyone).

10. Get artsy at MCA Denver

LoDo
Price: $8
Scope out the exhibits and then take in the views from their rooftop patio.

Flickr/Eli Duke

11. Cheer from The Rockpile

LoDo
Price: $4
During baseball season, snag these seats in this special section of the outfield for Rockies’ games.

12. Take a trip to Tiny Town

Morrison
Price: $5 + $2 for a train ride
Why should kids have all the fun? They shouldn’t. You and your inner child need a day at this classic miniaturized landmark.

Flickr/Horatio3K

13. Visit Buffalo Bill

Golden
Price: $5
Well, his museum and grave anyway.

14. Find your inner beat with a beer at My Brother’s Bar

Highland
Price: $3-$4.25
Denver’s oldest still-operating bar is known as a past hangout of Neal Cassady, Jack Kerouac, and Allen Ginsberg.

Biker Jim's

15. Make like Bourdain and eat at Biker Jim’s

Five Points & Highlands Ranch
Price: $6.50 + $1.25 for signature topping combosGo with the classic: elk jalapeño cheddar dog with cream cheese and caramelized onions.

16. Keep the glass at Our Mutual Friend

Five Points
Price: $10
It's Tuesdays only, but that shouldn't stop you from getting three 10 oz pours of delicious craft beer, plus an addition to your glassware collection.

Flickr/Larry Goodwin

17. Explore the Denver Botanic Gardens Chatfield Farms

Littleton
Price: $5
A little time on the farm will do you good.

18. Watch a flick on the big screen

Hampden South, Arvada and Littleton
Price: $3-$4
Sure, you’re not going to catch that brand-new release here, but Elvis Cinemas makes going to the movies surprisingly cheap.

Flickr/alexmerwin13

19. Support the local music scene

Various locations
Price: $5-$10
Catch a show at one of the city’s many cheap venues like Herman’s Hideaway, Bar Bar, or Lost Lake.

20. Score some random bargains at the Mile High Flea Market

Henderson
Price: $2-$3 admission + whatever you spend on your finds
Or at least get in some quality people watching.

Flick/Mr.TinDC

21. Buy an inner tube and float down a real river

Golden
Price: $5-$10
Head to the closest discount store, grab anything that floats, and spend a summer day sloshing around Clear Creek.

22. Float down a lazy river

Englewood
Price: $9.75 (or $7.50 if you’re an Englewood resident)
And while you’re at it, hit up a few water slides at Pirates Cove.

Flickr/Wally Gobetz

23. Pick up something farm fresh

Various locations
Price: $1-$10
Head to one of the area’s many farms and buy some locally-grown veggies, fruit, or roasted chilis for your own farm-to-table meal.

24. Try to finish an Illegal Pete’s burrito

South Broadway, University, LoDo and DTC
Price: $6.79-$7.29
Whether you get yours with queso, carnitas, or extra corn salsa, these foil-wrapped behemoths are a Denver essential.

Hyatt Regency Denver

25. Sip a Pimm’s Cup with a view

Central Business District
Price: $10
The drinks are pricy but the scenic mountain vistas are free at Peaks Lounge.

26. Take a caffeinated street art tour

RiNo
Price: $3.75-$4.50
Get a latte to-go at Crema and walk the neighborhood. The area is in the middle of some big changes, including a plethora of bright, bold street art.

Flickr/Narisa

27. Climb the Pinnacle at REI

Highland
Price: $10
It’s 47ft tall. Do you have the skills to make it to the top?

28. Play the penny slots

Black Hawk & Central City
Price: $10, or however much it takes before you hit the jackpot.
Feeling lucky?

Flickr/Kent Kanouse

29. Sample the food truck scene

Various locations
Price: $2-$10
Arepas, meatballs, falafel cones… whether they’re parked outside a brewery or congregating at Civic Center Eats in the summer, if you find a food truck, order something.

30. Have a craft beer picnic

Various locations
Price: $7-$10
Most Denver liquor stores are pretty well-stocked when it comes to craft brews. Grab a six pack of the good stuff and head to any one of the city’s 200 parks. Just be sure you also bring some cups and clean up your mess after.

Flickr/Airtime Al

31. Ride the Cyclone at Lakeside

Berkeley
Price: 3 admission + $3 in ride coupons
This vintage wooden coaster may not have the loops and speed of newer versions, but it’s 70 years old which, unlike most things 70 years old, should be enough to give you some thrills.

32. Hit a round of golf

Rosedale
Price: $9
Harvard Gulch is a nine hole par three -- perfect for some practice correcting that slice.

Flickr/Kent Kanouse

33. Get high

Various locations
Price: $4-$10
I mean come on -- we are in Colorado. For that much, you can pick up a pre-rolled joint, gram of your favorite strain, or an edible at any dispensary.

34. Cure the munchies at GB Fish & Chips

Wash Park, Sloan’s Lake and Park Hill
Price: $1 per piece of tilapia
Cause you’ll probably be hungry after that last one. Catch the best deal on “tilapia Tuesdays” plus $0.75 PBR’s if you make it during happy hour.

Flickr/Dan Lurie

35. Visit the Kirkland Museum of Fine & Decorative Art

Capitol Hill
Price: $8
Their quirky collections include an art deco corner, furniture designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, and a vintage vacuum cleaner. That’s right. Vintage.

36. Hit up the arcade at Boondocks

Northglenn
Price: $10 for 43 tokens
You know you want those prize tickets.  

Dinosaur Ridge

37. Go back to prehistoric times

Morrison
Price: $6
No time machine -- hot tub or otherwise -- necessary on this shuttle tour that will guide you around Dinosaur Ridge.

38. Order the Swedish meatballs at IKEA

Centennial
Price: $4.99 ($4.49 if you go for the new veggie option)
But good luck getting out of there without spending your other $5 on a Swedish-monikered household item.

Flickr/Melanie Holtsman

39. Learn more about Molly Brown

Capitol Hill
Price: $8
You probably know that she didn’t sink on the Titanic, but did you know she also lived in Denver? Visit the Victorian she called home at the Molly Brown House.

40. Take a summertime swim at Eldorado Springs Pool

Boulder
Price: $10
People have been cooling off in this artesian spring water since 1950.

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Molly Martin is a freelance writer in Denver, Colorado who will kick your ass at air hockey. See what else she’s spending her money on @mollydbu on Twitter and Instagram.  

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