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14 Uniquely Denver Activities to Welcome in Spring

 t the DCOne of the best parts about living in Denver are the four distinct seasons.  Springtime in Denver is more than a season…it’s a mood, a mindset, an inspiration!  Here are 14 uniquely Denver activities to welcome in Spring. Promise…these are entirely local experiences you won’t find anywhere else!

1. Try a New Flavor at One of Little Man Ice Cream’s Cool Shops

Little Man Ice Cream opened its doors in Denver in 2008 and has become an essential part of the Denver Lifestyle. All of Little Man’s Denver locations are iconic in form! There is the 28 foot tall vintage cream can shop in LoHi, the OG Little Man Ice Cream; the beautiful Tiffany Blue soda shop in Congress Park, Sweet Cooies; the Central Park location that scoops up special flavors from inside an airplane, Little Man Ice Cream Central Park: The Constellation; the soft serve mecca in Park Hill, DANG (which also happens to have the best French fries in Denver); and the newest location of Little Man on Hampden and University that serves a Cherry Hills and University / Observatory Park crowd. Hanging out at one of these Little Man locations is an essential rite of spring in the Mile High City and one of our favorite Denver activities!

2. Swing a Racket at Gates Tennis Center

Gates Tennis Center is a social nugget in the heart of Denver, just east of the Cherry Creek Mall. Going out on the court as the snow melts and the sun shines is a spring ritual shared by expert tennis players and newbies alike. Gates does not require a membership and has numerous leagues, lessons, camps and social gatherings for all ages. Whether you fancy tennis or pickle ball, there is something for everyone at Gates. Playing on a Gates court on a beautiful spring day is pure Denver nirvana with bluebird skies and a cool breeze. Gates is the center of tennis social life in Denver. Even people who belong to country clubs and private tennis centers find their way to gates to spend time on court with friends new and old. Competition, laughter, learning and outdoor fun awaits!

3. Stroll through Cherry Creek and Admire the Spring Flowers

Cherry Creek North homeowners pay great attention to their landscaping, and springtime is the grand launch of all the pruning, planning and planting. Take a stroll up St. Paul Street from 3rd Avenue to 4th Avenue and head in either direction east or west, Then circle back down any block back to third avenue. Along the way the most beautiful colors will greet you from the ground: daffodils, tulips, poppies, iris and more! End the stroll at one of Cherry Creek’s outdoor coffee spots like Denver’s own Aviano Coffee on either 2nd and St. Paul or 3rd and Detroit. Between the best coffee in Denver and the beautiful flowers, springtime never smelled so sweet.

4. Enjoy a Cold Colorado Beer or Fried Pickles at an Outdoor Beer Garden

Denver Activities for Spring
The Lowry Beer Garden

Sipping a cold beer, eating good food and listening to live music outside with friends is what we live for in Denver – the best of the Denver activities! The local beer gardens in Denver are a one-of-kind and the perfect place to welcome in Spring! Our favorites are: the Lowry Beer Garden in Hangar 2 next to the Wings Over the Rockies Museum; the Stanley Beer Hall in Stanley Marketplace; and Tap Fourteen’s Rooftop Beer Garden in LoDo near Coors Field. With dozens of Colorado draft beers and whiskey options along with gourmet local recipes for food and fare, meeting up with friends at the Beer Garden is a quintessential way to welcome spring. If nothing else…you must try the fired pickles at the Lowry Beer Garden!

5. Catch An Amazing View from a Denver Rooftop

The energy and spirit emanating from the rooftops of Denver is electrifying especially in Spring when the weather warms and the days grow longer. Some of the best perches in Denver to pull up a chair are:  Kisby on the Roof on top of the Jacquard Hotel in Cherry Creek North; Avanti Food and Beverage in LoHi; and the the Red Barber in the Catbird Hotel in RiNO. Another extraordinary Denver rooftop to shout out to spring, but it requires a ticket, is Coors Field! The Jack Daniel’s Terrace Loft is a 38,000 square foot rooftop bar, restaurant and baseball viewing station. It is a totally unique place to take in a Denver sunset, get sweeping mountain views and cheer on the Colorado Rockies all at the same time! Wow! We are lucky to live in Denver, don’t you agree?

6. Ski and Tee: Golf and Ski in the Same Day

Denver is uniquely situated near open ski mountains and beautiful golf courses to allow for golfing and skiing in the same day. Of course you have to be willing to get up early to get it all in. Many of the ski resorts closest to Denver stay open well into May.  Copper Mountain is projected to close May 7th this year, Loveland May 8th, Breckenridge on May 28th and Winter Park on May 21stArapahoe Basin is usually the last to end their ski season, which this year is predicted to be the first week in June.  Meanwhile, Denver golf courses are kicking into full swing with early and late day tee times available at City Park Golf Course,  Wellshire and Common Ground. No reason why you can’t make this happen! What could fall more perfectly into a Denver activities list than Ski and Tee!

7. Dine Al Fresco

Denver has become quite the culinary capital with 13 Colorado Chefs earning James Beard Finalist status and numerous gourmet cocktail bars and restaurants sprouting up.  A few of our favorite spots to dine al fresco in the springtime are: Forget Me Not and Le Bilboquet in Cherry Creek, both of which will transport you to a different time and place. At Forget Me Not, you might as well be sitting outside in the Hamptons sipping cocktails by the ocean and nibbling on lobster rolls. At Le Bilboquet, picture yourself perched at a fabulous bistro along Avenue Montaigne in Paris – escargot and all!  For a true Colorado vibe, head to the patio at the Cherry Cricket, the quintessential Denver place to hang and eat a burger!

8. Enjoy the Sunshine on a Musical Lawn Chair at the Denver Art Museum

Denver Activities for Spring
The Denver Art Museum

We love the Denver Art Museum for so many reasons, but we especially love the rocking chairs out front on the plaza in front of the Hamilton Building side of the museum. These chars of an installation called La Musidora, which is a combination of the Spanish words la musica  (music) and la mecedora (rocking chair). Not a lot of places can boast musical chairs in the middle of the city. Rocking on one of these unique works of art is definitely a quintessential Denver spring activity you will love! Bring your friends too…there are 20 chairs!

9. Kick off the Concert Season at Red Rocks Amphitheater

Denver Activities for Spring
The Red Rocks 2023 Concert Season has Begun!

Shows are starting for the 2023 Red Rocks Concert season, and its super exciting. Red Rocks is one of the most iconic outdoor venues to see a concert in the World! Red Rocks is part of the Denver Mountain Parks and is therefore owned and maintained by the City of Denver. The season kicks off with two nights of Subtronics on April 13 and 14, followed by Bob Moses and Bob Bohmer and Day Breaker later in the month. April also has Skrillex, Tevor Hall and Wiz Khalifa on the schedule along with two nights of the Marley Brothers. May is also jam packed with a show almost every night of the month.

10. Don a Hat at One of Denver’s Iconic Spring Hat Parties

Denver Activities - Women with Hattitude at the DCPA
Women with Hattitude at the DCPA

If you don’t have tickets for one of Denver’s Spring Hat Parties, get on it. Welcoming in Spring while supporting a good cause in a hat is one of the quintessential Denver activities for spring! Near and dear to my heart (and I happen to be chairing this year’s event) is Hattitude at the DCPA. Hattitude is a community wide celebration benefitting the Women’s Voice Fund that gives grants to female writers, directors and producers to create more diverse content. Hattitude is always the first Thursday in May at DCPA. Another spring hat party in Denver is the Denver Derby Party. The Denver Derby is the biggest of its kind in the country and a Colorado tradition benefiting the Sean Ranch Lough Foundation. The place to get hats in Denver is Mariel Boutique, locally owned by Denise Snyder.

11. Walk Around Wash Park – Denver Activities for Spring

Washington Park
The parks offer lots of Denver activities for spring fun!

Of course you can walk with a friend in one of Denver’s fabulous parks any time of year, but there is something about a spring walk in the park that elevates you to a new level of joy! My favorite place in Denver to walk around the park is Washington Park, or as locals call it “Wash Park.”  It’s a springtime favorite because of the budding flower gardens, the clear hard walking path and the size of the park that makes for a worthwhile workout. The Washington Park loop is a 2.3 mile trail. Washington Park has 155 acres with two lakes, a boathouse, playgrounds, tennis courts, lawn bowling and bocce ball courts, cricket, playgrounds, a flowing creek and a replica of George Washington’s gardens at Mount Vernon.

12. Make A Wish on the “Flower Girl” at the Denver Botanic Gardens

Denver Activities for Spring

When prioritizing the best Denver activities, the Denver Botanic Gardens is always be top of mind. Visiting the Denver Botanic Gardens in spring sparks extra joy! The location in the heart of the city and the quality of the gardens can’t be beat! Look for the “Flower Girl.” She isn’t’ that easy to find despite her big round white as snow body. She is tucked away behind a fence near the exit of the gardens in the a square area called “the Sensory Garden.”  The Flower Girl by artist Madeline Wiener was carved from Colorado Yule marble – so she’s local and quintessentially Colorado! The piece depicts a joyous girl holding a bouquet of flowers in her left hand and a lotus in her right hand. The happiness she represents through all of her senses will pass on to you as you sit in her lap and make a wish.

13. Celebrate the Bard at the DPS Shakespeare Festival – Denver Activities for Spring

DPS Shakespeare Festival
President and CEO of the Denver Center for Performing Arts welcomes Denver Public School Students to the Annual DPS Shakespeare Festival – one of the best Denver activities of the year!

It isn’t spring in Denver until 5000 students from 75 local schools descend upon downtown Denver donning Renaissance garb and reciting sonnets by William Shakespeare.  Denver’s Student Shakespeare Festival is the largest of is kind in the country and one of our favorite Denver activities! The day begins with a festive procession from 16th Street into the performing arts complex. The crowd then scatters into different Shakespearean outdoor tents to start performing scenes. The day long festival is accompanied by music, dancing, food and sport – all in renaissance theme.  It always takes place on the last Friday in April, which this year is April 28th. If you have never been, it is worthy of a visit. You can wonder from tent to tent watching kids perform Shakespeare while eating a turkey leg.

14. Dial Up the Fun at Cranmer Park

The sundial at Denver’s Cranmer Park is a beautiful historic Denver landmark. It also has one of the best views of in the city.  Cranmer Park visitors enjoy a unique viewpoint of generous vistas of the Rocky Mountains. To enhance the view, there is a beautiful stone etching of the mountain range on the sundial platform that traces each mountain and identifies them by name. The wide open grassy fields below is also perfect for playing with the dog or throwing a frisbee on a spring day. The sundial was first installed in 1941. It is now on its third rendition after destruction by vandals and age depreciation. The newly refurbished Quartz sundial is a Denver treasure for all!

Hoping you find time to enjoy some of these quintessentially Denver spring experiences! Happy Spring from Denver I Love!

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