15 Fab Things to Do In Denver this Month on a Budget

All the fabulous things to do in Denver this month are back: outdoor concerts, cultural exhibits, great dining, fun festivals, team sports, outdoor exercise and spectacular sunsets! With so much happening at once, it’s hard to decide where to go first.  We have narrowed down 15 fabulous things to do in Denver this month to help you navigate your calendar and not break the bank.

1. Catch Baseball Fever

Denver All Star Game
Photo by Jenn Dechtman

You don’t need tickets to the All Star Game at Coors Field to catch baseball fever in Denver.  In fact, you can go right next door and have a ball at McGregor Square – Denver’s latest and greatest new development.  Owned by the Rockies, McGregor Square has a lot of fun places to watch baseball like Tom’s Watch Bar and plaza in front of the new baseball themed Rally Hotel.

Denver All Star Game
Photo by Jenn Dechtman

Larimer Square is another great place to celebrate All Star Week in Denver. Larimer is hosting a FREE All Stars on Larimer Block Party on game day, Tuesday, July 13th from 4:00pm – 8:00pm.  Family-friendly activities are planned with music by Denver’s DJ T, face painters, caricature artists, stilt walkers and balloon artists.  Check out the new MLB chalk mural on the street created by artist Michael Macaulay.

2. Ride a Swan Around the Lake

Denver City Park
Photo by Jenn Dechtman

Summertime is extra fun in Denver’s big parks with the Wheel Fun Rental activities at both Washington Park and City Park.  A great thing to do in Denver this month is peddle around the lake on a swan.  A one hour boat rental costs $11 per adult and $6 per child.  Also fun to take a FREE walk around the lake at City Park.  There is so much history and beauty to be uncovered.  See Denver I love Story: Denver City Park: Top Ten Things to Do & See. 

3. Get Jazzy in the Park

Denver City Park Jazz
Photo by Jenn Dechtman

Jazz concerts at City Park bandstand are a longtime summer tradition in Denver. After a missed summer last year due to COVID 19, this summer’s KUVO sponsored City Park Jazz series is widely appreciated and more festive than ever! The concerts are FREE every Sunday night! Dance, dine and have a fine time in the park! Bring a picnic or support a local food truck.

There are lots of other great things to do near Denver this month when it comes to jazz. Check out The Winter Park Jazz Festival – July 17 to 18; The Evergreen Jazz Festival July 23 – 25; and The Colorado Music Festival at Chataqua in Boulder.   The Vail Jazz Festival is another favorite with concerts under the stars now through Labor Day.

4. Raft Down Clear Creek Canyon

Rock Creek Canyon Rafting

July is the best month for rafting. The water isn’t too high or too low, and Clear Creek canyon is absolutely gorgeous. Two local companies, Liquid Discent and Clear Creek Rafting Company, are each about an hour’s drive up I-70 from Denver.  Reservations can be made online.  This activity isn’t free but it is very worth it.

5. Try Yoga with a View

Denver Botanic Gardens Yoga
Photo by Jenn Dechtman

Denver has some unique places to toss down a yoga mat during the month of July. No studio can match the Denver Botanic Garden’s experience of holding classes in nature, surrounded by the stunning landscapes. Check out the calendar on the Botanic Gardens website to register for a class. Price is  only $12 for non members / $10 for members.

Also on the list of great things to do in Denver this month are more unique summer yoga experiences like Yoga on the Rocks at Red Rocks Amphitheater and Rainforest Yoga at the Butterfly Pavilion.

6. Dine Al Fresco

Al Fresco Dining
Photo by Jenn Dechtman

The Denver Botanic Gardens has a fabulous Dine Al Fresco series this summer. While Dining on the Farm dinners at Chatfield are a bit pricey, you can bring a picnic to the York Street’s Dining Al Fresco and enjoy music and fun for a fraction of the price. Tickets for select Monday and Wednesdays evenings.

Another great spot to dine under the stars is Larimer Street. In fact, Denver’s historic Larimer Square was named one of USA Today’s Top 10 dining al fresco neighborhoods in the United States.  Join award-winning chefs with their extended dining rooms and creative menus. If you want a bargain, try the happy hour menus at Bistro VendomeRiojaTag and Osteria Marco.

7. Take Time to Smell the Lavender

Lavender Festival
Photo by Jenn Dechtman

When it comes to fabulous things to do in Denver this month, add lavender! More than 2,000 lavender plants will set the scene for Denver’s Lavender Festival at Chatfield Farms Lavender Garden on Saturday July 17th. The festival includes lavender demonstrations, farm tours, barrel train rides, hayride tours of the wetlands, food and drink vendors and live music.

Lavender products made by local growers and artisans will be available for purchase.  The band line up features local favorites: Odessa Rose West, the Denver Dolls and Shelvis and the Roustabouts. Advanced tickets required.

8. Fill Your Heart with Art

Salvador Dali: Gardens of the Mind
Photo by Jenn Dechtman

Denver is known for starting and hosting some of the best art exhibits and events in the country – from cutting edge new street art to world renowned art collections – art events are back in Denver, and they are happening in person! See ya Zoom!

Van Gogh Alive
Immersive Van Gogh Alive Exhibit at Stanley Marketplace

Don’t miss the multi-sensory  Van Gogh Alive, an immersive exhibit brought to Denver through the Denver Center for Performing Arts at Stanley Market Place.  The music, art and energy will take your breath away! It seriously feels like you are walking right into the paintings! Now through September 26th, Tickets available through the DCPA.

Denver Botanic Gardens
Salvador Dali Botanicals – Photo by Jenn Dechtman

Also make time to see Salvador Dalí: Gardens of the Mind at the Denver Botanic Gardens. The Salvador Dali exhibit features two rarely seen series of fanciful color lithographs of flowers and fruits on loan from The Dalí Museum in St. Petersburg, Florida.  We LOVED this exhibit. It is here through August, so be sure to go!

Daniels and Fisher Tower
Photo by Jenn Dechtman

If you are looking for sensational FREE art, Denver has that too! Night Lights Denver is the coolest art exhibit ever!  Art designed by local artists and the community is projected on the Arapahoe Street side of the Daniels & Fisher Tower every Thursday through Saturday evening.

9. Rock the Night in a Sculpture Garden

Photo by Jenn Dechtman

Seeing a concert outside is always a fabulous thing to do in Denver. A new concert series to note is the Summer @Sculpture Park Concert Seriesat Sculpture Park, in front of the Denver Center for Performing Arts. Produced by AEG in partnership with Denver Arts & Venues, Summer @Scuplutre Park has some nice priced tickets.

Red Rocks
Photo by Jenn Dechtman

If you are willing to spend a little more for tickets, seeing a show at Red Rocks is one of the best things to do in Denver.  Sculpted by God, Red Rocks is one of the greatest natural works of art in the world.  Some of the upcoming concerts are: The Aretha Franklin tribute concert with The Colorado Symphony; the Avett Brothers with an opening by G.Love and Special Sauce this weekend; The String Cheese Incident; and Guster with the Colorado Symphony.

10. Enjoy First Class Opera in a Garden

Central City Opera

When we think of opera, we think of expensive tickets and having to get dressed up to go to the opera house. But au contraire,  Hudson Gardens has partnered with Central City Opera (CCO) to host the annual Central City Opera’s 2021 Festival. Tickets start at only $25 for open-air performances of Carousel, July 9, 11 & 13, and Rigoletto, July 10, 14, 16 and 18.

Founded in 1932, Central City Opera is the fifth oldest professional opera company in the country.  Colorado really has it all!  Be sure to get your tickets before they sell out.

11. Celebrate 3B’s: Blues BBQ & Beer

The 24th Annual Blues and Barbeque Festival for Better Housing takes place on July 17th at Citizen’s Park in Edgewater.   The first band, Nick of Time, kicks off at 11 am, followed by Teledonna, Mojo Mama, Eef and the Blues Express, Class Clayton Band and Zepp 11.  The evening line up features: Cast Iron Queens, Wild Love Tigress and Duke Street Kings.

Last year, despite the pandemic and a very limited event, Blues & Barbeque was able to live stream the concerts to over 7,000 people who watched from all over the world.  The 2020 festival raised $30,000 for Habitat for Humanity Metro Denver. This year the music is in person and so is that barbeque! Tickets are only $10 for general admission, children under 12 are free.

Other great things to do in Denver this month is the Summer Brew Fest. This year’s Brew Fest takes place July 24th from 12 to 10 pm at Mile High Station. Cool down with unlimited tastings of some of the best brews available!  Cost ranges from $30 to $60.

12. Shop Til You Drop

Photo: courtesy of Cherry Creek North

Getting dressed to go out is back in vogue. Denver has a number of unique local shopping events this month to update your post-pandemic wardrobe and liven up your entertaining spaces.

A Paris Street Market at Aspen Grove is celebrating its 21st year with over 75 vendors.  The open-air, vintage, antique and artisan market takes place the first Saturday of each warm weather month at Aspen Grove shopping center. In addition to antique treasures, artisan wares, clothing and garden décor there are yummy things to eat like cheese curds, pastries and snacks.

Denver I Love Perch Denver
Photo courtesy of Perch Denver

Another treasure hunt not to be missed is the Cherry Creek North Side Walk Sale. Once a summer, the chic shops of Cherry Creek North offer deep deep discounts to clear their racks and make way for fall merchandise. Clear your calendar for July 15 to 18 and be there!  Inside Scoop: I have found some of the greatest treasures during this sale at my favorite Denver boutiques Garbarini, Perch, Show of Hands and The Artisan Center.

And as if 70% discounts on Dolce & Gabbana and Zadig Voltaire aren’t enough to lure you, this year comes with a GIVEAWAY ALERT.  One lucky Sidewalk Sale shopper will win a $500 gift card to a Cherry Creek North business of their choice! Customer can enter via a QR code at participating Sidewalk Sale businesses during the event.

13. Move Your Booty

Cleo Parker Robinson

If you are lucky to know Cleo Parker Robinson, you are lucky enough! This caring and charismatic dancer and community leader of Denver will make you a better person just by being near her. Cleo Parker Robinson Dance is bringing back The Mile High Dance Festival this month.

The two day extravaganza is an open-air celebration of art, dace and the community we share.  Performances will take place on Friday evening July 16th, Saturday afternoon July 17th and Saturday evening on the 17th as well.  Between the two concerts on Saturday, there will be an open air market, food, vendors and interactive music and dance. Tickets are required and available on a sliding scale of $0 to $25.  An additional $25 donation will get you a branded Cleo blanket and reserved seating for 2 adults.

Some of the dance companies performing at The Mile High Dance Festival are: Ballet Ariel, Cleo Parker Robinson Dance Ensemble, Edgar L. Page: Feel the Movement, Hannah Khan Dance Company, Moraporvida Dance Company and Samba Colorado.  There will also be special performances by the hip hop group Bboy Factory.

14. See an Outdoor Movie

Film on the Rocks
Photo by Jenn Dechtman

With all the phenomenal outdoor venues in Denver showing great films this summer, you gotta go! Here’s what’s playing and where:

The South Green on Central Park

Denver’s Central Park neighborhood is showing Jumanji: the Next Level on July 23rd. The outdoor movies at Central Park are FREE.

Infinity Park

Infinity Park in Glendale is continuing its FREE long standing summer Monday Movies with two great films in July: Spiderman into the Spiderverse on July 12th and Raya and the Last Dragon on July 26th.

Film on the Rocks

Not free, but totally worth going is Denver Film Society’s Film on the Rocks series at Red Rocks. 50 First Dates screens July 14th and The Wedding Singer on July 28th.  Film on the Rocks 2021 will be a combination of drive-in movies and in amphitheater films! Every car gets concessions package with Coke, City Pop popcorn, M&M’s and Twizzlers. $59.50 per car.

Iron Distillery & Crafthouse

The Iron Distillery & Crafthouse RiNo has an outdoor summer movie series in their new backyard space.  The theme of the 2021 movie series is a Sandler Summer, screening Adam Sandler’s greatest hits with themed cocktails and nibbles.  A portion of the ticket sales goes to Big City Mountaineers, a local organization dedicated to improving the lives of under-resourced kids by getting them outdoors on wilderness expeditions. The July film is an all time favorite: the Wedding Singer on July 28, 2021.  Advanced tickets required.

Sculpture Park

Sculpture Park on the lawn in front of the DCPA is showing our favorite film Coco on July 20th. Shout out to our friend Jody Weinberg who worked on it!  The Sunset Cinema outdoor film + entertainment series is a partnership with Denver Film and Denver Arts & Venues. Each film features opening performances by local groups and food trucks.

15. Find A Favorite Food Truck

Civic Center Eats
Photo by Jenn Dechtman

Speaking of food trucks. Here are some fun places to go to find them.

Plan a lunch date at Civic Center Park and enjoy Civic Center Eats. On Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday afternoons. Over 70 of the city’s best food trucks transform Civic Center Park into a lunchtime extravaganza with every type of worldly cuisine from arepas to poke bowls.

Another place to find Denver’s best food vendors is on Sunday morning at the South Pearl Street Farmer’s Market. As far as the local farmer’s markets go, South Pearl is one of the biggest and best. Some of our favorites are Sexy Pizza, Mac n Cheezary, Baba’s Falafel, Arepas House, Ba-Nom-A-Nom and Pierogies Factory.

Well hopefully this gives you a lot of fun ideas for things to do in Denver this month! Tag us on Instagram @denverilove or use hashtag #denverilove to share your summer adventures in the Mile High City.

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