Things to do in Denver

Unique Things To Do Denver

Denver’s rivers and streams once glistened with gold. Now the entire city is a rainbow of art, culture, and vibrancy, waiting to be explored.

Set against the picture-perfect backdrop of the Rocky Mountains, Denver is a true natural beauty. Look beneath the surface, head off the beaten track, and you’ll discover a city that boasts style and substance — just like our performers.

Discover unique things to do in Denver to get your heart racing, your mind inspired, and your soul nourished.

Cultural Discoveries

Does the thought of learning about other perspectives and expanding your mind give you chills? Check out these unique Denver experiences.

1. Denver Art Museum’s Untitled: Artist Takeover

Enter Untitled: Artist Takeover, a quarterly late-night motherlode of one-off fun experiences, where Denver creatives’ dreams come to life. Wander into another dimension and feast your senses on whimsical beats, radiant colors, other-worldly fashion, dynamic dance moves, and whatever sorcery the featured artists’ mind conjures.

Here, roles between creators and spectators are interchangeable. The stories are interactive and the exhibits spark deep conversations about nature and existence.

Take part in art-making workshops designed by the artists themselves. You'll be guided by their expert hands, knowing that only the people present will share the experience.

Photographer: Abhardphoto

2. RiNo’s First Fridays

The River North (aka RiNo) Art District is a diverse haven best known for its captivating art and craft beer scenes. On the first Friday of every month, these realms overlap for First Fridays, where local art studios, breweries, restaurants, and bars double up as galleries and stages for sculptors, painters, glassblowers, musicians, and live art shows.

Whatever the weather, hungry art lovers gather to traverse the curated art walk around RiNo. See enchanting street art and exquisite ceramics, and meet artists seeking to change the world via community outreach.

We believe nothing has the power to move people and inspire change like elaborate, attention-grabbing, and groundbreaking feats of creativity. Our acrobats, dancers, musicians, and poets are united in an understanding that our actions have the power to affect change. We take that responsibility seriously!

3. Mile High Freedom Band Shows

Mile High Freedom Bands is the leading LGBTQ+ instrumental band in the Rocky Mountains region. It delivers joy and educational enrichment in a modern way. Forget classrooms, textbooks, and writing notes. This is social and cultural education, taught through the music scene.

Every string, key, and horn plays in tandem with a common goal of engaging, exciting, educating, and entertaining audiences. There’s an event you can attend each month. Some focus on special occasions, such as Pride, Christmas, and St. Patrick’s Day, while others focus on a specific theme or motif.

4. The Molly Brown House Museum

Margaret Brown wasn’t native to Denver, but she’s still a local hero. Her husband made his fortune here, and they bought what’s now The Molly Brown House in 1898. Margaret, affectionately known as Molly, is one of the Titanic’s most famous survivors, renowned for her bravery and tenacity during the tragic disaster.

You can visit her home in Capitol Hill, where she's said to walk the halls to this very day. Nicknamed The Unsinkable Molly Brown, Molly was portrayed by Kathy Bates in James Cameron’s 1997 blockbuster, Titanic. In the film, she taught countless people how to use cutlery correctly.

Her rags-to-riches story has inspired Coloradoans for the past century — and it continues to intrigue new generations.

Outdoor Adventures

If your idea of a one-of-a-kind experience revolves around soaking in nature’s glory, Denver is paradise.

5. Red Rocks Park and Amphitheater

Head over to Red Rocks Park and Amphitheater, where you’ll find the perfect balance of energy and tranquility between stage backdrops — as endorsed by Jimi Hendrix, the Beatles, and the Grateful Dead.

The extraordinary technical setup contrasts with ethereal 200-mile panoramic views over Denver and the plains, making for a truly spellbinding experience. Before a show, why not try one of the Red Rocks hiking trails or peace out at Yoga on the Rocks?

This 640-acre site boasts two large trails. The first is called the Trading Post, where you can see Ship Rock, Frog Rock, and Picnic Rock. The other, Geologic Overlook, has exquisite vistas over Dinosaur Ridge, Bear Creek Lake, and Creation Rock at the highest point.

Photographer: Benjamin R.

6. Confluence Park Kayaking

There’s something otherworldly about floating by breathtaking scenery. Confluence Park kayaking brings this vision to life. This urban whitewater park was established in 1974 at the point where Cherry Creek and South Platte River meet. This is the same spot where George Simpson found gold dust in May 1857.

The 100-yard rapid is dam-controlled. You’ll find lessons, rentals, outfitting, and repairs, in addition to a bustling community of local kayakers.

Culinary Exploration

Some of the best unique things to book in Denver are food and brewery tours, courtesy of the city’s love of everything artisan.

7. The Source Hotel and Market Hall

Pop over to RiNo’s Source Hotel and Market Hall and realize your wildest culinary whims. Housed in an ex-iron works and retaining an aura of industrial charm, the Michelin Guide-listed Source Hotel has 100 ultra-contemporary boutique rooms and its very own market hall.

There, you’ll discover a brewery, boutique shops, and six restaurants — one of which is the famous rooftop bar and restaurant. It provides spectacular views of Denver’s unbounded natural elegance. Alternatively, chow down on sushi, pizza, beef barbacoa, or New American cuisine at one of the artisan food hall’s eateries.

Delicious Denver Food Tours

Delicious Denver Food Tours is a woman-owned local business and one of the most popular food tours in Denver, taking you on a voyage of discovery through the Mile High City.

The team believes food is a force of the community, bringing people together and enriching local culture. And in a city that takes great pride in its artisan produce, you’re in for a real treat.

The signature tour is a 3-hour jaunt through the city’s eateries, where you'll sample treats from local businesses. If that doesn’t whet your whistle, choose between the Downtown Food Tour, Cocktails & Tastes Tour, RiNo Food Tour, and Denver Wine Walk.

8. RiNo Beer and Graffiti Tour

You may not realize that beer and graffiti are a perfect pairing, but seeing is believing on the RiNo Beer and Graffiti Tour. To say Denver is well-known for craft beer is an understatement.

In fact, there’s a spot in town where there are an astounding 20 breweries within a 1-mile radius, making it the most brewery-tastic city in the world! We feel right at home in the colorful RiNo. The air is filled with boundless creative energy, and folks love to relax and imbibe as much as they love working hard.

Graffiti and beer-making are no doubt fun, but this tour teaches you about the complexities and nuances of each — and of course, you get to see stunning, diverse art and drink crisp, refreshing beer.

Photographer: Pieter van de Sande

Unique Shopping Experiences

If you’re on the hunt for something unique to do in Denver this weekend, start your day trip with one of these unconventional shopping experiences.

9. Tattered Cover Bookstore

Bookworms, get ready for the exploration of a lifetime at Tattered Cover Bookstore. Opened in 1971, it’s now the biggest indie bookstore in Colorado and the country’s largest Black-owned one.

For anyone who adores escaping into a novel, sharing intriguing ideas with their book club, and discovering history through nonfiction, it’s a bustling treasure trove. Become one with the book-loving crowd who congregate at this hidden gem in Denver, carrying stacks of tomes to the counter or idling away the hours in the café downstairs while browsing vintage magazines.

10. Wax Trax Records

It wasn’t long ago that music lovers feared record stores — and even vinyls themselves — would disappear altogether. Wax Trax Records is proof the local record store is alive and well. Established in 1975, its humble origin story as one of the few places to get punk and new wave imports from England is the stuff of legend.

The current owners, Dave Stidman and Duane Davis, met while working at Jefferson County Human Services Department. Davis says, “We thought this might be the right thing to do because social services was a meat-grinder job. We were getting tired of saving kids and decided we’d rather corrupt them.”

Over the years, Wax Trax’s collection has grown, but the dedication to sourcing the hottest new music endures.

Photographer: cottonbro studio

11. Fifty Two 80's

Fifty-Two 80’s is an eccentric little shop unlike any other. Pop culture fanatics and all-round 80s fans will love this retro neighborhood gem, which transports you into a different time.

It’s one of those places that feels part museum, part antique shop, with chockablock walls lined with the gnarliest candy, posters, video games, and sodas from the bodacious decade.

Offbeat Entertainment and Nightlife

Night owls and creatures of the night, check out these unique things to do in Denver after-hours.

12. Williams & Graham

Connoisseurs of sophistication, darlings of decadence, and opponents of conformity, enter Denver’s most stylish speakeasy lounge, Williams & Graham. You'll step in through a secret entryway, disguised as a bookcase. This Prohibition throwback completely immerses you in the roaring ‘20s.

Immaculate vibes and expertly shaken cocktails await your discerning palate. Mixology is in owner Sean Kenyon’s blood — as evidenced by his long list of accolades, including American Bartender of the Year. You can taste the passion in each tipple.

13. City Park Jazz

Swing down to City Park Jazz for a three-day festival of live jazz, funk, mambo, brass, and Latin music. All performers are Colorado natives, ranging from world-renowned musicians, such as Otis Taylor and Wellington Bullings, to local school jazz groups.

14. Meow Wolf Convergence Station’s Danceportation

Do you love pom-poms, fishnets, and sparkle? We certainly do, and the interior design and storm of color here make us feel right at home. Welcome to Meow Wolf Denver’s biggest permanent exhibition, Danceportation, a living, breathing multisensory art experience that surrounds you in contemporary fairy-tale models and psychedelic shapes.

Escape the monotony of daily life and shake your stuff to retro beats in this technicolor wonderland. Does the idea of an immersive midnight party give you goosebumps? If so, this is the place to be.

Photographer: Dan Dennis

Historical and Educational

On a quest for knowledge? Denver is a goldmine of insights into the past, present, and future.

15. The Urban Farm

The Urban Farm is a local nonprofit that helps young urban individuals get into agriculture, making it one of the perfect things to do in Denver with kids. Stray from paved roads, and indulge in country living for an adorable crafting session, such as egg felting, candle-making, and soap-making. You can also pop down to see the animals and chat with the nature-loving staff.

16. Poet’s Row

Future Jack Kerouacs and Maya Angelous will feel at home at Poet’s Row, a cluster of art deco apartments named for famous writers. Get inspired by the gorgeous buildings designed by famous Denver architect Charles Strong, and gaze in awe at the distant cityscape from this perfectly preserved slice of history.

Your Unique Denver Journey

Now that you’ve browsed our list of unique things to do in Denver, where will you go first?

Experience one of our shows, where imagination is boundless, gravity has no limits, and performers cast spells on absorbed audience members.

It’s the epitome of live performance art, featuring acrobats effortlessly enacting the impossible, dancers gracefully executing the smoothest movements, and a tapestry of music and visuals that envelop you in awe and wonder. Take your seat and let us ignite your senses and leave you spellbound with our shows in Denver.

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