Things to do in Denver, photo of denver skyline with blue mountains and sky behind it

The Ultimate List of Fun Things to Do in Denver – A Local’s Guide

Are you looking for fun things to do in Denver? Denver Colorado is a beautiful and bustling city with a lot to do. As a local living in downtown Denver, I’m excited to share all of my favorite parts of the city and my ultimate list of fun things to do in Denver with you.

Denver has a lot to offer and there is a lot you can do if you are visiting or are looking for things to do. So, next time you’re in Denver, be sure to check out some of our recommendations and see for yourself just how fun the city is!

Go for a Walk Around the Botanic Gardens

Things to do in Denver, photo of the Botanic Gardens
Photo Courtesy of Denver Botanic Gardens. © Scott Dressel-Martin

If you’re looking to walk around somewhere peaceful and beautiful, I highly recommend checking out the Denver Botanic Gardens. There you’ll find beautiful plants from all over the world, a huge greenhouse that will make you feel like you’re in a rainforest, and more. I recommend checking out their website prior to visiting to see if there are any events happening that you can participate in. The Botanic Gardens are definitely a hidden gem in Denver!

Visit the Aquarium

Another fun activity you can do when you’re in Denver is visit the Downtown Aquarium! The aquarium is a fun activity for everyone of all ages and has a lot of interesting fish to look at, including sharks and piranhas You can also visit when they are having one of their mermaid shows which they have about between 1-4 a day. They also have a StingRay Reef exhibit where you can feed and pet stingrays of all different sizes and you can even pay to swim with the sharks. Or if you want to grab a bite to eat after your visit, the aquarium has its own restaurant.

Grab Tex Mex for Lunch at Illegal Pete’s

Illegal Pete’s is one of mine, and many other Coloradoan’s, favorite tex mex that’s local to Colorado. Their burritos are “mission-style” similar to Chipotle. The biggest difference between the two is Illegal Pete’s is a million times better.

The ingredients taste fresh, the employees are really friendly, you have different options to spice up your burrito or burrito bowl, and all around it’s a great local business to check out when you visit! I highly recommend getting the house-made chips if you get a burrito bowl (they’re free if you swap out the tortilla) and dipping your chips into the burrito bowl like it’s guacamole. It’s so good, you’ll thank me later! 

Go for a Walk Around Washington Park

Denver has a number of beautiful parks that you can picnic in, walk around, and relax in. One of my favorite parks in the city is Washington Park, a.k.a. Wash park. It’s large, 115 acres of land, and it has wide open fields of green grass you can lounge on or throw around a football. There are two lakes you can walk around and feed the ducks at. Located next to the larger lake, Wheel Fun Rentals rents out various types of bikes and paddle boats for the lake. There are also two flower gardens you can walk around and explore, or you can take a walk, bike, or rollerblade around the perimeter of the entire park. 

Catch a Game at Coors Field

If you’re in town during baseball season, I highly recommend catching a game at Coors Field. Located right in the heart of LoDo you can catch the Rockies in their outdoor stadium. After the game, you can grab dinner or a drink at the many bars right outside of the stadium. The stadium is located in a neighborhood that’s really fun to walk around, especially after the game with all of the fans wandering about.

Get Pizza From Marquee Pizza

Down the street from Coors Field is one of the best pizza shops in Denver, Marquee Pizza. I don’t know how they make their pizza taste so good but it is easily the best pizza in Denver. I prefer to get pizza by the slice here because the slices are gigantic, about the size of your head. The pizza is thin, seasoned just right, and very tasty. If you are in LoDo make sure to swing by Marquee and grab a slice!

Shop Around 16th Street Mall

One of the more touristy things to do in downtown Denver is going to 16th Street Mall. It’s basically one long street full of a ton of shops. There are also free busses that will take you up and down the street so you don’t have to walk the entire way if you aren’t feeling up for it. On 16th street mall you’ll find a bunch of restaurants, shops, and might even see a street performer or two. It’s a good way to spend an afternoon in Denver when the weather is nice!

Explore Larimer Square

When visiting Denver, one place you want to check out is Larimer Square, the oldest block in Denver. It’s closed to cars and is draped in outdoor patio lights that stretch across the entire street. I highly recommend checking it out at night so you can enjoy the magic the lights bring to the block. The block has a number of restaurants to eat at along with shopping and bars. If you find yourself in the area, it’s definitely worth checking out! 

Catch a Concert at Red Rocks

Things to do in Denver, photo of empty red rocks amphitheater with sunset

If you are able to time your trip where you can see a concert at Red Rocks, I highly recommend you go! Red Rocks Amphitheatre is like no other concert venue. Seeing a concert here is quite a surreal and magical experience that is hard to explain unless you’ve experienced it too. It’s absolutely beautiful, it’s outdoors and you are surrounded by giant red rocks and nature. It’s a really fun experience and one I can’t recommend enough!

Yoga on the Rocks

Red Rocks Amphitheater also frequently has Yoga on the rocks in the warmer months. Here you can participate in a yoga class in the amphitheater where they also hold the concerts. The amphitheater is a gorgeous venue and Yoga on The Rocks is probably one of the prettiest places you can take a yoga class in Denver.

Play Games and Drink at Punchbowl Social

Things to do in Denver, photo of 3 skeeball game machines inside punchbowl social
Photo Courtesy of Raindrop Marketing

Punch Bowl Social is a unique bar full of games located in downtown Denver. There is a variety of uniquely decorated sections of the bar where you can get food and drinks and play various games. There is VR, bowling, arcade games, karaoke, etc. The food and drinks are delicious, unique, and perfect for any foodie. If you are looking for some fun, I recommend checking out Punch Bowl Social. 

Boozy Ice Cream Shake at Union Station

Union Station is a staple in downtown Denver. Union Station is usually hustling and bustling with commuters, but it also hosts a couple of shops, restaurants, a bar, and an ice cream shop that sells boozy ice cream shakes. Milkbox Ice Creamery is located at the end of 16th street mall, inside Union Station, sells tasty alcoholic-free ice cream and boozy shakes that I recommend giving a try! 

Wrapping Up 

There are so many fun things to do in my home city, Denver. I hope you find yourself spending time in Denver soon and you check out a few of our recommendations for things to do in Denver from a local herself! Happy travels!