Looking for the best of Denver’s winter activities to entertain yourself during your vacation? While the Mile High City is fantastic all year round, we think it really shines during the winter season. It’s a hit destination for both outdoor adventurers and culture seekers. Plus, there are heaps of indoor fun to be had when it’s just too cold to be outside.
If you’re considering a stay in the incredible city of Denver, Colorado, we’ve created a list of the best winter activities that Denver has to offer. Whether you enjoy spending your time inside or outdoors, Denver has an activity for you! Once you’ve pursued our list and decided on your Denver vacation itinerary, check out the newly renovated accommodations InTown Suites has to offer in the Denver metropolitan area.
Denver’s Museum of Nature and Science is home to extraordinary exhibits like Space Odyssey, Wildlife Hall and several new attractions like GUITAR: The Instrument That Rocked The World. You’ll enjoy a great escape from the cold while learning something new about the world around you. There’s also an IMAX theater and Planetarium on-site that offer daily films. The museum is open from 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. every day, with extended hours on Friday evenings until 9:00 p.m. Tickets start at $14.95 for kids and $19.95 for adults.
It’s no surprise that Denver is home to some of the world’s most astonishing scenery. Take advantage of your time in the Mile High City and enjoy a classic winter activity. A few of the best trails near Denver for snowshoeing include Echo Lake (for beginners), Lost Lake Trail (for intermediate snowshoers) and Berthoud Pass (for experts). You can easily rent a pair of snowshoes and trekking poles at Mountain Side Gear & Rentals, a local company located just outside of Denver. Rentals start at $13 per day for kids and $17 per day for adults.
Skyline Park ice skating is a staple in Denver’s downtown area. Don’t worry about high costs – entry to the rink is free and skate rentals are $7 for kids 12 & under and $9 for adults. The rink has already hosted more than 400,000 skaters, don’t be the one to miss out! The Skyline Park ice skating rink is open daily through February 20th. Hours vary throughout the season and on special holidays.
Grab your winter coat and gloves and head to Winter Park for an unforgettable snowmobile adventure. Participants have the opportunity to experience a birdseye view of the Denver landscape from the top of the Continental Divide. Reserve a guided or unguided snowmobile tour in the Winter Park / Fraser area for you and the family today. Have young kids? Bring them along for the ride! Grand Adventures provides a variety of snowmobiles and tours depending on your skill level. Rates vary based on the length of your tour and the type of tour chosen.
For nearly 50 years Our Gang Ice Racing has been pushing the boundaries for outdoor racing. From modified four-wheel-drive vehicles to everyday cars just off the highway, racers compete to see who’s the fastest in one-on-one races across a frozen lake in the Rocky Mountains. Spectators are always welcome at events for free. The 2022 race season starts on January 8th, but you can find the full schedule online.
From the larger-than-life art displays around the campus to the millions of reflective glass tiles that create the exterior of the Hamilton Building, the Denver Art Museum is bursting with artistic vibes. Once inside, visitors will discover works of art from around the world, created by artists of the past and present. The museum’s permanent collections include architecture and design dating back to the 1500s, the most comprehensive collection of Indigenous art in the world, photography portraying the American West from 1865 to the present day and much more. DAM also hosts special exhibitions as well as programs for kids.
Visit the museum daily from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., with extended hours on Tuesday evenings until 9:00 p.m. Tickets start at $13 for adults and $10 for college students (with student ID), seniors (65 and older) and military personnel (active and veterans with ID). Kids 18 and younger are always FREE. After enjoying a few hours at the DAM, head across the street to the Clyfford Still Museum for more artistic inspiration.
Dive into a rip-roaring good time with this taste of the West, held every winter in Denver since 1906. Over the last one-hundred+ years, this fun-filled, two-week event has become an escapade for the whole family to enjoy with rodeos, livestock exhibits, horse shows and more. You’ll have a chance to see all kinds of live animals, watch a variety of competitions and demonstrations and purchase locally grown meats and vegetables. Your kids will also love a day spent at the stock show with pony rides, petting zoos, hands-on exhibits and age-appropriate competitions. The upcoming stock show will take place from January 8th to 23rd. Don’t miss the kick-off parade in Downtown Denver on Jan. 6th.
Denver is the home of the Colorado Avalanche NHL hockey team. While you’re in town this winter, consider attending a game. The team plays at the Ball Arena, previously known as the Pepsi Center (also where the Denver Nuggets NBA team plays). Tickets start at just $32 per person but vary by game. Before the game, grab dinner across the street at Brooklyn’s, a spacious sports bar with great drink specials and scrumptious bites.
Beer lovers can’t pay a visit to Denver without taking a tour of the largest single-site brewery in the world. Reopening in 2022, the brewery tour gives visitors a chance to see each stage of the process from hops and barely to six-packs. This self-guided tour of the facility includes new enhancements to safety as well as the overall experience. Stop by the Coors Light Shop after your tour and find a unique souvenir to remember the experience. Tours start at $20 per person. Before the in-person tour officially reopens, you are welcome to check out a virtual tour offered for FREE online.
Even the biggest winter lover wants to escape the cold sometimes. Denver’s Butterfly Pavilion is a taste of the tropics while in the Rocky Mountains. The Pavilion’s tropical rain forest is home to more than 1,600 free-flying butterflies, and in total, the Pavilion has more than 5,000 creatures living there. You can’t leave without paying a visit to Rosie, the tarantula. Tickets are $9 for kids, $13 for adults and must be purchased in advance. The Butterfly Pavilion is open daily from 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Have you ever wondered how coins are made? The US Mint Facility in Denver not only mints coins but also manufactures dies and stores silver bullion (the blank silver rounds from which coins are made). Denver is one of the largest producers of money in the United States, and the Mint offers free tours to the public. Due to current safety protocols, in-person tours have been suspended, but everyone is invited to take a virtual tour. At this time, the Philadelphia Mint is live and available, and the Denver Mint is coming soon. Check online for the reopening date of in-person tours at the Denver Mint and easily join a virtual tour today!
The Grizzly Rose Saloon is a true Honky Tonk with live music nearly every night of the week. This fun and feisty venue is one of Denver’s hottest nightspots with a large hardwood dance floor, two mechanical bulls, five pool tables and 40,000 square-foot of fun. On any given night, you could find a DJ dance party, a live concert or a line-dancing competition. They even offer free dance lessons on Wednesdays and host a family night on Sundays. Check out all of the upcoming events online and plan a visit to the Grizzly Rose Saloon.
Whether you are wanting to hit the slopes or just explore the snow-covered mountains of Colorado, you’ll love a day spent at the Arapahoe Basin, known by locals as A-Basin or the Basin. Located about an hour west of Denver, the Basin is a budget-friendly ski resort that’s frequented by locals. They are known for their extended season, opening around mid-October and usually remaining open until early June. A-basin has more than 1,400 skiable acres with 9 lifts and more than 150 runs. Arapahoe Basin is open daily for skiing, snowboarding and exploring; hours of operation are 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. during the week and 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays.
Discover even more skiing delights in Denver while on your winter vacation.
Denver’s Downtown Aquarium is home to more than 500 species of animals and boasts more than one million gallons of underwater fun. But that’s not all! There’s also a 4-D theater, gift shop, restaurant and lounge for guests to enjoy. The restaurant and lounge provide unique views of the underwater world while the 4-D theater hosts seasonal films that your kids are sure to enjoy. Tickets start at $17.99 for kids and $23.99 for adults. Check online for each attractions’ hours of operation.
The Denver Botanical Garden is a 24-acre urban oasis in downtown Denver. The gardens display a variety of plant life from around the world in both naturalistic landscapes and modern designs. There’s also a scientific exhibition for education and a children’s garden for fun and exploration. During the holiday season, the gardens are transformed into the Blossoms of Light. Guests discover a dazzling display of lights and colors with seasonal sounds and holiday cheer. The gardens are open daily from 9:00 a.m to 2:30 p.m. with special hours for the Blossoms of Light. Easily reserve your tickets online.
On the outskirts of town, you’ll find Chatfield Farms, a 700-acre extension of the Denver Botanical Gardens. This native plant refuge includes a working farm with more than six acres dedicated to local produce, numerous garden spaces, thousands of wildflowers, a children’s play area and more. Guests are invited to explore the grounds and historical buildings with a guided tour of the farm. For a bit of seasonal splendor, visit Chatfield Farms for the Trail of Lights event. Each holiday season, the farm is illuminated with glistening displays of country Christmas charm. Visit the farm from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Monday through Thursday, from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Friday through Sunday and during special hours for the Trail of Lights. Tickets are available for purchase online.
Find even more holiday celebrations in Denver during your visit!
Once you are ready to book your winter getaway to Denver, be sure to check out our newly renovated Premium Suites. From floor to ceiling, we’ve made numerous upgrades and renovations to provide you with modern finishes, tech-savvy conveniences and plush home-like comforts. InTown Suites boasts three locations in the Denver metropolitan area and our sister company offers two additional properties, so you’re never too far from your favorite winter activities. Check out our affordable weekly rates below and book your next family vacation to Denver today!
Looking for more budget-friendly activities in Denver? Check out this list of cheap things to do in Denver.