Walk up the steps of the Colorado Capitol past the "One Mile Above Sea Level" step. Photo credit: Dave Falconer & VISIT DENVER

Walk up the steps of the Colorado Capitol past the “One Mile Above Sea Level” step. Photo credit: Dave Falconer & VISIT DENVER

I’ve lived in Denver nearly all my adult life. My daughters and I have explored and enjoyed much of the city. Now I’m blessed to take my grandchildren to some of the same family friendly attractions.

Fortunately, there are many free things to do in Denver – including these six family-friendly attractions, which my grandchildren enjoy just as much as my daughters did.

The Capitol Building in Denver

Begin your Colorado adventure by standing 5,280 feet high – that’s one mile – on the steps of the gold-domed Capitol building. Learn about the state’s history, Monday through Friday, with a free Colorado State Capitol tour starting on the first floor. Check out the beautiful stained glass windows, Women’s Gold Tapestry, and Presidential portraits. The guided tour takes families on a journey from early statehood to today, including a stop outside Senate and House of Representatives chambers.

Money for Nothing

Photo courtesy of Money Museum, the Denver Branch of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City

Photo courtesy of Money Museum, the Denver Branch of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City

Learn how to make money with a free tour of the Denver U.S. Mint, which produces 50 million coins a day, each stamped with “D” for Denver. The tour shows the process of turning a metal slug into a shiny coin.

What does $30 million look like? Have you ever seen a $100,000 bill? You’ll see all this and more when visiting the Money Museum, the Denver Branch of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City. The free tour offers insight into the Federal Reserve Bank, including an overview of American currency dating back to 1775. When the tour is over, your souvenir is a bag of shredded money.

Snap-Button Freebie

Rockmount manufactures Western shirts, hats and accessories and sells them world-wide. Photo Credit: Steve Crecelius & VISIT DENVER.

Rockmount manufactures Western shirts, hats and accessories and sells them world-wide.
Photo Credit: Steve Crecelius & VISIT DENVER.

Did you know that the inventor of the western snap-button shirt is from Denver? In Lower Downtown (or LoDo), you can browse the historic Rockmount Ranch Wear, with a photo montage of famous people who have worn their shirts, from Elvis Presley to today’s rock stars. Although the tour is free, you can have a piece of history by purchasing your own Rockmount shirt!

 Free Things to Do in Denver, Sports Lover’s Edition

The Colorado Sports Hall of Fame Museum is a tribute to the state’s homegrown sports heroes, located inside the Sports Authority Stadium (Home of Denver Broncos). Admission is free, and exhibits include the Gallery of Legends, Great Moments in Colorado Sports, and a segment is also devoted to girls and women in Colorado Sports.

Dig This Prehistoric Find

Kids will dig history at Dinosaur Ridge when they take a prehistoric journey of the Colorado Front Range. A free self-guided hike (one to two hours) will take you back to the 1877 discovery of the famous Jurassic and other dinosaur bones. Make it a game to find the over 15 sites of hundreds of dinosaur tracks and other geologic features.

Photo courtesy Dinosaur Ridge

Photo courtesy Dinosaur Ridge