Visiting museums can get expensive, especially for families. However, many local museums and attractions offer complimentary admission monthly — some even offer special activities on those days. The FREE days are funded, in part, by taxes collected through the Science and Cultural Facilities District. Because FREE days are, of course, very popular, expect large crowds and plan accordingly. Arrive early to secure a parking spot or consider carpooling or using public transportation.
While admission is FREE, special exhibitions or other add-on activities may incur a fee. Dates and times may change, so it’s always best to double-check as you plan your visit.
Here’s the list for 2019:
Children’s Museum of Denver at Marsico Campus – January 8, February 5, March 5, April 2, May 7, June 4, July 2, August 6, September 3, October 1, November 5, December 3. FREE days are on the first Tuesday of every month from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Clyfford Still Museum — January 24, February 17, March 26, April 28, May 22, June 18, July 17, August 3, September 12, October 15, November 2 (10 a.m. to 10 p.m. for Night at the Museums), December 18.
Colorado Railroad Museum — March 7, May 9, October 10. (Boulder Bonus: To celebrate its partnership with the City of Boulder, the Museum offers complimentary general admission to all Boulder County residents on April 19, August 16 and October 25. You must show proof of residency.)
Denver Art Museum – January 5, February 2, March 2, April 6, May 4, June 1, July 6, August 3, September 7, October 5, November 2, December 7. General admission is FREE for kids 18 and younger every day.
Denver Botanic Gardens at York Street – January 21, February 18, March 22, April 14, May 10 and 11 (Plant Sale), June 4, July 10, September 3, September 28 and 29 (Plant & Bulb Sale), November 11.
Denver Botanic Gardens Chatfield Farms – January 8, February 5, March 5, April 2, June 4, July 2, August 6, November 5.
Denver Museum of Nature & Science – January 7 & 27, February 11, April 3 (Night at the Museum) and 28, June 2, July 2 (Night at the Museum), August 26, September 29, October 14, November 17, December 8. Night at the Museum on April 3 and July 2 is from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Check here for more information on programming. (Note: FREE admission does not include IMAX or Planetarium.)
Denver Zoo — January 10, 18 and 19; February 3 and 4; and November 4 and 8.
Four Mile Historic Park – January 11, February 8, March 8, April 12, May 10, June 14, July 12, August 9, September 13, October 11, November 8, December 13. FREE days are the second Friday of every month (except holidays) from noon to 4 p.m.
Plains Conservation Center — January 17, February 21, March 21, June 20, July 18, August 15, November 21, December 19.
Here’s a FREE copy of the 2019 schedule to download and print. Post it at your workplace, school or community organization.
In addition, smaller museums, including strictly local ones, tend to have more free days (sometimes always free):
Aurora History Museum is FREE every day (closed on Monday). 15051 E. Alameda Parkway, Aurora.
Broomfield Veterans Memorial Museum is FREE Thursday & Saturday. 12 Garden Center, Broomfield.
Colorado School of Mines Geology Museum features minerals, fossils, gemstones, meteorites and historic mining artifacts. Always FREE. General Research Lab (GRL) Building, 1310 Maple St., Golden, 303-273-3815.
Golden History Museum is FREE every day (closed on Tuesday) from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., 923 10th St., 303-278-3557.
Hudson Gardens is FREE every day. Hours vary by season. 6115 S. Santa Fe Dr., Littleton.
Longmont Museum and Cultural Center, which was free all the time until January 2018, is now FREE only on the second Saturday of each month. 400 Quail Rd., Longmont, 303-651-8374.
The Money Museum is FREE Monday to Friday from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. 1020 16th St., Denver.|
Museum Outdoor Arts‘ indoor museum galleries are FREE Monday to Thursday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. This does not include special exhibitions or installations. 1000 Englewood Pkwy., Englewood.
Nederland Mining Museum. Celebrates hard-rock mining in Boulder County in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. FREE. Open from early June through late October. 200 N. Bridge St. (at the traffic circle), Nederland,
University of Colorado Museum of Natural History is open to the public and FREE seven days a week. Programs for adults and family activities are FREE too. 15th and Broadway, Boulder, 303-492-6892.