Free & low-cost outdoor activities for the whole family

Spending time outside and being active is one way that we can support our own mental health and the mental health of our children.

Thankfully, in our communities there are tons of opportunities to enjoy the outdoors. Many of these activities are free. Others require a small entry or participation fee.

If you’re staying close to home, there are still fun ways to play outside with your child, in the backyard or at the local park. Try these ideas:

  • Bubbles
  • Obstacle course
  • Scavenger hunt
  • Create a fairy garden
  • Sidewalk chalk
  • Hopscotch
  • Jump rope
  • Play tag, capture the flag or hide-and-seek
  • Have a picnic

Click here for a list of 100 things every kid should do before they turn 12!

2024 catalog of Summer of Fun and Learning

This fantastic guide was created by Jeffco Public Schools. It includes a list of free days at local museums, summer learning resources, family activities in the community, indoor/outdoor activity ideas, information about food programs, and much more!

  • Click here  for the Summer of Fun & Learning Catalog in English.
  • Haga clic aquí para ver el Catálogo de Verano de Diversión y Aprendizaje en español. 

Free Days at Denver Museums & Cultural Centers

Museums and cultural centers across the Denver area offer periodic free days to museums, art galleries, and cultural centers.

Participating organizations include the Denver Art Museum, the Denver Museum of Nature and Science, the Botanic Gardens, the Museum of Outdoor Arts, Four Mile Historic Park, the Clyfford Still Museum, and many many more!

Click here to learn more about free days. 

Explore for FREE using the Culture Pass!

The Jefferson County Public Library purchases memberships at local art, culture, history and outdoor destinations so that JCPL cardholders can explore Colorado for free with the Culture Pass.

Click here to learn more and book a Culture Pass. 

Recreation Centers

Recreation Centers are a great way to access all our community offers! Some of the fun things you can expect to find are indoor and outdoor pools, swimming lessons, playgrounds, children’s sports, and various outdoor activities and camps.

Jefferson, Clear Creek and Gilpin Counties have Rec Centers that each offer their own variety of activities, both indoor and outdoor. Check them all out and find the activities that are the most fun for your family. Several of the Rec Centers also offer outdoor fitness areas where (fee and registration required).

Learn more and find Rec Center locations:

Hit the hiking trail!

Jefferson, Gilpin and Clear Creek Counties are home to some beautiful, kid-friendly trails and open spaces that are fun in the summer and in the snow! Here are a few of our favorites:

Mt. Falcon Park, Indian Hills – Enjoy a tower overlook as you walk through this beautiful landscape.

Lair o’ The Bear Park, Idledale – A great hike for kids, make sure to pack a picnic to enjoy by Bear Creek while you adventure through the Lair!

Red Rocks Amphitheater, Morrison – Hiking through the beautiful landscape surrounding Red Rocks Amphitheater is a fantastic way to fill an afternoon and perfect for hikers of all ages and abilities.

Crown Hill Park, Wheat Ridge – Spectacular views surround this hidden oasis in its suburban location. With trails that wind around wetlands and outcroppings of trees, you’ll be in prime bird-watching territory.

Meyer Ranch Park, Morrison – Experience breathtaking fields of wildflowers as you escape to nature on these flora-filled trails.

Dinosaur Ridge, Morrison – Walk along trails that are home to over 300 dinosaur tracks. Learn about geology and fossils and the fascinating dinosaurs that inhabited this area millions of years ago.

Three Sisters Park, Evergreen – Massive rock formations and breathtaking views of the continental divide make this a hike the whole family will love. Don’t be surprised if you spot a hawk or two on these popular bird-watching trails.

Lookout Mountain Preserve and Nature Center, Golden – Connect with nature, and experience some of our state’s beauty through hiking, free educational programs, and tours.

Pine Valley Ranch Park, Pine – Enjoy hiking, fishing, and outdoor fun at this beautiful lake in Pike National Forrest surrounded by kid-approved trails and recreation areas.

Cool off at a local splash pads and parks

Our area has many great playgrounds and summer splash pads. Some parks are free, and others charge an admission fee. Most open around Memorial Day.

Take time this summer to explore them all!

Check out nearby state parks!

Camp, hike, fish, bike, and explore at Colorado’s state parks!

For a small entry fee, your family can spend all day enjoying the outdoors. Pack a picnic and bring your swimsuit to take advantage of these outdoor spaces.

Click here to search for state parks in Colorado and see a complete list of parks and locations.

Beat the heat at the library!

The public libraries sponsor a ton of great summer activities for the whole family. Fitness, arts and crafts, storytime, and much more!

Find something fun to do (in the comfort of AC!) at one of our local libraries.

Clear Creek County Library District

Gilpin County Public Library

Jefferson County Public Library