Looking for some budget-friendly culture this summer? Check out the upcoming SCFD free days

Hart Van Denburg/CPR News
In 1937, the artist Clyfford Still founded an artist colony on the homeland of the Colville Confederated Tribes, and created portraits of Native people who lived on the land. The works on paper are now on display at the Still Museum in Denver, in among some of the more avant grade work he created later in life.

Looking for some free fun this summer? The Scientific and Cultural Facilities District is hosting a range of free events around the Denver Metro area during the summer. The SCFD is a unique cultural funding model serving the seven counties that make up the metro area — Adams, Arapahoe, Boulder, Broomfield, Denver, Douglas, and Jefferson counties. It’s the second-largest cultural funding mechanism in the United States.

Organizations around the area offer numerous free days and programs each year, made possible in part by funding from SCFD.

Some museums and parks funded by SCFD are free every day

Others around the region offer free days for visitors on specific days:

Denver Art Museum

A view of the Denver Art Museum from Denver Public Library's Central branch. The DAM is a grey big building with angular sides that jut out in different directions. It's surrounded by other buildings, roads, and cars.
Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite
A view of the Denver Art Museum from Denver Public Library's Central branch. Dec. 23, 2021.

Free Days at the Denver Art Museum gives guests the chance to interact with artwork, take part in on-site events, and see on-view exhibitions.

  • Tuesday, July 9
  • Sunday, July 21
  • Tuesday, August 13
  • Saturday, September 7
  • Tuesday, September 10

Free general admission to the Denver Art Museum does not include entry to ticketed exhibitions or entry to the Kirkland Museum.

Museum of Outdoor Arts

On some Thursdays through the summer, through Rock the Block, residents can interact with the Greenwood Village business community, which includes lunch at Marjorie Park. There will be live music, art exhibits by the Greenwood Village Curtis Center for the Arts, yard games, and food options available for purchase.

Clyfford Still Museum

The Clyfford Still Museum across the street with cars parked on the side of the street in front of it. It's a big grey building with grooves along the walls.
Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite
The Clyfford Still museum. March 12, 2022.

The 34th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is being celebrated at the Clyfford Still Museum with a Disability Pride (ADA) Celebration that includes interactive art-making and a movement-based activity for kids and their families.

Sun July 28, 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Historic Denver/ Molly Brown House Museum

The Molly Brown House offers free admission to residents of Adams, Arapahoe, Boulder, Broomfield, Denver, Douglas, and Jefferson Counties on the first Tuesday of each month from 5 p.m. -7 p.m. No reservations are available, so it's first come, first served.

Longmont Museum

Longmont Museum Free Second Saturday: The second Saturday of each month is free admission at the Longmont Museum.

City of Lafayette Arts & Cultural Resources Department

The Picnic on the Plaza Series takes place every Thursday from May to August, except on July 4th, from noon to 1 p.m. The event is held on the lawn at Festival Plaza, 311 S. Public Road. It also has free live music.

  • July 11 - Steve Glostzer
  • July 18 - School of Rock
  • July 25 - Roberta Maldonado
  • Aug. 1 - Scott Fowler
  • Aug. 8 - Beloved Invadors
  • Aug. 15 - Los Bichos

City of Aurora Open Space & Natural Resources

Plains Conservation Center's SCFD Free Days: Wagon rides on the prairie allow people to see resident wildlife, tours of the 1880s tipi camp and homestead village, and presentations by HawkQuest featuring live eagles, owls, falcons, and more on the following dates:

July 13 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.August 15 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

No registration is required for, but coming early to secure tickets for HawkQuest is recommended. Tickets are free, but seating is limited.

Four Mile Historic Park

An old house sits at a distance surrounded by trees and a white picket fence. Green grass with a blue sky above.
Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite
Four Mile House in the vicinity of 715 Forest Street in what is now the Four Mile Historic Park.

Free Fridays at Four Mile is a monthly event that takes place on the 4th Friday of each month. Free General Admission is only available during regular hours from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. However, please note that admission to special events or programs at Four Mile is not covered during Free Days.

  • July 26-August 23

The Art Garage

The monthly open studio events at The Art Garage allow visitors to work on their art. Pay what you can to use the space and bring your own materials. Be surrounded by local artists and work at your own pace, and receive creative feedback from peers.

  • July 26, 5:30 p.m.- 8:30 p.m.
  • August 23, 5:30 p.m.- 8:30 p.m


Open Mic & Mingle: Open Mic & Mingle brings together community, art and artists of all genres and disciplines. It takes place every 4th Friday of the month at House of Friendship in Aurora.

  • July 26, 6 p.m.-8 p.m.
  • August 23, 6 p.m.-8 p.m.

Colorado Dragon Boat Festival

The 2024 Colorado Dragon Boat Festival is free and open to the public with a variety of activities for the whole family. The races start at 8 a.m. and continue throughout the day, while the festival officially starts each day at 10 a.m.

  • July 27 & 28

Local Theater Company

“We the People: The Democracy Circle”

Local Theater Company is presenting staged readings of three Democracy Cycle short plays that reflect the stories of distinct Colorado communities. The plays take audiences from a mobile home park in Boulder, to a jail cell in Denver, to an unlikely council gathering in Gunnison. These works ask the question: where can we find shelter, a home, in these turbulent times? The answer may not be as far as we think.

  • In Boulder, July 27, 4 p.m.-6 p.m.: Season 14 Kickoff Party 
  • 6 p.m.: Democracy Cycle play reading
  • 7:30 p.m.: Community Engagement Event Canyon Theater @ Boulder Public Library Main Branch
  • In Gunnison, Thursday, August 1, 7 p.m.: Democracy Cycle play reading
  • 8:30 p.m.: Community Engagement Event at The Taylor Studio Theatre
  • In Denver, Saturday, August 3, 7 p.m.: Democracy Cycle play reading 
  • 8:30 pm: Community Engagement Event Curious Theatre Company

Denver Botanic Gardens

Hart Van Denburg/CPR News
Denver Botanic Gardens, October 2023.

Denver Botanic Gardens Free Days are available throughout the year. It's important to note that this event can sell out, so it's recommended to get your tickets in advance. No tickets will be available onsite on days that are sold out. Free Days only apply to regular Gardens hours and do not include ticketed events. Tickets are released on a rolling basis, three months at a time, and they will be available on the 1st of each month.

2024 Free Days for York Street and Chatfield Farms

  • Wednesday, July 3
  • Wednesday, August 28

2024 Free Days at Plains Conservation Center

  • Saturday, July 13, 9 a.m. – 2 p.m.
  • Thursday, August 15, 9 a.m. – 2 p.m.