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Best Time To Visit Denver (Best Weather For Outdoor Activities & Family Fun)

Plan your Denver trip with our guide on the best times for weather & family fun. From shoulder seasons to festive events, find your ideal Denver adventure.

Tobi Miles
July 8, 2022
Best Time To Visit Denver (Best Weather For Outdoor Activities & Family Fun)

Denver is a city that has the perfect balance of outdoor activities and sophisticated urban culture. People travel to this city for all sorts of different reasons, such as visiting one of the 200 parks in the city or catching a Denver Broncos game. When you want to visit this Colorado city, you might be wondering when the best time to visit Denver is.

If you want to travel to Denver, we recommend booking your trip during one of the shoulder seasons for comfortable weather and fewer crowds. For a beautiful spring getaway, you can enjoy the mild days in April and May. The spring season is also the start of many annual events, like the Cinco De Mayo Festival and Open Doors Denver.

Are you ready to book an unforgettable trip to Denver, CO? Today, we’re going to discuss the best times to visit this city. As we discuss all the great attractions Denver has to offer each month, you’ll get a better idea of when you should book your trip.

When Should I Avoid Visiting Denver?

Denver has become a popular tourist destination for its selection of outdoor parks and trails. This has made the city a tourist hotspot in the summer months.

While June through August is a beautiful time to visit, these months also bring along a lot more expenses. For people looking to travel on a budget, we recommend avoiding this city in the summer.

There are a lot of different attractions that tourists flock to the city to experience in the summer. This causes the rates to greatly increase. People traveling this time of year can expect higher costs for flights and accommodations. Some restaurants and other local attractions raise their prices during the prime tourist season as well.

When Is The Cheapest Month To Visit Denver?

The cheapest month to visit Denver is in January. This is when you will be able to find the lowest rates on flights and hotels will have off-season rates in effect.

Most airlines will offer a rate on tickets that’s nearly 25% cheaper than the average price. If you begin looking for flights to book ahead of time, you may find a sale to score them even cheaper.

Hotels in Denver are normally pricey. However, if you book one in advance for the off-season, you may be able to score a great deal as well. You may be able to find rates that are discounted by over 40%.

Related Read: 20 Best Romantic Getaways In Colorado

Best Time To Visit Denver: Month By Month Breakdown

One of the things we love about Denver is that it receives all four seasons. This means that there’s never really a bad time to go. You can have a memorable trip during your favorite season, especially if you know what the city has to offer at that time of year.

January: Best Time For Indoor Attractions

January isn’t the nicest month for spending a day out on the trails and beaches. That doesn’t mean you’re not going to have a good time in Denver.

This city is filled with great indoor tourist attractions that will keep you entertained all day. There is a wide selection of museums to choose from, featuring art, science, and nature.

The Downtown Aquarium is worth visiting so you can see the 50,000-gallon centerpiece and sea creatures. Beer drinkers always enjoy taking a tour of the Coors Factory.

Another perk of this city is that Denver has a selection of malls to visit, like 16th Street Mall and Cherry Creek North. January is a great month to find discounts in a lot of the shops.

  • Wings Over The Rockies Air & Space Museum
  • Hot chocolate at the Union Station
  • Museum of Contemporary Art Denver

February: Best Time For Food and Beverages

On a cold month like February, there’s something extra comforting about warming up with delicious food and beverages. The food and drink culture in Denver is very big, and it’s definitely worth experiencing if you get to visit this city. After all, this is likely the only city where you can order authentic mountain pizza or craft beer ice cream.

There are a lot of delicious foods that are custom to Denver. The first time you visit a new location, you always get restaurant recommendations. When visiting Denver, you can go on a food tour which allows you to try a variety of the foods this city has to offer.

Delicious Denver Tours gives people a taste of Denver's most popular menu items. Local Table Foods Tours visits small locally owned businesses that have some of the best eats and treats around.

  • Afternoon tea at the Brown Palace
  • Denver Wine Walk
  • Microbrewery tours

March: Best Month For Art and Music

March can be an unpredictable season in Denver. You will either run into snowy winter weather or the beginning of springlike temperatures.

Since outdoor activities might not be as enjoyable this time of year, we recommend getting a taste of the Denver art and music culture. This city has thriving art and music scene that is filled with talented individuals.

If you take a tour through the urban areas of the city, you find many displays of bright and vibrant street art.

The art district of this city features displays from some of the community’s most creative members. There is a theatre that features live performances all year long, and the live music scene features performers of all genres.

  • Watch a live performance at Central City Opera House
  • Visit an art exhibition
  • View The Yearling sculpture outside the Denver Public Library

Related Read: Best Time to Visit Aspen, CO

April: Best Month To Enjoy Free Activities

Traveling can get very expensive. Some tourists spend over $1000 in one week alone. April is one of the best months to visit Denver because the off-season rates are still in effect and the weather is nice enough for you to enjoy many of the free activities that are popular in the spring.

This is the first month that’s nice for hiking, so it’s the perfect time to get out and explore the trails and mountains before larger groups of tourists arrive.

There are also many places in the city that you can tour free of charge. The Colorado State Capital and the Denver US Mint allow visitors to enjoy free educational tours.

You can also snag some free tea or beer from a trip to the Celestial Seasonings Tour or Coors Factory. When talking about free activities, we can’t exclude Larimer Square. This is the historical section of Denver that’s always captivating to explore.

  • Get in touch with nature at the Garden of Gods
  • Explore Dinosaur Ridge
  • Enjoy a tour of Hammond’s Candy Factory
  • View hidden treasures at Open Door Denver

May: Best Month To Enjoy Outdoor Activities

May is many tourists’ favorite month to come to Denver. The reason why is that they love getting to explore some of the city’s parks and trails.

This month offers the best weather for these kinds of days because the winter frost is gone, but it’s not too hot. Days can get as high as 73.5 F/ 23 C, while evenings can get as low as 44.5 F/ 7 C.

If you want to get out and explore the scenic areas of Denver, spring is the best time. There are plenty of great spots to have a picnic. Lakeside trails offer beautiful hiking locations.

The city also has many playgrounds to keep kids entertained. After a day outdoors, you can enjoy a coffee break at one of the popular local cafes.

  • Play volleyball at Washington Park
  • Learn about the history of Chessman Park
  • Enjoy a riverfront walk along Cherry Creek
  • Cinco De Mayo Festival

June: Best Month For Relaxing Beach Days

Be prepared for warm weather if you visit Denver in June. This time of year, days are always above 70 F/ 21 C.

June is one of our favorite months for enjoying beach days. It’s nice to cool off by the water on such hot days, especially after a walk along one of the many trails. There is also a selection of beautiful beaches to visit while in Denver, so you can make time to visit a few of them.

One of the great things about the beaches in Denver in June is that they aren’t overly crowded yet.

The tourist season is just beginning, so the crowds are lighter. You will have a better chance of being able to get a nice quiet spot to lounge on at the beach in June than you would the other months of summer.

  • Go camping at Grand Lake
  • Have fun fishing at the Aurora Reservoir
  • Spend a day sailing at Jackson Lake Park

July: Best Month For Popular Events

It’s no secret that July is one of the busiest months for tourists in Denver. There’s a good reason why as there are many different festivals and events that occur during this month.

For example, every Sunday night you can listen to free live jazz music at City Park. The Dragon Boat Festival occurs at the beginning of the month and has been a Denver tradition since 2001.

The Botanical Gardens is another hot spot in July because you can learn about a lot of plants that thrive in Denver’s climate and often live music plays there. Another event that occurs at the beginning of the month is the Cherry Creek Art Festival. This festival has a mix of award-winning art pieces and cuisine.

  • Visit the Denver Zoo
  • Rent a kayak
  • Attend a baseball game at Coors Field

August: Best Month To Try Denver’s Frozen Treats

The food culture in Denver is one of the things that people enjoy about this city. Ice cream in Denver is on a whole different level.

Since August is a hot and humid month, it’s the perfect time to hit up as many ice cream stands as possible. Denver has a lot of outdoor attractions that are fun to visit in the summer, so when you want to cool down afterward, ice cream is one of the best ways.

Little Man Ice Cream is one of the most beloved summer traditions that locals look forward to every year. It can be spotted by the 28-foot-tall ice cream can landmark.

This iconic ice cream shop serves fresh homemade ice cream with many flavors to choose from. If you want an ice cream tour, you can visit the Little Man Ice Cream Factory (which opened its doors in 2019).

This ice cream tour shows visitors the special features included in making their iconic ice cream, and the tour also features an ice cream tasting room.

  • Visit a local farmer's market
  • Try shaved ice at Linger
  • Cool down at Water World

September: Best Month For Hikes

Another month for prime weather and fewer crowds in Denver is September. Daytime is less humid than period months, but temperatures may get as high as 90 F/ 32 C. At nighttime, they could drop to 40 F/ 7.

This makes September one of the best months for bringing your hiking gear and exploring Denver’s famous trails. There is a great selection of trails throughout this city, but one of the most popular trails is the Trading Post Trail because it’s easy and surrounded by beautiful scenery.

Cool September nights in Denver are perfect for grabbing your coziest sweater and favorite drink to sit outdoors stargazing. Denver’s location is well placed for a great stargazing experience. To make it even better, there is very little light pollution because of the altitude. Colorado has been named one of the best states for stargazing.

  • Spend a day at Brainard Lake Recreation Center
  • Try a traditional Bisop steak
  • Visit Emerald Lake for a hike

Related Read: 15 Best Aspen Hiking Trails

October: Best Month For Sports Fans

Denver has some pretty great sports teams. The Denver Broncos bring a lot of NFL fans to the city, while NBA fans visit to see the Denver Nuggets. Both of these teams are in season during October.

The NHL season has also started, so the Colorado Avalanches will be playing too. The world series is in play for MLB, so if the Colorado Rockies make it, there’s a possibility they could play too.

If you’re a sports fan, October is one of the best months to catch a game in Denver. Empower Field at Mile High is the stadium where NFL games are played.

The Ball Arena hosts NBA and NHL games. If you want to see your favorite Denver team play you may have to do some scheduling to plan your trip just right.

Sports are just part of the fun when it comes to visiting Denver in October. This is when the autumn season is at its peak. Leaves are beginning to change color and the atmosphere is beginning to feel spookier for the Halloween season.

  • Scenic drives to see the colorful leaves
  • Corn mazes and pumpkin patches
  • Watch your favorite Denver sports team

November: Best Month For Getting Festive

Technically Christmas isn’t until December, but the community in Denver knows how to get you in the spirit any time of year. What makes November magical in Denver is that this month has the perfect balance of harvest and holidays. The Thanksgiving season is full in effect, but the city is also introducing more Christmas-themed traditions.

One of the annual events that is a must-see in November is the Festival of Wreaths. Local artists create wreaths to donate to the festival and put on display. There is also a Polar Express train ride on select dates in November and December for kids to enjoy. People can also have fun participating in holiday events at Camp Christmas.

  • Eat your heart out during Denver Restaurant Week
  • See holiday lights at the Blossom of Lights
  • Support and watch the annual Harvesting Hope 5K run

Related Read: 11 Best Places for Snowtubing in Colorado

December: Best Month For Holiday Events

November is just the beginning of the festivities in Denver. When December comes around, traveling to this city is the next best thing to visiting the North Pole.

In December, there are so many places lit up around the city. Simply taking a drive or going for a stroll after dark feels magical. Even the Denver Zoo has illuminated animal sculptures for the holiday season.

Holiday-themed performances are popular this time of year as well. You can catch a viewing of The Nutcracker at Ellie Caulkins Opera House or an Irish Christmas Performance at the Paramount Theatre. Many local restaurants also serve delicious seasonal feasts during this season.

  • Ice skating
  • Christmas shopping
  • Ride the carousel at Denver Pavilions

When Is The Best Time To Visit Denver With Family?

Although the summer season is busier in Denver, it is also one of the best times to visit with your family. This is because there are more kid-friendly attractions that are open this time of year.

Kids can get bored easily when they are stuck indoors, which is why you should bring the family during a time when they can enjoy activities all day long. Places like the Denver Zoo, Downtown Aquarium, and Water World are all kid-approved.

If budget is your concern, you may enjoy a trip with your family in May or October. This is because the off-season travel rates are still running but the weather is nice enough to enjoy visiting the parks and trails. You will be able to find an assortment of free activities to keep the kids amused.

When Is Denver The Most Crowded?

Denver is always the most crowded from the end of June through August. This is because school is out, summer attractions are open, and there are a lot of annual events that take place in the city.

If you want to avoid crowds, you likely won’t enjoy coming here in the summer. On the other hand, if you want to meet new people, you will have plenty of opportunities in Denver in the summer.

What Is The Rainiest Month In Denver?

The rainiest month in Denver is May. While the weather is usually beautiful in the middle of spring, there is also the chance that you will run into more wet days.

On average, Denver will get just under 2 inches of rain every May. If you travel here in the spring, make sure you bring your umbrella.

Tobi Miles
Article updated:
March 28, 2024
A nomadic wordsmith savoring the world's flavors and penning stories that turn every journey into an epic.
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