7 free things to do in Colorado in April

March 15, 2023
Bison 10 miles from downtown Denver at a wildlife refuge, a great place to visit in Colorado in April.
Located only 10 miles from downtown Denver, Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge offers an escape to nature with native wildlife, including bison.  Photo: Getty images.

April is a great month to discover all that Colorado has to offer without spending a dime! As the sun shines brighter and the days grow longer, April is an excellent time to get outside and relish the beauty of nature. If you’re searching for cost-free experiences to enjoy, you’re not alone. Check out these free things to do in Colorado in April:

April 2, 10, 18 and 25: Stargaze in the North

Northern Colorado Astronomical Society’s free public stargazing event, which can be attended in April in Colorado.
Need a new idea for date night? Switch it up by attending one of Northern Colorado Astronomical Society’s free public stargazing events. Photo by Charlie Davis, for Northern Colorado Astronomical Society.

Northern Colorado offers some of the best stargazing hot spots on the Front Range. The Northern Colorado Astronomical Society hosts public observation events where member volunteers provide telescopes and share their knowledge about stars, planets, galaxies and more. It’s a fun, cost-free way to learn more about the night skies, just make sure you make a reservation.

April 8: Attend the Steamboat Cardboard Classic

three young people in a cardboard-designed tub going down the snow at the Steamboat Cardboard Classic held in April in Colorado.
The Steamboat Cardboard Classic is a fun cardboard boat race hosted each April in Colorado to celebrate the arrival of spring. Photo courtesy of Steamboat Ski Resort.

The Steamboat Ski Area is gearing up to host the 41st annual traditional rite of spring, a beloved event that never fails to amuse. Participants build their own cardboard boats using duct tape, markers, strings and balloons, and then race them downhill to a raucous finish. This one-of-a-kind spectacle attracts both tourists and residents, who relish the hilarity of it all. To cap off the event, prizes are awarded for the Most Creative, Best Costumes and Crowd Favorite categories.

April 19: Join the festivities on Bike Day by taking part in the Community Ride and Bicycle Parade

Bike tires
Biking is a great, low-impact way to improve your cardiovascular fitness. Join cyclists on Bike Day for a community ride on April 19. Photo by Getty Images.

Grab your helmet and bicycle and hop on for this delightful 4+ mile ride through the heart of downtown Denver. It’s a fantastic opportunity to get outside, enjoy the company of fellow biking enthusiasts and revel in the fun of the parade.

April 1-30: Immerse yourself in American history by taking a free tour at the Denver Mint

US Mint building in Denver, Colorado, which offers free guided tours.
Learn how Denver plays an integral role in the production of U.S. coins during the free guided tour at the Denver Mint. Photo by Getty Images.

More than 50 million coins are produced each year at Denver’s United States Mint. This behind-the-scenes tour details the history of money and the coin-stamping process, and what an important and unique role Denver plays in national coin production.

April 1-30: Enjoy one of Colorado’s wildlife refuges

A buffalo 10 miles from downtown Denver at a wildlife refuge, a great place to visit in Colorado in April.
A bison roams at the Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge. Photo: Getty Images.

The wildlife refuge system was created to conserve America’s fish, wildlife and natural areas across the country. Colorado is home to eight wildlife refuges, all which are free and open to the public. Most refuges have educational and nature activities for visitors to enjoy and of course you can’t forget about the wildlife you may encounter, everything from bison, to moose, to bald eagles.

April 1-30: Get moving on the Cherry Creek Trail

person tying their running shoes
Exercising outdoors is a no-cost way to boost your physical and mental health. Photo: Getty Images.

The 42-mile track starts in downtown Denver and winds through urban areas, the middle of town, near prairie grasslands and finishes up at Franktown, alongside Cherry Creek. Soak up some vitamin D while you bike, jog, run or walk this paved path and best of all, you can bring your dog.

April 1-30: Visit Garden of the Gods

Garden of the Gods in Colorado.
Garden of the Gods offers a picturesque hiking experience with its jagged rock formations, varied terrain and breathtaking views of Pikes Peak. Photo: Getty Images.

Garden of the Gods is a must-see natural wonder in Colorado. It is a registered National Landmark with dramatic and breathtaking views. Visitors can explore the park with a free self-guided audio tour, explore one of the many hikes, or check out the Visitor and Nature Center, which offers several exhibitions.

About the author

Megan Jansson is a Social Media Communication Strategist at UCHealth with a passion for all things health. She worked as a certified personal trainer for many years, earned her bachelor’s degree in strategic advertising at the University of Colorado Boulder and earned her master’s degree in public health at Colorado State University. Always having a big passion for writing, she’s written numerous articles and stories for Colorado State University and the Colorado School of Public Health.