It seems like every year, more young adults are realizing Denver is the place to be – and for good reason. Downtown is bustling, the surrounding neighborhoods are jammed with culture and just a quick drive West will reveal some of the most breathtaking mountain landscapes in the country. It’s no wonder the city is getting younger at a faster rate than any other U.S. city.
Young adults make up almost 40% of Denver’s population and in 2021, it was viewed as the most desired destination for millennials to live. To keep up, businesses are getting more innovative to connect with these younger crowds who are always looking for a great time out.
That’s why we put together this list of Denver’s hidden gems, popular spots and one-of-a-kind experiences all young adults in Denver will love.
Explore Denver’s Art Scene
While “art” might not be the first word that comes to mind when you think of Denver, the city has a rich history of artistry that continues to be on full display as it evolves.
RiNo Art District Murals
RiNo used to be one of the industrial centers of Denver, but over the last 10-20 years it’s become Denver’s center for creative type. RiNo is especially known for their murals, and hosts an annual festival to celebrate its rich outdoor art culture. Wandering to the streets of RiNo is always a great time to look at art, wander through some of the retail store, and grab some food at Denver Central Market. Use this map to learn the history of the murals as you go.
First Friday in Santa Fe Art District
Every first Friday there’s a new and immersive art experience for young adults in Denver. The Santa Fe Art Walk is a monthly event where businesses in Denver’s historic art district open their doors for a wide range of events, both for free and worth your money. Wander through the galleries, grab a drink See Denver’s most creative minds in action, take art and sculpting classes and finish the evening with some of the best collections of breweries in Colorado.
Denver Art Museum
While Denver Art Museum isn’t the Smithsonian, the museum does get truly world class traveling exhibitions. Keep an on their website to track who they have currently and who they have scheduled. The museum is also known for having one of the largest collections of Native American art featuring over 18,000 items from 250 different tribes. For lunch, head across the street to Leven Deli, a local favorite of museumgoers.
Verse: Art of the Future
One of Denver’s newest art installations, Verse is an NFT-based gallery filled with digital art displays for young adults with an elevated interest in blockchain technology. It’s an immersive and futuristic collection of spellbinding visuals that becomes a perfect snapshot into our current state of culture and technology.
Wings over the Rockies
For young adults in Denver, Lowry is the ideal kick-back spot packed with seemingly endless gym options, pleasant afternoon strolls, diverse new eateries and one of the city’s coolest museums – Wings Over the Rockies. Here, you can check out all things wings, from commercial aircrafts to military aviation and NASA-gifted spacecrafts. When you’re done, catch a short flight across the street to Rocket Ice Cream, a neighborhood staple for out-of-this-world flavors.
It’s hard to put Meow Wolf in the museum category because it’s so much more than that. It’s an interactive and fully immersive art production that transports visitors into realms beyond their wildest imaginations. At 60,0000 square feet and four levels of the most mind-melting exhibits you’ve ever seen, you’ll find something new with each visit. It’s a breathtaking trip that every Denver young adult should experience at least once.
International Church of Cannabis
Yup. Nothing says Denver like converting an old 1900s Lutheran building to a religious cannabis haven. Always open to the public, this is one of Denver’s most aesthetically beautiful church buildings. The psychedelic interior wall art is worth it alone – but do indulge in the church’s BEYOND meditation program. It’s a surprisingly beautiful light show with immersive music to help you feel the spirit.
One of a Kind Activities for Denver’s Young Adults
These activities honestly just didn’t fit anywhere else. They’re totally unique, and all great options to fill up some extra time on a weekend, whether you’re looking for something to do as an individual or as a group.
Archery Games Denver
Ready for a new kind of action-packed fun? Archery Games Denver is the city’s first and only archery dodgeball arena where young adults get the ultimate thrill of friendly fast-paced competition. Equipped with sturdy safety gear and foam-tipped arrows, teams play against each for a sweaty and unmatched action experience. It’s super easy to learn, making it perfect for team-building events, birthday parties and bachelor(ette) parties.
Some weekends you want to paint a sunset and sip away at a glass of merlot; other weekends you just need to smash heavy objects. Denver’s Smash It Breakroom where young adults go to unleash all their pent-up rage. It’s large, loud and filled with enough smashable items to release your chaotic energy and relieve stress. Remember, there’s no wrong way to wreak havoc, so rage away!
Ever wanted to feel like a medieval knight in the heat of combat? Down on Broadway is Axe Whooping, an exuberant axe-throwing experience where you can do precisely that. With up to two hours of gameplay, Axe Whooping will bring out your inner warrior and send you off with an exhilarating feeling of accomplishment by the end. Once you master the art of axe chucking, it’s hard to stop.
Conundrum Escape Rooms
Young adults in Denver love activities. It shows by the large number of escape rooms, with Denver said to have the most escape rooms per capita in the country (and maybe the world?). With such a competitive escape room scene, the rooms in Denver are among the best. What sets Conundrum apart from the trove of escape rooms popping up around the city is its slick attention to detail and storytelling. Immersive art and thoughtful props will amplify the wave of tension you feel when solving puzzles as you make your way through any of the five multi-room escape room themes. And the enchanting scenery will keep you invested, making this experience well worth your time and energy.
For the gamer young adults in Denver eager to get their hands (or eyes) on the latest interactive tech, head over to Immersive Gamebox. Newly built in Denver’s Congress Park neighborhood, Immersive Gamebox can host up to six young adults who want to spend the night conquering reality-bending e-games. For the binge-watchers, try the new Squid Game installation, packed with six sweaty challenges with all the fun and none of the – well, you know. Try pulling yourself away from The Angry Birds bundle for a more light-hearted crowd. We dare you!
Not only are the courses at Urban Putt equal parts fun and challenging, but the food is also well worth the sweat. Located between the bustling Larimer and Lawrence streets, the mini-golf experience here is electric and the atmosphere is laid-back enough for a post-game wind-down. Play as long as you’d like, but once the tantalizing scent of the kitchen’s Chicken and Waffle Skewers makes its way to your nose hairs, feel free to grab a table.
1Up Arcade Bar
1Up features all the arcade classics. Tons of pinball, skeeball, pac-man variations, and of course the arcade classics like Mortal Kombat. Oh, and they sell alcohol. 1Up now has three locations; one in the Ballpark neighborhood, one on Colfax, and one in Greenwood Village.
Catch a Show
Denver’s has a rich history of music dating back to a robust Jazz scene in the Five Points neighborhood. That musical history continues to be on display today. Strategically located between East and West, Denver has always thrived as a music destination as artists traverse the country. We’ve organized this list from smallest venues to largest, but left off megavenues like Coors Field.
Nocturne is more of a restaurant, but with nightly jazz (open Wednesday to Sunday). Keep on eye on their calendar to make sure they’re open that night and to make reservations. Dinner can be fairly expensive, but you can grab a seat at the bar on a weeknight for $19.
Lost Lake Lounge
Located on East Colfax, Lost Lake is in the heart of Denver’s independent music scene. The venue a bar and a fairly small concert room. You’ll never be far from the performer, providing an intimate atmosphere. Keep an eye on their performance calendar to catch some up-and-coming stars.
Located in Globeville, Globe Hall is another small venue, although it’s slightly bigger than Lost Lake. They also smoke their own barbeque, so show up early for some food and stay for the show.
Blue Bird Theater
Also located on East Colfax, Blue Bird dates all the way back to ~1913. With a capacity of 550, it’s more of a true concert hall than Lost Lake and Globe Hall, but it still makes for a intimate experience.
Grizzly Rose is Denver’s heart of country music. After the performance the crowd breaks it down with some line dancing and two stepping. Don’t know how? They offer free lessons on Wednesdays.
With a capacity of 3,900, Fillmore Auditorium is larger than the first few venues we’ve mentioned. Fillmore is proud of being only General Admission (no reserved spots). Opened in 1907 as the Mammoth Roller Skating Rink, Fillmore has a rich history as a part of Denver, hosting acts including Jimi Hendrix, The Who, and The Grateful Dead.
Red Rocks Amphitheatre is the keystone to Colorado’s eclectic music scene, and we’d be remiss if we didn’t mention it. On a stage once graced by legendary artists such as Jimi Hendrix, The Beatles and U2, Red Rocks is a bucket list topper for every Denver young adult. If concerts aren’t your thing, no sweat. Red Rocks has a diverse array of activities and wildlife. You can also climb the steps for an early morning workout, signup for some sizzling Saturday morning yoga or get in snow-season shape for skiing and snowboarding. Whatever you do, just go!
Denver Performing Arts Center
The Denver Performing Arts Center is the home to the Colorado Symphony. If you aren’t a big fan of classical music, they host movie nights where the symphony plays the soundtrack. The Denver Performing Arts Center is also Colorado’s home for theater.
Comedy Works is Denver’s home to stand up comedy. They have two locations now, but their downtown location, located right off Larimer Square, is their flagship. Comedy Works recently hosted Dave Chapelle and often hosts some big name. While you’ll generally see smaller names pop in than you might in LA or New York, Denver’s comedy scene is growing and Comedy Works is definitely worth a visit.
Have a craft drink
It’s assumed that every young adult must love craft beer (most do). But, the success of Denver’s early breweries inspired craft brewers/distillers of nearly every type of alcoholic libation, giving you a host of options to choose from
The first craft brewpub in Colorado, Wynkoop was largely responsible for kickstarting not only the craft beer scene, but the revitalization of the Union Station neighborhood. Grab a drink here and then grab a drink at Terminal Bar in Union Station. The brewery is also famous with kickstarting the career of John Hickenlooper. Now one of Colorado’s representatives to the US Senate, he got his political start as Mayor of Denver before becoming Governor or Colorado.
Great Divide Brewing
Great Divide is another OG of the Denver craft beer scene (and by extension, the national craft beef scene). Located in Rino, Great Divide helped turn Rino into a mecca of craft beer. Although some have since grown and moved (River North Brewing as an example), start off here and explore other breweries in Rino including Ratio and Our Mutual Friend.
Mile High Spirits
Mile High Spirits is known as the center of the nightlife scene in Rino. They distill their own craft spirits, which they then imbibe with flavors to mix some strong and cheap cocktails. In the evening they have music and the whole place is a party .
Tequila! Ok, so if you aren’t producing it in Mexico it isn’t technically tequila, but State 38 makes agave spirits using organic blue agave sourced from Jalisco, Mexico. Located in Golden, State 38 is a great pitstop after a hike.
Colorado Sake Co
Craft sake in Colorado? While that might not initially pique your interest, Colorado Sake Co has created a whole range of sippable sakes served cold. Flavored sakes range from Horchata (cinnamon and vanilla) to Blueberry Hibiscus. If you’re hungry, you can also grab some sushi while you taste.
Acreage by Stem Ciders
Although Stem started off downtown, they’ve since expanded to a truly magnificent venue in Lafayette called Acreage. Spread out, drink some cider, all while looing out over the foothills of the Rocky Mountains. This one takes a bit of a drive, but it’s worth it (don’t forget a designated driver!). The cidery features their signature Real Dry Cider, as well as more unique options including Chile Guava and Hibiscus Session. The venue also has a full food menu
Another famous name, Stranahan’s started not only Colorado’s now thriving microdistillery scene, but the national craft whiskey movement. Their distillery is conveniently located in the Baker neighborhood, and can be seen while driving on I75. Their annual Snowflake release
Owned by a husband and wife with Irish heritage, Talnua is Don’t know the difference between malted and unmalted barley? They’ll explain in on their tour, or just cozy up and learn the distillery’s rich history in the tasting room.
Talnua is also conveniently located next door to Archery Games, for those looking for an activity ad a drink.
Denver Microbrew Tour
Want a bit more insider knowledge? The Denver Microbrew Tour is a must for new and local young adults who want to experience Denver’s mature yet vibrant night scene. This mile-and-a-half stroll is filled to the brim with excellent craft beer from some of Denver’s most prized breweries. It’s also complemented by alluring historical facts and brewing demonstrations so you can learn as much as you drink.
Play some sports
Sports are a great way to get outside and be with friends (new or old).
Pickup volleyball at Wash(ington) Park
On a peak summer day, Wash Park hosts rows and rows of volleyballers. Groups always need additional players, so head over to the park to show off your inner Maverick and Goose.
Join an intramural sports league
Intramural sports are a great way to be active, while also meeting some new people. Denver has a mix of both more competitive leagues as well as leagues that are more geared toward socializing. Volo Sports is the largest sports league in Denver, with sports ranging from Soccer to Flag Football, and now Pickleball. Cup-in-hand kickball has always been a Denver classic for mid-20-somethings looking to expand their social circle with some Wednesday night kickball.
Group fitness class with ClassPass
Maybe these are sports, maybe they aren’t, that’s not the point. The point is Denverites love group fitness classes. On any given Sunday in Lohi you’ll see young adults with yoga mat in hand headed to or from their favorite studio. For those ready for some commitment, join your favorite Crossfit, yoga or kickboxing studio, and get the added benefit of a community of active (and fit!) people. For those that are still looking for their favorite activity, check out ClassPass. With varying monthly options you can try out yoga, muay thai, kickboxing, pilates, and even get a massage.
Dazzling Tours of Denver
For those new to town, these tours a great way to instantly feel like you understand the city.
Mile High Bike Tours
If you want to work off last week’s brewery tour calories, we have you covered. Mile High Bike Tours boasts a light workout while sightseeing some of Denver’s coolest visuals. The tour takes about two hours on Denver’s designated bike lanes and trails, making the ride equally safe and enjoyable. For young adults wanting a more laid-back pedal, Mile High Bike Tours now offers e-bikes.
Denver Patio Ride and Bike Bar
Stuck between bar hopping and bike touring this weekend? Denver Patio Ride combines the best of both worlds in this uniquely exciting experience. The bike bar is a pedal-powered vehicle that starts and ends at a designated spot in LoDo or RINO and can fit up to fifteen young adults simultaneously. Bring your own food and drinks aboard, compile your loudest playlist and visit three destinations of your choice on this two-hour group excursion.
For thrill-seeking young adults, ScooTours Denver is a motorized scooter tour that’s guaranteed fun, fast and unforgettable. It takes no time for first-timers to get comfortable with a bit of training from the company’s trusted experts while returning patrons are welcome to rent and ride on their own. There’s nothing like a gentle breeze cooling your face as you cruise around Denver’s most scenic loops.
Summer Activities for Young Adults
With 300 days of sunshine, sometimes you just want to get out and explore.
Find a Hike on Alltrails
For may young adults in Denver, summer means hiking. The Denver area has a hike for every skill level and commute. Download Alltrails on your phone and search for the location and difficulty you’re looking for. Want to stay close and noteworty? There’s some great trails right around Red Rocks that will have you overlooking the classic site. Want a challenging full day trek that isn’t too far of a drive? Check out Bear Peak in Boulder.
Denver Botanic Gardens
What more can be said about the Denver Botanic Gardens? Plenty. It’s like another realm within the city permeating with majestic beauty all year round. At any given week, there are gaze-worthy events and exhibits at both Denver and Chatfield locations. It’s quiet, serene and everything in between. Summer concerts and winter light shows easily qualify this spot as one of the best botanical gardens in the country.
Confluence Kayaks is the ultimate paddling adventure fit for anyone eager for an outdoor thrill. This underrated gem is a no-brainer for Denver young adults who lead an active lifestyle. Rent some kayaks, take lessons and splash through the whitewater channels near downtown Denver with this unforgettable experience.
Denver Adventures Zipline Tours
The closest zipline tour to Denver is nestled in the Rockies just over half an hour outside of the city. Denver Adventures boasts the longest, fastest and safest zipline tours for young adults longing for a new breathtaking activity. It’s a surprisingly long tour at about 1,900 feet and packages include a “Zip and Sip” deal where you can tour Conifer’s microbreweries at the end.
Oxotic is a supercar canyon touring experience where you get the luxury of driving exotic vehicles throughout Denver’s smoothest mountain roads. Oxotic gives you the power to choose between eight different supercars and five unique mountain drives for one of the most addicting afternoon experiences imaginable. It’s a luxurious adrenaline rush that you’ll want to experience over and over.
Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge activities
Located at the top of Denver is the Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge, home to Colorado’s diverse animal ecosystem. This spot is home to all things nature: wetlands, grasslands, bison, deer and eagles. Young adults can enjoy touring, hiking, fishing and even cross-country skiing. It’s one of the best places to connect with Denver’s nature.
Winter Activities in Denver for Young Adults
When people think Denver, they immediately think winter and skiing. As this list has shown you though, there’s tons of things to do in every season other than skiing. But for those that do want to enjoy the mountain winter wonderland only an hour west of Denver, here’s a few ideas.
Take Ski Lessons at Loveland
It didn’t feel complete to have a whole list of things to do without at least mentioning skiing. Loveland is one of the closest mountains to Denver, while also being one of the most affordable as an independently operated mountain. With slopes for all skill levels, Loveland is a great option for someone who is looking to try out skiing. Traffic on I-70 can be rough on Saturdays, so you’ll need to hit the road early.
For the adrenaline junkies out there , it’s hard to beat Snowmobiling. Taking off near Winter Park, Grand Adventures offers guided snowmobile tours through Arapaho National Forest that’ll give you some uniquely awesome Colorado views, while also getting your heart pumping.
It’s hiking, but in the winter, and some people really love it (mostly the people that also love hiking). Rent some snowshoes from REI and find the perfect trail wherever you’ll be. This handy guide from Visit Denver has some suggested tours with
Fun Food and Drink Outings in Denver
Create Kitchen and Bar
Create Kitchen and Bar is a fully hands-on cooking class where Denver’s young adults can whip up the finest cuisines from around the globe. You’re not required to join a class to enjoy the bar’s piquant cocktails, but it’s highly recommended. The courses are expert-led by top chefs and accessible to all learning styles. Create is truly one of Denver’s most unique and intimate food experiences.
It’s wild. It’s loud. And it’s damn good food. This culinary staple has been around since the late 1800s and has only gotten more delicious with age. The game you see mounted on the walls is pretty much what you’d find on the menu: elk, ostrich, venison, quail, rocky mountain oysters – you name it. It’s one of Denver’s most historic landmarks and the dishes are just as rich as its history.
Known for its “eatertainment” vibes, Casa Bonita is the city’s most prolific Mexican-style restaurant by far. Once featured on an episode of South Park, Casa Bonita’s building is loudly pink and packed with gimmicky theatrics like puppetry and indoor cliff diving. While it might feel like a fever dream, the all-you-can-eat sopaipillas and honey will quickly bring you back down to earth.
Sipping N’ Painting
South Denver’s Sipping N’ Painting is one of the city’s hidden gems where the booze meets the brush. Here, Denver’s young adults can learn how to paint beautifully-guided acrylic paintings that vary depending on the studio’s ever-changing calendar. Once you check in, grab a drink of your choice at the in-house bar and follow along as the lead artist walks you through the day’s pre-selected painting. Check out Sipping N’ Painting’s calendar beforehand for an opportunity to paint your own pet or recreate one of Bob Ross’ most iconic pieces.
Denver Biscuit Company
Southern folded biscuits made from scratch in Denver? Sign us up. The Denver Biscuit Company serves Denver’s heaviest and most delicious brunch sandwiches to date. Now at three locations, it’s become a local favorite for many reasons. The biscuit sandwiches are heavenly, the granola bowl is highly addicting and if there’s any room left in the hatch, the greatest biscuit-made cinnamon roll you’ve ever tasted is waiting for you. Get ready for the greatest nap of your life when you get home.
Food halls have popped up everywhere in Denver over the last few years, and everyone has their own favorite. Mango House a unique kind of food hall located in Aurora. The center specializes in aiding refugees, and the food hall puts new immigrants in business selling delicious food.
We put this list of things to do together with 20somethings and 30somethings in mind, but Denver has a way of keeping everyone young. With fun activities for any season, Denver offers something for everyone.