BY KATHY HISEY BAUM
Don’t let cabin fever get you down this winter season. Our affordable museum and gallery guide has you covered.
Denver is home to a vibrant culture and art scene year-round, but when the temperatures start to drop and snowflakes begin to fall, it feels like the perfect time to go inside and be inspired.
And you don’t have to spend five figures on a painting. Whether you want to be moved by creativity or learn something new, go solo or with the whole family, we’ve rounded up a list of discounted and free options.
Our local museums and galleries are home to master Abstract Expressionists, modern-day works, local and regional art, special exhibits from around the world and more. You can learn about nature and science, or meet local artists.
In addition to the free days and events listed below, students, seniors and members of the military receive special discounts at most places. Check the specific website and bring proper I.D. with you when you go.
Clyfford Still Museum
The museum houses almost all of Abstract Expressionist Clyfford Still’s total output. Visitors can get in free all day the last Friday of every month (upcoming dates are November 24, December 29, and January 26), and every Friday evening from 5 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
There are many other events open to the public, including lectures, tours, and music performances. You can also meditate in the gallery surrounded by Still’s creative works one Sunday morning each month. The next meditation date is November 12 (free, but registration is required). Doors open at 8:45 a.m.
Not able to make it in person, or want more time to study a piece? View more than 2,000 of Still’s works for free online. This immersive experience allows viewers to take their time, zoom in, and even download images. If you want hours with a piece of art without anyone else blocking your view, this option is for you.
Denver Art Museum
The Denver Art Museum is one of the largest art museums between Chicago and the West Coast, with a collection of more than 70,000 works. The museum’s space doubled with the addition of the Frederic C. Hamilton Building in 2006, itself an architectural piece of art inspired by the Rocky Mountains.
The DAM offers free general admission the first Saturday of each month (upcoming dates are November 4, December 2, and January 6). If you are taking the kids along, admission is free for youth 18 and under all day, every day.
While most special exhibitions require a ticket, the upcoming Ganesha: the Playful Protector exhibit, in collaboration with the National Museum of Cambodia in Phnom Penh, can be viewed as part of general admission on free days. Namaste, DAM.
Museum of Contemporary Art
To view modern work, the ten-year old Museum of Contemporary Art in lower downtown offers a discounted admission price of $5 after 5 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, and kids under 18 are always free. Visit to be inspired by events and exhibitions showcasing present-day creativity and artistry. And, finally a good use for those pennies — MCA offers Penny Admission to Colorado residents the first Saturday of each month.
The Denver Museum of Nature and Science
There is no better place for outdoor-loving Coloradans to learn more about our natural world than the Denver Museum of Nature and Science. Upcoming free admission days are November 13, December 10, January 8, and January 28.
The museum also holds free monthly “60 Minutes in Space” sessions in the Gates Planetarium. You can gaze into the stars on November 29 at 7 p.m. Admission is first come, first served.
Denver Arts Week
Denver Arts Week is a nine-day celebration of Mile High City artistry, including visual, musical and theatrical events around the city. As part of the celebration, general admission will be free Saturday, November 4, from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. at many of Denver’s museums, including the Denver Art Museum, the Clyfford Still Museum, the Denver Botanic Gardens, the Museum of Nature and Science and more. Visit https://www.denver.org/denver-arts-week/ for details, including shuttle services.
Denver Arts Districts
Not only do we have some of the best museum collections in the West, Denver is home to countless local artists showcasing their talents in galleries around town.
On the first Friday of each month, the following neighborhood art districts stay open late so you can wander with your friends and neighbors, mingle with the artists, and captivate your imagination: Art District on Santa Fe, Golden Triangle Creative District, RiNO Art District, Tennyson Street Cultural District, Arts on Belmar, South Pearl Street and Lakewood’s 40 West Arts.
Visit Denver.org for more information.