The ‘Springs, Colorado’s second-most populated city, has plenty of local attractions, whether you’re searching for an outdoor adventure, an epicurean tour of downtown, or a day at the art or history museums. And if you’re seeking free things to do in Colorado Springs, the list below should help. Here are a few of the best free things to do in Colorado Springs for budget-conscious visitors.
Free things to do in Colorado Springs
Free Museum Day
Every September, the Smithsonian Institution collaborates with a number of national institutions to offer free entrance to the public. This day gives folks all throughout the country a fun and inexpensive way to visit a favorite museum or one they’ve never visited before.
Visitors and locals can both visit the six museums in the Colorado Springs region for free on Free Museum Day. These museums include the Western Museum of Mining & Industry, the John May Natural History Museum, the Victor Lowell Thomas Museum, the Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum, the Museum of Colorado Prisons, and the ProRodeo Hall of Fame.
Explore the Garden of the Gods
Take the whole family to Garden of the Gods (1805 N. 30th St., Colorado Springs, CO), which ranks first on TripAdvisor’s “Things to Do in Colorado Springs” list. The Garden of the Gods is a hiker and nature lover’s paradise, with statuesque rock formations rising tall along and surrounding the pathways. Wear comfortable hiking shoes because parts of the hikes may have uneven ground.
If the weather isn’t cooperating for a hike, the park’s Visitor & Nature Center doubles as a museum and is a fantastic spot to rest. Explore exhibits about the area’s early Native American residents, as well as displays of the park’s fauna and wildflowers. The center even contains a dinosaur exhibit dedicated to the fossils of a new dinosaur species discovered in the park, replete with a 3-D model of the beast.
Hike in the Garden of the Gods
Garden of the Gods’ red rock spires and beautiful sandstone structures are not to be missed. Pick up a map at the visitor center to explore the park’s 21 miles of trails and see the best sights up close.
Don’t forget to bring your camera. The park’s red rocks against the backdrop of Pikes Peak offer a postcard-worthy scene on clear days. Also, visit the Nature & Visitor Center and Museum to see the free interactive exhibits and the Geo-Trekker theatrical experience.
View the Penrose Heritage Museum film on YouTube
The Penrose Heritage Museum is a must-see for history fans and car enthusiasts alike. Spencer and Julie Penrose’s personal collection is on display at this free-to-the-public museum.
The Penrose’s made their imprint on Colorado Springs in a variety of ways, from the construction of the Pikes Peak Highway to the establishment of the Broadmoor Hotel and Cheyenne Mountain Zoo. Among the many other western cultural treasures on show at this free museum are 30 carriages and 15 historic race cars.
Take the Old Stage Road to the Gold Camp Road
Are you up for an exciting drive? The trip from Old Stage Road to Gold Camp Road follows an old railroad grade up into the foothills above Colorado Springs. Old Stage Road begins paved but quickly turns to dirt.
Be prepared for washboard areas and the occasional pothole, but otherwise, this dirt road is in good condition and should be passable by most cars with ordinary ground clearance. You’ll be treated to magnificent views of pine and aspen-forested slopes as you drive. If you time it correctly in the fall, you might catch the aspens turning golden.
The route crosses several former railroad tunnels along the way, some of which are said to be haunted. eerie or breathtaking? the two? You must choose a choice! If you intend to explore, bring a flashlight. Although the trip is one of the greatest free activities in Colorado Springs, you should prepare food and snacks for the journey.
Rocky Mountain Motorcycle Hall of Fame and Museum
The Rocky Mountain Motorcycle Museum and Hall of Fame houses a collection of over 75 fully restored, original antique and vintage Triumph, Panther, Cushman, Honda, BSA, Mustang, Ariel, Excelsior, Harley-Davidson, and Indian motorcycles dating from 1913 to 1983.
The educational and non-profit museum, which focuses on individuals rather than companies and products, was founded in 1992 and is totally administered by volunteers. The museum’s biographies and images preserve the contributions, faces, and names of motorcycling pioneers. Visitors can learn about the history of motorcycles in America by visiting the memorabilia displays.
Bear Creek Regional Park picnic
This 545-acre family-friendly regional park within the city limits is a terrific spot to take the kids or spend a day. Bring your sporting equipment for a free afternoon of fun on the tennis courts, playgrounds, archery range, horseshoe pit, and volleyball and basketball courts.
Also, bring a cooler for a snack or picnic at one of the park pavilions. If you want to hike, run, or cycle, the park also boasts 10 miles of multi-use nature trails. You can also bring your dog, who will enjoy some off-leash fun at the Bear Creek Dog Park. This 25-acre fully-enclosed dog park has splash zones as well as a fenced agility-training area.