Arvada is one of the best attractions in Colorado, a prime suburb destination of Denver.
It’s a home-rule municipality, one of the ten most populated cities in Colorado.
Part of Jefferson County, Arvada is packed with so many exciting things to do, including outdoor activities that utilize the rich mountains of Colorado.
The state manages many attractions, so expect a lot of free fun in this bustling city.
To give you an overview, here’s a list of the free things to do in Arvada, Colorado:
Explore the Historic Olde Town Arvada
Olde Town Arvada is the city’s symbol, merging its historical roots from the 19th century with its contemporary urban culture.
While mountains and hills surround Arvada, the city has a vibrant energy that makes for great urban exploration; Olde Town Arvada is the best place to start.
As a beautiful walkable place, Olde Town Arvada has plenty of historic buildings, old architecture, city art, and a slew of dining and shopping establishments.
It’s one of the best places to do people-watching, but it’s also a fantastic way to immerse yourself in the city’s culture.
Start your free itinerary with a trip to this historic area along Ralston Road and Wadsworth Bypass.
Bring Your Buds to Bird’s Nest Disc Golf Course
Located just a few steps from Long Lakes Regional Park, the Bird’s Nest Disc Golf Course is one of the best places to play the sport for free in Denver.
Bird’s Nest Disc Golf Course features well-maintained greens with loads of trees and hilly slopes, giving this a nice challenge for experienced players.
Other things to look forward to here are its practice, driving ranges, and water hazards that add fun to the game.
Vast and scenic, Bird’s Nest Disc Golf Course has 27 holes which can easily take up most of your morning.
Dogs are also allowed in this free course, so bring your pooch for some added cute company.
Bring Your Pooch to West Arvada Dog Park
While there are plenty of free places to walk your dog, nothing measures up to the West Arvada Dog Park, found across Bird’s Nest Disc Golf Course.
Another vast open space in Arvada, this dog park has four fenced areas that accommodate all sorts of breeds and needs of dogs.
If you have a large dog that needs to run loose, they have a lot of space to help them burn some energy during your trip.
There are also training areas for the puppies, making this one of the best places to bring your young pets.
The amenities here are well-maintained, featuring water access, trash cans, benches, and various terrains that stimulate your puppy’s senses.
Spend a Day at the Ralston Central Park
Ralston Central Park is another urban attraction that immerses you in the Arvada community.
One of the city’s biggest public parks, the Ralston-Central Park has a wide variety of family-oriented activities for you.
Their free splash pad is one of the most popular during the summer months, but views of Ralston Creek are something you can appreciate year-round.
There are many fun art sculptures throughout the park and walking trails with beautiful flora.
Moreover, there’s a nicely-sized playground here, making it one of the best kiddie areas in Arvada.
To reach Ralston Central Park, drive along Ralston Road until you reach the corner of Garrison Street.
Visit the Majestic View Nature Center
At the northern end of Garrison Street lies Majestic View Nature Center—one of the best free things you can do in Arvada.
Majestic View Nature Center is a small oasis in the heart of Arvada, with scenic nature trails that boast all sorts of rich flora and fauna.
Trekking along its nature trails will lead you to exciting terrains like grasslands, wetlands, and ponds, home to many small animals.
If you want an in-depth experience, you can talk to knowledgeable staff to orient you about the ecology of Arvada’s outdoors.
The Majestic View Nature Center is a must-visit for any nature lover.
Go for a Jog at Lake Arbor Park
One thing that makes Arvada unique is that mountains and hills surround it, but the city also features tons of lakes and ponds.
Lake Arbor Park is one of the best areas to freely enjoy its many lakes, found along West Pomona Drive in the city’s residential area.
This is one of the best places to do light jogging, as Lake Arbor is quite sizable, giving you an excellent loop to break a sweat.
Because of its location, this is also one of the best places to relax and find peace during your trip.
Plenty of families go there, having picnics or spending time with family activities like fishing.
Hike the Van Bibber Creek Trail
Creeks are also a prominent body of water in Arvada, and Van Bibber Creek Trail offers some of the best ways to explore them without spending a single penny.
Since it’s close to a neighborhood, Van Bibber Creek Trail is a generally peaceful place that offers you respite and a scenic hike in the heart of Arvada.
While it’s not isolated, many locals enjoy a quiet trek to take in the beautiful scenery that changes during the seasons.
Van Bibber Creek Trail is the way to go if you’re looking for an excellent way to exercise outdoors in Arvada.
You can access its trailhead along Ward Road.
See the Artworks at Arvada Center for the Arts and Humanities
The Arvada Center for the Arts and Humanities is in a neighborhood facing Wadsworth Boulevard.
It’s a performing arts theater and park that acts as Arvada’s art and cultural hub, housing various events and activities throughout the year.
One of the best free things they offer is a public viewing of their sprawling art galleries.
Besides that, the vicinity of the performing arts theater features wide open spaces with plenty of gardens and art installations that you can also explore for free.
Arvada Center for the Arts and Humanities is a no-brainer if you want to maximize your vacation budget.
Enjoy Recreational Activities at Long Lake Regional Park
Long Lake Regional Park is one of Arvada’s biggest expanses of land, home to sprawling soccer fields and other amenities.
This is one of the most popular places to play soccer and baseball or do some runs, even for the locals of neighboring Denver.
Even if you’re not into soccer or baseball, the vast open spaces of Long Lake Regional Park make it ideal for walking your dogs, especially the larger breeds.
If you visit during the cold, snowy winters of Colorado, this place becomes enveloped in white snow, making it an ideal place for winter fun.
Long Lake Regional Park can be accessed conveniently along West 64th Avenue.
Explore the Two Ponds National Wildlife Refuge
Another hidden gem in bustling Arvada is the Two Ponds National Wildlife Refuge, found along 80th Avenue.
This refuge features uplands and wetlands that are home to various animals and plant life, most prominently migratory birds.
The trails here are some of the prettiest in the Denver area, with abundant foliage if you visit during autumn.
The hike here can be pretty challenging as it’s on an incline, but its upland areas show you beautiful, elevated views of Arvada and its surrounding mountains.
Two Ponds National Wildlife Refuge is free to visit and has well over 120 species of animals for you to see and take photos of, making this a must for outdoor lovers.
Visit the Arvada Skatepark
One of the most impressive things you can find in the city is Arvada Skatepark, located along West 72nd Avenue.
It’s a free-to-use skatepark that’s one of the biggest in the United States, with around 40,000 square meters.
This makes Arvada Skatepark a municipal and state treasure.
There’s a little of everything in this skatepark for all levels, ranging from beginners to more seasoned skaters.
Featuring various ramps and slopes, Arvada Skatepark is also a popular place for cyclists.
Fondly called a “concrete paradise,” this is a must-see during your stay at Arvada, whether you’re a skater or not.
Other Things to Do Nearby
Tour the Colorado State Capitol
When traveling to Arvada, it’s a no-brainer to visit the city of Denver, Colorado, which is only 20 minutes from Arvada.
The Colorado State Capitol is one of the free activities awaiting you there.
Take a tour of this building modeled after the Washington D.C. Capitol Building.
It will let you see gorgeous architecture and learn about the rich history of Colorado.
As one of the most picturesque places in Denver, the building houses intricate and ornate fixtures like marbled walls and stained glass.
However, the best feature of the Colorado State Capitol is its spiral staircase that leads to majestic views of the Rocky Mountains surrounding much of the city.
Besides seeing the interiors of the Colorado State Capitol, there are also free exhibits and art galleries you can visit depending on the time of the year.
Explore the Rocky Flats National Wildlife Refuge
Rocky Flats National Wildlife Refuge is one of the best outdoor areas near Arvada.
You can find it in Golden, Colorado, 20 minutes from the city.
You’ll get sweeping views of the mountains and vast grasslands that give you a sense of solitude.
It’s one of the best places to be in tune with nature, away from the hustle and bustle of city life.
If you have a dirt bike or a mountain bike, this is one of the best places to ride because of its vast and unobstructed sky views.
Rocky Flats National Wildlife Refuge is also home to various animals and plants that accentuate its rustic outdoor experience.
Hike North Table Mountain
If you want to take your outdoor adventure to the next level, North Table Mountain is just a 15-minute drive south of Arvada.
This mountain is one of Denver's most popular hiking areas because of its proximity to the city and surrounding cities.
Visiting North Table Mountain is necessary to maximize your outdoor plans.
It offers panoramic views of Arvada and Denver, which you can get through its sprawling routes with varying difficulties.
The rocky terrains here make it a popular spot for mountain biking.
As a majestic natural wonder close to Arvada, hiking North Table Mountain is a tremendous whole-day activity that offers both serenity and an adrenaline rush.
See 19th Century Rural Life at Golden History Park
A trip to Arvada and Denver isn’t complete without a free museum visit, and Golden History Park is one of the best museums to explore.
You can find it in Golden, 15 minutes from Arvada.
As a quaint museum and park, this place offers free exhibits depicting the history of Arvada’s neighbor, Golden.
You can see many exciting things here, such as its 1800s cabins and farming equipment that transport you back in time.
Seeing the old cabins blend with the overgrowth of grass and trees here gives Golden History Park a rustic countryside aesthetic that’s perfect for photos.
Located in the heart of the city, Golden History Park also has waterfront views of the beautiful Clear Creek that runs through Golden.
Arvada is a fantastic addition to your trip to Colorado, particularly if you’re planning a trip to Denver.
It’s surrounded by mountains and contains various lakes and creek trails, making it a haven for outdoor adventurers.
The free things to do in Arvada, Colorado, are a must-try for any budget traveler.