Your 2018 guide to free days at Denver Zoo, museums and other cultural hotspots

As Denver’s size and cost of living continue to grow, free days at area cultural institutions have become more important for budget-strapped residents, especially parents.

And, as with recent years, the Scientific & Cultural Facilities District — the seven-county metro area’s tax district that funds hundreds of arts and culture nonprofits — offers a handy interactive calendar at scfd.org that lists the free days by month.

But we figured we’d save you some clicking and tapping with this curated list of the most notable free days of 2018.

On a weekly basis, organizations such as Hudson Gardens (6115 S. Santa Fe Drive in Littleton) offer outdoor fun for those whose idea of a good time includes picnics, walks and birdwatching.

For art lovers, the Arvada Center Galleries (6901 Wadsworth Blvd.) offer free admission Monday through Sunday, while each Friday from 5 to 8 p.m. is free at downtown Denver’s prestigious Clyfford Still Museum (1250 Bannock St.).

Others offer slightly more limited hours, such as the free Tuesday-Friday admission at the Museum of Outdoor Arts (1000 Englewood Parkway) and the Tuesday-Sunday free admission at the Aurora History Museum (15051 E. Alameda Parkway). The second Saturday of each month is also free at the Longmont Museum (400 Quail Road).

And finally, one-off performances — such as Aurora Symphony Orchestra’s 2018 Family & Children’s Concert on Feb. 8 at Stanley Marketplace (this year titled “It’s a Fiesta!”) — will pop up from time to time on the SCFD calendar.

But for the bigger institutions, we recommend showing up early and exercising patience, as most have proven wildly popular year-round. Hours vary by institution.

Denver Zoo
2300 Steele St., 720-337-1400
Jan. 11, 19 and 20, Feb. 4-5, Nov. 9 and 12.

Denver Art Museum
100 W. 14th Ave Parkway, 720-865-5000
Feb. 3, March 4, April 7, April 29, May 5, June 2, July 7, Aug. 4, Sept. 1, Sept. 8, Oct. 6, Nov. 3, Dec. 1.
Note: General museum admission is free for kids 18 and younger every day.

Denver Botanic Gardens
1007 York St., 720-865-3501
York Street: Jan. 15, Feb. 19, March 22, April 8, June 5, July 19, Aug. 29, Nov. 3.
Chatfield Farms: Feb. 6, March 6, April 3, June 5, July 3, Aug. 7, Nov. 6, Dec. 14.
Plains Conservation Center: Feb. 18, March 19, June 13, July 14, Aug. 7, Nov. 8.

Children’s Museum of Denver at Marsico Campus
2121 Children’s Museum Dr., 303-433-7444
Free nights 4-8 p.m. include March 6, April 3, May 1, June

Source:: The Denver Post – Lifestyle

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