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Catch a peek of panoramas not accessible by car by taking a ride on the Rio Grande Scenic Railroad. Photo courtesy of the Rio Grande Scenic Railroad

10 Free Things to Do in September

From festivals and film screenings to hikes worth traveling for, here are 10 ways to give your wallet a break (while having fun) this month. 

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1. Supernova | Sept. 24

Why: If you couldn’t stop playing Pokémon Go in July (or were at least digging the idea of where the game will take animation, gaming, and technology), then you’ll love this one-day, outdoor, digital-animation festival, which will play on three LED billboards near the Colorado Convention Center.

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2. Explore Hidden Colorado | Your choice

Why: This month’s cover story includes more than 80 options—many free!—to explore the Centennial State. Plus, there’s a good chance that your coworkers haven’t discovered them yet (read: bragging rights).

3. Star Trek: The Original Series Screening at Sie FilmCenter | Sept. 8

Why: A free screening of the original series to celebrate its 50 anniversary? Yes, please.

4. Yoga Rocks the Park at Sunken Gardens Park | Sept. 11

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Why: It’s National Yoga Month, so you might as well rock a warrior pose during this free class. Love the workout? Consider showing your thanks with a donation to Food Bank of the Rockies), the program’s nonprofit partner.

5. The Crush | Sept. 12–18

Why: Over a period of days, street artists will transform RiNo’s buildings with massive, colorful murals; watch it happen.

6. Denver Botanic Gardens Free Day | Sept. 14

Why: Nights are getting cooler, which means that summer’s bountiful blooms are about to go away; swing by the gardens on this free day to capture the last bursts of color.

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7. Denver Chili Fest | Sept. 10

Why: The chilly weather brings in roasted chili season. This festival has free quesadillas, music, and a recipe contest.

8. Cherry Arts Festival at Stanley | Sept. 16–18

Why: You’ve been eagerly waiting for the Stanley to (finally!) open. This three-day arts festival gives you the perfect excuse to swing by and check out one of Denver’s newest (and most talked about) spots.

9. Sand Canyon Trail | Your choice

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Why: Well worth the drive to southwestern Colorado, this 6.2-mile trek is ideal for admiring sandstone formations and Ancestral Puebloan ruins.

10. Rocky Mountain PBS Kids Fun Fest | Sept. 10

Why: You’ll hear a “that was the best day ever” chorus on the way home after you take your kid to meet Curious George and Clifford the Big Red Dog.

Looking for more things to do in Denver? Check out our events calendar.

Follow senior editor Natasha Gardner on Twitter and Instagram.

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Natasha Gardner, Articles Editor

Natasha Gardner writes and edits longform journalism and multimedia projects for 5280 and is a regular columnist for 5280.com.

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