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Stroll (or pedal) through spring's biggest biking event. Image courtesy of Primal Colorado Bike Expo.

Things to Do in May that Won’t Break the Bank

Here are 11 (mostly) free things to do this month.

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Meet Denver’s Most Prestigious Alpacas at the Great Western Alpaca Show | May 5–7
Why:
Maybe you missed the National Alpaca Show in January or maybe you just can’t get enough of these cuddly creatures—but the 15th anniversary of the Great Western Alpaca Show is your chance to meet some of the region’s finest and furriest animals. The event also hosts vendors selling clothing, accessories, knickknacks, and art.

Primal Colorado Bike Expo| May 19–20
Why: This two-day festival and consumer show at Sports Authority Field at Mile High is the perfect way to kick-off a summer of cycling. The weekend is chock-full of bike races, live music, and stunt shows—all free. If you are looking to spend a little dough, take advantage of the discounts from local vendors.  

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Take a Wildflower Hike with Mom (or Yourself) | Your Choice
Why: This Mother’s Day (May 14), delight your mom by taking her on one of Colorado’s many scenic spring hikes.The beginning of May is the best time to see wildflowers bloom; we recommend looking for colors along Bald Mountain’s Pines to Peaks Loop in Boulder County, or any number of treks along the Eastern Plains. 

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Visit the Colorado Freedom Memorial for a service honoring veterans. Courtesy of Colorado Freedom Memorial

Memorial Day Colorado Remembers Concert | May 27
Why: While Memorial Day weekend in Denver is packed full of activities, this concert from from The Denver Brass, Legacy, USAF Honor Guard, and Celtic Colorado Pipes & Drums will speak to the true nature of the holiday. The concert and ceremony will take place at the Colorado Freedom Memorial, a 95-foot long memorial etched with the names of 6,000 Coloradans killed or missing in action.

Hit the Pavement | Your Choice
Why: Spring and summer are synonymous with running season here in Colorado. Whether you’ve just started taking short jogs or are looking for your next marathon, take advantage of 5280′s “Ultimate Guide to Running in Colorado.”

Denver Day of Rock | May 27
Why: Kick off a summer of concerts with this free, all-day benefit concert series on the 16th Street Mall. The five stages will feature performances from 25 bands (and counting), all in support of Denver nonprofit, Amp the Cause, which helps raise funds for child-focused health and education causes in Colorado.

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Splash through the Medano Creek in the Great Sand Dunes during its peak season. Courtesy of Julia Vandenoever

Play in the Sand at the Great Sand Dunes National Park | Your Choice
Why: Because we all need beach time. Pull your camping gear out of storage and head to one of Colorado’s strangest landscapes to see the Medano Creek in peak flow, usually in May and June.

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Denver Arts Festival | May 27–28
Why: Spring cleaning and redecorating practically go hand-in-hand. With featured works from more than 100 Colorado artists, this annual arts event at the Conservatory Green at Northfield in Stapleton will have plenty of fodder to inspire your next art purchase. 

Support Colorado Vendors | Your Choice
Why: Finally, after a winter of shopping at Trader Joe’s, you can get your weekly haul of fresh Colorado fruits and veggies from Denver-area farmers’ markets. Opening days for both the South Pearl Street Farmers Market (May 21) and the Saturday Cherry Creek Market (May 6) will feature free live music and samples.

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Celebrate Colorado’s history at the annual Territory Days festival in Old Colorado City. Courtesy of Old Colorado City

Territory Days | May 28–30
Why: Take a trip through time to Old Colorado City to celebrate the Centennial State’s Western history. With performances from Native American Dancers, beer gardens, pony rides and tons of food and other vendors, this festival offers entertainment for the whole family.

Learn from Lifelong Animator, Floyd Norman | May 17 

Why: It’s not everyday that you can take a free class from the first African-American animator at Walt Disney. Meet Floyd Norman, the man behind classics such as The Jungle Book—and in his later career at Pixar, Monsters, Inc., and Toy Story 2—at this special event.

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