A handful of companies and organizations around Colorado offer free tours of their facilities and I love it. As we all know, spending time in and around Denver can get expensive between the restaurants, the movies (minus Elvis Theaters and Century Aurora!), the concerts and events. So it’s nice to put away your credit card every once in a while and still enjoy yourself for an hour or so. Here are some of the free tours you can participate in around Colorado. Note: most of these tours are cancelled right now because of covid but they’ll open up again at some point and we’ll be ready!
Colorado Capitol: Downtown Denver. For 45 minutes, learn about the history of Colorado as well as the history of the building. And if you’re up for it, you can even climb up a couple flights of stairs to the dome at the top of the building. I definitely recommend it. You can walk around the edge and get an almost 360 degree view of Denver.
The Mint: Downtown Denver. One of 6 mints in our country (and one of only 3 that you can tour), this tour guides you through the process of how coins are made and distributed as well as the history of money. You are watched at all times so don’t get any ideas about trying to break through the glass and steal a penny. There’s also no dilly dallying as an employee is always at the back of the group pushing you forward into the next room. Reservations are required and book up months in advance so plan ahead.
Hammonds Candy Factory: North Denver. Around since the 1920s (although I doubt the building and equipment are original), this candy factory makes a bunch of different treats but is most likely known for its candy canes. The tour is 30 minutes and does require a reservation. I haven’t been here since I was a kid so I think it’s high time I get myself over there!
Littleton Museum: Littleton. While there is a museum that has a couple different exhibitions and a really neat area for children to interact and pretend they’re living the old life, the main attraction here (for me) are the two 19th century farms. The farms are living farms, which means staff and volunteers dress up in old timey outfits and literally work the farm. There’s a blacksmith shop and lots of farm animals. When I went there with Kaitlin and the kids way back when, we happened upon the farm family eating lunch (it was weird, like who wants us to watch them eat…) and lots of baby animals. Shout out to Kaitlin for introducing me to this place!
Celestial Seasonings Tea: Boulder: Want to know how tea that you buy from the grocery store is made? Check out this 45 minute tour. Before you start the tour you can try as many types of tea as you want at their tea shop. Then wander around the factory where you watch people working. Enter the famous mint room and let your nasal passages flare with scent. It’s a lot of fun plus you get (have) to wear a hair net and that’s pretty snazzy.
Colorado also has tours at both Coors (Golden) and Budweiser (Fort Collins) for those who like beer. I have not been on either tour so I can’t say anything about them but I think they’re free except if/when you want to drink, then you have to purchase a beer.