By Michele Friedmann

You may need to extend your trip by a week or two to enjoy just a handful of the many fun things to do in the Mile High City! There’s a reason Colorado was voted the 4th happiest state in the United States—adventure and unbeatable weather await you every day. From hiking and biking trails, to exciting sporting events, and a growing culture, music, and art scene, there’s a lot to experience during your visit to Denver!

Rockies Game

Fortunately for baseball fans attending the NAFSA conference, the Rockies have quite a few home games during the week of conference. Even if you’re not a fan, it’s fun to see the ballpark and be a part of the energetic vibes. Coors Field is located in lower downtown, surrounded by fun bars and restaurants. You can purchase general admission tickets starting at $14, which include $6 in concession or merchandise credit and access to seating near The Rooftop, a fun bar and hangout spot.

Elitch Gardens Theme and Water Park

Make sure to see the United States’s only downtown theme and water park! You’re guaranteed a fun and thrilling day with your choice of 53 rides, a 10-acre water park, musical performances, drive-in movie theater, arcades, and stunt shows. The water park opens May 28 and a fireworks show is scheduled for the following day. Elitch Gardens has something for everyone!

Red Rocks Amphitheatre

There’s no better venue to see a show or movie then Red Rocks Amphitheatre. Sit back and let the acoustics and scenery of downtown Denver blow you away. Film on the Rocks recently kicked off - The Big Lebowksi is scheduled to play on May 30.. Be warned, tickets sell out quickly! Musical performances during conference week include M83, Bryson Tiller and Chromeo, and Jamie XX.

Coors Brewery Tour

A great way to experience traditional brewing in the Rocky Mountains is through the Coors Brewery tour! The brewery is in beautiful Golden –a short commute from downtown Denver. Wander at your own pace while learning about the malting, brewing, and packaging process. Stop by the hospitality lounge to enjoy tasty samples!

The Denver Museum of Nature and Science

The Denver Museum of Nature and Science has been at the heart of the cultural experience in Denver for more than 100 years. Marvel at Egyptian mummies, gaze at sparkly gems and minerals, stand next to a life-size T. rex, and visit the IMAX theater and planetarium. This month’s featured exhibit is Robot Revolution. At this exhibit, which is supported by and Boeing, guests have an opportunity to interact with an impressive collection of robots from all over the world. June 5- is a free day and is also Space Day so that’s a great time to stop by the museum if you’re still in Denver!

Free Memorial Weekend Activities

The Denver Day of Rock at the 16th Street Mall on May 28 is bound to impress. It’s a one-day music festival to benefit local nonprofits through Amp the Cause. With five stages featuring live music, there will be plenty of entertainment for adults and children alike. Visit the event website and check out the exciting lineup!

Looking to check out the thriving art scene? ArtStir Denver is happening at the Denver Pavilions along 16th Street Mall from May 28-29. Stroll to this event after checking out the Denver Day of Rock! This art market showcases local artists and designers, and strives to engage the artist within all of us with a blend of Colorado music, art, and style. Expect to find paintings, sculptures, textiles, furnishings, photography, mixed media, and more!

One of the best ways to explore a new city is by bicycle. Denver makes it easy by offering a variety of accessible trails. Grab a bike from Denver B-Cycle and explore. Hop on the Cherry Creek bike path for a long, scenic ride through golf courses, housing developments, and parks.

Michele Friedmann is the Local Arrangements Team (LAT) communications chair for the NAFSA 2016 Annual Conference & Expo. Michele was born and raised in Reading, Pennsylvania. She attended Gettysburg College where her love for study abroad began. Michele spent a semester in Australia, circumnavigated the globe on Semester at Sea, and student taught in London. Michele earned a master’s degree from the School for International Training in the area of international education. She interned for Barcelona SAE as a program and student adviser. She has worked for the Institute of International Education and the Fulbright Foreign Student Program. Michele is currently the student and program manager for Global Players, a study abroad program geared toward student athletes.