January Money Diet Day 19 – Explore Your City


Denver Botanic Gardens

Denver Botanic Gardens | Photo: Eliza Cross

If you’ve lived in the same town for a while, it can be surprising and fun to re-discover all the interesting things you can see and do for free.

Have you ever checked out your city’s Tourist and Visitors’ Bureau website? Here in Denver we have the aptly-named “Visit Denver,” and along with tons of information about sports, recreation, arts, culture, events, festivals, museums and venues all around the Mile High City, I discovered a list of free factory tours:  Anheuser Busch, Boulder Ice Cream, Celestial Seasonings Tea, Coors Brewery and Hammond’s Candies, among others. I bookmarked this site, not only because ice cream and beer tastings sound extremely appealing, but because it contains so many great ideas for free outings.

Another opportunity to get to know your town or city is to make a stop at your local historical society. Many history museums have exhibits that will captivate people of all ages. It’s always fascinating to see how people lived in times past, gain a new appreciation for our modern conveniences and see what architectural landmarks are still standing today.

Speaking of landmarks, when was the last time you toured your state capital or visited a prominent local attraction? Denver is home to a United States Mint, and I took my son last year for the free tour. He was dazzled at the sight of money being made. Perhaps your city offers a free walking tour with stops along the way to hear stories about buildings you’ve passed countless times.

Do some research and you’ll probably find free concerts, art shows and author events. Many of our cultural attractions here in Denver have free days throughout the year, like the Denver Botanic Gardens, above, which offers free admission tomorrow – on Martin Luther King Day.

You can find more ideas by visiting the local travel section of your library. Check out some books and see what travel writers are suggesting to tourists; it’s a sure bet you’ll find some new ideas for inspired outings.

Today’s Homework Assignment:  Research some new fun and free things to do in your town, and let us know what you find. If you have the day off tomorrow, perhaps you could take a field trip to explore new sights in your city.

Here’s to new adventures, and be sure to tell us what you discover!


The signature for Eliza Cross

About Eliza Cross

Eliza Cross is a full-time writer and the author of a dozen books about food and home design. She has been blogging about simplicity and sustainable living since 2006.

January Money Diet Day 19 – Explore Your City

  • Alex70

    Hi, we just moved from exciting San Francisco to San Jose, and are discovering that it’s not as boring as we thought – we found a lot of free attractions: the Japanese Friendship Garden, the Historical House Museum, Prusch Farm (an urban farm), the Almaden Quicksilver Mine State Park (at the site of an old quicksilver mine at the outskirts of San Jose, lots of stuff to explore, miles to hike, feels like miles away in gould country, awesome!) Due to the high cost of living here, we prefer free stuff on weekends. There are numerous State, Regional and County Parks as well, so yes, get excited about your town.

  • Hi, Lois – I don’t blame you for staying inside! I am always amazed at the new things I discover right in my back yard, and it sounds like you do the same in your town. xo

  • I love exploring my little town, right now it’s so cold I am staying indoors where I can keep warm. As soon as the weather warms up I will be out. You are very fortunate to have a botanical garden near you.

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