If you’re planning a trip to Denver, Colorado, this summer, you might want to visit the Cherry Creek Arts Festival. This annual event draws together thousands of Rocky Mountain residents and art fans from around the world.
While art is the main focus, you’ll also hear live music as you enjoy local food and craft beer. And it’s an excellent place for prime people-watching.
Join us as we discover what makes the Cherry Creek Arts Festival unique. You may find yourself quickly adding it to your bucket list.
About the Cherry Creek Arts Festival
Denver’s Cherry Creek Arts Festival has something for everyone to enjoy. This annual event brings together over 300,000 art lovers from the local community and beyond.
Started in 1991, the three-day event features over 250 vendors displaying a wide range of art, including sculpture, ceramics, photography, jewelry, and glass. In addition, the fest has a great lineup of live music throughout the weekend.
There’s also the Creation Station area which is a fun place for the whole family. You’ll find a variety of interactive art projects, including a collaborative mural, available for everyone to add their artistic touch to.
And when you get hungry, you’ll have a wide variety of Denver-area food vendors to choose from. As many people know, the region is known for its great craft brews. So a beer garden awaits you to enjoy a cold one while taking in all the sights and sounds around you.
The Cherry Creek Arts Festival typically falls on the first weekend in July. The 2023 event runs from July 1 to July 3.
Where Is the Cherry Creek Arts Festival?
This arts festival is in Denver’s Cherry Creek neighborhood. Vendors line the streets of 2nd Avenue from Clayton to Adams.
The Cherry Creek area is home to various restaurants and shops. So if you want to have a meal outside the festival, you’ll find suitable offerings nearby.
Denver has no shortage of urban parks. In fact, the art festival is a short walk or bike ride away from Cherry Creek Park. It offers a pond for dipping in on a hot summer day and a leash-free dog park for your fur baby. And your other kids can run around the on-site playground.
Is the Cherry Creek Arts Festival Free?
Yes, admission is free.
However, if you want to enhance your experience, the Festival VIP Club offers some worthwhile perks. Choose from a single-day or weekend pass to enjoy benefits such as complimentary valet parking, lunch, and beverages.
Tickets range between $75 and $190, with a discount for kids ages six to sixteen. Youths five and under are free. Proceeds from the VIP passes benefit the CherryArts non-profit mission of supporting art education and experience in Colorado.
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Other Fun Things To Do Near the Cherry Creek Arts Festival
While in Denver, you might want to take advantage of other activities the city and surrounding area offers. We’re highlighting a few of our personal favorites.
Red Rocks Park and Amphitheatre
If you’re a music buff, you may already know about Red Rocks as a place to see concerts. Enormous natural red rock slabs flank the stage and seating area and seem to come alive when the stage lights hit them.
Located in the town of Morrison, it’s about a half-hour drive from the Cherry Creek Arts Festival. You can also visit Red Rocks Park anytime outside of concerts to get your hiking fix in. They offer miles of trails with amazing views of the Rockies.
A one-day pass ranges from $5 to $20, depending on how you enter the park. You can arrive on foot, bicycle, motorcycle, or car.
Denver Museum of Nature & Science
Opened in 1908, this museum provides an incredible array of displays focused on the natural world. Space buffs can get their fix in the planetarium show, while rockhounds enjoy a dazzling exhibit of minerals and crystals.
Permanent exhibitions include Egyptian Mummies and North American Indian Cultures. In addition, the Discovery Zone allows kids to enjoy interactive activities while learning about science.
The museum is less than three miles from the Cherry Creek neighborhood. Admission ranges from about $18 to $23, with discounts for military members and students.
If you want a true sensory overload experience, drop into Meow Wolf. You can easily spend two to three hours taking in all the fantastic colorful visual and auditory displays. Over 200 artists, primarily Colorado-based, help create this unique 60,000-square-foot art zone.
Denver is the third permanent Meow Wolf exhibition space in the US. The other two are in Santa Fe, NM, and Las Vegas, NV.
The theme for this location is Convergence Station which includes an ice world, a lush alien forest, a cityscape, and catacombs. Of course, if all of that doesn’t intrigue you, Meow Wolf might not be worth the entrance fee to you. But we think you’ll enjoy it!
Best Places To Stay Near the Cherry Creek Arts Festival
Finding lodging options close to the Cherry Creek Arts Festival isn’t difficult. However, with so many choices of where to stay, we decided to pick three worth checking out.
Cherry Creek State Park
About 20 minutes from the arts festival, Cherry Creek State Park offers excellent camping outside the city limits. Sites include 20, 30, and 50-Amp hookups. Drinking water and a dump station are also available in the campground. Camping fees range from about $14 to $41.
You’ll find miles of hiking and biking trails throughout the park. And the Cherry Creek Reservoir provides a place to break out your kayak or paddleboard or simply take a dip to cool off.
Flora House Denver
This Victorian mansion, built in 1892, offers a unique experience while staying in Denver. Each of the six rooms has living plants and botanical designs to give you a feel of resting in nature. In addition, Flora House focuses on sustainability and earth-friendly choices throughout the property.
Located about two and a half miles from the Cherry Creek Arts Festival, you won’t have to travel far to your bed. And you’ll want to make time to enjoy their private garden and jacuzzi available to all guests.
MOXY Denver Cherry Creek
The closest lodging option to the festival is MOXY. It’s less than a mile away, so easily walkable for most people. You’ll be in the heart of Cherry Creek, with many restaurant, shopping, and activity choices nearby.
After a day at the festival, you can return to the hotel and relax on their beautiful outdoor patio. And if you’re traveling with pets, the MOXY welcomes them to join you during your stay.
Is a Road Trip to the Cherry Creek Arts Festival Worth It?
The Cherry Creek Arts Festival alone seems worth attending, especially since it’s free. However, with so many additional entertainment and activity options nearby, you can’t go wrong with a trip to Denver.
Whether an art lover or music junkie, you’ll find something to enjoy at the festival. Or just wander the Cherry Creek neighborhood and take in the local flare.
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