Meow Wolf Denver

Ultimate Guide to Meow Wolf Denver when You Only Have 72 Hours in Town

If you’ve never heard of Meow Wolf it’s time for you to pull up a chair and read on. It’s the definitive immersive art experience in the United States and rivals similar experiences throughout the world. Meow Wolf’s original location is in the picturesque town of Santa Fe, New Mexico. It’s second location opened in late winter of 2021 in Las Vegas. It’s third location, a massive space built in-between two highways will open in my hometown of Denver and I’M SO DANG EXCITED ABOUT IT. If you love immersive art experiences as much as I do, but only have a short period of time in town this guide will give you some suggestions on what to do, where to stay and eat while you’re in town for Denver’s Meow Wolf Installation.

* In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. Please read my disclosure here.*

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General Tips for Visiting Denver

Denver is a high altitude location. Yes, the city of Denver. It’s called “The Mile High City” for a reason. Altitude sickness can occur while you’re in town. Take this seriously.

  • If you have health conditions talk to your doctor about any concerns you may have about being at high altitude.
  • Don’t try to duplicate your normal fitness routine when you first arrive. Relax.
  • PLEASE don’t assume every Coloradan smokes pot. It’s really annoying. Also, we DON’T care if you do. You don’t need to whisper and giggle about it. Cannabis shops typically have a green cross on them. Do your research prior to arrival. I recommend Simply Pure a company owned by a Black woman. It’s located in the LOHI (Lower Highlands) neighborhood of Denver. Fantastic location to explore while you’re in town.
  • Do drink a lot more water than you’re used to.
  • Don’t try to eat what you would eat at home. Especially Southerners. I only recommend 3 restaurants for Southern Food here in town and ONLY for people living in Colorado.
  • Don’t just spend your time only on 16th Street Mall. Spend 2 hours and then check out some other parts of Denver.
  • Like many cities in the United States we have unhoused Coloradans. It’s likely you may notice this. Do not take pictures. They’re human beings down on their luck (I’ve noticed this trend and think it’s pretty shitty)

What is Meow Wolf Denver ?

It’s actually called “Convergence Station.” It’s in a cool and slightly random location. You may have seen a strange space ship building squished in between two roads. If you’re heading to Empower Field at Mile High or heading East on Speer towards downtown-you’ll see it. Meow Wolf Convergence Station is a 90,000 square foot building that has the following amenities:

  • Concert venue
  • Retail space
  • Food

Sneak Peek Behind the Scenes

Cost: $45 (ish) Tickets at the Las Vegas location and $35 for the Santa Fe location. My guess is that the tickets will be on the higher end and may even be around $55 (Colorado prices, am I right?)

  • Purchase tickets online
  • COVID Protocol-This will be changing constantly. At the time that I’m working on this post mask wearing is basically required in the state of Colorado inside shared spaces. Fortunately, Colorado has a pretty high vaccine rate. If you’re visiting from out of state you’ll find that most Denverites are very comfortable discussing their COVID vaccination status. They may not necessarily say anything if you opt to be mask free. But, it’s very likely that local venues will still continue to require masks to enter. Don’t be a douche and talk about what you do in your state. We don’t care. Just suck it up and bring a mask just in case (or, you’ll end up buying one) I’m sure they will be happy to sell one to you.

Getting to Meow Wolf Denver

I’m a huge fan of using public transit, riding my bike or walking whenever possible around town. For Meow Wolf I think that the two easiest modes of transportation will be:

  • By car-In my view parking is a little limited for a facility of this size. My recommendation is to park along the light rail line and then take the light rail to Meow Wolf. Also, it’s a slightly tricky location to get to if you’re not familiar with that part of downtown Denver or are from out of town.
  • Rideshare-Uber or Lyft
  • Light rail-There are two light rail stops that serve Meow Wolf Convergence Station. If you’ve ever taken the light rail to Empower Field at Mile High you’re likely familiar with both. Purchase the $6 ticket which is good for 24 hrs. You can purchase your ticket before you get on the light rail. The fares are checked at random. Don’t try to game the system. Just purchase your fare before getting on the light rail.
    • Colfax and Federal Transit Center-In my opinion, this is the closer stop and will take a maximum of 7 minutes walking over to Meow Wolf. There are sidewalks in this area and is wheelchair accessible
    • Mile High Station-If you get off at this stop (where a lot of Broncos fans typically exit the light rail to go to a game) it will take about 10 minutes to walk over. It is wheel chair accessible as well.
Meow Wolf Denver
On the way there

What to Know

There are some important details to be aware of before you visit.

  • Read the website when you purchase your tickets. The website details the following:
    • How timed ticketing works
    • If you can reenter the building (likely no)
    • The refund policy
    • What you’re allowed to bring inside-very little.
    • Have large items such as a stroller or large backpack? You might not be able to bring them inside.
    • Don’t bring drugs…they are checking…
  • The neighborhood does have a couple of breweries that you can check out but it’s not the type of neighborhood that has a ton of stores and shops. Basically, you won’t be roaming around afterward.

Meow Wolf Denver-The Facility

This is the third Meow Wolf location. It’s also the largest and I love that in many ways having this experience open in Denver helps to remind people that Denver is truly and arts town.

What exactly is Meow Wolf?

Meow Wolf is an immersive arts experience. Attendees get to interact with the art and become a part of the exhibit. It’s absolutely a family experience but I would avoid bringing small children (I actually would check to see age limits).

Meow Wolf Denver will also host LIVE MUSIC. Your favorite musician may choose to perform at Meow Wolf. Be prepared.

There is also a food hall within the facility providing food and beverages (including alcohol). Vegans and vegetarians there is food available for you and a kids’ menu.

Tentative Budget

Go online to get a feel for what you may end up spending that day. Here’s what I would spend for one person:

  • $6 light rail ticket
  • $45 adult ticket (anyone over the age of 14) *children’s tickets 5-13 are $40 dollars
  • $35-$45 for food at Meow Wolf if I opt for alcohol
  • Swag (?) I normally don’t buy swag but you never know. I could see people EASILY dropping $100 on swag

Tentative Total:

$200 a person if you purchase swag and eat at the venue. You’ll save quite a bit if you avoid doing those two things. OR, just account for the

Where to Stay in Denver

I thought I would recommend hotels and hostels that were a bit “Arty.”

Where to Eat

While you’re in town you’ll likely want to check out some of the local eats. Here are some of my favorite places to recommend. These are all Colorado local businesses serving a range of different styles of food.

What To Do

  • Check out the murals in the RINO neighborhood

Enjoy a Cocktail or a Beer

Coloradans are known for winding down over a nice cocktail or beer. Below are some of the great places to enjoy one.

  • MPB (Moods, Beats, Potions)

Prefer a Mocktail?

Not drinking alcohol while you’re visiting? There are some great places to enjoy a delicious mocktail.

  • Awake Denver-Full mocktail bar
  • Honey Elixir Bar-Does serve alcoholic beverages in addition to mocktails
  • Gruvvi-Keep an out for their next pop up or permanent tasting lounge. Love this Colorado local company. You can also pick up some Gruvvi prosecco or rose around town. Click on the finder to find the location product closest to you.

I’m so excited about Meow Wolf Denver. I think that many people consider Denver a sports town and it is. But, Denver is also very much and arts and culture town. We have the second largest theater district in the nation, have the SCFD which is a tax payers initiative that we keep passing to fund the arts and create accessibility to the arts for everyone in the Denver Metro area. For many people who aren’t excited about nature or sports Denver Meow Wolf gives visitors and opportunity to design a 100% arts focused vacation while in town.

Related Posts

The Source Hotel Rooftop

72 Hours in Denver for Gluten-Free Travelers

Winter Edition

I love to travel, but I can’t imagine what it would be like to travel with a food allergy. And, on top of that, end up with recommendations for places where the food tastes like cardboard. With that in mind, I created the following itinerary for Gluten-Free travelers to Denver. Don’t worry, you’ll eat, drink, and be merry in Denver.

* In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. Please read my disclosure here.*

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Before You Leave

There are a couple of things that you need to make sure you pick up before arriving in Denver. I call it your “Colorado Travel Kit.” And, for Gluten-Free travelers, I’ve added an additional tool-the Nima Sensor.

What is the Nima Sensor?

Is a handy tool that Gluten-Free individuals can use to check and see the gluten levels in their food. It helps to avoid accidental gluten exposure.

Basically, you but a little piece of food into a capsule, shake the capsule, then pop it into the sensor.

The sensor then checks for gluten levels in the food. Check out the photo below. And, you can grab the Nima Sensor on Amazon today.



Your Colorado Travel Kit

  • Lotion-Your skin will crack like a dried apple if you don’t have some lotion or vaseline with you. Don’t be ashy in Denver!
  • Lip balm-Your lips will also crack if you don’t have some lip balm.
  • Sunblock-Denver is a Mile High! We’re a mile above sea level. Protect your skin.
  • Water Bottle-It is dry here, you’ll need to drink more water. Also, drinking more water is helpful in the fight against Altitude Sickness. Yes, you can get it in Denver.
  • Sunglasses-The sun will sear your eyeballs (I’m kind of messing with you) but, seriously, the sun is really bright here. Everyone wears sunglasses when outside.
  • Baseball cap-If you’re doing anything outside. You may want a baseball cap.
  • Beanie (Winter Wear) If it’s winter, you need a beanie.

Altitude Sickness

Please note: it CAN happen in Denver and it really sucks. Touch base with your doctor if you have any concerns about this. And, in case you’re wondering what it feels like-a friend of mine had it this fall and it was bad.

  • Pounding headache-BAD
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea

Now that I’ve freaked you out, let’s have fun in Denver!

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72 Hours in Denver for Gluten-Free Travelers

Getting to downtown Denver from Denver International Airport is incredibly easy. If you’ve opted to go car-free, or pick up your car in downtown Denver, you can take the train from DIA to Union Station (the last stop). It is a super chill 37 minute ride making about 10 quick stops along the way.

The cost is $10.50 and you can use that ticket all day long around Denver. You could even go to Boulder with that ticket purchase.

Union Station

It’s so funny to me that Union Station baffles a lot of travelers. Especially those from the East Coast. They are initially a little weirded out by the fact that people hang out in Union Station.

I know that I do!

It has several restaurants, a hotel, a flower shop, and a coffee shop. Events are regularly held at Union Station and you may find yourself arriving to find Santa, a band, or a private party being hosted in the middle of the Station.

There are public restrooms in there as well. Also, the bus depot is underground, adjacent to Union Station. If you’re confused, there is a wonderful gentleman typically stationed at a help booth once you are inside the Station.

Where to Stay in Denver

There are several fantastic hotels in town. But, for this itinerary, I have two hotels in mind:

  • The Maven-This hotel is two blocks away from Union Station, is adjacent to the Milk Market Food Hall, and it sits on the Dairy Block. There is a lovely alley behind it that you can wander through, go shopping in, and even a speakeasy on the block called Run the Roses. If you like baseball, The Maven is two blocks away from Coors Field, home of the Colorado Rockies. Why I love The Maven
    • The food is OUTSTANDING in Milk Market!! From Kentucky Red Hot Chicken, Bao, Poke, wood fired pizza, fresh fish, and fresh pasta-the food is so damn good.
    • Kachina Restaurant-I had a religious food experience there during the summer. The food is phenomenal with a specific focus on Southwestern cuisine.
    • Huckleberry Roasters- A Colorado local coffee shop with fantastic coffee.
    • The location-you can’t beat it.
  • The Source Hotel-If you choose to stay here, you will actually get off at the stop BEFORE Union station. The 38th and Blake Station. Then, you will walk over a bridge and 2 blocks in order to get to the hotel. Don’t worry-it’s super easy. If you’re needing help (ADA) you can have the hotel shuttle pick you up at the stop. Make those arrangements in advance. I LOVE The Source Hotel for so many reasons.
    • I hosted an in-person retreat there and the staff was amazing!
    • The food is fantastic
    • There is a hot tub and small pool on the rooftop with a view of the mountains.
    • There is a food hall in the main building
    • It has a brewery and the beer is good. By the way, I prefer cider and I loved their beer.
    • Digital Creators/Travel Bloggers-There is a co-working space called Charley CO for ladies only-sorry guys LOL!
The Source Hotel Woods Restaurant
The Woods Restaurant-The Source Hotel Denver, Colorado

Day #1

Pro-Travel tip for Denver:

About a month before you travel to Denver. Check out the Eventbrite and Facebook events feed for Denver. You may be able to find the following:

  • Free events
  • Free co-working days. If not, check out Deskpass which has a great presence in Denver. Start your free co-working trial today.
  • Unique one off events that only happen during the time of year that you plan on visiting.

Pro-Travel Tip #2 Do Your Own Research

Just because certain restaurants have been shared an listed in this post, don’t take my word for it. Do your own research!

  • Look at the menus
  • Give the restaurants a quick call
  • Bring your Nima Sensor

Pro Tip #3 Check Out Denver Local Gluten-Free Information

Check out Jenny Finke’s blog “Good For You Gluten-Free” Jenny is a friend of mine here in Denver. In addition to running the Denver Bloggers Club and the Fuel Your Influence Blog Conference, Jenny is known for doing video reviews of local restaurants here in Denver. She also talks extensively about the Nima Sensor as well.

Breakfast 9:00 am (ish)

There are a ton of different places to eat breakfast in Denver, but a gluten-free allergy free breakfast that tastes yummy can be found at Just Be Kitchen, an allergen and refined sugar free restaurant in Denver.

I do not have this allergy, and ate there for a Denver Bloggers Meetup and it was fantastic. There is paid parking next to it and make sure to check out Confluence Park that is next to the restaurant. Depending on the time of year, you may be able to kayak on the river or take a quick trip on the Denver Trolley which is located next to REI.

Or, you can swing over to Snooze which is known for it’s incredible breakfast foods. Check out the one located in Union Station.

Denver Art Museum

The Denver Art Museum is incredible. Part of what makes it incredible, is the staff’s commitment to bringing unique and one of a kind exhibits to the city of Denver. At the time this post is being written, the only Monet exhibit of its kind in the United States, is currently being shown at the museum.

Previous unique exhibits include:

  • Dior
  • Degas
  • Rembrandt
  • Jordan Casteel

While you’re at the Art Museum, quickly cross the street and check out the Capital Building which is exactly a mile high.

Make your way back downtown and pop into I Heart Denver, a fantastic Colorado local gift shop located in the Denver Pavilions Mall. All of the products are made by Colorado local makers.

W. 41st and Tennyson

This area is one of my favorite places to hang out in Denver. I live on the opposite side of town though, so I make a point of visiting from time to time. Hop into a Lyft and make your way over.

This area is super cute and has coffee shops, restaurants, and a tiny splash of shopping.

It’s also home to Vital Root, a 100% gluten-free restaurant with delicious food. They serve brunch/lunch/ and dinner. And, they host a happy hour.

Check out the following places

  • Book Bar-I’m obsessed with all things related to books. This cozy coffee shop also has a bar and coffee shop. Sip some wine, have some fun conversation, and enjoy the books.
  • Second Love-One of the prettiest resale shops I’ve visited. If you’re looking for great, sustainable fashion, Second Love is a must visit.
  • The Yogi Exchange-For Yoga enthusiasts who need more clothes, this place is for you. Gently used yoga clothes and equipment for the win! They are very particular about the items that they accept. The first time I visited, I didn’t realize the items were used.

Day #2 Let’s Visit Golden and Red Rocks

Golden rests right on the base of the mountains, or the foothills. It’s a beautiful town with some amazing history, a cute little downtown area, great hiking and dirt biking if that’s your thing.

I’m a hiker so I will share some easy hikes to consider. Golden is about a 30-40 minute drive from Denver after rush hour.

9:00 am

You’ve grabbed some delicious breakfast from your hotel and not it’s time to go to Golden and Red Rocks. No trip to Denver would be complete without one quick excursion into the mountains or almost into the mountains. Golden is at the base of the mountains.

It has a stunning view of Denver, great people, and is home to the Colorado School of Mines and Coors Brewery.

Golden, CO Hike Options

Let’s be clear, don’t be cute trying to do a hike that you’re not physically prepared for. You could end up with Altitude Sickness. With that in mind, I have 3 options for you ranging from easy to difficult.

Before your hike remember the following:

  • Tell people what trail you’ll be on and WHEN.
  • Bring your Colorado travel kit: lip balm, sunblock, lotion, water, hat, and sunglasses
  • Bring snacks
  • Make sure your phone is charged up
  • Have matches
  • Toilet paper and a plastic bag. Leave no trace. I know it’s gross, but the tp has to leave with you in the plastic bag and be flushed away later. OR, use the bathroom 6 times before the hike LOL!
  • Shoes appropriate for the type of hike that you’re doing. I grew up hiking in tennis shoes. But, because I hike so much now, I do have hiking shoes. The big difference? The tread on the shoes. Hiking shoes tend to have a much heavier tread.

Lunchtime!

If you’re lucky, you’ll be in Golden on the day that Dedicated Bistro and Bakery Food Truck is at the Holidaily Brewery. Holidaily is an entirely gluten-free brewery and Dedicated Bistro is entirely gluten-free as well.

And, the Dedicated Bistro food truck makes the best fish in chips in the Denver Metro area. Period. Make sure to triple check their schedule to see what day they are at the brewery when you’re in town.

Don’t also, Holidaily supplies a lot of the gluten-free beer at many of the breweries and restaurants in Denver.

Other Restaurant Suggestions

Dedicated Bistro Gluten-Free Food
Dedicated Bistro

Red Rocks Amphitheater

Once you’ve eaten, it’s time to hop in the car and drive over to Red Rocks. Please, do NOT refer to it as “The Red Rocks” there’s no article in front of it.

Just call it Red Rocks.

It’s not just a concert venue. Citizens work out daily at Red Rocks, tourists visit, and people just relax and chill there.

During the summertime fun events such as:

  • Yoga on the Rocks-A phenomenal experience of connecting with your third eye with thousands of other people. Don’t worry, it’s amazing!
  • Movies on the Rocks-Watch recently released movies, enjoy a band, and comedy show for around $12 dollars a ticket. Movies on the Rocks is about the only way you’ll get me to watch movies now with other people. Because I no longer enjoy going to the theater.
  • Music Festivals-These happen all year long.

Walk up the stairs, take in the view, and check out the Visitors’ Center. I enjoy working out on the theater steps and just sitting and relaxing while checking out the view.

Red Rocks

Colorado Mills Mall

On the way back to Denver, pop into Colorado Mills Mall. It has a number of outlet stores and large number of Colorado local businesses too. Some outlets include:

  • Adidas
  • Banana Republic
  • Calvin Klein
  • Coach
  • H&M
  • Francesca’s

Please note: like with everything, stores do change. If you enjoy yummy coffee drinks, check out the following Colorado local business:

My favorite drink is the regular chai. Once you’re all shopped out, it’s time to return to Denver, freshen up and grab some dinner.

Dinner 6:00 pm (ish)

After a long day of hiking, shopping, and exploring it’s time to eat. Here are some great restaurants to consider once you’re back in town.

Day #3 Last Day in Denver

It’s my hope that if you’re in town sometime during the first 3 weeks in January, that you will check out the National Western Stock Show. Denver embraces its “Cowtown” roots proudly and the National Western Stock Show is a proud part of that tradition.

It continues to grow with record breaking attendance. Check out the rodeo, prize winning livestock, and meet honest to God Cowboys and Cowgirls.

Not feeling it?

Meow Wolf Denver-Opening in 2021

Denver has an incredible art community creating murals, interactive art experiences and more. If you can’t make it to Santa Fe for Meow Wolf, Denver may be the Meow Wolf Experience for you.

Casa Bonita

This is the most kitschy place ever. Think indoor divers, western gunfights, and other campy experiences that every Colorado child and adult has enjoyed throughout the years. Let’s be clear, you won’t be eating there…but, you do have to buy one of the food offerings. Casa Bonita, while fun, is NOT necessarily known for its food.

You’ve been warned.

South Pearl Street Denver

This cute little area also has one of my FAVORITE places to eat-and, it’s gluten-free. If you don’t feel like driving, you can take the light rail to the Louisiana and Pearl Street Light Rail Station. Then walk down Pearl Street. It has local shops, a great (slightly expensive) woman’s consignment shop, and it’s just an area where real Denverites actually hangout.

Queiro Arepas

Arepas are a Venezuelan staple and Quiero Arepas is a certified gluten-free kitchen. I cannot express enough how yummy they are.

After you’ve enjoyed your meal, head over to Washington Park and get a nice walk in around the park.