WHAT: Old South Pearl Art Walk: The eclectic shops and galleries on South Pearl Street do First Friday in style; take a stroll to find one-of-a-kind oil paintings, first edition books, and fashion-forward jewelry, then top it off with a great meal at a Denver favorite on Pearl.
WHY: Culture cravers who know every nook and cranny of Santa Fe will dig the change of scenery; kick off the first weekend of the month in a different 'hood this week.
BONUS: Graze while you gaze: If dinner isn't in the cards, restaurants such as Hanson's Grill and Tavern, The Pearl Street Grill, and The Duffeyroll Café have doors open and apps waiting for your tasting delight.
DETAILS: Fri 4-8 p.m. Old South Pearl Street, Evans Avenue to Buchtel Boulevard. Call 303-282-7777 or visit www.oldsouthpearlstreet.com.
WHAT: Tim Hernandez at El Laboratorio, Thinking en Publico: Boulder-based writer and performer Tim Hernandez reads from his debut poetry collection Skin Tax, a compilation that earned the 2006 American Book Award last year. His contemporary verses, as one reviewer put it, are not for those with "delicate sensibilities," as he frequently incorporates themes such as desire, violence, sins and delights of the flesh, and machismo. Joining him is new author Mark Jacobson. The program includes an interview by El Laboratorio creative director John-Michael Rivera and a Q&A session.
WHY: El Laboratorio is a new Latino arts and culture center that hosts some of Colorado's most thought-provoking, avant-garde Latino writers, artists, and scholars in workshops and conversations that push literary and cultural boundaries.
BONUS: A pre-reading reception offers light refreshments and the chance to rub elbows with a distinguished creative genius who's been commissioned by groups such as the United Way and National Fannie Mae Foundation to write and perform.
DETAILS: Sat 6 p.m. (reception), 6:30-8 p.m. (reading). The Laboratory of Arts and Ideas at Belmar, 404 S. Upham St. $10-$15. Call 303-934-1777 or visit www.belmarlab.org.
WHAT: Copper Triangle: A 73-mile ride through some of Colorado's prettiest scenery. Conquer three passes (Fremont, Tennessee, Vail), and climb more than 5,900 feet.
WHY: Mountains, sunshine, and a road to yourself (OK, bike buddies if you wish). Cycling season is still going strong; feed your inner beast before it dies for the summer.
BONUS: All the help you can get: Seven aid stations along the course will keep you hydrated, fed, and energized so you don't run out of steam before you run out of road. Finish off the day with "Tunes After the Triangle," a free post-ride outdoor concert featuring Jakarta.
DETAILS: Sat 5:30 a.m. Registration Friday evening/Saturday morning at Burning Stones Plaza, Copper Mountain. $120 + $10 minimum donation to the Davis Phinney Foundation, dedicated to Parkinson's Disease research. Call 303-282-9020 or visit www.coppertriangle.com.
WHAT: Highlands Art Garden Tour: Nature inspires art, but how can art inspire nature? The Bonfils-Stanton Lecture Series brings in landscape designer Julie Moir Messervy, developer of the Toronto Music Garden (in collaboration with Yo-Yo Ma), to dish on creating an art-inspired garden. Learn to use anything from cello music to paintings to influence your garden design.
WHY: Be that house on your street with jealous neighbors. You know you want to.
BONUS: Stick around after the lecture and tag along with Messervy on a private offsite tour of Denver area gardens from 1 to 3 p.m.
DETAILS: Sat 11 a.m. Denver Botanic Gardens. $25. Call 720-865-3500 or visit www.botanicgardens.org.