They say that birds of a feather flock together, but this exhibit seems to have taken a non-discriminating approach with its medley of bird breeds and species. Close-ups of majestic owls and flocks of colorful songbirds are depicted through film, fine art, and natural history collections. The 65 painted, sculpted, and graphic works explore the exquisite forms of a wide variety of airborne creatures. Daily 9 a.m.- 5 p.m.
Sometimes kids have the best ideas. Why shouldn't they have a venue to sell them? The Young Entrepreneur's Market Place is the perfect location for either your kid to peddle their house-made bracelets, buttons, or greeting cards. For adults, it might be a great opportunity to pick up a few gifts before the holidays. Sat 10 a.m.
Michael Godard may look like a rock star, but his art is made with paint and canvas, not an axe and a microphone. Godard feature his "Don't Drink and Draw" series where he explores vices. From olives gambling to grapes climbing wine bottles, Godard's art is unique and edgy. In addition to the gallery display, he will also be sketching live and signing purchased paintings and books at the event. Sat 11 a.m.
Leave the mess to the professionals so you can focus on the fun part. The gingerbread houses are already fully constructed so you can spend your time on perfecting the decor with an array of candy and icing options. Apply freshly learned techniques to build the house of your sugarplum dreams. Lunch will be provided with wine for the adults and punch for the kids. Days vary, 11 a.m.-2:30 p.m.
Nothing says holiday cheer like Santa hats...and Speedos. Join in on this one-mile winter fun run in your summer skivvies. Warm up with a shot of booze before you strip down to your bathing suit and Santa hat. Get redressed and enjoy beer, food, and fun at Mead Street Station at the end of the run. Be sure to bring your IDs: this run is for 21-and-older only. Sat 12:30 p.m.
The best of the dark-hued brews come together for this holiday fundraiser. Bighearted breweries (and donated beers) include Avery Brewing's The Czar, Old Jubilation, and Out of Bounds Stout; Boulevard Brewing's Bully! Porter and Dark Truth Stout; Denver Beer Co.'s Graham Cracker Porter, Chocolate Chili Stout and more. A selection of cheeses and chocolates will accompany the beers. Proceeds benefit Metro CareRing, one of Denver's largest hunger relief programs. Sat 1-4 p.m.
Learn to knit—plus a little more. This class will teach you to knit ergonomically, keeping your back and shoulders spry and ready to knit Christmas gifts at all hours. Bonus: learn proper techniques for washing, drying and storing clothing made from yarn to extend the life of your knits. Yarn will be provided. Bring own needles or buy from store. Sat 2 p.m.
Dive into the world of "bubblies" and discover the drink's different styles, such as blanc de blancs, blanc de noirs, rose, and demi-sec. Taste and compare the sparklers side-by-side, evaluating how each can be best enjoyed, then learn to incorporate the sparkling wines into festive cocktails (like a Canton royale), just in time for the holiday season. Sat 6-8 p.m.
This string quartet from Fort Collins, is making music some are calling "newgrass." Similar to bluegrass, with a modern acoustic twist, the group has been voted Colorado's best bluegrass for three years running. Recently releasing a self-titled live studio album, recorded over five nights, they performed their own tunes along with covers. Hear songs like “Big Mon” and “Run to the Hills.” Sat 9 p.m.
Paint the town red at an evening dedicated to World Aids Day. A cocktail hour will be highlighted by fire dancers and aerial artists before you find a seat by the catwalk. The fashion show features local designers and salon artists followed by a silent auction. Proceeds benefit Denver Colorado AIDS Project. Sun 6 p.m.
Feeling a little sick of all this holiday cheer? Then the annual Dirty Christmas Show is for you. Some of the best comedians in Denver join up to poke fun at Santa, his naughty elves, and the ho-ho-ho-tastic side of the holidays. 21 and up. Sun 7 p.m.
Colorado legend Ned Wynkoop made plenty of friends and enemies during the Wild West days. As a sheriff, actor, and colonel, Wynkoop's part in Colorado history is only hinted at by the LoDo street named for him. Historian Louis Kraft's expert knowledge of Wynkoop’s life history is prevalent in his new book, Ned Wynkoop and the Lonely Road from Sand Creek. Kraft will discuss this book, which details Wynkoop’s efforts to prevent war with Native Americans during the volatile 1860s. Mon 2 p.m.
Exuberant energy and perpetual sugar highs surround families throughout the holiday season. Help your little wind down with an hour of yoga followed by 30 minutes of crafts and a snack. Kids attempt postures and poses that follow weekly themes, such as birds or butterflies. Parents can either take 90 minutes to themselves or check out the all-levels yoga class that runs at the same time. Mon and Thu, 4:15-5:45 p.m.
Colorado was a bull's-eye during the 2012 election cycle, and now that it's over, a different president is coming to town. President Bill Clinton spent much of his two terms globe-trotting to the corners of the world in attempt to improve relations with foreign nations. He continues that passion by sharing his experiences with audiences and offering his opinions on how foreign nations can build their independence, manage international challenges, and create a sustainable future. Mon 8 p.m.
George Karl is one coach who consistently gives Coloradans a reason to smile. Help the Denver Nuggets head coach give back to the community on Colorado Gives Day—and get a Coohills breakfast out of the deal, too. The bright-and-early event is hosted by the Progressive Health Center, which helps educate and support uninsured and underinsured patients. Can't make the breakfast?
Learn the basics of soup making along with other one-dish meals. Spend your evening with Chef Andrew Lubatty as he teaches you step-by-step how to make New England clam chowder and mushroom lasagne with gruyere sauce, to name a couple. These delicious comfort, and easy, meals will keep you warm during the long winter months. Tues 6:30-9:30 p.m.
You might have seen him at the Thanksgiving Macy’s Day Parade performing “Great Balls of Fire” or heard one of his songs on MTV. This rock 'n' roll artist has been playing his greatest admirers music—Elvis, Johnny Cash, and Jerry Lee Lewis—since the ’80s. His newest album, Beyond the Sun, features covers like “Ring of Fire” and “Can’t Help Falling in Love.” Tue 8 p.m.
eTown, the Colorado-based live music radio show, recently opened the doors to eTown Hall, its very own venue in downtown Boulder. The solar-powered concert room gives the nationally syndicated NPR program its own dynamic community space to stage and record music as well as host conversations with some of the world's best musicians.
Why not be thrifty and score some tresaures for your reading pleasure. Remember, when it comes to secondhand books, the term 'used' refers to a work's prior ownership, not its present condition. In fact, some new models look more 'test-driven' than the books bought by other avid readers, yet handled with care. Choose from more than 30,000 well-seasoned books and check out the selection of music and movies available at discounted prices. Thu-Fri 10 a.m.- 6 p.m., Sat. 1-5 p.m.
Only Rapunzel can ice skate without 12 feet of hair tripping her up. At this Disney spectacular, your kids will have the chance to see their favorite princesses like Princess Tiana of The Princess and the Frog and Cinderella as they embark on an adventure in search of Cinderella's Prince Charming. Expect lots of leaps and twirls along the way. Thu-Sun, 11 a.m., 3 p.m., 7 p.m.
Take a minute from all the seasonal planning to sit back and sip up. Enjoy holiday martinis or a classic cocktail like Eddie’s Egg Nog while you munch on holiday inspired appetizers and desserts. Then sit back and watch the classic movie, Christmas Vacation, staring Chevy Chase. Thu 5:30 p.m.
The doomed city of Pompeii had a sister city that met the same fate. Come learn the tragic fate of Ceren, a 1,400-year-old Mayan village in El Salvador. Like Pompeii, Ceren was perfectly preserved when scalding ash from a nearby volcanic explosion enveloped the town in 630 AD. University of Colorado archaeologist Payson Sheets will reveal the history of this village. Thu 7 p.m.
If you’re looking for some creative knick-knacks for the holiday season, check out RAW’s last showcase of 2012 for a one-on-one with some of Denver’s underground artists. In the mix is multi-genre musician JoFoKe, who uses spoken word and soul, classical, rock, and Christian music to produce what she calls, "Life Music." Collaborative duo Evendesign will showcase their mixed media projects uniquely depicted on guitars and pendants. RAW: natural born artsist is an independent arts organization to promote independent film, fashion, music , visual, and performing arts.
Since Macklemore joined forces with Ryan Lewis, the rapper and producer, respectively, have created hip-hop music with lyrics that people describe as "evenly paced and packed full of purpose." Expect to hear singles like, “My Oh My” and other tracks from their debut album, The Heist. Thu 9 p.m.
The season of toy soldiers and may be over, but you can still indulge your inner child. Experience a collective exhibit filled with toy- and game-themed art pieces. Mon-Thu 8:30 a.m.-9:30 p.m.; Fri 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sat 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.; closed Sunday.
Copper Mountain celebrates it's 40th Anniversary by getting groovy. Score amazing deals on the mountain and in the village—like $40 lift tickets, $40 rentals, $40 bottle service at Escobar, 72 cent beers outside Endo's form 1-5 p.m., and $40 Woodward Intro Session. Get down on Saturday with Super Diamond, a Neil Diamond cover band, after hunting for the "Ruby Anniversary Ring" in a mountain-wide scavenger hunt.
If the best gifts really do come in small packages, then your friends will be really excited when they open theirs. Everything at thie exhibit is done on miniature, eight-inch-by-10-inch or smaller canvases using oil, pastels, glass, bronze, and more. No matter your art preference, you'll find a keeper in the more than 600 pieces on display. Our pick: John K. Harrell's Floating Magic, an acrylic painting of boats and their refelctions on the water. Tue-Sat 10 a.m.- 6 p.m.
Even your child’s sweet tooth will be satisfied after this winter festival. Kids can jump in the bounce house, visit with Santa, and take a mini tour of the factory. Fri 11 a.m.- 4 p.m.; Sat 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
Though it may not fit stereotypical macho man standards, some creative dudes show what they're made of by flaunting their artistic sides. Ink Lounge helps with holiday shopping by presenting a number of original works all made by men. Choose from screen prints, letter presses, soap, or plush stuffed animals from a variety of local guys. If you haven't gotten your fill of creativity for one night, hop on the First Friday Shuttle Coach and visit the galleries along Sante Fe Arts District after shopping. Fri, 4-10 p.m.
Kick-off Hanukkah with a latke showdown. Enter the competition, showcasing your take on the classic fried potato pancake, or sample others, casting your vote for People's Choice. Junior chefs are encouraged to participate with an under 18 category. After celebrating with latkes, light your menorah at a Hanukkah service held down the hall from the cook-off. Fri 5:30 p.m.
Love the film White Christmas? Then attend the ball themed after it. Dance to jazz by the Hot Tomatoes and swing dance to the Diamond Dolls around props and re-enactments from the movie. Really step back into the '40s and get all gussied up with makeup and pin-up hair workshops. Proceeds benefit the Wounded Warriors project and the Spirit of Flight Center Colorado. Fri 6 p.m.
Follow Jean Valjean and his fellow comrades as they navigate the brutal, complex world of post-revolutionary 19th-century France in this smash hit musical. Themes of poverty and despair are balanced with redemption and hope, set against show-stopping numbers. Fri-Sat 7 p.m.
The Ballet Nouveau Colorado school and dance company will perform a rendition of the Russian ballet Christmas classic that will whisk you away to the land of the Sugarplum Fairy. After the show, kids can learn ballet steps from the dancers at an onstage meet-and-greet. Fri 7:30 p.m.; Sat 2 p.m., 7:30 p.m.; Sun 2 p.m.
This Boulder group that performs with only their voices or, a cappella, is bringing a holiday show to Denver. Their show is a musical journey that starts in the 12th and 13th century with songs like “Ave Maria.” Taking the audience all the way to the 19th century, the 36 singers, will sing early American carols. Special guest, Lucille Reilly, will join them on stage as they perform a beautiful holiday show put together by artistic director, Thomas Edward Morgan. Days, times vary.
When Eve's car slides off an icy road on Christmas Eve, it only reinforces her disbelief in God, miracles, and, especially, Santa Claus. She's forced to seek shelter at the home of a wood carver who's filled with holiday spirit, and as the night progresses, the pair share memories and stories of their past. Before she knows it, Eve find herself getting caught up in the magic of Christmas after all. Fri-Sat 7:30 p.m.; Sun 2 p.m.
—Image courtesy of A&J Photography
There’s nothing cooler—or more universal—than dancing and grandmothers. Come watch this granny and the Cleo Parker Robinson Dance Ensemble recall the magic and memories of childhood through spoken word, heart-pounding drumming, and dances from around the globe. This holiday show reminds us of the awesome human diversity in the world. Fri 7:30 p.m.; Sat 2 p.m., 7:30 p.m.; Sun 2 p.m.
Drag Queen Time Machine is part drag-101, part hilarious entertainment. Actor Stuart Sanks is Shirley Delta Plow, leading audience members through the theatric show and highlighting the rough and rowdy history of drag (dressed as a girl) and its place in the gay rights movement. With games likes “Are you Smarter than a Drag Queen?”, audience participation is part of the fun. Fri-Sat 8 p.m.
Add the horn, woodwind instruments, and drums to the traditional sound of Horse Feathers and you have the group's new album, Cynics New Year. The indie-folk band mixes different instruments with guitars, dancing fiddles, banjo and vocals in singles like, “Fit Against the Country.” Fri 9 p.m.
Jazz, funk, “avant-noise”, are the sounds this quartet is producing. Driven together by jazz musician Bob Moses, the group formed and have now performed with the likes of punk artist Iggy Pop and Natalie Merchant. Hear songs like “Big Time” and new tracks from their acoustic live album, Free Magic. Fri 9 p.m.
Winning a Grammy for "Best Country Vocal Performance," is just one of the many accolades this singer has captured. From co-writing Elvis Presley’s song “It Hurts Me” to being inducted into the Grand Ole Opry in 2008, country singer Charlie Daniels has played many packed houses throughout the years. See him in his legendary bullrider hat on-stage with his band and hear classics like “The Devil Went Down in Georiga.” Fri 10 p.m.
Nothing pairs better in Colorado than fresh powder and a brand-new snow equipment. Before you splurge on the latest ski and snowboard technology, take demo sets from the industry's best companies out for a run or two. Test out skis and boards from Never Summer, Fortitude, and Salomon, among others. Then hit up experts for the lowdown on all of the new gadgets. Sat 8:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m.
For many children, writing their Christmas list is an annual tradition. This holiday season, let your kids get up close and personal with old St. Nick and Mrs. Claus and drop off their hand-written notes face-to-face in the railway post office car. After delivery, kids will receive a keepsake and can enjoy a warm cup of cocoa. Days, times vary.
Ugly holiday sweaters don't belong in the back of your closet—at least for this weekend 5K run, which is more about fun than setting a personal best. At every mile, you'll find holiday-themed aide stations, cups of steaming hot chocolate, and sledding hills (yes, you're encouraged to take a sledding break). Slide into the after party for awards like best sweater, ugliest sweater, and best mustache (real or fake, so the ladies aren't out of the running).
Walk through the decorated Boettcher mansion and experience a historic element of Colorado. Built by Walter Cheesmen in 1908, Governor John Hickenlooper is now the eighth governor of the mansion. Get into the holiday spirit with a tour—get a special look into the legendary house sparkling with Christmas decorations from top to bottom. Daily, 10 a.m.-2p.m.
Walk the snowy streets of Denver and experience a Christmas market that could put even Scrooge in the spirit. Wander through the 40 vendors selling house-made jewelry, clothing, and furniture by local artists. Listen to live music and also carolers as they walk through the market. Sat 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
Come celebrate the season with a train ride—Santa’s preferred mode of transportation—at the Colorado Railroad Museum. Kids can mail their letters to Santa at a real railway post office car, visit Santa, and drink hot cocoa at the Depot General Store while getting in the holiday spirit. Sat-Sun 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
Swapping cookies during the holiday season is an age-old tradition. Learn new techniques and recipes, to add a little oomph to your seasonal gift. The menu will include traditional sugar cookies, white chocolate-dipped cranberry and pistachio biscotti, and eggnog snicker doodles, among others. Sat 10:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m.
Imagine this: an enormous present made from layers and layers of different sorts of sustainable gift wrapping, from newspaper to grocery bags. At the event, kids take the layers off one by one, pausing each time to learn about another kind of recycled or reusable gift wrapping. When they finally get to the center, there might be something just for them from the Majestic View Nature Center. Sat noon.
Coffee cupping is like wine tasting for java hounds. Discover the difference between air and drum roasting, identify nuanced flavors in your cup of joe, and be able to describe your coffee preferences and why. You'll learn from the best. Kaladi Brothers owner and coffee connoisseur, Mark Overly (dubbed "Mr. Coffee"), teaches the class. Sat 2-4 p.m.
Go dashing through the snow, or through Main Street, in your favorite Santa suit. In this seven-block costumed dash—complete with a milk and cookies station—you will have the chance to win $100 cash, whether you've been naughty or nice. Registration comes with a Santa Dash T-shirt, Santa hat, and a half-off tubing session at Frisco Adventure Park. Children and pets run for free. Proceeds benefit the Summit County Cares project to help with heat assistance and medical care. Sat 3 p.m.
The lift is out of service—at least for you. Gear up in snowshoes or track skis to climb 3,267 of vertical feet in the dark. At the top of the mountain a dinner provided by The Little Nell refreshments, and live music, await. Contribute as a Ride For Life participant and ride up the lift to the post race festivities if you don't want to make the climb.
From winning a Grammy for her album, Downtown Church, to winning “Artist of the Year” from the American Music Award’s, Patty Griffin is no stranger to success. Performing her folk rock all over the world, her fans love singles like “Rain” and “Let Him Fly.” Hear tracks from albums, Flaming Red and Impossible Dream, as she performs as the headliner for Rootsfest. Sat 7:30 p.m.
Celebrate a night dedicated to up-and-coming roots music artists. Newcomers will work the stage with bluegrass instruments along with featured artists Patty Griffin, Todd Snider, and an opening performance by Lake Street Dive. Rootsfest proceeds benefit Swallow Hill Music, an educational music program for all ages. Sat 7:30 p.m.
In the '80s and '90s, hip-hop experienced a golden age. Innovative DJs and MCs, socially conscious lyricists, and fun-loving acts came together to reach a new pinnacle of creative and popular success.
Who better to perform to Tchaikovsky’s classic score than the Moscow ballet? Little Masha and her Nutcracker Prince battle a mouse army and journey to the Snow Forrest before finding a world of peace and harmony. Experience the unifying magic of the Nutcracker paired with dances from cultures around the world—Spain, China, Persia, Russia, and France. Sun 3 p.m., 7 p.m.
Jingle all the way in this 5K. Get decked out in holiday gear and lace some bells into your shoelaces and get walking or running with family and friends for a cause this holiday season. Proceeds will benefit the Arthritis Foundation to help prevent, control, and cure arthritis, the country's most common reason for disability. Sun 9 a.m.
Skip the mall and find a truly unique gift for everyone on your shopping list at the FUSEdenver Holiday Market, where everything is made in the United States and sold by Colorado purveyors.
James Lee doesn't want you to be responsible for bad punch at your holiday party. He wants your cocktails to be legendary. Hosted by FORK Social Lab, the award-winning master mixologist and owner of the Bitter Bar in Boulder is sharing his expertise with recipes and tips for mixing two holiday-themed cocktails and one year-round concoction. Bonus: You'll learn how to choose the best cocktail glass for any drink style, how to use aromatics, and where bitters fit into the cocktail menu.
The perfect day: Being roused out of bed by the smell of bacon frying in a pan, and coming home later to a belly-warming brew. Better yet, head to the Bacon and Beer Festival and celebrate the pair together.
It's not every day you can listen to the 23 bells, that make up a carillon, chime in the fresh Colorado air. Watch South High School choir perform with the University of Denver’s own carillonneur, Carol Jickling Lens. A screen will be put up to display the singers. Relax in the Ritchie Center courtyard as they sing holiday classics like, “Carol of the Bells.” Sun 3 p.m.
With two things to celebrate, its 50th birthday and the commencement of the winter season, it’s sure to be the biggest party Vail has thrown yet. During this weeklong celebration enjoy concerts, after-dark parties, demonstrations, and a film created to display the 50 years of Vail. Enjoy the concerts by The Shins, Wilco, and Michael Franti and Spearhead that will be held outside at Fork Park. Days, times vary.
There are risk-takers, and then there's Danny Way—the daredevil skateboarder who jumped over the Great Wall of China. Don't miss this documentary of this professional thrillseeker's challenging childhood that led to his later athletic accomplishments. The inspiring documentary—which questions how much physical abuse one body can withstand and how much emotional strength it takes to overcome family betrayalst. Tue-Thu 2:30, 4:45, 7:20, 9:35 p.m.
Why buy mass-produced clothes when you can make your own? This workshop teaches the basics of screenprinting. Find patterns from the lounge library or bring your own artwork to create your screens. Bring T-shirts, hoodies, or any items made from flat fabric to print on and leave with up to eight uniquely printed items. Tues 5:30-7:30 p.m.
Spend your evening at an unusual glamorous night at the University of Colorado Hospital. Old Hollywood glam means your best glitz and black tie outfits set the stage for the night. Bid on the auction gifts such as secret boxes which hold sport memorabilia and jewelry by Trace Jewelers. Eat and drink then make your way out to the entertainment tent that will host a concert by Grammy winner Dionne Warwick. Proceeds benefit the expansion of the University of Colorado Hospital. Sat 6 p.m.
Combine a variety of eclectic world music of styles and you get the Pink Martini—not the drink, the orchestra. The group performsall types of music from Latin to jazz and cabaret along with beloved renditions of holiday favorites from its bes-selling holiday album, Joy to the World. Wed 7:30 p.m.
Breckenridge is the only winter stop of the Dew Tour this year, meaning all the action is in our Rocky Mountains. Watch the pros catch massive air and perform tricks in the ski and snowboard superpipe, slopestyle, and big air events. Thu-Sun 8 a.m.
Frisco goes fun and free. As part of Wassail Days, Frisco Adventure Park and the Frisco Nordic Center are offering free tubing, sleigh rides, and nordic skiing, all without you breaking out your wallet. Thu, times vary.
Much like a cloud can conjure the image of an animal, Connor Hollis and Amorette Lana illustrate the limitless possibilities of perception. Hollis and Lana originally completed sections of work independently using a variety of materials—iron, graphite, and paint—and subject matters. Now, they unite to produce a single artistic project. Their abstract and colorful series of paintings and sculptures focus on urban society and its implications for people and nature. Tue-Sat noon-4 p.m.
Watch as abstract artist Michael Gadlin develops a contemporary painting from the canvas up. Gadlin will work before a live crowd and entertain audience member questions between brush strokes. He refers to his works as "soft Picassos," typically infusing romanticism in his own European meets Mediterranean style. Gadlin was the youngest artist to ever be awarded "Best of Show" at Denver's nationally-renowned Cherry Creek Arts Festival. Thu 6:30 p.m.-9 p.m.
The Winter Wildlands Alliance Backcountry Film Festival has showcases the beauty and fun of the winter backcountry experience. Documentary submissions come from professional filmmakers and amateur backcountry explorers and athletes who bring a camera to document their excursions. The best 90 minutes of submissions are compiled and screened for your viewing pleasure. Proceeds from the festival benefit CMC's Backcountry Snowsports Initiative (BSI), the leading advocate group for human-powered winter recreation on public land in Colorado. Thu 7 p.m.
“We Are Young,” was an instant summer radio success. The catchy lyrics by the indie pop group, broke download records and held the number one spot on the Billboard Hot 100 for six consecutive weeks. Hear other sure-to-be hits plus songs from their debut album, Aim and Ignite. Thu 7:30 p.m.
There are two results when chainsaw meets ice: beautiful scultures and snocones for everyone. Watch the ice shavings fly as the master ice sculpters of Rock on Ice craft at the daily sculpting demos. The pieces, some interactive or illuminated, will be displayed in Mountaineer Square and other spots around the mountain. Past structures include a guitar, a dragon, and face-in-a-hole characters. Daily times vary.
Rudy (played by Alan Cumming) is a flamboyant drag queen. When he knocks on a neighbor's door to complain about loud noises, he discovers Marco—a teenager with Down syndrome—who has been abandoned since his mother's arrest for drugs and prostitution. Rudy reluctantly cares for Marco at first, but he soon finds himself wanting a more permanent arrangement as the boy's caretaker. When Rudy starts dating a straight-and-narrow attorney in the D.A.'s office, the couple seeks to adopt Marco but face steep obstacles and prejudice along the way.
Surprise friends and family with a house-made version of this favorite holiday dessert. Pastry chef Christopher Jordan, of Edge Restaurant, demonstrates the art of making sticky toffee pudding. After learning the technique, sample the treat with fellow guests. Participants may enter in a drawing to win a Le Creuset deep-dish baker or a dinner for two from Edge Restaurant. Fri 3-4 p.m.
Journey through a tropical rainforest as you step into glowing gardens at the Butterfly Pavilion. With interactive exhibits, live creatures, and an outdoor adventure featuring life-size and larger sculptures, the sensational setting will not disappoint. The unique artworks are made almost entirely from recycled steel and LED lighting. Daily 5:30-9 p.m.
Four teachers leave their chalkboards to bring the real world back to their students. This film series captures the educators as they attempt to grasp foreign experiences. On their epic African journey through the Serengeti, to Maasai villages, inside Tanzanian schools, and AIDS orphanages. With realizations of the great challenges that confront our world today, the teachers will have lesson plans that extend far beyond the textbooks.. Fri 6-9 p.m.
Get Frosty’s take on Christmas at this live comedy show. In late-night TV talk show style, Verl Hite interviews holiday favorites like Frosty, Rudolph, and Ebenezer Scrooge. Find out the truth about Christmas and the origins of Santa Claus, and enjoy performances from Santa’s Little Helper Dancing Girls, this holiday season’s singing, dancing sensations. Tue-Wed, Fri-Sun 7:30 p.m.
To obtain the nickname “The Acoustic Ninja,” you can only really do one thing—be incredible at finger tapping. Watch Trace Bundy play with both hands on the fretboard, finger picking, and creative use of capos. Starting as a YouTube sensation, Bundy is now signed and creating albums like his newest Elephant King. Folk musician, Josh Garrels, will join him on stage. Fri 7:30 p.m.
What better way to show your love and devotion to your father than to start a tribute band for him? Playing music, created by the lead singer's father, Frank Zappa from the ’60s to the ’80s, this jazz-rock band played in Europe, Canada, and the United States. Performing many hits like “Chunga’s Revenge," they’ve even won a Grammy for their performance of “Peaches en Regalia." Fri 8:30 p.m.
Riding in the wakes of folk rock, Jerry Joseph has made a name for himself with lyrics that are achingly bittersweet and vocals that are similar to Bruce Springsteen. Carrying an earthy melodic tone that swells with both calm dexterity and commanding emotional charge, Joseph plays with an honesty that sways from exciting rock to soothing acoustic influences. Here singles like "Under The Lilacs" and "Broken." Fri 9 p.m.
Door-to-door caroling is somewhat lost on this generation. So, if you're craving some cheerful tunes from the good 'ole days, and songs with contemporary flair too, take an interactive trip to this winter wonderland. Hosted by the Action Pack's Henri Mazza, you will don Santa hats and sing your merry, little heart out to Christmas favorites from Bing Crosby to boy-band versions of holiday melodies. Fri-Sat, 10 p.m.
Shake off the winter chills by training for this outdoor winter run. The first of a three race series will have you running a 5K or 10K race along the South Platte River Trail. Warm up after with warm beverages. Sat 9 a.m.
Milk and cookies don't count as breakfast. Even for Santa, a good start to the day means a strong, healthy meal. Enjoy a spread that includes everything from French toast to fresh fruit, and afterwards let the kids make festive crafts and write letters to Old Saint Nick. Sat, Sun, Mon 9 a.m.
White stuff is falling in the mountains just in time for...snow polo? Yep, you read that right. Watch horses gallop through the powder while world-class competitors use mallets to knock around a bright red ball in this modified version of the sport. Satisfy your curiosity and stop by the world championships during your weekend getaway to Aspen. Sat-Sun 11 a.m.-3 p.m.
—Image: Jeremy Swanson courtesy of the Aspen Chamber Resort Association
Have you been dying to meet the chef who whips up your favorite dish at Crave, or Le Grand? With this Culinary Connector's walking tour, you gain behind-the-scenes access to these two top restaurants. Spend 45 minutes at each stop enjoying a chef-led restaurant tour and food tastings paired with a beer, glass of wine, or cocktail. Sat 2-5 p.m.
Start your holiday season with a lighthearted afternoon of storytelling and music. Four performers tell tales by Julia Alvarez, Sean O’Faolain, Lorrie Moore, and even one by Lemony Snicket called “The Latke Who Couldn’t Stop Screaming.” So kick back, eat the complimentary cookies and milk, and enjoy a couple hours of innocent merry making. Sat 2 p.m.
Do you constantly tap your feet and fingertips on the floor and desktop? Engage your whole body and satisfy—or whet—your itch to create rhythm with this one-hour intermediate drum class. If you can already perform the basics of drum patterns with your hands, this class will teach you to create more complex, engaging rhythms between your hands and feet. Bring drumsticks and a practice pad. Sat 3 p.m.
A Charlie Brown Christmas, the beloved TV special from 1965, is as well known for its great music as it is for its big-hearted Peanuts characters' search for the true meaning of Christmas. The soundrack, created by jazz composer Vince Guaraldi, is funky, fun, and sentimental all at once—and it's coming to a Denver stage.
This festival is more than just meditation and vinyasas. In it's debut year, the Denver Chant Fest features live music, top-notch yoga instruction, and wellness vendors. Hear music from the country's best Bhakti (spiritual song) artists—Jai Uttal, Dave Stringer, C.C. White, Govindas and Radha—while finding your center led by reknowned yoga instructors Bryan Kest, Janet Stone and Saul David Raye. Fri-Sun, times vary.
The duo from Denver has grown from creating tunes for fun on GargeBand to rocking the electronic music scene. You've heard them play live at this summer's Warped Tour, and now find them in a more intimate setting playing tracks from one of their three albums or the recent released new single, “Hit and Run.” Sat 7 p.m.
He's making a list and checking it twice—at this roller derby match, there's a big difference between naughty and nice. The High City Derby Divas will be dolling out the big hits (and Santa Claus will join in the festivities, roller skates and all) at this family frindly roller derby duel. Sat 7 p.m.
At a Two Fresh show you are getting twice the music with twin brothers, Kendrick and Sherwyn Nicholls. This hip-hop group combines strong beats with synth lines, and percussion by drummer Colby Bucker, that adds a live element to their electronic sound. Listen for songs like, “My Ego” and “Fried Harder.” Sat 9 p.m.
This year's holiday meals have gone to the birds—the chicken, duck, and turkey, that is. Join butcher Mark DeNittis (pictured) for a how-to on making the perfect, elusive turducken. After DeNittis lets you in on his deboning and stuffing tips, you'll get to take your bird home for a convenient—and delicious—dinner. Reserve your turducken in advance with Tentiko.
Bring old friends and make new ones at this family-style dinner. Guests will receive a welcome cocktail, prepared by owner/mixologist James Lee followed by a dinner of warm and hearty dishes created by chef Joe Arena. Lee will pair the courses with adult beverages (read: cocktails, wine or beer to best fit each course). Sun 6 p.m.
An unlikely pair—Luca D'Italia's Hunter Pritchett and Star Bar's Justin Lloyd—join forces for a seven-course feast. Hosted in one of Denver's favorite dive bars, Pritchett prepares an inventive menu while Lloyd thoughtfully pairs each course with craft brews or beer-based cocktails. Start the evening off with a beer-based punch followed by courses such as tartare of venison with horseradish and beef tendon paired with a Avery Brewing Company's Tsar Stout and Leopold Bros.-infused cocktail. Sun 6 p.m.
With music, singing, dancing, and ridiculous costumes, this show is nothing short of a party. Four main performers will play some holiday classics, but they may also sing “Twist and Shout” or a song of their very own making called “Balls,” which is as hilarious as it sounds. Be ready for sock puppet shows, haikus, and audience sing-alongs. Proceeds go to Concert for Cash, a non-profit that supports children’s health and wellness. Mon 7 p.m.
Tis the season for holiday cheer, and this show is bringing it to you in full-blown musical style. Experience holiday music from the 1940s to the present as Mrs. Claus remembers Christmas's past. Perfect for all ages, Starkey Productions and Lone Tree Arts Center have pulled out all the stops: ice skating, a Frank Sinatra impressionist, and a dance troupe will set the tone for your holiday season. Tue 7:30 p.m.; Wed 1:30 p.m., 7:30 p.m.; Thu 7:30 p.m.; Fri 8 p.m.; Sat 1:30 p.m., 8 p.m.; Sunday 1:30 p.m.
An Italian spread plus plenty of wine equals instant celebration. Chef Iain Chisholm, of Amerigo Delicatus, partners with urban winery, Infinite Monkey Theorem (IMT), to create an evening of indulgence. Chisholm features house-made favorites such as ricotta, caramelized Bosc pear, and pine nut ravioli with orange blossom honey and sweet Italian sausage meatballs with red sauce.
This lively fundraiser features comedian and actor Robert Dubac, creator of the show The Male Intellect: An Oxymoron. Start the evening with champagne, cocktails, and hors d'oeuvres while Harrison Garcia serenades you with an acoustic guitar. Later, while Dubac performs, local artists will shape paintings based on the show's content—all of which will be auctioned off post-show, with proceeds benefiting Visionbox. Wed 7-10 p.m.
—Image courtesy of Visionbox
Can you do a triple axel? Take a chance skating with the pros who can, like world champion and Olympic skaters Patrick Chan and Evan Lysacek. They will warm up with you before they put on a show in the Winter Solstice on Ice. Thu-Sat 3:15 p.m.
Possibly best known for puting the cerebral back in cerebral palsy, Josh Blue burst on to the comedic scene when he won Last Comic Standing in 2006. Now, Blue is back in his hometown to make your belly ache with self-depricating humor and breaking down stereotypes of the disabled. Fri 7 p.m.; Sat 6 p.m., 8:30 p.m.
In a city known for it's outstanding breweries, this tour hits the best of them. A Culinary Connectors craft beer expert will lead the way, navigating the streets, throughout the two-hour walking tour. The group will enjoy two to three tastings at each stop: Proust Brewing, Denver Beer Company, and Ale House at Amato's. Fri 4-6 p.m.
This holiday variety show salutes the spirit of the ‘40s, which was a golden era of music and military culture. Celebrate Christmas with this old school-style razzle-dazzle dinner show set in Colorado’s vibrant air and space museum. Fri 6 p.m.
Fans of The Black Keys, Queens of the Stone Age, and Cage the Elephant should enjoy this Denver-based band and their bluesy-rock style. Born in the Flood will reuniting for the show after taking a brief hiatus so front man Nathaniel Rateliffe could pursue a solo career. Word has it that the reunion show will be followed by a long lost second album release. Fri 7 p.m.-midnight
Stripped-down, acoustic set-ups let musical intricacies shine and lay bare an artist's true talent. Some of the best hook writers in Denver are revealing their softer sides during this show. Leading the charge is hometown favorite OneRepublic.
This family will make your relatives seem sane. Watch this family's attempt to maintain pseudo-normalcy while dealing with Diana Goodman's depressive/delusional/bipolar disorder. With a similar tragedy-meets-rock-and-roll vibe as Rent, this production delves into the dark, undertold side of the human story. Wed (Dec 29) 2:30 p.m., Fri &-Sat 7:30 p.m.; Sun 2:30 p.m.
The Colorado Symphony sounds more like a jazz club than a concert hall during this soul-filled event. Based on George Frideric Handel's Messiah, an oratorio composed in 1741, the show is a re-imagined classic from former Colorado Symphony Music Director Marin Alsop. Join the Colorado Symphony, mass chorus, and special guest vocalists for the jazzy retelling, guaranteed to get audiences and performers moving. Fri-Sat 7:30 p.m.
The multi-dimensional DJ, rapper, and music producer quickly rose to fame in the late-'90s hip-hop scene. The multi-instrument musician has an expansive style and talent for composition, making him one of the music industry's most sought-after hip-hop producers. In 2011, Madlib and Freddie Gibbs announced a collaboration for a forthcoming album, from which two singles have been released including "Thuggin" and "Shame." Fri 8 p.m.-2 a.m.
What do you get when you mix rock 'n' roll, punk music, and whiskey? The Denver-based, hard country band, the Railbenders and their straight-no-chaser music. One of the top draws in Colorado—don't miss the group as they perform "The Leavin' Song" along with other folky songs. The Railbenders have opened for country greats including Willie Nelson and Charlie Daniels. Fri, 9 p.m.-midnight.
If the world really ends on Friday, you might as well go out with a smile on your face. Dance the night away at this late-night party's Three Levels of Armageddon, which include a star and laser experience and a fallout bunker in the basement (house, trance, and industrial electronica match the mood on each floor). You'll also be in the audience for choreographed shows and theatrical performances. Tickets include unlimited beer, but spring for the VIP package to enjoy complimentary spirits and a luxurious lounge.
See this winter wonderland in a whole new light and celebrate the magic of the Colorado mountains with fun-filled, family-friendly festivities. The 14-day agenda that includes a parade, ice sculpture carving, and a disco skate night. Don't miss Beaver Creek's Got Talent in the plaza Jan. 3, where kids share their vocal stylings in a friendly competition.Daily, times vary.
Need a last minute, unique gift? Don’t panic, giftmas will save you from the panic. Head to the Boulder County Fairgrounds where they are hosting 100 vendors selling special handmade gifts. Enjoy free holiday music and free hot chocolate as you walk the aisles as the minutes of the final Christmas shopping weekend tick away. Sat-Sun 10 a.m.,-5 p.m.
No more tipping a bottle of vodka into a bowl of lemonade and calling it day. Upgrade your punch performance with with a bar lesson from the team at the Green Russell. Bartender Melissa Durant will instruct guests in making more nuanced creations, such as a Lillet-based hot tea punch (Lillet is a French aperitif wine). Class will include demos, drink recipes, snacks and, of course, tastes of those delicious concoctions. Sat noon-2 p.m.
Santa will show up eventually, but before he does Mrs. Claus wants to make sure all the little ones are ready with a special Christmas program. Mrs. Claus will teach everyone Christmas songs and stories. Once everyone has had a chance to practice; old Kris Kringle will be called with jingle bells to enjoy the performance. Sat 1 p.m, 2:30 p.m.
Join 300 tuba players tooting their horns in unison for this outdoor holiday concert. Enjoy spirited songs where musicians play in honor of the great artists and teachers that inspire their playing. The first TubaChristmas was conducted by the late Paul Lavalle in New York City's Rockefeller Plaza Ice Rink in 1974. Today, TubaChristmas concerts are played worldwide. Sun 1-2 p.m.
Are your ears playing tricks on you? Brass instruments morph into the sounds of bagpipes, steel drums, hand-bells, and voices during the Denver Brass Christmas show. Classic songs like, “Sleigh Ride” and “Carol of the Brass” never sounded like this. Sun 4 p.m.
Celebrate "the good night" (Christmas Eve) with Spanish flair. This traditional five-course dinner features the best of Spanish cuisine including cured meats, sopa de mariscos (a seafood soup in tomato broth), date-stuffed pork, and natillas (a Basque cream custard) for dessert. Mon, times vary.
Let the beaches of Mexico be your muse this Christmas Eve, leading you to a Latin oasis in Highland. Celebrate with family-style paella (a saffron rice dish cooked with mixed meats and seafood), Caesar salad, and half-price bottles of wine. Round the evening out with cookies and milk in homage to the big man himself. Mon, times vary.
Enjoy a wholesome, soulful meal with your family on Christmas Eve without lifting a finger. Black Cat's taking care of everything with a three-course meal prepared with ingredients straight from the bistro's 130-acre organic farm just outside Boulder. Optional pairings from Black Cat’s off-the-beaten-path, award-winning wine list are also available. Mon 5:30 p.m.
Relax Christmas morning and let someone else do the cooking, dishes, and entertaining. Treat yourself to a DIY Bloody Mary or bottom-less mimosas as your kids watch holiday films and decorate cookies with Second Home's "little helpers." Enjoy chicken and waffles, crab cake benedict, or Graceland pancakes (banana pancakes with peanut butter whipped cream and bacon) over a leisurely brunch. Bonus: Kids—under eight, dressed in pajamas—eat free. Tue 7 a.m.-3 p.m.
Marvel at something other than trees and lights this Christmas. The Golden Dragon Acrobats bring the 25-century-old art of Chinese acrobatics to Colorado. Be dazzled and amazed by the contortionists, human obstacles, and high-flying flips and tricks. Tue 2:30 p.m., 6 p.m.
Charlie Ross, creator of the wildly popular One-Man Star Wars Trilogy, is back—but this time he's tackling the Lord of the Rings in his signature solo style. During the 70-minute show, Ross portrays 46 characters, seamlesly transitioning between humans, elves, wizards, dwarfs, hobbits, and more. And it's just in time for the release of The Hobbit.
Walk out onto the ice and drill a hole...then what? Designed for beginners, this ice fishing class covers the basics and safety precautions before taking the lesson outside. Fishing rods and tackles will be provided for a trip to a nearby lake. Bring your warm layers, boots, Colorado fishing license, and some patience to learn to drop line into the icy waters. Fri 8:30 a.m.-2 p.m.
A full moon is a culmination—in this case of both a lunar cycle and a cask of beer. Experience a naturally carbonated pint poured straight from the Firkin (officially a 10.8 gallon cask) in celebration. The featured beers—Mountain Sun's Old School Stout infused with vanilla bean and the Hibiscus Wheat—are tapped and served at cellar temperatures (not as cold as draft, but not warm either). Fri 4:20 p.m.
Sponsored by the Islamic Relief USA, attend a special evening listening to music and comedy shows. Islamic singer Maher Zain and Canadian singer Irfan Makki will take the stage for a musical performance and also Preacher moss will perform a comedic production. Proceeds benefit the Islamic Relief USA’s programs that support humanitarian efforts for children in the Middle East. Sat 5 p.m.
Fill your ears with the tale of Hansel and Gretel. The Colorado Symphony will guide this fairy tale retelling through music as the Heart of the Beast Puppets perform the story. Sat 7:30 p.m.
The original Lumineers lineup traded the lights of New York City for Denver in an attempt to keep their careers afloat. The addition of local cellist Neyla Pekarek provided a soft sound and the band took off. Their hit singles "Ho Hey" and "Stubborn Love" from the band's self-titled album have catapulted the Lumineers to sold-out stardom. To spend one of 2012's last nights with one of Denver's hottest bands, keep an eye out for tickets—they'll be challenge to nab. Sun and Mon 8 p.m.
Usher in the New Year a good 12 hours before bedtime. The Children’s Museum plaza transforms into bustling New York City, complete with a glitzy ball drop, decorative hats and plenty of confetti. Instead of a toast, the kids will celebrate by stomping on an enormous sheet of bubble wrap when the clock strikes noon. Mon, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.
Start a new New Years Eve tradition this year. Get an early start on that new year resolution with this family friendly New Year's Eve 5K run and walk. Earn a long sleeve T-shirt and admission to the post race party where you can cozy up with warm comfort food from Pasta Jays and maybe even win some prizes from Runners Roost and Boulder Running Company. Mon 5 p.m.
Looking to shake up your usual New Year's routine? Bovine Theatre's two performances on New Year's Eve end just before each round of 16th Street Mall's fireworks. Comedians use the audience’s unique suggestions to come up with scenes, games, and songs all night long. Mon 7:30 p.m., 10 p.m.