Denver's already known for its public art (we're looking at you, glob of kidney beans otherwise known as "National Velvet"), but Breckenridge is the first city in the Centennial State to host a festival devoted to public art. Six artists have created pieces themed around light, water, and sound, including "The Pool" (pictured), Boulder-based sculptor Jen Lewin's series of colored platforms that create patterns of light when touched.
BEST BETFree with admission.Denver Art Museum
Free with admission.MCA Denver
BEST BETFree.Museum of Outdoor Arts
Free.William Havu Gallery
Free.Colorado Photographic Arts Center
BEST BETFree.Space Gallery
$8-$98.50.Candlelight Dinner Playhouse
Free.Walker Fine Art
Ticket prices vary.Longmont Museum and Cultural Center
Free.Firehouse Art Center
$6-$26.Bas Bleu Theatre Company
Ticket prices vary.Denver Art Museum
BEST BETFree.Rule Gallery
BEST BETFree.Pattern Shop Studio
Ticket prices vary.University of Colorado Boulder
Free.Michael Warren Contemporary
BEST BETFree.Arvada Center for the Arts and Humanities
BEST BETFree.Abend Gallery Fine Art
BEST BET$28.The Edge Theatre
BEST BETFree.Marjorie Park at Fiddler's Green Amphitheatre
Ticket prices vary.Denver Art Museum
BEST BET$10-$60.University Theatre - University of Colorado Boulder
BEST BETFree.Mike Wright Gallery
BEST BETFree with admission.History Colorado Center
BEST BETFree.Mirada Fine Art Gallery
BEST BET$100.The Center for Fine Art Photography
BEST BETTicket prices vary.Locations vary
BEST BETFree.Robischon Gallery
Ticket prices vary.Museo de las Americas
Ticket prices vary.Denver Open Media Foundation
BEST BETFree.Waterstone Community Church
BEST BETFree.Abend Gallery Fine Art
BEST BETTicket prices vary.Centennial Park
BEST BETFree.Bond Park
BEST BETFree.William Havu Gallery
BEST BET$30-$40.City Park
Free.Bee Family Centennial Farm Museum
BEST BETTicket prices vary.Hideaway Park
Ticket prices vary.Ellie Caulkins Opera House
BEST BETTicket prices vary.Ralston Park
$20-$55.River Run Village at Keystone Resort
BEST BET$5-$60.The Glitter Dome Event Center
BEST BET$32-$35.Applejack Wine and Spirits
BEST BETTicket prices vary.Auraria Campus, University of Colorado Denver
BEST BET$45-$85.The Preservery
BEST BETFree.Renegade Brewing Company
BEST BET$17-$19.The John Hand Theatre
BEST BET$13.Alamo Drafthouse Cinema
Make a splash throughout the weekend with slalom and downriver races on kayaks, rafts, and tubes plus SUP races and freestyle events. Sandwiched between the weekends when CKSPaddlefest is held in Buena Vista and the GoPro Games takes place in Vail, these adventurous activities draw plenty of professional paddlers who are already in the area. Bonus: You'll get a double dose of after-parties, thanks to a bonfire Friday evening and a jam session with DJ Steezy Nicks on Saturday. Thu-Sun, times vary.
Give your kids a sugar rush on the city's ticket. After licking cones from Boulder Ice Cream, they'll let out their excess energy across City Park’s 330 acres and keep entertained with face painting and a concert from the Denver Municipal Band. Thu 6 p.m.
Usher in Anheuser-Busch's newly renovated biergarten at this outdoor tasting event. You'll sip on a variety of malt beverages, including Goose Island IPAs and Lime-a-Ritas, and munch on treats from Fort Collins–based eateries such as Pablo's Pizza and Suehiro Japanese Restaurant. Proceeds benefit the Fort Collins chapter of Habitat for Humanity. Thu 6:30 p.m.
Slip on your vans, fasten your chain wallet, and prepare to throw elbows in the pit: This punk rock music festival features a lineup that pulls no punches. The bowling festivities have already occurred, but between headliners such as the Buzzcocks, a four-decades old English punk group from Manchester, and Millencolin, a Swedish skate-punk quartet, you'll be buzzing like you just bowled 300. With free swag by Thrasher Magazine and free-flowing Pabst Blue Ribbon, punk rock fans will feel right at home at this counter-culture party. Thu 7 p.m.
It's said that the Front Range was settled by mountain men, but this festival sets out to prove that adage wrong. (The founders could have been mountain women.) Celebrate the spirit of alpine adventure through the female perspective with films such as Off Width Outlaw, a profile of rock climber Pamela Shanti Pack, and Resounding Silence, in which two Australian women paraglide over Greenland. Meet and greet fellow outdoor enthusiasts during the 7 p.m.
Heavy metal tunes with titles like “All My Friends Are Dead” have been longtime staples at this Canadian headbanger's concerts. Recently, though, the former front man of metal glam band Skid Row has revamped his live shows to include stripped-down sets featuring acoustic guitars and drums followed by a series on the electric guitar. Thu 9 p.m.
In a celebration of outdoor adventure, professional athletes and recreational enthusiasts alike gather for this weekend-long festival. Try out the renowned mountain biking and hiking trails in the mountains around Lyons and enjoy spectating at professional freestyle kayaking, slack line, and BMX and dirt biking competitions in town. More than 50 Colorado microbreweries will serve their craft libations at the beer garden and a dedicated kids' activity area will include climbing walls, a kayak pool, and bouncy houses. Fri-Sat, times vary.
In this innovative exhibit, Martha Hughes simplifies images of houses, gardens, and pools, often employed as symbols of wealth and opulence in popular culture, to their barest colors and shapes. Her vivid, angular paintings create an illusion of vacuous spaces cut awkwardly by walls and corners, mimicking the momentary disorientation one often feels in new spaces. Tue-Sat noon-6 p.m.
Artists Justin James Sehorn, Joe Addison, and Jared David Paul Anderson will encourage you to explore your relationship to technology in this interactive, installation-driven exhibition. Admire Addison's contour drawings and complex 3-D wave renderings; play with an old brick phone—or rather, an actual brick painted in a mobile phone’s likeness—or watch a totem made of ice melt, (a representation of technological innovations' ephemeral nature) during the opening of this new show. By appointment.
Trade History Channel documentaries for a dynamic lecture, during which you can travel back to the early days of the Centennial State. As you sip on a custom mule or martini, curator Elizabeth Nosek will share the riveting tale of the American railroad's history and its role in shaping the West. With 15 acres of railyard to explore after the talk and two drinks included in the ticket price, you'll be glad you found such an interactive classroom. Fri 5:30-8 p.m.
In this new show of oil paintings, artist Sharon Bond Brown displays black-and-white portraits from her long-running series "Creators" alongside her colorful "Damage" paintings of alleged murderers and other criminals. While her "Creators" pieces communicate vivacity despite their grayscale palette, Brown's 22-by-20-inch "Damage" images are done in color—even though they're based off black-and-white mug shots.
Festoon thyself with flowers: This vivacious celebration of art (and life) is about to get colorful. The spirit of the great Mexican painter Frida Kahlo guides the aesthetic of the exhibit, starting with the opening night party. Costumes are not required, but guests are encouraged to embody Kahlo in their attire—with or without a faux unibrow.
Great Divide Brewing Co. and local nonprofit SheJumps are brewing up an evening of philanthropy and fun. Sip a SheJumps Mango IPA—a special beer Great Divide created specifically for this event—while listening to Steph Davis (a professional climber, BASE jumper, wingsuit flyer, and author of the captivating memoir Learning to Fly) speak about her experiences as a female athlete. Don't miss the raffle opportunities for more than $3,500 worth of outdoor gear and gift certificates.
The final concert of the orchestra's season will take the audience on a musical trip around the world. The voyage begins in France with César Franck’s Symphony in D Minor and George Gershwin’s suite, An American in Paris. The performance of Fritz Kreisler’s Viennese dance, Liebesleid, as well as Vittorio Monti’s Hungarian folksong, Czárdás will feature conductor Lawerence Golan as a violinist.
Victor Hugo’s timeless masterpiece will be transformed into a semi-contemporary ballet in Colorado for the first time. When a deformed bell ringer, who dreams of the world outside his 13th-century prison, is ordered to capture the beautiful gypsy Esmeralda, he becomes entangled in murderous plots. Fri 7:30 p.m.; Sat 2, 7:30 p.m.
This summer's celebration of Shakespeare’s works and influences in modern culture will showcase the famous playwright’s well-known works, including The Comedy of Errors and Henry VI, as well as lesser-known pieces such as Troilus and Cressida and Cymbeline. The University of Colorado Boulder's theater company aims to highlight the plays' enduring relevance 400 years after Shakespeare's death. Days, times vary.
The Trails Day Festival and the Sustain Arvada Festival have teamed up to host an outdoor extravaganza in three separate locations. In addition to larger events like bike rides (there are 13-mile and five-mile options), the Park to Park Half Marathon, and the 10K/5K Family Fun Run, other highlights include visitors from the Denver Zoo, the Butterfly Pavillion, and the Downtown Aquarium; a sustainable arts & crafts fair; and Zumba, yoga, and dance classes.
Test your grit as you crawl through mud, climb over walls, and jump over ditches in this race hosted by Colorado Wilderness Rides and Guides, a Boulder-based outdoor adventure company. The obstacles on the 5K adult course (think: river crossings, sand dunes, and scaffolding climbs) require teamwork while the 2.7K youth course will challenge your little one—although the giant slip-and-slide is sure to be the highlight.
On Saturday mornings this spring and summer, come enjoy screenings of films based on the books of acclaimed children’s author Roald Dahl. This family-fun series kicks off with the 1971 iconic film, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, complete with a golden ticket contest for the kiddos. (The winning child and up to three friends or family members will receive a behind-the-scenes tour of the Sie FilmCenter followed by screening of their choice of film.) Don't miss the all-you-can-eat ceral bar. Sat 10 a.m.-noon
Kick off the summer arts festival season with this family-friendly fair. Your tykes will enjoy carnival games and a participatory Art in the Park painting session while Mom and Dad can peruse Fine Art Avenue, a row of booths displaying the works of 81 local and regional artists of all media—from fiber and ceramics to oil paintings. More than 80 local bands will provide entertainment on the festival’s four stages, and food, wine, and craft beers will be available for purchase. Sat 10 a.m.-8 p.m.; Sun 10 a.m.-7 p.m.
Nearly 200 pounds of fine pastel chalk will be transformed into masterpieces using the pavement of Larimer Square as a canvas. More than 200 chalk artists, including Stephen DeOrio and Dawn Morrison Wagner, will (re)create classic paintings and perspective-bending original works on blocked-off streets. Enjoy the vivid artworks while you nosh on treats from Grammy's Goodies and enjoy a crisp Blue Moon (available for purchase). Sat 10 a.m.-10 p.m.; Sun 10 a.m.-7 p.m.
Travel along with this fairy tale retelling that will suit your child's short attention span. The innovative show invites you to take a moderate hike through the park while the curious Goldilocks explores the winding trails of Boulder Open Space surrounding her (and you) and gets into some trouble with a family of bears. Sat-Sun 11 a.m.; 2 p.m.
Pair up for this family-style dinner out on the veranda. Highlands Ranch–based Grist Brewing Company's libations will be paired with chef Paul Huddleson's culinary creations, including rainbow kale salad and grilled buffalo flank steak served with Brussels sprouts and a stuffed sweet potato. After the dinner, wander the museum and art galleries—crowd free. Sat 6-8:30 p.m.
As adolescent Riley moves across the country, viewers get a front row seat to her emotional reactions. When she accidentally loses some core traits, can personified emotions Joy and Sadness embrace one another's differences and save her from making a huge mistake? Join the entertaining characters from Disney-Pixar’s Inside Out for an outdoor screening that will kick your Joy into overdrive. Sat 6 p.m.
In this uproarious comedy, an affluent merchant announces that no one can claim the hand of his delightful daughter Bianca until her stubborn, bad-tempered sister Katharine is wed first. When an audacious newcomer is warned of Katharina’s seething nature, he sets off on a hilarious quest to attempt to get Katharina down the aisle—even if he has to drag her. Fri-Sun 7 p.m.
This biweekly food festival displays an international sensisbility despite its cuisine's local origins. To wit: It's modeled after European outdoor markets that bring together food vendors, artisans, and musicians for a true community experience. Its kickoff session on June 5 features almost three dozen food vendors from across town, including High Point Creamery and Spud Nation, plus beer and wine tents and a demonstration station run by Foodies' in house chef, Shawn Edmonds. Sun 9 a.m.-3 p.m.; Thu 11:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m.
Head outside for a summer concert series that kicks off with tunes from this 44-year-old hard rock outfit. Bring a blanket and prepare to sing along to hits like “(Don’t Fear) The Reaper” and “Godzilla” like it’s the ’70s. A selection of food trucks will serve bites on site—no word yet on whether they’re serving on the half shell. Sun 7 p.m.
British comedic duo Dan and Phil travel to the Mile High City for a taste of American life. Their quirky show will be filled with eccentric sketches, hilarious quotidian anecdotes, and takes on video games, pop culture, and cats. Sun 7:30 p.m.
These Seattle natives have become internationally known for the hip-hop hits heard on their Grammy Award–winning album, The Heist. Luckily, the rapper-DJ duo's infectious energy extends to their electronica-infused shows, which keep crowds dancing to ditties like “Can’t Hold Us,” crying to tear-jerking tunes like “Same Love,” and having a really, really, really good time in “And We Danced” fashion. Sun 8 p.m.
Credited with spearheading the alternative country movement, this Southern rock group emerged from Dallas 20 years ago with a unique sound that blended traditional country melodies with punk rock grit. The tell-it-like-it-is lyric tradition of the band has given its tracks (think: “Let’s Get Drunk And Get It On” and “Intervention”) staying power through the ’90s and into today. Sun 8 p.m.
Your little sorcerer will kick off her enchanted summer with local author and wizard expert T.A. Barron, who penned the fantasy series The Merlin Saga. Barron will help out at this magical camp, during which your wee wizard will craft her own charmed musical instrument (and learns a bewitching song to play on it), build an iconic staff, and even concoct natural potions that will help her on her quest to appreciate nature's raw materials. Mon-Fri 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
To create her expansive new photo-based series, artist Gwen Laine didn’t travel farther than Denver’s Washington Park; in fact, she stuck to a 20-foot radius within the park's 157 acres. There, she shot 35mm images of tree branches and digitally manipulated the negatives to painstakingly map the positive and negative spaces created by the trees’ limbs. Her work is complemented by Jeff Baldus’ sculptures made from branches cast in aluminum, bronze, and steel and Meredith Nemirov’s charcoal, gouache, graphite, and ink renditions of, you guessed it, trees. Tue-Sat 11 a.m.-6 p.m.
Foster your child’s green thumb through this short gardening class. They’ll learn how to care for different types of flowers, how to relocate blooms, and how to keep up their own garden. The session will culminate in your little sprouts cultivating their own shoots to take home. Tue 4:30 p.m.
This tale as old as time returns to Denver, bringing along grand costumes, memorable songs, and a touching plot that reveals the true meaning of beauty. The hit Broadway musical tells the story of the beautiful yet peculiar Belle who goes on a harrowing adventure to save her father’s life from a bad-tempered beast—and discovers that he's not who he appears to be. Tue-Fri 7:30 p.m.; Sat-Sun 2, 7:30 p.m.
Released in April, this duo’s first collaborative album, Love Letter for Fire, is a collection of love songs that range in genre from pop to folk to acoustic Americana. Beam, who released his first album in 2001 as Iron & Wine, departs from his whispery solo style to produce soulful and hopeful melodies that complement Hoop's gentle vocal strength. Tue 8 p.m.
This summer, take some time to get to know your garden. During a hands-on excursion, naturalist Alicia Vermilye from the Lookout Mountain Nature Center will lead you through a crash course on Colorado's colorful flora. Savor the sunshine while you learn how to identify common species of flowers and the plant families they belong to, then head home to add your favorites to your own flower bed. Wed 8:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
Let your kids make their own dioramas for once. They may be on a break from school, but learning about scaling, design, and problem solving will keep them sharp throughout the summer. Even better, they'll create whatever artistic miniature nature scene they can imagine out of natural materials (think: sand and moss) and professional landscape supplies to take home. Wed 1 p.m.
Help your child craft a musical instrument of her very own at this two-part workshop. Kids will start by building a maraca from wet clay, using their hands to add texture and design as they go, before their projects head to the kiln for firing. Bring your kiddo back the following week, this time to glaze the instrument with a variety of colors. Be careful, though—12-hour maraca concerts may be unavoidable now. Wed 5:30-7 p.m.
Take the opportunity to glimpse the BB-8 Droid featured in the latest Star Wars saga at this meet-up for technology lovers. Ian Berstein, co-founder of Boulder-based robot manufacturer Sphero (which created the lovable droid) will speak about his entrepreneurial success. He'll be followed by Jake Boshernitzan, co-founder of Knocki, a smart device that lets you remotely control electronics and other household items. Join the two beforehand for networking and happy hour to be inspired by the latest gadgets and findings in the tech world. Wed 6-8 p.m.
There's nothing better than a summer barbecue—until 16 of Denver's best chefs show up to grill. Local culinary artisans, including Troy Guard of TAG and Guard and Grace, Jorel Pierce of Stoic & Genuine, and Paul Reilly of Beast & Bottle, will sling sliders and sides for guests to judge. Proceeds benefit men's health programs at Denver Health. Wed 6-9 p.m.
Nourish your yogi spirit during this weekend of yoga classes, workshops, live music, and wellness activities. Practices will be led by world-renowned teachers such as Richard Freeman, a mysore-style ashtanga specialist and founder of the Yoga Workshop in Boulder, and Amy Ippoliti, a modern yogi who's been featured in Yoga Journal, New York Magazine, and Prana Life. Plus, enjoy the unique opportunity to enhance your practice with guided hiking and rock-climbing ventures. Thu-Sun, times vary.
Dive, splash, and ride into summer with this smorgasbord of outdoor events. Enjoy four days of adventure sports competitions in more than 25 disciplines, including everything from the Steep Creek Kayak Championship and Slackline Invitational to the Bouldering World Cup and Mountain Master Disc Golf. Not interested in competing yourself? Enter your pooch: There’s a vertical jump contest for dogs. Come evening, chill to live music including shows from reggae artist Stephen “Ragga” Marley and soul musician Zach Deputy. Thu-Sun, times vary.
This summer exhibition celebrates the medium of watercolor with a collection of pieces from artists across the western United States. The Western Federation of Watercolor Societies will exhibit 130 pieces from 12 regional watercolor societies, while an accompanying display from the Colorado Watercolor Society will feature work from 65 Colorado watercolor artists, including Tanis Bula, David Wicks, and Beatrice Trautman. Mon-Fri 9 a.m.-7:30 p.m.; Sat 10 a.m.-7:30 p.m.; Sun 1-5 p.m.
This traveling event's stop in Denver will feature bites from local chefs such as Justin Bruson and Casey Taylor of Old Major and Hosea Rosenburg of Blackbelly Market. With a plate in hand, light up premium stogies from Diamond Crown. Over at the bar, local cocktail connoisseurs, including Alex Fulle of Prohibition and Austin Carson of Mizuna, will sling custom creations.
These Illinois natives will send you back to the ’90s with a series of guitar riffs and post-grunge lyrics about slacking off, à la their 1997 Billboard hit “Bound for the Floor.” The alternative buzz coming from the old-school punk rockers will progress backward through the high-powered duo’s history, starting with sandy vocals from their new album Hey, Killer and concluding with their entire sophomore album As Good as Dead for in honor of its 20th anniversary. Thu 8 p.m.
Enjoy the beauty and diversity of natural and man-made landscapes alike with this group exhibition. More than 40 local, national, and international artists, including Michelle Condrat and Derek Harrison, will show off styles ranging from realism to abstrat expressionism at two different times (check out the first opening on June 10 and the second on June 23). Tue-Sat 10 a.m.-6 p.m.
Summon your inner pinball wizard at this three-day gaming extravaganza. Play any pinball, retro console, or classic arcade video game for fun, or compete in one of the many tournaments for the chance to take home a trophy or a cash prize amounting to 30% of the entry money. If you need a break from screens, join one of the PinChat seminars hosted by industry insiders and celebrity guests like Billy Mitchell, arcade legend and star of the biography The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters. Fri 11 a.m.-10 p.m.; Sat 10 a.m.-midnight; Sun 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Sitting at 9,640 feet above sea level, the historic mining town of Cripple Creek hosts the highest elevation rodeo in the country. Although most people attend this three-day event for the bucking broncos, bull riders, and cow ropers, it’s the adorable junior mutton busters who always steal the show. Fri-Sun, times vary.
According to Vanity Fair, rosé is now a "thing"—and just in time. This Colorado-born, double-blind competition invites guests to sip samples of rosé, including yet-to-be-announced releases. Bites from the Oceanaire Seafood Room and Westminster-based Big Mac and Little Lu’s Seafood will pair nicely with the vino and the New Orleans–style jazz playing in the background. Fri 6-9 p.m.
Colorado’s grass has never seemed so blue. From the pop-meets-folk fusion of the Railsplitters to the modern-country roar of Thunder and Rain, this string-heavy smorgasbord of sounds has something for anyone with a Western ear. Don’t worry if you’ve got a hankering for classic grass—the vintage sounds of Dr. Harlan’s Amazing Bluegrass Tonic are the perfect remedy. Fri-Sat 6-8:30 p.m.; Sun 10:20 a.m.-1:30 p.m.
—Photo courtesy of Jim Rabiolo
When comedian Adam Carolla became bored with his nightly bottle of vino, he raided his liquor cabinet—and the 20.9 percent ABV Mangria was born. The recent release of the fruity wine-liquor hybrid is the cause for this bar-crawling celebration featuring Adam's wife, Lynette, his good friend Ray Oldhafer, and the Carolla Lackeys on an expedition from the Next Door Lounge to My Other Bar to Bread -n- Butter. Don't worry about getting your fill; all guests will take home a complimentary bottle of Mangria. Fri 6 p.m.
—Image courtesy of Unsplash
Ready to take advantage of the (finally) warm Colorado weather? Set up some lawn chairs and spend an evening under the stars watching an iconic Indiana Jones film. Guests can enjoy live music from local rock band Bear Antler before the film begins at dusk, so don’t feel bad arriving early to snag those front and center spots. If you forget to pack your own snacks, food and drink is available for purchase, with all proceeds from concession sales benefiting the continued restoration of the Historic Elitch Theatre. Fri 7-11 p.m.
This hilarious parody of the ’80s cult classic film returns to Denver after sold-out showings in 2013. When an ancient demonic spirit is accidentally unleashed in the woods around an abandoned cabin, the five college students vacationing there begin turning into murderous demons who break into comical songs, including such hilariously named tunes as “All the Men in my Life Keep Getting Killed by Canadian Demons." Thu-Sat 7:30 p.m.
An abrasive middle-age bartender buys an ugly painting from a thrift store as a gag gift. Once she gets a closer look at the work, however, she becomes convinced that it's a genuine Jackson Pollock piece worth millions. This endearing and thought-provoking dramedy questions the authenticity of not only art, but also people. Thu-Sat 7:30 p.m.; Sun 6:30 p.m.
This contemporary romance by Pulitzer Prize–winning playwright and screenwriter Robert Schenkken follows the story of a professor’s widow exiled by her community and a Cuban refugee who tends to her wildly unkempt backyard. The play spins a tale of haunting pasts and unexpected futures as the two discover an unlikely connection through their similarly painful memories and feelings of alienation. Sitting in the director’s chair for this fervently poetic production is Edge Theater’s assistant artistic director Warren Sherrill, previously the co-founder of Denver’s Paragon Theatre.
This solo musician draws inspiration from his homeland in his lively rhythms. He plays the talking drum, an hourglass shaped instrument from Nigeria, as well as the pedal steel guitar to create his own innovative sound influenced by jùjú, a style of pop music in his native country. Fri 8:30 p.m.
If you're a locavore by nature, make sure to mark this combination flea and farmers' market on your calendar. More than 40 local vendors will sell artisan home goods and vintage decor, including whimsical cutting boards and wooden tables from Hidden Gnome WoodWorks and repurposed antique furniture from Black Door Mercantile. Plus, Denver-area farmers will offer a bounty of veggies, fruits, and herbs as well as free workshops on how to care for chickens and goats happy in an urban environment. Sat 9 a.m.-2 p.m.
Relive the excitement of your school science fair at this hands-on inventors' convention. More than 20 tinkerers and scientists will show off their clever ideas, including an interactive installation by Serenity Forge that lets visitors play music by simply waving their arms. From admiring homemade robots to learning how to repair home gadgets, you'll find an activity to satisfy your mechanically inclined mind. Sat-Sun 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
The popular running-brunching hybrid series heads to the mountains for its first-ever trail run. As a reward for racing through the town of Snowmass in this 5K or 10K (two laps of the 5K course), you'll indulge in a brunch buffet from Venga Venga, one of Richard Sandoval's notable Mexican restaurants. A portion of the proceeds benefits the Colorado Brewers Guild. Sat 9:30 a.m.
Let your little ones run rampant at this kid-centric fest in Aurora. The Municipal Center lawn will transform into a wonderland dedicated to entertaining your kids, with activities ranging from face painting to a petting zoo and pony rides to bounce houses. Sat 10 a.m.
If you're a recent Denver transplant or a hardy local, this Amazing Race–style scavenger hunt is the perfect way to explore the city. Solve clues that point you toward city landmarks and document your journey with photos and video to progress to your next destination on bike, on foot, or via public transportation. Cash prizes will be awarded to the first finishers. Sat 12 p.m.
Your elementary school production of The Wiz doesn't have to be the curtain call on your acting career, thanks to this interactive workshop. You'll employ performance art principles to illuminate the pertinent social issues of our time, like police brutality and LGBT issues. And everyone's in on the theatrics: You'll build community and communication skills with the rest of the group while doing your best Marlon Brando impression.
One of Denver's oldest exisiting microbreweries is celebrating a birthday. Head to Great Divide Brewing Co.'s RiNo location to indulge in its newly released Denver Pale Ale, or be one of the first to try unlimited tastings of its latest 22 Anniversary Dark American Sour Ale. (You'll receive a reusable stainless steel tasting glass to sip from.) Bonus: You can take your experience one step further with an exclusive tasting of culinary creations from Brewed Food chef Jensen Cummings. Sat 2-6 p.m.
Calling all men: You've (finally) got an excuse to oil up your beard, throw on your best flannel, and dust off your favorite whiskey glass. Featuring more than 60 art vendors selling crafts made with men in mind, including the Famous Beard Oil Company, Bighorn Apparel, and Quiet Leather Works, this man-tastic fair offers everything from apparel to home decor to condiments.
The attractions at this cultural event range from live music (by local artists Chris Daniels and the Kings and Andy Rok & the Real Deal) to children’s crafts to food trucks, ensuring that even the pickiest of people will find a way to enjoy themselves. Don’t miss two new sources of entertainment: a beer garden stocked with brews from nearby companies like Great Frontier Brewing, and the grand opening of the Estes Motel, which has been restored and renovated as a museum after being closed for 20 years.
Studio Colfax is kicking off the summer season with a stylish shindig and a fashion show. Local designers Sym Perrera and Minus the Dart will preview their collections in the studio’s courtyard; also watch for pieces from Los Angeles–based Pupil Clothing and jewelry from Red Bench and Marguerite Specht on the runway. Come for drinks, live tunes, and eats from Extreme Pizza, and stay for a close look at Denver’s fashion scene. Sat 6-9 p.m.
A "contemporary Western" almost seems like a paradox, but that's exactly what Detroit-based artist Jon Geiger has created in this traveling pop-up exhibit. Curious art-lovers can attend the opening night fete to catch a first glimpse of Geiger's neon tumbleweed, a flickering icon of the New West. Challenging and expanding upon traditional ideas of Americana, the tumbleweed—mounted to a billboard-like steel frame—will relocate, popping up again across town on its "voyage" across the metro Denver area. Opening night: Sat, June 11 7-9 p.m.
An indie band with a familiar story to tell, this pop punk group has spun relatable lyrics, covering everything from unrequited crushes to drinking underage, since 2011. The emo-esque outfit is touring to plug its third studio album Holy Ghost. Sat 7:30 p.m.
Join this contemporary dance group for a world premiere performance complete with aerial dancers. Named after the Sanskirt word for reincarnation, the show will feature movements inspired by early Indian cultures but is set to the psychedelic and progressive rock music of the 1970s. Sat 7:30 p.m.; Sun 2 p.m.
This hilarious parodist is known more for his work in the Scary Movie series and cult classic White Chicks than for his stand-up. Let the popular actor and filmmaker showcase his comic chops this month, taking on race, politics, and current events with a candid sense of humor. Sat 8 p.m.
They were wild in their strokes, pioneering in their processes, and expert in their use of form, contrast, and color. Celebrate the female painters of the mid-20th century who championed the abstract expressionist movement at a time when being both a woman and a groundbreaking painter was far from unusal, to say the least. This new exhibit features more than 50 works from women abstract expressionist heavyweights ranging from Elaine de Kooning to Lee Krasner to Ethel Schwabacher. Tue-Thu, Sat-Sun 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Fri 10 a.m.-8 p.m.
At this summer charity event, attendees judge chefs from eight of Denver's best restaurants as they vie for the title of Denver wing king—or queen. The most daring audience members can even throw their own hats into the ring in a wing eating contest, with the chance to win a Coleman portable grill. In addition to the bountiful chicken wings, guests can also enjoy drinks from Heaven Hill Distilleries, Wild Turkey, Jameson, and Odell Brewing Co. Proceeds benefit Denver Housing Authority's Youth Culinary Academy. Sun 4 p.m.
—Image courtesy of Ace Eat Serve
Bet on the Shelter for Homeless Veterans to help the local homeless population at this gambling-themed fund-raiser. Try your hand at a game of blackjack, craps, poker, or roulette (the dealers will teach you to play if you're not quite a card shark yet). Then, take a break from bluffing to jam out with music from DJ Blue Moon, or bid in the silent auction for the chance to win prizes from various massage clinics, $850 worth of chiropractic care, fine jewelry, and more. Proceeds benefit the local nonprofit to support its shelter, programs, and services. Mon 6:30-10:30 p.m.
This indie quintet has topped Billboard’s Alternative charts thanks to eerie vocalization and electronic instrumentals. The heavily mustached New York natives are influenced by an array of groups, from British alt hip-hop guru Damon Albarn to Kanye West, thought their beats reflect more of a Bastille-meets-St. Lucia sound. Mon 8 p.m.
This famed duo, known for hits like “Love is a Battlefield” and “Hit Me With Your Best Shot,” is one of the most successful partnerships in rock ’n’ roll history. Together, they earned four consecutive Grammy Awards and three American Music Awards for their collaborative first album, In the Heat of the Night, released in 1979. The couple's 2016 summer tour "Live for Love" pays tribute to their 35-year wedding anniversary. Tue 8 p.m.
Rio Grande Mexican Restaurant is turning 30 this month, and it's celebrating the significant birthday in almost as many ways. On June 15, all seven locations of the eatery will feature items that were on the original menu in 1986—for the original prices. Three days later, a block party will take over Old Town Fort Collins, promising dangerous margaritas (including "the Triple," a limited-edition drink made with Jose Cuervo and aged in Odell Brewing Co. barrels) and life music from multiple bands, including five-time Grammy Award–winning blues guitarist Buddy Guy. Wed, times vary.
This one-night theater sampler is for drama enthusiasts with a voracious appetite for new works—or a short attention span. Guests will split into small groups for the evening and take a tour of the Denver theater scene in the form of 10 new quick-bite plays, which are all less than two minutes long and written by women. After making the rounds, audience members reconvene for a silent auction and an evening of music from DJ Savior Breath. All proceeds benefit And Toto Too Theatre Company, which is dedicated to showcasing works by women playwrights. Wed 6-11 p.m.
The unique electro-swing sound of this Parisian collective pulls the big band tradition into the 21st century. The seven members of the eclectic group include vocalists, stringed instrumentalists, brass players, and masters of computer-generated beats who are inspired as much by the Gorillaz' contemporary take on hip-hop as ’40s swing jazz artists like Fletcher Henderson. Wed 8 p.m.
Bring your golf buddy with the best aim to this four-person scramble style tournament (the team tees off from the best-placed shot). A barbecue lunch, raffle, and live auction will follow the golf games. Proceeds benefit the Shining Stars Foundation, an organization that creates opportunities for children and families affected by cancer to engage in adaptive outdoor recreation and animal-based therapy. Thu 7 a.m.
Experience the classic Roald Dahl novel Charlie and the Chocolate Factory transformed into an original production combining modern dance, contemporary dance, and ballet.
Round up your cleverest friends and co-workers for a riveting evening of world trivia. Refuel at the event’s buffet-style dinner of build-your-own chicken and barbacoa sliders, and use your global knowledge to win prizes including tickets to a Colorado Opera performance, gift cards to Tattered Cover Book Store and Komotodo Sushi Burrito, and hotel stays at the Magnolia Hotel Denver and Hilton Garden Inn. Proceeds benefit WorldDenver, a nonprofit dedicated to furthering education in global affairs through personal interaction with international leaders and cross-cultural exchange.
Explore tequila's less popular cousin, mezcal (an alcoholic beverage made from the agave plant), at this tasty event. Guest cooks Martin Campos, executive chef of Comida at the Source; Jose Avila, executive chef and co-owner of Machete Tequila & Tacos; and Sean Yontz, a three-time event veteran, will each create a meal and signature mezcal cocktail pairing for guests to sample. Indulge in seasonal chileajo and fried Oaxaca queso masa balls paired with El Burro Loco mezcal and green chile goat carnitas and smoked pepper-chanterelle tamales paired with A Current Affair mezcal.
Let's do it like they do it on the Discovery Channel—and graze on fresh cuts (from more than 60 Denver feeding stables, including Beatrice & Woodsley, Linger, and Osteria Marco). Then, make your way to the watering hole for unlimited libations from local breweries such as Epic Brewing Company and Odell Brewing Company. You can dress the part with animal prints and safari khakis, although cocktail attire is appropriate, too. Proceeds benefit the Denver Zoo. Thu 7-10 p.m.
The Colorado Shakespeare Festival doesn't just showcase plays written by the famous bard—you can catch modern works written about Shakespeare, too. In the regional premiere of this clever dark comedy, playwright William Shagspeare is commissioned by King James I to write a play retelling the events of the Gunpowder Plot in a way that’s a bit more flattering to the king. Shagspeare, or Shag for short, must decide which is more important—telling the truth or fulfilling his duty to the crown. Thu-Sat 7:30 p.m.; Sun 1 p.m.
You better start making your Princess Leia costume now—you'll want to look convincing when you meet Carrie Fisher in person at this wide-reaching nerdy convention. After snagging autographs from Fisher and former Marvel Comics president Stan Lee, chat with a variety of local artists, game sellers, and comic vendors and attend panels on pop culture, including a discussion of queer themes in comics and young adult literature. Geeky couples also have the unique opportunity to say "I do" in Klingon at a themed group wedding on Sunday. Fri-Sun, times vary
As Colorado’s largest outdoor volleyball tournament, this Father’s Day weekend event plays host to more than 3,500 players across all levels of competition, including masters, men’s and women’s professional open, and co-ed recreational divisions. Sign up for Misty May's outdoor clinic on Friday and register for the special father-son and father-daughter tourney on Sunday. Fri-Sun, times vary.
You don't have to be a diehard Trekkie to geek out at this three-day pop culture—themed extravaganza. Enter your cleverest homemade costume into the cosplay contest and be on the lookout for special guests such as Jeffrey Dean Morgan, who has been in both Grey's Anatomy and The Walking Dead, and Games of Thrones star Lena Headey. After snagging a few autographs, check out a workshop on adding humor in your science fiction stories or a presentation on using comic books to teach STEM subjects. Fri-Sun, times vary.
Focusing on composition and form rather than hue, this group exhibit explores the absence of color by showcasing works in black, white, and various shades of gray. The display of paintings and drawings will be hung on a combination of black and gray walls to heighten the drama of the monochromatic works. Don't miss Barbara Kolo's pieces, which she creates by using dots, circles, and lines to form abstract shapes and scenes she calls "quietly meditative." Tue-Sat 11 a.m.-6 p.m.
The challenge to find the best of the best of America's favorite cuisine has begun. At this Kansas City Barbeque Society–sanctioned event, more than 70 pit masters will compete in barbecue categories including pork, ribs, chicken, brisket, sauce, and "anything goes" to impress a panel of judges and take home the prize. If you aren't a dedicated carnivore, spend the day touring the Breckenridge Distillery, cheering on little porkers during the pig races, and breaking a sweat in the Bacon Burner 6K race. Fri 11 a.m.-9 p.m.
Whether you're a weekend warrior or a daily commuter, hopping on one of these alternative two-wheelers means you don't need to be a pro to keep up with the peloton. With a selection of more than 100 different electric-assist bicycles by Trek, Focus, Gazelle, and more, you're sure to find the perfect set of wheels (or at least indulge in a free test ride). Register now for a chance to win the raffle and take home a brand new hybrid electric machine from Tempo Bicycles or Easy Motion USA. Fri 3 p.m.
—Image courtesy of Electric Bike Expo.
Slip on your cowboy boots and hop on a hayride for the start of this indulgent feast. On the shores of Snow Creek Larkspur's pond, you'll sip a fruit-forward caipirinha cocktail and say "hay" to the farm animals or simply relax in the mountain air. Meanwhile, Chef Laurie Adams of the Roving Rooster will prepare a seasonal menu, featuring a mix of elegant and rustic dishes such as a hearts of palm bisque and wood-fired Snow Creek Ranch guacho steak, in the barn.
This self-proclaimed “groove master” boasts beats worth bobbing along to. You’ll find the Ghana native at the confluence of soft jazz and African pop (or on a museum lawn, if you want to get technical). Wherever you stumble upon this soulful percussionist, you’re sure to find yourself swaying along to his vibrant rhythmic refrains. Fri 5:30-7:30 p.m.
—Photo by James Dewhirst courtesy Clyfford Still Museum.
The electronica sound of this Slovenian Brooklynite bears more resemblance to laid-back R&B than to hard-partying house music. He expertly weaves and melds blues, funk, and soul with new age electro beats to produce beautiful hybrids that expand the definition of the EDM genre. Fri 6 p.m.
—Photo courtesy of Gramatik
Looking for a new way to get outdoors but not sure where to start? Try this introductory rock climbing class. Climbing shoes, helmets, and harnesses are included, and Denver Climbing Company instructor Daniel Krug will ensure you feel comfortable as you ascend up the rocky face of North Table Mountain. Bring water, sunblock, and close-toed shoes, so you'll be prepared to learn proper climbing technique along with skills such as knot-tying and belaying. Sat 9 a.m.-noon
Travel simultaneously to the past and the future by immersing yourself in Steampunk clothing, art, and music, which draws inspiration from science fiction and the Industrial Age. Take a ride on a steam locomotive and check out acrobatic stilt walkers, then reconvene for an evening concert by Colorado-based indie rock band Hydrogen Skyline. Feeling particularly punky? Don your finest layered petticoats, corsets, or leather skullcaps and goggles for half-price entry. Sat 10 a.m.- 9:30 p.m.
—Photo Courtesy of Matt Isaacks
There’s one hanging in almost every home: the poorly posed, overly matchy, probably cross-eyed awkward family photo. Now Mike Bender and Doug Chernack, who first shared their personal collection of uncomfortable snapshots on their aptly titled website, awkwardfamilyphotos.com, are bringing more than 200 peculiar portraits—complete with “behind the awkwardness” stories from the families pictured—to Denver. The exhibit will make you feel right at home with its cozy floral pattern couches and ceramic cats, and you can even take your own awkward family photo in the DIY photo studio.
In an ever-more-crowded city, even the arts festivals are feeling claustrophobic. To wit: This year, the Denver Arts Festival (formerly the Downtown Denver Arts Festival) has migrated away from downtown. You can still catch more than 140 artists, though—the majority still from Colorado—at the two-day festival now located a bit farther north. Check out artists such as abstract painter Stefan Geissbühler and found-object re-purposer Carlos Montanaro. Sat 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; Sun 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Colorado is known for its vast and awe-inspiring wilderness, a landscape that includes a myriad of furry and feathered creatures. This group exhibit honors the untamable wildlife of the Centennial State and the American West, featuring seven artists with varying mediums, styles, and interpretations of “the wild” that reflect on the unpredictability of nature. Anchor artist Bruce Marion incorporates a background in abstract landscape into his impressionist wildlife paintings, while fellow featured artist Laurie Justus Pace focuses specifically on horses depicted in bold, vibrant hues.
The Kentucky Derby might be over, but you and your whole family still have a chance to enjoy a day at the racetrack. Get to know a entire team of sleek Arabian racehorses, trainers, and jockeys during a behind-the-scenes tour, then fuel up with a special Father’s Day lunch. While the kiddos kick back in the arts and crafts area decorating their own Arabian Native Costume coloring sheet and making popsicle-stick ponies, you can catch the animals in action during a 1 p.m. race. Sat 11 a.m.-5 p.m.
—Photo courtesy of Arapahoe Park.
Enjoy live performances, taste authentic eats, and admire beautiful decor at this celebration of Japanese culture. You'll be delighted with Denver Taiko's entertaining drum show as well as bonsai exhibits and ikebana (flower arrangements) at the Denver Buddhist Temple. Before you leave, grab a plate of teriyaki chicken at the temple's buffet and try Jagged Mountain Brewery's special summery cherry wheat Sakura Matsuri at the beer garden. Sat 11 a.m.-6 p.m.; Sun 11 a.m.-4 p.m.
From his home in the border town of McCallen, Texas artist David Freeman has watched popular acceptance of the destruction wreaked by Mexican drug cartels with a critical eye. His new exhibit satirizes that normalization and celebration of violence, addiction, and patron saints of Mexico’s drug war. The show features golden trophies crafted from assembled and painted objects that he gathered in Mexico as well as life-size piñatas made in the image of border patrol guards. Wed-Fri noon-7p.m.; Sat-Sun noon-5 p.m.
This bike-centric, boozy block party encompasses all things Denver. Cycle through a scenic course in Washington Park, then join your fellow bikers on a bar crawl to the Pub on Pearl and the Candlelight Tavern. Don't forget to stamp your raffle card at each bar for the chance to win one of three cruiser bikes at the after-party at Ogden Street South Sports Bar & Grill. Proceeds benefit Love Hope Strength, a Denver-based organization that works to raise funds for cancer centers. Sat noon.
Prepare your taste buds for this boozy blowout, where more than 25 Colorado breweries, including LoDo favorites Wynkoop Brewing Company and Tivoli Brewing Company, will offer unlimited samples of craft beer. Stick around after the celebration to hear Live at the Fillmore, a tribute group to the Allman Brothers Band, play a free show at the amphitheater. A portion of the proceeds benefits the Colorado Brewers Guild, an organization of local beermasters working with the state legislature on behalf of Centennial State craft brewers. Sat 1-5 p.m.
This cycling celebration ride named for Gordon Knight, the man who inspired Oskar Blues' imperial red ale, kicks off the summer biking season with a one, three, or 13-mile ride through the streets and greenways of Longmont. Bicycle Longmont, a nonprofit dedicated to bike safety and advocacy, will host the event to inspire Coloradans to get outside and play on their bikes. Stay for live music by local bluegrass band Whitewater Ramble, an Oskar Blues Brewery beer garden, and food trucks. Sat 2-10 p.m.
The weather is warming up in the Mile High City, which means it's time to trade Cabernet Sauvignon for a pinker drink. During this seasonal tasting, sip on a large selection of rosés accompanied with light bites from Max's Wine Dive Denver, including loaded potato croquettes and sliders made from bison and fried chicken. Bonus: If you can't make it to the main event, drop by any time throughout the day to enjoy 15 percent off glasses and bottles of this refreshing summery wine. Sat 3-6 p.m.
Summer nights call for meals on the patio and meat on the grill. At this launch party, experience just that as GoodBird Kitchen chef Mike Nirenberg serves up char-grilled barbecue chicken with coleslaw, barbecue pork and beans, and a biscuit. Enjoy this tasty meal on the lawn with other specials such as pitchers of the Post Brewing Co.'s Top Rope Mexican-style lager and $5 cocktails. As you savor your supper, local musician Kevin Watson will delight you with acoustic soul music. Sat 3-5 p.m.
Rio Grande Mexican Restaurant is turning 30 this month, and it's celebrating the significant birthday in almost as many ways. On June 15, all seven locations of the eatery will feature items that were on the original menu in 1986—for the original prices. Three days later, a block party will take over Old Town Fort Collins, promising dangerous margaritas (including "the Triple," a limited-edition drink made with Jose Cuervo and aged in Odell Brewing Co. barrels) and life music from multiple bands, including five-time Grammy Award–winning blues guitarist Buddy Guy. Sat 5 p.m.
Whether you're nostalgic for the real 1940s or the Casablanca version of the era, don your fedora and head to Boulder for an unforgettable trip back in time. Swing dance to big band tunes by the Jeremy Mohney Swing Band and a crooning Sinatra impersonator (Derek Evilsizor) or try your luck at a roulette table inside a hangar decked out as Rick's Café Americain from the classic film starring Humphrey Bogart. After a late-night confetti drop and a radio announcement heralding the end of WWII, you'll be ready to party like it's 1945. Sat 5 p.m.-1 a.m.
You don’t have to visit a galaxy far, far away to have a thrilling weekend. May the force be with you this at this Saturday screening of the latest addition to the Star Wars saga, which follows the next generation of jedi masters and caped villains. Snack on tasty treats from Em’s Ice Cream and Basic Kneads Pizza as you watch an intergalatic chase, and don’t forget to bring a pair of new socks to donate to the Sock It To Em Sock Campaign, an organization that collects socks for those in need. Sat 7-10:30 p.m.
Get ready for a day full of scenic running races, including 5K, 10K, half-marathon, and marathon courses. The half-marathon and marathon routes skirt the edge of Rocky Mountain National Park and are certified by USA Track & Field, so finishers with qualifying times can enter their bids for touted races like the Boston Marathon. Bonus: Stop by the nearby Bond Park the day before the runs for interactive programs with park rangers and the Rocky Mountain conservation teams. Sun, times vary.
This University of Colorado professor and Colorado native became a household name with the advent of “The Jazz Odyssey,” a radio program he developed with Jazz89.3 FM KUVO that's devoted to showcasing everything from jazz standards to contemporary compositions. The trumpeter's latest venture is an album (released in June of 2012), in which each of the tracks is inspired by Chris Buck’s photographic portraits of celebrities such as Björk and Robert Kennedy Jr. Sun 10:30 a.m.
—Photo courtesy of Joshua Trinidad
It's easy to get Dad out of the house when you promise him barbecue—and it's even easier if his meal comes with a screening of Indiana Jones. The menu at this feast-and-flick features a choice of a burger, cheeseburger, green chili cheeseburger, or pulled pork from Steuben's in addition to a beverage ticket for the bar. You and your pops might not be a father-son crime-fighting duo like Harrison Ford and Sean Connery, but you can still have a stellar Sunday adventure together. Sun 12:30 p.m.
—Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.
Wax nostalgic (and get competitive) at this old-school event, where beer lovers face off against one another in a pinewood boxcar race—no previous Cub Scout membership required. Competitors need only purchase a pinewood boxcar kit to obtain entry into the race and get a free beverage on the big day. After the victors are crowned, guests can settle in for a prime rib dinner, a cold Station 26 Brewing Co. beer, and a build-your-own baked potato bar. But diners beware: RSVP ahead of time to be sure you have a spot at the table. Sun 3-8 p.m.
—Image courtesy of Rich Bowen
The Sounds of the Rockies a cappella group combines the innovation of collaboration with the thrill of competition. This 100-man chorus is celebrating vocal groups in Colorado by asking acts to register, perform, and challenge the best groups in the area to an awesome sing-off. Celebrity judges such as local entertainer Lannie Garrett will take note of talent and showmanship before they pick a prize-claiming winner. Sun 3:30 p.m.
—Photo courtesy of Steve Zimmerman Photography.
This folksy Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee will tug at heartstrings (and guitar strings) as he merges old hits with new. Blues singer Mavis Staples will open up for the ‘60s-era singer songwriter, as he fuses tunes from his recent Fallen Angels album with ageless acoustic hits such as "Blowin' in the Wind" in a heavenly amalgamation. Sun 7:30 p.m.
—Photo courtesy Michael Goldman.
Your little Picassos can take inspiration from her environment and create a work of art in this weeklong class. Museum educator Emily Evans, who has nearly six years of art instruction experience, will teach students how to use objects they find around their homes to create collages, so kids can continue to craft long after the camp is done. Who knows—maybe all of those old magazines piled on your coffee table will finally be put to good use. Mon-Fri 9 a.m.-noon
Thanks to this local workshop, you don't need to attend the New York Film Academy to perfect your filmmaking skills. Writer Sibyl Gardner, who penned episodes of Law and Order and Nashville, will share her insight into crafting intriguing screenplays. After hearing her tips, collaborate with your fellow students and brainstorm how to turn your story idea into a killer script. Mon 7-9 p.m.
Your little photographer will learn how to use lenses and light tents in a flash. This creative crash course in photography will teach students the basic functions of a camera, delving into the awesome science behind apertures. Tutorials on everything from ISO to shutter speed with help your tiny artists snap their way to success. Tue 9 a.m.-1 p.m.; Thu 9 a.m.-1 p.m.
Each year on the summer solstice, more than 800 cities across the world—including Denver—host free concerts and musical workshops. The local lineup includes interactive activities such as a ukulele strum-along, a drum circle, and an introductory harmonica lesson. It all culminates in a nighttime concert featuring diverse musicians, including locals Dan Treanor & His Afrosippi Allstars with Erica Brown. Tue 10 a.m.-9 p.m.
Chefs at Elway's depart from traditional steak house fare to create a unique, summer-inspired menu. This four-course meal, complete with complimentary wine pairings from Napa Valley–based Stag's Leap Wine Cellars, features options ranging from octopus carpaccio with guava reduction and a glass of "Avita" Sauvignon Blanc to miso-lemongrass bass served with smoked wasabi mashed potatoes and a refreshing glass of "Karia" Chardonnay. Tue 7-10 p.m.
Most well-known for directing and scoring classic horror movies like Halloween and Christine, this film director, screenwriter, and composer finally lets his music take center stage. He released his second solo album, Lost Themes II, in April, which includes the addition of acoustic and electric guitar to his signature minimal synth. Tue 8 p.m.
June is Colorado Bike Month, so celebrate accordingly by leaving the car at home and working out on your way to work. Register your commute on the Bike to Work Day website to win prizes including Nuggets tickets, Red Rocks Amphitheatre concert tickets, and Colorado Lottery gift packs. With more than 30,000 expected participants, you might even meet some new cycling buddies on the road. Wed, all day.
After a star-filled inaugural year, this television-focused festival is back with a whole new round of pilots. Although the full schedule hasn't been announced yet, the opening night program is eough to ramp up the anticipation: Tickets will earn you a look at the North American premiere of BBC America's documentary series The Hunt, which follows hunters across the globe, as well as a special performance by Australian pop singer Sia. Wed-Sun, times vary.
Savor seasonal favorites like seafood and watermelon at this gourmet four-course feast. Executive chef Enrique Socarras will serve up a summery spread of ceviche with bluefin tuna, pickled watermelon with prosciutto, and braised beef cheeks. To wash it all down, Bear Creek Distillery and Tonix will create their own versions of traditional cocktails (think: mojitos and Mexican coffee) that pair perfectly with your meal. Wed 6:30 p.m.
Throughout this three-day celebration of the stage, patrons can attend a variety of productions put on by local theater companies, including Coming to America, a trio of short plays exploring the experiences of immigrants in America, and Taking Tea with the Ripper, a one-actor play that delves into the mind of London’s most infamous serial killer. If you’re feeling brave, you can even flaunt your own acting skills during the festival’s acting competition. Thu-Sat, times vary.
Thanks to Ian Fisher, finding shapes in the sky isn't just a children's game. This much-anticipated solo exhibition features 10 paintings depicting expressive cloudscapes, the artist's signature subject matter, in a unified palette of deep midnight blues and grays. The dichotomy of light and dark hues alludes to the cyclical quality of nature and the concept of rebirth. Tue-Fri 11 a.m.-6 p.m.; Sat noon-5 p.m.
—Photo courtesy of Robischon Gallery
Street artist Edgar Ross, a.k.a Saner, explores identity within Latino culture with his at times whimsical, at times haunting images of people and creatures behind human and animal masks. Although his body of work is generally reminiscent of the cartoonish work of Brazilian street art duo Os Gemêos, the graffiti artist’s use of brush strokes lends a distinctly more painterly quality to his vibrant paintings. Mingle with him at a Community Paint Out on June 25 from noon to 2 p.m. Tue-Sat noon-5 p.m.
Fashion fans unite: At this stylish soirée, Boulder boutique Willow will offer cocktails, clothing, and a visit from Liz Finkelstein, a stylist with Mile High Style. Consult Finkelstein for a complimentary styling session, then take advantage of the storewide 25 percent discount. Looking for a new summer ’do? Snag a raffle ticket for a chance to win a giveaway basket full of R&Co hair products from Downtown Refinery Salon. Thu 5:30-7:30 p.m.
—Photo Courtesy of Willow
A seven-course seafood meal is good, but a delicious briny spread paired with wine is even better. Chef Matt Stein will cook up delightful bites from the sea, and sommelier Ashley Hausman Vaughters will provide the ideal vino counterparts. After tasting fresh options such as curried jumbo lump crab paired with Domaine Ciringa Sauvignon Blanc and oysters paired with Domaine de la Chauveniere Muscadet, you'll practically feel the sea breeze. Thu 6-9:30 p.m.
Take part in unlimited tastes of tequila cocktails and vote for your favorites at this popular smorgasbord of Mexican eats. Of the 40-plus taco joints with booths, make sure to find that of El Camino Community Tavern, Mezcal, and Los Tacos. Bonus: This year's new location allows ample room for, well, more tacos. Proceeds benefit Colorado ProStart, a culinary program offered in high schools across the state. Thu 6:30-9:30 p.m.
This weekend-long film festival focuses on the most creative filmmakers who call the Centennial State home. Watch dozens of films, including shorts, documentaries, animations, and music videos; strut down the red carpet at a Friday night opening party; and savor Sunday brunch during the closing awards ceremony. Fri-Sun, times vary
In this group exhibition featuring 31 local, national, and international artists, realism mingles with abstraction and surrealism. Benjamin Garcia’s take on reality is a deconstructed mix of blurry and distorted faces and bodies, whereas Britt Snyder’s paintings depict realist scenes through a hazy, almost impressionistic lens, creating the perspective of looking through glass or water. After taking a turn about the gallery, you can see for yourself whether art is more true than reality. Tue-Sat 10 a.m.-6 p.m.
—Photo courtesy of Abend Gallery
Embark upon an empathetic journey to Ethiopia and the Dominican Republic during this immersive cross-cultural experience. Visitors take on the role of children in each developing country and experience both sadness and hope as they use audio headsets to guide them through their day-to-day activities on this tour. Proceeds benefit Compassion International's child sponsorship program, which works toward ending global poverty. Fri 10 a.m.
—Image courtesy of Compassion International
Experience the majestic Arkansas River at this aquatic extravaganza by entering competitions in rafting, kayaking, and stand-up paddle boarding. If you prefer dry land, try one of the cycling races or participate in a yoga session led by Robin Beals, a teacher at River Lotus Yoga. When the games end, the party begins—vendors such as Lucy's Mediterranean Grill and Summertime Soft Serve will be dishing out shawarma and shaved ice, and Colorado Springs–based band Wrestle with Jimmy will be playing all day long. Fri 3 p.m.-11:15 p.m.; Sat 7:30 a.m.-11:15 p.m.
Explore the rich history of Scandinavia at this lively cultural celebration. After watching costumed representatives of each Scandinavian country raise the Midsummer pole to kick off the festivities, check out vintage cars at a Saab and Volvo auto show and visit the Fjelborg Viking Encampment to watch reenactors fence and glimpse an authentic sailboat. Then snack on Norwegian potato pancakes while enjoying live performances by Swedish violinist Elin Palmer and the Swedish Folk Dance Club of Denver. Fri 4-9 p.m.; Sat 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sun 9:30 a.m.-4 p.m.
By blending the organic body with the digital world, Denver-based artist Lui Ferreyra's signature, fragmented style challenges the traditional bounds of oil painting as a medium. At this innovative exhibition, glimpse Ferreyra's newest works alongside selections from complimentary artists such as Roger Reutimann, whose fiberglass nudes function as the 3-D counterpart to Ferreyra's work. Tue-Fri 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; Sat 11 a.m.-5 p.m.
—Image courtesy of William Havu Gallery
Explore the beatnik lifestyle of a modern American artist at this exhibit uncovering Clyfford Still’s time in San Francisco after World War II. Mile High Soul Club co-founders DJ Tyler Jacobson and DJ DogBoy will be spinning soul, funk, and R&B tunes from the ’60s and ’70s all night, and you can snap along to live poetry by author Zack Kopp or create your own counter-culture magazine. Before you leave, treat yourself to a drink from Peak Beverage and indulge in delicacies from A Taste of the Philippines and Aikopops. Fri 7-11 p.m.
If you've turned on your car radio sometime since the 1970s, you've almost certainly heard a hit from this American classic rock legend. The Massachusetts natives have sold over 74 million records worldwide with lyrically progressive tracks like “More than a Feeling” and “Peace of Mind.” Expect a concert lineup full of throwback classics with a few funky modern additions to the set list. Fri 7:30 p.m.
With a sound that evokes nostalgia for the 1970s and ’80s, this classic band’s tracks have become standards of the rock genre. The Bean Town–native group has sold more than 75 million records worldwide, garnering the most attention for the hits “Don’t Look Back” and “More Than a Feeling.” Fri 7:30 p.m.
You might not be able to see AC/DC live, but you can still lose your voice screeching along to their greatest hits. This female-only tribute band to the Australian group will bring you their own glorious versions of "Thunderstruck" and "Highway to Hell." The Seattle natives have toured internationally and have been bringing a hearty dose of girl power to the hard rock scene since 2000. Fri 9 p.m.
All you need are shoes and a pair of skivvies to run for a good cause. (If scantily clad exercise isn’t your thing, costumes or plain apparel are welcome.) Register as an individual or a team for this winding 5K course, and stick around to see the top three finishers take home a medal. Survivor medals will be awarded to those who have beaten or are fighting colorectal cancer. Proceeds benefit the Colon Cancer Alliance, which sponsors research on preventing colon cancers. Sat 8:30-10 a.m.
—Photo courtesy of the Colon Cancer Alliance
Bring your sports fan to a baseball game like she's never seen before—played with 1864-inspired rules and uniforms. Take photographs with the old-school players and tour the farm's museum for a glimpse of antique vehicles on show. Don't forget chairs and blankets to best enjoy this classic day in the sun. Sat 10 a.m.
This summer festival unites backcountry blues with philanthropy. Sway along to the music as a variety of acts, including Canadian swamp blues band MonkeyJunk and modern blues group Austin Young Band, belt out their anthems. Proceeds benefit Blue Star Connection, a nonprofit working to supply over 50 national children’s hospitals with instruments for music therapy. Sat-Sun 10 a.m.-7 p.m.
This full day of inspiring talks and innovative ideas is an ideal escape from your daily routine. Local scientists, writers, performers, and activists will take the stage to share their experiences and insight. After the show, be sure to stop by the cocktail reception for a Breckenridge Brewery beer and a chance to chat with your favorite speakers. Sat 11 a.m.-7 p.m.
Thanks to this local beach party, you can spend a day in the sand without having to fly to the coast. Admire giant sand castles or make tie-dye shirts with the kiddos, then snag a craft beer from Grand Lake Brewing or New Image Brewing and enjoy a family-friendly concert of Caribbean steel drum tunes by Aurora-based band Urban Island. A portion of the proceeds benefits the Jeffco Schools Foundation, which aims to ensure the personal and academic growth of Jefferson County students. Sat 11 a.m.-9 p.m.; Sun 11 a.m.-5 p.m.
—Image courtesy of Visit Arvada
With a Mile High Spirits margarita in hand, take a tasty journey through Denver's taco scene. More than 30 vendors including Chuey Fu's Latin-Asian Grub, Colorado Pig Rig, and Torchy's Tacos will offer at least one $2 taco option. Bonus: With a VIP pass, you can check out the Tequila Expo, where you can sample more than 40 types of tequila such as Coyote Gold, Tattoo Tequila, and Hornitos.
With thousands of pounds of bacon and gallons of alcohol, this weekend-long festival is perfect for satisfying your indulgent side. Taste bacon and bacon-inspired dishes, which pair well with a bacon-topped Bloody Mary or cucumber vodka lemonade. While you're munching, rock bands such as the Banditos, Dirty Bourbon River Show, and Hell's Belles will take the stage. Fri-Sat 1-6 p.m.
Attendees of this afternoon arts benefit can enjoy a summer meal as they delight in some of Denver's finest vocal performers. These operatic songbirds, including Ruth Brand and Evan Glaser, will serenade the lucky lunchers, giving them a sneak peek of what they can expect from this summer's upcoming performance of Acis and Galatea. Proceeds benefit the Denver Opera Collective, a nonprofit focused on staging affordable, accessible productions in the Mile High City. Sat 1-3 p.m.
—Image courtesy of the Preservery
With temperatures in the 90s this weekend, the only way to spend the day outside is with a cold beer in hand. After taking advantage of unlimited samples from more than 25 local breweries including Left Hand Brewing Company and Odell Brewing Co., pick your favorites and savor two full pours. Then indulge in a snack from food trucks such as the Pikine Grill, Mile High Thai, and Infinitus Pie, while Intuit, a band inspired by reggae and hip-hop, plays live music. Proceeds benefit the West Metro Fire Rescue Foundation, a nonprofit that promotes fire safety education programs. Sat 1-4 p.m.
Not everyone can be a Rio Olympian—but you can have just as much fun at this playfully competitive Olympic-themed tournament. Teams of four, five, or six will compete in round-robin matches of giant foosball, an adult tricycle relay, and team knockout basketball. After you've broken a sweat, cool off with a Blue Moon and see which competitors will win $100,000 or a two-person vacation getaway in the raffle. Sat 1 p.m.
—Image courtesy of Denver Urban Scholars
Help Renegade Brewing Company celebrate five years of making “offensively delicious” beer at this summery street bonanza. Live music from rock bands such as Animal Electricity and headliner Inner Oceans will have you tapping your toe all day as you sample food from Green Tree Stir Fry and Ol’ Skool Que. With a cold Renegade Fly-P-A in hand, you'll be glad they didn't just serve cake. Sat 3-10 p.m.
—Photo courtesy of Dustin Hall/Brewtography Project
This zany farce tells the story of a postal mix-up that sends boxes of Scandinavian pornography straight to the home of conservative British newlyweds Peter and Frances. Flabbergasted by the unwelcome parcels, the happy couple has to find somewhere to stash the illicit materials before Peter’s mother and uptight boss show up. When Peter’s blundering best friend, two policemen, and two “working girls” join the cast of characters, the story take a ridiculous turn. Fri-Sun, times vary.
Know every Beyoncé lyric in the book? Now’s the time to put your skills to the test. Pay tribute to Queen B with a night of tunes on the big screen, from early hits like "Crazy in Love" to her recent songs on Lemonade, and grab a prop like an inflatable microphone to add extra flair to your sing-along experience. Fifty percent of the proceeds benefits Equality Florida's campaign to provide financial assistance for the victims of the recent Orlando shooting and their families. Sat 10:10 p.m.
Pack your favorite sandwiches and sodas for a picnic-style get-together hosted by Warm Cookies of the Revolution, an organization that promotes civic discussion and participation within the community. In honor of the afternoon's theme of change and movement, you're encouraged to bring a set of wheels—such as a stroller or bike—to add to the collection of shiny rides from Saints and Sinners Car Club and Sons of Italy motorcycles. After strolling through the auto show, listen to spoken word artist and social worker Bobby LeFebre speak about public space and change in neighborhoods.
Unleash your little one’s inner superhero with this themed, arts-and-crafts-filled week. Your kid will get decked out in superhero gear (think: masks and capes) she makes herself before writing and illustrating her own comic book. Bonus: Teen participants' comic books will be submitted to a publisher for consideration after the ruckus dies down. Mon-Fri 9 a.m.
Thanks to their musical partnership, California-based musician Rome Ramirez and bassist Eric Wilson have transformed the ska punk flavor of Sublime into a new, funky sound. At this innovative show, you can relive some of your old-school Sublime favorites and delight in new riffs from this unique collaboration. Mon 6 p.m.
—Photo courtesy of Live Nation
Go behind the scenes of one of history’s most famous boxing matches during a screening of this 1996 Oscar-winning documentary. The film, which follows the 1974 fight between Muhammad Ali and George Foreman, was cultivated from more than 250 hours of footage from before and after the fight, featuring appearances from director Spike Lee and musical performers B.B. King and the Spinners. A portion of the proceeds from the screening benefits the Parkinson Association of the Rockies, which provides support and services to patients suffering from Parkinson's disease and their caregivers.
This Oregon band’s 15-year career has yielded seven full-length studio albums that feature folk and bluegrass riffs alongside psychedelic rock and garage metal. The group’s latest album, All Across This Land (released in October), explores the American landscape through hard-rocking tracks and introspective acoustic numbers. Tue 8:30 p.m.
Last year, Boulder resident Clay Hawkley hitched a trailer to the back of his car, strapped found objects to a white wall displayed on the rig, and towed the contraption around town as he went about his daily life. In an effort to push against the boundaries of what's considered art, Hawkley is continuing his found-object work indoors this month. See his scavenged items and renditions of them in many mediums (some sketched, one encased in a covering made from wood glue) at this offbeat show. Wed-Sun noon-5 p.m.
Playwright, actor, and director Denver native Thaddeus Phillips returns to the Mile High City with an original piece. His drama discusses cinema’s profound impact on humanity and how the way we've told stories has changed since the advent of film. The abstract piece focuses on the sometimes-skewed filmic records of history we preserve and what they say about our modern culture. Thu-Sat 8 p.m.; Sun 3 p.m.