Push the pedal to the metal and hear the roar of engines echo off Red Rock's canyon walls as The Fast and the Furious speeds into the Film on the Rocks series. This is the original installment in what has become one of the most successful action franchises and launched the careers of Vin Diesel and the late Paul Walker. Tue 8 p.m.
For most aspiring musicians, creating a new band starts with three basics: a vocalist, a percussionist, and a guitarist. But Michael Fitzpatrick, the 43-year-old frontman of indie-pop group Fitz and the Tantrums, took a different approach. He nixed the guitars and added brass and keys for a soulful, modern approach to neo-pop. Watch the Los Angeles-based sextet perform songs from its latest album, More Than Just A Dream, during a two-night gig in the Mile High City. Tue-Wed 8 p.m.
—Photograph courtesy of Joseph Cultice
How do you capture the idea of visual art? Paul Sietsema explores this complicated subject with his films, paintings, and drawings that look at art production and the history of different aesthetic movements. Included in these works are some of Sietsema’s paintings showcasing his unique multi-layered production technique. Tue-Fri noon-9 p.m.; Sat-Sun 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
—Photograph courtesy of Paul Sietsema and Matthew Marks Gallery
Celebrate Chicano and Latino culture this month with Art is Freedom, an eclectic exhibition at CHAC Gallery. Experience Darlene Kuhne's voluptuous figures and the dark and seductive beauty of Shay Guerrero’s female portraits, along with works from sveen artists. Days, times vary.
This weekend is ripe for those that desire outdoor adventure and exercise. Not only is this event the perfect way enjoy the 4th of July in Aspen, but it’s also paired with numerous opportunities to infuse culture, exercise, and meditation into your stay. From a sunrise hike to a rocking pool party, Wanderlust’s wide range of options will fill your day with mind-settling yoga, food, and activities. Thu-Sun, times vary.
—Photo Courtesy of Sasha Juliard
Spend your 4th of July weekend with 70 musical acts at the first music festival of its kind in scenic Fairplay. Catch MCs like Matisyahu and Tech N9ne along with bands like Thundercat and Steel Pulse over the extended weekend. Take a break between sets with disc golf, yoga, and a few jumps on the Moon Bounce, or simply enjoy a good old fashion fireworks display on Independence Day. Thu-Sat, all day.
Lyons-based abstract expressionist Karen Scharer returns to the Art + Soul Gallery for the first time since last fall's devestating flood. More than 20 paintings will be on display at her solo exhibition, including some never-before-seen works composed after the disaster took place. Drop by on July 10 for a reception with Scharer, featuring light refreshments. Mon-Sat 11 a.m.-6 p.m.; Sun 11 a.m.-5 p.m.
Down to the deep V-neck sequenced shirts, this tribute band from San Francisco is so close to seeing the real Neil, it's uncanny. Sing along to "Sweet Caroline" and "Brother's Love Traveling Salvation Show." End the concert with a fireworks display. Thu 7 p.m.
Extend your Independence Day into Independence days. Throw a blanket on the lawn at Civic Center Park and enjoy the fireworks show and a performance by Denver acapella group MIX. The fun starts after sunset, but be sure and show up early to get a good spot. Thu 8 p.m.
Illuminate your night with a light show and fireworks display to kickoff Independence Day weekend. Show up early with your blankets and beach towels, then stay after sunset for the show and music from the Hazel Miller Band, MIX, and the Denver Municipal Band. Want the VIP experience? Get your $75 ticket to the exclusive Independence Eve Balcony Party. Thu 8 p.m.
Bump, set, and spike your way into the July 4th holiday. Get moving with amateur and advanced volleyball tournaments as well as a 5K and a one-mile run/walk. The celebration will have food vendors, a beer garden, and live music. Proceeds from beer sales benefit Your Cause Sports, a nonprofit dedicated to charitable giving through endurance events. Fri 7 a.m.-4 p.m.
Experience the world of Denver's visual, culinary, and performing arts as they convene for Cherry Creek's signature, three-day festival. Get your hands in on the creativity with a collaborative mural on Artivity Avenue—an interactive, artistic experience that is open to all attendees. Beer, wine, and cocktails will be available from favorites like Breckenridge Brewery, Francis Ford Coppola Winery, and Crafthouse Cocktails. Fri-Sat 10 a.m.-8 p.m.; Sun 10
Hieroglyphics aren’t just for Egyptians and ancient cave dwellers anymore. Tattoo artist Mike Giant combines modern iconic pictures and phrases in his collage-like ink drawings. With local images—think the Colorado Avalanche and “303” symbols—in almost all of his works, Giant’s drawings capture the youthful spirit of Denver. Mon-Sat 11 a.m.-1 p.m.
—Image courtesy of Mike Giant
Settle in before the night's fireworks with an afternoon of red, white, and blue. In addition to the cavalcade of bikers and floats, this year's parade sees the addition of a marching band and acrobats to the procession. Careful with the sparklers! Fri 1:30-4:30 p.m.
In Colorado, a Blues Traveler show is as much of a Fourth of July tradition as apple pie and fireworks. This year, the bluesy jam band will be joined by fellow chart-toppers of the ’90s—Sugar Ray, Smash Mouth, and Uncle Kracker. Expect to hear songs you probably haven't heard in a couple decades, including Smash Mouth's "All Star" and Sugar Ray's "Fly." Fri 6 p.m.
—Photograph courtesy of Red Rocks
Celebrating a decade of short-form improve, this Denver comedy troupe is offering a free show suitable for all audiences. Be warned, though: Most shows feature fun (and hilarious) skits that call for audience participation. Sat 10 a.m.
—Photograph courtesy of Blu Hartkopp
As the adage goes, you are what you eat. At this two-day health and environment fair, find out how adapting a vegan diet can change the way you look and feel. Listen to speakers such as National Jewish Health cardiologist Dr. Andrew Freeman talk about the benefits of the vegan diet, sample health foods from local vendors, watch documentaries about the obesity epidemic such as Processed People, and work up a sweat at a Tai Chi demo. Sat-Sun 10 a.m.
—Photo courtesy Fox Renard
Go through the looking glass for a storytime unlike the others. Amble around Boulder's Chautauqua Park with your kids and meet the characters of Alice and Wonderland as dramatized by professional actors. Bring fold-up chairs, blankets, and sunscreen as the Mad Hatter and the White Rabbit come to life among the pines. Sat-Sun 11 a.m.
Keep the 4th of July rolling on Saturday with a full day of roots rock reggae and barbecue. Groove with bands like Judge Roughneck, Irie Still, and Jus Goodie, or play lawn games like cornhole and giant Jenga. If the summer sun is too hot, dip your toes in nearby Boulder Creek. Sat noon-8:30 p.m.
Libations and laughs will ensue at a summer party with Samuel Adams Beer. Lawn games and live music from the Gin Doctors lead off the night, followed by a screening of Wedding Crashers. Space is limited, so be sure to reserve a spot for you and your friends to have some brews with a view. Sat 6 p.m.
While Iothario Bernard's wife is away, he devises a seemingly foolproof plan to spend a romantic weekend with his mistress. Watch as his plans unravel into a weekend of confusion, chaos, and hilarity in this dramatic comedy written by French playwright Marc Camoletti. Days, times vary.
Leading up to the annual SummerSlam event in Los Angeles, the Heatwave Tour brings a taste of the action to the Mile High City. Watch WWE stars Cody Rhodes, Randy Orton, and reigning champion Daniel Bryan jab, hook, and kick during this choreographed spectacle. Sat 7:30 p.m.
His days numbered and with sympathy in short supply, condemned murderer Joe De Rocher finds solace in the spiritual guidance of Sister Helen Prejean. As he seeks forgiveness from society—and from God—the truth of the gruesome killings is revealed. Days, times vary.
Contemporary Japanese prints during a 100-year timespan reflect Japan’s acceptance of modern technology and desire to hold onto its cultural past. This exhibition will feature roughly 70 woodblock prints with subjects including landscapes, cityscapes, and portraits. Tue-Thu 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Fri 10 a.m.-8 p.m., Sat-Sun 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
A woodblock print is made by carefully carving a pattern into a wooden block and using it to stamp a design onto a material such as cloth or silk. Through these artifacts, you can see the distinct cultural changes that have occurred in Japan over a 100-year time period. The 20th-century prints focus on technological advances as well as a changing Japanese landscape. Tue-Thu 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Fri 10 a.m.-8 p.m.; Sat-Sun 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Shakespeare's final play comes to life like you've never seen it before. This magical, maritime tale of love and revenge will be performed all month long at the Mary Rippon Outdoor Theatre. The story's monsters and spirits will feel especially chilling under a full moon on July 12 and August 10. Days, times vary.
Let your little chef discover new cooking techniques and ingredients in a professional kitchen. In this mini version of Master Chef, third through sixth graders will create several new recipes from a special ingredient, then vote for their favorites. Mon-Fri 9 a.m.-noon.
If your little one has dreams of becoming the NFL's next star, this football mini-camp is right on the numbers. Professional players—including the Broncos' offensive lineman Chris Kuper—will train your rookie how to succeed on and off the field with agility drills and off-the-field talks relating character and work ethic between the lines and in everyday life. Set, hike! Tue-Thu 8:30 a.m.-11:30 a.m.
A brand new adventure for your family's Finding Nemo fan. Your fingerling will learn how fish and other aquatic creatures breathe and move underwater in this camp geared toward elementary-age investigators. Later, they'll probe Big Dry Creek and Westminster Pond in a search for some finned friends of their own. Tue-Fri 9 a.m.-4 p.m.
Help your tykes combat Denver's hot summer with the rejuvenating power of lemonade. Kids will learn about how the lemon tree, and how to transform its tart fruit into a sweet and delicious refreshment. Enterprising youngsters can make use of their new knowledge and start a lemonade stand of their own. Tue-Wed 9:30 a.m., 10:45 a.m.; Thu 9:30 a.m., 11 a.m.
Every kid thinks their school is the craziest—that is, until they hear about the Sideways Stories from Wayside School. In this play adapted from the classic book series of the same name, kids will hear about the ridiculous tales of Wayside, a 30-story elementary school built one classroom on top of the other beset by haunted mashed potatoes, a non-existent 19th floor, and other mysterious goings-on. Mon-Sat 10 a.m.-1 p.m.
Mosey over to Estes Park for a rodeo in the shadow of some of Colorado's most imposing peaks. The five-day event features barrel racing, bull riding, and "behind the chutes," a look at the inner-workings of the sport of rodeo. It all kicks off with a parade of clowns, classic cars and floats on the theme of "Mountain Strong" down Estes' Elkhorn Avenue to the fairgrounds. Tue-Sun times vary.
Like many boys, Tarzan behaves like an ape. But he has an excuse—he was raised by them. After an unexpected visit from human hunters and a sudden love for Jane, he must reconcile his humanity and ape upbringing. In doing so, he's forced to decide where he really belongs. Tue 7:30 p.m.; Wed 1 p.m., 7:30 p.m.; Thu-Fri 7:30 p.m. Sat 2 p.m., 7:30 p.m.; Sun 2 p.m.
Did you indulge in too many brats over the Fourth of July weekend? Burn some calories at the Pearl Street Mile run/walk through downtown Boulder. Set a new personal record and then celebrate at the weekly outdoor music party, Band on the Bricks, which will begin immediately following the race. Each race entry nets you a free beer at the beer garden or a free ice cream from Ben & Jerry’s. Wed 6:30-9 p.m.
A nature walk for the princess who likes a little mud on their tiara. Introduce your daughter to the great outdoors on this girls-only nature walk—led by a team of female naturalists—around South Platte Park. Princess dress are welcome as long as they can come home a little dirty. Ages 5-8. Thu 10 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
Worldwide, the chicken is often used but seldom celebrated. Fort Collins-based pop/folk artist Kort Duce gives the popular fowl its due with this clean and colorful painting series in his first solo show in Colorado. Duce's paintings showcase the chicken's almost mythic ubiquity in our lives—eggs, feathers, and all. Tue-Fri 11 a.m.-6 p.m.; Sat noon-4 p.m.
“Memory is the diary that we all carry about with us,” said the author and poet Oscar Wilde. Find out what that diary looks like at CORE New Art Space’s open show Memories. The gallery accepted entries featuring a wide array of media in its challenge to visually interpret the concept of memory. Thu noon-6 p.m.; Fri noon-9 p.m.; Sat noon-6 p.m.; Sun 1-4 p.m.
For the first time since 1998, the Federation of International Lacrosse (FIL) World Championship will take place on U.S. soil. Over the course of 10 days, 38 nations—from Uganda to the Netherlands—will compete in 142 games for the world champion title. Cheer on the U.S. team as they take on Canada in the opening game. Thu-Sat, times vary.
—Photo Courtesy of Scott McCall
A century ago, dams were seen as engineering marvels. But, some views have changed. This Patagonia-produced powerful documentary uses stunning cinematography to explore the harsh realities of dams and their ecological repercussions. Thu 7 p.m.
More than five decades into her music career, Joan Baez still reigns as one of the queens of folk. Listen to pieces from her 30-album discography, including pop, country, and gospel melodies coupled with lyrics provoked by political activism. Thu 7 p.m.
A leisurely bicycle ride through the quaint French countryside becomes a nightmare when repairs to an American's steed don't go quite as expected. This minimalist musical with improv influences takes you on a tour through France's most absurd characters—and caricatures. Thu-Fri 7:30 p.m.; Sat 2 p.m., 7:30 p.m.; Sun 2 p.m.
Show your little greenthumbs that dirt is good for more than just slinging mudballs. In this gardening and cooking class, kids will harvest herbs and vegetables right from the ground, then learn how to whip them up into their own tasty snacks. Ages 6-12. Fri 9:30 a.m.-noon.
For nearly three decades, the Colorado Black Arts Festival has promoted the artistic talents African Americans from Denver and beyond. Listen for lively music on three stages including jazz, blues, and gospel performances. Kids will enjoy the Saturday morning Boogaloo Celebration Parade, a musical street party, drill teams, and floats. Fri-Sun 10 a.m.-8 p.m.
Lay out your lederhosen and bring out your steins—it’s time for a German-style beer festival. This three-day event offers Bavarian brews from Paulaner Brauerei and Hacker Pschorr Beers, as well and plenty of fine German food. Enjoy music from Rick Borger and the Average German Band along with Austrian Connection. Get there early on Sunday for an all-you-can-eat brunch. Fri 4-10 p.m.; Sat 11 a.m.-10 p.m.; Sun 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Go green in a completely different way at this Irish heritage festival. Jig to the sounds of Gaelic Storm and other top-flight Irish bands, or get swept up watching a game of hurling and gaelic football. An inflatable playhouse area will be erected for families, but no matter how young the pints of Guinness make you feel, leave it for the kids. Fri 5 p.m.-10 p.m.; Sat 10 a.m.-10 p.m.; Sun 10 a.m.-7 p.m.
Throughout the summer, the Clyfford Still Museum and Swallow Hill Music are hosting three outdoor concerts on the museum's lawn. In its second installment, listen to Canadian banjoist Jayme Stone as he plays a mix of instumental folk, jazz, and chamber music inspired by world travel. Expect to hear songs influenced by African street music from the two-time Juno Award winner (read: the Canadian Grammys). Fri 5:30 p.m.
—Photo courtesy of Clyfford Still Museum
The human body has long been a subject of many artistic pieces, yet never ceases to provide inspiration. Denver artists Dawn Witter and Leah Swenson introduce both of their unique perspectives at the psychological and emotional experience of occupying a body. Multiple mediums will be represented including sculpture, ceramics, and wax. Fri 6-10 p.m.
Frances Mackey’s pottery series is inspired by watching her father build her family’s house. Her ceramic structures and clay monoprints complement her sleek tabletop pottery. The artist says she makes her mugs, bowls, and tea pots with the thought of them in a home—so don’t let them stay on gallery shelves for too long. Fri 6-10 p.m.; Sat-Sun noon-5 p.m.
As the name suggests, this folk rock band from North Carolina started with two brothers, Scott and Seth Avett. The brothers have played music together since childhood, carefully crafting an evolved sound that combines elements of country, pop, punk, indie rock, and ragtime. Listen for the band's latest from the 2013 album, Magpie and the Dandelion. Fri 7:30 p.m.
Buoyed by eternal optimism, Annie seeks the only thing she wants in the world: her parents. In the process, her effervescent charm wins the heart of a benevolent billionaire in this Broadway classic. Fri-Sat 7:30 p.m.; Sun 2 p.m.
When New Belgium says that "having fun" is one of their top 10 core values, they mean it. This festival pairs the Fort Collins brewery's staple and seasonal beers with independent short films submitted by filmmakers from around the world. Grab a blanket or lawn chairs and cozy up to a night beneath the stars to watch films and drink New Belgium brews such as the sour brown La Folie and the bright German pilsner Summer Helles. All proceeds benefit local nonprofits in each of the 21 cities throughout the tour. Fri 8 p.m.
—Photo courtesy of New Belgium Brewing
Steamboat Springs plays host to the most colorful weekend of the year when dozens of hot air balloons float into the mountain sky. Watch balloon pilots dip their baskets into Bald Eagle Lake or soar until they become tiny specks of color at this summertime staple. Children can burn energy at the kid zone while parents meander through the nearby Art in the Park exhibit. As the sun sets, head back to the mountain area for Balloon Glow, where illuminated balloons fill up the night sky. Sat-Sun, times vary.
With all of the noises and other stimuli in the city, we could all use a low-key morning every once in a while. Conceived for children who thrive in a quieter environment, the Children's Museum will dim the lights and muffle the facility's ambient noise for a couple hours of low-stress play. Pick out a book and whisper a story to your little one, or let them mingle in the recreation area. Make a reservation to save your spot Sat 8 a.m.-noon.
Gwyneth Holston’s paintings celebrate the colorful history of the Roman Catholic Church. The artist uses vibrant paint to bring traditional religious figures and scenes to life. Mon-Thu 9 a.m.-6:45 p.m.; Fri 9 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sat 9 a.m.-noon.
Cross running with the bulls of your bucket list—kind of. Instead of being chased by bulls through the streets of Pamplona, Spain, participants will be chased by the Rocky Mountain RollerGirls armed with whiffle ball bats through the streets of Highland. This 1K fun run finishes with music, food, drinks, and dancing. Proceeds benefit Tennyson Center for Children. Sat 9 a.m.
Find out about what's new in home decor, gardening, remodeling, and more at this home show. Interior designers and home utilities exhibitors will be onsite to give you tips on how to spruce up the homestead. Take the Denver Energy Challenge and find out how to reduce the amount of energy your home uses and save some cash in the process. Sat 11 a.m.-7 p.m.
Colorado wineries often take a backseat to the craft brewing scene. This Fort Collins festival aims to bring the best local wineries together: sip vino from wineries like Olathe's Cottonwood Winery and Denver's Ryker's Winery, while you nibble on choices from food trucks and fine food vendors. Sat 11 a.m.
The world needs more superheros. Consider this your kids’ call to action: The Incredibles, Pixar’s beloved crime-fighting family, is featured on the big screen at The Wildlife Experience Museum’s Family Film Night. Superhero Training Camp, with crafts and games, start before the film, and the movie rolls at 5 p.m. Come dressed to impress in your favorite superhero costume. Sat 3:30 p.m.
Combining music, dance, and precise military-inspired drill marching, there's more to drum corps than the funny feathered hats. Watch 10 of the nation's top groups—including Denver's own Blue Knights—perform 10-minute routines including traditional anthems and contemporary pop songs. Sat 6:30 p.m.
Art begets art. Such is the case with Jennifer Kenyon’s book of haikus Beauty Amidst the Madness, a collection of 20 poems along with the art that served as its inspiration. The artwork was produced by talented Colorado artists like Jennifer Bobola, Kendra Fleischman, and more. Their work, along with Kenyon’s poetry, will be the featured presentation at Backstage Coffee and Denver Performing Art Complex’s new exhibit. Mon-Fri 6:30 a.m.; Sat-Sun 8 a.m.
With the Rocky Mountain foothills and Boulder Reservoir as a course, it's no wonder Men's Health listed Ironman's Boulder Peak among the best triathlons in America. Cheer athletes on as they run through a 10K criterium-style course, bike up to Olde Stage Hill's 6,500-foot summit, and swim 1.5K in Boulder Reservoir's open swim area. Sun 7 a.m.
Tom Wesselmann, considered one of the most influential artists in American pop art, is known for his larger-than-life pieces (think: 25-foot-long canvases). This collection of 100 pieces peeks into the artist’s process and the chronology of his career, from his early abstract collages to still life paintings to cut-steel drawings. Tue-Thu 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Fri 10 a.m.-8 p.m., Sat-Sun 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
With only one solo studio album to date, Lauryn Hill left a lot of fans begging for more after her influential 1998 release The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill. After completing a three-month prison sentence last year for tax evasion, Hill is refocusing her energy on her music. Catch this rare live show for a chance to hear her R&B hits such as "Doo Wop (That Thing)" and "Everything is Everything." Sun 9 p.m.
Some of the best pastel painting our state has to offer is currently on display at Denver Public Library. Tour the exhibit to see stunning Colorado landscapes reinterpreted into lush pastel textures. Special art demonstrations take place every other Sunday. Naturalistic landscape painter Dennis Rhoades will stop by on August 10, while impressionistic artist Jane Christie will talk about her unique understanding of color and light on August 24. Mon-Sat, times vary.
Take a break from the Degas canvas at the museum to see pastel pieces by new artists in this juried show by the Pastel Society of Colorado. This year, it will be judged by Albert Handell, a painter from Brooklyn whose oil and pastel creations have been featured in numerous museums and five instruction books—he’ll also host a workshop to share his expertise. Mon-Tue 10 a.m.-8 p.m.; Wed-Fri 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; Sat 9 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sun 1 p.m.-5 p.m.
Introduce your budding singer to the likes of Pavarotti and Don Giovanni. Bring the family out for a special performance of the famous opera, The Marriage of Figaro, including a host of pre-performance games and activities for the kids. If you go to the matinee performance, bring a blanket and some food to join in on the audience-wide picnic. Tue 12:30 p.m., 2:30 p.m.
A web of sexual volatility and violence hide behind Southern facades, carefully constructed to preserve the idyllic dreams of an era long past. As the pretense crumbles, things spiral further out of control to mirror the breakdowns in playwright Tennessee Williams' own life. Fri-Sat 7:30 p.m.; Sun 2:30 p.m.
Art and athleticism collide in this exhibit spotlighting the modern world of sports. Twenty-one works from 12 artists will explore themes such as structural social behavior and isolation in a variety of sports including baseball, soccer, and ping-pong. Different mediums, from painting to installation, will be featured. Tue-Sun 11 a.m.-5 p.m.
One ticket lands you a reservation with more than 35 of Denver’s hottest independent restaurants at this night celebrating the city’s growing food scene. Sample unlimited bites at booths featuring eateries like Wynkoop Brewing Company, Ace Eat Serve, and Euclid Hall—all while you enjoy live music. Then, wash it all down with three different cocktails, wine, and craft beer. Thu 7:30-10:30 p.m.
-Photograph courtesy of the Big Eat
Watch in awe as contemporary and classical music are beauituflly merged at a venue that is just as inspiring. The already melodic music of Denver-based quartet DeVotchKa is complimented by the orchestral mastery of the Colorado Symphony at this one-of-a-kind show. The Colorado Symphony will also play with opener Gregory Alan Isakov, a South African singer-songwriter who made his Symphony debut last year at a sold-out Red Rocks show. The soulful Colorado-based folk band Elephant Revival will precede Isakov. Thu 7:30 p.m.
A latticework of ambition and backstabbing, a dubious royal succession enabled through murder, and a debaucherous son jeopardize a father's plans for an empire—no, this isn't an HBO hit. Long before Game of Thrones, Shakespeare's histories depicted a political landscape as grim as the darkest corners of George R.R. Martin's mind. Days, times vary.
Play a round of 18 holes for the kids. Proceeds from the event benefit Dolls for Daughters and Kenzi’s Kidz give toys to underprivileged girls and work to relieve the financial burden that keeps many young women from living a happy, healthy life. The entry fee includes breakfast, a barbecue lunch, and drinks. Fri 8 a.m.
Cheer on your favorite local athletes in Colorado's amateur sport olympics. Watch classic sports like volleyball, swimming, and tennis alongside less-traditional competitions such as orienteering, arm wrestling, and pickleball, a cross between badminton, tennis, and Ping-Pong. The fun starts at the opening ceremonies with live music, autograph signings from former Denver Broncos, and the lighting of the cauldron. Fri-Sun, times vary.
Hearts break, memories plague, and a killer finds love on park benches in Edge Theatre's annual festival of new plays. Three finalists from local playwrights—Exit Strategies, Italy, and Tales From The Peacetime Army—will receive a weekend of staged readings, the winner receiving a full production in 2015. Fri-Sat 8 p.m.; Sun 6 p.m.
Throw on some lederhosen, grab a stein of your favorite pilsen, and celebrate German arts, culture, and custom. Frolic to the sounds of live German bands in the beerhall and sample traditional foods like wiener schnitzel and sauerbraten, or vinegar-marinated beef. Ein prosit! Fri 5 p.m.-10 p.m.; Sat 10 a.m.-10 p.m.; Sun 10 a.m.-6 p.m.
Spark's comic take on Shakespeare's famous death scenes condenses his canon into an original and hilariously grim picture of the Bard's dark side. Each show hands Juliet's poison, Macduff's sword, and more to the audience, which doles out the sentences on stage. Fri-Sat 7:30 p.m.
Need a little fitness boost? Pick and choose from eight different workout sessions—including a mile run, hot yoga, Zumba, tug of war, CrossFit, and more—at this all-day group exercise festival. Peruse vendor booths to learn about exercise equipment and nutrition, and refuel with lunch from Mad Greens. You may be sore in the morning, but the challenge is worth it. Fri 7 a.m.
Peyton isn't the only one who breaks a sweat at Sports Authority Field. Climb up and down the stadium steps—3,865 steps, to be exact—to challenge your body and help support the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. After reaching the finish line, kick your legs up with friends and family while you enjoy food, music, and games. Sat 8 a.m.
Throw on your best “steam punk” costume and head to Observatory Park this weekend for a chance to gaze through a century-old telescope. The University of Denver's historic Chamberlin Observatory was erected 120 years ago; in celebration the Denver Astronomical Society and DU are hosting this family-friendly event complete with photo opportunities, kids activities, astronomy lectures, and workshops. Head back to the park at 8:30 p.m. when the observatory will reopen for a night of stargazing. All donations benefit Chamberlin Observatory. Sat 9 a.m.-1 p.m.
Brews and tunes fill the Evergreen mountain air at this two-day festival. More than 100 artists from across the country offer arts and crafts for you to peruse and purchase while sipping on some Colorado craft brews from Prost Brewing Company, Oskar Blues Brewery, and more. High-energy acoustic numbers from Joe Bye and Friends as well as Colorado rockers, Kamikazi Klones provide the soundtrack for the evening. Be sure to catch the battle of the bands and air guitar contests. Sat-Sun 10 a.m.-8:30 p.m.
Boulder’s downtown and OpenArts celebrate the city’s visual arts with work by artists from around the country, children’s activities, and a silent auction for OpenArts, which provides art events and educational programming. Sat 10 a.m.-7 p.m., Sun 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Celebrate the more than 2000-year-old history of the dragon boat. In the main event, more than 50 teams will race their hand-crafted dragon boats around Sloan's Lake. But if racing isn't your thing, there's plenty to do and see otherwise: Visit one of the seven stages featuring live music, martial arts demonstrations, children's activities, and more. Later, settle back with a beverage from the beer garden and dinner from one of two traditional asian food courts. Sat 10 a.m.-7 p.m.; Sun 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
No matter how many they have, some cats' lives are rough. This event put on by the Dumb Friends' League serves as an open house for adoptable cats, and a valuable resource for feline owners. Talk with one of the on-site health experts about how to care for your pet, or learn how to tame them—as impossible as that sounds—with clicker training. Sat 11 a.m.-3 p.m.
Sample the culinary delights from the Eastern Europeans who settled the Globeville area at this ethnic celebration. Taste Russian pelmini and pancakes (served with meat and mushrooms or jam and sour cream), Romanian papricas (a simmered beef dish with dumplings, and cabbage rolls (Russian, Ukrainian, and Serbians each have their own favorite version). Sample drinks, listen to live music, and catch the parade of on-stage ethnic dance performances. Sat 11 a.m.-9:30 p.m., Sun 11 a.m.-5 p.m.
Explore the best of Colorado's wines with samples from more than two dozen Centennial State wineries like Greeley's Bijou Creek and Palisade's Gubbini. Wine lovers will imbibe on more than 180 varieties of vino and can also partake in wine seminars and culinary demonstrations. Sat 2 p.m.
Beer is coming to the 'burbs. Snag VIP tickets for a T-shirt and tasting glass to fill up with swigs from Backcountry Brewery and Gravity Brewery. Snack on food truck row favorites like Waffle Cakes and the Bone Wagon. Sat 4 p.m.
Dine beneath the twinkling lights of Larimer Square. The award-winning restaurants of the historic block are extending their patios into the streets and inviting you to enjoy an evening of happy hour, dinner, and live music. Drop into Green Russell for a craft cocktail then swing by Bubu for a bite. Sat 5 p.m.
Hot off the release of her newest album, ME, country superstar Jo Dee Messina visits the new Centennial Center Park stage for a night of good ol' fun. A comfortable summer evening provides the perfect setting to relax on the open lawn with friends and family and groove to Messina's feel-good tunes. Sat 5 p.m.
Enjoy a festive summer evening outside with tequila, ice, limes, and good company. Vote on your favorite cocktail in the margarita challenge, which pits bartenders' recipes against each other. Later, grab a churro from the four stations of authentic Mexican cuisine and dance to the multi-genred Diamond Orchestra. Proceeds benefit the Kempe Foundation, a nonprofit that aids abused and neglected children. Sat 5-10 p.m.
Witch, wizard, muggle all are welcome at the The Music of Harry Potter, a tour de Hogwarts courtesy of the Colorado Symphony. This special performance of music inspired by the Harry Potter films features the tunes of famed film composer John Williams, who in addition to his work with Harry Potter, created the scores for Star Wars, Jaws, Indiana Jones, and Jurassic Park. Sat 7:30 p.m.; Sun 1 p.m.
Get your wheels turning at this nighttime bike ride through downtown Denver. Families, casual cruisers, and fast-paced pedalers are invited to complete the 10-mile trek that starts and ends at the State Capitol at their own pace. Dress up for the costume contest and partake in music, dancing, and breakfast until the wee hours of the morning. Proceeds benefit InnovAge, a nonprofit that provides affordable in-home care to Colorado seniors. Sat 8:30 p.m.-2 a.m.
—Photography courtesy of Barry Staver Photography
Raise your glass to honor Alex Teves, a victim of the 2012 Aurora theater shooting. The one-night event will feature live music, silent auctions, raffle prizes, food trucks, and beer from more than 20 local breweries. All proceeds will benefit the ACT Foundation, which provides funding for scholarships, mentor programs and opportunities to students with unique needs. Sun 4 p.m.
Up until one year ago, Copper Kettle Brewing Co. was Alex Teves' neighborhood bar. He frequented the small taproom from when it opened until he lost his life during the Aurora theater shooting. In July, the brewery hosts A Night to Remember in Four Mile Historic Park—20 Colorado breweries, four food trucks, and a live band—to acknowledge the two-year anniversary of the tragedy and to commemorate Teves.
Unlike Bob Dylan, Dr. Noize knows when and when not to go electric. With just a guitar, kazoo, and his voice, Dr. Noize's unplugged shows are just as high-energy as his electric concerts. Your mini musicians become part of the action when Dr. Noize asks for volunteers to help him sing—and sometimes write—his songs on the fly. Mon 11 a.m.
The Golf for Kids Tournament isn’t your average day on the greens. In addition to 18 holes on the beautiful Omni Interlocken Resort Golf Club, golfers will tee off to see who has longest drive, most accurate shot, and even have a chance to win a grand prize of $5,000 cash for a hole-in-one. All proceeds go to the iEmpathize Denver Hub to support prevention and intervention projects serving children at risk of exploitation in Colorado.
Chef Noah French of the popular dessert destination, Sugarmill, inspires students in this hands-on class centered around all-day bistro fare. Take home skills from this class, along with a recipe packet for making granola bars, biscuits and gravy, kale, ham and goat cheese quiche, Moroccan chicken crepes, meatballs, and citrus tart. Mon 6 p.m.
Experimental brews flow from Denver Beer Co.’s taps at this tasting event. Learn about the science of Colorado’s craft brews from Dr. Nicole Garneau, curator of human health at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science, while sampling special beers made with wild yeast collected in Denver’s own City Park. Nosh on food from Über Sausage, Basic Kneads Pizza, and Peteybird Ice Cream. Don’t miss the one-off specialty beers and educational experience. Mon 5:30-9 p.m.
Thirty years ago, Foreigner had a number one hit with "I Want to Know What Love Is" off the 1984 album Agent Provocateur. The boys are still rocking today and they’re taking their British-American brand of rock ’n’ roll to Fiddler’s Green as part of the Soundtrack of Summer Tour. You may have heard of their touring partners, Styx. Domo arigato Fiddler’s Green, domo arigato. Tue 6:30 p.m.
—Photograph courtesy of Bil Bernstein
We hate to see contestants from The Voice get voted off the popular music television show, but here's your chance to see them in-person. Performing artists include season five winner Tessane Chin, whose island-tinged major-label debut album hit shelves last month, season one chanteuse Dia Frampton, and many more. Keep an ear out for Denver's own Biff Gore, who made a deep run in the show's most recent season. Tue 7:30 p.m.
Celebrate the enduring spirit of frontiersman Buffalo Bill at this festival. Strap your kid to a sprinting sheep in the traditional mutton bustin' contest, or catch one of the weekend's several live bands, like bluesy outfit Chris Daniels & the Kings. On Saturday, be sure to catch Cody's Wild West show, a modern version of the dramatized Western variety show that made Buffalo Bill famous. Wed-Sun times vary.
Denver's music scene is on the rise, and there's no better festival to prove it. With a focus on local acts, the Underground Music Showcase features approximately 375 bands of varying genres at venues along the South Broadway strip. Don't miss headlining acts Real Estate and Blonde Redhead, as well as A. Tom Collins, South of France, and Colfax Speed Queen. Thu-Sun, times vary.
—Image courtesy Hans Watson
Charlie Murphy possesses a unique perspective gained from years spent nibbling around the edges of fame. Emerging from the background as a Chappelle's Show regular a decade ago, he hasn't looked back. Once just Eddie's older brother, he now owns an intense comedy brand all his own. Thu 8 p.m.; Fri-Sat 7:30 p.m., 9:45 p.m.
From foxtrot and jitterbug lessons to intimate performances, this three-day festival travels back to the era of traditional jazz. Listen to eleven jazz acts from around the nation including the rousing vocals of the Big Mama Sue Trio and Denver's own swing band, After Midnight. Start each night with a free dance lesson in the Elks Ballroom to get those toes tapping. Fri-Sun, times vary.
Microbrewing forefather Sierra Nevada Brewing has launched an epic, seven-city, cross-country traveling beer festival. The nation's nearly 3,000 craft brewers are invited to pour at the closest festival stop-over. Breweries from South Dakota, Kansas, and other western states make up the lineup in Denver. Sample your favorite brews from near and far, like local Strange Brewing Company and Wyoming's Prairie Fire Brewing. Fri 5-10 p.m.
A churchgoing gal and pathological gambler unwittingly fall in love after a bet and some deception lead to a date. The mismatched pair's travels toward matrimony reveal the extremes we'll go to for love. Fri 7:30 p.m.; Sat 2 p.m., 7:30 p.m.; Sun 2 p.m.
Treat your little Tonka truck collector to a day behind the wheel of life-size big rigs, fire engines, police cars, Zamboni's, RTD buses, tractors, and helicopters. This family-friendly event features monster truck rides, a bounce house, obstacle courses, face-painting, and meet-and-greets with Denver's police and firemen. Refuel with food truck fare from Basic Kneads Pizza, BTO Frozen Yogurt, and SAJ Mediterranean Xpress. Sat 9 a.m.
—Image courtesy of Highlands Ranch Community Association
This festival brings together a juried outdoor art showcase with 200 artists and craftspersons from 30 states. Don’t think you have to break the bank just because you’re in downtown Aspen—prices for pieces range from $25 to $30,000. Sat-Sun 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Now in its second year, the Cheesman Park Arts Fest offers pieces by more than 100 artists and artisans, including pottery, paintings, jewelry, photography, and more. If the art wasn’t enough of a draw, you’ll still enjoy a nice day in the historic park with local food trucks, live music, face painting and activities for kids, and demonstrations by the artists. Sat 10 a.m.-7 p.m.; Sun 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Even if your child is the master of hide-and-seek, they can still learn a thing or two from the animal kingdom. Kids will try to spot the zoo's best-camouflaged inhabitants like the Marine Toad—its brown-grey skin helps it slip undetected in its wooded environment. Sat 10 a.m.-noon.
Take the mystique out of making this sweet, elegant French pastry. Light, colorful, and versatile, learn to create this sandwich cookie including flavors like pistachio-orange ginger, chocolate apricot, raspberry berry, and coconut guava lime macarons. Sat 10 a.m.
Colorado sees 130 percent the national average rate of death due to skin cancer, so melanoma prevention is a particularly important issue in these parts. Bring your family and watch from a picnic blanket or lawn chair as professional polo players duke it out at the Colorado Melanoma Foundation's second annual Mallets for Melanoma event. Food trucks provide nourishment throughout the day, and the tournament ends with a show from The Platte River Pickers bluegrass band. Proceeds benefit melanoma research, awareness, education and advocacy in Colorado. Sat 2-9 p.m.
While the Broncos are deep in summer workouts, Sports Authority Field at Mile High Stadium will be filled with a different kind of football. European club soccer travels across the pond to a dozen cities and 13 stadiums across the United States and Canada. In the second match, Manchester United takes on A.S. Roma in the round-robin tournament. Sat 2:10 p.m.
Don't ditch the fish just because you don't know it's name. Seven award-winning chefs—including Kyle Mendenhall of the Kitchen, Kelly Whitaker of Basta and Cart Driver, and the Squeaky Bean's own Theo Adley—and local fish purveyor Seattle Fish Co. will host a dinner at the Squeaky Bean using lesser known fish such as Asian Carp and Porgy. Proceeds from the dinner benefit the Chefs Collaborative, a national nonprofit working to educate chefs about the broken food system. Mon 6-10 p.m.
Miss the ’90s? Grab your flannel shirt and Chuck Taylors as the Summerland Tour brings four of the decade's great alternative rock bands to Denver. Catch Soul Asylum, Eve 6, Space Hog, and Everclear, who're prepping Invisible Stars, their first studio album in six years. Thu 8 p.m.
Artist Donny Dixon's mixed media work employs flames and ashes as well as oil paint to portray what he considers the most captivating force in the world: fire. His new exhibit, Redshift, plays with the idea of fire as both a giver and a destroyer of life. Stop by on August 15 for a reception with the artist. Thu, Sat noon-6 p.m.; Fri noon-9 p.m.; Sun 1-4 p.m.