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.
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.
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
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
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.