You might be shivering before this wintry race, but a pancake breakfast will get rid of your chill. In exchange for your sweat, the race organizers of this family-friendly 5K will provide breakfast, a long-sleeved shirt, and entrance to the Healthy Living Expo. Sat 8 a.m.
A $10 pin-on button gets you access to all five days of this 103-year-old carnival, which includes a welcome balance of activities to satisfy your lazy and active moods alike. Stay warm with ski competitions, skijoring, and a three-legged race, or bundle up with a hot beverage and watch the competitors. On Saturday night, make sure to catch the mountain light show, during which skiers and ski jumpers hold flares on their runs, dotting the slopes with glowing lights. Wed-Sun, times vary.
Architecture aficionados and history buffs will love rediscovering the Mile High City at this three-day convention. In honor of the 50th anniversary of the National Preservation Act, Colorado Preservation Inc. is hosting more than 50 events focused on historic buildings and neighborhoods in Denver, including an exploration of the Colorado State Capitol Building, a tour of Five Points, and an architecture trivia session. Don't miss the keynote speaker, Kimber Lanning of Local First Arizona, when she discusses the economic importance of restoring historic buildings.
The Mile High City transforms into the Gulf Coast at this charity dinner, hosted by acclaimed chef John Besh, of New Orleans' Restaurant August. Attendees have the chance to taste the rich Louisiana cuisine that made chef Besh famous, listen to live jazz music from the Quincy Avenue Rhythm Band, and sip on beverages crafted by the chef himself. A silent auction rounds out the night. Proceeds benefit Breakthrough Kent Denver, an educational enrichment program for low-income students in the Denver area. Wed 6:30-9:30 p.m.
—Photo courtesy of Rush Jagoe
While you're waiting for March Madness, Comedy Works has a different kind of tournament in store. This month's weekly shows serve as the first round of the club's spring stand-up competition. The face-offs bring together local newcomers and professional comedians such as Chris Charpentier and Phil Palisoul, while the judges are drawn from the audience each night. Wed 8 p.m.
Often maligned for its tinny sound, the banjo needed a public relations facelift. Enter this virtuoso, whose genre-bending compositions and collaborations range in genre from the expected bluegrass to bebop jazz and Bach fugues. In the 13-time Grammy winner's hands, the banjo’s metallic plunk becomes light and sparkling as it dances over jazz chords and vocal melodies. Co-headliner Abigail Washburn's tendency to sprinkle Chinese folk songs into her repertoire adds another eclectic dimension to this already unpredictable show. Wed 7:30 p.m.
Since 1947, people young and old have sent Valentines to Loveland to be stamped with greetings from the Sweetheart City. Head to this charming event to learn about the history of the program, then decorate cookies and create your own Valentines to mark with this year's signature stamp. Thu 4:30-6 p.m.
In this dramatic retelling of the acclaimed book The Lightning Thief, Percy Jackson is a typical, sarcastic kid struggling in school. Yet the gods of Greek mythology are relentlessly seeking out Percy for a crime he didn’t commit. While Percy tries to find the real thief, he comes face to face with infamous characters like Medusa and Hades, learns which friends he can trust, and uncovers a betrayal of epic proportions. Thu 6 p.m.
Enjoying the beautiful scenery in Colorado is easy; capturing that beauty on film, however, is a bit harder. Join naturalist Cindy Maynard and photographer Bob Maynard, authors of A Photographer's Guide to Colorado's National Parks and Monuments, as they share the stories of their outdoor adventures together and offer tips and tricks for creating your own breathtaking landscape images. Thu 7 p.m.
When it comes to theatrical street cred, few plays outshine Driving Miss Daisy. The Alfred Uhry–penned piece won the Pulitzer Prize for drama in 1988 and the Academy Award for Best Picture for its 1989 film adaptation. Watch as southern Jewish grandmother Daisy and her black chauffeur Hoke (a part played over the years by such masters as Morgan Freeman and James Earl Jones) overcome differences to become unlikely friends. Thu-Sat 7:30 p.m.; Sun 2 p.m.
Fans of the comedy 50 First Dates will relate to the story of Claire, who has developed a rare form of amnesia that wipes her memory every night. Her routine begins to unravel the day that a stranger whisks her away to meet her mother (a recent stroke victim with disintegrating speech), a potty-mouthed puppet, and a claustrophobic, kidnapped cop. This darkly humored, brutally honest show is filled with bizarrely funny twists as Claire starts to reclaim her life. Days, times vary.
This Los Angeles pair’s country-blues sound is powerful, but never loud or dense enough to deprive vocalist Suzanne Santo’s sparkling voice of the sonic space it needs to shine, especially in stripped-down live arrangements. Mournful steel guitar notes float above the mix, which tend to give the otherwise contemporary folk tunes a rustic cowboy feel. Thu 8 p.m.
Folk musicians and enthusiasts gather for two days of workshops, concerts, and orchestra performances incorporating both the hammered dulcimer (many strings that are struck with hammers) and the mountain dulcimer (four strings that are plucked). This year's featured guest artists include Steve Schneider, who played the hammered dulcimer on the soundtrack of Disney's Hunchback of Notre Dame. Don't miss the new traditional dances workshop for instruction in square dancing, the contra, and waltzes—all dances that can be set to the gentle tones of the dulcimer.
Ready your tastebuds for an indulgent getaway. Derek Poirier of Valrhona Chocolate will lead guests in elegant events throughout the weekend, including a Port and Bourbon pairing session, a chocolate and champagne meet and greet, and breakfast in the Lake Terrace dining room followed by a Taittinger champagne tasting. Fri-Sun, times vary.
Why settle for one artist's work when you can see dozens in one show? Don't miss this group show highlighting the new works of Gallery 1261's member artists and frequent contributors. Look for portraiture from Mia Bergeron (a local artist who often curates exhibits for the gallery), still lifes from Colorado College grad Gregory Block, and figure work from Indian artist Suchitra Bhosle. Tue-Sat 11 a.m.-6 p.m.
Heighten your senses with abstract works and photos by three Colorado-based artists. This curated show will feature work by cubist painter Alyson Khan, abstract expressionist Karen Roehl, and nature photographer Rebecca Zimmerman, all of whom seek to create a sense of energy in their varied pieces. Mon-Fri 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sat noon-4 p.m.
This event for competitive foodies kicks off a month-long celebration of heart-healthy festivities. Chefs from Cherry Creek restaurants Blue Island Oyster Bar and Del Frisco's Grille will battle to see who can claim the title of street taco champion. Attendees will have the opportunity to taste and judge each creation as well as sip on wine and sway to live music. Proceeds benefit Denver's chapter of the American Heart Association. Fri 5:30-7:30 p.m.
Passions run high at this opening night event, which celebrates the works of seven contemporary artists. With works from Colorado-based artists such as Molly Bounds, Wilma Fiori, and Margaret Neumann, the sensual show explores the spectrum of human emotion, from love to hate and pleasure to pain. Fri 6-9 p.m.
—Image courtesy of Rule Gallery
Do you know how to spell "Weltanschauung" from memory? The brainiacs on stage in this production can. Six quirky kids compete for the title of Putnam County Spelling Bee champ in this Tony Award–winning one-act musical, featuring such beloved tunes as "Pandemonium" and "I Speak Six Languages." Fri-Sat 7:30 p.m.
When a Mexican-American TV writer struggles to succeed at a ruthless Hollywood studio, she finds solace in a friendly Latino custodian. Moral and cultural conflicts arise as she begins to incorporate the janitor's story into her scripts. Catch the world premiere of this honest, witty comedy that blatantly addresses class, gender, and racial issues within the Mexican community and the United States as a whole. Days, times vary.
This electro-rock band’s chart-topping 11 studio albums have consistently been on the cutting edge of the electronic music scene. Sound Tribe’s danceable rock music regularly gets festival crowds grooving and has inspired collaborations with Snoop Dogg, Bassnectar, Ghostland Observatory, and Pretty Lights among numerous others. Fri-Sat 8 p.m.
—Photo courtesy of STS9
Remember the late great David Bowie at this 40th anniversary screening of a dramatic sci-fi thriller. The rock star gives an incredible performance as Thomas Jerome Newton, a humanoid alien from a drought-stricken planet who tries to save his home by looking for water on Earth. As the extraterrestrial visitor experiences both success and alienation, you'll appreciate both the bizarrely fascinating story and the additional 20 minutes of footage shown that was cut from the 1976 release. Fri 9:30 p.m.-midnight
Join Grand County's nordic ski club for a 13-kilometer journey across a valley, over a ridge, and down the trail from Fraser to Granby. Participants are welcome to set out on skis or snowshoes (Grand Nordic members have access to equipment free of charge) any time between 9 and 10:30 a.m. the morning of the event, which the organizers stress is not a race. A barbecue and Grand Nordic officials will greet trekkers of all speeds at Snow Mountain Ranch. Proceeds benefit middle and high school nordic teams in Grand County. Sat 9 a.m.
Whether you're making your dance floor debut or you're a pliéing pro, you're welcome at this day-long competition. The morning's events will include solo competitors in standard ballroom dance, Latin dance, and more, while the evening (after dinner and cocktails, of course) focuses on groups and couples. Sat 9 a.m.-11 p.m.
It's time to appreciate the ride up the mountain—and some newfound company—at Colorado's inaugural chairlift speed dating event. Get to know a new companion each time you ride the chairlift; you can spend a few runs with them or swap out for a new date on the next lap if the chemistry's not there.
Welcome the year of the monkey with authentic cuisine, world-class entertainment, and a colorful marketplace at this cultural extravaganza. After you try your hand at calligraphy, take a lunch break and savor tasty Chinese fare from local restaurants, including John Holly's Asian Bistro and China Taipei Restaurant. Then global artists, including flutist Chen Shijun, magician Li Peng, and opera master Lü Suosen, plus students at the Denver Chinese School, will delight you with an imaginative performance. Sat 11 a.m.-3:30 p.m.
Mardi Gras travels north for the weekend with this Cajun-style celebration. Indulge yourself at Saturday’s crawfish boil, which features gumbo, king cake, and hurricanes. Rally for après-ski and after-dark parties on Monday, then finish off with Tuesday’s raucous trifecta of a parade, street festival, and MarchFourth! marching band performance. Sat-Tue, times vary.
The National Parks Service's 100th birthday isn't until August, but that isn't stopping the Colorado Symphony and Denver Young Artists Orchestra from getting the party started early. Budding musicians will play alongside professionals to perform local composer Jeffrey Nytch's Symphony No. 1: Formations, which was inspired by the geology of the Rockies. Sat 2:30 p.m.
You might have seen this classic adventure-fantasy-romance countless times, but that's all the more reason to attend an interactive screening of it. As farm-boy-turned-pirate Westley battle his way across the Cliffs of Despair and the Fire Swamp in his quest to find his true love, you can shout out the iconic lines. Plus, be sure to grab an inflatable sword and duel alongside Inigo Montoya as he strives to avenge his father's death and the hands of the six-fingered man. Sat 4:15 p.m.
Now that Colorado's craft breweries have mastered the IPA, they've decided to take on the sour beer as their next challenge. Don't miss the experimental flavors at New Belgium's sour release party, featuring 2016 vintages La Folie (a wood-aged, sour brown) and Transatlantique Kriek (an Iambic ale made with sour cherries). Included in the ticket price is a full flight, one pour of a chosen brew, and eats from the brewery's slopeside bar and restaurant, the Ranger Station. Sat 6-9 p.m.
Don a glamorous floor-length gown and live out your fantasies at this Victorian-themed dance. After mingling with other ladies and gents during the social hour, twirl along to the period-themed tunes of the 4th Artillery Quadrille Ensemble and vocal solos from classically trained soprano Shelby Evanoika. If you need to brush up on your ballroom steps, pay an additional $5 to attend a lesson the night before the event. Sat 6-11 p.m.
This nationally renowned percussion quartet takes the idea of drumming on garbage cans to a whole new level. The Brooklyn-based group will tap on objects ranging from tin cans to ceramic vases to counter tops, and its set will include a variety of works spanning the band's 16-album career. Add in vocalist Shara Worden of chamber music-rock hybrid outfit My Brightest Diamond, and this night of ear candy is not one to be missed. Sat 7:30 p.m.
—Image courtesy of So Percussion
Since its inception in 1992, this indie band has been playing at the forefront of the alternative rock scene. Its newest album, Evermotion, showcases a swagger derived from its members' recommitment to hummable melodies, and electronic riffs. Sat 8 p.m.
—Photo courtesy of Guster
The Phish bassist’s passion for music has inspired his collaboration with electric guitarist Scott Murawski, percussionist Craig Myers, organ and synth-master Robert Walker and drummer John Kimock. His fourth album, Overstep, while grounded in the rock genre, emerges as a diverse collection of creative musical experimentation. Sat 9 p.m.
—Photo courtesy of Mike Gordon
Slip on those ruby red slippers and skip down the yellow brick road with Dorothy, the Tin Man, the Scarecrow, and the Cowardly Lion. This classic tale, adapted from the iconic film, comes to life on stage—along with new musical numbers and theatric stunts that give the performance some extra sparkle. Sat-Sun 2, 7:30 p.m.; Tue-Fri 7:30 p.m.
Burn enough calories in this off-road race to compensate for the plate of wings you'll gobble up later that day while watching the Super Bowl. This winter series offers two bike courses of 50- and 100-kilometer distances and, new this year, a 5.8-mile trail run, all of which will require athletes to negotiate unpredictable snow conditions. Stick around for an afterparty with live music and samples of a special-edition Oskar Blues brew. Proceeds benefit area trail restoration efforts. Sun 10 a.m.
—Photo courtesy of Eddie Clark Media
Run off those Super Bowl party calories preemptively. At this themed 5K, you can paint your face in Broncos colors and don a Manning jersey. Bonus: You'll be automatically entered to win two preseason Broncos tickets. Sun 10 a.m.
You’ve bitten off most of your nails over the course of the NFL season, and now the ultimate test of your cuticles has finally come: the Denver Broncos facing off against the Carolina Panthers in Super Bowl 50. As the team at Epic Brewing Company understands, though, there's no need to miss celebrating Mardi Gras to cheer on the home team. The solution: Epic will screen the game and host an all-you-can-eat buffet that includes po’ boy sliders, jambalaya, mac and cheese grits, and more made by Creole food truck Mile High Cajun. Sun 3-9 p.m.
At this charity cabaret show, love is the focus both on- and off-stage. Talented local performers, such as Emmy Award–winning composer Denise Gentilini and drag sensation Daniella DeCoteau, will showcase an array of R&B, Broadway, and pop hits at this eclectic spectacle. Proceeds benefit the Random Acts of Kindness Foundation. Mon 7 p.m.
Don’t be sad that boy bands have gone out of style; their amateur moves have been replaced with this all-male modern dance group’s graceful performances. The 10-member troupe is visiting Lakewood on one of only nine U.S. tour stops to perform two commissioned works, Mesmerics and The Murmuring from acclaimed Royal Ballet choreographers Christopher Wheeldon and Alexander Whitley. Mon 7:30 p.m.
—Photo courtesy of Elliott Franks
John Maier, brewmaster at Oregon-based Rogue Ales, is packing up his rare beers and bringing them to the Mile High City. Chef Jake Grant of Euclid Hall will prepare a five-course meal that pairs perfectly with each libation. Our pick: an ale called Fresh Roast, which, not ironically, pairs well with the fourth course: braised short ribs. Tue 6 p.m.
Chef Toshi Kizaki brings his culinary prowess to a night of sake and celebration at the newly opened Ototo. Enjoy a six-course meal with savory selections from both land and sea including seasonal oysters with ponzu sauce, miso marinated red snapper skewers, and seared lamb medallions. Each course is paired with a sake that complements the flavors of the dishes. Tue 6-9 p.m.
Join 5280 food editor Amanda M. Faison as she slices into The Cheesemonger's Kitchen, a collection of 90 sweet and savory recipes featuring the delicious dairy product. Accompanying Faison are cheese extraordinaires Karin and Rob Lawler from the Truffle Cheese Shop. Come prepared to discuss (and sample) both sharp and nutty flavors. Wed 6 p.m.
You've probably developed an image of an immigrant who tries to cross the border between the United States and Mexico, but do you know what happens when that person is caught? This display takes a look inside the detention centers that house the would-be immigrants caught by border patrol. Letters from detainees line the walls of the space, while installations mimic the bunks, cells, and barbed wire that make up life in a detention center. Tue-Sat noon-5 p.m.
Whether you own an Advanced Dungeons & Dragons player's handbook or you simply love a good game night, this massive convention will entertain you for hours on end. Join your fellow gamers in a wide variety of board games, video games, and tabletop RPGs, plus meet special guests such as game designer Ross Watson and cosplayer extraordinaire Carl Martin. Thu-Sun, times vary.
At age 27, Sierra Quitiquit has mastered the world of skiing (starring in Warren Miller's feature film Ticket To Ride) and modeling (on a Times Square billboard for American Eagle), but her journey hasn't been easy. Watch the struggles and triumphs of her mercurial rise in her new documentary film. Pre-screening, enjoy music by percussive guitarist Grayson Erhard and alternative folk group Pandas & People while bidding on goods from such local establishments as Prana, Keen, and Stem Ciders in the silent auction.
Cozy up in this Highland cheese shop for a Valentine's day crash course featuring the three most important C's: cheese, chocolate, and champagne. Arrive early to nab a glass of bubbly, which you can enjoy as the shop's cheesemongers guide you through a tasting and explain how to create the perfect pairing. Afterward, sidle up to the counter and order a few chunks of your favorite cheeses to take home or give to a loved one. Thu 7-8:30 p.m.
Join your fellow lady friends for a Valentine’s Day (OK, more like days) filled with activities designed just for you. Choose from one or more female-targeted ski school classes, such as Women & Wine, a half-day lesson followed by a complimentary glass of vino. Other perks include gear and fashion demos, early access to the slopes, and the best gift of all: no testosterone. Daily, times vary.
—Photo courtesy of Daniel Dunn/Breckenridge Ski Resort
Truffles, cookies, and cocoa, oh my! This exhibition traces the history of the sweet that ancient societies called "the food of the gods," from the cacao drinks of Mayan nobility to the delicate chocolate molds of Victorian England. You can even check out a life-size cacao tree model for an up-close view of the pods and seeds that go into your afternoon snack. Daily, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
Indulge your inner five-year-old and spend the weekend watching giant trucks crush cars and fly off ramps. The world's premier monster truck show comes to Denver this winter boasting a revamped lineup, including a redesign of the flagship "Grave Digger" truck and a handful of new competitors. Fri-Sat 2, 7:30 p.m.; Sun 2 p.m.
Skip the candlelight dinner and box of chocolates and treat your Valentine to a less cliché weekend full of outdoor fun. At this family-friendly downtown festival, watch an ice sculpting competition, snack on s'mores, and take a romantic carriage ride. Bonus: Enjoy a fireworks display all three nights. Fri 5-10 p.m.; Sat-Sun 10 a.m.-10 p.m.
Party like it’s 1916 at the centennial birthday celebration of Emily Griffith Technical College. Sip a Prohibition-era cocktail while you listen to the swanky sounds of Denver singer and nightclub owner Lannie Garrett, then learn about the life and legacy of the school’s namesake through a unique play performed by Curious Theatre Company. Just remember to take your time machine home with you. Fri 7-11 p.m.
Give your Valentine's Day dinner an extra-special touch by adding fine art to the mix. Chef Anad Chaturvedula of Lakewood's 240 Union moves to Mirada Fine Art for this evening, creating a unique menu complete with wine pairings tailored to each course. Grab a table among Mirada's collection of local contemporary art, and, after you've wined and dined, be sure to ask about the paintings—you may just be able to purchase one as an extra V-Day gift. Fri 7-10 p.m.
The classic drama Twelve Angry Men has been updated for the 21st century in this creative adaptation. Playwright Sherman L. Sergel adapted the classic work for an all-female cast in Twelve Angry Women, and the Upstart Crow Theatre Company has combined elements from both shows to create this new, coed production. Expect the performance to follow the original plot of a jury struggling to reach a verdict on a murder trial, but add a distinctly feminine twist. Thu-Sat 7:30 p.m.; Sun 2 p.m.
Denver's best improv actors take to the stage in this two-night exploration of love—in all its sordid, awkward, and hilarious forms. Denver's own Jessica Austgen, Sarah Kirwin, Nanna Thompson, and Chris Woolf unite to bring the audience's suggestions (and secrets) to life on stage. Rest assured, this humorous event will be more effective Valentine's Day therapy than chocolate. Fri-Sat 8 p.m.
You wouldn’t expect an artist whose first hit single was called “Somethin’ 'Bout A Truck” to suddenly decide country rock music had become too forumulaic. But this Georgia-bred artist has made an effort to push the boundaries of the genre in his latest album, Wild Ones. That record, which the singer-songwriter is promoting on his seven-month tour, features the undulating bass lines and raw production associated with the Motown music he claims as an influence. Fri 8 p.m.
Harry Potter film star Devon Murray (who played Seamus Finnigan) and associate producer Paula DuPre' Pesmen aren't allowed to practice magic outside of Hogwards—but that isn't stopping them from sharing their secrets with interested Muggles. Indulge in authentic English tea, mini quiches, and Butterbeer while listening to exclusive stories involving the movie-making process. Guests will take home autographed photographs of each speaker and a handmade wooden wand.
Take a break from Thomas the Train and check out some life size locomotives. At this train-themed exhibition, your aspiring conductors can explore 16,000 square feet packed with model railroads, interactive trains, Lego layouts, and children's activities—including Seek and Search, where kids will answer questions about the show's 16 layouts for prizes. Sat 9 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sun 9 a.m.-4 p.m.
Celebrate Galentine's Day (February 13) by cheering on some hardcore ladies in this roller derby doubleheader. In the first bout, the Boulder County Bombers' travel B-team, the Bombshells, takes on the Denver Roller Derby Standbys. Following the first match, grab a Colorado-made libation—lfrom Black Canyon Distillery, Spring 44, or Spirit Hound Distillers—at the craft cocktail bar. Then, watch the BCB's A-team, the All-Stars and the DRD's B team, the Bruising Altitude.
Classic rock music—as played live by local folk outfit Chimney Choir and pop cellist Ian Cooke—provides the soundtrack to these progressive performances. Award-winning artistic director Garrett Ammon choreographed the steps, with his Occasional Dream set to David Bowie's boundary-pushing beats and Love of My Life danced to Queen's legendary songs. Fri-Sat 7:30 p.m.; Sun 2 p.m.
This band's collection of bearded, skinny jean-clad men would typically suggest an ironic indie rock sound. The music the six-piece group produces, though, is so sweet and thoughtfully written that its members likely came by their bashful scruffiness honestly. The outfit borrows heavily from 1960s production techniques and musical styles, which might be why certain choruses and songs can start to sound a little like the Abbey Road–era Beatles—psychedelic flourishes included. Sat 9 p.m.
It's easy to let your skip your daily run during the winter, but snowshoe races like this one leave little room for excuses. (You can wear trail shoes if you're not confident about your snowshoe running skills.) The course is a rolling, four-mile loop that starts and finishes at Hideaway Park, where an afterparty and light refreshments will await finishers. Proceeds benefit the Grand Foundation, which sponsors quality-of-life initiatives in Grand County. Sun 10 a.m.
Give your picky eaters some ammo for those times when they try to convince you chocolate counts as a vegetable. This educational field trip will take kids to the Boettcher Memorial Tropical Conservatory, where a chocolate tree is growing big cacao pods, and explain how the cacao bean goes from seed to yummy Valentine's Day treats—a box of which they'll get to take home. Sun 10 a.m., 2 p.m.
Industrial design may seem like a style reserved for architecture, but this dual exhibition puts it to good use in fine art. Pueblo native Kelton Osborn is trained as an architect and incorporates the field's structural ethos into his geometric abstract paintings. Meghan Wilbar, meanwhile—a regular contributor to galleries in New York City and in the Centennial State—utilizes the form more literally, in her vivid cityscapes. Tue-Sat 11 a.m.-6 p.m.
This two-hour class, led by Frasca Food and Wine co-owner Bobby Stuckey, will guide your tastebuds through a curated flight of Italian wines from Corsica and Sicily. Taste to your palate's content while learning about the unique qualities that accompany wines from this region, such as robust, tannic flavor and high alcohol content. Along with a more established wine savvy, guests will leave with a workbook full of useful notes from class. Tue-Thu 6-8 p.m.
Combine romantic pursuits, fabulous wealth, and the occasional murder and you'll get this over-the-top production. The darling of the 2014 Broadway season, A Gentleman's Guide won that year's Tony Award for best musical and just played its final show in New York last month. Watch as Monty Navarro positions himself to inherit his family's fortune—by any means necessary. Tue-Fri 7:30 p.m.; Sat-Sun 2, 7:30 p.m.
After leaving his job as a Google account executive for a career in music, this Long Island–born artist is using lyrics to work through the questions he still has about who he wants to be. He explores the pressure he feels—to grow up, to party less, to figure things out—over bouncing pop beats in irreverent, upbeat, and often clever raps. Wed 7 p.m.
If you prefer art that depicts domestic scenes over abstract forms, you'll be right at home with this exhibit. Evan Siegel, a local artist and trained architect, focuses on Denver's skyline and cityscapes in his paintings and sculptures. Patrice Sullivan, a professor in the art department at Colorado State University, portrays tender familial moments in her impressionist-style works. Thu, Sat noon-5 p.m.; Fri noon-9 p.m.; Sun 1-4 p.m.
This one-man show tells the story of jazz singer and trumpeter Louis Armstrong through monologues delivered in the musician's Waldorf Astoria dressing room. Armstrong is portrayed by noted Shakespearean actor John Douglas Thompson, who was also the first actor to play the role when the piece debuted on Broadway in 2014. Wed-Fri 7:30 p.m.; Sat 2, 7:30 p.m.; Sun 4 p.m.
Denver artist Laura Shill's work forces viewers to think about not just what they see but what they don't. This solo exhibition—Shill's first in a museum—applies that trope through site-specific installation and blue-tinted cyanotype photography. Her installation uses layers to hide some subjects and reveal others, while the photos (from her "Absent Lovers" series) feature one half of a couple from a romance novel cover, with one of the lovers "erased." Tue-Thu noon-7 p.m.; Fri noon-9 p.m.; Sat-Sun 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
If you think the chapter illustrations in the Harry Potter series or the all-knowing eyes on the cover of The Great Gatsby are just as fascinating as their adjoining text, this books-as-visual-art exhibit is for you. The display pushes this concept to its limits, with intricate fine art covers, prints inspired by books, and artist-made books that feature unusual shapes and word-filled pages traded for (or combined with) etchings and photos. Thu-Fri 1-6 p.m.; Sat noon-4 p.m.
This ceramic artist and longtime Colorado resident has been throwing pots in her solar-powered adobe studio since 1976. She’s spent the last decade focusing on the majolica glaze technique, which allows artists to paint intricate designs (Manos’ work often features patterns found in traditional New Mexican folk art) onto their pottery without fear of losing the details when the pieces bake in the kiln. Fri 6-10 p.m.; Sat-Sun noon-5 p.m.
Wish happy birthday to the largest (single-structure) tropical conservatory in the country at this colorful garden celebration. Watch a video interview with Ed White, the lead architect of the conservatory, then learn more about the building's architectural significance from a panel of experts. After you enjoy ’60s-themed appetizers, tour the concrete masterpiece, and be sure to keep your eye out for the exotic plants that have been housed there since 1966. Fri 6-8 p.m.
This law school dropout got his start with a guitar and a microphone in Melbourne’s club scene and has since gone on to perform as an opening act for Taylor Swift. Yet the Australian artist's stripped-down roots remain the most endearing element of his music, which has lost little of its emotional vulnerability to the polished production he's embraced along his rise to stardom. Fri 8 p.m.
This ice-fishing contest comes with far higher stakes than your average trip to the lake. The event organizers have tagged and released 15 rainbow and cutbow trout into the reservoir; only one has a winning tag worth $10,000. If you don't reel in the grand prize, cash totaling $5,000 will also be awarded for the 10 largest fish along with other hourly prizes. Participants 15 and under can win trophies for catching one of the five largest fish in the free youth division, although motivated young anglers can also register for the adult competition.
It isn't the ice palace that Elsa creates while belting "Let It Go," but the Cherokee Castle in Sedalia is a good real-life alternative. Kids can dress up and enjoy tea, lemonade, and treats with the princesses from Frozen, who will sing, play, and share stories with the guests all afternoon. Sat noon.
Choreographer and dancer Paul Taylor has served as one of the most prolific and boundary-pushing figures in American modern dance since the 1950s—and, at 85 years old, he's still reinventing the genre. The Newman Center commissioned this world premiere show, which blends Taylor's choreography with the elegant lines of his company's elite dancers. Catch the troupe in one of its last touring performances before it begins a three-week residency at Lincoln Center next month. Sat 7:30 p.m.; Sun 2 p.m.
By compiling the stories of everyday Americans into moving, relevant pieces of journalism, This American Life has helped the radio remain a viable news source within a sea of new media. At this engaging lecture, award-winning NPR host Ira Glass will unravel the process of finding and telling inventive tales that capture the minds of millions. Sat 8 p.m.
The normally buttoned-up violin turns into a far more versatile instrument when played by this Detroit-born virtuoso, who's used it to infuse jazz standards and R&B hits alike with unique passion. Most recently, she's explored American roots music ranging from Appalachian folk to the Cajun and blues sounds that proliferate in the Deep South. She'll be playing selections from that project, titled Southern Comfort, during her two-night stay in Denver. Tue 6, 8 p.m.; Wed 6 p.m.
The second installment of Pizzeria Locale’s traditional cuisine series features a four-course family-style meal that focuses on fare (and wine) from the northern Italian region of Alto Adige. Chef de cuisine Robert Andreozzi will present dishes in the “al forno,” or oven-baked, style in the restaurant’s private dining room. Tue 6:30 p.m.
From playing the clarinet in Denver as a kid to college years spent studying music at the University of Northern Colorado, this Grammy Award–winning musician has long been inspired by the Centennial State. He returns home with a tour stop to promote his new LP, When You Wish Upon A Star, which includes Frisell’s interpretations of iconic film scores like those from Psycho and The Godfather. Violist Eyvind Kang, bassist Thomas Morgan, vocalist Petra Haden, and drummer Kenny Wollesen will join him for renditions of these and other well-known songs, including the album’s namesake tune.
You've seen her Vanity Fair cover—now's your chance to see this revolutionary star in person. During this intimate lecture, the former Olympian and Arthur Ashe Courage Award–winner will share the story of her transformation, then answer questions from the audience. Wed 8 p.m.
Indulge in an evening fit for royalty at this charity gala. Savor a classy three-course meal and cocktails from chef Kevin Taylor of New American restaurant Kevin Taylor's at the Opera House, then enjoy a live show by Colorado ballet dancers performing excerpts from Alice in Wonderland along with new choreography set to Tony Award–nominated singer Tom Wopat's warm baritone. Proceeds benefit the Colorado Ballet. Thu 5:30 p.m.
You may not be climbing a fourteener anytime soon, but you can still get your mountain fix in the wintertime with this weekend of mountain-themed movies in the Mile High City.The lineup includes nearly 30 shorts and feature-length films, including the 2015 winner in the best short mountain film category, The Important Places, which tells the story of father-son exploration, and Unbranded, the People's Choice Award winner, which follows four men and 16 wild horses on a trek across North America. Thu-Sat 7 p.m.
Local heroes deserve a night worthy of their courageous feats. At this chic gala, grab a complimentary drink and a plate of hors d'oeuvre made by Catering by Design and listen to stories from five individuals, including a volunteer firefighter and two foster parents to unaccompanied minor refugees, all of whom will receive awards for the impact they've made within the Denver community. Proceeds benefit the American Red Cross in Colorado. Fri 4:30-7:30 p.m.
Pay (less for) a visit to the restaurants that have transformed the Mile High City into a dining destination. Hundreds of eateries, including big names like Rioja, Acorn, and Coohills, will offer multi-course meals for the low price of $30. Put on your loose jeans and challenge yourself: How many can you hit? Days, times vary.
Send your mini sous chef out for some professional training. To the Wind Bistro co-owner and pastry chef Leanne Adamson will teach culinary artists 11 and up how to create scrumptious creme brûlée, Belgian chocolate cake, caramel apple galette, frozen lemon mousse, and white chocolate and almost biscotti. Dessert at home will never be the same. Sat 10:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m.
Try to break your personal record for this 5K—so you're at warm before you jump into an icy pool at the finish line of this City Park course. Or if that all sounds like a bit too much punishment, you can choose to either dash or plunge. Proceeds, including the $75 fundraising minimum, benefit Special Olympics Colorado. Sat 11 a.m.
Strap on your skis and hold on tight to the rope in front of you—it's attached to a galloping horse that will pull you down the 900-foot run as you negotiate jumps and slalom gates. The fastest times in this innovative race will earn cash prizes, split between skier, rider, and horse. For safety reasons, wannabe skijorers will have to do a test run behind a snowmobile to qualify. Watching—and laughing at the competitors—is free of charge. Sat-Sun, times vary.
These three vices come together for a tasting trifecta of epic proportions. At this sweet and savory festival, you'll have access to unlimited samples of Denver Beer Co.'s signature brews (and some new creations) as well as an endless supply of Coda Coffee and bacon sourced from the Centennial State. Tip: Start the morning off strong with a beer bloody featuring the Real Dill's Bloody Mary Mix. Sat noon-4 p.m.
Former Blue Collar Comedy collaborators with an, um, authentic sense of humor reunite for this new standup tour. Expect the signature country-bumpkin-style humor of the duo, whose collective discography holds eight of Billboard's top 20 spots for the highest-selling comedy albums of all time. Sat 7:30 p.m.
This South Africa–born artist has retained some of the vocal purity from his days as a choirboy, delivering crisply soaring lines over his ’80s-era electropop synth beats. He manages to inject a healthy dose of variety into the sound and texture of each track, even if their overall feeling rarely strays from blissful, upbeat enthusiasm. Sat 9 p.m.
Jack and the Beanstalk is typically a larger-than-life production, what with that sky-inhabiting giant and all. For this story time, Little Willy Worm the Bookworm shrinks the story down to his size. As he narrates the fairytale, marionette puppets take to the stage to act out the dramatic yarn. Mon 3-3:45 p.m.