Celebrate the best of Colorado cuisine by tasting old favorites alongside dishes from fresh new restaurants. New bites featured in this year's spread include baby back ribs and pulled pork from Souza's Smokin BBQ as well as chicken tikka masala from India's Restaurant. Enjoy samples of appetizers, entrees, and desserts as you jive along to the sounds of jazz and swing band Big Bad Voodoo Daddy and blues-rock group the Kenny Wayne Shepherd Band. Fri-Mon, times vary.
Colorado Springs multimedia artist Evan Mann's installations and videos combine a monochromatic palette with formal structures that echo objects such as clouds and bones. Inspired by cosmic forms and biological architecture, this retrospective solo exhibition features a diverse display of videos, installations, and set pieces from previous film projects. Be sure to stick around after viewing the films for a Q&A with the artist. Fri 7-10 p.m.
Your car-loving kiddos will be revved up to witness these colossal trucks speeding around an arena. Don't miss the demolition derby or thrilling side-by-side races, two monster-size competitions featuring dozens of colorful racers such as Avenger and Equalizer. Fri 8 p.m.; Sat 1 p.m.
You're sure to find the sound that matches your style at this massive music festival, which features alternative, indie, and psychedelic rock bands. Jam at a performance by Los Angeles–based rockers Jane's Addiction, sway along to sad lyrics and soft melodies by post-punk group Death Cab for Cutie, or head bang your way through a show by horror band the Misfits. Fri-Sun 11 a.m.
You don't have to travel to Paris or Rome to get cultured—there are plenty of high-brow authors right here in the Mile High City. More than 30 Denver-based writers, including BK Loren, Khadijah Queen, and Manuel Ramos, will be stationed along Tennyson Street to share excerpts of their latest and greatest works. After hearing several stellar readings, continue the word-themed fun at the Fu*%ing Fabulous Fiction Fest, where you can try your luck in a combination spelling bee-drinking game or dance to live music from indie rock duo High Fiction. Fri 6-11 p.m.
After watching this unconventional comedy, you might find yourself laughing at your daily errands. Inspired by a This American Life episode about boredom, the actors at Buntport Theater Company wrote this hit play, which features four middle-age performers engaged in mundane everyday tasks, like folding laundry and being on hold with customer support, inside Plexiglass boxes. As the 40-somethings meditate on the absurdity of the middle years of their lives, it'll be easy for you to find hilarity in the ordinary. Thu-Sat 8 p.m. Sun 3 p.m.
During this innovative concert, four sisters from Fort Collins will show off their peculiar blend of ethereal vocal harmonies and electronic rhythms. With influences from a wide variety of genres, including ’60s rock and classical symphonies from the 18th century, their tracks are an experiment in self-exploration, both lyrically and musically. Thanks to their family teamwork, the quartet blends beatboxing, synthesizer, mandolin, and fiddle into an intriguing, collaborative sound. Fri 8 p.m.
—Image courtesy of SHEL
Take flight in one of more than 65 hot air balloons at the start of this weekend-long extravaganza. After returning to the ground, glimpse demonstrations by Wings of Blue, the U.S. Air Force parachuting team, then join in the Saturday sports exposition, during which you can try everything from ultimate frisbee to "zorb" soccer, a game in which you wear a giant inflatable orb and bounce off fellow players. Sat-Mon, times vary.
At this colorful festival, glimpse more than 50 unique hot air balloons on their ascent into the morning sky—or sign up to take a ride in one yourself. After your flight, catch a thrilling aerial performance by the Wings of Blue Demonstration Team, the U.S. Air Force's skydiving stunt troupe, or rent a paddleboard and spend the day gliding across Prospect Lake. Then finish a high-adrenaline day with a cold Budweiser, a lively performance by Suga Bear and the Showtime Band, and a blues show by the Austin Young Band. Sat 6 a.m.
—Image courtesy of Labor Day Lift Off
Stop, drop, and learn at this interactive six-week fire safety seminar. With a little help from the experts, your child will learn how to crawl low under smoke, put out flames on his body, and feel doors to see if they're too hot to open. Bonus: the kiddos will love climbing inside real fire engines during a museum tour. Sat 9-10 a.m.
At this diverse festival, both beginners and expert yogis can strengthen their practice (and core). More than 50 local studios, including Samyama Yoga Center and Hot Chakras Yoga, will teach innovative classes and workshops on subjects such as meditation and mind awareness. After trying out some new poses, browse vendors such as Athleta and Lärabar to find yoga apparel and gear as well as vegan culinary delights. Bonus: Don't miss a presentation by lifestyle and diet guru Kristina Carrillo-Bucaram of FullyRaw. Sat 10 a.m.-6 p.m.
At a time when flaws in the criminal justice system are becoming more and more apparent, this visceral photography exhibition provides a stark look at American juvenile corrections. California-based photographer Richard Ross documents the treatment of youth in prisons across the country, while Zora Murff is inspired by his experience working as a tracker for convicted young adults in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Tue-Fri 11 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sat noon-4 p.m.
—Photo courtesy of Richard Ross
Witness a return to hip hop's roots during this street-inspired dance competition. These epic onstage battles will feature crews from across the country, including Utah-based group Underground Crew and Vegas dancers the Body Poets, as well as troupes hailing from as far as Spain, Germany, and Russia. Between battles, attendees can enjoy performances from contemporary dance outfit Backbone Dance Company and local hip-hop crew Academy of Raw. Sat-Sun 1-10 p.m.
—Photo courtesy of Rain Duran
Celebrate the return of football season by throwing on your favorite Broncos jersey and joining other die-hard fans for this fun run. Joggers will follow a route through Sloan’s Lake Park before returning to the stadium for a quick sprint across the field. After you've broken a sweat, check out the post-race health and fitness expo, which will include a photo shoot with Broncos cheerleaders and Miles the Mascot, as well as family-friendly relays and football drills. Sun 8:30 a.m.
Comedian Doug Benson, who you might remember from Comedy Central’s Last Comic Standing or the comedic documentary Super High Me, is taking his hilarious film-centric podcast on tour. Attendees can expect their favorite moments from the podcast in the live performance—including local comedians as surprise special guests and funny movie trivia games—which will be taped to broadcast in a future episode. Mon 4:20 p.m.
This six-day culinary extravaganza explores all that the Mile High City's elite food and wine scene has to offer—and it offers plenty. Gaze at a beautiful night sky during the new Dinner Under the Stars event, during which acclaimed chefs such as Paul Reilly of Beast & Bottle and Alex Seidel of Mercantile Dining and Provision will create a five-course meal. Then sample small bites and sips from more than 40 award-winning chefs, mixologists, and wine professionals at local restaurants, such as the Nickel and Leña, during a large-scale tasting event. Tue-Sun, times vary.
Take a peek at the inner workings of a major art museum during this behind-the-scenes tour. First, guests can admire large-scale midcentury masterworks on a docent-led tour of the Women of Abstract Expressionism exhibit. Then curator Timothy Standring will take them to the conservation lab, where he will reveal the restoration process these paintings underwent before they were put on display. Bonus: Glimpse rare art from the museum's permanent collection, including works by Edgar Degas and Mary Cassatt, that are currently in the middle of restoration. Tue 2:30-5 p.m.
Familiar red boulders blend into the desert landscape of a faraway planet at this intergalactic installment of Film on the Rocks. Watch as heroine Rey and former Stormtrooper Finn join forces with the Resistance to topple the totalitarian First Order. Before the screening, Denver electro-pop band Rose Quartz will delight you with a stellar live jams. Tue 7 p.m.
This American supergroup, which includes members of alternative bands Rage Against the Machine and Public Enemy, formed to make a political statement. By drawing influences from genres such as punk, rap, and metal, they've created their own innovative sound to broadcast their liberal messages. During this politically charged show, expect to hear their self-titled breakout hit. Wed 7 p.m.
At this cultural celebration, take a trip to the Emerald Isle or the Scottish Highlands without ever leaving the Centennial State. Enjoy performances by a variety of Celtic artists, including Irish singer and comedian Seamus Kennedy, Toronto-based rock group Enter the Haggis, and Scottish folk singer Ed Miller. Then competitive visitors can mount a trusty steed and take a stab at jousting or put their footwork to the test in the Irish Feis Dancing contest. Thu-Sun, times vary.
Relax your body and calm your mind during this serene mountain escape. Vail Mountain Guides will lead you on an hour-long hike into the backcountry, where you’ll engage in daily Vinyasa Flow and restorative yoga and meditation with Mariah Schuette, co-founder of yoda studio In Your Element. When you aren’t honoring your practice, enjoy the view of the San Isabel National Forest while you discuss strategies for finding inner peace with your companions. Fri-Sun, times vary.
—Photo courtesy of Kim Fuller
With a few design tips from the pros at this convention, you can create a cozy new space. Attend free seminars with remodeling experts such as Kimberly Johnson of Envy Interiors, who will walk you through 2016 trends, as well as Leslie A. Kazmierczak of Level10 Interiors, who has advice for adding more colors and patterns into your home. Then head to the showroom market to snag a statement rug from Azari Rug Gallery or a bed frame from Rocky Mountain Hideaways. Fri-Sat 10 a.m.-8 p.m.; Sun 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
During this twangy performance, this Texan's country hits will take you back to the late ’80s with his distinctive baritone voice. The singer-songwriter will croon about love, loss, and coping with alcohol in hits such as "Killin' Time" and "A Better Man." Fri 7:30 p.m.
This musical satire set in the 1950s promises a night of family fun. When beloved rock-and-roll star Conrad Birdie is drafted to the army, his agent puts on a final publicity stunt to give one lucky fan a special goodbye—kiss and serenade included—before he is shipped overseas. His arrival turns a small Ohio town upside down, and he soon finds himself reconsidering his celebrity career as he gets wrapped up in the local drama. Fri 7:30 p.m.; Sat 2 p.m., 7:30 p.m.; Sun 2 p.m.
Your children's favorite characters will come to life during this real-life ride on Thomas the Tank Engine. Kids and parents alike will enjoy a ride through scenic North Table Mountain Park with favorite characters such as Sir Topham Hatt. After spending time on the train, take a turn around museum exhibits and visit a petting zoo. Sat-Sun 8:30 a.m.-4:45 p.m.
During this block party, you and your family can celebrate 20 years of public television. Kids can hop around in a bounce house, jump rope, or spend the day interacting with their favorite television characters including Caillou, Clifford the Big Red Dog, and Daniel Tiger. Sat 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
Creating art often takes careful planning and preparation, but this diverse group exhibition is all about impulse. Using a minimal color palette, six artists from around the world explore the role of spontaneity in their own personal processes. Stone-carver Vanessa Clarke allows her material to guide her, watching the stone naturally transform with each cut, and Udo Nöger’s paintings incorporate translucent substances, allowing light to enter each work and affect its appearance. Tue-Sat 11 a.m.-5 p.m.
—Photo courtesy of Walker Fine Art Gallery
At this heat lover's contest, sample six different chili dishes alongside a cheese quasadilla, then cast your votes to choose the $100 winners in each category. While you're there, be sure to try an unconventional twist on the spicy favorite: Sweet Action Ice Cream's Roasted Green Chile flavor. Proceeds benefit Food Bank of the Rockies, a local nonprofit that distributes meals to impoverished individuals. Sat noon-6 p.m.
At this booze-lover's festival, more than 25 local breweries and cideries will quench your thirst. Sample four-ounce pours from a wide variety of local beermakers, including Avery Brewing Company, Boulder Beer, and Eddyline Brewery, or indulge in a refreshing, gluten-free glass of cider from Firestone-based Wild Cider. Throughout the day, satisfy your hunger by snacking on grub from Butcher and the Blonde, Lowco, and Miller's Bar and Grille. Sat 2-7 p.m.
This theatrical event is the first of its kind in the Mile High City and your chance to get an intimate look at talented local actors. It will be an evening full of surprises, as performance slots are first-come, first-serve, but attendees can expect to hear monolouges of all genres, including published plays, television shows, films, and original work. The winner of the slam will be awarded a cash prize—so you may even want to consider preparing a three-minute piece and hopping up on stage yourself. Sat 6:30 p.m.
—Photo courtesy of David Carroll
Known for her impressive impersonations and self-deprecating humor, Maria Bamford uses comedy to delve into some pretty serious topics, including bipolar disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, and suicide. These are all problems she’s faced herself, and she’s not shying away from them. From silly songs about anxiety to darkly funny bits about Joy-Whac-A-Mole—a "game" in which your family members try to squash all of your good news—Bamford shows her audiences that any topic can be funny. Sat 8 p.m.
Paris might be the fashion capitol of the world today, but French fashionistas once took their inspiration from Japan. This historical exhibition features works by six prominent Japanese designers and celebrates the style revolution they started in Paris during the 1980s. Issey Miyake’s designs incorporate an inventive approach to pleating, while Yohji Yamamoto showcases avant-garde oversized silhouettes. Tue-Sun 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Satisfy your a.m. cravings at this inaugural breakfast smorgasbord, which is part of the Denver Food and Wine Festival. More than 15 local eateries, including Denver staple Rosenberg's Bagels & Delicatessen, will be serving up tasty brunch favorites alongside a Bloody Mary bar with a world-record 57 garnishes. The best part: you're told to show up in your pajamas. Sun 10 a.m.-1 p.m.
Put your putting skills to the test at this philanthropic tournament. After chowing down on a barbecue lunch from the Hyland Hills Clubhouse, your team will visit 18 holes and try their luck at winning the trophy. Proceeds benefit the Diane Dawson Foundation, an organization that provides aid for children and families who have lost a loved one to cancer. Mon 12:30 p.m.
Building on one of his previous bodies of work in which adult magazine covers were cut and inlaid together, Aspen-based artist Robert Brinker's latest solo exhibition features large-scale cut paper dragons. The reptilian representations are crafted from the scanned collages, which were then pared down to the shape of the scaly mythical creatures, some as big as 60 inches in length. Tue-Sat 11 a.m.-6 p.m.
—Photo courtesy of Michael Warren Contemporary
This Guadalajaran rock band will deliver jubilant jams and rhythmic refrains during this energetic performance. The Grammy– and Billboard Award–winning quartet, which has previously been called "the U2 of Spanish rock," is known for its unique reggae-inspired sound. Wed 8 p.m.
At this vino lover's extravaganza, take in a breathtaking mountain view with a wine glass in hand. Sample a five-course, farm-to-table dinner by Sevens' executive chef Tristan Guger and don't miss the Wine on the Mountain Grand Tasting, during which attendees have the opportunity to sample small bites and wines from eateries including Briar Rose Chophouse & Saloon, Ember Restaurant, Giampietro Pasta & Pizzeria. Thu-Sun, times vary.
Adrenaline junkies will enjoy a hefty dose of adventure at this climbing-focused festival. Find inspiration in a handful of action flicks, including a documentary of 15-year-old climber Ashima Shiraishi's V15 ascent of Mount Hiel in Japan, then try your luck at a climbing competition at Movement Climbing & Fitness Denver. After you've scaled a few walls, browse vendors such as the North Face, Gore-Tex, and Sterling Rope for sick new gear. Thu-Sun, times vary.
A beloved Scottish tradition is making its way to Northern Colorado in the form of this diverse performing arts festival. The lineup or artists isn't juried—meaning any kind of performance is welcome—so attendees can expect to see traditional theater to belly dancing to stand-up comedy. Be sure to check out acts from the Comedy Brewers improvisation troupe, a Fort Collins–based group that creates an entire 30-minute play on the spot using suggestions from the audience, and a spoken word performance from local slam poetry collective Slamogadro. Thu-Sat, times vary.
This autumn-themed outdoor party returns with a handmade twist. Browse more than 120 vendors selling artisan wares, including jewelry from Alison Blair Studio and leather accessories from By Elke, while the kiddos enjoy a variety of classic carnival games. Before you leave, be sure to stop by the beer garden for a White Rascal from Avery Brewing Company or a refreshing Rio Grande Mexican Restaurant margarita. Fri-Sun, times vary.
Don your cowboy hat for this Southwestern extravaganza, during which you’ll celebrate Colorado's ranching heritage. After learning how to train horses at Music Meadows Ranch and taking tours of old railroad cars at railway museum All Aboard Westcliffe, you’ll be an expert on the West. Finish the weekend with a screening of Western flick Cat Ballou at the old Jones Theater, then indulge in a dinner featuring classic recipes from the valley’s centennial and old-times ranchers. Fri-Sun, times vary.
Hop on your bike for a weekend-long celebration of cycling culture. The tour will stop in Ordway, Fowler, and La Junta, and cyclists will have an opportunity to check out attractions along the way, including the Olney War Memorial and the Santa Fe Trail Scenic and Historic Byway, before settling in to sleep at an indoor or outdoor campsite. If you want to add a few more miles, the 100-mile Century Ride and 5-mile Family Fun Ride will both take place on Saturday. Proceeds benefit the Denver Post Community Foundation, which distributes money to Colorado nonprofits. Fri 10 a.m.- Sun 3 p.m.
Books aren’t just literary works of art—their pages can become canvases, collages, and even sculptures. This bibliophilic group exhibition features 50 works from international artists highlighting the diversity of the book arts genre. Featured artist Karen Hardy, the recipient of the 2015 Abecedarian Gallery Director’s Exhibition Award, channels a curiosity about materials into her works, which are composed of handmade paper. Thu-Fri 1-6 p.m.; Sat noon-4 p.m.
—Photo courtesy of Abecedarian Gallery
Little ones will be treated to Little Man ice cream with a side of cartoon martial arts during this family-friendly movie night. Kids will slurp down Banana Chip or Cheesecake Brownie as a cone as they watch Po the Panda embark on another adventure tracking down his biological dad, finding missing Kung Fu masters, and discovering an ethereal golden pond in which he meets turtle Master Oogway. Fri 7 p.m.
This Parisian indie folk goddess is known for her acoustic melodies and profound lyrics about finding joy in a strange world. During this intimate show, the Victoires de la Musique–award winner will delight you with songs such as her 2008 hit single "New Soul," a lighthearted tune about discovering your path in life. Fri 8 p.m.
Skip the I-70 gridlock and enjoy your mountain pastimes in the heart of the Mile High City. Climbers can race up a mobile wall, cyclists can try out fat bikes and compete in fix-a-flat contests, and campers can learn hacks for primitive cooking. But our favorite station is one that requires you to exert no energy at all: the Thirsty Village, which will pour beers from four local breweries as well as fresh batches of kombucha. Sat 10 a.m.
Instead of visiting a gallery, experience art on the street during this community-focused event. Drop by during the two-day festival—which features street artists from across the country and around the world—to watch as sweeping graffiti creations and inventive street sculptures are made right before your eyes. Gamma’s large-scale spray-painted street murals are known for their photorealistic quality, while the Ladies Fancywork Society crafts crocheted pieces to adorn statues and fences. Sat-Sun 10 a.m.-8:30 p.m.
The kids can bring their favorite stuffed animals into the zoo for a check up at this educational event. Volunteers from Children’s Hospital Colorado will educate young ones about medical procedures they can try on their furry friends, such as measuring heart rates. In addition, Denver Zoo mascot Elbert the bear will be there to meet little doctors and help them treat their fluffy patients. Sat 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
After this hands-on workshop, you'll never need to leave your house for a well-crafted drink. Katy Foster, the chef and owner of Stir, will teach you all the tools and skills you'll need, such as muddling and straining, to craft perfect martinis, mojitos, and margaritas. Sat noon-3 p.m.
During this cardio-focused day of activity, take your pick of three heart-pumping competitions: a half-triathlon, a duathlon (running and biking), or aquabike (swimming and biking). All swims will take place in Boulder Reservoir, all biking will be on the rolling paved roads of Boulder County, and all races will conclude with a Slip ’N Slide finish, even those that didn't involve running. After you've burned some calories, Wahoo’s Fish Taco will be serving up a Mexican buffet for the perfect recovery meal. Sun 7:30 a.m.-3:50 p.m.
Introduce your little one to good habits during this day of kid-friendly exercise. Little ones will get their heart rate up during the toddler trot or infant crawl-off, or you can grab the stroller and burn some calories during a 5K. After you've done some cardio together, they can explore the museum and refuel with healthy snacks. Sun 9 a.m.
Your child will be excited to eat fruits at veggies at this garden brimming with peppers, zucchini, and onions. Kids can explore the plot, craft garden-themed sculptures, and go on a hunt for bugs. Then young gardeners will use a juice press and solar cooker to cultivate their culinary skills and transform fresh produce into tasty treats, including pressed cider, apple salsa, and kale chips. Mon 8:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m.
Two alternative rock bands coming together on stage means twice as many riffs and gut-wrenching lyrics. The collaborative show will include songs from Switchfoot's new record, Where the Light Shines Through, which features lively tunes such as "Bull in a China Shop," as well as older slow jams from both groups such as “Your Love is a Song” and “ Be my Escape.” Mon 7:30 p.m.
Explore the fall colors of Buena Vista on this self-guided, off-road adventure. The scenic routes, including the easy Hagermann Pass and the difficult Chinaman Gulch trail, will take you past old abandoned mines and through ancient forests as you take in the view of Huron Peak, Missouri Mountain, and Mount Belford Belford. Proceeds benefit Buena Vista Heritage, which seeks to preserve the history and the natural beauty of the mountain town. Tues-Sat, times vary.
This Jamaican ska group is known for its reggae feel and upbeat rhythms. The reformed ’60s ensemble’s performance will includes tracks from their 2012 album, Walk With Me, which is full of optimistic tunes like “Dessert Ska” and “Hot Flash.” Tue 8:30 p.m.
This Grammy-nominated indie pop duo combines folk music and synthetic pop into their own unique sound. During this show, expect to hear the twins show off their signature sultry vocals with hits from their eighth studio album, Love You to Death. Wed 7:30 p.m.
John Buck’s kinetic wooden sculptures are unique whirring structures that stand up to 20 feet tall. In this solo exhibition he uses his peculiar medium of choice to address American politics and the unconventional drama of the 2016 presidential campaign. The gallery show includes wall relief panels, bronze sculptures, and large-scale paper works that express the artist’s discontent with corruption, demagoguery, and the loss of American ideals. Tue-Fri 11 a.m.-6 p.m.; Sat noon-5 p.m.
—Photo courtesy of Robischon Gallery
Immortalizing the story of former First Lady of Argentina Eva “Evita” Péron, this rags-to-riches musical is the winner of three Tony awards. The tale spans more than 20 years, depicting Evita’s rise from a poor but driven young girl to a powerful political figure, and features a score by Andrew Lloyd Webber, including the long-time fan favorite "Don't Cry for Me, Argentina." Thu-Fri 6 p.m.; Sat noon, 6 p.m.; Sun noon
It’s finally your chance to play detective during this uproarious regional premiere. Set in a Colorado Springs hair salon, the play follows colorful local characters, including a flamboyant hairdresser and a mysterious old man who calls himself a used antiques dealer, as they attempt to discover the culprit who killed the landlady upstairs. Audience members question the suspects throughout the show, and at the end of the night, you decide who’s guilty—so dust off your deerstalker now. Thu-Sat 7:30 p.m.; Sun 2 p.m.
Don your lederhosen and snack on a salty pretzel during this massive cultural celebration. After you’ve hoisted the heaviest steins in a weight-lifting competition or challenged your friends to a game of keg bowling, fill your glass with a German brew, such as a Franziskaner Weissbier. While you sip, musical acts such as folk band Poet’s Row and alternative group Ancient Elk will give live performances. Fri-Sun, times vary.
When you hear "mammal," you might think of dogs or chimpanzees—but this class of warm-bloodied animals is quite a bit more varied. With more than 5,000 species of creatures, including unfamiliar ones such as scaly pangolins and egg-laying echidnas, there’s more to Mammalia than what you'd find in a zoo. This large-scale exhibition celebrates the diversity of Earth’s vertebrate beasts with reconstructions, such as a diorama showing the Earth's foliage 50 million years ago, as well as interactive demonstrations that focus on the ancestry of these strange hairy critters.
This massive book lover's faire, which was established in India a decade ago, features 100 authors and personalities from around the globe. Guest speakers will include Viet Thanh Nguyen, author of The Sympathizer, which won the 2016 Pulitzer Prize, and Dorji Wangmo Wangchuck, Queen Mother of Bhutan. Sat-Sun, times vary.
—Photo courtesy of [email protected]
Journey 100 years into the past with your son or daughter and learn to a life without modern technology. Your child will spend the day milking wooden cows, scrubbing clothes on an old-fashioned washboard, and even watching a blacksmithing demonstration. After they've worked hard, they'll have the chance to indulge in homemade ice cream and lemonade. Sat 10 a.m.-3 p.m.
This charity festival will appeal to you whether you're a history buff or simply a fan of tasty burgers. Sip on cold beverages from 25 brewers including Smiling Toad Brewery, Fossil Brewing Company, and Eddyline Brewing while enjoying pizza and burgers from local restaurants and tapping your toes to a live performance by bluegrass band the Ruxton Railsplitters. Proceeds benefit the Manitou Springs Heritage Center Museum. Sat noon-5 p.m.
Supersize your screentime at this digital animation festival, which will be displaying motion-art pieces from around the world on three different screens. Short form digital media experts and guest jurors Claudia Maté, Jonathan Monaghan, and Morehshin Allahyari will be awarding cash prizes to the most impressive creations. Don't miss British graphic designer Keiichi Matsuda's Hyper-reality, which mixes live footage with digital elements to create a sense of virtual reality. Sat 4-11 p.m.
During an interactive tour, this alternative, acoustic rock band will let their audiences select a set of hypnotic harmonies for them. The group, which was influenced by early 2000s rock bands Buckcherry and Jimmy Eat World, is sure to play fan favorite "Our Song," which focuses on movie-themed clichés and relationships. Sun 8 p.m.
At this charity meal, you can meet your favorite and make a difference at the same time. Savor a light lunch of salad with grilled chicken, pretzel rolls, and Parisian macarons as New York Times best-selling author Mitch Albom delivers a keynote speech on his book Tuesdays With Morrie, a story that explores the challenging, fulfilling experience of growing old. Proceeds benefit the Denver Hospice, an organization that strives to provide a comfortable home for those near the end of their lives. Wed 11:30 a.m.
—Photo courtesy of Mitch Albom
Contemporary dance meets theatrical illusion in this inventive celebration of movement. Inspired by the American Southwest, this performance consists of complex visual scenes, during which dancers contort and connect their bodies to depict the native flora and fauna of the desert, including slithering lizards and regal cactuses. Stunning lighting effects complete the image as the stage is flooded with bright color. Thu-Fri 7:30 p.m.
Work up a sweat and cool down at this water-focused weekend retreat. During the Friday welcome reception, participate in an aqua-yoga class or soak and chat in SunWater Spa. On Saturday, the action starts at 8 a.m. with the Mayor's Cup Run 5K and continues with bike rides through Garden of the Gods led by guides from Manitou Spokes. Proceeds benefit the Mineral Springs Foundation, which aims to restore and preserve natural mineral springs. Fri-Sun, times vary.
Childhood classics get a satirical twist during this live musical interpretation of your favorite storybook fables. Kids will delight in seeing the protagonist from Jack and the Beanstalk narrate modified tales about barnyard animals and fumbling giants. In these unconventional version, characters like Chicken Little and the Gingerbread ignore traditional plots and even call the president to help them deal with their troubles. Fri-Sun, times vary.
Come celebrate the opening of Fort Collins' newest musical contribution to its growing music scene. The 57,000-square-foot complex will house everything from cheap-to-rent practice rooms and performance areas to music-related stores and apartments for resident musicians. During the grand opening, take tours of the inventive new campus, nosh on refreshments, and dance as local DJs spin some tracks. Fri 7-11 p.m.