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A rendering of the upcoming Boulder Experience Gallery. Courtesy of the Museum of Boulder

The Coolest Things to Do in Colorado, May 2018

Your short list of the state’s best events this month.

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Invention Convention | May 1-3

Photograph by Jason DeWitt/Courtesy of Something Independent

When the Wright takes place in early May, nearly 19 months will have passed since the popular event last honored innovative outdoor companies. That’s a long hiatus for the typically annual summit, but organizers had a good reason for the wait: After six years in Denver, they’re relocating to Colorado School of Mines in Golden. The move embodies their intention to celebrate entrepreneurs from all corners of the West, not just major cities. The format of the event will shift as well, expanding from one to three days and adding panel discussions and keynote speakers. One element won’t change, though: the signature award ceremony, during which 13 finalists present 90-second video clips about their missions before judges award $5,000 to one winner. Watch for well-known brands such as outdoor apparel company Strafe Outerwear and Weston Snowboards.

Birding Bonanza | May 12

From late March to October, broad-tailed hummingbirds flock to North Cheyenne Cañon Park, outside of Colorado Springs, drawn to the open space’s thousands of wildflowers. The Starsmore Visitor and Nature Center wants to give you an intimate look at these brilliantly colored birds. During its North Cheyenne Cañon Hummingbird Festival, guests can learn about the animals’ migration patterns, hike through a portion of the park with certified interpretive guides, and make feeders that attract the nectar-obsessed creatures to their backyards.

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History In The Making | May 19

Despite its rising stock of restaurants and proximity to gorgeous trails, Boulder has lacked one crucial attraction: a general-interest museum that merits a visit. That’ll change when the Museum of Boulder reopens at Broadway and Pine Street. Formerly known as the Boulder History Museum, the institution previously had just 1,500 square feet to display its artifacts; now, it’ll have 7,200. The much larger digs will start off by hosting three interactive exhibits (about Da Vinci machines, NASA, and the mechanics of sports) as well as a Google-sponsored makerspace. View all of it for free on opening day from 1 to 5 p.m.—but make sure to come back in November for the launch of the Boulder Experience Gallery, a permanent installation chronicling the city’s milestone moments, from the 1859 discovery of gold in what’s now known as Gold Hill to the founding of the University of Colorado in 1876.

Creative Outlets | May 18-June 30

To provide frazzled citygoers with brief artistic reprieves, the Denver Theatre District and other community partners are teaming up with British artist Stuart Semple to produce six public art projects in downtown Denver. The new effort, Happy City: Art for the People, will feature installations such as an “emotional baggage drop” at Union Station, where you’re matched with a stranger with whom you can share your worries—confidentially, of course.

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