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Snowmass Balloon Festival is September 6–8. Photo by Tamara Susa

10 Free Things to Do in Colorado This September

History, honey, hot air balloons, and cultural festivals are just some of the ways you can stay busy this month without emptying your wallet.

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Snowmass Balloon Festival | September 6–8
Watch hot air balloons take to the skies at the 44th Annual Snowmass Balloon Festival. Hosted in Snowmass Town Park, the festival gathers hot air balloon pilots and enthusiasts for three days of balloon-filled airways, as well as family-friendly games and activities. No balloon rides are available, but Friday night, attendees can chat with pilots and sit in grounded balloons at the Balloon Night Glow event. (Cidermass and Snowmass’ Septemberfest are also happening this weekend.) Find parking and shuttle information online. Snowmass Town Park, Snowmass Village

Aspens at Sunrise by Donald Gardner. Image courtesy of Curtis Center for the Arts

Naturally Colorado | September 7 – October 26
Colorado wildlife and landscapes are taking over the Curtis Center for the Arts in Greenwood Village. Seven local photographers’ work—featuring the diversity of Colorado’s landscapes from mountains to plains—will be displayed for over a month. Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.; Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Closed on Sundays. Curtis Center for the Arts, 2349 E. Orchard Rd., Greenwood Village

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Friendship Powwow & American Indian Cultural Celebration | September 7
Dance and drumbeats are just a few of the cultural highlights of this annual celebration of Native American culture. Hosted by the Denver Art Museum, the powwow honors Nancy Blomberg, a long-time DAM curator who managed the museum’s American Indian, African, and Oceanic art collections. Food, hands-on activities, and artist booths round out the event, offering attendees the opportunity to experience Native American culture firsthand. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Martin Plaza at the Denver Art Museum, 100 W. 14th Pkwy.

Denver Bead Renaissance Show | September 12–15
Let your inner jewelry-maker loose at the Bead Renaissance Show, an all-bead trade show put on by Whole Bead. Keep it cheap by shopping for inspiration only—or bump up your budget and take a jewelry-making class or purchase beads for your own original projects. Thursday to Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Sunday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Denver Mart Plaza, 451 E. 58th Ave.

Take This Job and Shove It! (Rise of the Machines) by Zach Reini. Photo courtesy of Black Cube

Black Cube Bash | September 13
Known for its zany, whimsical, and often thought-provoking public art projects, Black Cube is unveiling its Englewood headquarters to the public in a one-night celebration that also serves as opening night for a new exhibit called The Fulfillment Center. The exhibit is a collection of artwork reflecting on how warehouses are changing in the age of e-commerce. On top of art, visitors can gear up for live performances, food trucks, and themed cocktails. 6 to 10 p.m., Black Cube Headquarters, 2925 S. Umatilla St., Englewood

Sunnyside Music Festival | September 14
Since its initial running in 2000 as the Sunnyside Bluegrass Festival, this annual music festival in northwest Denver has grown from a backyard shindig to an annual neighborhood highlight, bringing musicians, artists, and community members together for a day of live entertainment, local food and drinks, and fun for all ages. Local musical groups include Grown Ass Man Band, which mixes blues, funk, and rock, and country soul group Bonnie & the Clydes. Find the full lineup online. Noon to 7:30 p.m., Chaffee Park, 44th Avenue and Tejon Street

Parkour Class with APEX Movement Denver | September 14
You don’t have to leap tall buildings in a single bound in order to do parkour. The urban sport attracts attention for the way its athletes traverse rooftops and drop down the sides of buildings, using speed, strength, and a healthy dose of acrobatics to perform jaw-dropping stunts. APEX Movement Denver, a parkour gym that helps beginners develop the skills needed on the concrete, is hosting a free class in partnership with Athleta—meaning you can take your first step (jump?) into a new sport. 8:30 to 9:30 a.m., Athleta, 3000 E. 1st Ave.

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Smithsonian Magazine Museum Day | September 21
Four Colorado museums are participating in Smithsonian Magazine’s annual Museum Day this month. One Museum Day ticket (available online) provides free admission for two at these Centennial State museums: El Pueblo History Museum (Pueblo), Fort Garland Museum and Cultural Center (Fort Garland), History Colorado Center (Denver), and Trinidad History Museum (Trinidad). Hours vary by location

Colorado Honey Festival | September 21–22
Learn the art of beekeeping and how honey can support your health at this two-day event in Wheat Ridge. Local honey will be available to taste and purchase, and area bee pros will deliver demonstrations showing the ins and outs of keeping bees. 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. each day, Four Seasons Farmers and Artisans Market, 7043 W. 38th Ave., Wheat Ridge

Jaguara, a light and sound show, is headlining Cósmico Americas. Photo by Sonic Design

Cósmico Americas | September 28
Biennial of the Americas, an annual festival aimed at forging business and social connections within the Western Hemisphere, is closing its 2019 event with a party in Civic Center Park. The celebration of the Americas’ art and culture will include musical performances, Latin American food trucks, drinks, and a light and sound show called Jaguara. Find more information online. 4 to 10 p.m., Civic Center Park

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