The July 9 arrival of the MLB All-Star Week, which the Mile High City is hosting for the first time since 1998, heralds a five-day extravaganza for Denver’s baseball nerds. They’ll meet mascots, score autographs, bemoan bad draft picks, and place bets on the Home Run Derby. It all leads up to the big game on July 13 at 5:30 p.m. MT—and you couldn’t care less. After all, baseball may be America’s pastime, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s yours. Luckily, there are plenty of fun Denver-area events that have nothing to do with yelling at an umpire or pretending to like Coors Light. Here, a round up of all our favorite nonbaseball happenings.
When: July 9, 8–11 p.m.
Where: Oriental Theater
Join the most raucous audience in the Mile High City (sorry, Coors Field) for an evening of pro-wrestling and stand-up. Anaya will be defending his title against an unknown challenger, and women’s champion Heather Monroe prepares to handle two fighters at once in a classic triple threat. Don’t worry if none of that made sense—Denver comedians officiate the battles, providing wrestling newbies with insight and full-body slams…er, laughs. From $16, 18+ only
When: July 9–11
Where: Arapahoe County Fairgrounds and Event Center
Run by the Colorado Gay Rodeo Association, which has been promoting queer members of the country community for 40 years, the rodeo will include traditional competitions, like calf roping, barrel racing, and bull riding. But it also puts a cheeky spin on the Western pastime with events like goat dressing, in which a team of two race to get a pair of underwear on a goat. From $12
When: July 9–13 and beyond
Where: Stanley Marketplace, Aurora
While the masses are focused on baseball, get thee to the Aurora food hall for the grand opening of this immersive art exhibit. The Grande Experiences team, which puts together multi-dimensional cultural experiences around the globe, projects shifting images of Van Gogh’s work onto screens while piping in sounds and scents meant to deepen the audience’s sense of actually stepping into each painting. From $35
When: July 10, 9 a.m.–1 p.m.
Where: Bicentennial Park, Aurora
Have kids with way too much energy to burn? This mile-long obstacle course inspired by the television show American Ninja Warrior should wear them out. Line Junior up in the appropriate age group (the organizers, Young Lions OCR, divides the older and younger kids into different lanes) and set them loose onto 10 challenging-but-safe barriers—which is way cooler than running the bases. From $20
When: July 10, 10–2 p.m.
Where: The Picnic Park at Aspen Grove, Littleton
Don’t freak out, but this could be your dog’s chance at fame. The Littleton shopping center is super welcoming to canines. In fact, it chooses a Dog-Friendly Mascot each year, and its search for its next star begins at this annual expo. Make your first stop the onsite dog-washing station so Fido looks good for the talent scouts. Next, visit pup-focused vendors (like toy-maker Kong), watch canine agility demos, listen to live music, and buy ice cream for both you and your pup. Free
When: July 10–11, 10 a.m.–5 p.m.
Where: Riverdale Regional Park, Brighton
You’ve been following the tiny homes trend on Instagram, so now it’s time to see it IRL. Tour a variety of miniature living solutions, such as container homes, yurts, tricked-out vans, and converted school buses, also known as “skoolies.” If you’re really tempted, tiny home builders can answer your questions—or you can just grab crepes from one of the vendors before driving the 22 miles back to Denver and your mercifully normal-size home. From $15
When: July 10, 10 a.m. and July 12, 4:30 p.m.
Where: Washington Park
Landscape architects and designers from Dig Studio, a landscape architecture firm in LoDo, walk attendees through the history of Washington Park. While wandering the 160-acre greenspace, you’ll learn about French country origins of the landscape design, what it takes to keep a historical park current, and the impact philanthropist Molly Brown had on the public park. From $25
When: July 13, 3–9 p.m.
Where: Stem Ciders
The Lafayette cidery’s RiNo taproom hosts this weekly event wherein ticket holders receive a flight of ciders paired with goods from a local business. This week, Cherry Creek-based Truffle Cheese Shop is at bat (sorry), so you can expect a board with meat and cheese offerings—and the perfect cider to wash down each bite. From $29