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The excitement is palpable. As vaccine distribution continues apace, a somewhat normal summer and fall is starting to look possible.
For more evidence, look no further than all the major Denver-area venues releasing reopening plans. Here, we will keep an updated list of the places you can start going again in the coming weeks and months—because while there is still plenty of work to do to get the pandemic under control, it sure is nice to think all of the things we will be able to (hopefully) do together soon.
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Editor’s note: This article was last updated on 4/18/2021. All counties near the Denver metro area still have mask mandates in place. In many of those areas, places like restaurants and gyms are now able to operate at 100 percent capacity, but social-distancing requirements must still be met.
Red Rocks Amphitheatre: Concerts will officially return to Colorado’s most iconic venue on April 22. Only 2,500 people will be allowed to attend events for the time being, which is down from the typical capacity of 9,500. Early season shows include the jam band Lotus (April 22–25) and singer-songwriter Trevor Hall (April 29–30). Film on the Rocks will also return for its 22nd season in late May, though it will remain a drive-in experience with movies being shown on the projector in the Lower South parking lot.
Mission Ballroom: There is only one show scheduled for the less than two-year-old Globeville venue in the coming months (the Disco Biscuits are supposed to come through May 7–8). But things really get going in July when bands like the Zeds Dead (July 4) and Primus (July 30) are booked to take the stage. The Mission has plenty more concerts on the docket throughout the rest of the summer, but no word yet on capacity limits, which will likely be determined by county restrictions.
Denver Center for the Performing Arts: A number of Broadway shows that were originally scheduled to swing through Denver in fall 2021, including Mean Girls and My Fair Lady, have been postponed. But DCPA does have some award-winning theatre on the schedule for you to look forward to: Disney’s The Lion King will be here in December, followed by Hamilton in February 2022. The arts organization is putting on a few summer events as well, including a multi-sensory Van Gogh experience at The Hangar at Stanley Marketplace.
Denver Botanic Gardens: Both the York Street and Chatfield Farms locations have been open for a bit, but will continue operating at a reduced capacity with timed entry. The venue’s Summer Concert Series has been canceled this year, but they do plan to have Evenings Al Fresco in partnership with Swallow Hill Music, during which guests will encounter live music as they stroll through the gardens.
Levitt Pavilion: The 63,450-square-foot venue near Ruby Hill plans to officially reopen on May 14. The capacity for concerts, including Devotcka (May 21) and Dustbowl Revival (May 28), will be 3,800 patrons, about half the typical limit.
Elitch Gardens Theme & Water Park: The wildest rides in Denver will be available to coaster heads with a 2021 season pass beginning April 24. The general public will be able to get in on the fun starting May 1, but reservations are required to scream your lungs out while flipping upside down on the Mind Eraser.
Comedy Works: The South at the Landmark location has been hosting limited capacity shows since early March, and will continue to do so for the time being (see Michael Rapaport coming May 20–22). But the downtown venue does not have any current plans to reopen.
The Bluebird Theater: The East Colfax haunt has a few concerts on the summer schedule, including producer RAC (May 8) and pop band Flora Cash (June 15).
Denver Art Museum: Timed entry is currently being utilized to allow guests to see exhibits like Paris to Hollywood, which explores the fashion influences of Veronique and Gregory Peck. If you still aren’t comfortable checking out art in-person, the downtown museum has created virtual tours of some exhibits online.
History Colorado Center: Tickets must be purchased online to see a number of exhibits, including Borderlands of Southern Colorado about the early history of the that area of the state.
MCA Denver: Much like other Denver museums, the MCA is using a timed ticketing system. Teens and children under 12 get free admission, and it only costs a penny to visit the museum on the first Saturday of every month.
Arvada Center for the Arts and Humanities: The gallery exhibitions at Arvada Center have been open since last summer. The venue’s indoor theatre program begins again on April 30 with the play Small Mouth Sounds by Bess Wohl. The performing arts space is also working toward opening its larger outdoor venue later this summer for theatre and concerts.
Got a venue with an opening plan that you would like added to the list? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.