Hyland Hills Water World Opening Day—May 28
We’ve already seen heat-wave temps, but even those might not be enough to drive you to a crowded water park on a holiday. Unless you do it right. Here’s how to beat the heat and the masses at Water World:

  • Arrive after 2 p.m., when worn-out families are deciding to call it a day. The park stays open ’til 6.
  • For snacktime, bring a cooler, or opt for the park’s pizza slices-—tasty and cheap.
  • Wear water shoes—the rough concrete surfaces that prevent slipping are very hard on feet. Tuck them in your suit when heading down a slide.
  • Check out less-crowded attractions such as River Country, where you can zip down the “Ragin’ Colorado” in an inner tube, or take a dip in the two wave pools.

Saturday 10 a.m., Water World, 1800 W. 89th Ave., Federal Heights. Free for seniors and kids 3 and under, $23.95 for kids under 48 inches, $28.95 for those 48 inches and higher.

Colorado Arts Festival—May 27-May 30
More than 180 Colorado artists bring their talents in painting, sculpture, photography, and jewelry to this 7th annual event. Swallow Hill Music Association will set the musical backdrop as you sample tastings from Denver Pavilions’ eateries. And don’t miss Colorado Liquor’s wine-tasting tent. Friday 4-8 p.m.; Sunday 11 a.m.-8 p.m.; Saturday 11 a.m.-8 p.m., Denver Pavilions, 500 16th St., Ste. 10. Free. 720-933-6117.

Wagons Ho!—May 28
Historical reenactors help children harken back to Colorado’s homesteading days, and young history buffs can take a turn at churning butter, designing quilts, and making clothespin dolls. Saturday 10:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m., Colorado History Museum, 1300 Broadway. Free for children under 12, $5 for adults. For more information, call 303-866-4686.

Veterans Memorial Day Tribute—May 28
Sure, it’s a perfect day to hit the trails—but remember, you’re off work for a reason. Gather at the Capitol to recognize Colorado veterans and thank active members of the U.S. military. The Music-Pipe Band and the USAF Academy Sabre Drill Team will perform during the event. Saturday noon-2 p.m., Colorado State Capitol, 200 E. Colfax. Free. For more information, call 303-662-1110.

An Evening with The Mars Volta—May 31
Omar Rodriguez-Lopez and Cedric Bixler-Zavala formed their passionate, unconventional, undefinable group, The Mars Volta, in 2001; it wasn’t long before they’d developed a cult following and a litany of accolades from Spin, Entertainment Weekly, the LA Times. Their newest album, Frances the Mute, builds on memories of late band member Jeremy Ward, as well as the musings of a random diary discovered by Ward in the backseat of a repossessed car. The record explores the trauma of loss and the common threads strangers can weave with one another. Tuesday 7:30 p.m., The Fillmore Auditorium, 1510 Clarkson St. $25. For tickets, call 303-830-TIXS.