Denver celebrates the start of the summer season with a long weekend packed with events, ranging from a free, daylong music festival with five stages and twenty live bands in Downtown Denver, to thrilling professional sports games. Spend three perfect days in Denver with great summer hotel deals.

Denver Day of Rock
When: May 26
Where: Downtown Denver
Cost: Free
For the third year in a row, the 16th Street pedestrian mall will be transformed into a massive block party with twenty free rock concerts throughout the day, performing on five stages, for the annual Denver Day of Rock.
· ‘80’s rock giants TOTO are headlining this year, in addition to such favorites as Toad the Wet Sprocket, The Samples and Fishbone. Some of the Mile High City’s most talented performers will also take to the stage, including John Common, Something Underground and Air Dubai.
· The performance areas will be along the 16th Street Mall, Denver’s mile-long pedestrian promenade, making it easy to roam from act to act. Food and beer booths will be set up throughout downtown for the event, with free music rocking the city from 2:30 to 9:30 p.m.
· Visitors can enjoy rock star status at some of Denver’s best hotels with these exclusive Denver Day of Rock Hotel Packages.
· Sponsored by Newmont Mining, Denver’s Day of Rock is a fundraising event for Concert for Kids, a Denver-based, non-profit organization that raises funds for more than 40 children’s charities. VISIT DENVER, the Downtown Denver Partnership, RTD, CBS4, Entercom, the Denver Post and the City of Denver are supporting the event.
· For full concert information and updates, visit DenverDayofRock.com.

Colorado Rockies vs. Houston Astros
When: May 28
Where: Coors Field
Cost: Tickets start at $5 (in the “Rockpile”)
Catch the Rockies versus the Astros at Coors Field during a special matinee Memorial Day game starting at 1:10 p.m. and a second game at 6:10 p.m. Following the evening game, fireworks will light up the sky. Before and after, Lower Downtown bustles with rooftop dining and drink specials.

Colorado Rapids vs. Montreal Impact
When: May 26
Where: Dick’s Sporting Goods Park
Cost: Tickets start at $22
See a high-energy game of Major League Soccer as the Rapids battle the Impact.

Downtown Denver Arts Festival
When: May 25-28
Where: Denver Pavilions (500 16th St.)
Cost: Free
Throughout Memorial Day Weekend at the Denver Pavilions, mix and mingle with thousands of fellow art lovers at the Downtown Denver Arts Festival, featuring more than 150 of Colorado’s best artists. One of the Mile High City’s premier cultural events, the 2011 festival attracted close to 150,000 people, who supported Colorado’s creative community by purchasing more than $500,000 worth of art.

Memorial Day Parade and Tribute Ceremony
When: May 26
Where: Civic Center Park, Downtown Denver
Cost: Free
Denver will celebrate Memorial Day 2012 by commemorating those who lost their lives while serving our country during the Denver Memorial Day Parade on Saturday, May 26 at 10 a.m. The parade is followed by the Veterans Memorial Day Tribute at the Veterans Monument. The parade will be held in Downtown Denver in and around Civic Center Park.

Rhapsody in Red, White & Brass
When: May 26-27
Where: Newman Center for the Performing Arts
Cost: $9-$24
Celebrate America with the Denver Brass in a concert featuring Steven Mayer’s rendition of George Gershwin’s stunning “Rhapsody in Blue” and Steve Taylor’s “Sinatra Tribute” and “Lincoln Portrait” narration.

Water World Opening Weekend
When: May 26-Sept. 3
Where: 88th & Pecos, Denver
Cost: $39.99 (General Admission Ticket)
Celebrate opening weekend at Denver's 67-acre water park, home to more than 65 aquatic attractions. The park is adding two new rides in 2012: The Mile High Flyer, Colorado's only hydromagnetic water coaster, which shoots you up and down over two minutes of hills, drops and thrills; and Double Dare, a pulse-quickening speed tube slide.

Can’t-Miss Events at the Denver Art Museum (DAM)
The DAM’s offerings over the long weekend include:

Yves Saint Laurent: The Retrospective
When: Through July 8
Where: Denver Art Museum
Cost: $14-$22, (timed and dated ticket)
Don’t miss the exclusive U.S. showing of the internationally acclaimed exhibition, a sweeping retrospective of 40 years of creativity, featuring a stunning selection of 200 haute couture outfits along with numerous photographs, drawings, and films that illustrate the development of Saint Laurent’s style and the historical foundations of his work. Spend the Mile High Weekend in style at one of a dozen hotels offering special YSL packages with VIP, undated and untimed, tickets for the exhibit.

Read My Pins: The Madeleine Albright Collection
When: Through June 17
Where: Denver Art Museum
Cost: $3-$13 (general admission ticket)
Drawn from the personal collection of former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, this exhibition features more than 200 pins, many of which Secretary Albright wore to communicate a message or a mood during her diplomatic tenure.

Untitled #47: (LOL)
When: May 25, 6-10:00 p.m.
Where: Denver Art Museum
Cost: Free, with general museum admission
On the final Friday of every month, the Denver Art Museum (DAM) offers a dose of the unexpected with offbeat art encounters, unique detours of the DAM collection, art-making, local music, cash bar, munchies and more. On May 25, visitors will search for connections between art and humor with scientific chats, funny stories and comedian-led tours.

Tour the World In One Mile High Weekend
From exotic reptiles to Da Vinci’s flying machines, Denver’s international flair is on full display during Memorial Day Weekend.

Lizards & Snakes
When: Through July 8
Where: Denver Museum of Nature & Science
Cost: $6-$12 (general admission ticket)
Lizards & Snakes stars the Burmese Python, Gila Monster, Komodo Dragon, Green Basilisk, and more live reptiles from five continents. The interactive experience introduces visitors to these adaptable, colorful, and sometimes dangerous creatures.

The DaVinci Machines Exhibition
When: Through September 30
Where: Denver Pavilions
Cost: $9-$14, or family pack for $40 (up to five tickets)
On loan from the Museum of Leonardo DaVinci in Florence, Italy, this exhibition contains more than 60 hand-crafted inventions built from Leonardo’s 500-year-old designs and is the life work of three generations of Florentine artisans, who have painstakingly brought to life the creations by the brilliant scientist, inventor and artist Leonardo DaVinci.

West Meets East: Kizuna
When: Through November 4
Where: Denver Botanic Gardens, York Street
Cost: $9-$12.50
Kizuna, a Japanese word meaning “the bonds between people,” celebrates the profound influence Japan has had on the West with the presentation of site-specific bamboo installations by internationally known artists. See this powerful and versatile natural material in a variety of forms, including living plant displays.

Dale Chihuly: Venetians
When: Through June 30
Where: Foothills Art Center, Golden
Cost: $5-$10
This gorgeous exhibition showcases more than 45 works from Dale Chihuly’s most innovative and unusual series inspired by Art Deco Venetian art. The highlight of the exhibition is the famous Laguna Murano Chandelier that has over 1500 separate pieces of glass that make up five separate elements.