CATCH SPRING FEVER IN DENVER
The sky is blue, parks and outdoor cafes are jammed, bikers are busy pedaling along the Cherry Creek Trail, and in the distance, the sun is blazing on the snowcapped peaks of the Rocky Mountains. Ah, to be in Denver, now that springtime is here. Great hotel deals sweeten the deal, so make a Mile High weekend of it.
CAN’T MISS EVENTS AND FESTIVALS
Plan your Denver weekend around one of these only-in-Denver happenings!
Rodeo All-Star Weekend
Yeehaw! The nation’s top-ranked cowboys and cowgirls ride into Denver to compete in the first ever Rodeo All-Star Weekend at the National Western Stock Show Complex. The three-day event features seven top-level competitions and offers visitors a chance to meet rodeo stars and enjoy a weekend of fan activities. rodeoallstar.com
Doors Open Denver – City Beautiful: Then & Now
Doors Open Denver is a FREE and fun event that offers residents and visitors the opportunity to learn about Denver’s diverse architecture and design, with more than 80 notable sites open to the public. The theme of the 2013 event is City Beautiful, the movement that inspired architects to improve the quality of life and uplift the human spirit. Experience Doors Open Denver through self-guided tours, Urban Adventures (self-guided tours tailored to a specific interest or theme), or Expert Tours (led by architects and historians). artsandvenuesdenver.com/events-programs/doors-open-denver/
Cinco de Mayo Festival
The largest Cinco de Mayo festival in the U.S. fills Civic Center Park with more than 400,000 visitors for food, drink and music. Enjoy mariachi bands and hit international bands from Mexico on three stages, browse through hundreds of exhibitor booths, and fill up on great food and drink, children's activities, a parade – and the hotly contested green chili cook off! cincodemayodenver.com
The Colfax Marathon, Half Marathon & Relay
The ultimate urban tour! Run the mile high course that takes you on and off Colfax, through parks, neighborhoods, trails and downtown. Enjoy amazing views of the front range, Confluence Park, Sports Authority Field at Mile High’s concourse, and the Cherry Creek trail. The half marathon even runs through the Denver Zoo. If you’re not quite ready to run, no worries – Denver favorite The Hazel Miller Band is headlining the Jim ‘n’ Nick’s Bar-B-Q Afterparty in City Park. runcolfax.org
Denver Day of Rock
Two dozen bands on five stages along a mile-long pedestrian path – and it’s all free! This day long rock ‘n roll festival attracts top groups like Fishbone for a free day of music and sunshine. Beer gardens and food trucks help move the crowds from stage to stage at this family friendly event that traditionally kicks of Memorial Day Weekend in Denver. It’s just the beginning of Denver’s Memorial Day Weekend fun – get more ideas at visitdenver.com/memorialdayweekend.
FUN FOR THE WHOLE FAMILY WEEKEND
Everything from roller coasters to rhinos.
Elitch Gardens Theme & Water Park
May – October
The nation’s ONLY downtown theme and water park opens for the season on May 4. With more than 53 thrilling rides, plus a splash-filled, 10-acre Water Park, musical stages, stunt shows, and arcades, there’s something at Elitch Gardens Theme & Water Park for just about everyone. elitchgardens.com
Explore the city on two wheels! Denver B-cycle is an automated bike sharing system designed for short trips around The Mile High City. It’s easy and fun. You can check out one of more than 500 bikes from any one of 50-plus stations (conveniently located near major attractions and neighborhoods) and return it to any other station. denver.bcycle.com
April 5-September 25
Major league baseball returns to downtown Denver’s Coors Field on April 5, as the Rockies square off against the San Diego Padres. The fun continues all spring and summer long. For an affordable option, buy tickets in the Rockpile, where seats are just $4 for adults and $1 for kids under 12. coloradorockies.com
Toyota Elephant Passage
Say hello to Denver’s new, five-ton locals. At 10 acres, this landmark $50 million exhibit at Denver Zoo is North America’s largest bull elephant habitat. You’ll see majestic Asian elephants cooling off in a shallow stream, Malaysian tapirs care for their young, acrobatic gibbons swinging overhead from tree to tree, fishing cats diving for their next meal and the piercing stare of a black leopard, all from the center of an Asian village. denverzoo.org
Mammoths & Mastodons: Titans of the Ice Age
Through May 27
Go back to a time when giants roamed the earth. At the Denver Museum of Nature & Science’s Mammoths & Mastodons exhibit, encounter some of Earth’s most awe-inspiring mammals, roam among saber-toothed cats and giant bears, and wonder over some of the oldest human artifacts in existence. The exhibit also includes amazing discoveries from the Museum’s largest-ever fossil excavation near Snowmass Village, Colorado. dmns.org
AN ARTS & CULTURE FILLED WEEKEND
The spring cultural calendar includes Georgia O’Keeffe, Jane Austen and Edgar Degas.
Georgia O’Keeffe in New Mexico
Through April 28
Experience the vibrant, visionary work of an American master. This exhibition at the Denver Art Museum includes 15 rarely seen O’Keeffe pictures – watercolors, drawing and paintings – inspired by American Indian spirit beings. denverartmuseum.org
RED/YELLOW/BLUE (and Black and White): Clyfford Still as Colorist
Through May 12
This large-scale exhibition at the Clyfford Still Museum explores the significance of color in Still’s art. The exhibition is arranged among five distinct galleries, each devoted to one of Still’s signature hues: red, yellow, blue, black, and white. clyffordstillmuseum.org
Sense & Sensibility The Musical
April 5-May 26
A world premiere musical at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts! Director/Choreographer Marcia Milgrom Dodge, whose recent Broadway revival of Ragtime received critical accolades and seven Tony Award nominations, helms this stunning new adaptation of Jane Austen’s beloved novel. denvercenter.org
Edgar Degas: The Private Impressionist
April 6-June 30
Golden’s Foothills Art Center presents a unique selection of drawings, prints and photographs by the illustrious French artist, Edgar Degas (1834-1917). Exploring beyond Degas’ familiar ballerinas, you will experience a fascinating view into Degas’ art and life including his early drawings of objects in the Louvre Museum. foothillsartcenter.org
Catalyst: Colorado Sculpture
May 4, 2013 – January 14, 2014
Denver Botanic Gardens celebrates the achievements and vision of Colorado sculptors in this outdoor group exhibition. Twelve artists view the garden spaces differently, injecting change in the surrounding landscape with their 3-D work. The artwork introduces a variety of color, texture, and form into an already rich environment. botanicgardens.org
Spun: Adventures in Textiles
May 19-September 22
The Denver Art Museum (DAM) takes a wide-ranging look at textiles from pre-Columbian weavings to modern fiber art, Navajo blankets to an examination of clothing in art and photography in this campus-wide exhibition. The show celebrates the DAM’s new textile art galleries, which also will be unveiled on May 19. denverartmuseum.org
Already planning your summer vacation? Go to VISITDENVER.com/dares to see hotel deals and learn more about what’s happening through September in The Mile High City.