Colorado’s capital city is kicking off a new decade with a robust lineup of blockbuster exhibits, chart-topping musical acts and vibrant theater. From the 114th Annual National Western Stock Show & Rodeo to brand new exhibitions and the return of the ski train to Winter Park, there is something for everyone in The Mile High City this season.
Here’s what’s on tap for the beginning of 2020. For a complete event calendar, including hotel information, please go to the VISIT DENVER website.
Claude Monet: The Truth of Nature (through February 2)
The Denver Art Museum is the sole U.S. venue for the most comprehensive exhibition of Monet paintings in more than two decades. The exhibition features more than 100 paintings spanning Monet’s entire career and focuses on the celebrated French impressionist artist’s enduring relationship with nature and his response to the varied and distinct places in which he worked. In connection with Denver Art Museum, several hotels have created VIP packages that include untimed, skip-the-line tickets, which allow access to the exhibition even if the date is sold out to the general public; these packages can be found at https://monetindenver.com.
The Science Behind Pixar (through April 5)
Enjoy a unique look into the Pixar process, and explore the science and technology behind some of the most beloved animated films and their characters with The Science Behind Pixar at Denver Museum of Nature & Science. This interactive exhibition showcases the science, technology, engineering, art, and math concepts used by the artists and computer scientists who help bring Pixar’s award-winning films to the big screen. With more than 50 interactive elements, the exhibition’s eight sections each focus on a step in the filmmaking process to give you an unparalleled view of the production pipeline and concepts used at Pixar every day. Participate in fun, engaging hands-on activities, listen to firsthand accounts from members of the studio's production teams, and even come face-to-face with re-creations of your favorite Pixar film characters, including Buzz Lightyear, Dory, Mike and Sulley, Edna Mode, and WALL•E.
Extreme Sports: Beyond Human Limits (through April 12)
Visitors will be put to the test as they jump, fly, dive, climb and explore some of the riskiest activities in the world at this Denver Museum of Nature & Science exhibition. Physical, multimedia and creative challenges place guests inside the minds and bodies of extreme athletes and their passions such as wingsuit flying, ice and rock climbing, parkour, and free diving. Amid exhilarating speeds, breathtaking heights, and profound depths, the stories of these passionate athletes will leave visitors inspired to push their own personal limits.
Beer Here! Brewing the West (through August 9)
Explore Colorado’s brewing industry from the saloons of the Gold Rush through Prohibition to today’s booming craft beer scene at History Colorado Center’s Beer Here! Brewing the West. Learn about the Centennial State’s brewing past, present and future through historical artifacts, interactive elements and more.
International Sportsmen’s Expo (January 9 – 12)
This exposition, held at the Colorado Convention Center, brings together thousands of hunting, fishing and outdoor enthusiasts. Four days of outdoor-themed seminars and activities, including a Youth Fair, is hosted by Colorado Parks and Wildlife.
Winter Park Express Ski Train (January 10 – March 29)
In January 2020, the Winter Park Express by Amtrak will return for its fourth year of service. The train allows people to hit the slopes during the day and return to Denver to spend their aprés ski exploring The Mile High City’s award-winning, chef driven cuisine, more than 70 local craft breweries, unique live music venues and 25,000 hotel rooms. Last year, Amtrak added a bi-level Superliner® Sightseer Lounge Car with windows that start at the floor level and wrap into the ceiling of the railcar; service also includes food and beverages. New this year, Amtrak has increased the round-trip service to include Fridays thru Sundays.
National Western Stock Show & Rodeo (January 11 – 26)
Held every January at the National Western Complex, the National Western Stock Show & Rodeo is the world's largest stock show; and each year is bigger and better than the last, with more than 15,000 animals, rodeos, bull riders, horse shows, livestock competitions, auctions and booths selling everything from cowboy boots to American Indian jewelry.
Ice Skating Rink (through January 20)
Back for its third year, Denver International Airport’s (DEN) free ice skating rink will be on the DEN Plaza for everyone to enjoy daily from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Skaters can pick up free skate rentals and enjoy a few spins accompanied by a variety of entertainment, winter treats and family-friendly music playing in the background.
The Mile High Tree (through January 31)
The Mile High Tree is the tallest art installation in the history in Denver. It debuted at Denver Performing Art Complex as Denver’s newest holiday attraction and is the tallest digital tree in North America. At a stunning 110 feet tall and 39 feet in diameter, the tree features dynamic, pre-programmed light shows every 15 minutes throughout the evening using pixel LED technology choreographed to music.
Icelantic’s Winter on the Rocks (January 31)
Red Rocks Park & Amphitheatre’s only winter show, Winter on the Rocks is an annual tradition featuring a blend of hip-hop and electronic music. Presented by Icelantic Ski Company, 2020 headliners include ft. ZHU with THEY., SNBRN, Channel Tres, and DJ Cassidy.
Downtown Denver Rink at Skyline Park (through February 16)
The Downtown Denver Rink at Skyline Park returned for the 2019-2020 season with ice skating and family fun. The rink is FREE and open to the public with the option to bring your own skates or rent a pair at a minimal cost.
Denver Restaurant Week (February 21 – March 1)
The 16th annual Denver Restaurant Week will feature multi-course menus with three price points at hundreds of Denver’s top restaurants. The three-tiered pricing structure has met with great success since 2017 and will continue again in 2020 – diners can find multi-course menus at $25, $35 and $45 price tags.
Colorado Garden & Home Show (February 22 – March 1)
Held every February, the Garden and Home Show is the West’s oldest and most prestigious garden and home show. The annual event is held at the Colorado Convention Center.
Denver March Powwow (March 20 – 22)
One of the largest events of its kind in the country, the Denver March Powwow at the Denver Coliseum is an American Indian Festival that features more than 1,600 dancers from nearly 100 tribes, representing 38 states and three Canadian provinces. Each session of the three-day event begins with the Grand Entry, a colorful spectacle featuring traditional song and dance. Throughout the weekend, there are traditional drum and dance groups, storytellers, and more than 170 tribal craft booths.
Summer: The Donna Summer Musical (January 28 – February 9)
Denver Center for the Performing Arts presents Summer: The Donna Summer Musical at the Buell Theater. She was a girl from Boston with a voice from heaven, who shot through the stars from gospel choir to dance floor diva. But what the world didn’t know was how Donna Summer risked it all to break through barriers, becoming the icon of an era and the inspiration for every music diva who followed. With a score featuring more than 20 of Summer’s classic hits including “Love to Love You Baby,” “Bad Girls” and “Hot Stuff,” this electric experience is a moving tribute to the voice of a generation.
Opera Colorado- Leoncavallo’s Pagliacci (January 28 – February 9)
Art imitates life (and vice versa) in this opera about the turbulent relationships within a traveling theater troupe. This production of Pagliacci marks Opera Colorado's expansion from two to three fully staged productions at the Ellie Caulkins Opera House.
RENT 20th Anniversary Tour (February 28 – March 1)
This Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winning masterpiece returns to the Buell Theater in a vibrant 20th anniversary touring production. A re-imagining of Puccini's La Bohème, RENT follows an unforgettable year in the lives of seven artists struggling to follow their dreams without selling out. With its inspiring message of joy and hope in the face of fear, this timeless celebration of friendship and creativity reminds us to measure our lives with the only thing that truly matters—love.
Oprah’s 2020 Vision: Your Life in Focus (March 7)
Live at the Pepsi Center, attendees will spend the day with Oprah Winfrey as she shares the personal ups and downs of her wellness journey.
The Spongebob Musical (March 10 – 22)
Performed at the Buell Theater, Broadway’s best creative minds reimagine and bring to life the beloved Nickelodeon series with humor, heart and pure theatricality. This musical celebrates friendship and cooperation, and the power of unity and inclusion.
Celine Dion (March 24)
Dion is one of the most iconic vocalists of our time, with songs like “The Power of Love” and “I’m Your Angel” making her an international sensation. She has broken records, having the highest-selling Vegas residency to date as well as having one of the highest-grossing concert tours of all time. Her Denver concert will take place at the Pepsi Center.
Mean Girls at the Buell Theatre (March 25 – April 12)
Denver Center for the Performing Arts presents Mean Girls at the Buell Theater. Based on the 2004 hit movie, Cady Heron may have grown up on an African savanna, but nothing prepared her for the vicious ways of her strange new home: suburban Illinois. Soon, this naïve newbie falls prey to a trio of lionized frenemies led by the charming but ruthless Regina George. But when Cady devises a plan to end Regina’s reign, she learns the hard way that you can’t cross a Queen Bee without getting stung.
Eagles: Hotel California 2020 Tour (March 26 & 28)
Iconic rock group, The Eagles, will bring their full-album “Hotel California” nationwide tour to Denver’s Pepsi Center for a two-night engagement.
Grace Potter (March 28)
The brand new Mission Ballroom will host bluesy, roots rock specialist Grace Potter. This solo artist is a singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist