DENVER (April 29, 2016) – The Mile High City is the place to be this Memorial Day weekend. From May 27-30, the city will celebrate the beginning of summer with events and festivals, live music, professional sports games and stimulating cultural experiences. The events coupled with the city’s outdoor, active vibe, from the abundant rooftop patios to the walkable downtown, plus great hotel deals, will help visitors make the most of their long weekend.

“Memorial Day in Denver is the perfect time to celebrate what makes this city so great,” says Richard Scharf, President and CEO of VISIT DENVER. “This is going to be a banner year for summer’s unofficial kickoff– with the Rockies, Rapids and Outlaws at home, opening weekend of one of our top water parks, and cultural events and performances throughout the city, there is plenty for everyone to enjoy over the long weekend break.”

Below are just a few of the exciting things happening in Denver over Memorial Day weekend; for a full list of events, things to do and hotel deals, go to the VISIT DENVER Memorial Day page.


Why We Dance: American Indian Art in Motion, May 29 – Aug. 14

Denver Art Museum

This multisensory exhibition will present the motives behind Native American dance and highlight the museum's annual Friendship Powwow and American Indian Cultural Celebration. It features about 86 works, including 78 drawn from the Denver Art Museum’s renowned American Indian art collection. In addition to historic works, the exhibition will showcase contemporary dance regalia from the regional Native American community. Painting and drawings will illustrate specific Native dances such as animal dances, healing dances, and rites of passage primarily found in the Plains region and the American Southwest. Included in the exhibition are large-scale, dance-themed portraits from the 1939 San Francisco World's Fair by Charles Loloma, Jose Duran and Ignacio Moquino.

Samurai: Armor from the Ann and Gabriel Barbier-Mueller Collection, through June 5

Denver Art Museum

The Samurai collection of Ann and Gabriel Barbier-Mueller is one of the finest and most comprehensive collections of Japanese samurai armor, weapons and accoutrements in the world, exploring the life, culture and pageantry of the samurai from the 12th through the 19th centuries. The exhibition tells the iconic story of the samurai through 140 objects, showcasing items of folklore, religion, nature and foreign influences.

Arne Svenson: The Neighbors, Through June 5

Museum of Contemporary Art Denver

After receiving a bird watching, telephoto lens from a friend, Arne Svenson set up a tripod to capture what unfolded within a brand new, glass-and-steel high-rise building across the street from his Tribeca studio. Capturing the lives of his neighbors over the course of a year, Svenson also used the geometry of the building’s windows as his frame, creating various tableaux of domestic life unfolding. Presenting more than 20 photographs from this series, The Neighbors explores the central issues raised by these enigmatic works: voyeurism, the increasingly imperceptible boundaries between privacy and the public, and the ubiquity of the camera in our surveillance-obsessed world.

Robot Revolution, through Aug. 7

Denver Museum of Nature & Science

Explore and interact with a cutting-edge collection of robots from around the world in the new exhibition, Robot Revolution. Robots that have rarely been shown to the public – from soccer-playing ‘bots to impressive humanoids to all-terrain crawlers – demonstrate how these amazing machines can change the way humans live, work, and play for the better. The exhibition is supported by with additional major support from The Boeing Company.

Stories in Sculpture: Selections from the Walker Art Center Collection, Through Oct. 2

Denver Botanic Gardens

Organized by the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, Stories in Sculpture: Selections from the Walker Art Center Collection features works from the institution's renowned permanent collection. Thirteen seminal modern and contemporary sculptures will make an unprecedented move to Denver while the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden undergoes a major reconstruction project. Artists in the exhibition include Henry Moore, Louise Nevelson, Isamu Noguchi, George Segal, Saul Baizerman, Deborah Butterfield, Barry Flanagan and Judith Shea.


Musical Performances & Festivals

Denver Day of Rock, May 28

Downtown Denver

Denver Day of Rock is a free, one-of-a-kind music event on the 16th Street Mall that features five stages with live music and family-friendly entertainment throughout Denver. This year’s performers include The Railbenders, Mark Broussard, Gipsy Moon and more. The event supports Amp The Cause, a local nonprofit organization focused on children’s health and education.

Let’s Dance: Celebration of David Bowie, May 28

Boettcher Concert Hall

This Jeans n’ Classics concert collaboration brings the best of Bowie's expansive catalog, including favorites like "Space Oddity," "Changes," "China Girl," and more, live on stage to honor more than five decades of pushing boundaries of music, fashion, and culture. For almost 20 years Jeans n' Classics has been combining world class rock musicians with symphony orchestras. While most definitely not a tribute act, Jeans 'n Classics faithfully interprets the music of legendary rock and pop albums and artists, with their own special and signature flair.

ArtStir Denver, May 28-29

Denver Pavilions

An art market exclusively showcasing Colorado creatives designed to stir up the artist in everyone with a spirited blend of Colorado art, music and style. Featured works include painting sculpture, photography, illustration, textiles, furnishings, mixed media and more. There will also be food and beverages available for purchase. Entrance to the event is free.

The Big Wonderful, May 27-28

Downtown Littleton

An outdoor sustainable market that blends food, flea and entertainment, The Big Wonderful features a large outdoor craft beer garden built out of a storage container, beach volleyball, an urban farm, a full stage and much more. This event is designed for the whole family, but cool enough for everyone. General admission is typically $5-7 and includes a free beer.


Red Rocks Park & Amphitheatre 75th Anniversary & Summer Concert Series

Recently named to the National Historic Register and celebrating its 75th anniversary in 2016, Red Rocks Park & Amphitheatre is a world-famous outdoor concert and recreation venue located approximately 30 minutes from Denver. The only naturally-occurring, acoustically perfect amphitheater in the world, Red Rocks is recognized for its star-studded concert roster, natural acoustics and ambience, as well as its awe-inspiring hiking and biking trails. Memorial Day Weekend will feature The Devil Makes Three and Shakey Graves, My Morning Jacket and, as part of the Film on the Rocks series, a Monday night screening of cult classic, The Big Lebowski.

Family Fun

Water World – Opening Day, May 28

Home to the first two water slides in the state of Colorado and located just north of downtown, Water World now features more than 45 water adventures on 64 acres of land – the largest variety of water attractions in the U.S. Families can cool off in one of America’s largest and best water parks – enjoying everything from a lazy river to speed slides; children’s play adventures to Colorado’s only magnetic water coaster, the Mile High Flyer. The park features kid-friendly food vendors, but picnics are also welcome and parking is free.

Elitch Gardens Theme & Water Park – All Weekend

Located in the heart of downtown Denver, Elitch Gardens is America’s only downtown theme and water park. All weekend – and all summer – long, kids of all ages can experience more than 50 rides and attractions, including 14 pint-sized adventures, thrilling roller coasters, cool water slides, Dive-In Movies, free concerts and more.

Denver Zoo Welcomes New Tigers, Baby Gorilla, Black Rhinoceros

The Denver Zoo is home to more than 4,300 animals representing 650 species including Asian elephants, African lions, Komodo dragons and Western lowland gorillas; and it is the greenest zoo in the country. With numerous animal shows, feedings and meet and greets, along with new animals and interactive exhibits – this year featuring The Edge, an expansive new tiger exhibit; Whimsie Adepa (a baby western lowland gorilla); and Rudy (a baby black rhinoceros) – Denver Zoo is one of the city’s top cultural attractions. The Denver Zoo is open daily.


Sports & Recreation

Professional Sports – Colorado Rockies, Colorado Rapids and Denver Outlaws

Denver is home to seven professional sports teams, including Major League Baseball’s Colorado Rockies, Major League Soccer’s Colorado Rapids and Major League Lacrosse’s Denver Outlaws. Fans can catch the Rockies at home during a three-game series against the San Francisco Giants May 27-29; and during a four-game homestand against the Cincinnati Reds May 30-June 2.

On Saturday, May 28, fans can watch the Rapids play the Philadelphia Union at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park; and the Outlaws play the Boston Cannon at Sports Authority Field at Mile High.