DENVER (May 22, 2015) - Craftsmanship and curation combine for an unparalleled season of offerings in Denver this summer, rich with top athletes and musicians, history's best artists and most notable work, and an incredible variety of craft beer and on-trend restaurants.
"The Mile High City is an active, adventurous place, so it's no wonder it attracts travelers intentionally seeking the outdoor and cultural offerings we provide on a daily basis," said Richard Scharf, president and CEO, VISIT DENVER. "Denver really is a four-season destination, but if I had to pick a favorite time of year, looking at how much is happening in our great city over the next few months, right now I would say summer. Ask me again this fall when there's a new season of sports, beer brewers promoting their craft, and artists are showcasing their creations."
Inspiring Art: Fills Museums, Extends Beyond Gallery Walls
The 40-foot Blue Bear ("I See What You Mean" by Lawrence Argent) outside the Colorado Convention Center is perhaps one of Denver's best-known characters, but stories and inspiration abound in every Mile High neighborhood with a variety of murals, historic statues and public art pieces. No matter the itinerary or the stops on the road, Denver visitors will surely enjoy the artistic offerings of The Mile High City this summer.
Denver Botanic Gardens
Deborah Butterfield: The Nature of Horses
May 23 - Oct. 18, 2015
Throughout 2015, the Denver Botanic Gardens celebrates the Great Plains and similar steppe ecosystems around the world. Deborah Butterfield captures the essence of the horse with her contemporary sculpture - characters of strength, spirit and grace. Explore the American artist's use of minimalistic line and powerful form amid the Gardens' outdoor environment. The Nature of Horses provides a dynamic and organic complement to the varying landscapes and sparks the imagination of the attendees.
Pepsi Center Grand Chapiteau
KURIOSTM - Cabinet of Curiosities from Cirque du Soleil®
June 11 - July 26, 2015
The show immerses guests into a mysterious and fascinating realm that disorients the senses and challenges perceptions. Guests are invited to step into the curio cabinet of an ambitious inventor who defies the laws of time, space and dimension in order to reinvent everything around him. Suddenly, the visible becomes invisible, perspectives are transformed, and the world is literally turned upside down in a place that's as beautiful as it is mysterious. KURIOS - Cabinet of Curiosities is an ingenious blend of unusual curiosity acts and stunning acrobatic prowess from Cirque du Soleil.
History Colorado Center
Toys of the ‘50s, ‘60s and ‘70s
June 13 - October 4, 2015
Gumby. Barbie. Slinky. Spirograph. Hot Wheels. The names capture the craziness, the joy, the sheer fun of being a kid. Beneath those nutty names are rich veins of nostalgia, memory and history. Travelers can experience the toys and their stories through three imagined living rooms that bring the decades back to life.
Denver Museum of Nature & Science
Mythic Creatures: Dragons, Unicorns and Mermaids
Now - Sept. 9, 2015
Dragons, Bigfoot, Loch Ness Monster, unicorns, and mermaids. For centuries these legendary creatures have captured imaginations and inspired stories, music, art, and many theories about their origins and existence. They are all around - hiding beneath the waves, running silently through the trees and soaring above the clouds. At the Denver Museum of Nature & Science's Mythic Creatures, the world's most enduring myths from Asia, Europe, the Americas, and beyond come to life. The captivating exhibition features eye-popping, "life-size" models, paintings, preserved specimens, and fossils that spotlight the fascinating relationship between the realms of real and imaginary creatures.
Denver Art Museum
Joan Miro: Instinct & Imagination
Now - June 28, 2015
Joan Miro: Instinct & Imagination at the Denver Art Museum focuses on artworks the Spanish artist created during the last two decades of his career, from 1963-1981. Joan Miro's imagination and creativity extended well into his old age. Later in life, he continued the inventive forms for which he is known and began exploring new materials, including bronze. This exhibition features bronze sculptures-including Woman and Bird, which have rarely been seen outside Europe.
Music Fills the Air
Coming up on its 75th anniversary in 2016, Red Rocks Park & Amphitheatre annually churns out a lineup of sell-out-worthy performances, securing every genre from blues and country to rock and electronica, and 2015 is no different with more than 100 concerts. Yoga, fitness and film events fill nearly every day in between live performances, so visitors have a daily reason to visit the 70-million-year-old monoliths that flank the amphitheatre stage.
The Westword Music Showcase, June 20, 2015, welcomes Flume, The Black Angels, MisterWives, Robert DeLong, Wave Racer, Roadkill Ghost Choir plus more than 100 local bands and artists still to be announced. The showcase is a celebration of Colorado's vibrant music scene, home to internationally renowned experimental bands, pioneering folk artists, Grammy winners and more.
Ushering in the July Fourth weekend, three-time Grammy winner and multi-Platinum artist, the Zac Brown Band, will play the first-ever Coors Field concert. The country music group brings its "Jekyll + Hyde" tour to Denver on Friday, July 3, 2015, for one show only.
July 23-26, 2015, plays host to the Underground Music Showcase (UMS), Denver's premier indie music festival, now in its 15th year. The UMS is known not only for its focus on local talent and the local community, but also for the diversity and high-energy performances. This year's incarnation showcases more than 400 local and national act performances, across four days, in nearly 20 venues.
Chefs + Brewers Are Artists, Too
In Denver, chefs and brewers bring their craftsmanship A-game, with new restaurants, bars, tasting rooms and food trucks arriving nearly every day. Known as the Napa Valley of Beer, the Denver area churns our more beer on a daily basis than any other city in the world. Recently lauded by The New York Times, USA Today, and Travel + Leisure as a top spirits town, Denver offers indoor and outdoor samplings for the nouveau connoisseur to the collector.
Like many of today's best craft breweries, Denver Beer Company was born in a garage, and inspired by a love for the craft of brewing. Serving only premium artisan ales and lagers, Denver Beer Co., utilizes fresh ingredients and embraces both innovative and old world styles of beer. The Great Divide Brewing Company was early to the scene in the ‘80s, and has only picked up steam, thanks to its 45 hardworking, creative and passionate employees. Great Divide has been honored as a winner of 18 Great American Beer Festival® medals, recipient of five World Beer Cup awards, 12th in Ratebeer.com's 2013 "Best Brewers in the World," Ratebeer.com's 2013 Top Brewer in Colorado, and 7th in Beer Advocate's 2010 "All-Time Top Brewers."
Beer isn't the only beverage Denver visitors raise a glass to - Leopold Bros. is a family-owned and operated distillery in Denver, creating award-winning whiskies, gins, vodka, liqueurs, ferment and absinthe. All barley is malted, grains are milled and ferment mashed onsite, and they barrel everything by hand. Stranahan's Colorado Whiskey was the brainchild of volunteer firefighter Jess Graber, who responded to a neighbor's barn fire down the road and realized the barn he made effort to save belonged to George Stranahan, long-time liquor connoisseur. When the fire settled, the two discovered a shared passion for the Colorado outdoors and a good pour of fine whiskey.
For more than a decade, Denver has also gained notoriety as a foodie haven. From the chef-owned restaurants in Larimer Square (Rioja, Tag) and Union Station (Stoic & Genuine) to the unique venues reimagining historic buildings, dining in Denver has never been better. New to the scene this year:
3200 Pecos St., Denver, Colo.
Seven different restaurant concepts are housed in modified shipping containers and feature a diverse mix of affordable chef-inspired cuisine.
1215 20th St., Denver, Colo.
In the downtown corridor, Ophelia's is a new restaurant-bar-music venue sandwiched between Larimer and Lawrence streets. Ophelia's, which opened in April 2015, now occupies a large portion of the historic Airedale building, which first opened in 1889 as Kopper's Hotel and Saloon. The venue's history is slightly more risqué than its drink menu, but the racy wall art is a nice reminder of the building's lured backstory.
Epic Family Adventures
From its seven professional sports teams to its sheer volume of family-friendly cultural facilities, Denver hosts a variety of ways for families to find adventure this summer.
The active family can hike a "Fourteener" with the highest paved road in North America, Mt. Evans, which also features spectacular trails for the novice to expert hiker, or take in the herds of elk, deer and big horn sheep in Denver's backyard, just a 1.5-hour drive away in Rocky Mountain National Park.
Within the city, the Downtown Aquarium puts on daily swims with its sharks and the Denver Museum of Nature & Science features Denver's dino-rich history with some of the world's best collections of prehistoric fossils.
Denver has one of the most notable railroad legacies, further solidified with the re-imagination of its Union Station, which launched in July 2014 with Colorado-owned restaurants, shops and a 112-room boutique hotel. A few minutes' drive west to the foothills of Golden and the family can continue their railway education at the Colorado Railroad Museum, offering events throughout the summer, including special Thomas the Train appearances in September.
The Children's Museum of Denver is undergoing a major $15.8 million expansion, slated to be complete in the second half of 2015. On a 9-acre campus, the museum will more than double the current indoor and outdoor program and exhibit square footage, and add considerable guest amenities and parking. Eight new interactive exhibits, designed by the museum's team of education experts, exhibit designers and community partners, are based on the museum's core early learning focus areas of STEM (science, technology, engineering and math), health and wellness, 21st-century skills, literacy and the arts. They include: a unique community tree welcome experience; a teaching kitchen; an art exhibit with clay and artist-in-residence studios; a whimsical dental health exhibit; a hands-in water laboratory; a kid-powered energy exhibit; a 3.5-story climbing structure; and a year-round Colorado-themed outdoor experience.
Blockbuster Sporting Events on Every Surface
Casual athletes will enjoy Denver's 850 miles of paved bike paths and the city's B-cycle bike sharing program, as well as the paddle-boarding, kayaking and other adventure sports found around the city at spots like Confluence Park and Washington Park. But for those seeking top-level play, some of the world's best athletes raise the competitive bar in Denver this summer at a host of professional match-ups, as well as casual and amateur competitions peppered throughout the season.
Dick's Sporting Goods Park
MLS All-Star Game
July 29, 2015
Major League Soccer will bring the top men's soccer players from around the globe to Dick's Sporting Goods Park for the 2015 AT&T MLS All-Star Game. The annual showcase will feature several exciting days of events surrounding the match such as concerts, community service initiatives and player appearances. In addition, the Chipotle MLS Homegrown Game, featuring the best hometown players from across the league, will return for the second consecutive year.
2015 USA Pro Challenge
August 17-23, 2015
For seven consecutive days, the 2015 USA Pro Challenge (UPC) will bring the high speeds and adrenaline of professional biking to elevations more than two miles high in some of the most spectacular scenery in the world - the Colorado Rocky Mountains. The UPC swings into action in its fifth year with a new circuit start in Steamboat Springs on Monday, August 17, and then makes its way through another eight stunning host cities for the race finale in downtown Denver on Sunday, August 23, 2015. A fun, free festival with an awards ceremony, music and food trucks will follow in Civic Center Park. New for 2015, the "Women's USA Pro Challenge," will take place over the course of three days, in conjunction with the men's race. The women will race on parts of the men's race course in Colorado this August and race daily for the same prize money as the men. This is the first time since 1988 that some of the best men and women in the world will be sharing courses at a major, international stage race in Colorado.
Dick's Sporting Goods Park
Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF)
October 6-7, 2015
Later this year, Olympic hopefuls will compete in Denver for a spot in the 2016 Olympic Football Tournament in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF) unveiled the four U.S. cities which will host the CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying Championship 2015, scheduled for October 1-13. Denver, Kansas City, Salt Lake City and Los Angeles will serve as hosts for group stage matches, with Dick's Sporting Goods Park, home of the Colorado Rapids, hosting all eight qualified teams for group stage Match Day 3 from October 6-7, 2015. This year's CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying Championship will feature eight qualified nations divided into two groups. The tournament host U.S. will be seeded in Group A, while 2012 Olympic gold-medalist Mexico will head Group B. The top two finishers in each group after round-robin play advance to the semifinals. Ticket information will be made available at a later date.
To learn more about Denver's robust summer offerings, go to VISITDENVER.com.