The Mile High City will usher in the new year with a spectacular array of only-in-Denver activities. From the city’s classic, signature events like the National Western Stock Show & Rodeo – a Colorado tradition since 1906, to true blockbuster exhibitions – The Mile High City will be the only stop in the United States for the internationally renowned exhibition, Degas: A Passion for Perfection at Denver Art Museum – this winter will be full of exceptional options for all types of visitors.
“Denver is a world-class destination, and that has never been more evident than in the experiences visitors can enjoy as we head in to 2018” says Richard Scharf, president and CEO of VISIT DENVER, The Convention & Visitors Bureau. “The first few months of this year are brimming with things to do all over the city; and they are going to be the perfect kickoff to what is shaping up to be an incredible year to visit The Mile High City.”
Below are just a few examples of the experiences taking place in Denver in the beginning of 2018. For a complete event calendar, including hotel information, please go to the VISIT DENVER website.
Degas: A Passion for Perfection, February 11 – May 20, 2018
Appearing for the only time in the United States at Denver Art Museum, Degas: A Passion for Perfection will showcase prolific French artist Edgar Degas’ works from 1855 to 1906. More than 100 works consisting of paintings, drawings, pastels, etchings, monotypes, and sculptures in bronze will be on view. The exhibition will focus on the most prominent and recurring themes throughout Degas’ 60-year career. These include his interest in learning from the art of the past and from that of his contemporaries, a lifelong fascination with the nude, a passion for horses, and his strong interest in opera and dance.
Creatures of Light, February 23 – June 10, 2018
Denver Museum of Nature & Science will host a new exhibition, Creatures of Light, which explores the mysterious world of bioluminescence, visible light generated by living things through a chemical reaction. Lifelike models, spectacular immersive environments and simulations, unusual animals, videos, and engaging hands-on activities create an enlightening experience. The exhibition will feature a dark cave illuminated by glowworms, an interactive “lagoon” and more.
Dead Sea Scrolls, March 16 – September 3, 2018
Denver Museum of Nature & Science will host the exhibition that has captivated millions around the world – a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see authentic Dead Sea Scrolls, ancient manuscripts that include the oldest known Biblical documents dating back over 2,000 years. In addition, the largest collection of artifacts from the Holy Land ever assembled for display will allow guests to explore the traditions, beliefs, and iconic objects of ancient Israel that continue to impact world cultures today.
Her Paris: Women Artists in the Age of Impressionism, through January 14, 2018
Denver Art Museum is hosting Her Paris: Women Artists in the Age of Impressionism, a traveling exhibition organized by the American Federation of Arts that surveys the artistic contributions of women in Paris during the second half of the 19th century, revealing the breadth and strength of their achievements. The exhibition features more than 80 paintings by 37 women artists from across Europe and America, who migrated to Paris to further their artistic careers. Visitors can purchase hotel packages from some of Denver’s premier hotels that feature VIP tickets, which will allow them to skip the line and see the exhibition at their leisure.
Ai WeiWei: Circle of Animals/Zodiac Heads, through October 17, 2018
In his first major public sculpture project, Circle of Animals/Zodiac Heads, internationally acclaimed Chinese contemporary artist Ai Weiwei has reinterpreted twelve bronze animal heads representing the traditional Chinese zodiac that once adorned the famed fountain-clock of the Yuanming Yuan, an imperial retreat in Beijing. The bronze pieces will surround the Sea Lions Fountain on the north end of Civic Center Park in downtown Denver, and a complementary educational exhibit, Ai Weiwei: Art & Social Change will be housed in the McNichols Civic Center building, adjacent to the sculptures.
Winter Park Express Ski Train, January 5 – March 25, 2018
In January 2017, the Winter Park Express by Amtrak returned from a seven-year hiatus to sellout crowds of eager skiers. The train allows people to hit the slopes during the day and return to Denver for après ski, an abundance of culinary options and nearly 10,000 hotel rooms to choose from, including several that offer Ski Train packages. It’s also a great option for the weekend visitor who wants to get some turns in while they’re in Denver. Changes this year include lower fare prices – tickets start at just $29, instead of last year’s $39 – “First Friday” rides, with the train running on the first Friday of each month of the season. The train runs on weekends; one-way tickets start at $29 per person.
112th National Western Stock Show & Rodeo, January 6-21, 2018
A Colorado tradition since 1906, the National Western Stock Show & Rodeo is the world's largest; and each year is bigger and better than the last, with more than 15,000 animals, Mexican rodeos, bull riders, horse shows, livestock competitions, auctions and booths selling everything from cowboy boots to American Indian jewelry at the National Western Complex.
Icelantic’s Winter on the Rocks, January 26, 2018
The seventh annual Icelantic’s Winter on the Rocks will feature headliners Mac Miller and Jauz live at Red Rocks Amphitheatre. New to the programming for 2018 is The Outdoor Retailer Fashion Show, taking place during Winter on the Rocks in conjunction with The Outdoor Retailer + Snow Show and featuring this year’s latest outdoor recreation style.
Denver Restaurant Week, February 23 – March 4, 2018
The 14th 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 that met with great success in 2017 will continue again in 2018: diners can find multi-course menus at $25, $35 and $45 price tags.
Kirkland Museum of Fine & Decorative Art Grand Opening, March 10, 2018
In 2013, ten years after the Kirkland Museum of Fine & Decorative Art opened to the public on Pearl Street, it became clear that in order to best promote international decorative art, Colorado and regional art and Vance Kirkland, a larger building would be necessary. In January 2014, Kirkland Museum announced plans to move the museum to a new building in Denver’s Golden Triangle Creative District. This spring, Kirkland Museum will open its doors to a new building, featuring Vance Kirkland's 1910–1911 studio & art school building, moved to Bannock Street. The new facility features the addition of new and expanded visitor amenities and a world-class display space.
Denver March Powwow, March 23-25, 2018
One of the largest events of its kind in the country, the Denver March Powwow at the historic 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.
Collaboration Fest, March 31, 2018
Known as America’s most creative beer festival, Collaboration Fest features brews that are a result of collaborations between two or more breweries from around the state, country and world. These individual collaborations mean that every beer tapped will be its first time, and every beer has a unique story. This year, the festival will be at the Hyatt Regency at Colorado Convention Center.
Romeo and Juliet, February 16-25, 2018
Colorado Ballet will present the classic Shakespearean love story, Romeo and Juliet, at the Ellie Caulkins Opera House. The romantic ballet features choreography by Derek Deane and music by Sergei Prokofiev, performed by the Colorado Ballet Orchestra. Prokofiev’s music serves as a melodic substitute for Shakespeare's poetry and Deane's staging of the ballet focuses on the characters’ relationships.
Disney’s Aladdin, April 7-28, 2018
From the producer of The Lion King comes the timeless story of Aladdin, a thrilling new production at the Buell Theatre filled with unforgettable beauty, magic, comedy and breathtaking spectacle. It is an extraordinary theatrical event where one lamp and three wishes create infinite possibilities.
First Date, through April 22, 2018
When blind date newbie Aaron is set up with serial-dater Casey, a drink at a busy New York restaurant turns into a hilarious high-stakes dinner when other restaurant patrons transform into supportive best friends, manipulative exes and protective parents, who sing and dance them through ice-breakers, appetizers and potential conversational land mines. This exciting musical comedy from Denver Center for the Performing Arts takes place at the Garner Galleria Theatre.