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  Denver is packed with outdoor activities, blockbuster museum exhibitions and family-friendly fun before and after this Labor Day weekend, Sept. 3–6, 2021.

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FEATURED EVENTS

BLOCKBUSTER EXHIBITIONS

VAN GOGH ALIVE THE EXPERIENCE

WHEN: Thru Sept. 26, 2021
WHERE: Stanley Marketplace, Aurora

Don't just admire Van Gogh's paintings — immerse yourself in them at the most visited multi-sensory experience in the world! This large-scale, multi-sensory digital art experience gives visitors the unique opportunity to immerse themselves into Van Gogh's artistry and truly venture into his world. From start to finish, visitors are surrounded by a vibrant symphony of light, color, sound and fragrance that has been called an 'unforgettable' multi-sensory experience. Van Gogh's masterpieces come to life, giving visitors the sensation of walking right into his paintings. 

CAN'T-MISS EVENTS

CASUAL FEST 2021

WHEN: Sept. 22, 2021
WHERE: Boulder Bandshell, Boulder
Casual Fest takes over the Boulder Bandshell for a day of local artists, authors, and speakers. The goal is to create a free public art and music event to connect the community. 

DAY OUT WITH THOMAS

WHEN: Sept. 25–26, 2021
WHERE: Colorado Railroad Museum, Golden

Thomas the Tank Engine is pulling into town for a giant party! Join him at Day Out With Thomas™, where families can join the outdoor fun when the #1 engine pulls into the Colorado Railroad Museum on the weekends. Hhop on board an interactive train ride with a life-sized Thomas the Tank Engine and enjoy access to hands-free activities, including live entertainment, scavenger hunt, a hay bale maze, stage shows, sing-a-longs and much more!

SECOND SATURDAYS IN DOWNTOWN LITTLETON 

WHEN: Thru Oct. 9, 2021; Second Saturday of the month
WHERE: Historic Downtown Littleton

Join the Littleton community every second Saturday of the month from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and stroll streets lined with artisan vendors, food stalls and more.

CMC PRESENTS: BANFF MOUNTAIN FILM FESTIVAL WORLD TOUR 

WHEN: Thru Oct. 24, 2021
WHERE: Virtual/Online

Get stoked for the 2021 presentation of the most outrageous, adventure-packed films from the Banff Mountain Film Festival. Follow along as some of the world's best adventurers and filmmakers hike tough trails, paddle wild waters and ski steep slopes. 

MUSIC, MOVIES & PERFORMING ARTS


SUMMER NIGHTS OUTDOOR MOVIE SERIES AT IRONTON DISTILLERY 

Join Ironton Distillery & Crafthouse  for an outdoor summer movie series in their new backyard space. This year, it’s a Sandler Summer, screening Adam Sandler’s greatest hits all summer long! Enjoy themed cocktails and nibbles at each show. Seating begins at 7:30 pm, movies will begin at dusk. A portion of the ticket sales goes to Big City Mountaineers, a local organization dedicated to improving the lives of under-resourced kids by getting them outdoors on wilderness expeditions. Advanced tickets are required.

  • Sept. 22, 2021: The Waterboy

 

'DAISY'S DAY SPEAKEASY'

WHEN: Thru Sept. 25, 2021
WHERE: Factory Five Five, Aurora

"Daisy's Day Speakeasy" is a lively, adults-only experiential performance that invites you to have a direct impact on parts of the story. Enjoy live music, dancing, vaudeville, Prohibition-style cocktails and more. Formal 1920s attire encouraged!

'ALICE IN WONDERLAND'

WHEN: Thru Sept. 30, 2021
WHERE: Su Teatro Cultural and Performing Arts Center
Denver’s premier disability-affirmative theatre, Phamaly Theatre Company, is proud to present the world premiere adaptation of "Alice in Wonderland," written by David Jacobi and featuring an original music soundtrack by Denver’s own experimental music group, Wheelchair Sports Camp. Catch it streaming online Sept. 10–26, 2021. 

'THE ADDAMS FAMILY'

WHEN: Thru Nov. 12, 2021
WHERE: St. Lukes UMC, Highlands Ranch
Celebrate the wackiness in every family with this best-selling Broadway musical adapted for school-age performers! Wednesday Addams, the ultimate princess of darkness, has grown up and fallen in love with a sweet, smart young man from a respectable family whom her parents have never met. Everything will change on the fateful night the Addams family hosts a dinner for Wednesday’s “normal” boyfriend and his parents. Put on by Performing Arts Academy students in grades 3–6!

DISTORTIONS MONSTER WORLD

WHEN: Thru Dec. 31, 2021
WHERE: Denver Pavilions
Ready to get up close and personal with the things that go bump in the night? Come to Distortions Monster World (if you dare), where surprises will greet you around every corner on an out-of-this-world interactive adventure. This series of cinematic environments featuring immersive installations and infamous creatures and characters will truly transport you to another place!

'UNTIL THE FLOOD'

WHEN: Thru Aug. 11, 2023
WHERE: Virtual/Online

After the death of Michael Brown, The Ferguson Unrest shook the nation to its core and put a spotlight on police brutality and discrimination. Using extensive interviews she conducted herself, Pulitzer Prize finalist and Obie Award winner Dael Orlandersmith created eight fictional characters to represent the broad spectrum of perspectives that continue to define and divide our country at large.

PROFESSIONAL & COLLEGE SPORTS

Check back for the 2022 schedule!

MUSEUM EXHIBITIONS

Check back for the 2022 lineup!

SOURCE MATERIAL

WHEN: Thru Sept. 25, 2021
WHERE: Colorado Photographic Arts Center

From the Dadaists through the Pictures Generation and beyond, artists have used found imagery as source material for larger ideas, often to critique popular media, express irony, or wax nostalgic. Moving past these often impersonal traditions, the artists in Source Material warmly visualize personal experiences and give new meaning to overlooked or forgotten histories. They use a range of approaches – from digitally manipulating found images to creating image sculptures – all with a sense of care that honors and elevates their past.

JESS T. DUGAN: C.A.R.S ONLINE

WHEN: Thru Sept. 30, 2021
WHERE: Virtual/Online

The artist-curated C.A.R.S. Online series features past participants in the long-running Critic & Artist Residency Series at Colorado State University. In this virtual exhibition, Jess T. Dugan explores issues of identity through photographic portraiture. 

STORIES WE TELL: THE COLLECTION TWO WAYS

WHEN: Thru Oct. 10, 2021
WHERE: Clyfford Still Museum

This exhibition digs deep into the vaults to present the collection in two complementary but alternate ways as a means to understand how artworks and their meaning can change based upon curatorial strategy. It begins with a new chronological presentation in the first five galleries. In the remaining four rooms, the artworks are grouped into specific thematic categories regardless of their chronology. 

THE CIVIL WAR MONUMENT "ON GUARD"

WHEN: Thru Oct. 15, 2021
WHERE: History Colorado Center

This monument stood in front of Colorado's State Capitol until it was toppled in June 2020 during protests for Black lives. Installed in 1909 to memorialize Colorado’s role in the Civil War, the monument holds multiple meanings for viewers today: a tribute to those who’ve served and sacrificed in the nation’s armed forces, a reminder of atrocities committed against Indigenous peoples, a symbol of white supremacy and injustice, a casualty of destructive lawlessness, and more. Lonnie Bunch, the first African American and first historian to serve as Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, said, "what you really want to do is use the statues as teachable moments. Some of these need to go. But others need to be taken into a park, into a museum, into a warehouse, and interpreted for people, because they're part of our history."

ARMOR

WHEN: Thru Oct. 16, 2021
WHERE: Metropolitan State University of Denver - Center for Visual Art

This exhibition addresses different ways artists express concepts of bodily protection and the means by which we arm and mend ourselves physically, spiritually and emotionally. Explorations into armor will uncover how these structures or ideals can protect, but also fail us.

SPECTRUM OF BEING

WHEN: Sept. 10–Nov. 6, 2021
WHERE: Walker Fine Art

Aristotle developed the first known theory of color, believing it was sent by God from Heaven through celestial rays of light. From Newton to Geothe, studies on the spectrums of color and light have been conducted for millennia, and while the sciences of these matters are now widely accepted, artists continue to experiment with the use of these concepts to induce varying emotions through their work. In this exhibition, six artists bridge the intuitive and the visceral to address the viewers’ individual life experiences. This exhibition serves as an invitation to the shared visual experiences of human existence. 

OF SKY AND GROUND: YOSHITOMO SAITO

WHEN: Thru Nov. 28, 2021
WHERE: Denver Botanic Gardens

Yoshitomo Saito's cast-bronze works capture and celebrate the elegant lines and subtle details of nature. From smaller seed pods to the arch of a branch, his compositions reinterpret organic forms to encourage contemplation.

SHIKI DREAMS BY PRISMAJIC

WHEN: Thru Dec. 19, 2021
WHERE: Prismajic

Shiki Dreams is the latest immersive adventure from the creators of 2019’s smash hit Natura Obscura. The multi-sensory immersive experience leads guests on a fun and mystical journey of exploration and discovery that combines art and technology in beautiful and amazing ways.

FORTY YEARS ON THE ’FAX

WHEN: Thru Dec. 31, 2021
WHERE: History Colorado Center

Take a nostalgic ride down Colfax, with stops at the quirky and memorable places that gave the street its worldwide reputation.

MUSEUM FOR BLACK GIRLS

WHEN: Thru Dec. 31, 2021
WHERE: 
1421 26th Street
"Black Girl Magic" is more than a buzzword or trend. It's the essence of Black women. The Museum for Black Girls is a space to celebrate this essence, as well as educate about the journey to our present state and liberation. Finally and most importantly, our museum serves as a love letter to Black women and our experience. This interactive pop-up gallery features multiple, vibrant exhibits. 

EARTH ILLUMINATED

WHEN: Thru Dec. 31, 2021
WHERE: Denver Pavilions

Earth Illuminated is an immersive experience where the natural world and digital media merge to take you on an ethereal journey. Wander through a 13,000-square-foot space showcasing our planet's beauty from air, land and sea. Explore a series of immersive environments and large-scale interactive art installations that change the way you experience art and nature.

FERVOR: ANA MARÍA HERNANDO

WHEN: Sept. 11, 2021–Jan. 2, 2022
WHERE: Denver Botanic Gardens

Interdisciplinary artist Ana María Hernando harnesses the power of painting, poetry and installation to honor and alter traditional feminine craft and community. Her love of plants, flowers and the spirit of nature permeates her work. Fervor features her installation Écoutons | Escuchemos | Let's Listen, created in response to bird sounds submitted from more than 200 people across the globe.

Truth, Beauty and Power: Christopher Dresser and The Aesthetic Movement

WHEN: Thru Jan. 2, 2022
WHERE: Kirkland Museum of Fine & Decorative Art 
The iconic museum is back! Following a temporary closure due to water damage earlier in the year, the Kirkland Museum of Fine & Decorative Art is reopening with a new exhibition: Truth, Beauty and Power: Christopher Dresser and The Aesthetic Movement. Museum visitors will learn about this lesser-known design movement (1865-1900) along with Dresser, a British designer. The exhibition features works from the museum's permanent collection, many of which will be publicly displayed for the first time. 

BLACK IN DENVER

WHEN: Thru Mar. 5, 2022
WHERE: History Colorado Center

Narkita Gold is a Denver-based artist who's been honing her skills in digital photography since 2009. Her exhibition Black in Denver is a portrait and interview series that takes delves into Black life in Denver.

STATE HISTORICAL FUND RETROSPECTIVE

WHEN: Thru Apr. 30, 2022
WHERE: History Colorado Center

This exhibit explores the rich contributions of History Colorado's State Historical Fund. Through the preservation of the built environment, the SHF has enhanced vibrant communities across the state for more than three decades.

SCULPTURE ON THE GREEN II: FEATURING ROBERT MANGOLD

WHEN: Thru May 2022
WHERE
Fiddler's Green Amphitheatre
MOA presents Sculpture on the Green II, the second installation of an ongoing, annual, rotating exhibition. This year features Colorado sculptor Robert Mangold. The sculptures are made from industrial steel piping. Some are painted a brilliant red, while others are simply polished, allowing for the beauty in the raw material to be revealed.

BRICK & SOUL // ARMANDO GENEYRO

WHEN: Thru July 30, 2022
WHERE: History Colorado Center

Local photographer Armando Geneyro connects the build environment with the people who shape its meaning. A versatile photographer, Armando specializes in events coverage and photojournalism. His passion for street photography allows him to connect to his subjects and immerse himself in different cultures. 

MEMORY MIRROR

WHEN: Thru Mar. 5, 2023
WHERE: Denver Art Museum

Lares Feliciano's Memory Mirror is an immersive installation that invites visitors to explore their relationship with memory through animation, dioramas and interactive storytelling. Designed to evoke the memory of a relative's living room, this exhibition will transform the museum's Precourt Family Discovery Hall into a surreal domestic den that is both familiar and fantastic.

NIGHT LIGHTS DENVER

WHEN: Permanent installation
WHERE: Daniels & Fisher Tower

Night Lights Denver features rotating content designed by local artists and the community and projected on the Arapahoe Street side of the Daniels & Fisher Tower every Thursday through Saturday evening.

OUTDOOR FUN

ELITCH GARDENS THEME & WATER PARK 

Head to the only downtown theme and water park in the country for roller coasters, water slides, family entertainment and much more! 

WATER WORLD

Beat the heat, relax in the park's beautifully landscaped 64 acres — and ride some serious waterslides. 

FARMERS' MARKETS

The Mile High City's more than 20 farmers' markets aren't just about locally grown produce, delicious baked goods and prepared foods — though you'll find those in abundance! Each market is a festive, weekly street fair, many with live entertainment and family-friendly activities. 

DENVER ZOO

With over 3,500 animals on 84 gorgeous acres, Denver Zoo is an amazing experience year-round. Your donation helps to provide world-class care for the lions, giraffes and elephants, as well as other wild animals and wild places, from the Rockies to Mongolia.

DENVER BOTANIC GARDENS

One of the top five botanic gardens in the nation, Denver Botanic Gardens is an oasis in the city, offering year-round events, a children’s garden, lifelong-learning opportunities and research to preserve Colorado’s precious natural resources. Meanwhile, Chatfield Farms, located in nearby Littleton, takes pride in its exemplary nature preserve and gardens. Located on 750 acres, this picturesque site includes display gardens and a historical farm with a rustic barn.

DENVER'S CITY PARKS

No matter where you find yourself in The Mile High City, you’re likely only a few steps away from a lush and relaxing green space. Memorial Day weekend is the perfect time to explore Denver's more than 5,000 acres of traditional parks and parkways, as well as an additional 14,000 acres of spectacular mountain parks in neighboring counties that are maintained by the City and County of Denver.

LESSER-KNOWN, HIDDEN-GEM PARKS

If you’re looking for a quiet spot to have a picnic, take in great views or experience a different side of the city, check out these lesser-known Denver parks.

HOW TO EXPLORE THE SOUTH PLATTE RIVER BY BIKE

Take a two-wheeled tour through the heart of the city along this beautiful river. You'll cruise by some of the city's biggest attractions. 

DENVER'S BEST URBAN HIKES

Denver is a city with boundless outdoor fun and has an ideal location next to the foothills of the Rocky Mountains. While The Mile High City is conveniently close to major peaks for hiking, there's actually no need to head into the mountains when Denver's regional trail system encompasses hundreds of miles for all ages and abilities to explore. 

HOW TO EXPLORE THE COLORADO TRAIL IN WATERTON CANYON

Many people think that Denver’s prettiest, closest and most accessible bit of mountain scenery is Waterton Canyon. This is the start of the famous Colorado Trail, one of the great long-distance hikes (or mountain bike rides) of the Rocky Mountains.   

PET-FRIENDLY DENVER

Denver is home to dozens of pet-friendly activities and destinations, including dog-friendly hotels and dog parks. Find the best on-leash and off-leash fun for your best friend. 

RED ROCKS PARK & AMPHITHEATRE

Carved from towering red rock monuments, Red Rocks Park & Amphitheatre in Morrison is one of the world's most renowned concert venues. The surrounding park has hiking trails that weave in, around and over the colorful red rocks.

URBAN ADVENTURE

STREET ART

Denver street artists have been busy brightening (and enlightening) the urban landscape for decades by making canvases of the city’s alleyways, building exteriors, warehouses, garage doors and storefronts. Grab your camera and take a stroll past some of the city's favorite murals. 

OUTDOOR AND PATIO DINING

There’s no better way to soak up summer than on one of The Mile High City’s splendid patios. From skyward rooftop terraces to lushly landscaped gardens, these are the ultimate spots to eat and drink alfresco in Denver.

DENVER BEER TRAIL

Denver is a mecca for craft beer. But with 100 brewpubs, breweries and tap rooms in the metro area, where do you begin? Let the Denver Beer Trail be your guide with this sampling and interactive map.

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