It’s a beautiful fall weekend in Colorado with a plethora of cultural events in Denver… and beyond. You can explore the city through Doors Open Denver or explore the mind during Tellurides Original Thinkers Festival.
Check out this list for a dozen free things to do around town, as well as Art Attack for the latest gallery exhibits. Now read on for ten events that are all worth the price of admission:
Original Thinkers evening shows
Now through October 2nd
Sheridan Opera House, 110 North Oak Street, Telluride
As a media company, Original Thinkers works on multiple platforms. But the Original Thinkers Festival in Telluride is its cornerstone, bringing together short films and speakers on topics worth thinking about in a live, face-to-face format. Subjects range from the history of the Janes, the now famous group of women who preceded Roe B.C. Wade for safe abortions to Big Idea, a highlight program that looks back at ideas thrown around over the weekend. Check the schedule and get individual show tickets for $30 each here.
Friday 500 with Hillary Leftwich and Steven Dunn
Friday, September 30, 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m
Lighthouse Writers Workshop at York Street Yards, 3833 Steele Street, Suite 1438 (inscribed “Suite A” on the outside door)
Lighthouse brings back Friday 500, a social event that combines an open-ended writing phase aimed at completing 500 words with a reading or book talk. In this session, the first hour is devoted to writing practice, either at Lighthouse’s temporary home or at a table at the neighboring Cohesion Brewery, 3851 Steele Street, while the second hour is devoted to a reading by Denver author Hilary Leftwich of her stunning memoir Aura, followed by a conversation between Leftwich and fellow writer Steven Dunn. Admission is free for Lighthouse members and $5 for non-members here.
Bike-In film night: Ferris turns blue
Friday, September 30, 6 p.m. to 9 p.m
Denver Beer Co, 7070 East Lowry Blvd
Denver Beer Co partners with New Era Colorado, a youth civic organization, and hosts a bike movie night at its new Lowry taproom. Bring blankets and lawn chairs for the outdoor fan-favorite Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. Tickets are $5; get them here
FreeForm Dance Festival
Friday 30 September and Saturday 1 October at 7pm
Dairy Arts Center, 2590 Walnut Street, Boulder
A rebranded revival of the Boulder Contemporary Dance Festival, the FreeForm Dance Festival advocates diversity and pushing boundaries through its curated selection of regional dance companies and choreographies. How are you? Grab a ticket and find out; Admission for either performance is $10 to $25 at the Dairy’s online box office.
What we lived here: Movimiento year
Friday 30 September and Saturday 1 October at 7.30pm
Su Teatro Cultural Arts Center, 721 Santa Fe Drive
Daniel Salazar, long-time Su Teatro collaborator, created it what we lived here, a multimedia mashup that documents the Denver-area Chicano political movimiento led by Corky Gonzales in the ’60s and ’70s through interviews with five activists who were on the front lines there decades ago. It debuts this weekend in an adaptation directed by Tony Garcia. Perhaps most significant to the story are the words of Corky’s wife, Geri Gonzales, who has fought at his side through the years, but they will all be compelling accounts. The show is only here for two nights; Tickets for $17-$20 can be found here.
Coyote. Badger. Rattlesnake.
Opening Friday, September 30, 7:30 p.m. Until October 15; shows on Fridays and Saturdays from 7.30pm to 9pm and on Sundays from 3pm to 4.30pm and on Monday 10 October from 7.30pm to 9pm
Buntport Theater, 717 Lipan Street
To kickstart the fall season, Buntport is reviving Coyote. Badger. Rattlesnake., a comedy written in collaboration with local playwright Ellen K. Graham about trying to bring stuffed animals to life in a museum diorama. It turns out to be depressing work for Carroll and Glenn, the living characters behind the glass, who find the situation difficult to sell. Tickets for the three-week run are pay-what-you-can; Reserve your spot here in advance.
A lot of noise about nothing
Previews from Friday, September 30, 7:30 p.m. to November 6; Shows daily except Mondays, times vary
Kilstrom Theatre, Helen Bonfils Complex, Denver Performing Arts Complex
It’s been a long time coming, but Shakespeare returns to the Denver Center Theater Company stage this season in a new production of the four-way love story A lot of noise about nothing. Directed by DCTC Artistic Director Chris Coleman and set to music by Devotchka’s multi-talent Tom Hagerman, the adaptation has both a modern edge and the golden glaze of a bygone classic. A lot of noise opens to previews September 30, with official opening night falling on the following Friday; Tickets start at $35 and go up to $90. Reserve your seats here.
Magic of the Jack O’ lanterns
Friday, September 30, 7pm to 11pm through October 31; select dates
Hudson Gardens, 6115 South Santa Fe Drive, Littleton
Hudson Gardens gets its high-tech glow for the Halloween season with Thirteenth Floor Entertainment Group’s recurring seasonal exhibit, Magic of the Jack O’ Lanterns, which will be on view throughout October. Over 7,000 hand-carved pumpkins have been thrown into spooky light-up vignettes of nautical seascapes, pirate ships, dinosaurs and dragons that are guaranteed to make kids’ eyes pop. Tickets start at $14.99.
Doors open Denver
Now until October 16th
Anywhere in Denver (and beyond)
Presented by the Denver Architecture Foundation, Doors Open Denver features 24 in-person tours celebrating educational and cultural campuses across Denver, as well as 24 virtual tours of unique and meaningful locations throughout the Front Range. Virtual tours are free and available 24/7 during DOD; Insider Tours take place on Saturdays and Sundays and include insights into the Denver Zoo, the Denver Performing Arts Complex, the University of Denver, and the Auraria Higher Education Center, among others. Personal tour tickets are $25 for DAF members and $30 for non-members; virtual tours are free. All details can be found here.
Know of a great event in Denver? We will update this list over the weekend; Send information to [email protected]