Have you made up your mind to be more on the road in the New Year? This week is a great week to make that resolution happen with free events all over Denver Metro, both indoor and outdoor (and online).
Both the National Western Stock Show and the Denver Art Museum have days off today (and the Denver Zoo has just opened its lottery for the next day off January 22nd), and the MLK tributes began before the holidays next Monday .
Read on for the fifteen best free events in town this week.
National Western Stock Show Day for free entry to the grounds
Tuesday, January 11th, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
National Western Complex, Humboldtstrasse 4655
Thank Arrow Electronics for free entry to the National Western Stock Show grounds, where you can stroll through all the new buildings, enjoy the same old vendors in the Hall of Education, and see all the animals. It’s an annual tradition worth celebrating. Find out more here.
Have you seen the renovated Denver Art Museum?
James Florio Photography
Free day at the Denver Art Museum
Tuesday, January 11, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Denver Art Museum, 100 West 14th Avenue Parkway
Never been to the fabulous Martin Building at the Denver Art Museum? This is the ideal way to see the renovated Ponti building, with a whole new look in each gallery as well as a slew of new exhibits from the museum’s extensive collections. To use this free day, reserve a free ticket here; Note that the Whistler to Cassatt exhibit still requires paid admission.
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The American cowboy
Tuesday, January 11th, 12:30 p.m.
Torn cover McGregor Square, 1991 Wazee Street
Active MInds moderates this program about the American cowboy and discusses how its origins stretch south of the border with the Spanish colonies in America. Find out more here.
Denver night lights
Tuesday, January 11th to Sunday, January 16th, 5:15 pm to 11:59 pm
Clock Tower, 1601 Arapahoe Street
The January People’s Projector program is up and running, with new work by artist Danielle Cunningham. Joseph Toney and Mario Carrillo illuminate the side of the clock tower; Clayton Kenney’s 2019 crowd favorite “Snow” has also returned. The light shows run daily through January (except Mondays); find out more here.
Real Local Government: How Special Counties Affect Life
Tuesday, January 11th, 6 p.m. to 7 p.m., online
The Vail Symposium’s Speaking Locally series focuses on special districts: local governments created by the people of a community to provide special services that a city or county does not. America has more than 30,000 special counties, including one in Eagle County. Sign up for this Zoom discussion here.
The annual MLK tribute is back.
Colorado Symphony Orchestra
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Tribute
Tuesday, January 11th, 7:30 p.m.
Boettcher Concert Hall, Denver Performing Arts Complex
Demonstrate the ideals of Dr. Martin Luther King pay your respects at a complimentary concert by the Colorado Symphony Orchestra. Sponsored by the MLK Jr. Holiday Commission and Denver Arts & Venues, this traditional celebration includes guest artists and honors this year’s Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Humanitarian Award 2022. Find information and free standing tickets here.
Wednesday, January 12th through Sunday, January 16th, 12pm to 8pm
Second Degree, 890 C 14th Street
The newest project in the Denver Theater District’s cozy art incubator space, Understudy, has all the elements of a traditional arcade – except that they have been spiced up by a long list of participating local artists. Even the prices are artistically designed: grab a masterpiece from a claw machine or redeem coupons for enamel pins, coloring books, miniature pictures, jewelry, tea towels, art prints, small sculptures and more. ARTcade will be open Wednesdays through Sundays through the end of January to accommodate visitors to the Stock Show; find out more here.
Sunshine & Rainbows wellness painting course
Wednesday, January 12th, 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Denver Milk Market, 1800 Wazee Street
Milk Market is sponsoring a free “Wellness” class this month as part of a handful of wellness activities. The theme is sunshine and rainbows, and you can come over and do a quick, guided painting, and take your art with you for free. Find out more here.
Colorado Elections 2022: Trends and Predictions
Thursday, January 13, 11 a.m., online
The University of Denver’s Crossley Center will host a virtual conversation about Colorado in the 2022 election. Crossley Center Director Floyd Ciruli will host a panel discussion with Dick Wadhams, former director of the Colorado Republican Party and current advisor and commentator; Sheila MacDonald, Political Advisor for Democratic Candidates and Issues; Melanie Layton, state legislative lobbyist; and Seth Masket, professor and director of the DU Center for American Policy. Register here.
Master of music
Thursday, January 13th 5pm to 7pm
Maven Lobby, Maven Hotel, 1850 Wazee Street
The Dairy Block continues its free Mavens of Music appearances with Denver-based alternative soul group Dzirae Gold, who combine Memphis-style soul with classic jazz, and David Lawrence, finger-picking Delta Blues and Roots Americana with gypsy-infused jazz guitar connects. Find out more here.
First families from Colorado
Thursday, January 13th, 6 p.m.
Koelbel Library, 5955 South Holly Street, Greenwood Village
Treasure Box Tours presents this free talk about some of the families so important to Colorado history: the Byerses, the Evanses, the Cheesmans, the Tabors, the Moffats, the Boettchers, and many others. No reservation required; find out more here.
CSU day celebration: Vida building
Saturday, January 15, 9 a.m. to 6.30 p.m.
CSU Lane, National Western Drive
The CSU Vida building is now open in the National Western Complex, with free entry every day from 9 a.m. to see the marvels, including a virtual reality room and veterinary surgery centers. There are additional special events starting at noon on CSU Day: History Colorado shows some elements of its current Power of Horses exhibit, and the celebration includes history-oriented, hands-on activities – and the opportunity to have your picture taken with an eight-foot kitten cutout. Find out more here.
Friday January 14th to Sunday January 16th
Beaver Creek Village, Avon
A walk-in playground of selfie-friendly, oversized sculptures has been on display in Beaver Creek Village throughout the Christmas season, but now it’s time for the art installations to really shine. During the three days of Beaver Creek Wonder, you can explore the interactive artworks and learn about them on interpretive art walks. After dark, enjoy live music, light and fire spinners, and other performers as you play among installations of ski-shaped mirrors, a giant snow globe, cookie cart, and more. Skiing can be expensive, but this après-ski pastime is free; find out more here.
Write to me when you are at home x Larimer Lounge Music and Art Fest
Saturday, January 15th, 1 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Larimer Lounge, Larimer Strasse 2721
Text Me When You’re Home is a Denver-based organization that hosts events promoting women, queer, BIPOC, and other underrepresented artists and musicians in safe and inclusive spaces. The free portion of this event, held in collaboration with the Larimer Lounge, will feature over fifteen local artists who will showcase and sell their work from 1pm to 4pm; This is followed by a concert with tickets from local bands. Get pre-sale tickets for $ 12 here or pay $ 15 at the box office.
New year’s clothing swap 2022
Sunday, January 16: clothes drop-off, 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Early bird entry for clothes donors from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. Standing room, 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.
Grant-Humphreys Mansion, 770 Pennsylvania Street
The New Year’s Dress Swap 2022, which has already been postponed once, is back – no matter what – for the sixth time and is moving from History Colorado to the elegant Grant-Humphreys Mansion, a beautiful setting for an essentially large, inclusive girls’ party with a bring-something , something take-something topic. From 9:00 am, you can exchange lightly worn clothes, shoes and accessories for an hour of early bird shopping; from 1 p.m. everyone can take part in the hunt. It’s all free to give and take; Sign up and search Eventbrite for rules and regulations.
Do you know of a great free event in town? We’ll update this list later this week; Send information to [email protected]