Things to do in Denver when you are a puppet
May 27, 2016 6:19 AM   Subscribe

What should I do while in Denver (starting tomorrow). I will be there through Thursday.

I enjoy scenic walks, puppetry, art, museums, antiques, food, reading (but don't plan to buy or transport books), movies, computers/technology, and space.

I will have some minor evening obligations, but should have most days mostly free. I am looking for things to do that I can't do anywhere (i.e. I don't plan to see the new X-Men movie in Denver).

I will be staying downtown and will have only public transportation.

I'm currently not drinking.
posted by cjorgensen to Travel & Transportation around Denver, CO (12 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
The Denver Art Museum is excellent, and it's huge. I think the American Indian Art and Western American Art collections are especially interesting given the museum's location, but they have lots of amazing African and Asian art as well.

Denver ChopHouse has good food and is located right next to Union Station.
posted by neushoorn at 6:40 AM on May 27, 2016

It looks like there are still tickets for public night at the Chamberlin Observatory (Tuesday or Thursday) -- they're cheap, like $4/person I think. It's about a 20 minute walk from the University of Denver light rail station.
posted by rainbowbrite at 6:42 AM on May 27, 2016

The Clyfford Still Museum is worth visiting if you enjoy abstract expressionism.
posted by Uncle Jimmy at 7:12 AM on May 27, 2016 [1 favorite]

The River North Art District might scratch your art itch. There are quite a few interesting places to eat nearby as well, and you could walk there from downtown (depending on your mobility) or take a short bus ride.

Even if you're not planning on buying any books, the Tattered Cover downtown is a mecca for book-lovers.

Your science/space interest might be satisfied by a trip to the Denver Museum of Nature and Science. It's also accessible by a fairly brief bus ride.

Walking around Cheesman Park is always an enjoyable experience.

Denver is a great city! Enjoy your stay.
posted by Fister Roboto at 7:14 AM on May 27, 2016 [2 favorites]

There's a sculpture exhibit at the botanic gardens right now, if you do drop by Cheesman Park. The weather next week is supposed to be about perfect for walking around, assuming the forecast holds. Have fun!
posted by rewil at 7:56 AM on May 27, 2016 [1 favorite]

Buntport, Denver's premier creative theater group, is having their closing weekend for their current show, Greetings From Camp Katabasis. If there are still tix available, this would be a super fun event. There's a Sunday matinee that might work for you. Their shows are hyper-intelligent and always great.
posted by LKWorking at 8:08 AM on May 27, 2016

I don't know much about this place, and I think it's geared mainly towards children, but Denver has its own puppet theater. You could take a bus (the 38) from downtown to get there.
posted by GoldenEel at 8:22 AM on May 27, 2016

Since you'll be here a while, I'd suggest taking a bus to downtown Boulder and meandering around Pearl Street for a while. It's the Bolder Boulder this weekend, which could mean either definitely go, or definitely avoid, depending on your personality.

Union Station has great restaurants now, and is fun for people watching.

Walk along the Platte River. Take one of the bridges over to the Highlands area and eat at Root Down. Or, brunch at Ophelia's, closer to downtown. Snooze, on a weekday, right around when they open.

The national parks imax movie is playing at the museum of nature and science, if your hometown won't show it.

If you feel like walking, I'd take an afternoon starting at the art museum and head to the Capitol, and then walk around capitol hill to stare at the architecture and get a little bit of a feel for it. Then again, I'm biased - it's my neck of the woods. City o City could be good for lunch or brunch.

I've heard great things about the Denver museum of miniatures - never been, but I also love puppets and this sort of thing seems also in the same vein.
posted by umwhat at 8:23 AM on May 27, 2016 [1 favorite]

The botanical garden is quite excellent. I am not a huge fan of such things but Denver's was very interesting and varied and would definitely tick the boxes for scenic walks and museums. If I recall there was some nice restaurants near the garden but I don't remember how close since I was driving.
posted by mmascolino at 8:27 AM on May 27, 2016

Just want to second the Denver Art, Nature/Science, and Clyfford Still Museums. The Clyfford Still is worth it just for its architecture. The Denver version of MOMA is downtown but greatness varies according to what's on exhibit; however, the rooftop cafe is an amazing place to get a spot of coffee and read for awhile, I love it. The Denver Art & Still museums are easily available with a mediumish walk if you use the free 16th street shuttle.

Robot Revolution is an exhibit going on right now at the Denver Nature & Science museum, and that museum is in a huge park - City Park, which has some awesome views of the city. If you go there, make sure you wander up to the top deck to look over Denver. Also second the Botanical Garden, Tattered Cover, and everything umwhat mentioned - Boulder's a neat place to spend a day. Check out the Boulder Tea House for breakfast or lunch - it's also a pleasant place to get an amazing cup of tea and sit outside. Many of the areas mentioned so far have bicycle rentals, too - a bike ride along the Platte or Cherry Creek would also be cool.

In the same area as the Denver art museums is the Colorado history museum, which you might like if you're interested in antiques. I like it a lot but I don't know if it's everyone's cup of tea. The Denver library is right by it, and it's a VERY pleasant place to read.

Outside of those suggestions:

Domo is an INCREDIBLE Japanese restaurant, garden, and museum with Japanese antiques near Colfax. It's very unique. If you do go, go on a nice day and sit outside in their garden.

The Sloan's Lake area is a good, scenic area available via bus. There's a row of restaurants across Sheridan, and about 10 blocks away is the Tennyson/32nd street area, which has some great little restaurants; if you like cheese, stop by St. Kilian's cheese shop there. (The Truffle Table in the Highlands area, across the interstate from downtown via a pedestrian bridge, is also a good cheese place.)

The Source in the River North Art District is an interesting place to get some lunch with a few artisan stores, easily available via the A train, about 15 minutes.

There's an air and space museum - Wings Over the Rockies -but IMO if you've been to the Air and Space museum outside of Omaha it'll be a disappointment/quite similar and might not be worth the bus ride.

If you're interested in the outdoors at all, you can get to some hiking trails via Golden and Boulder. You can take a train to Golden, and there's a few small museums - there's a great little museum on climbing/mountaineering in downtown Golden, the American Mountaineering Museum.

If you're interested in an actual hike, memail me! It's still mud season here but clearing up; I'd be happy to take you on a hike or to the dino tracks in the Morrison area as it's the perfect time of year to see them.
posted by barchan at 11:25 AM on May 27, 2016 [4 favorites]

There is the Museum of Contemporary Art and the Clifford Still Museum

Also, nthing the Tattered Cover Bookstore. On par with The Strand in NYC or Powells in Portland.
posted by falsedmitri at 11:15 PM on May 27, 2016

Get B-Cycle! They are fun. Memail me if there's a hike or bike ride ... I'm in.

From Dear Denver:

Saturday, May 28 – Monday, May 30, 2016: Boardwalk Beach Bash at South Gaylord Street

Come down to Historic South Gaylord in Wash Park for the Boardwalk Beach Bash going on all weekend from Saturday through Monday. Celebrate the unofficial start of summer with carnival games, local shopping, street food, beach-inspired cocktails, live music, and other entertainment, including a silent disco sponsored by SoundDown Party on Saturday from 5 – 9pm. The festival will take place on Gaylord Street between Mississippi and Tennessee; free entry.

Saturday, May 28, 2016 @ 11am – 2pm: Worldwide Vegan Bake Sale at Nooch | Vegan Market

Come and purchase some delicious baked goods at Colorado’s only all-vegan market! Baked goods will be available from WaterCourse Bakery, Handy Diner, Blackheart Creations, Vegan Van, Beet Box Bakery & Cafe, Sweet Action Ice Cream, MiddleState Coffee, and more! All proceeds from the bake sale will benefit Rooster Sanctuary at Danzig’s Roost! Don’t fear the vegans!

Saturday, May 28, 2016 @ 1pm & 3pm: Duck Duck Dupe at Buntport Theater

On the final Saturday of each month, Buntport presents you with three stories related to a theme. Two of these tales are true, but one of them is nothing but a fib. Can you figure out which one is baloney? Fun for all ages (seriously grown-ups, this is an event that both you and your kids will enjoy), cute contests, and prizes to boot. Tickets are just $6 – $8, with $1 off if you dress like a duck. (So in other words, whatever you were planning to wear that day anyway.)

Saturday, May 28, 2016 @ 2 – 9pm: CCYOGAandBIKES Open House at Container Collective YOGA

Free yoga! Free public art bike tour! Plus prizes, food, beverages, and fun! FREE!

Saturday, May 28, 2016 @ 2 – 9:30pm: Denver Day of Rock on the 16th Street Mall

25 bands. 5 stages. 1 day. This year’s line-up includes The Knew, The Railbenders, Tracksuit Wedding, A Great Big World, and much more! This family-friendly event is also FREE!

Saturday, May 28, 2016 @ 7:30pm: Let’s Dance: The Colorado Symphony Celebrates David Bowie at Boettcher Concert Hall

David Bowie was a legendary musician and artist with a career that defined not only an era, but gave birth to an entire new genre of sound. This concert collaboration brings the best of Bowie’s expansive catalog, including favorites like Rebel Rebel, Fame, and China Girl, live on-stage to honor over five decades of pushing the boundaries of music, fashion, and culture. Tickets start at $39.

Saturday, May 28, 2016 @ 9pm: Weird Touch Dance Party at Syntax Physic Opera

Ditch the limelight, forego the scene, and explore the delightfully dimly lit corners of your city. Weird Touch is a sophisticated all-vinyl dance party collaboration offering an eclectic, yet cohesive mix of darkly tinged nu-disco, indie dance, and weird house. With DJs Fancy Matthew and Shannon von Kelly, $5 gets you to your happy place.

Saturday, May 28, 2016 @ 9:30pm: Scream Screen: Halloween at the Sie FilmCenter

Scream Screen, hosted by Theresa Mercado, returns with a tribute to the master of horror John Carpenter. On Halloween night of 1963, 6-year old Michael Myers stabbed his sister to death. After sitting in a mental hospital for 15 years, Myers escapes and returns to Haddonfield to kill. Tickets run $7 – $11; one screening only!

Saturday, May 28, 2016 @ 10pm: Epilogue Comedy at the Mutiny Information Cafe

FREE and cool comedy show, happening monthly on South Broadway. This month’s comedians include Miriam Moreno, James Draper, Ethan Sir, and Heather Marulli! Guest hosting services provided by Christie Buchele. This show is all ages so bring your grandmama AND your nephew!

Sunday, May 29, 2016, doors at 7pm, show at 8pm: Propaganda at Lannie’s Clocktower Cabaret

FREE comedy show on the last Sunday of every month, featuring local and national talent in the coolest comedy club you’ve probably ever been to. Pick-up a FREE Sexy Pizza slice card on your way out and end your night with some delicious East Coast-style pizza. This month’s comedians include Ben Bryant, Ethan Sir, Heather Marulli, Brett Hiker, and headliner, Nancy Norton. Hosting services provided by Eric Henderson. FREE street parking on Sundays!

Monday, May 30, 2016, ride at 6pm, movie at 8pm: Bike-in Movie Night at BackSpace

[Rescheduled due to rain] Backspace is happy to present the first bike-in movie night of the season, featuring Purple Rain and The Craft! There will be snacks and refreshments but feel free to bring your own. There will also be a group bike ride before the movie starting at 6pm. Costumes are welcomed and encouraged; FREE.

Monday, May 30, 2016 @ 6 – 7pm: Civic Center Moves at Civic Center Park

Start your week off right by connecting to yourself and your community! This FREE all-levels yoga class will get your body moving and breath flowing while enjoying Denver’s beautiful warm-weather nights. This class is supportive to beginners and creative enough for more experienced practitioners. Please bring your own yoga mat and check any weather-related changes via their FB page.

Monday, May 30, 2016 @ 8 – 10pm: Sexpot Comedy Presents: Open Mic Comedy Night at the Goosetown Tavern

FREE open mic comedy hosted by Jeff M. Albright. This is also a Sexpot Comedy/Denver Relief show, which means FREE schwag.

Tuesday, May 31, 2016 @ 3 – 5pm: Hard Times Writing Workshop at the Denver Central Library

Going through a tough time? Telling our stories can often help us process our life experiences and find new paths. Come on out for a safe and supportive creative writing workshop that’s FREE and open to all. Writing prompts, tools, and refreshments will be provided. No registration or experience required; sharing is not mandatory. Hosted by Jane Thatcher of the Lighthouse Writers Workshop

Tuesday, May 31, 2016 @ 6 – 9pm: Cake + Cider Pairing at Stem Ciders

Cake and cider? Yes! The deliciously quirky Valhalla Cakes is bringing their sweet creations to the taproom for a very special night of Cider + Sides. You’ll enjoy four slices of Valhalla’s cake perfectly paired with four Stem Ciders for just $20. View the menu here and start drooling.

Tuesday, May 31, 2016 @ 7pm: Bingo Night at Grandma’s House

Just like granny used to play only swap out the bingo hall for a brewery and prune juice for craft beer. Each beer purchased gets you a bingo card and prizes include pints, howlers, growlers, and other swag. No cover.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016 @ 4:30 – 6pm: Live at Lightrail at Lakewood-Wadsworth Light Rail Station

Live at Light Rail performances will take place most Wednesdays from 4:30 – 6pm during the warmer months and will showcase local bands, choirs, ensembles, and school groups, who will greet light rail patrons with a variety of creative performances. The program will draw from a range of live performers of all ages and specialties, from high school ensembles and undergrad percussionists to adult choir groups and drum circles.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016, doors at 7pm, show at 8pm: My Teenage Angst at Lannie’s Clocktower Cabaret

A roomful of “grown-ups” sharing their diaries, yearbooks, journals, and notes from when they were tweens and teens? Yes, please! This is an event you don’t want to miss. You’ll laugh, cringe, and commiserate that he never did call when he said he would. Still have access to your old journals? Visit the site to be a part of the show and share your angst with others! Tickets are $12.

Thursday, June 2, 2016 @ 7pm: I Am Thalente at the Sie FilmCenter

One night only! An exuberant skate documentary with a social conscience, I am Thalente follows Thalente Biyela, a 17-year-old homeless skateboard prodigy in South Africa who catches the eye of the professional skate world when a DIY video of him goes viral. Tickets run $7 – $11; one screening only!

Thursday, June 2, 2016 @ 9pm: Motown Thursdays at Pearl’s
This Thursday night, enjoy some Motown jams served up with chicken & waffles (free with a purchase of a drank) with DJs Maladjusted and Caramello. No cover all night; $4 Breckenridge brews + Deep Eddy Vodka.
posted by cyndigo at 5:10 AM on May 28, 2016

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