Week Six: July 15-21
Shakespeare in the Park, Parker, July 21-24
Summer-reading diets tend to lean toward mind candy such as Bergdorf Blondes and The DaVinci Code, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't strive for a balanced meal. Pick up Shakespeare's easy-reading classic The Taming of the Shrew early in the season, then see Theatreworks of Colorado Springs perform the comedy live this week during four evening performances and one Saturday matinee. Tickets are free, but it's first-come-first-served starting at 6:30 p.m. -- so arrive early for a spot in line and enjoy the pre-show market. Sometimes you've just got to eat your greens. For more information, visit www.parkeronline.org/cultural.
City Park Jazz Concert Series, City Park, Denver, July 25
Get your groove on this summer with the annual City Park Jazz Concert Series, where top local artists play weekly in the historic bandstand on the shore of Ferril Lake. This free ten-concert set offers something for every jazz aficionado and highlights a wide variety of styles, from traditional big band to funk and Latin rhythms. On Sunday, July 25, at 7 p.m., check out Laura Newman and AOA. For a complete schedule, visit www.cityparkjazz.org or call 303-744-1004.
Denver Zoo Wildnights, Denver Zoo, July 28
Take the family on an international journey without leaving the Mile High City. The Denver Zoo's weekly Wildnights multicultural extravaganza celebrates the influence that animals have traditionally had on world music, stories, dance and beliefs. There will be Aztec dancers, African storytellers and Polynesian fire-dancers, along with interactive animal demonstrations and exotic food. Admission is $5 for adults, $4 for seniors and $2 for children ages three to eleven. For more information, visit www.denverzoo.org or call 303-376-4800.
July 29-August 4
Boulder Outdoor Cinema, Boulder, July 30 and 31
It's a midsummer night's dream at the Boulder Outdoor Cinema series. Take in two classic comedies this week, starting with a screening of Bottle Rocket on July 30, followed by the slacker classic Ferris Bueller's Day Off the following evening. Movies start around 9 p.m. every Friday and Saturday night through August 28, so check the schedule at www.boulderoutdoorcinema.com if you're more of a Godfather or When Harry Met Sally type. Get there early for a good spot on the grass; low-backed chairs and blankets are highly recommended, but couches or other wacky furniture won't be turned away. The Boulder Outdoor Cinema is directly behind the Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art. Admission is $5 for adults, $3 for kids ages twelve and under, and free for kids under three.
August 5- 11
Bluegrass & Beer Festival, River Run at Keystone Resort, August 7 and 8
Get your drink on at this weekend's seventh-annual Bluegrass & Beer Festival, an event showcasing the finest hops-and-barley blends made by more than 25 of Colorado's top microbreweries. Held at the River Run at Keystone, the weekend also offers a diverse lineup of live bluegrass music, a lumberjacking competition (seriously) and the family-friendly Kidz Zone. For more information, visit www.keystoneresort.com.
Copper Mountain AdventureFest, Copper Mountain Resort, August 7 and 8
If you're looking for a tad healthier way to spend the weekend, hit the Copper Mountain AdventureFest. Challenges include a climbing wall, fly fishing, canoe competitions, disc-golf demonstrations, bike shows and kids' activities. On Sunday, register for the Copper Adventure Sprint, a 25- to 30-mile team race that includes trail running, trekking, navigation, in-line skating, mountain biking and more. For more information, visit www.coppercolorado.com.
Wild Mushroom Festival, Telluride, August 12-15
No, no, no. It's not celebrating that kind of 'shroom. However, the festival will teach you to identify hundreds of Rocky Mountain wild mushrooms so you don't try tripping on the wrong ones again. There will be seminars on collecting them, growing them, cooking them, making tea out them -- basically anything you'd want to do with a mushroom except smoke it. But remember to bring your wallet: Each class will set you back $20 to $24. For more information, visit www.crested-butte-wild-mushroom-festival.com.
Palisade Peach Festival, Palisade,
If you've never tasted a peach from the Grand Valley, do not pass Go, do not collect $200; just drive directly to Palisade. This end-of-season festival catches the delectable fruit at its high point, when the flesh just slides off the nut and the juices slide down your arm. Celebrate this summer tradition starting on Thursday night with a good old-fashioned street dance flavored with free peach ice cream; Friday features a barbecue and buck-a-bowl vanilla ice cream topped with fresh sliced peaches. The fest culminates on Saturday, starting at 9:30 a.m. with a parade, followed by contests for the biggest peach, the best peach recipe and peach eating. Plus, the official "Town Grouch" will be introduced. You'll never buy another hard, mealy California peach again. For more information, visit www.palisadepeachfest.com.
Week Twelve: August 26-September 1
Chautauqua Silent Film Series and the Chautauqua Summer Concert Series, Boulder, August 28 and September 1
Wrap up your summer by enjoying two relaxing evenings at Boulder's historic Chautauqua Auditorium. On Saturday, August 28, at 8 p.m., listen to mandolinist/composer David Grisman and his acoustic blend of swing, bluegrass, Latin, jazz and gypsy styles; tickets range from $28 to $34. On Wednesday, September 1, at 7:30 p.m., watch a screening of the 1929 silent British crime drama Piccadilly, with live musical accompaniment by Hank Troy; admission is $6 for adults, $5 for children and seniors. For a complete schedule, visit www.chautauqua.com or call 303-442-3282.