Cruising the City's Architecture and a Stay at the Brown Palace Make This 2015 Bucket List

Blossoms of Light at the Denver Botanic Gardens.
Blossoms of Light at the Denver Botanic Gardens.

Editor's note: It's time to put 2014 into the history books and look forward to 2015 -- but not before one last bash to kick off the transition in style, something you can plan with our New Year's Eve Guide listings. Do you have even bigger plans for the coming twelve months? Now's the time to start thinking about them. To help, five of our writers have laid out their goals for 2015. Find all of their bucket lists on the Show and Tell blog.

It's no secret that Denver is in a constant state of transition, with some changes for the better, some for the worse. But as my city continues to figure itself out, I think 2015 is the year to celebrate what's great about it right now. From day trips to small towns in the summer to cruising city neighborhoods that are troves of great architecture, the coming year, for me, is all about Colorado as it is, in the moment.

See also: Sacking Peyton Manning, Dancing Boylesque, Digging Up Bones Make This 2015 Bucket List

A gem carving from the Museum's Vasily Konovalenko collection.
A gem carving from the Museum's Vasily Konovalenko collection.
dmns.org

1. Spend an entire day at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science

I grew up in a family that had what seemed like a permanent membership to the Denver Museum of Nature & Science (or the Natural History Museum, as it was called then), but as an adult, I haven't given this Colorado institution a fair shot. I'd like to spend a whole day at the museum, checking out the badass planetarium's laser shows or a film at the IMAX Theater, wandering the floors of life-sized wild-animal dioramas and interactive exhibits like Expedition Health -- and, of course, revisiting the only collection of Vasily Konovalenko gem carvings outside of Moscow.

Comedian Nathan Lund taking part in an edition of Arguments and Grievances.
Comedian Nathan Lund taking part in an edition of Arguments and Grievances.
Youtube.com

2. See a live comedy show every night for one week Whether it's big-time national comedians coming through to do secret sets at Deer Pile or local big names like Adam Cayton-Holland and Ben Kronberg ruling the stage, Denver's comedy scene is amazing. I'd like to spend seven nights in a row hitting the open mikes at the Squire Lounge and Syntax Physic Opera, seeing regular shows like Epilogue Comedy and Arguments & Grievances, and checking out the improv at Voodoo Comedy Playhouse and Bovine Metropolis Theater. Maybe I'll top it off with a show at Comedy Works -- or catch an edition of Too Much Fun, the Fine Gentleman's Club's free, all-ages weekly comedy night that's been going strong for years.

"Confluent People," Emmanuel Martinez, 1999.
"Confluent People," Emmanuel Martinez, 1999.
artsandvenuesdenver.com

3. Take a self-guided public-art bike tour Sure, we've got those notorious big blue animals, but what about all the other sculptures, murals and public installations around the city? I'm going to plan a bike route that takes me from John McEnroe's "National Velvet" to Emmanuel Martinez's "Confluent People" and all the way to the sculptures at Burns Park. Between Denver's devotion to public art and our fantastic trails and bike-friendly neighborhood streets, this bucket-list entry could actually span a whole week.

Cruising the City's Architecture and a Stay at the Brown Palace Make This 2015 Bucket List

4. Drink hot chocolate under the stars at Blossoms of Light Winter in Colorado is just as gorgeous as the warmer seasons, and you don't have to go all the way to the mountains to experience it. That said, I'm not good at getting out when the temperature dips below 60, so this will be the year that I brave the elements and go to the Botanic Gardens' Blossoms of Light display. I'd love to layer up, grab my boo and some hot chocolate, and take a stroll around the illuminated gardens set right in the heart of the city.

Cruising the City's Architecture and a Stay at the Brown Palace Make This 2015 Bucket List

5. Rent a cabin in Estes Park for Fourth of July weekend I've lived in Colorado my whole life, but it wasn't until last year that I actually took a trip to Estes Park. Less than two hours out of the city, this quaint little town gets hopping on July 4. With family-friendly outdoor events happening over several days and an epic fireworks display over Lake Estes, the celebration is worth some planning ahead: Rent a cabin or a hotel room early, as everything fills up quickly.



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