Ten Things to Do in Denver for Under $10 (Four for Free)

Daniel W. Coburn's exhibition The Hereditary Estate opens on Friday, April 21, at the Colorado Photographic Arts Center.
Daniel W. Coburn's exhibition The Hereditary Estate opens on Friday, April 21, at the Colorado Photographic Arts Center.
Daniel W. Coburn

Having fun and experiencing all that Denver has to offer needn't be the lone purview of bourgeois weekenders. Our city is too vibrant, too filled with the creations of odd characters to let something like pricey tickets keep you homebound. With that spirit in mind, the following list offers ten wildly different opportunities to engage with the multi-colored tapestry of Denver culture, with everything from poetry slams and drag-queen comedians to cannabis bazaars and children's theater happening around the Front Range this weekend, all for $10 and under. If you've got a crisp Hamilton, we've got ten great suggestions on where to spend it.

Resurrection, 2014
Resurrection, 2014
Daniel W. Coburn

1. Daniel W. Coburn: The Hereditary Estate
Friday, April 21, 6 to 9 p.m.

Colorado Photographic Arts Center

The Hereditary Estate, a haunting photo exhibition and book from Kansas-based artist Daniel W. Coburn suffuses the high art of gallery photography with a deeply personal intimacy. The striking black-and-white images of Coburn's loved ones complicate the tradition of family photo albums while creating their own darkly revisionist Americana, one that interrogates its own hollow promises. The internationally renowned exhibition will be on view until June 3, but readers should take advantage of the free opening reception, which includes an artist talk and book signing. Admission is free.

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C/o Comic Mafia

2. Bag Lady Sue and Mona Lott
Friday, April 21, 8 p.m.

The Buffalo Rose

Hitting stages all over the world since 1989, Bag Lady Sue has amassed a loyal following among bikers, soliders and ’80s hair-metal fans. Over the years she's opened for everyone from Sam Kinison to Kid Rock, winning crowds over with her outlandish persona and bawdy jokes. She's also got a fitting opener in Mona Lott, a local comedian and Drag Queen who's been running shows all over town for years. Be sure to buy your $10 tickets in advance from TicketsWest; admission increases to $15 at the door.

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C/o Podeo

3. Colorado Poetry Rodeo
Friday, April 21, 6 p.m. to 2 a.m.

Mercury Cafe

Wrangle up some fine imagery at the 29th Annual Colorado Poetry Rodeo, which uncoils like a dusty lasso from 6 p.m. to 2 a.m. on Friday, April 21. With readings from a selection of the region's best poets, flash fiction readings, even elements of music and dance, the "Podeo" has evolved over the years to encompass a broad spectrum of spoken-word performance art. A multi-layered celebration, Podeo marks the culmination of National Poetry Month, honors the supporters who've kept it going, and enchants a new generation of poets — who are invited to perform during the open mic at 10:30 p.m. Admission is $10.

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Mel Evans

4. HitchCocktails
Friday, April 21, 10 p.m.
Voodoo Comedy Playhouse

The cinematic oeuvre of Alfred Hitchcock is utterly distinctive, with its icy blondes and secrets hidden in inky shadows, and therefore ripe for parody. HitchCocktails, a new improv show at the Voodoo Comedy Playhouse, mines the penguin-shaped filmmaker's favorite tropes, such as double agents and fraught romances, for scenes. Meanwhile, the crowd and performers alike get increasingly soused — there'll be a full bar on stage — as they play an increasingly elaborate drinking game where no one in the cast can refuse a drink when offered. HitchCocktails, which continues through the end of June, is a hilarious and high-energy extemporaneous performance where everyone is so blitzed they don't know their north from their northwest. Admission is $8 in advance from Vendini and $10 at the door.

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C/o Butterfly Pavilion

5. Five-Dollar Day at the Butterfly Pavilion
Saturday, April 22, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Butterfly Pavilion & Insect Center

Westminster's Butterfly Pavilion is always worth a visit. Frankly, if the sight of dozens of colorful fluttering wings doesn't restore your sense of childlike wonder, you might be dead inside. But the only thing better than frolicking with butterflies is saving money while doing it. Five-Dollar Day at the Butterfly Pavilion includes access to the Tropical Rainforest and the recently remodeled "Crawl-a-See-Em," as well as creepy crawly encounters with Rosie the Tarantula. Admission is $5 via Ticket Tailor.

Read on for more of the best weekend events that cost less than $10.



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