February is almost here, which means a lot of things: the shortest month of the year, Valentine's Day, and another roundup of the best geek events that our fair city has to offer. For being such a short month, there's sure a lot going on, including multiple cons, a celebration of kung-fu cinema and, of course, a geeky take on Valentine's Day. No matter what your preferred flavor of geek activity, there should be something happening to make you happy. Here are February's ten best geek events.
10) Space Camp for grownups Remember how much you hated the rich little bastards who got to go to space camp when you were a kid? Here's your chance to finally get in on the action, albeit in a slightly modified form. The Denver Museum of Nature and Science is turning its Science Lounge into a space camp for adults, meaning a night of stargazing, building rockets and taking a (virtual) trip to the moon. Oh, and drinking, like all the Science Lounge events. Man, science goes down smooth with a nice glass of wine.
Your journey to space begins at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, February 20 at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science. Tickets are $12, or $10 for museum members. For tickets and more information, visit the Space Camp event page of the DMNS website.9) Magic the Gathering: Born of the Gods prerelease
Everyone's favorite trading-card game continues its twist on Greek mythology withBorn of the Gods
. More minotaurs, more gorgons and lots of new ways to kill your opponent await, plus you can probably even find an event on Super Bowl Sunday if you're looking to avoid the big game. As always, pre-release events are the most casual of all tournaments, perfect for new players, old players who have lapsed and are looking to return, or casual fans who don't usually make it out for the big tourneys, so you don't have to worry if your skills aren't all that. Everyone is just there to have fun and open the new cards.
Play Saturday or Sunday, February 1-2, at various locations. Price may vary, but expect to spend about $30, which nets you six packs of cards plus a special promo card. Find a location near you with Wizards of the Coast's store locator.
8) Animeland Wasabi You'd probably guess from the name that Animeland Wasabi is an anime con, and you'd be right. Mostly. The fun doesn't stop with Japan's finest export, though. The con also offers a massive gaming experience courtesy of Colorado Cutthroat Connection, a host of guests covering not just anime but also popular geek shows like Stargate SG-1 and a rave. Even geeks like to dance, after all. Then there's Adventure Time and Futurama voice actor John DiMaggio as guest of honor, not to mention the usual con activities like cosplay, panels and a dealers' room full of nifty shit to buy. That's a nice lineup even if your anime knowledge begins and ends with Spirited Away.
The con runs from February 28 to March 2 at the Crowne Plaza DIA. Tickets start at just $25 for a day pass, with a variety of packages available. For registration and more info, visit the Animeland Wasabi website.7) Knights of Badassdom
At last, the LARPers (Live Action Role Playing) get a movie. And it has Peter Dinklage (Tyrion inGame of Thrones
) and Summer Glau (Firefly
,Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles
), along with a host of other familiar faces, in it. Denver-area LARPers and anyone else who might be interested in a movie about some dudes who like to dress up and play wizards in the woods, then manage to accidentally summon a real demon, will have two chances to see the film, first at the Sie FilmCenter, then in a special showing at the Oriental with a band afterward.
See it at 9:30 p.m. Saturday, February 8 at the Sie FilmCenter. Tickets are $10, or $7 for Denver Film Society Members. Tickets and additional info available at the film's event page. See it with the band Rowdy Shadehouse at 8 p.m. Sunday, February 16 at the Oriental Theater. Tickets are $10 presale, or $14 at the door. For more info, visit the event page on Facebook.6) Not So Dead SundaysThe Walking Dead
returns this month and what better way to celebrate than watching it with a bunch of other fans while enjoying some $2 PBR? If the Pabst isn't doing it for you, no sweat, the bar offers a handful of other specials, including something called a Bloody Brain Shot for $3, which sounds disgusting and delightful. So, to recap, you get to enjoy America's most popular zombie phenomenon with a bunch of fellow zombie fans and get toasted on cheap booze while you do it. What's not to love?
The show starts at 7 with a replay at 9 p.m., but you probably want to get to Jake's Food and Spirits a little early to find a place and order some cheap booze. Admission is free. Get more info at the Not So Dead Sundays event page.
5) Nerd Prom If you ever wanted to attend a prom while dressed as a Stormtrooper, this is your chance. Bop Skizzum's third annual Nerd Prom is also their final show ever, so there's an extra incentive for fans of the band. Even if that's not you, it's still a damn geeky thing to do on Valentine's Day, and it sure beats seeing whatever shitty date movie Hollywood puked up for us this year. Costumes are always encouraged, so show off those cosplay skills and slow dance the night away with your geeky love. Or hell, go stag and try to meet the nerd of your dreams.
With Channel Z, Keith Garcia (and fellow programmer Theresa Mercado of Cruel Seasons fame) is continuing the neo-cult film programming that he championed with the sadly missed Watching Hour. For the second ever Channel Z event, he's brought in Arnold Schwarzenegger's overlooked and underappreciated meta action movieThe Last Action Hero
. Never seen it? Well, here's the perfect opportunity to make that right.
3) Genghis Con XXXV There's not much geekier than tabletop gaming, and man is tabletop gaming awesome. Get together with a bunch of other fanatical gamers for four days of geek majesty at Genghis Con XXXV. Whatever your gaming fancy -- board games, role-playing games, tactical games, card games and more -- it'll be there, which means for these four days you won't have to try to con your disinterested roommate into being the fourth player for a sweet Settlers of Catan game, which will be a nice change of pace. It's also over Valentine's weekend, so if you're forever alone, or just give zero fucks about that particular Hallmark holiday, this will keep you safe from the hearts and candy bullshit happening everywhere else.
Get your game on between Thursday, February 13 and Sunday, February 16 at the Radisson Hotel Aurora. Passes start at $20 for a single day. For more info and to register, visit the Denver Gamers website.
2) Valentine X: 13th Floor Haunted House A haunted House themed for Valentine's Day? Sure, why not? It beats the usual dinner and a chick flick shtick, anyway, and scaring your date is usually a good way to get them excited. Valentine X brings us the Bear Butcher, who carves X's into victims' foreheads and sounds like a way more fun Valentine character than a cupid. Plus, it's a candlelit haunted house for that romantic ambiance!
Flying dragon punch! Drunken monkey style! Ass kicking fun! The International Film Series in Boulder is turning February into kung fu month with a series of four classic kung fu flicks curated by enthusiast and collector Dan Halsted. The series kicks off with the classicMaster of the Flying Guillotine
-- supposedly Quentin Tarantino's favorite movie! -- and continues with other gems of the genre every Thursday, all on rare 35mm prints.
See Master of the Flying Guillotine Thursday, February 6 in the basement of the Visual Arts Complex of the University of Colorado Boulder. Tickets are $7, or $6 for CU students and seniors. For more information, including a complete line up of the films, visit the International Film Series website.
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Find me on Twitter, where I tweet about geeky stuff and waste an inordinate amount of time: @casciato.