10 things to do for $10 this weekend, January 14-16, 2011

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For those of us that hate outdoor activities, winter is the best time of year, because most things happen indoors. None of those pesky barbecues or the guilt that comes from sitting inside all day when it's a lovely 80 degrees out. We've got plenty of pleasant indoor activities going on this weekend for under ten bucks, from mid-month art openings to comedy debates and more.

SAAKUMU Dance Troupe at Mercury Café (Friday, $5) Presented by the Slyboots School of Music and Art, the SAAKUMU Dance Troupe is one of the leading dance groups of Ghana, West Africa. It should be a pretty interesting evening of dancing and music and a must-see event for anyone interested in traditional African dance.

Lipgloss at La Rumba (Friday, $5) We mention Lipgloss a lot on here, but it's not our fault one of Denver's premier dance parties is also one of its cheapest. There is also the fact the resident DJs have been taking a bit of time off lately, so they've had plenty of cool guests coming in and offering up a whole new experience. This week we get Hollagramz bringing something dark and funky and Chicago DJ Skyler Mendoza, who was once hailed by Urb Magazine as one of their favorite local DJs. It should be an altogether different experience than the usual Lipgloss. Estes Park Winter Festival in Estes Park (Friday-Sunday, $5) If you're interested in drinking, you'll need to pony up $20 to really enjoy the Estes Park Winter Festival, but if you're more interested in the idea of eating some chili and playing around in the outdoors, then five bucks should do you fine. The festival is pretty much exactly what it sounds like: a festival. In, uh, Estes Park. A town wide scavenger hunt, bands and plenty of other activities will be going on to keep you entertained all weekend. Mile High Sci-Fi 5th Anniversary at Denver FilmCenter/Colfax (Friday-Saturday, $10) It's the Fifth Anniversary of Mile High Sci-Fi and that means two things: a terrible movie (in this case, Queen of Outer Space) and a free beer. Sounds like a pretty sweet deal to us, but it might take more than a single beer to make Queen of Outer Space enjoyable. It's not like anyone can understand what Zsa Zsa Gabor is talking about, anyway. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles at The Esquire Theatre (Friday-Saturday, $7.25) If you're a product of the '80s or '90s, chances are you've seen Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles at some point in your life. Sure, the movie has nothing going for it except for nostalgic charm, but isn't that all you really need for a midnight movie? Whether you want to relive a part of your childhood or you really, honestly enjoy the movie, tonight's your chance to see it on the big screen. Leaky Margins Group Show at Emmanuel Gallery (Saturday, free) Mid-month art openings are the best. You don't need to worry about being somewhere else or the crowded Santa Fe scene. You can just chill out, stroll in and check out some cool art. This is especially true of the art shows down on Auraria Campus, which rarely get the props they deserve. Seven different artists will be displaying works in a variety of mediums and disciplines from 7-10 p.m. tonight; the diversity should offer something for everyone. Bad Shadow Affair at Lost Lake Lounge (Saturday, free) Poetry and Lost Lake Lounge go together far better than one would guess on first glance. The dingy, poorly lit back section of the bar is perfect for readings. This month, Bad Shadow Affair brings some heavy-hitters to the table, including the editor of Denver Quarterly (and teacher) Bin Ramke as well as Cynthia Arrieu-King, Michael Friedman and Joshua Allen. It should be a great night of poetry for folks looking or a chill Saturday evening.

Dollars for Diabetes at Oriental Theater (Sunday, $10) Okay, technically you have to have diabetes to get into the benefit for ten bucks, but considering it's all going to a good cause, there isn't much to complain about here. Once you're in you'll be able to catch some great performances from singers, dancers, poets and bands. Oh, and some type of hula-hoop team, which may be worth the price of admission in and of itself.

Arguments and Grievances: Comedy Debates at Vine Street Pub (Sunday, free) The Arguments and Grievances series of comedy debates is one of Denver's most enjoyable, weird little monthly events. The basic premise is to have comedians go toe-to-toe on a wide range of topics -- this month that includes dogs versus cats, DVD versus VHS and more. The title fight is even more absurd, pitting comedians Adam Cayton-Holland and Andrew Orvedahl against each other in the great debate of Larry King versus Martin Luther King.

AIA Lecture: Colorado Mountain Archaeology at Tattered Cover Book Store LoDO (Sunday, free) AIA offers its free lectures as a way to spread the word both about the organization and the importance of different archaeological research happening around the globe. Today's lecture features Assistant State Archaeologist with the Office of Archaeology and Historic Preservation, Kevin Black, who will be talking about Colorado's mountain archaeology. This might be an especially interesting lecture if you just spent the start of your weekend up in Estes Park for their festival.

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