This weekend is all about one thing: spending. But we have a crazy idea: Don't. We dare you. Those holiday gifts will all be there waiting at the stores after Black Friday and Saturday and Sunday. Promise. So instead of breaking your bank on buying a whole lot of manufactured junk, here are ten things to do this post-Turkey Day weekend that won't cost you more than $10. As always, view the full guide to the weekend here: westword.com/calendar.
Downtown Denver's Grand Illumination at Skyline Park (Friday, free) Every year, Downtown Denver gets all lit up for the holidays, and every year it still manages to be a sight to see. With carolers, a hand-bell choir and ice skating (with $2 skate rentals) going on amid the illumination, there's no better (and cheaper) festive way to start the holiday season. Hit and Run: Musical Improv at the Voodoo Comedy Playhouse (Friday, $9) It's one thing to improvise lines, but it's quite another to improvise entire songs. But these talented performers do just that every week, taking audience suggestions and turning them into an entire on-the-spot musical.
Fresh Art for the Holidays at Fresh Art Studios (Friday, free) What's better than an art party? You get to slink around, partake in free refreshments, and look at the work. Tonight, that art will include a wide variety of mixed media work for your perusal from Fresh's resident artists.
Reverb After-Thanksgiving Dance Party at Beauty Bar (Friday, free) The most fun way to work off all those mashed potatoes you ate on Thanksgiving is by dancing, so go shake it at Reverb's bash tonight with music provided by DJs Bobby C Sound TV, Savior Breath, and a special mystery guest. With giveaways, drink specials, and killer tunes, this party is sure to get you dancing away that extra slice of pie. Or three.
Being Elmo at the Denver FilmCenter (Friday-Sunday, $7 to $9.75) This film follows Kevin Clash, a puppeteer better known for the fuzzy red monster he controls: Sesame Street's Elmo. The winner of a Special Jury Prize at Sundance, this documentary offers insight into the iconic children's show and the legendary Jim Henson as well as the teenage wannabe puppeteer who made his dream come true.
Small Business Saturday Boutique Crawl (Saturday, free) If you do any shopping this weekend, make sure it's local. One stellar way to support Denver artisans and small shops is this boutique crawl, where shops will offer special activities, snacks, and unique holiday gifts you can't get at the mall. And you definitely won't have to fight off rabid mobs to browse.
Anime/J-Rock, Lolita, Japanese Clothing and Accessories Bazaar at Mod Livin' (Saturday, free) This event is more party than shop-a-thon, featuring food as well as a chance to browse (and buy) an eclectic variety of obscure Japanese-themed goods. The bizarre bazaar is sure to be a breath of unique air away from the malls.
Control Group + The LIDA Project at The Laundry on Lawrence (Saturday, free) The merging of this dance company and theatre troupe is definitely cause for celebration -- and they're doing just that. Complete with cocktails and hors d'oeuvres, the party will be a good excuse to check out the space and see a sampling of their work.
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Salsa Dancing at the D Note (Sunday, $8) For even the most self-conscious dancers, the D Note offers hour-long Salsa lessons at 8 p.m., so that by the time 9 p.m. rolls around and the band, Sobor de la Calle, starts playing, you're ready to show off your moves.
The Walking Dead season finale at Gabor's (Sunday, free) You'll need a few drinks to watch the season finale of this gory zombie series. So Gabor's is the perfect setting to watch as the living dead (probably) tear apart some character we love and leave us with a horrifying cliffhanger that will take two months to be resolved.