The 21 Best Events in Denver, December 18 Through December 24

Ring in Christmas with Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats.
Ring in Christmas with Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats. Miles Chrisinger

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Saturday, December 22

Holiday shopping with a side of craft-brew quaffing seems to be a trend in 2018, and the Denver Microbrew Tour is doing the combo up fancy for Shop Small, Sip Big. The curated tour comes in threes: three boutiques, breweries and cideries, with three tastes at each. The last tour of the season leaves the home base of Stem Ciders, 2811 Walnut Street, at 1 p.m. on Saturday, December 22, and in addition to the major perks, includes exclusive shopping discounts, knowledgeable guides and, as you stroll through RiNo, historical tidbits in passing. Tickets are $40 in advance only at; snap yours up before it’s too late.

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Urban Aggregate will end against an experimental sonic backdrop.
Courtesy of Orbiting Olympia
The special programming in conjunction with Joshua Ware’s Urban Aggregate installation at Understudy comes to a close with an experimental backdrop showcasing Front Range artists who mold sound. First up is “Surface Tension,” by Denver performance artists Esther Hernandez and Stephen Daniel Karpik (SDK), which captures real-time ambient resonations set in a gallery landscape. That's followed by a set from collaborators Eve Orenstein and Sean Patrick Faling of Orbiting Olympia, who combine operatic voice and synth sounds. Step into the noise on Saturday, December 22, between 6 and 9:30 p.m. at Understudy, 890 C 14th Street in the Denver Theatre District. Urban Aggregate remains on view through December 31, and admission is free; find details at

Swoon to the sounds of the eighth annual Klezfest, presented by the Mizel Museum. Rich with the lore and musical traditions of Judaica, this year's concert includes Hal Aqua and the Lost Tribe, Rabbi Joe Black with Steve Brodsky and a headlining performance from Hadgaba. Rooted in Eastern European Ashkenazi culture, klezmer is a joyful genre, and the centuries haven't diminished its festive vibe one bit. Dance the night away to Old World rhythms when Klezfest returns to the Mercury Cafe, 2199 California Street, at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, December 22; buy tickets, $25, and learn more at

Reed Fuchs and his creative co-conspirators at the DIY creative space Moon Magnet have proved themselves to be some of Denver’s wildest creative luminaries. For years, they've been talking up Cosmic Pineapple, a television series the group describes like so: “This surReality soap opera about life around Moon Magnet covers the rise and anticipated fall of the multiverse pop sensation **Cosmic Pineapple** as they battle Satan, mortality, social mores, basic hygiene, and jealous roommates in their quest to become even better at being the best.” The series will premiere on the big screen on Saturday, December 22, at the Alamo Drafthouse, following Rubedo lead singer Kyle Gray’s X~Mas Special. Festivities start at 8:45 p.m. at the Alamo Drafthouse Sloan's Lake, 4255 West Colfax Avenue. The movie screens at 10:15 p.m. and costs $5; for tickets and more information, go to

Sunday, December 23

Have a gay pre-Christmas at the Sie FilmCenter when CinemaQ’s Big Gay Matinee series presents some old-fashioned fun with the exuberant Rosalind Russell in Auntie Mame. The film remains a gay-friendly classic sixty years after its release, with an enduring message of “Be who you are.” Join Auntie Mame’s wild family for a trip down memory lane on Sunday, December 23, at 1:30 p.m. at the Sie, 2510 East Colfax Avenue, and be there on time for a pre-film drag performance by Kai Lee Mykels; admission is $7 to $11.50 at

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Andrew Novick and Merhia Wiese bring The Guardian of the Temple to Denver.
Courtesy of Andrew Novick and Merhia Wiese
Denver power couple Andrew Novick, known for his quirky pop-culture forays into art, food and music, and Merhia Wiese, who handles outreach for Meow Wolf Denver, traveled to France in November to view The Guardian of the Temple, a spectacular showcase for the monumental mechanical creations of La Machine Company. They’ll bring the once-in-a-lifetime experience to life in Denver during a travelogue with photos, video and commentary from 2:30 to 5:30 p.m. Sunday, December 23, at the Mercury Cafe, 2199 California Street. Admission is free, but Novick and Wiese recommend patronizing the Merc kitchen before or after the show (the kitchen closes at 3 p.m. and reopens at 5:30); find more details by searching “Come on a 'trip' with us to France" on Facebook.

Giggles abound when the Aspen Laughs Festival presents an evening with Melissa Villaseñor at the Wheeler Opera House, 320 East Hyman Avenue in Aspen, beginning at 7:30 p.m. Sunday, December 23. In addition to making history as the first Latina cast member of Saturday Night Live, Villaseñor wowed audiences with her eerily accurate impressions as a semi-finalist on America’s Got Talent, has lent her vocal skills to animated productions like Adventure Time, American Dad and Ralph Breaks the Internet, and has appeared on shows like Barry and Crashing. The multi-talented performer includes standup, music and art among her considerable repertoire of skills, and she's following her post-season comedy tour with the release of a new EP and a book of illustrations. Buy tickets, $40, and learn more at

Monday, December 24

Visions of sugar plums may be dancing through gentiles' heads this Christmas Eve, but the Chosen People will be hitting the dance floor at the first annual Jewbilee Bash Denver. The soirée offers guests an opportunity to boogie down while celebrating Jewish heritage in an evening dominated by Christian traditions. With beats provided by DJ 2AR and a complimentary beverage courtesy of Tito's Vodka, the bash is ideal for holiday counterprogramming. The celebration gets started at 9 p.m. on Monday, December 24, at Club Vinyl, 1082 Broadway, and doesn't wind down until 2 a.m. — though revelers are encouraged to continue their night at the nearby ART Hotel. Admission is $18 in advance at and $25 at the door (or $20 with a canned-food donation).

In order for an event to be considered for 21 Best, we need information at least three weeks in advance. Send it to [email protected] or 969 Broadway, Denver, CO 80203.
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