The 21 Best Events in Denver, December 4 Through December 10

Have a nightcap at the Phantom Circus Witching Hour Cabaret Show.
Have a nightcap at the Phantom Circus Witching Hour Cabaret Show. Scott Bilby

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Friday, December 7

A new show at the Boulder Public Library’s Canyon Gallery encourages Boulderites to learn more about how their city works through easily available civic online data and catalogues. Inspired in part by the City of Boulder’s Open Data Catalog, Art of Data tasked artists and community members with addressing the value of free data through art. The exhibition opens Friday, December 7, and runs through February 3 at the main BPL, 1001 Arapahoe Avenue in Boulder; admission is free. Museum times vary; learn more under Events at

Opera is just for adults, right? Wrong! The Boulder Opera is presenting six family-friendly performances of Russian composer César Cui’s Little Red Riding Hood, accompanied by a youth chorus. Little Red Riding Hood might be a familiar story, but don’t go in thinking you know how this version will end, because the opera company promises a surprise twist. Little Red Riding Hood opens at 1 p.m. on Friday, December 7, at the Nomad Playhouse, 1410 Quince Avenue in Boulder, and runs through Sunday, December 9; find tickets, $25 to $35, and showtimes at (And for parents worried about antsy kids, the show is a digestible forty minutes long.)

As Frequent Flyers Aerial Dance continues to celebrate its thirtieth anniversary, director Nancy Smith and her crew of dancers and choreographers will take a flying leap into the future with Aerial Ingenuity (A.I.), an evening of stunning dance above and on the stage, with a futuristic set by Bruce Woller and live digital music by Hugh Lobel and Miles Wilder. Throw in some robots, interactive music devices and human bodies moving through space, and you’ll get the drift of what’s to come in the performing arts. Aerial Ingenuity runs for four performances from Friday, December 7, through Sunday, December 9, at the Dairy Arts Center, 2590 Walnut Street; find showtimes and tickets, $26 to $28, at
El Javi performing at the Open Media Foundation in 2017. - EL JAVI
El Javi performing at the Open Media Foundation in 2017.
El Javi
Earlier this year, the city decided not to renew its contract with Open Media Foundation, the current operator of Denver’s cable-access channels. While the decision of who will run the stations is still up in the air, the team at OMF will host a day of panels, presentations and a showcase of OMF members’ video projects, along with what may be the last Open Music Session, a monthly concert that turns the spotlight on local artists; this edition will be headlined by singer-songwriter Kayla Marque. The last-ditch plea for support for OMF will take place on Friday, December 7, with a 4 p.m. panel, including Westword editor Patricia Calhoun, discussing how community media organizations can help underrepresented groups. All activities are free and will be held at OMF, 700 Kalamath Street; for more information, go to

Walk down history lane on Friday, December 7, with History Colorado's Christmas Lights of Denver program and tour. Starting at 4:30 p.m., an informal program will dig into the state's holiday traditions, after which attendees will board a heated bus — complete with hot chocolate and cookies — that will drive through some of Denver's most beautiful neighborhoods for a Christmas lights tour. "Your host will delight and entertain you with stories of Denver’s holiday lore," History Colorado promises. (If you've been on the tour before, expect a new route this year.) The tour begins at the History Colorado Center, 1200 Broadway, and costs $42 to $54; call 303-866-2394 or email [email protected] to book your seat, and visit for more information.

You can find hours of poorly produced documentaries and records about the illegality of cannabis and the conspiracies behind the plant, but how many times can you see a good pot doc on the big screen, sitting in a comfy chair with a staff waiting to serve you food and drinks? Alamo Drafthouse Sloan's Lake will host the Denver premiere of Weed the People, a documentary made by Ricki Lake (yes, that Ricki Lake) and documentary filmmaker Abby Epstein that follows families using medical marijuana to treat loved ones and asks the question: "If weed is truly saving lives, why doesn’t the government want people to access it?" The screening begins at 8 p.m. Friday, December 7, at 4255 West Colfax Avenue; buy tickets at or call the theater at 720-577-4720.

Phantom Circus brings back the art of circus with a vaudevillian flair and a touch of burlesque, with help from a professional cast of saucy jugglers, belly dancers, aerial dancers, contortionists, stilt-walkers and acrobats. The Phantom Circus Witching Hour Cabaret Show, a late-night taste of an anachronistic world, hits the Clocktower Cabaret, 1601 Arapahoe Street, at 11 p.m. on Friday, December 7, and again on December 14. What a way to close your night! Admission to the 21+ show is $27 to $37 at; learn more about the company at
click to enlarge All ages are welcome at the Mini Comic Con 3. - ZAK KINSELLA
All ages are welcome at the Mini Comic Con 3.
Zak Kinsella
Saturday, December 8

Comic books in a library? You’re damn straight: Stories told in word balloons and pictures are a great reading tool for kids and different learners. And besides, in modern pop culture, comic-book stories are still commanding the big and little screens. Put on a costume and get into the nitty-gritty of the Colorado comics scene at Mini Comic Con 3, an all-ages gathering with thirty local comics creators that includes fun family activities from button-making to a green-screen photo op. The mini-con goes from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, December 8, at the Sam Gary Branch Library, 2961 Roslyn Street in Stapleton. Admission is free; learn more at

Here, kitty, kitty. Snowcats Cat Convention, the first confab in the Rocky “Meowntain” region devoted to pop culture, music and art focusing on cats and the humans who love them, will claw its way into the Exdo Event Center, 1399 35th Street, on Saturday, December 8, and Sunday, December 9. The convention is part expo, part education, part entertainment, and entirely feline. Special four-legged guests at the catstravaganza include Lil BUB: Magical Space Cat; Baloo: Colorado Adventure Cat; Floyd the Lion: Colorado Adventure Cat; and Furry Waffles: Denver Adventure Cat. Human celebs range from Moshow: The Cat Rapper to Kitten Lady Hannah Shaw. There will be a cats and kittens adoption option at the Cat Cafe & Lounge, a Cat-chelor Auction and more than fifty vendors. Single-day admission is $15, with extra fees for meet-and-greets and “paw”sitive yoga. Find out more at

Denver artist Joshua Ware will take over the Denver Theatre District’s thriving Understudy art incubator for a continuation of his Urban Aggregate series, an ongoing study of “urbanscapes” that advocates for creative open societies within the larger community. To that end, the residency will include an art exhibit and a slate of free interdisciplinary readings, performances and musical programs, beginning with an opening reception and a segment of the Death Horse literary reading series with poets Alyse Knorr, Natalie Sharp and Mathias Svalina at the mic. Celebrate the show and lend an ear on Saturday, December 8, from 5 to 8 p.m. (readings at 7 p.m.) at Understudy, 890 C 14th Street at the Colorado Convention Center, and check the schedule of upcoming events at The exhibit will be open from noon to 5 p.m. daily through December 31.

Sunday, December 9

Before you sit down to another heavy holiday meal, get moving! Walk2Connect and the High Line Canal Conservancy will host a Winter Walk along the High Line Canal starting at 9 a.m. Sunday, December 9. This route will cover segment 13 of the 71-mile route, moving from north Aurora over I-70 and Tower Road to the Rocky Mountain Arsenal, now a national wildlife refuge. The free walk is limited to thirty people, and reservations are required; sign up and learn more at (For those who’d rather go it alone, there’s a self-guided tour that takes you from Waterton Canyon to Green Valley Ranch.)

Candles will burn bright as the Orthodox congregation at BMH-BJ celebrates the final night of the Jewish Festival of Lights with its Community Chanukah Concert. Joined on stage by his daughter, Shilo Gold, the Denver R&B and soul artist who made waves with her appearance on NBC’s The Voice, cantor Martin Goldstein will sing holiday favorites accompanied by some of the city's best musicians. After the concert, the festivities will continue with a last-night-of-Chanukah candle lighting. This powerful night of music and holiday glee runs from 6 to 9 p.m. Sunday, December 9, at BMH-BJ, 560 South Monaco Parkway; find tickets, $25 to $54, and more information at

See Cuba from above at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science. - COURTESY OF DENVER MUSEUM OF NATURE & SCIENCE
See Cuba from above at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science.
Courtesy of Denver Museum of Nature & Science
Monday, December 10

Say you’ve already gotten an up-close look at the natural world and cultural traditions of Cuba through the Denver Museum of Nature & Science’s ¡CUBA! exhibit. You’ve seen the adjunct film Cuba 2-D in the Phipps IMAX Theatre. But you haven’t yet traveled far above Cuba for a satellite’s-eye view of the Caribbean island from end to end. DMNS geologist Dr. Bob Raynolds and space science curator Dr. Ka Chun Yu will take you there for Digital Earth: Cuba, a planetarium show with additional commentary by cultural anthropologist Dr. Kaifa Roland, who will bring you back to Earth with observations from her fieldwork. Go under the dome and see Cuba from every angle on Monday, December 10, at 7 p.m. in Gates Planetarium at the DMNS, 2001 Colorado Boulevard; search "Digital Earth: Cuba" at to get tickets, $8 to $10, and more information.

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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