Things to Do

The 21 Best Events in Denver, July 8 Through July 14

Roll the night away at the Holy Disco! Italian Disco Party.
Roll the night away at the Holy Disco! Italian Disco Party. Greyson Joralemon on Unsplash
Neil Armstrong walked on the moon fifty years ago, an out-of-this-world accomplishment that Denver will celebrate this week with a slew of parties, including the return of the Sci-Fi Film Fest. Just five years after Neil's big step for mankind, Mel Brooks dropped Blazing Saddles, which forever changed comedy — a feat the Esquire will celebrate this week, too. All that and much, much more is in our list of the best events in Denver!

Monday, July 8

Artsweek Golden delivers what it promises: seven full days of cultural events and opportunities with a focus on Golden museums, galleries and art collectives that culminate on July 13 and 14 with the al fresco Foothills Fine Arts Festival at 12th and Arapahoe streets, on the city’s downtown drag. But first, rev up with the members of the Ladies Fancywork Society, who will be busy yarn-bombing public sculptures along Washington Avenue on Monday, July 8, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m.; in the days to come, options include a Hawaiian quilt luau at the Rocky Mountain Quilt Museum on July 9 at 6 p.m., hands-on art for adults and kids, a Public Art Commission open house at the Golden Museum and public-art tour, live plein air painting with an exhibition to follow, silent film, and live music from the DIY collective GLDN. Most events are free; find the schedule and learn more at artsweekgolden.org.

Tuesday, July 9

In anticipation of July 20 festivities in the scientific realm surrounding the fiftieth anniversary of Neil Armstrong’s 1969 moonwalk, the Denver Museum of Nature & Science will offer a preview of the next round of space exploration, delivered by space journalist Leonard David, author of Moon Rush: The New Space Race. David will put our enduring fascination with the moon in context and go behind the scenes at private corporations like Moon Express and Blue Origin — where 21st-century technology brings the U.S. closer to a repeat walk — in a lecture at 7 p.m. Tuesday, July 9, in the museum's Phipps Theater, 2001 Colorado Boulevard. Admission is $12 to $15; learn more and reserve tickets at dmns.org.


Film and food never went together better than they do at the annual Flatirons Food Film Festival, which will return in October with a mouth-watering slate of foodie flicks. But first things first: It takes dollars to set the table for a fest that mixes films and tasting opportunities so elegantly, so get ready to pitch in at Hot! Hot! Hot!: Food, Film and Fun, a fundraiser that includes painlessly delicious bites and cocktails, a heady live auction, dancing and a sneak-preview reel of what’s to come. Tuck in your napkins from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. Tuesday, July 9, at the Avalon Ballroom, 6185 Arapahoe Road in Boulder; tickets are $75 in advance at flatironsfoodfilmfest.org or $85 at the door.
click to enlarge Nathan Sawaya's Park People lands in Denver. - ARTSBROOKFIELD.COM
Nathan Sawaya's Park People lands in Denver.
Artsbrookfield.com
Wednesday, July 10

The job of creating monumental LEGO sculptures is already a rare profession, but even rarer is the oeuvre of renowned LEGO artist Nathan Sawaya, whose building-block constructions cross the border from play into the world of fine art. Denver will have a chance to view Sawaya’s installation work this summer when Arts Brookfield brings Park People to the 16th Street Mall — on the mall side of the Republic Plaza building, 370 17th Street. The display comprises six monochromatic human forms placed on park benches that will be on view from Wednesday, July 10, through August 27; you’re encouraged to have a seat and study them up close. Learn more at artsbrookfield.com.

Leave your workday doldrums and escape into high culture when the Englewood Arts Midweek Matinee concert series returns with a grand yet intimate performance from Denver's own Ivy Street Ensemble. The trio  — flutist Catherine Peterson, violinist Erik Peterson and violist Phillip Stevens — will take the stage at Hampden Hall, on the second floor of the Englewood Civic Center, 1000 Englewood Parkway, from 2 to 3:30 p.m. on Wednesday, July 10, to present chamber pieces from a century-spanning selection of great composers, including Ferde Grofé, Mozart, Beethoven and Maria Newman. Admission is $15; visit englewoodarts.org for tickets and more information.

In this particularly spacey summer celebrating our first man on the moon, it’s only right to bring back the Denver Museum of Nature & Science’s Sci-Fi Film Fest, a collaboration with the Sie FilmCenter that space-shuttles between the two venues annually. Not all of the films in the series deal with space travel, but expect plenty of speculative narratives, supernatural happenings, aliens, dinosaurs and whatever else is out there floating in the universe, plus expert post-film commentary by museum scientists and MSU Denver English and film professor Vincent Piturro. First up is the Jodie Foster vehicle Contact at 7 p.m. Wednesday, July 10, at the museum, 2001 Colorado Boulevard; the lineup continues every Wednesday through August 14. Find info and tickets, $8 (student) to $15 per show (or $55 to $70 for an all-access pass), at denverfilm.org/sci-fi-series.

Nora Claire’s Archipelago club is just that — a membership-driven cultural social club, offering offbeat workshops and performances within curated environments at 2345 Seventh Street, near the Downtown Aquarium. But the general community is invited to vet Archipelago events for a charge (if there’s room). That’s the case with Aphrodisiac Initiation: An Evening With Herbal Medicine, an alchemically sexy workshop at 7 p.m. Wednesday, July 10, hosted by Gina Gibbons and Marisa Pulaski of Pure Planets Boulder, who will lead an evening of elixir mixing and herbal folklore in the venue’s attic room. Their suggestion? Wear something that you feel beautiful in. Find tickets, which start at $35, and learn more about Archipelago at archipelagoclubs.com.


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