Holidays

The 21 Best Things to Do in Denver This Week

Here, kitty, kitty: Snowcats returns to Denver.
Here, kitty, kitty: Snowcats returns to Denver. Michael Emery Hecker
That long, cold holiday weekend is over, but there are plenty of cool events in the days ahead. While many are holiday-related, others are simply celebrations of great art and great music — including the next induction into the Colorado Music Hall of Fame. Keep reading for the 21 best things to do in and around Denver this week.

Monday, December 2

After standing in line in the wee hours on Black Friday, you were probably too tired to do much else over the weekend. Thank goodness, then, for Christmas in Color, where you can enjoy the holidays without ever leaving the driver's seat. The drive-through attraction with two metro-area locations is perfect for exhausted adults and children in jammies, offering a synchronized wonderland of music and twinkling lights. Tunnel through at Water World, 8801 North Pecos Street, or Bandimere Speedway, 3051 South Rooney Road in Morrison, on Monday, December 2, or any night through January 4 (closed on Christmas and New Year’s days); both venues are open Mondays through Thursdays from 5:30 to 10 p.m. and Fridays through Sundays from 5:30 to 10:30 p.m. Admission is timed in half-hour slots; learn more and buy tickets, $27 per vehicle, at christmasincolor.net.

The Celtic Gift is a rousing display of Irish dance just waiting to be unwrapped. Interpreting Christmas classics through the fleet-footed traditions of Oireachtas step-dancing, Celtic Gift dancers will perform all around the Centennial State well into the new year. Summon up the spirit of the Emerald Isle when the dancers grace the Broomfield Auditorium stage, 3 Community Park Road in Broomfield, at 7 p.m. Monday, December 2. Future dates include engagements at the Seawell Ballroom in the Denver Performing Arts Complex on Thursday, December 19, and the Lincoln Center in Fort Collins on Saturday, December 21. Go to irishdancetheatre.com for tickets, $20 to $30, and to learn more.


click to enlarge Boulder-based Otis Taylor will be inducted into the Colorado Music Hall of Fame. - CMHOF
Boulder-based Otis Taylor will be inducted into the Colorado Music Hall of Fame.
CMHOF
Tuesday, December 3

Hey, Denver: Aurora is way more than our suburb to the east. The town boasts international diversity and an active arts district bubbling with artist studios, dance and theater companies, and a wonderful free-form venue, the People’s Building, where you can see all of the above, plus comedy, live music, political forums and square dancing. The Aurora Cultural Arts District will help folks seek out the local bounty at Devour the Arts, a party with art and pop-up performances by folks who call the city home, on Tuesday, December 3, from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at the People's Building, 9995 East Colfax Avenue in Aurora. Admission is free; RSVP at eventbrite.com.

Put on your dancing shoes, because on Tuesday, December 3, the Colorado Music Hall of Fame presented by Comfort Dental will host the Going Back to Colorado: Class of 2019 induction ceremony of ’70s rock/fusion guitarist Tommy Bolin; award-winning blues pioneer Otis Taylor; Zephyr and its dynamic lead singer, Candy Givens; Freddi & Henchi, “The Crown Princes of Funk”; legendary concert promoter Tony Spicola and music journalist Wendy “Rock & Roll” Kale. The evening will include performances by David and Anna Givens, the Otis Taylor Band, Freddi Gowdy and members of the Freddi & Henchi Band (backed by Chris Daniels & the Kings), and the Tommy Bolin Tribute Band, with former members of Tommy Bolin’s band, along with special guests Joe Bonamassa and Warren Haynes. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. at the Mission Ballroom, 4242 Wynkoop Street, and the show starts at 7:30 p.m.; tickets range from $40 to $200 at axs.com.

Wednesday, December 4

Mesmerizing and timeless, the gamelan isn’t really a single instrument — it’s a Balinese orchestra primarily comprising bronze metallophones, drums, flutes and voices that developed as part of a centuries-old oral tradition. Denver’s Gamelan Tunas Mekar is about as authentic a group as you’ll find in these parts, carrying on the classical canon here and around the world, led by Balinese composer I Made Lasmawan. See a gamelan performance up close and personal when Tunas Mekar plays at Dazzle, 1512 Curtis Street, at 7 p.m. Wednesday, December 4; find info and tickets, $12, at dazzledenver.com.

Mber Rose Love, the star of "Too Much of a Good Thing..." The Bare Breasted Mae West Revue, has been giving Boulder a sneak peek, parading topless along the Pearl Street Mall and handing out fliers hyping the show, which is as much about a woman's right to ditch her shirt as it is everyone's right to laugh their asses off. The production imagines that Mae West, the outrageous comedian, early feminist and 1930s star, is back from heaven, watching us here on Earth...and she has plenty of advice. After intermission, Love will return as herself, singing her own works (hear them at broadjam.com/mber). The evening is a benefit for the nonprofit reNude, and tickets run from $29 to $34. Showtime is 7 p.m. Wednesday, December 4, at the Dairy Arts Center, 2590 Walnut Street in Boulder; find out more at thedairy.org.

click to enlarge Yolanda Ortega offers Season's Greetings at Su Teatro. - SU TEATRO
Yolanda Ortega offers Season's Greetings at Su Teatro.
Su Teatro
Thursday, December 5

Not everyone wants to see A Christmas Carol for the millionth time — or anything holiday-oriented, for that matter — when December rolls around. Fortunately, the Lulubird Project has a welcome, and challenging, alternative. The company’s Hidden Worlds & Strange Negotiations, a collection of short plays by local playwrights, observes how we navigate our way through relationships and difficult times in fleeting, funny and sometimes magical ways. Get away from it all when the curtain rises at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, December 5; shows continue at the same time Thursdays through Saturdays through December 21 at Theater 29, 5138 West 29th Avenue. Find tickets, $22, and information at theater29denver.com.

Experience the season through the eyes and songs of borderlands singer-songwriter Tish Hinojosa in Christmas en Colorado, which melds Hinojosa's music into a storytelling device in the narrative tradition of el corrido. The folksy, family-friendly morality play, which balances traditional and commercial versions of Christmas, opens at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, December 5, at Su Teatro Cultural and Performing Arts Center, 721 Santa Fe Drive, and runs through December 21. Find show dates and get tickets, $17 to $20, at suteatro.wellattended.com.

Brad Williams is a standup comedian’s comedian who's big on the talk-show circuit, with gigs on The Tonight Show and Jimmy Kimmel Live; he also does comedy specials like Fun Size, his highly rated one-hour special on Showtime. Born with achondroplasia, Williams injects dwarfism into his comedy but doesn’t allow the genetic mutation to define him as he makes masterful observations on sex, relationships and race. See for yourself when Williams starts a three-night run at Comedy Works Downtown, 1226 15th Street, at 8 p.m. Thursday, December 5; shows continue on Friday, December 6, and Saturday, December 7, at 7:30 and 9:45 p.m. each night. Find tickets, $25 to $30, and more information at comedyworks.com.

KEEP WESTWORD FREE... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.