Ten Things to Do in Denver for $10 and Under (Three Free)

Get into the spirit of the season with a Midnight Madness screening of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre on Friday, October 6, at the Landmark Esquire Theatre.
Get into the spirit of the season with a Midnight Madness screening of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre on Friday, October 6, at the Landmark Esquire Theatre. Bryanston Pictures
The weekend is nigh, which is generally cause for jubilation – unless a person is too broke to have fun. Happily, the Mile High City's creative community hustles to produce a litany of fantastic ways to experience Denver's cultural scene while still pinching every possible penny. That's right, readers, anyone can attend any of the following ten events for less than ten American dollars. Metalheads, museum-goers, cat lovers and comedy nerds are all spoiled by choices this weekend as October settles in. Keep reading for ten great ways to have a good time without breaking the bank, listed below in chronological order.

Glacial Tomb Facebook page
TRVE Brewing's Great American Beer Festival Kickoff Show
Thursday, October 5, 8 p.m.

Head-bang your way into the Great American Beer Festival weekend with a rocking and rollicking concert hosted by the heavy-metal brewmeisters at TRVE. Showcasing the music of Urn, Space in Time, Nightwraith and Glacial Tomb, it could well be the heaviest bash of the whole weekend. The 21-and-up concert will also feature draughts from celebrated fellow brewers such as New York's Finback, Georgia's Three Taverns, North Carolina's 7eventh Sun and many more. Doors open at 8 p.m. at the hi-dive, a favored haunt for Baker music lovers. Admission is $10 on Ticketfly, where you can also find more details.

click to enlarge Bar Standard - AARON THACKERAY
Bar Standard
Aaron Thackeray
The Time Traveler's Ball
Friday, October 6, 9 p.m. to 2 a.m.
Bar Standard
$5 admission before 10 p.m.

Go back (or forward) in time at Purgatory First Friday's Time Traveler's Ball, an eon-straddling extravaganza starting at 9 p.m. on October 6. Just in time for the Halloween season, the ball invites guests to don the customary attire from an era of their choosing and boogie the night away to the futuristic sounds of DJs Mudwulf, Kilgore, BloodLine and more. Cosplayers will also strut their stuff in a costume contest or burnish their wardrobes at a steampunk-inspired jewelry vendor. Guests can also enter a raffle to win tickets to the third annual HELLoween Ball and Theatrical Black Mass. Interested parties can find more details on the event's Facebook page. Be sure to arrive early; admission costs only $5 before 10 p.m.

Midnight Madness: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre
Friday, October 6, midnight
Landmark Esquire

A seminal masterpiece of the slasher genre, Tobe Hooper's The Texas Chainsaw Massacre hasn't lessened in impact a bit over the decades, despite countless return-diminishing sequels and remakes. See the original for yourself in the company of gorehound cinephiles at Landmark Esquire's Midnight Madness screening on Friday, October 6. Visit the Esquire Theatre box-office page to buy tickets, $9.50, and learn more.

Penny admission for Colorado residents
Saturday, October 7, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
MCA Denver
One cent

For Coloradans who love art but balk at admission fees, First Saturdays are a godsend. If your tastes skew modern, check out the Museum of Contemporary Art any time from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and see the entire collection all for one red American cent. With the new Saber Acomodar exhibition, which highlights 25 different artists, currently on display, it's well worth paying MCA's modest admission fees. But if you're extra-thrifty and don't mind a crowd, a copper Lincoln is all you'll need to get in on Saturday. This deal is only available to Colorado residents, so pay up, tourists. Visit MCA Denver online to learn more.

click to enlarge Image from a satellite Caturday in San Fransisco. - LORCAN KEATING
Image from a satellite Caturday in San Fransisco.
Lorcan Keating
First Caturday at Cheesman Park
Saturday, October 7, 4 p.m.
Cheesman Park Pavilion

As far as pet-related entertainments go, cats and their owners have limited options. While Denver's streets, parks and even breweries swarm with dogs all year-round, local felines are essentially either homebound or half feral. Loosely founded in San Francisco's Mission Dolores Park, Caturday evolved as a corrective to the city's mournful lack of public kitties. Leashed, harnessed and sociable cats – along with the humans who love them – are welcome to join this gathering of feline friends gallivanting through the park, playing and napping through the peaceful October afternoon. First Caturday is an unofficial gathering, with the herded cats entirely in charge of the proceedings. Visit the First Caturday Facebook events page to learn more.

click to enlarge RACHEL WEEKS
Rachel Weeks
Designated Drunkard: A Comedy Drinking Game
Saturday, October 7, 7 p.m.
El Charrito's Comedy RoomRoom

Comedy and alcohol have always shared an enduring but volatile symbiosis, but few shows court boozy overindulgence like Designated Drunkard: A Comedy Drinking Game. A local franchise of a showcase format that originated in New Orleans — where dignified day drinking is a resident's birthright — Designated Drunkard turns the foibles, obsessions and tics of local and traveling standups into prompts for the audience to take a drink. Co-hosts Caitie Hannan and Westword's own Byron Graham not only produce and emcee the show, but one of them will be sitting on stage in the titular role, leading the audience in shot challenges and rotating roles each month for the sake of their livers. Presented in partnership with Sexpot Comedy, October's show features local mirth merchants Katie Bowman, De Kelley, Rachel Weeks, Austin's Devon Walker, Greg Baumhauer and John "Hippieman" Novosad. Find out more and buy tickets, $5, on Designated Drunkard's Nightout page.

click to enlarge HOOKED ON COLFAX
Hooked on Colfax
24 Hour Comic Book Day
October 7 to 8
Hooked on Colfax

A worldwide call to action for comic-loving creatives, 24 Hour Comic Book Day challenges writers, artists and fans alike to create a 24-page comic book. Denver residents can get in on the action on October 7 and October 8 at the contest's local outpost, Hooked on Colfax. Aspiring cartoonists and interested parties alike can learn more about the international challenge on 24 Hour Comic Book Day's website and find out more about Hooked on Colfax's celebrations on the event's Facebook page.

click to enlarge MAIZE IN THE CITY
Maize in the City
Fairy Tale Day at Maize in the City
Sunday, October 8, noon
Haunted Field of Screams

The Haunted Field of Screams is one of the Front Range's greatest haunted house attractions, but organizers are branching out in a decidedly less spooky fashion this year with Maize in the City, a family-friendly frolic through the cornfields. To welcome the arrival of the fanciful disguise season, and perhaps take your youngsters' costumes out for a test-drive, head to Fairy Tale Day, an enchanting event spotlighting enough storybook staples for a grand royal ball. Find out more about Fairy Tale Day on the event's Facebook page. Families can also stick around for a free 6:45 p.m. screening of Tim Burton's Beetlejuice at Movie on the Field.

Denver Podcast Network
Denver Podcast Network Launch Showcase
Sunday, October 8, 6 p.m.
Mutiny Information Cafe

The Denver podcasters behind Changing Denver, Jon of All Trades, Discover Weakly, The Revisionists, Left Hand Right Brain, Reel Nerds, Beyond the Trope and the Denver Pizza Podcast have formed the Denver Podcast Network, a group drawing attention to the Mile High City's thriving podcast scene. A cross-promotional platform for some of the hardest hustling podcasters in the game, the launch offers listeners the chance to mix, mingle and sample some of the finest audio entertainment around. In fact, many of the affiliated shows have been covered in our Podcast Profiles series, or will be soon. Visit the Denver Podcast Network's Facebook page to learn more.

click to enlarge Deacon Gray in character as Alabaster Cain. - GEOFF DECKER
Deacon Gray in character as Alabaster Cain.
Geoff Decker
Nut House Comedy Show
Sunday, October 8, 7 p.m.
The Walnut Room

While the classy stage at downtown Denver's Walnut Room typically hosts bustling musical performances, the venue has recently branched out into standup with the Nut House Comedy Show. Booked and hosted by Alabama transplant Derrick Stroup, the Nut House has only been operational for a few short months but has already welcomed some of Denver's funniest people to the mic. October's show is no exception, with a murderer's row of local joke jousters including Cody Spyker, Geoff Tice, Nolawee Mengist, feature act Anthony Crawford and headliner Deacon Gray. Admission is $5 via Ticketfly, where you'll also find more details. 

Looking for more to do? Check out Westword's calendar.
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Byron Graham is a writer, comedian and gentleman thief from Denver. Co-host of Designated Drunkard: A Comedy Drinking Game, the deathless Lion's Lair open mic and the Mutiny Book Club podcast, Byron also writes about comedy for Westword. He cannot abide cowardice, and he's never been defeated in an open duel.
Contact: Byron Graham