Ten Things to Do for Free in Denver This Week, April 17-23 | Westword

Ten Things to Do for Free in Denver (and Beyond!) This Weekend

Celebrate Earth Day!
Rocky Mountain National Park/Erik Stensland
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There's a lot of free fun ahead, with Earth Day celebrations all over town (although Lakewood has canceled its traditional outdoor festivities) and no admission fee at national parks today!

Keep reading for ten of the best free things to do in Denver (and beyond):

National Park Week Free Entrance Day
Saturday, April 22
All national parks

Love national parks? There's a holiday for that! National Park Week runs from April 22 through April 30, and parks across the country will be offering special programs. The celebration starts on Saturday with free entrance to all national parks — there are four in Colorado — as well as many national monuments and sites; get the details here.

Earth Day: Spring Family Stewardship Day
Saturday, April 22, 9 to 11 a.m.
Johnson Habitat Park, 610 South Jason Street
The Greenway Foundation is hosting a series of Earth Day events; this is a family-friendly trash pickup led by South Platte River Environmental Education (SPREE) staff. Afterward, there will be crafts and activities. Adults and kids over twelve must attend with someone under twelve; no solo adult registrations will be accepted. Get the details here.

Warm Cookies of the Revolution Future Town: Leadville
Leadville Creative Day of Service with C4: Saturday, April 22, 10 a.m. to noon,
Lake County Library, 1115 Harrison Avenue, Leadville
Future Town Traveling Circus: A Bilingual Variety Show: Saturday, April 22, 6:30 p.m.; Freight
Remember when Denver civic-health club Warm Cookies of the Revolution toured neighborhoods in the Mile High City to bring people together? This year the nonprofit is sharing its message encouraging collective action and people-friendly political bargaining to the rest of Colorado — starting in Leadville, at 10,000 feet or so. Curious? Head for the hills this weekend and experience two days of learning what Leadville is all about by talking, doing volunteer work, and experiencing live music and performance art, all enhanced by communal food gatherings and awe-inspired acts of nature. It's free to participate but donations are highly encouraged, and the rewards are great; Learn more here.

Spring Bash + Splash: Full Send and Red Bull Cascade
Saturday, April 22, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Spring Bash + Splash: Spring Splash
Sunday, April 23, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Winter Park always ends the spring ski season with all kinds of fun, including this full weekend of closing events, beginning Saturday with the final rounds of the Red Bull Cascade, a free skiing contest dreamed up by ski icon Bobby Brown. Anyone with the chops to win, from ski bums to Olympians, can take part, making for some exciting slope action for spectators, too. Sunday brings the season-ending pond-skimming Spring Splash, costumes and all. There is a $20 fee to participate in the splashy classic, but both weekend events are free to watch.

Earth Day Virtual Panel: "Where Are the Boundaries?”
Saturday, April 22, 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., online

RedLine leans in to Earth Day with "Where Are the Boundaries?” a free online learning block and conversation on building and using creative consciousness to overcome obstacles and facilitate transformative directives through the arts. Participants will view three short-film programs over three days on RedLine’s blog or Instagram pages; on the fourth, they will join a Zoom panel discussion led by artist, writer and researcher Denise Zubizarreto. Film subjects include Indigenous Plant Medicines and Natural Healing, Modern Pharma’s Impact on the Mind/Body Connection, and Mental Health and Creative Blocks. Sign up for the Zoom session here.

Emerging BIPOC Playwright's Project: Play Reading of Cuauhtémoczin, by Diego Florez
Saturday, April 22, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
RedLine Contemporary Art Center, 2350 Arapahoe Street

Diego Florez is one of three candidates selected for the Emerging BIPOC Playwright's Project; his play-in-progress, Cuauhtémoczin, will reach the stage in a full production in October. But now he's ready to host a live reading, and this talkback will help solidify Florez’s story about the Aztec warrior and leader Cuauhtemoc, or at least his spirit, depicted as a modern-day convict sentenced to life in prison. Admission is free, but $5 donations for RedLine will be accepted at the door. RSVP at Eventbrite.

Old School Cool Vintage Market
Saturday, April 12, noon to 5 p.m.
2534 Larimer Street

Old school Cool Vintage Market is hosting this event, with over forty local vendors offering fashion, vinyl, furniture and more. Admission is free, but you can RSVP here.
click to enlarge carbon diablo musicians
The Carbon Diablo Ensemble plays LEAF on Saturday, April 22, in Lafayette.
Courtesy of the Carbon Diablo Ensemble
LEAF2023 Performances
Saturday, April 22: Ryan Wurst and Aaron Alexander, 7 p.m.; and Carbon Diablo Ensemble:, 8 p.m.; Grime’s Hall, Colorado Music Festival & Center for Musical Arts
The Lafayette Electronic Arts Festival isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but folks with adventurous ears and a penchant for experimental music and multimedia have been waiting for it all year. The fest includes many free components, including three concerts in Lafayette this weekend. Performers include Rue Bainbridge, the multimedia duo of Gryphon Rue and Benton C Bainbridge, who “write” with light to a soundscape; the Carbon Diablo Ensemble, a local musique concrète combo working in sound collage; and Ryan Wurst and Aaron Alexander, who also blend multimedia visuals and improvised music. Learn more here.

Earth Day Art Market
Sunday, April 23, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Yates Theatre Collective Parking Lot, 4979 West 44th Avenue
Because of the snow conditions, the Yates Theatre Collective, a small retail corner, has moved this market hosted by the Terrorium Shop from Saturday to Sunday. There will be fifteen local art vendors sharing work that promotes and explores nature, art and community. Find out more here.

Fantastic Rumpus in the Park
Sunday, April 23, 11:30 a.m. to 7 p.m.
City Park Pavilion, City Park, 2001 Steele Street
The Fantastic Hosts are secretive about what they do and why, but we’re not: They are fabulous event planners who’ve been doing immersive for nearly 25 years, since before it had a name, and their nonprofit also raises funds for charities. But their free Fantastic Rumpus in the Park isn’t a fundraiser; it’s more of a fun-raiser — family-friendly and designed to be whatever you want it to be. The Hosts provide live entertainment, food truck eats and a few rules; other than that, it’s BYO-anything (i.e. hula hoops, games, costumes, stake-free tents, the fam). Learn more on Facebook.
click to enlarge Denver Croquet Club
Denver Croquet Club

Denver Croquet Club: Opening Day of 2023 Season

Sunday, April 23, 5 to 7 p.m.
Washington Park

The Denver Croquet Club, which has hosted serious — and seriously fun — play for nearly four decades, is hosting an opening-day bash on the croquet lawn in Washington Park, about fifty yards west of South Franklin Street and East Mississippi Avenue. The club will provide the Golf Croquet equipment; it's BYO snacks and drinks. You can wear the traditional "whites," but it is not required; just remember that you must wear flat-soled shoes on the lawn. This opening event is free, and no registration is required: Just come ready to play and have fun. Find out more here.

Do you know of a great event in Denver? We'll be updating this list through the weekend; send information to [email protected]. And get ready: The Cities Summit of the Americas is coming to Denver April 26-28!
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