Things to Do

Ten Things to Do for Free in Denver on Labor Day

Artists will be painting across Boulder this week.
Artists will be painting across Boulder this week. Streetwiseboulder.com
Yes, Labor Day is here, with big free fun at the Cherry Creek Arts Festival, the Taste of Colorado and the Labor Day Lift Off in Colorado Springs. But there's other action, too, including a run in Fort Collins and a mural fest that continues all week in Boulder.

Keep reading for the ten best free events along the Front Range (and online) today.
click to enlarge A Colorado Springs tradition. - LABOR DAY LIFT OFF
A Colorado Springs tradition.
Labor Day Lift Off
Colorado Springs Labor Day Lift Off
Monday, September 6, 5:30 a.m. to noon
Memorial Park, 1705 East Pikes Peak Boulevard, Colorado Springs

Rise and shine! The action starts early at the Colorado Springs Labor Day Lift Off, where you can watch  dozens of hot air balloons take off, catch aerial acrobats in action, listen to live music and generally party in the park all day. Admission is free, but food and drink will be available for purchase, and you can also rent paddleboards or even ante up for your own balloon ride. Find out more here.

Cherry Creek Arts Festival
Monday, September 6, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Creekside, Cherry Creek Shopping Center, 3000 East First Avenue
The Cherry Creek Arts Festival is back after a cancellation in 2020 and a postponement to September in 2021, but festival-goers can expect the same kind of juried, high-quality art vendors as always, along with the kind of programming that makes CCAF shine — with a few changes. First, the fest is moving across First Avenue to Creekside, behind the Cherry Creek Shopping Center, for a new look and feel, and for the first time, it's using a timed-entry system requiring pre-registration online. Otherwise, it's business as usual: The Creation Station will be offering hands-on art experiences, and the food court and live music will be back. Admission is still free; RSVP and find info at Eventbrite.

Meet in the Street
Monday, September 6, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
16th Street Mall
The fourth and last Meet in the Street event of 2021 runs through the Labor Day weekend, while serving as a companion experience to the mass chow-down that is Taste of Colorado, going on simultaneously in the same corridor. Need a break from turkey legs and corn on the cob? Head over to the Meet in the Street climbing wall at the Outer Space, rock and spin in a spun chair at 16th and Stout, play giant-sized games or check out That Party Truck at Patio 16. It’s all free; see details here.
click to enlarge Taste of Colorado is back...and all over downtown. - DOWNTOWN DENVER PARTNERSHIP
Taste of Colorado is back...and all over downtown.
Downtown Denver Partnership
Taste of Colorado
Monday, September 6, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Downtown Denver
Taste of Colorado — which started more than a century ago as the Festival of Mountain and Plain — is back, but it's moved from Civic Center Park to downtown Denver, which will be a playground all weekend. The end-of-summer celebration includes multiple outdoor performance stages, a large arts and crafts marketplace, an expanded Kids Zone packed with family-friendly activities, and more than fifty food vendors. Everything but the food is free; get the scoop here.

Street Wise Mural Festival Launch Party
Through September 12
Various Boulder locations
Boulder’s Street Wise, now in its third year and shaping up to be one of the region’s best-run mural festivals. Up to thirty participating artists will be painting at locations throughout Boulder, following Street Wise’s general theme of “artivism"; the action continues through September 12. Along the way, Street Wise has plenty of programming, from panel discussions to art shows, to keep its audience busy as the murals near completion. Most events are free; RSVP here, and learn more here.


Free Day of Yoga at Black Swan Yoga
Monday, September 6, 6 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Black Swan Yoga Denver, 1308 Pearl Street
Stretch yourself to the limit before you have to go back to work at Black Swan’s marathon Free Day of Yoga — no reservation necessary. Drop in any time, bring some friends and learn the Black Swan ropes without paying a dime. If that sounds like a plan, grab your mat and learn more here.

Judaism Your Way, Rosh Hashanah Services
Erev Rosh Hashanah: Monday, September 6, 6:30 p.m., online
Rosh Hashanah Service: Tuesday, September 7, 9 a.m., Denver Botanic Gardens, 1007 York Street
Rosh Hashanah Family Service: Tuesday, September 7, 4 p.m., online
Rosh Hashanah is upon us, colliding with Labor Day, and — we can only hope — some late summer weather to warm folks attending this year’s free live service hosted by Judaism Your Way. Since seating is getting tight for the outdoor service at the Denver Botanic Gardens, there’s also an online option, and several other livestreaming tie-ins are available over two days, including Jewish Yoga and Jewish Mindfulness Meditation sessions, as well as a family-oriented service. While registering online for Rosh Hashanah, check the schedule for the following week’s Yom Kippur events and sign up ASAP. Find information and register here.

Supernova Digital Animation Festival: Regeneration
Through September 30, online programming by Vimeo
Night Lights Denver: Tuesdays through Sundays in September, dusk to midnight
Silent Screen Walking Tour: Saturday, September 18, noon to 8 p.m., self-guided, Denver Theatre District
Even Supernova founder Ivar Zeile admits that moving most of the Supernova digital animation fest online is a good idea — and not just for safety’s sake. He recommends using the largest screen you can find to better view the virtual roster of colorful, wacky and mind-blowing video programming that comes in waves throughout September. But you can also see the digital animal in person: on the Denver Night Lights projections on the Clocktower Building downtown, or on a one-day self-guided walking tour viewing work on downtown’s jumbo screens. See the full schedule here and sign up for a free membership here.

online anytime bonuses:


Recipe Shared
24/7, online

Recipe Shared was originally imagined by Meghan Frank and Buba Basishvili of Theatre Artibus as a followup to Recipes, a collaborative pre-COVID performance based on interviews conducted with citizens of the Five Points neighborhood as a way of creating bonds between artists and neighbors. But the pandemic interceded. So they recycled the material — a treasure trove of interviews and historical storytelling — into an online film project. Recipe Shared is now available virtually anytime for no charge. Learn more here.

Back to School
24/7, online

One Night Stand Theater has released its eighth online “mini-show”: an audio production called Back to School, with six short plays and stories showcasing education, students and school life. “While we’re waiting to return to live stage performances, we’re doing these online productions with our One Night Stand Theater writers and actors,” says James O’Leary, One Night Stand Theater’s artistic director. “Our new show features tales of life in kindergarten, grade school and high school, with scary teachers, lunchroom hijinks and prom pranks.” Listen to it for free here.

Know of a great free event around town? We'll be updating this roster through the week; send information to editorial@westword.com.
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