Things to Do

Eight Things to Do for Free in Denver Any Time

The Nguyen Thieu Lion Dance Troupe performs at the Far East Center on Sunday.
The Nguyen Thieu Lion Dance Troupe performs at the Far East Center on Sunday. Courtesy of Gdpt Nguyen Thieu Colorado
Have some free time? Fill it for free by visiting one of these exhibits or trying a new activity.

Gregg Deal: Tutse Nakoekwu (Minor Threat)

Open daily (except Monday) through March 1
Reception: Thursday, February 17, 5 to 8 p.m.
Emmanuel Gallery, 1205 10th Street Plaza, Auraria Campus

Denver-based artist Gregg Deal, a member of the Pyramid Lake Paiute tribe, knows what it’s like to be the underdog, but he’s not having any of that. His imagery, installations and performance pieces take an unapologetically satirical view of White America and its crimes against the Indigenous people who once freely occupied this land. Get a taste of Deal’s politicized works when Tutse Nakoekwu (Minor Threat) opens at Emmanuel Gallery; because of COVID concerns, the exhibition reception has been moved to February 17. The gallery is open daily except Sundays (10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday, Wednesday and Friday; 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday; 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday); find details on visitor protocols here.

click to enlarge "Walk With Me" by Ernest Withers. - ERNEST WITHERS
"Walk With Me" by Ernest Withers.
Ernest Withers
Walk With Me
Daily through February 16, gallery opens at 2 p.m.
Dairy Arts Center, 2590 Walnut Street, Boulder
Walk With Me includes more than 100 iconic photographs by famed photojournalist Ernest Withers, which document civil rights activism, sports, music, politics and everyday life. The exhibit (suggested donation $5) is the centerpiece of the NAACP Boulder County's "Walk With Me" Black History Month celebration; find out more about the series here.

LaMont Hamilton: To Hear the Earth Before the End of the World
Through July 16, Tuesday through Friday
University of Colorado Art Museum, 1985 18th Street, Boulder

To Hear the Earth Before the End of the World (a rephrasing of poet Ed Roberson's book To See the Earth Before the End of the World) is a light and sound installation organized around elements of air, earth, fire, water and the ether. The work includes field recordings that Hamilton captured during his research and travels to Europe and North and South America, where he gained what he calls "a ground zero understanding of our changing Earth. Hearing glaciers cracking, smelling forest fires, the mechanical cacophony of land being razed — all felt on a cellular level.” A different element will be featured each week during the show's run through July 16. Admission is free to the museum, which is open Tuesday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.; find out more here.
click to enlarge LaMont Hamilton, listening to the Earth. - CU ART MUSEUM
LaMont Hamilton, listening to the Earth.
CU Art Museum
McNichols Building Exhibits
Daily through April, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
McNichols Building, 144 West Colfax Avenue

Four new exhibits debut at the McNichols building this week: On the first floor, Travis Sheridan's Imperfect Pixels and Imperfect Union ask us to remember those the Black community has recently lost and to examine the promises of the U.S. government that go unfulfilled. On the second floor, Zen Gardens From Kyoto to Denver celebrates the beauty of Japanese Zen gardens with large-format photos by the late William Corey and photos of the Denver Botanic Gardens’ Shofu-En Japanese Garden by Scott Dressel-Martin. On the third floor, Tomorrow Is a New Day features deeply personal work from Open Studio Cambodia block-print artist Morn Chear and Open Studio Cambodia founder Lauren Iida, a Japanese-American papercut artist. Admission is free; learn more here.

Without a Home in Aurora
Daily (except Mondays) through May 29: Tuesday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Aurora History Museum, 15051 East Alameda Parkway, Aurora

The Without a Home in Aurora exhibit is based on an oral history project that captured the personal challenges, trials and resilience of Aurorans experiencing homelessness. Much of the photography in the display was provided by local street photographer Amy Forestieri; more than twenty people shared their stories. Admission is free; find out more here.

La Cucaracha
Daily through April; check for hours
CSU Pueblo Library, 2200 Bonforte Boulevard, Pueblo
A handful of Chicano and student activists at the University of Colorado Boulder banded together to create La Cucaracha, an alternative newspaper powered by a commitment to the social-justice values of Colorado’s Chicano Movement of the 1970s. They chose Pueblo for the paper’s debut because of the Chicano population and factory workforce there, publishing from 1976 to 1983. And the name La Cucaracha? For poor Chicano workers, the lowly but indestructible cockroach was a symbol of never backing down. The Colorado State University Pueblo has a new exhibit of pages and memorabilia from the newspaper on January 27 that will remain up through April; find information here.

Downtown Denver Rink
Daily through February 20,  Monday through Thursday, noon to 5 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Sunday 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

1601 Arapahoe Street

Looking for a romantic winter activity that won't break the bank or take you too far from home? You’re in luck: The Downtown Denver Rinkis back with free skating and cheap rentals. The season runs through February 20, and if you want to brush up on your skating skills before you bring a date along, free lessons are offered every Saturday from 9 to 10 a.m. Contact the Downtown Denver Partnership at 303-534-6161 for details; find out more here.

Vida Building at CSU Spur
Daily (except Sunday) 9 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.
National Western Complex, 4800 North Bettie Cram Drive
The Stock Show is over, but this amazing new Colorado State University animal-care facility is open year-round, and admission is always free. Inside, you can see cat and dog surgery, watch a mock kids' vet clinic, and experience virtual reality. Find out more here.

Know of a great free event in Denver? We'll be updating this list through the week; send information to [email protected]
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