We came, we thaw.... While the weather is still chilly, events will heat up today along the Front Range. Listen to music, shop until you drop, or just get elevated.
Here are the ten best things to do for free today:
Erie Hot Air Balloon Festival
Sunday, May 22, starting at 6 a.m.
Erie High School, Erie
While the first two days of the 25th annual festival were deflating, things should take off today. Pilots started filling their balloons at 5 a.m.; go to the Erie High School parking lot at 6 a.m. today to visit with the pilots while viewing their balloons. There will be coffee and breakfast food trucks. Find out more here
StretchLab Grand Opening
Sunday, May 22, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Shops at Walnut Creek, 10448 Town Center Drive, Westminster
The weather may put a damper on your planned weekend activities, but here's a chance to explore new physical options. Andrea and Trey Schott have opened a new assisted stretching boutique, StretchLab, and during opening weekend, Andrea will offer free demo stretch programs as well as raffle giveaways. Find out more here
Made By Us Weekend on Larimer Pop-Ups
Sunday, May 22, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Modern Nomad, 2936 Larimer Street
Made By Us brings a more intimate maker market to Modern Nomad, alternating two different vendor lineups — each selected from MBU’s top artisans — on Saturday and Sunday. Modern Nomad also offers its own grab bag of delights for home and closet, along with a delicious ongoing schedule of cooking and craft workshops to check out while you’re there. Admission is free; find more info here
Sloan's Lake Spring Bazaar
Sunday, May 22, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Sloan’s Lake, 1611 Raleigh Street
Denver Bazaar spreads out at Sloan’s Lake this weekend for a laidback, water’s-edge artisan market. More than eighty curated bazaar vendors will set up booths in the shady park; it's free to shop. Extra paid-event options include Spritz n' Stretch Outdoor Yoga, and DIY facial oil, terrarium and abstract painting workshops (prices range from $20 to $60); you can also tack on bottomless mimosas for $20. Register here
. (The Sloan's Lake Bazaar on May 21 has been cancelled, but Sunday is on!)
Sunday, May 22, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Skyline Park, 1601 Arapahoe Street
A good idea hits some rough weather: The Downtown Denver Partnership is bringing the first-ever downtown Denver outdoor roller rink, City Skate, presented by Southwest Airlines, to Skyline Park — where it will join the Skyline Beer Garden. The area will be open daily, with fun, free (skates are available to rent), family-friendly activities (mini-golf!) through October 2. The rink is now slated to open Saturday, but given predictions of snow, check before you go. Find out more here
Shop Small, Support Big
Sunday, May 22, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The Hangar at Stanley Marketplace, 2501 Dallas Street, Aurora
Small Business Saturday celebrates the wisdom of shopping small at local stores and businesses during the holiday season, but the truth is that spending locally in your own backyard is good for the city’s economy year-round. To emphasize the point, Stanley Marketplace is hosting Sunday's LoveLex Boutique Vendor Fair, a platform for fifty or more Denver-area small businesses selling everything from clothing to artisan wares. Shop the market knowing that even if you step outside of the Hangar to shop, you’ll still be supporting the all-local Stanley family of retailers and restaurants. Go here for info and a vendor list
Birdseed Collective Summer Series
Another chance to hear Los Mochochetes.
Sunday, May 22, noon
Globeville Center, 4496 Grant Street
The Birdseed Collective serves its grassroots community year-round out of the Globeville Center, and everyone is invited to come out, mingle and enjoy free music by local bands there once a month through the summer. The series, hosted by house DJ Felix Fast4ward, begins Sunday, May 22, with the high-energy Los Mocochetes and Luckiee B; Wheelchair Sports Camp and Wes Watkins follow on June 26, Alex Trujillo and Eman Alexander on July 24, and Don L and Friends and Dream Cast on August 28. Learn more here
Heavy Metal Flea Market
Sunday, May 22, noon to 5 p.m.
Black Sky Brewery, 490 Santa Fe Drive
What will heavy-metal fans find at the Heavy Metal Flea Market? T-shirts, check. Pagan art, check. Vinyl. Gothic gear, monsters, demon angel figures, leather, posters, creepy jewelry, skulls, death. If this lineup appeals to you, run, don’t walk, to Black Sky Brewery on Sunday afternoon with a pocketful of cash, a brain full of heavy-metal clothing and decor goals, and a longing for beer and pizza. Admission is free; peruse the vendor list here
The Over the Hill Band Presents: Spring Fest Concert
Sunday, May 22, 3 p.m.
The Pearl Church, 200 South University Boulevard
The Over the Hill Band, conducted by Joe Brice, will present an array of traditional pop and semi-classical pieces during this family-friendly concert conducted by Joe Brice. Admission is free; find out more here
Harrison Fletcher, Finding Querencia
Sunday, May 22, 4 to 5:30 p.m.
BookBar, 4280 Tennyson Street
scribe Harrison Candelaria Fletcher has a new book of essays, Finding Querencia
, that straddles memoir and finding universality and a sense of belonging in his own bicultural Latinx and Anglo roots. The native New Mexican and much-awarded author visits BookBar on May 22 for a book launch and introduction to Finding Querencia.
Learn more and opt to buy the book, $19.95, in advance here
These events have been rescheduled:
Museum of Outdoor Arts Open Haus
Wednesday, May 25, 5 to 8 p.m.
Marjorie Park, Fiddler's Green Ampitheatre, 6331 South Fiddler's Circle, Greenwood Village
MOA is kicking off the summer season with a free community open house that will include live mural painting by nine local artists, as the museum expands its mural program within Fiddler’s Green Amphitheatre. Guests will also be able to take behind-the-scenes tours of MOA’s Panoramic Living Wall, get henna tattoos, and listen to live music by DJ Mancos, MOA’s 2022 Artist in Residence. Find out more here
. (This event was moved from May 20 because of the weather forecast, and will now be joined with Unwine Wednesday.)
Saturday, June 11, 8 a.m.
Cottonwood Marsh Trailhead, Boulder
Join the CU Art Museum, artist Brittney Hofer and Boulder County Open Space education naturalists Ellen Harris and Patrick Morgan for a guided, deep-listening sound walk; deep listening is a contemplative and meditative practice created by Pauline Oliveros, an American composer, accordionist and central figure in the development of post-war experimental and electronic music. The leaders will start the walk at the Cottonwood Marsh Trailhead, then explore Walden Ponds while talking about birdsongs and flowers in bloom. The event is free, but registration is required; sign up here
. (This event has been postponed from May 21.)
Do you know of a great free event in Denver? We'll be updating this list through the week; send information to [email protected]