It's too late to register for the Colfax Marathon, but you can be a headless, armless spectator for free.Courtesy Colfax Marathon
It's an especially affordable weekend here in the Mile High City. With everything from civic engagement to summer concerts to toys and cars and a 26.2-mile-long game of tag on the schedule, there's something new to try — and nine of these ten events are free. Keep reading for the ten best affordable events around town.
Awkward Family Photos Friday, May 18, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Fort Collins Museum of Art $5
Germans have a word for everything: Witness the delightful (to say and to experience) schadenfreude — pleasure derived from another's misfortune. One of our favorite ways to experience this complicated emotion is at the Awkward Family Photos exhibit, which opens this Friday and runs through July 15. The show offers over 200 photos and behind-the-scenes stories from the website of the same name, and programming during the exhibit's run include a photo-bomb workshop and Awkward Art Summer Camp for children ages eight through twelve. Visit the Fort Collins Museum of Art's website for museum information.
Having five minutes to yourself while your kid runs off to play in the sandbox? Priceless.
Courtesy Children's Museum of Denver
Joy Park Free Night Friday, May 18, 4 to 7:30 p.m. Children's Museum of Denver at Marsico Campus Free
’Tis the season for outdoor adventure, and there's adventure in spades at the Children's Museum of Denver's Joy Park. With over 30,000 square feet of grounds to explore, the Joy Park is an ideal way to keep even the most rambunctious of youngsters happily occupied. Thanks to a partnership with Denver Parks and Recreation, the museum is keeping the exhibit open a couple hours late every third Friday of the summer months, and welcoming guests of all ages for free. Visit the Children's Museum's Facebook events page for more details.
The Phantom Menace 19th Anniversary
Friday, May 18, 6 to 9:30 p.m. Secular Hub Free
Pretend you're in your own episode of MST3K at this showing of the much-maligned 1999 movie in which sci-fi fans across the galaxy learned that George Lucas officially couldn't be trusted with computer-generated imagery. Hot on the heels of May the Fourth, this screening includes food and comedy inspired by the the hijinks of Jar Jar Binks, as well as games, prizes and scene re-enactments. Register at Eventbrite, and don't forget your lightsaber — you'll need it to break up Crow and Servo's fights.
Dance of the Sacred Fire will be spinning flames at Music on the Mountain's free show this weekend.
Courtesy Music on the Mountain
Music on the Mountain
Saturday, May 19, 4 to 10 p.m. Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park, Glenwood Springs
Free with canned food donation
If you're enjoying mud season in the high country this weekend, take a break from hiking (er, slogging) and head up the hill to Music on the Mountain's first concert of the season. This concert series has been providing entertainment to locals while collecting food for LIFT-UP food pantries for a decade now. Show up with a canned food donation starting at 4 p.m. and you'll score a free tram ride up the mountain to the music, which runs from 6 to 10 p.m. The opening show includes the Goodman Band and fire dancers; find the whole summer schedule at the Glenwood Caverns website.
Bring your dolla dolla bills to Vine Street Pub for its patio party; the joint is cash-only.
Tenth Anniversary Patio Party
Saturday, May 19, 4:20 to 8 p.m.
Vine Street Pub
It's hard to believe that Vine Street Pub has been pouring pints in the City Park West ’hood (and frustrating cashless customers) for a decade, but it's true. Celebrate at the brewery's patio party on Saturday by taking in the funk-fusion sounds of Spyscraper and soaking up the sun. There's no cover, but burgers, brats and beer from Cerebral Brewing, Silverthorne's Angry James Brewery and Mountain Sun will be available for $5 each; proceeds will benefit Project Angel Heart.
Spectra Art Space
Bombastic Plastic Opening Reception Saturday, May 19, 6 to 11 p.m. Spectra Art Space Free
If you feel like adulthood isn't all it's cracked up to be — what with the rent, job and Tinder hovering over you like a black cloud — revisit your childhood at the opening reception for this show of handmade toys. Sponsored by art collective Meow Wolf, the show promises multi-limbed, Cronenbergian figurines; sweet, sleepy, pastel unicorns; big-breasted fantasy heroines; and the most terrifying Easter Bunny since Frank. And while being a grownup can sometimes be overrated, one of the undeniable perks of adulthood will also be on tap: brews from Ratio Beerworks. Visit Spectra Art Space for all the details.
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