Thanksgiving week has arrived, and while you might think that entertainment offerings in the days ahead are as sluggish as a turkey-stuffed drunken uncle, Denver's creative community will surge through the holiday with plenty of ways for you to avoid your families. Whether you fancy laughing, skating through an urban park remade into a winter wonderland, or burning calories for a worthy cause, you don't need to dip into your feasting funds. Here are the best free events in Denver this week.
Downtown Denver Ice Rink
Tuesday, November 20, through Sunday, February 3, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Don a pair of skates and hit the ice when the Downtown Denver Ice Rink again transforms Skyline Park into a winter wonderland. One of the city's fondest annual traditions, the seasonal installation invites visitors of all ages to skate among the skyscrapers; mingle with costumed characters like Santa Claus and Parade of Lights-leading penguin mascot Major Waddles; boogie down to Friday night DJ dance-offs; wobble through balance and flexibility-challenging rounds of "Snowga"; or marvel at graceful performances by the Denver Figure Skating Club. The rink opens up on Tuesday, November 20, and will stay open through Sunday, February 3. Admission is free; skate rental is $6 to $8 (or bring your own). Visit the Downtown Denver events calendar for more details.
South Broadway Ghost Society
Wednesday, November 21, 7 p.m.
Mutiny Information Cafe
Gaze into the great beyond with the South Broadway Ghost Society, a spooky soirée that brings creatives from Denver's literature, theater, comedy and music scenes together for an evening of frights and delights. In addition to readings by such local storytellers as Lewis Neef, Ralonda Simmons, Brian Flynn, Sarah Rodriguez, erstwhile Westword scribe Josiah Hesse and many more, the paranormal proceedings include performances by Claire Heywood and Dustin Whatley, psychic readings by Bridget Callahan, and a dance party soundtracked by DJ Ghost VII. The South Broadway Ghost Society recommends a minimum $5 donation for the performers, but no one with empty pockets will be turned away — haunted for eternity maybe, but not turned away. Visit Mutiny Information Cafe's Facebook events page to find out more.
Ratio Comedy Night
Wednesday, November 21, 8 p.m.
Tap into a keg full of frothy funsters when Ratio Comedy Night returns for another round of good cheer and even better beer. Hosted and curated by Matt Cobos (a Denver comic with a mane that can't be contained), Wednesday's lineup offers comedy nerds a chance to check out local up-and-comers like Titus Milan; visiting performers Austin's Colton Dowling, L.A.'s Zoe Rogers and Morgan Miller; and prodigal Denverite Stephen Agyei as they warm up the stage for headliner Dr. Kevin Fitzgerald. Learn more on the Ratio Beerworks Facebook events page.
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Louisville Turkey Trot 5K
Thursday, November 22, 9 a.m.
Louisville Public Library
Burn off some calories in advance of your Thanksgiving feast at the Louisville Turkey Trot 5K, an annual benefit hosted by Avista Adventist Hospital for the Sister Carmen Community Center. Limber up and bundle up for a morning gallop through Louisville guaranteed to get your blood pumping while raising funds, and food, for families in need. The race is free to enter, but participants must sign a waiver and register before Wednesday, November 21. Guests can make monetary contributions to the center online and donate cash, clothes, housewares and non-perishable foods on race day. Visit the Turkey Trot events calendar for more details.
Joke and Tell
Friday, November 23, 7 p.m.
Denver comedy's long farewell to El Charrito and the Comedy RoomRoom continues with the final bow of Joke and Tell, a show that blends an elementary-school show-and-tell presentation with prop-prompted jokes. Featuring a surprise roster of booked comics with prepared material about their most meaningful possessions and drop-ins making extemporaneous fun of random objects, Joke and Tell proves that sharing is hilarity. Join host Steve Vanderploeg for one last round before the "Five Star Dive Bar" shutters its doors for good next month. Visit the Comedy RoomRoom Facebook events page to learn more.
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