The arrival of a new week means a fresh crop of entertainments that even the thriftiest Denverite can enjoy. Today, and today only, entrance to all Colorado state parks is free — a bonus left over from the August 1 Colorado Day. After that, whether you fancy outdoor screenings of classic movies, dance lessons, or craft beer and comedy, there's plenty more to do all week, and all for free.So pack up a picnic and put on your dancing shoes, because the only way to have a bad time in Denver this week is by staying home.
Free Introductory Ballroom Class
Monday, August 7, 6 to 6:50 p.m.
The Denver Turnverein
The Denver Turnverein is both a historic local institution and a bustling dance hall constantly bursting with life. While its schedule is packed with balls, concerts, special functions and professional classes, curious Denverites can get a taste of all the Turnverein has to offer on Monday, August 7, at a free introductory ballroom-dancing class. Join instructor Leonard Thurman (with musical accompaniment from a DJ) to learn the basics of the waltz, a twirling and fancy-free Viennese art form. The class runs from 6 p.m until 6:50 p.m., and participants are welcome to stay on for the regular 7 p.m. ballroom class after returning to the foyer and paying the regular rate. Whether you're fleet of foot or learning for the first time, the Turnverein's free ballroom classes offer a bit of old-world elegance as well as a grand time. Visit the Denver Turnverein events calendar to learn more.
BookBar Book Club
Wednesday, August 9, 7 p.m.
For the easily distracted reader, nothing beats the fellowship and accountability of a book club. BookBar, an independent bookstore and wine bar nestled in the heart of the Tennyson Arts District, hosts a lively reading group that meets once a month for an in-depth and wine-soaked discussion of literature. This month, the group will be discussing The Book of Joan, by Lidia Yuknavitch, a genre-shattering dystopian novel that's as provocative as it is thrilling. Enjoy BookBar's menu of small plates, including charcuterie, pizzetas, crostini and sweets, while sampling its selection of fine wines. Facilitated by BookBar regular Kelly Thompson, the monthly meetings provide an ideal opportunity to share the joys of reading. Guests can also shop for next month's book, Marked Men, a collection of poems by Joseph Hutchinson. Visit BookBar's events page to learn more.
Civic Center Cinema
Wednesday, August 9, 6:30 p.m.
Civic Center Park
Local cinephiles have two more weeks of Civic Center Cinema to enjoy. A partnership between the Civic Center Conservancy, the Outdoor Cinema Network and Xfinity, the series includes weekly screenings of voter-selected movies. Civic Center Cinema continues on Wednesday, August 9, with a showing of The Blues Brothers, the iconic 1980 musical comedy that remains the gold standard of Saturday Night Live film adaptations. The movie starts at dusk — roughly 8:30 p.m. — but we recommend arriving at 6:30 p.m. to enjoy an array of lawn games and food-truck cuisine as well as calling dibs on the perfect spot. Admission is free and picnics are welcome. Visit the Civic Center Conservancy's events page to learn more. Can't make it this week? The series concludes next Wednesday, August 16, with a screening of Jurassic World.
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DBC Showcasetacular Featuring Zach Reinert
Wednesday, August 9, 8:30 p.m.
Denver Bicycle Cafe
The Denver Bicycle Cafe, an Uptown haven for lovers of beer and bikes, has been steadily improving its comedy shows over the past few months. In addition to a weekly comedy open mic (livelier in the summer months, thanks to the DBC's newly spruced-up patio), co-hosts Roger Haak and Zach Welch are producing well-curated monthly standup showcases featuring some of the funniest people in the city. The "Showcasetacular" they've prepared for Wednesday, August 9, is no exception, with a lineup that includes local mirth merchants John Davis, Noah Reynolds, Walter Booth and Cody Spyker opening up for one-liner savant Zach Reinert. And wage slaves needn't worry about their tab: Not only is admission free, but DBC offers half-off draughts for its service-industry night. Visit the Facebook events page to learn more.
We Still Like You: Denver #12
Friday, August 11, 7 p.m.
El Charrito's Comedy RoomRoom
Most comedians have a trove of embarrassing stories and painful memories under their belt long before they first pick up a microphone, but we tend to keep them to ourselves or enshroud ugly truths in punchlines. At We Still Like You, however, performers are encouraged to dredge up their very worst tales and lay the truth bare for a supportive crowd that chants, "We still like you" at the close of each story. Based off of Chicago's live storytelling show and podcast of the same name, the current iteration of Denver's We Still Like You is hosted by Rachel Weeks of the Pussy Bros. This Friday's show features local performers Matt Cobos, Elise Kerns, Meghan DePonceau (who also draws live illustrations based upon each tale), Geoff Tice, Adrian Mesa, Hayden Kristal and Matt Megyesi. Admission is free, but donations are strongly suggested. Visit the Facebook events page to learn more.