Ten Things to Do in Denver for $10 and Under (Six Free)

Make some wrinkly pals at the Pugs in the Park fundraiser on Sunday, September 17 at Stapleton Central Park.
Make some wrinkly pals at the Pugs in the Park fundraiser on Sunday, September 17 at Stapleton Central Park. Frank Rumpenhorst

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Colorado Symphony
Colorado Symphony Afterglow Opening Night: Meet Music Director Brett Mitchell
Friday, September 15, 9:30 p.m. to midnight
The Nickel

While tickets to the Colorado Symphony's season-opening performance of Beethoven's Fifth may fall outside the price range of many local pocketbooks, classical music lovers can still mix and mingle with Music Director Brett Mitchell and composer Mason Bates at the Afterglow Opening Night meet and greet. While the event is intended for Colorado Symphony REMIX members, who'll enjoy free admission to both the season-opening performance at Boettcher Concert Hall and its accordant after party – sign up here. Any old plebe with a crisp Hamilton can attend. Visit to learn more and buy tickets, $10.

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Westwood Chile Fest
Westwood Chile Fest
Saturday, September 16, 2 to 9 p.m.
Westwood Food Cooperative

Spice up your Saturday at the Westwood Chile Fest, a culinary and artistic celebration of the Hispanic cultures that comprise one of the most vibrant corners of this fair city. Enjoy art, music, and dance along with a vast and tasty array of cuisines all along the Morrison Road Corridor from 2 to 9 p.m. on Saturday, September 16. With the Westwood Food Cooperative serving as a convenient hub, locals can explore a relatively unheralded section of the city and come together to enrich the entire community. To learn more, check out the Westwood Chile Fest's Facebook events page.

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Colorado Pug Rescue
Pugs in the Park
Sunday, September 17, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Stapleton Central Park
$5 per Dog

Despite what this hateful anti-pug screed from our archives might suggest, Westword is a safe haven for pug-loving patriots. That's why we're recommending Pugs in the Park, an annual fundraiser for Colorado Pug Rescue, a doggo social, which returns to Stapleton Central Park on Sunday, September 17. Compete for fabulous prizes in hot dog eating contests, the "pug plop drop," and a wildly contested costume contest. Pug loving owners can also get their canine companions microchipped, or treat their pups to a spa day followed by a photo portrait. Mingle with the four legged crowd, or arrange a meet and greet with some of the dogs the Rescue has available for adoption. Celebrate the goofiest mugs in the canine kingdom starting at $5 per dog. Visit to learn more.

Mario Kart Brunch Battle
Sunday, September 17, 1 p.m.
Barfly Denver

A staple of each Nintendo video game console, the Mario Kart series is a deathlessly engaging – addictive even – experience for every stripe of gamer. A fast-paced but agreeably goofy racing game, its most enjoyably played in groups because talking trash to a person sitting right next to you always beats shouting at pixels by yourself. Idle away a hangover Sunday afternoon by taking a few laps around Rainbow Road with a gaggle of gamers at the Alamo Drafthouse Sloan's Lake location's bustling lounge and events center, Barfly. Enjoy bites, bloody marys and the friendly spirit of competition at the Mario Kart Brunch Battle, starting at 1 p.m., on Sunday, September 17. While you're there, why not stick around for a movie and make a whole day of it? For more information, look no further than the Facebook events page.

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Soundscapes: Women in Classical Music
Wednesday, September 20, 2 p.m.
Gordon Gamm Theater at the Dairy Arts Center

While the classical music world has a reputation for clinging to hidebound traditions on its fusty road to obsolescence, a new generation of performers is shattering those old perceptions while breathing thrilling new life into cherished works from the classical music canon. Showcasing the compositions of Libby Larsen, Augusta Reed Thomas, Kate Soper, and Amy Beach, Soundscapes: Women in Classical Music pays tuneful tribute to pioneering women of the field while showcasing the achievements of the modern women preserving their legacies. Join violinists Leslee Smucker and Erika Eckert along with soprano Christie Conover, dancer and choreographer Jessica Riggs, flautist Mary Matthews and pianist Margaret McDonald for an evening of music so divine it makes gender roles seem irrelevant. Visit the Dairy online to learn more and buy tickets of your own, $10-$15.
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Byron Graham is a writer, comedian and gentleman thief from Denver. Co-host of Designated Drunkard: A Comedy Drinking Game, the deathless Lion's Lair open mic and the Mutiny Book Club podcast, Byron also writes about comedy for Westword. He cannot abide cowardice, and he's never been defeated in an open duel.
Contact: Byron Graham