The work week is nearly over, and that means fun and freedom await. While many of the weekend's top entertainments remain frustratingly out of reach for underpaid and rent-burdened readers, the days ahead also offer plenty of budget-friendly options. From concerts and movie screenings to art and fashion shows, the Mile High is bustling with creative activity. Have a blast and save some cash at the ten best events for $10 and under.
An Evening With Adrian Miller, the Soul Food Scholar
Thursday, August 23, 5 to 8:30 p.m.
Denver Press Club
The axiom "The personal is political" never rings truer than in the kitchen, an idea the dynamic James Beard Award-winning food writer Adrian Miller explores in The President's Kitchen Cabinet, a fascinating chronicle of the African-American chefs who've fed the most powerful men in the world, ranging all the way from Washington to Obama. Miller, who's also fondly known as the Soul Food Scholar, is a delightful public speaker with a stunning breadth of knowledge — knowledge he's happy to "drop like hot biscuits," to borrow a phrase he has proudly trademarked. In addition to discussing his two published books, Miller will also be recruiting research assistants for his forthcoming Black Smoke, so guests should be sure to show up hungry for information and BBQ. Tickets are $10 via the Denver Press Club's Eventbrite page.
Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, Star Wars and Marvel Fan Art Event
August 24 to 26, 5 and 7 p.m.
Incredible Art Gallery
Marvel (no pun intended) at the stunning, fantastical landscapes of Hogwarts, Tatooine, the Shire and Wakanda, on display in all their painterly glory at Incredible Art Gallery's exhibition of Christopher Clark's studio-approved fan art. Trained in Italy and officially licensed with LucasFilm, Marvel Fine Art and Disney, Clark lovingly re-creates some of pop culture's most imaginative scenes in paintings that express fandom through fine art. Guests, who are encouraged to wear their best wizardly costumes, each receive a free 9"x11" print of Clark's paintings, along with complimentary beer, wine and light snacks. Clark will also be available to add his signature and one-of-a-kind embellishments to original oil paintings, making the artwork even more special. Visit Incredible Art Gallery's Facebook events page to RSVP and learn more.
B-Side Music Friday with Koo Qua, Pries and YaSi
Friday, August 24, 5 to 10 p.m.
As August draws to a close, some of the season's most reliably delightful events are packing it up until next year, including MCA Denver's B-Side Music Fridays. An outdoor concert series that welcomed burgeoning musicians to the museum's rooftop stage every week throughout the summer, B-Side Music is signing off for the season with a hell of a swan song; a triple bill comprising Koo Qua, Pries and YaSi. The beats will bump and the beer will flow at the final show of the year, so don't miss your last chance to party under the setting sun with an unbeatable soundtrack. Arrive early; the first hundred guests receive a complimentary brew from Ratio Beerworks (provided they're of drinking age). Admission is $5 at MCA Denver's box office; find out more on B-Side Music's Facebook events page.
Double Feature: Christopher Robin and Ant-Man & the Wasp
August 24 to 26, 7 p.m.
Denver Mart Drive In
$10 to $60
For local cinephiles born before the ’90s, there's no movie-going experience more nostalgic than a drive-in theater. Denver Mart Drive In evokes the cinematic spirit of yesteryear while planting its feet firmly within the zeitgeist at weekly double features of first-run movies. The pair in question this week ought to delight children of all ages; Christopher Robin gives A.A. Milne's Winnie the Pooh characters the Toy Story treatment (heartstring tugs included), while Ant-Man & The Wasp continues Marvel's cinematic saga with plenty of thimble-sized thrills and gigantic laughs. The double bill continues next weekend before bowing on Sunday, September 2. Buy tickets, $10 to $60, and find more details on the Denver Mart Drive In's box-office page.
Dead Sea Scrolls for Families
Saturday, August 25, 9 to 11 a.m.
Denver Museum of Nature & Science
$10 to $15
Museum-going can be a harrowing experience for parents of young children, many of whom are understandably fearful of the havoc their progeny could wreak if they get lost among the mid-day crowds. Enjoy a little extra time with the Denver Museum of Nature & Science's Dead Sea Scrolls exhibit at an early-morning presentation specifically designed for families. With a program that focuses on interactivity, the event offers insight into ancient life in the Middle East and the archaeological process that allows modern-day people to discover and interpret these age-old artifacts. Visit the Denver Museum of Nature & Science box-office page to buy tickets, $10 to $15, and learn more.
Pabst Blue Ribbon Sound Society featuring Waka Flocka Flame
Saturday, August 25, 9 p.m.
A frothy festival of beats and beer, the Pabst Blue Ribbon Sound Society launches its five-city tour at Denver's own Ogden Theatre. Presenting an evening of top-notch talent for the unbeatable price of free, the lineup consists of local synth wizards Just Call Me Carl, hip-hop queen Junglepussy and headliner Waka Flocka Flame. Once again, admission is free with an RSVP ticket. Visit Pabst Blue Ribbon Sound Society's AXS page for more information.
Affordable Arts Festival
Sunday, August 26, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Arapahoe Community College
Eschewing the notion that art-collecting is a luxury of wealth, the Affordable Arts Festival offers a wide array of treasures that guests can take home for $100 or less. With over 160 participating artists selling their paintings, ceramics, jewelry, fashions and photography, the potential for unbeatable deals is nearly limitless. Proceeds from the festival pay it forward by funding arts scholarships with the Arapahoe Community College Foundation. Admission is $10 at the gate or online. Visit the Affordable Arts Festival home page for ticket links and more details.
Pop-Up Shop & Trunk Show With Woolberry Fiber Co.
Sunday, August 26, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Fancy Tiger Crafts
Great crafting starts with great materials, and materials don't get much finer than the painstakingly hand-dyed yarns of Woolberry Fiber Co. Baker boutique Fancy Tiger Crafts is closing out its Yarn Along the Rockies events series with a pop-up shop and trunk show, displaying yards of Woolberry's finest for crafters' perusal. Committed to minimizing its environmental impact, Woolberry endeavors to source its wool humanely and use exclusively low-impact dyes; even the company's yarn bands are easily compostable. Keep green and get creative; learn more on Fancy Tiger's events calendar.
National Dog Day: Isle of Dogs
Sunday, August 26, 2 and 7 p.m.
Alamo Drafthouse Cinemas, Sloan's Lake and Littleton
While dog owners don't need a dedicated holiday to celebrate their four-legged friends, the observance of National Dog Day is as good a reason as any to treat your pup to a chew toy or a trip to the park. Another way to celebrate is by catching Wes Anderson's latest stop-motion-animated tale of twee melancholia, Isle of Dogs, which will be screening at both Alamo Drafthouse Cinema locations. Movie-goers can alleviate some of the guilt they feel for leaving their hounds at home with the knowledge that 10 percent of the day's proceeds will be donated directly to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. Showtime is 2 p.m. at the Alamo's Sloan's Lake location, and 7 p.m. at the Littleton outpost. Visit Alamo's box-office page for tickets, $10, and more information.
If you like this story, consider signing up for our email newsletters.
SHOW ME HOW
You have successfully signed up for your selected newsletter(s) - please keep an eye on your mailbox, we're movin' in!
Sunday, August 26, 6 p.m. to Midnight
$8 to $10
Revel in the unexpected glamour of environmentalism at ReCreative Runway, a fashion show that serves up fierce looks composed of up-cycled materials. Combining Ru Paul's Drag Race-style challenges with a conservationist ethos, ReCreative Runway gives its drag-queen models and designers a mere eight hours to assemble an ensemble from discarded goods before unveiling their creations for a panel of local celebrity judges. Admission is $8 pre-sale and $10 at the door. Ticket holders are welcome to celebrate along with the contestants at an after-party, which kicks off around 10 p.m. at X bar. Buy tickets and learn more at ReCreative Denver's Eventbee page.
Do you have an event you want considered for this list? Send the details to firstname.lastname@example.org.