Arts and Culture

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

Join SPELLS for a record release party at hi-dive on Saturday, July 14.
Join SPELLS for a record release party at hi-dive on Saturday, July 14. Tyler Ross
The weekend is nigh, sweaty readers, and anyone willing to power through the Thursday doldrums will be rewarded with three days of delightful entertainments. In addition to concerts and comedy shows, the days ahead are also rich with cultural celebrations, family-friendly activities and even punk-rock burlesque. And take heart, rent-burdened and overworked Denverites: You can attend any of the following events for less than ten American dollars. City-shy readers should rejoice as well; the list includes events in Golden, Arvada, Boulder and Aurora. Have a blast and save some coin at the ten best free and cheap events in Denver (and surrounding areas) this weekend.

B-Side Music Fridays with Neon Brown and Poor Bodhi
Friday, July 13, 5 to 10 p.m.
MCA Denver

A summer concert series dedicated to spotlighting up-and-coming local bands, B-Side Music Fridays is back with another evening of songs and skies. This week, the double bill includes Denver-based rockers Poor Bodhi and Neon Brown and promises to be a feast for ears hungry for soulful wailing and manipulated sounds. The first hundred guests (21 and up) through the door can quaff a complimentary beverage from Ratio Beerworks, and everyone can enjoy live music from one of downtown's best rooftop settings. Admission is $5; visit the MCA Denver Facebook events page for more details.

Friday Night Weird: I Saw the Devil
Friday, July 13, 8:45 p.m.
Boedecker Theater, Boulder
$6.50 to $12

Boedecker Theater's Friday Night Weird film series is paying tribute to payback all month long (and well into August) with Sweet, Sweet Revenge: six films on the art of pain, suffering and glorious vengeance. Among cinema's most protean genres, the revenge film transcends eras, cultures and languages — though many cinephiles would contend that South Korean filmmakers have perfected the balance of righteous bloodthirst and tragic comeuppance that make these movies so simultaneously satisfying and troubling. That's certainly the case as the programming continues this week with Jee-woon Kim's I Saw the Devil, a morally fraught tale of an unhinged cop meting out methodical punishments in a thrilling cat-and-mouse chase with the brute who murdered his wife. Visit the Dairy Center's box office page to buy tickets, $6.50 to $12, and read up on the rest of the series.

Colorado Railroad Museum
Dinosaur Express Train
Saturday, July 14, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Colorado Railroad Museum
$5 to $15

Take the triassic train to family fun junction as the Colorado Railroad Museum's Dinosaur Express Locomotive returns to carry guests through the museum's scenic and historic grounds. Wind your way through the fifteen-acre railyard as the train follows dinosaur footprint tracks toward a host of Denver Museum of Nature & Science-sponsored activities, and wind up at a massive LEGO installation where participants can assemble their own dino-inspired creations. Infinitus Pi and Skadi's Nomadic Comfort Food will be on hand to provide vittles between photo ops with museum mascots Spike the Railroad Dog and Mr. Bones. Due to severe drought conditions in the area, the Colorado Railroad Museum will be running a diesel-powered train during the festivities. Visit the Colorado Railroad Museum's box-office page to buy tickets, $5 to $15, and learn more.

Alliance Française de Denver
Bastille Day Block Party
Saturday, July 14, 2 to 6 p.m.
Alliance Française de Denver

Vive la France! Honor the 229th anniversary of the Fête de la Fédération at Alliance Française de Denver's Bastille Day Block Party. Gather with fellow Francophiles at the Maison Française to enjoy wine, crêpes, live music and dance performances from Simba, DJ Titi de Nice, the Kevin Gael Thomas Dance Project, along with the enduring ideals of the French Revolution, in a delightful afternoon of family-friendly entertainment. Children's attractions include face painting and balloon art, petanque games, craft activities, a bouncy castle and more. Admission is free, but organizers recommend bringing cash for food and activities. Find more information on the Alliance Française de Denver events calendar.

Historic Olde Town Arvada
Second Saturday Street Festival
Saturday, July 14, 3 to 8 p.m.
Historic Olde Town Arvada

Take to the streets, Arvada residents: The Second Saturday Street Festival has returned to liven up your summer months. With the main streets closed to traffic, Arvada's historic town center will become a lively marketplace of tastes and sounds featuring performances from the Trampolines and the Goonies, plus beverages from Silver Vines Winery, Call to Arms Brewing Company, Spruce Creek, Denver Beer Co. and Spice Trade Brewing. In addition to libations and live music, guests can also enjoy artisan vendors, kid-friendly activities and free parking. Admission is free, but beer and wine sales are cash only. Visit Olde Town Arvada's events calendar for more details.
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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