Ten Things to Do in Denver for $10 (Seven Free)

The Colorado Unicorn Festival gallops into Clement Park this weekend.
The Colorado Unicorn Festival gallops into Clement Park this weekend. Unicorn Festival Colorado
Now that we're on the waning side of the solstice, many sun-burned locals are seeking opportunities to take shelter from the swelter. Luckily, the week ahead is rife with opportunities to beat both the heat and the summertime doldrums. From screenings in air-conditioned movie theaters and inventive comedy shows to a Unicorn Festival and a story hour led by drag queens, Denver's creative community continues hustling to bring residents the best entertainment in the city. Thrifty and adventurous locals can take heart that the following ten events can be experienced for less than ten dollars, including seven freebies.

click to enlarge FRIENDS OF DPL
Friends of DPL
Summer Used Book Sale
June 22-24, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
Denver Central Library

Plenty of people still like the feel of a real book in hand, with pages you can turn and print that won’t make your eyes go wonky. But for old-school bookworms who also feel guilty about the trees that died to make their old-fashioned books, there's a happy solution: Buy recycled tomes instead. A good place to start is the Denver Public Library’s Summer Used Book Sale, a literary extravaganza of bargains in every genre, from kid lit to cookbooks. This year’s sale, offering more than 60,000 books, CDs, DVDs and other media, takes place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily Wednesday, June 21, through Saturday, June 24, at the Denver Central Library, 10 West 14th Avenue Parkway. Most items are priced at $5 or less, and teachers qualify for an additional 25 percent discount during the sale. For more information, go to

click to enlarge TRIPP NASTY
Tripp Nasty
Lisa Matthews
Thursday, June 22
Mutiny Information Cafe

Lisa Matthews claims to be the “booking agent” for Tripp Nasty, the Denver-based spoken-word performance artist and experimental musician who has made waves playing classical music in bars and DIY venues like Rhinoceropolis — and who very likely has no booking agent. She has more than a little in common with Nasty — much more — with the exception of their music. When it comes to Matthews’s sound, think No Wave and industrial coupled with poetry scrawled in a journal and a darkly dreamlike vibe. Matthews, who looks like she just left a shift at the library or a corporate accounting job, has borrowed style tips from Laura Palmer...and is no doubt willing to walk on the wild side. Catch Nasty’s “agent” at Mutiny Information Cafe on Thursday, June 22.

click to enlarge PROMO POSTER
Promo Poster
Scream Screen
Friday, June 23, 9:30 p.m.
Sie FilmCenter

Scream Screen is back at the Sie FilmCenter for another month of terrifying fun. Denver scream queen Theresa Mercado, known for her blood-soaked treasury of cosplay characters and wicked imagination, will conclude the Treasury of Terror: A Decade of Horror Anthologies, at 9:30 p.m. Friday, June 23, by screening a 35mm print of Tales From the Darkside: The Movie. Like every screening in the series thus far, a short film of Mercado’s choosing will precede the feature presentation. For information and tickets, which cost $7 to $11 per screening, visit

click to enlarge DRAG QUEEN STORY TIME
Drag Queen Story Time
Drag Queen Story Time
Saturday, June 24, 10:30 a.m.
Second Star to the Right Children's Bookstore

Nurture your children's love of reading while broadening their cultural horizons this Saturday at Drag Queen Story Time, which kicks off at 10:30 a.m. at the Tennyson Art District's Second Star to the Right Children's Bookstore. Led by the glamorous cast of DragOn!, Drag Queen Story Time features eye-opening illustrated books such as Todd Parr's Be Who You Are and My Princess Boy, by Cheryl Kilodavis and Morris Micklewhite. While it's a fun way to keep the kids entertained on a Saturday morning, Drag Queen Story Time challenges gender stereotypes and encourages both tolerance and self-acceptance. Best of all, admission is free.

Read on for more cheap and free things to do this weekend.

KEEP WESTWORD FREE... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.