As another weekend approaches, many Denverites find themselves searching for something to do yet despairing over how to fund their fun. Fret not, broke locals, for a bevy of frights and delights await. The following ten events won't break the bank. Admission is available for $10 or less (fine print notwithstanding), and four of these events are free.
The Good Stuff
Thursday, October 12, 8 to 11 p.m.
The Deer Pile
While standup comedy at the Deer Pile has floundered a bit since seltzer replaced PBR at the concessions table, improv has thrived at the Cap Hill DIY stalwart. The Good Stuff, a monthly variety show spotlighting extemporaneous sketches, occurs on the second Thursday of every month, and organizers have pulled out all the stops for the October showcase. The Halloween-inspired shenanigans include an improvised horror story from Johnny Ray, a smattering of scenes riffing on Ken Burns documentaries and The Story of You (fittingly rebranded as The Story of BOO for the spooky season), followed by a short from the Death Prov tournament. Guests are encouraged to wear costumes, and audience favorites will win fabulous prizes. Visit the Good Stuff Facebook event page to learn more.
Four Mile Free Day
Friday, October 13, noon to 4 p.m.
Four Mile Historic Park
Although any day is a good day to amble through Colorado's formative years at Four Mile Historic Park, doing so is even better with free admission. From noon to 4 p.m. on every second Saturday until December 8, visitors can explore the twelve acre grounds, mingle with farm animals and grab a seat for the Hay Bales and Tall Tales storytelling show, a particular hit with kids. Built in 1859 on the banks of Cherry Creek, the Four Mile House is Denver's oldest standing structure that now houses a museum that brings history to life. Cap it all off with free samples from the summer kitchen. Visit Four Mile Historic Park's homepage to learn more.
A Journey to the Uncanny Valley
Friday, October 13, 6 to 7 p.m.
Denver Museum of Miniatures, Dolls and Toys
$5 to $7
Whether it's a recent slate of horror movies, such as the Annabelle series, or merely their frightfully unblinking eyes, many people find dolls, and clown dolls in particular, unbearably creepy. Find out why these lifeless trinkets seem so terrifying at A Journey to the Uncanny Valley, a wide-ranging discussion and exhibition fittingly scheduled for Friday, October 13, arguably the spookiest Friday of the year. Check out some of the spine-tinglingest figurines in the Denver Museum of Miniatures, Dolls, and Toys' vast collection while learning more about why certain psyches recoil from the ostensibly kid-friendly objects. Go to the Denver Museum of Miniatures, Dolls, and Toys' Eventbrite page to buy tickets, $5 to $7, and learn more.
El Día de los Muertos: A Celebration of Life
Friday, October 13, 6 to 9 p.m.
Chicano Humanities and Arts Council
While official celebrations don't begin until October 31, Denver is positively bursting with opportunities to get into the Day of the Dead spirit all month long. Among the most festive is El Día de los Muertos: A Celebration of Life, which is coming up on Friday, October 13, at the Chicano Arts and Humanities Council. The ceremonies begin with a lively presentation by Aztec dancers followed by a procession around the neighborhood to honor lost loved ones. Guests can also get their faces painted and make their own sugar skulls. Admission is free. For more information, visit the Facebook events page or call 303-571-0440.
Friday Night Weird: Blood Feast
Friday, October 13, 8:45 p.m.
Boedecker Theater, Boulder
$6 to $11
While horror has been a cinematic staple since before talkies, shifting social mores and anxieties have influenced what audiences find scary in myriad ways over the years. Follow the genre's evolution from German expressionism to slashers and splatterfests at Friday Night Weird's "The Changing Face of Fear" film series, which runs all month at Boulder's Boedecker Theater. The programmers have reserved a particularly gruesome spectacle for Friday, October 13, with Blood Feast, a formative effort from famed goremeister Herschell Gordon Lewis. Widely regarded as a vital predecessor to the slasher genre, Blood Feast is still as capable of turning stomachs and feeding nightmares today as it was when it was released in 1963. The screening series continues on Friday, October 20, with The Texas Chainsaw Massacre before concluding on October 27 with a screening of Nightmare on Elm Street. Visit the Dairy Center box office page to buy tickets, $6-$11, and find out more.
Midnight Madness: Halloween
Friday, October 13, midnight
Gorehounds have even more cause for celebration as the Friday the 13th horror-thon continues with a Midnight Madness screening of John Carpenter's game-changing 1978 stabfest, Halloween. While plenty of other films can lay claim to pioneering the slasher subgenre, Halloween codified the genre's tropes. There's no better time than midnight on Friday the 13th to relive a classic, with one of the greatest scores of all time — so indelible that its glory can't even be diminished by a series of inferior sequels and remakes. Visit the Esquire Theatre box-office page to buy tickets, $9.50, and get more details.
St. Dominic's Oktoberfest
Saturday, October 14, 2 to 9 p.m.
St. Dominic's Parish
Although Oktoberfest officially ended on October 5, that's no reason not to don your dirndls and lederhosen for another round of fall-friendly festivities. Residents of Denver's Highland district are in luck, as the fifth annual St. Dominic's Oktoberfest returns. See who can prost the most while sampling brews from participating vendors such as Diebolt, Factotum, Zuni Street and many more. Guests can also soak up the suds at a number of on-site eateries, including Crock Spot, Burgerchief, Barbed Wire Reef and Wynkoop. Admission is free; visit the Facebook event page for more details.
Paa Kow: Cookpot album-release party
Saturday, October 14, 6:30 and 9 p.m.
$10 to $20
Denver's musical-performance calendar is so dense, rich and varied that it can be all too easy to overlook world-class concerts popping up at venues all over the city. One such event is an album-release party for Cookpot, the latest release from internationally renowned Ghanaian drummer, producer and composer Paa Kow. Celebrated the world over as a drum-set virtuoso, Paa Kow delivers one-of-a-kind rhythms that whip listeners into an almost spiritual groove. World-music fans won't want to miss this event, and they've got two opportunities to attend. Admission is $10 to $20 via Dazzle's Ticketfly page, where curious parties can also find more information.
Keep the Glass Monday
Monday, October 16, 4 to 10 p.m
$10 to $15
An underrated local watering hole, Stem Ciders is consistently pouring some of the tastiest draughts in Denver. Celiacs and ciderhounds alike will have plenty to celebrate at the cidery's Keep the Glass event on Monday, October 16. For ten American dollars, guests can enjoy two pours of tasty golden stem ciders as well as add to their glassware collection with a to-go keepsake. For $15, guests can enjoy the aforementioned pours, then take home a stylish and durable stainless-steel cup. No matter how you slice this apple, good times aplenty await at Stem Ciders, starting at 4 p.m. Visit the Facebook event page to learn more.
Make/Shift Monday: Wax Poetic
Monday, October 16, 6 to 8:30 p.m.
RedLine Contemporary Art Center
From the vibrant mind of artist, educator and community organizer Toluwanimi Obiwole comes "Wax Poetic," a thrilling addition to RedLine Contemporary Arts Center's Make/Shift Monday series. Guests are welcome to join in on Obiwole's fascinating creative process, composing extemporaneous songs and poetry inspired by percussive African drums. As always, admission to Make/Shift Monday is free. Learn more on the Facebook event page.
Looking for more to do? Go to the Westword events calendar.
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