Ten Things to Do in Denver for $10 and Under

The Denver Zombie Crawl rises to haunt Skyline Park on Saturday, October 6.
The Denver Zombie Crawl rises to haunt Skyline Park on Saturday, October 6. Aaron Thackeray
In case the chilling climes and early sunsets weren't enough indication, Westword can confirm that autumn has indeed descended upon the Queen City of the Plains. The days ahead are rich with entertainments to suit the season, including corn mazes and zombie crawls. And destitute readers needn't fret about cover charges; most of the events listed below cost $10 or less to enjoy. Keep reading for the ten best free and cheap events in Denver this weekend — starting tonight. 

click to enlarge GEORGE L. BLOSSER
George L. Blosser
WRITE CLUB Denver: Circling Back
Thursday, October 4, 6:30 to 8 p.m.
Syntax Physic Opera

Doubling down on the age-old axiom "The pen is mightier than the sword," WRITE CLUB is the bloodsport of the mind, a "literary thunderdome" that swaps weapons for wits in a series of one-on-one literary yarn-offs contending for a prize donation to a charitable cause. October's WRITE CLUB competitors spring forth from the freewheelingly obscure theme of "Circling Back"; join storytellers Kat Atwell, Laura Condi, Cory Byrom, Jared Ewy, Rich Hohenbrink and Shelsea Ochoa for a bloodless brawl on the battlefield of rhetoric. Admission is $10 at the door — though the kindly gatekeepers at Syntax are unlikely to turn you away if you're a few dollars shy of a Hamilton. More details are available on WRITE CLUB's Facebook events page.

Courtesy of Grafenberg Productions
Genre-ral Hospital
Thursday, October 4, 8 to 9 p.m.
Grafenberg Productions
Pay what you can

After months of crowdfunding and hammer-swinging renovations, Grafenberg Productions is ready to open to the public. A burgeoning haven for improvisers and the saintly audiences who support them, Grafenberg — named in honor of the g-spot-discovering physician Ernst Gräfenberg — embarks on one of its earliest endeavors at the new 1223 21st Street location with Genre-ral Hospital. An improvisational performance inspired by televisual tropes, Genre-ral Hospital debuts with a comically escalating series of riffs on medical soap operas and continues with a different theme each subsequent week. Admission is granted on a pay-what-you-may basis; visit Grafenberg Productions' Facebook events page for more information.

Courtesy of Denver Botanic Gardens
Corn Maze
October 5 to 7 (ongoing), 10 a.m.
Denver Botanic Gardens Chatfield Farms
$9 to $14

Find plenty of autumnal splendor while getting lost in the Denver Botanic Gardens at Chatfield Farms' family-friendly Corn Maze. View the grounds from a pair of fifteen-foot tall illuminated bridges — and struggle to escape anyway — at an event that seizes upon the spooky atmosphere of October. The maze opened on September 21 and admits its last explorer on October 28. Admission is $9 to $14, but all first responders get in for free. For more details, visit the Denver Botanic Gardens' Facebook events page.

Midnight Madness: Beetlejuice
October 5 to 6, midnight
Landmark Esquire

Take heart, overzealous Hallow-weiners; the Landmark Esquire's Midnight Madness film series proffers an early season infusion of the cinematic spooky-ookies with a screening of Beetlejuice, the crowning cinematic achievement of goth-freindly auteur Tim Burton – and we'll haunt the attics of anyone who claims otherwise. While the movie's German Expressionism-inspired horrors have provided trick-or-treaters with endless costume inspiration since its 1988 release, the tone-waltzing gallows humor of Beetlejuice — we promise not to say it three times — doesn't get enough credit. After all, Michael Keaton, the titular star of the movie, made his first forays into show business via standup comedy. Buy tickets, $9.50, and find out more on the Landmark Esquire box-office page.
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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