Arts and Culture

Ten Things to Do in Denver for $10 and Under

Get into the spirit of the season at Red Bows and Silver Bells Holiday Art Show Preview today at Arts at Denver Gallery.
Get into the spirit of the season at Red Bows and Silver Bells Holiday Art Show Preview today at Arts at Denver Gallery. Arts at Denver Gallery
While readers may be eager to spend the weekend napping off Thanksgiving indulgences and avoiding the Black Friday masses, there are delights in store for those looking for things to do. Even better, readers can attend the following events while saving money for the seasonal giving gauntlet; nothing on this list charges more than $10 for admission, and seven of these events charge no cover fees at all.  Keep reading to find out more about the ten best free and cheap events in Denver this weekend.

click to enlarge ARTS AT DENVER GALLERY
Arts at Denver Gallery
Red Bows and Silver Bells Holiday Art Show Preview
Friday, November 24, noon to 6 p.m.
Arts at Denver Gallery
Free

Now that Thanksgiving is over, even the hum-buggingest Coloradans will be overwhelmed by the Christmas spirit for the next thirty days. While the consumerist frenzy of the season can be as distasteful as last year's fruitcake, there's no denying the enduring warmth of holiday imagery. Paintings of cozy cottages nestled into snowy woods, colorful ornaments, a rosy cheeked Santa Clause and more will be on lively display during the Arts at Denver Gallery's Red Bows and Silver Bells Holiday Art Show Preview. See charming new works from gallery artists, behold the Tree of Christmas Trees," and find the perfect gift for your churchy aunt during a free and festive opening reception for the new exhibit. Find more details on the Facebook events page.

click to enlarge DENVER OFFICE OF SPECIAL EVENTS
Denver Office of Special Events
Light the Lights
Friday, November 24, 6 p.m.
Denver City and County Building
Free Admission

While passersby can enjoy the the twinkling wonder of holiday decorations all season long, who can resist the pizazz of a lighting ceremony? Watching a heretofore darkened municipal building transformed by a sudden burst of multicolored light is sure to set hearts a-stirring. This evening at dusk, Denver's imposing neoclassical City and County Building gets a luminescent makeover when Mayor Michael Hancock flips on the holiday lights for the first time in 2017. With live music, a beer garden, food trucks, and a live broadcast from 9 News, everyone in the city is welcome to get in on the festivities. The program also features a presentation by the Giving Tree, which will be collecting hats, scarves, coats and other winter gear for Human Service's GIVE Denver program. Find out more on the Denver Office of Special Events' Facebook events page.

click to enlarge El Charrito proprietor Matt Orrin standing proudly before the Comedy RoomRoom. - LEFT HAND RIGHT BRAIN
El Charrito proprietor Matt Orrin standing proudly before the Comedy RoomRoom.
Left Hand Right Brain
Sexpot Comedy Presents the Nerd Roast: Directors
Friday, November 24, 7 p.m.
El Charrito's Comedy RoomRoom
Free

Since debuting two years ago, Sexpot Comedy's Nerd Roast quickly grew into a final Friday tradition for the entire Denver comedy community. Though the pay is scant and booking is a logistical nightmare, the show is a true labor of love for co-hosts/producers Preston Tompkins and Zach Reinert. After skewering several key sectors of fandom, including comic books, fantasy novels, and cartoons, the Nerd Roast is gunning for cinephiles with a parody of prominent filmmakers. The dais includes Olivia Schyling as Patty Jenkins, Alex Creasy as Steven Spielberg, Ben Bryant as Michael Bay, Roger Stafford as Quentin Tarantino, Janae Burris as Spike Lee and too many more directors/comedians to list here. Admission is free; find more details on the Nerd Roast's Facebook Events page.


Park Hill Art Festival Holiday Handmade Market
November 24 to 25, 9 a.m. and 10 a.m.
Park Hill Masonic Lodge
$2

While the deal-crazed hordes descend upon big-box stores in frightening numbers, shoppers in search of more unique gifts can find treasures aplenty at the Park Hill Art Festival's Holiday Handmade Market. Over sixty different festival affiliated artists and vendors will be slinging their wares at the Park Hill Masonic lodge, located at 4819 East Montview Boulevard, for a two-day long artsy extravaganza. Shop for pottery, blown glass, paintings, jewelry, and more, while munching on tasty fare that's crafted as lovingly as the art on display. Find out more from the Park Hill Arts Festival events page.

Small Business Saturday: Indies First
Saturday, November 25, All Day
BookBar, Tattered Cover
Free Admission

First envisioned by Sherman Alexie in 2013, Indies First is a nationwide campaign on behalf of independent booksellers. Neatly coinciding with Small Business Saturday and Local First Week, hometown book stores such as the Tattered Cover and BookBar have planned a number of different events to mark the occasion. Wherever readers decide to celebrate, they'll have the opportunity to stock up on gifts while mingling with local authors such as Phil Goodstein, Mario Acevedo, Brenna Yovanoff, and many more. Visit the events calendar for BookBar and the Tattered Cover respectively for more information.

click to enlarge RACHEL WEEKS
Rachel Weeks
Pussy Bros. Birthday Party with the Fine Gentleman's Club
Saturday, November 25, 10 p.m.
Rackhouse Pub
$10

Though the individual comedic stylings and group dynamic of Denver standup supergroup the Pussy Bros. are sui generis, the group's formation was directly inspired by former Westword cover boys, the Fine Gentleman's Club. After seeing what Bobby Crane, Nathan Lund, Sam Tallent, and Chris Charpentier had accomplished as a team, Janae Burris, Christie Buchele, Rachel Weeks and the late Jordan Wieleba joined forces for a monthly showcase that's blossomed into a full-on brand, complete with adorably kitten-centric merchandise. Worlds collide tomorrow night as the Bros welcome the Gents to co-headline their theme-driven Birthday Party showcase at the Rackhouse Pub. Unfortunately Charpentier won't be able to make the show, but for Denver comedy diehards, even three-quarters of the Fine Gents reuniting is cause for celebration. Visit the Pussy Bros' Nightout page to buy tickets, $5, and find out more.
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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