With October already upon us, locals are looking for fun and exciting ways to fill their ever-shortening days. Fortunately, Denver's creative community really puts its best foot forward during the opening days of each month, especially on First Friday; the calendar is already full of everything from art crawls to pumpkin harvests to a pair of free concerts. Whether you fancy a bit of Haydn performed by classically-trained musicians or the wildly experimental hip-hop of Wheelchair Sports Camp, start the month off with a song before plunging into a week full of autumnal fun. Read on for the five best free events in Denver, listed below in chronological order.
CU Faculty Tuesdays Presents: Abigail Nims and Jeremy Reger
Tuesday, October 3, 7:30 p.m.
Grusin Music Hall
The Faculty Tuesday Presents concert series at the University of Colorado Boulder puts the spotlight on talented musicians in the CU Performing Arts orbit; the free concerts are as grand as they are intimate. Join mezzo soprano Abigail Nims along with pianist Jeremy Reger for an emotionally transformative journey through song on October 3, when the two will be performing Domenick Argento's "From the Diary of Virginia Woolf" and Joseph Haydn's "Arianna a Naxos," along with "Wiegenlied," "Nichts," "Ich trage meine Minne," and "Wie solten wir geheim sie halten" by Richard Strauss. With no cover charge, the show is an ideal way to enjoy a world-class performance on a pauper's (or student's) budget. Visit CU Boulder to learn more.
Gaelynn Lea, Alright Alright and Wheelchair Sports Camp
Wednesday, October 4, 9 p.m. to midnight
The music showcases continue on Wednesday, October 4, with a free concert from a trio of Denver music-scene power players. Local folksters Alright, Alright will set the mood with piano-driven, Americana-inspired tunes, before violinist/singer-songwriter Gaelynn Lea serenades the crowd with original compositions. Finally, Denver's most badass hip-hop activists, Wheelchair Sports Camp, will lay waste to the stage in their own inimitable fashion during a high-energy headlining set. The show is just one of many great free events on the bustling entertainment calendar at BarFly, a lounge and performance venue nestled in the Alamo Drafthouse Sloan's Lake. Visit the Alamo's Facebook events page to find out more.
Witches & Ghouls Art Crawl
Friday, October 6, 1 p.m. to midnight
The Room of Lost Things
A First Friday experience unlike any other, the Witches & Ghouls Art Crawl is a great way to herald the arrival of fall, the year's witchiest season. A fairly recent addition to Denver's artiest thoroughfare, the Room of Lost Things is a treasure trove of morbid Victoriana, taxidermy, haunted-looking antiques and various other spooky curios as well as a hub of First Friday fun. Enjoy wine, music, art and oddities galore while getting familiar with a delightful outlier of the Santa Fe gallery scene. Visit the Facebook events page for more details, and share the event with friends for 10 percent off your next purchase.
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Pumpkin Harvest Festival
Saturday, October 7, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Four Mile Historic Park
Though October has just begun, time has a way of telescoping during this time of year, which means that Halloween will be here before we know it, and it's time to stock up on jack-o-lantern supplies. While most locals get their pumpkins in a mad dash to a grocery store parking lot, families can make a whole day of the gourd-gathering process at Four Mile Historic Park's Pumpkin Harvest Festival. All twelve acres of the historic homestead bring nineteenth-century Colorado to life, especially when explored from a horse-drawn wagon. In addition to pumpkin procuring, guests can learn all about how their ancestors prepared for the harvest season in the on-site museum, play classic county-fair games or kick back in the beer garden. Though admission is free, some activities carry an extra charge. Find out more information on Four Mile's Facebook events page.
Fall Horseshoe Market
Saturday, October 7, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Horseshoe Craft & Flea Market
Named Denver's Best Flea Market for multiple consecutive years, the Horseshoe Market earns its accolades by constantly expanding and improving. The event will be back and in fine form this weekend at the Fall Horseshoe Market, boasting over 130 vendors including local entrepreneurs, chefs, artists, makers and antiques collectors all tempting shoppers with wares. Guests can also enjoy live music and food-truck cuisine. Though admission is free, it may be a challenge to make it home with empty hands and a full wallet. Find out more on the Horseshoe Craft & Flea Market's Facebook events page, where you can RSVP for a chance to win a $100 gift card.