For many, New Year's Day is the unofficial closing of the holiday season -- the last hurrah before school and work recommence. Since it's a federal holiday, a lot of places close down, but there's still plenty to do, and we've compiled a list of interactive museum exhibits, restorative yoga classes, icy lake jumps to start off 2014.
See also: Ten best places to ice skate this winter
Commitment Day Denver at the State Capitol Building ($40) This family-friendly 5K walk and run is a great way to start off the new year. The Commitment Day Denver mini-marathon focuses on committing to a healthy way of life through fitness by participating in a simultaneous run happening across the U.S.
Denver Minor Disturbance presents Mallary McHenry A.K.A. Poet Without Apology at Hooked On Colfax (Donations accepted) Denver's youth slam poetry group, Minor Disturbance, will ring in the new year by hosting internationally renowned poet Mallary McHenry, aka Poet Without Apology, who will perform his powerful work along with the poets from Minor Disturbance. This is also a gathering of some of the city's own best word players.
Blossoms of Light at Denver Botanic Gardens ($7 to $12) Catch this amazing spectacle of nature, design and electrifying light on the last day of Blossoms of Light, the Denver Botanic Gardens annual holiday display. Each part of this garden in the city comes alive with hundreds of bulbs -- plus, grab a pair of Holospex glasses and see the images in a three-dimensional way.
31st Annual Polar Plunge at Boulder Reservoir ($20 to $25) A long-standing Colorado tradition, the Polar Plunge is a great way that hundreds of brave souls have been welcoming the new year since 1982. This icy jump encourages participants to dress up in any kind of costume they like to celebrate the new year and raise money for a good cause, the Boulder County AIDS Project.
6th Annual Evergreen Lake Plunge at Evergreen Lake ($30-$40) If Boulder's not the spot for you, Evergreen Lake is hosting a similar event. Jumpers will be plunging into a six-foot deep area cut out of the frozen-over lake, all watched over by the local fire department. This event also serves as a fundraiser for Drive Smart and the Evergreen Parks & Recreation District Special Needs Program. A visit to the zoo and Zoo Lights at the Denver Zoo ($6 to $12) Check out the live animals during the day, or stop by the park after dark for a whole different experience. Zoo Lights brings each area to life in a new way, with animated animal displays, warming stations, ice carvers and live entertainment from a variety of performers.
Denver Nuggets vs. Philadelphia 76ers at The Pepsi Center ($15 and up) Get your game on as the Denver Nuggets go head-to-head with the Philadelphia 76ers. No better way to start off the new year than with an exciting sporting event at Denver's Pepsi Center, and starting at just $15 a pop, it's a good deal, too.
Ice skating at Skyline Park ($2) Winter activities abound and ice skating is a great one, if you're looking to stay close to the city. Situated right in the heart of downtown, Skyline Park's annual rink is open through February and skate rental is only $2. If Skyline isn't your preferred destination, we've got a great list of other rinks around the state for your ice skating pleasure.
Vision Board Yoga at Karma Yoga ($20) Ring in the new year with a fresh start and an energetic Vinyasa flow at Karma Yoga. Once class is finished, the following two hours will be devoted to creating your own vision board -- a visual representation of your goals and plans for 2014.
MythBusters: The Explosive Exhibition at Denver Museum of Nature and Science ($6 to $22) Based on the MythBusters hit television show and only in Denver until January 5, this exhibit lets you discover the answers to every day myths through demonstrations and interactive work stations. Plus, while you're there, get a glimpse of the museum's permanent collections and take a walk through Expedition Health to test your strength and well-being.
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