The weekend may be starting out with snow, but there's a blizzard of outdoor activities in and around Denver that you won't want to miss. So grab your coat and gloves — but leave your wallet behind, because many of the best things to do over the next few days are free. For instance, giving back to the community won't cost you a thing at a couple of them (and with the money you save, you can buy beers at the breweries hosting the events). Keep reading for the ten best entertainment deals and doings around town.
(And Moms, we aren't forgetting you: See our list of eleven great Mother's Day options here.)
Spring Plant Sale
Friday, May 10, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Saturday, May 11, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Denver Botanic Gardens
With Memorial Day just around the corner, it's time to get those yards ready for barbecue season. The Denver Botanic Gardens is hosting its annual sale of all garden necessities, from tools to big, beautiful plants, with knowledgeable professionals answering all questions. Admission is free during the sale, so even if you're not planning to buy anything (though we know you will), you should stop in simply to see the gardens. If you're a DBG member, be sure to present your card for 10 percent off of all purchases.
Four Mile Free Day
Friday, May 10, noon to 4 p.m.
Four Mile Historic Park
If you've been craving an escape from the hustle and bustle of modern city living, head to Four Mile Historic Park for a sample of simpler times. Walk the spacious, well-kept grounds; visit farm animals; admire the Four Mile House, a former stage stop that's the oldest structure in Denver; and pop a squat on a bale of hay while you hear tales told by eccentric storytellers. Admission to the twelve-acre park will be free on Friday, with tours at 12:30, 1:30 and 2:30 p.m. Visit Four Mile Historic Park's website to learn more.
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Shaky Hand String Band
Friday, May 10, 7 to 10 p.m.
Improper City is known for quenching the thirst of rock climbers, since it shares a space with Movement Climbing and Fitness, but on Friday it will cater to a bigger crowd. Climbers and non-climbers alike can wet their whistles and enjoy the intricate sounds of the Shaky Hand String band, a Colorado-bred bluegrass group that weds classic tunes with jam-band sounds to create music that will make you want to stomp your feet and clap along.
Community Bucket DEN: Feeding Denver with DUG
Saturday, May 11, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Denver Urban Gardens
Get your hands dirty and give back to the community with Denver Urban Gardens and Community Bucket. Playing off the classic saying "if you give a man a fish...," DUG's goal is to help communities thrive by giving them the ability to create a lasting supply of food rather than a one-time meal. Community Bucket DEN brings together like-minded people who want to help grow the world into the better place. Both groups will be at Denver Urban Gardens, planting seeds and ideas at this fundraiser. The $10 admission includes cold drinks and a barbecue lunch; purchase tickets on Eventbrite.
Deckers River Cleanup
Saturday, May 11, 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Flies & Lies, 8570 Colorado Highway 67
Satisfy your metaphorical thirst for change as well as your literal thirst for a cold beer. Denver Beer Co. has teamed with Casting for Recovery to clean up Deckers, a scenic part of the South Platte River that's been awarded the status of Gold Medal Waters by the Colorado Wildlife Commission. This stretch of the river is known for ideal fishing, and you can help keep it that way. Meet at the parking lot behind the Flies & Lies shop, where gloves, bags and snacks will be distributed. After the cleanup, enjoy lunch and beer provided by DBC. All ages are welcome, but registration is required; visit Denver Beer Co.'s events page.
Craftsman & Apprentice: Make Your Own Sawmill Toy
Saturday, May 11, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Broncos Stadium at Mile High
$5 (market admission)
As a part of the Horseshoe Craft & Flea Market, woodworkers from Craftsman & Apprentice will be running a walk-up workshop where you can learn how to make sawmill toys. Also known as "whirlygigs," these toys originated in colonial times but remain a great tool for fidgeters. The workshop is included in the $5 flea market admission fee; make sure you save plenty of time (and cash) to browse through all the booths.
Spring Garage Sale
Saturday, May 11, 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.
10 Barrel Brewing Company
As Coloradans mourn the end of the ski season, Folsom Custom Skis and SASS Global Travel want to help soften the blow by offering some major sales. Demo skis will be sold at major discounts; SASS will be offering $200 off ski-season passes to resorts in Argentina. Find more information at the Folsom Custom Skis website.
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Taps and Talons
Saturday, May 11, 2 to 8 p.m.
Raptors will be roosting in the parking lot at Brewability Lab at this event raising money and awareness for Nature's Educators, a nonprofit that aims to teach people how to respect wildlife and help create a healthy environment for birds and animals. Owls, hawks, falcons and vultures will be on hand; you can have your picture taken with a bird for $3 (it costs $3 to feed one bird one day). On Saturday, 20 percent of Brewability's sales will also go to Nature's Educators.
Sixth Annual Upslope Get Down
Saturday, May 11, 2 to 10 p.m.
Upslope Brewing Company
It's beginning to feel a lot like summer! Embrace that feeling while dancing, playing games, drinking local beer . and enjoying a great view of the Flatirons at the sixth annual Upslope Get Down. There will be music all afternoon on three stages, as well as food trucks, art and other vendors, and kid-friendly activities. The festival is free; VIP packages are available on the Upslope Get Down Festival's Night Out page.
Playoffs: A Playwriting Slam
Sunday, May 12, 6 to 8 p.m.
Denver's Dangerous Theatre
$5 suggested donation
In this monthly competition, playwrights go head to head in a battle of original works, with a chance to win a staged reading of their play at Denver's Dangerous Theatre. Playwrights should come to the competition with ten pages of a play and enough copies for each actor in the script; actors will be on hand and names drawn out of a hat to cast each play. Audience interaction is encouraged, and to aid in that, the first several guests to arrive will get a glass of wine or beer on the house; everyone else can BYOB.
Know of an event that belongs on this list? Send information to firstname.lastname@example.org.