This Sunday, the Denver Broncos will be fighting the New England Patriots for a chance to play in the Super Bowl — not that you have to watch it. Actually, game days usually prove to be the perfect time to hit up a slew of activities that usually would be packed on a Sunday afternoon. Want to go to the mall? Easy. How about wandering through a museum on the weekend? Empty. You can even get into some of the hottest restaurants when there's football on TV. Take advantage of it while you can.
1. Last Day of the National Western Stock Show & Rodeo
Sunday caps off the successful and busy run of the annual National Western Stock Show. Normally going on the last day isn't the best idea, unless you love crowds. But today is different, because after 1 p.m., most Colorado folk will be tucked inside watching TV. See some real broncs, along with cowboys, bull riders and the best-looking farm animals before they are gone. As a bonus, it's Fan Appreciation Day, so all adult tickets are $10, children's $3. Open from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
2. Have a Late Brunch
By 1 p.m. on most Sundays, there are lines out the door at The Universal, Sassafras American Eatery or Snooze. But since none of these spots sport televisions, die-hard football fans won't be brunching there. That doesn't mean the restaurants will be empty, but the odds of getting a table for an early-afternoon meal are much higher on January 24.
3. Head to the Denver Art Museum
First thing to do at this institution is check out Case Work: Studies In From, Space and Construction by Brad Cloepfil/Allied Works Architecture, which opens this Sunday. Be among the first viewers to see the drawings, scale models and sculptures this innovative group has done since 1994. Also, if you haven't already, make sure to visit Wyeth: Andrew and Jamie in the Studio, a short-run show that only graces the city until February 7. This special, ticketed exhibit features not just Andrew Wyeth's work, but his son Jamie's, as well, and showcase more than 100 works that the Maine-based family did in various media. (Open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.)
4. Take a Hike
No, we don't mean leave the city, unless it's to get lost in a wintery forest wonderland. Recently we compiled a list of the best cold-weather hikes to take, and this Sunday is a great day to try one. Tromp around Staunton State Park or take your pup and explore Alderfer/Three Sisters Park. For once, I-70 should be quiet on a weekend, as long as you make sure to leave during peak game times.
5. Explore Sherlock at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science
The International Exhibition of Sherlock Holmes display at this institution has been continuously sold out, which is probably due to its ending on January 31. Right now there are plenty of tickets available on Sunday, so get them while you still can. Then you can explore the world of this famous detective, and even solve a mystery yourself. Keep in mind, if you order early and online, you'll get $4 off.
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6. See Vera Rubin: Bringing the Dark to Light at the Fiske Planetarium
Who needs Star Wars when you have actual stars and the space surrounding them? Any astronomy fan will appreciate this thirty-minute play by astronomer Vera Rubin. It's all about the mysteries of the galaxies, a dream centering on Sir Isaac Newton and the puzzle that is our universe. It's playing at the Fiske Planetarium in Boulder until February 6, and today's show starts at 1 p.m.
7. Indulge in a Quiet Adult Beverage
Just because you aren't watching the game doesn't mean you can't drink your Sunday away. There are plenty of bars and breweries that don't have televisions. For beer lovers, head to Denver Beer Co. for a flight, giant pretzels and maybe a game of Scrabble. My Brother's Bar is also a good bet for more of an old-school vibe. We also hear that Steuben's tends to slow down during Broncos games.
8. Go Shopping
It doesn't matter if you need anything. Head to your favorite grocery store (but make sure it's after game time; before that, the stores will be packed with people buying last-minute snacks), mall, Target, wine shop, boutique salon or basically any place that usually fills up with people on a Sunday afternoon.
9. Ice Skate Downtown
For a measly $2, you can rent skates and tap into your inner Olympian as you glide across the ice in the Southwest Rink at Skyline Park. This special setup is only here for the winter, and often it gets loaded with would-be Brian Boitanos and Nancy Kerrigans. The rink is open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., so there's plenty of time to add a turn around the ice to your exciting game-day activities.
10. Take a Free Yoga Class at Ace
In conjunction with CorePower Yoga, this Asian-fusion eatery is hosting a free yoga class today from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. Normally a free yoga class with a lively happy hour afterward would be packed on a Colorado Sunday, but something tells us you will have a better chance to get your namaste on this coming weekend. Not only does this offer you a gratis chance to work on your downward-facing dog, but Ace will also be giving away a free month of yoga and other prizes.