Things to Do Denver: Dozens of Events in Summer 2020 | Westword

Dozens of Things to Do This Summer Around Denver

Cultural institutions are reopening, and some festivals are on!
Many museums are still shuttered, but you can still see art on the streets this summer.
Many museums are still shuttered, but you can still see art on the streets this summer. Courtesy Art in Vail
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Back in March, Coloradans were looking forward to a summer of warm weather and a wealth of seasonal events. Then the coronavirus pandemic shook up the entertainment industry, moving everything from art shows to wine dinners online. But cultural institutions are slowly reopening, and festivals and some special events are moving offline and into the real world...all while observing new safety protocols, of course.

Here's what's still on the calendar for summer 2020. Enjoy...and be careful out there!

Affordable Arts Festival: Novice collectors, bargain hunters and just plain cheapskates will love this art fair, where all pieces cost less than $100. August 30, 9 a.m.-3 p.m., $10-$11, Arapahoe Community College, 5900 South Santa Fe Drive, Littleton, 303-330-8237,

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The Ladies Fancywork Society celebrates the installation of work at the Denver Art Museum.
Courtesy Art in Vail
Boulder County Farmers' Markets: Get local meat, dairy, produce and flowers at weekly markets in Boulder, Longmont and Denver. Days and hours vary, free admission with reservation, 303-910-2236,
Butterfly Pavilion: Reserve your timed ticket online to enjoy the tiny and surprising world of invertebrate. 9 a.m.-5:30 p.m., $8-$12, 6252 West 104th Avenue, Westminster, 303-469-9201,
Cheyenne Mountain Zoo: Get your fix of lions, tigers and bears. Timed entry with online ticket pre-purchase is required. $19-$24, 4250 Cheyenne Mountain Zoo Road, Colorado Springs, 719-633-9925,
Colorado Fresh Markets: The market offers Colorado produce and food products. Saturdays through November 14, 8 a.m.-1 p.m., free admission, First Avenue and University Boulevard, 303-442-1837,
Colorado Rapids: Major League Soccer resumes its 2020 season; visit the Rapids' website for details on rescheduled matches. Dick's Sporting Goods Park, 6000 Victory Way, Commerce City,
Colorado State Fair: A scaled-back version of the fair will feature limited vendors, fair food and carnival rides. Through September 7, free admission, Colorado State Fairgrounds, 1001 Beulah Avenue, Pueblo, 800-876-4567,
Commonwheel Arts Festival: Enjoy the long-running art festival in a scenic mountain setting. September 5-7, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., free admission, Memorial Park, 502 Manitou Avenue, Manitou Springs,
Denver Bazaar: The erstwhile pop-up bazaar has reinvented itself as a weekly farmers' market, with online ordering and curbside pick-up Thursday through Sunday as well as in-person shopping Friday and Sunday. Dates and times vary, free admission,

Denver Botanic Gardens is once again open to the public.
Courtesy of the Denver Botanic Gardens
Denver Botanic Gardens York Street: Reserve a spot in advance to see the Gardens' lush summer displays. On-site events include the Rocky Mountain Bonsai Society Show, September 5-6. Admission 9 a.m.-5 p.m. $15, 1007 York Street, 720-865-3500,
Denver Botanic Gardens Chatfield Farms: Reserve a spot in advance to see the Botanic Gardens' native plant refuge and working farm. 9 a.m.-5 p.m., $7, 8500 West Deer Creek Canyon Road, Littleton, 720-865-3500,
Denver Mart Drive-In: See a double feature every Friday, Saturday and Sunday through Labor Day; online ticket sales only. 8 p.m., $10 per person, 451 East 58th Avenue,
Denver Museum of Nature & Science: The museum is now open to the public with timed entry; purchase tickets on its website. Current exhibits include The Art of the Brick and After the Asteroid, and (extremely) limited in-person events such as illustration classes and museum-led float trips are also on the website. $13.95 and up, 2001 Colorado Boulevard, 303-370-6000,
Denver Zoo: Purchase timed-entry tickets up to seven days in advance online only; no on-site ticket sales at this time. 8:30 a.m.-7 p.m., $14-$20, Denver Zoo, 2900 East 23rd Avenue, 720-337-1400,
Downtown Aquarium: While the 4-D theater is still closed, the aquarium's exhibits and restaurant are now open to visitors. 10 a.m.-8 p.m. daily, $17.50 and up, 700 Water Street, 303-561-4450,
Fetch Market: Shop for an eclectic mix of goods and services at the weekend-long pop-up flea market. Dates vary, free admission, Stanley Marketplace, 2501 Dallas Street, Aurora,
Foothills Art Center:  False Choice now open. Free admission, Foothills Art Center, 809 15th Street, Golden, 303-279-3922,
Four Mile Historic Park: Currently, the 12-acre park and historic home (the oldest in Denver!) is open Friday through Sunday with advance ticket purchase. 10 a.m.-4 p.m., $5, 715 South Forest Street, 720-865-0800,
Handmade in Colorado Expo: The juried show, which includes work in metal, paper, glass, fiber, clay, gemstones and more, will set up shop in both Denver and Estes Park. Dates and locations vary, free admission, 720-272-7467,
Historic Denver Walking Tours: Explorers can book Dial-A-Docent tours and connect with a tour guide by phone or arrange an in-person private tour for groups smaller than eight people. Tour locations include Capitol Hill, LoDo, Quality Hill, Five Points and Curtis Park. Virtual tours are also available. Dates and times vary, $15 and up, various Denver locations, 303-534-5288,
Historic Elitch Theatre (online): An ongoing virtual celebration of the original Elitch Gardens' 130th anniversary, with a Virtual Live Music Series, a Children's Day Family FunFest, a virtual silent auction, and more; 
History Colorado Center: Game Changers: 100 Years of Negro League Baseball, through September 1. Forty Years on the ’Fax: Colfax Avenue, 1926-1966, now open. Hecho en Colorado, now open. Guests must make a timed reservation online or by phone. $14, History Colorado Center, 1200 Broadway, 303-866-2394,
K Contemporary Art: Kuzana Ogg: Sugarcube, through September 12. Free admission with reservation, K Contemporary Art, 1412 Wazee Street, 303-590-9800,
Lake Dillon Arts Festival: The open-air juried show includes fine arts and crafts. September 4-6, free admission, 104 Village Place, Dillon, 720-941-6088,
Lake Dillon Boat Tours: Opt for daytime, sunset, historic or women-only boat tours through the end of the summer. Dates and times vary, $40 and up, Dillon Marina, 150 Marina Drive, Dillon, 970-468-5100,
Let's Roam: Don't care what you end up doing as long as you get out of the damn house? Sign up for this scavenger hunt around town that you can complete with friends at your own leisure and get a wide sampling of Denver haunts and happenings. $13 per person, various Denver locations, 720-340-3264,
McNichols Civic Center Building: Lavender Mist: Gay Men in Contemporary Art and Queer City of the Plains, extended. Free admission by appointment, 144 West Colfax Avenue, 720-865-5570,
Metro Denver Farmers' Market: Markets include Southwest Plaza, Lakewood, Littleton, Highlands Ranch and Commerce City. Days and hours vary, free admission, 303-887-3276,
Museo de las Americas: Rhythm and Ritual: Music of the Ancient Americas, through October 17. $8, 861 Santa Fe Drive, 303-571-4401,
Parker Arts Drive-In Series: Instead of taking a seat in the theater, pull up to a spot in the parking lot and listen to live entertainment via your car radio. Days and hours vary, $30 per vehicle, PACE Center, 20000 Pikes Peak Avenue, Parker, 303-805-6800,
Republic Plaza: Art installations Then the Story Goes, by Olive Moya, and Passing Through, by Scottie Burgess, are currently on display in the office building. Free, 370 17th Street,

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The Unicorn Festival rides again...albeit with some delays.
Aaron Thackeray
Unicorn Festival: Let's hope the mythical unicorns, mermaids and wizards at this fest are immune to real-world viruses. September 5-6, 11 a.m.-6 p.m. and 11 a.m.-5 p.m., $25 and up, Clement Park, 7306 West Bowles Avenue, Littleton,
Urban Market: The open-air marketplace has everything from clothing to antiques to furniture. Dates vary, free admission, Skyline Park, 16th and Arapahoe streets, 720-272-7467,
Walker Fine Art: Common Ground now on display. Free admission, Walker Fine Art, 300 West 11th Avenue, 303-355-8955,
Wings Over the Rockies Air & Space Museum: The museum isn't yet open to the public, but you can now book a private, behind-the-scenes tour for up to 10 people. $300, Wings Over the Rockies Air & Space Museum, 7711 East Academy Boulevard, 303-360-5360,

These listings were prepared for our guide to Summer, the June 25 edition of Westword. While the deadline has passed, you can send event information to [email protected] for consideration for future stories.
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