Things to Do

Free Things to Do in Denver This Weekend

Side Stories returns, with popular films displayed on the side of the History Colorado Center.
Side Stories returns, with popular films displayed on the side of the History Colorado Center. OEDIT
Things are looking brighter in Denver these days...and not just because vaccinations are rolling out and Valentine's Day is ahead. Night Lights Denver has introduced its February lineup of artwork lighting up the Clocktower from 6 to 10 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday, and Side Stories — usually an annual RiNo event — is currently illuminating the History Colorado Center at 1200 Broadway from 6 to 10 p.m. every night.

That's free outdoor fun, but there are plenty of other in-person and online options for ways to brighten your days this week, including a few bonuses that run through the month:

Vintage Valentines Take + Make at Home Kits
Through February 14
Museum of Boulder, 2205 Broadway, Boulder

The Museum of Boulder joins other cultural institutions across the region in preparing take-home craft kits for visitors who can’t attend in-house workshops due to COVID protocols. But this one is really sweet. The Vintage Valentines Take + Make at Home Kit is a new take on something kids have been doing since the dawn of Valentine’s Day: making their own old-fashioned cards. Pick one up free (with museum admission) at the front desk anytime through February 14; find details here.

Side Stories
Daily through February, 6 to 10 p.m.
The History Colorado Center, 1200 Broadway

In collaboration with the Denver Theatre District, Side Stories has moved from RiNo this year and will be lighting up the History Colorado building through February with its greatest hits, five at a time. Find out more here.

click to enlarge Dr. Justina Ford delivered 7,000 babies in Denver; her home is preserved in Five Points. - BLACK AMERICAN WEST MUSEUM
Dr. Justina Ford delivered 7,000 babies in Denver; her home is preserved in Five Points.
Black American West Museum
Five Points Historic Cultural District Walking Tour — With a Puzzle!
Through February
Five Points
In celebration of Black History Month, Puzzah! has created a puzzle activity to accompany the Five Points Historic Cultural District walking tour. This self-guided tour uses markers to tell the story of the artists, educators, business owners, activists and spiritual leaders who helped build the culturally rich community. The full tour is just under a mile in length and takes one to one and a half hours to complete — now with puzzles to solve at various stops. Download the maps here; find out more from the Five Points Cultural District here.

Happy Birthday, Dr. Justina Ford
Through February 14

The Black American West Museum celebrated Dr. Justina Ford's contribution to the state with a two-hour livestreamed tribute on January 22, officially Dr. Justina Ford Day in Colorado, complete with interviews of some of her remaining patients, as well as a re-enactment of Ford's only known interview and the first public display of her handwritten letter to the Colorado Medical Society that documents her delivery of 7,000 babies in her fifty-year career. Sylvia Lambe created this dedication to the first female Black doctor in Denver; if you missed it, you can watch it here.

In Defense of Justice in Denver
Through February
This documentary on the protest leaders charged after they demanded justice for Elijah McClain premiered in January; their next court hearing is in March. Meanwhile, you can now see the film here, along with a post-premiere Q&A panel with the filmmakers and protest leaders.

Know of a great free event in Denver? We'll be updating this list through the week; send information to [email protected]
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Patricia Calhoun co-founded Westword in 1977; she’s been the editor ever since. She’s a regular on the weekly CPT12 roundtable Colorado Inside Out, played a real journalist in John Sayles’s Silver City, once interviewed President Bill Clinton while wearing flip-flops, and has been honored with numerous national awards for her columns and feature-writing.
Contact: Patricia Calhoun