Five Things to Do for Free This Weekend

Five Things to Do for Free This WeekendEXPAND
Monte Vista Crane Festival
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The weather will be beautiful this weekend, and taking a stroll around the park could be entertainment enough for some. But for those looking for more stimulation — of the body, of the brain — there are plenty of options in and around town, including these five free events:

The BIFF XR Experience
Through Sunday, March 8
Galvanize Boulder, 1023 Walnut, Boulder

Disney is hosting the free XR Experience during the Boulder International Film Festival, celebrating the melding of virtual reality and augmented reality into mixed reality. The XR Experience will highlight cutting-edge VR films from around the world, host interactive workshops, and showcase local AR/VR innovation in the Boulder XR Science Fair. Programming continues from noon to 8 p.m. Friday, March 6, and 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday, March 7 (Jeff Gipson, director and University of Colorado grad, and Jose Luiz Gomez Dias, lead software engineer, VR/AR at Disney Animation, will present the keynote "The Collaboration Between Art and Technology: Making Disney Animation's 'Cycles' and 'Myth: A Frozen Tale,'" from 3 to 4:30 p.m. that day). It all ends with a talk-back from 3 to 5 p.m. on Sunday, March 8. The XR Experience is free; find more information here.

Monte Vista Crane Festival
Through Sunday, March 8
Monte Vista (and other spots in the San Luis Valley)

The weather is going to be beautiful this weekend, which makes it the perfect time to head to the San Luis Valley, which is hosting the 37th annual Monte Vista Crane Festival to celebrate the sandhill crane. Although many of the programs require tickets, there are free events, too, including an open house hosted by the Rio Grande Watershed Conservation & Education Initiative from 9 a.m. to noon on Saturday, March 7, at the organization's office, 125 Adams Street in Monte Vista. After that, head to Alamosa by 10:45 a.m. to join the free SLV GO Trail Showcase, a guided tour around one of the area's newest trails, the Malm Trail, led by SLV Great Outdoors. Find the complete Monte Vista Crane Festival schedule here.

Rox Talk
Sunday, March 8, 9:30 a.m. to noon
Roxborough State Park, Littleton

Join naturalist Mary Taylor for an informal conversation about what the rocks at Roxborough State Park tell us about their origins and the environment in which they were formed. This is just one of the free Roxborough State Park Interpretive Nature Programs; get more details here. And remember, although the events are free, all vehicles entering the park must purchase a daily pass for $8 or display a valid annual pass. To register, call 303-973-3959.

Gentleman Jack's Spirituous
Sunday, March 8, 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Charley & Co., the Source

Jack Daniels is hosting Gentleman Jack's Spirituous, a twenty-city event honoring women leading in entrepreneurship, community change, innovation and cultural advocacy. In Denver, the International Women's Day celebration includes brunch, signature Gentleman Jack cocktails, and a panel discussion with local female entrepreneurs. Sign up at gjwomensday.com, and note: While the event is free, Gentleman Jack has teamed up with the Denver chapter of Girls Inc., and donations to the nonprofit are encouraged.

New Cottage Arts Workshop
Monday, March 9, and Tuesday, March 10, 4:30 p.m.
New Cottage Arts, 655 South Federal Boulevard

Help celebrate the year of the rat as well as Asian cultural heritage at a workshop where project artist Mari Munet will be guiding participants in painting and decorating ornaments that will be attached to two trees on South Federal, as well s three large rat sculptures that will be placed beneath the trees. These are free, community-building events supported by a P.S. You Are Here Grant, and there will be another round on March 16 and March 18. Space is limited, however, so RSVP by emailing info@newcottagearts.org.

Know of a great free event this weekend? We'll be updating this list; send information to editorial@westword.com.

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