The Supreme Court is a cross between a strip club and the tackiest of wedding receptions. Glowing neon signs in every window read "Live Music and Dancing." There are mirrors galore, with a wood dance floor in the midst of an otherwise tackily carpeted room. The bar seats are dominated by lonely, sad-looking clientele -- aside from the occasional bum or pack of convention-goers gyrating wildly while still wearing name tags around their necks. That's almost worth the price of admission, but don't miss the large patio, where there's always a free table. Grab a beer and watch as the 16th Street Mall becomes your personal stage. Between the professionals from the World Trade Center across the street and the mall's colorful characters, you won't want to miss a single act.
Religion and politics: two topics that should never be broached while imbibing alcohol. The religion part is understandable, but sometimes you just need to get liquored up and bitch about W and his administration. Join up with like-minded ranters at Drinking Liberally to toss back some brewskis and talk about...well, anything, as long as it's liberal and progressive. Also try the Screening Liberally get-together at the Mayan Theatre, which includes booze and film. Get out, get left and get drunk.
The Golden-based Independence Institute believes in protecting an individual's right to do just about whatever bat-shit-crazy thing that individual wants to do -- including shooting, smoking and drinking. But since this is also a sadly responsible organization, it strongly suggests shooting first, drinking later. Every June, it gathers the faithful to an ATF party, where participants shoot at clay pigeons (not liberals, contrary to common belief), then retire to a luncheon where they can blow smoke -- through both speechifying and cigars -- and indulge in some alcoholic beverages. Vice is nice.
Anyone who's been to one of Geeks Who Drink's seventeen weekly pub quizzes knows that quizmasters John Dicker and Joel Peach have created something far bigger than your average trivia night. They've got a gang situation on their hands, a mobile army of adoring geeks ravenous for a cerebral smack-down. That hunger reached horrific proportions this past February at the first annual Geek Bowl, where 38 teams competed for over $1,400 in prizes. The six-hour orgy of trivia saw fifteen people badly injured, a rip-roaring domestic dispute and one guy violently shivved in a bathroom stall. Okay, we can't confirm any of that. But damn it, the intensity of these trivia hounds just feels gang-like. Don't turn your back on the geekstas.
There's something so satisfying about the perfect outfit. And if that outfit happens to coordinate with one's pet well, you don't see that every day. You can, however, see it once a year at Mutts & Models, the annual benefit for Harrison Memorial Animal Hospital. Featuring local celebrities rocking Saks Fifth Avenue couture and classed-out canines in complementary attire -- plus both silent and live auctions and a cocktail bar -- the event benefits the largest non-profit veterinary hospital in Colorado and helps support low-cost spay and neuter services. That's a reason to let the dogs out.
For budding fashionistas, nothing beats a paper doll. They're cheap, they come with an entire wardrobe of two-dimensional clothes, and if you're talented enough, you can make your own outfits. The Art Directors Club of Denver sees no reason to outlaw paper as a fabric substitute, and its Paper Runway Fashion Show showcases more than thirty unusual yet chic designs. A fundraiser for worthy causes (this year's beneficiary was Downtown Aurora Visual Arts), the event highlights a collection that's over-the-top, all paper, all wearable and all fabulous, dahling.
They like to keep it quiet down on Main Street in Littleton, but every October, downtown businesses and the locals gather the Pumpkin Follies and Goat Show, one of the most daft -- and clever -- Halloween parties on the planet. The two-day event begins with a goat-stew dinner and festive crowning of Follies royalty, and continues the next day with a shopping-cart parade and mass Snap-N-Pop drop. There are also belly dancers, jugglers, accordion-playing chickens and general mayhem. The best part? All the Pumpkin Poles -- pumpkin-based art installations with themes ranging from the Peanuts to Harry Potter -- that grace the street for days to come. Except for the public art left behind, a hush falls back over Bleat Street when all is said and done.
Buntport Theater Company
Courtesy Buntport Theater Facebook page
As if tRUNks, Buntport Theater's ongoing live-theater serial for young people, weren't already the best thing to happen to Denver kids since chocolate milk, imagine what a great birthday party could be built around a performance. Reserve in advance with troupe ringleader Jessica Robblee, bring your own cake, and you'll not only get to enjoy a fast-paced and silly episode with goofy superheroes the Germ, the Tongue Twister, the Volt and the Cute, but afterward, you'll meet with the cast for theater games. The only downside? If your birthday falls between June and October, you're out of luck: tRUNks goes on hiatus for the summer.
Children’s Museum of Denver at Marsico Campus
What could be more brilliant than a free night at the Children's Museum? Catch some quality time with the kids from 4 to 8 p.m. every first Tuesday of the month, when the museum hosts guided play throughout the building and special literacy-building storytimes for children and their busy parents. The sponsor, Target, has hit the bull's-eye.
Larimer Square
For one weekend each June, Larimer Square becomes a giant canvas for chalk artists. Mimicking the street painting of sixteenth-century Renaissance Italy, dozens apply to the Larimer Arts Association for permission to create their masterpiece on some of Denver's highest-rent asphalt. The lucky are selected on a first-come, first-served basis; all materials are provided, and participation is free. It's also free to watch, and a stroll at dusk through this urban festival is one of the year's most perfect nights in Denver. Just don't tell anyone you're a cheap date.

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