Best Free Money 2011 | The Money Museum | Best of Denver® | Best Restaurants, Bars, Clubs, Music and Stores in Denver | Westword

At the beginning of the year, the Federal Reserve Bank opened a 7,000-square-foot museum showcasing — you guessed it — money. The museum is free and open to the public on weekdays, and visitors can learn how to spot counterfeit money or take a peek at $30 million in cash stored in a box. But you don't have to settle for just looking at the green stuff; you can leave with a bag of straight cash, homie. Granted, it's $165 in shredded bills, but that doesn't mean you can't hit the local strip club and make it rain.

Whether you're a regular at the Crypt or just dropping in to buy a gift for that special horndog in your life, you can indulge your passion for porn while shopping, thanks to the good-sized screen flashing videos behind the checkout counter. While a sign in the store's back room, which is lined with rentals, asks that patrons keep their perusing to a chaste twenty minutes, there's no such limit up front.

The City of Denver only has 26 street sweepers — which is amazing considering the fact that parking-enforcement officers dole out twenty bazillion tickets every year to the scofflaws who forget to move their cars on street-sweeping days. Wanna beat the odds? Sign up for the city's free Street Sweeping E-minders, which will alert you via e-mail (April through November) the day before your street is swept. It's dirt cheap.

A lot of local mom Jennifer Carabetta's inspiration for her unique, handmade clothing comes from daughter Izzie: Girls need tutus, lounge pants and reversible skirts (for a messy spaghetti night); moms need reasonably priced durability; and nobody wants boring clothes. These are made-in-USA items, sewn in limited quantities from hard-to-find fabrics that are whimsical and practical at the same time. Available online or at several local retailers.

It's time to stop living in a throwaway world: That's the whole premise of Gone for Good, a local business determined to keep your usable junk from ending up in a landfill. This is how it works: Gone for Good picks up your unwanted stuff, and then one or all of three things will happen to it: They'll sell it online and give you 30 percent of any proceeds, or, if it hasn't sold after thirty days, they'll give it to charity or break it down for recycling. Win, win. You lose your junk, somebody else gets it. The ecologically correct, sustainable junkman is here.

In his seminal book, The Complete Joy of Home Brewing, Charlie Papazian, the godfather of modern home brewing, tells his followers that the key to making their own beer is to "relax. Don't worry. Have a home brew." But he doesn't mention what you should do when you're shopping for home-brewing supplies, a task that can be equally daunting. Not surprisingly, the answer is the same: At the Brew Hut, which is attached to, and owned by, the founders of Aurora's Dry Dock Brewing Company, you can order a pint in the brewery's tasting room, carry it a few feet to the store and then sip while you shop. And even though you might not be able to make a beer as good as Dry Dock's, at least you'll be inspired to try.

The best hats aren't just smart, they're brilliant — and what could be more brilliant than a classic hat handcrafted by a company that's been in business for more than 100 years? At Goorin Brothers Denver, you can not only get a fedora to die for, but one that's been cleanly updated for the 21st century club-hopping guy or gal. Other updates at the tony hat shop include beanies, baseball caps, porkpies and duckbills. Throw your Goorin into the ring!

Club Workshop is like a gym for tinkerers: For a monthly fee, handymen, hackers and high-school robotics teams can use the 16,000-square-foot facility's computer lab, metal shop and auto bays to carry out their do-it-yourself projects using machinery and technology far too big and expensive for the average basement. Club Workshop also has a woodworking shop equipped with table saws and belt sanders, and a laser engraver capable of emblazoning beer mugs, jewelry and picture frames with custom designs. So craft on, crafty crafters — without the worry of where to assemble and store your stuff.

It might seem like a long way to go just to shop for used clothes, but there's something special about Nancy Cooley's neatly kept basement gem, Found Underground, in downtown Louisville. The clothes, attractively arranged by color, are in great shape and sport reputable brand names you can trust. And the delightful Cooley seems to love what she does; she'll tell you what she thinks and guide you toward your own best look. Warning: This is not a thrift store; it is high end. That said, the prices might be higher than those at your local Goodwill, but considering the merchandise, they're more than fair. It's kind of like shopping the whole mall in one sweet little store.

Cooking can be a chore. It requires all that chopping and stirring and boiling and waiting. But there are several ways to make it better — namely, drinking a bottle of wine and wearing a super-cute apron while doing it. MargoBelle, a local company that also makes skirts, belts and handbags, hand-sews some of the cutest aprons around. By matching bold floral prints with polka dots and gingham, they make even the tipsiest chef look the part.

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