Best Denver Instagrammer 2018 | Justin Alber | Best of Denver® | Best Restaurants, Bars, Clubs, Music and Stores in Denver | Westword
Courtesy Spektkl Facebook page

It isn't hard to find lovely photos of Denver. But have you ever noticed that they're always taken from the same spots? Justin Alber has a knack for photographing the Mile High City in unexpected, transformative ways. Black-and-white shots of downtown buildings almost look like Chicago. Faraway photos make the skyline look nearly recognizable, but in a beautiful way. Alber's unique eye for angles, colors and textures makes him the finest 'grammer in all the land.


Readers' Choice: @bestboozedenver

Denver's arts community is nothing if not eclectic, and Denver Orbit perfectly reflects the variety of creators who call the Mile High City home. Co-hosts Ryan Connell and Josh Mattison (who also acts as producer) are legitimate tastemakers, and their interests range far and wide, as indicated by the lineup of one recent episode: "Consent Means What Now?," a story by Amanda EK, "Hey Man," a song by Chella and the Charm, and "Defining Forward Momentum," a poem by Alessandra Ragusin. The programs consistently introduce listeners to the sort of folks who make Denver a richer and more vibrant place to live.

Readers' Choice: ProCO360

The L2 Church, at 1477 Columbine Street, specifically appeals to Denver youth by way of messages that connect spiritual verities with the challenges of today in a manner that seems real and tangible — and it uses podcasts of Sunday sermons to spread the word far and wide. Recent timely topics include "Chaos and Order" and "Sexual Harassment," both interpreted via the Book of Genesis, as well as the "Anatomy of the Soul" series, viewed through the prism of assorted psalms that brim with wisdom accessible to believers and doubters alike.

No matter how civically engaged a Denverite you are, there's no way you can make it to every important meeting, committee gathering or public event. That's where Denver 8 comes in. New video podcasts pop up at the website on practically a daily basis, offering the opportunity to virtually sit in on weekly city council sessions and panels touching on safety, homelessness, housing and more. There are also regular programs such as the Ask the Auditor and YCN: Your City Now series, plus coverage of special events like Imagine 2020 performances. The service puts the city at your fingertips no matter where the rest of you happens to be at the time.

Courtesy Mile High Games Guys Facebook page

Think listening to a podcast about board games sounds boring? Think again. The team of Adrian Richardson, Jeff Jackson and Zach McAnally bring an infectious sense of uncensored fun to their reviews of products such as Harry Potter: Hogwarts Battle and Ponzi Scheme, not to mention supplementary blog posts such as "Here's Some History Bitches," in which readers are introduced to "Optimus Douchbagus," who was " death for just being a dumb fuck." Let the games begin.

Imagine a place where kids from crawlers to tweens can explore, learn and exhaust a large amount of energy while being contained in one place. After a $16.1 million renovation in 2015, the Children's Museum now has a spacious art room, standing sculptures to paint on, easels and endless pieces of paper, a collage station and clay for molding. There's a climbing cage for older kids; a whimsical, toy-filled room for babies and toddlers to safely bounce around; an area to practice engineering by launching paper rockets; a mock dirt mound for little critters to investigate; and a huge outdoor area complete with a sand pit, zipline, splash area and fort.

While Home Depot is known as a place to get wood, potting soil and power tools, each month the stores also offer a free class for kids. Children ages three to eighteen can learn to build a birdhouse, a periscope or whatever else is on the monthly agenda. All supplies are included, and kids leave with their own apron. Most of the Home Depot stores offer the classes (all on the same day and time), so the best thing to do is check out the spot closest to you.

Multiple metro locations

There's something about being able to watch a movie while getting fed and served drinks that makes one feel extra special and super-relaxed. At both the Littleton and Sloan's Lake locations of this institution, you can indulge in the latest release (or an old-school favorite) while letting someone take care of you. Or, if you really can't get away from the kids, take them with you. On select days, Alamo Drafhouse offers Alamo for All, a program geared toward families with small kids. You might not get the full unwinding effect, but, hey, you can have that beer and elevated grilled cheese sandwich while letting the giant screen entertain. The only danger to seeing a movie here is missing the film because you fell asleep in the theater's cozy chairs.

Courtesy The Mama 'Hood Denver Facebook page

Parents meet other parents while their kids are in school, but for those with young children, it can be tougher. At the Mama 'Hood in Highland, moms, dads and babies meet to do yoga and take classes and join groups on parenting, including for sleep training, breastfeeding or postpartum support. It's a great way to interact with other parents in the same boat as you, and if the connection is strong, you can go for a cup of tea afterward at the connected Teatulia or a beer at the Zuni Street Brewing Company next door.

Courtesy Boulder Running Company - Cherry Creek Facebook page

The greatest thing about Boulder Running Company is the expert shoe-fitting service the store provides. A friendly staff member will watch you run on a treadmill and may even have you do a few laps outside the store to check your gait and determine how your feet land before recommending the shoes that are right for you. The store, which also has locations in Boulder and Littleton, offers an array of men's and women's apparel, and, of course, gadgets in a wide range of prices to help the fleet of foot track their progress.

Readers' Choice: Runners Roost

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