Best Free Thing for Kids to Do

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

homedepot.com

Alamo Drafthouse Cinema

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.

The Mama 'Hood
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.

Boulder Running Company
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

Feral Mountain Co.
Courtesy Feral Mountain Co. Facebook page

In 2016, Jimmy Funkhouser ditched his corporate gig to embark on an adventure. Two years later, gear-haven Feral has garnered a reputation among outdoor enthusiasts for having a knowledgeable staff and some of the best prices in town. Feral sells used gear online — a bargain-hunter's dream — and rents everything from backpacking and camping kits to cooking gear and GPS systems. Don't miss the Adventure Planning Room, which reportedly offers Denver's largest collection of Colorado trail maps.

Readers' Choice: REI

Invisible City
Courtesy Invisible City Facebook page

Consummate party host Paul Laurie made a name for himself in Denver by throwing offbeat and engaging events in unusual spaces. Last year he landed the lease for a decommissioned synagogue that artists had converted into a house, giving Invisible City a permanent home. The private events venue — which, with its handful of bedrooms, does double duty as an Airbnb — has all the perks of a great party hall: art-deco charm, a catering kitchen and bar with no requirements about preferred vendors, and flexibility in event end time. What takes this place above and beyond, though, is that Laurie and his team are eager to create truly transportive experiences — and they know the performance artists and lighting and sound professionals to pull it off. That makes Invisible City equally popular with wedding planners and organizations like Atlas Obscura and Meow Wolf.

It's easy to stroll the aisles of Molly's Spirits and lose track of the time. After all, the store has more than 12,000 products displayed in 30,000 square feet of space. It has an impressive selection of craft beers from around the world, and between the build-your-own-six-pack program and more than 65 coolers dedicated to craft beer, it should be easy to find something you like — and at prices that are easy on your wallet. If it's wine you're after, Molly's offers more than 8,000 different bottles with prices that are tough to beat. If you need suggestions, Molly's employees are always available and willing to help.

Readers' Choice: Molly's Spirits

Mondo Vino
Courtesy Mondo Vino Facebook page

Perhaps you already know Mondo Vino for its wine program — the Highland anchor boasts an expertly assembled collection that's deftly maneuvered by the staff, and the shop has a knack for finding rare wines. That makes it a must-visit for amateurs and geeks alike, who leave each interaction a little more knowledgeable, and with the utmost confidence that they've secured an excellent bottle. But perhaps this shop's best-kept secret is that it puts just as much effort into its beer and spirits offerings. Its shelves and cold cases are full of rare gems and solid standbys, and it offers knowledge on everything it sells. Looking for an elusive Japanese whiskey? A limited-release beer? A funky liqueur? Or want to make a delicious discovery? Make Mondo Vino your next stop.

Readers' Choice: Argonaut Wine & Liquor

Proof Wine & Spirits
Courtesy Proof Wine & Spirits Facebook page

Good wine shops offer variety, but the best wine shops get to know you and encourage you to expand your horizons — and chances to expand those horizons is what makes Proof special. The wee shop, notched into a corner on Larimer Street, specializes in off-beat wine, beer and spirits, and its concise selection packs a punch. You'll find familiar touchpoints, but if you're open to experimentation, it's best to let owner Liz Batkin guide you through her wares; she has a knack for ferreting out a discovery that matches your specific tastes. Further education: Proof holds regular wine tastings to help you define and redefine what you like.

Readers' Choice: Molly's Spirits

Mr. B's Wine and Spirits
Courtesy Mr. B's Wine & Spirits-Stanley Marketplace Facebook page

Ask any beer nerd in this town where they go for rare bottles, and you're likely to be pointed toward Mr. B's, a Ballpark corner shop opened by brothers Jared and Scott Blauweiss almost a decade ago. The shelves and cold cases here are packed with finds, including special limited runs from local brewers, hard-to-find out-of-state gems, and rare imports from beer meccas like Belgium. The stock is intimidating, but the staff is not: Novices are treated as respectfully as pros, and they'll eagerly walk you through their collection if you so much as venture a question. The success of the downtown location spawned a second shop at Stanley Marketplace; following both locations on Facebook is a good way to stay up-to-date on the coveted goods coming through the doors. Oh, and the cider and liquor sections are worth a spin, too.

Best Of Denver®

Best Of