Even before you venture into the great outdoors, Feral knows how to make you feel all warm inside. This great new and used clothing and gear store also offers repairs, equipment cleaning and events. But its most noteworthy service might be its warm welcome: Not only are dogs allowed, but a sign on the door encourages visitors, paying or not, to use the restroom, have a drink or a snack, and relax on a hammock.

It's hard not to love the Black- and woman-owned letterpress print shop, book store and design boutique Matter, hidden in the shadow of Coors Field. The design-savvy fortress of Rick Griffith and partner Debra Johnson is all business in the studio, but the expanding Shop at Matter retail store has given the place a face that people remember, filling a niche that doesn't exist anywhere else in Denver. Looking for books on activism, BIPOC artists, Black history, poetry, graphic design or typography? "Greedy Bisexual" patches? Boob magnets? Anti-racist coasters? Funny motel keychains? You've come to the right place. It's called Shop at Matter because it does.

From Colorado's own Drop City to the Diggers in California and the Shakers and Mennonites before them, cooperatives and communes built on a shared ideology are hardly new. In fact, the idea of Shared Ground — a cooperative sanctuary and co-working space for a gang of nonprofits and enthusiasts of yoga, queer or BIPOC causes, music-making, sustainable gardening, spirituality and more who have moved into an old church in northwest Denver — feels like a return to simpler times, and maybe it is. So be it: Groups supporting one another and working toward common ground in a shared space gives hope for the future. We can do this, yes we can.

3401 West 29th Avenue

Making is fun, leading you on a direct path back to that childhood sense of play you feel like you've lost. How do you reclaim it? The multi-talented, crafty founders and overseers of Fruits of Our Labor, Jes Leffler and Tara Forman, can help in so many ways. They do craft parties. They do workshops and make craft kits. You come to them, or they come to you. For a price, you can rent their pop-up maker space at Taxi, or simply buy a drop-in pass and make use of the facility during open studio days. Creativity is there for the taking — and the making.

Taxi Maker Space
3515 Ringsby Court

On April 23, the Children's Library at the Central Library will finally reopen after a long closure owing to both the pandemic and an extensive building-wide renovation, and the updated facility will definitely prove worth the wait. The 10,000-square-foot space not only houses an impressive collection of more than 50,000 print and media materials geared to kids, but there's a dedicated play area for babies, low bookshelves, and interactive toys and activities.

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