While there's nothing wrong with stuffing your face or your shopping cart, the days following Thanksgiving have more to offer than leftover turkey and Black Friday frenzy. Denver's cultural calendar is packed with concerts, comedy shows, film screenings and art exhibitions that readers can enjoy on the cheap, saving their cash for that all-important holiday shopping. Keep reading for the ten best things to do for $10 and under this weekend, with a bonus on Tuesday.
Light the Lights
Friday, November 23, 3 to 9 p.m.
Civic Center Park
Let there be light! The city continues an 86-year-old tradition with family-oriented activities, including the inaugural Yellow Snow Dog Race, food trucks, a beer garden and live entertainment. Denver Police Chief Paul Pazen, Fire Chief Eric Tade and Sheriff Patrick Firman will do the honor of flipping the light switch this year at 6:15 p.m.
A Hudson Christmas
Friday, November 23, 5 to 9 p.m.
Hudson Gardens & Event Center
$8 to $10.50
Feast your eyes on an abundance of good cheer when "A Hudson Christmas" returns for the season. A stroll through the inviting grounds of Littleton's Hudson Gardens & Event Center is a worthwhile diversion year-round, but the sight of the woods transformed into a shimmering wonderland festooned with merry strings of lights is enough to warm even the Grinchiest of hearts. The festivities begin at 5 p.m. on Friday, November 23, and continue throughout the holidays before closing down until next year on Monday, December 31. Find tickets, $8 to $10.50, and more information on the Hudson Gardens & Event Center's Altitude Tickets page.
Black Sheep Friday: Mr. Rogers' Sweaters
Friday, November 23, 6 to 9 p.m.
Get bundled up and gather with a neighbor or two when Black Sheep Fridays returns to the Denver Museum of Contemporary Art for a ninth season of cultured tomfoolery. This week's edition honors the memory of Fred Rogers, legendary broadcaster and host of Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood, with a woolly workshop dedicated to sweaters, the cozy centerpiece of Rogers's iconic wardrobe. Stitch together a one-of-a-kind cardigan that will swaddle its wearer in soft fabric and childhood nostalgia at this ideal opportunity to make gifts and memories alike. Admission is free for members and included in the $5 ticket for everyone else. Capacity and supplies are limited, so don't hesitate. Visit MCA Denver's events calendar to RSVP and find out more.
Friday Night Weird: Deep Red
Friday, November 23, 8:45 p.m.
$6.50 to $12
With an unnecessary remake of Suspiria currently underwhelming movie-goers, there's never been a better time for gorehound cineastes to take a stab at the early films of Dario Argento. Boedecker Theater's Friday Night Weird film series presents just such an opportunity when "Yellow Paperbacks, Black Gloves & Red Herrings: Giallo and Beyond," a month-long tribute to the operatic gore and expressive cinematography of the Italian slasher subgenre, continues with Argento's Deep Red. Widely considered one of the horror auteur's finest hours, Deep Red's slow-burning of atmospheric tension inspires nearly as much terror as the Baroque bloodshed of its death sequences. Buy tickets, $6.50 to $12, and learn more from the Dairy Arts Center box-office page.
The PodSpace Grand Opening
Saturday, November 24, 5 to 9 p.m.
We Are Denver
Denver is bustling with aspiring podcasters, but many creatives lack the resources and guidance required to parlay a great idea into a listenable reality. Luckily, the DIY community is replete with consortiums of self-starting podcasters banding together to cross-promote and share recording spaces. The city's soundscape grows deeper and richer this weekend with the grand opening of the PodSpace, a communal studio dedicated to helping people share their stories. The opening soirée includes studio tours, live podcasting sessions, seminars for aspiring members, and a live performance from kid astronaut. Visit We Are Denver's events calendar for more details.
Okuda San Miguel: "The Plastic Island"
Saturday, November 24, 7 to 10 p.m.
Dire reports of floating heaps of inorganic waste contaminating the world's oceans proved to be an unlikely source of creative inspiration for Spanish artist Okuda San Miguel, who channeled his fears into an aesthetically striking yet despairing solo exhibition, The Plastic Island. Pre-staging a grim dystopia where waterborne trash piles become morbid tourist attractions for a pollution-warped species, the show takes up residence in the Denver branch of the San Francisco-based Mirus Gallery with an opening on Saturday, November 24; it closes on January 5, 2019. Admission is free and open to the public; head to the Mirus Gallery events calendar to RSVP and learn more.
Token Comedy Show Series Finale
Saturday, November 24, 7 p.m.
The Comedy RoomRoom
Local comedy nerds bid farewell to yet another one of Comedy RoomRoom's signature showcases this weekend when the Token Comedy Show takes its final bow. Created by host Nolawee Mengist in an effort to flip the script on Denver's culturally homogenous comedy scene, the show presents a lineup packed with under-represented comedic voices and just one white comic for a sly and unspoken inversion of the tokenism paradigm. Seize the few remaining days of Denver comedy's favorite watering hole with a lineup that includes Eeland Stribling, Danny Ramos, Timmi Lasley, Natalia Kvalem and headliner Stephen Agyei. Admission is free, but donations for the performers are graciously appreciated. Find out more on the Comedy RoomRoom Facebook events page.
Saturday, November 24, 7:30 p.m.
The Kasbah Nightclub
$10 to $15
Get your goof on at one of Colorado comedy's hidden gems at a special edition of Silly Saturdays at the Kasbah Nightclub. Host and producer Monie Jonezy enlisted local comics Jon Carelli and D Kelly, along with Shack Brown from New Orleans, for a chuckle-filled celebration with headliner Blake Swain, who's spending his own birthday giving the gift of laughter back to the audience. Don't worry about getting dinner beforehand, either: The Kasbah-adjacent Uncle Bo's Soul Food, Smoked Meats, and BBQ will be serving up heaping plates of goodness throughout the show. Call 720-845-7230 for $10 pre-sale tickets; they go up to $15 at the door. Visit the Monie Jonezy Productions Facebook events page for more details.
Saturday, November 24, 9 p.m. to 2 a.m.
Syntax Physic Opera
Outré sights and sounds abound at Weird Touch, a monthly dance party where a gaggle of odds can wiggle their bods. A beat-driven blend of indie dance, dark disco and weird house provided by DJs Tyler Snow, Fancy Matthew and Shannon von Kelly makes the perfect soundtrack for an evening that proves that no one is too weird for the dance floor. Admission is $5 at the door, and more information is available on the Syntax Physic Opera Facebook events page.
Boulder Comedy Show
Sunday, November 25, 7 and 9:15 p.m.
Enjoy a side of standup with your schnitzel, spätzle and stein when the Boulder Comedy Show returns for a pair of performances that double down on headliners. Following light comedic appetizers from returning host Brent Gill, along with opening acts Zach Pugh (L.A.) and Kyle Ares, A.J. Finney and Dr. Kevin Fitzgerald will dish out two tasty servings of hot, fresh laughter for an appreciative — though not always easily impressed — crowd of regulars. The first show begins promptly at 7 p.m., followed by a room-clearing intermission and a second show at 9:15. Buy tickets, $5, and find out more on the Boulder Comedy Show's Eventbrite page.
And a bonus!
Ultimate Open Screen Night: Viking Funeral
Tuesday, November 27, 6:30 to 10 p.m.
Another Denver arts institution sets sail towards Valhalla when Open Screen Night marks its final outing with the aptly titled "Viking Funeral." A presentation of fifteen-minute (or less) short films that evolved into a community for local creatives, Open Screen Night has introduced Denverites to fresh talent and challenged budding filmmakers who produce new work for the show's loyal yet critical audience for over six years. Unlike previous editions, the final Open Screen Night has no organizing theme, competition element or prizes, just good times and goodbyes. Admission is $5 at the door; visit Bug Theatre's Facebook events page to learn more.
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