Hot times, summer in the city...and all around Colorado.
Denver reportedly has 300 days of sunshine a year, and sometimes it seems like they’re all packed into the three months of summer, which still has a couple of days to go. Whether you’re heading off on a weekend trip to the mountains or just a quick jaunt around town, it's not too late to get out and enjoy this state!
For our annual Summer guide, we compiled a list of hundreds of festivals, runs, shows and other activities in Denver and throughout the state this summer. Check our Ongoing section for events now under way, then continue on for week-by-week listings through the week of September 26. (And watch for hundreds of new listings in our Fall Arts Guide, which will be inserted in the September 26 issue of Westword.)
Boulder County Farmers’ Markets: Weekly markets hawking farm-fresh produce run through the summer at various locations in Boulder, Longmont, Lafayette and Denver. Days and hours vary, free admission, 303-910-2236, bcfm.org.
Cherokee Castle Tours: The story of a fifteenth-century-style Scottish castle built on Colorado’s Front Range in the 1920s can’t be anything but fascinating. Year-round, $20, Cherokee Ranch & Castle, 6113 North Daniels Park Road, Sedalia, 303-688-5555, cherokeeranch.org.
Children’s Museum of Denver Free Nights: The museum is open for free on the first Tuesday evening of every month, and the outside Joy Park is free on the third Friday of each month. 4-8 p.m., 2121 Children’s Museum Drive, 303-433-7444, mychildsmuseum.org.
Civic Center Eats: Over eighty food trucks serving everything from arepas to zeppole set up shop on Tuesdays through Thursdays all summer long. New this year: a Thursday beer and wine garden. Through October 10, 11 a.m.-2 p.m., free admission, Civic Center Park, Broadway and Colfax Avenue, civiccenterconservancy.org.
Civic Center Moves: Summer means five days a week of free outdoor fitness classes ranging from yoga and dance to body weight and HIIT training. Monday through Fridays, year-round, Civic Center Park, Broadway and Colfax Avenue, civiccenterconservancy.org.
Colorado Brewery Running Series: Runners, joggers, walkers and just plain drinkers can all participate in this series of 5K runs that begin and end at local breweries. Cost includes a free beer, and 10 percent of proceeds are donated to nonprofits. Dates vary, $30, various locations, breweryrunningseries.com/colorado.
Colorado Fresh Markets: Includes flowers, fashion and food vendors at locations in Cherry Creek, City Park, Stapleton and RiNo. Days and hours vary, free admission, 303-442-1837, coloradofreshmarkets.com.
Colorado Rapids: The 2019 season runs through October 6. $35 and up, Dick’s Sporting Goods Park, 6000 Victory Way, Commerce City, coloradorapids.com.
Colorado Rockies: The 2019 season runs through September 29. $8 and up, Coors Field, 2001 Blake Street, mlb.com/rockies.
Denver Art Museum Free Days: The first Saturday of each month finds general admission to the DAM free to the public; special ticketed exhibitions are not included. 10 a.m.-5 p.m., 100 West 14th Avenue Parkway, 720-865-5000, denverartmuseum.org.
Denver Botanic Gardens Chatfield Farms Free Days: See native plants, a working farm and exceptional birdwatching for free on the first Tuesday of every month through August (Butterflies at Chatfield Farms is not included). 9 a.m.-5 p.m., 8500 West Deer Creek Canyon Road, Littleton, 720-865-3500, botanicgardens.org.
Denver Botanic Gardens York Street Free Days: Guests can take in the sights, sounds and aromas of a traditional Japanese garden, water gardens and arid Western landscapes at no charge on the first Tuesday of every month (excluding August). 9 a.m.-5 p.m., 1007 York Street, 720-865-3500, botanicgardens.org.
Denver Outlaws: The Major League Lacrosse team’s 2019 season goes through September 20; the July 4 game includes a fireworks display. $20 and up, Broncos Stadium at Mile High, 1701 Bryant Street, 303-688-5297, denveroutlaws.com.
Elitch Gardens Theme & Water Park: The park is open weekends through November 2. $39.99-$69.99, 2000 Elitch Circle, 303-595-4386, elitchgardens.com.
First Friday: Art District on Santa Fe: Art from emerging and established artists is on display as galleries, studios and co-ops welcome visitors from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. on the first Friday of every month. Year-round, free, 500 through 1200 blocks of Santa Fe Drive, denversartdistrict.org.
Four Mile Historic Park Free Day: Admission to Four Mile Park is free the second Friday of each month, with tours at 12:30, 1:30 and 2:30 p.m. 715 South Forest Street, 720-865-0800, fourmilepark.org.
Friday Night Bazaar: The combination of cocktail bar, artisan market and food truck rally has proved wildly successful for Denver Bazaar; its summer markets pop up in RiNo every Friday night through September 27. 5-10 p.m., 2845 Walnut Street, denverbazaar.com.
Historic Denver Walking Tours: These guided tours cover the usual suspects like LoDo, Capitol Hill, 16th Street and Larimer Square as well as Curtis Park, Five Points and Quality Hill. Through October 31, $15-$20, various locations, 303-534-5288, historicdenver.org.
Lunch on the Terrace: Channel your inner Meghan Markle while you lunch on the terrace of a real castle; ticket price includes a tour of the chateau. Through October 25, 11:45 a.m., $50, Cherokee Ranch & Castle, 6113 North Daniels Park Road, Sedalia, 303-688-5555, cherokeeranch.org.
One Fell Swoop by Patrick Dougherty: This site-specific art installation was created with local willow branches and will be on display until it naturally falls apart. Free with Garden admission of $5; Denver Botanic Gardens Chatfield Farms, 8500 West Deer Creek Canyon Road, Littleton, 720-865-3500, botanicgardens.org.
Metro Denver Farmers’ Markets: Markets include Southwest Plaza, Lakewood, Littleton and Highlands Ranch. Days and hours vary, free admission, 303-887-3276, denverfarmersmarket.com.
Museo de las Americas Free First Fridays: The Latin American art museum welcomes visitors for free on the first Friday of each month. 5-10 p.m., 861 Santa Fe Drive, 303-571-4401, museo.org.
Skyline Beer Garden: This community beer garden serves brews, wine, cocktails and street food on Tuesdays through Sundays in the heart of the city (weather permitting). Through September 29, 11 a.m.-10 p.m., free admission, 16th and Arapahoe streets, skylinebeergarden.com.
Summertime Tea in the Gardens: A traditional tea service presented in scenic surroundings on the second and fourth Saturday of each month. Through September 21, 10 a.m., $42, Denver Botanic Gardens, 1007 York Street, 720-865-3500, botanicgardens.org.
Urban Market: Artisans, vendors and local restaurateurs set up shop at this outdoor marketplace in Skyline Park. See website for dates, free admission, Skyline Park, 16th and Arapahoe streets, 720-272-7467, coloradoevents.org.
Volleyball of the Rockies: Summer leagues run through early September. Dates, times and locations vary, 303-745-2255, votr.com.
World of Wearable Art: Hailing from New Zealand, this extravagant exhibit challenges designers to reimagine clothing as fine art. Through September 22, $10, Fine Arts Center at Colorado College, 30 West Dale Street, Colorado Springs, 719-634-5581, fac.coloradocollege.edu.
Yoga on the Rocks: It’s not just warrior pose that will take your breath away; the scene of hundreds of yogis practicing at Red Rocks is just as breathtaking. Select dates through the summer, 7 a.m.-8 a.m., $16, Red Rocks Amphitheatre, 18300 West Alameda Parkway, Morrison, 720-865-2494, redrocksonline.com.
Continue reading for week-to-week event listings through the summer:
72nd Annual Members Art Show: Through September 20, free, Gilpin County Arts Association, 117 Eureka Street, Central City, 303-582-5952, gilpincountyartsassociation.org.
Biennial of the Americas: Leaders from North and South America gather to explore the theme of “Empathy in Action” through art, workshops, lectures and a family-friendly festival. September 25-28, various locations, biennialoftheamericas.org.
Breck Bazaar: Sip local craft beer while shopping for local crafts at this market that includes live music and homemade and vintage items. September 21, 1 p.m., free admission, Farmhouse Restaurant at Breckenridge Brewery, 2990 Brewery Lane, Littleton, breckbrew.com.
Breckenridge Film Festival: Over 100 films, parties, workshops, demos and panels comprise the four-day fest that celebrates movies in the mountains. Through September 22, passes start at $40, various locations, Breckenridge, breckfilmfest.org.
Colorado Mountain Winefest: This harvest-time festival puts you in the thick of the action as tastings and events unfold around many of Colorado’s Western Slope wineries. Through September 22, $60 and up, various locations, Palisade, coloradowinefest.com.
Corn Maze: A seven-acre corn maze (plus a mini-maze for little ones) is open Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, with pony rides, human hamster wheels and fall fair foods available for an additional fee. Starts September 20, 10 a.m.-6 p.m., $11-14 (includes admission), Denver Botanic Gardens Chatfield Farms, 8500 West Deer Creek Canyon Road, Littleton, 720-865-3500, botanicgardens.org.
Denver Oktoberfest: Now in its fiftieth year, Denver’s massive celebration of all things Teutonic returns for two weekends in September. September 20-22, free admission, 2100 Larimer Street, thedenveroktoberfest.com.
Doors Open Denver: Over sixty churches, performance venues, schools and historic and modern buildings with architectural significance open their doors to self- and expert-guided tours for this annual event. September 21-22, various locations, denverarchitecture.org.
Handmade in Colorado Expo: A juried art show boasting only Colorado artists as well as live music and shopping. September 20-22, free admission, Skyline Park, 16th and Arapahoe streets, 720-272-7467, coloradoevents.org.
Jefferson Park Farm & Flea: Get both farm-fresh food and flea market finds at this double-duty market. September 21, free admission, 25th Avenue and Federal Boulevard, jpfleamarket.com.
Monarch Crest Crank: This tough, 25-mile ride takes bikers up Monarch Crest Trail to the Continental Divide and benefits victims of domestic violence and sexual abuse. September 22, 8 a.m.-4 p.m., $85 registration plus fundraising, begins at Salida Bike Co., 148 North F Street, Salida, monarchcrestcrank.com.
Parker Art & Music Festival: Hazel Miller and Scarecrow Revival will perform at this juried art show held in a picturesque park. September 21-22, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. and 10 a.m.-3 p.m., free admission, O’Brien Park, 10795 Victorian Drive, Parker, coloradoeventsandfestivals.com.
Salida Bike Fest: Weekend warriors will love scenic Salida, where events include the Banana Belt Mountain Bike Race, the Soul Ride (that runs through the middle of Soulcraft Brewing) and a historical tour by bike. September 20-22, $40 and up, various locations, Salida, 719-539-6738, salidabikefest.com.
Solo Flights: This inaugural theatrical festival mounts one-person shows in early stages of development as well as talkbacks and panels with established and emerging talent alike. Through September 21, Hurst Theatre, 470 Rio Grande Place, Aspen, 970-925-9313, theatreaspen.org.
St. Jude Walk/Run: Lace up your shoes for the 5K fun run and walk that raises money for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. September 21, $10 registration plus fundraising, Dick’s Sporting Goods Park, 6000 Victory Way, stjude.org.
Ten Minute Play Competition: Winning short plays selected by the Westcliffe Center for the Performing Arts will be put on for the first time ever. September 20-21, 7:30 p.m., $20, Historic Jones Theater, 119 Main Street, Westcliffe, 719-783-3004, jonestheater.com.
ZEE Jaipur Literature Festival Colorado: The JLF’s mission is to bring South Asia’s literary legacy to countries around the world; find a slate of free events around town. September 20-22, free, jlflitfest.org.
16th Street Fair: The 16th Street Mall turns into a marketplace for emerging artists and designers to showcase their fine art and artisan goods. September 27-28, 11 a.m.-7 p.m., free admission, 16th Street Mall, 720-272-7467, coloradoevents.org.
Boulder Market: Live music at this creekside arts marketplace starts at noon. September 29, 11 a.m.-5 p.m., free admission, Central Park, Broadway and Canyon Boulevard, Boulder, 720-272-7467, coloradoevents.org.
Dash & Bash: This fundraiser for the Boulder County YWCA includes a 5K or 10K walk/run, plus a one-mile dash for little ones. September 29, 8 a.m., Boulder Reservoir, ywcaboulder.org.
Denver Museum of Nature & Science Free Day: The museum opens its doors free of charge to all visitors. September 29, 9 a.m.-5 p.m., 2001 Colorado Boulevard, 303-370-6000, dmns.org.
Denver Oktoberfest: Now in its fiftieth year, Denver’s massive celebration of all things Teutonic returns for two weekends in September. September 27-29, free admission, 2100 Larimer Street, thedenveroktoberfest.com.
Fall Plant & Bulb Sale: Stock up on bulbs ready to go into the ground and Gardens-grown plants that will keep your house lush and colorful during the winter months; admission to both the sale and the Gardens is free. September 27-28, 9 a.m.-5 p.m., free admission, Denver Botanic Gardens, 1007 York Street, 720-865-3500, botanicgardens.org.
More Than Pink Walk: Formerly Race for the Cure, this event is now a 5K walk benefiting the Susan G. Komen Foundation. September 29, 6:30 a.m.-11 a.m., $20-$40 registration plus fundraising, Auraria campus, 900 Auraria Parkway, komencolorado.org.
Salida Heritage Days: Costumed performers and sideshow acts wander the town, with history and ghost tours, an art contest and a community picnic rounding out the weekend. September 27-29, ticketed events start at $20, various locations, Salida, salidaheritagedays.com.
Salida Studio Tour: Follow the tour map for a self-guided expedition around Salida’s art studios and galleries. September 28-29, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., free, salidastudiotour.com.
Strings, Ciders & Sours: As the days get cooler, the music gets twangier and the brews get tangier at this fest that includes a pairing dinner, grand tasting and recovery brunch. September 27-29, $40 and up, various locations, Breckenridge, rockymountainevents.com.
The deadline to contribute to this list has passed, but we highlight hundreds of activities and events every week in other calendar stories. Send information to email@example.com.