As the city gears up for its first virtual Valentine's Day, there are plenty of lovely things to do in and around Denver (and, yes, online). This is Black History Month, a perfect time to get out of the house and explore Five Points, once known as the Harlem of the West and the heart of Denver's Black community a century ago. You can also visit the Far East Center, which is preparing for the Lunar New Year, or see the just-opened From the Margins to the Middle: Borderlands of Southern Colorado at the History Colorado Center.
Keep reading for more on those activities, as well as other things to do this weekend (and don't miss our list of ten free events here):
Five Points Historic Cultural District Walking Tour — With a Puzzle!
In celebration of Black History Month, Puzzah! has created a puzzle activity to accompany the Five Points Historic Cultural District walking tour. This self-guided tour uses markers to tell the story of the artists, educators, business owners, activists and spiritual leaders who helped build this culturally rich community. The full tour is just under a mile in length and takes one to one and a half hours to complete — now with puzzles to solve at various stops. Download the maps here; find out more from the Five Points Cultural District here.
Space Symposium 365
Now through February
Colorado Springs hasn't won U.S. Space Command — yet — but it's definitely home to the Space Foundation, a 501(c)(3) global space advocate for nearly forty years, which is currently hosting Space Symposium 365. This is the ultimate digital platform for space policymakers, industry professionals and international partners, as well as students, educators and young professionals; programming includes panels, interviews, mission updates and the keynote "State of Space" on February 9. Registration fees vary; find out more here.
Year of the Ox Lunar New Year Street Market Fair
Through Thursday, February 11, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Truong An Gifts, Far East Center, 333 South Federal Boulevard
The pan-Asian businesses of the Far East Center at Alameda Avenue and Federal Boulevard normally celebrate the Lunar New Year with a big community party in the parking lot, including lion dancing, firecrackers and martial arts demonstrations, always attracting a big crowd. There will be no party this year, but the center’s Truong An gift shop is hosting an open-air market with nine days of New Year shopping leading up to the holiday’s start on February 12. Stock up on lanterns, red envelopes to stuff with money, citrus fruit baskets, lucky bamboo plants, kumquat trees, decorations and more, and then head to a nearby restaurant to continue the celebration.Get the details here.
From the Margins to the Middle: Borderlands of Southern Colorado
History Colorado Center, 1200 Broadway
A good chunk of what became southern Colorado once belonged to Mexico, but the Mexican-American War and its boundary-changing aftermath sent centuries-old, Spanish-speaking Chicano/Mestizo and Indigenous communities north. The bilingual exhibition From the Margins to the Middle, which just opened for a long-term stay at the History Colorado Center, dives into the transformative history of the region and the continuing influence of Mexico on modern Colorado. It brings with it a great Borderlands speaker series, too. Museum admission ranges from free to $14; purchase tickets and RSVP in advance for a timed-entry slot here.
ETHDenver & ColoradoJam 2021
Through Friday, February 12
ETHDenver, the world’s largest free web3 #BUIDLathon, or hackathon, has gone fully virtual for 2021 — with a twist. The event is offering $250k in prizes, thanks to a partnership with Gamerjibe; it's also hosting a ColoradoJam Summit as part of this year’s event, collaborating with the Colorado Governor’s Office, Governor’s Office of Information Technology, and several official state agencies. This year’s free event will feature educational opportunities, networking events, panels and VR fireside chats, blockchain-infused art installations, futurism discussions and more. On Monday, don't miss Governor Jared Polis playing a livestreamed League of Legends 5v5 match with blockchain and gaming-industry personalities, with commentary by legendary esports duo Christopher “Montecristo” Mykles and Erik “DoA” Lonnquist. Find out more at ethdenver.com.
World of Wong Kar-Wai
Starting Friday, February 5, at midnight
Hong Kong auteur Wong Kar-Wai pushes all the sensual buttons with films lush with music, romanticism and compelling personal stories, no matter the subject. Gangsters, martial arts, character studies, science fiction and comedy all fare well in his exacting hands. Denver Film has partnered with Janus Films for a nine-film retrospective that goes live this weekend featuring new 4K restorations and bonus films 2046 and Ashes of Time Redux from SonyPictures Classics. You have 48 hours to start watching each film once it becomes available online, and another 48 hours to finish; tickets are $13 for single films or $85 for an all-access pass here.
Cravt Pop-Up: Ephemera Obscura
Saturday, February 6, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
7700 West 44th Avenue, Wheat Ridge
Your Valentine typically wears black lace with jewelry made from human hair around her stark white throat? Not to worry: Ritualcravt’s February Cravt Pop-Up with the Denver-based seller Ephemera Obscura is bound to have plenty of suitable trinkets, artwork, objects and Victorian ephemera to please anachronistic ladies of all ages. Learn more here and follow Ephemera Obscura on Instagram.
The Whiskey Tasting
Saturday, February 6, through March 7; shows Tuesdays through Sundays
Boulder’s Catamounts will revive The Whiskey Tasting, one element out of three in Between Us, a collaborational work created with DCPA Off-Center that paired one actor with one or two audience members. The only difference is a pretty big one for an intimate immersive experience: This time The Whiskey Tasting is virtual, and you tune in from home on Zoom. Besides the experience itself, limited to two people per ticket, the $45 admission price includes a whiskey flight to be delivered by or picked up at West End Tavern in Boulder or the Post Brewing Co. in Denver. Learn more and make reservations here soon, because tickets are going fast.
Paul Taylor Dance Company
Saturday, February 6, 7 p.m
Newman Center Presents continues its 2021 virtual season with a performance of Paul Taylor Dance Company featuring Taylor masterpiece Esplanade, choreographed in 1975. The timeless dance combines feats of athleticism and strength, with a storyline reflecting pedestrian movement. Paul Taylor was one of the founders and legends of American modern dance, who helped change the face of an entire creative art form; the filmed performance, preceded by commentary with artistic director Michael Novak and dancers, will be available for one week with a virtual ticket. Tickets start at $10 here.
Denver Jewish Film Festival
Monday, February 8, through February 17
This year's edition of the Denver Jewish Film Festival, which is taking place entirely online, boasts one of the richest slates of documentary, narrative and short films in recent memory. The fest opens with Upheaval: The Journey of Menachem Begin, the story of a Zionist militant who fled Europe to fight to create the State of Israel and ultimately become a controversial prime minister. There are films about history and current Jewish life alike, with a strong emphasis on civil rights, social justice and varying (and sometimes competing) Jewish identities. Whether you're a Jew, an ally or Jew-"ish," the festival has something for you. Mazel tov to the Jewish Community Center for managing to pull this off. Tickets are available for individual films or in packages at the Jewish Community Center's website.
Know of a great event? We'll be updating this list through the weekend; send information to email@example.com.