This summer in coming in hot, very hot, but there are plenty of cool things to do around the city this weekend that won't burn through your wallet. The Denver County Fair returns to the National Western Complex, bringing with it both traditional fair and fairly weird activities; and free music abounds, with a couple of special concerts at Levitt Pavilion. Here are ten ways to keep your cool and your cash this weekend:
Friday, July 19, noon to 9 p.m.; Saturday, July 20, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Sunday, July 21, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
National Western Complex
Grounds admission $10, kids 12 and under $5
A decade ago, Denver County was the only Colorado county without a fair. That changed when the Denver County Fair was resurrected, bringing with it both traditional activities (pie-making contests, bouncy houses, petting farms) and fairly weird events (unicorn rides, a freak show, a drag queen show). You can just pay general admission and wander the grounds, enjoying the show (and the people-watching), or pay extra for the beer fest, goat yoga and other add-ons. For a complete schedule and to purchase tickets, visit the Denver County Fair website.
Saturday, July 20, 8 to 9 a.m
Denver Union Station hosts a summer workout series that takes place every third Saturday of the month through August. July's fitness class will be provided by Alchemy 365, with a sweat sesh that combines yoga, strength and conditioning. After the forty-minute class, PigTrain Coffee and the Terminal Bar will be offering special discounts for the badasses who participated in the workout. The class is free, but you'll need to bring your own mat, water bottle and motivation.
Saturday, July 20, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Denver Botanic Gardens Chatfield Farms
$7 general admission, $5 members, under 14 free
More than 2,000 lavender plants will be the fragrant stars at Chatfield Farms during the Lavender Festival, a fragrant day of demonstrations, live music, kids' activities, tours and crafts; food and beverage vendors will also be on hand. Enjoy a lavender beer while taking in the aromatic scene.
Aurora Arts Festival
Saturday, July 20, and Sunday, July 21, noon to 8 p.m.
9898 East Colfax Avenue
Artists, makers, local businesses and community organizations will be front and center in the Aurora Cultural Arts District at this weekend's Aurora Arts Festival. There will be art displays and demonstrations, pop-up performances and rides through the festivities, and you'll have the chance to talk with Congressman Jason Crow’s staff. Of course, food trucks and vendors will be around to satisfy any cravings. For a complete schedule, visit the Aurora Arts Festival website.
2nd Annual Reggae on the Grass
Saturday, July 20, noon to 10 p.m.
Last year's Reggae on the Grass brought more than 6,000 people out to party, and you can expect more of the same at this year's family-friendly event. In addition to local reggae musicians, you'll hear international all-stars. Admission is free, but you can also buy special VIP passes. For those and more information, go to the Reggae on the Grass website.