Arts and Culture

Mark Your Fall/Winter Calendar for These Ten Events

Blossoms of Light returns this month.
Denver Botanic Gardens
Blossoms of Light returns this month.
There's a reason that classics endure. Sure, there will always be something new to catch our eye, something cutting-edge to shake things up. But every year, we anticipate the return of Denver traditions, events we look forward to year after year, because they keep growing, keep evolving and keep delivering. If you're new to town, don't miss these events; they help make Denver what it is. If you've been around a while, take a second (or third, or fourth) look; some things just get better with age. Here are some of our favorite annual fall/winter events, as well as a few newcomers worth your attention, in chronological order.

click to enlarge The Denver Film Festival opened on November 1. - MICHAEL ROBERTS
The Denver Film Festival opened on November 1.
Michael Roberts
Denver Film Festival
Through Sunday, November 12

The Denver Film Festival has been around for forty years, and this city's premier film event is still going strong. The 2017 edition will mark the fortieth anniversary with over 200 films from 35 countries showing over twelve days, a mind-boggling amount of programming for even the most avid cinephile. But that breadth means there's truly something for everyone. Coming-of-age drama directed by indie darling Greta Gerwig and starring Saoirse Ronan? Got it. Darker-than-dark Icelandic psychodrama (like there's any other kind of Icelandic film)? Check. There are also red-carpet events, an awards brunch, parties and panel discussions. Hosted by the Denver Film Society at various locations around town; tickets are $15 and up. For more information, call 303-595-3456 or go to

Neustadt JAAMM Festival
Through Sunday, November 12

The JAAMM Festival is already under way, but there's plenty left to see between now and November 12. After all, this annual festival focuses on Jewish arts, authors, movies and music — a huge range of cultural happenings. Check out Alexandra Zapruder's fascinating lecture about her book Twenty-Six Seconds: A Personal History of the Zapruder Film; Beau Jest, a comedic play addressing the universal experience of parents who disapprove of your love life; Anthony Mordechai Tzvi Russell's rich baritone rendering Yiddish music; and much more. It's all at the Mizel Arts and Culture Center, 350 South Dahlia Street; tickets are $10 and up. For more information, call 303-316-6360 or go to
The Denver Museum of Nature and Science stayed open late for Denver Arts Week. - AARON THACKERAY
The Denver Museum of Nature and Science stayed open late for Denver Arts Week.
Aaron Thackeray
Denver Arts Week
Through Saturday, November 11

While the nine days of Denver Arts Week aren't nearly enough time to explore over 300 music, theater, art, comedy and dance events, give it the old college try. You'll find a slew of First Friday happenings, free admission to museums across town, and a wealth of workshops and performances — everything from Japanese music to hip-hop dance to comedic depictions of your therapy sessions — at deep discounts. There's no excuse to be bored, not with Denver's art scene at your fingertips. Presented by Visit Denver at locations around town; prices vary. For more information, go to

Blossoms of Light
November 24 through January 1

Christmas lights are usually seen from the family car as it cruises slowly up and down neighborhood streets, but the Denver Botanic Gardens’ Blossoms of Light is a much better option. Not only are the animated LED displays far more elaborate than your neighbor's, but you'll get hot drinks and holiday snacks from the staff. Enjoy bundling up and touring the show in the crisp winter air, and when your toes start to go a bit numb, warm up in the Orangery (a Renaissance-inspired greenhouse) or Marnie's Pavilion, which features a waterfall and orchid display. The DBG is at 1007 York Street; tickets are $11 and up. For details, call 720-865-3500 or go to