This is the weekend before October's biggest day, and the calendar is packed with costumed events. You won't find those celebrations here, though; check them out on our list of the best Halloween and Día de los Muertos dinners, parties and deals. Instead, here are four events for folks who don't like tricks or treats, who have already taken their kid to seventeen fall festivals and are over the whole thing, or who are just plain lazy and don't want to come up with a costume. Enjoy these non-Halloween events from Friday, October 27, through Sunday, October 29.
Friday, October 27
Wine down the from the work week with a leisurely stroll down Parker's Mainstreet for Wine Walk on Friday, October 27. From 5 to 8 p.m., $15 will get you ten one-ounce wine samples from vendors along the street, plus a souvenir wine glass to supplement your home collection. Tickets can be purchased in advance at parkerchamber.com or at the event at the corner of Mainstreet and Pikes Peak Drive.
Saturday, October 28
Think you know Islam? Get an even better understanding of the religion by heeding Muhammad's call to feed the hungry from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, October 28, when Colorado's Muslim community will be preparing and distributing 2,000 meals to homeless people at five locations around town. People of all faiths and identities are invited to participate in the effort; see Feed the Hungry's Facebook page for more information about how to donate — or, better yet, volunteer.
Eat dessert first (or only eat dessert) in celebration of National Chocolate Day on Saturday, October 28. Urban Farmer, 1659 Wazee Street, is honoring the occasion from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. with its Dessert for Two Special: Two glasses of prosecco and four bonbons (white chocolate and pomegranate, dark chocolate and praline, dark chocolate and blood orange, and milk chocolate and caramel) for $21. Sounds like a sweet deal.
Sunday, October 29
Combat the Sunday blahs at Briar Common Brewery + Eatery, 2298 Clay Street, for its Seasonal Beer Pairing Dinner on Sunday, October 29, at 4:30 p.m. (it is Sunday, after all). The five courses are duck-fat popcorn, pickled beef tongue, crispy barramundi, duck risotto with seared foie gras and chocolate pudding, while the five beers are a brett sour, Belgian dubbel, Belgian trippel, brett saison and blackberry imperial stout. Sounds like ten reasons to cheer up about the weekend coming to an end. Dinner will run you $65; go to the brewery's Facebook page to get tickets.
Keep reading for more tasty happenings beyond this weekend...
Wednesday, November 1, through Friday, November 3
Denver's traditionally a beer town, but if you're an oenophile instead of a hophead, you'll be happy that the Denver International Wine Festival is coming to town from Wednesday, November 1, through Friday, November 3. The event includes a Grand Vintners Dinner with wine by Kovács Nimród and food by Radek Cerny; the Pairsine Chefs Fine Food and Wine Pairing Competition, where you'll enjoy twenty bites paired with gold medal-winning wines; and the Grand Tasting, the showcase event with more than eighty wineries and distilleries pouring samples of delicious beverages. Tickets to individual events range from $95 to $175 and are available at denverwinefest.com. Now, that's something to toast to!
Saturday, November 10, through Saturday, November 18
Denver has its Restaurant Week every spring, but Boulder County has its own celebration of restaurants, giving customers a chance to dine for a discount for a full week every fall. Now in its twelfth year, First Bite runs from Saturday, November 10, through Saturday, November 18, offering three-course dinners for just $29 per person at more than forty restaurants in Boulder, Longmont, Erie, Niwot, Lyons, Louisville and Lafayette. Make your reservations now, because dining rooms will fill up quickly at this price. See the First Bite website for a complete list of participating restaurants and menus.
Thursday, November 16
It seems Christmas decorations are on the shelves earlier and earlier (we've even seen some for sale before Halloween this year), but what about the National Western Stock Show? This year you don't have to wait until January to start planning your Stock Show experience. The First Annual Meat and Greet, benefiting Future Farmers of America, will take place at the National Western Complex, 4655 Humboldt Street, on Thursday, November 16, when guests will enjoy twelve courses of Colorado beef, pork, lamb and goat, an open bar, live music and the chance to bid on a behind-the-scenes, one-on-one package with a Stock Show exhibitor. Find tickets ($75) and details at eventbrite.com.
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Saturday, November 25
Saturday, November 25, is almost a month after Halloween, but die-hard fans of dressing up can still scratch that itch at the 100 Men Who Cook's Black Tie Fundraiser, which has a masquerade ball theme this year. The organization's mission is to raise money for grassroots nonprofits, and this year's beneficiaries are Jazz C.A.F.E., a music and leadership program for middle and high school students; Boys' Day, a mentoring program for young African-American boys; and Colorado Beautillion-Cotillion, a multicultural, inclusive academic and social-enrichment program for high school juniors and seniors. The Renaissance Denver Hotel, 3801 Quebec Street, will host the ball, which will include live music, dancing and, of course, food from the aforementioned "Gentlemen Chefs." Tickets range from $50 to $150 and are going fast at eventbrite.com.
Thursday, December 7
It's no secret that Bravo's Top Chef came to Colorado to film its fifteenth season earlier this year. You can finally start planning your watch party, as the show will premiere on Thursday, December 7, at 8 p.m. The contestants traveled from Sports Authority Field to Telluride to Aspen Food + Wine and were tasked with preparing everything from the innocuous Denver omelet to the infamous Rocky Mountain oyster. Tune in to see how they fare — as well as to catch a glimpse of local legends (and a former winner!) Alex Seidel, Hosea Rosenberg, Jennifer Jasinski and Frank Bonanno.