Residents of Denver know that there’s no shortage of sun in Colorado, which can make summertime the best time for outdoor activities, spending time with the family, and taking on new adventures. Whether you plan to catch a concert at Red Rocks Park and Amphitheatre or you’re interested in bringing the kids to some free festivals and events, you’re sure to find something fun to do in Denver on any day of the week.
Capitol Hill People’s Fair
As Denver’s largest and longest-running block party, the People’s Fair Art & Music Festival will celebrate its 47th year this June. The festival will run from June 1st-3rd, and it is hosted at the Civic Center Park right in the heart of downtown Denver. This fun multi-day event is perfect for the whole family, and it’s a great way to mark the start of summer by bringing people of all ethnicities together to enjoy live music, local artists, and some of the city’s best food trucks and vendors.
The musical lineup for 2018 is one you won’t want to miss! Some of the main acts include:
- Moon Taxi – This five-piece band from Nashville has released three albums, their most recent being Daybreaker. This musical act has appeared on a variety of national television shows, including David Letterman and Conan, and their music has been features on various commercial and TV placements throughout the years.
- MAX – MAX is a pop-soul singer from New York City and he is known for his powerful acrobatic tenor. He has toured with the likes of Fall Out Boy and Wiz Khalifa and he is currently on the road for his headlining METEOR tour.
- Trout Steak Revival – Winners of the 2014 Telluride Bluegrass Festival Band Competition, Trout Steak Revival has become a popular band throughout Colorado. They won an Emmy Award for a soundtrack they contributed to and they were most recently named Denver’s Best Bluegrass band from Westword.
If the Capitol Hill People’s Fair sounds like an event you’d like to go to, you can buy your tickets online.
The Colorado Shakespeare Festival
Looking for a fun and educational outing to take the kids to this summer? The Colorado Shakespeare Festival may be just what you need! Shows start on June 8th, and this year they plan on bringing love and ambition to the stage with larger-than-life characters. This season, you can expect a wonderful array of some of Shakespeare’s most prominent plays, including:
- Love’s Labour’s Lost – In this play, four attractive young men make a pact to sear off romance and focus on academia…only minutes before the four loves of their lives walk by. Shakespeare’s side-splitting comedy about the struggle of balancing the heart and the head make for a fun and entertaining play that you’re sure to love.
- Richard III – In the play of Richard III, the Bard’s most murderous and malicious king comes to life for the first time on the CSF stage. Richard, who is Edward IV’s deformed and embittered younger brother, will do anything to take the throne for himself. Once he makes it to the throne, however, things begin to fall apart. This play speaks volumes about honor, lies, and the dark side of ambition. Maybe leave the kids at home for this one!
A Taste of Colorado
A Taste of Colorado is a three-day, free-admission festival that is put on by the Downtown Denver Partnership. This year, the festival will take place from September 1st-3rd, and will be held in downtown Denver’s Civic Park Center. When you go to this festival, you’ll be able to try some of the best local and worldly cuisine while also checking out some of Denver’s top bands.
The Wild Animal Sanctuary
If you’re little one’s love animals, consider taking a day trip to The Wild Animal Sanctuary right outside of Denver. The sanctuary currently has 9,793 acres of beautiful and natural habitat for its rescued animals to enjoy, and all of their animals have been rescued and rehabilitated so they can live and roam freely on the property.
One of the most unique things about this wild animal sanctuary is their “Mile Into The Wild” Walkway. When you visit most zoos, you’ll often be at eye-level with the animals you view, which can cause some animals to react in violent behavior as they try to protect their territory or home. Early on in its conception, the animal experts at the sanctuary realized that large carnivores do not consider the air or the sky to be territory, so if people are on an elevated platform or walkway, they are not considered a threat to the animal.
The Colorado Dragon Boat Festival
Another fun activity that’s happening in Denver this summer is the Colorado Dragon Boat Festival. Scheduled for July 28th and 29th, the Colorado Dragon Boat Festival (CBDF) is dedicated to celebrating and promoting the culture, contributions, and accomplishments of Colorado’s Asian Pacific American Communities. The main mission of the festival is to build bridges of awareness, knowledge, and understanding between the diverse Asian Pacific American (APA) communities and the general public through cultural education, leadership development, and athletic competition.
But what is Dragon Boat Racing? Good question! Dragon Boat Racing is an ancient Chinese sport that has become more and more popular in the US. A tradition that dates back 2,000 years, Dragon Boat Racing is all about teamwork. Most teams consist of 20 paddlers sitting side by side with one person steering the boat from the rear and one from the front. The team works in unison to propel the boat forward, hoping to reach the finish line in the fastest time.
In addition to watching this incredible sport, the CBDF also features more than 20 food vendors, a large Asian marketplace with gifts and artisans, and a wellness village. There are also over 100 performances on five stages that feature traditional Asian and contemporary Asian American culture. From martial arts demonstrations to Chinese fan dances, there are plenty of things to enjoy at the Colorado Dragon Boat Festival.
The Denver International Festival
The Denver International Festival, which will be held on Saturday, August 4th at the Civic Center Park, is a celebration of the best traditional food, music, and art from all over the world. At this fun festival, you can enjoy the sounds of cultural rhythms, bask in unique artwork, and enjoy a cold brew in the beer garden just a few steps from the State Capitol building. This event is free to the public, which is always a big perk, and it will feature over 25 performers, 20 food trucks, and more than 50 vendors.
Plan on bringing the kiddos? You’ll be happy to know that there’s a Kids Village at the festival as well. In this interactive and engaging village, your child can partake in science experiments, collaborative art projects, and crafts. Some featured activities include: DIY Slime-making, DIY lava-lamps, sand art, painting, face painting, and a bubble station. If you’re on a tight schedule, check out the event schedule for the Kids Village below!
Kid Village Featured Event Schedule
- 10:30 am – Bilingual Storytime & Art of Frida Kahlo
- 11:00 am – Piñata Breaking
- 11:30 am – Meet & Greet: Moana & Captain America
- 12:30 pm – Polynesian Hula, Watch & Learn
- 1:00 pm – Piñata Breaking
- 1:30 pm – Meet & Greet: Belle & Spiderman
- 2:30 pm – Cultural Story Time by Denver Public Library
- 3:00 pm – Piñata Breaking
- 3:30 pm – The Great Kid Village Water Fight (Water Squirters Provided)
- 5:00 pm – Piñata Breaking
Film On The Rocks
If you have yet to see movies like Star Wars: The Last Jedi or Happy Gilmore, you’ll want to plan a trip to the Red Rocks Amphitheatre to check out Film On The Rocks. The 2018 movie lineup is one you don’t want to miss, and each event features an opening comedian or band with fun contests and audience participation. The doors open at 6:30 p.m. and the opener usually starts around 7 p.m., with the movies starting at dusk. Below is a list of films that will be playing this summer.
- May 15, 2018: Star Wars: The Last Jedi
- June 11, 2018: The Grand Budapest Hotel
- June 18, 2018: Heathers
- July 9, 2018: The Big Lebowski
- July 23, 2018: Happy Gilmore
- Aug. 7, 2018: The Goonies
- Aug. 13, 2018: Black Panther
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