Visitors do not need to break the bank to explore Colorado’s Mile High City. Welcome to Denver, where 300 days of sunshine, a thriving cultural scene, diverse neighborhoods, and natural beauty combine for the world’s most spectacular playground. Here are a few blockbuster exhibits to celebrate the end of Summer:
SIMPHIWE NDZUBE: ORACLES OF THE PINK UNIVERSE
Thru Sept. 12: A genre first conceptualized in Latin America, magical realism infuses reality with elements of the fantastical. In the first U.S. solo museum exhibition for South African contemporary artist Simphiwe Ndzube, Oracles of the Pink Universe presents seven new immersive works exploring the interplay between magical realism and history.
NUMBERS IN NATURE: A MIRROR MAZE
Thru Sept. 19: This immersive experience at Denver Museum of Nature & Science beautifully illustrates how patterns surround us in nature, from the veins in a leaf, to the spiral of a nautilus, to the spots on a giraffe. Enjoy fun hands-on activities to spot patterns in music, art, architecture and even your own body.
VAN GOGH ALIVE
Thru Sept. 26: Presented by Denver Center for the Performing Arts at The Hangar at Stanley Marketplace, Van Gogh Alive is a large-scale, multi-sensory digital art experience that gives visitors the unique opportunity to immerse themselves into Van Gogh’s artistry and truly venture into his world. In the experience, Van Gogh’s masterpieces come to life, giving visitors the sensation of walking right into his paintings, a feeling that is simultaneously enchanting, entertaining and educational. From start to finish, visitors are surrounded by a vibrant symphony of light, color, sound and fragrance, creating an unforgettable experience.
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Through the Scientific & Cultural Facilities District (SCFD) free days, guests can see many of Denver’s top attractions such as the Denver Art Museum, Denver Botanic Gardens, Denver Zoo and many more at no cost on select days of the year. This year, RiNo (River North) Art District and the new Drink RiNo group will sponsor a free bus every First Friday that will have multiple stops at galleries, studios, breweries and eateries throughout RiNo. For frugal foodies visiting the city can try a new chef-driven concept like Avanti F&B – seven different affordable restaurants in one modern food hall, from Japanese to pizza; or Honor Society Handcrafted Eatery – where visitors can get high-quality, healthy, yet craveable dishes at an affordable price. Now that it is spring, Denver’s cultural scene heats up with new performing and visual arts displays.
DENVER BOTANIC GARDENS
Denver Botanic Gardens was founded in 1951 and is one of the top botanical gardens in the United States and a pioneer in water conservation. The Gardens’ living collections encompass specimens from the tropics to the tundra, showcasing a plant palette chosen to thrive in Colorado’s semi-arid climate. The Gardens is a dynamic, 24-acre urban oasis in the heart of the city, offering unforgettable opportunities to flourish with unique garden experiences for the whole family – as well as world-class art exhibitions, education and plant conservation research programs. Additional sites extend this experience throughout the Front Range: Denver Botanic Gardens Chatfield Farms is a 700-acre native plant refuge with an active farm in Jefferson County; Mount Goliath is a high-altitude trail and interpretive site on the Mount Evans Scenic Byway. The Gardens also manages programming at Plains Conservation Center in Aurora.
Denver Art Museum
Each/Other: Marie Watt and Cannupa Hanska Luger – The first exhibition to present the work of these two leading Indigenous contemporary artists together. Exploring the collective process of creation, Each/Other will feature 24 mixed media sculptures, wall hangings and large-scale installation works by Marie Watt (Seneca, Scottish, German) and Cannupa Hanska Luger (Mandan, Hidatsa, Arikara, Lakota and European), along with a new monumental artist-guided community artwork. While each artist’s practice is rooted in collaboration, they have never before worked together or been exhibited alongside one another in a way that allows audiences to see both the similarities and contrasts in their work. Curated by John P. Lukavic, Andrew W. Mellon Curator of Native Arts at the DAM, this exhibition will be on view through Aug. 22, 2021, in the Gallagher Gallery on Level 1 of the DAM’s Hamilton Building.
DENVER MUSEUM OF NATURE & SCIENCE
A Great Place to see the Stars – This exhibition will bring the largest collection of Viking artifacts in North America to the Denver Museum of Nature & Science. Vikings: Beyond the Legend lays waste to the one-dimensional stereotype of bearded barbarians with horned helmets. Visitors can marvel instead at a culture of surprising refinement, complexity and achievement, and a supernatural world inhabited by Thor, Odin and other gods and giants. Fresh insights revealed through new archaeological discoveries and more than 500 treasures, many never before seen outside of Scandinavia, show why the Vikings will always capture the imagination.
RED ROCKS PARK AND AMPHITHEATRE
If you think of Red Rocks Park as just a beautiful place to see a concert, think again! All around you are 738 total acres of deer, dinosaurs, pines and prairie, geological wonders and spectacular vistas. At 6,450 feet above sea level, Red Rocks Park is a unique transitional zone where the Great Plains meet the Rocky Mountains. The diverse environment allows visitors to see plants, birds and animals of both regions. Red Rocks Amphitheatre is a geological phenomenon – the only naturally-occurring, acoustically perfect amphitheatre in the world. From Sting and The Beatles, to opera stars and U2, every artist aspires to play on this magical, spiritual and emotional stage.
Red Rocks is a geologically formed, open-air amphitheater not duplicated anywhere in the world. With Mother Nature as the architect, the design of the Amphitheatre consists of two 300 foot monoliths (Ship Rock and Creation Rock) that provide a stunning setting for any performance. The dramatic sandstone monoliths serve as a history book of animal and plant life in the area for the past 250 million years. Red Rocks hosts some of the biggest names in music, which is why it’s also one of the most popular music venues in the country. Red Rocks Amphitheatre is committed to creating a safe, comfortable and enjoyable experience, >MORE
First Friday Art Walks
Explore Denver’s creative neighborhoods on the First Friday of every month when galleries, studios and cultural attractions stay open late for a mind-expanding night of art, food, drink and fun. Find the pulse of Denver’s vibrant creative community year-round on the first Friday of each month in The Mile High City’s seven neighborhood art districts. This year, RiNo (River North) Art District and the new Drink RiNo group will sponsor a free shuttle every First Friday from 5pm-12am (and Saturdays 2-10pm) that will have multiple stops at galleries, studios, breweries and eateries throughout the RiNo neighborhood.