12 Things You Didn’t Know You Could Do in Denver
Climb a mountain: check. Tour a brewery: check. Hit a dispensary: check, check, check. You already knew you could do all those things around Denver -- hell, they’re probably the reasons you live here. But when you get bored with those, what else can you do for fun? Well, for starters, try expanding your horizons with these 12 Mile High bucket-list items.
Relive (or redo) your 20th-century childhoodIf the words Galaga, Dig Dug, Monchhichi, or “Up your nose with a rubber hose” mean anything to you, you’ll probably have heart palpitations when you get a load of the vintage toys, dolls, Broncos memorabilia, and other collectibles at Fifty-Two 80’s, followed by the old-school video-game lineup at Hyperspace Arcade. And if they don’t mean anything to you, prepare to be amazed at all the ways kids managed to entertain themselves in the pre-internet dark ages.
See new TV shows before anyone else, anywhere elseThere’s a reason they call Denver the Hollywood of the Rockies. OK, they don’t, but when they start to, it’ll be thanks to SeriesFest. From June 22 to 26, the second annual celebration of TV-series pilots will feature a slew of premieres, previews, and panels with industry movers-and-shakers, all preceded by a massive Opening Night at Red Rocks (John Legend performed at the inaugural event, for real). Passes and individual tickets are on sale now.
Catch a flick with James EllroyFurther proof of Colorado’s Californication: James Ellroy recently set up house hereabouts, and now he’s hosting In a Lonely Place, a monthly series at the Alamo Drafthouse. The legendary crime writer not only chooses the films -- think thrillers and noir-flavored fare like Vertigo, Miller’s Crossing, and L.A. Confidential (adapted from one of his own novels) -- but also shows up to introduce them and do a Q&A after each screening. Sellouts are likely, so buy tickets in advance to secure your opportunity to yell, “Cherchez la femme, Bucky. Remember that,” as if Ellroy has never heard that one before.
Cruise around like a starFor as little as $100, the trusting folks at Oxotic will let you take a Lamborghini Spyder, Bentley Flying Spur or other luxury sports car out for a spin on canyon roads, totally unsupervised -- unless you want an instructor along for the ride. Should you choose to handle those curves all by yourself, you’ll have the pictures to prove it (a souvenir photo shoot is part of the package).
Blow your mind (and eardrums) at an Itchy-O showItchy-O is the greatest avant-garde marching band on the face of this earth -- or at least the only one with taiko drums, theremins, vocoders, and an entire “creep unit” of, like, ninjas and spacemen and a freaking Chinese lion roaming through the crowd. They only play a few shows a year, so you need to follow them on social media to find out when and where they’re performing. But once you’ve seen them live, you’ll want to follow them anywhere and everywhere, which effectively makes them the Grateful Dead of alternative drum corps.
Bone up on your butchery chopsMale bonding and meat cutting go hand in hand. So depending on how many friends you have and how much you’re willing to spend, the fleischmeisters at the Rocky Mountain Institute of Meat can hook you up with a customized private class in anything from sausage making to breaking down a whole hog or side of beef. (Just be flexible about dates, because institute director Jason Nauert is in high demand, and your bachelor party plans definitely don’t trump a gig with the US Army.)
Soak up some culture, pressure-freeWonderbound modern dance group opens up its daytime rehearsals up to the public, so you can sneak out to the studio on your lunch break and basically get a free trial no one has to know about. What about the orchestra? The Colorado Symphony does a Geek Series that runs from a musical tribute to ComicCon to a screening of Raiders with live accompaniment. And modern art? Black Sheep Fridays at the Museum of Contemporary Art ease you in with themed socials like Mad Max Purim and Cornholio, which are as freaky as they sound.
Rappel down a 20-foot wall in a live escape gameProve your puzzle-solving skills, test your ability to keep cool under pressure, and find out just how long you can really stand to be locked in a room with your friends and loved ones all at once at The Clue Room. With two locations and further expansion scheduled for June, the live-escape game is proving such a hit that you’re probably the only person you know who hasn’t tried it yet.
You probably also didn’t know that Starbucks is now offering wine, beer, and small plates at night. Learn more here.