Mama’s Weekly Picks for Denver’s Best Family-friendly Events!
After the dreary weather earlier this week, it looks like the weekend is going to be much more agreeable. Perfect weather for one of those outdoor concerts, a little shopping, some First Friday action.
Saturday is National Trails Day. Look for events in Arvada, Aurora, and in Morrison at Triceratops Trail (one of our faves). Celebrate an oft-used but under-appreciated resource: our trail system. Along those same lines, enjoy fishing for free all weekend. The Department of Wildlife has established this weekend as a free weekend, but entry fees to parks still apply, as do bag limits and bait restrictions.
Some girl named Dora is going to do some exploring at the DCPA this weekend. If you’re going, have. . . fun. Yeah.
It’s First Friday! Check out the art scene in these neighborhoods:
Tennyson Street between 38th and 44th Avenues, 6:00 pm – 10:00 pm.
Old South Pearl Street, between Evans and Buchtel, 6:00 pm – 10:00 pm.
Santa Fe Drive, between 6th and 13th Avenues, 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm.
Golden Triangle Neighborhood, Lincoln between Speer and 13th, 5:00 pm – 9:00 pm.
Friday, June 5: Denver Botanic Gardens at Chatfield 303-973-3705, 8500 Deer Creek Canyon Road, Littleton.
Saturday, June 6: Free First Saturdays at the Denver Art Museum, 720-865-5000, 13th Avenue, between Broadway and Bannock in Downtown Denver. Please note that the Psychedelic Experience exhibition is not included in the free day, and does require an additional fee. But the rest of the museum is gratis. Free. No charge.
Sunday, June 7: Free Sundaes on First Sundays, Boulder History Museum, 1206 Euclid Avenue, Boulder. Free admission and free ice cream, all day. Now that’s my kind of free day.
Sunday, June 7, 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm: Denver Museum of Miniatures, Dolls, and Toys. 1880 Gaylord Street, Denver. A free day, but this unique museum will never turn down a donation.
Wednesday, June 10: Denver Museum of Nature and Science, 2001 Colorado Boulevard, Denver. 303-322-7009. The Expedition: Health exhibit is included in the Free Day, but you still need to make reservations to see it.
By mid-summer, there’s likely to be a concert just about any night of the week. Sometimes two on the same night. Point being: No matter where you live, there’s something close by. Summer concerts should be called “summer no-brainers.” Got nothin’ to do? Head to the nearest park and listen to some music. How hard is that?
Wednesday, June 10, 6:30 pm: (doors open at 6:00 pm) Swallow Hill’s Shady Grove Picnic Series at Four Mile Historic Park, 715 Forest Street, Denver. This week: Danny Barnes w/ Jake Schepps Duo featuring Greg Schochet. Tickets are $10/adults, $2 kids 12 and under.
Wednesday, June 10, 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm: Littleton Historic Museum Concert Series, 303-795-3950, 6028 S. Gallup St., Littleton. This week: Dakota Blonde.
Friday, June 5, 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm: Northfield Stapleton Summer Concert Series, Main Street at Northfield Stapleton, 49th and Quebec. Catch the Northfield Stapleton Summer Concert Series on first and third Fridays, June through August. This week: Chase N’ the Dream.
Sunday, June 7, 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm: City Park Jazz, at the Bandstand at City Park Pavilion. This popular series runs Sundays through August 9. Park either at the Zoo or the Museum for free, then take the shuttle to the bandstand. Free bike parking is also available. This is a great opportunity for a Sunday evening picnic, but if you’re not in the mood (or you’re not that organized), there is always food available, as well. This week’s band is Cocktail Revolution.
Sunday, June 7, 6:30 pm: Summer Concerts in the Park, Memorial Park at 25th and Chase, Edgewater. 303-238-7803 x28. This series runs through July 6. This week: Quickdraw.
Wednesday, June 10, 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm: Bands on the Bricks, 1300 Block of Pearl, Boulder. This one runs through August 12—catch a different band every Wednesday night. This week it’s Funkiphino.
Thursday, June 11, 7:00 pm: City of Thornton’s Summer Concert Series. Runs Thursdays in June, and then again from July 9 – August 6. This week it’s the Manuel Molina Band, at Community Park, Thornton Parkway and York Street.
Summer Movie Programs
I’ll say it again: These programs are awesome! I can’t wait to take the boys to see Journey to the Center of the Earth on the big screen, because we missed it the first time around. Now if they’d only play all the Star Wars movies, we’d be set.
Saturday, May 30, 3:00 pm. Kids Saturday Nickelodeon at the Starz FilmCenter, 900 Auraria Parkway, Denver This week’s feature is Pete’s A Pizza and other Picture Book Classics. Free.
Saturday, June 6, dusk: Babe, courtesy of Movies in the Parks. This week’s movie is at Skyline Park, 1775 Arapahoe. Free popcorn, cotton candy, and sno-cones; other concessions available for purchase. This series runs through the summer at various parks throughout Denver; check the website for more details. But you know we’ll always try to provide complete information here. In addition to Babe, they’re showing some of our other favorites this summer, like Princess Bride, The Iron Giant, and E.T.
Saturday, June 6, 6:30 pm: Starlight Summer Movie Night, Festival Park, 300 Second Street, Castle Rock. Start the evening with live music and children’s activities, then settle in and watch Kung Fu Panda when it starts to get dark.
Tuesday, June 9, 10:00 am Summer Movie Clubhouse at the Century 16 in BelMar, 440 S. Teller Street, Lakewood. Tuesdays through August 4, the Century 16 in BelMar offers a different PG or G rated movie for the kids. Buy a 10-pack for all 10 movies for $5, or pay as you go for a buck a show. This week’s movie is Hoodwinked.
Tuesday, June 9, and Wednesday, June 10, 10:00 am Regal Free Family Film Festival, West Village Stadium, 14225 West Colfax; Greenwood Plaza 12, 8151 E Arapahoe Road; Park Meadows 12, 9355 Park Meadows Drive; Continental 10, 3635 S Monaco Pkwy. Free movies for the family; movies vary by location, so check the website for complete listings.
Harkins Kid Summer Movie Program, Northfield Theater, 8300 E 49th Avenue. This movie program runs through August 1st; buy a 10-pack movie pass for $5.00, or individual movie tickets for $2.00. Adults must be accompanied by a child. Check the website for complete details and movie listings specific to this program.
Happenings and Other Fun Things to Do
Saturday – Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday through July 5: Family Summer Camp at Bass Pro Shops, 7970 Northfield Blvd, Denver. Head over to the Bass Pro Shop and partake in one of several different fun, camping/outdoor-oriented crafts and activities. Check the website for complete details and times.
Saturday, June 6, 10:00 am – 11:00 am: Stories in the Park, West Side of City Park, behind the Graham-Bible House, at 21st and York. This series runs Saturdays through June 27th, and features special guests reading stories to kids. Best for ages 3 – 7. Lemonade served after.
Saturday, June 6, 10:00 am – 4:00 pm: Centennial Spring Fling, deKoevend Park, 6315 S. University Blvd, Littleton. Kick the season off with activities for the kids, including a creation station, as well as wandering entertainment, food. . .all the things you simply must have at an event of this kind. If you haven’t been to deKoevend Park, you should go. It’s huge, and it’s adjacent to the Highline Canal trail, so bring your bikes. Go north and travel through some truly lovely areas.
Saturday, June 6, 10:00 am – 2:00 pm: Arvada Celebrates its Trails, Majestic View Nature Center, 7030 Garrison, Arvada. Enjoy wildlife displays, hikes, and bike rides; get inspired to get out and go this summer!
Saturday, June 6, 8:00 am. Aurora Trails Day, Aurora Reservoir, 5800 S Powhaton, Aurora. Aurora pulls out all the stops for National Trails Day, with a 5k run/walk, a bike ride, and a wellness fair. Register online for the run or the ride, check in begins at 8:00 am.
Saturday, June 6, 10:00 am – 2:30 pm: National Trails Day at Triceratops Trail, 16831 West Alamada Parkway, Morrison. Walk the Triceratops Trail, and experts stationed along the trail will answer questions and provide more information. Other activities include digs and track painting. Call 303-697-3466 for more information.
Saturday, June 6, 10:00 – 8:00, and Sunday, June 7, 10:00 – 7:00: Capitol Hill People’s Fair, Civic Center Park, Denver. Going strong since 1971, this eclectic fair celebrates the diversity that is the Capitol Hill area. Family activities, tons of live entertainment on four stages, arts and crafts, food. . . all the while supporting non-profits.
Saturday, June 6, 10:00 am – 10:00 pm and Sunday, June 7, 10:00 am – 7:00 pm: La Piazza dell’ Arte: Chalk Art on Larimer Square, Downtown Denver. 303-685-8120. 200 artists create chalk art on the streets of Larimer Square. Italian food will be on hand (mmmm. . . gelato. . . ), along with beer, wine, and other delicious treats. A unique festival, featuring beautiful art. Fleeting, but beautiful. And I can’t help but think of Mary Poppins: “Oh, it’s a jolly holiday with Mary. . . “ Oh c’mon, you were thinking it, too.
Saturday, June 6, 11:00 am – 2:00 pm: Colorado Asian Pacific Heritage Event at the Governor’s Residence at Boettcher Mansion, 400 East 8th Avenue, Denver. Learn about Asian Pacific culture, including dancing, lei making, tea ceremonies, and more. This event is free!
Saturday, June 6, 12:00 pm – 6:00 pm. Denver Day of Rock, at the Fillmore Plaza (2nd and Fillmore) in Cherry Creek, and the Downtown Theatre District (14th and Curtis). Support Concerts for Kids by showing up for an afternoon of free music. Part of the proceeds from concession sales benefit kids’ charities. Check the website for the lineup at each site.
Sunday, June 7, 11:00 am – 5:00 pm: Boulder Jewish Festival, Boulder County Courthouse Lawn, on the Pearl Street Mall, between the 1200 and 1500 blocks, Boulder. A celebration of Jewish culture, with live entertainment, activities, ethnic food, the works.
Tuesday, June 9, 5:00 pm – 9:00 pm: Feast on the Fax, East Colfax between Colorado Boulevard and Yosemite Street. More than a dozen restaurants participate in this smorgasbord of food. Travel up and down this section of Colfax to sample everything from Morroccan to Mexican and beyond. Shuttles are available, but you can also bike or walk. Tickets are $20 in advance at King Soopers or online; $25 the day of the event from participating restaurants. Part of the proceeds go to the revitalization effort along this corridor. Great for the adventurous eater.
Wednesday, June 10, 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm: Beat the Recession at Little Tykes Trading Post, 15250 East Hampden Avenue, Aurora. As if buying on consignment weren’t already a smart idea, this place is having a special night to encourage you to do it. The first 35 in the door receive a gift bag with even more deals, so RSVP to 720- 870-7191.
Sundays in June (except June 31), 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm: Firehouse Kitchen at the Denver Firefighters Museum, 1325 Tremont Place, Denver. This program is designed to teach kitchen safety, but you get to enjoy firehouse treats at the same time. We all know what great chefs those firefighters are! Take your favorite fire engine fanatic for a little afternoon getaway. $5 per class, or $15 for the 4 week session. Another session runs in July.
Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays, now through August 28, 10:00 am – 12:00 pm: Tebo Train Rides on the Pearl Street Mall, Boulder. Let your little ones (10 and younger, please) hop on the train and get a little tour of the Pearl Street Mall—two whole blocks of it. Adults can ride with their child. Catch the train at the Wells Fargo Bank in the 1200 block of the Pearl Street Mall.
New Museum Exhibits and Such
The Little Star That Could at the Gates Planetarium at the Museum of Nature and Science, 2001 Colorado Blvd., Denver. This animated program is geared toward younger children, and explores the life of a star. Separate ticket prices apply. The Gates Planetarium has several great shows going on right now; check the website for more information, along with show times and ticket prices.
Through September 7: Junior Jobsite at the Children’s Museum, 2121 Children’s Museum Drive, Denver. A construction site just for the little ones, complete with scaled-down hard hats and construction tools and materials. Let the little ones explore and learn about electricity, plumbing, and all the other intricacies that allow us to live in comfort. Regular hours and admission fees apply.
Globeology at the Wildlife Experience, 10035 South Peoria Street, Parker. 720-488-3300. This new exhibit is really cool. It definitely takes dioramas to the next level. Interactive, computerized, animatronics. . . need I say more? My kids (those who can form complete sentences, anyway) kept saying “Mom, look at this! Mom, look!” all the way through the entire 25,000 square feet of educational extravagance. Regular hours and admission fees apply.
Theater and Music
Through September 5: Annie at Boulder’s Dinner Theatre, 5501 Arapahoe Avenue, Boulder. The Broadway musical you love. . . with dinner! Special matinees added for families, so you can bring the little ones and you can all leave singing “It’s a hard knock life. . .” Check the website for show times and ticket prices.
Through June 28: Mouse Tales at the Denver Puppet Theater, 3156 West 38th Avenue, Denver. 303-458-6446
Show Times: Thursdays and Fridays, 10:00 am and 1:00 pm, Saturdays and Sundays, 1:00 pm Doors open 30 minutes prior to show time. Tickets are $6.00. Group discounts and discounted ticket packs available.
Shows at the Denver Puppet Theater are appropriate for children ages 3 and older.
*Please note: Times change during the summer months. Check before you go!
The Denver Puppet Theater is a funky little hidden gem in North Denver. Puppets truly are art, and take on a life of their own (but not in a creepy, Poltergeisty way). Definitely worth a visit.
Thursday, June 11 (and every Thursday night during the summer) Music on the Streets in Old Town Arvada, Old Wadsworth and Grandview Avenue. Stroll through Old Town Arvada as live music plays. A lovely way to spend a warm spring evening.
Farmers’ (and other) Markets
Saturday, June 6, 8:00 am – 3:00 pm: A Paris Street Market, Aspen Grove, 7301 South Santa Fe, Littleton. Vintage, antique, and just plain cool. That’s the sort of stuff you’ll find at this funky little market down south. It only happens on the first Saturday of the month through October, so don’t miss your chance to find that cool objet that will make all your friends drool.
The Farmers’ Markets have been rearranged by region, to improve your shopping experience. Additional markets open in June.
Saturday, 8:00 am – 1:00 pm. Cherry Creek Fresh Market, 1st Avenue and University (in the Bed, Bath, and Beyond parking lot), Denver. www.coloradofreshmarkets.com
Sunday, 9:00 am – 1:00 pm. City Park Esplanade Fresh Market, East Colfax Avenue and Columbine Street, Denver. www.coloradofreshmarkets.com.
Wednesday, 9:00 am – 1:00. Cherry Creek Fresh Market, 1st Avenue and University (in the Bed, Bath, and Beyond parking lot), Denver. www.coloradofreshmarkets.com.
Saturday, 10:00 am – 2:00 pm. Highlands Ranch Farmers’ Market, Highlands Ranch Town Center, 9288 Dorchester Street, Highlands Ranch. www.denverfarmersmarket.com
Saturday, 8:00 am – 1:00 pm. Northfield Stapelton, Northfield Stapleton Shopping Center, I-70 and Quebec. www.laughingdogfarms.net
Saturday, 8:00 am – 2:00 pm. Boulder Farmer’s Market, Downtown Boulder on 13th Street between Canyon and Arapahoe 303-910-2236.
Sunday, 10:00 am – 3:00 pm. Orchards Farmers’ Market, 144th Avenue and I-25. www.laughingdogfarms.net
Saturday, 8:00 am – 2:00 pm. Metro Denver Farmers’ Market, Southwest Plaza SE Parking Lot, Wadsworth and Bowles, Littleton. www.denverfarmersmarket.com
Saturday, 9:00 am – 1:00 pm. Southlands, E-470 and Smoky Hill Road, in the Southlands Shopping Center, Aurora. www.laughingdogfarms.net. This market opens this weekend, and will then be open Saturdays, 9:00 – 1:00 and Thursdays, 10:00 – 1:00.
Sunday, 8:00 am – 1:00 pm. Parker Farmer’s Market, Northwest corner of Parker and Main Street, in the Crossroads Shopping Center. www.laughingdogfarms.net. Runs through October.
Thursday, 10:00 am – 1:00 pm: Southlands, E-470 and Smoky Hill Road, in the Southlands Shopping Center, Aurora. www.laughingdogfarms.net.
To be considered for inclusion in our weekly event picks, be sure to email Jennifer at email@example.com