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30 family-friendly events in Denver this week

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It’s the weekend of festivals with the Unicorn Festival, Cherry Blossom Festival and the Colorado Tiny House Festival. See our event calendar for additional details!

Summer at the Center: Aphrodite’s Switchboard at the Arvada Center for the Arts & Humanities
June 21 – 22
Due to popular demand, Wonderbound is excited to present a special encore weekend of Aphrodite’s Switchboard, the celebrated collaboration with Chimney Choir featuring all original music.
Aphrodite is a switchboard operator who has the power to control the love lives of mortals with a single phone connection. Her mission, with the help of her steadfast companion Hermes, is to bring love and connection back into a drab world. But beware crossed wires and best-laid plans, as meddling may have unintended consequences and the goddess herself may become ensnared in the very cords she wields.

Colorado Tiny House Festival at Adams County Fairground
June 22 – 24
 The Colorado Tiny House Festival is returning for its second year – bigger and better than ever! Doubling in size, the Festival will feature a uniquely diverse assortment of small living structures from tiny houses on wheels to container homes, a semi-trailer conversion, schoolies, van conversions, teardrops, yurts and more. Hosted on the sprawling grounds of the Adams County Fairgrounds, the Colorado Tiny House Festival will blend the spirit of the tiny living movement with the most up-to-date information on going tiny, simplifying your life, minimalistic living, and living greener. In addition to tours of nearly 40 unique small living structures, attendees will also enjoy expert speaker presentations, hands-on workshops, a product and service marketplace, food, drink, and more.

South Platte RiverFest
June 23
Don’t miss the South Platte RiverFest on Saturday, June 23 at Confluence Park. Come join me no matter if you a re a beginner paddlers or seasoned expert. The event is free to the public and, among other activities, will feature a wide range of Red Paddle Co boards, including beginner boards, yoga boards, touring boards and racing boards. Everyone will get a chance to talk to the experts, learn to SUP and see for themselves why Red Paddle Co is leading the inflatable SUP revolution. The demo events will also feature the 22-foot-long, four-person, Red Dragon Race Board.

Colorado Rockies vs. Miami Marlins
June 22 – 24
Enjoy exciting major league baseball and come out to this series between the Colorado Rockies and the Miami Marlins.

National Pollinator Week at Butterfly Pavilion
June 23, 9:00 am – 5:00 pm
 This is a great week to discover the enormous abilities of the world’s tiny superheroes! This pollinator celebration is included with General Admission and features animal and plant encounters, a milkweed seed giveaway, guided garden explorations, crafts, games, beeswax candle-making (Saturday only) AND a new 21+ only Sommelier-led honey tasking and food paring .  With the recent news of poisoned bees in Boulder, this is a perfect week to learn how to protect and conserve these important pollinators.  Visitor info can be found at

Colorado Renaissance Festival
June 23 – 24
Flashback to the 16th Century and journey through a medieval city. Enjoy full-armor jousting, tasty turkey legs, music and a marketplace featuring more than 200 artisans.
Saturdays & Sundays only

Free Day at the Golden History Museum & Park
June 23, 10:00 am – 5:00 pm
Grand reopening! See something new on every visit at Golden History Museum & Park. Check out 1800s cabins and a one-room school at the History Park. View real Golden history in our digital photos. Get a grasp of Golden’s fascinating timeline.

Golden History Museum Grand Reopening at the Golden History Museum & Park
June 23, 10:00 am – 5:00 pm
Celebrate the 80th anniversary of Golden History Museum with a grand reopening and free admission from 10 am – 4:30 pm on Saturday, June 23, 2018. See new programming spaces, a research center, a hands-on gallery for families with young children, and dynamic new exhibits that highlight the City’s collection of historic objects. Membership – membership pays for itself with just a few programs for your family.

Sand in the City at Ralston Park
June 23– 24
The two-day festival offers fun for the entire family, including an amazing Kids Zone, featuring tons of fun and FREE activities for kids of all ages including giant sandboxes with buried treasure, face painters, interactive games, make-n- take crafts area and much more! There will also be a variety of bouncy castles, inflatables, climbing walls and bungees available for a per-ticket cost.

Cherry Blossom Festival
June 23 – 24
Fans of taiko drumming, teriyaki chicken, sake and Japanese artwork and wares won’t want to miss this year’s Cherry Blossom Festival – “Sakura Matsuri” in Japanese. The festival celebrates the Japanese heritage and culture through live entertainment, food and drink, a marketplace and informative exhibits and demonstrations.

South Platte Riverfest
June 23, 11:00 am – 8:00 pm
After years of construction, the 6th annual South Platte RiverFest will be returning to the water! Try out a stand up paddleboard in the Cherry Creek or take a kayak down the boat chute in the South Platte River. Take a break on Shoemaker Plaza and listen to live music.

Unicorn Festival at Clement Park
June 23 @ 11:00 am – 6:00 pm
The Unicorn Festival is back this summer! A celebration of the imagination and all things mythical, the magical day will be filled with Unicorns, meet and greets with mermaids and beloved Princesses, wandering fairies, an Aladdin inspired marketplace with belly dancers, and much, much more! This is an enchanted event for the young and the young and heart, for families, cosplayers and anyone who loves imagination and fun! Interact with fairy tales and become part of the magic!

Rugby League Football International Challenge at  Sports Authority Field at Mile High
June 23, 12:00 pm – 2:00 pm
Experience the world famous haka, one of the most iconic pre-game rituals in sport, then Witness some of the world’s toughest athletes in 80-minutes of nonstop, bone-jarring action! The first-ever Rugby League Football International Challenge is a double-header featuring #2-ranked New Zealand versus #3-ranked England. This historic event will be staged at Sports Authority Field at Mile High, home of the 3-time Super Bowl champion Denver Broncos, and is the first step on the road to the 2025 Rugby League World Cup in the United States and Canada.

The Colorado Horse Park Grand Prix Series at Colorado Horse Park
June 23, 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm
Looking for something new to do with your family this summer?  Come on down to the Colorado Horse Park, Colorado’s premier equestrian facility, located in Parker, Colorado.   Watch the nation’s top equestrians compete in the weekly Summer in the Rockies Grand Prix. Gates open at 4, with competition commencing at 5 PM each Saturday, June 9 – July 21.  Parking and general admission are free. Bring a blanket to sit on the grass and enjoy our cash bar, hospitality, vendors, and views.

Colorado Rapids vs. Minnesota United FC at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park
June 23, 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Come and see the exciting match between the Colorado Rapids and Minnesota United FC at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park.

SummerFest 2018: Mission Earth at Multiple venues around Fort Collins, CO
June 24– July 10
This summer’s festival takes a deep and thoughtful look at climate change and its impact on the planet by bringing together music, the visual arts and science for four weeks of concerts. lectures, films, art exhibitions and STEAM-based educational events for all ages. Mission Earth is dedicated to the life and work of the late astronaut and scientist, Dr. Piers Sellers OBE. With more than 25 events across four weeks, Off the Hook Arts SummerFest 2018 will host a wide variety of performances, lectures, and classes. At the center of the Festival’s many highlights, are world premieres by composer and Artistic Director of Off the Hook Arts, Bruce Adolphe and Artist-in-Residence Kate Doyle.

Kids Film Series: Finding Dory
June 26, 10:00 am – 2:00 pm
This summer, cool off in the Stewart Auditorium with a bag of popcorn in a place where your don’t have to worry if your kiddo cries in the middle of the movie. Your ticket gets you $1 off the hands-on treehouses exhibit too! Buy tickets ahead; these movies sell out!

Ongoing Events and Exhibits

Summer in the City
June 1-August 1
The city of Aurora, Colorado invites you to join us this summer for some FREE, fun entertainment. It’s a great way to get the kids outside this summer. This event just for kids offers fun throughout the summer. There will be free, healthy snacks, inflatables, board and field games, an opportunity to try your hand at golf and the gymnastics team will be onsite as well. The library will be there with fun crafts as well as the Aurora History Museum. Come discover all the other programs that the Parks, Recreation and Open Space Department offers.

Happy City: Art for the People” is a six-week (May 18-June 30) citywide art intervention produced by The Denver Theatre District at Denver Union Station’s Plaza and Great Hall. The art instillation sites are located throughout Denver and includes streets, alleyways, billboards, video screens and Union Station, among other locations.

Play Ball! at the History Colorado Center
April 7-September 30, 2018
See classic baseball artifacts—from Babe Ruth to the Blake Street Bombers. Treasured memorabilia and iconic photographs bring the past to life through stories that begin on the ball field and echo through American history. Size up your hand against Babe Ruth’s. Find the nails Ty Cobb used to hold his favorite bat together, and admire the glove flashed by Willie Mays to make some of the game’s most memorable catches. See the uniform Joe DiMaggio wore in his final World Series and a receipt for roses he sent to Marilyn Monroe.

Dead Sea Scrolls at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science
March 16-Sept. 3
Dead Sea Scrolls is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see authentic Dead Sea Scrolls, ancient manuscripts that include the oldest known biblical documents dating back over 2,000 years. The scrolls will be dramatically presented within a massive exhibit case featuring carefully regulated individual chambers, along with the full English translation.

Denver Puzzling Adventure at Civic Center Park
Puzzling Adventures™ are a cross between a scavenger hunt, an informative self-guided tour, and The Amazing Race®. Each adventure consists of a series of locations that you are guided to where you are required to answer questions or solve puzzles to receive your next instruction.

Eyes On at Denver Art Museum
December 3, 2017 – July 8, 2018, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Xiaoze Xie has a lifelong passion for books. In his worldview, books are conveyers of prestige and signifiers of collective cultural knowledge: repositories of historical meaning, cultural conflict, and political strife. For Eyes On: Xiaoze Xie, the artist has created still-life paintings of books, videos, and installations based on banned and forbidden books in China.

Past the Tangled Present at the Denver Art Museum
November 14, 2017 – October 28, 2018, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
This interactive and immersive installation by Denver artist Jaime Molina was born of imagination and the joy of discovery. Step into a different world where the paintings on the wall flow into 3-D objects that Molina created for the space. Sit on boxes painted with faces and play in a garden of fabricated cacti.

Creatures of Light at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science 
February 23- June 10, 2018
They light up our lives, but have you ever wondered how? Delve into the world of living things that blink, glow, flash, and flicker, from tiny fireflies to strange creatures in the ocean depths. The new exhibition Creatures of Light explores the mysterious world of bioluminescence and biofluorescence, visible light emitted by living things. This enlightening experience features larger-than-life models, engaging immersive environments, fun activities, and real animals, fungi, and minerals that get their glow on.

Colors of East Africa
Jan. 20-May 19, 2018
Colors of East Africa, an exceptional showcase of eight countries along the Great Rift Valley, continues through May 19 at the Global Village Museum of Arts and Cultures. The exhibit features art and artifacts on loan from over 40 collectors and international travelers in Northern Colorado. Many items reflect the intersection between the wildlife and the indigenous cultures, such as a loin cloth fashioned from fish vertebrae and a Maasai shield & weaponry.

AI Weiwei: Circle of Animals/Zodiac Heads
Oct. 18, 2017–Oct. 17, 2018
The 12 bronze heads of Ai Weiwei’s Circle of Animals represent the 12 animals of the traditional Chinese zodiac. See it for free at Civic Center Park!

Zoom In: The Centennial State in 100 Objects
Nov. 21, 2017–Dec. 31, 2018
History Colorado created a brand-new space, the Tim Schultz Gallery, to house this 3,700-square-foot exhibit of 100 objects, each of which had a role in shaping the history and culture of Colorado.

Pixelated: Sculpture by Mike Whiting
April 28–Sept. 23, 2018
Mike Whiting’s geometric sculptures at the Denver Botanic Gardens also represent the intersection of two distinct visual styles: 8-bit pixel graphics—which have enjoyed a recent resurgence in games like Minecraft—and minimalist sculpture. Technological limitations in early video games like Pac-Man and Space Invaders reduced the graphics to simplified shapes, while the minimalist art movement created artworks that purposely lacked detail. Pixelated investigates the opposite intents of these two artistic approaches that result in a strikingly similar visual outcome.

Peak-A-Boo Play
Peak-A-Boo Play launched in spring 2018 in The Hangar at Stanley Marketplace. The space is a clean, safe, pop-up experience offering drop-in, open play for kiddos three years of age and under. Parents/caretakers must be present and will have opportunities to socialize, grab coffee and take a breather while kids explore over 500-square-feet of mats, plush tumbling gear, sensory toys, bubbles, music and more. Summer admission is $10 per child with sibling discounts available. Hours of operation are Monday and Thursday mornings, 9 to noon; however, schedule is subject to change/expand and will be regularly posted to website and social channels.

Amber Johnson
Author: Amber Johnson

Amber is the founder and editor of Mile High Mamas, travel writer and former columnist for The Denver Post. She is a passionate community builder and loves the outdoors. She has two awesome teens and is happily married to a man obsessed with growing The Great Pumpkin.

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