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32 of Denver’s best family events this week

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There are plenty of events this week include free days, Martin Luther King Mr. Marade, a Pirate Party and more. See our event calendar for full listings.

 Budweiser Clydesdales Appearance at Anheuser-Busch Brewery & Tour Center
Jan 9 – 21
The Budweiser Clydesdales will return home to the Budweiser Brewery Experience in Fort Collins from Wednesday, Jan. 9 until Monday, Jan. 21. Guests will have the opportunity to get up close with the Big Game icons in their stables every Wednesday through Sunday throughout their visit. On Sunday, Jan. 13 and Sunday, Jan. 20, the Tour Center will also offer Clydesdale Camera Days for visitors to take a photo with one of the “gentle giants.”

National Western Stock Show & Rodeo at the National Western Complex
Jan 12 – 27
Bulls and broncs, cowboys and cowgirls – rodeo’s biggest superstars perform amazing feats of athleticism during each performance of this professional rodeo. Showcasing the elegance and athleticism of the world’s top reining horses, the hard-hitting competition of Denver Professional Bull Riders Chute-Out and the Mexican Rodeo Extravaganza, this event has something for everyone.

Free Day at the Plains Conservation Center
Jan 17, 9:00 am – 5:00 pm
Free Days occur throughout the year, thanks to funding from the Scientific and Cultural Facilities District (SCFD). No tickets are needed for admission to Free Days. Free Days are for regular Gardens hours only and do not include ticketed events.

Denver Nuggets vs. Chicago Bulls at the Pepsi Center
Jan 17, 7:00 pm – 10:00 pm
The Denver Nuggets face off against the Chicago Bulls.

University of Denver Women’s Basketball vs. North Dakota State at the University of Denver/Ritchie Center-Magness Arena
Jan 17, 7:00 pm – 9:30 pm
The University of Denver Women’s Basketball team takes on North Dakota State on Thursday, January 17 in the Hamilton Gym.

FAC Museum Free Day at the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center
Jan 18, 10:00 am – 5:00 pm
The goal of Museum Free Days is to provide access to the FAC’s general admission offerings to the widest possible audiences in the Pikes Peak region. Museum Free Days, as a part of the FAC’s other free and reduced-fee programs (such as scholarship programs at Bemis, and special military discounts through the Blue Star Theatres and Blue Star Museums programs), make an important impact in our community.

Free Days at the Denver Zoo
Jan 18– 19
Gates open 10 a.m.- 4 p.m. Grounds close at 5 p.m.

WOMXN’s March on Denver at Civic Center Park
Jan 19,  9:00 am – 12:00 pm
The day after the 2016 election was memorable for many women in the world, but here in Colorado, it was especially meaningful for three community members.  Karen Hinkel, Cheetah McClellan, and Jessica Rogers had begun organizing a Women’s March independently and were put in touch with each other via the Women’s March on Washington – Colorado.

Pirate Party at Southridge Recreation Center
Jan 19, 10:30 am – 12:00 pm
Ahoy Matey!  Join us for a morning of walking the plank with a Pirate and enjoy snacks, beverages, and a small token to take home. Each child must be accompanied by a parent or guardian and each participant must purchase a ticket (children and adults).

Colorado Avalanche vs. Los Angeles Kings at Pepsi Center
Jan 19, 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm
Colorado Avalanche vs. Los Angeles Kings at the Pepsi Center.

Longmont Symphony Family Concert at Vance Brand Civic Auditorium
Jan 19, 4:00 – 5:00 pm
Elliot Moore, conductor with the Young Artist Competition Winner.

University of Denver Gymnastics Meet at the University of Denver/Ritchie Center-Magness Arena
Jan 19, 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm
The University of Denver Gymnastics team takes on Central Michigan, Sacremento State, and Texas Woman’s on Saturday, January 19 in the Hamilton Gym.

Denver Nuggets vs. Cleveland Cavaliers at the Pepsi Center
Jan 19, 8:00 pm – 10:30 pm
The Denver Nuggets face off against the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Colorado Mammoth vs. Calgary Roughnecks at the Pepsi Center
Jan 20, 1:00 – 3:30 pm
They don’t stay young forever, so treat the kids – and the youthful at heart – to an exciting afternoon at the Loud House. This rare Sunday matinee will be filled with kid-themed fun, as the Mammoth turn game entertainment over to their youngest fans. Kids will be on the mic during pregame introductions, in the TV booth for the game broadcast, participating in every contest and more.

University of Denver Men’s Basketball vs. Oral Roberts at University of Denver/Ritchie Center-Magness Arena
Jan 20, 4:00 – 7:00 pm
The University of Denver Men’s Basketball team takes on Oral Roberts on Sunday, January 20 at Magness Arena.

Dinner and a Movie: Oceans 3D at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science
Jan 20, 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Dive into the science of the ocean! After dinner, join us for waterlogged activities make your own deep sea creature and immerse yourself in an after-hours screening of the IMAX film Oceans: Our Blue Planet 3D.                          

Free Day at the Denver Botanic Gardens York Street
Jan 21, 9:00 am – 5:00 pm
Free Days occur throughout the year, thanks to funding from the Scientific and Cultural Facilities District (SCFD). No tickets are needed for admission to Free Days. Free Days are for regular Gardens hours only and do not include ticketed events.

Free Entrance Days at the National Parks
Jan 21, 9:00 am – 5:00 pm
Come experience the national parks! On five days in 2019, all National Park Service sites that charge an entrance fee will offer free admission to everyone. Mark your calendar for these entrance fee–free dates in 2019:

The Marade at the Civic Center Park
Jan 21, 9:00 – 11:00 am
Join fellow marchers and parade fans in this year’s Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Marade. Participants will congregate at the Dr. King memorial site in City Park at 9 a.m. The Marade begins at 10 a.m. with participants marching together to Civic Center Park, where cake will be served. The Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. yearbook will be signed again this year at the Colorado State Capitol Building, and program festivities are expected to end at 1 p.m.

Colorado Avalanche vs. Nashville Predators at the Pepsi Center
Jan 21, 1:00 – 3:00 pm
Colorado Avalanche vs. Nashville Predators at Pepsi Center.

MLK Jr. African American Heritage Rodeo of Champions at the Historic Denver Coliseum
Jan 21, 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Coinciding with the National Western Stock Show & Rodeo, the Martin Luther King Jr. African American Heritage Rodeo of Champions at the Historic Denver Coliseum aims to show how black cowboys and cowgirls impacted the West throughout history. The Rodeo begins at 6 p.m.

Save-the-Date (and book now!)

Mountaineering Weekend at YMCA of the Rockies Estes Park
February 15-19, 2019 
Mountaineering Weekend at YMCA of the Rockies features guided snowshoe hikes & winter ecology explorations in Rocky Mountain National Park, backcountry ski meet-ups, ice climbing lessons, winter survival and avalanche awareness presentations, and demos by popular mountaineering equipment brands. Whether it’s your first time out or your family has camped many times, this special weekend has activities and excursions for every level and all ages. Children will enjoy story times, kid-lead hikes and fun snow activities, in addition to ongoing YMCA of the Rockies activities such as roller-skating, ice skating, arts & crafts, etc.

Ongoing General Events

Ice Castles in Dillon, Colorado
December 21, 2018 – February 2, 2019  
Each year, Ice Castles brings fairy tales to life for hundreds of thousands of families across North America. Since 2011, Ice Castles has been dedicated to creating an experience that will live on long after the ice melts.

The Crystal Ice Festival at the Museum of Outdoor Arts
Dec. 15, 2018 – March 15, 2019
Deep in the winter covered forest atop a high mountain is the magical Crystal Ice Castle. Where winter wishes are sent to be considered by the Frost Queen Andorra. Your wish may be granted by the Frost Queen, but those that are not are buried deep within the ice of the castle for future consideration. A found object installation of old glass, cut crystal and acrylic. Including objects such as vases, candlesticks, goblets, bowls and more. Embellished with crystals, beads, rhinestones and silver filigree.

Once Upon a Playground at Fort Collins Museum of Discovery
January 29 – May 26
In Fort Collins Museum of Discovery’s special traveling exhibition, Once Upon a Playground, take an interactive journey from the past to the present… and beyond. Share in the nostalgia for playgrounds form decades past with dozens of historic images while you celebrate playgrounds of Fort Collins present and future. We invite you to touch, to see, to smell, to listen, to climb, to build – and to experience this interactive exhibition that is sure to enliven all of your senses.

Wonderspace Exhibition
Nov. 2, 2018 – Jan. 31, 2019
This free exhibition by architects, designers and engineers on places and spaces, ideas and notions that have inspired wonder in their work.

Above and Beyond at Wings Over the Rockies Air & Space Museum
Sept. 29 – Jan 13, 2019
ABOVE AND BEYOND celebrates the power of innovation to make dreams take flight. This traveling aerospace exhibition features: immersive simulations, interactive design challenges, iconic historical touchstones, visionary concepts for the future, and inspiring stories from game-changing innovators, past and present.

Big Bird’s Adventure + Black Holes: The Other Side of Infinity at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science
Nov. 9, 2018 – Dec. 12, 2019
In this Museum-produced show, zip through other-worldly wormholes, experience the creation of the Milky Way Galaxy, and witness the violent death of a star and subsequent birth of a black hole. Mathematical equations, cutting-edge science, and Einstein’s theories fill in holes along the way, providing the most complete picture yet on this mysterious phenomenon. Also, One World, One Sky is a brilliant spectacle of light and color that follows Sesame Street’s Big Bird and Elmo as they explore the night sky with Hu Hu Zhu, a new friend from China.

Downtown Denver Rink at Skyline Park
Nov. 20, 2018 – Feb. 2, 2019
The Downtown Denver Rink at Skyline Park is the place for fun this holiday season. The Downtown Denver Partnership invites you and your family to join us for a winter full of skating at Skyline Park, located at 16th & Arapahoe in Downtown Denver.

Hidden Universe 3D at CU South Denver
Oct. 27, 2018 – Jan. 25, 2019
Hidden Universe 3D takes audiences on a breathtaking tour of deep space in the cinematic medium that does it best. Our universe is brought to life on the Giant Screen with unprecedented clarity through mesmerizing, real images captured by Hubble and the world’s most powerful telescopes. In an age where space tourism has become reality, the film offers an inspiring story of human endeavor from a prime seat with a magnificent point-of-view.

Denver Art Museum
There are several family-friendly exhibits at the DAM including Stampede: Animals in Art on view at the museum through May 19, 2019.  A Walk in the Woods is still on view, which coincides with Stampede, and includes animal-themed artmaking activities and after their summer break, Foxy & Shmoxy: Art Detectives, are back.  Children have been really loving the gallery games and book in the exhibition Ganesha: The Playful Protector. Their Learning & Engagment department created a children’s book specially to be used while visiting this exhibition with children, and don’t miss the fun new interactive installation by local artist Nicole Banowetz, The Incubation Effect. Go to for more information.

Images from the Tracks at the Colorado Railroad Museum
January 28, 2019 – January 5, 2020
One of the foremost photographers to photograph the great American West, William Henry Jackson’s images had an immense influence on the public’s perception of the American West. A portion of those images were captured here in Colorado as Jackson traveled throughout the west by rail. This exhibit not only showcases the Museum’s collection of Jackson photographs but provides visitors with the opportunity to visit the rail car he traveled and lived in – the Denver & Rio Grande Western business car – the Rico.

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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