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Digital Binging — Is It A Problem?

Understandably most young people are on screens a ton right now. Thank goodness there are all sorts of great things made possible via screen time. 

But, what are the potential costs of loads of certain screen time activities on their brain health and mood?  Are there ways to implement changes to their tech time that might help them feel better — even while keeping the same total amount of screen time?

Clifford Sussman, MD, is a psychiatrist for children and adolescents in Washington, DC, and he is well known for his work in treating those with problematic internet and video game use. He and I have presented together at the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Conference and have shared ideas over the years.  

Sussman and I were talking last week and I realized now would be a good time to share with you the brain model and action steps that he often teaches his clients. No matter if you put his suggestions into practice, this is a great science topic to discuss with youth in your life. 

Sussman talks about “digital binging” — many hours on end, without any real breaks doing things such as video games, social media, youtube, shows, etc.  This leads to what he calls the “residual effect” on the brain with prolonged use of such activities. 

The residual effect of the brain is caused by changes in the physiology of the brain. 

Keep reading about the reward center where dopamine is released and what you should know about instant gratification activities. 

-Delaney Ruston, MD
Screenagers’ Filmmaker

Skincare Basics for a Not So Basic Father’s Day

Dads are awesome but men aren’t great at shopping for themselves. This Father’s Day, help the dad in your life prioritize his skincare with basics he should be using every day to keep skin healthy.

Theraderm’s Father’s Day set keeps things simple so that there’s no room for confusion or error. This bundle features three must-have products. No frills – just good, clean, protected skin. 

  1. Theraderm Cleansing Wash: What dad doesn’t love an all-in-one? An unscented, non-irritating cleanser, the Cleansing Wash can be used on the face, body, and even hair making it a great all-in-one. This product penetrates all the way to the center of the hard keratin in hair, helping get beards/hair under control.
  2. Fruit Acid Exfoliant: This lactic acid toner makes exfoliating easy, and not only keeps skin looking young but also helps combat permanent sun damage as well. “Increased exfoliation rate lowers the risk of having the buildup of pre-cancerous epidermal cells on the skin,” shares Theraderm founder and biochemist James Beckman, MD. Apply this product within the first 6 hours of UV exposure and you can prevent burn symptoms like pain, redness and blistering, thereby avoiding long-term skin damage. Perfect for men, this exfoliator also helps hairs from folding back into skin, keeping ingrown hairs at bay.
  3. Platinum Protection Facial Sunscreen 43: This oil-free SPF absorbs into the skin quickly and goes on undetected without pilling or stinging the eyes, making wearing sunscreen an enjoyable experience. The best part? 43 is the magic number for broad-spectrum UV protection because it contains the exact amount of active ingredient needed to trap harmful UVA/UVB rays, making sure dad stays healthy and ready for any activity.

This special Father’s Day Bundle normally retails for $105. Please use CODE: BLOGMOM21 from June 7 – July 31 to enjoy 15% off, with a special price point $89.25. Go to theraderm.net/specials/father-s-day-special

In partnership with Mile High Mamas. 

In Case You Missed It:

Father’s Day in Denver: 30 events and activities Dad will love

 

Gretchen’s Grabs for June: Smores kit, must-watch TV and ruffles of summer!

June is summer! Cookouts, pools, longer days, movies outside and concerts!  

Table Mountain Farms Smores Kit. Years ago, when my kids were little I told them I was making gourmet peanut butter and jelly sandwiches when I made them on wheat bread, organic almond butter and sugar-free jam. But the Table Mountain Farms brings gourmet to a more adult level with kid-size fun! The s’mores kit is complete with artisan-made Graham crackers, homemade marshmallows and the coups de grace is the Table Mountain Farms Dark Chocolate Goat’s Milk Chocolate caramel.

Ruffles of Summer. I recently found a shirt that might work for both my daughter and myself! Eeep. Ruffles are really in this summer and usually, a well-placed ruffle can hide the parts I don’t want to be shown off (read: my belly). The Women’s Frill Smocked Crop tank top tie should strap vest shirt on Amazon is perfect for dressing up or down!

Television. There are several shows that return this summer. You still have time to go binge the first season(s) to get caught up. Summer has rarely been a time that we see great news show come on TV (or at least I never noticed it). I prefer to be outside most days to sitting inside watching TV.

·         Yellowstone – Yellowstone is a drama series that follows the Dutton Family and their ranch set in Montana as they deal with others encroaching on their lands. The new season is set to begin again on Father’s Day. June 20 on Paramount Network.

·         Loki – If your kids love the Marvel Universe, I am told that Loki on Disney+ starting on June 9. Starring Tom Hiddleston and Owen Wilson as they try to clean up a messy timeline of anomalies created when they travel through a Time Variance Authority.

·         Kevin Can F**k Himself – Annie Murphy (who you may recognize from Schitt’s Creek) stars as a housewife who feels like she’s on a multi-camera comedy when she’s at home with her husband.

·         Luca – Streaming on Disney+ you can travel to Italy with Pixar’s newest film, Luca on June 18. Luca adventures with his new friend Alberto all while hiding the secret that they are both sea monsters from below the water’s surface. (My daughter said it is like the bro’ film of Little Mermaid).  

Rodan & Fields Lash Boost. The summer is nearly the only time I will leave the house without a dab of mascara on, especially if I am planning to head over to the reservoir to paddleboard. But several months back I started using Rodan & Fields Lash Boost (I don’t sell it  – but if you want to get it, email me and I can send you my friend’s email address). This stuff really works making my lashes longer and fuller without the mascara!

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. While clicking these links won’t cost you extra money, they help us keep this site up and running. See our disclosure policy. 

You won’t want to miss these Father’s Day deals for Denver dads

Happy Father’s Day! This is a full week for me as both my dad’s birthday as well as Father’s Day land on the same week. I intend to do some grilling with him – and maybe go fishing as well. What do you do to celebrate your dad? We have rounded up some AWESOME dad’s day deals here for you.

Amazon Prime Day. Amazon held Prime Day in October last year, but this year the day of savings is set for June 21 & 22. Best deals will be on Amazon products like the Fire Tablet and smart products (speakers and streaming sticks). While we don’t have a lot of detail on it yet – Walmart and Target are intending to host similar competing deals.

 Bath and Body Works. The semi-annual sale at Bath and Body Works is on! Score up to 75% off some of your favorites. Some of the best stuff sells out right away – so hustle on over for great deals. I love to stock up on favorites or get some extras to have for little gifts at the ready.

 Taco Bell Rockies Promotion. About once a week, my family and I head over to a Taco Bell to take advantage of the tacos promotion. Whenever the Rockies score seven or more runs (win or lose), the next day between 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. you can get 4 tacos for just $2. You can also multiply that (get 8 tacos for $4).

 Wells Fargo Rockies Tickets. If you bank at Wells Fargo, you can get two for one special in the Club Level for Rockies Tickets! On a hot day – having that air-conditioned space is fantastic. And this is a great way to take dad out to the ball game.

 Dairy Block Hosting FREE Fit + Rock again. Through June on each Tuesday (June 15, 22, & 29), The FIIT Co. classes in the Alley at the Dairy Block, are just $9 – with proceeds benefitting March of Dimes Colorado. You will experience high-energy, high-intensity, high-focus to push yourself to new levels while training for a life of adventure. To register, please visit https://dairyblock.com/events

Father’s Day. The time to celebrate dad is June 20. We have found some of the best deals in town!

  • Grand Hyatt Vail. Celebrate Dad at Grand Hyatt Vail’s Father’s Day BBQ. Dads will have the opportunity to enjoy a whiskey tasting while casting on Gore Creek with fly fishing tips and tricks from valley-favorite outfitter, Vail Valley Anglers. Culinary offerings from Executive Chef Pierson Shields will feature a modern twist on the classic American BBQ. Snack Creekside on grilled oysters with chorizo brown butter, pulled jerk chicken, mango salsa, crispy onion River Bear Burger, River Bear Texas Hot Links and specialty chipotle mango ribs. Grand Hyatt Vail’s Father’s Day BBQ will be open to all June 20th from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. Accommodations can be booked through grandhyattvail.com or by calling 970-479-7014. To secure Father’s Day BBQ reservations, visit www.opentable.com/r/gessner-vail.
  • YMCA of the Rockies. Celebrate Dad this Father’s Day at YMCA of the Rockies Estes Park Center! Spacious lodge rooms are still available at $159/night (including two free breakfasts per night!) with common areas perfect for families and friends traveling together. Special Father’s Day activities include kickball and whiffle ball games, knots lessons, trivia, campfires and cookouts, and more. Activities are included with lodging fees. 
  • Boyer’s Coffee. Is your dad a coffee aficionado? Treat him to coffee and score yourself 15% off when you use DAD15 at checkout at Boyers.com. Boyers is a Colorado company roasted right here in the Denver area!
  • Boulder Spirits Whiskey Tasting.  Boulder Spirits, makers of award-winning American single malt whiskey, bourbon, gin and vodka, has a new Boulder Spirits Adventure Kit, a whiskey tasting “experience in a box” containing 50 ml bottles of six different Boulder Spirits whiskeys. Kits will are available for $29.99 at all Colorado liquor stores and at Vapor Distillery in Boulder. The kit also includes a tasting sheet and QR code that brings tasters to a 30-minute video filmed at Vapor Distillery inviting them on a sampling tour of each whiskey. 
  •  Firehouse Subs. Celebrate dad with a free Firehouse Sub! Dads, guests and families get a free medium sub with purchase of medium or large sub, chips and a drink on Father’s Day. To access the coupon, click HERE
  • Keystone Bacon and Bourbon Festival. If your dad would like a little get away – consider one of my favorite festivals in the state…the Bacon and Bourbon festival in Keystone on June 26 & 27. Bourbon, Bacon and bands what is not to love?
  • Personalization Mall. Personalize a gift for dad when you order from PersonalizationMall.com and get 20% off when you use the code: PUNCHBOWL
  • Stanley Marketplace is not just an urban food hall, marketplace and small business collective; they are also a community center with 50+ independent and locally owned businesses. The independent restaurants, bars, boutiques, and services housed in the former aviation warehouse offer opportunities to spend time in the community every day, but on Father’s Day they have a few special happenings for dads – and non-dads. Food and Drink specials, Lego Train competition (at nearby Hyatt) and Parade of Playhouses are some of the highlights.
  • WholeSol. Get a two for one on bowls. Grab one for you and one for dad. Everything at Whole Sol is always 100% organic, sustainable, dairy- and gluten-free, clean and delicious, with smoothie bowls, toasts, wraps, snacks, and juices alongside a robust coffee program.
  • Smōk is celebrating dads and raise money for Conservation Colorado, whose mission is to protect Colorado for future generations. Executive Chef/Owner Bill Espiricueta is preparing a whole hog feast – fresh carved sandwiches all day for dad. Prizes, raffles, drink specials with Jack Daniels are also on tap; Prizes include a $500 gift card to Proud Souls BBQ & Provisions, and 100% of the $3 raffle tickets go 100% to Conservation Colorado.
  •  Barcelona Wine Bar Experience: four in-restaurant “experiences” designed to showcase the best of the restaurant in a VIP way, including the Charcutería Experience, the Spanish Wine Experience, a Wine & Tapas Experience, and a Paella Experience. Charcutería and Spanish Wine Experience are each $60 and the Wine & Tapas and Paella are $130.
  • Steuben’s Arvada has the ultimate feast for Father’s Day weekend, only, enjoy a half or full rack of dry rubbed, smoked BBQ ribs along with macaroni and cheese, and the house-made biscuit. The half rack is $16 and full rack is $23.

Harkins Theatres. For just $5, see some of the best Blockbusters of the past. There great movies left – as these specials go through June 25. For the line-up and to get tickets and showtimes visit Harkins.com.

Mile High Flea Market. Admission is free on the last Friday of each month this summer June 25, July 30 and August 27. Enjoy farmers market, stalls, shops, food and drinks as well as music. This might be a fun way for you and the family to enjoy a fun kickoff of a weekend!

 Tiny House Festival. Have you always wanted to see what all they can pack into a 50- square-foot home? A Lot! The Colorado Tiny House Festival will be July 10 & 11 in Brighton at the Riverdale Regional Park. Get your tickets now before June 15 for early bird pricing 

My evolution from a single guy to a Denver dad

You remember the first time a baby photo from your good friends popped up on Facebook. Wow. They made the leap. They had become grown-ups. Good for them, but definitely not something for you and the wife.

Of course, after a while, it became a regular occurrence. Every other post was a new little alien or tiny old man posing as a baby. “What was the big deal anyway?” you wondered. So what if little Noah ate a full meal and had a bowel movement? You did those things every day! No need to let the world know.

After a while, more and more of your couples friends started talking about baby topics when you got together. Sophia can sit up on her own now. (yawn) Emma can eat pears and bananas with her own hands! (amazing) Liam won’t stop pulling on his privates! He’s gonna rip them off! (WTF?)

Of course, once the conversation turned to baby gear you really tuned out. The ErgoBaby Four Position 360 didn’t put as much pressure on precious Mason’s tooshie as the Baby Bjorn One. (well thank God for that) The Baby Jogger Summit has better suspension and handling than the BOB. (does this thing come in candy apple red?) The Simple Wishes Hands-Free Pumping Bra is really a little miracle in the form of two D-cups. (WOAH NELLIE – TMI)

becomingdad1 It was at about that time that you were really feeling done with the whole baby thing. Enough already! What happened to hanging with the guys, watching the latest Game of Thrones episodes together and talking about last week’s game? All your friends seemed to be lost in babyland. Of course, that’s when it happened. That’s when she came home from work that Tuesday and said the unthinkable: “great news honey – you’re going to be a dad.”

In that moment you didn’t know what you felt. Confused. Scared maybe. Suddenly overwhelmed and feeling the urge to buy every baby book known to man because you only had nine months to become a parent. But then you saw just about the biggest smile you’d ever seen gracing your wife’s sweet face and something changed inside you. And you knew it would be alright.

 In the next few months, you didn’t think about it much. You went to work and out to eat and life went on. You went to the first doctor’s appointment with your wife because you said you would and it was on your calendar. The appointment was pretty boring really and just about over when she pulled out a little machine and started rubbing it across your wife’s belly. “Hear that. That’s the heart.” It sounded like a cross between an oscillating fan and a dishwasher – woosh, woosh, woosh. You jumped out of your seat. There was a heartbeat. There was actually a little living creature inside there. This wasn’t just theoretical anymore. This was happening. And it made you excited.

 That visit put you in research mode. It was time to figure out just what the heck a Maxi Cosi Mico was and why European crash testing was important. You visited baby stores and online forums and learned what a DS, DD and SAHM was, among other acronyms. You felt proud when you and your wife found the perfect glider and even a little excited when you pictured yourself rocking your LO while humming a little tune – something manly, of course.

 Then the big day came. Everything had been leading up to it. You watched as your wife transformed from the woman you had always known into a bona fide superhero, right before your eyes. You witnessed her endure more pain than you thought possible and come out stronger on the other side. And then they did the unimaginable; they placed a brand new, tiny human in your arms. You were amazed at how complete and perfect and wonderful this new little being was. And you felt something you had never felt before: a little bit of awe, mixed with a dash of tenderness and a whole lot of love.

In the following weeks, you learned some things. You discovered just how good your wife was at being mom, how natural it came to her and how happy it made her. You found out that you actually could change a diaper and that it wasn’t quite as horrible as you thought it would be. You learned that it was actually kind of fun, getting to take care of someone so completely. In fact, somewhere amidst the endless feedings and changings, you realized that this new little person needed you; like really needed you. More than anyone had ever needed you before. And it felt good to be needed like that.

Then one day, your perfect, tiny human stared right into your eyes and decided to smile for the first time. In that moment, your heart melted fully and your transformation was complete. You picked up your phone, snapped a pic and said “ah, what the hell” to yourself as you uploaded it and clicked on post.

 —

Ethan Ruzzano

Don’t miss this free Denver Broncos Ability Clinic!

Accessibility for all is important and The National Sports Center for the Disabled’s Broncos Ability Clinic aims to give that opportunity to all kids. 

Join them on June 30th from 9:00 – 11:00 AM MST at Empower Field at Mile High. 

This is a fun-filled and FREE clinic that will include instruction from the Broncos staff, NSCD staff and volunteers. This clinic features football drills adapted to individuals, ages 5 and older, who have any type of disability. Siblings are allowed to join but no extended family or friends.

 The event is free to participants living with any kind of a disability, but participants need to register at this link here.

 

Denver’s free outdoor movie nights 2021 (plus Red Rocks Film on the Rocks)

A couple of years ago, I got a projector and we hung a painter’s cloth in front of the driveway. We invited a few of the neighbors to join us on an outdoor movie night. This tradition has continued every summer Friday. We always play old movies and they can’t be rated over PG-13. But if someone in your neighborhood doesn’t have a projector, you can certainly join in the fun of an outdoor movie. We’ve compiled a list of several of the movies that are happing in the Denver area this summer.  

Also, don’t miss Red Rocks’ Film on the Rocks, your favorite movies in the most iconic settings. This is definitely not free but I will include the schedule below. 

Also, see our guide to Denver’s free outdoor concerts

Free Outdoor Movie Nights in Denver

JUNE

JULY

AUGUST

SEPTEMBER

 *Backcountry in Highlands Ranch also has a movie night – but there is a cost of $25/vehicle. Additionally, Film on the Rocks has created a drive-in option, however, it also is a paid event. This is a list of free events, not an exhaustive list of all events.

Film on the Rocks

Film on the Rocks is back for its 22nd season! Enjoy a one-of-a-kind drive-in movie experience at the iconic Red Rocks Park & Amphitheatre as well as in-amphitheatre films.

Drive-in films will be presented on an LED screen located in the Red Rocks Lower South Lot 2 parking area with audio delivered via a designated FM radio frequency. RVs, buses, or any hitched trailers are not allowed and will be denied entry. No grilling on the grounds, vehicle roofs or hoods. Cost: $59.50 per car which includes Coke, popcorn and candy. Gates open at 7: 3p .m., the film starts at 8:30 p.m. 

Week 1 (5/26-5/31)

• Wednesday, May 26 — “Dirty Dancing”

• Thursday, May 27 — “Jaws”

• Friday, May 28 — “Enter the Dragon”

• Saturday, May 29 — “The Sandlot”

• Sunday, May 30 — “Beetlejuice”

• Monday, May 31 — “Aliens”

Week 2 (6/2-6/6)

• Wednesday, June 2 — “Pee-wee’s Big Adventure”

• Thursday, June 3 — “Don’t Tell Mom the Babysitter’s Dead”

• Friday, June 4 — “The Avengers”

• Saturday, June 5 — “Coming to America”

• Sunday, June 6 — “Fantastic Mr. Fox”

Week 3 (6/9-6/13)

• Wednesday, June 9 — “La Bamba”

• Thursday, June 10 — “Moulin Rouge”

• Friday, June 11 — “Black Panther”

• Saturday, June 12 — “The Lost Boys”

• Sunday, June 13 — “Goldeneye”

Week 4 (6/16-6/20)

• Wednesday, June 16 — “Do the Right Thing”

• Thursday, June 17 — “Legally Blonde”

• Friday, June 18 — “Raiders of the Lost Ark”

• Saturday, June 19 — “Independence Day”

• Sunday, June 20 — “The Shining”

IN-VENUE SCREENINGS

With doors opening at 6:30 p.m., entertainment at 7 p.m., and movies starting at dusk

• Monday, July 12 — “Casino Royale”

• Monday, July 19 — “Jurassic Park”

• Monday, August 2 — “The Princess Bride

Your guide to Denver’s free outdoor summer concerts 2021

Concerts are back! Yay. There is nothing better than spreading out your blanket (and maybe your picnic) as you enjoy the sounds of some free live music outside on a summer evening.

We’ve rounded up the places you can hear live music right in your own neighborhood. Most of the concerts start around 7 p.m. and are rain or shine. We do recommend you follow the link to the show you are wanting to see as COVID has some restrictions as to people signing up or registering first (even if it is free).

If Red Rocks is more your jam, be sure to also check out the Red Rocks concert schedule for 2021

Free Outdoor Summer Concerts in Denver

June

·         Thursday, June 10 – Shook Twins at Levitt Pavilion Denver

·         Thursday, June 10 – Hazel Miller Band at MoJaBlu Concert Series

·         Friday, June 11 – The Reminders at Anythink Wright Farms

·         Tuesday, June 15 – Knot Rock at Concerts at the Crescent

·         Wednesday, June 16 – Jeymo Club at Northglenn Summer Concert Series

·         Thursday, June 17 – Thornton Community Band at Carpenter Park Fields

·         Thursday, June 17 – Cody Canada & the Departed at Levitt Pavilion Denver

·         Thursday, June 17 – Cass Clayton Band at Clement Park

·         Thursday, June 17 – Tunes for Trails/Perks for Parks in Castle Rock

·         Friday, June 18 – Soul Sacrifice at Belmar Music on the Plaza

·         Saturday, June 19 – Tunisia at MoJaBlu Concert Series

·         Tuesday, June 22 – Premium Diesel at Concerts at the Crescent

·         Wednesday, June 23 – Mama Magnolia at Northglenn Summer Concert Series

·         Wednesday, June 23 – Tunisia at the Dancing in the Streets at Streets of Southglenn

·         Wednesday, June 23 – Narrow Gauge at Wheat Ridge Rooted in Fun

·         Thursday, June 24 – Ricardo Pena y Los Bohemios at Carpenter Park Fields

·         Thursday, June 24 – NOLA featuring Dumpstaphunk with George Porter and Jon Cleary at Levitt Pavilion Denver

·         Thursday, June 24 – Dotsero at MoJaBlu Concert Series

·         Thursday, June 24 – Denver Jazz Club Youth All-Stars at Clement Park

·         Friday, June 25 – Steve Manshel and Loveland at Belmar Music on the Plaza

·         Friday, June 25 – Saint Nomad with Corsicana at Levitt Pavilion Denver

·         Saturday, June 26 – The Slackers with Last Reel Hero at Levitt Pavilion Denver

·         Sunday, June 27 – Robert Randolph at Levitt Pavilion Denver

·         Tuesday, June 29 – Mannequin Band at Concerts at the Crescent

·         Wednesday, June 30- The Long Run at Wheat Ridge Rooted in Fun

·         Wednesday, June 30 – Paa Know at Northglenn Summer Concert Series

July

·         Saturday, July 3 – The Long Run at MoJaBlu Concert Series

·         Tuesday, July 6 – Six Million Dollar Band at Concerts at the Crescent

·         Wednesday, July 7 – Powell Brothers at Northglenn Summer Concert Series

·         Wednesday, July 7 – TnT at Wheat Ridge Rooted in Fun

·         Thursday, July 8 – Chris Daniels & The Kings with Freddi Gowdy at Pecos Park

·         Thursday, July 8 – Ron Ivory Motown Review at MoJaBlu Concert Series

·         Thursday, July 8 – Manuel Molina & World Music Combo at Clement Park

·         Friday, July 9 – The Delta Sonics at Belmar Music on the Plaza

·         Friday, July 9 – SuperMagick at Anythink Wright Farms

·         Tuesday, July 13 – Was Park Band at Concerts at the Crescent

·         Wednesday, July 14 – Swingniks at Wheat Ridge Rooted in Fun

·         Wednesday, July 14 – Spinphony at the Dancing in the Streets at Streets of Southglenn

·         Thursday, July 15 – Kory Brunson Band at Carpenter Park Fields

·         Thursday, July 15 – Jublingo at Clement Park

·         Thursday, July 15 – That Eighties Band at Tunes for Trails/Perks for Parks in Castle Rock

·         Friday, July 16 – Milestone at Belmar Music on the Plaza

·         Saturday, July 17 – Chris Daniels at MoJaBlu Concert Series

·         Saturday, July 17 – Chali 2na with the Reminders at Levitt Pavilion Denver

·         Saturday, July 17 – Homeslice at The Orchard Town Center

·         Sunday, July 18 – Pandas and People at Levitt Pavilion Denver

·         Tuesday, July 20 – Syndicate at Concerts at the Crescent

·         Wednesday, July 21 – Wendy Woo Band at Wheat Ridge Rooted in Fun

·         Thursday, July 22 – Tunisia at Carpenter Park Fields

·         Thursday, July 22 – Jacob Larson Band at MoJaBlu Concert Series

·         Thursday, July 22 – Ryan Chrys & The Rough Cuts at Clement Park

·         Friday, July 23 – Tasty Ruckus at Belmar Music on the Plaza

·         Saturday, July 24 – Phat Daddy at The Orchard Town Center

·         Tuesday, July 27 – Motones at Concerts at the Crescent

·         Wednesday, July 28 – Darling Revival at the Dancing in the Streets at Streets of Southglenn

·         Wednesday, July 28- FACE Vocal Band at Wheat Ridge Rooted in Fun

·         Thursday, July 29 – Motones at Thorncreek Golf Course

·         Thursday, July 29 – Big Lid at Clement Park

·         Friday, July 30 – Ozomatali at Levitt Pavilion Denver

·         Friday, July 30 – Paizley Park at Belmar Music on the Plaza

·         Saturday, July 31 – FACE Vocal Band at The Orchard Town Center

·         Saturday, July 31 – Patrick Sweaney at Levitt Pavilion Denver

·         Saturday, July 31 – Thumpin’ at MoJaBlu Concert Series

August

·         Tuesday, August 3 – SoulX at Concerts at the Crescent

·         Wednesday, August 4 – Hot Tomatoes at Wheat Ridge Rooted in Fun

·         Thursday, August 5 – Groove N’ Motion at Carpenter Park Fields

·         Thursday, August 5 – Yonder Mountain Strong Band at Levitt Pavilion Denver

·         Thursday, August 5 – Hot Lunch Band at MoJaBlu Concert Series

·         Thursday, August 5 – Michael Friedman Band featuring Sheryl Renee at Clement Park

·         Friday, August 6 – Country Music Project at Belmar Music on the Plaza

·         Saturday, August 7 – The Petty-Nicks Experience at The Orchard Town Center

·         Saturday, August 7 – Afrik Impact Festival at Levitt Pavilion Denver

·         Sunday, August 8 – Shine Fest featuring The Scores at Levitt Pavilion Denver

·         Wednesday, August 11 – The Long Run at the Dancing in the Streets at Streets of Southglenn

·         Thursday, August 12 – The Dip with Oh He Dead at Levitt Pavilion Denver

·         Thursday, August 12 – The Long Run at Riverdale Park

·         Thursday, August 12 – Strange Americans at Clement Park

·         Friday, August 13 – Bison Bone at Anythink Wright Farms

·         Friday, August 13 – The Mango Brothers at Belmar Music on the Plaza

·         Saturday, August 14 – Thumpin’ at The Orchard Town Center

·         Thursday, August 19- Yam Haus at Levitt Pavilion Denver

·         Thursday, August 19 – FACE at Tune for Trails/Perks for Parks in Castle Rock

·         Friday, August 20 – The Beloved Invaders at Belmar Music on the Plaza

·         Saturday, August 21 – Fastball at Levitt Pavilion Denver

·         Saturday, August 21 – That Eighties Band at The Orchard Town Center

·         Sunday, August 22 – Moenia at Levitt Pavilion Denver

·         Wednesday, August 25 – FACE at the Dancing in the Streets at Streets of Southglenn

·         Friday, August 27 – 101st Army Rock Band at Belmar Music on the Plaza

·         Saturday, August 28 – Metalachi at Levitt Pavilion Denver

·         Sunday, August 29 – Sammy Rae & The Frieds at Levitt Pavilion Denver

Southlands is not listed because they are not free. But, their cost for their concert series is minimal at $5 per person and the money goes to the Cherry Creek School District and Aurora Public School Foundations). Also, Lakewood has a concert series that is ticketed but is already sold out. 

And if you’re anything like us and get uncomfortable sitting on the ground, don’t miss this affordable Coleman Portable Stadium Seat Cushion with backrest or the Picnic Time Portable Recreation Recliner Oniva Seat

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. While clicking these links won’t cost you extra money, they help us keep this site up and running. See our disclosure policy. 

Father’s Day in Denver: 30 events the whole family will love

After the year we have had, wonderful dads need to be celebrated more than ever. As a head’s up, Father’s Day is Sunday, June 20, 2021 and Denver has so many awesome things Dad–and the whole family–will love. Visit Denver has some awesome ideas including ‘The Shining’ at Film on the Rocks and checking out the new sloth exhibit at the Denver Zoo…and we’ve shared a few favorites of our own. 

Happy Father’s Day!

FATHER’S DAY IN DENVER 2021

TRAVEL

Colorado Road Trip26 scenic byways and small towns to visit and Colorado Family Vacation Guide 2021.

Fishing20 great fishing holes in Denver  

Funny Colorado – 15 Fun and Quirky Roadside Attractions in Colorado

Best of SummerVisit Leadville and Twin Lakes 

HikesBest Hikes for Kids in the Denver area and 10 of Colorado’s most scenic waterfall hikes

Biking –See why Denver is a paradise for cyclists by going for a ride on the vast network of paved paths. Don’t miss Denver’s best biking for kids.  

WaterCool Off This Summer at Colorado’s Best Beaches and Guide to Denver’s Splash Parks and Spray Fountains

OUTDOOR FUN

Denver Zoo – With more than 3,500 animals on 84 gorgeous acres, Denver Zoo is an amazing experience year-round. Check out the new sloth habitat

Denver Botanic Gardens – One of the top five botanic gardens in the nation, Denver Botanic Gardens is an oasis in the city. Meanwhile, Chatfield Farms, located in nearby Littleton, takes pride in its exemplary nature preserve and gardens.

Hudson Gardens – Enjoy thirty acres of natural beauty offering recreational, educational, and social opportunities for all ages.

Denver Street Art – Denver street artists have been busy brightening (and enlightening) the urban landscape for decades by making canvases of the city’s alleyways, building exteriors, warehouses, garage doors and storefronts.

Museum of Outdoor Arts – Despite the name, MOA’s Englewood collection includes both outdoor sculptures as well as indoor exhibits, including the always-popular Cabinet of Curiosities.

Farmers’ Markets – Pick up fresh produce, meat, eggs, breads and more, plus chef demos.

Outdoor Movies – From classic drive-in theaters to movies in the park.

City Parks – Head for the green space at the city’s many public parks.

Red Rocks Park & Amphitheatre – Carved from towering red rock monuments, Red Rocks Park & Amphitheatre in Morrison is one of the world’s most renowned concert venues. The surrounding park has hiking trails that weave in, around and over the colorful red rocks.

SPECIAL EVENTS & FESTIVALS

BLACK LOVE MURAL FESTIVAL

May 27–Aug. 2, 2021
Watch artists paint colorful murals in Denver’s Civic Center Park! Every weekend leading up to Juneteenth, the group will host live paintings, workshops and activations.

JUNETEENTH MUSIC FESTIVAL

June 18–20, 2021
Each year, Five Points — a historic district is formerly known as the “Harlem of the West” — hosts Juneteenth, a celebration of African-American culture. Listen to the sounds of hip-hop, R&B, blues, soul and jazz.

FRIDAY NIGHT BAZAAR

June 18, 2021
WHERE: Friday Night BAZAAR
Enjoy an evening of shopping, sipping and mingling in the River North Art District! The Friday Night BAZAAR features more than 40 local vendors, food trucks, craft beer and cocktails, and live music. Entry is free and everyone is welcome!

PROFESSIONAL SPORTS

COLORADO ROCKIES V. MILWAUKEE BREWERS
June 17–20, 2021
Grab dad and head to Coors Field to cheer on the Colorado Rockies as they take on the Milwaukee Brewers!

MUSIC, FILM & PERFORMING ARTS

UMPHREY’S MCGEE

June 18–20, 2021
Jam out for three nights with Umphrey’s McGee at Red Rocks Park & Amphitheatre in Morrison.

FILM ON THE ROCKS DRIVE-IN: ‘INDIANA JONES AND THE RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK’

June 18, 2021
Watch the adventures of everyone’s favorite archaeologist from the comfort of your car in the Lower South parking lot of Red Rocks Park & Amphitheatre. All tickets include a bag of CityPop Popcorn, a theater-size box of plain M&M’s, Twizzlers and two Coke products (choice of Coke, Diet Coke or Sprite; Dasani bottled water upon availability).

DAIRY DRIVE-IN: SANS SOUCI FESTIVAL OF DANCE CINEMA (ALL THE WORLD’S A STAGE)

June 18–19, 2021
All the World’s a Stage at the Dairy Arts Center in Boulder where you’ll see a collection of films featuring exquisite performances and stunning cinematography. It opens with three shorts, two of which won the Audience Choice Awards in 2020. The anchor of the program is a feature-length film that chronicles the making of a one-night-only performance by three local artists performing different ancient art forms and weaving into the fabric of the Colorado community.

FILM ON THE ROCKS DRIVE-IN: ‘INDEPENDENCE DAY’

June 19, 2021
Watch Will Smith and Jeff Goldblum attempt to save the planet from an alien invasion from the comfort of your car in the Lower South parking lot of Red Rocks Park & Amphitheatre. All tickets include a bag of CityPop Popcorn, a theatre-size box of plain M&M’s, Twizzlers and two Coke products (choice of Coke, Diet Coke or Sprite; Dasani bottled water upon availability).

SHALLOU

June 19, 2021
Enjoy an evening of music during Shallou’s Magical Thinking Tour at The Ogden Theatre.

FILM ON THE ROCKS DRIVE-IN: ‘THE SHINING’

June 20, 2021
It’ll be a night of terror, but you’ll be safe in the comfort of your car in the Lower South parking lot of Red Rocks Park & Amphitheatre. All tickets include a bag of CityPop Popcorn, a theatre-size box of plain M&M’s, Twizzlers and two Coke products (choice of Coke, Diet Coke or Sprite; Dasani bottled water upon availability).

SHOUT! THE MOD MUSICAL

May 21–23, May 26–30, June 2–6, June 10–13 and June 16–20, 2021
The Denver Comedy Lounge at Colorado Sake Co. features the best local and national comedy talent with two shows back to back every Friday. Enjoy full-service dining from Denver Sushi House and Colorado Sake!

COMEDY SHOWCASE

Thru June 25, 2021 (Fridays)
The Denver Comedy Lounge at Colorado Sake Co. features the best local and national comedy talent with two shows back to back every Friday. Enjoy full-service dining from Denver Sushi House and Colorado Sake!

MUSEUM EXHIBITIONS

FUTURE SELF STORAGE

Thru June 19, 2021
The disembodied plaster, clay and fiber figures in Laura Shill’s sculptural installation reach, tumble and spill throughout Leon Gallery, resisting the vessels that try to contain them.

MILE HIGH NATIONAL PASTEL EXHIBITION

May 10–June 25, 2021
This show at the Curtis Center for the Arts in Greenwood Village is a wonderful representation of diverse methods, styles and visions! The medium of pastel is brilliantly luminous in the hands of different artists. Enjoy the bold colors, subtle rendering and expressive mark-making employed in this collection of artworks.

CHANGING LANDSCAPE

May 13–June 26, 2021
On view at the Colorado Photographic Arts Center, this collection of photographs from bodies of work by Adriene Hughes, Stephan Jahanshahi and Brad Temkin explores the natural landscape and opens our view to the adaptations of a place.

TENSION & RELEASE

May 15–July 10, 2021
The conflict of tension and release is at the heart of the creative process; the interplay of these opposing elements adds intrigue and energy to the works of art. The six artist’s techniques in this exhibition at Walker Fine Art vary in medium and style, but synonymously address this idea of tension through natural, digital, mental and emotional realms.

RADIANT SEASON: PAINTINGS BY KEVIN SLOAN

Thru July 11, 2021
Sloan’s paintings elevate the often-overlooked plants, animals and discarded objects inhabiting the edges of the urban landscape: thistles, traffic cones, sparrows and the like. See it at Denver Botanic Gardens.

ARTEMESIA PRESENTS: MEETING WITH THE GODDESS

Thru July 18, 2021
Who or what is the Goddess? This show asks the artists directly about their own intimate encounters with the divine feminine within themselves or throughout the world as we know it. See it at Artemesia Galerie.

ENDURING IMPRESSIONS: DEGAS, MONET, PISSARRO, AND THEIR PRINTMAKER GEORGE WILLIAM THORNLEY

Thru July 18, 2021
Impressionism is one of the most well-known movements in the history of art. This unique exhibit at Longmont Museum features original paintings, charcoal illustrations and prints by iconic impressionists like Claude Monet, Edgar Degas and Camille Pissarro. All three painters produced copious amounts of stunning lithographs in collaboration with printmaker George William Thornley. This exhibition is among the first to examine these remarkable relationships and to showcase the works that emerged from this influential moment in time.

PARIS TO HOLLYWOOD: THE FASHION AND INFLUENCE OF VÉRONIQUE AND GREGORY PECK

Thru July 18, 2021
A selection of haute couture, fashion sketches, photographs, film clips, family snapshots and documents will be exhibited publicly for the first time, providing a unique look into the style of one of Hollywood’s most beloved couples. Through more than four decades of material from the 1950s to the 1990s, the presentation provides an overview of how fashion changed as the roles of women in society evolved in the 20th century. In conjunction with the exhibition, Véronique and Gregory’s daughter, Cecilia Peck Voll, has gifted the Denver Art Museum 20 of her mother’s iconic looks for the museum’s collection.

GREGG DEAL: PYRAMID LAKE PAIUTE

Thru July 31, 2021
What does America mean to a person whose ancestors were insulted in its founding document? Gregg Deal of the Pyramid Lake Paiute leads an Indigenous exploration of what democracy means in Indian Country through his unique, dynamic works at History Colorado Center.

SOMOS

Thru July 31, 2021
Domestic violence is an issue that affects everyone in our community. Museo de las Americas is joining forces with the Latina Safehouse and Art + Color to show a full exhibition about domestic violence, resilience and healing.

GOLDEN OPPORTUNITY: WORKS FROM THE SBAI

May 29–Aug. 15, 2021
From daffodils to daisies and buttercups to bananas, discover a world of yellow growing all around you through illustrations created by students and faculty of Denver Botanic Gardens’ School of Botanical Art & Illustration (SBAI).

THE ANNIVERSARY EXHIBITION: SELECTIONS FROM THE MOA COLLECTION

Thru Aug. 20, 2021
Founded in 1981, this year marks the 40th anniversary of the Museum of Outdoor Arts! To celebrate this milestone anniversary, MOA has acquired a single artwork from several of the exhibitions it has hosted over the years to create an eclectic, one-of-a-kind collection that tells the story of the museum’s past.

EACH/OTHER: MARIE WATT AND CANNUPA HANSKA LUGER

May 23–Aug. 22, 2021
This is the first exhibition to present together the work of Watt and Luger, two leading Indigenous contemporary artists whose processes focus on collaborative artmaking. The exhibition will feature 24 mixed-media sculptures, wall hangings and large-scale installation works, along with a monumental artist-guided community artwork. Although 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. See it at Denver Art Museum.

COLORADO IN THE PRESENT TENSE: NARKITA GOLD, RICK GRIFFITH, NATHAN HALL, AND MAIA RUTH LEE

Thru Aug. 22, 2021
This exhibition of site-specific responses, large-scale projects, photography, sculpture, sonic movements and works that may live beyond the four walls of a museum centers on how artists in Colorado are absorbing, responding to, grappling with and reimagining the upended world in which we presently find ourselves, from COVID-19 to Black Lives Matter, climate change and beyond. See it at MCA DENVER — Museum of Contemporary Art Denver.

JAIME CARREJO: WAITING

Thru Aug. 22, 2021
This new installation by the Denver-based artist explores the relationship between confinement and duration. Through a layering of Southwestern symbolism, mid-century design and objects from his own domestic space, Carrejo offers an environment reminiscent of an interior waiting room and exterior courtyard. These settings intend to prompt reflection on various physical and psychological barriers experienced during the pandemic as well as also pose the question of what will come after this extended period of waiting. See it at MCA DENVER — Museum of Contemporary Art Denver.

KEITH HARING: GRACE HOUSE MURAL

Thru Aug. 22, 2021
Recently excavated from its original site, this site-specific mural that Haring executed in 1983/84 for those living at Grace House, a Catholic youth center in Manhattan, now exists as a series of 13 panels and additional ephemera, including the original plaque, mailbox and two doors that Haring integrated into his design. See it at MCA DENVER — Museum of Contemporary Art Denver.

SALVADOR DALÍ: GARDENS OF THE MIND

Thru Aug. 22, 2021
Salvador Dalí: Gardens of the Mind features two rarely seen series of fanciful color lithographs of flowers and fruits on loan from The Dalí Museum in St. Petersburg, Fla. Mixing flora with the artist’s signature motifs, these works underscore Dalí’s ongoing infatuation with his native landscape of Catalonia and the intriguing images of his Surrealist works. See it at Denver Botanic Gardens.

BUILDING DENVER: VISIONS OF THE CAPITAL CITY

May 29–Aug. 31, 2021
This exhibition at History Colorado Center shares the many visions for and stories of the growth, urban development and architecture of Denver from 1860 to today. It explores how civic leaders, designers and residents have steadily worked to bring their own visions of Denver to life by engaging the city’s natural landscape, navigating the movement of people across the city and responding to a boom-and-bust economy.

EXPLORATION OF FIVE POINTS

June 1–Sept. 1, 2021
In this exhibition, students and architects from the University of Colorado-Denver will explore the historic neighborhood of Five Points through the lens of the built environment. The project will culminate with a large installation in the atrium and on the front porch of the History Colorado Center and a Museum of Memory project showcasing the human stories and collective memory of this important neighborhood.

ANSEL ADAMS: MASTERWORKS

May 29–Sept. 4, 2021
The Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center is pleased to present 48 works from renowned photographer Ansel Adams.

STONEHENGE: ANCIENT MYSTERIES AND MODERN DISCOVERIES

Thru Sept. 6, 2021
After centuries of speculation, experts are finally starting to understand the mysteries of Stonehenge, thanks to archaeological excavations and advances in scientific techniques. Explore where, when, why, and perhaps most intriguing, how Stonehenge was built. See it at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science.

SIMPHIWE NDZUBE: ORACLES OF THE PINK UNIVERSE

June 13–Sept. 12, 2021
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. See it at Denver Art Museum.

ALL THE COSMOS A CANVAS

Thru Sept. 15, 2021
Drift deep into space and experience the majesty and wonder of our universe purely through images in this contemplative, aesthetic and introspective exhibition at Wings Over the Rockies Air & Space Museum.

NUMBERS IN NATURE: A MIRROR MAZE

June 4–Sept. 19, 2021
This immersive experience at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science is hardly by the numbers. It 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.

LOOKING FORWARD/LOOKING BACK

Thru Sept. 19, 2021
Celebrate Historic Denver’s 50th anniversary! Looking Forward/Looking Back relives the early days as Historic Denver began restoring the home of the “Unsinkable” Molly Brown and the beginnings of the Molly Brown House Museum, which for the first time allowed the public to enter Brown’s Denver residence and learn about the mark she left on the world.

STORIES WE TELL: THE COLLECTION TWO WAYS

Thru Oct. 10, 2021
This exhibition digs deep into the Clyfford Still Museum’s vaults to present the collection in two complementary but alternate ways as a means to understand how artworks and their meaning can change based upon curatorial strategy. It begins with a new chronological presentation in the first five galleries. In the remaining four rooms, the artworks are grouped into specific thematic categories regardless of their chronology.

THE CIVIL WAR MONUMENT ‘ON GUARD’

Thru Oct. 15, 2021
This monument stood in front of Colorado’s State Capitol until it was toppled in June 2020 during protests for Black lives. Installed in 1909 to memorialize Colorado’s role in the Civil War, the monument holds multiple meanings for viewers today: a tribute to those who’ve served and sacrificed in the nation’s armed forces, a reminder of atrocities committed against Indigenous peoples, a symbol of white supremacy and injustice, a casualty of destructive lawlessness, and more. Lonnie Bunch, the first African American and first historian to serve as Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, said, “What you really want to do is use the statues as teachable moments. Some of these need to go. But others need to be taken into a park, into a museum, into a warehouse, and interpreted for people, because they’re part of our history.” See it at History Colorado Center.

SHIKI DREAMS BY PRISMAJIC

Thru Dec. 19, 2021
Shiki Dreams is the latest immersive adventure from Prismajic, the creators of 2019’s smash hit Natura Obscura. The multi-sensory immersive experience leads guests on a fun and mystical journey of exploration and discovery that combines art and technology in beautiful and amazing ways.

MUSEUM FOR BLACK GIRLS

Thru Dec. 31, 2021
“Black Girl Magic” is more than a buzzword or trend. It’s the essence of Black women. The Museum for Black Girls is a space to celebrate this essence, as well as educate about the journey to their present state and liberation. Finally and most importantly, the museum serves as a love letter to Black women and their experiences. This interactive pop-up gallery features multiple, vibrant exhibits. Visit at 1421 26th Street in Denver.

EARTH ILLUMINATED

Thru Dec. 31, 2021
Earth Illuminated is an immersive experience where the natural world and digital media merge to take you on an ethereal journey. Wander through a 13,000-square-foot space showcasing our planet’s beauty from air, land and sea. Explore a series of immersive environments and large-scale interactive art installations that change the way you experience art and nature at Denver Pavilions.

FORTY YEARS ON THE ’FAX

Thru Dec. 31, 2021
Take a nostalgic ride down Colfax, with stops at the quirky and memorable places that gave the street its worldwide reputation. See it at History Colorado Center.

BLACK IN DENVER

Thru Mar. 5, 2022
Narkita Gold is a Denver-based artist who’s been honing her skills in digital photography since 2009. Her exhibition, Black in Denver, is a portrait and interview series that takes delves into Black life in Denver. See it at History Colorado Center.

STATE HISTORICAL FUND RETROSPECTIVE

Thru Apr. 30, 2022
This exhibit explores the rich contributions of History Colorado’s State Historical Fund. Through the preservation of the built environment, the SHF has enhanced vibrant communities across the state for more than three decades.

NIGHT LIGHTS DENVER

Night Lights Denver features rotating content designed by local artists and the community and projected on the Arapahoe Street side of the Daniels & Fisher Tower every Thursday through Saturday evening.

MUSIC & THEATER

COLORADO SHAKESPEARE FESTIVAL: ‘A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM’
June 18–20, June 25–26, July 2–3, July 11, July 14–15, July 18, July 23–24, July 29–30, Aug. 4, Aug. 6–7, Aug. 11–12 and Aug. 15, 2021
Lift your spirits with a summer-long party! In this glam run of Shakespeare’s electric comedy, the paths of four young lovers, some feuding fairies, a mischievous sprite and a troupe of bumbling actors collide. Join them in the forest as enchanting and peculiar schemes unfold across one unforgettable midsummer night. See it at the Mary Rippon Outdoor Theatre in Boulder.

DISTORTIONS MONSTER WORLD

Thru Dec. 31, 2021
Ready to get up close and personal with the things that go bump in the night? Come to Distortions Monster World (if you dare) at Denver Pavilions, where surprises will greet you around every corner on an out-of-this-world interactive adventure. This series of cinematic environments featuring immersive installations and infamous creatures and characters will truly transport you to another place!

VIRTUAL FUN

TINY TOTS – EXPLORE THE OUTDOORS

Thru July 1, 2021
Your kiddos will delight in the Tiny Tots virtual performances, musical online games and activity books for screen-free fun. They’ll sing, dance and imagine along with the music performed by instruments of the orchestra and special guest artists.

BINH DAHN: C.A.R.S ONLINE

Thru Aug. 25, 2021
The artist-curated C.A.R.S. Online series features past participants in the long-running Critic & Artist Residency Series at Colorado State University. In this virtual exhibition, Binh Danh investigates his Vietnamese heritage and our collective memory of war. His technique incorporates his invention of the chlorophyll printing process, in which photographic images appear embedded in leaves through the action of photosynthesis.

JESS T. DUGAN: C.A.R.S ONLINE

Thru Sept. 30, 2021
The artist-curated C.A.R.S. Online series features past participants in the long-running Critic & Artist Residency Series at Colorado State University. In this virtual exhibition, Jess T. Dugan explores issues of identity through photographic portraiture.

​CMC PRESENTS: BANFF MOUNTAIN FILM FESTIVAL WORLD TOUR

Thru Oct. 24, 2021
Get stoked for the 2021 presentation of the most outrageous, adventure-packed films from the Banff Mountain Film Festival. Follow along as some of the world’s best adventurers and filmmakers hike tough trails, paddle wild waters and ski steep slopes.

‘UNTIL THE FLOOD’

Thru Apr. 22, 2023
After the death of Michael Brown, The Ferguson Unrest shook the nation to its core and put a spotlight on police brutality and discrimination. Using extensive interviews she conducted herself, Pulitzer Prize finalist and Obie Award winner Dael Orlandersmith created eight fictional characters to represent the broad spectrum of perspectives that continue to define and divide our country at large.

Celebrate 4th of July 2021 in Denver: 100+ Parades, Fireworks, Festivals & More!

Happy Independence Day! Don’t miss our comprehensive guide to celebrating the 4th of July in Denver–from parades to fireworks to outdoor activities to festivals and so much more. 

4th of July Fireworks Displays, Parade and Festivals in Denver

ARVADA

Arvada Fireworks Display — Since 1979, the City of Arvada has celebrated Independence Day on July 4th with a spectacular fireworks display at the Stenger Sports Complex. Gates at the Stengler Sports Complex open to vehicles at 7 p.m. Fireworks start at 9 p.m. No personal fireworks, alcohol, drones or pets allowed. The park is at 58th and Oak Street. arvadafestivals.com/independence-day

AURORA

Aurora 4th of July Spectacular — ON July 4th, the 4th of July Spectacular will, indeed, be spectacular! The Fireworks display kicks off at 9:30 p.m. around Bicentennial Park (at Alameda & Potomac). Note: The Aurora Municipal Center will be closed to spectators and there is no program or festival this year. All are encouraged to watch the 30-minute display from their homes or nearby parks. auroragov.org

BERTHOD

Berthoud Fireworks Celebration — On July 3rd, the fireworks display will take place at Richardsons and will be viewable at 9 p.m. from your front porch. Free admission into Bein Baseball Complex and the kid’s zone which includes Inflatable Slides, Noco Mobile Gaming, Face Painting, Balloon Artist, and Laser Tag. 5 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. includes food trucks and kids zone. berthoud.org/departments/recreation/july-3rd-fireworks-event

BRIGHTON

Stars & Stripes Independence Day Celebration — On July 3rd, the sixth annual Stars & Stripes event will be on Saturday, July 3, at Riverdale Regional Park, 9755 Henderson Rd., Brighton. This free celebration includes a Stars & Stripes 5K, cornhole tournament, live entertainment from Morgan Evans and The Tyler Walker Band, food and beverage options, and musical fireworks. adamscountyfair.com/starsandstripes

Brighton Fourth of July — On July 4th, Carmichael Park comes to life from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. There will be activities for the whole family, music and food vendors. Bring blankets, lawn chairs, bug spray, sunscreen and water. The Park is just behind City Hall at 500 S. 4th Ave.  https://www.brightonco.gov/131/Brighton-Events

BROOMFIELD

Summer Sunday Fest at the Great American Picnic — On July 4th, the Great American Picnic at Broomfield County Commons Park includes art displays, booths and performances by Taiko Drumming. 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.  artsinbroomfield.org/event-calendar.html

BRUSH

Brush 4th of July —On July 4th, there is a full day of festivities with a pancake breakfast, parade at 11 a.m., the annual Brush Rodeo runs from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. at the Brush Fairgrounds. Fireworks show held after dark. brushchamberofcommerce.org/calendar

CASTLE ROCK

Fourth of July Fireworks — On July 4th, turn your attention to Santa Fe Quarry Mesa for the Town’s annual 15-minute fireworks display. Similar to years past, fireworks will shoot off at sundown (around 9:30 p.m.) from the butte located just south of The Meadows, above Red Hawk Ridge Golf Course. crgov.com/2658/Fireworks-in-Castle-Rock

COMMERCE CITY

Commerce City 4thFest — The annual 4thFest is the largest public fireworks show in Colorado and takes place on July 4th around 9:30 p.m. at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park. Pre-match festival starts at 5 p.m. on Burgundy Boulevard is and FREE to all. Colorado Rapids vs. Seattle Sounders at 7 p.m. and parking lots open at 4 p.m. Route 62 bus stop is at the stadium’s front door. www.coloradorapids.comColorado Rapids 4th of July Fireworks

DENVER

Central Park Pancake Breakfast & Parade — On July 4th, the  Annual Pancake Breakfast begins at 9 am at the South Green (29th & Roslyn). Stick around until 10:30 a.m. for the old-fashioned parade with decorated wagons, bikes, trikes and scooters. mca80238.com/programs/signature-events/4th-of-july-pancake-breakfast-parade

Colorado Rockies Post-Game Fireworks — On July 2nd and 3rd, the Rockies play the St. Louis Cardinals at Coors Field at 6:10 p.m. and 7:10 p.m. respectively, followed by a huge fireworks display. Ticket prices vary based on seat location. mlb.com/rockies/tickets/promotions

Cranmer Park Community Picnic — On July 2nd at 6 p.m., the 4th Annual Community Picnic at Cranmer Park will feature a concert of patriotic and popular music performed byThe Denver Municipal Band. denverhilltop.com/events/4th-annual-community-picnic-at-cranmer-park

Elitch Gardens — On July 4th, don’t miss as Elitch lights up the Downtown Denver skyline with their annual fireworks extravaganza! Shows start at park closing time. Show is free with a daily ticket or season pass. facebook.com/events/682225178894202

Four Mile Historic Park’s Independence Day Celebration – July 2nd from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m., bring your family and experience the holiday in the spirit of the West with live music, fun activities and prairie games. Watch the fireworks show at sunset. Purchase tickets on the website. 715 S. Forest St., Denver; 720-865-0800. fourmilepark.org/independence-celebration

Park Hill 4th of July Parade —The Park Hill Parade is on for 2021! Please join this community in northeast Denver at 1:30 p.m. on Sunday, July 4 for a celebration of community and equality with 50+ floats, costumes, classic cars and marching bands. The parade ends about 3 p.m. at the Kearney Street Fair on the 2200 block of Kearney with live music,, tasty food kids’ activities and more. parkhillparade.org/

ENGLEWOOD

Englewood 4th of July Festival — On July 3rd, celebrate our National Holiday with friends and family at Belleview Park and Cornerstone Park starting at 5 p.m. Enjoy local business vendors and food trucks. Bring a picnic dinner and blankets to watch the fireworks! The fireworks will start at 9:15 p.m. englewoodco.gov/our-city/events/upcoming/4th-of-july-fireworks

ERIE

Erie Fireworks Show — New this year, Erie is excited to host the 2021 celebration at the Erie Community Park (450 Powers Street) Saturday, July 3 with the fireworks launched at 9:30 p.m.  from the rooftop of the Erie Community Center. erieco.gov/1560/Fireworks-Show

ESTES PARK

Estes Park 4th of July Celebration — On July 4th, spend the afternoon enjoying hiking, bike riding, paddle boating, miniature golf or check out the Coolest Car Show. More than 100 vehicles, from “Steam-to-Electric” will be displayed at the Estes Park Events Complex, located at the Fairgrounds at Stanley Park. At 7 p.m., the Estes Village Band tunes up for its annual patriotic concert and a view of the fireworks along with music, food, local craft beer and wine at the Estes Park Fairgrounds in the Grandstands. visitestespark.com/events-calendar/summer-events/4th-of-july/

EVERGREEN

On July 4th, head up to Evergreen for the family-friendly Evergreen Music Festival from 9:30 a.m.-2 p.m. They are also offering a discounted combined ticket with the Mt. Evans Freedom Run. evergreenmusicfestival.org/4th-of-july-festival

FIRESTONE

4th at Firestone — On July 4th, start the day with a slice of Americana at Firestone’s parade with classic cars and marching bands, which weaves its way through Historic Firestone. Come back to Miners Park (170 Grant Ave.) from 5:30-10 p.m. for their evening event which will include a Maker’s Mart area, featuring handcrafted goods from local artisans. Fireworks start at 9:30 p.m. firestoneco.gov/133/4th-at-Firestone

FORT COLLINS

Fort Collins July 4 Celebration — On July 4th, Fort Collins is going all out with a full day of festivities. Start at 6 a.m. with a hot air balloon launch, at 10 a.m. check out the driving Motorcade Parade, followed by a drive-in fireworks show at 9:15 p.m. Entry to the fireworks viewing at The Ranch is free and gates at the south entrance will open for vehicle entry at 6 p.m. https://www.fcgov.com/july4th/

FORT LUPTON

Fort Lupton Independence Day Celebration — Food, fireworks, and fun…for real! Celebrating our freedom is pretty awesome in Fort Lupton on July 4th with the regions only Ninja Warrior Course (cash prizes offered!); water slides, bounce house obstacle course, bouncy boxing arena, tractor people mover, face painting, food trucks, humongous shaved ice cones, and a live concert to top off the night. Stay for the brilliant fireworks show courtesy of the Fort Lupton Fire Protection District at dark. 203 S. Harrison Ave.  fortlupton.org/independenceday

GLENDALE

Glendale Fireworks Show – On Friday, July 2nd, the Glenwood Fireworks Show is one of the largest and oldest in Denver. The event starts at Creekside Park at dusk (about 9 p.m.) glendale.co.us/

GOLDEN

Golden 4th of July Festival — Join the Golden Lions Club for the 4th of July community celebration in Lions Park on 10th Street. The annual festival will take place from noon-9:30 p.m. with food and beer concessions. Fireworks will be at 9:30 p.m. 1300 10th Street. visitgolden.com

GRAND LAKE

Independence Day Fireworks — Join the Town of Grand Lake for their famous 4th of July Celebration! There is a multitude of activities around town, like live music throughout the restaurants, and the day culminates with a dazzling fireworks display around 10 p.m. over Colorado’s largest natural lake. gograndlake.com/4th-of-july-fireworks/

Highlands Ranch 4th of July ParadeHIGHLANDS RANCH

Highlands Ranch July 4th Fireworks — On July 4th between 9-10 a.m., join the Family Pet & Bike Parade (.2 miles) followed by the 1.02 mile Community Parade. That evening around 9:30 p.m., a spectacular display of fireworks will be at Highland Heritage Regional Park. Note: The park will be CLOSED to the public (pedestrian and vehicle) and the fireworks show will be vieable from locations throughout the city. hrcaonline.org

IDAHO SPRINGS

Idaho Springs 4th of July — On July 4th, stroll through unique shops, art galleries, pan for gold and then enjoy an afternoon of live music and dancing in downtown Citizens Park with a delicious barbecue, followed by fireworks around 9:15 p.m. over the Charlie Taylor Water Wheel. visitclearcreek.com/

LAKEWOOD

Lakewood Big Boom Bash —The 3rd Annual Big Boom Bash fireworks celebration of our nation’s independence will be a fireworks-only display on Saturday, July 3 at dark, approximately 9:15 p.m., and choreographed to music by MIX 100. Tune in to 100.3 FM to listen along. lakewood.org

LITTLETON

Littleton Fourth of July Fireworks — On July 3rd, celebrate our National Holiday with friends and family at Belleview Park and Cornerstone Park starting at 5 p.m. Enjoy local business vendors and food trucks. Bring a picnic dinner and blankets to watch the fireworks! The fireworks will start at 9:15 p.m. Both parks — Belleview and Cornerstone — are located near the intersection of W. Belleview and S. Windermere. ssprd.org/

LOUISVILLE

Louisville Fourth of July Celebration — While the fireworks will be happening on July 4th, the event will look a little different than past celebrations. Coal Creek Golf Course will not be open for viewing the fireworks and the pre-fireworks activities will not take place this year. Fireworks start around 9:45 p.m.  Watch from home or one of the Designated Firework Viewing Sites: Police Department/Court Parking Lot (992 W. Via Appia Way) or Louisville Recreation & Senior Center (900 Via Appia Way). louisvilleco.gov

LOVELAND

Drive-in Fireworks Show at The Ranch — On July 4th, the cities of Loveland and Fort Collins have teamed up with Larimer County for the second year to produce a drive-in July Fourth Fireworks show at the Ranch Events Complex in Loveland. The cost is free and gates at hte south entrance open at 6 p.m.; fireworks start around 9:15 p.m. There will be patriotic music and onsite snack trucks. lovgov.org/services/communications-and-engagement/july4

NIWOT

Niwot’s July 4th Celebration — On July 4th, enjoy the Fun & Festive Fourth of July Parade & Pancake Breakfast. The breakfast will be from 7:30-10:30 a.m. in front of Niwot Market, followed by a parade through Old Town. Bicycle decorating starts at 8:30 a.m.; the parade starts at 11 a.m. with vintage cars, line dancers, marching bands and more. The parade runs from Cottonwood Square, across Niwot Road, along 2nd Avenue to Murray Street. niwot.com

NORTHGLENN

Northglenn 4th of July Celebration —July 4th will be celebrated in smaller events in 4 parks throughout the day and will include fireworks. From 8-11 a.m., enjoy the July 4th Car Show at E.B. Rains Park. The Family Fun Lunch will be from Noon – 3 p.m. at Fox Run North. Cool Community Dinners will be from 4-7 p.m. at Wyco Park and Danahy Park with food and live music.  
northglenn.org

PARKER

Parker July 4 Celebration – Fireworks on the Fourth — July 4th will be shorter, but the night will be relaxing and fun! Attendees will have three options to choose from for their fireworks viewing experience: Drive-in only in the north Salisbury parking lot, tailgating in the main polo field parking lot, or viewing from the multi-purpose field. Gates open between 7:30 and 8:30 p.m., depending on the experience you choose, and the fireworks show begins at 9:30 p.m. Entry prices will vary based on the lot chosen. http://www.parkeronline.org/82/Community-Events

SUPERIOR

Superior 4th of July Celebration — Race * Parade * Festival. On Sunday, July 4th, the city of Superior will celebrate from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. The Downhill Mile Race starts at 8 a.m., followed by a community parade at 9:30 p.m. There will be a fun party at the Superior Community Park from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. with vendor booths, a kid’s zone, games, food trucks and more.  superiorcolorado.gov

THORNTON

4th of July in Thornton — This party gets started on July 4th at 4 p.m. at Carpenter Park Fields with food vendors, parachutists, a beer garden and more.  The Thornton Community Band will start at 5:15 p.m. and the Kory Brunson Band at 7:30 p.m. Fireworks show will be at 9:30 p.m. 11000 Colorado Blvd. (108th Ave., & Colorado Blvd.) thorntonco.gov/festivals-events/Pages/july-fourth.aspx

WESTMINSTER

Westminster 4th of July Celebration — Due to uncertain regulations during the planning phase, there will be no pre-show entertainment or vendors this year. Fireworks will begin on July 4th at approximately 9:15 p.m. at Westminster City Park. cityofwestminster.us/specialevents

WINTER PARK

CANCELED for 2021

 Boulder: Ralphie’s Independence Day Blast

 Green Valley Ranch Concert & Fireworks

 Lafayette 4th of July at Waneka Lake

Littleton Red, White and You Celebration

 

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ELITCH GARDENS THEME & WATER PARK
Head to the only downtown theme and water park in the country for roller coasters, water slides, family entertainment and much more! It’s opening on May 1 for the 2021 season.

WATER WORLD
Beat the heat, relax in the park’s beautifully landscaped 64 acres — and ride some serious waterslides. Water World opens on May 29 for the 2021 season!

RED ROCKS PARK & AMPHITHEATRE
Carved from towering red rock monuments, Red Rocks Park & Amphitheatre in Morrison is one of the world’s most renowned concert venues. The surrounding park has hiking trails that weave in, around and over the colorful red rocks.

FARMERS’ MARKETS
The Mile High City’s more than 20 farmers’ markets aren’t just about locally grown produce, delicious baked goods and prepared foods — though you’ll find those in abundance! Each market is a festive, weekly street fair, many with live entertainment and family-friendly activities.

DENVER ZOO
With over 3,500 animals on 84 gorgeous acres, Denver Zoo is an amazing experience year-round. Your donation helps to provide world-class care for the lions, giraffes and elephants, as well as other wild animals and wild places, from the Rockies to Mongolia. Don’t miss the new sloth exhibit. 

DENVER BOTANIC GARDENS
One of the top five botanic gardens in the nation, Denver Botanic Gardens is an oasis in the city, offering year-round events, a children’s garden, lifelong-learning opportunities and research to preserve Colorado’s precious natural resources. Meanwhile, Chatfield Farms, located in nearby Littleton, takes pride in its exemplary nature preserve and gardens. Located on 750 acres, this picturesque site includes display gardens and a historical farm with a rustic barn.

CITY PARKS
No matter where you find yourself in The Mile High City, you’re likely only a few steps away from a lush and relaxing green space. Explore Denver’s more than 5,000 acres of traditional parks and parkways, as well as an additional 14,000 acres of spectacular mountain parks in neighboring counties that are maintained by the City and County of Denver.

LESSER-KNOWN, HIDDEN-GEM PARKS
If you’re looking for a quiet spot to have a picnic, take in great views or experience a different side of the city, check out these lesser-known Denver parks.

HOW TO EXPLORE THE SOUTH PLATTE RIVER BY BIKE
Take a two-wheeled tour through the heart of the city along this beautiful river. You’ll cruise by some of the city’s biggest attractions.

DENVER’S BEST URBAN HIKES
Denver is a city with boundless outdoor fun and has an ideal location next to the foothills of the Rocky Mountains. While The Mile High City is conveniently close to major peaks for hiking, there’s actually no need to head into the mountains when Denver’s regional trail system encompasses hundreds of miles for all ages and abilities to explore.

HOW TO EXPLORE THE COLORADO TRAIL IN WATERTON CANYON
Many people think that Denver’s prettiest, closest and most accessible bit of mountain scenery is Waterton Canyon. This is the start of the famous Colorado Trail, one of the great long-distance hikes (or mountain bike rides) of the Rocky Mountains.

PET-FRIENDLY DENVER
Denver is home to dozens of pet-friendly activities and destinations, including dog-friendly hotels and dog parks. Find the best on-leash and off-leash fun for your best friend.

URBAN ADVENTURE

STREET ART
Denver street artists have been busy brightening (and enlightening) the urban landscape for decades by making canvases of the city’s alleyways, building exteriors, warehouses, garage doors and storefronts. Grab your camera and take a stroll past some of the city’s favorite murals.

OUTDOOR AND PATIO DINING
There’s no better way to soak up summer than on one of The Mile High City’s splendid patios. From skyward rooftop terraces to lushly landscaped gardens, these are the ultimate spots to eat and drink alfresco in Denver.

DENVER BEER TRAIL
Denver is a mecca for craft beer. But with 100 brewpubs, breweries and tap rooms in the metro area, where do you begin? Let the Denver Beer Trail be your guide with this sampling and interactive map.

MUSIC & PERFORMING ARTS

FRIDAY NIGHT BAZAAR
WHEN: July 2, 2021
WHERE: Friday Night BAZAAR
Enjoy an evening of shopping, sipping and mingling in the RiNo Art District! The Friday Night BAZAAR features more than 40 local vendors, food trucks, craft beer and cocktails and live music. Entry is free and everyone is welcome!

ZEDS DEAD
WHEN: July 2–3, 2021
WHERE: Red Rocks Park & Amphitheatre
Two of the hardest workers in electronic music, Zeds Dead have established themselves as a dominant force in EDM circles. Spend the Fourth of July weekend with them at the iconic Red Rocks Park & Amphitheatre.

MEET IN THE STREET
WHEN: July 3-5, 2021, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
WHERE: 16th Street Mall
The Downtown Denver Partnership and City and County of Denver present Meet in the Street: a vibrant summer festival taking over the 16th Street Mall. Experience live music, extended restaurant patios, games, activities and more as we safely reengage and reconnect this summer.

JOSH BLUE
WHEN: July 3, 2021
WHERE: Comedy Works South at The Landmark, Greenwood Village
Following his groundbreaking win on NBC’s “Last Comic Standing” in 2006, Josh Blue has risen through the ranks to a well-established and sought-after headliner. See him live or stream the performance online.

ZEDS DEAD
WHEN: July 4, 2021
WHERE: Historic Denver Coliseum
Spend the afternoon with Zeds Dead at the Deadbeats Backyard Jamboree.

ZEDS DEAD
WHEN: July 4, 2021
WHERE: AEG Presents – The Mission Ballroom
Dance the night away with EDM darlings Zeds Dead this Independence Day.

SERIESFEST SEASON 7
WHEN: June 24–July 11, 2021
WHERE: Denver and Online
SeriesFest: Season 7 will be a “hybrid” festival, with a combination of physical and virtual screenings, panels, professional development workshops and socially distanced in-person events in Denver.

‘CAROUSEL’
WHEN: July 3, 7, 9, 11, 13, 15, 17, 23, 25, 27, 29 and Aug. 1, 2021
WHERE: Hudson Gardens & Events Center, Littleton
Rodgers & Hammerstein’s “Carousel” follows the ups, downs, rounds and rounds of life and love.

COLORADO SHAKESPEARE FESTIVAL: ‘A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM’
WHEN: June 18–Aug. 15, 2021
WHERE: Mary Rippon Outdoor Theatre, Boulder
Since 1958, the Colorado Shakespeare Festival has delighted audiences with professional theater on the University of Colorado at Boulder campus. Complete your Colorado summer with Shakespeare under the stars in the historic Mary Rippon Outdoor Theatre during this glam run of Shakespeare’s electric comedy.

COLORADO RENAISSANCE FESTIVAL
WHEN: July 3–Aug. 22, 2021; Saturdays and Sundays
WHERE: Colorado Renaissance Festival, Larkspur
Flashback to the 16th century and journey through a medieval city. Enjoy full-armor jousting, giant turkey legs, traditional music and a marketplace featuring more than 200 artisans.

DISTORTIONS MONSTER WORLD
WHEN: Thru Dec. 31, 2021
WHERE: Denver Pavilions
Ready to get up close and personal with the things that go bump in the night? Come to Distortions Monster World (if you dare), where surprises will greet you around every corner on an out-of-this-world interactive adventure. This series of cinematic environments featuring immersive installations and infamous creatures and characters will truly transport you to another place!