Well, hello, August! There’s so much happening this month, so we broke it down to help you choose your own adventure. Take advantage of the great weather and be sure to hit up some of the cool things to do in the Denver area in this month.
For Cultural Enthusiasts…
If you’re ready to get your culture on, the three events below (including one in Boulder) will fill your brain with wonder and improve your cocktail party chatter by at least threefold.* At least! Silent Film at Chautauqua Auditorium — August 6
The silent film comedies of the 1920s were dominated by Charlie Chaplin, Buster Keaton, and Harold Lloyd. Chaplin (and Keaton, to a lesser extent) are still remembered today, but the daredevil pratfalls of Lloyd were just as popular for audiences at the time. Released toward the end of the silent era, Kid Brother follows Lloyd through a series of high jinks and misadventures as he tries to thwart thugs and win over the woman he loves. Enjoy the film with live musical accompaniment, just as moviegoers would have in 1927!
Feeling mod? Jump on your Vespa and cruise through the city during this guided tour of public art from the City of Denver’s collection. Guest speakers will provide information and facilitate brief discussions at each stop along the way. The tour begins and ends at the McNichols Civic Center Building, 144 W. Colfax Ave., and online registration (at the link above) is required. Who are we to judge if you can’t help but say “Ciao!” to those you meet along the way?
Learn the story of Denver, including the sometimes sordid details of corruption, affairs, and true tales of how the city was made. Docents spend 75 minutes guiding each group through LoDo, stopping at historic buildings and architectural marvels to complete the sequence of Denver’s founding and growth. The tours are offered on Fridays and Saturdays at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. Pick your dates and reserve your spot. What new bit of trivia might you learn?
*Charm not guaranteed.
Denver is a food town — and not just steaks and Mexican food, as some not in the know (or living under a rock) would lead you to believe. Below, our top three picks for eating out in August.
Dining Al Fresco on Larimer Square — August 16 There’s something so refined about dining outside, especially when the table is decked out in a white tablecloth and under twinkling strands of lights strung across Larimer Square. This event, the final in a series of three, takes over Larimer Street between 14th and 15th streets. Make reservations with any of the Larimer Square restaurants and enjoy a beautiful dinner, al fresco style. The most important question to consider is...who will be your date?! Hoofin’ It — August 17-21
Let’s see, five neighborhoods in five nights, four restaurants per night featuring farm-to-table fare, and one hoofed animal featured on the menu each night? Yeah, that math checks out… Hoofin’ It is a guided culinary walking tour through the Denver neighborhoods of Uptown (8/17, bison), LoDo (8/18, goat), LoHi (8/19, pig), Ballpark (8/20, cow), and Baker (8/21, sheep). Attendees can support their favorite food ‘hood, or hoof through new areas of the city. Make your reservations after deciding: Which animal would you most like to eat?
Every winter for the past 10 years, Visit Denver has presented Denver Restaurant Week—where restaurants across the city and metro area create special prix fixe menus to tantalize diners and cure them of winter blahs. To celebrate the 10th anniversary this year, a second summer event lets you take advantage of the freshest produce on seasonal menus served on patios metro-wide. So, will you go to an old favorite or try somewhere new?
For Those Who Like to Curate…
Collect new knowledge, new trinkets, new kitchen items, and other novel additions to your life at the three selections below.
For four years now, the Denver Country Fair has brought together the traditional fair with the wacky spirit of Denver and merged the two in a celebration of creativity. Oozing personality, the Denver County Fair embraces new trends like urban homesteading, food trucks, and (of course) legal marijuana. Star Wars fans won’t want to miss R2D2 Square Dancing or the Geek Pavilion. But with 16 other pavilions to choose from, there might truly be something for everyone at the event. Yeehaw, ya’ll!
Le Jardin Secret is a tres chic way to get your farmer’s market on. A French-inspired chef’s market, Le Jardin Secret features a small group of select purveyors, hawking meats and cheeses as well as breads and speciality goods. Did we mention drinking is encouraged? The market is held in the Bistro Vendome Courtyard, so grab a mimosa as you carefully select the best edible items the city has to offer. Such a refined way to shop, n’est-ce pas?
To set the scene: TheBigWonderful takes place on a three-acre garden. During the event, this veritable Eden is filled with food, beer, volleyball, dogs, lawn games, and DJs. More than 50 stalls showcase vendors selling foods, brews, and crafts. According to their website, “TheBigWonderful seeks to bring the best of Denver’s emerging food scene to the masses without leaving a footprint. That means no two booths are the same, and there’s no waste. All organic waste is recycled back to farms to produce nutrient-rich foods.” How’s that for sustainability?
For Lovers of the Off-beat or Cheeky…
Right. So you’re probably thinking that a lot of the above could be described as “off-beat” or “cheeky,” but trust us when we say we’ve saved the cheekiest for last.
Have you ever wished Colorado wasn’t such a landlocked state? Do you lay by the pool and dream about being on the beach? Oh friends, do we have such a wonderful find for you! The RiNo Beach Club events have music, a giant swimming pool, and, oh yeah, 10,000 square feet of sand. Beach bums unite! Which drink will you request a tiny cocktail umbrella be added to?
Look, there’s a lot to be said just for the name alone, but there’s so much more to Freak Train than a name. The last Monday of every month, a rotating cast of performers takes the stage for five minutes each to do pretty much whatever they want. It’s like an open-mic on steroids — it could be funny, it could be painfully awkward. Either way it’s a good time! (Hello schadenfreude.)
Okay, okay, we’re biased because Nerd Nite’s co-boss, Sara Wilson, is WideFoc.us Corp’s reporting and analytics goddess. (And your lowly blog post author is personally extra-biased this month, because my partner-in-crime is one of the speakers!) You’ve heard us talk about Nerd Nite before, a monthly event where 2-3 speakers spend 20 minutes each, diving into a nerd-friendly topic. The speakers at this month’s event tackle such life-changing topics as the evolution of Nintendo video game controllers, cosplay, and satellite imagery (because it’s not just the NSA spying on you!). Nerd Nite’s motto is “Be there and be square,” but you can choose to be round or octagonal or whatever shape best suits you.
Hope to see you around town this month!
—by Leah Charney Leah Charney is sassy yet classy and is most excited by the things she can't stop writing about, like food, music, and people. She directs operations for the WideFoc.us team, which is just a fancy way of saying she is chief cat herder.