52 Sensational Saturdays, In and Around Denver

We've found plenty for you to do in and around Denver in the coming year. So check out our list of 52 fun-filled, sensational Saturdays, get out your calendar, and start planning!

Authored by Susan Fornoff

What’s your plan for this Saturday? Take a photo and enter our #52SaturdaysDLM Giveaway!

Photo courtesy of Visit Denver


You’ve decorated, you’ve celebrated, maybe you’ve even been inebriated. Now it’s time to put away the ornaments and lights, clean the house, and empty out a closet or two to make room for your new stuff. Take donations to your favorite local charity, cook up the recipe Carrie Baird created to beat Bobby Flay for a relaxing lunch (see Better than Bobby), put your feet up, and start planning some of the 51 fun Saturdays ahead.

Layer up and lace up to enjoy one of only a few ice trails in the country, the Parker Ice Trail at Discovery Park. Bring your skates or rent some, glide to your heart’s content, and warm up with a steaming cup of cocoa (or one of the adult beverages featured in our December issue) while defrosting your toes near one of three fire pits scattered along the trail.

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Give the winter doldrums a jolt with a night of dancing. Country and western lovers, see if you can find room on the floor at the Grizzly Rose, where Craig Morgan is set to perform tonight at 8:30 p.m. Or, if ballroom dancing is more your thing, hit the 5,280-square-foot Denver Turnverein dance floor for the Ballroom Dance Bash and Class tonight. Lessons at 7 p.m., dancing from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. $15 for nonmembers.

It’s closing weekend for the Western Stock Show and Rodeo, so don your cowboy hat and boots and saunter on over to the National Western Complex for some lassoing and bull riding. If that’s not your thing, you might enjoy The Good, The Bad, and The Devine tonight at DAZZLE, where Dave Devine’s septet interprets the spaghetti western scores of Ennio Morricone.

Photo courtesy of Winter Park Resort


Book a roundtrip on the Winter Park Express ski train. You’ll depart Union station at 7 a.m. and land in Winter Park at 9 a.m., just 100 feet from the nearest lift. Spend the day skiing, or watching skiing, and return to Union Station on the 4:30 p.m. train, without once having to brake, or curse the traffic.

Get your February golf jones at the Denver Golf Expo. Take a quick lesson, attend a clinic, and shop for gear and rounds you can use in the spring you know (you hope?) will come someday.

OK, so you had your romantic Valentine’s dinner last night. Sleep in and then ramp up the fun this afternoon with the Date Olympics. First stop: Topgolf for a chipping contest and eyeopeners. (Fun, even if it’s snowing!) Next, work your way back to the city with World’s Largest Pac-Man at the 1Up Greenwood Village, ping pong at Ace Eat Serve in Uptown and bowling at Punch Bowl Social (a good time to try their new brunch menu), with the grand finale of shuffleboard in Union Station’s Terminal Bar. Loser buys a round of boozy shakes at Milkbox Ice Creamery!

The snow has been falling since October and you’re done with being cooped up in the house. Take the kids to The Cereal Box in Arvada for a late breakfast to fuel them up for the city’s only indoor family festival, the Denver Family Fest. It runs from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the National Western Complex, but you’re leaving early to convene with your adult friends at 4 p.m. for Westword’s 2020 Denver Winter Tequila Tasting Festival. Overindulge and feel good about it, as a portion of the proceeds go to a local charity.

It’s the second Saturday of Denver Restaurant Week, so try choosing from the hundreds of restaurants offering multi-course meals for $25, $35, and $45. Sign up now for the newsletter, and make your Leap Year Night reservation early. (Guys, look sharp: According to Leap Day tradition, she might be proposing!)

Photo courtesy of Colorado Symphony


Rise and shine, you’re spending the day with Oprah at the Pepsi Center! It’s been five years since the media mogul toured, and with OPRAH’S 2020 VISION YOUR LIFE IN FOCUS, she promises to share her wellness journey and inspire your own. Of course, there’ll be experts and celebrities— it’s Oprah!

Feeling lucky? Today’s the St. Patrick’s Day Parade. Get some green clothes and go out to celebrate. The route starts on Wynkoop at 19th, turns up 17th Street in front of Union Station, and then turns back down Blake Street and proceeds all the way up to 27th. Now, where is the pot of gold?

Take a break from spring cleaning to start thinking more creatively about your nest. Spring marks the traditional opening of high season for real estate sales, so check out some open houses around town. Then head for the National Western Complex for this weekend’s Denver Home Show for inspiration from the latest home improvement products, services, and designs—as well as plenty of how-to advice from the experts.

Enjoy a nostalgic evening listening to Disney’s Fantasia performed by the Colorado Symphony Orchestra. Along with the orchestra’s performance, the original film will be screening alongside the music, so this is one the kids might enjoy.

Photo courtesy of Monster Energy Supercross


You’ve probably seen a football launch through the air at Empower Field at Mile High, but have you ever seen a dirtbike do it? Sit tight and watch the fastest elite supercross riders in the world in the Monster Energy AMA Supercross FIM World Championship series; or make a day of it with the pre-race Monster Energy Pit-Party where you can win fun prizes, meet industry leaders, and get autographs from pro athletes.

Load up the kids or some pals and head for Estes Park’s annual Bigfoot Days. The fun starts with a 5-mile run around the lake, and then it’s all about Bigfoot and the region’s reported sightings. You might win the Bigfoot calling contest or the obstacle course (navigated while wearing the Bigfoot costume). Maybe you’ll even spot the big guy on the self-guided hotspot tour.

It’s the first day of National Park Week, and all 419 national parks, recreation areas, cultural sites, rivers, and trails will let you in free today. Consider a weekend on the Western Slope: You can see the Colorado National Monument in the morning, then drive south on Highway 50 for the dizzying views at Black Canyon or west for a drive through Arches in the afternoon.

It’s time flowers started blooming. Check out the bulbs blossoming at the Denver Botanic Gardens Hudson Gardens, Chatfield Farms, or Wash Park for reminders that spring has sprung. If it’s snowing, get over to the Museum of Outdoor Arts to catch “Rauschenberg,”

Photo courtesy of Dumb Friends League


Dress up Fido for the Furry Scurry, the largest dog walk in the country. More than 5,000 pooches and twice as many humans cover the two-mile Wash Park route every year before eating, drinking, and being merry. Then put on your own fancy hat and join in Denver’s Derby Day festivities. Oh, by the way, there’s a horse race starting at 4:50 p.m.

If you ski…or if you don’t ski…Arapahoe Basin has a great spring scene. Go online and reserve one of the 10 to 15 premium parking spaces at “The Beach,” the section of the Early Riser parking lot near three lower chairlifts. Enjoy a day of A-Basin skiing and tailgating with non-skiing family and friends—each space accommodates two cars, so maybe you can divide the $250 fee among 10 friends.

It was more than 40 years ago that the Denver suburb of Littleton started a beautification program with flowering crabapple trees, encouraging homeowners to plant them in yards around the city. In 2011 the Crabapple Route blossomed. Get on your bike today and pedal along the seven-mile route. At the northern end of Prince St., take a slight detour for a refreshment on the town’s charming Main St.

Ready or not, Denver, Memorial Day weekend marks the official opening of community pools, lakes, and other summer recreation areas. So find yourself some body of water (Chatfield? Evergreen Lake? Boulder Reservoir? Cherry Creek? Your recreation district pool?) and pack a picnic, along with umbrella and blankie. Even if you can’t jump in, you can get a toe wet.

The summit should have opened on Memorial Day, so get an early start to Idaho Springs’ access point for the Mt. Evans Scenic Byway, the highest paved road in North America. Be sure to take the short walk at the top from the parking lot to the top, enjoying views of Colorado from 14,262 feet. Hungry? Lunch is at the Echo Lake Lodge, a 1926 log building famous for its pies.

Photo by Paul Miller Photography


It’s almost summer Take a day to primp and polish at one of Denver’s day spas (Woodhouse, Spavia)— or, even better, at one of the area’s luxurious hotel spas (Brown Palace, Four Seasons, Ritz-Carlton, Oxford Hotel, Boulder’s St. Julien), some of which will give you access to the outdoor pool and bar/ restaurant for the day. Now, that’s a spahhhcation!

How about celebrating Denver’s athletes with tickets to a game? We’re hoping the Nuggets will have an NBA Finals contest today. If not (awwww), the Rockies will be home against the Pittsburgh Pirates at Coors Field, still a venue worth visiting for even the most marginal baseball fan. Don’t miss the Rooftop!

Plan a solar eclipse viewing party for tonight and be sure to include a hefty dose of caffeine on the menu! The action starts at 9:45 p.m. and peaks at 12:40 Sunday morning.

Picnic in the park! Even last year, when the first day of summer brought rain, hail, and a big chill, the Denver weather warmed up by now, so plan a day to revel in the outdoors at Wash Park, Cheesman, or someplace more remote.

“Dress,” Photo courtesy of Nathan Sawaya and The Art of the Brick


You can see fireworks anywhere. Try Salida this year: The Heart of the Rockies puts on a show that echoes around the mountains.

You bought tickets weeks ago for tonight’s Central City Opera opening of Rigoletto, so take the pretty drive up Highway 119 and spend a couple of hours at the tables in Blackhawk or in the shops of Central City. For a splurge, add the Opening Performance Party to your opera ticket: You’ll get insider insight before the show, plus dinner and cocktails.

Ready for some air conditioning? Catch the Norman Rockwell exhibition at the Denver Art Museum, and then visit the Denver Museum of Nature and Science for the fascinating Art of the Brick exhibition of LEGO artworks by Nathan Sawaya.

Maybe you got caught up yesterday in the Opening Ceremonies of the Tokyo Summer Games? Prepare for the amazing feats ahead by spending this day at the new U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Museum in Colorado Springs.

Photo courtesy of Joan Marcus


Start early and take in as many of Colorado’s state parks as you can cram into your itinerary. Plan ahead at your local library by taking advantage of the free “Check Out Colorado” program, and you’ll get a seven-day park pass good for entrance to all state parks, plus a backpack with guides, binoculars, and other adventuring essentials. On second thought, make this spectacular Saturday a memorable entire week before you send the kids back to school.

Doesn’t the combination of Garden of the Gods and Cave of the Winds have a nice ring? Head for the Colorado Springs area for a day enjoying these two special places, the awesome garden in the morning and then, when the sun has heated the rocks, you can grab some lunch in Manitou Springs and cool down in the cave, with its more than 20 gigantic, lighted rooms. Enjoy the breeze.

Grab your shopping bags and board the train to celebrate summer’s bounty with a day at the Union Station Farmers’ Market. Start with a free yoga class in front of the station at 8 a.m., then hydrate and enjoy breakfast at one of the many restaurants nearby. Then drool over the fruit and produce displays—and be sure your pickings include some Olathe corn! Start Googling recipes on the train home.

Take the Denver Center for the Performing Arts behind-the-scenes tour this morning, then see the Hamilton matinee this afternoon. To make a whole, rollicking day of theater, head over to Hotel Teatro for dinner, and then top it all off with cocktails at your table for tonight’s show at the cabaret-like Garner Galleria. There’s no business like show business!

You’ll spend all day at the Colorado State Fair and Rodeo in Pueblo. The final Saturday of the 11-day festivities is usually a big one, and if this one is like the last one, you’ll come across everything from a cow horse show to a demolition derby to a Brett Young concert to the 2020 World Slopper Eating Championship, plus all the usual rides, games, and attractions.

Photo by Jeff Nelson


What started as graffiti has, in the 2000s, become a revered art form that’s celebrated annually with the RiNo Arts District’s Crush Walls festival. Walk the streets and alleys off of Larimer St. to see the colorful murals painted by accomplished artists just for this weeklong event, which is part party, part exhibition, and, for the cyclists who navigate the route, part exercise.

Drive the Lariat Loop, a little known and traveled historic and scenic route easily accessible from Denver that begins in the heart of Golden (although you can start anywhere on the map that includes Morrison and Evergreen). Recommended stops include Red Rocks, to go up and down the steps to see the amphitheater’s hall of fame; Lookout Mountain, for a kid-friendly hike; and Golden, for a tour of Coors and/or lunch in this newly food-happy town.

A two-hour drive from Denver will get you to Leadville for a very special two-and-ahalf- hour ride through breathtaking bursts of fall color on the Colorado & Southern Railroad. Bring your pooch, and book early for an engine or caboose seat.

Take a deep breath and rev up for one of the busiest days around town. Doors Open Denver, the Great American Beer Festival, and (not OR!) the High Plains Comedy Festival—you don’t want to choose!

Photo courtesy of Air Force Athletics


There’s nothing like a college football game in the fall to bring back memories of your 20-year-old self, and the military academies have cornered the market on school spirit. Today it’s Navy at Air Force, so load up the SUV for some tailgating outside and some cheering inside the academy’s Falcon Stadium.

Tour Denver Life Magazine’s 2020 Designer Showhouse, a new build this year full of rooms artfully assembled by Colorado’s top designers. Not only are you sure to come away with ideas for your own home, your donation at the door might put a roof over the head of someone you know: It’s all for the benefit of the local Habitat for Humanity of Metro Denver.

Get ready to get lost! Corn mazes open this month around the state: Try Chatfield Farms, which supplements its amazing maze with food stalls and other entertainment, and has a Dead Zone Scream Park for your bigger kids.

Take in a Denver ghost tour. For walkers, there’s the Dark Side of Denver Ghost Tour that visits some of the city’s haunted buildings and the tunnels under Denver. And Banjo Billy’s funky bus tours offer a 90-minute ghost tour on October Saturday nights. Afterward, have a ghostera cocktail at the Cruise Room, in the supposedly haunted Oxford Hotel.

If you’ve got kids, you know exactly what today is all about. If not, you’ve still got time to whip up a costume and be a ghoulish (or foolish) grownup at one of the 21-and-up Halloween parties around town. Some of the blasts in the pasts have included Coloween at Stanley Marketplace, Paranormal Palace at McNichols Civic Center Building, and Zombie Prom at Union Station.

Photo courtesy of Stir Cooking School


It’s a free first Saturday at the Denver Art Museum, and if we’re guessing right, Denver Arts Week will slate its annual free Night at the Museum on this date. So catch the DAM in the afternoon, grab some bangers and mash at Pint’s Pub, and then make the rounds in the evening to every Denver museum you’ve ever wanted to visit.

Tour the Historic Splendid Valley, the newly branded agricultural region of Brighton where you can tour farms, pick flowers, fruit, and produce, and even see exotic animals. You can pick your chili, and have it roasted too! Or, if you prefer your food served to you, sign up for Local Table Tours’ Taste of LoHi afternoon of walking, eating, and drinking.

A big week of cooking is coming up—now’s the time to brush up on your skills, and maybe get some prep out of the way, at one of the Denver metro area’s cooking schools. Some offer kid-friendly classes, others have date-worthy packages, so check the schedules at our favorites (Uncorked Kitchen, Seasoned Chef, Stir, and Cook Street School of Culinary Arts) for the best fit.

It’s Small Business Saturday, the perfect day to wander around one of the many “main streets” around the Denver area to stroll, shop, sip, and sup. We can vouch for the city’s Santa Fe Art District, Wash Park’s South Pearl Street, the South Broadway antique district, and the streets of Cherry Creek. Tonight, admire the decorations at the Denver Botanic Gardens’ beloved Blossoms of Light. Entries are timed and you’ll want to get tickets well in advance.

Photo courtesy of Colorado Ballet, Mike Watson


Tree-cutting makes room for forests to regenerate— and gives your home a wonderful pine scent. So this morning, head for the hills and find your perfect Christmas tree. You can decorate it tomorrow, because tonight you’ll be admiring the decorations on parade and at the City and County Building at the 45th annual 9News Parade of Lights.

Get kitschy with the kids and enjoy an afternoon at Lakewood’s Casa Bonita, which gets decked out for the holidays even beyond its usual over-the-top decked out. Now you’ll be guilt-free for a kid-free staycation tonight at festive Union Station. Book a room at the Hotel Born, take light rail into town, have drinks at the romantic Cooper Lounge, and dine at Mercantile, Stoic & Genuine, Ultreia, or Citizen Rail. Sunday, brunch at Hearth and Dram. Maybe you’ll want to catch a Broncos game at Society Sports and Spirits before hopping back on the train home.

Enjoy an oh-so-classic Denver holiday Saturday, with afternoon tea at the Brown Palace (you did make your rezzie back in June, right?) followed by an early-evening performance of Colorado Ballet’s The Nutcracker at the Ellie Caulkins Opera House.

Celebrate the first day of Kwanzaa’s theme, Umoja (unity) by gathering your tribe for a night at the Denver Zoo. Zoo Lights sells out every year—you did mark your calendar to get your tickets online when they went on sale in November, right?

Don’t forget to enter the #52SaturdaysDLM Giveaway!