Pop Culture and Summer Fun!

May 30, 2019

As the kids get ready for summer vacation, it’s not too late to sign them up for a super summer Maker Camp! Whether they want to learn how to master Ancestral Skills or make their own toys, you’ll find a workshop that works for them! This weekend is all about Pop Culture—from the big three-day Pop Culture Con at the Convention Center to clever musicians who mash up classical and pop music. It’s a fun beginning to the season dedicated to fun!

Summer vacation is just around the corner, and if you haven’t found something fun for your kids to do, these crafty sessions of day camp may be just the ticket! Kids who like to build, make, and create will have a blast at these camps that teach old-fashioned hands-on skills like sewing and woodworking, as kids learn how to make their own toys (Toy Shop Camp). Kids always have fun with puppets—from creating their own puppets to putting on their own show (Puppet Party Camp). And all kids love to pretend they are  out in the wilderness alone, figuring out how our ancestors did things before the advent of technology (Ancestral Skills Camp).

All of these Maker Camps for kids ages 5-11 are based on a one-room schoolhouse workshop model, where everyone works together on shared goals. Each camp day is based on a theme, skill or material. Camp teachers are able to differentiate and modify project goals depending on your child’s age, interests and abilities. Choose from a variety of weekly workshops including Toy Shop, Grocery Shop, Ancestral Skills, Cardboard Carnival, Fibers, and Puppet Party—before they’re filled!

The Craftsman and Apprentice, 1325 E. 22nd Ave. Denver
9 a.m. – 3 p.m., Weekly, June 3 – August 23
Cost: $261 (3 days) – $435 (5 days)
Phone: 720-515-8611 

Thursday, May 30

This is one extra-special concert—not only is it held at Colorado’s favorite outdoor venue, the beautiful Red Rocks Amphitheatre, and not only does it feature the premiere banjo player in the world, but Béla Fleck’s list of special guests joining him onstage includes the Colorado Symphony!

In case you aren’t familiar with Béla Fleck, he an iconic bluegrass musician who has reinvented what can be done with the sound of a banjo! He has appeared across the spectrum of music styles, collaborating with musicians of virtually every genre, but mostly he just loves to pick the banjo! Along with the Colorado Symphony, other guests include Grammy Award-winning master of bluegrass Sam Bush, who is better known as the King of Newgrass for his innovative approach, and old-time music experimental musician Abigail Washburn. Washburn pairs traditional folk elements with her own bracing interpretations to create music that sounds both familiar and like nothing you’ve ever heard before!

Red Rocks Amphitheatre, 18300 W. Alameda Pkwy, Morrison
7:30 p.m.
Tickets: $45-$89
Phone: 303-623-7876

Thursday-Sunday, May 30-June 2

It’s Nuclear War. Wear sensible shoes. This is the live-action theatrical game that makes you the hero! It’s not a play, but it is an awesome story about mutually assured destruction where the players need to work together to save the world. While it doesn’t have actors (YOU and the other players are the actors) or an audience (YOU and the other players are the audience), it does have the kind of awesome special effects, story lines, and mind-bending puzzles to solve that you might find in the most intriguing thriller.

On arrival, each player will receive a standard issue jumpsuit to be worn over their civilian clothes. Wear comfortable clothing to more easily perform your duties as a Defender. Athletic sneakers and pants are preferred. This 90-minute game is designed for adults and recommended for ages 15 and over. No one under 13 will be admitted.

Under the Patagonia Store, 1510 Blake St., Denver
Thurs., 6:00 p.m.; Fri., 6:00 and 8:30 p.m.; Sat., 12:30 and 3:00 p.m.; Sun., 8:30 p.m.
Tickets: Starting at $25
Phone: 303-893-4100

Did you ever wonder what Oz was like before Dorothy and Toto showed up there? Wicked is the blockbuster Broadway musical that tells the backstory of the Good Witch and the Wicked Witch—and it’s not what you might expect! This show is family-friendly and great fun for kids and adults alike!

Wicked is an unexpectedly moving story of friendship and loyalty with an amazing musical score and costumes and sets that are out of this world! It won’t be in Denver much longer—grab some tickets while you still can!

Buell Theatre/DCPA, Speer Blvd. & Arapahoe St., Denver
Thurs./Fri./Sat./Sun., 7:30 p.m.; Sat./Sun., 2:00 p.m.
Tickets: $49-$215
Phone: 800-641-1222

Friday, May 31

Late night at the Denver Art Museum is your chance to play! This Final Friday event means the doors stay open longer so you can catch the special exhibit as well as all of the other works on display. This month’s featured artist is Kenzie Sitterud with the theme Sit. Stand. Play. The interactive programming includes an invitation to participate in all the playing that’s going on! 

There will be collaborative toothpick sculptures to be built, or you can catch one of the short films playing throughout the night, or maybe enter the jumbo rainbow slinky race! The special exhibit and activities are included with regular general admission, and kids 18 and under are FREE. Come out for an evening of art, play, and fun!

Denver Art Museum, 100 W. 14th Ave., Denver
6:00-10:00 p.m.
Tickets: $14-$28
Phone: 720-913-0130

Friday-Sunday, May 31 – June 2

Fun for the whole family, especially those interested in a particular Pop Culture phenomenon. Where else can you see the biggest stars of sci-fi, fantasy, and animation, as well as the artists and writers who create the worlds you love—all under one roof for a three-day extravaganza?

Stars from Critical Role, Stranger Things, Shazam, and voices from animated favorites including Mulan, Mario, and various anime programs will appear on panels and pose with you for photos! It’s also your chance to have some fun with cosplay—dress up like your favorite character! 

Colorado Convention Center,  700 14th St., Denver
Fri./Sat., 10:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.; Sun., 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Tickets: $49.50-$93.50; Kids under 12: $8.25 with adult ticket
Phone: 303-228-8000

Saturday, June 1

Southlands Farmer’s Market is set in the beautiful main plaza in the Southlands Shopping Center at E470 & Smoky Hill Road. The market comes alive every Saturday from May through October. Seasonal produce, Western Slope fruit, local artisans, food vendors, and much more.

Southlands Shopping Center, 6155 S. Main St., Aurora
8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
Cost: FREE

This is the Farmer’s Market brought to you by growers only! A wide selection of fresh produce, meat, eggs, flowers, cheese, breads and more—straight from the farm! Brought to you by the Boulder County Farmers Markets nonprofit organization, you don’t need to go any further than downtown Denver to get the freshest produce.

Don’t miss chef demonstrations from 10:00 – 11:00 a.m. for inspired cuisine ideas, followed by live music! Bring your own shopping bag and make it a day!

Denver’s Union Station, 1701 Wynkoop St., Denver
9:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Cost: FREE
Phone: 303-910-2236

The band Radiohead does not make an appearance at this concert—and neither does the composer Brahms. But the Colorado Symphony has great fun mixing up the music of two masterpieces from two different centuries, and you won’t want to miss it!

Radiohead’s landmark 1997 studio album, OK Computer, sounds even more amazing when some of the tracks—including Paranoid Android, Karma Police, No Surprises, and Let Down—are seamlessly interwoven with Brahms’ lush First Symphony. The Colorado Symphony is joined by guest vocalists and arranger/conductor Steve Hackman in this not-to-be-missed musical exploration!

Boettcher Concert Hall/DCPA, Speer Blvd. & Arapahoe St., Denver
7:30 p.m.
Tickets: $25-$99
Phone: 303-623-7876

Saturday-Sunday, June 1-2

Be a part of this outdoor museum of spectacular works of sidewalk art! Whether you want to join the hundreds of artists working together to transform the streets of Larimer Square into a masterpiece by grabbing some chalk and adding to the splendor, or would prefer to be a spectator, this interactive art festival is great fun for the whole family! The 17th annual Denver Chalk Art Festival is a FREE two-day street-painting festival and a perfect way to start your summer vacation.

Larimer Square, 1430 Larimer Square, Denver
Sat., 10:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m.; Sun., 10:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Tickets: FREE
Phone: 303-884-5700

An intimate neighborhood theatre project that lets you watch a work being created from the ground up, the 2019 Plays In Progress Series features five talented women playwrights as they collaborate with directors, dramaturgs and actors to bring their brand-new works to life!

The exciting weekend of table-reads and productions-in-progress gives you an inside look at the process as theatre artists create their masterpieces. The Athena Project shines a much-needed light on female writers in particular, giving them an invaluable opportunity for audience feedback in the development of their plays. Check out the exciting lineup of playwrights and their projects, and plan on spending the entire weekend in the theatre!

Aurora Fox Arts Center, Black Box Studio, 9900 E. Colfax Ave, Aurora
Sat., 12:00, 3:30, 7:30 p.m.; Sun., 4:30 and 7:30 p.m.
Tickets: $15-$125
Phone: 802-255-1826

Sunday, June 2

If you are a fan of classical and orchestral music that stretches to include modern pop masterpieces, you will love the Sphere Ensemble! This local group of talented musicians performs a signature mix of styles, including string orchestra masterworks, arrangements of classical masterpieces originally for other instruments, and inventive and original interpretations of pop music.

This concert runs the gamut from Bach’s Chaconne to Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody, with works by Gershwin, Schumann, Daft Punk, Berlioz, Mumford and Sons, Bartok, and more! In between sets, you’ll have a chance to relax and enjoy delicious bites and cocktails, and mingle with the members of the Sphere Ensemble. 

Studios at Overland Crossing, 2205 S. Delaware St., Denver
5:00-8:00 p.m.
Tickets: $20-$35
Phone: 720-663-8367

Plenty of Things to Do Near Southshore!

Away from it all, but close to everything, the lakeside community of Southshore offers access to plenty of things to do every weekend! If you’re new to Life at the Lake, drive around and check out the beautiful model homes from Century Communities, Richmond American Homes and Toll Brothers. Available in ranch and two-story designs, Southshore homes are priced between the upper $400s to the $700s.