Water Lantern Festival This Weekend!

July 15, 2021

This magical and meaningful cultural festival is held in cities all over the world as a gesture to make connections with others. Build your own lantern, attach notes of love and hope, and then launch the lit-up lantern on a pond or lake—along with thousands of other lanterns. The reflection of all those hopes and dreams is an inspiring and beautiful sight to behold.

TODAY/TONIGHT, Thursday, July 15

You’ll feel like you’ve gone somewhere tropical when you groove to the Margarita Brothers, this week’s concert in the Sounds of Southlands music series! Featuring all your favorite summer tunes from Jimmy Buffet, the Beach Boys, surf music, south of the border classics, and old-time beach party songs, this is summer music at its best!

Southlands, 6155 S. Main St., Aurora
6:00 – 8:00 p.m.
Tickets: $5
Phone: 303-627-5000

Thursday – Sunday, July 15-18

The sale everyone’s been waiting for! In order to make room for incoming fall fashions, the shops of Cherry Creek North are marking down their summer stock and putting them out on racks for the neighborhood’s annual Sidewalk Sale! Browse countless designer deals and hundreds of one-of-a-kind items.

Plus, one lucky shopper will walk away with a $500 gift card. Just look for the red balloons!

Cherry Creek North, 2401 E. 2nd Ave., Denver
10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Information: FREE
Phone: 303-394-2904

Everyone is talking about the most exciting art exhibit in town—and it’s right in the neighborhood! This large-scale multi-sensory experience brings the works of Vincent Van Gogh to life and it’s taking place at the nearby Hangar at Stanley Marketplace for a limited time. So much more than a museum visit to look at paintings, it’s a larger-than-life symphony of light, color, sound, and fragrance that makes you feel like you are walking right into a Van Gogh painting! 

The Hangar at Stanley Marketplace, 2501 N. Dallas St., Aurora
Thurs./Sun., 10:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m. Fri./Sat., 10:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m.
Tickets: $35-$55

When you’ve done all the typical summer activities, why not try something that’s far from typical? Monster World in downtown Denver is a series of cinematic environments featuring infamous creatures and characters, many of whom are from your favorite horror films and stories! Check out this interactive outdoor installment for a real summertime thrill!

Denver Pavilions, 500 16th Street Mall, Suite 180, Denver
Thurs./Fri./Sat., 11:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.; Sun., 12:00 – 6:00 p.m.
Tickets: $18-$25

You can still get tickets for the biggest free concert series in Denver! Capacity has been increased and new shows have been added. Check out the full schedule and see which acts are calling your name! General admission is free, but you must RSVP in order to be admitted. For non-sold-out shows, you can RSVP at the door.

This weekend’s lineup features a variety of acts from hip-hop to world music to a combination mariachi concert and dance performance. Thursday’s concert is Marcus Rezak’s Truth in Sound Album Release; Friday is Mariachi Sol de mi Tierra with Fiesta Colorado dance company; Saturday’s concert features Chali 2na with the Reminders; and Sunday’s concert features Pandas and People.

Levitt Pavilion, 1380 W. Florida Ave., Denver
Tickets: FREE (but RSVP required)
Thurs., 6:00-10:00 p.m.; Fri., 5:00-10:00 p.m.; Sat., 6:00-10:00 p.m.; Sun., 4:00-8:30 p.m.

Friday, July 16

Plan for a parents’ night out while the kids are having their own evening of fun at Southlands YMCA’s Kids Night Out. You’ll be able to relax, knowing your kids ages 3-12 will be having a good time watching a kids’ movie, playing games, and doing some crafts.

Pack a dinner or snacks—no food will be served.

Southlands YMCA, 6155 S. Main St. #220, Aurora
5:30 – 8:30 p.m.
Register: $15

Saturday, July 17


With the early-summer heat wave, Colorado crops have been bountiful! Bring plenty of shopping bags when you head over to Southlands Farmers’ Market where you can shop for the freshest local produce, as well as homemade breads, jams, salsas and much more!

Southlands, 6155 S Main St., Aurora
8:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Information: FREE

Kids interested in exploring all things related to flying can become an aviation scout and earn their very own Aviation Merit Badge. This is a “penguin” class, which means the scouts don’t fly, but they will learn the ins and outs of flight, tour the museum, plot and fly a course on the simulators, and build and fly gliders made from a foam picnic plate!

The class runs all day, and kids should bring their own lunch. At the end of the class, instructors will discuss opportunities in the professional, private and sport aviation fields.

Adults can sit in IF there is space (adults should NOT register but may pay museum admission the day of the class).

Wings Over the Rockies, 7711 E. Academy Blvd., Denver
10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Tickets: $15
Phone: 303-360-5360

Here’s an in-person art show and auction that will also be made available for a virtual gallery experience throughout the weekend as well! You can view an exciting array of student artwork on display and participate in a silent auction for works you’d like to purchase. Once the auction is over, the artwork will be available for pick-up or shipped by request during the following week.

The People’s Building, 9995 E. Colfax Ave., Aurora
4:00 – 6:00 p.m.
Tickets: FREE but must register in advance

Well worth the drive up to Thornton, the Water Lantern Festival is a truly special event that was voted the #1 Best Cultural Festival by USA Today. The centerpiece of this festival is the launching of thousands of lanterns adorned with letters of love, hope, and dreams onto a lake. The reflection of the lanterns on the water is a visually-stunning experience that emphasizes the need to make connections with others.

Your ticket includes entry into the festival area with access to food trucks, a floating lantern kit which you assemble, an LED candle, and a commemorative bag. The price also includes the cost of collecting and removing the lanterns from the water following the event as well as cleaning up any trash that may have been previously been in or around the water. 

Carpenter Park, 3498 E. 112th Ave., Thornton
5:30 – 10:00 p.m.
Tickets: $45-$55
Phone: 555-555-5555

Throughout the pandemic lockdown, Chris Daniels continued to put out music with his Facebook “fireside chats,” and now he’s thrilled to be performing live again with his band! Daniels was inducted into the Colorado Music Hall of Fame in 2013, and his band has just released a new album, Blues With Horns.

Come out for this FREE Concert on the Green event at Stapleton!

South Green, 29th Ave. & Roslyn, Denver
6:00 – 8:00 p.m.
Tickets: FREE

Saturday-Sunday, July 17-18

There’s no better way to spend quality time with your family than by coming together to create an imaginative project! Denver Botanic Gardens provides the space and the natural materials for you to connect with nature and each other—your family provides the imagination and the teamwork!

What would your Garden of Imagination look like? Would it contain a tree of seashells, a bush of jelly beans, or creatures that are out-of-this-world? The project fee includes one garden container, plants, and access to a variety of natural and manmade materials to use for decoration, as well as admission to the Gardens for your family group.

Denver Botanic Gardens, 1007 York St., Denver
9:15 a.m.; 10:15 a.m.; 11:15 a.m.; 1:00 p.m.
Register: $12-$15 per person
Phone: 720-865-3500

Sunday, July 18

Head over to Stanley Marketplace for some cool R&B with Lee Clark Allen! Based in Denver, Allen is an acclaimed singer-songwriter whose debut album won awards and nominations from Westword Magazine and national music literary magazines. He’s performed in such prestigious settings as the Mile High Blues Festival, Taste of Colorado, and the 2020 # I Voted Music Festival—now see him perform nearby in the Stanley Marketplace Sunday Music Series!

The event is FREE and no registration is required.

Stanley Marketplace, 2501 N. Dallas St., Aurora
1:00 – 4:00 p.m.
Information: FREE

Wind down your weekend with the big blues sound of Chris Daniels & the Kings! Daniels and his band has performed all over the world at festivals such as The Down Home Blues Festival in South Carolina, The Bob Hope Chrysler Desert Classic, The Curacao Swing Festival in South America, and the Ribs & Blues Festival in The Netherlands. Now you can catch the band live in City Park!

City Park, 2001 Colorado Blvd., Denver
6:00 – 8:00 p.m.
Tickets: FREE

Family-friendly activities in the Southshore area!

There’s always something to do near the family-friendly community of Southshore! Enjoy Life at the Lake with plenty of cultural and entertainment activities in the surrounding area! Check out the beautiful model homes from Richmond American Homes, Toll Brothers, and Taylor Morrison, and picture yourself in your very own dream house! With ranch and two-story models available, new homes are priced from the upper $400s to the $700s.