Ten things to do for free in Denver this week

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Love is in the air.

Downtown Denver

To start the week off right, head to the downtown Denver ice rink: although skating there is always free, on Valentine’s Day you won’t need to pay for equipment.

This is just the start of the great free activities in and around town (and online) this week; keep reading for nine more. (And see some other Valentine’s Day possibilities worth the price of admission here.)

Valentine’s Day at the Downtown Denver Ice Rink
Monday, February 14, 12 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Downtown Denver Ice Rink, Skyline Park

Skating at the Downtown Rink is always free, but Southwest Airlines and the Downtown Partnership have teamed up to offer free skate rentals, extended hours, and more fun — including a photo booth and other surprises — the valentine’s day. But there’s no completely free lunchtime skateboarding: Southwest encourages the donation of new or lightly worn coats for victims of the Marshall Fire as well as A Precious Child; learn more here.

Colfax BRT Community Workshop
Tuesday, February 15, from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., via Zoom
Are you on the bus? A new year is a new chance to learn more about the upcoming Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) project on East Colfax Avenue. Join the virtual meeting to hear how feedback has changed the design of BRT stations, weigh in on BRT naming options, and get the latest project updates. Learn more here.

Ruby Hill Rail Yard
Thursday, February 17, from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. and Saturday, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Ruby Hill Rail Yard, Overland Golf Course, South Platte River Drive

Although Ruby Hill Terrain Park has been free since it opened in 2007, for the first time this year, Denver Parks and Recreation is offering free equipment to the public — snowboards, boots and helmets — on Thursdays and Saturdays. The town is also hosting a special celebration at the terrain park from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, February 19, with games, music, food and a rail jam contest for young people. Learn more here.

Poet Alejandro Jimenez: Workshop and Performance
Thursday, February 17, 5:30 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Broomfield Library and Auditorium, 3 Community Park Road, Broomfield

Alejandro Jimenez is a performance poet and educator whose work revolves around cultural identity, immigrant narratives, masculinity, memory and their intersections. This TEDx speaker and Emmy-nominated poet will host a bilingual writing workshop from 5:30-6:30 p.m. in the Eisenhower Room, followed by a performance at 7:30 p.m. in the auditorium. Admission is free for one or both; no registration required. Learn more here.

Click to enlarge Artist Liz Cooper captures the gorilla for the Casa Bonita art exhibition at the Next Gallery.  - LIZ COOPER, COURTESY OF THE FOLLOWING GALLERY

Artist Liz Cooper captures the gorilla for the Casa Bonita art exhibition at the Next Gallery.

Liz Cooper, courtesy of Next Gallery

The Casa Bonita: Mi Casa Es Su Casa Art Exhibition
Opening: Friday, February 18, 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.; show until March 5
Next Gallery, 6851 West Colfax Avenue, Lakewood
Casa Bonita returns, as does Next Gallery’s Casa Bonita Art Exhibition, now in its fifth and perhaps most important year. For 2022, the kitschy capital of West Colfax was performed by more than sixty artists of all ages from Colorado and the rest of the nation, selected by jurors Dolla B, founder of the Casa Bonita Art Show, and Casa booster and aficionado Bonita Andrew Novick. On opening night, cash rewards will be handed out at 8 p.m., but for the rest of the performers, it’s an honor to be a part of Casa Bonita’s legacy. Learn more here.

Ars Nova Singers: Cool Renders
Friday, February 18, 7:30 p.m., online

As another Colorado winter approaches, Ars Nova presents its 2003 version of Will Todd Mass in blue, a swinging approach to a traditional Latin mass that evokes the big band dance halls and smoky nightclubs of quintessential American jazz in what has been described as “religious doctrine meets funk!” Artistic director Tom Morgan combines a recent Ars Nova recording of Mass in blue with video editing for a special virtual experience presented online for free (although a $20 donation is welcome). Learn more here.

Buy small, support big
Saturday, February 19, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Stanley Market, 2501 Dallas Street, Aurora

The Stanley Marketplace takes its small businesses seriously – enough to throw a
Buy small, support the big market when no holidays are immediately on the way. A variety of vendors will be selling everything from boutique wares to handmade items at the Saturday market. In the meantime, some permanent Stanley businesses are offering special offers throughout February to celebrate the city mall’s fifth anniversary, including half-price entry to the new [email protected] attraction. Spend the day! Learn more here.

Rocky Mountain Record Show
Saturday, February 19, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. (early bird option at 9 a.m.)
RedLine Center for Contemporary Art, 2350 Arapahoe Street
The Rocky Mountain Record Show returns to RedLine, where it debuted in August. Fans will also return, as they’ve discovered that RMRS is considered a Valhalla of vinyl pinball, with a lineup of DJs spinning wax all day and food trucks parked outside. Admission is free from 11 a.m., but there is a $20 option for early bird purchases from 9 a.m. How hungry are you? These tix are selling out fast. Register in advance and find more information here.

black experience in art
Saturday February 19, 3 p.m.
Dairy Arts Centre, 2590 Walnut St, Boulder
The Dairy’s Black Experience In Art celebrations culminate in a funky ’70s vibe and a party demanding the right gear: rigs, dashikis, big bell bottoms and Afros so far. DJ SouLLorain will be pumping out the best of soul and blues – a mix of music from Stax Records, Motown, Philly and Beale Street in Memphis – so get ready to show off your train of souls moves around, then sneak in for a guided tour through the current exhibit walk with me, an exhibition of photographs by Dr. Ernest C. Withers, a documentarian of mid-century black culture and civil rights protests. The event is free; find details here.

Click to enlarge SIDE STORIES

Side Stories 2022: Love Stories
Until February 20, from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.
RiNo Arts District

Have a good time in the RiNo Art District, where this year’s edition of Side Stories is all about love. Five local artists have created works that will be projected onto the exterior walls. It’s free and local businesses offer deals; learn more here.

Know of a great free event around Denver? We’ll be updating this list throughout the week; send information to [email protected]

About Brandy Perry

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