Twelve Free Things to Do in Denver This Week, September 26-October 2


We’re full into fall, with a cornucopia of cultural activities spilling out all over town. To celebrate the last vestige of summer, head to Red Rocks for the final Film on the Rocks of the season, dune, with live music before the screening from Ramakhandra and Aquile; although that event definitely has an admission charge, you can make up for it with all the free fun this week, including the online offerings of Doors Open Denver.

Keep reading for twelve of the best free things to do this week in and around Denver:

Doors Open Denver
Monday, September 26, through Sunday, October 16
All about Denver and online
Doors Open Denver returns, with eight new virtual tours as well as virtual tours archived from DOD 2020 and 2021 that you can watch for free on the Denver Architecture Foundation website. The new virtual tours include looks at Eugene Groves’s Nordlund House, J. Roger Musick’s Bitman-Hower House, Watkins Stained Glass, the United States Air Force Academy, US Olympic & Paralympic Museum, Red Rocks Park and Amphitheater, Historic Elitch Theater and the Howard Berkeley Park Chapel. In addition to these free online tours, you can ante up for dozens of in-person tours and other programs. Get all the details here.

Judaism Your Way: 2022 Rosh Hashanah Services
Monday, September 26: Family Service, 9 a.m.; Adult Service: 10:30 am
Denver Botanic Gardens, 1007 York Street, or online

The Jewish faith’s High Holy Days are around the corner, but don’t worry if you haven’t planned ahead. Judaism Your Way’s separate but inclusive observances for families and grownups are not only free, but can be shared in several areas at the Denver Botanic Gardens — in the main tent, on giant screens on the lawn or inside Mitchell Hall — as well as online. Optional online-only Jewish yoga and meditation sessions are also available, and the same rules apply for Yom Kippur services, following on October 4 and 5. Register here.

Street Wise Boulder Mural Festival
Thursday, September 29, through Saturday, October 1, 10 am to 6 pm; Sunday, October 2, 11 am to 5 pm
Street Wise HQ at 1909 Broadway and around Boulder

The fourth year of the Street Wise Boulder Mural Festival will include sixteen new murals in downtown and central Boulder, with a lineup that includes 21 Colorado-based and four out-of-state artists. Festivities kick off with walking tours of the murals at 10 am and 2 pm daily starting on September 29. Watch for lectures, parties and other programs over the weekend. Get the details here.

click to enlarge

It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s Bandaloop! See the high flyers on the DU campus Thursday.

Courtesy of Bandaloop

bandaloop: LOOM:FIELD
Thursday, September 29, 4:30 to 7 pm
Ritchie School of Engineering and Science, 2155 East Wesley Avenue, and Sie Complex, 2201 South Gaylord Street, University of Denver
Unlike with most events on the Newman Center season playbill at the University of Denver, there’s no admission charge to watch the high-flying Bandaloop dance troupe from Oakland rappelling off campus buildings in the late afternoon light. Currently in the middle of a three-part, vertical-dance series called LOOMthe company will perform LOOM:FIELD at DU, which imagines building facades as giant looms upon which the free-falling dancers weave. Along with that spectacle, several other local groups will be performing on terra firma. Learn more here.

Brooks LTD. New Collection Reveal: River
Launch Party: Thursday, September 29, 5 to 7 pm
Sip and Shop Open Studio: Saturday, October 1, 11 am to 4 pm
Brooks LTD. Atelier, Acme Lofts, 1301 Wazee Street

Denver fashion designer Brooks Luby launched her one-woman business Brooks LTD. in 1974, and has been highly visible here ever since, keeping up with trends and technology as a force on the local fashion scene. These days she keeps a LoDo neighborhood private atelier, where she’ll launch her newest collection, called River for the flowy, elegant ease of its one-of-a-kind separates, some with delicate openwork details. Come see the collection at the intimate launch party, and return to shop during the open studio. Admission to both is free; learn more here.

Fall Plant & Bulb Sale
Friday, September 30, and Saturday, October 1, 9 am to 5 pm (last entry at 4)
Denver Botanic Gardens, 1007 York Street

You know that specialty bulbs, seeds and fall plants grown at the Denver Botanic Gardens are going to be fresh, local and, more often than not, out of the ordinary. For that reason, the Fall Plant and Bulb Sale is a popular event among hopeful gardeners dreaming of spring. It’s not as overwhelming as the DBG’s May plant sale, but you do still have to be early and quick to nab the best and most interesting finds. Admission is free (reservations are required here); find a shopping guide here.

Handmade in Colorado Expo
Friday, September 30, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Saturday, October 1, 10 am to 6:30 pm, and Sunday, October 2, 11 am to 5 pm
Fillmore Plaza, Fillmore Street, between First and Second avenues

Handmade in Colorado returns to Fillmore Plaza in Cherry Creek North for its fourteenth year, bringing loads of fall artisan goods and goodies — all made in Colorado. Enjoy live music while you stroll and shop, and when you’re ready to sit down, pop into one of the neighborhood eateries. Admission is free; find info here.

Hispanic Heritage Celebration
Saturday, September 30, 5 to 9 pm
Stanley Marketplace, 2501 Dallas Street, Aurora
Stanley Marketplace events always have something for everyone, and its Hispanic Heritage Celebration on the west patio is no exception. There will be live mariachi music, Mexican dancers, artisan vendors, lucha libre wrestling, a pickup game with pro league FC Denver kickers and a DJ dance party to close out the evening. It’s all free; find all the details here.

The Dirty South Lowrider Show and Shine
Saturday, October 1, 9 am to 2 pm
North High School Parking Lot, 2960 Speer Boulevard

We can all agree that lowrider culture didn’t drive up from the Deep South, but when MCA Denver hosts The Dirty South Lowrider Show and Shine in conjunction with its big exhibition The Dirty South, the idea is to represent one of this region’s cultural traditions, too, with everything from automobiles to music, art, design and food. Admission is free in the North High parking lot, where the cars will be rocking and rolling. Get details and RSVP here.

Lighthouse Fall Block Party
Saturday, October 1, 1 to 4 pm
Lighthouse Building Site, 3840 York Street

Lighthouse Writers Workshop, a rare and wonderful asset for Denver’s literary community, is in the midst of building its new home, and it’s throwing a free Fall Block Party to get acquainted with the neighborhood. Come see the project’s progress, and you’ll also find food truck fare, a bookmobile, writing activities, face painting and a raffle. A handful of other nonprofit organizations will also be on hand, including Heart and Hand, Denver Food Rescue and Clara Brown Commons. Learn more and register here.

and two almost-anytime bonuses:

Echoes From the History Colorado CollectionSeason Two
Anytime on SoundCloud
Got fifteen minutes to learn something new about Colorado in the ’30s? At 3 pm every Monday for ten weeks, History Colorado is offering another episode of Echoes From the Collection, hosted by Arlo White or Hypnotic Turtle. The second season, which launched in August, is a series of dramatic readings culled from interviews conducted in Colorado in the early years of the Great Depression by the Civil Works Administration. And on the next two, Thursdays there will be special releases where objects in the museum collection come to life and tell their stories. Tune in here anytime for a free listen.

Edge Effect: La inclusión de mi raza (The inclusion of my race)
Through November 13, Wednesday through Sundays, 11 am to 7 pm
Tail Tracks Plaza, 1550 Wewatta Street

The Biennial of the Americas and Black Cube Nomadic Art Museum partnered on the latest Edge Effect project: La inclusión de mi raza (The inclusion of my race), a temporary public-art installation by Guadalajara-based artist Gabriel Rico at Tail Tracks Plaza. Rico’s outdoor installation includes totemic sculptures composed of an array of objects donated by the Denver community and an interactive AR experience. It’s open from 11 am to 7 pm Wednesdays through Sundays through November 13 (but on view 24/7).

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

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