Whether you’re heading outdoors or staying inside, you’ll find plenty of free fun in Denver this week. Sunset Cinema launches its new season of outdoor films in the Galleria on Tuesday, while Regis University gets in the game on Friday; McGregor Square also has a lineup of films.
Other entertainment options include major author visits and a big weekend of festivals ahead! Keep reading for twelve of the best free options around town this week.
Rick Reilly: So Help Me Golf
Tuesday, June 7, 6 pm
Tattered Cover, Aspen Grove
Rick Reilly, the award-winning sports writer who got his start in Colorado (and might be one of the funniest people on the planet), is back with a new book, So Help Me Golf, It’s a collection of stories about why we love the game; he’ll be reading from it and taking questions from the audience at this free appearance. Find out more here.
Sunset Cinema: Hairspray
Tuesday, June 7, doors 6 pm, film at dusk
Galleria, Denver Performing Arts Complex
Kick back in the heart of the city at Sunset Cinema, a string of recurring film screenings that start June 7 in the heart of the Denver Performing Arts Complex. The free four-film series, this year sporting a music theme, starts with the 2007 version of John Waters’s campy Hairspray, with food trucks and Pride-friendly pre-film entertainment provided by Dixie Krystals and Minor Misdemeanor in a rousing game of Drag Queen Bingo. Future films include Soul, Selena and Almost Famous, find details and RSVP at Eventbrite.
Terra at CSU Spur Grand Opening
Wednesday, June 8, 11 am to 1 pm; Friday, June 10, 9 am to 1 pm; and Saturday, June 11, 10 am to 2 pm
4817 National Western Drive
CSU Spur is opening Terra, its second building at the National Western Complex, with a ribbon-cutting on June 8, along with tours, music and food trucks. The grand opening celebrations will continue with Kids’ Day at Terra on June 10, complete with the CSU Bug Zoo; and Community, Family and Friends Afternoon on June 11. While Terra is devoted to food and agriculture, Vida, which focuses on animals, will also be open with free programming. Get all the details here.
Punketry Fifth Anniversary
Wednesday, June 8, 6 pm
Mutiny Information Cafe, 2 South Broadway
No need to ask about this thing called punketry: All you need to know is it involves live poetry and reverb-heavy, 100 percent improvised punk music. The brainchild of South Broadway Press and Punch Drunk Press, with kudos to “psychpunk” band Black Market Translation, the souped-up poetry reading stands five quality poets in front of the band and just lets the magic happen every month. Punketry celebrates five years of these spontaneous eruptions at Mutiny Information Cafe with an over-the-top, twelve-poet lineup, plus one live painter for good measure. A $5 donation is requested at the door, but no one will be turned away. More info here.
Kali Fajardo-Anstine, Woman of Light
Wednesday, June 8, 7 pm
Tattered Cover Book Store, 2526 East Colfax Avenue
Denver native Kali Fajardo-Anstine made so many waves with her first book — the National Book Award-nominated Sabrina & Corina, a collection of short stories — that fans couldn’t wait for her next one. As a result, the June 7 launch of Fajardo-Anstine’s Woman of Light, at the Tattered Cover Colfax, sold out quickly, so the store added a second night to catch the overflow. See Fajardo-Anstine in conversation with Denver Whiting Award Winner Steven Dunn on June 8, discussing her novel, which covers five generations of a Chicano family in the West. Admission is free, but dishing $28 in advance for a copy of the book will get you in the signing line faster; register at Eventbrite.
Bloodmilk Moonlight Fair
Friday, June 10, and Saturday, June 11, 6 to 10 pm
RitualCravt, 7700 West 44th Avenue, Wheat Ridge
Tired of the usual spread you find at summer artisan markets? The Bloodmilk Moonlight Fair at RitualCravt promises a more arcane selection of vendors that will appeal to witches, goths and repressed Victorian ladies with skin as pale as a moonflower. Open for two evenings this weekend, the fair will offer labyrinth pendants and moth rings; affirming enamel pins and beanies from Philly street artist Amberella; glass vials stuffed with tiny bones and dried flowers and butterfly wings; Victorian postcards and ephemera; and so on into the night. Aura photography and tarot readings will also be on the table. Find details and vendor info here.
Friday, June 10, 6:30 pm
Boettcher Commons, Regis University
RegiRama, a free, three-film outdoor movie series named after Regis University’s mascot, Regi the fox, starts with a screening of Encanto, Food trucks will be on hand selling treats, and you can also bring a picnic. The films will start around dusk, at 8:30 pm Find more information here.
Summer Horseshoe Market Series
Saturday, June 11, 10 am to 4 pm
Central Market, 2631 Larimer Street
The Horseshoe Market is going smaller this summer with a series of tightly curated, intimate events in the parking lot by Denver Central Market in RiNo. But small is relative: There will be more than forty vendor booths representing some of the best micro-businesses and makers that Colorado has to offer, selling handcrafted gift items, wares for home and table, vintage treasures, upcycled clothing, jewelry, fine art , ceramics, paper goods, food items and more. Browsing is free; find a vendor list here.
27th Annual Philippine Festival
Saturday, June 11, and Sunday, June 12, 11 am to 5 pm
Filipino-American Community, 1900 Harlan Street, Edgewater
The Filipino-American Community of Colorado knows how to feed a crowd, but that’s not the only reason to pull up a chair at the 27th annual Philippine Festival, a celebration commemorating Philippine Independence from Spain more than 120 years ago. It’s a community-minded effort by volunteers, who wrap each lumpia by hand and prepare favorite dishes and snacks, man the booths, and perform traditional music and dance. The fest is free, but you’ll want some pocket money; find information here.
Second Saturday Artisan Mercadito
Saturday, June 11, noon to 5 pm
Eastlosarte Galeria and Artisan Shop, 12371 Mead Way, Littleton
Artists David A. Martinez and Velia Garcia-Martinez channel an East LA vibe at their Eastlosarte Galería and Artisan Shop in Littleton, and every second Saturday of the month, they host an artisan market out on the sidewalk. See the continuing local artist exhibition Rise! in the gallery, then grab a free paleta and hang outside with vendors like Inez Sanchez and her Missfits Dolls, and Rosa Chavez and her Luna Rosa Designs jewelry. Learn more here.
Wellness in the Park
Sunday, June 12, 10 am to 1 pm
Sloan’s Lake Park
CHOW, aka Culinary Hospitality Outreach and Wellness, is hosting an event pushing a pioneering initiative for hospitality professionals. There will be health and wellness activities substance abuse recovery and mental health tools, and even some fun! Members of the hospitality and restaurant community are welcome at this free event; find out more here.
Boulder Jewish Festival 2022
Sunday, June 12, 11 am to midnight
Pearl Street Mall, Boulder
The Boulder Jewish Festival, a tradition for more than 25 years, returns to in-person status this year on the Pearl Street Mall, boasting Jewish cuisine, from bagels and deli fare to Middle Eastern standards; an artisan market with a Judaic touch; and a world of music blending folk, klezmer, art music and liturgical melodies. It doesn’t get any more Jewish than that, but you don’t have to be Jewish to join in and dance into the night. Admission is free; find details here.
A Taste of Puerto Rico Festival
Sunday, June 12, 11 am to 3 pm
Civic Center Park
When this Puerto Rican festival’s organizers mention a “taste,” they’re talking about cocina criolla, a cuisine based on a cultural mashup of Indigenous, Spanish and African inroads, plus a modern touch of American influences. The food at A Taste of Puerto Rico Festival in Civic Center Park is going to be smashing, mixing dishes that rely on a basic foundation of plantains both sweet and savory, rice, beans, yautia (a root vegetable similar to yuca or taro), pork and chicken. Add a few big helpings of island music, from salsa to reggaetón, and dancing, and your day is made. Find more info here.
Warm Cookies of the Revolution: Community Almanac: Food and Branches
Sunday, June 12, 1 to 3 pm
McNichols Building, 144 West Colfax Avenue
Warm Cookies of the Revolution is back to work as Denver’s only civic health club, getting people together to talk over community issues, learn how to exact change through the proper channels, be good neighbors and consume warm cookies together. This Sunday’s Community Almanac program at the McNichols Building starts with a short video by Mary Grace Legg and a talk by experts Asia Dorsey and Michelle Gabrieloff-Parrish on how to tighten up the community food chain and get everyone fed. Admission is free (or a $5 donation at the door); learn more here.
Know of a great free event around town? We’ll be updating this list through the week; send information to [email protected]