Things to Do in Denver When You're *Not* Dead

Fellow Dopers:

So, I’m going to Denver this weekend to meet the parents of my new “friend.” Most of the time I’m pretty dorky, though he doesn’t seem to notice or mind. However, since I’d like to make a good first impression (and increase my street cred, so to speak), I wanted to appeal to all of you to give me a couple of suggestions for cool things to do in Denver.

Most of the weekend will probably be spent with family, but if there is one thing I must do in Denver before I die, please tell me now! I want the talk after our departure to run along the lines of, “Hey, that (my name here) was a pretty cool chica.”

Also, I’d like to check out any good vegetarian restaurants.

Any and all suggestions are appreciated!

I don’t know…I’ve lived here for 29 years and I still don’t know what’s cool.

That may have more to do with me than Denver though.

Are you looking for activities, like museums and ball games and such? I think we have the Renaissance Festival going on right now, though that’s not actually IN Denver, it’s a bit south. People seem to like it. Also going on this weekend around downtown is the International BuskerFest–that’s a bunch of great street performers, like jugglers and magicians and unfortunately also mimes (see their website for more info). Definitely go to the 16th street mall and the Denver Pavillions if you want to shop.

If you would like to show your diversity, the PrideFest and parade are also this weekend, on Sunday I think. We have a nice zoo at City Park, or you could go to our amusement park, Elitch Gardens. Or you could go to Golden and tour the Coors brewery. There’s also the Denver Art Museum (of which I am a member, so naturally I’m going to recommend it). You could take a scenic drive and visit Red Rocks wich is not too far from Denver.

And finally, here’s some links to Denver websites that may help with stuff to do.

I’m a strict omnivore, so I can’t help with the veggie restaurants. Hope the rest of this helps!

Sunshine gave you some great Denver tips. The newest and most trendy vegetarian restaurant is The Watercourse, at 206 E. 13th Street, which sounds like it is in Capitol Hill. Also the Mercury Cafe offers good vegie fare at 2199 California in downtown Denver.
If you are into shopping there is toney Cherry Creek North, with its delightful Tattered Cover Book Store, and across the street from there is the Cherry Creek Mall.
Hopefully it won’t be too smokey here.

Thanks for your responses! I appreciate your help. Keep 'em coming!

I’d definitely like to check out PrideFest and the museums. Thanks, too, for the restaurant suggestions–The Watercourse sounds good!


The one thing I always do when I’m in Denver is go to The Science Fiction and Mystery Bookstore. I hope it’s still there. I’m sure this is not considered “cool”, however. I was secretly pleased when, the last time I was there and was checking out, the clerk commented that “it’s unusual when someone shops both side of the store”. But I’m a geek.

Well, when I went to Denver 14 years and two days ago, I ended up getting married in the courthouse!

I guess that not getting buckwheats would be cool.

Lower Downtown is considered very trendy and some great cafes and Bistros are there and in Larimer Square too. If you like the theater, the Boettcher Center in Denver is where a number of Broadway bound shows start. This is in addition to some very good touring companys and good Denver rep theater. I’m not sure what concerts are going on this summer, but there seem to be some every weekend (one weekend I watched the Glenn Miller Orchestra on Friday and the Rolling Stones on Saturday) and Ticketmaster will know where and when.

Of course there’s the Rockies, (not the mountains, they’re a little out of town, but the team). It is not usually good baseball, but it is almost always good fun. If you like bicycling, there are over 1,000 miles of bicycle trails in and around Denver and many, many places to rent bikes. If you like soccer, I think the Rapids are playing this weekend, and if you want to check out the Broncos, mini-camp has started just north of Denver up in Greeley.

For God’s sakes, whatever you do, do NOT decide you want to go on the Mint tour. It’s not cool, it’s not fun, and it’s not worth the wait.

what are your interests? Into bars? music? sports? meeting people? books? wasting time? hiking?

Well, I am definitely into bookstores (thanks for the Science Fiction and Mystery Bookstore suggestion, kittenblue). Cafes and bars are great places to waste time and socialize. If anyone has a favorite bar or cafe, please let me know.

My friend likes to go mountain biking, though we’re flying so would have to rent bikes. Hiking is definitely an option.

I would like to meet some local folks, so any social event or gathering would be “cool.”

TV Time, thanks for suggesting the theater. It would be neat to catch a show. I’ll check out the local listings.

I was wondering, what’s the alternative press there? Do they have a Reader-like paper with info on local attractions and such?

Thanks again for all of your responses, though I’m a little lost with the whole buckwheats and Mint tour thing (though terribly intrigued).

hushed whisper

Does that make me uncool?

The Chicago Reader equiv is

All good answers above, I lived there for three years and miss the heck out of all the happenings.

If you are feeling a little touristy, you could take a drive up to Boulder and take a tour of the Celestial Seasoning Tea company:

< sorry for the long links I replied in the quick reply window. >

Oh, I missed the Mint tour…the Denver Mint where many coins are made. Never done the tour before, don’t have any plans to either.

Caboose Hobbies the world’s largest model train store!

The Mint tour is where you go for a field trip in 4th grade. Id receommend against it, as I dont recall a darn thing about it. Bookstores? Go south on Broadway from downtown, Ichabods, Fahrenheits, many others.
Confluence Park is a nice place to to start a hike or bike.


Don’t even know if it’s still around, but last time I was there we went to a killer dance club called “The Church”. It was all techno and lasers inside of an abandoned church that had been transformed into a gothic club. It may not be what you’re into, but if you’re lucky you might meet some nice vampires there. :smiley:

The Mint tour is where you go for a field trip in 4th grade. Id receommend against it, as I dont recall a darn thing about it. Bookstores? Go south on Broadway from downtown, Ichabods, Fahrenheits, many others.
Confluence Park is a nice place to to start a hike or bike.


There are few bookstores in the US as good as The Tattered Cover. Seriously. Denver is one of the most literate citiers in the country, and this is it’s crown jewel. Be forewarned, though. I have never left there without dropping $100. It is too tough. There is an entire floor for bargain books. Almost every day there is an author reading from his/her works. Above the bookstore is a great reataurant, the Fourth Story. One of the better ones in town. If you really like bookstores, this you should not miss.

Thanks for all of the info and for bringing me up to speed on the whole Mint tour thing. Sounds like a pass to me.

Thanks, Caprese and Lamar Mundane, for The Tattered Cover suggestion and warning. I often don’t visit bookstores without dropping some serious cash, so I’ll be prepared.

Thanks, techchick68, for the Westword link. I’ll check it out.

Skydive101, the Church sounds cool. I’ll see if it’s still open.

We’re leaving tomorrow, so I’ll post when we return and let you know how it all turned out.
(Sorry for any coding errors or whatnot–I can’t seem to preview.)

If any of you have questions regarding “Buckwheats”, may I suggest that you rent the film Things to do in Denver When You’re Dead.

Given the title of the thread I assumed that Zhen’ka had seen the movie.