Free Things to Do in Denver This Week, May 23 to May 30

After the sudden snow, the weather will be warmer until we reach a beautiful Memorial Day weekend. The entertainment calendar is heating up, too, with free options ranging from live music to jackalope explorations to the return of a national breakdance contest.

Keep reading for ten of the best free events in and around Denver this week:

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Mazes & Brain Games has opened at the museum,

Denver Museum of Nature & Science

Denver Museum of Nature & Science
Monday, May 23, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
2001 Colorado Boulevard
The Denver Museum of Nature & Science is hosting another free day; it’s your chance to see all of the permanent exhibits and amenities, as well as the new Mazes & Brain Games exhibit, without having to shell out for admission. (You’ll still need a special ticket for Egypt: Time of Pharaohs.) Register for a time here.

Veterans Journey Home
Tuesday, May 24, through May 26
PBS12 online

PBS12 is partnering with Operation Veteran Strong and Warrior Films to present “Veterans Journey Home,” the compelling, five-part film series directed by Frederick Marx, the writer and producer of Hoop Dreams, for special PBS12 air dates this week. Marx and guests will appear in person at the screenings of On Black Mountain and Solutions on June 1 at the Sie FilmCenter and June 2 at the Dairy Arts Center. Find out more about the free PBS screenings here.

Ring, Justice, Ring: 568 seconds of ringing in remembrance of George Floyd
Wednesday, May 25, noon
Park Hill United Methodist Church

On the two-year anniversary of the murder of George Floyd, Park Hill United Methodist Church and Temple Micah will host a bell-ringing to honor his memory, raise awareness and be a reminder that Black Lives still Matter. The bells will ring for 9 minutes and 28 seconds, the same length of time that the police officer’s knee was on George Floyd’s neck. Find out more here.

click to enlarge Live music in Denver's living room.  - DENVER UNION STATION

Live music in Denver’s living room.

Denver Union Station

Great Hall Sessions: LAPOMPE
Wednesday, May 25, 5 to 7 pm
Denver Union Station, 1701 Wynkoop Street

Denver Union Station reprises its popular Great Hall Sessions featuring local musicians on Wednesday evenings this summer. First up: LAPOMPE, which offers a blend of gypsy jazz and classic American tunes. Find out more here.

Visionbox Studio Contemporary Acting Showcase
Wednesday, May 25, 6:30 to 8 pm
McNichols Civic Center Building, 144 West Colfax Avenue

Jennifer McCray Rincon directs this special presentation presented by Visionbox, which offers professional acting classes as well as performances around Denver. There’s a wine and cheese reception from 6:30 to 7 pm, followed by the showcase. Admission is free; RSVP to [email protected]

click to enlarge PEGASUS BOOKS

On the Trail of the Jackalope: How a Legend Captured the World’s Imagination and Helped Us Cure Cancer
Thursday, May 26, 6:30 p.m.
Boulder Bookstore, 1107 Pearl Street, Boulder

The jackalope may not be real, but it certainly has a real history as a cultural touchstone of the American West. Author Michael Branch tracked this elusive animal; he’ll discuss his discoveries about him and the book that resulted with author Karen Auvinen. Tickets are $5, and get you a $5 credit toward the book (or any other purchased that day); find out more here. And Branch will continue his Colorado tour with an appearance at the Manitou Springs Heritage Center in Manitou Springs at 2 pm Friday, May 27, and the Pueblo Public Library in Pueblo at 2 pm Saturday, May 28.

Aztec-Mexica Dance Offering: Educating, Honoring, Healing
Friday, May 27, 7 to 8 pm
Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art, 1750 13th Street, Boulder

Grupo Folklorico Sabor Latino was selected by Sylvia Montero and family members of Los Seis as part of the free public programming accompanying the exhibition The Movement Continues, which honors the history of The Boulder Six. Dancers will be in full traditional ceremonial uniforms and begin the offering by honoring and explaining the sacred directions with the burning of copal (incense), the blowing of the conch shell, the use of sonajas (rattles), and rhythms created by the “Hue Hue” (drum) that is the heartbeat of La Danza. An interactive workshop follows at noon on May 28; find out more here.

Colorado Book Awards: Creative Nonfiction and General Nonfiction
Friday, May 27, 7 p.m.
BookBar, 4280 Tennyson Street

More finalists in the Colorado Book Awards will read from their works and answer questions. The lineup includes Creative Nonfiction finalists Jim Davidson, author of The Next Everest: Surviving the Mountain’s Deadliest Day and Finding the Resilience to Climb Again; Susan Tweet, Bless the Birds: Living With Love in a Time of Dying; and Kathryn Wilder, Desert Chrome: Water, a Woman, and Wild Horses in the West. General Nonfiction finalists include Dave Jilk and Brad Feld, authors of The Entrepreneur’s Weekly Nietzsche: A Book for Disruptors; Todd Mitchell, Breakthrough: How to Overcome Doubt, Fear, and Resistance to Be Your Ultimate Creative Selfand Julian Rubinstein for THE HOLLY. Register and find out more here.

Denver Arts Festival
Saturday, May 28, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Sunday, May 29, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Denver Central Park, 8304 East 49th Place

The Denver Arts Festival has been a feature of the Memorial Day weekend for more than two decades. This year it will boast 150 booths, a majority of them devoted to artists, as well as live music on the CIVITAS music stage, a wine and beer tent, and a kids’ ArtZone. Admission is free; find out more here.

Break Dancer at Sculpture Park: Red Bull BC One Cypher Denver
Saturday, May 28, doors at 11 am
Sculpture Park, Denver Performing Arts Complex

After a seven-year hiatus, global breakdancing competition Red Bull BC One returns to Denver for a qualifier round at Sculpture Park. Prelims begin at noon; the main event is at 2 pm Breakers of all levels can register and compete; the winner and runner-up from each city cypher qualifying round will funnel into regional cyphers in Philadelphia, Austin, Orlando, Boston and Seattle before the national contest in Los Angeles. To register as a fan or a breaker, go here.

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


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