Dear Denver, How can I make the most of a beautiful Sunday afternoon in town?

Photo of building with cloud reflections.I’ll admit, there was a time when I loved getting shitfaced on a Sunday.  The sun would be shining, and instead of doing anything remotely outdoorsy, I would just want to get drunk with my closest pals.  The imbibing would start during brunch, and then while hopped up on mimosas, we would move to a second location (with a patio of course).  At that point we would start texting anyone who wasn’t there, calling them names until they would arrive, bringing with them another reason to stay out for at least another round.

The next thing you knew, it was dark, many a cigarette had been bummed, charades had been played, peeps were feeling overly generous with their bar tabs, ex-boyfriends had been texted, tears had been spilled and it was time to go home. Ah, Sunday Funday.  Not that I don’t miss elements of it, but I am at the age that if I carried on with that ritual, I would most definitely get fired.  So now what?  Here are some things to do when that Colorado sun is shining, and you don’t necessarily want to get black-out by 6pm (or climb three 14ers and then go running).

Rediscover the Baker neighborhood:  Anymore when I find myself in Baker, there seems to be some new shop/gallery/restaurant/bar/business that has just opened up.  You could honestly spend an entire morning/afternoon down here, and still not see everything there is to see.  Here is just a sampling of destinations, which merely scratch the surface:  Browse new and used books at Mutiny Information Cafe, Fahrenheit Books, and the Broadway Book Mall.  Find the best recycled wares in Buffalo ExchangeGoodwill, and Boss Vintage.  Buy a plant, a gem, an antique, or some jewelry in the nature-inspired Ironwood.    Stock up on your hipster art supplies at Fancy Tiger Crafts.  Need some caffeine?  Pop into Happy Coffee for a latte and a smile.  Hungry?  Try the “hangover brunch” at Sputnik, or some handmade, natural ice-cream at Sweet Action Ice-Cream, a giant slice of pizza at Fat Sully’s, or some quesos and chips at Illegal Pete’s South Broadway.  Thirsty?  Grab a brew at Denver’s only heavy-metal brewery, TRVE, a fancy schmancy cocktail amongst the trees at Beatrice & Woodsley, or a vacation-inspired drink at Adrift.  Tired from walking and craving some AC?  Pop into the Mayan Theatre to kick back in this historic theater to watch an indie flick and sip on a cold one.

City Park Jazz:  If you have lived in Denver for at least seven days during the summer, then you know about City Park Jazz or  “jazz in the park”.   City Park Jazz is a great weekend culmination of dogs, babies, adults, brie, blankets, port-o-potties, hand sanitizer, vino and more recently, food trucks.  Although I don’t know if I’ve ever actually heard the jazz (I thought I did once, but it turned out to be someone’s iPod from a neighboring blanket), it’s still a great way to end your weekend with friends, families and canines.Photo of an outline of a rabbit stenciled on a building.

B-Cycle:  Although it seems fairly simple at first glance, there is something about B-cycle that can be deceiving.  First of all, as their website states, “Denver B-cycle is a city-wide public bike sharing system for short trips.  B-cycle is not a bike rental – users who keep a bike out longer than 30 minutes will be charged additional fees.”  If you’ve ever used B-cycle without knowing all of the facts, then you have probably been burned by B-cycle.  So how the eff does it work?  Again, “Denver B-cycle charges a membership fee to gain access to the system plus additional charges for any trip lasting longer than 30 minutes.”  You can peep those prices here.  Although this may seem like a pain in the arse, the good news is that there have been a ton of B-cycle stations popping up all over the city, so keeping your trip under 30 minutes is easy.  If you are trying to return a bike but there are no available docks at a station, you can visit the B-Cycle website, or use their iPhone /Android app  to locate available docks at nearby locations. And according to their site, you also get 15 free extra minutes to return the bike to an open station without incurring additional fees.  Another thing to keep in mind however is that just like Cinderella, bikes are on lockdown after midnight.

Farmers Markets:  Denver is lucky enough to have a plethora of outdoor farmers markets where you can pick-up local produce, buy some baked goods, eat some brunch, drink a mimosa and listen to your best friend’s dad’s band play.

Picnic in the park:  The City and County of Denver provides over 200 city parks, over 100 miles of trails, and 11 dog parks.  Get your picnic on, son!  Two of my favorites are Cheesman and Confluence Park.

Anderson Outdoor Pool:  This Wheatridge pool definitely caters to kids, but you can still show up without one and not feel awkward (unlike the time I ended up at Stapleton’s Puddle Jumper pool and was the only one there without a toddler.  As a compromise, I hate half of a PB&J and peed in the pool while wearing a sun hat.)  Anderson pool offers up shade, a diving board, a large water slide, BBQ grills, an abundance of lounge chairs, a snack bar and a picnic area for maxing and relaxing on the lord’s day.  Open May 25, 2013 – August 15, 2013 from 10:30am – 6:30pm seven days a week.  $6.50 for adults.Photo of public art in Denver, CO.