Dear Denver, I am under 21. Where can I go for some all-ages fun?In a land known for its craft beer and craft herb, it can sometimes be hard to find entertaining stuff to do when you are constantly being asked for your ID.
But the good news is, there are still plenty of opportunities to check out a local band, learn a new hobby, hear a sordid tale, and/or have a good laugh…you just need to know where to look.
Peep the list below for a variety of stuffs to do and feel free to add anything that’s missing in the comments section. Have fun!
A place to fill your mind with music, poetry, lectures, videos, and other stuff:
Seventh Circle Music Collective – The now-defunct Blast-O-Mat was resurrected by local music supporter, Aaron Saye, continuing the legacy of an all-ages, donation-based DIY venue. Seventh Circle has a show almost every night, so slam your head to some metal on Thursday, skank to ska on Friday, and/or end the weekend with local indie jams. Seventh Circle has it all.
Rhinoceropolis – The 10-year-old DIY venue tucked away on Brighton Boulevard is home to some of the most avant-garde beats that Denver has to offer. Pay them a visit to see what’s what and be sure to pet the neighborhood cat that always tends to be lurking in the back corner.
Mutiny Information Café – This corner bookstore on South Broadway can easily be dismissed as just another shop to find a used copy of Tolkien and/or a free bathroom during UMS but more recently they’ve expanded their programming to include movies, music, comedy, and open mic nights. Check their calendar for upcoming shows, including touring and local unsigned and yet-to-be-discovered bands. You never know, you may happen to catch the next Dirty Few or Dreadnought without even knowing.
The Dikeou Collection – This pop-up space hosts art installations, jazz concerts, a literary series, and video dialogues. Be sure to also check out their sister/brother location, Dikeou Pop-Up: Colfax, which is home to an extensive Vinyl Archive of over 10k records for you to peruse and listen to.
Deer Pile – This multi-use space located upstairs from the vegetarian jewel, City O’ City, hosts a whole slew of events, ranging from comedy, music, film, art, lectures, video games, and more, most of which are open to all.
Warm Cookies of the Revolution – Civically minded community events, featuring local artists, musicians, lecturers, nonprofits, DIY activities, and sometimes even soup. Most events are FREE or donation-based.
Untitled Final Fridays at the Denver Art Museum – Produced in conjunction with local creatives, Untitled Final Fridays is the museum’s monthly late night program, which features workshops, performances, and tours with a twist. Experience the museum in an entirely different way—every time. College students with valid ID receive 2-for-1 admission #score
Open Music Sessions at Open Media Foundation – This nonprofit makes it possible to support what makes Denver so damn fabulous: media, music, and burritos. Join OMF for their Open Music Sessions, which feature local music, local comedians, a nonprofit spotlight, and Illegal Pete’s addictive food. The media part you ask? This org also runs the city’s community access television station, Denver Open Media, and hosts a variety of classes so that you can produce your own content to be shown on the station’s three channels.
Sie FilmCenter – This somewhat hidden theater (located between Twist & Shout and Tattered Cover) is not only home to the Denver Film Festival, but also to some of the best independent programming this city has to offer (including the weirdest movie I’ve ever possibly seen, Turkish Star Wars). Additionally, the theater plays host to more interactive events, such as weekly Monday trivia, karaoke, film lectures, and the popular Young Filmmakers Workshops, which gives participants the chance to learn filmmaking and exhibit their films in public premieres.
A place to stretch those limbs:
Movement Denver Climbing + Fitness – With winter in full effect, locals tend to box up their beat-up Merrells and their biking gear to pump some iron inside. Try something different and learn to climb.
Skate City – Who said that roller skating has to stop after you leave middle school? The next time you are looking for something to do, call up some pals for a night of smiles and selfies at a Skate City location near you. (And if you really want to get nostalgic, have one of your moms drop you off in her mini van…down the block of course.)
Fortify at The Savoy – In between jitterbug, improv, and Christian boxing lessons (yep), the Savoy at Curtis Park hosts a once-a-week class called Fortify, which offers lessons in sword technique. Have fun, but try not to hurt someone (or yourself) in the process.
A place to laugh and commiserate:
Epilogue Comedy at the Mutiny Information Cafe – FREE and cool comedy show, happening monthly on South Broadway. Grab a latte, peruse some vinyl, and LOL with some of the funniest dudes and dudettes from Denver and beyond. Hosted by Timmi Lasley.
Too Much Fun! at the Deer Pile – Too Much Fun recently celebrated its 5th anniversary of LOLs every Wednesday night at the Deer Pile. And if you’re under 21, there is a good chance that you are a bit more resilient than your older counterparts and can stay out later during the week. Embrace this my child; embrace this. (For additional all-ages shows, peep this list from 5280 Comedy.)
The Narrators at Buntport Theater – If you haven’t been to The Narrators before, it is pure gold. It is essentially like This American Life unfolding right in front of your beautiful, smiling face. With an open-ended theme and a rotating cast of storytellers, The Narrators is a guaranteed good night of fun and camaraderie. [Please note: many tales contain strong language and such…probs more appropriate for an 18+ crowd, but I am not your Mom so you can make that decision on your own.]
A place to beat out the homies or just be the best:
Unser Karting – I’ve only done Unser Karting once, but the thrill leaves such a linger in your body. Here is a place where speed and adrenaline run high and the volume is turned to 11. Each driver gets a full-body racing suit and helmet. Most people choose not to rock the get-up, but seriously do. It makes the experience that much better.
Puzzah!/Epic Escape Game – Do you like figuring stuff out but are somewhat over the typical “game night”? Well, Denver’s Puzzah and Epic Escape Game might be for you. Snag a few friends, pick your mission, and complete it in less than 60 minutes. It’s like a live version of the Choose Your Own Adventure (and if you don’t know what that is, Google it homie.)
A place to make stuff:
Share Denver/Upstairs Circus– DIY, sewing, jewelry, crafts, crafts, and more crafts. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gone to Pinterest and said, “Oh wow, that looks cool. I would never be able to make that on my own though.” Well, get the support you need to start making cool shit. Sign-up for Crochet 101, sewing classes, painting, wall art, DIY bracelets and necklaces, and tons more. And then you can finally start taking off some of those pins on your board!
Dabble – Taking crafts to a whole ‘nother level…that’s what Dabble is all about. Welding? Plasma cutting? Want to make cheese? Or maybe an essential oil? Dabble gives you the chance to do just that. They offer 2 – 3-hour courses for less than $50 a pop and you walk away feeling like a BA.
Lighthouse Writers Workshop – Whether you aspire to be the next Danielle Steel or just like the written word, Lighthouse Writers Workshop hosts a slew of classes and events to get you exposed to Denver’s literary happenings.
And lastly, the other places you should check-out:
Denver Public Library – I know what you’re thinking…Uh, what? The library…? The Denver Public Library is probably hands down one of my favorite places in town. I go almost once a week. I’ve walked into the library and witnessed some pretty off-the-cuff events, including tai chi for kids, jazz in the lobby, and cooking courses. The Dewey Decimal System isn’t the only thing happening up in hurr.
MCA Denver – Need somewhere to escape + create or just need a break from the mundane? MCA Denver hosts a weekly Friday night drop-in class for teens, with an array of workshops led by local artists. Check out their calendar for more weekly + monthly workshops open to all.
Clyfford Still Museum – It seems like every month, the Clyfford Still is adding some sort of new programming to engage new audiences. Incorporating music, film, and lectures, this museum encourages visitors (of all ages) to experience its work in new ways.
Written by Monica Arevalo, Dear Denver guest contributor. Monica is a Phoenix native but has called Denver home for the past four years. When Monica isn’t at home watching Netflix or reading a book, she’s at a concert losing her voice and dodging elbows to get to the front of the stage.