Denver’s 300 days of annual sunshine mean it is always a good time to visit; and this winter has plenty of blockbuster events, arts and culture displays and season-long activities to keep visitors exploring everything the city has to offer. From the 111th Annual National Western Stock Show & Rodeo to brand new exhibitions and the return of the ski train to Winter Park, there is something for everyone in The Mile High City this season.
“Denver becomes more exciting all the time,” says Richard Scharf, president and CEO of VISIT DENVER, The Convention & Visitors Bureau. “Each year sees more cultural experiences, citywide celebrations and annual events than the one before; and this year we are thrilled to see the return of some of our favorite things – like the ski train and Denver Restaurant Week – as well as brand new, innovative exhibitions and events. Winter 2017 is going to be an excellent time to come to Denver.”
This season will be the final opportunity to see Star Wars™ and the Power of Costume at Denver Art Museum; and the first chance to see The Edge at Denver Zoo, a brand new, innovative tiger habitat. First Friday Art Walks give visitors a chance to meet and mingle with artists; and Denver Restaurant Week will feature a new, more flexible pricing structure.
Below are some additional details about events in Denver in the beginning of 2017; for a complete event calendar, including information on hotels and where to stay, go to www.VISITDENVER.com/new-adventures.
National Western Stock Show & Rodeo, January 7-22, 2017
Held every January at the National Western Complex, it is the world’s largest stock show; and each year is bigger and better than the last, with more than 15,000 animals, Mexican rodeos, bull riders, horse shows, livestock competitions, auctions and booths selling everything from cowboy boots to Native American jewelry.
VISIT DENVER’s 13th Annual Denver Restaurant Week Presented by Lexus, February 24 – March 5, 2017
The 13th Annual Denver Restaurant Week will return in late-February with an all new pricing structure. Hundreds of Denver’s top restaurants will offer multi-course meals at great values – menus this year will be offered with $25, $35 or $45 price tags, depending on the restaurant. Denver Restaurant Week is always a great opportunity to try some of Denver’s newest hotspots or return to old favorites.
Star Wars™ and the Power of Costume, through April 2, 2017
Explore the artistry of the world’s most recognized cinematic costumes at Star Wars™ and the Power of Costume at Denver Art Museum. The exhibition features more than 70 hand-crafted costumes from the first seven blockbuster Star Wars™ films, along with 100 additional pieces, many of which have never been seen, sourced directly from George Lucas’s Skywalker Ranch.
Vikings: Beyond the Legend, March 10 – August 13, 2017
This exhibition will bring the largest collection of Viking artifacts in North America to the Denver Museum of Nature & Science. Vikings: Beyond the Legend lays waste to the one-dimensional stereotype of bearded barbarians with horned helmets. Visitors can marvel instead at a culture of surprising refinement, complexity and achievement, and a supernatural world inhabited by Thor, Odin and other gods and giants. Fresh insights revealed through new archaeological discoveries and more than 500 treasures, many never before seen outside of Scandinavia, show why the Vikings will always capture the imagination.
The Edge at Denver Zoo Grand Opening Week, March 17-24, 2017
Located on almost a full acre on the southeastern edge of the facility, The Edge will bring guests closer than ever to the Zoo’s Amur tigers. The expansive, open space will also offer several unique ways to safely connect with these magnificent creatures and to see them from multiple perspectives in yards that mimic their native habitat.
MORE ARTS & CULTURE
Mi Tierra: Contemporary Artists Explore Place, February 19 – October 22, 2017
Denver Art Museum’s Mi Tierra: Contemporary Artists Explore Place will feature site-specific installations by 13 Latino artists that express experiences of contemporary life in the American West. Energizing and vibrant artwork will be presented by Denver artists and Dmitri Obergfell and Jaime Carrejo, as well as Carmen Argote (Los Angeles), Gabriel Dawe (Dallas), Claudio Dicochea (San Antonio), Daniela Edburg (San Miguel de Allende), Justin Favela (Las Vegas), Ana Teresa Fernández (San Francisco), Ramiro Gomez (West Hollywood), John Jota Leaños (San Francisco), Ruben Ochoa (Los Angeles), Daisy Quezada (Santa Fe) and Xochi Solis (Austin).
An American in Paris, March 8-19, 2017
The Denver Center for the Performing Arts (DCPA) will present An American in Paris, the Tony Award-winning musical about an American soldier, a mysterious French girl and an indomitable European city, each yearning for a new beginning in the aftermath of war. Acclaimed director/choreographer and 2015 Tony Award winner Christopher Wheeldon brings the magic and romance of Paris into the perfect harmony with unforgettable songs from George and Ira Gershwin in the show that earned more awards than any other musical in the 2014-2015 season.
Kinky Boots, March 21-26, 2017
The DCPA will also showcase Kinky Boots, Broadway’s huge-hearted, high-heeled hit. With songs by Grammy- and Tony-winning pop icon Cyndi Lauper, this joyous musical celebration is about the friendships we discover, and the belief that you can change the world when you change your mind. Inspired by true events, Kinky Boots takes you from a gentlemen’s shoe factory in Northampton to the glamorous catwalks of Milan. Charlie Price is struggling to live up to his father’s expectations and continue the family business of Price & Son. With the factory’s future hanging in the balance, help arrives in the unlikely but spectacular form of Lola, a fabulous performer in need of some sturdy new stilettos.
Black History Month at the Black American West Museum, February 2017
Celebrate Black History Month at Denver’s Black American West Museum. Throughout the month of February, there will be a series of guest speakers like JoKatherine Holliman Page – a native Coloradoan, social and political activist – and Valeria Howard-Vason, the wife of the late Lu Vason, founder of the Bill Pickett Invitational Rodeo. Of course, there is also plenty to see throughout the museum that celebrates the history and culture of those African American men and women who helped settle and develop the American West.
MAKE A WEEKEND OF IT
First Friday Art Walks
Explore Denver’s creative neighborhoods on the First Friday of every month when galleries, studios and cultural attractions stay open late for a mind-expanding night of art, food, drink and fun. Find the pulse of Denver’s vibrant creative community year-round on the first Friday of each month in The Mile High City’s seven neighborhood art districts. This year, RiNo (River North) Art District and the new Drink RiNo group will sponsor a free bus every First Friday from 5pm-12am (and Saturdays 2-10pm) that will have multiple stops at galleries, studios, breweries and eateries throughout RiNo.
4th Annual Collaboration Fest, March 25, 2017
America’s most creative beer festival features more than 75 beer projects from more than 100 participating breweries across Colorado, the U.S. and internationally. Every beer tapped at Collaboration Fest has a unique story as two or more breweries come together to brew something special, resulting in some of the most exciting, delicious beer tappings anywhere.
Winter Park Express by Amtrak Ski Train
Denver is the only city in the country to own its own ski resort; and – after a seven year hiatus – it is now easier than ever to get to Winter Park with the Winter Park Express Ski Train. The train reopened on January 7, 2017 and will run on weekends and Monday holidays through March 26. The train allows people to hit the slopes during the day and return to Denver for après ski, an abundance of culinary options and nearly 10,000 hotel rooms to choose from. Denver’s Crawford Hotel, Oxford Hotel and Westin Denver Downtown are all offering Winter Park Express packages, featuring deals on tickets, room nights and more.