Ten Things to Do for Free in Denver This Weekend

Free activities are busting out all over during this first full week of April. The Conference on World Affairs returns to Boulder for a 74th year, packed with panels that can be timely, deep, eclectic…or all three at once. Meanwhile, Denver’s getting all gussied up for opening day, when the Colorado Rockies will take on the Dodgers at Coors Field and there will be plenty of games outside the ballpark, too.

You can also get mad about plaid and shop ’til you drop. Keep reading for ten of the best free events in town this week.

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The Conference on World Affairs
Through Saturday, April 9
University of Colorado Boulder and online

The Conference on World Affairs, now in its 74th year, will take on plenty of hot topics, with panels addressing the Ukraine war, racism in the United States, climate change and the U.S. Constitution. More than 100 speakers and performers are included in the lineup — and it’s all free. Find the complete schedule here.

Rockies Opening Day Party
Friday, April 8, 10 a.m. until…
Avanti, 3200 Pecos Street

Baseball is back in session — in the spring, as God intended — across the country and today, here at Coors Field. The beleaguered Colorado Rockies take on the Dodgers at 2:10 p.m., and if you didn’t get a ticket, there’s more than one way to score. Pre-game partying gets inderway at the Avanti food hall at 10 a.m. with a baseball-themed photo booth, as well as hotdog and drink specials; two tickets will be given away at 12:30 p.m. If you don’t get lucky, stick around and watch the game from the far, far peanut gallery. Learn more here.

click to enlarge Opening Day is April 8. - EVAN SEMON

Opening Day is April 8.

Evan Semon

Rockies Opening Day Celebration
Friday, April 8, 10 a.m. until 2:30 p.m.
Denver Union Station, 1701 Wynkoop Street

Downtown Denver is celebrating the start of the 2022 baseball season with a free-admission, family-friendly Rockies Opening Day Celebration. It kicks off on the Terminal Bar patio with a baseball-art installation photo booth; the first fifty people to pose and tag Union Station will get a free slice of housemade apple pie. The fun continues with an upbeat house DJ set, sample brews from the historic Tivoli Brewing, giant Jenga  and corn hole, and roaming stilt walkers and face painters. The bar and other station businesses will be offering game-day specials. Find out more here.

Rally for a Coal-Free Colorado
Friday, April 8, noon to 3 p.m.
Xcel Energy, 1800 Larimer Street, with a march to Coors Field

Any day now, the Colorado Public Utilities Commission will decide to approve or reject Xcel Energy’s latest proposal to burn coal at Colorado’s biggest coal plant for twelve more years. And so environmental activists are holding a community rally and public education day promoting the closure Pueblo’s Unit 3 (Comanche 3). After a meet-up at Xcel Energy headquarters, the group will march to Coors Field at 1 p.m. Find out more here.

Garage Sale Vintage Grand Opening
Friday, April 8, noon to 11 p.m.
390 South Teller Street, Lakewood

Garage Sale Vintage is joining the lineup at Belmar, and will celebrate with a grand-opening celebration that includes happy-hour drink specials and a chance to browse through curated items from over forty vintage vendors. Beyond clothes, the market will also sell vintage vinyl and you can play vintage games like pinball while you soak up the good vibes under the disco ball! Find out more here.

2022 Bowl-athon for Sunday Sundae
Saturday, April 9, and Sunday, April 10, 9:30 a.m. to 4:15 p.m.
Art Students League of Denver, 200 Grant Street

The public is invited to pitch in and dirty its hands with clay in preparation for the Art Students League of Denver’s annual Sunday Sundae fundraiser. Anyone with basic knowledge of hand-building or pottery wheel techniques is invited to help create ceramic bowls for the June event, when Sweet Action ice cream will be scooped into the handmade dishes that ticket-holders take home after the party. Sessions in either technique are offered by timed-entry both day; find information and sign up for reservations here.


Colorado Tartan Day Festival

Colorado Tartan Day Festival

Saturday, April 9, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sunday, April 10, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Boulder County Fairgrounds, 9595 Nelson Road, Longmont

The Colorado Tartan Day celebration returns to the Boulder County Fairgrounds for a fifth annual gathering. The plaid-filled festival, which celebrates the declaration of Scottish independence, showcases Scottish heritage with twenty clan tents, live music with traditional Celtic folk songs, and a parade at the opening ceremony on Saturday morning. Fun fact: Colorado has its own official state tartan (right), which was adopted in 1998. Learn more about the festival here.

Shakespeare in the Parking Lot
Saturday, April 9, noon
Anythink Library, 7185 Monaco Street, Commerce City

Shakespeare in the Parking Lot, hosted by the Denver Center for the Performing Arts, is back for its seventh season, touring local parking lots with free productions of abridged versions of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet and A Midsummer Night’s Dream. The latter kicks off the series this weekend in Commerce City; find the complete schedule here.

Opera on Tap: SEE/HEAR Illuminated Stories in Song
Saturday, April 9, 3 p.m.
Arts Hub, 420 Courtney Way, Lafayette

Opera on Tap is carrying on with new leadership, bringing back Illuminated Stories in Song, a cooperative exchange with singers live in Colorado interacting with video from across the nation. Four song cycles —Richard Strauss’s Four Last Songs/Vier letzte Lieder, Ernesto Cordero’s Four Works for Voice and Guitar, Robert Owens’s Mortal Storm and Nkeiru Okoye’s Brooklyn Cinderella — are on the program; singers Nnamdi Nwankwo, Asha Romeo, Jerome Síbulo, Luisa Marie Rodriguez and Julie Silver Campbell will do the singing. Admission is free, but RSVP in advance here.

Denver Makers Market
Sunday, April 10, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Park Hill Treasures, 6035 East Colfax

Denver Makers Markets are revving up for spring after a test run in March, with one popping up Sunday on East Colfax Avenue. A spread of artisans, crafters, farmers and miscellaneous vendors will offer diverse wares, and a food truck will be on the premises if lunch starts calling your name. Online registration for the free event at Eventbrite will ensure your entry in a big prize giveaway; the first fifty folks to arrive can also pick up a free VIP bag in the purple VIP tent. Shopping in the great outdoors is on!

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

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