Hi. October is almost here. You know what that means. And so do I, which is why I’ve written it down.
These are the events, traditions and feelings to look forward to in Denver in October. This is a comprehensive list. Please send complaints to David Sachs via trained magpie. He loves birds.
Pros and cons
😄 Snow sports. I don’t do ’em much anymore, but some people I love do, and maybe you do too. I used to work with a guy who said the phrase “first chair” like it was one of the purest experiences on the planet, and he remains one of the nicest people I’ve ever met. Anyway, go get your first chairs.
🙄 The least interesting conversation two people can have in public is Epic Pass vs. Ikon Pass. But people will do this! A lot!
😄 We get fall festivals like Cider Days at the Lakewood Heritage Center (Oct. 5-6), Pumpkin Harvest Festival at Four Mile Historic Park (also Oct. 5-6), the foodie-friendly Harvest Week at the GrowHaus (Oct. 6-10) and the Pumpkin Festival at Chatfield Farms (Oct. 11-13).
😒 We might also get our first snow of the season in the city. I tend to commute outdoors. Like on my feet or on a bike. So I don’t mind if the city snow confines itself to winter.
🤓 The National Weather Service says the first measurable snow in 2017 and 2018 happened on Oct. 9 and 6, respectively. Of the last 10 years, first snows were recorded in October six times. Could be worse. Could have come in September.
😄 There’s also the Great American Beer Festival Oct. 3-5 — which, more importantly, brings the center of gravity for a bunch of related beer stuff to Denver. There’ll be tap takeovers and weird beers in town! Know of one I should definitely be excited about? Email me. firstname.lastname@example.org.
😑 Of all the road closures that we get for parades and races and whatnot — and I’m generally all for parades and races — the one that always takes me by surprise is the Rock ‘N’ Roll Marathon. I don’t know why. It’s not fair of me. I don’t care. On either Oct. 19 or 20, I’m gonna get all screwed up trying to run some errand or another.
😄 We’ll get the Denver Film Festival schedule, and then the festival itself starts at the end of the month and runs into November.
Don’t forget we also publish a more complete list of things to do on Fridays. Here’s some stuff that caught my eye pretty far out:
🎭 All month – “A Doll’s House” and “A Doll’s House, Part 2” are playing at the Denver Center’s Ricketson Theatre. This is an interesting and unusual opportunity — a classic play and a contemporary (and Tony-nominated) play, presented on alternating weeks or back-to-back on weekends, the better to “experience a satisfying narrative and see how each play reflects on the other.”
🏒 The Colorado Avalanche have already been playing preseason games and their regular season starts on Oct. 3 at home against the Calgary Flames.
🎭 Oct. 3-7, Oct. 10-13, Oct. 17-19 – “Universe 92” will be in the thick of its run at Buntport Theater. “Inspired by real scientific experiments, Universe 92 is a comedy featuring three animal behaviorists, a giant rat in a hammock, and a Roomba.” … Buntport, man. Cozy and weird. $18 and up.
📖 On Tue. and Wed., Oct. 8 and 9, Judaism Your Way hosts Yom Kippur services at the Denver Botanic Gardens. The evening of the 8th is the well-known service in the tent at the gardens at 6:30 p.m. On the 9th, a family service starts at 8:45 a.m.
🎵 On Sat., Oct 12 and Sun., Oct. 13, Isabel Marie Sánchez and the Colorado Symphony perform the music of Selena at the Boettcher Concert Hall.
🎵 On Sun., Oct. 13, Sleater-Kinney plays the Ogden Theatre. $37.50.
🎵 On Tue., Oct. 16, Lizzo plays the Fillmore Auditorium. Tickets cost a lot.
🏀 The Denver Nuggets start playing basketball again. Last year was so exciting! They’re our fair city’s best hope at sporting success this year, they’ve still got a big goofball superstar named Nikola Jokic and they have a young, exciting team around him. The first preseason game is Oct. 8 in Portland, but the first regular season game is Oct. 23, also in Portland. Where should I watch? What’s your favorite spot?
🏀 The Nuggets’ home opener is Oct. 25 against the Phoenix Suns.
🎬 The Denver Film Festival kicks off on Oct. 30 — it’s more than a week of great film, buzzing energy and red carpets. Lots of different ticket options.
🎵 On Thu., Oct. 31, Colorado rock ‘n’ roll duo In The Whale is hosting a Monster Mosh concert at the Marquis Theater. It’s twelve bucks, it’ll be loud, I’ll be asleep like an hour before they go on.
🤐 If I didn’t list your favorite band it’s because I’m trying to help you keep them a secret.
🎨 On Oct. 5, it’s penny admission day at MCA Denver for Colorado residents.
🎨 Want some free art (for a little while)? MCA Denver has a cool program called the Octopus Initiative — it’s a lottery-based loan of art by somebody based in Denver. You mark which pieces you like and you’re signed up to maybe keep one for 10 months! The lotteries are on the 15th of the month.
😂 On Oct. 20, catch “We Still Like You,” a comedy show in which performers share their shameful stories and the audience responds by literally shouting “We Still Like You!” Third Mondays at Buntport Theater. 8 p.m. $5-7. undefined
👯 Roll is a costume party on wheels — little wheels. Dress up for the monthly theme and lace up some roller skates at Trax. It’s 18+ on Thu., Oct. 17, followed by a 21+ night on Friday. 7 p.m. $5-7.
👏 On Oct. 28, the freaks will assemble at the Bug Theatre for Freak Train, an anything-goes open-mic variety show. 8 p.m. $5.
🎨 On Oct. 25 the Denver Art Museum hosts its Untitled Final Friday event — last one of the year. Go! It’s an art museum at night! It’s fun!
🌶️ There are still some farmer’s markets open in October.
🎨 First Friday is Oct. 4 this month. Check out the Art District on Santa Fe, 5:30-9:30 p.m., from 13th on the North to Alameda on the South, Kalamath to the West, and Inca to the East, mainly between Fifth and 11th. Or the RiNo Art District, 6-9 p.m., kind of clustered around 26th and Walnut Streets, with more galleries up toward 33rd and Blake Streets.
🙅 October is a street sweeping month in Denver — don’t get a ticket!
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💡 Tickets go on sale Oct. 1 for Blossoms of Light at the Denver Botanic Gardens. It’s the mostly-in-December event when you can stroll through the gardens at night among festive light displays.
🍎 On Sat. and Sun., Oct. 5 and 6, it’s the Cider Days Festival at the Lakewood Heritage Center – eat some pie, have some cider, eat some pie, have the kids run a hay bale maze, eat some pie … $5-8.
🎃 On Sat. and Sun., Oct. 5 and 6, it’s tractor rides, face painting, crafting, music, blacksmith demonstrations and other old-timey stuff at the Pumpkin Harvest Festival at Four Mile Historic Park. Overalls optional, but wear your overalls. Come on. $5-10.
👦 The Children’s Museum has free entry on the first Tuesday evening of every month from 4-8 p.m. That’s Oct. 8 this month.
🎃 Fri.-Sun., Oct. 11-13, the sprawling Pumpkin Festival at Chatfield Farms features carnival games, face painting, a barrel train — but in my experience, you’re pretty much gonna be on the huge jumping pillow, in the corn maze (which costs extra) or eating funnel cake. $4-10.
🎃 Fri.-Sun., Oct. 25-27, the Children’s Museum hosts a Trick or Treat Street festival with games, booths, crafts and characters from 9 a.m.-6 p.m. $14-16, free for members.