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We left 2020 in the dumpster: time for a fresh start. You can take a virtual class, watch a virtual show … or venture out into nature. There are fascinating events in and around downtown Denver this weekend, or you can venture further afield and enjoy a hike on the first day. (Remember: It’s the first Friday too.)

But before you head out (or if you get online), sign up for the Winter of Reading, the Denver Public Library’s adult equivalent of the Summer of Adventure, except for adults. There are two months of activities ahead; Find out more here.

Read on to book more adventures, many of which are free:

MCA Denver Penny Saturday
Saturday, January 2nd, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
1485 Delgany Street
Yes, the Denver Museum of Contemporary Art is open, and as always, entry is only a penny on the first Saturday of each month. Come and see Citizenship: A Practice of Society, a poll on politically engaged arts that has been created since 2016. In response to political events and the current climate, as well as the latest trends in the art world, the exhibition presents art making as a critical civic act. The works illustrate how artists act as citizens. Here you need to reserve your ticket in advance.

Demonstration to free Julian Assange and campaign for freedom of the press
Saturday, January 2nd, 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Speer Boulevard and Lincoln Street
Saturday, January 2nd, 12pm to 1.30pm
Broadway and Canyon, Boulder
Julian Assange’s extradition process to the United States took place in London in September. The city council’s decision on the extradition of Assange is expected on January 4th. Supporters will gather in advance in cities across the country, including Boulder and Denver. Find out more here.

Scout Dry Goods & Trade grand opening
Saturday, January 2nd, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
51 Broadway
Scout, an Omaha resale boutique, debuts today in the former home of the Buffalo Exchange. The first thirty people at the door on January 2nd will receive a free Scout bucket bag. The first thirty people to make purchases on January 3rd (Scout’s thirteenth anniversary) will receive a free Scout reusable shopping bag. Find out more here.

Walter Chaw and Rian Johnson talk under the skin
Saturday, January 2nd, 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Join film critic Walter Chaw and director, producer, and screenwriter Rian Johnson (Knives Out, Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Looper) as they talk about Under the Skin. The 2013 film is free to view on the Kanopy streaming service to which you can subscribe with your Denver Public Library badge. The conversation is free, but registration is required to receive the zoom link and password.

Ten Things to Do in Denver This Weekend (2)

Mile high tree
Saturday, January 2nd, 5pm to 9.30pm
16th Street Mall on Welton Street
Last year, the downtown Mile High Tree debuted in front of the Denver Performing Arts Complex. This year, the 110-foot digital art installation is back in a different location. Watch the choreographed lights dance to the Christmas music, or join the socially distant line to get into the tree and see the five-minute program up close. But this is your last chance; Learn more and get the full schedule here.

Still from Andi Todaro EXPAND

Still of Andi Todaro’s “Still # 2” from Convention.

NLD

Denver night lights
From 5.15pm to 10pm every evening until January
1601 Arapahoe Street
Night Lights Denver has been lightening the mood at the 16th Street Mall for over a year, but the new holiday display is something special, full of work by Colorado artists for the “People’s Projector,” which uses the clock tower as a screen. The new lineup includes pieces by Estee Fox, Erin Anderson, Steve Smith, Maya Dite-Shepard, Michael Sperandeo, Chandler Bree Dolan, Waveform.exp, the Rainbow Militia, ArtToyz, Wendy Shattil and others. Watch out for updates here. This free display gets glowing reviews!

The twelve Christmas dates
Until Sunday January 3rd
Ginna Hoben’s 90-minute one-woman game is fun, flirty, moving, but not sugar-sweet, and a refreshing change from most holiday dishes. This Miners Alley production stars Denver’s charming and talented Candace Joice and is directed by the talented and charming Kate Gleason. The protagonist Mary is happily engaged and spending the holidays at her parents’ house in Ohio when she accidentally sees her fiancĂ©, who cannot come home with her, and kisses another woman on TV during the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. After dumping him and returning to New York, she begins a series of painful and difficult dates. Does she find love? Apparently it does, but not necessarily where you’d expect it to. Now available on request; Tickets here cost $ 18.95.

CU Holiday Festival
Until Monday 4th January
The CU Holiday Festival brings together faculty and students of the College of Music and has been a tradition for decades. This year the music, consisting of holiday favorites and classical pieces that were recorded during the fall semester, is virtual. But it still promises to bring the joy of the season to your home, where you can sit by the fire, wrap presents, or entertain the kids. Tickets are $ 20 for individuals, $ 40 for a household, and $ 80 for a group. Get yours here.

Chicano / a muralism from Colorado
Tuesday, January 5th, 6 p.m. to 7 p.m.
The final session of the Denver Art Museum’s “Mexican Modernism in Context” lecture series, an addition to the “Frida Kahlo,” “Diego Rivera,” and “Mexican Modernism” exhibits, shows how the legacy of Mexican modernism lives on in bold Denver murals in Genealogy the local Chicano community. Lecturer Lucha MartĂ­nez de Luna, curator of Latino Heritage at History Colorado and director of the Chicano / a Murals of Colorado project, will guide you through the exhibition and point out similarities with the local wall movement. Admission is $ 18 to $ 20; Learn more and register for the zoom link here.

January Colorado Virtual Distance Challenge
Until January 31st
You need the practice. We all do so at this point of endless lockdown, and here’s an incentive: in time to get your muscles toned for spring, the Colorado Brewery Running Series is bringing back their Colorado Virtual Distance Challenge in January, which – if you can believe it – was always was virtual. You will keep track of your January hours of running, walking, hiking, and biking (treadmill and stationary bike miles also count) and win rewards based on the number of steps of 25, 50, or 100 miles you can earn. You can even register your dog. Fees range from $ 30 to $ 135. Find information and register with Eventbrite.

Do you know a great event in Denver? Send information to [email protected] We’ll update this list over the weekend.

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