What To Do With Your Family During Thanksgiving Break That Doesn’t Suck

‘Tis the season for the holidays, which for many of us, means much more quality time with the family than normal. This can be scary, but if you have the right plans it can be a fun-filled weekend for all. We rounded up our top picks of what we think would suck the least this coming Thanksgiving break.

Go to an Escape Room

Photo courtesy of Clue Room

When: Daily, 11 a.m. – 10 p.m.

Where: Solutions Lounge and Restaurant, 2220 California St., Denver

Cost: $30-$34, book a game here

The Lowdown: When you’ve hit enough agonizing political talk with your parents’ opposing views, choose an activity that will force you to unite for the greater good. Check out Denver’s newest escape room, Solutions Lounge and Restaurant or 13 others we recommend. The new establishment isn’t like other escape rooms, as it is also a cheese-centric restaurant, which appeals to almost everyone.

READ: The Fool-Proof Guide to Escape Rooms in Denver 

Get up Close and Personal with Wolves

 

Photo courtesy of Kyle Cooper.

When: Daily, except Mondays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Where: 4729 Twin Rocks Rd. Divide

Cost: $15-$3oo, book here

The Lowdown: If your family is convinced Colorado is a frozen wilderness, take them to get up close and personal with wolves down in Divide.  You can choose from a basic $15 tour and see everything from wolves, coyotes and foxes while learning about the species or you can shell out the big bucks and have a one-on-one experience with a wolf. Trust it, it’s worth it.

READ: 8 of the Wildest Animal Experiences You Can Have in Colorado

 

See Rent‘s 20th Anniversary Tour

Photo courtesy of Rent on Facebook

When: November 21, 7:30 p.m.

Where: Buell Theatre, 1350 Curtis St., Denver

Cost: $30-$115, buy tickets here

The Lowdown: Catch the final night of the Denver run of the historic Broadway hit Rent at the Buell Theatre, as this year marks the 20th anniversary of the Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winning favorite. The back end of the Denver stop ends just as Thanksgiving weekend kicks off, so if your family jumped the gun a bit on their vacation, this will be the perfect way to start the stretch good times. If you are not familiar, a quick Googleought to clear up any confusion, or check out the movie ahead of time to see Rosario Dawson crawling on a stage like a feline. Meow.

Go Axe Throwing

Bad Axe Throwing. Photo by Kyle Cooper.

When: Open 7 days a week, 8 a.m. – 11 p.m.

Where: Bad Axe Throwing Club, 845 East 73rd Ave., Denver

Cost: $20 per hour – $39.50 for groups, book a lane here

The Lowdown: Ever wanted to feel like a badass? Well, thanks to Bad Axe Throwing Club, you can. There, you can swing an axe just like Paul Bunyan. If this sounds dangerous to you, do not worry, the establishment employs on-site coaches to teach and witness the throws so that you do not hurt yourself or anyone else. Pack some closed toed shoes and give it a try.

READ: We Tried It – Denver’s New Axe Throwing Club

Try Our Mapped Out Stoner Artwalk

Photo by Sina Ghozati

When: All weekend

Where: Throughout Denver

Cost: Free, see more information here

The Lowdown: We all know one of the largest attractions that Denver has is, well, recreational. If coming from out of town, one might find themselves indulging in a bit of our homegrown herbal refreshments. Denver is a large city, and we at 303 Magazine do not want any of our readers to be lost while in the Rocky Mountain state of mind. Therefore, we made a map for you to follow, including directions to dispensaries we like as well as where to munch on the way.

READ: Stoner Artwalk – Where to Eat, Grab Weed and See Street Art in Denver

Go to Colorado’s Must-See Ghost Towns

Photo courtesy of Flickr

When: All weekend

Where: Throughout Colorado 

Cost: Free, find our mapped guide here

The Lowdown: If you have the transportation and knack for adventure, Colorado’s ghost towns are a great option for activity, weather permitting. Our beautiful state is full of history and these creepy towns offer the perfect insight into what the past looked like years and even decades ago.

READ: Mapped Guide to Colorado’s Must-See Ghost Towns

See The Last Waltz Revisited

Thanksgiving

Photo courtesy of The Last waltz Revisited on Facebook

When: November 22, 8 p.m.

Where: Fillmore Auditorium, 1510 N Clarkson St., Denver

Cost: $60-$118, buy tickets here

The Lowdown: For the classic rock fan in you and your parents (who helped mold the entire genre), take a step down to the Fillmore Auditorium to catch The Last Waltz Revisited. This performance is one that is especially appropriate, as the original event — put on by the legendary Canadian-American rockers, The Band — took place on Thanksgiving Day 1976. The concert involved an enormous plethora of other acts, such as Bob Dylan, Eric Clapton and Neil Diamond. A recording of the concert, filmed by Martin Scorsese, is wildly considered to be one of the greatest live music recordings in the world. This live show inspired Denver band Polytonix to initiate a replica of sorts and feature the Denver music scene in a similar show for the last several years. Just like the ’70s version, the Denver event will showcase over 50 local musical acts and will serve as a charity event for the Denver Rescue Mission.

READ: 400+ Denver Concerts To See In November

Attend a Holiday Roast or Clean Comedy Finals

Photo courtesy of Comedy Works.

When: November 22, 7:30 p.m. and 8 p.m.

Where: Comedy Works Downtown, 1226 15th St., Denver and South at the Landmark, 5345 Landmark Pl., Greenwood Village

Cost: $14, buy tickets here and here

The Lowdown: It is always good to share a laugh with the ones you love, and Denver’ famed comedy club, Comedy Works, will showcase two very different evenings this coming Wednesday. Depending on what kind of family you have, you will either be heading to the downtown location for a raunchy Holiday Roast or facing south for the Clean Comedy Finals. With a tagline like, “Wreck the Halls with Boughs of Naughty” the Holiday Roast is sure to bust your gut, especially since this year will feature Denver favorite Brent Gill. A hilarious Santa Claus will host as several comedians roast your favorite holiday characters. Now, if the clean-cut life is more your vibe, look no further than the South location where 40 of Denver’s brightest amateur comedians will present their best TV-clean sets. Whichever choice you make, you are sure to enjoy it.

 

Go See the RAW Project

RAW Project, Denver, Cori Anderson, 303 Magazine, So Gnar Collective, Chad Hasegawa

Photo by Cori Anderson

When: All weekend

Where: Various locations in Denver

Cost: Free, find more information here

The Lowdown: Check out the project that features nearly 30 international artists around Denver and began in Miami’s Wynwood neighborhood in 2014 as a way to spread creativity and art to the schools that need it most. See the pro bono artwork displayed on Denver’s  Fairview, Eagleton and Cowell Elementary’s previously undecorated walls, that resulted in was RAW project’s found Robert de Los Rios called “unbelievable.”

READ: Meet the International Artists Who Painted Denver Elementary Schools For Free

 

Watch the Downtown Denver Grand Illumination

Union Station Thanksgiving

Photo courtesy of Denver Union Station on Facebook

When: November 24, time TBD

Where: Denver Union Station, 1701 Wynkoop, Denver

Cost: Free entry,  find more information here

The Lowdown: See Denver in a different light — literally. On Friday, Denver Union Station will light up the beautiful, revitalized building in holiday colors and decor. The special time will be joined by carolers and festive drinks and treats. This annual event is the perfect time for a family around the holidays, as it showcases a beautiful iconic building in Denver and comes at the cost of only your time. Not to mention, once the family has had enough of the Illumination, there are always drinks at the terminal bar or food at any of the delicious surrounding eateries.

Explore a Hidden Speakeasy inside an Art Gallery

Photo by Brittany Werges.

When: Wednesday – Thursday, 5 p.m. – 1 a.m. Friday – Saturday, 5 p.m.- 1 a.m.

Where: Millers & Rossi,  3542 Walnut St., Denver

Cost: $6-$12, find more information here

The Lowdown: Despite existing in the highly bar and art gallery saturated area of River North Arts District (RiNo), Millers & Rossi has succeeded in standing out. This is because the gallery hosts a very different scene past one of its doors — in the form of a cocktail speakeasy. While the separate establishment does not require a passcode, the vibe between the gallery and bar changes drastically and offers an interesting experience to go along with the showcased artists.

Check Out The Aftermath of September’s CRUSH

Rahmaan Statik, in progress. Photo by Cori Anderson

When: All weekend

Where: River North Art District

Cost: Free, find more information here

The Lowdown: In September, Denver hosted 100 artists in the River North Art District, otherwise known as RiNo, for its annual street art festival called CRUSH. The goal of the festival is to change the look of the Denver neighborhood, that has been taking an uphill journey from where it was about 10 years ago. The murals painted this year will last until next year, so get your sights in before they are covered with next year’s creativity.

READ: [PHOTOS] What You Missed From CRUSH 2017

 Zoo Lights Preview Weekend

Thanksgiving

Photo courtesy of Denver Zoo on Facebook

When: November 24-25, 5:30-9 p.m.

Where: The Denver Zoo, 2300 Steele St., Denver

Cost: $10-$15, buy tickets here

The Lowdown: One of the most cherished spectacles around Denver during the holidays is Zoo Lights. Thanksgiving weekend is the preview weekend for the light show, premiering over two days before the main series takes place the entire month of December. Get the first glimpse at this year’s showing of colorful, glowing animals and watch as they scamper around the grounds of Denver’s beloved zoo, as well as stops around the campus for meet-and-greets with Santa, the animals, and other forms of entertainment.

 

See a Movie at the Mayan Theatre or Sie Film Center

Thanksgiving Mayan theatre, 303 magazine, landmark theatres, brittany werges

Landmark’s The Mayan Theatre. Photo by Brittany Werges.

When: All weekend

Where: Mayan Theatre, 110 Broadway, Denver and Sie Film Center, 2510 East Colfax Ave., Denver

Cost: $9-$12, $7-$11, but tickets here and here

The Lowdown: Check out Denver’s premier locations for viewing films at either the Mayan or SIE Film Center. The Mayan, located on Broadway and is one the 51 Landmark Theaters operating in the nation, and one of four in the Denver area. Sie Film center is dedicated to maintaining a venue for Denver film fans to cultivate a film community and transform their lives through film.

Colorado Avalanche Vs. Calgary Flames

Thanksgiving Avalanche

Photo courtesy of www.altitudetickets.com

When: November 25, 8 p.m.

Where: The Pepsi Center, 1000 Chopper Cir., Denver

Cost: $28-$435, buy tickets here

The Lowdown: You know someone will be itching for some sports after all of eating, and football on Thanksgiving probably won’t cut it. Good thing The Pepsi Center will host some good old-fashioned slap-shot for all to enjoy. Of course, there are games all weekend, but the Saturday night game versus the Calgary Flames will be one for the books since we all know our neighbors from the great white North will make it an interesting game.

Denver Art Museum’s Current Exhibit Her Paris: Women Artists in The Age of Impressionism 

Meg O Neill, 303 Magazine, Cori Anderson, DAM, Dam Her Paris, Impressionism

Photo by Meg O’Neill

When: October 22 – January 14, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Where: Denver Art Museum, 100 W 14th Ave Pkwy., Denver 

Cost: $5 -$22, buy tickets here

The Lowdown: The Denver Art Museum’s current exhibit Her Paris: Women Artists in the Age of Impressionism is an international showcase of 37 female artists from 11 countries. The women were not all Parisian, but did travel to Paris in order to be part of the mecca of artistic education and production at that time, even when their home countries were more welcoming of women in men-dominated artistic fields.The exhibit serves as much as an experience of seeing amazing art, but also learning more about the extensive history that inspired it.

READ: DAM’s Newest Exhibit Showcases The Power of Women in Art with Her Paris

Attend Drums of the World

Thanksgiving drums

Photo courtesy of the Colorado Symphony on Facebook

When: November 26, 1 p.m.

Where: Boettcher Concert Hall, 1000 14th St., Denver

Cost: $10-25, buy tickets here

The Lowdown: The Colorado Symphony is a must-see when in Denver. Their epic year-round performances are all worth spectating, however, the Drums of the World show on Sunday night might be the most unique. Catch the percussion section bang it out on the Marimba, bongos, bass drums, woodblocks, log drums, boo-bams, Chinese cymbals, metal trash cans, darabukkas, talking drums, plastic pipe, acoustic guitar, toy trumpet, tablespoons, burma gongs, water can, crow call, tambourine, gankogui and sleigh bells.

See Shantell Martin’s Downtown Mural

When: All weekend

Where: Champa to Stout Street along 14th

Cost: Free, see more information here

The Lowdown: Internationally renowned artist Shantell Martin has brought her piece in the Terra Firma series by Denver Theatre District and curated by NINE dot ARTS. The mural, which sprawls all over the ground of the normally dirty sidewalk, was spray painted on by the artist, which is a unique vessel for her. Every night, a crew from NINE dot ARTS would come and spray the mural with a protective coating that is set to keep the mural sealed for a few years. Since it’s located downtown you can quickly walk to the next activity at Skyline or pop over to Her Paris at the DAM.

SEE: [PHOTOS] Shantell Martin Paints Sidewalks in Downtown Denver

Go Ice Skating at Skyline Park

Photo by © Glenn Ross | www.glennrossphoto.com

When: November 21, 2017 – February 14, 2018

Where: Skyline Park, 16th And Arapahoe, Denver

Cost: Free,  find more information here

The Lowdown: We know, we know, skating at Skyline makes it on to every list, but it really is a great, cheap way to spend some time during the holidays. The rink is free, with only a small $2 charge for skates. No appointment is necessary, but it is a hefty attraction, so plan accordingly if it is full. If skating isn’t for everyone in your group, there is also live entertainment, hot chocolate, broomball, a photo booth, face painting and more.

READ: The Downtown Denver Ice Rink Opens This Week and It May Become Permanent

Get out of Town

The view of Colorado from the summit of Mt. Evans during a clearing storm via Thinkstock.

The Lowdown: Now that you have seen every show and eaten every food, work it off in Colorado’s sunny Front Range. If you need specific suggestions, check out this guide to great places to take out of towners. If you want someone to plan an outdoor excursion for you, you can cough up some cash and have an experienced guide you on a personalized adventure through the Front Range, customized to the experience you and your loved ones want. Take full or half day excursions that can range from beginner to expert in difficulty as you take in the unique rock formations and dense forestry that the Rocky Mountains have to offer. We also have tons of suggestions from our outdoor and travel desk, that you can check out here. Just keep in mind some of this varies based on the weather.

Bonus ideas

Hop on a train and ride through the mountains
Find a hot springs
Do a cannabis yoga class

Check out an underrated national landmark
Find a magical Colorado castle
Roadtrip to a mountain town brewery 
Go on a classic Colorado adventure
See a burlesque show
Explore a vintage penny arcade

Dine at a brand new Denver restaurant