DENVER, — One of the best ways to celebrate Labor DayWeekend in The Mile High City is at the top of the continent – 14,264 feet high to be exact. The road up Mount Evans, the highest paved auto road in North America, starts 47 miles west of Denver and twists and turns as it snakes its way through five climate zones to the summit. Originally built by the City of Denver as a tourist attraction, the road is operated today by the U.S. Forest Service and stays open as long as weather and snow conditions permit. That means in some years, Labor Day is the last weekend the road is open to the top.
Winter comes early at 14,000 feet. But down on the plains, Denver celebrates the end of summer with college football, concerts under the stars at Red Rocks Amphitheatre, the city’s largest food festival… and of course, beer. Denver brews more beer than any other city in America with more than 200 beers brewed every day.
So grab a pint and a seat on an outdoor patio, and take advantage of some great hotel deals at Denver’sbest properties and plan a Mile High Labor Day Weekend.
Treat yourself to A Taste Of Colorado
When: Aug. 30 – Sept. 2
Where: Civic Center Park
Join 500,000 people in Civic Center Park for this fun – and free – festival. Enjoy the offerings of more than 50 area restaurants and food trucks. Rock out to live music from big-name acts, including America, best known for their country rock classic “Horse With No Name.” Also appearing are Dennis “Mr. Roboto” DeYoung, lead singer of Styx, and “Hammer Time” hip hop musician, MC Hammer. Take a trip back to pioneer days at the Festival of Mountain and Plain area, with Colorado wildlife, blacksmith demonstrations and hands-on activities. Or bring the young ones to the KidzStage, featuring music, magic, clowns and puppets. There are also classic carnival rides all weekend long.
Kick Off college football at the Rocky Mountain Showdown
When: Sept. 1
Where: Sports Authority Field at Mile High
One thing is sure at this game – someone from Colorado is going to win! The ultimate Centennial State rivalry kicks off the football season when the University of Colorado Buffaloes take on the Colorado State University Rams. Boulder was selected by Gallup as the happiest city in America; Fort Collins was chosen by Forbes as the best place to live in America. By the end of the evening, only one of them will be right! Who will win bragging rights for the 2013-14 season? Kickoff is at 4 p.m.
When: Aug. 30 – Sept. 1
Where: Dick’s Sporting Goods Park
Denver’s got one of the most popular jam bands in the world for three nights this Labor Day Weekend. Phish have earned a wildly devoted following over the past 20 years, thanks to the guitar heroics of Trey Anastasio, an always-unpredictable live show, and unparalleled instrumental interplay.
Root, root, root for the Rockies at Coors Field
When: Aug. 30 – Sept. 1
Where: Coors Field
Enjoy exciting major league baseball at this Labor Day Weekend series, when the Colorado Rockies take on the Cincinnati Reds in downtown Denver’s classic ballpark, Coors Field. There’s also a game against the L.A. Dodgers on Labor Day. Coors Field is surrounded by more than 90 sports bars, brewpubs and rooftop cafes in a historic district called LoDo, and it’s just a short walk from there to the city’s newest hip neighborhoods, LoHi and RiNo. Don’t feel like walking? Coors Field has its own brewpub with craft beer brewed right on the premises.
Take in a triple-feature at the Denver Art Museum (DAM)
When: Through Sept.
Where: Denver Art Museum
The campus-wide exhibit, Spun: Adventures in Textile (through September 22) takes a wide-ranging look at textiles from pre-Columbian weavings to Navajo blankets to an examination of clothing in art and photography, while Figure to Field: Mark Rothko in the 1940’s (through September 29) traces the development of Rothko’s work during the most critical decade of his career. Renowned contemporary artist Nick Cave has created an exclusive body of work for the DAM that transports visitors to a magical world of color, texture, sound and movement. Nick Cave: Sojourn (through September 22) requires an additional ticket.
Immerse yourself in Memory, Myth & Magic
When: Through Sept. 29
Where: Clyfford Still Museum
Unlock the mysteries of Clyfford Still’s extensive body of work. Still’s art is pervaded with powerful, albeit subtle, allusions to memory (both cultural and personal), the ancient past and to long-established aesthetic traditions that are sometimes summoned only to be shattered afresh in his hands. The exhibit covers a span of approximately forty years (c.1929-70) and includes more than fifty paintings, photographs by the artist himself, works on paper and sculptures.
Light the fuse with Keith Urban
When: Aug. 30
Where: Red Rocks Amphitheatre
Rolling Stone Magazine just selected Red Rocks Amphitheatre as the number one outdoor music venue in the United States. What were they thinking? It’s the No. 1 place to hear a concert in the world! Scratch this one off your bucket list, while sitting under a Rocky Mountain star-studded sky listening to four-time Grammy Award winner and American Idol judge, Keith Urban. Keith is bringing his “Light The Fuse Tour 2013″ with Little Big Town to the Rocks! It doesn’t get any better.
Be one of the first to see Peter and the Starcatcher
When: Through Sept. 1
Where: Ellie Caulkins Opera House at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts
A grownups prequel to the beloved story of Peter Pan, Broadway’s most mayhem-filled evening of madcap fun launches its national tour in Denver. With enormous talent, ingenious stagecraft and the limitless possibilities of imagination, experience the story of a nameless boy who becomes Peter Pan.
See the mind-blowing art of the Biennial of the Americas
When: Through Sept. 2
Where: Various locations
The Mile High City has been dancing to a different beat this summer, thanks to the festival of ideas, art and culture known as the Biennial of the Americas. Some of the most fun parts of this celebration of the western hemisphere are the whimsical and thought-provoking art installations throughout the city. Sit inside a giant butterfly net along the 16th Street Mall; watch an inflatable hotel room lift into the downtown sky; check out a giant wooden structure created by renowned artist Pezo von Ellrichshausen; or enjoy the shade under a fabric cloud in one of downtown Denver’s urban parks. This is the last weekend to see these works.
Discover Catalyst: Colorado Sculpture
When: Through Jan. 12, 2014
Where: Denver Botanic Gardens (York Street)
The Denver Botanic Gardens is always a tranquil oasis in the heart of the city, but a special new show is adding another dimension. Twelve Colorado artists were asked to view the garden spaces differently, injecting a change in the surrounding landscape with their 3-D work. Perspectives of space are altered as visitors experience the Gardens’ in a new way. The artwork introduces a variety of color, texture, and form into an already rich environment. And on August 30, bring a bottle of wine and picnic dinner to the Gardens and relax to the sounds of Chris Isaak (additional ticket required for concerts).
Go on a Neighborhood Pub Crawl
When: Whenever you like
Where: From LoHi to LoDo, RiNo to Uptown, South Broadway to Golden Triangle
There are 26 breweries and dozens of distilleries and wineries, tap houses, speakeasies, rooftop bars, music clubs, and pubs in the six distinct neighborhoods surrounding downtown Denver. You can play ping pong at Ace or shuffleboard and darts at the Punch Bowl Social or even lawn games at ViewHouse. There are 42 outdoor cafes along Denver’s mile-long pedestrian promenade – the 16th Street Mall. Watch the sunset from the rooftop of Linger or Amato’s in LoHi, or from the roofs of Historian Ale House andIrish Rover on South Broadway, or the Tavern and View Bar in LoDo…or grab a bite to eat from a food truck and have dinner at the outdoor picnic tables of Infinite Monkey Thereom Winery, Mile High Winery and Mile High Distillery in RiNo or Denver Beer Company or Prost Brewing in LoHi.