Fun and Frugal Activities

25 Fun and Frugal Activities to Do in Denver

It’s becoming painfully clear that the winter of 2017/2018 is not going to show up in Denver. I’ve made peace with that reality and now am looking forward to Spring and Summer Shenanigans. Because I’m still kicking my debt to the curb, I thought it would be fun to create a list of fun and frugal activities to do in Denver.

* In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. Please read my disclosure here.*



Fun and Frugal Activities

It’s amazing to me to see all of the incredible resources we have available to us in Denver. From the arts, fitness, sporting events, and foodie activities, there is something for everyone to enjoy. Here’s a list of frugal activities that I enjoy during the warmer months. This list is by no means a complete list of all of the things that I like to do. Think of it as a starter list.

  • Little Free Library Hunt-Denver has a ridiculous number of Little Free Libraries. I’ve seen a Tardis, home replicas, and even a home replica with their dog in front. One of my favorite things in Denver is the Little Free Library obsession that has taken over the town. Each time I’m riding my bike, walking, or driving around I seem to find a new one. And, I purposely choose not to write down where they are. It’s fun to rediscover a library when you least expect it.

 

  • Meetups-Denver’s meetups are incredible. There is a Meetup group for every type of person and interest. I’ve gone to mixology classes (free) hiking and more via Meetup. During my car free days I was even able to carpool with other participants. Love Meetup! Check it out today.

 

  • Check Out the Murals-One of the best things about Denver is its embracing of murals. I can’t get enough of them. And, they aren’t just in the RINO district. Incredible murals can be found in almost every single neighborhood in town.

 

  • Volunteer with Denver Start Up Week-One of the coolest events in town! In 2017 they had Mark Cuban and Casey Neistat as guests. It’s an incredible FREE weeklong event that connects startups, business people, with resources, and one another.

Most of These are Free ūüôā

  • Movies at Infinity Park-Soon there will be free movies at the park. I’m hoping that they will show Black Panther. Keeping fingers crossed!

 

  • Movies on the Rocks-There is nothing better than watching a movie at Red Rocks. Last year I saw The 5th Element. The only downside-sometimes crazy weather rolls through. If you’re going to watch a movie make sure you prepare accordingly. Had a great time. And, this event usually begin at the beginning of June.

 

  • Yoga in the Park-Free yoga is one of the best types of yoga. And, doing your practice first thing in the morning in the Sunken Gardens on a Sunday morning is a great way to get your shavasana on.

 

  • Coffee at Rosebud Cafe-The same coffee shops always seem to get on the “best of” lists. If you’re looking for new coffee shops, try out this lovely space near Speer and Logan.

 

  • $5 Yoga at Shine BoutiqueAwesome! The last time I attended it was a hip hop yoga class. The best part was when everyone started rapping. This boutique is unique for its community vibe, salon, and no sizes!

 

  • $10 Veggie Bag at the Pearl Street Farmer’s Market-I love to always buy Colorado. Really. I do. But, sometimes you’re rocking a budget and the $10 veggie bag is a great way to eat healthy for less. There is an art to stuffing the bag, but, seasoned pros have it down to a science. You also get to wander up and down the market. It’s officially my favorite farmer’s market in Denver.

10-20

  • Bike to/from Denver/Boulder-There is a bike path that you can ride between Denver and Boulder. It’s officially on my list for this year. And, I’m looking forward to riding my bike from Sheridan to Boulder. Make sure you have your Colorado kit with you!

 

  • Go Hiking-I can’t get enough of hiking. There’s nothing like exploring Colorado by foot. In fact, I enjoy hiking year around and especially look forward to the wildflower hikes. It’s a frugal activity, but you do need to factor in gas.

 

  • $4 Rockpile Tickets-Opening Day is coming soon! There’s nothing better than watching a great baseball game. Fortunately, the Rockpile is pretty cheap.

 

  • Watch Fireworks-Different organizations will have fireworks displays. Specifically: The Rockies, The Rapids, and occasionally the City and County of Denver. Check when these fireworks displays will go off and that’s a fun and frugal date night.

 

  • Start a Podcast-I have a podcast called “Square State” but Denver and the state of Colorado needs more people to start sharing their shows!

 

  • Hangout in the 41st and Tennyson¬†Shopping district-This area is officially one of my favorite parts of Denver. And, most new arrivals and tourists have no idea about these local spaces.

 

  • Food Hall Mania-We now have a ridiculous number of great places to eat. And, the food hall craze has taken over the city. I can’t wait for the Dairy Block Food Hall opening sometime this year.
    • Zeppelin Station
    • Stanley Marketplace (technically in Aurora)
    • Avanti
    • The Source-F.Y.I. their new hotel is about to open in May
    • The Denver Central Market

 

  • 32nd and Lowell-Another cozy part of Denver that a lot of people don’t know about.

 

  • Downtown Littleton-I absolutely love taking the light rail to downtown Littleton. It’s fun to window shop, have a nice meal, and then hop back onto the light rail.

 

  • Old Towne Arvada-Like everyone else, I wondering when that G-Line will begin running. Old Towne is a great area to eat, drink, and chill out.

20-25

  • University Lecture Series-There are several universities in and around Denver. They all have incredible free lectures and personal development resources. At least once a month I attend an event at a university. Free…usually with lunch included.

 

  • The November Project-Daylight Savings just messed up my plan to begin working out (for free) with The November Project. They basically use the city as their gym. The work outs are INTENSE but you get hot sweaty hugs when you’re finished. Just warning you now. And, a lot of encouragement.

 

  • Dikeou Collection-Many people have no idea where this art collection is housed. And, the hours are a little wonky. But, the art is awesome. And, it’s free.

 

  • 1st Fridays-My favorite 1st Fridays to attend are the ones when the main street is closed off. They’ve gotten so popular that it’s difficult to walk on the sidewalks.

 

  • Hangout in Boulder-I really enjoy spending the day in Boulder. Typically I like to go hiking for the day, get a meal, and then go for a coffee. Ok, a day in Boulder is the most expensive thing on this list. It will hit your wallet for around $25 bucks.

What would you have on your list of frugal activities in Denver?

Want to Start a Blog?

I love blogging! It has been an incredible experience, transformed my life, and connected me with a ton of amazing people. Blogging is a pretty cheap activity and I recommend hosting your blog with Siteground. Many bloggers have begun leaving HostGator and BlueHost and moving to Siteground. Myself included! Read why I’m leaving HostGator and BlueHost (I have 2 blogs one on each hosting platform) and moving to Siteground.  If you’re a new blogger Siteground will cost around $3.95 a month (depending on the size of your audience). They have great customer service and tutorials on how to host your new WordPress blog on Siteground. 

Colorado Tool Kit


36 Hours in Denver for the Theater Goer

36 Hours in Denver for the Theater Lover

Denver, at times, can be a contradiction. Warm one moment, crazy snowy the next, then windy. An extreme sports town with professional teams in the following sports: Football, Basketball, Hockey, Soccer, and even Rugby. Denver has made a name for itself as a go-to destination for theater lovers. And, if you only have 36 hours in Denver and want to get your culture fix, Denver is the place for you.

* In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. Please read my disclosure here.*

Start Saving Now

Going to the theater and eating your way through town costs money. There are two ways you can start saving for your trip to Denver (or, even in your hometown)

  • Rize-An awesome savings platform where you can set savings goals each month. If your goal is to have a paid off trip (even if you’re travel hacking) or, fattening your savings account. Rize is a great way to start saving. Sign up HERE. You will receive $10 towards your savings goal after you complete setting up your account.

 

  • Ibotta-I.Love.This.App-Created in Denver, Ibotta is an all-around savings app. I love to use it for groceries, but, you can also use it to save on Amazon, Groupon, and Costco. If you sign up with the following link and are a new user-you will receive $10 after you redeem your first savings. Here’s more information on how it works.

Denver isn’t Just for Jocks

I am a huge theater lover. I remember being in Kiss Me Kate during my high school years? And, going to see Les Miserables at for a French club excursion. There is nothing better than being transported to a magical place of song, dance, and drama. As luck would have it, Denver has the second largest theater complex in the United States-the Denver Center for Performing Arts.

But, first, let’s get you to downtown Denver from the airport. Here’s the link for information on how to take the train from DIA to Union Station located in the heart of Downtown. Union Station also happens to be a transportation hub for: bus, train, and light rail.

It’s easy to get around downtown from Union Station via LYFT (new user? Sign up here and get $5 off your next ride). There are a couple of great hotels that will be a great fit for your theater vibe:

  • The Curtis Hotel (conveniently located across from the DCPA) it has a really cool interior.

 

  • The Moxy-NOT located downtown, but in Cherry Creek North. It’s about a 10-minute LYFT drive. Or, you can take the 83L/3L bus if you good with public transit.

 

  • The Mavin Hotel-I’m in love with this place. It has a giant hand installed and hanging from the ceiling. It’s also the home of Kachina which is a South Western style restaurant. Fantastic food.

 

  • Hotel Teatro-a beautiful, sophisticated hotel with phenomenal service and a beautiful lounge called “The Study.” I tend to go for the coffee and enjoy sitting in front of the fireplace.

Now that you’ve found a hotel (booked before arrival) you’re ready to figure out your plan. By the way, make sure to check out the following post about altitude sickness.


Denver Center for Performing Arts

The Denver Center for the Performing Arts has shows for every taste. We’ve been fortunate enough to experience world premiers for a number of shows including:

  • The Whale-An intense look at loneliness and obesity

 

  • An all-male¬†retailing of the story of Macbeth¬†that was incredibly well done and did push the envelope.

The Whale eventually debuted in New York City. The DCPA has a number of larger and smaller theaters. And, the theatergoer who is in Denver for only 36 hours could return to the DCPA daily and get their theater fix.

2017-2018 Theater Season

The current season has begun to wind down, but, there are a number of shows that you can still check out. Please note: the shows listed below may be a major touring show or a production held at one of the smaller theaters in the complex.

  • Hamilton February 2-March 11, 2018 the tickets have sold out, but, you can participate in the day of ticket raffle for discounted tickets.

 

  • Lady Day March 5-April 23, 2018 this show explores Billy Holiday’s life through music (smaller venue).

 

  • Native Gardens April 6-May 6, 2018 What happens when you move into a neighborhood where you don’t fit in?

 

  • Aladdin April 7-April 28-Broadway brings the tale of Aladdin to the stage.

 

  • The Who’s Tommy-April 20-May 27, 2018 Nothing like a rock opera to bring theater goers to their feet.

 

  • The Book of Mormon June 13-July 1, 2018 Keeps returning to Denver and selling out. It’s a hilarious, somewhat crass story that will have you laughing your a@@ off throughout the show.

There are a number of other smaller theaters throughout the city, but, to keep things simple we’ll start with the DCPA first. This is an incomplete list, so make sure to check the DCPA website for more information.

2018-2019 Theater Season

Every year I wait for the new theater season details. They always exceed expectations. The upcoming season is no different. Here is an incomplete list of what’s coming next year!

  • Dear Evan Hansen

 

  • Sex Tips for Straight Women From a Gay Man

 

  • Cirque Eloize “Hotel”

 

  • Anastasia

 

  • Rock of Ages

 

  • Cats

 

  • Wicked

Now, start figuring out which shows you would like to check out and create a show plan.

Where to Eat

Denver has an awesome food scene and it’s getting better and better every day. In 2018, we have several cool restaurants and food concepts that you can check out. Here are some of my favorites (hop into a LYFT for most of them).

  • El Five-The views from this restaurant are stunning. If you like tapas and platters, this is the place for you.

 

  • The Source-It’s a multi-use food concept/coffee shop/butcher/wine shop space. It also has a cool new hotel ¬†(The Source Hotel) opening in May.

 

  • Zeppelin Station-Is the newest food hall on the scene. Opening in March 2018, it will offer food options ranging from banh mi to Montreal smoked meats.

 

Now you have a basic itinerary, places to and stay, and eat. Welcome to Colorado!

Get Your Colorado Toolkit


Want to Start a Blog?

I love blogging! It has been an incredible experience, transformed my life, and connected me with a ton of amazing people. Blogging is a pretty cheap activity and I recommend hosting your blog with Siteground. Many bloggers have begun leaving HostGator and BlueHost and moving to Siteground. Myself included! Read why I’m leaving HostGator and BlueHost (I have 2 blogs one on each hosting platform) and moving to Siteground.  If you’re a new blogger Siteground will cost around $3.95 a month (depending on the size of your audience). They have great customer service and tutorials on how to host your new WordPress blog on Siteground. 

The Colorado Local Tool Kit: What Almost Everyone Has On Their Person

If you’re new to Colorado the first thing you will notice (if you’re here for a week ) is the sunshine. An almost relentlessly gorgeous blue that dares you to question why it’s so grey in your hometown during the winter. Denver is ridiculously sunny throughout the year. And, Denverites have mild freakouts when it’s grey for more than 3 days in a row. It’s a thing. ¬†It’s also a thing that almost every Coloradan carries the Unofficial Colorado Local Tool Kit. Want to know what’s in it? Keep reading!

* In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. Please read my disclosure here.*

Start Saving!

Are you looking to visit or move to Colorado? Check out my new favorite way to save RIZE savings platform. Set your goal and automated savings. And, get closer to visiting one deposit at a time. You can also boost your savings if you would like. Click HERE to begin saving towards your goals.

The Colorado Local Tool Kit

Each place has its own special challenges. Some places rain all the time, other places are just super humid. There are towns that exist under a constant shroud of clouds. Not Colorado. We’ve got our own special issues.

Lotion

When I was growing up, my mom had to buy a humidifier and placed it my room because it was so freaking dry. In fact, living in Colorado feels like a constant fight to keep your skin, supple, moisturized, and not ashy. Sometimes it’s a losing fight. If you don’t have lotion on you, then you probably have some body butter/balm. Basically, something to keep your skin from feeling like it’s constantly itching.

Chapstick

If your skin feels like it is constantly itching-your lips feel cracked. All. the. time. In fact, one of the most common types of swag to hand out at events (think races) is lip balm. Yep, it’s a thing. If you leave your house without a decent lip balm, you’ll find yourself constantly licking at your lips in a desperate attempt to keep them from looking…dried out and ashy (sense a theme)?

Sunblock

That constant sunshine coupled with living at a higher altitude=the need to always wear sunblock. In fact, I remember public service announcements about sunblock from when I was a kid. ¬†But, in all seriousness, it doesn’t matter where you live-sunblock is probably a great addition to your skin care regiment.

Water Bottle

Ok, it’s clear how dry it is in Colorado. And, we’re also dealing with the higher altitude. For people visiting Colorado (and Denver) from lower altitudes-you need to drink water. There is a reason why people are constantly walking around town with water bottles. It’s freaking dry here-all the time.

Sunglasses

One of the best things about Colorado is the constant sunshine. In fact, it’s said that Denver has more sunny¬†days than San Diego and I would agree. It’s very difficult for me to go outside without my sunglasses because the sun is so intense.

Ball Cap or Beanie

Depending on the time of year, you will probably see many people wearing either a knit beanie or a ball cap. It can be windy here I think that’s partly why people wear hats so much.


Oversized Backpack

I often joke that people here always look like they’re about to go deep into the mountains…for a while. In fact, I’m also guilty of carrying a ridiculous amount of stuff with me that often includes:

  • All of the items mentioned above

 

  • My laptop

 

  • And, a change of clothes if I’m going to workout

What’s in Your Town’s Local¬†Tool¬†Kit?



Sprouts Grocery Store Review

* In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. Please read my disclosure here.*

Weirdly enough, one of my favorite activities is going grocery shopping. I’m a live to eat person versus eat to live and I’m also a personal finance blogger-check out my other blog: Michelle is Money Hungry. As a result, I enjoy figuring out where to get the best deals when grocery shopping.

Download Ibotta First

Before you go on your next grocery run. Ibotta is my favorite savings app (and it’s developed and headquartered in Denver). Here’s my affiliate link! Get $10 towards your first payout when you sign up as a new Ibotta user.

I love saving on groceries, clothes, and (ahem) the occasional¬†bottle of alcohol. Now that you have Ibotta downloaded it’s time to shop at Sprouts.

Sprouts

Is one of the grocery stores that I regularly shop at. I like to purchase different things at different places and Sprouts stands out when it comes to affordable produce. In fact, Sprouts hands down has the best deals on produce out of the many different grocery stores that I shop at here in Denver/Boulder.

I also love the bulk spice area that offers affordable deals. I love to cook and enjoy using a pretty wide variety of spices. I pick up the majority of my spices from Sprouts because the variety and the prices are so dang good!

Sprouts

Most stores are typically small, airy spaces that are well-lit. I like that everything is easily navigable from wherever you may be standing in the store.

There are also great deals on meat/poultry/ and fish. But, I truly feel that Sprouts shines in two specific areas for me: produce and customer service. I can’t say it enough, the team that at the Wash Park store is outstanding. They are easy going, nice, and professional. Whenever I need help, team members are helpful and are focused on answering any questions that may come up.

For new arrivals from the East/West you’ll notice that we don’t have stores such as Aldi’s, Wegmans, and Food Lion. But, we do have Sprouts, Alfalfa’s, Whole Foods, Safeway, and Natural Grocers to name a few. Each has its own strengths and weaknesses.

Tres Pupusas

While I’m on the topic of food, I thought I would share one of my favorite new Colorado made products! I had the good fortune of trying out several different flavors of Tres Papusas stuffed corn masa treats.

If you haven’t had a pupusa yet-run, don’t walk, to get these delicious treats! I’ve eaten several different flavors:

  • Black Bean and Sweet Corn (regular sized)

 

  • Jalape√Īo and Cheese-Right now these are my favorites. I really like spice so I’m always a bit biased towards spicier options.

I particularly enjoyed the crispiness of the masa and the fact that it takes about 10 minutes to bake them. Nope, no microwaving (I imagine microwaving the pupusas would give the masa a weird texture). Here is a link so that you can pick up some boxes if you’re looking for a nice appetizer for your next party.

www.coloradoluvhub.info

SQS013: Phylecia Jones

One of my favorite things to do with Square State is to discover people’s backstories. Basically, how did they end up in Colorado, how has it been, and has their experience been what they expected?

Listen to the Show

Phylecia Jones shares her story of :

  • Deciding to move to Colorado

 

  • The experience so far

 

  • How she and her husband made the decision to move to Colorado

 

  • I wonder if she found the state expensive?

 

  • The experience of running a business in Colorado

 

  • The experience of being a person of color in Colorado

 

  • Is it easy to meet people here as an adult?

 

  • Her biggest piece of advice

Follow Phylicia

Facebook: Keeping Up With Mrs. Jones

Website: keepingupwithmrsjones.com

Instagram:  Keeping Up With Mrs. Jones