Things to do in Denver |

Things to do in Denver

Ted Alvarez
Vail CO, Colorado

Editor’s note: Ted Alvarez writes a weekly column for the Vail Daily, choosing his top five things to do in Denver. From music, to films and even art exhibits, Ted shares all that’s cool in the Mile High City.

It’s the most wonderful time of the year, they say ” full of mistletoe, menorahs and merrymaking. But it’s also a time of hectic shopping and crass commercials braying about how many shopping days you have left. Don’t forget to unwind this holiday season with a song, an old-time holiday festival, or local artists’ bazaar. Better yet, you could always rebel against the holiday spirit for a night with a good ‘ol rock ‘n’ roll show ” Best Buy will still be there in the morning.

Vampire Weekend, Bluebird Theatre

Here’s your chance to catch what might be the next-biggest-thing before they explode: Vampire Weekend’s unique mix of Elvis Costello songcraft and Afrobeat rhythms has burned up the blogosphere and earned them profiles in The New York Times, Spin and NPR. All the buzz has gotten them a record deal, but they still haven’t even released a full album and sometimes play for smaller crowds outside their New York homebase. Now’s the time to catch these up-and-comers, before they graduate to Coachella. Vampire Weekend performs at the Bluebird Theatre on Saturday at 8:30 p.m. Tickets are $10. For information, call 303-830-8497.

Devil Doll, Bender’s Tavern

Colleen Duffy, aka Devil Doll, is like a Betty Page-style pinup come to life, only darker and more dangerous. She spins her tattooed tales of lost love, hot rods and rain-slicked streets through rockabilly, punk and jazz tunes that showcase her sultry singing voice. Catch her live this weekend ” just don’t blame us if you get your heart broken. The show is at Bender’s Tavern, 9 p.m. Tickets are $8. For tickets and information, visit

Bizarre Denver Bazaar

There’ll be no ugly rugs or birdhouses at this flea market: The Bizarre Denver Bazaar collects nearly two dozen local artists, musicians and community organizations and puts their wares on display for all to see, experience, and of course, purchase. Live bands provide the soundtrack as you search for your new, edgy piece of art, and organizations like the Derailer Bicycle Collective, Denver Urban Gardens and Free School Denver will provide workshops. Paper Bird, Layden Bryant, Laura Goldhammer, Nathan Payne and the New Denver Orchestra will perform throughout the bazaar, which lasts from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the Brooks Center Arts on Saturday. There is a suggested $3-5 donation. For more information, visit

Old South Pearl Street WinterFest

This 100-year-old shopping district is known for its restaurants, but once during the most wonderful time of the year, it transforms into an old-time winter market, complete with chestnuts roasting on an open fire. Try this alternative to the mall to find your gifts this year among myriad vendors, including clothes, jewelry, home accessories, books, bikes, fine art, antiques, toys, pet supplies and cards. Don’t forget to sample hot chocolate and fresh, ready-to-eat food from local farmer’s markets while you shop. The Old South Pearl Street WinterFest starts on Fri., Dec. 7, from 5 to 9 p.m., continues on Sat., Dec. 8 from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., and concludes on Sunday, Dec. 9 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, visit

Beatles Sing-along, Mercury Cafe

Fancy yourself a missing member of the Fab Five? You’ll have your chance to prove it, along with a crowd of others at the Mercury Cafe’s 10th Annual John Lennon and Beatles Memorial Singalong. Lyric sheets will be provided for the rusty, and though most songs will have backing tracks, musicians are invited to bring their instruments to play along. The evening always ends with a season-starting “Happy Christmas (War Is Over).” The event is free, open to all ages and begins at 2 p.m. on Sunday. For more information, email organizer Jimi Bernath at or call him at 303-263-0176.

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