THE HOT LIST – 9 Cool Things To Do In Denver

Photographer: @davie8thebaby

Let’s be honest, some times the sheer amount of things to do in Denver can be truly overwhelming… even for me!  Here’s a few awesome ideas to get your out of your routine!

1. COME TO THE OUTDOOR PING PONG PARTY OF THE YEAR:  It all goes down in RiNo, and I have to be honest, I AM RIDICULOUSLY EXCITED ABOUT THIS. First of all, the party, Smash Street comes from Two Parts, who put on some of the best parties in the city – like Truck Stop Rally, UMS… they even make us The Denver Passport every year. But secondly, I frickin’ love ping pong. I used to be a TV writer at Warner Bros, and after tape night, on Fridays, we’d wander over to The Big Bang Theory stage and join them for a SERIOUS ping pong tourney. I was more of a spectator, and that’s because it WAS SO SERIOUS (I mean, there were costumes, so it was perhaps, not that serious!).

So if you love an outdoor block party, one with food trucks, music and hundreds playing ping pong, ya gotta go. Best part is, it’s free, the only people who need to purchase tickets (only $7) are the ones who want to play at a free table, or those that want to compete ($30). And each of those tickets, comes with a free drink!  Grab all the info, on Smash Street, here.

2. THERE’S A (PRETTY) NEW FARMER’S MARKET: Have you been to the new Farmer’s Market in RiNo?  I’m really liking it… and they have some great write ups. You’ll for sure here me talking about them, more in September, when they have goat yoga on the 15th and 25th.  Check out more, here!

3. LET’S GET OUR SWEAT ON!: We may have drank too many cocktails and ate too many tots at Smash Street, so now we need to get our workout on.  Shift Cycle is popping up at Infinite Monkey Theorem for A Class & A Glass. Enjoy a 45-minute Shift Cycle class followed by Infinite Monkey Theorem wine and a post class party. Your $25 entrance fee gets you a class, a glass of wine, discounts on other drink purchases and a raffle ticket. Make sure you reserve your space, here.

4. WEEKENDS ARE FOR SERIOUS DRINKS: Two things I love, a serious cocktail, and a beautiful place to drink it in. I’ve been a huge fan of Apartment Bartender for a while (if you love making cocktails, this is the instagram for you!), so I’m pretty damn excited he’s popping up for a night of guest bartending at Run For The Roses (cool fact, it’s owned by Steven Waters, who used to own my all time fave bar, White Lies, the night time concept of Black Eye Coffee, before it closed in Cap Hill.) Come check out Run for The Roses, this Sunday night. It’s no cost to get in, but you will need a reservation (and they are going fast!)

5. LET’S GO TO BOULDER FOR THE DAY:  One of my fave escapes is to Boulder. It’s the perfect little get-a-way, plenty to do outdoors, with an amazing dining scene.  Here are a few of my fave things to do:

•Go shopping at Crossroads Trading Post – this is a spot I shopped in all the time when I lived in LA (please don’t hold it against me!) It’s a resale shop that is SUPER FUSSY about what they buy. By why I love them the most, besides the designer labels, is the prices… not only are things priced, to sell, and fast, everything continues to be marked down, weekly.

•I love a good tiki drink and when a Tiki Takeover is popping up at one of my fave restaurants, even better!  The Kitchen, Upstairs wants to cool us off with boozy tiki libations.

The Kitchen Upstairs, such a beautiful room

Beware, they are strong, and delicious! Pair them with one of the best burgers in the state, or the burratta – super light and creamy.  Their risotto is also a fave… so perfectly cooked, with a crisp, citrusy flavor!

•For those of you that want to be active, and outdoorsy, here are some great hikes.  Want a hike with a view? Got ’em right here. Forever on my list? Tubing in Boulder Creek. If you’ve never done it, 303 Magazine put together this great guide.

Photographer: @davie8thebaby

6. SUNDAYS ARE FOR SUNFLOWERS:  I did a post recently, about how we really have to be careful with the big sunflower crops that draw such huge crowds, in August and September. A lot of people want that perfect insta photo, but may not know that when we walk through the vast farms, the sunflowers can become damaged and not reproduce next year. Additionally, trespassing on private property can result in a big fat ticket!  Here’s two great alternatives, instead!  One is Sunflower Farm in Longmont. It looks truly magical, especially if you love visiting with baby farm animals.  Another place I’m hearing about is Bee Hugger Farm, also in Longmont. I hear they have 6 acres of sunflowers and they would love you to come and cut your own!  Get info, here on their FB page.

7. THOSE ROOF TOP VIEWS THOUGH: Guys, how can summer be ending when it’s still 99 degrees???  I just don’t see it! Okay, okay, the sun DOES seem to be setting earlier.  Fine, I will go to all the roof tops and patios, now!  My faves?  I really love 54 Thirty – it’s huge (so great for groups) and the views are spectacular!  The bar at The Jacquard is amazing, too. Though smaller, the views are just as stunning, the sunsets, magical!. For patios, I really love Postino, especially with their $5 before 5pm wines!  Improper City is always a fave and it’s pup friendly.  Ironton Distillery is set among a lush garden in RiNo – it’s like nothing I’ve ever seen before.  Bonus points for ping pong tables and corn hole!  Declaration, Odell, Black Shirt and Ratio for breweries with fave patios!

colorado vacation

8. IT’S ALWAYS THE RIGHT TIME FOR A GET-A-WAY:  My fave get-a-way?  Snow Mountain Ranch in Granby (part of the YMCA of the Rockies). Why?  Well, I love the price, yurts start at $99 and the cabins are very reasonable, too. I love that everything is spread out over 5,000 acres… in fact, even on a busy holiday weekend, you can feel like you have it all to yourself.

best colorado glamping

But what I love the most? All the activities they have.  Because while I want to do a lot, I don’t want to plan a lot!  Everything is there for you, from horse back riding,, archery, arts: ceramics, crafts, canoeing, fishing, hiking, mountain biking, goat yoga and swimming and SO MUCH MORE (in fact, find the whole list here!)

The Women’s Adventure Camp at Camp Chief Ouray, at Snow Mountain Ranch in Granby  will be held on Sept 6-8, 2019, check out all the fun filled activities, and register, here.  The camp is open to women 18+ years of age with the intent of teaching outdoor adventure skills and playing in the outdoors.

9. YOU’RE IN A RESTAURANT RUT: And that’s okay!  Let’s take some action.  a) Post Oak BBQ – it’s been on my list forever and I’m hearing amazing things… including that they smoke their meats with wood, flown in from Austin. Close by is bar Tatarian, low lit and sexy. Ask them to set a drink on fire for you! b) Craving Italian… perhaps I’ve talked about Dio Mio too much! In that case, have you been to White Pie? I love it for so many reasons, exposed brick, light and bright, but romantic at night. They excel on so many levels… from pastas, to excellent pizza, to incredible burrata (I had it over beets, but they change it up, a lot, too!)

c)  I have a true confession: I can be stubborn… I was being hounded by the marketing team of Tupelo Honey, to the point that it was such a turn off! I like to make decisions about what I’m going to profile, on my own, and to keep it honest, I spend my own money.  (If you accept a free meal, as so many instagrammers do, you have to say IT WAS THE MOST AMAZING EPIC MEAL OF YOUR LIFE and I just don’t want to be in that position, so I never went… until I did. And it was FANTASTIC. First of all, my friend had a drink that was DELICIOUS and it, literally, had smoke pouring out of it.  I have to get the name of it, but in the meantime, here is what we loved:  deviled eggs, pimento cheese nachos (small but addictive) and the chicken – both the honey jalapeno lacquer chicken and the blue buffalo chicken are divine. Bonus points for Tupelo Honey  having a Happy Hour every day, 3pm-6pm.

Still looking for food ideas?  Bumble Tea Shop for pastries and gourmet waffles in City Park. You could, also, try the new Uncle Sweet Cooie’s always brings a smile to my face, it’s Little Man Ice Cream’s sister, a Tiffany-jewel box of a store. I’m hearing good things about Cilantro, on Federal, as well as Casa Don Juan, two new Mexican concepts. Have a drink at Fort Greene Bar, if you go to Casa Don Juan.  On my list to try, for bars, are Rita’s Law and The Welton Room, both in Curtis Park.

I hope some of these ideas make your weekend… and the last few weeks of summer, AWESOME!