Surrounded by the eponymous mountain range, Guests at A Bite of the Rockies descend on The Denver Mart to chow down on cuisines from more than 80 eateries and food trucks. Among them, Town and Country Foods transports their organic veggies and natural meats to the festival, which participants can sample along with artichoke and spinach dip from Gourmet Farms of Colorado. Boulder Vegans doles out their signature cashew cheese, and Glazed and Confused Donuts gives folks a dose of the dulcet with their preservative- and chemical-free confections. In addition, chefs lead cooking demonstrations that teach onlookers how to create healthy meals at home.
Though the food is the main draw, A Bit of the Rockies offers up plenty of other sensory delights. Live music from the Colorado Symphony sets the soundtrack to the event, while jewelry vendors and kids' activities round out the family-friendly shindig.
The Plains Conservation Center is an offshoot of the West Arapahoe Conservation District, an organization appointed in 1949 to teach farming and ranching techniques that could help prevent another devastating Dust Bowl. While the PCC's mission has since expanded, the nonprofit organization's main goal remains the same: preserving the health of Colorado's plains. Between its two sites—a main 1,100-acre location in Aurora and more than 10,000 acres spread along West Bijou Creek—the organization maintains several attractions devoted to the history and environmental character of the region. These include more than five miles of hiking trails, a Cheyenne camp from 1837 with four standing tepees, and Wells Crossing, a replica 1887 farm consisting of sod houses, and heirloom gardens. For more modern sites, the Aurora location's visitor center features interactive displays and seasonal events such as Hops for Habitat, an annual fundraiser with beer tastings from local craft brewers.
Expert gourmand Jackie Rebideau has a peculiar passion for cheese. In an effort to share this ardor with the public, she created Fromage to Yours, a company that holds classes and special events to educate people about this celebrated edible. In addition to her recently launched grilled cheese food truck, Mobile Meltz, Jackie teaches pupils about the art of making artisan cheeses such as mozzarella, halloumi, ricotta, and paneer, demonstrating tasteful techniques and dispelling myths that the holes in swiss cheese are formed by mini meteors training for future journeys to the moon. Fromage to Yours also orchestrates special events such as the Colorado Cheese Festival, which more than 150 samples of artisanal American cheese.
Three professional sports teams. Five levels. Forty-five acres. More than 200 events per year. Although these numbers don’t define Pepsi Center, they certainly highlight the impact the entertainment emporium has had on the community since it first opened its doors in 1999. Here, visitors can attend a rousing NBA basketball game, watch Disney stars twirl on ice, or sing along as Madonna belts out her greatest hits and imparts the health benefits of drinking glow-stick juice. They can also dine at one of three distinct restaurants, and, during tours of the impressive facilities, marvel at backstage areas and the 2,000-pound statue in the Grand Atrium.
Originally opened in 1927, the Genesee Theatre slowly deteriorated over the course of the century until its closing in 1989. But starting in 2001, a $23 million cash infusion from the city allowed 120 volunteers to restore the theater to its Gilded Age splendor. Its elegant trappings include authentic wall fabrics, an exact replica of the original marquee, and a 2,200-pound chandelier that gently spotlights the grand lobby and every audience member passing underneath to show how everyone is a star if you really think about it.
The Holiday Food & Gift Festival brings together exhibitors, food vendors, and a slice of Santaland. Artisans forge jewelry, crafts, sculptures, and photography that pile atop exhibition tables to form glittering mountains of potential presents or targets for hatchet-throwing practice. Handmade toys and the irrepressible sparkle of Christmas décor capture the attention of thousands of annual attendees. A vast food court dishes out sweet servings of chocolate alongside hearty heaps of pastas, meats, and specialty sauces.