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Rock, River or Road: The Front Range is Famous for its Natural Playgrounds



Snaking vertically through a number of Denver’s parks and attractions, the South Platte River might as well be called the Denver River. What better way to kick-off the summer than a two-day, environmentally friendly, beer-soaked festival on the South Platte? Denver’s fifth annual South Platte RiverFest, located at Confluence Park and Little Raven Street, has got you covered. From stand-up paddle boarding, to live music, this festival, held on June 24 and 25, features a smorgasbord of summer fun to whet the whole family’s appetite for the rest of the season. Dozens of vendors—including Honest Tea and Lorissa’s Kitchen–will be hawking their wares and keeping your throats and bellies satiated.

South Platte RiverFest, June 24 and 25:

    Nothing represents summer like the fresh smell of turf, bearded men running around in cleats, chasing a ball around and, if they’re lucky, thwacking it into a giant net. Goaaal! On June 8, you can watch that spectacle unfold at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, as the U.S. Men’s National Team faces Trinidad & Tobago in a 2018 World Cup qualifying match. What better way to spend a cool summer evening than watching Clint, Michael, Jozy, and Tim zip around a field in the name of the red, white, and blue? The match starts at 5:50 p.m., so make sure to get there early to roast a few dogs before, hopefully, the U.S. squad does the same to their competition. Tickets range from $75 to $300.

U.S. Men’s National Team vs. Trinidad & Tobago World Cup Qualifier, June 8, 5:50 p.m.
www.ussoccer.com/schedule-tickets/ 20170608-us-mnt-vs-trinidad-and-tobago

On June 24, Dick’s Sporting Goods Park will host the Color Fun Fest 5K. Presented by the Just Care Foundation, which works to provide a summer camp experience to inner city children, this colorful event features both daytime and nighttime runs, and a host of carnival attractions, including live music and an “inflatable village.” And of course, as the event’s title suggests, participants will be drenched with 10,000 pounds of colorful powder throughout the run. Running is rarely this enjoyable—or full of color. Kids 12 and under run free, and adult tickets range from $25 to $50, depending on the package. Regular or VIP options are available. A VIP ticket would buy you some additional merchandise, including a T- shirt and a bandana.

Denver’s Color Fun Fest 5K, June 24

Photo courtesy of The Color Run press team.

Photo courtesy of The Color Run press team.

Are you a tech-savvy, adventure-seeking, scavenger hunt-loving, Denver enthusiast? Well, if you answered “yes” to all of the above, then The Denver Adventure is right in your wheelhouse. Taking place the morning of June 17, this Denver-wide scavenger hunt is like a hybrid of The Amazing Race and your local bar’s trivia night. Here’s how it works: team up with some friends. Beginning at 9 a.m. on June 17, gather at a location of your choice, within 20 miles of the state capitol building. Then, using your smart phone, The Denver Adventure’s “Adventure Portal” will offer a range of challenges to complete around the city, some physical, others mental, but all involving Denver in one way or another. All challenges must be completed by submitting some form of media: a short video or photo—selfie sticks are provided to each team. Over $2,000 worth of prizes will be up for grabs, including: a ski trip to Snowmass, food and beverage credits to local bars and restaurants, Rockies tickets, and much, much more. Tickets are $40 per player, with steep discounts if all members sign up at the same time. What are you waiting for?

The Denver Adventure, June 17


When you conjure up images of a “rodeo” in your mind, it likely includes the following: rollicking cowboys flaunting their masculinity by taming a bull and, by proxy, his own doubts and inner demons. Successful conquests are followed with pints of beer and burly men recounting their bull-riding prowess. Am I right? Well, enter the Rocky Mountain Gay Rodeo, a stereotype-shattering rodeo hosted by the Colorado Gay Rodeo Association. From July 8 to the 10, the Jefferson County Fairgrounds in Golden will be bursting with pride and participants representing all colors of the rainbow. In addition to bull wrangling, the event will feature royalty crownings in four categories: Mr., Ms. Miss, and MsTer. Tickets are $10 per day; proceeds go toward an educational scholarship.

Rocky Mountain Gay Rodeo, July 8-10

For two weekends in July, Colorado Springs will host a number of athletic events and competitions in a variety of fields, courts, and courses for every level of competition and skill level. With over 40 sports and activities, from Air Hockey to Soccer, Taekwondo to Disc Golf, this mini-Olympics, the Rocky Mountain State Games is Colorado’s largest sports festival. The event will take place on July 21-23 and 28-30. Individuals and teams must register online, with admission ranging from $5 to $12. Athletes with physical disabilities or visual impairments will also find a range of events to participate in. In addition, the Senior Games, which includes events in billiards, badminton, archery, swimming, and more, takes place on the same weekends.

Rocky Mountain State Games, July 21-23, 28-30

Do hot air balloons and rodeo sound like naturally compatible activities? At Steamboat Spring’s 36th annual Hot Air Balloon Rodeo and 43rd annual Art in the Park on July 8-9, those two seemingly polar opposites will form a wholly natural union. Balloons will begin inflating early—at about 6 a.m., near Bald Eagle Lake—so plan for an early start to get the best positioning to sip some coffee while snapping photos as the colorful balloons rise toward the early morning sky. Balloon pilots—or balloon cowboys–are tasked with a number of challenges, including a skiff on Bald Eagle Lake. When the sun dips below the peaks, the balloons will remain afloat, their fires lighting up the inky Colorado sky. Parking is free, with a suggested donation of $5 per vehicle.

Hot Air Balloon Rodeo and Art in the Park, July 8-9
www.steamboatchamber.com/signature-events/hot-air-balloon-rodeo – launchfield

Photo credit: Paul DdeBerjeois

Photo credit: Paul DdeBerjeois

Four-Twenty Games: Taking place on July 23 at the Boulder Reservoir. This event features a 4.2-mile jaunt around the Reservoir, a two-hour beer tasting courtesy of Lagunitas, and a number of educational panels with some of the cannabis industry’s top representatives. The idea is to burst the caricature of “stoners” as lazy and unmotivated couch potatoes by proving exercise and marijuana can co-exist. Ticket prices run the gamut, from $10 for the beer sampling, to $60 for the whole package, including the 4.2-mile run, the beer tasting, and a T- shirt.

The Four-Twenty Games, July 23: www.420games.org/events/boulder-2017/


Prance around in the mud this August at the 34th annual MUDD Volleyball Tournament at the Majestic Commercenter in Aurora. Raise funds for the March of Dimes organization, which helps research and services for mothers and babies, while getting caked with mud in a competition that features over 300 co-ed teams. You can sponsor a participant, or join the fun with a dozen or so friends; registration ranges from $400 to $1,000 per team of 8-12 players each. Split that up evenly, and the cost pales in comparison to the mud frolicking and fundraising. This one-day event, on August 5, is the definition of doing good deeds while having a blast at the same time. Don’t forget to bring towels for the trip back home!

MUDD Volleyball Tournament, August 5: www.muddvolleyball.marchofdimes.org/faf/home

Looking for a way to donate to an important cause while enjoying some sun-soaked fun this summer? Look no further. The fifth annual Mallets for Melanoma charity polo tournament has got you covered—just make sure you lather on some SPF 25 or above before you come! The professional tournament, hosted at Sedalia Fields in Sedalia, on August 6, benefits the Colorado Melanoma Foundation, which aims to raise sun safety awareness through community education and research. This year’s event is expected to be the largest yet, so don’t miss out. The festivities, which include food and drink, and activities for the children, begin at 10 a.m. Tickets range from $30 (general admission) to $1,000 (a VIP table).

Mallets for Melanoma, August 6


A 1.2-mile swim in the Boulder Reservoir, followed by a 56-mile bike ride through the city, topped by a 13.1-mile run around the perimeter of the Reservoir. Sound like fun? Welcome to Boulder’s Ironman 70.3 course. On August 5, hundreds of athletes will push themselves to the limit, amid the backdrop of the Front Range. Whether you’d like to participate or spectate, you will likely go home inspired. For those who just want to watch, VIP packages are available, which includes breakfast, all-day catering and hospitality and, for more advanced packages, the chance to bestow a medal upon an athlete at the finish line. For those that would like to run, swim, and bike: general admission tickets are sold out, but you can still join a charity team, or pay $600 for a community fund entry.

Ironman 70.3, August 5


Boxing and booze sound like an incompatible union? Not so with Boxing at the Brewery Tour, which is hitting Odell Brewing Co. in Fort Collins on Saturday, August 19. Each month, Boxing at the Brewery Tour takes participants to a brewery in the BoCo area, and continues for the third Saturday of every month through October. June’s class will be at Intersect Brewing in Fort Collins, and July’s will be at Snowbank Brewing, also in Fort Collins. Beginning at 10 a.m., each 60-minute session begins with a 15-minute warm-up, followed by a half hour of boxing-related activities. Each ticket—which costs $25 for non-members, $15 for members—includes one beer. What are you waiting for? Guzzle some hops-fueled happiness while beating down on some unsuspecting fellow boxer.

Boxing at the Brewery Tour, Odell Brewing Co., August 19

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