Cheap Ways to Celebrate Summer in Colorado

May 2, 2017

It’s officially May, and sweet, sweet summertime is just around the corner—which means that yes, we’ll probably be bombarded with one more snowstorm (damn you, Colorado snow gods)…but more importantly, SO many fun activities to spend our hard-earned cash on. Beer tastings at every microbrewery and mountain town across Colorado? A good ol’ artist/craft market (we’re looking at you, Denver Flea)? Any number of Colorado-based music festivals (there’s Velorama, Telluride Bluegrass, Sonic Bloom, Arise, Beanstalk…the list goes on)? And we’re just getting started.

It seems that the state is on a mission to make us broke faster than Red Rocks tickets sell out. So, we put together a list of cheap-o activities you can recommend next time your bestie wants you to drop $200 on Kendrick Lamar’s sold-out Pepsi Center show (we know, we know—we’re devastated by how expensive that show is, too.)

Take us out to the ballgame

No, but really. If you rock pile it, tickets can come in as low as $4! If it’s been a few years since you’ve gone to a Rockies game (or you’re afraid you’ll be, well, bored), they’ve added a bunch of bars to the rooftop—making it feel a lot like Wrigley Field. So, go ahead and grab a refreshing margarita at Rio on the Rocks and pretend to care about who’s winning. Tip: Avoid a game with a winning team (like the Cubs) to score the cheapest tickets. We promise you’ll get sun regardless.

Dumpster dive in Cherry Hills

The hills are alive…well OK, they’re not…but Cherry Hills sure could be. If you’re unfamiliar with Cherry Hills, it’s a posh neighborhood located just south of Denver that kind of reminds us of Beverly Hills (both hills—how ironic). Cherry Hills boasts large houses with sprawling pools, gardens, and multiple-car garages. Grab a few friends and hunt down their dumpsters—we bet you there is GOLD inside. After all, you know what they say: one man’s trash is another man’s treasure. (Hey, and if not, at least it’ll make for a good story.)

Host a backwards scavenger hunt

Want an excuse to get the squad together now that ski season is over but a traditional BBQ seems overdone? Plan for a twist on the classic scavenger hunt. Instead of providing a list and sending the homies off to find items, compile a list to find the items and then provide the list. Here’s how it works…

  1. Create a panel of judges.
  2. Divide the squad into three or more groups.
  3. Give the groups a few days to find a huge collection of various items that will form their pool of resources to bring to the BBQ and hunt. They may come back with old Halloween costumes, beach towels, couch cushions, empty kombucha bottles, last season’s skis, etc. Whatever’s lying around the house is fair game.
  4. Each group will come to the BBQ with a huge pile of items (direct them to do so in the invite).
  5. Read aloud to the group one item on your scavenger hunt list, i.e. “something biblical.”
  6. Each group will then have to collaborate to come up with an item or combination of items to represent what “something biblical” means to them.
  7. Each group presents their item(s) to the panel of judges, hoping to sell them on why theirs best represents “something biblical.” One group may choose to recreate a scene from the Bible, while another may improvise a famous movie scene.
  8. Judges secretly score each team, and after all teams are done presenting, reveal their scores and award bonuses (if applicable).

Tip: Have fun with your list items, and to keep things interesting, make some of them intentionally vague and open to interpretation.

What games and activities do you do when you want to have (cheap) fun?