DENVER, May 9, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Denver celebrates the start of the summer season with a long weekend packed with events, including a free, day-long music festival in downtown Denver, thrilling pro sports and outdoor adventure.
This is just the beginning of summer in The Mile High City. Start planning now and take advantage of great hotel deals and packages starting as low as $99. Go to DenverDares.com for itinerary ideas and hotel deals.
- Honor our military heroes at the Memorial Day Parade and Tribute Ceremony, May 25
Denver commemorates those who lost their lives while serving our country during this stirring event, starting at 11:30 a.m. in Civic Center Park. The Veterans Memorial Day Tribute at the Veterans Monument follows the parade.
- Rock out all day long at Denver Day of Rock, May 25
For the fifth year in a row, downtown Denver's 16th Street pedestrian mall will be transformed into a massive block party with 25 free rock concerts performed on five stages throughout the day for the annual Denver Day of Rock. Visitors can enjoy rock star status at some of Denver's best hotels with exclusive Denver Day of Rock packages.
- Shake things up at ArtStir, May 24-27
Local creatives get crafty at the first ArtStir Denver, a weekend-long market at the Denver Pavilions exclusively showcasing Colorado art, music and fashion.
- Wander through Colorado's best art at The Downtown Denver Arts Festival, May 24-26
Mix and mingle with thousands of fellow fine art lovers at the Denver Performing Arts Complex, during the 15th Annual event that features more than 150 of Colorado's best artists.
- Experience major league soccer thrills with the Colorado Rapids, May 25
At Dick's Sporting Goods Park, the Rapids take on Chivas USA in what is sure to be an exciting match-up.
- Take a date to Sense and Sensibility The Musical, through May 26
It's your last chance to see this critically-acclaimed musical premiere in Denver – a crowd-pleasing adaptation of Jane Austen's classic novel – at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts.
- Remember with The Denver Brass, May 25-26
Join The Denver Brass at the Newman Center for the Performing Arts as they honor the heroes, past and present, with a powerful concert of patriotic favorites.
- Sing along with Les Misérables, May 22-26
Due to overwhelming demand, Cameron Mackintosh's Les Misérables returns to the Denver Center for the Performing Arts for one week only, with glorious new staging, dazzlingly re-imagined scenery, and the songs you know and love.
- Catch a concert under the stars at Red Rock Park and Amphitheatre with the Randy Rogers Band and the Casey Donahew Band, May 26
Enjoy an Americana-filled evening with two hot country bands at one of the world's most famous outdoor venues – a spot on every music lover's "bucket list."
- Ride roller coasters AND water slides at Elitch Gardens Theme & Water Park
There's something at Elitch Gardens Theme & Water Park for everyone! The nation's ONLY downtown theme and water park has more than 45 thrilling rides, plus a splash-filled, 10-acre Water Park, musical stages, stunt shows, arcades and the StarToon Studios (a kiddie area with pint-sized fun).
- Celebrate The Rite of Spring with the Colorado Symphony, May 24-26
Written for the Ballet Russes's 1913 Paris season and now 100 years after its debut, Stravinsky's Rite of Spring is still creating a sensation. Colorado Symphony Artistic Advisor Andrew Litton will conduct this musical masterpiece in the Masterworks season finale at the Boettcher Concert Hall.
- Encounter Mammoths & Mastodons at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science, through May 27
It's the last weekend to experience this astonishing exhibit, where you will encounter some of Earth's most awe-inspiring mammals, roam among saber-toothed cats and giant bears, and discover the prehistoric treasures discovered at the Snowmass Dig in Colorado.
- Peruse Thomas Jefferson's Bible at the History Colorado Center, through May 27
Don't miss this rare showing of Jefferson's Bible: The Life and Morals of Jesus of Nazareth, which Thomas Jefferson assembled in 1820 to tell a chronological version of Jesus' life and distill his moral teachings.
- Splash into Water World's opening weekend, May 25-27
Celebrate opening weekend at Denver's 67-acre water park (one of the biggest water parks in the world!), home to more than 65 wet 'n' wild attractions for the whole family.
- Get creative at Huevos Revueltos at MCA Denver, through May 31
Throughout the month of May, the Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA) Denver showcases leading creative work from Mexico in music, food and contemporary art. During "Revueltos Weekends" throughout May, admission to the museum is just $1.
- Get inspired at the Denver Art Museum's Spun, through September 22
The Denver Art Museum takes a wide-ranging look at textiles from pre-Columbian weavings to modern fiber art, Navajo blankets to an examination of clothing in art and photography in the campus-wide exhibition Spun: Adventures in Textiles.
- Get to know the private side of Edgar Degas, through June 30
Don't miss your chance to see rarely viewed works by one of the world's most famous artists. Edgar Degas: The Private Impressionist at the Foothills Art Center in Golden features a unique selection of drawings, prints and photographs by the illustrious French artist.
- Stroll through Catalyst: Colorado Sculpture, through January 14, 2014
See the Denver Botanic Gardens in a brand new way at Catalyst: Colorado Sculpture, as 12 Colorado sculptors create beautiful, thought-provoking, 3-D work in the Gardens' lush landscape.
- Meet Denver's five-ton locals at Toyota Elephant Passage
At this new, $50 million addition to the Denver Zoo, watch majestic Asian elephants splashing in pools, Indian one-horned rhinos cooling off in a shallow stream, acrobatic gibbons swinging overhead from tree to tree and fishing cats diving for their next meal – all from the center of an Asian village.
- Head for the hills to experience Denver's Mountain Parks
Denver maintains 14,000 acres of parks in the nearby foothills of the Rocky Mountains – an immense mountain park system that covers an area almost the size of Manhattan.
- Have a two-wheeled adventure on Denver B-cycle
Denver B-cycle is the perfect way to explore The Mile High City's 850 miles of paved, off-road bike trails, while enjoying the city's 300 days of sunshine. Bikes can be checked out at one of more than 80 stations – located conveniently near major attractions and neighborhoods – and returned to any other station for an affordable daily rate of just $8.
- Explore the natural wonders of Rocky Mountain National Park
One of the top outdoor and adventure destinations in the world is just an hour and a half from Denver. Take a day and explore this magnificent natural gem, including 359 miles of hiking trails, 150 lakes, 60 mountains taller than 12,000 feet, and the opportunity to see elk, bighorn sheep and moose.
- Drink local on a Denver Brewery Tour
Discover why Denver is the center of the "Brew-niverse" on a guided microbrewery tour. The Denver Microbrew Tour is a two-hour guided walking tour in downtown Denver's historic LoDo (Lower downtown) area, including stops at Wynkoop, Great Divide and Breckenridge breweries. Or, be driven from brewpub to microbrewery, with VIP treatment at every turn on the Denver Brews Cruise.
- Ride the rails through the Rockies on the Georgetown Loop Railroad
The Georgetown Loop will take you on a journey back in time and introduce you to awe-inspiring views of the gorgeous Rocky Mountains.
- Drive to the top of the continent on the Mount Evans Scenic Byway
The Mount Evans Scenic Byway, just 60 miles west of Denver, is the highest paved road in North America. A day trip to the top is a journey that climbs to the 14,264-foot summit of Mount Evans – one of 54 peaks in Colorado that soar to 14,000 feet and above – the famous "fourteeners."
About VISIT DENVER, The Convention & Visitors Bureau
Celebrating more than 100 years of promoting the Mile High City, VISIT DENVER is a nonprofit trade association that contracts with the City of Denver to market Denver as a convention and leisure destination, increasing economic development in the city, creating jobs and generating taxes. Tourism is the second largest industry in Denver, generating $3.3 billion in annual spending in 2011, while supporting nearly 50,000 jobs. Learn more about Denver on the VISITDENVER website and at TOURISMPAYSDENVER, on Twitter @iknowdenver and the VISIT DENVER Facebook page, or by phone at 800 2 DENVER.
SOURCE VISIT DENVER, The Convention & Visitors Bureau