20 things to do in Denver during All-Star weekend
Experience baseball-themed events alongside quintessential Mile High City attractions
By Tiney Ricciardi, The Denver Post Jul 8, 2021, 6:00 am
Major League Baseball’s All-Star Week has landed in Denver, and you don’t need a game ticket to get in on the action.
Here are 20 ways you can metaphorically be taken out to the ball game and have the quintessential Mile High City experience.https://dce5b43e3e310a189111c2e94fd81706.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-38/html/container.html
Catch free live music near the ballpark
Lower Downtown, or LoDo as locals call it, will be buzzing throughout All-Star week. July 11-13, the neighborhood will host a free festival called LoDo Rocks the Block. Stop by Union Station (1701 Wynkoop St.) to pick up a hot dog, bag of popcorn or ice cream cone before making your way to Dairy Block Alley (1800 Wazee St.) to enjoy local music and shop themed vendors. Restaurants in the Dairy Block building also will be offering deals and specials.
Another nearby festival, deemed the Stars and Stripes Streetfest, will be taking place through July 13. This free event, located on 21st Street between Larimer and Lawrence streets, features live music, shopping, food truck fare and more.
More information at lodorockstheblock.com and ballparkcollective.com/stars-stripes-streetfest.
Hit a home run at Play Ball Park
From July 9 to 13, the Colorado Convention Center will be transformed into a baseball fan’s paradise with batting cages, an onsite home run derby, a Hall of Fame exhibit, celebrity autograph signings and more. Best of all, it’s free to attend, with a reservation.
More info at allstargame.com.
Spot a celebrity
OneRepublic, a blockbuster band with local ties, will be performing July 11 before the MLB Celebrity Softball Tournament, featuring musicians Quavo and Steve Aoki, actors Ross Butler, JoJo Siwa and Charles Melton, and social media personalities Blake Gray and Noah Beck, among others. Add that to the lineup of baseball talent and the celeb sighting opportunities are plentiful.
More info at mlb.com/all-star/sunday.
Eye a Coors Field Cat™
The colony of cats that live at the ballpark is a local legend. In April, one daring feline stole the internet’s heart when it crossed the field during game time. If you’re lucky, you might catch a glimpse of these elusive residents. And, yes, that would count as a celebrity sighting.
<>DENVER, CO - JULY 2 : Yankee Stadium Home Plate is displayed by the entrance of National Ballpark Museum in Denver, Colorado on Friday, July 2, 2021. (Photo by Hyoung Chang/The Denver Post)
Take me out to the National Ballpark Museum
Lauded as one of Denver’s hidden gems, the National Ballpark Museum started from a collection of baseball cards and has grown to feature memorabilia from ballparks around the country. It specializes in treasures from 14 old-school ballparks, like Old Yankee Stadium and Fenway Park, as well as the Polo Grounds and Sportsman’s Park, which opened around the turn of the 20th century. The museum also serves as an archive chronicling the history of baseball in Colorado. Entry is $10 for adults and $5 for seniors. Kids and active military get in free.
More information at ballparkmuseum.com.
Visit the Hall of Legends
Can’t get enough baseball history? Visit the new Rally Hotel at McGregor Square where History Colorado and the Colorado Rockies Baseball Club Foundation will set up a pop-up exhibit called Hall of Legends. Open July 10-18, the exhibit features a jersey worn by Joe DiMaggio, a program from Jackie Robinson’s 1947 major league debut game and more. Tickets cost $10.
More information at mlb.com/rockies/community/hall-of-legends.
Unleash your inner bookworm
Tattered Cover, Colorado’s largest independent bookstore, is curating more than 1,000 titles for a baseball-themed pop-up at its new location in McGregor Square. Peruse the collection July 8-13, when there also will be sports panel discussions held onsite.
More information at tatteredcover.com/all-star-game-2021.
Climb the rock wall at REI
REI’s massive flagship store in downtown Denver is a must-hit for gearheads, but even if you’re just a casual outdoor enthusiast it’s worth a visit. Adventure awaits on the 47-foot indoor climbing wall, which is modeled after the sandstone bluffs found commonly along the Colorado Front Range. The location also rents paddling gear to enjoy at the nearby Confluence Park.
More information at rei.com/stores/denver.
Snap a selfie with a mural
Street art is one of this city’s best assets, and these colorful murals are just begging for a selfie. Some, like Love This City in the Art District on Santa Fe, you’ve likely already seen on Instagram. We’d also suggest seeking out a series of larger-than-life works featuring Americans lost to gun violence or police brutality, including George Floyd, painted during the peak of last year’s social justice movement.
Other ways to get artsy
Artsy adventures abound in Denver, whether you’re perusing a collection at the city’s namesake art museum or checking out public sculptures. There are several galleries near the ballpark, too, where you can dip in for a little bit of culture. Check out our list of must-visits here.
Hit a dispensary
With nearly 200 recreational dispensaries, it’s no secret that Colorado is a destination for weed tourism. Live it up, light it up and keep your eyes peeled for baseball-themed products like Veritas Fine Cannabis’ All-Star Joint Pack, which includes three 1-gram pre-rolls, a lighter and a rally towel in a commemorative tin. One lucky buyer also will score a pair of tickets to the MLB All-Star Game stashed inside.
Visit the International Church of Cannabis
Opened in 2017, the International Church of Cannabis is home to a religious group known as Elevationists, who believe cannabis is an essential part of becoming the best version of one’s self. Spanish artist Okuda San Miguel’s bright mural on the walls and ceiling of the chapel is worth a visit, even if you’re not a cannabis enthusiast. Right now, the church is hosting a laser light show to enhance the viewing experience. Tickets are $25 for adults and $20 for students; no consumption is allowed onsite.
More information at elevationists.org.
Satisfy your munchies
Food is an essential part of the baseball experience. If you’re headed down near the ballpark, we’ve rounded up 10 Denver restaurants that won’t break the bank. Need a hot dog to set the mood? Go to Biker Jim’s, which is known for dogs made with meats such as ostrich, wild boar, elk and even rattlesnake. Check out the affordable spots here.
Quench your thirst
Blue Moon Belgian White ale, one of America’s most iconic beers, was inspired by a recipe developed at SandLot Brewery at Coors Field in 1995. This Denver-bred celebrity now has its own microbrewery in RiNo where drinkers can sample it alongside other hoppy, malty and fruit-forward recipes.
If you’re craving something craftier, check out Wynkoop Brewing Co., regarded as the city’s first craft establishment; Jagged Mountain Craft Brewery, which notably employs one of Denver’s numerous female head brewers; or Great Divide Brewing Co., known for its Denver pale ale. All are within walking distance of the ballpark.
Get your football fix at Elway’s
John Elway is one of the most recognizable names in sports history, so it only seems fitting to include the legendary Denver Broncos’ namesake restaurant on any die-hard fan’s itinerary. Elway’s, which is a traditional steakhouse, has locations in downtown and Cherry Creek.
Rock out at Red Rocks
Coincidentally, there’s a rockin’ lineup of concerts slated for Red Rocks Amphitheatre when the All-Star Game is in town, including folk group the Avett Brothers (July 9-11) and former Grateful Dead drummer Bill Kreutzmann with bluegrass artist Billy Strings (July 12-13). For those less inclined to see a show, the venue is also hosting yoga classes on weekend mornings and is a popular day-hike destination.
Tickets and more information at redrocksonline.com/events.
Take a hike
Speaking of day hikes, there are plenty near Denver for all skill levels where you can indulge in Colorado’s natural beauty along the trail and take in panoramic views. Lookout Mountain, Mount Falcon Park and North Table Mountain are among the most popular.
Play bar games
Baseball isn’t the only game worth playing this week. Denver establishments like The 1Up Arcade Bar, Ace Eat Serve ping-pong restaurant and Punch Bowl Social bowling alley and restaurant are known for infusing fun into every visit.
More information at the1uparcadebar.com, aceeatserve.com, and punchbowlsocial.com.
Get stuck in an I-25 bottleneck
Denver traffic is infamous, even when there’s not a major national sporting event in town. The good news: You can miss it by taking public transportation to and from Coors Field. Here’s our handy guide to navigating the trains in Denver and what to hit along the way.
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Scoot on (carefully)
Scooters are a popular mode of transportation downtown, even if they don’t work near the ballpark because of zoning restrictions. They also can be a lot of fun when used responsibly. Check out this map and grab a helmet before you go. If you’re not riding, watch out on sidewalks, seriously.