Denver’s First Friday events are officially the Mile High City’s way of connecting art with the community, providing a time for galleries and shops to invite the public in and show off local work. From the Highlands to South Broadway, First Fridays are a bustling smorgasbord for families, artists and everyone in between. Here’s a quick guide to help you figure out where you might want to go, or new places you might want to check out.
Santa Fe is the original Denver art walk and remains one of the most popular. Santa Fe is much more of an art district than other First Friday locations, and focuses heavily on connecting the community with local artists. With several galleries that have a strong focus on Latino culture, this First Friday art walk is a great way to connect with the often-overlooked community in Lincoln Park and to try some local food, like the legendary El Taco De Mexico. Santa Fe’s art walk is also home to Metropolitan State University’s Center for Visual Arts, where you can view student artwork. There are over 100 galleries on this art walk, so prepare to come back more than once.
If you’re into galleries, RiNo’s First Friday is the place to be. Meet local artists as you traverse through the grit of former factories and warehouses in Denver’s River North neighborhood. Stop at the multitude of local breweries, like Ratio Brewing and Our Mutual Friend, as you peruse the art shows. The best thing about RiNo’s First Friday is getting to walk past and observe the murals throughout the neighborhood. If you’re looking for an edgy Denver art experience, there is nothing like RiNo’s First Friday.
Tennyson Street is a mixed bag of restaurants, bookstores and a few art galleries. Less artsy than RiNo, Tennyson’s First Friday has more of a local merchant feel, but still provides a great chance to meet local shop owners and try new places. Tennyson Street is home to the Denver Cat Café, a unique location with cats and coffee, as well as BookBar, a bookshop that features wine, beer and small bites. Great for families and dates, Tennyson’s First Friday is perfect for Denverites that want a fun night out.
Like Tennyson Street, South Broadway is a hub for local business rather than art galleries. While you will still get to see local art at South Broadway’s First Friday, you’ll also have a much greater chance of shopping and buying pieces from local artisans. You might also have the change to see some local musicians at High Dive or Mutiny Information Café.
There are many other First Friday happenings popping up all over Denver. Do you have a favorite? Is there anything you think we must include on our list? Let us know in the comments!