This weekend in Denver, we welcome the colder temperatures and the bright lights as the holiday and winter weather is fast approaching. The change of the seasons will be ushered in with many festive weekend events, from chocolate dinners to ’80s ski parties. Read on to see what unique things are going on in the 303 this weekend.

Thursday, December 8

Brewery Dragstravaganzaimg_0938

When: Thursday, December 8 from 8-10 p.m.

Where: Ratio Beerworks – 2920 Larimer St., Denver

Cost: Free

The Lowdown: Celebrate Ratio Beerworks “12 Days of Giving” with the Dragstravaganza this Thursday to benefit One Colorado. This punk-inspired drag show will embody core themes that both the LGBTQ community and punk rock music hold dear, like inclusiveness and welcoming individuals from all backgrounds. This high-energy punk rock drag show at Ratio Beerworks will donate $1 of every beer sold to One Colorado and the LGBTQ scene.

Extreme Mammals Unearthed

Photo Courtesy of Denver Museum of Nature & Science's Facebook Page

Photo Courtesy of Denver Museum of Nature & Science’s Facebook Page

When: Thursday, December 8 from 7-9 p.m.

Where: Denver Museum of Nature & Science – 2001 Colorado Blvd., Denver

Cost: $12 members, $15 non-members. Get tickets here.

The Lowdown: Put on your thinking cap and join John Flynn to discuss his and his colleagues expeditions to the Andes mountains in Chile for over the past 30 years. They have discovered very rare fossil specimens that suggest an African origin for these important new world groups, bridging a gap of unknown knowledge about the evolutionary relationships. Flynn will discuss how integration of field work, museum collections and modern scientific analysis reveals many of the mysteries about evolution and histories of many major mammal groups.

Star Wars Trivia Night

Fiction Beer Company

Photo Courtesy of Fiction Beer Company

When: Thursday, December 8 from 7:30-10:30 p.m.

Where: Fiction Beer Company – 7101 E. Colfax Ave., Denver

Cost: Free, but registration required to participate. Register here

The Lowdown: Get some trivia pre-game in this Thursday before the release of Star Wars: Rogue One on December 16. Fiction Beer Company will host an intergalactic trivia night to test your knowledge on all of the Star Wars movies. There will be five rounds of trivia, with a costume contest so make sure you dress to impress. There will be special prizes, free beer and of course tons of fun. Registration is required, so don’t forget to sign up here.

Laws Whiskey House Holiday Open House

Laws Whiskey. Photo by Lucy Beaugard and Kyle Cooper.

Laws Whiskey. Photo by Lucy Beaugard and Kyle Cooper.

When: Thursday, December 8 from 5-9 p.m.

Where: Laws Whiskey House – 1420 S. Acoma St., Denver

Cost: Entry is Free, with food and booze for sale.

The Lowdown: Warm up from the cold with $5 cocktails at Laws Whiskey House this Thursday evening. Aside from the tasty libations, there will also be coffee from Corvus Coffee, tasty comfort food from The Comfortable Food Truck, complementary cheese from Colorado’s Haystack Mountain Cheese and samples of Laws Bourbon Pecan Pie and Bourbon Balls from Hinnman’s Bakery. Enjoy delicious food and drinks from local businesses and get into the holiday spirit at Laws Whiskey. It will be sure to bring some joy and warmth to your Thursday evening.

Friday, December 9

Chocolate Isn’t Just for Dessert

Photo courtesy of the Chocolate Lab on Facebook

Photo courtesy of the Chocolate Lab on Facebook

When: Friday, December 9 

Where: Chocolate Lab – 2504 E. Colfax, Denver

Cost: $7-$18

The Lowdown: Who says you can only eat chocolate for dessert? Denver’s very own Chocolate Lab thinks otherwise and invites you to explore a dinner menu that features a variety of chocolate inspired dishes. The man behind this delicious inspiration is Chocolate Lab’s Chief Mad Scientist, Phil Simonson. Some of the dishes featured will be a pulled pork sandwich with bourbon-chocolate barbecue sauce, a cheese and chocolate plate and much more. If you can’t make it Friday, the menu will also be available through December 11. The lab recommends you make a reservation so you don’t miss out on the table. To view a full menu of the chocolate dinner, go here.

Luminarias de Santa Fe Drive

Photo Courtesy of Event Page

Photo Courtesy of Event Page

When: Friday, December 9 from 5-10 p.m.

Where: Art District on Santa Fe 

 Cost: Free

The Lowdown: Fully immerse yourself in the holiday spirit this Friday at the Art District on Santa Fe with the family fun Luminarias celebration. The Luminarias tradition dates back to the 17th century, and is now celebrated in the diverse city of Denver. It features blocks of streets illuminated by luminaries, carolers, Aztec dancers, Santa Claus and much more. You can also create your luminaries at one of the four stations available. Find more information about celebrating this event and spreading holiday cheer here.

Highlands Boutique Walk

Photo by Elisha Knight

Photo by Elisha Knight

When: Friday-Sunday, December 9-11 from 10 a.m.-5 p.m.

Where: Highlands Square – 3599 W. 32nd Ave., Denver

Cost: Free

The Lowdown: Enjoy the unique boutiques that make up Highlands Square and get some holiday shopping done. This weekend from Friday to Saturday, 10 participating Highlands Square retailers will be teaming up for a first annual boutique walk. You can pick up a passport at one of the 10 stores, and get it stamped after visiting each store. If you get all 10 stamps, you get the chance to win one of two prizes valued at $500 each. You don’t need to purchase anything to win. Get more info about the event and participating retailers here.

Saturday, December 10

Winter 2016 Jackalope Art & Craft Fair

Photo Courtesy of Event's Facebook page

Photo Courtesy of Event’s Facebook page

When: Saturday December 10-11 from 10 a.m.-5 p.m.

Where: McNichols Building – 144 W. Colfax, Denver

Cost: Free, but donations are encouraged to the Golden Retriever Rescue of the Rockies.

The Lowdown: Check out some of the 303’s artisans, crafters and DIY enthusiasts this Saturday and Sunday at the Jackalope Art & Craft Fair. You will be able to find indie goods that include original fashion and jewelry design, art and photography, home decor and much more for that person on your shopping list who enjoys something a bit more original and locally created. The event is free, but it will accept donations for the Golden Retriever Rescue of the Rockies. To find out more about the local artisans and crafters involved, check here.

Loveland Speed Dating–Luvbyrd

Photo Courtesy of Loveland Ski Area's Facebook

Photo Courtesy of Loveland Ski Area’s Facebook

When: Saturday, December 10 from 9 a.m.-3 p.m.

Where: Loveland Ski Area – Arapaho National Forest, Georgetown

Cost: $0-48. Free if you already have a pass. Get tickets here.

The Lowdown: Get your first day in at the mountain, as well as a potential first date, this weekend. Loveland Ski resort and Luvbyrd are hosting a chairlift speed dating event, where singles will be paired up by gender and age to have the opportunity to meet someone new while taking the chairlift up the mountain. You can ride down together and have the option to continue riding the chairlift if it went well, or split ways and meet new people. With the purchase of a ticket, you get Upslope beer, as well as raffle tickets to win some cool gear.

SPONSORED

Ibex Outdoor Clothing – Grand Opening Partydsc00554

When: Saturday, December 10 from 12-8 p.m.

Where: Ibex Denver – 250 Columbine St., Denver

Cost: Free

The Lowdown: Cherry Creek’s newest outerwear hot spot opens this Saturday with a fun-filled day of shopping, games and giveaways. This free grand opening party will be rewarding their first 50 visitors with a surprise, along with more giveaways for gift cards, store credit and a winter-weather goodies package. At 12 p.m. be sure to catch a game of Merry Match, and at 5 p.m. grab some snacks and libations as Ibex will be hosting a happy hour with hors d’oeuvres. Go here for more information or give Ibex a call at 720-485-5734.

Winter Fest

Photo Courtesy of Cherry Creek North's Facebook Page

Photo Courtesy of Cherry Creek North’s Facebook Page

When: Saturday, December 10 from 11 a.m.-3 p.m.

Where: Cherry Creek North, Fillmore Plaza – 105 Filmore St., Denver

Cost: Free

The Lowdown: Get some early holiday shopping done this Saturday at the Winter Fest in Cherry Creek North. This family-fun and free fest will take place at the Fillmore Plaza (between 1st and 2nd Ave), transforming the plaza into a winter and holiday wonderland. Besides strolling through the various shops that make up this lively shopping district, you can also enjoy live ice sculpting, fire pits, music, giveaways, complementary treats and drink, plus much more. The event will go from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m.

’80s Ski Party with Alpine Dog Brewery & Level 1

Photo Courtesy of Event's Facebook Page

Photo Courtesy of Event’s Facebook Page

When: Saturday, December 10 from 7 p.m.-12 a.m.

Where: Alpine Dog Brewing Company – 1505 Ogden St., Denver

Cost: Free

The Lowdown: Blast into the past and enjoy an ’80s inspired ski party this Saturday at Alpine Dog Brewery. The brewery will be teaming up with Level 1 to provide an evening of ski movies, beer and  music. Level 1 will be showing their ski movie, Pleasure, and the brewery will be showcasing some of their special beer releases. There will also be prize giveaways to score some sweet prizes. Party starts at 7 p.m. with the movie beginning at 8 p.m. and ’80s music playing all night.

Sunday, December 11

Free Community Class

Photo Courtesy of Event's Facebook Page

Photo Courtesy of Event’s Facebook Page

When: Sunday, December 11 from 12:15-1:15 p.m.

Where: Atherial – 3905 Fox St., Denver

Cost: Free. Register here.

The Lowdown: Get a workout while benefitting a great cause this Sunday. Atherial will be holding free community classes for those interested in aerial yoga and many of the other unique workouts provided by this boutique fitness business. Donations are encouraged, and all proceeds will go towards benefitting the Sunshine Canyon Dog Rescue. There also may be visits from these furry friends during the class.

Red Rocks Brunch with Santa

Photo Courtesy of Event's Facebook page

Photo Courtesy of Event’s Facebook page

When: Sunday, December 11 from 8:30 a.m.-2 p.m.

Where: Red Rocks Amphitheatre – 18300 W Alameda Pkwy., Morrison 

Cost: Kids 5 & under free when you donate a gift to a child in need (1 gift = 1 meal) Kids 5-12 $13.99. Adults $33.99.

The Lowdown: Get in the holiday spirit this Sunday at Red Rocks with a brunch with Santa. There will be brunch, drink specials and of course an opportunity to take a picture with Santa. The menu includes assorted breakfast pastries, smoked salmon platter, arugula fennel salad, caesar salad, fruit salad, home fried potatoes, peppered bacon, turkey sausage links, frittata, scrambled eggs, eggs Benedict florentine, omelette station, applewood ham carving station, hot apple cobbler with ice cream and assorted pies. And if you’re looking for a drink as well, there will be hot drink specials, mimosas and a build your own bloody bar. Call 303-697-4939 ext. 111 or email [email protected] to reserve your table. Get more info here.

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Mark your calendars…

Fuck Up Nights Denver Vol. 6

When: December 15

Where: Globe Hall – 4493 Logan St. Denver

Cost: $10. Get tickets here.

Navidad Flamenca

When: December 15, 6:30-9 p.m.

Where: 271 Santa Fe Dr., Denver

Cost: $17-$25

Tickets: Available here

A Sensory-friendly Nutcracker

When: December 16, 6:30 p.m.

Where: 1001 W 84th Ave., Denver

Cost: Free-$10

5th Annual Denver (only) Beer Festivus 

When: December 17 

Where: Wings over the Rockies Air & Space Museum 

Cost: $40 – $60. Get tickets here

A Very Special DMXas Show

When: December 23 

Where: Cervantes’ Ballroom

Cost: $33-$35. Get tickets here

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