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Outdoor movies, art exhibits and video games in Denver during the end of July

Who says video games, movies and art are only for indoor enjoyment? After all warm weather this time of year makes alfresco activities seem far more attractive. Happily there are many ways this summer in which you can enjoy indoor activities in the great outdoors. Across Colorado from the foothills to downtown Denver indoor activities are being moved to outdoor locations, and here are three you can participate in during the final two weeks of July.

Dale Chihuly's Monet Pool Fiori, part of the artist's first major outdoor exhibit in Colorado at the Denver Botanic Gardens until November 30.
Denver Botanic Gardens

Oh Heck Yeah is Denver’s first interactive street arcade. And when I say street arcade I don’t mean it’s an arcade on the street, I mean the street has literally been transformed into an arcade. Two blocks of Champa Street between 14th Street and the 16th Street Mall have been turned into an interactive arcade with original games projected on larger than life LED screens on the sides of buildings (picture those theater district displays utilized for gaming instead of advertising). Players can interact with the games and characters through their cell phones, and on occasion local comedians will add a bit of color to the game by embodying the characters online. But for the full effect designers hope people will come down in person to the Champa Street arcade to be the human controllers for Denver’s largest video game. The fun continues Thursday –Sunday until July 26th and is completely free.

Oh Heck Yeah, however, is more than just fun and games. On his website executive producer Brian Corrigan describes the goal of the project by explaining the real word applications behind this creative place; he notes that “by infusing play into public space, we hope to build a community that is more creative and connected.” Funded partially by a grant from Art Place America, whose core notion is that art is a key element for community planning and development, this creative space has serious implications for community stability, prosperity and contentment. So Denverites get out to Champs Street during the end of July to have some fun, play some games and build a better Denver.

There’s nothing wrong with a van Gogh in a gallery or a Monet in a museum, but the lively colors and dramatic lines of the glass sculptures by American artist Dale Chihuly seem far more suitable for outdoor display. Now through November 30 the Denver Botanic Gardens is hosting Chihuly’s first major outdoor exhibit in Colorado. Glass sculptures ranging in size from modest to monumental are included in this outdoor show which is spread across the Denver Botanic Gardens’ 24 acres. Admission to the Chihuly exhibit is included with the cost of a general admission ticket, starting at $15 for adult non-members.

One of my favorite indoor activities done outdoors in the Colorado summer is Film on the Rocks put on at Red Rocks Park and Amphitheatre. Red Rocks is one of the most breathtaking venues for concerts and it’s equally as mesmerizing as a movie theater. This is the 15th year for Film on the Rocks which brings delighted movie goers a variety of cult classics and fan favorites each summer. Upcoming movie titles in the 2014 lineup include The Big Lebowski on September 2, Who Framed Roger Rabbit on August 25, and later this month Pitch Perfect on Tuesday, July 29.

Doors open at 5 pm for the last Film on the Rocks show date in July. The opening musical act, Tracksuit Wedding and The Messers, starts at 7 pm and the feature presentation, Pitch Perfect, will begin at dusk (roughly 9:00 pm). Tickets for general admission start at $12.25, and there are also package deals available on the Film on the Rocks website. Film on the Rocks presentations go on rain or shine so if you’re planning to attend keep an eye on the skies for those notorious afternoon summer storms and dress accordingly.

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