Top Alternatives To Shopping On Black Friday In Denver

November 11, 2013 5:00 AM

Cherry Creek Mall (credit: CBS)

Thanksgiving is over and the food coma has finally started to subside. It’s time to plan your activities for the day after Thanksgiving. You could spend the day fighting the crowds at the malls, trying hard not to get a black eye as you push your way through hundreds of people just to get a $50 television set. Or you could take the opportunity to find something else wonderful to do with your family and friends, and leave the store fighting to someone else. Not sure what else to do on Black Friday that isn’t shopping? Well here are some great ideas of other things to enjoy on the day after Thanksgiving. 

See A Christmas Carol, The Musical
The Arvada Center for the Arts
6901 Wadsworth Blvd.
Arvada, CO 80003
(720) 898-7273

Embrace tradition and take the family to see a musical version of “A Christmas Carol.” You know the story, the curmudgeonly Scrooge is visited by the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future as they show him all of the wrongs of his life, hoping to get him to change his ways. It is the perfect way to ring in the holiday season with the whole family, since everyone knows that Black Friday signals the official beginning of the Christmas season, despite the fact that the store shelves are lined with wreathes and ornaments by early October.

See Carrie: The Musical
The Bug Theatre
3654 Navajo St.
Denver, CO 80211
(720) 984-0781

You can go the exact opposite of holiday cheer and enjoy “Carrie: The Musical” at the Bug Theatre, as presented by Equinox Theatre Company. It is a musical adapted from Stephen King’s hit novel, focusing on an awkward teenage girl who has telekinetic powers. She has a very lonely life dominated by her overly religious mother. When her classmates humiliate Carrie during the prom, she gets her revenge. It isn’t exactly a cheery holiday play, but if you aren’t the type to go for sugar and spice and everything nice, then this just may be the best alternative to Black Friday.

Related: Top Holiday Escapes Near Denver

Visit Paris
Passport to Paris
Denver Art Museum
100 W. 14th Ave. Parkway
Denver, CO 80204
(720) 913-0103

Take in some art on Black Friday and visit Paris for this exciting exhibition that is on display right now at the Denver Art Museum. “Passport to Paris” is a collection of all of the major stars of the art world. You’ll see work of French art from the late 1600s to the early 1900s from Claude Monet, Edgar Degas, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec and more. It is a great way to see the work of these legendary artists and reflect on how their art mirrors the society they lived in at the time. There will be a lot of other great activities at the museum to highlight France, all designed to create a fully immersive experience.

Go Bowling and More
Punch Bowl Social
65 Broadway
Denver, CO 80203
(303) 765-2695

Have some fun on your extra day off. Grab some friends and head over to Punch Bowl Social for a day of games, food and drinks. Punch Bowl Social is a bar/bowling alley/arcade for grownups. You’ll find lots of bowling, ping pong, darts, board games and a bunch of old 1980s video games to enjoy. There are also marbles, shuffleboard, pinball and so much to keep you and your friends busy that your Black Friday is sure to be a truly memorable day. Breakfast is served until 3 p.m. and you can stay late, Punch Bowl Social is open until 2 a.m.

Related: Top Tips To Avoid Holiday Spending Mistakes From A Denver Financial Pro

Visit the Library
Denver Public Library
10 W. 14th Ave.
Denver, CO 80204
(720) 865-1111

If you don’t have a lot of extra money to spend on Black Friday, do not despair. You and your whole family can have a great time for free by visiting the Denver Public Library. If you usually go to your smaller neighborhood branch, then take this opportunity to get lost in the huge downtown branch and enjoy all the floors full of books. Visit the children’s section and read a story or two together, or let the kids explore while mom and dad go find a new novel to read. There is even a story time for younger children at 10:30 a.m. full of songs, stories and rhymes for babies who have just started to walk.

Deborah Flomberg is a theater professional, freelance writer and Denver native. Her work can be found at