Dwell Denver presents, Hey Neighbor: Be a Local TouristPosted by Lane Walsh on Wednesday, June 6th, 2012 at 1:59pm
A guest blog by Danielle Bryan of paredownlookup.com
"Be a Local Tourist"
Do you ever get the feeling that you know cities that you visit better than you know your own? I do. So when we moved back to Denver, my husband and I made a goal of being local tourists. Why save all the fun for when we have guests in town?
To help you kick-start your own summer of fun, here are a few insider tips for visiting some Denver favorites. And please - leave a comment if you have your own neighborly tips to share. We locals need to stick together!
My top recommendation, if you have kids or just love animals, is a zoo membership. A membership takes the pressure off – you don’t have to see it all in one visit. My family can pop in for an hour, say hello to our favorite pals, and any animals that were skipped we’ll visit first next time. Members also get offers to see things that the general public misses out on – like the recent opportunity to preview the new Toyota Elephant Passage before it opened its doors June 1st.
This awesome addition is going to make the zoo very popular this summer. Make sure you get online before you go to get your free timed entry reservation. And my #1, formerly super-secret tip to beating the crowds this summer and making sure our toddler gets a close-up view? Our 3:30 pm post-nap arrival time. The sunburned masses are packing it up and heading home as we cruise in, park in the front, and arrive just in time to see the animals get their dinner. As the lions and tigers slip into their 4:30 food comas, we head back to the car and take the family to Beau Jo’s for pizza. It’s become our little ritual.
On days when it’s too hot or too rainy to go outside, we are saved by this indoor option. Once again, I’ll recommend a membership. Just like with the zoo, you get great opportunities on sneak peeks of new exhibits, and you get a 30% discount on Planetarium and IMAX tickets. Bonus for us: we bought our zoo membership first and then got an offer in the mail for a discounted membership to the museum. Extra bonus for all is the fact that whatever you pay for your museum membership is 100% tax deductible. Our crowd control tip here is the opposite of the zoo – go EARLY. We show up at 9 am when the doors open, and have the run of the place for a good ninety minutes.
Once a theatre nerd, always a theatre nerd. The Tony Award-winning Denver Center Theater Company (DCTC) puts on top-notch productions all year long, and the DCPA also brings in A-level touring companies of the big Broadway shows.
Once again, season ticketholder perks (available for the DCTC plays or the DCPA touring attractions) are amazing – one of the best is being able to purchase tickets for upcoming shows not covered by your subscription package before they go on sale to the general public. When you are buying a single ticket, I recommend getting the first row of the price level just under what you want to pay. I do this for pretty much every play and concert I ever attend. Why pay $65 for row SS in the map below when you can pay only $45 for row TT and use that $40 you saved on two tickets to go to dinner!
If you can’t afford a regular ticket, or you’re just a sucker for a deal, then you can get online and snatch up a $10 Tuesday ticket. Every Tuesday at 10 am a limited number of seats for Denver Center productions (and occasionally Denver Center Attractions shows) for the upcoming week are released with an unbeatable $10 ticket price.
Finally, the super-secret tip here is for the DCPA parking complex. When all of the other cars are clogging up 14th Street trying to make a right onto Arapahoe then a left into the parking garage, you slip by and take the next right onto Champa and then again onto 13th. You’ll end up making an easy right-hand turn into the lesser-used garage entrance, and if you exit this same way you won’t get stuck with the crowds on your way home.
THE COLORADO ROCKIES
Beer, hotdogs, and a home team that is just as fun to watch when they lose as when they win. (Thank goodness.) I am all about sitting closer to the field, or reveling in the camaraderie of the Rock Pile, but sometimes I want to stretch out and bypass the crowds. (Are you picking up on my general theme of avoiding everyone else? Yeah, I know…)
Hello, Club Level. You get your own escalator, the walkways are carpeted and sparsely populated, the lines for food and restrooms are SHORT. The tickets are also pricey. Enter the Wells Fargo 2-for-1 deal. Now, it claims to be for Wells Fargo customers only and states that you have to pay with a Wells Fargo debit card…and I have never done either of these and we are frequent buyers on this site. Just make sure you use promo code WELLSFARGO and that you sign up for a free Colorado Rockies account when prompted. The view from these seats, and the extra legroom, is worth it.
As a friend, let me also guide you to our favorite $10 parking garage (17th and Wynkoop) and recommend that you forego the ballpark eats and take in a couple of mouth-watering 3-Coke pork carnitas burritos from the nearby Illegal Pete’s. Delightful way to pass an afternoon.
Now it’s your turn! What local tips have you been keeping to yourself?
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