Coming Attractions

Let museum take you to the river

Recommended activities for the coming weeks


One of the best things about the Denver Museum of Nature & Science is how it brings a world of discovery into one place. No matter what your interest is, there’s an exhibit for you. But this summer, the museum is taking people out into the world to do some exploring.

Beginning on the weekend of June 12, and stretching into July, the museum is hosting four multi-day river excursions, which pairs an expert in a certain field — paleontology, ecosystems, astronomy and geology — with people interested in getting out in the wild.

“If you like the water and the outdoors, river trips are spectacular ways to discover them,” said Dr. Ian Miller, who will be leading the geology excursion on the Green River in Utah and Colorado, July 22-26. “What’s so cool about them is you can get away from the hustle and bustle of the rest of the world, get closer to nature and learn about the planet.”

The tours are hosted through a partnership with Centennial Canoe Outfitters and represent another way the museum is looking to get families and people of all ages involved in education, conservation and preservation of the natural world.

“As a geologist and paleontologist, the area is just a total playground,” Miller said. “I know from working in the area that the river snakes through the Mesozoic, so we’ll be going back 100 to 200 million years.”

Centennial provides attendees with an extensive list of items that should be brought along, including a sleeping bag and tent.

One of his favorite parts about exploring nature by water is attendees will get to see remote places that could otherwise only be accessed by some intense hiking trails. And while canoeing is far from a passive mode of travel, there’s plenty of time to appreciate the surroundings.

“It’s really a quiet, serene and yet exciting glimpse into our world,” Miller said. “We won’t be on any super-fast rapids or anything, so that meandering approach means it’s very social. You can talk with other travelers or be not. It can be really introspective.”

For the educational side of things, Miller said guides will point out interesting features of the landscape as everyone travels downriver, and evenings will feature “fireside chats” on the trip’s topic of focus.

“As a guide I’m really there to help people understand their surroundings. Not only the modern processes, but what older stories the rocks in canyons tell,” he said. “Everyone should see the world from rivers.”

Visit to purchase a spot on a trip.

Clarke’s Concert of the Week — Cynthia Erivo at Boettcher Concert Hall

London’s Cynthia Erivo has already received a Tony, Emmy and Grammy for her work in the Broadway revival of “The Color Purple,” and has been nominated for best actress at the Academy Awards for her portrayal of Harriet Tubman.

The living legend will be performing with the Colorado Symphony at the Boettcher Concert Hall, 1000 14th St. in Denver, at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 15.

Erivo is honoring some of the most legendary female singers of all time, like Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin. Erivo will be singing some stone-cold classics, including one of my favorite love songs of all time, “Ain’t No Way.” It’s a song full of yearning for that person who makes you happier than anyone else, and Erivo will knock it out of the park.

Get tickets at

Take a peek behind the theatrical curtain

When most of us see a show on the stage, it has gone through numerous iterations, changes, read-throughs and rehearsals. One of the thrilling things about the Colorado New Play Summit, now in its 15th year, is audiences can get a peek at the process of bringing a story to life.

This year’s summit runs at various theaters in the Denver Center for the Performing Arts, Speer Boulevard and Arapahoe Street in Denver, Saturday, Feb. 15 and Sunday, Feb. 16, and Friday, Feb. 21 through Sunday, Feb. 23.

In addition to attending readings of exciting new works, there is also the opportunity to meet the playwrights at meal events, Playwright’s Slams and more.

For schedule, tickets and more, visit

Light up a winter’s night

If you’re looking for a little light this winter season, why not swing by the fifth annual Winter’s Glow?

For all ages there’s ice sculptures, fire dancers, s’mores, hot chocolate and interactive light displays from Lumenscape. Adults can head inside the Curtis Center for the Arts to check out the new “MTNS” art exhibit while sipping on free champagne.

The free event goes from 5:30 to 8 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 19 at Curtis Park, 323 E. Orchard Road in Greenwood Village. For more information, visit

Clarke Reader’s column on culture appears on a weekly basis. He can be reached at


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