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Looking for inexpensive or free things to do in the Denver/Boulder area? Want to sample local stores, restaurants, & attractions without breaking the bank? Mile High Cheapskates
Laura Daily, Bryan Chavez and Claire Walter show you how to get the best for less. To get in touch, email us: info@milehighonthecheap.com
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Mile High on the Cheap is a member of Living on the Cheap, a network of websites published by frugalistas, journalists and consumer advocates. Find practical advice on saving money on groceries, travel and shopping, plus tips from our experts on how to live the good life for less at Living on the Cheap.

30 Free & Cheap Things To Do in Denver This Weekend

DenverSkylineIf you’re looking for frugal fun this weekend, you’ve come to the right place. Mile High On The Cheap is the answer for Coloradans who want to live large for less. And our community has it all “on the cheap” — entertainment, concerts, festivals, movies, workshops, tours, sporting events and more. Let us do the work for you! To keep up with the latest deals, discounts and FREE events in the Denver/Boulder area, sign-up for our daily e-newsletter. You can also follow us on Facebook and Twitter. (If you know of any upcoming weekend events, send them to info@milehighonthecheap.com.) Here are our top picks for FREE and cheap things to do this weekend: Click here to read more…

Extra 15% Off Any LivingSocial Deal

Dollar sign buttonLivingSocial has a special Thanksgiving promo code that gets you an extra 15% off any deal – that means anywhere on the site (though the maximum discount is $25). That includes show tickets, spa or salon treatments, activities and more. Here’s how to get the extra discount: Go to LivingSocial. Find the deal you want. Click the “Buy Now” button. Then, click on “Redeem Promo Code” during the checkout process. Enter promo code 15THANKS and click on “Apply”. The amount of the savings will be reflected on the final purchase confirmation page. This promo code is only good through Thursday, November 27 at 11:59 p.m. Pacific Time. The code may be used only once per account.

Sonic Drive-In: 50% Off Cheeseburgers

sonicBefore you stuff yourself on Thursday, you can stuff yourself with savings at Sonic Drive-In. On Tuesday, November 25, the fast-food chain is celebrating Thanksgiving a few days early by offering cheeseburgers at 50% off. The burgers are prepared with 100% pure beef, cheese and fresh ingredients — all made to order. (If you don’t like cheese, just order one without the cheese and you can still salivate over the savings.) There’s no limit, so everyone in your family can chomp on a “cheap” cheeseburger. The deal is valid at participating restaurants. For locations, click here.

McGuckin’s Specials on Holiday Lights

MHoliday LightscGuckin Hardware is inviting customers to trade in old, broken or used incandescent tree light strands to be recycled and receive a coupon for $5 off any LED strand; this offer is valid through November 26. Nothing to recycle? Select light strands and bulb sets are $9.99 to $14.99 (regularly $13.99 to $49.99) through November 30 (or while supplies last). Curiously, both LED and incandescent lights are on sale. Village Shopping Center, 2525 Arapahoe Ave. (but McGuckin’s is at Canyon and Folsom), Boulder, 303-443-1822.

Denver Zoo: Thanksgiving Week $7 Off Special

Zoo Logo (load full size)We’re grateful for the Denver Zoo and all it does for the care of the animals who reside there. To show its appreciation back to the community, they’re offering a bountiful bargain the week of Thanksgiving. From Monday, November 24 to Sunday, November 30, just tell the cashiers, “I love turkeys!” and they’ll give you a discount – $10 for adults (reg. $17) and $5 for kids (reg. $12.) Did you know the Denver Zoo is home to 4,000 animals representing more than 600 species? We always find something new to fascinate us every time we visit.

Cheap Thanksgiving Lift Tix & More at Steamboat

Steamboat-logoOn opening day at Steamboat (Wednesday, November 26), the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club is providing FREE hot chocolate to Steamboat Stage riders, the first 100 people in line at the Gondola get FREE t-shirts and there’s something called “Surprise Gondola Car Opening Day Wishes.” Revenues from the day’s specially priced ticket benefit the Sports Club Scholarship Fund that supports local athletes. Opening day happy hour at the Bear River Bar & Grill at the ski area base runs from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and features 2-for-1 appetizers, $6 Korbel South Peach Cocktails and $5 Korbel Brut or Sweet Rose California Champagne. The weekend continues with bargain lift tickets. From Thanksgiving Day, Thursday, November 27 through December 1, the first 100 skiers/riders can buy $49 lift tickets, the next 100 get $59 tickets and everyone else, $69 lift tickets. And if you’re of a mind to join locals for Thanksgiving dinner, check out Routt County United Way‘s  full-course traditional Thanksgiving Day dinner for the entire community (seniors, students, seasonal workers and visitors alike who simply want to spend Thanksgiving Day with new friends. Local volunteers donate time and all the food. Chefs from various local restaurants carve more than 25 cooked turkeys that have been donated. Dining is from 1 to 5 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day at the Community Center, 1605 Lincoln Ave. Monetary contributions are not requested, but would be welcome to continue United Way’s work. Or, you could even act like a local and volunteer to help; call 970-879-5605. To book weekend accommodations, click here or call 877-783-2628.

Expansion of Low-Cost Dental Clinics

SmilingToothLooking for affordable dental care? You don’t have to wait for the occasional free dental day. If you have a child, he or she is your ticket to dental care. Through Metro Community Provider Network (MCPN), children ages 0 to 18 and their parents, as well as pregnant women, individuals with HIV/AIDS or diabetes, eligible adults over age 60 and more can receive low-cost dental care. Prices vary based on services provided. MCPN accepts Medicaid and CHP+/Delta Dental. They also change individuals on a sliding scale based on your financial status. No insurance? No problem. And, there’s more good news. MCPN is expanding its clinic locations. Choose from Jeffco Family Health Services Center, 7495 W. 29th Ave., Wheat Ridge, 303-239-9964. Arvada Health Center & Dental, 11005 Ralston Rd., Ste. 102, Arvada, 303-431-0844. North Aurora Family Health Services, 3292 Peoria St., Aurora, 303-360-6276. And opening soon – Pine Tree Health Center and Dental, 17866 Cottonwood Dr., Parker. For more information or to book an appointment call 303-360-6276.

Starbucks: Earn Free Beverage After 5 Purchases

Starbucks always seem like the perfect fit for the holidays (or, maybe, it’s the cold weather), especially its once-a-year holiday flavors. They’re helping make the holidays a little merrier with a FREE grande beverage (16-oz.) of your choice, after you purchase five holiday beverages: Caramel Brulée Latte, Peppermint Mocha, Eggnog Latte, Gingerbread Latte and/or its new Chesnut Praline Latte. Here’s how it works: At participating cafés, pick up a holiday beverage tasting card at the register or from a friendly barista — while supplies last. Then, collect a sticker each time you purchase a holiday beverage (at full price) through Thursday, December 25. Once you’ve collected five stickers, redeem your completed card for a FREE grande beverage of your choice. Completed free beverage cards expire January 31, 2015.

Colorado Ballet’s ‘The Nutcracker’ Tix: Save 35%

NutcrackerNow in its 54th year, the Colorado Ballet is performing the holiday classic, The Nutcracker this November & December at the Ellie Caulkins Opera House in the Denver Center for Performing Arts Complex. This production will dazzle audiences with glittering snowflakes, shimmering sugarplums, unforgettable characters and stunning costumes. The professional dancers of Colorado Ballet, along with dancers from the Colorado Ballet Academy, create larger-than-life holiday magic in every performance. This seasonal tradition features classic choreography paired with Tchaikovsky’s extraordinary score performed live by the Colorado Ballet Orchestra. You can save 35% on two select performances through LivingSocialThursday, December 18 at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday, December 27 at 6:30 p.m. The discounted tickets are $49 each (reg. $75) and located in Section B. Sweet dreams…and savings!

Save Up To 35% on December Avalanche Game

ColoAvalancheLogoThe link has been updated. Thank you for your patience. The Ice Ranch Lunch League has been kind enough to share with MHOTC readers its ticket discount for the Colorado Avalanche vs. St. Louis Blues game on Tuesday, December 23 at 6 p.m. With savings up to 35%, tickets start at $27 each. All levels of seats are discounted. Here are the individual ticket prices: Upper Level Corner – $27 (reg. $41); Upper Level Center – $32 (reg. $59); Lower Level Corner Loge: $67 (reg. $103); Lower Level Center Prime Loge – $113 (reg. $123); Club Level End – $67 (reg. $103); and Club Level Corner – $82 (reg. $116.) It’s an even better deal because there are NO taxes or fees. Tickets can be e-mailed, sent via Flash Seats or left at will-call. (If you select will-call, you will need a photo ID to pick up your tickets from the Pepsi Center Box Office on the day of the game.) To get the discounted tickets, you must use this link. Thanks, Andrew!

4 Days Only: Extra 30% Off Some Groupon Local Deals

Dollar sign buttonGroupon always saves you money, usually at least half off, which makes any offer, service or product you get from them offers much more affordable. Now, for four days only, through 11:59 p.m. Monday, November 24, get an extra 30% off select Groupon Local Deals. That’s anything from dinner at Limon to a salon packages to movies at Elvis Cinemas. To get the deal, use this link to take you to the specific eligible Groupons in the Denver-Boulder area. No special promo code is required. The special deals are clearly marked.

Free Viewing of Brown Palace Champagne Cascade

The Brown Palace’s annual Champagne Cascade on Sunday, November 23, is one of Denver’s iconic annual events. At 11 a.m., Santa turns on the lights in the splendid atrium lobby, including a 25-foot grand chandelier, more than 100,000 LED lights and 4,800 colorful ornaments. The John Kite Trio Jazz band entertains, and at noon, with a stroke of an antique Napoleonic saber, a master swordsman severs the necks of champagne bottles. Once opened, the champagne is poured into the uppermost glass of the 6,000-glass pyramid rising nearly two stories in the hotel’s atrium lobby, and champagne flows and flows. This celebratory tradition launches downtown Denver’s holiday festivities. The balconies of Floors 4 to 7 are open to the public for FREE prime viewing.

BOGO Sale at Timbuk2 in Larimer Square

bicycle bikeIf you have a bicyclist in your life, or someone who just loves a great bag, you might stop by Timbuk2 this weekend for some holiday shopping. The original San Francisco bag company is offering a buy-one-get-one FREE special on select merchandise at its Denver location through Tuesday, November 25. We were just there yesterday and found lots of cool bags and accessories on sale. The 1,000 sq. ft. store, which opened earlier this year, is located at 1411 Larimer St. and features limited-edition products, in-store custom ordering, indoor Wi-Fi, a San Francisco-inspired “parklet” and a complimentary in-store bike pump. Plus, they launched a bike-share program over the summer.

Jewelry Sale at Women’s Press Club

Jewelry SaleThe Denver Women’s Press Club’s annual jewelry sale benefiting its Scholarship Fund takes place on Saturday, November 22 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sunday, November 23 from noon to 4 p.m. Shoppers always find a wide variety of well-priced contemporary, vintage, costume and ethnic jewelry. Cash preferred. 1325 Logan St., Denver, 303-839-1519.

Turkey Talk: Who’s Selling The Cheapest Bird in Town?

turkeyWe gobbled up all of the weekly ads we could find for a price comparison on turkeys around town. Luckily, we didn’t find much of a difference between stores. It seems all of the major grocery chains got together first and agreed on prices. Here are our results: King Soopers69¢ per pound (Grade A, frozen, Kroger, limit 1); Safeway69¢ per pound (Grade A, frozen, Safeway Farms, limit 1) or 79¢ per pound (Grade A, frozen, Honeysuckle Whitelimit 1); and Alberstons69¢ per pound (Grade A, frozen, Honeysuckle White, with $25+ grocery purchase — not including the bird.) All of the sale prices are valid through Thursday, November 27. (With all the same pricing, it makes any of their price matching policies moot — unless you have your eye on a paticular brand of bird.) We also stopped by a Walmart and found a Jennie-O turkey for $1.68 per pound. Of course, if you’re looking for something fancier or all-natural, you can stop by Whole Foods Market or Sprouts, but we’re confident you’ll pay a much higher price. If you know of any similar or better prices around town, please share with readers by commenting below. Happy bird-hunting!