Typically, tickets to the ballet, symphony, opera and theater tend to cost more than other Denver area events. But, seeing an amazing show doesn’t always mean spending big bucks. Many venues offer discounted rates, flash sales, preview tickets and other ways to be in the audience for less money; and, some smaller theaters simple charge less.
Here are some tips for saving on cultural events, ways to get FREE tickets, and our ever-evolving list of venues to catch the myriad of performing arts in the Denver metro area. Let us know if we missed your favorite or if you have any great tips for us to include.
How To Save at the Theater
Look for shows in preview or during a dress rehearsal. While occasionally this might mean a less-than-perfect performance, usually it’s just as good as the prime time performances and if something does go array, chances are you won’t even notice. Sometimes these tickets are even FREE.
- Book tickets in advance. Some theaters release tickets early with special pricing, and you can save money just by planning.
- Subscribe to a theater’s season. When you’re a member of a theater there are often discounts, as well as savings on bulk tickets.
- Go off the beaten path. While a children’s performance of the Nutcracker might not be as well done as the Colorado Ballet’s version, the tickets cost less, it supports the little dancers, and it’s a great way to get your own kids into the theater, without a lot monetary investment.
- Get alerts for current deals featured on Mile High On the Cheap. We try and stay up-to-date with whatever discounts there are out there.
Performing Arts & Cultural Centers
Many disciplines tend to haunt the halls of cultural centers, the performing arts one of them. Check out these venues for a variety of theater, dance, visual art, music and more.
6901 Wadsworth Blvd. Arvada
The Arvada Center is known for producing, curating and showing arts and entertainment on the national-caliber scale, all with the idea to help guests see, hear, feel, and think a little deeper.
While there, visit the three galleries and wander the sculpture garden for FREE before the show, doubling up on the arts and culture for the day.
Types of performances: Theater, music and dance
Price range: Starting at $24, depending on the type of show
Ways to save: Look for discounts on the website, promo codes, save with group tickets or get a subscription to the season’s performances. Tickets to previews of the main season plays and musicals are typically discounted.
Dairy Arts Center
2590 Walnut St., Boulder
With four theaters inside the venue, there’s a lot to do at this Boulder hot spot. The 42,000-square-foot facility was founded in 1992 as a way to provide cooperative workspaces for local artists and place to host live performance in Boulder County. Today, it’s Boulder’s largest multi-disciplinary arts center, and also home to Boulder Ballet and Boulder Opera Company.
Types of performances: Cinema, theater, dance, ballet, comedy, magic shows
Price range: Tickets start at $12 for film, $20 for many theater performances.
Ways to save: There are senior discounts for those 65-years-old and up, and student discounts for children in grades pre-K to 12, as well as those in undergraduate, masters, and doctorate programs.
Those attending technical, vocational, and alternative schools also can use their ID to get a discount. Members of the Dairy Arts Center may also get discounted tickets.
Keep in mind not every show offers these discounts, it’s up to the presenter to decide.
Lakewood Cultural Center
470 S. Allison Pkwy., Lakewood
For those looking to see ballet without paying too much, this venue often hosts Ballet Ariel and Ballet Melange. It’s also home to Performance Now, known for its high-quality staging of musical theater.
Plays and live music also play a part in the line up, whether located in the 320-seat theater (which doesn’t have a bad seat in the house), art galleries or fine art and dance studios.
Types of performances: Dance, music, symphony, theater
Price range: $12 to $45
Ways to save: Discounts for children and seniors available.
Lonetree Arts Center
10075 Commons St., Lone Tree
The City of Lone Tree owns and operates this multi-use venue, which has been going strong since 2008. The Arts Center hosts shows from around the world, as well as local performances.
One neat thing about the 500-seat venue, no seat is further than 60 feet from the stage, which means everyone in attendance has a great view.
Types of performances: Music, theater, dance, performing arts
Price range: $7 to $55
Ways to save: Discounts are offered for groups of 10 or more.
Newman Center for the Performing Arts
2344 E. Iliff Ave., Denver
Visit this South Denver spot for the Newman Center Presents series, the Lamont School of Music, Denver University’s Theatre department and hundreds of performances by community organizations. It’s been going strong for 20 years, bringing acts both local and from around the world to the area.
Types of performances: Orchestra, music, opera, theater, dance and speakers
Price range: Starting at $16 to around $40.
Ways to save: Purchase show bundles for 10% off tickets. Denver University students also get discounts.
PACE Center, 20000 Pikes Peak Ave., Parker
There are a few venues related to Parker Arts, PACE Center, The Schoolhouse and Ruth Memorial Chapel (19650 Mainstreet, Parker), and Discovery Park (20115 Mainstreet, Parker).
At these locations you’ll find musicals, theater, ballet, dance, visual art and live music, there’s always something fun going on.
Types of performances: Theater, ballet, music
Price range: Starting at $18, depending on the performance
Ways to save: Look for FREE shows and lectures at the center. Members of Parker Arts can also save money on select shows.
Town Hall Arts Center
2450 Main St., Littleton
Founded in 1982, this 260-seat theater has long offered professional theater to the residents of Littleton, and those who want to visit in order to see a top-notch performance.
Types of performances: Theater, musicals
Price range: Around $50
Ways to save: Groups of 10 or more can save $5 off each tickets; there are also discounts available for active-duty and veteran military personal, students and seniors.
Independent and Smaller Companies
Often independent theaters have smaller shows, less seating and fewer traveling acts, but that doesn’t mean it’s not worth going. In fact, plenty of successful plays, dance and music have come from venues like this, which, in New York City, falls under the guise of off-Broadway theaters.
Aurora Fox Arts Center
9900 E. Colfax Ave., Aurora
If you ever saw that glittery sign that says “fox” on Colfax in Aurora, that’s the home to one of the metro area’s best independent theaters. The space hosted a movie theater for decades after it was build in 1956.
After being refurbished, in 1985 the theater became the Aurora Fox Arts Center, and been the permanent home to the Aurora Fox Theater Company ever since.
Types of performance: Theater
Price range: Adult tickets are $25, senior are $22 and students 25 and under are $5
Ways to save: Bring your kids and/or students under the age of 25 and tickets only cost $5. The theater also offers discounts on group pricing.
Boulder Philharmonic Orchestra
Macky Auditorium, 1595 Pleasant St., Boulder
For 65 years this small orchestra has been pleasing the ears of Boulder residents, and will continue to do so at the Macky Auditorium, located on the University of Colorado campus. While classical music proves a big part of programing, the Boulder Phil, as it’s called, also weaves in modern music along with dance and other mediums on occasion.
Types of performances: Classical music, symphony
Price range: Starting at $22
Ways to save: Students of all ages can purchase Masterworks Series tickets for only $10. Also check the website and/or subscribe to the organization’s newsletter for last minute seat sales.
Cherry Creek Theatre
Mizel Arts & Culture Center, 350 S. Dahlia St., Denver
Expect classic, thoughtful plays from this decades-plus production house. The theater now calls the Mizel Arts & Culture Center’s Pluss Theatre its home, where all the plays are now preformed.
Types of performances: Theater
Price range: Around $42.
Ways to save: Book a season pass for discounted tickets. Guests can also get cheaper tickets if they are industry professionals, children ages 6 to 18, or seniors over the age of 64.
Curious Theatre Company
Established in 1997, today the Curious Theatre Company has since grown to 25 professional actors, designers, and directors, all working to bring thought-provoking plays to the local audience.
Not only are the works celebrated, but the theater boasts having 75% of its plays in the last 10 years having been written by playwrights of color, LGBTQ playwrights, or female playwrights.
Types of performances: Theater
Price range: Tickets start at $42.
Ways to save: Volunteer to be and usher and see the play if there’s seating available.
Littleton Symphony Orchestra
Littleton United Methodist Church, 5894 S. Datura St., Littleton
Expect to hear pieces by some of the greatest composers as this small but mighty group delivers a repertoire often associated with professional orchestras. It’s an elegant and inexpensive way to hear and/or get into classical music.
Types of performances: Symphony
Price range: $28 to $42
Ways to save: Volunteers can receive free tickets to performances. Industry professionals can also save money on tickets.
Su Teatro Cultural & Performing Arts Center
721 Santa Fe Drive, Denver
What started as a political theater movement is now Denver’s primary Chicano theater company. The origin of Su Teatro comes from a student-organized theater group called the Chicano Teatros, which formed in 1972 in the University of Colorado at Denver.
In 1989 the group purchased the historic Elyria School in Northeast Denver and became El Centro Su Teatro, a multidisciplinary cultural arts center that’s going strong 30 seasons in. Keep in mind some of the theater productions are hosted at other theaters, currently Parsons Theatre at 1 E. Mem Pkwy., Northglenn, inside the Northglenn Recreation Center.
Types of performances: Theater, music and XicanIndie FilmFest
Price range: Starting at $7 for film tickets, $22 for theater tickets
Ways to save: Look for promo codes and get senor and student discounts.
More Expensive Venues
Don’t be surprised if tickets at these places cost more than others, they are the top theaters in the area. That means top talent, as well as plenty of high-profile traveling performances. But, just because a night out here proves pricey, that doesn’t mean you can’t find ways to save on a show.
Denver Center of Performing Arts
At 14th and Curtis Streets, Denver
For decades the Denver Center of Performing Arts, or DCPA, has hosted some of the best acts in Colorado, from ballet to opera to Broadway shows.
The Helen Bonfils Theatre Complex encompasses eight spaces, from the grand Buell Theatre and Ellie Caulkins Opera House; to the smaller Wolf Theatre and Singleton Theatre.
There’s also the Jones Theatre, Garner Galleria, Kilstrom Theatre, and the Randy Weeks Conservatory Theatre, which is across the street in the Judi Newman Center for Theatre Education.
The complex is home to Opera Colorado, Colorado Symphony and Colorado Ballet.
Types of performances: Ballet, opera, symphony, and theater, both small productions and big touring shows
Price range: $35 and up, though the lower priced tickets sell out fast and tend to have an obstructed or partial view.
Ways to save:
Among the Denver Center for Performing Arts’ discount programs, the most popular is its DCPAccess — with tickets just $10 each.
Our post on DCPA discounts lists the latest offers.
For the Denver Center For Performing Arts, its discount program doubles the reduced-price ticket program to provide access to more people and more shows — even the occasional Broadway production at up to 75% off.
Subscribing to different theaters/performance styles can save money on tickets in the end, and some perks include discounts on extra tickets.
Also check out the DCPA’s social media @denvercenter on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook for a chance to win FREE tickets.
Another way to get a FREE ticket for kids ages 6 to 18, look for select Broadway shows where they get a free ticket with the purchase of an adult ticket. Some national tours also offer special lotteries for discount tickets. This has included Hamilton, Wicked and The Book of Mormon.
Cleo Parker Robinson Dance
119 Park Ave. West, Denver
For 52 years Cleo Parker Robinson Dance has hosted some of the best dance shows around, as well as enriching youngsters looking to learn how to move at the academy. The school is housed at the A.M.E. Shorter Church in Five Points, but aside from classes the ensemble presents world-class performances.
Types of performances: Modern dance
Price range: $45 for adults, $35 for youth and seniors
Ways to save: Discounts for group tickets of six or more. Go see the student showcase for just $8 to $10 per ticket.
Central City Opera House
124 Eureka St., Central City
A piece of opera history can be found with the Central City Opera, which was founded in 1932 as the fifth oldest professional opera company in the country. Each summer the theater hosts professionals as well as young artists training in the craft, in its 550-seat jewel box opera house, built in 1878.
Types of performances: Opera
Price range: Prices fluctuate between $32 and $115
Ways to save: Season subscribers can save 20% or more on tickets.
Semi-Professional and Children’s Productions
These venues offer small shows often featuring newbies to the theater world and/or children. But, before you scoff at lack of pros, remember, even Lin-Manuel Miranda and Idina Menzel started somewhere.
APEX Performing Arts Collective
at The People’s Building, 9995 E. Colfax Ave., Aurora
Types of performances: A few times a year this newish venue offers youth-driven theater productions and musicals. These are teens and children who are learning to act, sing and do theater. Shows have included The Seussical, Bring It On the Musical, and more.
Price range: $20 for adult tickets, $10 to $15 for theater goers under 18
Ways to save: Currently the theater doesn’t offer discounts.
Aurora Symphony Orchestra
Aurora Fox Arts Center at 9900 E. Colfax Ave., Aurora
Get hooked on live, classical music by seeing a show at the Aurora Fox Arts Center. The entire orchestra is made up of volunteers, ages 15 to 85, as it has been since launching in 1978.
Types of performances: Symphony
Price range: Usually about $20 for adults, $15 for seniors, and FREE for those 18 and under
Ways to save: Kids are always FREE and groups can get a 20% discount. Check out the calendar too, some performances are free for all.
Colorado Conservatory of Dance
3001 Industrial Lane, Broomfield
Go see a performance at the this community school of the arts, and who knows, the dancer on stage today may be a famous performer years to come. There are only 55 seats per performance, so not only do you get to see young and new dancers in action, but get a great view too.
Types of performances: Modern dance and ballet
Price range: Most shows are $25 for students and seniors; $28 for everyone else, plus a convenience fee of $4.25 per ticket.
Ways to save: Sometimes the conservatory hosts free performances, check the website for updates.
JCC Mizel Arts and Culture Center
350 S. Dahlia St., Denver
Most know the JCC (Jewish Community Center) as a recreation center, with fitness and enrichment courses. However, it also houses the Mizel Arts and Culture Center, which offers theater classes for all ages and showcases various acts from stage work to comedy to musicals.
Types of performances: Theater
Price range: Starting at $18
Ways to save: Become a member of the JCC.
Littleton Youth Ballet
This non-profit youth ballet supports over 80 dancers, and has yearly performances. It’s a great way to support the kids while also introducing young ones to the art form, without spending too much money in the process. The ballet performs at various art centers around town, so check its website to locate the next show.
Types of performances: Ballet
Price range: Starting at $27 for adults.
Ways to save: Senior discounts and $5 tickets for students.