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Planning last days of summer vacation
Photo courtesy: Denver Art Museum

By Joshua Pilkington

As the calendar rolls into August, many children are fretting the end of rolling out of bed at 9 a.m. or going to the movies in the middle of the day on a Wednesday. Parents, on the other hand, are anxious to finally have an answer to the summer-long question: what do I do with these kids?

But before backpacks, folders and pencils start flying off shelves there are still one - and in some metro area districts two - more curriculum-free weekends to enjoy. With that in mind La Vida Latina offers some inexpensive - and occasionally free - ways to enjoy a final summer weekend before the school bells toll again.

La Musidora

A prevalent display outside the Denver Art Museum this summer La Musidora. Combining the Spanish words la música and la mecedora (rocking chair), the interactive outdoor art installation allows up to 20 people at a time to sit in colorfully woven chairs that make musical sounds when patrons rock in them. The display, located on Martin Plaza near the museum’s Hamilton Building entrance, has been making music since May 29 and is entering its final weeks before creators Héctor Esrawe and Ignacio Cadena of the interdisciplinary design firm Esrawe + Cadena in Mexico City, pack it up for for another year.

Pachucos y Sirenas

Entering its final weeks at Museo de las Americas is the vibrant exhibition that features both old school and new school artists who share an affinity with the Pachuco legacy.

One of the artists on display at the exhibition is Carlos Fresquez. A Denver native who is now an adjunct professor at Metro State University of Denver, Fresquez’s love for the Pachuco culture runs deep as it ties directly to his upbringing in Denver during the 60s. His piece on display at the Pachucos y Sirenas exhibition has made the rounds since he created it in 1984, including a stop at the Smithsonian in Washington D.C.

“It’s called Zoot Suite en Los Rockies,” Fresquez said of the piece, adding that the exhibition has a decent collection of his works on display currently for the exhibition. “They have three older pieces, one newer piece and a temporal piece that’s painted on the wall, as well.”

Also featured in the exhibition are Justin Favela, Antonia Fernandez, Josiah Lopez, Jerry Vigil and Danny Salazar. Each of their works highlight the apex of the Pachuco movement and legacy during the 1940s in both Mexico and the United States.

Pachucos y Sirenas at El Museo de las Americas is open daily from 12 pm to 5 pm and carries a cost of $5 to 8 dollars.

The Art of Consuming La Tortilla

This Friday also presents a unique opportunity for patrons of el Museo de las Americas as its monthly Culture First Fridays will celebrate the staple of a Latin diet: the tortilla. Admission to the museum is free and visitors will enjoy music, family fun, art, drinks and, of course, ample tortillas.

The event runs from 5 pm to 9 pm at el Museo de las Americas location on 861 Santa Fe Drive in Denver.

Toy Museum

Also in its final weekend in City Park West is the Denver Museum of Miniatures, Dolls and Toys. Founded in 1981 the DMMDT has been attraction visitors through its unique staging of over 20,000 objects to create four different exhibits throughout the year.

It was voted among the “Top 7 Unique Colorado Museums” by and has brought in patrons of all ages to its location on 1880 Gaylord St., for decades. Fans of vintage Star Wars toys and artisan dollhouses have been able to relive their pasts - or their parent’s pasts - while enjoying relics from their own youth - including first generation Nintendo.





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