Denver Restaurant Week 2017

The 2017 Denver Restaurant Week is almost here!

For years, many restaurants around Denver offered a special menu during Restaurant Week that both showed off each restaurant’s specialties, plus offered a great deal. Originally, over a decade ago, the deal was $52.80 for a couple, usually including a drink. The price was a symbol of Denver itself, and it’s 5280 feet (one mile) elevation.

But, times change, and inflation marches on, and restaurant’s had a harder and harder time coming up with the kind of menus they wanted for that price. So, cool symbolism has been abandoned. Instead, restaurants are now slated to offer meals on a price schedule reminiscent of the old 59, 79, 99 cent menus at Taco Bell. (If you remember those days, you might be a 40-something 🙂

denver restaurant week 2017 menus

The 2017 Denver Restaurant Week menus will come in three varieties, $25, $35, or $45. Some restaurants may offer all three menus, while others may stick to the top of the range. These will be per person prices, instead of the old couples pricing.

The dates for 2017 Denver Restaurant Week have been announced as February 24 through March 5th.

The first menu postings are scheduled for January 25th, so just one more week until you can start drooling over your favorite menus. Although a look at individual restaurants may give you a sneak peak. For example, I found a Coohills Restaurant Week 2017 menu. Looks like they have targeted the $35 price point, with several optional “supplements” if you are looking to go all out.

Super savvy diners who already know which restaurants they want to hit may want to start making reservations now. Many Denver area restaurants take reservations online via OpenTable, so start there.

Several restaurants have traditionally pulled out all the stops for Denver Restaurant Week in the past. I’m looking forward to checking out menus from Guard and Grace, Mizuna, Tag (fingers crossed for meatloaf and duck fat fries) among others.

What restaurants are you looking forward to checking out?

Denver Zoo Guide

The Denver Zoo is one of Denver’s top attractions for kids and adults. With fun for everyone from infants and toddlers, to big kids and adults, the zoo has something for everyone.

Denver Zoo Animals

denver-zoo-welcome-logo-sm Popular zoo animals include polar bears, monkeys, elephants, giraffes, seals, lions, snakes, and more. The Denver Zoo has several special animal exhibit areas. One of the most sought out zoo areas by young boys is the Tropical Discovery zone which is filled with tropical fish, brightly colored frogs, alligators, komodo dragons, and of course snake and spiders. Needless to say, this area is very popular around Halloween, during the zoo’s special trick or treat event Boo at the Zoo.

Another special habitat area is Bird World, where the Denver Zoo keeps its brightly colored tropical birds like parrots and toucans, as well as more exotic birds like the hornbills. A hard to spot, but worth the look animal is the sloth, which occupies one of the tropical bird rooms and can usually be spotting sleeping – of course — among the ceiling rafters.

Of course, no visit to the zoo would be complete without seeing elephants. The Denver Zoo is home to two Asian elephants. Daily demonstrations show both how zoo keepers interact with the elephants and offer a fun show that lets kids see some of the amazing things elephants can do, especially what they can do with that long trunk. Hippos and the zoo’s rhinoceros, along with the unusual Tapir are all housed in the same complex as the elephants.

The zoo is set to break ground on a new and improved elephant exhibit in 2010.

One whole corner of the zoo is dedicated to primates, that’s monkeys to most of us. But, the zoo doesn’t have just one or two kinds of monkeys, it has dozens of species ranging from a family of several gorillas, to chimpanzees, orangutans, and several smaller and less known monkeys as well. The primates live in indoor / outdoor environments that allow visitors to see them either climbing trees outside, or lounging around behind the glass inside.

Another popular attraction are the zoo’s lions which are housed in a new savannah style environment that mimics the animal’s natural habitat. Guests can see lions lounging in the sun on a rock outcropping, or pacing among the long grasses. An indoor viewing area offers up close and personal views of the lions just inches away through floor to ceiling glass windows.

Denver Zoo Special Events

The zoo offers several special events through out the year. Special events in 2009 include Boo at the Zoo, Zoo Lights, Brew at the Zoo and of course, the Denver Zoo free days.

Zoo Amenities – Food Strollers

Scattered throughout the zoo are concession stands offering the usual fare of hotdogs, hamburgers, and French fries. But, the zoo goes one step further, also offering up fresh salads, both chef salads and southwest chicken salads, and other healthier treats for conscientious parents. But, don’t forget to splurge on cotton candy, or a snow cone for that all around fun zoo visit.

If you don’t want to pack up your stroller or are just hoping that maybe it won’t be necessary, don’t worry. The zoo offers affordable rentals of both sturdy plastic strollers (in traditional and Jeep shapes) as well as wagons big enough for two kids and a day’s supply of food and drinks. Rentals are $5 for wagons, and similar amounts for strollers.

Denver Zoo Deals

For a great Denver Zoo deal, buy a large drink when you first arrive. Refills are just 87 cents (75 cents plus tax) all day. In fact, the zoo souvenir cups are refillable year round for the same price, so if you are making more than one trip to the zoo this year, keep your cup.

Parking

Although the zoo is close to downtown Denver, parking is provided with both large surface lots and an underground parking garage. On all but the busiest summer days or when there are special events, parking is no problem. For crowded events like Boo at the Zoo or Denver Zoo Lights, you may have to park at the Nature and Science Museum, or even walk in from one of the surrounding neighborhoods.

If you do park in on neighborhood streets, watch the signs. Some areas require a resident permit and others only permit 2 hour parking. Also, from April to November, be sure to read the street sweeping signs (the red ones with lots of words). These signs will inform you that there is no parking on one side of the street on a certain day each month. If you see everyone parked on the other side of the street, chances are, that day is today.