Five things to do at Red Rocks besides see a concert

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Concert season is over at Red Rocks, but that doesn't mean you can't make use of music's best outdoor venue -- especially on those occasional spring-like days that heat up the Colorado winter. Here, five ways to make use of Red Rocks until the bands plug back in next spring.

Rock Your Body: Working out is the most common alternative use of Red Rocks. It's also the most likely to make your heart explode, as the venue's steep rows are a fat man's worst nightmare. On any given weekend day, the steps are dotted with annoyingly ambitious skinny people -- including fitness classes, families, and freakishly fit runners cruising up and down the steps like we cruise down the frozen-foods aisle at Safeway. The views of downtown Denver offer a welcome distraction from the fact that your lung just collapsed.

Eat Mushrooms: No, we've never actually eaten mushrooms before, because we're one of nine people D.A.R.E. actually succeeded in scaring away from drugs. But this seems like a decent place to munch on nature's hallucinogen, at least from what we saw on this one crappy episode of Entourage. We imagine the stairs coming to life, the rocks closing in on you, the Denver skyline coming under attack by some phantom meteor, the sounds of U2's legendary concert echoing from the empty stage. We also imagine this is illegal, so if you're going to do it, make sure you print this list and bring it with you to show to the cops. They'll totally understand.

Make Babies: Also highly illegal, making sweet rock-fan love on the stage of Red Rocks probably isn't worth the indecent-exposure charge -– unless, that is, you're conceiving a child. Now that's one helluva story: “Yes, Rocky, you were conceived in the very spot Michael Stipe sung 'Orange Crush' in the summer of '08. Don't you feel special?” So leave your condoms at home, and go to town. Oh, and pack a blanket and some disinfectant. God knows people much more diseased than you have been doing this for years.

Teach a Class: Whether you're a high-school science teacher or a college English professor, there's no better way to try to seem cool than to teach your class on the steps of Red Rocks. So break out your old Widespread Panic shirt, draw up some phony geology or poetry lesson, and go to work. You'll be the coolest teacher in school for the entire 45 minutes you're there, right up until the moment when they remember that you drive a Civic hatchback, at which point they'll go back to thinking you're a complete loser. But oh, those 45 minutes ...

Play a Concert: Have a shitty band that has no shot of ever playing Red Rocks? This is your chance! Load up your Dodge Caravan and head up to the Rocks for a makeshift show. Twitter the hell out of it so all your friends can show up and cheer you on. Make T-shirts and posters. And rock like you've never rocked before. But remember: Keep it short. This, too, is highly illegal, and the folks doing yoga, tripping their faces off, teaching erosion, and having sex probably won't appreciate your pop-punk version of “D'yer Mak'er.”

-- Joe Tone


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