So little time and so much to see! Colorado Springs’ First Friday Art Walk is filled with art, wine, music and food
As a proud sponsor of the Colorado Springs’ First Friday Art Walk, we wanted to create a guide to planning your ideal First Friday. The perfect event for those who like art, wine, and live music, the 2019 First Friday Art Walk recently kicked off and will endure through October.
Downtown, Manitou, and Old Colorado City each come alive in a new way — the streets are bustling with local art enthusiasts, live music is spilling from the open gallery doors and food and wine are being shared at every turn. The artistic community that is deeply ingrained in these Colorado Springs neighborhoods seems to shine in its full glory.
We hope you enjoy this guide to the First Friday Art Walk in Colorado Springs!
Start by celebrating the culinary arts with a food or cocktail tour
Food is art, so what better way to start your First Friday Art Walk experience than with a food tour of Downtown Colorado Springs! Not only will you get a guided tour of the Art on the Streets program, but you’ll also be treated to some of the best food and drink the city has to offer. These tours happen every First Friday and have very limited capacity, so book your tickets today!
The Original Colorado Springs Food Tour (2:00-5:00 p.m.)
- 8-10 Generous tastings from five local chefs including a Food Network Chopped Champion
- Visit the historic Antlers Hotel and enjoy historical storytelling of Pikes Peak, William Jackson Palmer, the railroad, and more
- Experience one of downtown Colorado Springs’ most popular restaurants, which is hidden underground
- Learn how Colorado Springs is growing and why we’re becoming a top foodie destination
NEW The Springs Signature Cocktail Tour (4:00-6:30 p.m.)
- 4 Signature cocktails including a classic Dry Gin Martini and a Pear Ginger Mule
- 4 Savory appetizer pairings
- Visit Colorado Springs’ most sought-after speakeasy while it’s closed to the public
- Enjoy educational demonstrations on how the cocktails are made
- Discover the scandalous history of the prohibition in the Wild West
Sit back and enjoy the ride
Once you’re finished being wined and dined, hop on the free (that’s right, FREE!) First Friday Shuttle Bus. The shuttle bus makes a large loop around all of the main First Friday stops in Colorado Springs and Manitou Springs, from the Cottonwood Center for the Arts all the way to the Manitou Art Center. It runs from 4:30-9:00 p.m., allowing riders to enjoy everything each stop has to offer. Head here for all the details, including the full shuttle bus schedule. Oh, and did we mention it’s free?!
Hit up the highlights
There are so many amazing participating galleries and shops (see the full map here) that it can sometimes be intimidating to decide where to spend your evening, so here are some of our favorite spots in each area:
Downtown Colorado Springs
- Colorado Springs Fine Art Center – This should be the first stop for anyone looking for art known world-wide. The 132,286 square-foot museum includes works by O’Keeffe and Chihuly, alongside other ever-changing exhibits that will keep you coming back.
- Kreuser Gallery – Just down the road from the FAC, the Kreuser Gallery features the art of both established and local up-and-coming artists, with a mission of creating community and growth among Colorado Springs’ artists.
- The Modbo and S.P.Q.R. – Head south on Tejon, take a right on Bijou, and head down an alley. You’ll find yourself at these two neighboring galleries, featuring some of the more cutting-edge art in Colorado Springs.
- The Bridge Gallery – Located directly under the Colorado Avenue Bridge, The Bridge Gallery features new shows each month, along with handmade art and jewelry available for purchase.
- Art on the Streets – Next time you’re downtown, take some time to notice the works of art all around you! Being installed this month, the 21st annual exhibit will include 12 new pieces of art to be enjoyed as you walk through downtown. For a guided experience, try our Pikes Peak Progressive Dinner which highlights many of these pieces along its route.
PRO TIP: Stop by Cacao Chemistry for a quick complementary tasting of their art, we mean chocolate, offered during each First Friday Art Walk!
Old Colorado City
- Michael Garman Museum & Gallery – Inspired by his years as a traveling vagabond, America’s Storyteller Sculptor, Michael Garman has created hundreds of sculptures honoring our nation’s plethora of characters from all walks of life.
- Hunter Wolff Gallery – With an evolving mix of local work and work from artists around the United States and Mexico, the Hunter Wolff Gallery exists to ignite your imagination, fuel your passion and inspire your decorating style.
- Chavez Gallery – Featuring the whimsical and fairytale-like art by the dynamic duo Liese and Kris Chavez, The Chavez Gallery provides a refreshingly modern gallery environment and affordable prints for admirers who want to take something home.
- Rockey’s Storybook Art Studio – Featured in Adam’s Mountain Cafe and The Cliff House, Rockey’s art is eclectic and magical — the very essence of Manitou Springs.
- Green Horse Gallery – This gallery is the perfect spot for you if you’re looking for locally made art, ranging from sculpture pieces, jewelry, oil paintings and beyond.
- Commonwheel Artists Co-op – Established in 1974, this co-op styled gallery features items that are accessible and affordable to the public — handmade gifts and art pieces, each made by local Colorado artists.
- The Manitou Art Center – A collaborative space for artists to learn, connect, and experiment, the MAC rightfully calls itself the “laboratory for the arts.” Their galleries and exhibit spaces feature visual art, poetry, music, and theater performances.
End the evening with a nightcap
Not ready to end the night? Finish the evening off with a craft cocktail at one of our 8 Must-See Speakeasies and Hidden Bars in Colorado Springs and celebrate our vibrant community of makers and creators!