Cheap and free things to do in Denver in May 2020

Flatirons Food Film Festival gets social-distanced

Many are missing date night, especially dinner and a movie. Well, thanks to the Flatirons Food Film Festival, you can enjoy it again just in a different way. Festival organizers are hosting a weekly dinner and movies series on Friday nights. Each event will offer an online experience from the comfort of your own home, including a streaming featured movie, “paired” takeout dishes from recommended restaurants, recipes for dishes related to the film and expert speakers. There is a $5 fee for the movie. The cost of the food is on your own. Participants will start watching and “eating together” at 6:30 p.m. Here’s the current schedule: May 1 – “East Side Sushi”; May 8 – “Make Hummus, Not War” and May 15 -“”Hot Doug’s: The Movie.”

Class is in session — online

With so much downtime, now may be the opportune time to expand your knowledge. The Enrichment Program at DU continues its free online series in May. Hour-long classes start at 10 a.m. each weekday and are taught by world-class faculty, covering a wide range of topics. No registration necessary, everyone is welcome. However, you will need Zoom to “take a seat” in the virtual classroom. The syllabus includes the following topics: Female Songwriters of an Era: Part 2; The Simple Life: In Pursuit of the Golden Mean; The Mirror in the Machine; Dusting Off the Classics: 1-Poem-a-Week Series and Bells, Bells, Bells! Inside the Grand Carillon. The best part: No homework – just an open mind. 

Friday freebie

Fridays will be a little sweeter in May, thanks to Dunkin’. After a long week at work or at home with the kids, take a break at the dougnut shop with a free treat. DD Perks members get a complimentary doughnut with the purchase of any beverage (excluding espresso shots), every Friday. Set reminders on your phone for May 1, 8, 15, 22 and 29. If you’re not a member, join for free online. And, if you’re a healthcare worker, pick up a free coffee and dougnnut on National Nurses Day, May 6 — no additional purchase necessary.

Face (mask) time

Portland-based clothing company Dhvani is stepping up to make sure every American has a face mask. The company has switched from producing activewear to much-needed face masks and allowing everyone to request one online at no cost. To get yours, visit the company’s website. Even better: Frontline and essential workers are moved to the front of the line and will receive their mask expeditiously. Giving away 327 million masks for free is no small task. The program is only possible through donations from the public. If you want to help the cause (even with just a few bucks), you can donate online.

Mom, chill!

Mother’s Day celebrations may look a little different this year. However, the love and appreciation won’t change and here’s a way to chill out with the her: TCBY is continuing to offers its annual Mother’s Day giveaway. On May 10, moms get the first 6-oz. of frozen yogurt and topping for free. The frozen yogurt chain offers everything from classic flavors to no-sugar-added and gluten-free options. Just be sure to call ahead to verify hours and participation.

Hallmark’s greeting card giveaway

Hallmark is doing it again. They’re giving away another two million greeting cards. This time, the focus is showing gratitude. Sending a card is one of the best ways to let someone know they’re appreciated. The giveaway’s mission is to encourage people to send notes of appreciation, during these challenging times. The company is giving away a free three-pack of cards online (including shipping.) Sign-up for the complimentary cards at Hallmark’s website. The cards should arrive in the mail within a week or so. Limit one pack per household, while supplies last.

Doctor’s orders

Being outside in Colorado is just a given, with so many opportunities to go hiking, biking and camping. And there’s no question that our doctors and nurses will need to take a break in the coming weeks. Many will probably head outdoors. To show its appreciation, North Face is offering healthcare workers a rare discount: 50% off certain non-sale merchandise online and in-store. In addition, the company will offer healthcare workers 10 percent off non-clearance items at its outlet stores. (Eligible healthcare workers include doctors, nurses, technicians, medical researchers and hospital workers.) The discounts are available through December 31.

Go wild!

May 7 marks the first day of spring and nature is about to blossom with its beauty and colors all around. Flowers are the perfect way to brighten your world and Arm & Hammer is making it easier. The company is giving away a free plantable seed card at its website, while supplies last. Limit one per household. The seeds can be planted in a flowerpot, the backyard garden or anywhere in need of a little natural beauty.

Digital connections

Staying connected with friends and family is more important than ever. American Greetings is making it easier with its digital postcards. The variety of cards includes everything from humorous to comforting, as well as themed cards for each day of the week. No trip to the store or postage necessary. Send the cards right from your kitchen table via e-mail or post them on social media for free. You’ll even get notification, when the recipient has opened your card. The company is also offering complimentary Zoom backgrounds and games.

We Are One: A Global Film Festival

With cinemas closed, blockbusters postponed and most film festivals cancelled, movie fanatics may be a little lost. However, thanks to YouTube, cinephiles can get their microwave popcorn ready for the “We Are One: A Global Film Festival,” streaming free for cinema fans all over the world. From May 29 to June 7, the online event will include programming from more than 20 top film festivals, including the Cannes Film Festival, Sundance Film Festival, Tribeca Film Festival and more. The no-ad festival will feature films, shorts, documentaries and panel discussions. Viewers can make donations which will benefit the World Health Organization and local organizations around the world.

Informed Delivery

Here’s the best way to check your mailbox without leaving the comfort of your couch. The United States Postal Service has long offered a free service that many still don’t know about. Customers can sign up for its Informed Delivery service at no cost. The program allows you to preview incoming mail, track packages, schedule a redelivery, leave delivery instructions and more. Registrants receive a daily digest in their inbox every morning of what’s expected in their mailbox on that day, as well as packages expected to arrive soon. It’s especially helpful, if you’re awaiting an important package or payment.

Every month, Laura Daily and Bryan K. Chavez at compile the Cheap Checklist to help smart shoppers find freebies, discounts and deals. Send tips to [email protected] 14 to 21 days in advance and find more freebies, discounts and deals at

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