A local's guide to the biggest game of the year.
Listen up, Denver fans: Peyton Manning and the Broncos have clawed and fought their way to Super Bowl 50, and all the excitement happens on February 7. If you can't make it to Santa Clara or don't feel like shelling out $6,000 for a ticket, don't fret. We've rounded up both the top pre-game activities on Super Bowl Sunday and found the best places to watch the Broncos take on Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers. Get ready for all-you-can-eat-and-drink parties, 24-foot TV screens, and even a Super Bowl 5K race. Just don't forget your orange and blue gear; this is Broncos Country.
Pre-Game Like a Pro
Before you stuff yourself with wings and beer, head to Washington Park for the Super Bowl 5K. This casual race kicks off at 10:00 a.m. and features a fan costume contest, post-race photos, and a kids' fun run for children under eight. Families will also love Silly Hearts Yoga's Super Bowl Yoga Party, which starts at 10:00 a.m. Kids four and up will participate in a football-inspired yoga class, and create their own orange and blue pom pom to cheer on the Broncos.
Watch the Game on a Really Big Screen
Kickoff may be at 4:30 p.m. Mountain Time, but if you want to watch the game on some of the biggest TVs in Denver, it pays to plan ahead. Ophelia's Electric Soapbox is accepting reservations for tables to watch their 24-foot projection TV and partake in a $25 Super Bowl Spread (think unlimited wings, flatbreads, and sliders). The Rino Yacht Club at the Source will also have their massive projection TV tuned to the game, so stop by as early as 12:30 p.m. to grab a seat and partake in Broncos-inspired cocktails and all-day drink specials. The Oriental Theater will also be hosting a free party on the big screen, with the doors opening at 2:00 p.m. and free shots for every Broncos touchdown scored. And although the screens may not be quite as big, the Soiled Dove is going all out for a blow-out bash with three six-foot movie screens, tiered seating, and unlimited food and drink for $60.
Grab a Beer
Denver's plethora of breweries and beer halls have a laid-back vibe and seriously good beer, making them ideal for watching the event. Head to Diebolt Brewing Company in Sunnyside for $16 pitcher specials, $1 hot dogs, and a Football Squares game. Or try the brand new Rhein Haus downtown, a German-style bocce, beer, and brats joint that boasts more than 14,000 square feet and has 32 TVs, so you won't miss any of the action. There are 24 (mostly German) beers on tap and if you need a break from the game, you can play on one of four 50-foot bocce courts.
Head to the Classic Spots
There are plenty of classic sports bars and neighborhood restaurants perfect for your big day football binge. What better place to watch Denver try to win their third Super Bowl than Elway's, the signature restaurant of iconic Broncos quarterback John Elway, in the Ritz Carlton downtown? The restaurant will have happy hour from 4 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. in the bar and lounge, the game will be on plenty of TVs, and the hotel is even providing complimentary valet parking.
For a more casual atmosphere, get to Highland Tap & Burger in Lower Highlands early, as tables fill up quickly for tasty burgers, plenty of draft beer, and TVs in every direction. Down the street from Highland Tap, the new Occidental Bar (from the same owners of the acclaimed speakeasy Williams & Graham) opens at 11:00 a.m. for all-day happy hour, or you can join other sports fanatics at LoDo's busiest sports bar, the Sports Column.