Due to the nearly 100-year history of Colfax Avenue as a boundary to the north, the Chessman Park neighborhood has a buzzing culture as densely rich as the history surrounding it and the population within it. While most of the 1-square mile area is residential, the northern extreme of the neighborhood has more than enough daytime activities and nightlife to go ‘round. Liks Ice Cream on 13th Avenue and Vine Street is a local favorite after a day of sunbathing in the park. For a truly one-of-a-kind experience be sure to check out (read: wait in line at) VooDoo Doughnuts at the intersection of Colfax and Park Avenues. If you do not fear the line, and rather embrace it as a time to observe those around you (read: people watch) you will be rewarded with a truly unique delight. The creamy creations can be like something out of a spooky dream, making VooDoo Doughnuts feel right at home in this neck of the woods, despite only opening in mid-2014.
A “miniature tour of the U.K” - a term just made up on the spot to describe bar hopping between The Irish Snug and Streets of London Pub - is a great start to after-dark fun for thirsty adults. Don’t fret; this “tour” is merely two block in length along Colfax Avenue. From there, patrons can check out one of many big name acts coming through Denver well into the early morning hours at either of the premier concert venues in the area - the Ogden Theatre or the Fillmore Auditorium. Both lie one short neighborhood to the west, once again, on Colfax (North Capitol Hill).
No mention of the Chessman Park Neighborhood would be complete, however, without including the Denver Botanical Gardens, the district’s coup de ta. In the wintertime the Denver Botanical Gardens hosts an annual parade of lights for the holidays, and in the summertime it hosts a rolling cast of highly sought after exhibitors. In the summer of 2014 for example, genius glass sculptor Dale Chihuly will be the main act starting June 14, and will enjoy a rare extended run clear through late November. If the name Chihuly does not ring a bell, perhaps the name Bellagio will? The gorgeous, glass ceiling sculptures that can only be effectively described as a classy color explosion greeting the mega-hotel guests for years is, you guessed it, Chihuly. The opportunity to be absolutely amazed at Chihuly’s glass creations up close truly cannot be missed.
Despite possibly haunted beginnings, the Chessman Park neighborhood has blossomed into a diverse, fun-loving, and accepting community that is also one of the most highly sought after places to live in the city and county of Denver. One day in the sun at the park, or one awe inspiring trip to the Denver Botanical Gardens, or maybe even a bite of the local artisan desserts and it becomes very apparent why locals and tourists alike flock to this historic Denver neighborhood.