The Colorado Springs entertainment scene spreads throughout the metropolitan area. Pikes Peak Center, the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center, City Auditorium, Colorado College, and various facilities at the U.S. Air Force Academy are all outstanding venues for the performing arts. The city also supports dozens of cinemas, nightclubs, bars, and other after-dark attractions. Downtown is the major nightlife hub, but Old Colorado City and Manitou Springs also have their fair share of interesting establishments.
Weekly entertainment schedules appear in the Friday Gazette. Also look at the listings in the Independent, free entertainment tabloids. A good online resource for information on events and nightlife is www.peakradar.com.
Tickets for many major entertainment and sporting events can be obtained from Ticketmaster (tel. 719/520-9090; www.ticketmaster.com).
The Performing Arts
Among the major venues for performing arts is the 8,000-seat Colorado Springs World Arena, 3185 Venetucci Blvd., at I-25, exit 138 (tel. 719/477-2100; www.worldarena.com). The area’s newest entertainment center, it presents big-name country and rock concerts and a wide variety of sporting events.
Other major facilities include the handsome Pikes Peak Center, 190 S. Cascade Ave. (tel. 719/520-7469 for the ticket office, or 719/477-2100; www.pikespeakcenter.org), a 2,000-seat concert hall in the heart of downtown that has been acclaimed for its outstanding acoustics. The city’s symphony orchestra and dance theater call the Pikes Peak Center home, and top-flight touring entertainers, Broadway musicals, and symphony orchestras appear here as well.
The Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center, 30 W. Dale St. (tel. 719/634-5581 for general information, or 719/634-5583 for the box office; www.csfineartscenter.org), is a historic facility that includes a children’s theater program, a repertory theater company, dance programs and concerts, and classic films. Recent productions have included The Producers and An Ideal Husband. At the historic City Auditorium, 221 E. Kiowa St. (tel. 719/385-5969; www.springsgov.com, follow links), you can often attend a trade show or big-name concert -- Willie Nelson has performed here -- or drop in at the Lon Chaney Theatre for a dramatic production. There are also several active performing-arts venues on the campus of Colorado College (tel. 719/389-6606; www.coloradocollege.edu) in Armstrong Hall and other buildings.
Symphony, Theater & Dance
Colorado Springs Dance Theatre -- This excellent company stages several productions from fall to spring at several venues in Colorado Springs. The style runs the gamut from classical to contemporary. tel. 719/630-7434. www.csdance.org.
Colorado Springs Philharmonic -- The well-regarded civic orchestra plays at numerous venues and events all year long, including outdoor concerts in the summer and “The Nutcracker” come December. tel. 719/575-9632 or 719/520-7469 for tickets. www.csphilharmonic.org.
The beloved Flying W Ranch was completely destroyed by a ferocious wildfire in 2012, but the owners have pledged to rebuild. Check the website (www.flyingw.com) for up-to-date information.
Iron Springs Chateau Melodrama -- It's cowboys in white hats versus stereotypical mustachioed villains at this longstanding Manitou Springs theater. Quirky titles like “Danger Ranger Granger” and “The Pigskin Perils of Old P.U.” are preceded by a hearty dinner.
444 S. Ruxton Ave., Manitou Springs. tel. 719/685-5104. www.ironspringschateau.com. Reservations required. Dinner and show $29.50 adults, $28 seniors, $16.50 children 12 and under; show only $15.50 adults, $14.50 seniors, $9.50 children. Opens Tues–Sun 6pm; show at 8pm. Closed winter.
The Bar Scene
Cowboys -- Line dancers, country karaoke stars, and bowlers form the trifecta here, with a hopping dance floor on the main floor and a bowling alley upstairs. 25 N. Tejon St. tel. 719/596-1212.
Golden Bee -- This is the real deal, built in the 1800s in Great Britain and taken apart, shipped to Colorado, and put together again in 1961 at The Broadmoor. The place saw a significant expansion in late 2012 that tripled the square footage and added a rooftop deck. There's a great ham and cheddar on a pretzel roll, burgers, and other British pub fare like chicken curry masala and bangers and mash. After dinner, the piano player leads the bar in old standards and more contemporary hits as the staff deftly flings bee-shaped stickers at the shirts of guests. The Broadmoor, 1 Lake Circle. tel. 719/577-5773.
The Keg Bar & Grill -- For drinks or dinner, this fun neighborhood hangout on the main drag in Manitou is a reliable pick, serving burgers, steaks, and a good berry salad. 730 Manitou Ave., Manitou Springs. tel. 719/685-9531.
Meadow Muffins -- This is one of those spots where everything but the kitchen sink hangs from the rafters, and it somehow seems to fit. The burgers and beer are the specialties here, and it's typically the busiest bar in Old Colorado City. 2432 W. Colorado Ave., in Old Colorado City. tel. 719/633-0583.
Phantom Canyon Brewing Co. -- This landmark brewpub downtown is part of the empire of the Wynkoop Brewing Company in Denver, and it produces similarly scintillating variety of beers on-site, with a solid menu to match. 2 E. Pikes Peak Ave. tel. 719/635-2800.
Tony’s -- Green Bay Packers fans overrun this Badger State-loving bar on game days, but this downtown bar is more than memorabilia and fried cheese curds. It's got a friendly vibe and harks back to neighborhood bars of decades past. 311 N. Tejon St. tel. 719/228-6566.
The Underground -- This is one of the longest lasting gay bars in the Springs area, with drag shows and other entertainment most Friday nights. 110 N. Nevada Ave. tel. 719/578-7771.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.