Registration for these events closes on October 20.

Special Events

NAI Special: Observe the Transit of Mercury!  

Monday, November 11, Mercury will cross (transit) in front of the sun. Mercury will be a tiny black dot silhouetted against the bright sun. The only way to safely observe the transit is with a solar telescope. Join Solar System Ambassador Carla Johns who will be on hand at the Sheraton Denver Downtown Hotel with a hydrogen-alpha solar telescope to help you observe. These rare astronomical phenomena have been used throughout history to measure the distance to the Sun and better understand the Solar System. In modern astronomy, similar transits are used to measure asteroids in our Solar System and detect planets orbiting other stars. The next Transit of Mercury visible from North America will not be until 2049, so don’t miss this celestial spectacle! The next Transit of Venus is not until 2117.

When: Monday, November 11, 6:40–9:30am MST. The time to wait in line and observe will take about 5 to 15 minutes, and you are welcome to return as many times as you like to watch Mercury slowly move across the sun. 
Event is free and open to conference attendees and their guests. If you aren’t able to join this event at the hotel, you may also observe at the Transit at Chamberlin Observatory in Denver:
Meet: To join the observing party, please meet in the Colorado meeting room, located in the Sheraton Tower Building on the Mezzanine level. An escort from hotel security will periodically arrive at that room to give updates and to take you up to the roof. When you arrive on the roof, look for Carla and her telescope. Only 10 people at once are allowed on the roof, so there may be a short line. Please give precedence to anyone who is trying to observe before their workshop starts at 7:00 or 8:00 am.
Cancelation: In the case of cloudy or otherwise unfavorable weather, the observing event will be canceled due to safety and the inability to observe. If canceled it will be noted outside of the meeting room and posted on Twitter under #naiconference.

Welcome Reception at the Denver Zoo

Tuesday November 12, 5:30–8:30pm (ticketed event)

Celebrate the opening of the Denver Zoo Holiday Lights and the kickoff of the 2019 NAI National Conference! NAI invites you for an evening of food, fun, firepits, and s’mores at the Denver Zoo! 

The Denver Zoo is graciously closing their zoo for the evening so that NAI conference attendees can enjoy the opening of their holiday season with their magical Zoo Lights. 

Start off the evening in the open pavilion with a selection of hamburgers and hot dogs. From there stroll through the zoo as you take in the spectacle featuring more than two million lights, plus illuminated animal sculptures that swing through trees, jump across lawns, hide in bushes, and appear in places where they are least expected. Enjoy roasting s’mores over open firepits and drinking hot chocolate while viewing the many animal experiences with zoo interpreters as you mingle with your colleagues. 

Buses load and depart the Sheraton Downtown Denver from 5:00 to 5:30pm. 

Cost for Conference Attendees: $25
Guest Ticket: $35
Maximum Number of Attendees: 450


November 13

Science Comedy for Grownups 

Scientists doing stand-up? How is this even possible? 

Science Riot teaches real-life scientists to do comedy about their real-life jobs. Join your colleagues for a night of laughter and learning as these awkward nerds and befuddled scientists have you gasping and gaping as you learn things you never knew about science—and who knew STEM could be this funny! 

Time: 7:00–8:30pm
Cost: $15
Maximum Number of Participants: 120
Minimum Number of Participants: 40
Accessible: Yes, located in hotel meeting room
Transportation: Event located in hotel 
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Taste of Denver

Calling All Foodies

What could be better than learning about a city’s rich history while sampling great food along the way? Join this special evening event to learn about Denver’s colorful history with a guided tour of the Lower Downtown district (or LoDo, as locals call it) as your guide talks about the historic Union Station, the Warehouse District, and the very colorful 16th Street Mall! Taste yumminess like Pork Noodle Dish from Zoe Mona, Pulled Pork with sample of house made beer at Wynkoop Brewing (one of the oldest breweries in Denver), Neapolitan-style pizza at Lucky Pie, and gelato at Denver Milk Market.

Time: 6:30–8:30pm
Cost: $65
Maximum Number of Participants: 100
Minimum Number of Participants: 10
Meals: Provided
Suggested Gear: Weather-appropriate clothing and comfortable shoes 
Accessible: Yes, this is a guided walking tour of the city; some city streets may be hard to maneuver.
Transportation: Guided walking tour

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Denver Microbrew Tour

This special evening event is a guided walking tour through downtown Denver’s historic LoDo (as locals call Lower Downtown) district. If you are interested in learning more about the history of beer, how it is made, what the different types are, and how they differ, why Denver has been dubbed the “Napa Valley of Beer,” or about the history of Denver and how it became the city it is today, then the Denver Microbrew Tour is for you.

During three stops, you will visit a brewpub that began a nationwide franchise, drink in a brewery founded by one of Colorado’s governors, and hang out in the best craft beer bar in Denver. You will also learn about some of Denver’s most scandalous history and taste of a huge variety of beers. 

What’s Included
- Visits to three Denver locations
- 9+ beer samples along the way
- Light snacks at first location
- Souvenir tasting glass
- Scandalous Denver history tidbits
- Awesome tour guide, who is a Denverite and beer expert
Time: 6:30–9:00pm 
Cost: $65
Maximum Number of Participants: 80
Minimum Number of Participants: 5
Meals: Light snacks
Suggested Gear: Weather-appropriate clothing and comfortable shoes
Accessible: Yes, this is a guided walking tour of the city; some city streets may be hard to maneuver 
Transportation: Guided walking tour
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Explore the city in an eTuk!

Tuk, Tuk Your Way Through the City

One of the most incredible ways to take in this magnificent city! Join your guide as they take you through the city streets on an eTuk, from historic Larimer Square (Mile High City’s oldest and most historic block) to River North (RiNo) Art District where you can find colorful and innovative street art murals in alleys and on buildings around almost every corner. Drive by historical buildings like the Union Station, the Brown Palace, and the Molly Brown House. 

Time: 6:45–9:15pm
Cost: $55
Maximum Number of Participants: 30
Minimum Number of Participants: 5
Meals: None
Suggested Gear: Weather-appropriate clothing and comfortable shoes
Accessible: Not accessible
Transportation: eTuks provided
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Twilight Ghost Tour

Sure to convince even the most skeptical of ghost critics

Denver’s Capitol Hill neighborhood has been voted one of the top 10 most beautiful neighborhoods in the country. Walk along the shady, tree-lined sidewalks of the Capitol Hill neighborhood, enjoy the fresh air, and learn about Denver’s colorful and often scandalous past. This area has been documented as the most haunted neighborhood in the city of Denver. The tour offers an expansive range of information, including the history of the neighborhood, scandals from the past, and haunted dwellings. Fun facts about Denver and some of its famous residents are also included in this tour. 

Learn about some of the most haunted dwellings in the city of Denver and hear chilling stories of betrayal, scandal, and murder. Sheedy Mansion, Peabody Whitehead Mansion (featured on the Travel Channel’s Ghost Tours), Molly Brown House, and Crooke Patterson Manson are featured. Many participants have reported paranormal activity during this tour.

Time: 6:45–9:15pm 
Cost: $25
Maximum Number of Participants: 80
Minimum Number of Participants: 5
Meals: None
Suggested Gear: Weather-appropriate clothing and comfortable shoes 
Accessible: Yes, this is a guided walking tour of the city; some city streets may be hard to maneuver.Transportation: Guided walking tour
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It’s all about Baseball! 

National Ballpark Museum, Coors Field, and Baseball Trivia

Join NAI’s deputy director, baseball enthusiast, and helmet sundae cup collector Paul Caputo on a fun-filled evening with private guided tours of the National Ballpark Museum and Coors Field, home to Major League Baseball’s Colorado Rockies. First up is the National Ballpark Museum, recognized my Smithsonian Books as one of the top 21 finest private baseball collections in the world, and a one-of-a-kind treasure that includes ballpark memorabilia from Ebbets Field, Forbes Field, and the Polo Grounds. Afterwards, get behind the scenes at Coors Field, one of Major League Baseball’s premier stadiums. 

End the evening at a local restaurant where the group will play a baseball trivia game led by Paul!

Time: 6:45–9:30pm 
Cost: $30
Maximum Number of Participants: 20
Minimum Number of Participants: 5
Meals: None included, but we’ll hit a restaurant near the ballpark (self-pay) after the tours.
Suggested Gear: Weather-appropriate clothing and comfortable shoes 
Accessible: Yes, attendees will take the 16th Street shuttle and walk three blocks. Some city streets may be hard to maneuver 
Transportation: 16th Street shuttle or guided walking with group. Sites are located approximately one mile from hotel.
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NAI 5K Fun Run

Thursday, 7:00am–[depends how fast you run!]
Cost: $25 (includes T-shirt)

Get some exercise, meet new runner/walker friends, and most importantly, add a race T-shirt to your collection! Walk, run, jog, or sign up just for the shirt and skip the run altogether. This is your chance to be part of NAI’s third 5K Fun Run! Proceeds support NAI scholarships.

NAI Professional Awards Banquet 

Friday, 5:00–7:30pm 
(ticketed event) 

Join us for a night of drinks, food, fun, and live entertainment as we celebrate the best in interpretation. Help us celebrate the accomplishments of our colleagues as we honor the 2019 NAI Fellow, Master Interpretive Manager, Master Front-Line Interpreter, Outstanding New Interpreter, Outstanding Senior/Retired Interpreter, and Outstanding Interpretive Volunteer awards. 

Conference Attendee: $15 (Unfortunately, due to no-shows and wasted dinners in past years, we require a small charge to attend. Included in this small fee is a $80 plated dinner and entertainment.) 
Guest Ticket: $60 

Menu Choices 
Fish: Seared sea bass, spaetzle, roasted acorn squash, Brussels sprouts

Meat: Chili seared flat iron steak, sweet potato puree, roasted root vegetables 

Vegetarian/gluten free: Tofu, sweet potato puree, roasted root vegetables

Meals include baby spinach, grilled radicchio, honeycrisp apple, smoked almonds, cheddar streusel, mustard vinaigrette salad, black forest gateaux, port cherries, and almond tuiles dessert. 


NAI National Conference

Denver Colorado
November 12–16, 2019

Interested in Sponsorships or Advertising?

Contact NAI Events Manager Michele Farmer at or 970-484-8283 x805.