Never been on the free First Friday Shuttle Bus before? Are you an old hand who has seen it all? Either way, you could probably use some of the tips and tricks below to make sure you get the best experience on your next ride!
Make a list of a few must-stop locations and scope out the best places to leave your car before Friday night. We recommend parking at the Fine Arts Center, Cottonwood Center for the Arts, or under the Colorado Avenue bridge at the Art Depot Galleries. The bus is ADA accessible.
Keep Your Schedule Handy
The First Friday Shuttle Bus brochure is the key to your adventure. Hard copies are available at gallery locations throughout the region in advance of each First Friday, and the artist hosts will have some on board the bus as well.
KICK IT INTO HIGH GEAR: There is a downloadable version of the shuttle bus map and schedule available at PeakRadar.com/FirstFriday. Make a note to save it your phone before you head out, so you don’t have to find the website during your evening out.
Bring A Friend (Or Two, Or The Whole Squad!)
Art and an evening out is best experienced with friends and family.
KICK IT INTO HIGH GEAR: Got family in town? Bring them along! The shuttle is built for locals and tourists alike.
Don’t Get Lost
Take note of where the shuttle bus stops are located and make sure you can find your way back. A large a-frame sign is located at each stop.
KICK IT INTO HIGH GEAR: After making sure you’ll be able to find your way, explore a new gallery or section of town you’ve never been to.
Talk To The Hosts
Each shuttle bus has an artist host along for the ride – serving as a friendly, knowledgeable buddy equipped with community resources (and their arts community brainpower!) to answer any questions you might have.
KICK IT INTO HIGH GEAR: Many of our hosts are performance artists. Ask if they will perform or sing as you head to the next stop! If they’re not a performing artist, ask about what they do or how they’re involved in the local arts community.
Talk To Gallery Owners And Artists
One of the best ways to learn about something is to talk to the experts. Good news is, there are all sorts of First Friday and art experts on the shuttle bus routes – the gallery owners and artists! Don’t be shy – make a point to get your question answered.
KICK IT INTO HIGH GEAR: Mention you arrived at their gallery via the free First Friday Shuttle Bus. They’ll love to hear that, and may have some tips for what you should see next.
Grab A Bite To Eat
The shuttle runs on either side of the 5-8 p.m. First Friday window in part to allow riders to make a night of it – dinner and drinks round out a First Friday experience nicely.
KICK IT INTO HIGH GEAR: Make sure you do some sightseeing first, so dinner/drinks doesn’t take all your time away.
We’ve got the bus arrival times outlined in the shuttle schedule down to a science. But, traffic can be a little crazy in the Pikes Peak region, especially in the summer. A bus may be a few minutes late – don’t panic, it’s on the way!
We feel like this is just good life advice, to be honest. Make sure you stay hydrated as you go through the evening.
KICK IT INTO HIGH GEAR: Actually, don’t. No alcohol is allowed on the bus.
Make Plans To Ride Again
Despite the addition of the bus to the First Friday experience, it’s still basically impossible to see everything you want to in one night. But never fear, you can visit what you missed next month.
KICK IT INTO HIGH GEAR: The bus runs through October this year – can you ride each First Friday? And, can you bring a friend or significant other along who didn’t go this time?