Sonya Ellingboe Even when holiday celebrations are idyllic, there comes a time when the kids might be whiny and the adults feel a bit of cabin fever. …
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Even when holiday celebrations are idyllic, there comes a time
when the kids might be whiny and the adults feel a bit of cabin
fever. Following are a few suggestions for family excursions inside
and outside, both ticketed and free:
“Trail of Lights” is new at the Denver Botanic Gardens at
Chatfield this season. More than 1 million twinkling lights
illuminate the forest paths. A children’s area includes a treehouse
and there’s a decorated historic 1880s farmhouse to visit. Hot
cocoa and other refreshments are available for purchase, as are 3-D
glasses, which delight kids. Hours: 5-8:30 p.m. Wednesdays through
Sundays through Jan. 4, 2009. Admission: $9 adults/$7 members; $7
seniors/$5 members; $6 for children ages 4-15/$4 members. Tickets
can be purchased in advance at King Soopers/TicketsWest with a
50-cents service charge. Location: 8500 Deer Creek Canyon Road,
Littleton, just south of the C-470 and South Wadsworth
intersection. Visit www.denverbotanicgardens.org/content/trail-lights.
The annual Blossoms of Light will return to the Denver Botanic
Gardens next year, following completion of construction.
Zoo Lights, 5-9 p.m. through Jan. 4 at the Denver Zoo, features
more than 150 animated, lighted animal sculptures in trees, on the
lawn, in bushes and all around the zoo’s 38 acres. All are LED
lights, we are assured. There are warming stations. Animal
demonstrations from 6-8 p.m. nightly in Pahall Ya Simba. Kwanzaa
activities Dec. 26-28 with African storytelling, dancing, drumming.
New Year’s Eve magic show, juggling, band, early countdown.
Admission: $8, $6, $4. Activities are free with admission.
“Cartoons — More Than Just Comics” will run through Jan. 2 at
Curtis Arts and Humanities Center, 2349 E. Orchard Road, Greenwood
Village. It’s geared to helping kids learn about cartooning.
Gallery hours: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays; 10
a.m. to 7 p.m. Thursdays. 303-797-1779.
Littleton Historical Museum offers two historic farms to
explore, with costumed interpreters. The 1860 and 1890 farmhouses
are decorated for the holidays. Inside the museum are art shows and
a history of Littleton gallery with hands-on displays for kids. The
address is 6028 S. Gallup St., Littleton. Admission is free. Hours:
9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays; 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Saturdays; 1-5 p.m. Sundays. Closed Mondays, Christmas, New Year’s
Denver Art Museum, 100 W. 14th Avenue Parkway, Denver, has three
fine temporary exhibitions: Art of Ernest L. Blumenshein, Taos
school; Houdon from the Louvre, sculpture; Daniel Richter: a Major
Survey, German contemporary. And then there are the worlds of the
permanent collection to be explored. “Winter Break at the Denver
Art Museum” programs offer opportunities to design a building,
weave a rug, play games, dress up in costumes inspired by the
paintings and more. Admission is free for kids younger than 18
through Jan. 4. The first Saturday, Jan. 3, is a free day for
anyone who lives in Colorado. Otherwise admission costs $10, $8. (I
spent New Year’s Day there last year— very pleasant day!) The
Culture Complex garage is accessed from 12th Avenue. Information:
South Platte Park, 3000 W. Carson Drive, Littleton (enter from
the northwest corner of the Santa Fe/Mineral Park ’n Ride) is open
daily sunrise to sunset, with 878 acres of natural park to explore
on trails. Many species of birds live there year-round and others
travel through. look for furry critters. Eagles appear in winter
because of the stretch of open water. The Carson Nature Center is
open noon to 4:30 p.m. Tuesdays to Fridays; 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Saturdays, Sundays. A board inside the door lists the bird breeds
and other critters that have been seen recently and where they were
seen. The friendly naturalists will help in a search. www.sspr.org/ nature; 303-720-1022.
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