Happy little holiday outing ideas

Column by Michael Alcorn
Posted 11/19/19

I went for a little run the other night, and, as usual, I tracked it with Endomondo. No, I’m not going to tell you my time, my distance, my average speed ... Nothing. Not your business. And it’s …

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Happy little holiday outing ideas

Posted

I went for a little run the other night, and, as usual, I tracked it with Endomondo.

No, I’m not going to tell you my time, my distance, my average speed ... Nothing. Not your business. And it’s embarrassing.

But a thing came up on the program which reminded me that I did a similar run last year, on almost this exact date. Except that, last year, I did this run on a Sunday night. Why would I do a run on a Sunday night? That’s unusual. And then I remembered that last year, Thanksgiving was a week earlier. In effect, you’re reading this column on the day of Thanksgiving last year. We’re all thrown off this year, because Thanksgiving is, literally, as late as it can possibly be, which means we get a truncated Christmas season this year.

Or do we?

That certainly hasn’t been the case for Target, Walmart, Kohl’s, et al. KOSI even started their Christmas music two weeks ago.

So, it must be vacation time, right?

Of course, a lot of people see this season through stress-colored glasses. The shopping, the money, the decorations, the family … So, please allow me to point out a few little hidden gems around the area. These are, in my opinion, small venues and events that might make a nice little excursion for the family — a chance to put aside some of the stress and remember to enjoy the season.

Candlelight Dinner Theater

This is a beautiful little venue about 45 minutes up the road near Johnson’s Corner. My daughter and I saw a production of “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” there this weekend, and it was really excellent! The performers are very high quality, and the production team makes great use of the space they have to work with. Plus, you get dinner! And this whole season, they are performing Irving Berlin’s “Holiday Inn.”

Arvada Center Theater

Of course, if you don’t want to make such a long trip, we have our own high-quality musical theater right here in Arvada, and the ACPA will be performing “A Christmas Carol—The Musical” this whole season.

The Denver Cat Company

Have you ever noticed how, sometimes, your whole perspective changes if you just get a 30 minute break? Maybe with some coffee? Add some cats roaming around looking to be pet or played with, and you have the Denver Cat Company, at 39th and Tennyson. Very peaceful place. (legal notice: do not use the Denver Cat Company if you are allergic to cats)

Denver West

One of my favorite things, which requires basically no effort on my part, is the annual lighting display along I-70 coming through Denver West. Every tree along that corridor, for the better part of a mile, is lit in festive colors for the whole season. Especially nice little detour after stressful holiday events, just to reset the spirit of the season.

Downtown Denver

Of course, if you want a little more celebrated display, you could drive through downtown Denver and circle the Civic Center Park. You and few thousand other people. Totally worth it.

This season doesn’t have to be a stressful time—it’s supposed to be Peace and Joy, right? So, maybe, this year, do a few smaller things that help you maintain your balance and sense of wonder through the next month or so.

Michael Alcorn is a teacher and writer who lives in Arvada with his wife and three children. His new novel, “Charon’s Blade,” is available at Amazon.com, on Kindle, or through MichaelJAlcorn.com.” His opinions are not necessarily those of Colorado Community Media.

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