Favorite

101 Summer Things 

ways to have an awesome summer, and by awesome we mean totally sweet

Summer's one of the best reasons to live in Colorado. Get out your calendar and start planning now or don't plan a thing -- just enjoy the brief interlude of long, green days and glorious summer nights. (Writers initials correspond to Indy contributors Brian Arnot, Suzanne Becker, Noel Black, John Dicker, Kathryn Eastburn, Terje Langeland, MB Partlow, Carrie Simison-Bitz and Bettina Swigger.)

1. Lemonade! When life gives someone else lemons, let them make lemonade. You: drink it! El Taco Rey at 330 E. Colorado Ave. has the best for our money. Goes great with their sweat-inducing green chili! NB

2. Get back in touch with the lost art of the totally sweet laser light show at the Cave of the Winds (just off to the right of Highway 24 West above Manitou Springs). Put the bong away -- this isn't a Pink Floyd laser show. This year's show features "Songs of the Patriots: A Musical Tribute to America and American families." Cuddle up with your kids and those oh-so-snuggly die-hard laser fans starting on Fridays and Saturdays at 9 p.m., then every day of the week at 9 p.m. from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend. Want more specifics on just how totally awesome the lasers are? Call 685-5444. BLS

3. Be gay for a day. Whether you take that to mean happy or homosexual (or both) stop by Acacia Park on June 29, and join in the celebration of PrideFest 2003. After all, gay or straight, everyone loves a parade, and you can't go wrong with a day in the park. Support the Springs' gay, lesbian and transgendered community. And don't worry, you won't turn gay if you drink the water, eat the food, make direct eye contact or believe in health-care benefits for same-sex partners. SB

4. Define "hubris". Neal Pollack, the Greatest Living American Writer (self-proclaimed) is reading this summer at the CC Summer Arts Festival. If I were a decent critic, I'd say that Neal Pollack's viciously funny and ironic self-aggrandizement lacerates Truman Capote and Gore Vidal in equal and good measure, yet he has a talent for the outlandish which far outpaces his contemporaries and targets. However, I'm not a critic and just want to say that Neal Pollack is totally awesome. He's reading at CC's Bemis Great Hall, July 3 at around 7 p.m. Call 389-6653. BA

5. Freeze your brain. Mark your calendar for July 9, and liberate your inner 7-year-old in Manitou Springs at the Good Old Summertime Ice Cream Social, downtown in Soda Springs Park. There will be an ice-cream making contest, live entertainment, games for the kids and of course, sundaes for all. See what life was like before Ben and Jerry's. To find out more, call the Chamber at 685-5089. SB

6. Gorge yourself on Palisade peaches and Rocky Ford cantaloupe. Over on the western slope, Palisade has been producing the sweetest, juiciest, most aromatic organic peaches known to humankind since the 1800s. Ditto for Rocky Ford and its world-famous melon crop in the Arkansas Valley, about 60 miles west of Pueblo on Highway 50. Stop along the way (to both places), where you'll see small farm stands and markets along the road, and hand select the sweet, juicy fruits. SB

7. Get down and dirty. Why playing in the mud is discouraged among adults, some lucky few grow up to be potters. And then they have a big ol' mud party in the streets of Manitou, where local and out-of-town potters work the wheel, and have competitions like throwing pots blindfolded or one-handed. They sell their wares, offer lessons and encourage muddy fun. They call it Clayfest, and whether you view clay as slimy mud or a beautiful blank canvas, don't miss the festivities on June 21. Afterward, check out the Mud Ball, an outdoor dance in Soda Springs Park. SB

8. Tea total. Even if it is owned by the Navigators and costs a "suggested donation" of $3-$5 to get into the parking lot, teatime at Castle Glen Eyrie (30th Street near Garden of the Gods Road) is worth checking out. The 67-room Victorian castle was built in 1904 by Colorado Springs' founder General William Jackson Palmer. Teatime is oh-so-apropos to the digs with its little elegant teacups, saucers and pots. The English cream tea is held at 10 a.m. and 2:30 p.m., Monday through Saturday ($10.75), and includes a pot of tea, scones, sweet bread and finger cookies. Formal Victorian tea is offered Sundays from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. ($14.25) in the ornate music room, and includes two pots of tea (caf and decaf), scones with jam and sweet cream, cheese, crackers, fruit, cookies and sweet bread. Prepaid reservations are a must. Call 272-7483. SB

9. Take the bus to Cripple Creek. Do you really want inhibitions like no drinking, when you're headed to the slots? Fine dining, romantic lodging and other "luxurious amenities" are also available, but let's be honest -- it's really all about free tequila sunrises in front of the nickel slots. Safe transport Ramblin' Express departs every hour from the 8th Street depot, and every two hours from the Academy East and South Circle depot. At a mere $20 per person, you're bound to go buck wilderness with your nickels in the casino. Call 590-8687 to find out why it's called the Ramblin' Express. BLS

10. Twist yourself up in knots with the balloon man downtown. How does he do it? Is it a poodle, a giraffe or a hat? When your children get tired of homemade balloon sculptures like "Mr. Snake" and "Daddy's beer belly," take a walk downtown in front of Michelle's on a sunny afternoon and you're bound to see the most popular man in town making balloon animals for tots just for the sheer joy of it. If you're extra nice, he might make you one too. BLS

11. Hey, what the heck IS up at the Will Rogers Shrine anyway? So, you've lived here for a while now (all your life) and every time you see the Will Rogers Shrine off in the distance you still wonder what in the heck it is. Technically it's a 114-foot-tall castle-like structure, made from a single sheet of granite, constructed entirely without nails or wood. But that's about all we can tell you, other than the second-most famous Mr. Rogers was a close friend of Mr. Spencer Penrose. Just hop on the Russell Tutt Scenic Highway, (passes through the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo), and bring a camera -- gorgeous view guaranteed. SB

12. Come out of your shell and discover the secret of the ooze with the "Ninja Turtle-tini." Sencha's lush back patio is the summer hot spot for cool drinks and is bound to impress the most sophisticated connoisseur with regal cocktails like the "Priscilla, Queen of the Springs" and the "Emerald Yeti." Or if you like a snicker with your snifter, try a "Blushin' Russian" or a "Fozzy Osbourne." The patio features herb and flower gardens, a fishpond, candlelight and evenings of live music starting in June. Located at 331 S. Nevada. Call 632-8287 for more information. BLS

13. Impress a first date with your knowledge of jazz and swing. S/he'll think you are stunningly sophisticated when you arrive arm in arm to the Pikes Peak Jazz and Swing Society's events like Jazz in the Parks and Second Sunday Jazz. Jazz in the Parks begins Wednesday, June 4, in the Plaza of the Rockies South Concert Area at 6 p.m. and will take place every Wednesday through September 3. Second Sunday Jazz takes place indoors, offering you a chance to escape summer heat and enjoy a libation while you snap your fingers to the snazzy sounds. Concerts take place every second Sunday from 2-5 p.m. at Original Castaways in Manitou. For a full listing of artists, see www.ppjass.org. BLS

14. Strain your neck and see spots at the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo (4250 Cheyenne Mountain Zoo Road, above The Broadmoor). See the world-famous giraffes in their brand-new habitat. The African Rift Valley Exhibit at the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo is finished, and in addition to the majestic giraffes (who promise to stampede twice daily!), you can also see antelope, a colony of meerkats, vultures and a replica of the incredible baobab tree. This new exhibit is more than worth the marathon "Hakuna Matata" your children will be singing. Call 636-2544 for more. BLS

15. Say bye-bye to booty-shaking in the basement. The High-Life-a-palooza show on Aug. 29 and 30 will be the final show at the super-secret location. The venerable 4-year-old basement venue will be moving to a new, more barely legal location. The two days of rock will feature touring bands who have played the house before, a veritable army of local bands, and lots of nubile teen-age girls with Legend of Zelda haircuts, as well as seasoned scenester kids who are way too cool for the clubs. Email

highlifehouse@yahoo.com for more. BLS

16. Rub elbows with the bikers, but make sure you don't park in their spot! You'll have to head north on Nevada to the Navajo Hogan at 2817 N. Nevada Ave. (632-5490) to experience the real joy of living in Colorado in the summertime: the annual parade of iron horses. Live blues music, wild architecture, neon signs and Indian tacos are more than enough reasons to check it out. And, if you're into that sort of thing, there's more leather than you can shake a stick at. But then, you probably wouldn't want to shake a stick at or near any of these toughs, especially the deliciously bare-shouldered cocktail waitresses. BLS

17. Rescue a damsel in distress at the Miramont Castle (9 Capitol Hill Ave. in Manitou). Dust off your code of chivalry and head over to the most architecturally diverse building in Manitou Springs. You're bound to find one or two distressed damsels scratching their heads to questions like "Is it Queen Anne or English Tudor?" Rumor has it that Father Jean Baptist Francolon, the original owner, never had an overall architect's vision; instead, he designed each of the 46 rooms as its own entity. If its palatial size doesn't impress you, there's the International Museum of Miniatures, or you can sit in the Tea Room and order up a mess of finger sandwiches. Call 685-1011. BLS

18. Keep a towel in your car. Downtown, Uncle Wilber's spigots flow all day at the corner of Bijou and Tejon. And one of the best-kept secrets in town is the "Other Fountain." Set into the pavement in front of the Cinemark Theater on Powers, this fountain makes the most refreshing treat between the movie theater and an overheated automobile interior. Those breathless, no-breeze, blazing-sun July days are easier to take when you've skipped, sauntered, run or hopped on one foot through a sidewalk fountain. If the drought (or lack thereof) permits, the fountain runs (with recycled water) most afternoons during the summer months. MBP

19. When a lot of nature just isn't enough. Head for the Holistic Arts and Crafts Festival in Manitou's own Soda Springs Park. Sure, hiking trails, gorgeous vistas of incredible natural beauty and postcard-worthy views around every corner are nice, but sometimes the old aura needs buffing. And the need for carnival food asserts itself. The two fairs, June 14-15 and Aug. 2-3, will include everything you need to get your karma jump-started, including readers, mystics, crafts and food. Hours are approximately 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. both days, and you can call 685-9655 if you need anything more specific. MBP

20. After midnight, we're gonna let most of it hang down! No bonking, please. This is the Starlight Spectacular Bike Ride, which starts at the Garden of the Gods Visitor Center on Saturday, June 21, and winds through an 11- to 26-mile course ... starting at midnight. Live music and entertainment starts at 10 p.m., which gives the judges time to check the contestants in the most creatively yet safely attired and most extravagantly illuminated attire. Cost starts at $30 for adults and $15 for kids, with group and family discounts, and proceeds benefit the Trails and Open Space Coalition. T-shirts, refreshments, rest stops and breakfast. Call 385-7431 to sign up. MBP

21. Buddy, can you spare a dime? Maybe a Liberty dime? A rare penny? A buffalo nickel? If you've always wondered how to spot a coin that's worth more than the face value, stop by the Colorado Springs National Coin Show at the City Auditorium, 221 E. Kiowa St. Further your own education or just get out of the heat -- it doesn't matter, because everyone is welcome and it's free! Hours are 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on July 4, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on July 5, and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on July 6. MBP

22. Where's the beef? We don't know and we don't care! It's time for the annual Buffalo Barbecue, taking place this year over the July Fourth weekend (July 4-6, at approximately 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.), in Soda Springs and Memorial Parks in Manitou. Why nibble on a puny little chicken winglet when you can sink your teeth into something that once ran in a thundering herd? Call 685-9655. MBP

23. Slammin'. Colorado Springs is home to several mediocre skate parks: Goose Gossage, Briargate and Manitou Springs. While better than nothing, their mediocrity is known largely to those who regularly traverse the many superior hotspots of the Front Range. Within a 100-mile radius of Rich Tosches "village," an abundance of free public skate parks have blossomed in such unlikely locales as Cañon City, Highlands Ranch, and farther south, a gloriously sprawling park in, gasp, Trinidad! On June 28, Castle Rock will officially open its own free concrete park built by the folks who designed Denver Public -- the country's largest free public skate park. Even if you don't skate, you'll be sure to see some good spills as skaters make the blood sacrifices the concrete God requires. JD

24. Git along, little dogie. The National Little Britches Rodeo is coming to town, and this gala has all the thrills and skills of the regular rodeo, except the contestants are ages 8 to 18. They've got a royalty pageant, safety seminars, cowboy church, parades and awards ceremonies, in and among the competitions like bareback riding, barrel racing, goat tying, bull riding, steer wrestling, team roping and more. It all comes together at Penrose Equestrian Center, 1045 W. Rio Grande St., July 28-August 2. For specific events and ticket info, call 389-0333 or log on to www.nlbra.com. MBP

25. Forget 76 trombones, we need 76 pooper-scoopers. You have to expect horses when you're talking about a rodeo parade. And where you have horses, you have ... the need for very large pooper-scoopers. But if you don't have scooper duty, you can just sit back and watch the Pikes Peak or Bust Rodeo Parade, making its way through downtown Colorado Springs on August 6, beginning promptly at 10 a.m. Summertime, clear blue skies, marching bands, kids on floats, kinda gets ya right here, doesn't it? Get downtown early for a good spot! MBP

26. Golf is so awesome if you have the right outfit. Break out your loudest plaid pants. Colorado's only stop on the PGA tour is the International at Castle Pines, held, oddly enough, in Castle Pines. Daily tickets to watch the pros try to hit a little ball with a little stick into a little hole are $10-$45, with group and package discounts. Tickets are available here in the Springs at Pine Creek Golf Club, or you can call 303/660-8000 or go wwwild at www.golfintl.com. The total purse is $4.5 million, which might inspire you to pay for golf lessons for your own little budding Tiger Woods. MBP

27. No, it's NOT the same as Hawaii. The local Samoan community is throwing its third annual Samoan Luau at the City Auditorium (221 E. Kiowa St.) on August 9 Expand your cultural horizons while feasting on a traditional Samoan feast (including roasted pig) and enjoy live entertainment and traditional costumed dances. Admission is probably around $15 per person. MBP

28. Sidewalk chalk is for sissies. For true artistic endeavors with some staying power, turn your sidewalk into an avant-garde masterpiece of expressionism by using crayons. Carefully arrange them and then watch them melt as the sun climbs higher in the sky, crisping your lawn and sucking all the moisture from the air. Now this is art. MBP

29. Toast your buns. What's more fun than s'mores? Toasting your buns! All the trendy restaurants, cafes and ice-cream shops around town can't wait for summer to come along, so they can increase their dining area and put chairs out on the sidewalk. Here's a clue for all the restaurant managers: When it's 95 degrees and sunny, sitting on a metal chair that's been sitting in the sunshine for several hours is like taking a Concorde flight to Dante's seventh circle of hell. The least you could do is put some aloe plants on display for people to treat their second-degree burns after sitting on your stovetop chairs. Better yet, try cushions. MBP

30. Ring of fire. Grab a partner and watch the sunset or better yet sunrise. Lose those winter blahs by getting up early and staying up late. Sunrises are best from higher elevations. Try an early morning hike up Manitou way or higher to view the spectacular pinkish-gold ring-of-fire sunrises over the city. Sunsets are better from lower, farther-away-from-the-mountains locations so head to a front yard, rooftop or park bench, face West and wait. You can't rush a beautiful thing. CSB

31. Underutilize your utilities

Put up a clothesline! Make your clothes smell like fresh mountain breeze the dryer sheets always claim.

Shower in pairs! I'll wash your back, you wash mine. While I'm soaping, you rinse. While I'm rinsing, you shave. You get the point.

Eat in the dark! Leave the lights off, burn a candle and dig into that fried chicken and coleslaw. Overhead lights heat up the room anyway. Well, that's what my mom always said.

Stop being gassy! Extinguish the pilot light and turn off the gas to your gas heaters. Call Colorado Springs Utilities at 448-4800 if you don't know how. CSB

32. Eat fresh! Every week you can support local agriculture and get seven days worth of fresh, locally (or regionally) grown fruits and veggies in one quick stop -- not to mention bread, honey, meat and other goodies at Colorado Springs' many farmers' markets. Old Colorado City's market at 24th Street and West Colorado Avenue opens June 7 and goes through October 18 on Saturdays. Doherty High School's market at 4515 Barnes Rd. starts June 28 and goes through September 27 on Saturdays. And this year there are two markets at Memorial Park (E. Pikes Peak and Union) on Mondays and Thursdays, from June 30 till October 2. Hours for all markets are 7 a.m. to 1 or 1:30 p.m. Yum. We're sad that the downtown market is no more, but we plan to make plenty of noise about it. CSB

33. Be an exhibitionist! Show off your bikini collection at the Monument Valley Pool. Summer is for baring it all -- or almost all -- in public places. Don that itsy, bitsy, teeny, weenie, yellow polka-dot bikini and head for the water. Located at 220 Mesa Road, down in the park, Monument Valley Pool's summer open swim times are 11:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. Sundays. Adult admission is $5.25, 17 and under $3.75 and kids 23 months and under are free. CSB

34. Be a sicko. Just once, on that really nice morning when you can't possibly stand to be under fluorescent lights, in front of a computer screen, under artificially cold, loud vents, smiling at the counter to those who get to be outside -- call your boss with that tired, scratchy voice, a bout of hideous food poisoning from undercooked chicken or a migraine so bad you can't open your eyes -- and say you're sick. Then do whatever the heck you want! CSB

35. Theater Skipping 101. While fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants theater skipping -- that is, the practice of treating the multiplex like an all-you-can-eat buffet -- can be fun, you'll have much better results with a just a dab of prep work. Arrive solo. Avoid peak hours. Unless you really want to prove your stealth, Friday and Saturday nights are a no-go. Duh. Bring: Scooby snacks, carrots, candy bars, porcini mushrooms -- whatever you can fit in your pockets. Costume change: sweater, ball cap, sunglasses -- an extra T-shirt if you're hard-core. The ushers will never suspect you're the same sorry fool who came in at noon. Finally, walk the lobby like your Dad owns it. Ushers can smell fear. JD

36. Cold salad -- represent! The cold salad ain't just for the VFW/Kiwanis Club set no more, dawg. Nuh uh. Bust this, dawg: 1 cup couscous, 2 cups water. Boil, add the couscous, sit covered for 5, fluff with fork.

2 bunches of scallions, chopped fine (Halle Berry fine)

Pint of grape tomatoes, halved

2 branches of broccoli, steamed soft (sauted asparagus if you're feeling like stinking up the bowl with the aftermath)

Fresh basil to taste

1/3 cup of olive oil

1/3 cup balsamic vinegar

Salt and pepper to taste

Mix veggies and dressing with the c-cous, chill 'em like Gilligan all night long, and bust it out come the breaka-breaka dawn. JD

37. Marquee sign switcheroo prank night. Colorado Springs is littered with signage, come-ons for cheap motels, expensive churches, gas stations and restaurants, and plenty with movable letters. The neon can be lovely, the rest just urban Colorado ugly. So instead of playing word game puzzles from a dollar store game book (or The Gazette), why not put your skills to use for public consumption? Consider it victimless vandalism, or ephemeral unsanctioned public poetry. JD

38. Super Soaker drive-by. We all know toy guns further the glorification of militaristic violence, gang warfare and thuggery of all sorts. But have any of these mullahs of political correctness -- the same crowd that spends its free time trying to ban school-sanctioned dodge ball -- ever once experienced the elation of squeezing the trigger of a multi-barreled, electronic powered Water Warrior? Or an EES Turbine Super Soaker? Keep your Hasbro gat near the dashboard and watch your rearview mirror, punk! JD

39. Coolin' in the cooler. The only thing worse than air conditioning is not having it. And the only thing worse than having it is paying for it. If the public library is overrun with chattering Oprah book clubbers and even Starbucks has given you the boot, then consider cooling in the supermarket freezer section. Study every label; compare every price. Bring along a Consumer Reports Grocery Index. And if you're single, there's no shame in strategically spilling the contents of your cart next to that hotty shoppin' for Tater Tots. JD

40. Bubbly baseball. In an age where convenience has edged out necessity as the mother of invention, why shouldn't the seventh-inning stretch be followed by an eighth-inning hot tub soak? Should you be in the rare social position where you can rustle up eight people who you're willing to see without most of their clothes on, then give a ring over to Sky Sox Stadium. For about $21 each (a total of $175), your tubbin' posse will enjoy the game with a complimentary bottle of bubbly, a souvenir Sky Sox T-shirt and a photo. Rubber duckies not included. JD

41. Stalk some birds. Established last year, the Great Pikes Peak Birding Trail is a 250-mile, highway-based trail connecting more than 50 bird-watching hot spots in El Paso, Teller and Park counties. More than 350 species of birds have been spotted at these sites, so bring a field guide to help you identify the ones you see. All the GPPBT information you could ever dream of, including a trail map and brochure, is available online at

www.greatpikespeakbirdingtrail.org. And while you're at it, join the Aiken Audubon Society for year 'round info on all local birding events. TL

42. Be a soccer hooligan. If you want to enjoy Denver's Invesco Field at Mile High but don't feel like forking over the bling for a Broncos game, check out Colorado's professional soccer team, the Colorado Rapids. The Rapids have 12 home matches scheduled between now and October 10, and tickets cost as little as $15. The July 4 home match against the Kansas City Wizards also features "the biggest and best fireworks show in Colorado." Call the Rapids ticket office at 303/299-1599; for complete information, or visit www.coloradorapids.com. TL

43. Hit the beach. It's not quite the real thing, but on a hot summer day a swim at the Pueblo Reservoir is still refreshing. Located in Lake Pueblo State Park, the beach has a water slide, bumper-boats, a shelter and a concession stand. Take your swimsuit, take your kids, and take with you $1 per person to cover the admission fee. You'll also need a state parks pass ($5 per day for each vehicle; $50 for an annual pass). Hours are 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., Wednesday through Sunday, June 4 through Labor Day. Take I-25 to Pueblo, then U.S. 50 west for four miles and follow the signs. TL

44. Sip some homemade beer and throw your panties at Tom Jones. So you're a city slicker who wouldn't be caught dead at the Colorado State Fair, what with all the cowboy-hat-wearing folks and smelly livestock? Would it change your mind if we mention they have homemade beer and microbrew contests? How about a concert lineup that includes Weird Al Yankovic, Pat Benatar and Tom Jones? The fair runs August 16-31 at the state fairgrounds in Pueblo. For detailed info, visit www.coloradosfair.com or call 800/876-4567. TL

45. Howl at the moon. Take a moonlight hike on the Mount Cutler trail in Cheyenne Cañon. The short (1 mile), wide trail is good for nighttime hiking and leads to an overlook 900 feet above the Broadmoor, with a spectacular view of the city lights. Check your almanac for an evening when the moon comes up not too long after dark. Watch it rise over the city and hike back by moonlight to the trailhead. TL

46. Be an easterner for a day. If you're looking for some real peace and quiet, avoid the mountain crowds by taking a road trip east for a change. Head out toward Calhan, Peyton or Ellicott, and enjoy the rolling shortgrass prairie, home to cows, prairie dogs and many bird species. Calhan is also home to the El Paso County Fair, July 19-27, and the Paint Mines Interpretive Park is nearby -- though you need to sign up for a guided tour to see it (check out www.elpasoco.com/parks). TL

47. Learn Punjabi. Or Swedish, Swahili or Kurdish. You've promised yourself to learn a foreign language a million times; now's the time to do it. The Foreign Language Center in Colorado Springs offers individual or group instruction in more than 60 languages, taught by native speakers. For more information, call the center at 636-1713 or visit www.flcinc.com. TL

48. Take a microbrew tour. The downtown area is home to several brew pubs serving fresh, unique, award-winning beers. Exploring by foot, you can start at Judge Baldwin's in the Antlers Hotel at Cascade and Pikes Peak avenues, then head across the street to Phantom Canyon Brewing before stumbling on to Il Vicino's, at 11 S. Tejon. If you bring a designated driver, be sure to have them drive you south to The Warehouse at 25 W. Cimarron, and to the Bristol Brewing Co., 1647 S. Tejon St. TL

48. See the fat lady sing. The Opera Theatre of the Rockies will present Gaetano Donizetti's Daughter of the Regiment, a "zany military romp," on June 13, 14 and 15 at Colorado College's Armstrong Theatre. Tickets range from $15 to $45 and will be on sale at the Pikes Peak Center Box Office or by calling 520-SHOW. TL

49. Go huff mineral water fumes in Manitou, and then try to do that "Dance Dance Revolution" video game at the Penny Arcade. Manitou has seven mineral springs that are sacred to the Ute Indians and are said to have magical healing powers. Maybe if you huff some fumes (or drink) from all of them, you will have enough magic powers to figure out how to do that loonie "Dance Dance Revolution" video game at the Penny Arcade, 930 Manitou Ave. For a map to all the mineral springs, stop off at the Manitou Chamber of Commerce at 354 Manitou Ave. or call 685-5089. NB

50. Be a junkyard dog. Salvage yards often have weird and completely irrelevant things that are totally awesome. Like rockets. Yes, while they haven't found a single weapon of mass destruction in Iraq, you can purchase rusty old rocket shells at Hillside Architectural Salvage, just below lovely Hillside Gardens. They make absolutely stunning lawn ornaments for the militarized-family-residence look so many Hummer lovers are going for these days. Lots of other wonderful non-useful and useful stuff, and fun just to gawk at the post-retail patina of it all. Park at Hillside Gardens, 1006 S. Institute near the Hillside Community Center. Call 520-9463. NB

51. Spend your Mondays at Ross Auction. They have huge fans and lots of whatnot you can often get on the cheap. Plus, the auctioneers' yabbadabbadoo babble will send you into the bliss of a totally Buddho-capitalist trance. Auctions are Mondays at 109 S. Sierra Madre and you can view the booty in advance over the weekend. Call 632-6693. NB

52. Hang out down by the train tracks. While away the afternoon underneath the Colorado Avenue bridge downtown watching the trains go by, enjoying the future site of The DADA district. It's the most visually interesting place in town, and you can check out Phototroph and the Bridge Gallery while you're down there. 40 oz. optional. NB

53. Cool off at the museums. Whether you head to the Fine Arts Center, the Gallery of Contemporary Art at UCCS, the Business of Art Center in Manitou, the Sangre de Cristo Arts Center in Pueblo or the Pioneers Museum downtown, you might as well keep your culture cool. Check the listings section in the back of the Indy for times, prices, locations and current shows. NB

54. Go visit the Big Cats of Serenity Springs. And bring a cash donation. This isn't a zoo, but you'll find a lot of sweet old circus cats and zoo castoffs at this refuge out on the plains that's hurting for dollars currently. Make a reservation for a tour, offer whatever you can afford and pretend you're on a nature safari in Calhan. Call 719/347-9200 or email

bigcatresq@aol.com for reservations and directions. NB

55. Wear your hat to church. If you like your gospel with bluegrass or just have to wear your cowboy hat in church and just can't seem to get that manure smell off your boots, you'll feel right at home at cowboy church. The Cowboy Church of Peyton (15504 Bradshaw Road, Peyton) offers a Saturday night bluegrass gospel service at 7 p.m., and the Colorado Springs Cowboy Church (6675 Cowpoke Road, 522-0220) offers Sunday night services at 5:59 p.m. for those of you who rodeo all day on Sundays. Call for directions. NB

56. Be melodramatic. "You must pay the rent!" "I can't pay the rent!" Do right, Dudley, and enjoy some post-Cog entertainment while you eat dinner at the base of Pikes Peak at 444 Ruxton Ave. The Iron Springs Chateau Melodrama Dinner Theater is celebrating their 42nd year in business this summer, and offers a nightly production of Montana Serenade, featuring the villain Black Jack Bart, heroine Shy Sue Sweetbread, hero Traveling Tim the salesman, and comic reliever Cactus Pete. Open Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays beginning at 6 p.m. $23.50 with dinner, $12.50 without. Reservations required. Call 685-5104 or 685-5572 NB

57. See how the other half lives. Dress up nice and spend the day looking at really expensive real estate. Being ultra-rich really is better than being ultra poor. So put on your dandy pants and find out why. NB

58. Go wading in Monument Creek. In the heat of summer, as the creek slows to a trickle, the water's nice and warm and the sandbars are, well, kinda like beaches. Be sure to wear your waders! NB

59. Kick it at the newly reopened Carnegie wing of the downtown library. Built in 1905, the Carnegie wing is the kind of beautiful architecture that, frankly, will never be built again. Not only does it house the special collection of the Pikes Peak Library District, but the reading room on the south side has fantastically comfortable chairs and one of the best views in the city to read Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, the All Pikes Peak Reads selection for 2003. Located at 20 N. Cascade Ave. (at Kiowa, adjacent to the Penrose Public Library). Mon. Thurs. 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Fri. Sat. 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sun. 1 - 5 p.m. NB

60. Get thee to Juniper Valley Ranch and eat thee too much chicken. I don't care what anyone says, this is the best family-style meal anywhere, hands down! From the appetizers (your choice of curry consomm or cherry cider, both served with two very quaint cheese nips) to the okra, riced potatoes, homemade biscuits with apple jelly, and your choice of fried chicken or ham, you'll be lickin' your fingers through every course. Located on Highway 115 South about halfway to Cañon City. Call 576-0741 for reservations (at least a week in advance recommended) and directions. NB

61. Learn to drive a Zamboni. This has got to be one of the most amazing summer diversions ever. Mark "Pa" Sertich Memorial Ice Arena will be offering the opportunity to actually learn how to drive their Zamboni to 12 lucky people who register by June 27. Call 385-5983. Pick up your lottery registration form at Sertich Ice Center, 1705 E. Pikes Peak, in Memorial Park and keep your fingers crossed, hoping you get picked. If picked, it'll cost you a mere $100. NB

62. Play wiffle golf at your local park. One shouldn't play non-links golf with real golf balls, but it's really hard to hurt people with a wiffle golf ball, and divets are nothing compared to the damage grass does to our collective "lifestyles." And by gum, it's the only golf a poor man with no health insurance can afford these days. It's just like Frisbee golf: You make your own course as you go along (saplings make handy targets), setting the pars at whatever you feel like. Also known as "Extreme Golf" when played in the wilderness and when the balls are rocks. 40 oz. optional. NB

63. Wear silk underwear. Girls, it's summer. Guys: forget about the boxers and wear your girlfriend's panties -- it'll prevent the always-inconvenient rub-a-chub factor (you know what I'm talkin' 'bout). NB

64. Roll down Manitou Avenue in your drop-top checkin' the neon motel signs and cruise for chainsaw sculpture, bro. Even the thickest meatheads can appreciate the artistic beauty of a gorgeous neon sign from the '50s. Manitou's got a treasure trove of them up and down the avenue, and you're sure to see some of the finest chainsaw sculptures in the warm and fuzzy glow of that drive-in motel light. NB

65. Dude, SHUFFLEBOARD! I can't even tell you how happy the senior citizens and lazy sportsmen like me are that the shuffleboard courts have reopened. While it seemed that the cops had permanently taken over the courts in Acacia Park (on Platte between Tejon and Nevada) with Fort Acacia, they are once again open to the public at only 25 cents per game! So get on your seersucker suit and head for the park. Baby, shuffleboard is in effect for the summer of deuce-double-aught-three! Courts are open from June 2 through Aug. 29, Mon. Fri. from 10 am to 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. NB

66. Listen to an eclectic, yet incredibly talented array of local bands. There's bound to be, like, 15 music festivals at downtown's Acacia Park this summer. Play "Spot-the-mohawk," "Spot-the-peyote-enthusiast," "Spot-the-former-freelance-writer-for-the-Indy," "Spot-the-undercover-cop." Head down there any given Saturday afternoon for a good chance of catching something or other, be it hemp fest or Christian love fest or ... hemp fest. Sigh. BA

67. Greet the beat on the streets. Get down with the sound of the underground. Say what? Local not-a-hair-rock-club-anymore Paradise City (2454 Montebello Square Drive) has been hosting a weekly hip-hop night, complete with freestyle MC battles. And, er, booty-shaking contests. Go for the freestyle battle. It's like 8 Mile. I swear. Call 532-0560. BA

68. Indulge your worst instincts. Go to the mall. Watch hotties of dubious age get menaced by angst-filled high school sophomores in Tool shirts! Pay $6 for orange-tainted yogurt shakes! We have two serious malls in town: Chapel Hills (just south of Academy and I-25) and the Citadel (Academy and Platte). You're pretty much getting the same experience at either mall ... but one has a Mediterranean Caf (Citadel) and the other a theater (Chapel Hills). Oh well, at least they both have that hyper-capitalist ambience you crave. BA

69. Screw the beer tour. Take the "Feastin' on Fantastical Fauna" tour of the Springs. I'd recommend starting with lamb at any one of our local Greek restaurants, and gradually making it to the New South Wales restaurant where they've got kangaroo, crocodile and ostrich. Sencha's Brent Beavers has been known to cook, well, beaver, as well as elk, pheasant and various other game, and you might rassle up something really weird at one of his monthly literary dinners. Craftwood Inn up in Manitou serves all manner of wild game on the world's most beautiful balcony. The world is your oyster. Why not serve it poached in a buffalo blood reduction over sesame-encrusted python polenta? BA

70. Get sweaty salsa dancing. Best done in summer because you get to wear less clothes and the music is hot! For lessons and info. on where to salsa in town, call Hector Diaz, instructor extraordinaire, 575-0220. The oldest, continuous salsa scene in town is still King's Palace, 2815 E. Platte Ave., 473-7410, and the crowd there can lead you to other venues. KE

71. Get Goosebumps. A mission for you: We want you to read 100 books this summer, and Goosebumps are probably the only way to accomplish the task. R.L. Stine is a veritable Irving Berlin of cheap-jump preteen horror novellas. Or, just be really pretentious, and don't read anything that isn't Russian. BA

72. Distress your damsel. I dare thee: Get married at the Renaissance Festival. As per the usual, it's going on in Larkspur, Saturdays and Sundays, 10 a.m. 6:30 p.m., June 14 through August 3. We're not really sure if you can get married at the Ren Fest, but if there's any good left in the world, you should be able to arrange it. Give it a try at 303/688-6010, or

www.coloradorenaissance.com. BA

73. Give a shout out. There's nothing like a porch, a kiddie pool, binoculars, and a couple of sixers to really get to know your neighborhood in an honest way. There's nothing like a megaphone to make sure the neighborhood gets to know you the same. BA

74. Befriend a bug at the May Natural History Museum, also affectionately known as the Bug Museum. This museum houses a huge and impressive collection of giant tropical insects and related creatures: bats, butterflies, spiders and other intriguing invertebrates from all over the globe. Located about eight miles south of Colorado Springs off of Highway 115, simply turn at the monster truck-sized beetle (visible from all directions) and follow Rock Creek Canyon Road all the way back. Call 576-0450. SB

75. Get out of your car! This isn't a stick up, but you should get out and ride your bike during Bike Week 2003 from June 21-28. Lots of other events going on for the bicycle enthusiast. For more info go to www.springsgov.com and look under RideFinders. NB

76. Spend some quality time with your sister city. During the first week of July, artists from Nuevo Casas Grandes, our sister city in Mexico, will be in Colorado Springs to help paint a gorgeous mural celebrating the sister city relationship. Springs artists have already painted a mural there. Location of the local version is to be determined, but you can call Jose Barrera at 328-9620 for all the details. NB

77. Kill your lawn. If you've still got kids who need a place to kick a soccer ball, kill part of it. Plant drought tolerant flowers, shrubs and herbs and learn to xeriscape. You'll be amazed at the variety of plant life that can thrive with very little water. For more information check out the online Xeriscape Garden at www.csu.org. KE

78. No smoking around the pool. Aim Ahead Billiards is the only pool hall in town to have a smoke- and alcohol-free environment. Give the that cue a poke without the smoke at 422 S. 8th St. across from Hobby Lobby from 2 p.m. to 2 a.m. Mon.-Sat. and noon to midnight on Sundays. Call 634-POOL. NB

79. Get out the blender. No disrespect to Jamba Juice, but there's just no need to spend $5 on blended fruit. Smoothies are the summertime soup that eats (or drinks) like a meal. Put two frozen bananas, some peanut butter, rice dream and chocolate syrup in a blender and boo-ya! You're not goin' hungry. As the season progresses, the fruit gets better -- cherries, strawberries, peaches, canteloupe. Rev it up and don't be shy with the ingredients. JD

80. Momma, sing those blues. Or, if you can't carry a tune in a bucket, sit down, shut up and just enjoy the blues. Once again, our fair city will host free blues concerts in Antlers Park, every Thursday at noon from the first Thursday in June through the last Thursday in July. MBP

81. Roof party. The western architectural ethos of build out, not up is part and parcel of the plague of urban sprawl. Hence, the problem of securing a par-tayable roof. But it's worth the trouble for the following reasons: a) Having your roof littered with plastic cups, cigarette butts, squashed Doritos, and a passed-out drunk is a lot less upsetting than the same scene inside your living room; b) Throwing things off the roof: paper airplanes, witty repartee with dog-walking neighbors; c) The slight hint of danger -- what if your "work" friends don't mix with your "real" friends? It could get ugly; d) The view. (duh.). JD

82. Pedicure: cultural imperative of an aesthetically civil society. The body beautiful? Bullcrap. Feet are ugly. While some merit more winces than others, few are anything to behold. This is not the sort of literary obsession -- dare I say fetish -- wherein the writer seeks out the object of his disgust because, deep down, he's secretly titillated. Nope. Feet are being flung up into plain sight at all times. They cross our line of sight when we're merely minding our bidness walking down the street. Therefore, if you choose to go shoeless, show some mercy. Shave the toes, burn the boils and paint the nails. JD

83. Porch movie nights. It's no secret that porch culture is on the wane. Do any of the baronial-titled condo complexes offer the possibility of chillin' on a front porch where an actual neighbor might stop by for a drink, community gossip or to kvetch about the price of tofu? But why bifurcate the indoor world of home entertainment and the outside world of making snarky comments about your neighbor's lawn ornaments. Extension cords were made for a reason! On a calm summer night cart the TV outside and watch a movie, or the news, or the infuriating false inquisitiveness of Charlie Rose. While the moths will come first, neighbors and friends will eventually follow. If only, perhaps, to see if you have cable and ask how much you pay. JD

84. Party with real cowboys. Little Britches and Pikes Peak or Bust are old hat. Here comes the new kid on the block, Ride for the Brand Rodeo, July 5 at 6:30 p.m. at the Penrose Equestrian Center, a Working Ranch Cowboys Association event with famed cowboy poet Waddie Mitchell announcing and keeping pedestrians entertained while real working cowboys saddle-up. More than 80 cowpokes from 14 historic ranches and 7 states will compete in wild cow milking, team branding, team doctoring, ranch bronc riding and wild horse races. A free cowboy dance follows with live music. Call Ticketmaster or the Pikes Peak Center box office (520-SHOW) for tickets ($12.50, kids 6 and under free). KE

85. Lunch on the balcony. Starting June 2, enjoy the best tree-lined Pikes Peak view in town from the balcony of the Fine Arts Center, while sinking your teeth into Chef Anne Armour's deviled eggs, finger sandwiches, salmon mousse and elegant crab quiche. Wine and beer are offered and dessert is a must. A summertime only treat, the balcony is open through Aug. 29, 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., Mon-Fri. Reservations preferred; 634-5581, X301. Members get a 10% discount, so go ahead and join up and treat yourself to lunch once a week. KE

86. Climb a 13,000-footer. The 14-ers are too trampled and need a rest. KE

87. Wander and lust. Walk the north-south avenues of the old North End and gawk at gorgeous architectural features, fair gardens, wide front porches and get a glimpse of how the other half lived during Colorado Springs' halcyon days. KE

88. Take a nap while the new right wing City Council is in "action." Bonus: City Hall chambers are air-conditioned. Don't forget your ID card or they won't let you in. KE.

89. Eat a donut on Pikes Peak. You've got to do it once in your life. The drive is way too scary and overheats your car, so splurge and go up on the Cog Railway. Call 685-5401 for reservations and directions. KE

90. Pretend you're a guest. Dress up, drive up and take advantage of valet parking. Then take the stairs up and sip a mint julep, meticulously prepared, on the veranda of the Broadmoor Terrace Lounge. Someone will, no doubt, be tickling the ivories of the grand piano and you'll forget your troubles as the lights of Cheyenne Mountain wink overhead. KE

91. Tiptoe through the Indian paintbrush. Learn to identify the wildflowers of the region. Locally, the Stratton Open Space and the Santa Fe Regional Trail are good places to start. The Nature Conservancy's Aiken Canyon Trail also hosts an abundance of wild plant species and has good information available in the visitors center. A wildflower guidebook, available in any local bookstore, is an invaluable investment. KE

92. Visit a Colorado vineyard and winery. Manitou's Wine Festival, scheduled for June 7, will host a number of Colorado wineries with info on how to visit, tastings, etc. Locally, out on Janitell Road (exit 138 off I-25), visit Pikes Peak Vineyard and be sure to try dinner at Nicky's at the Vineyard, a lovely shaded cottage at the end of the road where you can enjoy gourmet meals, fondue and wines. Call 538-6098 for reservations.

93. Be a garden thief. Steal ideas from the Demonstration Garden in Monument Valley Park, beautifully kept and designed by the masters of the Horticultural Arts Society. That's why they call it a demonstration garden. KE

94. Go fly a kite. The Great Divide Kite Flight should float your, er, boat. Plus they've got camel rides and a sock hop. Huh? Bring a kite or buy one at the Hayden Divide Community Park and Pikes Peak Community Club at 10 Buffalo Court in Divide on Sat., June 7 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Call 719/686-8871 for more. NB

95. Soak in the springs at Mt. Princeton while your kids raft down the Arkansas with a trained guide. Drop the kids off in the early a.m. at any of the rafting outfitters that line the river -- you'll be asked to sign a waiver of liability. Then soak at Mt. Princeton, laze half the day away and dry off in time to pick them up downstream in Salida. A late afternoon soak in Salida's public hot springs will cap off the day perfectly. KE

96. Get outta here. Drive from La Veta to Trinidad on the historic Highway of Legends, past the Cuchara resort area to the top of the pass where alpine lakes with '30s-era fishing camps wait frozen in time. Take I-25 to Walsenburg, then follow the signs to La Veta. KE

97. Get in line for Harry Potter V. Reserve your copy now, then join the Pajama Party at The Chinook Bookshop on Friday, June 20, 11:30 p.m. Books arrive at midnight. Call 635-1195 for more.

98. Walk in the past. Just up the road on Hwy. 24 West, Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument hosts seminars exploring the natural and cultural history of the area. Teachers can earn graduate credits; classes are $35, college credit extra. Call 719/748-3253 for registration (required). Some of this summer's topics are paleontology and geologic history of Florissant, mammal tracking, geologic wonders of South Park, and understanding Indian uses of tools. KE

99. Think land of the giants. Pumpkin-thon, a perennial Silver Key fundraiser starts with a pumpkin vine in your own backyard and culminates in a weigh off for the biggest orange orb in the fall. Former champion growers save seeds each year and offer growing hints. Call 632-1521, X105 for seeds and more info. KE

100. Be water smart. Colorado Water Protection Project offers a booklet of tips on everything from landscaping to how to detect a leak in your toilet. Did you know that longer grass shades roots and requires less water? Raise your lawnmower to its highest level to save water. Call 888/861-9969, email:

cwpp2@aol.com, visit www.ourwater.org. KE

101. Pick beans at Country Roots Farm. Those lucky enough to belong to this organic Pueblo farm's Community Supported Agriculture program get fresh veggies delivered to the Springs all summer long. Others are invited to drive down to the Pueblo mesa and shop on weekends at the farm stand, and later in the summer, to pick beans planted especially for visitors. Stay until dusk and take in a movie at the drive-in theater on the mesa, one of the last operating in the near region. Farmer Ryan Morris will be happy to give you directions. For a map to the farm, visit www.rokket.com/CRF/crfmap.htm. KE

Readers also liked…

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Latest in Cover Story

Popular Events

  • Ugly Christmas Sweater Party and Food Drive with Grass It Up @ Front Range Barbeque

    • Wed., Dec. 14, 5 p.m. Free
  • Ugly Christmas Sweater Office Party (Get Involved)

    • Thu., Dec. 15, 6-9 p.m.
  • Ascending to Health with CSYP Networking with Whiskey @ Ivywild School

    • Wed., Dec. 14, 6-8 p.m.
  • Nutcracker Swing @ Ormao Dance Company

    • Fri., Dec. 16, 6 & 7 p.m.
  • 80's Ski Party & Lip Sync Battle @ The Ute and the Yeti

    • Sat., Dec. 31, 8 p.m.

Recent Comments

All content © Copyright 2016, The Colorado Springs Independent   |   Website powered by Foundation