Favorite

Get out your favorite red pen and start a-circling. We'll have your calendar booked in no time. (Writers' initials correspond to: Noel Black, Cara DeGette, Kathryn Eastburn, Nancy Harley, John Hazlehurst, Andrea Lucard, MB Partlow, Tess Powers, Kristen Sherwood, Carrie Simison and Sunnie Sacks.)

1. Justify owning a chain-mail jerkin. For two months every summer, the Colorado Renaissance Festival occupies the town of Larkspur with randy wenches and lascivious lords, meaded-up and looking to joust. It's probably the only place around where you can be spit on by a man named Puke, see a rat eat through the stomach of a treasonist, learn and practice several examples of Middle English dialects, and go home stuffed with greasy turkey legs all in one day. Weekends only, June 8-July 28. 303/688-6010. KS

2. Hit the beach. Since oceanfront property in Colorado is a far-fetched dream -- at least until the seas rise a few more thousand feet -- it's best to find watery alternatives. My favorite is the Cheyenne Lake at the Broadmoor. Just grab a book and your most fashionable flip-flops and you're on your way to an afternoon packed with sea-faring delusions.

TP

3. Do some dirty dancing. Mud slingin' and dancing don't seem an obvious match at first glance -- unless you've been to the Clayfest and Mud Ball at Soda Springs Park in Manitou Springs. June 29 will be replete with pottery competitions (serious and absurd), exhibits and a clay-play area for kids during this street party in celebration of clay. The Clayfest is free, admission to the Mud Ball (immediately following, no time to clean up) is usually around $2. The fun starts at 10 a.m. Call 685-1861 for more.

MBP

4. Take a peek over the garden wall. The Garden Conservancy, the only national not-for-profit organization dedicated to the preservation of gardens, organizes Open Days each summer in private gardens across America. Here's your chance to wander some of those fine old gardens whose walls you've driven past, wondering what lay inside. On June 22, a $20 donation to the Garden Conservancy will get you into five local gardens. All are located in the Broadmoor area. Call 888/842-2442 for more information.

KCE

5. Spank your inner spirit monkey. Plagued by ghosts? Possessed by Satan? Bad connection on the channeling party line? Swing by the Woodland Park Holistic & Metaphysical Fair at the Ute Pass Cultural Center, June 8-9. It's quite possibly the best place to find out if you really should believe what the voices in your head are telling you. 634-6552.

KS

6. Get high on doughnuts. You've sweated a brisk hike up to the top of North America's easternmost fourteener. The clouds part; exalted, you summit. Your reward? The world's most divine doughnut, provided by Aramark Food Services in a top-of-the-mountain souvenir shop. Can't be bothered by the exercise? You can always just drive (385-7325) or take the train (see below).

CD

7. Be a cog in the wheels of life. Get all Zen, dude. Hop on the cog. Be at peace with the mountain. Be one with the train. Be 30 minutes early or they'll sell your ticket to someone else. Call 685-5401 to get the exact schedule, but generally the 9:20 a.m. and 1:20 p.m. trips run daily. Budget $26 for adults, $14 for kids, plus three hours and 10 minutes for the trip, including your 30- to 40-minute doughnut run at the top.

MBP

8. Eat a peach. Palisade has nothing if not peaches -- big, juicy, slurpalicious mothas so fabulous that they have their own festival on Aug.17, complete with parades, music, queens and dances of Roman proportions. Visit www.palisadepeachfest.com.

KS

9. Buff it. Hike a few miles into the wilderness, strip off your gear and dance naked in the sunlight or ... go to any of a dozen clothing-optional venues (hot springs and the like) and lie around with folks who are unembarrassed by naked bodies (even your own flabby butt).

JH

10. Beat the heat into bloody submission. If it's true that spicy foods make you feel cooler, then swing by Taste of India for some internal air conditioning. If you think you can't get food hot enough, ask your server to prepare your meal "Indian hot." Grown men have wept and fled the table halfway through four-star Lamb Vindaloo. It's mind-boggling, an excruciating walk on the pleasure/pain border. Yum. (4820 Flintridge Drive, 598-3428.)

MBP

11. Do it al fresco. Eat and drink, that is. Downtown restaurants crowd every available square inch of sidewalk space with tables come summer, and by evening the temperature is usually just about perfect for an outdoor meal. Or venture west. Dinner on the outdoor terrace of the Craftwood Inn is an incomparable experience. Or for lunch, lift your pinkie and take in the ambience of white wicker furniture and a view of ... well, the arcade and the defunct spa, from the grand wooden porch of Manitou's Cliff House. Glance up to your right to see Pikes Peak and Manitou's glorious summer green hillsides

KCE

12. Jazz up your patriotic celebrations. The first annual Colorado Springs Jazz Festival on the Fourth of July will feature: Brenda Miles, John Flores/Dave Innis Project and Johnny & The Jukes of Colorado Springs; the Upper Room out of Salt Lake City; DKO, a 10-piece funk/salsa/jazz band; Suzanne Morales, a 10-piece salsa/jazz band out of Denver; and headliner Miguel Romero, a Cuban jazz funk musician from Atlanta, Ga. And it's all free -- even the parking. The fun starts at noon at the Air Force Academy -- and ends with a 20-minute fireworks display around 9:30 p.m. Visit

www.coloradospringsjazzfestival.com for more.

KS

13. Get in shape while monitoring the cops. If policing the cops sounds like just the kind of Big Brother power inversion scenario that might get you off -- and get you off your butt -- think about forming your own Cop Watch. With little more than a bicycle and a camcorder, you can spend the balmy summer evenings chasing sirens and monitoring cops to ensure they are not harassing fellow citizens while serving the public. It's your right, and you'll get that much-needed cardio-pulmonary workout you're too lazy to do otherwise. Doughnuts not included.

NB

14. Admire your farmer's tan. Forget the indoors, the too-cold freezer aisle, the sterile linoleum and the wafting Muzak. This summer, Support Colorado farmers and do the bulk of your grocery shopping at the local farmers market. There's one practically every day of the week, in a variety of locations around town, and the selection of fruits, veggies, specialty meats, hand-crafted cheeses, cut flowers, bedding plants and fresh herbs is breathtaking. Here's the scoop: Farmers markets will be held in Bancroft Park, Old Colorado City, on Saturdays beginning June 22; at Doherty High School on Saturdays starting June 29; on Mondays, downtown in the 200 block of South Tejon St., in front of the Pioneers Museum, starting July 1; and on Thursdays at Memorial Park, starting July 11. The downtown location is new, moved from Acacia Park. Ample parking is available in the city parking garages, at the Plaza of the Rockies parking garage and on Vermijo Street.

KCE

15. Make out at the movies. The folks on the St. Charles Mesa in Pueblo are still upholding one of summer's finest traditions -- outdoor movies with crackly speakers, sweaty windows and the one you love snuggled up close at the Mesa Drive-In movie theater, 2620 Santa Fe Drive (that's Highway 50 E. business route from I-25), Pueblo. To find out what's playing, call 719/542-3345.

KCE

16. Get in touch with your inner Rambo. C'mon, admit it. You're a peaceful, liberal person who's never even touched a real weapon. Why don't you just sneak out to Dragon Arms (1200 Dragonman Drive, 683-2200) and sign up for a session on the range with a genuine assault weapon? We know -- they're evil, they're anti-social -- and, in the right environment, a lot of fun. So learn gun safety (call the Sheriff's Office at 390-5555 for a course recommendation), and then go ahead: Pop off a few caps at a stationary target. Just don't try it at home ...

JH

17. Keep up with The Joneses. How in the world can they afford that? Where would they be going at this time of night? What's the wife's name again? ... Get all your burning questions answered while making the ol' hood a friendlier place to hang your hat by hosting a block party for all your neighbors. Who knows? You just might like 'em.

TP

18. Stop, already. You've driven past it hundreds of times on your way to Walsenburg, but you've never stopped, have you? You didn't know those monolithic walls of color escorting the Arkansas River through the concrete trenches of Pueblo, according to the Guinness Book of World Records, constitute the longest mural in the world, did you? Spend the morning walking its painted banks, then head downtown, take a boat ride at the Riverwalk (see below), and then mosey over to the Sangre de Cristo Arts Center and see the Steel City exhibit that will be up all summer (see Livelong Days on page 24 for more).

NB

19. Don't just sit there. Pedal dammit! Rent a pedal boat along the Pueblo Riverwalk. Five bucks and a bit of legwork will get you the best seat in the house for the second annual Boat, Blues and BBQ on the Pueblo Riverwalk on June 15. Call 719/595-0242 for more info.

AL

20. Honor the sisterhood. Fujiyoshida Chor Shirakaba, a ladies chorale group hailing from the Springs' sister city in Japan, performs in Colorado College's Packard Hall on the 40th anniversary of the sister-city relationship, July 13. A variety of Japanese songs will be shared, starting at 4 p.m.

TP

21. Swing both ways -- to Country and Western. Michael Martin Murphey's WestFest set for the last weekend of June will include the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Chely Wright, John Hiatt, Red Steagall, Eddie Three Eagles, Riders in the Sky, Hot Club of Cowtown, Pin Monkey, RW Hampton, Cowboy Nation, Joni Harms, Joanne Shenandoah and Brenn Hill. Also features a rodeo this year. 877/937-8337 or visit www.westfest.net.

KS

22. See the forest for the trees. Black Forest Day has four main parts: a pancake breakfast served by Boy Scouts, the passing on of the key to the forest, the parade, and the best part -- the fair. Count on small-town quaintness and a chance at dunking a city official. August 17. www.blackforest-co.com/bfcc. Call 495-3217.

KS

23. Watch people smash things. Smashing things is fun and cathartic. Watching others smash and smash and smash into each other can be equally entertaining and potentially cathartic in a vicarious kind of way. Head to the First Annual Pikes Peak or Crush Demolition Derby on Saturday, June 1, at 7 p.m. at Penrose Stadium to see the way anger management classes should be! $17 tickets available at King Soopers. 719/583-0844.

NB

24. Win fabulous prizes. Are you tired of "bread"? Been staying awake all night dreaming of "toast"? Well, you could "buy a toaster." But why buy when you could win a toaster while playing Skee-Ball. Yes, that shiny chrome four-slot toaster will only cost you 2,175 tickets at the Manitou Arcade, 930 Manitou Ave. And if you figure that you'll earn an average of three tickets per 25-cent Skee-Ball game, it should only take you 725 games to win your prize -- at a cost of roughly $180. During the summer, the arcade is open daily from 10 a.m. to at least 10 p.m. 685-9815.

NB

25. Drink yourself silly. Quench your thirst and pay homage to the healing powers of the Manitou mineral springs, just as Indian tribes and health seekers have for centuries. SpringAbouts, three-hour guided fitness tours, are offered every Tuesday from May to September. Meet at 9 a.m. at the Town Clock. 685-5089.

CS

26. Celebrate an anniversary on a blasted heath. Although it's not a significant year for King Lear (the play's 400th anniversary isn't until 2019), it is for UCCS's TheatreWorks. The theater troupe celebrates its 20th season with its first-ever production of King Lear. Count on director Murray Ross to interpret Shakespeare's most profound work in an unusual way. The performances, Tuesday through Sunday, July 5-21, at 7:30 p.m., will be outside under a tent, and tickets will be given away free, on a first-come, first-served basis, 15 minutes before the show. But if you want a guaranteed seat ($16-$18), call 262-3232.

NH

27. Enjoy panty-free Sundays. As if the sermon weren't unbearable enough, you've got a sweaty pew between you and a great nap. Take those tighties off, feel the cool breeze and start nodding! (PS: Don't be afraid to try this at work.)

NB

28. Build your own Tesla generator. With Tampa, Fla. a close strike behind, Colorado Springs records more lightning hits than any city in the country. To honor former Colorado Springsian Nicola Tesla, inventor of wireless telegraphy, you too can make sparks fly. Or just sit -- far back -- on the porch, and watch Nature as she belts us with fireworks.

CD

29. Discover the secret of everything. Speaking of Tesla, check out the antics of Colorado Springs' latest notorious kook, Mike McKee, who plundered the scientist's good name for his bizarre Web site, www.teslamuseum.com. In addition to the secret to everything (including appliance repair and mandolin playing) offered at $38 a pop, McKee reveals "the truth" about a growing number of Colorado Springs politicians and media personalities.

CD

30. Red Rocks. Need we say more? See page 50 for a list of summer concerts planned for one of America's most spectacular outdoor music venues, or visit www.redrocksonline.com.

TP

31. Smell the dirt. Visit an organic farm where rows upon rows of veggies grow plump and tasty and chickens rule the roost. Ryan Morris of Pueblo's Country Roots Farm kindly offers tours to anyone interested in walking his place. Call 719/948-2206 or e-mail

organicminds@earthlink.net to set up a time. For more, visit

www.countryrootsfarm.com.

KCE

32. Pick up fresh young things and take them home. Once again, the Pikes Peak Justice and Peace Commission will be the organizer and site for Community Supported Agriculture. Working with Pueblo farmers Country Roots Farm (see above), you can sign up for a full share or half share of a summer's worth of local produce ($285-$385). Pickups will be at the J&P, 29 S. Institute St., on Wednesday afternoons, beginning about the third week in June. Call right away to sign up: 632-6189.

AL

33. Plant a tree. How many trees do we have in Colorado Springs? Dunno, but except for a few cottonwoods, every one was planted by some hopeful citizen. It's your turn -- think of it as your gift to the future.

JH

34. Do some time. Learn all about Colorado's humble little pokey beginnings at the state's first territorial prison. Now a historical museum, the Colorado Territorial Prison Museum (they like to call it a Bed 'n' Breakfast) is in Cañon City, 40 miles southwest of Colorado Springs. 719/269-3015.

CD

35. Scream for your Koalas. Colorado Springs' official, professional women's tackle football team (one of only seven in the nation) kicked off its inaugural season this spring and there are three more home games left: on June 2, 9 and 30. Show up at Harrison High School, 2755 Janitell Road, at 2 p.m. with cash in hand (tickets range from $7 to $12) and your vocal chords ready. 866/297-8935.

TP

36. Benefit from unprotected sex. Back in the good old days when men were men and Cripple Creek wasn't a cesspool of plastic casino buckets, miners there often lost their pack donkeys. These animals banded together and have spent the past century boffing each other in the pines. Now their much loved herd of descendents run wild through town, and their antics are celebrated every June with wine, races and song. June 28-30. Call 689-2169.

KS

37. Swim before drinking. There are only two bars in Salida, and there will be lines to get into both of them when the mountain town becomes infested with river rats during FIBArk -- First In Boating on the Arkansas. The party (of Animal House proportions) lasts three glorious days, June 14-16. 877/772-5432.

KS

38. Put a spring in your step at Springspree, the annual love fest that takes over Tejon Street (and environs) from Boulder to Costilla. There's a bed race, a duck race and a foot race. Hear a wide variety of live music, and eat festival food 'til your face turns green. There are special events for kids, beer tents, more food, climbing walls, wandering religious fanatics and everything else that makes the Springs such an interesting place to live. Saturday, June 15, 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.

MBP

39. Ogle someone else's money. Your cash flow a bit constipated these days? Relief is as close as 818 N. Cascade Avenue, where the American Numismatic Association sits fat and happy. Stroll through the displays celebrating our civilization's obsession with cold, hard cash and wallow in the plentiful-dough vibes. It's prune juice for the skimped-out soul. 632-2646.

TP

40. Plan a rooftop picnic. Summer often invokes an acute nostalgia for lost innocence and bygone romance. Recapture a simpler time by inviting the hottie of your choice for an evening rooftop picnic downtown. Now you know you shouldn't be up there, but that little law-breakin' adrenaline rush is just what a rusty romance needs to get the bacon grease flowin' again. Bring blankets, bring food, bring latex.

NB

41. Plumb the depths of clandestine shuffleboard. Yes, that mysterious gated area at the north end of Acacia Park is home to the city's finest shuffleboard courts. It's a sport as underrated as curling, and as soothing as a wine cooler with a Robitussin chaser. Why not go grab a few nearby loiterers, put together a team, and wile away a day pondering the many metaphors inherent in pushing little hard discs down a beautiful green runway covered in crushed glass.

NB

42. Nap. Get that hammock you've been talking about and just do it.

TP

43. Ponder the useless beauty. Elvis Costello must have been just another awe-inspired Colorado visitor when he penned, "What shall we do ... with all this useless beauty?" If you come up with any answers, forward them to

toomuchtimeonmyhands

@csindy.com.

TP

44. Know your rights. Are cops threatening to kick your door in? Do they want to inspect your car on a whim? The American Civil Liberties Union offers a handy-dandy pocket guide to make sure your constitutional toes don't get stomped on. Good for office, car or home, the guides can be printed in English and Spanish from the ACLU's national Web site at www.aclu.org/library/bustcard.html (lamination is extra).

CD

45. Celebrate perversity. Interpret at will.

46. Go fish urban style. Get out yer pole, trim yer soul patch, and make a beeline for Prospect Lake, Fountain Creek Nature Center ponds, the Monument Valley ponds (or creek if you're really desperate), Quail Lake (by Tinseltown), or an evolutionary puddle near you. And if you think you've really got the gusto (and you're under 14 or look it) why not enter Manitou's Huck Finn Fishing Derby at the pond at Shriver Park (near the swimming pool) on June 15. For more, call 685-5089. P.S. Don't eat the fish.

NB

47. Drop a tear in your beer. The huge blues community in Colorado Springs gets props as they take over the second annual Pikes Peak BluesFest, July 12-14, in Antler's Park. Features national, regional and mostly local blues bands of all genres. The tickets are cheap and the bands are fantastic. www.drtix.net.

KS

48. Play fair at the El Paso County Fair, or they'll toss you and your plastic begonias out on your keister. Whether you're a dab hand at gardening, quilting, painting, baking, recycling or pickling the stuff you purloin from your neighbor's garden, there's a contest for you to enter at the County Fair. Don't forget the 4-H exhibits, carnival rides, games of chance and FAIR FOOD! Drive east to Calhan anytime between July 20 and 28. Call 520-7880.

MBP

49. Or else. The State Fair gets all riled up in Pueblo, Aug. 17 to Sept. 2. Keep your eyes peeled on the Indy for details, visit www.coloradosfair.com, or call 800/444-FAIR.

TP

50. Feed your disco fever. Disco remains just as tasteless, cheesy, fake-sexy as it was back in the '70s. But it's also sheer, unadulterated fun. Lotsa good dance floors in town (Rum Bay, Tequila's, Graham Central Station, to name a few). One recent Friday night saw a bunch of lawyers, journalists, bikers and hair-tossing hotties gyrating to an endless mix of Bee Gees, Abba, Gloria Gaynor and all the other sweet '70s schlockmeisters ...

JH

51. Be cheap, yet hip. Get a taste of Dixieland, ragtime, big band and mainstream jazz with the Pikes Peak Jazz and Swing Society's 18th annual Jazz in the Park Summer Concert Series. More than a dozen concerts featuring local and regional talent are slated for Wednesday evenings, from 6 to 8 p.m., at various area parks. Bring your lawn chair and a picnic. Springs Contemporary Jazz Big Band with trumpeter Chuck Findley starts things off on June 5 at Cottonwood Creek Park. For a complete schedule, see the Jazz & Swing section of Listings, page 44.

SS

52. Be cheap, yet cool. Every Thursday through September, the Acacia Park bandshell plays host to the best in local, regional and national blues acts from 5 to 7 p.m. Watch this here rag for info on who plays when.

KS

53. Be cheap, yet cultured. Though not affiliated with the Little London Cake Co., the Little London Winds sure are delish. They perform on Monday nights throughout the summer in the Arts & Craftsstyle Soda Springs Pavilion in Manitou Springs. The Fountain Creek Brass band plays Thursdays. Call 685-5089.

KS

54. Walk among the dead. Meet a veritable who's who of Colorado Springs notables, including city founder Gen. William Jackson Palmer, gone off to their maker, while strolling down memory lane through Evergreen Cemetery, at 1005 S. Hancock St.

CD

55. Be here, be queer, get over it. Well, the gay old '90s are over. Ellen came out, Showtime has an all-gay show, Rosie flung open the closet door. And, as most of you now know, you don't have to gay to be queer, so get off your laurels and come on down to PrideFest 2002 in Acacia Park to show your support for the gay, lesbian and transgender community of Colorado Springs on August 25. 471-4429.

NB

56. Be an art pest. The FAC is like an iceberg -- 90 percent invisible -- so go to the Fine Arts Center, invent some cockamamie project, and ask president and CEO David Turner to let you do research in the basement. Imagine cavernous basement halls, with shelves and racks full of wonderful art ... for your eyes only.

JH

57. Relive the glory. Long to see Michelle Kwan and Sarah Hughes duke it out on the ice again after that Winter Olympics upset? For a mere $66 per ticket, you can see the two medalists and their international cohorts Evgeni Plushenko, Victor Petrenko and many others kick off the Champions on Ice tour at the World Arena on Saturday, July 6. If that's too expensive for your blood, take in the Broadmoor Open Ice Skating Competition, June 12-16 -- for free. That's right -- free. For ticket info on either, call 576-2626 or 477-2121.

KCE

58. Hoedown. Thirty-three hours, 18 bands, two stages, one river. All bluegrass, all the time. The 13th annual Bluegrass on the River Festival at the Greenway & Nature Center, Pueblo. 719/549-2414. June 1-2.

KS

59. Pull an all-nighter. If the last time you stayed up all night was when you were 16, it's time to do it again. On the night of June 22, join a few hundred other night owls for the Starlight Spectacular (which officially begins in the early morning hours of June 23). Show up at 2 a.m. at the Garden of the Gods Visitor Center with your bike (properly equipped for night ridin' -- call 473-6915 for tips and to register), tour the sleeping city, and have breakfast at dawn. Collapse at 5 p.m., sleep 15 hours and ... Omigod, it's Monday!

JH

60. Pound the pavement. Become a political insider and go to work for a candidate whose views even vaguely mirror your own. To set your sights on a star, call the local Democratic headquarters at 473-8713, the Green Party headquarters at 210-5144, the Libertarian headquarters at 596-6799, or the Republican headquarters at 578-0022.

CD

61. Remember: It's getting better all the time ... Take a walk downtown on a Thursday, Friday or Saturday evening and marvel at the crowds spilling out of restaurants and clubs onto the once-dead sidewalks of Colorado Springs. Barely five or six years ago, this little downtown was dead at night, but things have changed. Enjoy the urban scene on a warm summer night.

KCE

62. Honor Queequeg, the character in Moby Dick -- the greatest achievement of the American imagination. Be cool like Queequeg and get your entire body tattooed! Or chicken out, and just get a discreet little something where the sun don't shine. You'll still be cooler than you are now.

JH

63. Stop worrying about those stinky feet. Just read the testimonials: "After using numerous foot powders and sprays, I found Body Mint to be the only product that gives me the confidence to remove my shoes at friends' homes," says R.K. of Pearl City, Hawaii. A dietary supplement made of a derivative of the chlorophyll found in green plants, Body Mint works from the inside out to neutralize bad breath, stinky feet and all other body odors. And apparently there are no known side effects except for, yuck, dark-green poo. To order, visit www.bodymint.com.

KCE

64. Look to the heavens. The Air Force Academy planetarium hosts free shows Tuesday through Friday during the summer at 1, 2 and 3 p.m. The 40-minute show, "The Explorers of Mauna Kea," is a video program on the observatory located on that Hawaiian mountain, followed by an informative session about the local group trying to put an observatory atop Pikes Peak. First come, first serve, entrance is free. 333-2779.

KCE

65. Sit down and shut up. If you're downtown, or in Old Colorado City, you can grab a rickshaw ride when you just can't walk another step. Dream Cycle LLC operates Sundays and Mondays along Tejon Street, Colorado Avenue, Cascade Avenue and Cache La Poudre Street, and between 24th and 27th streets in OCC. Have some cash to flash, because the rides are $5 for 10 minutes or $2 per block for shorter rides. Sit back and admire your driver's healthy cardiovascular system and muscular calves.

MBP

66. Get outta town. How about Tanzania? Vietnam? Rome? Or Trinidad (Colorado)? Those are just a few of the locations where the Colorado College summer session offers courses in anthropology, Italian, environmental studies and more. Call the summer session office at 389-6655 to find out how to get college credit, maybe financial aid, and a mean suntan all at the same time. Must register by June 10.

AL

67. Kitsch it. The Pikes Peak region is second only to the great state of Tennessee for flashy tourist traps. We've got the North Pole (684-9432), Seven Falls (632-0765), Cave of the Winds (685-5444), the World Figure Skating Hall of Fame and Museum (635-5200), the May Museum of Natural History (a bug museum) (576-0450), the Cliff Dwellings (they are fake) (685-5242), the Pro-Rodeo Hall of Fame (528-4764), and Focus on the Family Visitor's Center (with maps that track the ministry's march toward world domination) (531-3328). So many souvenirs to buy, so little time.

CD

68. Name those tweeters. Go on a birding expedition with the Aiken Audubon Society, the local chapter of the National Audubon Society. A good introduction to the group and to local birding is their tour of the Red-Wing Sanctuary, an Aiken Audubonowned property, on the second Sunday of each month. E-mail aikorns@yahoo.com for more, or visit www.aikenaudubon.org.

KCE

69. Pretend it's your estate. Stroll the acreage of Hillside Gardens, a plant nursery, public garden and salvage yard with a covered amphitheater for weddings, big parties and entertainment events. The view from Hillside is the entire magnificent Front Range. Uninterrupted koi ponds are set among rose gardens and a beautiful grove of locust trees that usually bloom full and white the last week in May or the first week in June. Among owner Larry Ash's summertime events is a bluegrass jamboree planned for the last Sunday in June, open to the public. 1006 S. Institute St, 520-9463.

KCE

70. Choreograph your own rain dance. Whether you're the whirligig sort or of the bump-and-grind variety, offer a little something special to the rain gods this summer. After months of drought, it may be our last, best hope for both fire prevention and garden blooms -- and it just may make you feel good, too.

TP

71. Quit flushing water down your lawn. With an average of just over a foot of annual precipitation, Colorado Springs is technically a high desert, yet more than half of all water in the Springs is used to produce lush lawns of Kentucky Blue Grass and other water-thirsty greenery. It doesn't have to be that way. The Utilities' Xeriscape Demonstration Gardens features colorful, lush-looking plants more suited to our dry climate. Tour their facility at 2855 Mesa Road for ideas or call 668-4555 to sign up for a number of water-wise classes and garden tours (or see below).

TP

72. Bask in the glow of the Balloon Classic. On Labor Day weekend, Memorial Park is overtaken by dozens of colorful, fire-breathing, hot-air balloons. Though the official Balloon-Glo happens on Saturday and Sunday evening (about 8 p.m.), there are activities throughout the weekend to keep your mouth agape. Visit www.balloonclassic.com.

TP

73. Tell Kyle's mom she's a bitch. Or something like that. You didn't think Cartman, Kyle, Stan and Kenny were really in South Park, did you? Get a grip. But you can visit South Park City in Fairplay, which is a restoration of the gold-mining boomtowns of the 1800s. More than 30 authentic buildings have been restored, and they're open 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., Memorial Day through Labor Day, and it's a mere 85 miles west of the Springs on Hwy 24. Admission: $5, free for the young'uns. 719/836-2387.

MBP

74. Ruin your eyes. Or turn on a light, for Pete's sake. Kids up to age 11 can take part in the Pikes Peak Library District's "Paws to Read" summer reading program, and for the 11 to 18 set, there's the XTREME program. Both reward kids for reading books with great prizes, both offer lots of activities to go along with the book reading, and both end with big parties. Stop by your local library branch, or call 531-6333.

MBP

75. Beat the early bird. It's simple: Get up at 5 a.m. and get on your bike (don't forget your helmet, water bottle and one of those tasteless sports nutrition bars). Ride to the Garden of the Gods. Do a double loop through one of the most beautiful places on Earth. Coast down Colorado Avenue, over the bridge, and downtown to any of a dozen coffee shops. Stop, get coffee and a pastry -- relax in the morning sunlight. Throw away sports nutrition bar.

JH

76. Get down to earth. On June 1, the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo hosts International Plant Conservation Day and Earthfest 2002. From 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., "Earth-friendly" events are planned -- pot a native shrub to take home with you, learn how to start an earthworm compost box, sample delicious shade-grown coffee, take a test ride in an Earth-friendly vehicle, and more. 636-9925.

77. Become an opera fan. Summertime is traditionally when opera's in full bloom in the Pikes Peak region. Opera Theatre of the Rockies, lovechild of diva Martile Rowland, presents Leonard Bernstein's Candide from June 13 to 16 at Colorado College's Armstrong Hall. Former Colorado Springs Symphony conductor Chris Wilkins returns for the performance, his only regional engagement this season. Candide kicks off the Colorado College Summer Session Music Festival (check Indy listings for other events throughout June and July). $15 to $35. Call Pikes Peak Center ticket office at 520-SHOW.

KCE

78. Find Fred Flintstone. Or at least find dinosaurs in Cañon City, where the Dinosaur Depot (330 Royal Gorge Blvd.) offers guided tours of the museum and Garden Park Fossil Area. Paleontologists work on-site, since Cañon City is located in Fremont County, touted as the largest Jurassic graveyard in the world. Who knew? Summer hours: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. 719/269-7150.

MBP

79. Pull your weight. Lake George is a far, far better place and only one thing can top its natural beauty -- antique tractor pulls. It's just one feature of the Lake George Extravaganza, July 26-27. 719/748-3331.

KS

80. Send your kid into the great outdoors. It's one of the reasons you moved to Colorado in the first place, but it's not always so easy to find time to take the kids to the mountains. Mountain Park Environmental Center in Beulah (west of Pueblo) holds a series of affordable summer camps for school-age children, including Introduction to Backpacking and flora and fauna identification. Adults can participate in their full-moon hikes and other activities. Check out their full schedule at

www.hikeandlearn.org or call 719/485-4444.

KCE

81. Be picky. Grab some kids and head toward Penrose, because the Happy Apple Farm will welcome you with open arms! You can pick your own or buy already picked apples and berries, plus they have roasted chilis, an Italian deli, jams, jellies, a pumpkin festival in the fall and more. The season will probably start on or about Aug. 3, with blackberries and raspberries expected around Aug. 15. Call 372-6300 before you drive down there to find out what's pickin', or visit www.happyapplefarm.com.

MBP

82. Run yourself ragged. Summer is packed with running races of all distances. In June there's the Garden of the Gods 10-miler and Springspree's Sailing Shoes 5K or 10K. On the Fourth of July, try the four-miler in Palmer Lake (a benefit for schools) or the Grand Prix of Running's Firecracker 5K or 10K. In August, make your own fireworks with the Race for the Cure, a fund-raiser for breast cancer research, and the FlameOut, a five-miler to benefit Colorado Springs' Fire Department. To register for these races and others, check the listings at Runner's Roost on Bijou Street or at the Colorado Running Company on Tejon Street.

NH

83. Get your head in the clouds. The Pikes Peak International Hill Climb -- everyone ought to go once. You get to spend the night on the mountain carousing, and wake up with a hangover. Then you get drunk again and watch an endless succession of racecars, stock cars, trucks and motorcycles buzz dustily up the Pikes Peak Highway. Afterward you get to inch down the mountain as part of the world's highest traffic jam. June 29. 685-4400.

JH

84. Launch your career as a lepidopterist. For its newest exhibit, the Butterfly Experience, the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo has built a special conservatory where you can watch the entire lifespan of their special visitors unfold in front of you. Sit on benches in the middle of a lush garden and become a perch for the beautiful cloud of 250 to 300 butterflies flying free in the conservatory. The Butterfly Experience will be open until Labor Day. Call 633-9925 for more.

KS

85. Pretend you're Michael J. Fox, hopping around the past, mucking up the future. On June 9, from 1 to 4 p.m., step back into the Green Mountain Falls of the late 1800s and early 1900s during Tracks Thru Tyme, a sort of historical re-enactment walking tour. Historically costumed characters will be strolling about, and the Ute Pass Historical Society will be sponsoring activities in the park. Pony up $7 for adults, but kids 12 and under are free. 687-6955.

MBP

86. Bag it. Parks and Rec is sponsoring a Brown Bag Music Series every Tuesday between noon and 1 p.m. in Acacia Park beginning June 4 and ending Aug. 27. Currently, the lineup is ... mysterious. They haven't yet revealed who's playing -- but who cares? Get out of the office and onto the grass and listen to music for a change.

AL

87. Steal ideas from the city. Don't know which flowers to plant in this dry climate with its short growing season? Tour the city's wonderfully well-kept flower beds to identify hearty perennials and annuals that will look good all summer long. Take a camera along, and then take your prints to your local garden center. Choice perennial beds can be found at the corner of Nevada Avenue and East Willamette Street, just north of downtown, or walk the border of Acacia Park.

KCE

88. Grin and bare it. While you're at the park, strip off more than your shoes and run through Uncle Wilber's fountain. After only one full season of operation, Uncle Wilber is the location of choice for the under-10 set. Don't let them have all the fun -- you too can have cool water, hot sun and a tuba serenade on the hour.

AL

89. Chill out on July 10 at the old-fashioned Ice Cream Social in Manitou Springs' Soda Springs Park. You can enter the ice-cream-making contest, or just scarf down ... uh ... discerningly taste everyone else's entries. There's live entertainment, games for the kids ... It's just a real nice, sociable time, starting at 5 p.m. You can call 685-5089 if you need more info.

MBP

90. Breakfast with horses has it all over on Dances with Wolves. You can see for yourself at the annual Sertoma Street Breakfast, held in the middle of downtown Colorado Springs. Volunteers from Fort Carson will be flipping flapjacks, hay-bale seating abounds, and you can count on live Western entertainment. But please, watch where you step; those horses aren't housebroken. The breakfast on July 20 begins at 5:30 a.m. and wraps up at 9:30. For more: 635-3547.

MBP

91. Keep it simple, stupid. The Pikes Peak Justice and Peace Commission offers a nine-week voluntary simplicity discussion course starting June 5. Call 632-6189 to register.

TP

92. Behold the answer blowing in the wind. If all goes according to a recent court order, some of Starr Kempf's monumental kinetic wind sculptures that even Hieronymous Bosch would covet will soon be removed from their current fantasy garden on the Kempf lot in Cheyenne Canyon. Go ogle them in the way Starr meant for you to before the legacy is dispersed. 2057 Pine Grove Road. P.S. Please be respectful of the neighbors.

NB

93. Check out the ruins. In the '50s and '60s, Fort Carson brass and enlisted personnel flocked to an open-air amphitheater in Cheyenne Canyon to listen to live music. It's now gone to ruin, but you can still test the echoes at the site. Park at the Starsmore Discovery Center (578-6146), hike west for a half-mile or so, then cut north across the highway.

CD

94. Go deaf with your dad -- and love every minute of it. Just 15 miles south of Colorado Springs, the Pikes Peak International Raceway will make heads spin on Father's Day weekend with the Radisson 225 Indy Racing League Series race and the USAC Coors Light Silver Bullet Series race. For ticket information, visit

www.ppir.com or call 888/306-7223.

TP

95. Romp and roll. The Colorado Springs All Breed Rescue's Romp in the Park honors National Homeless Animals Day, Aug. 10, with tricks and treats in Antler's Park beginning at 11 a.m. 260-0668.

TP

96. Play the odds. Hey, how 'bout paying a little visit to an historic mining town? Beautifully renovated buildings, a storied past, clear mountain air, and -- did we mention? -- casinos??!! Take an afternoon out of your life to head to Cripple Creek, where, according to The Gambler, a national gaming publication, the quarter slots have better payouts than the Vegas strip.

JH

97. Speak the international language of dance. During the first three weeks of July, Colorado College hosts its first annual International Summer Dance Festival, featuring courses from modern master Rachel Berman, hip-hop king Clyde Evans, ballet guru Martin Freedman and many more. To register, call 389-6098. Drop-in students permitted on a space-available basis for $12 per class.

TP

98. Heighten your sense of place. The Pikes Peak Justice and Peace Commission wants you to "develop an intimate relationship with the place where you live and explore what it means to care for it and protect it." Ten-week course starts on June 25. 632-6189.

TP

99. Love a parade. Everybody else does. The Pikes Peak or Bust Rodeo Parade makes memories on Wednesday, August 7, starting at 10 a.m. The procession rambles down Tejon (from St. Vrain to Colorado), heads west to Cascade and then humps it back north. Geddyup. 635-8803.

TP

100. Walk back in time -- with one of seven guided tours sponsored by the Historic Preservation Alliance. Includes the El Paso Club, Fairview Cemetery, the Lowell School, downtown churches, the Fine Arts Center and more. $5. Free to members. Call 471-3454. The Pioneers Museum also offers a walking brochure of downtown architectural gems; call 385-5990.

TP

101. Think ahead to next summer. Face it. It's almost impossible to have a bad time at a minor-league baseball game. And if you want to have the best time imaginable, get together with a few pals, male and female, and rent the hot tub down the right field line in Sky Sox Stadium. (It's $175 for a party of eight, and that comes with champagne, plus a few other perks.) They're sold out for this summer, but you can get on the waiting list by calling Brien Smith at 591-7699. Cavort, drink, cheer the Sox. It doesn't get any better than this.

JH

  • to fritter away your summer days in the Pikes Peak region

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