Give the gift of art, kids. Truck on over to the Manitou Business of Art Center Main Gallery (513 Manitou Ave. in Manitou Springs) today for their "Artful Gift" Holiday Gallery, featuring a ton of Pikes Peak Region artists in an impressive array of media, including but not limited to photography, stained glass, clay prints, watercolor, jewelry and hand-painted silk. Jolly! The gallery will be open from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. today, and admission is free. Call 685-1861 for more.
It's Christmas, and I give you, Dear Reader, the gift of tortured grammar.
Tonight PBS airs "Speaking to Power," a NOW with Bill Moyers Special Edition. In this 60-minute documentary, Moyers looks at the religious climate after 9-11 -- and specifically at the increased vitriol heaped upon the Muslim community by fundamentalist Christians. As counterpoint to Messrs. Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson and the like, the dynamic Rev. James Forbes Jr. of Riverside Church in New York is preaching understanding between religious groups. Moyers will examine the history of Forbes, who is considered one of the best preachers in the world, and the history of Riverside Church as a beacon for tolerance in a pretty hateful era. Check your local listings for show times.
Relatives still in town for the holidays? Murder them! Tonight, the Hearthstone Inn (506 N. Cascade Ave.) presents "Extra Sensory Poisoning," a dinner replete with tons of mystery, blood and death -- just like Mama used to make. This murder mystery dinner starts at 7:30 p.m., and a wide array of price packages is available. Call 473-4413 for more.
Hitch up them overalls tonight and take in some bluegrass. The Broke Mountain Band, winner of the prestigious 2003 Rocky Grass band contest, will be pluckin' and fiddlin' and presumably waxing twangy at the Tri-Lakes Center for the Arts (304 Highway 105 in Palmer Lake). Things'll get started at 6 p.m. (no night owls, those bluegrass folks), and admission is $8 for TLCA members and $10 for nonmembers. Call 481-0475 or head to www.trilakesarts.com.
Today, buckle your wackiness belts and head off to the Business of Art Center (515 Manitou Ave. in Manitou Springs) for "Cirkoo Presenz": A Circus of Sophisticated Silliness." This tour de stupide features the inspired clowning of Jim Jackson and Birgitta de Pree and runs today, tomorrow and Wednesday as well as Jan. 2 and 3. Shows are at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. in Venue 515, and tickets will run you $8. Call 685-1861 for reservations.
Hey, I've got an idea: Instead of guzzling Stoli, getting teary-eyed, passing out in a mess of streamers and champagne corks and drunkenly lamenting that you've got no one to kiss this New Year's Eve, get out of the house and do something, nitwit. Like, for instance:
The Kennedy Center Imagination Celebration is holding its 12th annual Silent Auction in conjunction with Cheyenne Mountain Resort (3225 Broadmoor Valley Road) and KSPZ Oldies 92.9. The Cheyenne Mountain Resort -- done up like an Aspen ski lodge for the evening -- will be awash in shimmering lights, elegant blue hues and all-around gaiety. You can expect a gourmet buffet by award-winning Chef Philip Ferry and can bid on packages for the silent auction if you are so inclined. Call 538-4000 for prices and reservations.
As an alternative to filching cocktails from parents, Joyrides Family Fun Center (5150 Edison Ave.) is holding a New Year's Eve Teen Bash for the younger set. This ostensibly chaste and dry event will run the teens $28 for a whole night of teen-oriented whiz-bang goings-on, including all-access to rides and golf, pizza and pop, a live DJ, door prizes and hourly activities. This promises to be a big bucket of awesome. Things run from 9 p.m. until 4 a.m., and you can find out more by calling 573-5500.
A less skeeball-oriented New Year's activity is "New Year's Eve with the Philharmonic," during which the Colorado Springs Philharmonic will jam out classical favorites at the Pikes Peak Center (190 S. Cascade Ave.). The concert begins at 8 p.m. and will run until 10 p.m., giving you plenty of time to party before the ball drops. Call 520-SHOW for tickets.
Head downtown tonight for your New Year's fun. For the first time ever, the vaguely euphemistic-sounding "Glitter Ball" will descend from the Antlers Adam's Mark Hotel (4 S. Cascade Ave.) to ring in the new year. Festivities starts at 9 p.m. and will include heated beverage tents, music and hot-air balloons, or you can upgrade your fun by buying tickets to the inaugural Glitter Ball Reception. For tickets to the reception or for more information, call 635-8803.
-- Aaron Retka