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Seven days to live 

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22 Thursday

music

I'm not sure if Houston-based Devin the Dude's appearance at the Black Sheep (2106 E. Platte Ave.) should be listed here or in our CannaBiz column. Three of the four songs on the hip-hop artist's MySpace page are "Ultimate High," "We Get High" and "What I Be On," all of which are featured on his latest album, Suite 420. Of course, whether you're into pot or not, there will be plenty for you to enjoy at tonight's 8 o'clock all-ages show — 10 Colorado-based rappers are sharing the bill with the Dude. Twenty bucks gets you in at the door. If you want to save a fiver, buy your ticket ahead of time at blacksheeprocks.com. — Kirsten Akens

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23 Friday

music

We've had plenty of musicians at the Pikes Peak Center who have never gotten the level of accolades given to Tom Smith, who, based on his recordings, totally deserves all of them. Try on this testimonial from National Traditional Country Music Association founder and president Bob Everhart: "Probably the most innovative guitarist we will ever have at our festival, this Nashville genius is emerging as a national artist of the finest quality." Tuck & Patti, Will Ackerman, Sing Out, and Dirty Linen have also praised his "somewhat Kottke-eque" acoustic fingerstyle approach. So what's he doing here? Playing Jives Coffee Lounge (16 Colbrunn Court, jivescoffeelounge.com), of course. "I like the place," says Smith. "It seems to be an old school coffeehouse... or safe haven... or something." Plus, he's paying a holiday visit to relatives up this way. Well worth catching at 7 p.m., for free, for sure. — Bill Forman

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24 Saturday

lupine goodness

For all of you who are done with your holiday shopping and are seeking something "wild" to do on Christmas Eve, the Wild Winter Christmas Celebration at the Colorado Wolf & Wildlife Center (Divide, directions online at wolfeducation.org) might just light your fire. For $20 a person, from 10 to 11 this morning, you get to have breakfast burritos and hang with the requisite white-bearded, red-suited man, as well as the nonprofit's collection of four-footed, furry (but not antlered) friends. Space is limited so RSVP ASAP to 687-9742. (For all of you who aren't done with your Christmas shopping, you're pretty much screwed at this point, so you might as well go to the dogs, too.) — Kirsten Akens

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25 Sunday

holiday cheer

It being Christmas Day, your options are somewhat limited: a family gathering, a jaunt to the movies, quiet seclusion at home. Or, you could save your annual trek to the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo (4250 Cheyenne Mountain Zoo Road, cmzoo.org) and its Electric Safari for tonight. Take in the million-plus lights and peripheral activities between 5:30 and 8:30 (last entry at 7:30) and get $1 or $2 off admission ($5.25 to $8.25) with a gift from the animals' online wish list: items like dried fruit, cereals, rope toys, glue sticks and duct tape. (Anyone else starting to wonder if the animals are planning an escape?) — Matthew Schniper

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26 Monday

more holiday cheer

So you've opened all the presents, made it through all the family gatherings, and now you have today as the "official" Christmas holiday, with nothing much to pass the time. What to do? Simple. There's an annual Colorado tradition just an hour or so away at the Denver Botanic Gardens (1007 York St., Denver). It's called Blossoms of Light, actually more than 1 million lights around the gardens, including thousands synchronized to holiday music inside the amphitheater. Drinks and treats are also available aside from the admission ($9.50 adults, $7.50 students and seniors, $6.50 kids 3-12). And the event's open from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. every night through Jan. 1, in case tonight doesn't work. You can also avoid the wait to enter by buying tickets in advance online at botanicgardens.org. — Ralph Routon

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27 Tuesday

skating

Whether you want to be a Colorado College hockey player, a circus elephant or a Trans-Siberian Orchestra roadie when you grow up, you can feel one step closer to your dream by playing around in the center of the World Arena (3185 Venetucci Blvd., worldarena.com). Between noon and 3 today, the annual Holiday Skate will let you take to the arena ice for just $2. Skate rental is just $2 more. — Kirk Woundy

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28 Wednesday

stage

Manger avec Trois: With a name that riffs on both foodie fun and scandalous sex, we hardly need to tell you the latest adults-only offering at the Colorado Springs Conservatory (415 S. Sahwatch St., coloradospringsconservatory.org) is, as one Indy editor put it, "kinda Frenchy and shit." Excusez-nous, monsieur, but don't you mean "kinda Frenchy and merde?" A cabaret evening with star performances from Jana Lee Ross, Judeth Shay Burns and Linda Weise, Manger is good fun for those who know it's haute to be lowbrow. The show, which also plays on Dec. 29, starts at 7:30; all proceeds from $25 tickets go to the CSC Foundation. — Claire Swinford

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