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16 Thursday

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As a Springs native, I have fond memories of Santa's Workshop. When I was 10, I got kicked off of the Tilt-a-Whirl after riding it too many times in one day — somewhere into the double digits, if memory serves. And I'm not the only one with good memories of the park. Thanks to Operation Toy Lift, foster kids from across El Paso County have been visiting for free since the park opened in 1956. Kudos to the owners, who fully express the charitable heart of the park's theme. Today, the family-owned attraction celebrates its 60th birthday. Show up early to celebrate with Santa and a free cupcake. Also, check online for ticket coupons and other specials all week long. 11 a.m., 5050 Pikes Peak Highway, Cascade, ticket prices available online, northpolecolorado.com. — Griffin Swartzell

Magic

16 Thursday

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It's all too easy to lose your sense of wonderment in day-to-day life — eat, sleep, work, play, repeat — we are conditioned to be blasé. Luckily, there are those destined to break us out of that mold, like Nate Staniforth, writer, traveler, television host and, for tonight's purposes, a new kind of magician. Staniforth, whose style has taken him all the way to the TED stage, "abandons the ubiquitous, style-without-substance bravado" magic has come to represent (read: Criss Angel), and plays to the human imagination instead. This is real magic — sans the apprentices, bunnies in top hats and flower-filled wands — perhaps best described by the Real Magic Tour website as an attempt to "see things the way you saw them before they became ordinary." 7 p.m., Ivywild School, 1604 S. Cascade Ave., $12 to $15, realmagictour.com. — Craig Lemley

Music

17 Friday

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Pueblo may or may not be your backyard, but fans of Alabama and Kid Rock will be making it theirs this Friday and Saturday as the fourth annual Bands in the Backyard once again makes Steel City hearts go twang. Despite its modest name, the event now draws thousands of country-rock believers with a vibe that's pretty much the antithesis of MeadowGrass. (The odds of seeing women sitting on their boyfriends' shoulders are really high.) In addition to headlining sets from Alabama on Friday and Kid Rock on Saturday, performers will include Joe Diffie, Sarah Ross, Sawyer Brown, and 3 Doors Down. Camping packages are available, as are "Trailer Trash & High Class" seating privileges. Friday and Saturday, 23344 U.S. Highway 50 East, Pueblo, schedule and ticket prices available at bandsinthebackyard.com, 583-0844. — Bill Forman

Dance

17 Friday

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There's something really magical about going to see a live dance performance. Whether it's anywhere on the spectrum from ballet to salsa to line dancing to hip-hop, watching someone move can be entrancing — when it's done well. Local dance performer and instructor Tejas is one of those entrancing performers, specializing in Bollywood but branching out into (almost) any other style you can imagine. She's gotten a group together for a performance of Exotic World Dance tonight at The Zodiac, which will include Polynesian Hula, Bollywood, belly dance, Indian temple dance, hip-hop and Thai fusion, among others. Considering most of us specialize in the single signature move of bobbing our heads (rhythm optional), this genre-explosion of dance is bound to be pretty impressive. 9 p.m., 230 Pueblo Ave., $10, 632-5059, tejasdancershakti@gmail.com, shaktidancetroupe.com. — Alissa Smith

Food

18 Saturday

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Many of the forces behind our local food movement will gather again today at Venetucci Farm for the second annual Sustainability Summit, partly a farm-to-table meal and fundraiser co-hosted by Seeds Community Café. Representatives from Colorado Springs Food Rescue, City Council, the Arkansas Valley Organic Growers Cooperative and the Local Food Working Group will speak on everything from food waste to food insecurity, food policy, and the impact of producing food via earth-and-animal-friendly agricultural models. We are what we eat, and we need to do better. Find out how tonight. 6 to 9 p.m., 5210 S. U.S. Hwy. 85, free with RSVP, but "meaningful" donation suggested, seedscommunitycafe.org. — Matthew Schniper

Bikes

18 Saturday

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The stars will feel just a little bit closer tonight as cyclists adorned in space-themed costumes (possibly riding space-themed bikes) descend upon Garden of the Gods for the 22nd annual Starlight Spectacular. Offering options from 14 to 22 miles over a variety of terrain, there will be routes for riders of a variety of abilities. This is not just a beautiful evening ride, however, it's also a party, with refreshments, music, contests and... wait for it... a pancake breakfast! If you aren't part of this epic excursion, it's not too late. You can still register and get your own celestial body in on this planetary pedal party. Proceeds benefit the Trails and Open Space Coalition. Helmets, front lights and rear lights are required, no exceptions. 9 p.m., Garden of the Gods Visitor Center, 1805 N. 30th St., $47 plus/adult, $27 plus/child, discounts for teams, active duty military and families, 633-6884, tinyurl.com/zckecnw. — Bridgett Harris

Art

18 Saturday

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Art can be challenging and downright daunting at times. Perhaps that keeps a lot of people from trying — it's easy to get discouraged when even your stick people look abstract. But give it a shot anyway, because today, making art is just a walk in the park. The Manitou Springs Art Council is sponsoring an experiential art piece called Manitou Soules. Lace up your favorite shoes, don your loudest socks and join a parade of people through Memorial Park to the beat of some local drummers to celebrate your connection to the earth, physically, and to Manitou Springs, personally. The event will be documented by photographers, videographers and artists alike. And... there's free coffee, juice and snacks involved. 7 to 9 a.m., 502 Manitou Ave., Manitou Springs, free, manitousprings.org, 321-5354. — Griffin Swartzell

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