Snakes slither in glass display cases, and lizards wriggle in the hands of trained handlers as they're held up in full view of a curious crowd. This is the scene as one of Repticon's presenters educates attendees on the biology, behavior, and typing speeds of exotic cold-blooded creatures at one of the year-round shows held in cities across the country. Reptile and amphibian breeders, scholars, and handlers engage audiences in lectures and demonstrations in the midst of live reptile exhibits, family activities, and displays for exotic-pet supplies. Presentations may focus on the genetics of large snake species, the specifics of exotic-pet care, and the effect that tiny hats have on the image of arachnids such as tarantulas, scorpions, and spiders.
The Plains Conservation Center is an offshoot of the West Arapahoe Conservation District, an organization appointed in 1949 to teach farming and ranching techniques that could help prevent another devastating Dust Bowl. While the PCC's mission has since expanded, the nonprofit organization's main goal remains the same: preserving the health of Colorado's plains. Between its two sites—a main 1,100-acre location in Aurora and more than 10,000 acres spread along West Bijou Creek—the organization maintains several attractions devoted to the history and environmental character of the region. These include more than five miles of hiking trails, a Cheyenne camp from 1837 with four standing tepees, and Wells Crossing, a replica 1887 farm consisting of sod houses, and heirloom gardens. For more modern sites, the Aurora location's visitor center features interactive displays and seasonal events such as Hops for Habitat, an annual fundraiser with beer tastings from local craft brewers.
On 10 a.m. on the first day of 2013, City Park's Great Lawn will fill with people ready to start the year off not with a resolution, but a commitment—a commitment to a healthy lifestyle. They'll run, walk, or jay-walk through the park and Marconi Drive on the flat, fast course, which it circles back to the Great Lawn where they started. After the race, runners can stick around for a post-race party to celebrate a successful first morning of the New Year.
In more than 30 cities across the nation, other runners will be participating in similar events as part of a movement that aims to stymie the rising rates of obesity and inaction in the United States.
Kamy Henson started dancing when she was 5, and she hasn't stopped since. Over time she added tumbling and gymnastics to her skill set and became a dance teacher and coach. Kamy eventually she founded her own school: Ovation Academy of Dance. She has shared her passion for the art of dance with countless students, but perhaps the student she's most proud of inspiring is her daughter, Aubrey. Along with her fellow Ovation instructors, the award-winning Aubrey teaches ballet, tap, jazz, and lyrical choreography to the students who twirl across the studio's glossy wood floor.
It's a good idea to arrive early at Movie Tavern, and not only if you hate missing the opening credits. Early birds can peruse the extensive menu of chef-crafted American cuisine, from kobe beef sliders to pizza and sandwiches. But even after the show begins, the snacks keep coming. Unobtrusive servers slip in during the show to deliver orders, and can be called on for more drinks or dessert with the push of a button. Guests can even sip margaritas or signature cocktails at the full bar before heading in to the theater. The family-friendly establishment also serves finger food for kiddies.
As for the entertainment, audiences get to enjoy all-digital presentations of first-run films any day of the week, plus Retro Cinema every Wednesday morning at 11:30 a.m. as well as Tuesday and Thursday evenings at 7:30 p.m. Audiences also benefit from Movie Tavern's membership program. Anyone can sign up for free online to receive one free bag of popcorn, plus a free ticket every year on their birthday, special offers, movie news, and invites to screenings and other special events.
Bistro Al Vino whets whistles with wine flights that integrate more than 30 varietals. Each flight rounds up four 2-ounce pours, organized by playful monikers such as Marilyn Merlot. Pinot Envy, which brandishes Californian and New Zealand wines, takes its name after Sigmund Freud’s theory that psychological development centers around one’s possession or lack of pinot noir. Red and white libations originate from California, Italy, Spain, Australia, and more.