Held every year, the Kitchens with Altitude tour supports the Junior League of Colorado Springs, an organization that promotes volunteerism and developing women's potential throughout the Pikes Peak region through its charitable showcase of the region's most sophisticated residential kitchens. Tour-goers journey through a self-guided tour of the area's most upscale neighborhoods, scoping out gleaming appliances and getting marooned on elegant islands of marble and oak. At various homes along the path, the day's culinary odyssey will cover current trends in tabletop design and floral arrangements as well as cooking demonstrations and food and drink samples from renowned local chefs as they shout monosyllabic catchphrases at their ingredients. All tour proceeds support projects and programs benefiting women and children in El Paso County and the Junior League's Fantasy Flight and Kids in the Kitchen programs.
A Hirschfield-style line drawing of George Burns dominates the brick wall of the Loonees stage. The good-natured caricature–complete with the comedian's trademark round glasses and enormous cigar–watches over modern comics as they launch their best lines into the crowd, from Saved By the Bell alumnus Dustin Diamond to hyperactive J.J. "Dy-no-mite!" Walker from Good Times. Appetizers, sandwiches, and desserts comprise the menu, which visitors peruse before the spotlight sets the stage aglow.
The Secret Garden runs from May 26 through September 6, and Aesop fables from September 22 through November 7. Shows are performed Fridays at 7 p.m. and Wednesdays, Saturdays, and Sundays at 2:30 p.m. There's no show on the 4th of July, but there will be special Monday matinees of The Secret Garden on May 31 and September 6 at 2:30 p.m.
In 1984, against the advice of certain friends and family members, a man named Frankie opened a pub on the East Side of Colorado Springs. He began with little more than a small storefront and a chalkboard on which he scrawled the day's burgers and sandwiches. But over the next three decades, to the surprise of everyone except the people who ate Frankie's food, the bar doubled in size. Frankie opened a patio, installed big-screen TVs, and, with the help of his wife—who was once just one of his patrons—began printing real menus. Today, Frankie keeps his visitors full with burgers, steaks, hand-battered onion rings, and other pub eats—most of which are recipes he's been making for years and some of which were inspired by dreams about storm clouds raining nacho cheese.
But Frankie's isn't just about food and beer, it's also about community. Throughout football season, his TVs broadcast the professional and college-level games in College Tickets, games on Sunday, Monday and Thursday Tickets and ESPN's Gameplan package, ranging from regular-season match-ups to special conference games. And every Saturday, live music draws newly formed friends to the dance floor, keeping them moving long into the night.
In 1976, busy California mother Joan Barnes wanted nothing more than to find a play place where she and her kids could enjoy age-appropriate, educational activities. Finding none, she developed her own innovative play environment within a developmental-based program structure now known as Gymboree Play & Music. Today, kids tumble and learn in more than 650 locations in 33 countries around the world, engaging in open play and classes designed to build cognitive and motor skills. As parents participate in their child’s development, their kids learn to paint, play music, and interact socially outside of their preschool knitting circles.
At Dream Catchers, creativity manifests in more than one way. Visitors to the studio can attend BYOB painting classes to unearth artistic impulses or peruse a boutique stocked with one-of-a-kind art and furniture crafted by local artists. A division of Ariel Clinical Services, Dream Catchers also provides supportive day programming to help adults with developmental disabilities learn new skills and unlock their creativity.
At Spring Oasis Belly Dance, owner/instructor Barb Ferrill Van Hoy shepherds shimmiers through theatrical, low-impact workouts in a five-class schedule filled with Middle Eastern–style routines. Rug-cutters in the Beginning Belly Dance class combine traditional movements into fun new performances, and the more advanced Improvisational Choreography teaches finger cymbals how to scat jazz riffs. Students should wear clothes they can move in, and Van Hoy encourages her undulating constituents to bring coin scarves, harem pants, and traditional wetsuits if they’d like. The studio welcomes dancers of all skill levels and ages, and some classes include opportunities to perform for audiences.