The giraffe smells a food pellet. He pokes his head just over the railing and starts sniffing for the guest holding his treat. Not far off, some brightly plumed parrots land on another visitor’s arm, spying the tasty apple slices in her hand. Though you can’t get this close to every animal at Wildlife World Zoo & Aquarium—such as the lions and the wild Larry Fitzgeralds—the keepers do facilitate animal-human exchanges as often as possible with the zoo’s more than 600 species. They also give visitors novel views of some exhibits by welcoming them aboard the Skyride, the Australian boat ride, and the African train safari. The adjacent aquarium adds to the zoo’s impressive animal collection, housing more than 75 exhibits and enough water to start a new earth colony.
Further attractions include a children’s petting zoo, daily shows, and a baby-animal nursery. Wildlife World also encompasses two restaurants where guests can feed themselves and their own helpless progeny.
West Valley Child Crisis Center (WVCCC) rose from the need for shelter housing. A group of women's service organizations and the John F. Long Foundation formed opened residential homes in 1986 and 1988 for children who were victims of domestic violence or neglect. Today WVCCC helps to find foster care and adoptive homes for children who were removed from their homes by Child Protective Services. In addition, the organization's birth-parent program teaches pregnant women about their options and ability to place their children with loving families, and the community-outreach program raises awareness about child-welfare issues.
An active Denver photographer since 1985, Bart Levy imparts hard-won wisdom to aspiring photographers in upbeat three-hour workshops. In Digital Photography 101 workshops, the seasoned shutterbug demystifies DSLR cameras, teaching pupils how to harness ISO speeds, manual settings, and flash settings to produce crisp, memorable images of lens caps. Students also learn how to compose visually striking snapshots and Levy will demonstrate the differences in digital file formats, so acolytes can upload and share pictures without setting their web browsers on fire.
Presented in part by Dan Clark, also known as Nitro, of American Gladiator fame, the Gladiator Rock'n Run 6K pairs an obstacle-heavy running course with post-race entertainment, including beer, music, and food. Six kilometers’ worth of collective scampering awaits participants as muscle-testing obstacles impede progress to the finish line. Those prepared to race must dance through tires, army-crawl through mud, and clamber up rope ladders to avoid barrels thrown by giant apes. The roar of spectators rings throughout the course as bystanders cheer on runners to inspire strong finishes. Gladiator Rock'n Run proceeds go toward a good cause, helping to raise money for TACA (Talk About Curing Autism), an organization that provides education, support, and information to aid parents in helping their children diagnosed with autism.
A 6,641-yard layout sculpted into pond-speckled parkland terrain draws in golfers at Villa de Paz Golf Club's 18-hole course. Throughout the round, golfers will have to prove that their swing is impervious to water hazards, which come into play on 10 holes. Players and husky groundhogs encounter the most difficult hole at the fourth tee box, where a tree-lined fairway dog-legs sharply to the right on its way to a green guarded by a pond in front. Before their round, clubbers can warm up their swings at Villa de Paz's driving range, which has two tiers to accommodate heavy swing-honing traffic and separate territorial head covers.
Course at a Glance: