In the gallery, on the stage and out and about: holiday events to celebrate Christmas week




G44 Gallery's Holiday Show - COURTESY G44 GALLERY
  • Courtesy G44 Gallery
  • G44 Gallery's Holiday Show
If you’ve waited to do your holiday shopping, we have some good news for you: Local galleries have your back. Rather than praying Amazon Prime pulls through in time, why not spend your money closer to home? The Modbo and S.P.Q.R. (17C E. Bijou St.) still have a good selection from their annual Small Works show, which contains plenty of affordable small-scale pieces made by nearly 150 local artists. We don’t all have the wall space (or budget) for
something massive, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still give the gift of local art.

Those looking for something seasonally inspired might find it in Arati Artists Gallery in Old Colorado City (2425 W. Colorado Ave.). Their Christmas Along the Avenue showcases work by all Arati artists, with ornaments for sale right from the tree. Glass angels and bells, wooden snowmen and deer — all the
holiday faves.

Should you have nixed your tree this year (or don’t celebrate Christmas), you can still enjoy awesome art for sale at G44 Gallery (1785 S. Eighth St., Suite A). G44’s Annual Holiday Show features 25 local artists, whose specialties cover photography, pottery, sculpture and painting, which means there’s something for every taste (and not all of it holiday themed).
And finally there is always something at the

Commonwheel Artists Co-op (102 Cañon Ave., Manitou Springs) Holiday Market, their popular annual exhibit of art and crafts made by Colorado artists. You’ll branch out from local into regional here, which gives you a nice variety of styles and mediums to choose from. Bonus: Some of us (me) never manage to go into Commonwheel for a gift without coming out with something for ourselves. You might find a stocking stuffer for Number One while you’re there.


TheatreWorks' Santaland Diaries - COURTESY THEATREWORKS
  • Courtesy TheatreWorks
  • TheatreWorks' Santaland Diaries
In my family, we would watch A Christmas Story every year around the holidays, a mandate by my (Jewish) father. Yeah, I thought it was a little weird too. Odds are, you’ve got your own tradition around those old holiday favorite films, and I won’t tell you not to watch them, but why not mix it up a little bit with a new holiday story? Local theaters offer a wealth of seasonal favorites and exciting new shows this month.

Take the TheatreWorks (Dusty Loo Bon Vivant Theater, 3955 Regent Circle) production of Santaland Diaries, an adults-only, one-man show written by best-selling humorist David Sedaris and starring Sammie Joe Kinnett. This irreverent Christmas favorite follows Sedaris’ experiences as an Elf in the Macy’s Christmas display, with a little less sugar and a little more spice than your typical holiday show.

If spice is your thing, you might also check out the Millibo Art Theatre’s (1626 S. Tejon St.) annual holiday cabaret, Fa~La~La. You want opera? Circus? Dance? You name it, Babette and her “merry-makers” will make it happen. The nice thing about a holiday cabaret? You don’t even have to follow a plot. Just sit back, relax and maybe enjoy some Bailey’s and hot cocoa.

Anyone who still wants to partake in the traditional holiday fare with a bit of a twist might check out A Colorado Nutcracker, a local take on the classic ballet presented by the Colorado Ballet Society (Pikes Peak Center, 190 S. Cascade Ave.). Locally loved historical figures such as Nikola Tesla make an appearance, which makes this a healthy mix of classic and off-the-beaten-path, without stamping on the toes of the Christmas spirit. Plus, your kids can actually come to this one, which is a definite plus for folks with families.

Any of these shows might prove a nice departure from the usual couch-bound film fest, and may even spark a new holiday tradition.


Millibo Art Theatre's Return of the Christmas Mouse - COURTESY MILLIBO ART THEATRE
  • Courtesy Millibo Art Theatre
  • Millibo Art Theatre's Return of the Christmas Mouse
Since the holiday season is a time for family, we’d be remiss not to include events for kids. A local favorite tradition, even fit for the Scrooge in your clan: the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo (4250 Cheyenne Mountain Zoo Road) Electric Safari. The zoo impresses plenty year-round with its huge variety of exotic animals and aesthetically exciting environments, but Electric Safari decorates these 50-plus acres with 85 unique light sculptures. Kids will enjoy usual zoo goodies such as the carousel and the animals, of course, but you can also take them to see Santa for any last-minute gift requests.

More Santa fun can be found at the Rocky Mountain Dinosaur Resource Center (201 S. Fairview St., Woodland Park). In addition to offering the already awesome museum for your viewing pleasure, RMDRC will have a craft table, a Christmas tree to display your own handmade ornaments, and the big man himself. It’s a good opportunity to sneak in an educational experience with fun for the kiddos.

And even though you won’t be able to take your family to the Millibo Art Theatre’s cabaret, the MAT has a separate offering for kids this week: Return of the Christmas Mouse. Beloved holiday characters from the MAT’s previous kids’ shows will take the stage in this story of a decorating contest taken just a little too far. MAT shows always manage to bridge the gap between what’s fun for kids and what’s fun for their parents, so we promise it won’t be like those teeth-gritting Disney holiday specials.

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