Model Train Show
Jan. 11, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., 1710 Briargate Blvd., $7/person, $12/family, free for kids 12 and younger, tecoshow.org
America’s relationship with trains has shifted since the first track was laid in 1830, but our love of these giant machines has not diminished. Ask around in your social group and chances are you’ll find at least one person ready to bend your ear about the difference between diesel and steam engines or the location of the first train track in the United States (it was Baltimore, if you were curious). It’s a passion that has cultivated a large community of people devoted to replicating trains and railways in miniature form — model railroading enthusiasts.
Train Expo Colorado chairman Elizabeth Maline says that the hobby is highly accessible to anyone who wants to give it a try, and her organization is all about sharing the love. TECO is offering curiosity-seekers — and existing fans of the hobby — an opportunity to learn all about model railroading at their model train show at the Chapel Hills Mall this weekend.
“We want to encourage interest in the hobby and introduce a family-friendly activity,” says Maline. She notes that while the demographic for model railroading does skew toward older generations, the hobby is growing into other groups. For example, Maline says that Colorado Springs has a Youth in Model Railroading organization and there’s a railroading merit badge available in the Boy Scouts. Events like this weekend’s show are not about passing the torch, though; they’re about expanding the reach of the flame.
The versatility of the hobby leaves a lot of potential for people who are interested in getting started, and attendees at this weekend’s event will be able to explore a variety of constructions, models and scenery.
“A layout can be as simple as connecting track on the floor and running your trains, or expanded to constructing a full-fledged city or western landscape,” says Maline, who notes that it teaches the hobbyist several skills and subjects, like small-scale construction, wiring, scenic design and history.
Attendees can expect numerous model railroad layouts to view, opportunities to chat with creators and several hobby vendors, and clinics on 3D printing and scenery creation. For those more focused on the giant machines that inspire the layouts, there will be historical presentations on the Denver, South Park and Pacific Railway.
Full Moon Kids Night Out
Jan. 10, 5:30-9 p.m., 245 Bear Creek Road, $15-$20, elpasocountycaturecenters.com
Want a few hours to yourself Friday evening? Register your kiddos for Bear Creek Nature Center’s Kids Night Out, and everyone can get out of the house and have some fun. For a mere $20 per kid ($15 if you are a member), your offspring will get to participate in a super cool full moon hike in one of the nicest parks in the city. They’ll also get dinner and a chance to play educational games and hang out by the campfire. Meanwhile, you can have a much-needed date night, a quiet shopping trip or a nice long nap. Pre-registration is mandatory.
Butte Theater 2020 Sneak Peek
Jan. 11, 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., 139 E. Bennett Ave., free, buttetheater.com
Do you love Cripple Creek’s magical mountain theater? The Butte Theater appreciates every bit of your support, and they’re giving you a chance to get to know them a whole lot better at this special open house, complete with coffee and hot cocoa. Learn the inner workings of the theater, plus meet the Thin Air Theatre Company’s executive director Chris Armbrister. Get answers to your top theater questions, find information about upcoming shows, and learn about chances to volunteer.
Jan. 12, 6 p.m., 1226 S. Tejon St., $25, themat.org
The incredible abilities of the human body will be on display at the Millibo Art Theatre this weekend with Dragonfly Aerial Company’s performance of Oz. The intimate setting of the small theater gives you an incredible view of the company’s dynamic feats — an experience you just can’t find in acrobatic shows performed in big arenas. Thirteen feature artists and 27 ensemble artists from Dragonfly’s youth and adult performance companies will tell the tale of an exhausted single mom’s journey back to joy in a reinterpretation of The Wizard of Oz. Hoops, bungees, contortion, straps and trapeze work will be featured in this unique, family-friendly show. This performance is one weekend only, so don’t miss out.
American Whiskey Pop Quiz
Jan. 13, 7-9 p.m., 1604 S. Cascade Ave., $40, tinyurl.com/WhiskeyQuiz2020
Are you a fan of whiskey? Do you think you’ve got a palate fine-tuned to the nuances of the popular spirit? Put your skills to the test at this blind tasting of seven American whiskeys procured from distilleries throughout the United States. While you’re sipping on fancy spirits and hoping to prove your expertise as a whiskey connoisseur, local specialist Brad Beck will share some insights into alcohol so you can up your tasting game to the next level.