Thrills for the week

At the Children's Library, 14th and Broadway, children can take time out to tend to their teddies during First Aid for Teddy Bears with the Rocky Mountain Good Bear Association. Bring in a torn toy for repair or learn to make your own bear from 2 to 3 this afternoon; for details call 640-6384.

Since kids are never too young to learn a lesson in philanthropy, and 'tis the season for giving, Cherry Creek North toy emporium Kazoo & Company, 2930 E. 2nd Ave., continues a holiday season Angel Book Project. Store patrons (and their kids, if they want) select books to buy for needy children whose names, provided by Denver Social Services, hang on Kazoo's angel-trimmed tree. The program continues through Monday; call 322-0973.

After dark, leave the driving to someone else: Hop on the bus and tour the town in search of eclectic and electric gaud. Colorado Charter Tours offers Holiday Lighting Tours from 7 to 10 nightly through December 30 (no tours December 24 or 25), and TourUSA's Christmas Lighting Tour Spectacular also runs nightly through December 23. Tour prices are around $20 for adults and $10 for kids (toddlers ride free); call CCT at 288-0273 or TourUSA at 694-1888 for reservations.

And finally, the annual Winter Solstice Revels present a homey evening for the whole family from 6 to midnight at the Temple Events Center, 1595 Pearl St. Part pagan ritual and part barn dance, the revels offer some holiday pomp in the form of sword and Morris dancing, along with community-oriented fun that includes a mummer's play, group singing and rowdy contra dancing for all. Admission is $20 ($5 for children ages 6 to 12); call 777-1003 or 449-9231 for tickets. For more information call 722-5391.

December 21
Hark, the herald angels sing: Choral music comes with a beautiful twist when performed by the Boulder-based Ars Nova Singers, one of the region's finest a cappella ensembles. The group's annual holiday concert, which begins at 7:30 tonight at Bethany Lutheran Church, 4500 E. Hampden Ave., has a little bit of everything--early music, plainsong and polyphony, modern works and carols--all executed with stunning vocal precision by the forty-voice chorus. Admission is $10 ($8 for students and seniors); call 499-3165 to reserve tickets.

Meanwhile, everybody gets into the act when the Colorado Symphony Orchestra celebrates another Colorado Christmas with help from the CSO Chorus, Colorado Children's Chorale and you. The holiday concert, an undiluted hodgepodge of popular Christmas favorites, will indulge you with plenty of sing-along opportunities. Remaining shows take place at 2:30 or 7:30 p.m. today and tomorrow at Boettcher Hall, 14th and Curtis in the Plex; tickets range from $10 to $40. Call 830-TIXS.

December 22
True crime: Local-history writer Phil Goodstein and colorful trial lawyer Walter Gerash teamed up on Murders in the Bank Vault: The Father's Day Massacre and the Trial of James King, a blow-by-blow true story based on the 1991 robbery and multiple murder at what was then the United Bank of Denver. Though the collaboration wasn't all roses for fact-digger Goodstein and controversial barrister Gerash, who defended the accused King in court, the finished product is now ready for the shelves, just in time for real-life-murder-mystery gift giving. Pick up signed copies today from 4 to 6 at Gerash's brownstone offices, 1439 Court Pl. (825-5400), or tomorrow from 4 to 6 at the Park Hill Cooperative Bookstore, 4620 E. 23rd Ave. (355-8508); for additional information call 333-1095.

December 23
Last 'cracker: Get cracking! The David Taylor Dance Theatre's far-out version of The Nutcracker returns to the Arvada Center for the Arts and Humanities, 6901 Wadsworth Blvd., just in time for you to get your seasonal fill of sugar plums--before it's too late. An annual treat with Roaring Twenties and Art Deco touches, the Taylor concoction marches on stage at the Arvada Center through December 28; for showtimes and ticket reservations, $12 to $24, call 431-3939.

December 24
Light your fire: It's not just Christmas Eve; it's also the first day of Hanukkah. That could simply herald one of the greatest last-minute shopping blitzes of all time, with folks of all faiths jockeying in the aisles for the last virtual pet in the world--but wouldn't you rather spend it with family and friends? Hanukkah gets a hospitable nod from singing rabbi Jack Gabriel and friends in Blinded by Delight, a family concert and candle-lighting tonight at 7 at the Robert E. Loup Jewish Community Center, 350 S. Dahlia St. Participants are encouraged to bring their own menorahs and candles to light along with Rabbi Jack; tickets are $7, or $21 per family. Reservations are recommended; call 399-2660.

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