It's good old country fun with a metropolitan twist: This year's Chatfield Nature Preserve Corn Maze, created by the Denver Botanic Gardens, will promote the Scientific and Cultural Facilities District (SCFD). Every year, DBG staff and volunteers submit design ideas for the maze, and this time around, public-relations manager Holly Jones thought the SCFD's polar-bear logo would be appropriate. "It's cute, and it also brings attention to the SCFD, which is up for reauthorization," says Jones. Her entry won, and the idea ballooned into a theme for the entire event. Next to the five-acre maze, a tent will house educational activities for kids and information on more than 300 arts organizations that receive funding from the SCFD.
But don't let the political agenda fool you: A few twists of the maze and a handful of kettle corn will still bring out your inner farm child. The goal is to make your way to the center of the maze, claim a prize, then find your way back out -- if you can. And if you get lost, don't panic: Volunteers will keep watch from above to assist the directionally challenged. Elsewhere, a mini-maze and barrel train rides will entertain the kiddies.
The maze debuts today and stays open through October 31; hours are 4 to 10 p.m. Fridays, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturdays, and noon to 8 p.m. Sundays and Labor Day. Tickets, $8 for adults and $6 for kids, are sold up to one hour before closing. The Chatfield Nature Preserve is at 8500 Deer Creek Canyon Road in Littleton; call 303-973-3705 for more information. -- Jonelle Wilkinson Seitz
Take Two Walden digs in with Holes
As the theatrical offshoot of major film-production company Walden Media, Lakewood's Walden Family Playhouse will be strutting its stuff with fanfare as the venue's second full season rolls around. A quartet of new productions blending children's entertainment and an educational element debuts in mid-September with the premiere of Louis Sachar's Holes, also a popular book and movie. Sachar, who wrote this stage adaptation, will visit Walden as a consultant. "We wanted to bring in something with the scope and popularity of the movie, which was a big success for Disney," notes playhouse marketing director Ronda Berkeley. "And conversely, we'll have creative people in the motion picture, television and feature-animation industries looking at works developed here in Denver as potential crossover projects." That could include Walden's feel-good holiday offering, Heidi, or Nautilus: 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, or Kittyhawk: The Wright Brothers, which follow; season packages and individual advance tickets are now available. The Walden Family Playhouse is at 14500 West Colfax Avenue, adjacent to Colorado Mills; call 303-590-1475 or log on to www.waldenfamilyplayhouse.com. -- Susan Froyd