Tuesday, November 23Give a little, get a lot. It doesn't take much on your part -- a toy here or a can of food there -- to make the holidays a tiny bit better for homeless or needy folks. Where and how? There are charity drives just about everywhere you turn this time of year; here are just a few of them. While shopping at the Outlets at Castle Rock, Exit 184 on I-25, you can drop off new toys for the Colorado Coalition for the Homeless at the customer-service center in the food court, daily through Christmas Eve, and register to win a life-sized Cape Cod-style Holiday Fantasy Playhouse (call 303-688-4495 or go to www.outletsatcastlerock.com for details). At Denver-area Vitamin Cottage and Albertsons stores or the Highlands Ranch Whole Foods, grocery shoppers can make $1 or $5 donations to Food Bank of the Rockies right at the checkout stand during the Check Out Hungercampaign, continuing through December 31. Give a gift of literacy during the annual Angel Book Projectat Kazoo & Co., 2930 East Second Avenue, where charitable patrons can pick a child's name off the tree and buy a book for him or her, to be delivered by Denver Human Services, through December 11 (call 303-322-0973 or log on to www.kazootoys.com). You can also drop off unwrapped new toys and clothing for the Kids' Pages Care Angel Tree, 5610 Yukon Street in Arvada, or send a donation to Kids' Pages Care, P.O. Box 745216, Arvada, CO 80006, and they'll do the shopping for you; call 303-277-0053 for details. And anyone who grew up with comfy Mister Rogers on the TV screen would be pleased to donate some new or gently used sweaters for the annual Mister Rogers Sweater Drivesponsored by Rocky Mountain PBS. Nine participating Colorado Lace Dry Cleaners stores will accept your sweaters (and clean them prior to distribution) through November 30; for details, call 1-800-274-6666 or visit www.rmpbs.org.
Wednesday, November 24Christmas-light cruisers have a new champion: Now in its second year as a holiday-season attraction, Bandimere Speedway's MileHighLights drive-through light display is your one-stop ooh-and-aah center, a regular tunnel of lightbulb love nearly two miles long and lit up by more than two million colored lights. There's something for everyone at this animated light-show fantasy in the foothills, including winter scenes, traditional Christmas tales and radiant bows to Hanukkah and Kwanzaa; it opens today at Bandimere, 3051 South Rooney Road, Morrison, to catch the Thanksgiving crowd and continues nightly at 5 p.m. through January 2. Admission is $14.95 per car; for more information, go to www.milehighlights.com.