Learn and burn: Tone up your brain and your body this evening when the Historic Denver and Colorado Preservation groups collaborate to host a guided Historic Bike Tour that explores notable locations by bicycle along a path originating at one such site (Four Mile Historic Park, 715 South Forest Street) and winding up at another (Union Station) around dusk. The guided excursion hits the road at 5:30 p.m., but cyclists won't be left in the dark when it's over: Transportation is provided back to Four Mile House after the mostly downhill roll is completed. Fees range from $10 to $20; to register, call 303-534-5288, ext. 14, or go to www.historicdenver.org.
Wyoming game warden Joe Pickett is back, and fans will be happy: In his fifth Pickett adventure, Out of Range, Wyoming mystery author C.J. Box sends his hero, who normally patrols the Bighorn Mountains, packing for Jackson Hole, where he's been transferred temporarily as a replacement for a buddy who committed suicide. Meanwhile, as greedy developers and PETA types draw him into an ugly web of land issues, Pickett's precarious personal life seems to be falling apart. Catch Box's Denver book signing this evening at 5 p.m. at Murder by the Book, 1574 Pearl Street; he'll be at High Crimes, 946 Pearl Street in Boulder, for a 7 p.m. reading. Call Murder by the Book, 303-871-9401, or High Crimes, 303-443-8346, for details.
Friday, May 27
PlatteForum Gallery scores again with another educational collaboration pairing resident artists with local schools. This time, artist Vincent Comparetto's labyrinthine sound installation merges music, soundscapes and recordings of children from Denver's Remington Elementary School for a walk-through aural experience; have a listen at tonight's opening reception, from 5:30 to 8 p.m. PlatteForum is at 1610 Little Raven Street, Suite 125; the exhibit continues through June 10. Call 303-893-0791.
Saturday, May 28
The delightfully hands-on Buntport philosophy is one reason we love the loony local theater company so much: The players are actually anxious to make friends with their audiences. And it's a viewpoint so sociable, troupe members even extend it to their fundraising efforts. Tonight's benefit gala, Money in the Bank: A Live Telethon, will be a party first and foremost, offering a tantalizing slate of brand-new Buntport-style entertainment followed by general carousing and in-house phone-in pledging. You read right: Bring a donation of any size and you'll get to phone it in, right on the premises of the Buntport Theater, 717 Lipan Street. Admission is $10. For reservations, call 720-946-1388; for information, visit www.buntport.com.
Sunday, May 29
Spend an afternoon with the living dead -- or at least with their lively stories -- when the Colorado Historical Society tops off its May slate of Archaeology and Historic Preservation Month events with a Memorial Day Weekend Walking Tour at Fairmount Cemetery, hosted by the Fairmount Heritage Foundation. Along the way, the brave will cozy up to the gravestones of several historical big names buried in the Denver graveyard -- from the notorious (Sand Creek Massacre bad guy Colonel John Chivington and tarnished lady Mattie Silks) to the civic-minded (former Denver mayor Robert W. Speer), as well as some belonging to special pioneering folks you may not have heard of. The cemetery, which was founded in 1890, is at 430 Quebec Street; meet at the Ivy Chapel at 3 p.m. for the free two-hour tour. For details, call 303-399-0692, ext. 173, or visit www.coloradohistory-oahp.org.
Monday, May 30
Not everyone leaves town on Memorial Day weekend, yet plenty of us long to at least feel as if we've been away. Lucky for stay-at-homers, just such an experience can be had at the Memorial Day Smokin' Blues Barbecue, an annual event hosted by the Gold Hill Inn, 401 Main Street in Gold Hill, just outside of Boulder. The sky is a little bit bluer there, the air a little sweeter, and the ambience just the right temperature for everyone, from toddlers on up. The rustic mountain inn will serve up music by David Booker's Little Big Blues Band and the Tin Men with Washboard Chaz, along with a fine barbecue lunch on the porch, featuring smoked salmon and apple-cider brisket with all the fixings, from noon to 5 p.m. Admission is $12 for the music, $12 for the food (kids pay half price); call 303-443-6461 or go to www.goldhillinn.com for reservations.
Tuesday, May 31
Stitch together a weekday jaunt to Golden, where Foothills Art Center, 809 15th Street, and the Rocky Mountain Quilt Museum, 1111 Washington Avenue, have joined forces to blanket the town with a comprehensive patchwork of modern quilt exhibits. At Foothills, the smaller RMQM's own vast collection spreads out for Rooted in Tradition: Contemporary Art Quilts (a side exhibit, Local Roots: Regina Benson, Jan Magee and Edie Petrock, is also featured), while at the quilt museum, Small Works: Front Range Contemporary Quilters is on view. Sandwich in lunch at the Table Mountain Inn between exhibits, and you'll be set for the day. The Golden quilt extravaganza continues through July 10; call 303-279-3922 or 303-277-0377 for information.
Wednesday, June 1
Holy whitewater, Batman! Summer is officially here! The Teva Mountain Games return to the Vail Valley today for a six-day feast of outdoor sports (including kayaking, biking, climbing, trail running and adventure racing, for both spectating and participating), live music, films, free clinics, parties, interactive demo and family areas, a mountain photography competition and even a spot of women's roller-derby action. NORBA mountain-bike racing, the Legends of Hip Hop tour (with Coolio, Young MC, Tone-Loc and Digital Underground), the 2005 Gore-Tex USA 10k Trail Running Championships, the East Vs. West Amateur Kayak Rodeo, and the GNC Adventure Race are just a few of this year's Teva highlights. For more on what this total-immersion sports spectacle has to offer, call 1-970-477-0111 or visit www.tevamountaingames.com; for lodging info, call 1-800-475-4543 or go to www.visitvailvalley.com.
The Swallow Hill Music Association's Shady Grove Picnic Concert Series remains one of the region's best little secrets: Tucked into the bucolic surroundings at Four Mile Historic Park, 715 South Forest Street, the al fresco summer series offers the kind of laid-back bluegrass and acoustic music and inexpensive tickets that appeal to families looking for a mid-week diversion. Picnics are encouraged -- no, expected -- and the kids can visit with Four Mile's draft horses, sheep and chickens as the cool evening breezes blow. Bring your own lawn chairs and blankets; the series kicks off tonight with the O'Brien Family Band and continues weekly at 6 p.m. on Wednesday nights through August 3. Tickets are $2 to $7 at the gate; call 303-777-1003 or log on to www.swallowhill.com.