Kids in Longmont don't ask for much, but a lot of teens in that town are happy to have a place like Club Breakdown to go to on weekends instead of hanging out on the street. Artist Gamma Acosta, now 23, used to feel that way, although the Longmont Youth Services-sponsored dance club for fourteen- to nineteen-year-olds wasn't on the scene yet when he was younger. Back then, its precursor was his home away from home. "I grew up at the youth center, basically," Acosta says appreciatively. "And now my younger brother goes there with all his little friends." When Club Breakdown opened at 1821 Lefthand Circle in Longmont earlier this year, Acosta and fellow artist Andy Mason were recruited to create a monumental mural as part of the decor. The fruits of their labors -- a combination of Acosta's celestial-themed tribute to another brother, Adam, a talented break dancer who died last year in a car accident, and Mason's graffiti-art stylings -- will be unveiled tonight at 6:30 during a free open house, an event Acosta hopes will be attended by local artists, along with the usual kids. For more information, call 303-651-8580. -- Susan Froyd
Patchy weather expected
Hey, pumpkin, ready to gore some gourds? This is the weekend for people who love pepos. Pumpkin patches are giving it up today at events all over town, from the Denver Botanic Gardens-run Pumpkin Festival, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. today at the Chatfield Nature Preserve, 8500 Deer Creek Canyon Road, Littleton (admission is $3 to $5; call 303-973-3705), to the DeLaney Farm Pumpkin Fest (which includes an ever-popular Pumpkin Launch Competition that will crack you up), 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at DeLaney Community Farm, 170 South Chambers Road, Aurora (free; call 303-739-7000). And that's just a slice of the pie: For additional picking opportunities, see the Night & Day Halloween listings at www.westword.com. Then go home and put on a frightful face. -- Susan Froyd
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One Enchanted Evening
Captivating critters will be everywhere during tonight's third annual Enchanted Forest tour at the Wild Bear Center for Nature Discovery in Nederland. Families will meet seven nocturnal animals, including a raccoon, a mountain lion and a bear, during a walk through the forest guided by storytellers. All of the forest-dwellers will explain what they're doing to get ready for winter. "The black bear will talk about how he's eating lots of berries and nuts to fatten himself up right now," says Wild Bear executive director Jill Dreves. "Part of the goal is to teach kids that it's great to be out in the woods, but we need to be careful and respect the animals."
But don't worry, parents: The wild ones are just local actors dressed in elaborate costumes. "They're not intended to be scary at all," promises Dreves, noting that the presentation is designed for kids from preschool on up.
The Wild Bear Center is at 750 North Highway 72 (at Mud Lake) in Nederland. Tickets are $4 per person; tours leave every fifteen minutes between 6:30 and 8:30 p.m. Call 303-258-0495. -- Julie Dunn