Kids love to journey back to that colorful age when mummies, animal gods and pyramids were part of a kingdom along the Nile -- and for many, the appeal of those ancient times doesn't fade away with adulthood. With today's arrival of The Quest for Immortality: Treasures of Ancient Egypt at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science, Indiana Jones wannabes can succumb to the pull of the 3,000-year-old civilization. Visitors will view more than a hundred objects on loan from Egyptian museums and be able to get close to a variety of exotic items: a full-sized reconstruction of a burial chamber (hey, Thutmose III, what's shaking?), for example, or a sculpture of the god Osiris. According to Dr. Ella Maria Ray, head of the museum's anthropology department, "Artifacts encourage viewers to reflect on humanity's constant yearning for rebirth." At the very least, they should help Rockies fans put their suffering in perspective.
A companion IMAX film explores various aspects of Egyptology, including the notion that death was the beginning of a great journey, and also gives viewers a big-screen look at how the pyramids were built.
Tickets for the show, which continues through January 23, range from $5 to $20 and include general museum admission. The DMNS is at 2001 Colorado Boulevard; for information, call 303-322-7009 or log on to www.dmns.org. -- Ernie Tucker
Got to Get Up
In New York, the phrase "Uptown Sampler" might normally be reserved for depraved, lonely Wall Street types let loose in the city with a pocket full of cash, but in Denver, the term has a more innocent connotation. Today's Uptown Sampler, from 5 to 8:30 p.m., is a late-summer evening stroll through Uptown on the Hill, the area bounded by Broadway and York Street and Colfax and 23rd avenues. Many of the historic buildings in the area represent Denver's boom period from 1880 to 1893, and the tour offers the chance to enjoy them, along with live entertainment and food and drink from neighborhood restaurants and bars.
Tickets, $20, are available at King Soopers stores. For details, call 720-205-6506. -- Adam Cayton-Holland
The Chile Harvest Festival sprouts at the Botanic Gardens
This weekend, the tranquil pools, shady gazebos and delicately scented atmosphere of the Denver Botanic Gardens will take on a spicy flavor. The 2004 Chile Harvest Festival will swoop into the floral oasis for a two-day fiesta starting at 9 a.m. today. The role of chiles in Hispanic culture -- from culinary item to revenue source -- makes them the perfect focal point for the heritage-filled showcase.
The Chicano Humanities and Arts Council is the driving force behind the pepper-packed fest, which will bring together Aztec and tango dancers, mariachi bands, jazz musicians and vendors of Hispanic art. Many of the artists will give live demonstrations of their crafts, which include silversmith work, weaving and beadwork. Rosa Linda's Mexican Cafe will serve up traditional favorites such as burritos and tacos, while Jack-n-Grill contributes New Mexican fare. ¡Olé!
Admission to the fest ranges from $5 to $9, with family rates available. The DBG is at 1005 York Street; for information, call 720-865-3544 or visit www.botanicgardens.org. -- Caitlin Smith
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A Hairy Time
Brew at the Zoo lets species meet and greet
Exotic critters plus alcohol -- sounds like a setup for Steve Irwin, the cracked Crocodile Hunter. You can almost hear him: Crikey! Look at that rhino with a keg on his horn! Hey, JoRay, you big ape, gimme back my Fat Tire! But in truth, Brew at the Zoo and Wine Too is a semi-civilized gathering designed to capture not crocs, but contributions for a Denver Zoo scholarship fund. Last year's edition netted some $40,000 for the Wild Things Society, a zoo volunteer group that backs conservation.
The cause is a noble one, no question. But organizers also know that things can return to nature when hundreds of guests are turned loose to sample the wares of 25 breweries and wineries in a musk-drenched setting. With that idea in mind, they're encouraging the "wildest party animals" to join the herd from 6:30 to 10 p.m. tonight at the zoo, 2300 Steele Street. Forget National Geographic specials: This is a frenzy of food, drink and what's billed as a "tower of light and sound" for dancing, with the zoo's approximately 4,000 inhabitants as a backdrop.
Sorry, kiddies, but Brew at the Zoo is a 21-and-over fiesta. Tickets are $45 in advance, $50 at the door ($35 for Wild Things Society members); call 303-376-4865 to reserve yours. -- Ernie Tucker