Its the most wonderful time of the year… for excessive spending. You got that new Apple or Amazon Card? Of course you do. Whelp, here’s your chance to put it to use!
Cyber Monday is today, and you don’t even need to get off of the couch to waste a substantial sum of money. Put on a cute little Santa’s elf hat, forget the password to your bill pay, and pray that you have interest-free financing for a few months.
Where the wild, glittering things are
The holidays are a great opportunity to do some of the touristy stuff that you might normally skip, because hell, things are just a little prettier this time of year. Add that to the fact that it’s always extra fun exploring cultural hotspots after dark, and that makes Denver Zoo Lights: Illuminated with Life a can’t miss seasonal event.
The annual event runs at the zoo, 2300 Steele St. in Denver, from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. through Monday, Dec. 30. There are special packages available, including a Glow Package, animal encounters and more.
Book your trip to the wild side at www.denverzoo.org/events/zoolights/.
Get lit for the holidays
Look, I get it. I love Christmas lights just as much as you do. They’re one of the best parts of the holiday season, and the winter seems a lot longer and darker once they get taken down in early January. But like you, I also hate walking and going out into air where I can’t control its temperature.
Thankfully, the good folks at Bandimere Speedway, 3051 S. Rooney Road in Morrison, and Water World, 8801 N. Pecos St. in Federal Heights, have you covered with their Christmas in Color events. They allow you to drive your car through huge displays of holiday lights, much of it synchronized to music.
Trips can be booked through Saturday, Jan. 4, from 5:30 to 10 p.m., Monday through Thursday, and 5:30 through 10:30 p.m., Friday through Sunday. Pick a time for a holiday drive at www.showclix.com.
Win a major award…if you can escape
Yes, “A Christmas Story” is a classic film overflowing with one-liners and images that have become permanently etched into our culture. And yes, it’s a family comedy without a whole lot in the way of suspense or mystery. But damnit all, we’re Americans, and that means at some point some hero was going to find a way to make it into an escape room.
That hero has risen, and chosen EscapeWorks Denver, 1529 Champa St. in Denver, as the place to tell their story. And eight times daily (nine times on weekends) through Wednesday, Jan. 15, you can participate in A Christmas Story Escape.
I have no idea what your experience will be like, but should be good for a laugh or two. Get the details at www.escapeworksdenver.com/denver-escape-rooms/.
The Lord of the Rings: The Marathon
This is a holiday tradition in the Marsh house that I would like to pass on. My wife, dogs and myself all pile in front of the tube every December and watch the entire Middle Earth series, extended editions, from start to finish. All in all, about 18 hours of content, just barely enough to make it a true feat in a month.
If you don’t like LOTR enough for this kind of marathon, may I suggest a long walk off a short pier? (JK, but this blog might not be for you.)
Pokémon Sword and Shield
The long awaited next generation of Pokémon games are finally here, and they stay true to the same recipe; some critics think that its maybe too close. Being the first full Pokémon game built specifically for the Nintendo Switch, many long-time fans were hoping for a new twist on the series.
Unfortunately, most of those hopes are squashed within the first 15 minutes of play time. This game is mostly mindless with the occasional difficult battle, but most seasoned veterans of the series will be able to easily strategize through almost any situation.
That said, this is the perfect holiday burner with plenty to entertainment value through and through. I would recommend picking this up for the holidays (or before).
Harden Volume 4 Power Red
I don’t know if anyone actually watches professional basketball before January, but if you do, you know what James Harden is doing. By far the most explosive offensive player in the league right now, he is capable of a 50 point game at any time. He’s averaging an NBA JAM-like 40 points per game over the last few weeks, and outside of a few other outliers he is the runaway MVP candidate thus far.
Along with a great season comes a pair of prolific kicks, perfect for any fan. They have an aggressive shape, a loud and obnoxious color, and will allow you to slip NBA talk into any conversation with grandma. Good luck!
As I Lay Dying and After the Burial at Summit Music Hall
Holy shitsnacks, Batman! This is the granddaddy of them all for 2019! You can’t ask for a better hardcore show: A powerhouse returns in As I Lay Dying, a monster headliner fills the middle slot in After the Burial and another old steward will be laying the opening pipe in Emmure.
I had grandiose plans to reuse my banana suit from Halloween for this show, which starts at 6:30 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 6, but I accidentally packed it all away. And tickets are Coachella-stupid, even though its at Summit Music Hall, 1902 Blake St. in Denver. My mistake for not jumping on this early. If you’re going, get ready to get sweaty. I will be thinking of you.
You can get tickets here if you’re Warren-goddamn-Buffet.
A TV cross-over for the ages
DC Comics’ suite of CW superhero shows have really figured out how to tell large, interconnected stories in a way that is both entertaining and impressive over the last couple years (something their film branch has never quite figured out).
Beginning on Sunday, Dec. 8, the characters of Arrow, Batwoman, Black Lightning, The Flash, Legends of Tomorrow and Supergirl will join together one last time (epic music cue) for Crisis on Infinite Earths.
The multi-night, five-episode event promises to be the end of some of our favorite characters’ journeys (brb, sobbing) and the culmination of years of storytelling. It is definitely one of the most ambitious television projects I’ve ever heard of, and I’m thrilled to see how it all shakes out.
Go to www.cwtv.com/shows/crisis-on-infinite-earths/ for information and to stream the thing.
See how IT ends
For my money, IT is Stephen King’s best standalone novel – something I reconfirmed late this summer when I reread it for the first time in a decade or so – and even splitting the 1,100-page novel into two films was never going to do it justice.
By and large, I’d still say Andy Muschietti’s attempts are pretty damn decent, and now you can see the effort in its entirety with the release of IT Chapter Two on digital and physical release on Tuesday, Dec. 10.
Chapter Two isn’t quite as good as the first film, but it has its moments, and Bill Hader absolutely brings it. I’m hoping for some kind of director’s cut version, where it’s edited together like the book, but since that probably won’t happen, you’ll have to check them this way.
Secure it (haha) wherever you stream of buy your flicks.